Tag Archive: crocheting

Trying.

I’m not going to lie: I’m so tired, and all I want to do is curl up and go to bed, and yes, I know it’s only 4:30 in the afternoon, but there it is, the truth. I’m forcing myself to play on the computer because I finally got some alone time (Jim went to play Warhammer) and, truth be told, I’ve been neglecting a lot of things. This blog, our forums, my crocheting projects (that I REALLY need to get done soon), and even, heaven forbid, Warcraft.

Thankfully, I’m almost in the second trimester. According to all the books, I should start feeling more energetic. So, yay, because I need it. We have a LOT going on.

(Then again, most things I’ve read–and one nurse I talked to–said nausea should be easing up, and while for the most part it has, I found out the hard way two days ago that I can no longer keep down tortellini. Sad face.)

Anyway, whine, whine, whine, pregnancy is hard on a body, but like I said, we have a lot going on right now. I think I touched on this before, but a couple months ago, I was pulling mad amounts of overtime, with a goal of getting a bunch of bills paid off. Then they took overtime away. Rumor is that it’s not coming back. Enter sheer panic when I realize that without overtime, I have to dip into our savings every month. I began looking through want ads, considering taking on a part-time job, but Jim put his foot down. He didn’t want me working two jobs, especially while pregnant.

However, Jim came up with an idea that might work perfectly. We need to get some things in place first, but if all goes according to plan, we should end up in a much bigger place and saving a lot of money. And I won’t even need to do overtime.

So, that made me feel better. I still need to make some calls, still need to do a lot of work for it, though. As it is, I already feel like that hamster on the wheel–I’ve been trying to get so much done and nothing seems to be working. Example: FMLA papers for the pregnancy. Ugh. It took four calls to the doctor’s office before they even sent the papers (which were late), and then only the time after delivery has been approved. Call back to FMLA to find out why time leading up wasn’t approved. Told info missing. Called doctor’s office again, tell them what’s needed. They resend. FMLA has denied again for insufficient info.

Sigh.

On top of that, there are several accounts that I needed to do some kind of account change/update to. My car payment is still under an old name, as is one of my student loan companies, who, as it turns out, also needs to send me a new payment booklet.  And then there’s PayPal. PayPal is going through some thing where they’re requiring people to send documentation and, until they get it, they put your account on hold. I wouldn’t care, except I use PayPal to pay my sister my half of the phone bill every month.

So I spend an entire evening working on pulling up information that all these places need for whatever needs to be done. Sent the info to Paypal via their website. They claim they didn’t get it. Picked up everything, went to Staples, faxed everything to the car place, PayPal, and…some other place, I don’t even remember. Student loan one was mailed.

To date, NOTHING. The car people say they see that I tried to send a fax, but they didn’t get anything. PayPal claims they only got a photo ID via fax. (I assume that was my driver’s license, although I’m not sure why they didn’t see the rest of it.) I’ve heard nothing from the student loan company.

Grr.

I’m pretty annoyed. Staples charged me quite a lot for faxing this stuff, and NOTHING went through. And our library doesn’t do faxes. I’m going to have to go down there and redo it, and I’m dragging my feet at having to pay money for all that again.

OH. Since I’m on a roll with all this grumbling…I didn’t even mention that I bought a Warcraft authenticator over a MONTH ago, and I still haven’t gotten it. Jim’s ordered a book a while back that still hasn’t come in…it feels like nothing is going right.

I guess except for the really important things, though. Pregnancy so far is good. I’ll be 14 weeks Monday. I had another doctor’s appointment last week, where I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the third time, which is always wonderful. (It was at 165. :)) Jim runs a Ravenloft game on Friday nights that seems to be going well. He holds the game here, so I can’t use the computer since everyone is in the living room. Instead, I hide in our bedroom, attempt to finish the crocheting project I’m working on, and 9 times out of 10, find myself dozing off. By the way, once that project is done, I’ll post it over on my craft blog.

Oh, well. It’ll get done. I guess I should probably just enjoy the sleep while I actually can, eh?

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Of course, I plan on going in to do overtime tomorrow, but we’re going to pretend we didn’t hear that, right? And stay up all night, anyway?

(And be sorry for it in the morning?)

