Stash: Busted?

As long ago promised, I finished the stash busting blanket of shame! I worked an extra day this week so it was a little crazier around here than usual. Because, ya know, my life is so dull. Anyway, here we are:

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IT’S SQUARE THIS TIME!

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quite wild.

I’m so very glad that it’s done! It was fun, I’m not going to lie, but man, it’s over! However:

The Stash Continues…

I cannot believe how much yarn I have left. Two baskets and about a half dozen mostly full skeins left over. Ridiculous how much yarn I have! So, phase two.

I, BMary, shall not buy new yarn* until I have completely gotten rid of my stash.

*excepting (1) baby blanket and anyone who offers me money to make something

God help me, I’m going to get rid of this mountain! Next on my hooks are potholders. Lots and lots of potholders. I am going to make them until it is all gone! ALL! And give them ALL away. I’ll be busy…

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the beginning of the end…

Wish me luck! And if you have any stash busting suggestions, let me know! 😀

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Sewing in Ends is Near.

The blanket of shame is done! Well, other than the ends. I was hoping I could show you the blanket, but there just no way I can get it done tonight. Send sweet death soon…

Enjoy my pets being silly:

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Abraham reminds me to brush my teeth. He also supervises.

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Angie is very proud of her new bunny.

The Blanket of Shame, Continues…

Silence means I am hardly at work on my WIPs. My stash busting blanket has become a quest for insanity as it continues to grow. Originally, I made it without stitch markers, which I am sure you can guess went terrible, because I am an idiot. Also, like 2 years ago. Well, it festered for a while and I really started to crack down on these past few weeks because I am so sick of seeing it laying there with a bunch of yarn in pieces too short to use for anything else. So here we are, about a foot more to go:

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Angie was trying to tell me something, something about a tennis ball…

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it’s so nice outside, don’t you want to throw the ball around? Huh? HUH???

Yes INDEED kids, the weather has broke around here! I am currently in a bikini (might be a lie) getting a tan (probably not a lie) next to an open window (totally the truth). So, as much as I’d love to stay and chat, I have a date with a stinky greyhound and her filth tennis ball. We’re going outside! 😀

Infinity Scarf and Other Problems.

Finished up my infinity scarf! As I am bored to tears of taking selfies, I had Angie model for me. She doesn’t mind at all.

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this…this will involve a treat later, right?

I made it rather thin and long so I can loop it several times around. I love the colors. It’s keeping me toasty in this beautiful Illinois freeze party.  The pattern is from, oh man, one of my first projects, a tote bag. I liked the pattern for the strap so well, I just used it to make a scarf. I decided to make this one a little tamer than my other one. Angie modeled that one as well for me. I have no idea where the original pattern is, I think it was from a book at the library, but it’s basically a double crochet decrease, increase in the middle, decrease. There’s more, obviously, but I don’t want to give out the pattern. That’s unseemly.

In hilarious news, my pants are ridiculously too big for me. The only thing holding them up is my knees, I think. I look like I am smuggling diapers. I tried on a size three sizes smaller which I had on hand, but it’s just too small still. Damn. At least my work pants are okay, they are carpenter pants and are entirely more functional than “fashionable pants.” They have pockets that work. Plus I wear long johns under them at least for now. So I guess I’ll just look silly for a little bit.

I’m up to 3.5 miles running wise, off the recovery program, YEY! So now I get to make it up as I go. I considered running farther, but I didn’t want to set myself back. I think I’ll shoot to get up to 5 miles in the next two weeks, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Just slow and steady. Maybe I’ll be back at 6 miles by summer, wouldn’t that be fabulous? Maybe then I’ll fit into my teeny tiny pants!

Back to Hooking.

Sorry, I had to use that title. It was one of those kind of things. You can’t crochet without using at least one “hooker” joke per month.

In repentance, look at the story of my life:

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In all honesty, you’re more interesting when you have food.

One of my very good friends is having a hard time right now and my repertoire of responses to that situation is either food or gift related. Having a bad day? You need an entire pie. Or…maybe just a crochet scarf? Will that do? I certainly hope so.

I hopped off to the craft store, on another unrelated mission and stopped by the yarn. I was looking for a hunter green, but I just could not find the right color. I found a very pretty skein for myself, but not what I was looking for. I knew I had some leftover grey from that infamous poncho, so I was hoping that would be all right.

I wanted to do something different and it had to be sort of unisex for this particular person, to match their style. After trying out a few swatches, I went with a front post crochet to create a ribbed texture and worked the scarf along the long edge, rather than keeping the rows short. I think it looks rather smart. Which was the goal, duh.

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 THE DUCK FACES WILL CONTINUE UNTIL I FIGURE OUT HOW TO NOT HAVE RESTING B*TCH FACE.

