Tuesday, April 6, 2010

still no baby...

I now know that if a doctor tells a pregnant lady "You'll definitely go early," what he's really doing is filling the space between the ultrasound and you writing the check for the co-pay with lies, lies, and more lies.

My sister is due in a week, and although we were warned there'd be an early baby, little Liam is showing no signs of leaving his ever-expanding home. 

I decided to crochet the alphabet to pass the time, and because I coudn't find a pattern for lowercase letters  in any of the usual haunts, I wrote everything down.  That's right- I wrote a pattern! 

I'm definitely nervous about having someone test it.  Any volunteers?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yarn Cozy

I don't know about you, but I get really overwhelmed looking into a bin full of different colored yarns of all different materials.  And the idea of putting your hand into that - my goodness - softness overload!

So I like to cover each skein of yarn I acquire with a little yarn cozy.  I use acrylic yarn - not just for the squeak factor - but also to ensure that moths won't eat them up.  It's bad enough that they could eat all the yarn. 

Today I covered this little ball of cotton cheapness. 

Oh, boring beige - let's zoosh you up a bit.

To make your own cozy, grab an "I" hook and enough acrylic yarn to snuggly cover every skein in your stash.  This coozie is worked in the round.

Ch 2
Row 1: work 10 dc in 2nd chain from hook
Row 2: 2 dc in each dc
Row 3: (dc, 2 dc in next dc) 10 times
Rows 4 - 9: dc in each dc
Row 10.  sc2tog all the way around, fasten off.

Gently shove each ball of yarn into its new home.  

 Now doesn't that look great?

Oh, and one more thing - APRIL FOOLS! 

While you're in the mood for jokes, take a moment to check out the Martha's joke reel or check out some cozies with irony from a 2008 craftster.org challenge.   

Monday, March 29, 2010

5 'ings: Week of March 28

Were you wondering what the hat JB made on the plane looks like all finished?  Thought so.

 Funny or Die - so addicted to free HBO (JB)

Listening to
 Ohio County Gardener's Series Lecture "Useful Herbs from the World's Medicine Chest" (E)
 Slate Culture Gabfest (JB)

 Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" (E)
 Learning how to read a chart from Getting Purly with It (JB)

 Lucky Duck Shiraz - not too bad for Walmart wine (E)
 Mango milkshakes w/ rum - yum (JB)

 Milk's favorite cookie (E)
 Morris's pizza - I have never seen a wood-paneled website before.  Interesting.  (JB)

 A compost pile from leaves I borrowed from some rich lady (E)
 Crochet alphabet - hopefully more on that soon (JB)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby knitting and bad memories

Is there anything more pointless than knitting clothes for babies?  There's no way to anticipate their measurements, and unlike blankets, you can expect to see them using it maybe once or twice. 

But knitted baby clothes are so cute!
I knitted up this hoodie a few years ago out of lush alpaca cotton...and I was so proud of myself.  I happily delivered my masterpiece and prepared for the accolades.  Immediately that baby's momma proclaimed her kiddo "would probably be allergic to it" and the hoodie was never seen again.   If you happen to be drinking a 40 right now, please pour a little out for that lost sweater homie.

That still-annoying-to-this-day experience hasn't stopped me knitting for young 'uns, but it has taught me a few lessons. 

For one, I don't knit for that kiddo anymore. 

Also, I've moved on to pants, made from the easy, almost seamless Aubrey Doodlepants pattern

And, instead of shilling out for alpaca, I used a cheap ($2.47) self-patterning Impeccable yarn.  No one is allergic to acrylic (although some people claim to be) and bonus - it's super washable. 

I also got mom's blessing on the pattern and the yarn patterning before I started.  I cannot stress the importance of this step! 

Hopefully this one will actually make it onto the baby, but even if it doesn't, at least I only spent a couple bucks.  Now I have enough left to buy another 40. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

5 'ings: Week of March 21

Happy Spring, kiddos!

If you're small and on a search, I've got a feeder for you to perch on

Rick Bayless, Guac on the Wild Side (E)
True Blood reruns (JB)

Listening to
House Sparrows singing @ the bird feeder (E)
I Like Birds, the Eels (JB)

Free, Newly arrived Subscription to TIME (E)
Patty K (JB)

Riunitte Lambrusco (E)
Diet Coke - you know, like I do every day (JB)

Oglebay made Sugar Maple Syrup @ the 2010 Oglebay Maple Sugaring Day (E)
Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Rods - their website has recipes? Has anyone ever cooked with pretzels? (JB)

Finishing touches on seat cover for under the messy baby's car seat (E)
Baby pants (JB)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dirt Ball

I must admit, my baby is dirty. He likes to eat dirt. He likes to play in dirt. And most of all, he likes to kick around in dirt. And not only that, he also likes throw all things dirty.