So, not too long ago, I knocked something off one of the stand thingabobs where we keep our DVDs (and yet, it’s not really a DVD stand–don’t even try to understand our furniture choices) and the something (keys, I think?) slipped between the wall and the stand. I reached behind it and made an odd discovery.

A poster, in a hard plastic casing, of this picture:

OMG, it's Ned!

OMG, it's Ned!

Yup, Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. The odd thing is…I don’t remember buying this. When Jim came home, I questioned him. He scratched his head. “Maybe I bought it for you and hid it back there…and forgot?” He couldn’t remember buying it, either.

Regardless, the picture is now hanging in our hallway, although we both agree it would have been even better if it were over the toilet, haha. As it is, that space–the space over the toilet, that is–is occupied by a cross stitch made for me by my sister of a cat grabbing onto a branch that says “Hang in there!”

Actually, now that I think about that picture in the toilet-context, that’s pretty funny too. Well, if I were 12. Or me.

Anyway, Jim’s out tonight. I am not playing Skyrim. Are you shocked? I’m learning that it takes me hours to do anything in the game, and since I don’t have much time before I have to get to bed, I might as well not bother. I’ll try to get some game time in tomorrow.

Besides, Jim updated his blog, making me feel sufficiently guilty for not updating my own. Although he has a better reason for updating than I do: He’s actually finished the first draft of his first novel! I’m impressed. I’m looking forward to getting to read it, although it’s going to have to squeeze in between Skyrim, reading Name of the Wind and Storm Front, and crocheting these:

Cthulhu!

Cthulhu!

Ha! I have my own accomplishments. This is my first attempt at amigurumi–a cthulhu. Granted, my skill is nowhere near Ruth’s (a.k.a. Cthulhu Chick), but I don’t think it’s half-bad for a first attempt, especially considering that it was just a short time ago that I got over my longtime fear of crocheting in circles.

Here’s the back:

Wings!

Wings!

I did better on the wings that I thought I would; however, my stitching is still sloppy. Also, I found out afterwards that I should have used a smaller hook. I actually figured it out myself when I decided that the gauge should be tighter, then looked it up online and found out that this, apparently, is a well-known fact in the universe of amigurumi-making.

Dumb of me? Well, maybe, but what do you want of a girl that pretty much only makes scarves?

At any rate, I knew my first attempt would be sloppy, but it’s all about the learning process. I’m on my second, and I already think it looks much, much better than the first.

The real goal, by the way, is to make Jim an amigurumi-like kobold. He found some by Meri Greenleaf. (Click the link, scroll down, behold some awesome pictures of her husband and the kobold plushies.) Jim thought of all the kobold plushies he’d seen, her kobolds looked more…well, kobold-y, heh. So he wants something similar.

You know what I want? To go to bed. Actually, that’s not true at all, but I don’t want to be as exhausted as I was this morning, when I decided to go in early at 6 AM. Blech. Remember when Friday nights were FUN?

Yeah, me neither. Night!

It’s been a week.

So this week, I’ve:

  • Started crocheting a tiny cthulhu, frogged it, restarted it, and am still working on it as I need supplies.
  • Been getting rides to and from work all week while my car was (and still is, apparently) in the shop.
  • Found out some of my co-workers in Harrisburg are dealing with the aftermath from the F4 tornado.
  • Had to take cover in the women’s bathroom at work as more bad storms passed through the area just a couple days later.
  • Found out that my raise was bigger than I had expected, and my gainsharing was more than I had expected as well. (Jim and I did fist bumps when I showed him the numbers, heh.)
  • Found out that my mom lost her job. (She seems to be surprisingly okay with it, though.)
  • Been doing a lot of reading on my Kindle, trying to catch up with our book club.

By the way, I love my Kindle. I still and always will love regular old books, but now I’m wondering why I held out so long on getting an ebook reader.

And The Walking Dead tonight! My co-worker Ryan told me some of his predictions on the fate of a couple of characters, and I’m curious to see it is plays out as he thinks. I relayed Ryan’s predictions to Jim, and we agree: Very plausible.

We shall see.

