Thursday, December 27, 2007

Don't Second-Guess Yourself...

It's the middle of a short week at work! One more day and we'll have another 4-day weekend ahead of us! What a difference in my workday too, now that the "boss from he**" is gone! It was nice and quiet today - most of the people working around me are out through the end of the year.

The picture to the left is the shawl I made for my friend for Christmas (and my son's beagle!). I know she likes yellow, and this was made using a lovely shade of yellow yarn from Bernat. I really loved the look of the skein when I picked it up and thought that this would be the perfect project for it. I let someone talk me out of giving it to her though. I know that some folks have a hard time with wearables made from yellow yarn or fabric - the wrong shade of yellow can sometimes make you look sickly! I asked someone's opinion and the opinion was that it was "too much yellow" to be worn. So I grabbed a skein of green yarn and worked up another shawl. I felt safe with that one, as my friend had seen other items made with this same shade of green yarn and she had admired the color.

I should have stayed with my first thought, though. When my friend heard that the first shawl was yellow, she exclaimed "That's my favorite color!" Live and learn. I still love the color of this one, and if I don't keep it myself, I will probably gift it to my friend for her birthday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day!

This was a wonderful Christmas holiday! We got together with brothers and sisters and Dad at the home of one of my sisters on Saturday the 22nd. We had a really lovely time, there was plenty of great food and desserts and lots of presents! We followed through on our plans to give our $50 pollyanna funds to one of my brothers. He's going through a rough time, as his wife is trying to take him to the cleaners! We were able to give him $300 to help him out.

My husband played Santa on Christmas Eve for the granddaughters of my best friend. He thought things were going well, but as he was leaving the 4 year old shouted out spontaneously "I believe in you, Santa!" My husband says he'll remember that forever!

My husband received gift certificates for the local scuba diving shop. Our older son got the stereo he wanted, our younger son got the 2 video games he wanted, and I got the Italian language program I asked for.

This is the first year that I haven't been wrapping gifts late Christmas Eve. Or worse yet, shopping late on Christmas Eve. I got finished on time this year. Now that Christmas crochet projects are finished, it's time to think about my next project. My sister mentioned wanting some rosaries for their church bazaar. I should be able to stock up on thread and beads, with the gift certificates I got for AC Moore and JoAnn's! I also got some great pattern books for Christmas. My head is spinning - so many great projects to work on!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Gifts

It's Sunday evening, and I did finish up a few gifts this weekend. I have two hat and scarf sets finished, one pictured here. There's also a baby sized afghan finished that was going to go to Texas to a NICU unit. I missed the mailing deadline. But I'll finish a few more and mail them for delivery in February for Valentine's Day.

I'm not dreading returning to work for a change. It's been three miserable years working with a miserable boss. I am so happy he's gone that if I didn't have a bum knee, I'd do a jig! What a jerk he's been! My whole outlook on life has improved immensely. No more tears on the way to work, knowing what would be ahead of me. No more tears on the way home as a result of the day I had. I'm enjoying my life so much more! Looking forward to our cruise in January! My husband and I will be visiting St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. I've always wanted to see St. Lucia - I can't wait!

We did a little Christmas shopping today. And my husband and son put the lights up outside. I have to get out to see how they look.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A 5-Day Weekend!

Just coming to the end of a loooooooong weekend! Sorry to see it end, but there is another one ahead - Christmas! I've finished a couple of Christmas gifts, did a little shopping for a holiday gift exchange, got some ideas for more Christmas gifts and really enjoyed this time off.

I have another project I need to finish up - I finished a child's poncho, but need to add some embellishment to it. I'd like to get that finished this week, so that I can give it to the little girl for Christmas. Not to mention the (very) large round ripple afghan in browns in the back seat of my car! I carry it around there to keep it handy, in case I get some time to work on it. My car is now officially the "Yarnmobile". I have finished items, half-finished items, supplies for future items and patterns in the car. Makes hubby roll his eyes whenever he needs to take my car somewhere.

