Rip it! Rip it!

Well, I didn't work on the Prayer Shawl after all. I'm a terrible, terrible person who lacks motivation and determination.

After talking to a friend on Ravelry I decided I would try to block my Terra Firma so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a large foam board for pinning. I walked in the door ready to tackle it, but decided I should try it on ONE LAST TIME to make final decisions. With my husband and I both pulling and tugging on it I realized that one of my button bands was longer than the other...and it was ruffling. That much would have to be frogged and redone. And if that much would have to be frogged then I decided...while I'm at it...and I frogged half of the sweater too. So, that's what I did. I spent the entire evening frogging and winding my yarn into balls. It looks like I'll be finishing this first, then I'll do a couple of Prayer Shawls (which BTW I found a pattern for-THANK YOU VERY MUCH!), then I hope to tackle the Spring Shell that was just published in the newest Interweave Crochet Magazine. Hopefully, after that it'll be back to the Football Fever Afghan.

There's so much to do and so little time in the day...


Can't there just be progress?

I'm discouraged. I'm frustrated.

Can't there just be progress? Can't there ever be a time when you take 1 step forward and no steps back? I mean, why 2 steps back?

I've been doing this First Day to 5K thing. It's been going pretty good, surprisingly good. I couldn't run a 1/4 of a mile straight before I started this program. Recently I went from running 1 mile straight, then stopping to walk a 1/4 mile, then running another 1/2 mile or so, to running 2 1/2 miles straight. Pretty good accomplishment I'm thinking. I felt like crap most of the day yesterday and Tuesdays are one of my running days. I spent the majority of the day trying to decide whether I should run or not. When I got off work I felt a little better so I went to the indoor track. I had on my new running shoes and I was ready to try for the full 3 miles...I was PUMPED!
The flippin' track was packed OUT! Old people everywhere taking their evening strolls. It's sweet really, but they all failed to observe the signs plastered all over the walls: "3 inside lanes for walkers. Outside lane for runners only when on the track." And I wasn't the only runner there. I spent all of my energy weaving in and out and around old people. I totally started out way too fast and sped up whenever I needed to pass somebody in order to give them room. Why did I feel the need to be considerate of their space when they weren't considerate of mine??? I guess because they're old. Needless to say I tired out early. I only ended up running 1 1/2 miles and then I walked 1/2 half a mile. Then I went home-frustrated beyond belief...not so much at the old people, but at myself for quitting and for sucking. I guess I should have stayed until my 3 miles were in but I just couldn't make myself do it.
My first 5K is on April 25. Hopefully, I'll be ready by then. I'm not there to try and win it because I'm certainly not a fast runner, but I'm there to finish and that alone will be a huge accomplishment. Again, why can't there just be progress??

Recently, I finished the Terra Firma Cardigan. I found the pattern on Ravelry. I made it out of 100% alpaca so it wasn't exactly cheap. It looked good. I was able to try it on as I went. The bottom half of the cardigan was a little snug but I figured once I got the buttons on that it would stretch and everything would work out just fine. YEAH, OKAY! So, I still haven't put the bottoms on but everything else is finished. I think it's going to be too snug around the stomach, and I don't think it'll stretch out enough. So, there is always the hope that blocking will work. I'm not exactly optimistic about this situation. The pattern designer suggested that I frog the body and rework it with a larger hook. I've already weaved in all my ends and I don't have that much yarn left in case of an accident. I don't know what I'll do. Chances are, if I have to frog it-it won't ever get finished. And that's a shame!! 2 steps back.

I'm also frustrated because I haven't worked on my Football Fever Afghan in about a month. I really need to get back to that before I give it up for good as well...Okay, so that's not going to happen, but I do need to work on it so it will be finished by Aug/Sept sometime. I told myself I couldn't work on it any until I finished a couple of prayer shawls and so far nothing has worked out. I've tried several different patterns and just can't find one I like. I found one and was 8-9 rows into it and found an error that I couldn't work out. So, I'm back at square one. I'm attempting another pattern tonight...hopefully. It should work...maybe, hopefully it will.

Murphy's law I guess....


It's been awhile

So...it's been awhile since my last post and while I don't really have any news or any updates I thought I would post anyway.

