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.

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.

That Poncho Thing

Everything but the fringe is done! I couldn’t wait to show you guys, so forgive me! We’re having a dinner party tonight so it’s a quick and dirty post!

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When my husband gets home, I’ll see if he can real quick take a picture of me in it, because I tried, but I take awful selfies.

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!

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!

Falling Face First Into Fall

Dear Illinois:

You’re terrible with the weather.

Love, BMary.

I believe it was, oh, two days ago, was 80 degrees and humid. And now, we are in the 50’s, if we’re lucky! Bonus if there is sunshine! Who the heck plans this stuff? I know it’s September, but seriously! Calm down, Illinois, you’re drunk. Go home, take a pill and lay down. Pluto is not a planet. How much did you drink?

Anyway, apparently it is FALL RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU GUYS CEREALLY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So my husband and I hit an apple orchard and got some (duh) apples, cider, doughnuts, fudge and possibly diabetes. I can make that joke, right?

We had a great time, I completely forgot my phone at home so I have literally no pictures of this grand outing. Which, in hindsight, was all right. The place had just opened for the season, so just the store area was open. No corn maze or hay ride or petting zoo yet. Damn. Also, we’d need to borrow a kid if there was a petting zoo, because you bet your back end I’d go in there to pet the baby goats and whatnot. It’s the kind of thing you need a kid to get away with though, it’s weird to see some almost thirty year old squeeing over baby animals. That almost thirty year old being me. Don’t judge me. I like animals and I like to pet them.

I did get something productive done, however, I finished the Road Trip Scarf! I wrote about it’s beginning here and I got stalled by not calculating the right amount of yarn needed. Even after 3 skeins of 145 yard yarn, I still needed to borrow from my stash for the tassels and flowers. I went tassel crazy, not going to lie.

wpid-20140914_145401.jpgI PEED IN THE POOL!

I was sort of inspired by the shirt I procured the other day. Fringe is back, baby! I love fringe! So I went nuts with the tassels. Instead of weaving in any ends, I just added a few more strands of yarn and braided them together. Best idea ever. I got the buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited.

I’ve also already started another version…and ran out of yarn…I am terrible at thingslike countingor making adult decisionsand portion controland rambling

wpid-20140914_191215.jpglove me some UGLY yarn! I was dying to think of a project for this yarn.

wpid-20140914_162833.jpgAngie helped.

Tomorrow is that husband and I’s “dating anniversary” which is silly to celebrate, since we’re married. But only freshly married. Like, we still haven’t managed to squeeze out a honeymoon yet. So we’re going to celebrate that for the last time. Probably dinner and drinks and fart jokes. You can’t go without fart jokes. Ben Franklin rolled with the fart jokes and he’s on the $100 bill.

Keeping it classy over here in Illinois,

xxxbmary

WIP PARTY!

Despite my god-awful last couple days and my insane schedule I have been crocheting away. It’s kept my mind off of things and I’ve made some decent progress. I will admit, a stuffed-crust pizza, ice cream and a lot of Jack Daniel’s has made things easier. It’s a weird ritual. Every problem is solved with stuffed-crust pizza, whiskey and ice cream.

Anyway, I feel better. A little lonely, but better. Angie is doubling her cuddle efforts.

So here are my WIPs,

THE BLANKET OF SHAME:

wpid-20140912_074508.jpgit’s a bit of a mess, but it’s getting there.

This poor blanket, a stash buster that just would not be square. I’ve frogged quite a bit of it and reworked it. It’s square so far, thank God! Hopefully I will have it done before next year…maybe…? I made the new version a bit larger than the old version because seriously I have so, so, so very much yarn in my stash. And I’m using stitch markers! I’m a big girl!

THE…PONCHO? RUG? I DON’T EVEN KNOW AT THIS POINT:

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Well, I needed a new distraction and I needed it now, so for some reason I decided I wanted to do a single crochet poncho type thing. I really wasn’t making brilliant decisions at this point. I guess this would be part of the back. I dug up the yarn leftovers from this project and just whacked away at it. About at the point pictured here I decided maybe having two WIPs that were long term and single crochet was not my best idea. It might end up being just a rug or something. I’ve been itching to make a rug and it’s kind of small, but nothing some border work can’t fix. Also, I’m not sure if I have enough yarn, nor the will to purchase more of the same dye lot. That one’s on the back burner.