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I really do like the texture. I think it will look good on my friend.

Having hauled through that while watching Hoarding: Buried Alive which is the replacement for Hoarders WHICH WAS A WAY BETTER SHOW AND GOT TAKEN OVER TO SHOWCASE FAKE REDNECKS. Bunch of wannabes. There is a process for being a redneck. Convenient segue, that post is about hoarding flowers. Ugh. Anyway, while I was binge watching the show I knocked out the scarf in about 3 hours. Give or take time for snacks, of course. Can’t not have snacks. I go to the gym, so I can have snacks.

Now, of course, I am on a roll and itching to start a new project, so I whipped out my new yarn and started a scarf that I modified from another pattern entirely. I’ve made this scarf before, you’ve seen it on myself and on my stinkhound. Actually, I made it for brittlynnstalker, but I like it so much I kept it, then immediately went to the store, bought another of the same skein and made her one. We match. Duuuuh. That’s starting out rather well,

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 I think I am going to make it an infinity scarf this time.

Other than that, I’ve continued to be rather dull. Which is fine by me, I’ve had plenty of excitement for a while, thank you.

Oh, lest I forget, I did have to express Abraham’s anal glands. How fun! I put in a how to for ya. In case you ever need it. Just so you know, I did work at a vet clinic as a cleaning person when I was like 16, but I occasionally got pressed into unpleasant service, so I’ve done it before. Not like I’m not used to butts at this point in my life.

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butt.

Stupid Human Tricks, Crochet Edition

I’m a huge fan of what I call “stupid human tricks”. They’re simple, go to tricks (NOT LIFE HACKS, DEAR GOD, NOT THAT) that produce awesome results. For example, this smores recipe. Stupid human trick. Easy as heck and very impressive.  Or, play this song:

instant cool points. 100000000 cool points.

I just love it. Somewhere along the line, I learned a stupid crochet trick. It’s not even new, or like, fancy, or like anything anyone hasn’t seen, but it just makes things a little fancier. It’s crocheting in the front and/or back loops of a project. Nothing major, just adds a little more texture, looks a little more advanced, ya know, a stupid crochet trick. Fun at parties. Great cook. Such a pretty face.

I made my infinity scarf working in front loops and then the back loops. I used two strands of worsted weight yarn to give it a little more thickness and a little more pizazz. That’s right, I used “pizazz” in a sentence.

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i’m the worst model. I can’t smile in a photo to save my life! i don’t think i look as fat though, thankfully.

I started with chain 20, one single crochet in each (be mindful of the double strands!) I think my hook was a 7mm. Then I worked one row in the front loops and the following row in the back loops. In case you’re not familiar, I worked up a few rows in my ugliest yarn to show you.

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some darn fine ugly yarn there.

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see the two loops? normally, you go through both.

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see what I did there? eh? front loops?

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eh? see? back loops? ugly yarn? eh?

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this yarn was a gift, I swear.

Can you see the rows forming? It’s nothing spectacular, but again, it’s just that wee little extra touch. Just something so you know it’s special.

Also, in the BMary News, I went out and got yarn for that infamous poncho.

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I LOVE THIS YARN! aka brand I’M POOR RIGHT NOW!

I took a picture of the magazine, I hope that’s not some bizarre copyright problem. I mean in case you don’t know, it’s SIMPLY CROCHET (LINK TO MAGAZINE WEBSITE) and ISSUE 25 (LINK TO PURCHASE ISSUE 25) and this pattern, COWL NECK PONCHO (LINK TO PURCHASE PATTERN). If there’s still a problem, I’ll roll my eyes really hard and stomp my feet. Promise.

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just stop and admire that!

I’m going with grey and my wacky neons, because, well, why not? Might as well make it a little loud, it’s a freaking cowl with a freaking poncho with freaking fringe attached. It’s gonna be loud. I’m like, 15 rows in. I cannot wait! It’s going to be a crochet sweatshop up in here!

A Hot Mess.

All right guys, I’ve got two hours before physical therapy, so I figured I could let you guys know what is going on!

Firstly, physical therapy! The doctor seems to think I have some wear and tear on my left knee. He took x-rays and I got to wear some really unattractive shorts, which, frankly, I would have felt less awkward in my underwear. We took some interesting shots and I got to see what my bones look like. How weird is that? From the pictures, you can see that one knee is a little more worn than the other. He opted for some physical therapy to see if we can straighten that out. It seems, especially when they were putting me through the moves, my right side is stronger and more balanced than my left, which would explain things. Weird, because I am left handed, but whatever. I get to look very silly and do some very silly exercises. My knee is not hurting at the moment whatsoever, but I’m not putting any stress on the kneecap, just the muscles surrounding it. Today, I go in at 10, so we’ll see what the guy says.

