Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays

Like the Queen, I've been out of commission for awhile. The new job is great and the new commute is fantasic! Instead of 2 hours one way, I've got it down to just about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way. I have reclaimed 90 minutes per day or 7 1/2 hours a week - which is like a whole day! I feel like I'm starting to get some of my personal time back. And while the commuting time has reduced my crocheting time, the time will be better spent on the treadmill - which I need to buy when they go on sale.

But not to worry - the New Year promises to be full of all things crafty! I've got photos to share of my spending spree at Joann's and my new sewing machine. I've also got a few crafty resolutions to share. But for now - I've got to finish the Christmas presents that aren't done.

It's true - I didn't finish the blanket for my brother-in-law's girlfriend. It's not even close to being done but I'm not stressing about it. I crochet to relieve stress, not create it. And I don't want to infuse bad vibes into the present. So I'm bringing it up to Beantown to work on it. I'll present it to the giftee unfinished with the promise that it will be finished soon and shipped to her when it's ready. I've also got to make a few wine charms (materials also packed for the trip) which I have never made before (wish me luck!). And girls - I'm making wonderful progress on the coasters. I'm also planning to make coffee cup cozies. How does that sound?

I'll be off the blog for another spell but promise to be back with more posts and photos. Wishing you all a blessed Winter Solstice, a very Merry Christmas (or day off) and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Yes! I do have some WIPs to share. Life has been a bit busy with the holidays approaching and the new job starting tomorrow.



I had a lovely send-off from the last job. My going away gifts were perfect! The whole group contributed to a very generous gift card to Joann's and a friend gave me this - a perfect little project bag that I can use during my commute. Much better than the shopping bags I usually use.

Yarn Bag

The first project I'll be toting in my new bag will be these coasters. The yarn was bought during Girls Weekend back in October and the Queen and Mistress picked out a pattern they liked. So now I'm making a ton of these so we all have a matching set of coasters. I can make about 1 1/2 - 2 a day but when will they all be done? Your guess is as good as mine.

Coasters 01

The details of the pattern and the yarn and the size will have to wait until I post about the finished project. If you're on Ravelry, here's a sneak peek.

I did make a few snowflakes as I intended to. I'm going to use the gift card to buy the materials to make a blocking board and other materials needed to make these look better. They are quite pathetic without blocking.

Snowflakes 01

And finally, the WIP that is taking the most time and MUST be done as a Christmas present - the purple dream blanket for my brother-in-law's girlfriend.

Purple Dream Blanket 01

Only 3 skeins are into this blanket. I'm anticipating it will take between 8 and 10 to finish. I've got 5 more skeins in my stash so I'm really hoping it will only be 8. And I'm really hoping to have it done before Christmas - but I'm realistic and I can see myself lugging it on the plane and working on it frantically well into Christmas Eve. That's just the way I roll.

With the new job, there will probably be a lag in the amount of posting I can do. I will stay busy, though. My commute will be considerably less than it was but I'll still have plenty of time to be crafty on the train.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Made The List!

The "Nice" list - as opposed to the "Naughty" list. And yes, I'm as surprised as you are! ;)

A little elf told me that there is a sewing machine on its way to Casa de Crocheting Commuter. Looks like the eight pocket two-tone carryall tote will be finished this month.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let It Snow!

I've got a fabulous book of snowflake patterns and a big old ball of white thread - and it about time I get my rear in gear and start cranking out some snowflakes.

My initial plan was to make enough to put in the holiday cards. But given the fact that I haven't started making any snowflakes and a dozen or so cards are already written and sealed, let's save that idea for next year, shall we?

  • If I can get a few done this year, I'll be happy.

  • If I can get them pinned and stiffened, I'll be very happy.

  • If I can manage to get them completely finished and good enough to be given away as gifts, I'll be ecstatic!

But let's start at the beginning before I get too carried away.

First - I have the initial supplies - hook, thread and pattern. Just got to pick out a few patterns to try and get crocheting them!

Second - I'll need to make a blocking board. Foam core, wax paper and graphs need to be purchased and printed.

Third - I'll need to figure out what type of stiffening process I want to use and I need to buy some pins.

Fourth - I'll have to find the time to do all of this.