This past week we've had super beautiful weather. I'm talking it ranged from mid 70's to low 80's, sunny, kinda beautifull weather. It's ridiculous because just a couple of weeks ago we had 6 inches or more of snow. Anyway, the spring bug definitely bit me! I'm talking windows down, sunroof open, crazy dance mix playing on my iPod kinda spring bug bite! All I've wanted to do for days now is drive...Just jump in my car and hit the road with my iPod and my windows down and DRIVE until I run outta gas. Now, today, here it is in the 40's and windy, and soon to be rainy. It's so flippin' depressing. I know Spring is on the way but don't give me a taste and then take it away! I was starting to get excited about running outside this weekend. Heck, I would have been excited to do anything outside this weekend if the weather was as nice as it has been. It looks to me like I'll be cleaning house instead. God works in mysterious ways. He knew my house desperately needed cleaning!

I'm making good progress on my "Football Fever" afghan. I'd say I'm around 25% done. I mean, I know I still have a long way, but it's amazing how motivating a little bit of progress can be. I don't really have anything projects going right this moment either so I can fully focus on the afghan. However, I have started attempting a gauge swatch for the alpaca sweater I was talking about. Things have not gone well with this at all. I was hoping to make the Northern Dreams sweater that was published in the Fall 2008 Interweave Crochet magazine. If this swatch doesn't turn out right then I think I'll probably use the yarn for something else. It's a shame but I only have so much patience with things. Crochet for me is all about enjoyment and relaxation. Other areas of my life give me stress and frustration-I don't need that from a hobby. I've found a cute little vest that this alpaca yarn will be perfect for. So, we'll see how the swatch goes...again...for like the 4th time...

Also, I'm finally in a Traveling Scarf group that's getting started this week. I joined the Traveling Scarves Group on Ravelry about 7 months ago but no groups have been open for me to join. Finally a couple of weeks ago one opened up and I joined so I'm excited. How it works is: There are 10 people in a group. Each person makes a 'started scarf' (6-7 inches of a stitch pattern) and sends it to the next person in line and they add another 6-7 inches on to it. Then, they send it to the next person...so on and so forth. Each person write in a journal that travels with the scarf where they're from and the yarn they used and such. Here's a picture of my starter. My scarf is going to have a flower theme...DUH!

I thought I'd update you on my running as well. I'm on Week 5 of a 9 week program designed to get you ready to run a 5K race. I'm using the First Day to 5K program with Podrunner Intervals on iTunes. It's awesome. I love it. Anyway, this weeks workout consisted of a 5 minute warm up walk, a 3 minute walk, a 3 minute run, another 3 minute walk, and then finally another 5 minute run, with about a 3 minute cool down walk. I was surprised at how well I did last night!! I actually went through the entire program, but I did have to stop in the middle of my last 5 minute run to tie my shoes and get some water...BUT ANYWAY, I did good and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I got caught up on Week 4 for awhile. I didn't run a couple of days because I didn't feel well and then a couple of days I sort of did my own thing. I'm back at it though and it's going well. YEA!!! So, 3.1 miles is my goal! I'm trying to decide what kind of 'prize' I'm going to allow myself when I reach that! I might buy some running shoes...considering I'm running in K Swiss' right now. Yikes. That's probably a sin! Or I may get running shoes now and YAAAAARRRNNN when I reach 5K :-) I guess we'll see.

I'll end on #115 from the Friday Fill-Ins Blog:

And...here we go!

1. When I look to the left, I see___an Ireland calendar__.

2. _My guest bedroom____ is the room that has the best view in my home.

3. Let it work __out___.

4. __Gas___ done dirt cheap!

5. __Consideration___ is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

6. If you have any __spare money or yarn__feel free __to give it to me___.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _crocheting____, tomorrow my plans include __cleaning house, running, and crocheting___ and Sunday, I want to __relax and go to church...oh and crochet___!


Bag of Squares

Saturday night I had a message on my answering machine from a lady at church saying that someone had donated a large bag full of crocheted squares to the Prayer Shawl Ministry and she wanted to get them to me. In my mind I pictured random squares using up odd bits of yarn and scraps...multicolored. I figured who ever donated them made them for that purpose or made them just to get rid of scraps. Sunday after church I got the squares and peeked into the bag. Much to my surprise all of the squares matched. They all had a purpose and a place. Each one was carefully stacked on top of another, sealed, and carefully labeled in individual Ziplock bags...numbered by rows. They were beautiful white granny squares with a burst of color on the inside. This wasn't at all what I had expected. I thought to myself 'Why on earth would someone go through all this hard work and not finish it? They were so close.' Then it dawned on me...What if the person making the afghan died and their family was left with just this bag of squares and no way to assemble them? Here this woman probably spent countless hours working on this project to never see the end result. Think of all your WIP's. Think of all your stash that will be left behind. I guess in the grand scheme of things a Work in Progress is just a drop in a bucket, of no significance, but still this idea deeply saddened me.

