not crochet:: longing for the melons of water

It’s no secret that I love sweet juicy watermelon.

watermelon wedges

For 20 years, when Frank has cut down a tree for firewood, if the starting wedge turns out nice, he brings them to me for garden art.

A little tea, a little sunshine, a Sunday morning on the deck, and a little paint.

Enough slices to share with the neighbor girls :)

not crochet:: the dark arts

In the past, you may have visited while I talked about trying to perform the dark arts

a.k.a. knitting.

I pretty much have come to the conclusion that skill with 2 needles is completely out of my range of mastery.

Basically, I suck at it.

I’ve tried videos, books, small & large needles, in-person lessons…all to no avail.

When I was but a teenage hooker, knitting was in fashion and crochet was considered old lady stuff and dorky and I was even told it was a waste of time.  Not to be deterred from my love of hooker therapy, I quietly made afghans and amigurumi toys for myself and my family secretly wishing the whole time that I could learn to knit so that I could make stuff that was loved by the mainstream.  I thought to myself, if only I could spend the gobs of money it takes on a knitting machine I would make the most fabulous stuff.  

In the meantime, crochet has made a comeback.  And that makes me an incredibly happy hooker.  So much so, that when I turned 40 I decided I would hide my skill no longer and I started this blog that blossomed into an obsession for all things crochet.  Really, I had no idea that you noticed I’m obsessed.  You have also now noticed that the reason I named my blog yarnchick40 had to do with my mid-life crisis and no longer hiding who I really was. 

Now, on occasion I can be found doing some retail therapy both online and in the real world.  And, on occasion I happen to glance longingly at knitting machines.  Those puppies are expensive! I have never justified the cost of my hobby enough to cough up that much cash for what I consider a toy.  Because really, hobbies for adults are like toys for children. Amirite?? Would all the 5 year-olds in the room please raise their mud-pie smeared chubby little fists clutching a lego?

So my story goes like this::

My co-workers and I were innocently surfing the web doing our jobs first thing in the morning, because no one checks personal email or facebook first thing when they get to work.  Lo and behold, my co-worker’s friend bought an old auction house in a tiny town nearby and was posting all the random stuff that was left in the building by the previous owners.  She was posting hundreds of pictures, and somewhere in the midst my co-worker piped up across the office, ‘hey, you wanna knitting machine?’

 I held my composure and did not start jumping up and down flailing my arms like the 5 y/o I am.  I nonchalantly  replied ‘umm, sure if it’s cheap’ knowing full well she could be asking $500 or more.  I was wrong.  We chatted by phone, my co-worker’s friend and me, and neither on of us had any idea what the stuff was worth or what pieces were there or if any of it would ever work.  She looked it up online and shot out a price of $250, I said ‘nah, not worth the risk’.   She decided to suggest $150.  Then I perked up.  I had that much left in my yarn fund. 

I was still undecided so I told her let me think a bit about it, because let’s face it I am NOT a gambler.  

But then I realized I NEED TO TAKE SOME CALCULATED RISKS or I would be boring FOREVER.  And then I called her back up and offered $100 to save it from the scrap metal dealer and she said ‘DEAL’.

THAT, my friends was the moment I was able to lose my composure and  start jumping up and down flailing my arms like the 5 y/o I am.

All the while, I thought I was going to be lucky if::

a.) all the parts were there for a knitting machine

b.) would it cost me another $500 to get all the missing stuff replaced

c.) was it even manufactured anymore

d.) a multitude of other crap

FYI, if you should ever buy a knitting machine know that they weigh what feels like 100# each.

…and then 24 hours went by like I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office because I wanted my lollipop and dammit I wanted it NOW

passap pinkie

 In the end, I have acquired the following::

Passap Duomatic “Pinkie” (minus the yarn cup and 1 blue stripper)

pieces

Brother KH-120 & KR-120 manual machine & ribber

Brother KH-860 & 2, count ‘em 2 KR-850 ribbers, a color changer,  floppy drive & punch card reader

a multitude (I like that word today) of punch cards, manuals, floppy disc patterns & spare parts

5 crochet hooks (damn dark arts STILL require the assistance of a hooker implement, booyah)

As of this week, I have spent over 30 hours of my sparse free time cleaning them, setting them up, searching for manuals, watching youtube videos and attempting to knit.

So far, I still suck at knitting.

brother cast on

I’ve cast on properly ONE time.  And then I promptly jammed the machine.

