Friday, February 16, 2007

Not a Craft Post

Nothing new on the crafting front at all - I screwed up fairly substantially at work recently, and that came to light this week. I'm putting in a ton of extra hours to try to fix the problem, so just barely keeping my head above water at home. Hopefully by the end of next week things will be calmer.

In my few spare moments, I did take a plunge I've been thinking about for a while - created a new blog, very different from this one. I'm excerpting public health articles at (well, just two so need to refill your coffee cup before sitting down to read). One of the things I've liked about craft blogging is that it's gotten me to focus over the long haul on what I'm doing. I figured the same would be true for my long-term educational/career goals, so thought I'd give it a shot. Starting the blog did get me to subscribe to a slew of weekly public health journals, and also (see first post) to commit to losing that 10 pounds I'm carrying around. Which is not bad for clicking the mouse a few times.

So I'm just suZee now, which also reflects my lack of sewing.

In homeschool news, the extra work load has had a silver lining. Did you know that a 10yo boy and his mom will argue much less and get through schoolwork much more quickly if they're sitting on Mom's bed at 8:00pm, propped up on pillows? No, neither did I. We've been getting through what normally takes 2 hours in about 45 minutes, and with excellent recall. Hmmmm. Comfy pillows. This may be why the ancients always seemed to do everything on a bed.

And finally, I missed my 100 post milestone! So happy 101 to me...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

This Just In: Travel is Good for You

The J-Man and I went on a quick trip to AZ to see our extended family last week. It did not go well. Family strife? None. Horrible weather? Nope. Lost luggage? Missed airport connection? Crime?

None of the above...just a stomach bug. We tried to keep it in perspective by noting all the things it *wasn't*, but it was tough. We spent the whole trip sick in sequence, infecting all those around us, and never made it out to a restaurant, tourist attraction or even the sun. Bleah. But the kindness of our very patient loved ones was incredible. If it were me, I would have pointed me to a hotel and wished me the best.

Health tip: Next time you're feeling really, really sick, don't pick up a copy of The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry. Great book, but bound to make you sure that you're dying, and therefore very depressed.

OK, the good news: the UK yarn arrived and it looks to my eye like a perfect match. I'll swatch to be sure, but I think I'm good to go. The crocheted edging is rolling inward quite insistently, and as I'm more knowledgeable about crochet now, I think I will rip, do two rows of slipstitch to toughen up the edge and then try the edging again, also maybe just picking up the front loop.

While J-Man was sick I crocheted a lot, including a groovy scarf (needs fringe, will be given to the Princess as a retro addition to her wardrobe), hideous granny squares (these just do not get better with age, unlike Granny herself) and began a cute little bag in some leftover Christmas yarn. I'm trying to make as many re-useable Christmas gift bags as possible (sewn and yarned) this year, and this will add to the collection.

I continue not to sew or knit, and am trying to live with these lapses. But there is no methadone in my fridge, and I'm sure of the parentage of my children, so I'm feeling pretty good about my life.
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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Like "Dilettante" is a BAD Thing?

I don't do anything really well. I have a tendency to want to know just enough to be dangerous with a hobby (fiscally dangerous with something like knitting, as opposed to physically dangerous with something like rocketry), and never make it to the ranks of the big kids.

About five years ago I started with quilting, and at the point where I might really devote myself and get good, Stefaneener made like a street pusher with yarn and needles for me. And then again, as I'm finally finishing a sweater that looks quite passable, this week I learned to crochet. And became somewhat obsessed. Thank God for Trader Joe's and a husband who does laundry.

The sad, sad part is that after a week, my crochet still looked like a five year old child was doing it. See below.

And then this morning, in a moment reminiscent of The Miracle Worker (the Patty Duke version), I cried out "WAHHHHTER". Well, no. Not really. But I could suddenly see the loops, tell the difference between front loop and back loop, see when I'd screwed up, see the final loops on the row and understand how to ch 1 and then turn and put the hook in the RIGHT loops. It was magic. See below (esp. nice neat sides). And then, toward the top, I took up double crochet, which also came out quite nicely. I think the Super Bowl will be about Granny Squares.

Sausalito is finished except for the final sleeve - body put together and crocheted edging done. It FITS. Awesome. I basted one sleeve on and decided it was fine at the current length, and so I await the British yarn.

Spouse and self weeded about half the front yard and all the vegetables today, for the first time since early December. It was nice to get some sun and find the on-purpose plants, and these are the best of the lot. Can't wait for spring!

And finally, the Teen Princess has noted her absence from my blog. So she offered herself in full costume.