Okay, time for more coffee and more Buffy. The marathon continues! I’m on season 4. Now, the question is, do I watch the Angel episodes along with Buffy (because, as you know, several the episodes between the two series “go” together), or do I later give Angel its own marathon? Ah, decisions, decisions…

Three day weekend, ACTIVATE.

From my informal poll of the providers I talked to while taking hotline calls this week, I’ve learned that my company is one of the few that have Martin Luther King Day off. No wonder why the day after MLK day is the busiest phone day of the year–the providers are trying to get two day’s worth of stuff done in one.

At any rate, I do have a three day weekend and an agenda to match:

  • Bread machine! I love my bread machine. So far, I’ve only made the one, plain, white bread recipe in it several times, but it’s just so good. I might try one of the other recipes this weekend, though. Just because.
  • Craft stores! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the giant Warhammer 40K army that Jim was commissioned to paint a while back that he’s still working on. Anyway, Jim told Phil and me last night that he was going to Hobby Lobby today to get something to make one guy glow-in-the-dark. Of course, you know I’ll be going with him…and that I’ll drag him over to Joann Fabrics while we’re out because I still have money on my giftcard, which brings me to…
  • Knitting and crocheting! I’m thinking of using aforementioned giftcard to get the needles for this cthulhu dice bag pattern. Phil asked me last night if I thought I could make that, and I said no way, it’s above my skills, but then I started looking at the pattern, and you know what? I think I might be selling myself short. Sure, I’ve never done the magic loop on knitting needles and I’ve never worked on circular needles period, but I think I could do it. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to get to this right away, as I’m still in the middle of crocheting Piper’s cat mat. I ended up having to rip out just about everything I got done on New Year’s. :(
  • Sewing! Ha! Okay, yeah, I’m not about to sew just yet. But my other plan is to take my sewing machine out of the box, dust it off, and just figure out how to put the thing together. Even if I had time to try a project, I don’t have the stuff. One thing at a time.

Now, as to how much of this list I’ll actually attempt is anyone’s guess. For now, I’m gonna watch some season 6 of Supernatural. :D

Firefly and Jayne hats.

Confession: I rarely look at my stats. I figure because I don’t exactly tell people I blog, most of the incoming links are coming from spammers anyway. My spam filters backs this theory.

However, today, I did happen to look at it, and guess what I’ve noticed? A lot of people are coming here looking for Jayne hats from Firefly. Which is odd because I think I’ve only mentioned it once, and I’ve never actually sat down and made one. For a very good reason: I have neither circular nor double-pointed needles to make them with.

One could point out that I could crochet it, but I’m with Jim: After you see the knitted Jayne hat from Firefly, the crocheted ones just look wrong. Not terrible, mind you. I’ve seen some good ones, actually. Just…not what you saw on the show.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, the Jayne Cobb hat is from this scene in the episode “The Message”:

And if you really have an itch to make one yourself, you can find a knitted version of the pattern here. This is the one in my queue at Ravelry right now. (Although I do think the yellow color looks a little off and plan on changing it to more of a marigold.) But if you really want to crochet it–hey, some people do–you can also find a pattern for that, too.

Did we get that out of our systems? Good, then. Carry on, Browncoats!

How I spent my holiday weekend.

As I’ve mentioned, I ran out of yarn for scarf #1 for work. So I started–and finished–scarf #2 this weekend.

Scarf #2

Hm, one day, I’ll have to find a way to take better pictures. More light would be nice. Until then, suffer.

The pattern is the Shimmer Lace Scarf one that I mentioned a couple posts ago. And, by the way, rotating the work does mean to flip it upside down. This scarf was several firsts for me. One, this was the smallest yarn I’ve worked with to date. Two, I’ve never done lace before. And three, I never use patterns, and I used a pattern for this. Well, you could argue that I’m using one for the Lego Pirate Ship blanket I’m working on, but that’s actually a latch-hook pattern that I’ve altered for the blanket.

All in all, though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can get more yarn for scarf #1 and get that one wrapped up as well, and then I can start on scarf #3. Woot! It’s nice to actually finish things for a change!

Crochet hell.

I spent a better half of yesterday knitting. Well, there was a brief excursion where I left to go for a walk and ended up coming back with nachos instead. But other than that, I was a girl on a mission. Knit, knit, knit, the thing’s getting long, I can see that the end is near and then–I ran out of the dark gray yarn.

