Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Day Is It?

Did you notice I started yesterday's post with a "Happy Tuesday" when in fact it was Wednesday?  Now I should have known it was Wednesday, because I was watching my favorite show - Ghost Hunters.   But nope, missed it completely.  I actually woke up this morning and realized my error!  But I think it explains how my brain has been working lately - it hasn't!

In case you were wondering how the mandala turned out - it's not too bad actually.  Still a tiny  bit ripply, but I am sure I can flatten it some more.  Alice was so kind to provide some simple tips on how to make it flatter.  Thank you Alice, you are quite lovely.

Anyhow, I'm not defeated and will try again - THIS time I will READ the pattern and study the photos.  And let me reiterate that Alice writes the EASIEST TO UNDERSTAND patterns and provides extremely  helpful photography.  My wonky mandala was ALL my own fault.  I know the pattern works perfectly, because a few months back I made a wonderful bag using her first tutorial!

I might even try her tea cosy pattern - this time READING the instructions :-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How's That Done Then?

Happy Tuesday!
Sorry I wasn't very clear in my last post what exactly it was I had made for Little Z.  Obviously the blue item with the pink heart was a pencil case.  The other item, not so clear, was a book cover for her writing journal/drawing book.
Here it is!
 Now back to the business of this post.
Alice, if you're reading this, you may want to avert your eyes. 
Somehow  I have managed to create the wonkiest Mandala known to man/crochetkind.  Not sure how, but I will say I frogged this sucker three times!  Don't get me wrong, Alice's pattern could not be any easier.  However the cosmic brain meld that allows me to read the words of her pattern without actually reading them must be broken or suffering from some sort of serious disruption.  And for reasons unknown to me, even after I frogged it once, I still refused to actually stop and
the words or look at the photos.
Sorry Alice, I deserve a good smack.     
So how many pins does it take to block a wonky mandala and make it round???  Many more than I own.

 What's that you say?  Why don't I frog it and start again?  Because I suffer from a severe lack of patience and an over abundance of stupidity.
And I'm VERY hopeful the entire contents of my pin cushion and copious amounts of spray starch will do the trick....

Of course if you want to know how these lovely mandalas really should look, pop over and see Alice.  Hers are quite simply brilliant.

P.S. I think the sludgy photos due to the lack of light only add to the crappiness.  Even if it isn't round, the colours are really quite lovely, honest! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

For Little Z

I love sewing for little girls, not surprising in a house surrounded by boys.  Nothing like playing with pink as opposed to boyish blue.

So when Little J was invited to Little Z's birthday party, I was excited to whip up something pink for her.

Of course, even though we all know I am nervous about presenting some homemade goodness, especially in front of a room full of strangers (the onlooking mothers) I had nothing to worry about. 

Her mother was thrilled and I was relieved.  I was thrilled when her mother told me this morning that mine was the first gift she played with when the party was over.  Guess I did something right!  I think I'm starting to get the hang of this hand made gift giving business....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear Mrs. H.....

Dear Mrs H, 

Would you please excuse Little J from homework until, oh let's say the New Year?  You see the lovely Alice has posted the most fabulous new tutorial for mandalas and I simply must spend my evenings creating their rainbowy goodness.  This after school work you keep sending home which requires my motherly attention is seriously cutting into my crochet creation time.


Little J's Mum who might have lost her mind to crochet madness.

Who knew the third grade would involve so much homework???  I don't remember the other two J's with this much after school work.  Honestly, I can hardly expect the lovely Alice to put her fabulous tutorials on hold while I explain the times tables?

Perhaps if I sent Little J to school with a lovely mandala for Mrs. H she'll be a little more understanding???

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thank You!

Honestly, the bloggers I have met through my ramblings are the NICEST people EVER!!!  Thank you so much for your advice on my scarf dilemma!  Such a relief.  I'm ready to start on the new scarf and feel like a huge weight has been lifted.  I was so worried, I think I was going silly over the whole matter!  The only crafty friends I have are those I have met through my blog, so your advice and suggestions are so valuable to me.  THANK YOU

I'm off to start the new scarf and see if there is at least 1 way in my little book of 101 ways to improve my knitting that will do just that!  My MIL included this book in a stash of yarn, needles and books she gave me.  All vintage from the 50's and 60's, but the patterns are so simple and easy for me the beginner I was so happy to receive them. Hopefully I'll be able to knit something other than a hat or scarf after browsing through this book!

P.S.  Again please excuse the crap photos - with the clock change it's dark by the time I get home. 

Monday, November 8, 2010


So I have a bit of a quandary on my hands.  You see I often take my little crochet projects to work on during my lunch hour and my boss is always very interested to see what I'm up to.  We eat lunch together everyday, during which she reads books on her iPhone and I hook away.  So after completing this project a few weeks back, she mentioned she might like a scarf too and I suggested what I great idea for a Christmas present!  I instantly regretted it the nano second the words came out of my mouth. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to making something for someone else I often get myself in a tizzy. So to cut a long story short I toddled off to the LYS in search of the perfect yarn, thinking that would solve the problem.  After shelling out quite a fortune ($7.75 for 50g) on this lovely pink yarn I rushed home to create something wonderful. 
Now 14 creations later, 13 froggings, using needles and hooks and scouring the Internet and Ravelry, I have sort of settled on this pattern.

I bought six balls and it should barely be enough for this scarf.

 The pattern is so lovely and really quite fun to do.  Its coming together quickly and the yarn is just delicious to crochet with.  In fact even to knit with as I made three attempts to knit a scarf before settling on crochet.
 The trouble is this.  It's not very soft.  I mean it feels soft in the ball, but it doesn't drape well and I think it might even bit a tad scratchy?  Well at least I think my boss might think its a tad scratchy. Of course me knowing how much it cost and how lovely the wool is thinks its wonderful.
So here's my quandary.  Will she think it's lovely being a non yarn person?  She's the nicest person and so complimentary, but I worry it's not soft enough.  Has anyone out there used this yarn before?  Should I just go purchase the cheap, acrylic, but super duper soft yarn I used in the scarf she admired?  I think part of the problem is the amount of money I spent - please don't tell Mr. VW, he may pass out - or should I just get over it?  At this point I'm leaning toward keeping it for myself and buying new yarn.
Please, your advice needed!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Happy November.....
Little J is now the big NINE, just one digit away from doubles.  No fancy celebrations, just cake and construction on his Halloween Birthday.
Here he sits on the new roof of his playhouse reading the latest toy catalog and contemplating ways to bribe me into a trip to the toy store to spend the £10 his Great Uncle has sent from across the pond :-) (Unfortunately no currency exchange services within zillion miles from of house, so he'll be dealing with the "Bank of Mum" and another £10 note will end up in my Grandfathers tea caddy) 

Mr VW spend what was a rather chilly day replacing the roof on his clubhouse.  It didn't fair so well after the mountains of snow we received last year.  Speaking of the white stuff, I saw our first flurries up on the mountain at work last friday!  Little later than last year, when the white stuff arrived 2 weeks prior to pumpkin day.
I provided construction supervision from a comfortable chair with a warm dog whilst adding rows to my granny stripe.

And creating 'fowas' for our sweet almost 3 year old neighbor who pops over for a visit any chance she can get.  Any sign of my yarn and she asks ever so sweetly for more "fowas".  The girls got the crochet love already!
Well I  must be off, although I have a reprieve from homework tonight (school's out today and tomorrow) there's still more cake to eat and pressies which must now be constructed :-0
Happy Number 9 Little J, you've grown so much since last year.