January has been a disgustingly productive month. In about a week and a half, I managed to finish the rippled baby afghan made out of Dream in Color Classy that I was working on for Chuck’s cousin Nicole’s baby. I missed her baby shower because it was the same weekend as Calista’s birthday party, and I’ve been horribly lazy about putting it in the mail to them, but finally did so today. It turned out very nicely. So nice, that when I tried to knit a second afghan that no other pattern looked right until I tried the rippled pattern again. I need to make three afghans total for members of Chuck’s family and, at first, ran with the idea that I could just make each a very different afghan each with its own colorway and pattern. But that pattern just called to me, so here I am back to knitting it, but am using Cushy Color Sport yarn dyed by ColorJoy. Oh, and by the way, please don't ask about the finished measurements because as I'm up-loading the photos, I realize that I never actually measured it before shipping it off. That would have been too smart of me, wouldn't it?
Other items finished this month include a baby sweater (again for Nicole’s baby, but more on that in the “frogging” section) and two chemo caps, with a third well under way, for next week’s Knit Michigan event. And I say “event” because Knit Michigan really is for a good cause (follow the link and check it out if you’re not familiar with it). I went with friends last year and had a good time. Maybe if I get my act together next year, I’ll actually participate in the Knitting Marathon. So, about the chemo caps: the purple hat is the "Swirly Hat" pattern by TChemGrrl and only took 4 days to knit-up. And keep in mind that I usually only have a couple hours per day to actually knit, so this can be done in a day or so if you’re on a long road-trip, flight, or (as may be the case this winter) snowed in.
The pink hat is a pattern called "The Amanda Hat" by Gina House. This project was completed in about 4 hours; yes, hours. The third Sunday of each month is the Knitting Guild’s charity get together at Schuler’s Books at the Eastwood Towne Center mall. While there, I was able to finish the purple hat, start and get half-way through the pink hat. The hat was complete by Monday night.
So, now I’m making great headway with the third hat, which is the Jacques Cousteau hat pattern. This one is coming out pretty large (Heda is barely able to keep it from sliding into her eyes!) and I might just finish it and keep it for a different charity cause, or tear it completely out and start over with less stitches and smaller needles. My point in bragging about how fast the projects have gone is that charity knitting doesn't necessarily not take a lot of time and can be rewarding for yourself as well as the recipient. Without working on these hats for this cause, I wouldn’t have any real need to have ever tried out these patterns. Oh, and by the way – the yarn for all three is Berroco Comfort.
I’m not entirely sure how I got into this, but by the time of my knit-in this month, I was certain that at least two of my projects were toast. The first is an unfinished hand-bag/tote made in Tahki Cotton Classic using a Lilly Chin pattern. I started this project in 2006 as a gift for a friend who was moving to another country and I wasn’t sure what to make for her since I didn’t know if a sweater or hat/scarf/glove set would be of use. So, bags of any type usually sounds like a safe bet. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to complete the bag before she moved, leaving me particularly bummed out, so I just dropped the project. However, after showing it at my knit-in, I’m now convinced that I can finish it, line it, and keep it on hand in case I ever need an emergency gift. If you happen to be the recipient of this bag at some point in the future, please don’t be offended….
The second frogged project is a Berroco tank top knitted in Cotton Twist. This gem is from at least 2003. Not only are the stitches a little lumpy (which blocking didn’t really help), but the top itself is completely the wrong size for me. This was way before I paid any attention to sizing and making sure that the finished measurements in the pattern were ones that actually made sense for my body shape/size. The top is complete and matches the finished measurements for the pattern, but I’ll never wear it. It just accentuates all the wrong parts in all the wrong ways on me. So, when I get around to it, it’ll be deconstructed, rewound, and likely used for baby gifts or dish cloths. I also showed this one at my knit in and we seemed to be in universal agreement that it should go.
And the last frogged project is one that I decided to deconstruct is the baby sweater. It is just too frigging small. The pattern is the Kimono baby sweater from Mason-Dixon knitting using Knit one, crochet two’s second time cotton. My gauge was on, and I even bought ribbon to use to tie it closed; but just looking at the darned thing, it seems as though it would out live it’s usefulness within the first week the baby would be home. I bought two hanks of the yarn and used just under one to work the sweater, so am hoping to tear this one out, and re-knit as a mini-wallaby. I don’t have enough yarn for the 2-T size in the pattern, so will likely combine this yarn with something and work in a bigger gage size or will try to just size down the pattern. If anyone has a suggestion, please let me know.
