Monday, February 16, 2009

She's Crafty!

And yes, yes you should be singing the title of this entry as the Beastie Boys in your head.

I've been working on a crocheted pillow for CoasterGirl for the last week or so. It's a medium-sized project, I guess, and I wanted a little instant gratification. So, I took a night or two out to crochet a cotton bath puff.

Isn't that just the cutest little thing? I modified this pattern by Priscilla Hewitt by eliminating the last round to make it a little less bulky, in the hopes that the cotton would dry out between showers.

What's that you say? What about my knitted scarf for my class? Oh, it's turned into just a really long practice swatch, with different stitch patterns and techniques at varying intervals. I'll be taking it out and salvaging the yarn for something else after our class ends, I imagine. I found some nifty yarn that I'm planning to knit into a scarf once class is over. And the teacher gave us a simple, cute knitted shrug pattern we can work on once we learn increasing and decreasing next week.

And then there is this adorable lacy cropped cardigan on the cover of the latest Crochet Today! magazine that I really want to make for myself. So many projects, so little time! I think I may be a little obsessed.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Wow, wow, wow. I do so love Neil Gaiman. Coraline has always been one of my favorite books of his, and W. and I have been looking forward to the movie for months.

I took CoasterGirl to see Coraline in 3-D this afternoon (yes, she's only 6, and I might not have taken her at this age if she weren't as mature as she is), and again I say, "wow". It was aesthetically beautiful and unsettling, as it should be. CoasterGirl jumped once or twice, and told me afterwards that it was "awesome" and that it "kinda creeped her out". I'll second that emotion. The black button eyes that gave me the willies when I was reading the book were possibly even creepier in all their shiny, stop-motion, 3-D glory. And Teri Hatcher has the perfect "Other Mother" purr of a voice.

If you've never read Coraline, I urge you to seek out a copy. It's written for children, but it's definitely more Grimm's Fairy Tales than Stuart Little. And what a great story: a little girl, unhappy with how things are going at home, is delighted to discover a secret passage to her "Other Mother", who showers her with all that she could want, until it becomes clear that the "Other Mother" wants to keep her and love her forever...

Read it, and then go see the movie. Even if you don't have children. You won't be sorry.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hooking Redux

I finished CoasterGirl's shrug late Wednesday night - I really like how it turned out. It fits her fine, as long as it's over a tank or a thin shirt. I was a little worried about that, because the pattern is for a girls' 5/6, and she's definitely a 6, almost a 7. I think this project would be even better in a mercerized cotton (rather than acrylic) in a fun color - maybe a variegated pink or purple. I may wait until I get her a new spring dress, then pick a complimentary color and make a second shrug.

I got such a boost from completing a project! It's gotten me all excited about crochet again. In fact, I went out and bought a book and a crochet magazine with lots of great patterns today. So many great projects, so little time! I found a listing for a local yarn store in the next town over - I can't wait to go check it out.
But for now, it's back to practice, practice, practice on the knitting. I can tell I've gotten better (or at least more consistent) - my stitches look more even, and I'm getting quicker, too. Looking forward to class on Monday.
W. thinks I'm weird.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm a "Happy Hooker"!

All right, settle down. NOT that kind. I'm talking about know, with a hook?

My mother and grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a little girl, and though I've started (and stopped) several projects over the years, I've never really completed much besides some potholders and washcloths. Oh, and about 8 squares of a 48 square afghan. Ha!

Over the past few months, I've noticed that several of my imaginary computer friends are avid knitters, and I've thoroughly enjoyed seeing their beautiful finished projects. Inspired, I asked W. for knitting lessons for Christmas, and last week was my first class meeting, where I learned to cast on and to "knit". On Monday night, we were supposed to learn to "purl", but alas, the teacher was not feeling well. So. Now I have approximately 40 rows of a very boring, single color knitted scarf.

I joined Ravelry, an online networking site for knitters and crocheters, and as I was browsing patterns, saw the cutest little pattern for a little girls' shrug. I started looking at the pattern and thought, "Hey! I could do that!"

So here I am, knitting abandoned for the moment, working on a crocheted shrug for CoasterGirl.

I don't love the yarn, but it's a skein from that never-finished afghan that's been sitting in my bedroom closet for years, so it was free. If I like the way the pattern works out, and CoasterGirl likes it, I'll get her to help me pick out a "cooler" yarn and make her another one.

Thanks to Ginny, who kindly posted her pattern for free on Ravelry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One Word

The "One Word Reply" meme has been spreading through Facebook and a parenting site I frequent like wildfire, so I thought I'd share my answers here. I'm lazy, so I'm copying my note from Facebook, and these answers are from Sunday afternoon.

1 Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? role-playing
3. Your hair? brown
4. Your mother? awesome
5. Your father? confident
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? unremembered
8. Your favorite drink? lemontini
9. Your dream/goal? organization
10. What room you are in? office
11. Your hobby? reading
12. Your fear? flying
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
14. Where were you last night? bed
16. Muffins? pumpkin
17. Wish list item? iPhone
18. Where you grew up? Prattville
19. Last thing you did? debated
20. What are you wearing? t-shirt
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pets? napping
23. Friends? distant
24. Your life? busy
25. Your mood? depressed
26. Missing someone? Mom
27. Car? paid
28. Something you're not wearing? sweater
29. Your favorite store? book
30. Your favorite color? blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? earlier
34. Last time you cried? Thursday
35. Who will resend this? Meredith?
36. One place that I go to over and over? home
37. One person who IMs me regularly? Melinda
38. My favorite place to eat? Provino's
39. Why you participated in this survey? bored
40. What are you doing tonight? knitting
41. Favorite animal? unsure
42. Beach or Mountains? beach
43. Cake or Pie? cake
44. You? tired

You know what I just realized? The numbering on that list is off. Huh. Weird.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Did You Ever Just Have One of Those Days?

You know the ones...where you feel yucky for one reason or another, and things just don't seem to go right, no matter what you do?

Yeah - today was one of those days. Mild stomach issues and dizzy spells took care of the feeling yucky part (I have an appointment with the cardiologist on Friday, Mom, I promise!) and the general whining from the CoasterKids, combined with poor service at a local restaurant at dinner time, took care of the rest.

Now that the CoasterKids are in bed and the house is quiet, I'm thinking some mindless TV and chocolate might be in order.

What's your standby cure for those days?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Couch to 5K Update

As of Friday, I've officially completed Week 1 of the Couch to 5K program - woo-hoo!

Surprisingly, even though it's been about 6 months since I've done any kind of regular running, Week 1 was fairly easy for me. It wasn't until my last interval that I really had to push - and that's probably due in large part to the fact that my route takes me uphill during that last 60-second run. Several times, I didn't want to stop running when my little podcast friend said it was time!

I remember the first time I attempted this program, more than a year ago - I couldn't even complete the first day's workout without feeling as though my lungs would explode. It's nice to know that I'm in better cardiovascular shape these days, even if there's huge room for improvement.

Here's to staying on the wagon, and to Week 2. And to friends who keep me motivated, just by kicking butt themselves. Cheers!