These are photos of some of the gifts I finished. Sushi scarves - I hope the girls like them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fundraiser Update and Holiday Musings

Well, I understand that the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Pink Ribbon auction at work was a big success! I understand that we raised more money this year than we did in previous years. That's great news! The afghan was a popular item, according to the people who pulled the winning tickets. I'm so glad! There were a lot of wonderful donations by so many people - one wonderful woman and her husband donated $250 in cash as a prize! It warms my heart that there are so many generous people in the world! Bravo to all the people who took part in the fundraiser!

My world is a little less stressful this week - my boss gave his notice! I certainly hope that he is happier in his new job than he was in this one. That's all I can say.

I am going to finish my cup of creme brulee coffee, and get down to work with more of my Christmas crochet projects. Our family has decided to forego the traditional pollyanna and donate our pollyanna monies to our brother who is having some difficulties right now. I hope it will help him out. In the meantime, we are all working on some little handmade goodies for each other.

When I was a child, we had fantastic Christmas mornings - we woke up to find gifts spilling out from under the tree and into the rest of the living room. Of course, there were 7 of us children, so that was a lot of packages. It's finally dawned on me what my parents went through to make a wonderful holiday for us all. We didn't have the newest, the most or the best of everything, but I never felt that we were deprived as kids. My dad worked multiple jobs to make sure we had what we needed. I know now how hard it was for him to take care of all of us, and I'm thankful for what he did.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Attack of the 50-foot Afghan (Just Kidding!)

Well, here it is! One massive blended rainbow round ripple afghan!
88 inches from point to point, and weighs 7 pounds! Done with two strands of Caron Simply Soft yarn, and I like the look of it. Cost a bundle to make though. I kept having to duck out to buy a couple more skeins, as I reached the outer rounds.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ghosts and Goblins

It's Halloween night and the costumed kiddies are out and about! I really enjoy seeing the little ones dressed up - we've had Harry Potter, princesses, a king, Eeyore, a wolfman who got quite insulted that I called him the big bad wolf, and lots more. One little Batman jumped about 6 inches off the ground when I answered the knock at the door. Probably because he could hear the two dogs barking like crazy here inside the house. At least I think that was the reason - I hope I'm not that scary!

I remember when my brothers, sisters and I used to go out for Halloween. My mom kept a bag of old clothes (the "rag bag") in the cellar, and each October we'd go through it to see what we could salvage and turn into costumes. We designed many a scarecrow and hobo costume, we were ghosts, monsters, clowns, and steelworkers and even "Granny Clampett". That was my sister - she looked like Irene Ryan's twin! I don't think that any of us even owned a store-bought costume! Today, some of the kids think a hoodie and a pillowcase are all you need for Halloween.

Finally finished the Pink Ribbon Cancer Awareness afghan. I ran out of yarn and had to finish the last 6 rows with a yarn slightly darker than the rest of the afghan, and I'm heartsick about it. The fundraising auction is next week, so I'll have to donate it as is. Everyone at work was nice about it and said they didn't notice - but it sticks out like a sore thumb when I look at it! It will be on display in our building, and the other buildings in the complex will have a picture of it to display. Above is the photo I took.

Someone asked me if I was putting a doll "room" in the auction this year. It was the person who won last year's set of Barbie furniture. I'm sorry to say that she'll be disappointed this year. I've been out of sorts for so long and just started to get back into crochet mode in July. I've got a lot of hooking to catch up on. So many projects - so little time!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh, My Aching Back! Oh Well -Time to Crochet~

Been having back trouble this weekend. Nasty muscle spasms for 3 days, and so I've been taking it easy. Good excuse to break out the yarn and hook. Not too strenuous! I owe my hairdresser a baby gift and so I put together a hat and poncho set. It's made with baby print, white and pink worsted weight yarn. The hat actually started out as a round ripple afghan. Part way into the afghan, I wondered how it would look as a hat. I like it!

