Saturday, June 27, 2009

FO: Great Giant Granny Square Scrapghan Challenge of 2009

It's done!
(History here, here and here.)

The Details

Pattern: Purl Bee Granny Square Tutorial

Hook: size J (US)--because it's what I had on hand and it seemed to make about the right fabric with bulky yarn and worsted yarn doubled.

Yarns: A whole lot of different scraps, leftovers, and unallocated yarns from the stash, all bulky weight or doubled worsted weight.

Knit Picks Decadence (burgundy, brown); about 5 skeins each (1000 g total)
Knit Picks Andean Silk (olive--from traveling cables cardigan); about 4 skeins (200 g total)
Lion Brand Kool Wool (beige, dark green, red); about 9 sks beige/2 sks green/1 sk red (600 g)
Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool (brown--from Aran Cardigan); about 1/3 skein (75 g total)
Filatura Lanarota Puno (beige--from Mom's Christmas sweater 2007); about 4 sks (200 g)
WEBS wool tweed (banana); about 4 sks (400 g total)
Rowan Soft Tweed (green--from Tahoe); about 4 sks (200 g)
Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed (green--from Mossy); about 4 sks (200 g)
Lana Grossa wool (green--from Knitting For Peace messenger bag); about 6 sks (300 g)
Araucania Atacama (green mix); about 8 sks (400 g)
Cascade Eco Wool (brown--from Not So Sahara); about 1/2 sk (100 g)
Elsebeth Lavold Classic Al (green--from Opulent Raglan); about 6 sks (300 g)
Malabrigo Worsted (dark green--from Central Park Hoodie); about 1 sk (100 g)
Cascade 220 Wool (burgundy); about 8 sks (800g)--just for the border!

If my recollections and my math are correct, this adds up to 4875 grams of yarn, or about 10.7 pounds! This is a biiiiiiiig blanket. I have a king-sized bed, and as you can see, the blanket drapes well over the sides. Although it's hard to get an accurate measurement of something so stretchy, it measures at least 108 inches--or nine feet--square.

Yes, it was an enormous amount of crocheting. It was also very heavy and unwieldy toward the end. The border took me a whole week to finish, and it's only six rounds of double crochet.

But it's soft and pretty and used up a whole lot of yarn I would never have used otherwise, so all in all, I call it a great success!

Now, where did I put my knitting needles?

Friday, June 26, 2009


We have some unexpected guests in the garden. Only one is visible. Do you see her?

How about now?

She has several eggs incubating in a nest in that hanging plant, just a few feet from the back door, and hanging over the pool, which is always packed with noisy kids and dogs. She seems undisturbed by the chaos.

Although I'm not sure anyone would be intimidated by these...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So here's a strange story.

Have you read about the little boy whose parents are convinced he was a pilot during WWII? It's been in the news quite a bit lately, although the story has been going on for the past few years. Here's a link to one article about it.

A few nights ago, my parents were over for dinner and my father brought up the story. I told him that my younger son had told me some strange things when he was about a year and a half old. The first one, when he was just learning to talk, was: "I used to be an old man. Then I died. Then I was a baby again."

Shortly after that, we were driving in the car one day, and he suddenly pulled the pacifier out of his mouth and said: "There was a big earthquake. In 1953. A lot of people died." Then he put the pacifier back in his mouth. This was completely inexplicable, since we hadn't been discussing earthquakes, and as far as I know, he had never heard of an earthquake and certainly didn't know about dates yet.

My father, who is 81, said he didn't remember any earthquake in 1953 and asked whether I had ever researched it. I told him I hadn't, and didn't think about it again. This morning he called me and said, "Hey, you know that earthquake we were talking about? It happened. On August 12, 1953, a massive earthquake hit the Greek islands and killed hundreds of people. I'm looking at the pictures of it right now." So naturally I got online and looked it up myself. And indeed, it's true. A series of several large earthquakes struck the Greek islands between August 9 and August 12, 1953. The largest, on August 12, had a magnitude of 7.2, and several hundred people were killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands of buildings were completely destroyed. Ships from Israel (it was Israel's first aid mission) and Great Britain raced to the rescue, and several other countries sent aid, including the US, Norway, and Sweden.

My son is now nine years old and has no memory of an earthquake or of telling me about it. Anyone else have any strange stories to share?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Forest Petunia

I have some FOs to show you, including my Spring Folly project (Unmentionables) and a spring sweater I finished weeks ago but never got around to blogging. I'm almost done with my GGSSC; I just need to do the border. It's more than seven feet square now, and it's a beast! But my oh-so-generous children shared the plague with me, so I'm not up for live modeling today. Or even getting off the sofa. But I did do this:

About 170 grams and 570 yards of dk-ish weight handspun 2-ply. One ply is spun from my Petunia Roving. The other is some merino roving from that I spun quite a while ago. I don't know the name of the colorway, but it's a combo of dark green, burgundy, and blue. This is the third time I've attempted to find another colorway to ply it with, and I think I've finally found one I'm happy with!

I think this is destined to by my first Clapotis. But then, I've said that before.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Puuuuppies will make them sleep..."*

*With thanks to the Wicked Witch of the West

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Places, Everyone!

I promise I'll stop with the dog pictures. Soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Suppose It Was Inevitable

And I'm sure you all knew it.

It's official: he's staying. See the new collar and tag? We've renamed him Sam. I just couldn't see calling, "O'Malley! O'Malley!" across the park. He didn't respond to it anyway; it was the name the rescue group picked for him. He seems to like Sam better, or so I tell myself.

Could you say no to this face?

Or this one?

I held out for about four hours, which is probably some kind of record for me.

Both human and animal members seem equally content with the arrangement. Sophie hasn't chewed on a rawhide since Molly died almost a year and a half ago. Not once, until now.

And really, how could I turn down all this free fiber?

I now have dog hair to match every outfit.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Where I've Been

Not here, obviously.

If you've noticed the recent dearth of blog posts around here, it's because the end of the school year has slammed into my life with the impact of a freight train, and I'm still trying to get my feet back under me. You wouldn't think something as simple and predictable as school ending would wreak such havoc with life, but I've never been good with changes to my routine. The end of the year brings with it grade emergencies (see the last three posts), irregular school hours, band performances, open houses, volunteer appreciation events, teacher appreciation events, a flurry of birthday parties for kids with summer birthdays, summer day camp sign ups, summer music lesson sign ups, summer sports sign ups, returning and/or retrieving various items that have accumulated at home or at school but belong somewhere else, birthday party planning for my own kid (June 16th), and, inevitably, a tag-team of sick kids who need to stay home from school, supervised by yours truly, who really had other plans.

Oh, yeah, and this:

Admittedly, this is not really end-of-the-school-year related, and, also admittedly, is entirely my own fault. I really ought to know better than to look at the pet ads on craigslist.

His name is O'Malley (don't blame me; he came with it). He is staying with us while the rescue group that took him from death row at a local shelter (he was apparently hit by a car and has a healing broken leg) tries to find him a new home. The family that was originally fostering him had a medical emergency, and he had nowhere to go, so now he's here. I've been busy for the past few days with phone calls and paperwork and a meet-and-greet with my own dog, Sophie, to make sure they'd get along. He arrived here this afternoon.

This is him right now:

And this is Sophie:

I think they'll get along just fine.


I can just see the headline now:

Middle School Maniac Manages Minor Miracle!

No one was more stunned than I was, although he may have been a close second.

Friday, June 5, 2009

See What I Have To Put Up With?

My husband's comment on seeing me reading "Spin-Off" this morning: "Do you suppose sheep get fiber-myalgia?"