And what is dirtier than toddler milk? Uck, nothing.

So after 14 months of rear-facing car seats. Papa removed said car seat to give the boy a better view.

Oh, the view. The view of 14 months of crackers, pretzels, grilled cheeses & dried milk. I couldn't ignore it anymore, so I went to Target. For $20 we could have purchased an Eddie Bauer seat cover. But, Mama don't buy much for $20.

So we came home, put the baby down for a nap. Pulled out some 5-year-old corduroy that I bought on sale in Johnstown. Beautiful stuff. Brown cord with old cars & trucks. For the backing I used the only bath towel that wasn't in the sleeping baby's closet. Cut them up. Sewed on a pocket. Vacuumed the car. And there we go.

The pictures are horrible, but just know that I am in love.

Did You?

My craft for this week SHOULD have been to deface this lovely piece of Wild & Wonderful West Virginian "art." But alas, I thought annoying the bright yellow Hummer tailgating behind me by slowing to take this picture was what Judge Marilyn Millian would call "a little rough justice."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

Last week my sister, my BIL, and I ran around the house packing hospital bags, folding baby clothes, and making sure everything was ready for the arrival of little Liam.

And now, we wait. 

In the interim, I've been trying to keep busy. 

I made some shortcake.

I made a new web banner (see above). E and I are fans, but we're very open to your comments.

And I made a Laurel Love Cocoon...unfortunately the intended model has not yet made an appearance, so we used the next best one.

Yep, it's a fit!

Melissa's pattern suggests bulky yarn and size 13 circular needles.  But we all know I can't follow a pattern.  I used just shy of 2 skeins of Peaches n Creme (in Sea Mist, in case you're wondering) and size 8 circulars.  I cast on 70 instead of 40, and it's 8.25 inches wide (measured with my ribbon bracelet).  Success!

Now, time for more waiting, and if I'm lucky later, maybe some Guinness. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

5 'ings: Week of March 14

Just FYI: Beware the ides of March.

Year One - just pushed play, I think I'm ready for bed...(E)
Martha Stewart and Amy Sedaris making gift scout badges and sashes for grown-ups (recorded from last Thursday's show). Martie, Amy, and I may be the only three people in the world who would want one. (JB)


The National Audubon Wildflower Field Guide: Eastern Edition (E)
What to Expect When You're Expecting - not for me, for my sister (JB)

Gallo Merlot (E)
Yuengling Lager (JB)
screw off, Mrs. T's. I've got real pierogies.
Sunday Guacamole, yum (E)
Homemade Perogies at St. Barnabas Friday Fish Fry (the article is old, but the info's the same) - despite being in a church basement, the menu offers "Beer, 7&7s, or shots." Love it! (JB)

Laurel Love Cocoon - if I can find some bulky yarn around here (JB)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Measuring Tape Bracelet

A while back I saw this ruler tattoo, and thought, as I have with every ruler I've ever seen, "I need that."  I mean, how many times have I been at the store and thought "if only I had a ruler with me..." or on the bus wondering if this or that section of my knitting was long enough yet? So I told my loving BF that a forearm tattoo was in my future, and he got that look on his face.  He didn't say no (he never does), but his hatred of tattoos, spending money, and the english measuring system were all there in his eyes.   

I was still thinking about getting the ink when I saw a spool of ruler-print ribbon on clearance for 49 cents.  (Cue angels singing.)  A bracelet was born.

If you want one, you'll need a spool of a similar ribbon, some clear quilting thread, a needle, and two D-rings (the size will depend on your ribbon).  Cheap, right?

You'll need to cut the ribbon an inch longer than the circumference of your wrist, half an inch on each side.  My wrist is freakishly small (about 5.5 inches), but a ruler smaller than 6 inches is ever so useless.  Seven inches (clipping at 11.5 inches and 6.5 inches so my bracelet would start at 0 and end at 6) did the trick.  

Roll the ribbon down a quarter inch on the wrong side, then roll it over itself another quarter inch.  Sandwich your D ring on the wrong side between this little nubby and the ruler and pin it for sewing.  Repeat on the other side.  You can use regular pins, but when hand sewing, I use safety pins to keep my fingers from looking like pin cushions.

See how the rings line up with the "start" and "end" of the tape to allow for precise measuring?  Is this going to be perfect or what?

Then, we sew.  You don't have to be a perfect hand sewer because you're using invisible thread, but try to keep things at least close to straight so your ruler is still useable. 