I guess there are a couple of things to be said about this situation. First, yarn might seem like a ridiculous thing to leave in a will, but it should at least be communicated to a relative what you want to happen to it once you're gone. If you don't have any family members or friends that could use it please consider leaving it to specific charity. I wonder how many countless WIPS have been throw away after someones passing because family members didn't know how to handle it. I'm grateful for the bag of squares I received. Our ministy is always in need of handmade items. I guess the second thing that could be said is this, life is too short to crochet/knit with cheap yarn. I'm not saying 'Go Crazy' but I am saying treat yourself now to something nice. I'm going to make myself an alpaca sweater! I've never used alpaca before so this will be nice...and interesting...and expensive :-)

Oh! And finish those WIP's now while you have the chance!
Maybe I'll gain a new found enthusiasim for the Football Fever afghan I'm making for my husband.

Weekend Crochet

This past weekend I started the 'Chevron Lace Cardigan' like I had planned. I got about 15 rows into the pattern (where you split the yoke for the sleeves) and decided I wasn't loving the yarn choice. The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn but there is no DK selection around here so I went with a worsted weight as some others have done. I chose Red Hearts Soft Yarn in Dark Leaf. I loved, loved, loved the color on the shelf. Everytime I'd walk down the aisle in consideration that one always jumped out at me. The further along I got with the cardigan the more I didn't like my color choice. Green is my favorite color but this was almost too green, if you know what I mean. I realized I'd probably be self concious wearing it. Then, there was the worsted weight. It just appeared entirely too thick for the openness of the pattern. I just decided it wasn't going right at all so I frogged it. I'd like to come back to this later because I really like the pattern and it really was flying by, but I'm going to have to wait until I'm inspired by a particular yarn...other than worsted weight green :-)

Also, this weekend I managed to make some progress on the Football Fever afghan. I've only got 11 more rows and I'll be finished with the endzone that's been holding me back! Should be fairly easy going after that...at least until I reach the mid-field logo.

Then, I finished my handmade item for the Odd Ducks: South Park Swap on Ravelry. It's a secret for at least another month or so-so I can't say. I have another item though that I need to make to add to it.

So at least I did manage to accomplish something this weekend.


The Comings and Goings

The Football Fever afghan is still a slow go. I've only managed to get a few more rows finished. I guess I'm about half way through the end zone though so I've got that much going for me. I can't work on it while I'm watching TV because I get too distracted and I have to read the pattern from a chart. I love watching TV on weekday nights so that is limiting me a lot. I watch 'House' and '24' on Mondays, 'American Idol' on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 'Grey's Anatomy' on Thursday. I know-I'm a freak but whatever. I've got a schedule and it works. Anyway, I put the afghan down this week to work on a Prayer Shawl for a lady at my church. That's much easier to work on through my favorite shows. I'll be finished with that today and free to pick up whatever else I decide tonight.
I found a fast and easy cardigan that I really want to make. It's a Chevron Lace Cardigan and the pattern is available on Ravelry or at http://milobo.wordpress.com/2008/11/22/chevron-lace-cardigan-pattern/ (I would love to include a link for you but my dumb computer won't allow it right now!) . I went and bought the yarn for it Wednesday. Most people on Ravelry said it can be completed in less than a week. I may attempt to finish it this weekend or at least get it started. I guess it depends on how long it takes for me to get gauge. I found the most perfect buttons for it on etsy. I still have to order them and then I'll have to wait for them to ship...so who knows when it'll be finished. I need to work on the afghan!