I'm optimistic that I'll at least get a few done. I hope. Here are some snowflake related links and resources:

Thread Crochet and Snowflakes Just added this under "Crochet Resources" on the side bar. All the info you need to make a blocking board and info on stiffening techniques.

Julie used the technique above - check it out here. She's also in charge of the "Snowflake Mondays" ring group. I may need to join this.

Snoflakes Group on Ravelry (sorry if you're not a member yet and can't see this group) As a current member, I'm finding that the boards have great tricks and tips and the shared projects give me lots of inspiration.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Early spring? Perhaps mid-autumn? Cause at 70+ degrees on Thanksgiving Day and a mild 60 degrees today, it sure doesn't look like winter is anywhere close to arriving.

Howdy! Hope all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and holiday weekend. I know I did. Good times with family and friends and plenty of delicious food (see example below) and entertaining football on the TV.

Thanksgiving 2007

And while I had high hopes of accomplishing a lot of crocheting on multiple Christmas presents, that didn't exactly happen thanks to an early Christmas gift from Sean - Guitar Hero III for PC.

Now, Sean hadn't played it before while I had become addicted while playing with The Queen. When I loaded it on the computer, he watched me go through the tutorial. After my first couple of songs, he decided to give it a try. And try he did - he was hooked! Oh - the fun we had! We played non-stop for like 4 hours and ended up beating the game on 'easy' that night. I also did a bit of decorating - on my guitar.

Guitar Hero

Best. Sticker. Ever.

Yes, that is a skull wearing a viking hat. Could it be anymore perfect for moi?

I'm working to get more progress done on a blanket due for Christmas (earlier if I plan to ship it), not to mention the snowflakes I wanted to make and the coasters I need to finish. But I've got other exciting news - I got a new job! Huzzah! The commute will be shorter, the pay much better and the work just as interesting, but I'll have more ownership of it. I'll start the new job in a couple weeks so wish me luck.

In the meantime, I'll try to get a few photos of WIPs and perhaps a more crochet-focused post here on the blog.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Completed Project: Blue Scarf

Made this for a friend of a friend whom I also know and like. I hope she likes this!


Kobye Scarf 03

Here's one with more of the beautiful leaves in the background:

Kobye Scarf 01

Close up:
Kobye Scarf 04

Pattern: My own! Just hdc back and forth with a sc border (one round sc, 1 round sc in back loop on sides)

Hook size: K (6.5 mm)

Yarn: about 1+ skein of Lion Brand Homespun in Montana Sky

Size: 62" long by 5" wide

Modifications: None - as this was my own pattern. I got to make it up as I went along.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007






And yes - I did have the urge to fill the wine rack with skeins of yarn. I have a problem, I know.

Bang on the Drum All Day

The benefits of working from home two days a week are many...

  • Don't have to wake up as early

  • Can do some housework while working (i.e. laundry, dishes)

  • Don't have to deal with the masses while commuting

  • Don't have to deal with train issues (when they happen)

  • Less distractions while working

  • Can listen to music without headphones

  • Able to meet delivery people who are delivering new, fabulous furniture

  • Etc...

But one of the downsides of working from home is that I don't spend as much time crocheting. Not to worry - some work has been started, including a swatch of the afghan for my brother-in-law's girlfriend. I'm still trying to figure out what stitch to use. I may need some feedback on it once I take a photo or two.

In the meantime, while I don't have any new photos of crocheted items to share, I should have one or two of the furniture being delivered later today. :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Holiday To-Do's

It's about time I take a serious look at my holiday list of things to make. It's shocking that this year is a bit slim in that department. But that doesn't mean I can put off starting them as there is one big project in there.

Things to do:
  • Scarf for a friend of a friend (this one is almost done)

  • Blanket/afghan for brother-in-law's girlfriend (I've got the yarn but I'm still selecting a stitch pattern to use)

  • Snowflake ornaments and/or present embellishments

  • Christmas stockings (this is a maybe)

I've decided to whom I will be giving the Colorwaves Afghan. I'll probably wrap it soon and get it ready for shipment.

I'm still undecided about what to do with the doilies I've made. I'd like to give them away, but I'm not sure who would use them. Then again, if they look good on the Thanksgiving table and/or buffet, I may end up keeping them.