After you're repeated the process on both side, you can just slip one D ring into the other and your bracelet is done.  Because you don't thread the ribbon through the hooks, your ruler will stay straight and wrinkle free.  Happy measuring!   

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How you like mo(nkey) now?

I'd like my next sock monkey to have a "Mama" tattoo. According to D, "It's classic."

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Sister's Shower

Sometimes I wonder if being crafty is a blessing or a curse - especially when I'm up at 3 a.m. poking a needle under my thumbnail for the fifth time in a row.

But say your sister is having her first little (well, maybe not so little) baby boy.  And you, maybe under the influence of alcohol, offered to throw her a shower. Well, then you have no choice but to craft away!

Say she likes these sundae centerpieces, which in the dead of winter require $50 of carnations.  If you're crafty, you can make some tissue paper flowers and know that when folks eat the candy below, it won't taste like wet leaves.   

What if she likes these little hot chocolate cones? I bought all the supplies for 45 (three canisters of hot chocolate, two bags of marshmallows, two bags of mini chocolate chips, two packs of cone-shaped bags, a bag of clear rubber bands, and 45 red m&ms robbed from the bags we bought to fill the cootie catchers we put on each table) for about $25.  I just had to find some willing accomplices... 
See that smiling face?  My BIL and sister actually enjoyed making them with me.  And it went a LOT faster than I expected!  Maybe because my sister said we couldn't have a beer until they were done.

But then there was the trouble with the cake.  My sister's BFF Diana and I were set on a monkey cake to match the monkey themed baby room.  But my sister's bakery of choice said all they could do was an edible paper printout of a monkey (ew). What to do?  We ordered this Dora the Explorer cake, of course.

Well, without Dora, Diego, and Boots (it is pitiful that I know their names, isn't it?).  I also begged them not to put an orange border on it.  I took two monkey stickers from the back of the paper pack I bought for the cootie catchers, stuck them to some dark cardstock, cut them out, and taped them to some toothpicks.  Add some palm trees and voila! Instant Jungle!  Now please don't report me to Cakewrecks.

Now that I see them side by side, I'm not as enthusiastic about the spray job they did.  And wouldn't you know that after I asked them not to do an orange border, they still did orange writing.

There were plenty of other crafty things out and about - Diana not only made the yummy cookies in the background, but also this stupendous diaper cake. 

It was right in the middle of a little DIY project: we bought a kit at Michaels full of pins and baby clothes cutouts so folks can write thoughts for the baby or parents-to-be and then clip them to the clothesline.  They wrote the sweetest things!

We also had a DIY sundae table - what could be better?  I have never seen anyone turn down a sundae, so luckily I had a lot of help from quick-scooping E to get everyone fed.  (It's true - E and I actually hang out every once in a while). 

OK, that's enough baby shower talk.  Now it's time to go through all the loot

Sunday, March 7, 2010

5 'ings: Week of March 7

 Word World I know, but I love it! (E)
 Shows BF recorded for me (so I don't have to watch "the Real World" with my sister) through Orb (JB)

 Giggling Baby (E)



 Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Shells - I made extras for all the new mother's in the neighborhood (E)
 Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Shells - she also made some extra for me and brought it to my sister's shower. YUM! (JB)

 Loopy Ball & Blanket for DB's little baby Liam (E) - as you've seen here, they're already done and sitting in a place of honor in JB's sister's nursery
 Composition Book Cover (JB)

Friday, March 5, 2010

DB & the BB

Let's assume DB isn't spending the evening before her super-awesome baby shower checking JB's blog...

So, as long as she isn't looking, let me show you what I've made her little baby Liam.

You know, the usual: a taggy ball & blanket.

Hopefully, little baby Liam likes 'em!

Hasta manana Brizown.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Crochet Month!

Crochet Month is finally here!  How are you going to celebrate?

A little flashback to front porch crocheting

If you're like E and have some "challenges" with learning to crochet, check out Lion Brand's Learn to Crochet info- and once you get it down, you can check out their cute little patterns (I know I'm not the only one who thinks they've come a long way lately)

If you want to see what other crocheters are making, head over to Pepperberry Crochet's Crochet Blogs List.  (And while you're there, you should check out some of Pepperberry's cool projects including a very timely Shamrock tutorial.)

If you're a Ravelry member, you can hook up with the site's bustling crochet community.

And if you want some new books (and who doesn't?), here's a few I have or covet.  And I'm always open to suggestions!
Don't forget to get some hooks this month - I'm thinking about getting a few Addi Turbos so I'll have a full set.  OK, right now I only have a G hook, so maybe I need more than a few.

You can even sing along to Salt 'n Peppa while you crochet.  All I can say is...wow.
    Now you're well-equipped.  Go forth and crochet!
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