I’m just going to keep at it!

crochet:: an update and the next big thing

As I near the end of Frankie’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamghan…

fatd 11

of course I have to find another massive project to fill my winter months…

glider

Yes, I saved this glider from the dumpster.  I really need to quit doing stuff like that.

Frank helped me cut out the old seat webbing, and get it all cleaned up.

Now it’s time for me to design some yarnbombing.

I’m currently undecided if it will be acrylic yarn or nylon cord.  I’m leaning towards nylon cord for longevity, but the color choices aren’t as fun as I’d hope.  Hmmm, sounds like I need to do some retail therapy :)

Make today ridiculously amazing!

life:: the BIG PUSH 5.0

And on the 5th day Lisa said, “Let me be done with UFOs”.  And she was.  And it was good.

hook grips 1

I’ve had the clay and hooks waiting for waaaayyyy too long to be done.  So my son and his (good lawd please help me) girlfriend helped me make grips for the last batch of hooks.

hook grips 2

And BAM! UFO #5 was done.  With assistance.  Or assistants.  Which is it?  Or maybe it’s both?

Happy hooking anyway :)

crochet:: the BIG PUSH 4.0

In my little matchy-matchy crazy cat lady/hooker corner I shall need illumination.

I found this lamp headed for the dumpster.  I dove.  I saved it. I showed it some love.

lamp before

The shade was screen printed with a dorky surfer dude.  White spray paint covered him immediately.

I also rescued some yarn.  Who throws out VINTAGE MOHAIR Y’ALL??? Barbarians I tell ya.

mohair rescue

Although I have no friggin clue what to do with it, IT MUST LIVE! *suggestions are welcome*

And then I spent a little time on the deck.

lamp 2

Of course wine was involved.  I’m just playing with yarn.  Sheesh, it’s not like I’m operating heavy equipment, right?

lamp 1

And BAM! UFO #4 done :)

Have a ridiculously amazing day!

life:: the BIG PUSH 3.0

Last fall we had a hellacious storm blow through the prairie here and it knocked my barn star off my house.

What the hell is a barn star doing on a house you ask?   I don’t have a barn…I improvised.

I guess it was trying to tell me to repaint it so it didn’t look so shabby either.

barn star

BAM! UFO #3 done.

My boy Elroy just hung it back up above the door for me too. Woot :)

life:: the BIG PUSH 2.0

I kinda let several paint projects pile up recently, until I was whoosh, inspired.

Then I was like, PAINT ALL THE THINGS!!

You may remember my little cushion & footstool endeavors so that I will be an incredibly cool crazy old cat lady/hooker.

Well if I’m going to get all matchy-matchy here, I need a little notion box to be my catchall for ends, hooks, scissors, etc., right?

notion box

BAM! UFO #2 done :)

life:: when life gets in the way

I’m not a liar, I really planned on sharing more paint projects last weekend.  Life got in the way.  Important stuff.

But I’m back now and have lots of artsy stuffage to send you through the wifi.

Many, many moons ago I had cancer as we all know.  It made me decide to finish stuff and not let it languish in corners and closets.  Then I got lazy for awhile. Don’t we all?  The plethora of UFOs in my house got out of hand during that time, so I have been doing the BIG PUSH to get them cleared up and created before summer hits.

Summer means gardening, and my friend Martha wanted these garden markers like reaaaaallly badddddd.

garden markers

BAM! UFO #1 done :)

~champagne corks, wine corks, acrylic paint, bamboo skewers, clear spray paint~

Happy Saturday!

crochet:: yo yarnchick, where you been?

Painting.  Not crochet.

Yeppers, you heard right.  I’ve been doing a little painting.

paint 1

Had a little paint party with my besties, Barbie from Ta-Da! Workshop & Miss Cortini.

paint

OOOOOOOooooo, my last name starts with a G.  Betcha only about 3 of you knew that one :)

So friends, have a ridiculously amazing day and I will show you more of my painting projects this weekend.

Happy Friday!

~LV

life:: art & wine, bitches

Lately, the neighbor girls and I have been inspired to paint.

We started an Art & Wine Night.

It’s friggin fun!

art & wine 1

art & wine 7

Bottles of wine are consumed and we let the art take us where it will.

art & wine 6

We use plain old acrylics and inexpensive canvases.

art & wine 5

art & wine 4

art & wine 2

art & wine 3

art & wine 8

And then we create masterpieces.

At least we think so.

We also have a blast.

Next time…we will be painting large wooden letters to hang on our front doors.  It will rock.