At the end of last year I posted about some changes I was wanting to make or some things I was going to strive to work at this year. One was eating better, drinking more water, and generally taking better care of myself. I started at the beginning of February with my attempts. So far I've been doing pretty good. I'm still not even close to drinking the recommended amount of water per day. I think I've worked myself up to 1/2 a liter of water a day...right...that's like 1/4 of the recommended daily intake. I suck. I hate water. I also said I wanted to cut out as many processed foods as possible. I had gotten in a bad habit of using boxed and bagged pasta mixes and rice mixes and using all canned vegetables. Most of my dinners were cooked in a microwave. I just got burnt out and lazy with my cooking. I haven't eaten any of the like in 3 weeks now. I've used all fresh produce and the meals have been so much better! I've also been checking out new cookbooks from the library in an attempt to make meals more exciting. I've thoroughly enjoyed it so far. I do all my meal planning on Saturdays and try to do my grocery shopping over the weekend as well. As mentioned earlier, I work better on a schedule.
In addition to the fresher less processed meals I've started exercising again. I joined with some friends in one of my Ravelry groups in doing the Couch to 5K running program. You can check it out at http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml (again, can't link). Basically it's just alternating intervals of walking and running 3 times a week. Supposedly within 9 weeks of following this program you should be able to run 3 miles. I just finished my second week on the program. I'll be starting week 3 tomorrow. Surprisingly, I've enjoyed it. I'm also hoping to start some Pilate's on the alternating days.
I guess this is all a desperate attempt to find something that will help my stomach out. I'm eating lots of yogurt, smoothies, and drinking lots of herbal teas. We'll see after awhile if any of this proves beneficial.

Also, I think I'm going to start doing 'Open Letters' on my blog. I've had the idea for awhile but have been hesitant because they're so personal but I think it would be therapeutic. I've had more people than I can count say that they believe my stomach problems have manifested from all the things I keep inside and don't share and don't deal with. I just wanted to mention this so that you'd know what's going on because you may start seeing "Dear So and So..." a lot. I saw an Open Letter Thread on Ravelry and it's usually pretty interesting to read.

So, that's that. That's what I've been up to and what I'm going to be up too for awhile. Wish me luck...



It's been forever since I updated my blog! I really suck at this.

Updates, updates...Let's see.

I started the Football Fever afghan last month. It was a very slow go. My husband is wanting the high school name spelled out in the end zones so I did a graph for that. The pattern says specifically not to carry the yarn through out the project. I don't really see how it would matter but I decided not to do it anyway since I didn't want my green yarn showing through the white and vice versa. What I ended up doing was cutting the yarn at every color change (which was OFTEN) and weaving the yarn ends in. I was having to stop every 3-4 rows to weave the ends in because they were getting so uncontrolable. This was highly frustrating to me! I hate weaving in ends. Then not to mention that as the item 'settles' little yarn ends end up poking their head out and you have to keep trimming them back. I kept setting the afghan aside and only working on it an hour or so each week because I dreaded it so much.

This past Wednesday night I went to the local knit-night and pulled my afghan out to show my aggravation with the project. A couple of the ladies suggested I try bobbins. This was a foreign concept to me even though I've seen it done in magazines. I just couldn't wrap my mind around how it would work. One lady explained it to me and a light went on! Soooooooooooooo, I started the afghan over this past weekend using the bobbins. Let me tell you what an enormous difference it has made! In just a matter of days I've completed more than half of what took a month to do using my old 'cut and weave' method. So, I'd like to thank the YO-C knit-night ladies for the fan-tab-ulous idea!! Now, I may actually get the afghan finished by football season!

What else? I haven't started my Babette blanket yet. I have all the materials ready and waiting, but I promised myself I wouldn't start it until I reached a certain point on the Football Fever afghan. I'm thinking somewhere around half way would work best. The Babette squares will be mindless so it'd be too easy for me to quit the Football afghan and become consumed with the Babette.

I did start a Homespun Lacy Squares afghan that I'll be using as a Prayer Blanket/Afghan/whatever. This will be my take along project. There are 20 squares in it and I'm hoping to have that finished in the next month or so. I don't know. We'll have to see. I'm in a couple of RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) groups on Ravelry and by some miracle of God I managed to collect 7 skeins of the exact same color and dye lot from several different people scattered across the US. It just so happens that on one of the yarn bands was a afghan pattern that required 7 skeins so I jumped on it. Keeps me from having to search online and in magazines and from becoming overwhelmed by the vast number of afghan selections out there...

That's my crochet updates. No completed projects lately which is a real bummer. I joined a South Park swap on Ravelry and I have to include something handmade in the package. I'll have to give that some thought and get that cranked out in the next couple of months. Should be fun though.