Hey! Did anyone notice the theme for my "frogged" projects -- all are cotton yarns! Maybe I am a wool girl through and through!
Okay, so maybe my label of calling someone “crazy” is a little mean-spirited, but this person was really starting to tick me off, so there. First, let me say that I did not meet this person at Meijer. Second, let me say that I am very supportive of my friends and will attend just about any direct sales party for them. In that light, let me tell you that I get invited to a lot of sales parties. Jewelry, candles, pots (you know what I mean), cooking utensils, and lotions and notions – I go to them all. I may not order every time, but do order when I find stuff that I actually like or need. (And for some reason, I’ve never been to a Tupperware party. Do people still have those??) A couple of Thursdays ago, I attended an Arbonne party that was being hosted by a friend of mine. I usually find these parties as fun times to catch up with friends and meet new people. The host and guests were fine and we had a good time together. The problem came with the product and the sales woman. I just plain didn’t see anything that I wanted. I thought the products are over-priced and the vitamins/diet aids were stuff I didn’t need. I left the party with the thought of reviewing the product pamphlet with Chuck’s two sisters and have them pick out items for their birthday as presents from Chuck and I (okay, so it is a little tacky to sit with someone to have them pick out their present, but I’m usually at a complete loss as to what to get for them). Well, the weather ended up turning poor, and we didn’t make the weekend trip to Cleveland to meet up with Chuck’s sisters for a different family event. Also, they weren’t familiar enough with Arbonne already to know exactly what they wanted. So, I was left with not needing to purchase anything.
By the following Monday, I received an e-mail from the sales woman “wanting to close the party.” Okay, fine, I get that. I was under the impression that I give all orders to my friend, the hostess, so I called her up, told her the situation and that was that. Well, apparently not. Towards the end of the week, I received a phone call from the sales woman herself; which is also fine because it gave me the opportunity to present the situation to her myself. But it didn’t end there. After a call that took far longer than it really should have, I found myself saying very clearly that I wouldn’t be placing an order at that time. And I said it three times, with the last time being sternly delivered. Once I was off the phone with her, I started to feel guilty and decided to phone my friend to see if she actually relayed my message to the sales woman. As it turns out, she did and couldn’t believe that this person was being so persistent because I wasn’t the only person being shaken down. I’m sure that Arbonne has very nice products, but don’t count on me attending another party with this particular sales woman.
I guess I should say “Movies and shows” because I’ve seen more than one person probably should confess. I'm all caught up on BSG, Burn Notice, CSI, and NCIS. I haven't watched any of the new episodes of Damages and hope that no one deletes them off of the DVR anytime soon.
Movies watched include:
"Hell Comes to Frogtown" (1987), starring Roddy Piper, this takes place in the "near future" after a nuclear war had occurred, leaving the country to be run by women and where virile men are few and far between. Our hero, Roddy, is captured and recruited to "rescue" (in more ways than one) a group of women taken hostage in a mutant-inhabited town called "Frogtown". Well, what can I possibly say about this movie? I'm sure that at some point in it's history, it was a feature film on USA's "Up All Night." At least the frog costumes don't look homemade. And if you're a fan of camp, this movie is for you! One other notable item is that this movie also stars Sandahl Bergman (who played Valeria opposite of Arnie in Conan the Barbarian and was in Red Sonja; I also believe her to be one of the fitness instructors on one of my Firm videos).
"Memory" (2006), starring Billy Zane, is a research doctor who begins to have memories that aren't his own and pertain to the abduction and murder of girls in a nearby area. I'm not entirely sure how this one reached my movie queue, but I was mildly surprised that Dennis Hopper and Tricia Helfer were part of the cast. This movie was better than I originally thought it would be.
"Wall-E" (2008), need I say more? Was I seriously the only person who hadn't seen this one yet? I ended up falling asleep, but that was more because of the calzone and beer I had a few hours before watching this than not being entertained. I definitely need to watch this again before returning it to Mark.
So, tired yet? That's about all that I have to report for now. Now, I just need to finish my book for book club tomorrow (A 1,000 Splendid Suns) and hem a few pairs of pants....