I also need to gear up to learn how to knit because I'm hankerin' to knit me some socks. I think I'm going to put my anal retentiveness organizational skills to work and create a schedule for reading the books I have (and the books I hope to get for Christmas). I've got to give myself some structure, timelines, goals and deadlines to prompt me to really learn. This may turn into my New Year's resolution...besides, the "dieting and lose weight" one has been done time and time again without results. I might as well concentrate on something more enjoyable, right?

How are your holiday projects coming along?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Completed Project: Ripe Wheat Doily

Photo before I ironed it:

Ripe Wheat Doily 01

Photos after I ironed it:

Ripe Wheat Doily 03

Ripe Wheat Doily 04

EGADS! After ironing, the doily got HUGE!

Pattern: Ripe Wheat Doily

Hook size: 6

Yarn: More than 1 skein of J.P. Coats Classic Crochet Thread size 10 in Victory Red

Size: 19" diameter

Modifications: I used a larger hook and different thread (size and color) than what the pattern suggested.

Comments: The final product doesn't lay as flat as I would like. I may have to iron it again or try blocking it.


Defining Moments

I subscribe to "Word of the Day" from in the hopes of increasing my vocabulary power. I don't know that it's done much to help yet, but it's still a good read each day.

The word of the day for 11/5 was "Woolgathering" which means "indulgence in idle daydreaming". Not at all the definition I thought it would be.

So what happens if one indulges in idle daydreaming about wool and yarn? Am I wool-woolgathering?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Wake Up!!

I'm not a cat person. I was when I was growing up, but not anymore. It's not that I hate cats, I just don't want one as a pet. I soooo very much want a dog. I'm anxiously awaiting the day when Sean and I can get a dog and love him and squeeze him and call him Youkilis.

Back to cats, this video is soooo funny - funny cause it's true! Do you cat owners out there agree?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Crafty Baker

Yes, I have a completed project and no you can't see it yet. I haven't pulled out the ironing board and I probably won't get to it this weekend.

So much to do - jobs to apply for and still more boxes to unpack. Will the unpacking ever end? Will I find places for everything? Will I ever figure out how to decorate the place and find the right furniture (that is also affordable)? And I need the new job with the higher paycheck to afford the furniture that is halting the unpacking. Another vicious cycle.

In the meantime, I'm going to bake a pie. Pie crusts were on sale at the store and now that I live right next to a farm stand, how could I not bake a pie? I bought a 1/2 peck of Winesap apples today and WOW - they are DELICIOUS! I don't know that I've ever had a Winesap apple before but I think it might be my new favorite (sorry, Braeburn). I'll be baking that pie tomorrow in time for the Pats v. Colts game on TV. And as I'm watching the game, I hope to be working on one of the various Christmas projects I need to complete.

Happy weekend, all! And don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight! Yee-haw, more sleep!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Plugged Back In

The internet is finally up and running at Casa de Crocheting Commuter. Time for some updates!!

Girls Weekend

It was a freakin' blast! We went to Stitches East, did sightseeing in downtown DC, and laughed and laughed and laughed! Laughter is the best medicine for sure - followed by a frosty amber beverage to wash it down. :) Too many inside jokes to share here - did somebody say viking hats and stick-on mustaches? I'd also like to pat myself on the back for being Sammy-bombs, the Rock Star.

Stitches East

We only went for the Marketplace and I'm happy to report that I did very well with my plan to only buy a few things. There was plenty to choose from, that's for sure, but I wound up loving this yarn at WEBS:

Valley Yarns 2-14 Alapaca Silk a
Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk in Burgundy and Olive

And I picked up a bit of this:

Valley Yarns Longmeadow
Vally Yarns Longmeadow in Coral, Melon and Lettuce

I don't know what I'll make with this, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. The Mistress - who until walking onto the floor of the convention center had never picked up a knitting needle or crochet hook in her life - found lots to buy. And by the end of the weekend, The Queen had taught her all the basics and she showed me how to yarn over. Good times, indeed!

Super Secret Sam Project

The Queen presented me with the "Super Secret Sam Project" that was keeping my interest peaked each time I saw it under her side bar. Now, it is a secret no longer!


Mr Burns 02

I knew right away what this you need a clue?

"Good morning star-shine, the Earth says hello..."