THE ROAD TRIP SCARF:

wpid-20140912_074243.jpgfinally, I decided to make a quick project!

This scarf is HOT on the Facebook group I follow around. I swear, 10 finished scarves get posted per day. They’re pretty darn cute, the final project and instructions are from Zooty Owl, and the link to the pattern is here. Nevermind how dull it looks right now, just go get that blog some clicks and see for yourself. They are adorable. I don’t know, nor do I have any contact with Zelna Olivier, but I think I might pay some attention to her blog. You guys first though. I haven’t been keeping up!

I’m hoping to have this guy done this weekend because my husband and I are hopping off to an apple orchard to get some apples, cider (no alcohol, promise! I’ve had enough!) and at least 15 caramel apples. I have an apple addiction, I swear. If I don’t eat them often enough, I have dreams about them. Not even kidding. I love apples. So does Angie, because she is crazy. Since she has no teeth and she doesn’t like apple sauce, I, um, well, um, baby-bird it to her. Use your imagination. How would you resist a cute pooch begging for an apple??

So I’m going to make some tea, check out your blogs, crank out a few more rows, go to work, come home, crochet til I drop!

xxxbmg

P.S. I also made a poo-necklace and snuck over to my friend’s work and shoved it under his wiper on his car. Because I’m a good friend.

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The Stash Busting Blanket That Would Not End…

At some point last year I started a stash busting blanket. Out of all the things I hoard, Lord knows, I hate hoarding yarn. Rocks are apparently fine. When I am done with a project, I wish it would magically disappear and I would never have to look at it again. I don’t get it. But, whatever. So, big surprise, I have a LOAD of yarn. Ok, it’s organized and in a bin, but IT’S STILL THERE. I attempted to rid myself of it, inspired by a blanket one of my friends had. It was rows of single crochet with a spike stitch here or there and all different colors.

Seems easy right? Well…it’s not square. Nope, not even close. I thought, because I am CLEARLY so CLEVER I would never mess this up…

wpid-20140724_110608.jpgnope.

I did the adult thing and pretended it didn’t exist for a while until it was brought to my attention that WIPs should be finished, by the lovely blog, Mollie & Claire in this post. Now I have the WIP of guilt. The WIP of SHAME.

I’ve tried to correct it’s lack of squareness, but i just keep pulling out rows and rows and rows and it’s still not square. Ugh. I decided to start over.

wpid-20140724_110720.jpgthis must be what insanity is like.

I’m going to pull each row out, one at a time (dear God in Heaven I cannot fathom pulling the whole thing out at once) and hooking it into the new one. So that’s where I am right now, and I am using the magic of STITCH MARKERS which for some reason I keep deeming unnecessary. Probably because I prefer to make…not squares? I have no idea. But anyway, it’s back on track!

We had some produce from the garden finally! Now that Illinois has stopped puking rain all day, the tomatoes and zucchini and peppers are finally getting into shape!

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Now, of course, I have a pile of zucchini, so I am making what I call “zucchini hummus,” which is fried zucchini, garlic and seasoning thrown into a blender. It’s pretty darn good and it freezes pretty good. Put it on home made pitas or noodles. I love it. Our tomatoes are getting there, so far just little cherry tomatoes which is better than none. We’ve got a few big ones working on turning red. I might sacrifice a few to become fried green tomatoes. Which are insanely addictive. I can eat quite a few of them!

I also finished something for a friend, just because I had yarn laying around and I had to go into the circle of hell known as the DMV. Let’s just sum up that day with “I spent 4 hours at the DMV and it was terrible. But I made something for a friend, so that part was ok.”

 wpid-20140724_113625.jpgturn to page 216 in thine Crochet Stitch Bible. Thou shalt ‘Begin with 4 CH, 1 SS into first ch made.’ So spake thine Crochet Stitch Bible.

I’ve made this pattern before, it’s cute and easy. It looks a bit fancier than it is. So, thumbs up!

I also went for a very short run today. I’ve mentioned before, I hurt my knee and I went from 6 miles every few days to couch potato. And…got fat. Ah well. Life’s too short to diet. I’m trying it again! My knee doesn’t hurt too much right now, but I’ll keep my eye on it. (P.S. yes, I’ve tried going to the doctor, no Obamacare has not helped in the least bit. In fact, it’s made it sickeningly more frustrating and expensive but I don’t want to talk about it.)

Well, I am going to catch up with you guys a bit and then pop off to get some more rows done today! Have a good day!