Which is SO annoying  because, honestly, I could get away with just a couple more rows, switch it out with the blue (which I still have left), and call it done. But now I need to buy more yarn for just a little bit more scarf. ARGH.

To make things worse, I came to this realization that I needed more yarn at 10 o’clock at night, past Hobby Lobby’s bedtime. Hobby Lobby isn’t open on Sundays, and my guess is that it won’t be open for Monday either, since it’s a holiday.

So, onto scarf #2 for work. I decided to make this scarf. One of the reasons why I decided to make this scarf is that 1) it isn’t horribly ugly (do you know how many ugly scarves are out there? And people are making them! On purpose!) and 2) the pattern is easy. I’ve never made a project from a pattern, and I wanted to give it a shot–but I do want to start with something easy. And 3) it’s lace. I’ve also never done something “lacy” before. I wanted to do something a little different.

Already, I’m running into problems.

First of all, I can’t seem to get the gauge down. Granted, I’ve never really worked from a pattern before, but I have made a few swatches in my time, mostly just to see if I can match whatever’s on the yarn label. And I always nail it, with the exact dimensions, exact stitches, and using the exact hook or needles (depending on if I’m knitting or crocheting) that they recommend.

Well, this thing says rows rows 1-7 should be 3″ X 5 1/2″. I crochet the first seven rows with the I-9 hook. Measure across. 5 1/2″ inches. NAILED.

Measure upward. 2 inches. Hmmm.

Rip it all out. Try again with a larger hook. Measure. Now it’s too wide across and still not high enough going up.

Oh, I’m confused. How on earth did they get this gauge? The only thing that I can think of is that I’m misinterpreting some of the pattern because of Row 2:

Rotate to work in unused loops of beginning ch

When I saw this, I just stared at it. Rotate? I thought. ROTATE? WTF, what the hell do you mean by ROTATE? I was expecting a nice, normal “turn.” Is “rotate” the new turn? Looked further in the directions; they use a “turn” later on. So “rotate,” most likely, means something different.

In the end, I remembered reading somewhere that some patterns will tell you to flip the work upside down to work on the stitches on the other side. I decided that this is what the pattern is telling me to do. And if it isn’t…well, it looks cool, anyway. Also, other people who have made this scarf have posted pictures on Ravelry, so I checked them out, and mine is looking like theirs.

Now, to figure out the gauge thing. I’m thinking that I’m just gonna end up going back to the I-9 hook to get the 5 1/2″ inch width back and then crochet more rows upward. Screw you, gauge!

And to think, this pattern is EASY. I fail. :(

Oh-ho-ho, not good.

Yesterday, at 5 AM, I made the executive decision to call in sick.  I had a MASSIVE headache, the kind where even your cheekbones hurt, and stomach pains.  I had been trying to horde my PTO, but no way was I talking to people all day with that kind of a headache.  After Jim came home, he felt my forehead and announced that I also had a slight fever.  I didn’t even know that.  I just thought it was a little warm, but we’ve been having a heat advisory, so I didn’t think much of it.  So much for my theory that my issues were blood sugar related.

Today?  Day two of staying home.  It’s not nearly as bad as yesterday, and I had a heated debate with myself whether or not I’d go in.  I feel better but still not 100%.  I decided, hell, I still have 1 unscheduled PTO day left, I should be getting another one back tomorrow and a few more hours back sometime in November.  (I was late to work around then due to a flat tire.)  I’d rather just stay home and get completely over it rather than go in, drag whatever this is out, and end up calling in sick later in the week anyway.

But staying home sick is boring.  Okay, yesterday, I didn’t have much problem because mostly I slept.  A LOT.  I guess I should have been clued in that something was up over the weekend when I took a nap Saturday afternoon.  I never nap.  But I slept all yesterday afternoon, went to bed early last night, and slept until 9 this morning, which is late for me.  Even for sickness, I think I’m all slept out.  I feel kinda spacy, so I’m glad I didn’t go to work (keeps me from screwing up and getting an error), but now I’m in strange place: Well enough to be bored but not really well enough to feel like doing anything about it, either.