Next, omg am I fat. I crossed the “fat threshold” line. Boo!! I’ve gained 30# since I hurt my knee! My doctor wasn’t surprised, you can’t go from running 20 miles a week to the couch and expect to eat the same. I mean, I am not surprised either, I knew it was happening, but I figured, eh? be fat and happy while your knee’s hurt. But this is really too much. So I joined Calorie Count, which is AMAZING. I’ve used the website before. As long as you have a will, it totally works like a charm. It’s super easy to use and as long as you’re honest, the comes off. It’s not a race, it’s one day at a time. You can find me under firebirdpink if you want to make sure I’m not cheating! I’m eating roughly 1400-1800 calories a day with my “mild stretching” aka physical therapy. I’m down four pounds, but I’m sure that’s mostly water weight. If you do want to try out Calorie Count, don’t use their recommended intake. It’s always too low. Go to a BMR calculator, which calculated the calories you use if you were in a coma and not moving. Never eat less than that. Also, check out their forums, great information there. All right! Enough on ewww dieting.

Thirdly, I’m taking the plunge and trying to sell some crochet stuff on Facebook. Sorry, I can’t give you my page, because it is under my fake name and I use my page to tell off color, horrible, bad jokes that you don’t want to read. It’s locked up tight as heck too. I need my ranting space! If it takes off a bit, I’m going to make a real page an of course I will provide a link. I’m not holding my breath, I put the prices fair, as in me being paid a wage to make the items. So they’re all around $40, payment up front, custom as requested. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

Fourthly, sebum only hair is still in the works. I’m up to two weeks before it gets to the point where I need to wear it up. Patience, patience, patience!

Fifthly, of course! I have pictures.

wpid-20141103_073734.jpgmy christmas cactus is blooming!

wpid-20141108_101122.jpgjust a pretty view of Elburn, Illinois.

wpid-20141102_162329.jpgmy greyhound is ridiculous.

wpid-20141102_091653.jpgFormerly a poncho, turned into a rug. My first go at fringe.

wpid-20141029_171403.jpgmy rescued peace lily, it finally flowered after three years! it was such a mess when I first got it! Stinky and full of dead roots.

wpid-20141028_104810.jpgmade a new work tote bag. it has an inside pocket, which is fabulous!

wpid-20141101_175625.jpgrandom pretty sunset

Okie dokie! I’ve got about 10 minutes before I need to hop in the shower, so I’ll be reading away! Hope you all have a great day! 😀

No Poo Number Three “Sebum Only”

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit. Nothing interesting happened and I was busy playing with trouble kitty and working. I did managed to have a lot of fun. Fall is awesome this year, the weather is great! I haven’t had a desire to be inside. I’ll post some photos at the bottom of this, just for fun.

I’ve never been a big fan of rules. I’m a libertarian, after all. Why did the chicken cross the road? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND AM I BEING DETAINED?

wpid-2014-10-12-19.48.25.png.pngproof that I was being an idiot with a foam finger long before miley cyrus was out of diapers!

As you may recall, I have been no poo for some time and was to the point where I was only using water to “wash” my hair. That was all fine and dandy until I became aware that my hair was kind of dry on the ends. At first, I thought a good haircut would do the trick, I used to wear my hair up all the time and thought that I had a lot of breakage from that. I’ll be honest, genetically, I have terrible hair. Thin and wispy. My mother couldn’t get hers past her shoulders. The fact that I even can mange moderately long hair is a miracle. It used to be a lot worse until I went no poo.

I got my hair cut, professionally. This was a big step for me as I am very leery of hairdressers. I’ve gotten a mommy mullet cut when I was entirely too young for such a terrible hair cut, so I have my reasons. Obviously, mommy mullet was not my intended hair cut. I have legitimately never had a good experience with a professional cut, style or color.  Anyway, the woman there did a great job. She actually just simply did what I asked her. How novel.

After that, it was still dry. Okay, fine. I dumped a bit of coconut oil on it and brushed, brushed, brushed. That helped phenomenally. Then I came across the “sebum only” concept. I paid it very little mind until I read that too much water can make your hair dry. Cue light bulb over my head.

Okay, then, let’s give it a swing. For a week I did not get my hair wet. I showered (I’m not completely disgusting) and avoided getting my hair wet. I kept it in braids, because after 4 days, I was getting pretty greasy. No one noticed. Day 8 I decided I was sick of putting my hair up so I took a nice tub soak and scrubbed my scalp. When dry, it actually looked much better, believe it or not. My ends looked much more moisturized. So now, three days since that bath, this is my hair:

wpid-20141017_104008.jpgI would call this a good hair day!