Why yes, it's Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, Season 8 and the episode "The Springfield Files". When this episode first aired, The Queen and I absolutely lost it when we saw Mr. Burns singing. Here's a screenshot (thanks to the Queen) and the doll:

Mr. BurnsMr Burns 01

The Queen is still working on making a hospital gown for him, but I love it just as he is. Thanks, Queen!


I've been working on another doily project with the pattern, Ripe Wheat Doily. I'm not going to post details or photos about it until it's done because 1) it only looks good once it's ironed and/or blocked and 2) I'm lazy.

I've got two other projects in the works - one is a blanket for my brother-in-law's girlfriend and another is a scarf I'm making for one of my best friend's friends. I had made her a scarf a couple years ago and her friend so admired it, she wanted one, too. As I'm a sucker for compliments on my work, I of course agreed to make one for her. It's an easy project and should take less than a week to complete.

I'm also going to try and make a few squares for the San Diego Wild Fire Blanket Project (see the Blogger page and/or the Ravelry group). I've got some yarn in my stash that should work nicely for that.

My Stash

The moving in has gone very well and Sean and I have accomplished quite a bit in just a week and a half. One of the pressing issues is where my stash will reside. The office is getting full of desks and bookshelves and until those boxes get unpacked, here's where my stash resides:

Crochet Corner 03

Those two boxes contain all my yarn (except some yarn in a wicker container out of the photo). The bag is full of fabric remnants from a sewing stint I had a few years back. This little corner resides in our sunroom - which currently has no purpose other than to store other boxes that need unpacking:

Possible Crochet Room

Sure, this room would be great for a formal dining room...but wouldn't it be better as a craft room? A couple of big, squishy chairs next to a couple of shelves full of baskets brimming with yarn?


With the pagan New Year tomorrow, I so wish I could take the day off as a religious holiday. But if I do have to go to work, at least I can wear jeans and claim it's part of my Halloween costume.

And yes, I'll be wearing the aforementioned Viking hat. :)

Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Quick Hello

Howdy from the land of boxes and packing tape!

Slowly but surely, we're settling into our new digs. The only drawback of the move is being without cable or the internet at home. That should be remedied early next week. In the meantime, we're unpacking and unpacking and unpacking - with a break this weekend to celebrate our first anniversary. I can't believe it's been a year since the wedding! And finally, I'm able to unpack all the wedding gifts and use them now that there is room to store them.

And even with all the moving, I found time to buy yarn for Christmas presents. Just plain old Lion Brand Homespun for a blanket and a scarf and both projects should work up quickly once started. Photos and progress will be shared once I'm back online at home - CHERRS!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Will Be Back Soon...

We moved into the new condo today - huzzah!!! While this is very exciting, it does mean that I won't be able to blog for a while as I'll be very busy unpacking and we won't have internet or cable until 10/30 at home. Don't miss me too much. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Completed Project: Colorwaves Afghan

I actually finished this last week, but just haven't had the time to post about. All in all, about 2 months to complete. Would have been faster if I could carry it on my commute.


Colorwaves Blanket 01

Colorwaves Blanket 04

Pattern: My own - just double crochet back and forth; border is one round of single crochet, 1 round of treble crochet and 1 round of single crochet

Hook size: I (5.5 mm)

Yarn: approximately 12 skeins of Lion Brand Colorwaves in Caribbean

Size: 59" by 46" (approximately)
Unless I'm using a pattern, I don't really plan on how big the blanket will be. I just chain away until it feels big enough and then start the blanket. This one seems like a great size for a nap on the couch.

Modifications: The only modifications are that I need to wash and block it (the size is approximate because it's a bit wonky in shape right now) and I need to figure out who is getting this for Christmas. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I don't usually post this kind of stuff here on the crochet blog, but in honor of Girls Weekend, here you go. Both The Mistress and The Queen will get a kick out of what I feast on.

Your Monster Profile

War Troll

You Feast On: Jack and Coke

You Lurk Around In: Olive Gardens

You Especially Like to Torment: Emo Kids


There's a new blog called Stitch-Stirrers which has "prompts and other fun stuff for the crocheter."