Much as I hate to say it though, I would like to go back to work tomorrow. That would mean the pain is lessening! As long as I have someone who can pull me up out of my chair (or wheel me down the hallway), I should be fine!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Barbie Doll Furniture

These are some of my favorite items to make! I've gifted these to people, and donated some to auctions to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I know 2 little girls who were the happy winners of some of these items!

Monday, October 8, 2007

WIPs - Lots of Baby Afghans!

I am hooked on round ripple afghans right now! I finished one rainbow afghan for my former boss, who is expecting her first baby in about 3-4 weeks. I missed her baby shower last week, so I dropped it off today. She seemed to like it a lot.

I used Red Heart worsted weight yarns, and I've just recently started washing and drying the items I make. Red Heart seems to be so stiff and scratchy lately. But wash it on a gentle cycle for a few minutes and dry it with a dryer sheet and it comes out so soft!
I have another RR in the works - also in rainbow colors, but in pastel shades. I haven't finished it yet. It's worked with two strands of yarn for a blended look. It's going to be massive, though! I goofed and made each section 4 rows wide. I should have used 3 rows. I'll post a photo when it's finished. I guess it will make a good "mom and baby" afghan! LOL!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Trip To The Hospital

What a day! My husband Wayne and I just got back from the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He had a new patient appointment and I had a return visit scheduled. We started out before 9:00 am, and it's an hour's ride by train to the hospital. We arrived at 10:30 for appointments at 11:00 and 11:45.

OMG - neither one of us saw the doctor until almost 2:00 pm! There were medical students in and out. Good thing Wayne brought a book and I brought my yarn and crochet hook. I started out crocheting on the train and continued throughout the wait at the hospital. The medical student who stopped in to go over history with us commented to me that we had both been waiting for a while. I agreed - I told him that my crochet project started out as a Barbie doll-sized rug, and was now well into scarf mode, since I'd added over a hundred rows. I told him that I would like to get out before I had to consider turning it into a hallway runner! He laughed, said he needed to consult with the doctor, and that if he saw the pink yarn poking out from under the door, he would know he was gone too long!

I usually don't mind waiting, especially when I have my yarn with me. However, due to the fact that we left so early, I hadn't eaten and was starving! LOL! I was glad when I was finished and sent out to the waiting room to wait for Wayne. When he appeared around the corner about 15 minutes later, I said "Halleluia!". He said not to get too excited because they had him waiting for some papers to take home with him. So another 12 rows were added to the scarf. It's now over 4 feet long. I can honestly say, for the first time in a while, I've done enough crocheting for the day. I need a break! LOL!-

The doctor did tell me I needed to make another appointment to return in about a month. The thought that I should just hang out in the waiting room until then did cross my mind for a second.

Anyway, we're home and I'm glad! And I took a vacation day for this! I'll post a photo of the pink scarf when it's finished.

The Phillies are playing the first of their playoff games against the Rockies. Here's hoping they win - although at the moment, it doesn't look good.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Nativity Set

This is my very favorite crochet project. I made this set about 12 years ago, and it won my very first blue ribbon at the Middletown Grange Fair. I look forward to the holidays every year so that I can bring it out and display it. I hope to be able to make 2 more sets - one for each of my sons.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Pink Ribbon Afghan

I started this afghan a few weeks ago. I bought it as a kit from Mary Maxim. It's lovely. However, I encountered a slight problem. With 6 rows left to finish, I have enough yarn to finish one row! I've contacted the Mary Maxim company, and they say that a number of customers had a problem with the kit, and they'll be happy to send me additional yarn. I hope it gets here in time, as I promised this afghan to the Estee Lauder Companies online auction to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Additional Photo from Grange Fair

This is the crossed half-double crochet scarf, my fourth entry in the Grange Fair. I'll be giving it as a Christmas gift.

Friday, August 31, 2007

2007 Grange Fair Entries

I got a very late start on my fair entries this year. Finished crochet projects were: a red crossed half-double crochet fringed scarf, a cow baby bib, an infant's white hat with holly leaves and berries, and a corn-cob shaped holder for plastic bags. I did win a second place ribbon for the bag holder - I was quite pleased with that!