My head does smell a bit mustier than usual, but not terrible, I’m still getting the swing of this. The ends are a lot better. I am going to try to go a week and a half without wetting it. Baby steps. Also I am brushing like a madwoman and am going to ramp up how often I clean my brushes. Wish me luck!

As promised, here are some photos of my recent adventures:

 wpid-20141016_110528.jpgtrouble kitty is watching you make stool

wpid-20141010_165821.jpgour backyard red maple

 wpid-20141007_103808.jpgstarted some granny squares for a hoodie, inspired by this post.

 wpid-20141005_141003.jpganother road trip scarf for a friend

wpid-20141005_140519.jpgangie and abraham are getting along

 wpid-20140927_112558.jpgthe baby fish are getting big!! there’s four

wpid-20140930_180951.jpgstunning view i thought

wpid-20141001_075736.jpgour red maple again. such a beautiful tree.

Ok, that’s it for now! I have to go pick up a kombacha scoby for a friend. I got a lead on it and my friend wants one, so I’m off! Have a great day and I’ll be back to check on you all in a little bit!

Grandma’s Potholders

My grandmother, June Glaser, kind of was a big deal. She crochet and sewed like a madwoman. I however, was more interested in worms, bugs and playing outside. Oh sure, Grandma made cool stuff, curly cues and little dresses for me, but I was a tomboy. My favorite was when she fixed the hell* out of my jeans. Then I could go ride bikes and look for frogs and get dirty. She had all boys, all sons and my uncles and my dad taught me that life was fun getting dirty.

*literally fixed the hell out of my jeans. like, satan himself would have had trouble getting through her patchwork.

When I got older, I started to appreciate her craft more. My brain suddenly realized that she had made things, by her own hand. That was important. She made herself skirts mostly and a bit of crochet here and there. She taught me how to chain stitch in crochet, but I think I was like 6 and again, more interested in climbing trees. But there was one thing, one mountain of thing that she made that every single family member had to the point that I was shocked when I realized not every household in the world had them…

Crochet potholders.

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a meager few of my collection…

She had a ball of yarn and a potholder going wherever she went. She had a literal stack of them, taller than me that she would give away to everyone. When I moved out, question 1 was “What color potholders do you want?”

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the answer was red and black. my kitchen was adorable. 

Not only are they the most beautiful potholders ever, they are functional. I’ve seen people use inferior potholders and burn themselves. Not so with Grandma’s!

I never really thought about replicating them until I was at a bridal shower for a friend and she got a cast iron skillet and…ready? A granny square. It was the “potholder”. Like, the gift giver said it was the potholder. For the skillet. Raise your hand if you know how amazingly hot a cast iron skillet gets? Now raise your hand if you would use a single layer granny square (with the holes and double crochets, mind you) to pick up said skillet. Jokes on you, if you did that, you wouldn’t have a hand to raise because it would be BURNED THE HELL OFF.

One of my pet peeves with crafting is function and form. Yes, I want something pretty, but it has to function as intended. I’m not making an apron with holes in it, I want a sturdy apron. I’m not making a blanket that is super short, I need a big enough blanket. I’m not putting glitter and stuff in my soap, I want it to just be soap. It has to have a purpose. I tell everyone that I will repair any gifts I give them because I want them to be used. Beat them up. Get em dirty.

So I took a good hard look at the potholders.

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starting chain?

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sewn together?

wpid-20140716_112527.jpgsee how it folds?

I noodled around with it for a while, racking my brain. These are some well loved potholders. It looked like they were worked in a round. And then I remembered:

THE INTERNET.

You know? The amazing interwebs that have more than just pictures of cats? I went over to the crochet group I follow on Facebook and armed with pictures and whatever information I had and in, I kid you not, 40 seconds I had like 8 replies. Three videos and several links. I’m okay with patterns, so I went with the written link. Oh man, it’s easy as pie.

CROCHET FOLDED POTHOLDER. Now, I prefer Grandma’s Magic Awesome Potholders That Are Better Than Yours, so that’s what I’m calling them. Judging that the pattern is pretty much everywhere (unbeknownst to me) I feel okay with that. I’ve already made 3 and I am working on a fourth.

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angie helped. as usual.

*Aside, ever since Angie got her bad teeth pulled, this happens:

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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m yarn bombing. With potholders. I’ve already attacked two of my friends. Third one is getting bombed tonight.

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stitch faster!!!!!

The pattern is an excellent yarn eater, it takes about a 1oo yards? I’m guessing. I timed how long they take to make and it is about an hour and 40 minutes. So goodbye, yarn hoard! Hello potholder bombs! I hope you take a chance and make at least one of these, they are amazingly useful and hold up well to abuse and washing!