Sunday, March 30, 2008

One Baby Blanket Down...

....many more to go!

Hurrah! I have finally finished the first baby blanket I started in this crazy race to make as many blankets as possible before May 11.

Let me introduce you to the "Security Blanket."

I picked the design out of a Vanna White book o'projects. It wasn't a terribly difficult pattern. In fact I'd recommend it to any beginner crocheter.

The finishing of the project was delayed when I had to weave in all of the end pieces. I'm not sure there is anything I despise more than having to weave in end pieces.

I know it comes with the territory, but I don't have to like it.

After the end weaving was complete, I started on the edging. I wasn't terribly fond of the ending recommended in the pattern. I wanted something a bit more eye appealing.

After a bit of experimentation, I settled on a picot edge.

Now all the blanket needs is a good wash and it will be ready for use!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cats v. Alpaca Yarn

I have 4 cats, all of whom have very different personalities.

One is rather regal and one is kinda dopey. One is my fat cat and the other is my husband's cat. Two of the cats get absolutely high off of catnip. One kinda gets it and the other can't be bothered with the stuff. One cannot leave me alone when I eat a bowl of cereal as he waits for the much anticipated bowl of milk to be placed on the floor. The other three can take the milk or leave it. Three love to be petted and fawned over, one enjoys sinking his fangs into the meaty part of your hand if you even think of touching him. One is inexplicably mesmerized with anything that dangles in the air.

So why is it that four cats, with such different personalities, feel it a moral imperative to get into my alpaca yarn, bat it around the house (creating quite the mess) and break the yarn into several short pieces? This of course leads to much cursing and batting of cats out of the way while I rewind the yarn back into a ball.

Mind you it is only the alpaca that they get into. They cannot be bothered with wool or any of my novelty yarns. Just my coveted alpaca.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reminders of the past…

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an ordinary, everyday activity when you are suddenly reminded of someone from the past?

Over the years while cleaning the house (or perhaps more appropriately *thinking* about cleaning the house) I have been struck with the thought...

"I bet JJ's house is never this messy, dusty (enter appropriate adjective here.)"

From what I remember when we were growing up, one of JJ's chores was to clean the house. Perhaps she shared this task with her sister and/or her mom. I don't really know. My impression was this house cleaning chore was a weekly task.

Apparently this has been a lasting impression as I've obviously imagined that anyone who had to clean their house on a weekly basis as a kid would continue to do so into adulthood. It's funny how childhood memories affect your perceptions of people, places & things as an adult.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reconnect x2

Have you ever wondered what happened to your best friend from childhood? I have even though I've seen her on and off over the past twenty years. Now, when I say "on and off", that means about once every 10 years. Well today marks another 10 year anniversary for us, as we met for lunch at a local eatery. Five hours later we parted ways. That was a good lunch.

I still remember the day we met. My family had just moved into our new house. A friend of my mom's who lived in the subdivision told us that there was a girl in the neighborhood who was my age. I'll call her JJ. I remember hanging outside in the front yard when JJ rode her little blue bike past the house. She stopped and we started to chat. From there we were thick as thieves. There were a lot of good laughs - she was a bit of a clown. One time while at a local department store with me and my mom, JJ did an impromptu Playtex "cross your heart" commercial using a belt as her prop. She was such the actress. She had my mom in stitches.

This close friendship lasted for about three years until her family moved across the busy street. When you're in third grade, you're not really allowed to cross the "busy" street so we didn't get to spend as much time together. That's pretty devastating at that age. However, we persevered and still saw each other when we could. (Now that I'm reminiscing, I think we spent a lot more time together after that move than I originally remembered. The memory gets a bit foggy when you're reaching back 30 years ago...)

In school we had a different group of friends and by highschool we had very different hobbies and interests. I always felt that she was one of the cooler kids. Not a "popular" kid, but a cool one. She had an older brother and sister, so I was sure that she learned stuff from them that I would have to figure out on my own since I was the oldest in my family. I remember once she used the term "petting" and I totally pretended to know what she was talking about....then I looked it up in the dictionary. And that whole baseball reference to sex was utterly confusing to me. I understood what a "home run" was, but everything up to that point was really gray. I was so naive.

We somehow connected just before our 10 year high school reunion. We started hanging out, going out to clubs and chatting on the phone like teenagers. But just as soon as the relationship started it ended again. I'm not quite sure why, but I figured we'd see each other again. Little did I know it would be 10 years later and that we'd see each other "virtually".

I happened to have her email address in my address book. Our email carrier is so clever that it tells you when others in your address book who use the same carrier are online. A month ago or so I saw her on-line so I dropped her an IM and today we had lunch. Despite the ups and downs through her life, she has pretty much remained the same person I've known her to be...

...and I still like her.

Cheers to you JJ - I hope we remain connected this time around.