While I originally wanted to participate in all of them, I haven't. (Bad, Sam! ::slaps hand::) So here goes my first one - and please note, I probably won't keep up with every week. But I do appreciate the thought and work Tracie puts into it. :)


Oct. 7 Prompt: Why Do You Do It?
If someone asked, "Why do you do it? Why in the world do you crochet?", would you give them a long response or a quick and easy one? How would you reply?

Quick response: I enjoy it. It's relaxing and it allows me to be creative.

Long answer: I really enjoy it. It's so relaxing, even meditative. Crocheting gives me a creative outlet to play with shapes, colors and textures. Trying new patterns and techniques challenges my mind and keeps me thinking. Gifting crocheted items gives me immense joy as I try to weave into each project happy thoughts and good vibes that I hope carry onto the person who receives the project.

Crocheting allows me to create something tangible - different from the emails and reports I do at work. I crochet on my commute because I feel like I am being productive during all that down time. And given my Grandmother was a notorious knitter and crocheter, I feel a strong connection to her whenever I pick up the hook - because most of my hooks used to belong to her. :)


Saturday, October 6, 2007

T-Minus 2 Weeks

It's official - we've got a closing date and a moving date. The moving date is 2 weeks from yesterday so the preparations have truly begun. The forms for address changes are in, the new insurance policy is bought, and the boxes are going to be packed this weekend.

Actually, I'm supposed to start packing right now, but I can't seem to bring myself to start. You're talking to the Queen of Procrastination here.

Crafty things have been going on, but less so given the preparations for moving. I ordered a book called "99 Snowflakes" which has 99 patterns for crocheted snowflakes (duh!). I so enjoyed my first doily, that I thought a lucrative side business may be to make crocheted ornaments and either sell them at craft shows or online. After a quick search of Etsy, I'm not worried about any competition. I've also started another doily as I enjoy the intricate work using a small needle and crochet thread as well as the ease with which I can carry it on my commute.

Next weekend is Girls Weekend when the Mistress and the Queen will be traveling to Maryland. We'll be stopping by Stitches East (major thanks to the Mistress for putting up with the Queen and my fiber addiction) and I'm only going to buy a few thing. Only a few. Really.

So it's a busy couple of weeks leading up to the move. On top of limited time to be crafty, who knows how long it will take for Comcast or Verizon (not sure which we'll go with) will have the cable and internet hooked up so I can blog. Stay tuned... There's a new crochet corner to be established in the new place!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Completed Project: Pineapple Petals Doily

My first doily is DONE! I even ironed and starched it - which made it look a lot better than it did non-ironed.

I've got two photos of this to share...

This one I enhanced the brightness and contrast.
Pineapple Petals Doily 05

This is the regular one so you can see what the color is really like (and the wrinkles in the pillow case that I used for a backdrop).
Pineapple Petals Doily 04

Pattern: Pineapple Petals Doily

Hook size: 6

Yarn: Less than 1 skein of J.P. Coats Classic Crochet Thread size 10 in Victory Red

Size: 13 1/4" diameter

Modifications: I used a larger hook and different thread so this doily is larger than the pattern (9 1/4" diameter). I also used this bright red instead of white or ecru. I love it!


For my first doily, I really happy with how this came out. I especially enjoyed learning the doily and lace techniques and making the pineapple pattern. The main problem I had was due to my gauge. You can see the chains between the pineapples are a bit wavy because they are too long. Oh well - it's a first project. Maybe if I blocked it, it would be better. But I don't think I'll be getting a big foam board to create a doily blocking board until after we move.

But now - what to do with this doily?
Do I give it as a Christmas gift?
Or sell it?
Or just pack it away?

Suggestions welcome. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


The date pushed back AGAIN. Ah, the joys of new construction. Not the builder's fault - it's all about BG&E. Whoever heard of an electric company having meters on back order??? And considering the electric rate raises that have been put through, you'd think they'd have plenty of money to have meters in reserve. I think on my next bill, I'll just put a note that my money is on back order and I'll send it when it arrives.

Girls Weekend...The second week of October - and it will either be right before or right after we close on the condo. We'll have a fabulous time among the boxes ready to be transported to the new location (or the boxes recently moved to the new place). A good amount of wine will make it all look like modern art, I'm sure. And Stitches East - oh, yeah, we'll be there!

New employment...Sooo looking forward to finding the right job at the right salary in the right location. It's the trifecta of employment satisfaction that I'm looking's to finding it.