I really wanted to use my unscheduled PTO for something like, you know, deciding out of the blue to ditch work and go to the zoo or something, not for actually being sick.  Oh, well.  I guess that’s why we tend to call them sick days.

So, right now, I’m writing in here (I always feel like writing, even when I am sick) and watching Supernatural.  The comments to last entry has convinced me that I really must watch Firefly.  According to Kyle and Ruth, it’s a must-see.  Like I said, I’ve always wanted to see it, I just never got around to it.  Maybe I’ll ask for it for my birthday, which is only a couple months away.  If I ever pick up knitting again–and you know I will–I might try doing that Jayne hat, even if I’ll never, ever wear it.  Why?  Because, apparently, other people would.  Maybe I’ll make one for them.  Like I said, it does look fun to make.  I just can’t fathom why anyone would wear it, but those people who would would at least give me an excuse to make it.

Thanks to Kyle’s wife Nikki, by the way, for linking me a pattern to it on our forums.  I have bookmarked it.  In fact, I think I’m going to put that as a planned project on a site I just found yesterday, during the time I was actually awake.  The site is called Ravelry.  I still haven’t sorted out what all you can do there, but I guess you can get patterns, keep a “notebook” of your current projects, keep inventory on your needles, stuff like that.  Interesting stuff.  Well, if that’s the kind of stuff you like.

I did a lot in the short time I was awake yesterday.  I opened an account on Etsy, for one.  I like the homemade stuff idea.  Plus, I saw on Ruth’s blog that she’s opening a shop up there to sell cthulhus, and I’m thinking of buying one from her.  I want to see what those things look like in real life; I think I might try my hand at one.

Of course, this will be after I finish Jim’s pirate ship blanket.

What else?  Oh, yesterday, I tried to get into Live Journal to read someone’s blog and saw the username I wanted was taken.  Surprised, I looked up the journal and realized that my username was taken by ME.  I had opened an account there in 2004 and forgot about it.  Surprisingly, I remembered the password!  So I logged into LJ and joined some communities.  I’m also going to move my Myspace posts there, since Myspace seems to have a glitch where private blogs are no longer private.  (Way to go, Myspace.  And you wonder why everyone is making the jump to Facebook.)  Also, I’ve had some personal stuff pop up that I don’t want to post on a public blog.  So, hey, if you have a Live Journal, add me–http://chaoticspring.livejournal.com/.  You can hear me complain about stuff there.

Most of my posting will remain here, though.

Well, I guess since I’m all slept out, I should look at the Savage Worlds PDF that Kyle linked for us in our forum.  I think even I can manage that.  Besides, I would like to not be late at getting my character created.  I was late for the first character concept because I missed seeing the deadline on our forums, and I felt bad about it.  I don’t want to be late again. 

I wish Jim were here, though. :(

My blog is not evil. Promise. I think.

So, I lied:  The next “Homebrewed” will not be a long post.  In fact, it will be the shortest one to date.  Natalia didn’t even have any encounters.  I’m telling ya, we’ve had so few encounters with how short our game sessions are, that I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting what to roll and what to add.  And Natalia is still stuck on level 9. :(

Why was it so short?  Well, Natalia finished out the storyline and was preparing for the next part.  I had already told Jim what exactly I had planned on doing.  And I guess Jim didn’t expect me to go from point A to point B so quickly, and to go from point C to point D, Jim had counted on having something else involved, something that we don’t have yet.  I won’t go into it here because his plan hasn’t exactly been “confirmed” yet, but Jim believes it will be.  If he’s right, then it’ll be changing the game up a bit.

You’ll see.

Moving on.  First of all, Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there.

(Suckers.)

Secondly, Jim told me once that one of the reasons why he reads my blog is to find out what I want so he can give it to me.  I’m starting to suspect that is true because in my last post, I had mentioned wanting to watch Harry Potter once Jim was done with his Charmed marathon, and last night, he announced he was going to take a break with Charmed, and hey, would I like to watch Harry Potter instead?

WHOA.  My boyfriend really does read my blog to give me things I want?  Reeeeeaaaally…

I will not use my blog for evil, I will not use my blog for evil

Let’s switch gears because that is what I do best: I am still working away on the pirate ship crochet blanket.  I definitely didn’t buy enough yarn.  Oh my god, nobody told me what YARN WHORES blankets are.  Because of how blocky-looking it’s going to be, I’ve nicknamed it the Lego Pirate Ship Blanket. 

Anyway, I was working on that blanket last night, when I remembered once, long ago, Jim mentioned that there’s a hat in Firefly that everyone he knew tried to make and seemed to fail miserably.  Now, being the fan of Buffy that I am, you’d think I would have seen Firefly.  I have not.  I’d like to, but I just haven’t yet.

So I didn’t know what hat Jim was talking about.  I asked about it last night while crocheting the pirate ship blanket.  He described it to me, and I was like, dude.  That sounds ugly.  Why would anyone want that?  Just because some guy on TV is wearing it?  He said it was stupid-looking, but he remembers everyone trying to crochet it, and by the way–he did not want it.  (I think that was his way of hinting to me, saying Please, don’t look it up and try making it for me.)

Whatever, Jim, because I did a little looking around, and I think he’s talking about this “Jayne hat”:

Jayne Hat

THIS is what everyone wants to wear??

First of all, looking at this picture, it’s clear to me that the hat is knitted, not crocheted.  Jim did mention last night that none of his friends knew how to knit.  I think I’m the only one he knows that can do a little bit of both.  Anyway, my guess is that they were crocheting the hat.  Nothing wrong with crocheted hats, but I suspect that’s why Jim didn’t think any of them looked “right.”  Not that they were necessarily doing it “wrong”–in fact, I saw some pretty comparable crocheted versions of this hat out there–but you know how it goes.  If you’re expecting something EXACTLY one way, any variation could look “wrong” to you.

Second of all, Jim’s right.  That’s one goofy-looking hat.  I guess that is what people think half the fun is.  Whatever, I’m not a fun person.  It does look like it would be fun to make, but hell if I’m going to make something I would never wear.  If you would, though, more power to you.  I, on the other hand, am about function: I hate the crocheted roses and muffins and crap that doesn’t really do anything.  Furthermore, I find them ugly.  If I’m going to spend time making something, it has to be useful.  Like, you know, a blanket.  Even if it does have a dorky, blocky-looking pirate ship on it.

Although I am thinking about making one of those mini-Cthulhus I’ve seen online, just so Gremlin can bat it around.  Who doesn’t want to see a kitten take on Squid Face?

Of laundry, crocheting, and how boobs get no respect.

Gah!  I had my schedule all worked out.  Play a little online, watch a little TV, starve myself with Slimfast bars, run to store to get a few things, come back, do laundry, and pick up Jim from work.  I’m a simple woman, really.  I want simple things.  But my man?  Not so much.  I have everything timed out where the laundry will be done with plenty of time to fold and put away before I pick up Jim.  Except, of course, Jim calls me and says, “Hey, baby, there’s been a change in plans.  I’m getting off at 2:15 instead of 3:15.”

That sound of the screeching halt you hear, by the way, would be the sound of my WORLD STOPPING.  Okay, I might be exaggerating a little.  “2:15?  That’s when the laundry will be done.”

“It’s just a little earlier,” he says.

“And it’s exactly when the clothes will be ready to come out of the dryer,” I say.  You think I don’t have the timing on the laundromat dryers down?  You obviously don’t know me, nor have you ever had clothes stolen from a laundromat.

But, alas, clothes be damned, I’m not going to make the guy wait just because I have sartorial-related paranoia.  And there’s another paranoia: Today, I attempted doing Jim’s scarf, except I forgot that my blood sugar likes to swing around more than a stripper on a pole.  My hands are so shaky.  Furthermore, my eyesight keeps getting worse (I actually have a slight blur in the left eye that they say will probably never get better) and I was having a hell of a time seeing the chain stitches.  Finally, I got frustrated and went out to buy this magnifying glass thing that hangs around your neck so you can see stiches better.  I was hoping to use get the first couple rows done and then hide the thing so Jim wouldn’t see 1) how it makes me look like an old lady, and 2) how I keep fighting with it because it won’t stay “propped” on my chest.  I seriously think they designed this thing for women with no chest.  I’m usually grateful I’m not part of this demographic, but today, I think I would have preferred otherwise.  The grass is always greener and whatnot.

Whoops, off to pick up Jim!