Crafty things...No new projects to speak of as the above 3 items are consuming my time. It's good, because I really must finish what is already on my plate before diving into another project. Unless I find something so fun I just can't help it. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Project: Pineapple Petals Doily

I've jumped into yet another new project and this time it's a new brand of project, too - DOILIES. And not just your grandma's doilies.

That's what people think when they hear "doilies", right? These random, frilly, lacy things laying around on every available flat surface of your grandma's house, under crystal vases and candy dishes filled with salt water taffy (YUCK!).

Well, I happen to have found doilies to be a new challenge in broadening my crochet repertoire. Using thread instead of yarn and wielding a tiny little hook to create beautiful lace designs seems like fun. And for my first ever doily project, it's going well.

Pineapple Petals Doily 01

The pattern is Pineapple Petals Doily and I'm using J.P. Coats Classic Crochet Thread size 10 in Victory Red with a size 6 hook. I don't think this is the right yarn or hook size but that's what I had in my stash and this project is really just to try out the technique and pattern reading. So far, so good. I think it will be better once I block and iron it. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Completed Project: Fat Bottom Bag

Started this on Sunday -

Lined it on Tuesday...

Finished it on Wednesday night and I used it yesterday! Yay!


Fat Bottom Bag 04

Fat Bottom Bag 05

Pattern: Fat Bottom Bag in the book The Happy Hooker

Hook size: H

Yarn: approximately 1 1/3 skeins of Lily Elite Cotton in Black

Size: 11" wide by 7" deep (excluding handles)

Modifications: I used a smaller hook to obtain the gauge and to my delight - the finished product was spot-on for size! I'm a bit shocked by it.

I also lined this bag thanks to Tiff pointing me in the direction of Kel's easy-to-follow lining tutorial. I bought this material a few years ago for a gypsy Halloween costume. I think it works great as a purse lining. It's very thin so I did a double-lining with white fabric behind it. I'm hoping it doesn't tear. Here's a photo of the lining before I crocheted the top.

Fat Bottom Bag 03

Yes - I did sew this by hand but I won't be sewing the tote bag lining by hand. That is waaaaay more complicated than this one.

I did buy a magnetic snap to add to the bag but the magnet is so strong, I can't pull it apart easily and I don't want to rip the bag. I'm going to add some kind of closure - either a flap with a button hole or a weaker magnetic snap. Embellishments, such as a pin or other decoration are still up in the air, too.

Bonus photo:

A trio of happiness: an F.O., a large mug of coffee and for-no-reason-other-than-he-wanted-to-get-them-for-me flowers from my husband.

Fat Bottom Bag 06


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Project: Colorwaves Blanket

Well, it's not exactly new. I've posted before about working on it but this is the first post with some more details and some photos.

Colorwaves Blanket 01

Planning on 12 skeins of Lion Brand Colorwaves in Caribbean

Close ups: Don't you LOVE the colors? :)
Colorwaves Blanket 02 Colorwaves Blanket 03

Hook: I (5.5 mm)

Pattern: Just double crochet back and forth. The yarn makes the textures of other stitches hard to see and, for some of them - like dc in the back loop - near impossible. The border is still up in the air.

Progress: The photo above is 8 skeins worth of yarn and it measures approximately 43" length and somewhere between 44"-47" wide. Why the huge discrepancy? Beats me. I just couldn't get a consistent measurement this morning. I'm hoping this was due to the lack of caffeine and not a wonky blanket.

Now that I've got enough yarn to finish this one and make another one, I need to decide if I'll give both away as Christmas gifts - or keep one for myself...which is very likely to happen.

New Project: Fat Bottom Bag

As noted before, it was just a matter of time before I started one of these. With the latest yarn order's arrival and the completion of the pieces for the tote bag, it was a great time to start one.

This is the Fat Bottom Bag pattern from "The Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller. I started this on Sunday while Sean was umpiring and finished the main part last night.

Folded in half
Fat Bottom Bag 01

Fat Bottom Bag 02

I had a real problem figuring out my gauge (shocker!). Instead of using the I (5.5mm) hook called for in the pattern, I found that using an H hook was still close to the gauge and I thought the stitches looked better with the smaller hook. The piece above is 6" tall and 16" wide, which I believe is a bit off from the dimensions of the pattern. Maybe the Lily Elite yarn I'm using is significantly thinner than the Lion Brand Cotton? Oh well. So this purse may be a bit smaller than expected. It's just the first so it's bound to be improved upon.

I tried to start the next part of the pattern but I was tired and couldn't concentrate. I still need to go to the store and get purse handles. As for the possible lining - I'm not sure yet if I'll line it or not. I'm going to wait until I have it put together. Hopefully that won't make lining it too much of a chore. But if I do decide to line it, I may have to put it aside to wait with the tote bag until after Christmas.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Progress Report: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote

All the pieces are done! And yes, even the ends are woven in.

Two Tone Tote 02

It's been a quick project creating the pieces from start to finish. But now, it will stay in hibernation until at least December if not January. Because, if I'm lucky, Santa will bring me a sewing machine so I can properly sew the lining. No sense ruining such a beautiful bag with my sad attempt at hand sewing the lining.

Until we meet again...
Two Tone Tote 03

Wicked Fast

My yarn order on Thursday arrived on Friday.
(Sorry - no photo of the jam packed box.)

And the title? Yeah, the BoSox are on television so I'm channeling my inner New Englander.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More Bad Behavior

I've been working on an afghan/blanket (remind me of the difference again?) using Lion Brand Colorwaves in Caribbean that I bought back in July. I got 8 skeins of it thinking it would be enough for a blanket, but here I am, close to the end, and I know I need more yarn. I also know that I may not be giving this blanket away after all. I just love how it looks and feels - the colors are fantastic and it isn't an overly warm blanket. Light enough for a chill in the air but not sub-zero weather.

So what have I done to remedy the situation?

Yep - Another order at Smiley's Yarn. I bought :gasp!: 16 skeins of Caribbean - 4 more to finish my current blanket/afghan and 12 more to make the second one (that I'll actually give to someone). I also got some other stuff - but I'll post about it when the yarn arrives.

The moving date is approaching - now I've got more yarn to haul from here to there. At least it doesn't weigh much. :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eating It, Too

Another attempt at cake decorating. This one was made for a co-worker's Italian themed going-away party. When I said I was going to bake a cake, another person in the office asked if it was going to be an Italian cake to match the theme. I said yes - and created this:

Pizza Cake 03

Pizza Cake 01

A pizza cake with pepperoni, green peppers and black olives - and a handmade crust. Not as great as Sean's birthday cake, but still impressive. Must've been quite tasty, too, because only a sliver was left at the end of the party.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Dear Santa

The tote bag is coming along nicely. I've got the front and back and two large pockets done. I'm working on the gusset and will probably have it and the two small pockets done by tomorrow. And while I'll then be able to start the red handles, I can't start to assemble it until I buy and some fabric for the lining.

And lining means sewing.

And I don't have a sewing machine...


That's the request for Christmas - a cheap (but not too cheap) sewing machine so I can make linings and other sewing projects. One of the projects I'd like to start is the Fat Bottom Bag. I've got extra yarn to start making it and with sites like Tiff Crochets and With a Hook showcasing such beautiful bags, how can I not start one? Or three?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Project: Eight Pocket Two-Tone Carryall Tote

That's a looooong name for a project, eh?

This is a free pattern from Lion Brand. I've opted for colors of a more subtle nature (ecru and poppy red). Thanks to the sale at Joann's, I substituted Lion Brand Cotton for Lily's Sugar 'n Cream as it was $1.49 per skein and Lion Brand Cotton was $4.99 a skein. I did buy the one skein of Lion Brand because it was the better color for the straps and borders of the bag. With a 40% off coupon, it was only $2.99. Worth the splurge.

Eight Pocket Two Tone Tote WIP 01

As you can see, I have the front and back completed and most of one of the large pockets. Given my propensity to have a bigger gauge with the recommended hooks of a pattern, I'm using an H for the large hook instead of the I. Still, the front and back are about a half inch longer than they should be. Oh well - just more room to tote stuff.

There's a CAL over at Crochetville where I found a post of FAQs and helpful tips and a wonderful tutorial on how to line the bag . I was wondering about lining it but given that I am not an avid sewer and I don't have a sewing machine, I was leaning against it. Now that I've seen how wonderful the totes looked lined and since I have some easy to follow directions, I guess I'll have to line it.

I'm not participating in the CAL because I don't have time to read and post on a regular basis. Three posts a week on the blog is about all I can handle (plus the continual updating of my Ravelry notebook).

For now, I must be off to start the work day. I :heart: working from home!

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Sean and I and a group of friends are heading to ye olde Maryland Renaissance Festival tomorrow. I am so freakin' excited! It's such a fun way to spend the day. The cost is reasonable for the amount of entertainment you get. The food is fantastic and very well priced (i.e. you don't feel like you're getting robbed). And giant turkey legs! <-- though it technically falls under the food category, it deserves its own shout out. And mead! Wonderful mead! And pints of local microbrewed beer! And the piece de resistance - frozen chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick. Heaven!

I had hoped to have the pentagram spiral motif shawl done in time for the festival, but I only have 6 motifs done and none of them are joined. It really isn't a problem as it will be too warm for shawls tomorrow anyway. No costumes either it will be in the low 80's and I can't fit into my costume anyway. My cup runneth over and I can't seem to lace up my corset. C'est la vie. I will be wearing my crocheted skirt, though. :)

Here are some photos I took at last year's festival. The musical acts are all performing at the White Hart Tavern.

The Pyrates Royale

The Pyrates Royale

The Rogues

The Rogues

The O'Danny Girls
(though from the looks of the web site, they replaced a sister...)

O'Danny Girls

A sculpture on the grounds of Revel Grove

Sculpture in Revel Grove

More photos to follow from tomorrow's adventures... Huzzah!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Gettin' My Knit On

I tried to teach myself how to knit about two years ago. Here's the swatch I made back in ye olde 2005.

Knitting Swatch 1

It's not bad, but it's not great. And this is the only thing I made.

I just couldn't get the hang of it. It was too frustrating. It was slow, my gauge was inconsistent, and I couldn't easily fix mistakes. I put away the knitting needles and went back to my crochet corner where things were back to normal.

But look what I've done:

Knitting Swatch 2

I took out Stitch n' Bitch and finally - FINALLY! - learned how to cast on using the sling shot method. Why I couldn't do it before, I can't tell you. But now - I can cast on like lightening, though I tend to cast on too tightly.

I think this second swatch is a lot better than the first. I don't know whether it's due to the different kind of yarn or a renewed interest in learning or perhaps the planets were so perfectly aligned when I cast on the stitches. Let's hope I get further than just a swatch this time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


At least, that was what Sean and I felt like after having a slice of his wonderful birthday cake.

Sean's Cake 2007

Sean's Cake 2007 (2)

The green grass of the field is a generous layer of green sugar crystals and the gobs of icing to create the dirt, bases and umpire mask are as thick as they look. Not to mention that this is a layered cake with more frosting in the center. Not a cake for diabetics.

Sean loved the cake and I had a fun time making it, as I do all of his cakes. And aside from the sugar rush from whence I am now coming down, it was oh so tasty!

A few funny mishaps that happened during the cake making & eating:

1) My first attempt to make brown icing went very, very wrong. I thought red and green would make a nice dark brown. Instead, I wound up with dark Army green boarding on green baby poo. NOT pretty.

2) As you tell in the photo, I ran out of room to write "Sean". The umpire mask was also a little off as the black gel icing tip was not fine enough. Looks like a weird goblin mask or something. Oh well - call it artistic license.

3) Sean blew out the candles in one big breath - which sent the green sugar crystals flying off the cake, onto the table, the chairs and the floor. Priceless!

I noticed that the Joann's store near me has cake decorating classes. I'm going to sign up to take them one of these days. It would be nice to know how to decorate a cake with an appropriate amount of frosting and decorations.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Birthday Boy

Today is Sean's birthday!

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband!

A caring, funny, intelligent man who puts up with me and my yarn obsession. :)

Love you!!!

Last year, Sean's cake was store bought because we were so busy with all the wedding preparations.

But in 2005, he got two homemade cakes. One was just for fun (inspired by baseball season) and the other was for his actual birthday (inspired by our trip to New Mexico).

Boston Cake 2005

Sean's Birthday Cake 2005

But this year - A special birthday cake will be made on Thursday. Here's a hint - the decorating will involve baseball. :)