crochet:: something new…sari silk yarn

I’ve told myself time and time again to STOP BUYING novelty yarn!!

But I don’t listen to me all that well.

sari silk yarn

Isn’t this stuff absolutely divine??

sari silk yarn 3

sari silk yarn 2

I’ve started a few scarves as Christmas gifts with this beautiful stuff.

sari silk yarn scarf

sari silk scarf 2

sari silk scarf 3

It’s scooped up threads at the sari factory spun into yarn.  Yay for recycling and upcycling.

And that my friends, inspired me to do a little facelift on the old blogster.

Whatcha think?

crochet:: my masterpiece is complete

And the funniest part?

I have stats.

21 months

145 colors

254+ hours

16,747 (approx) yards of yarn

And the most impressive stat of all…

244,896 stitches

Boom.

palette afghan before

~before washing~

palette afghan

~after 1st shrinking wash~

palette afghan lexi

We’re going to give it the 2nd shrinking wash today.  I fully expect that it will have decreased by 1/3 in size…but we absolutely love it.

This has been my ALL-TIME FAV afghan ever.

And I don’t usually say things like that, because let’s face it afghans take forever to make and if the stitch, yarn, or pattern is a bore/hassle/frustration, I’m just satisified the experience is over.  This one was pure bliss all the way around.

I loved the yarn:: Knit Picks Palette (they don’t pay me btw, but they have been PIVOTAL in changing my mind regarding fibre choice & I will most definitely purchasing from them again.  Just sharing my personal thought as a customer.)

I loved the stitch:: ch, sl st, dc (can you say mindless so I can watch seasons of Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, and tons of football??)

I loved the pattern:: 14 round grannies/join as you go (I could always keep a square or 2 in my purse with me)

The finished product is exactly what I was looking for.  Warm and squishy, soft and cozy, and my very first large-scale 100% wool blanket.

I love it when a project is successful. I’ve decided this is a family heirloom.

My son asked me how much time & money I spent on it.  So I told him & showed him my stats.

Then he asked:: Why didn’t you just buy a new comforter?

He is no longer in the will.

crochet:: i don’t wear ‘em, but i sure make a lot of them

HATS ~ HATS ~ HATS

The kiddos love them some hats.

 Making them keeps me out of trouble.

Because we all know I need supervision.

 Like you should see the dress I bought!!  

I’m gonna get it dry cleaned, and I am going to wear the $hit out of that dress.  With high top sneakers and a new tattoo…and maybe some fingerless mitts with a matching shawl…check, check, check iiiitttttt ;)

dress

Blamo!

It’s like my own super hero costume!

I found a crazy yarn chick’s hat that might go well with it ~ check that out on my fb page!

So anyway, back to the matter of hats.

Also Blamo!

my little pony 3

my little pony 2

minion hat crochet

my little pony 1

There are some super kids enjoying my newest creations.

crochet:: i met Tamara

If you know Tamara from Crochet With Tamara, then you know she is a very gracious online friend.

We’ve been virtually running into each other for years and when I heard about the Kansas Barn Sale last year, I knew I needed to go meet her and check out that sale.  So we met up at the hotel the night before, had a great dinner, crocheted together a bit, and hung out by the pool.  She introduced us to our new friends Susie & Kory, and we got to chat with Tamara’s minion model John.  It was an amazing and fun getaway weekend for us.

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We were ready to roll to the Kansas Barn Sale

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And then there was a 2 mile long traffic jam so we parked the car in a ditch like many others and walked the remaining mile through a wheat field.

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This was our first glimpse of the mayhem.  IT WAS HEAVENLY CHAOS!!!

Really, the photos don’t do it justice.  It was loud and crowded and colorful and stunning and the enormity was amazing.

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And then I found Tamara’s bright and beautiful booth.

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Of course a selfie was in order.

I brought home this rockin pair of fingerless mitts from her treasure trove of yarny goodness.

Thank you Tamara from the bottom of my heart for making it a great time, you are a sweet & wonderful person! :)

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I also picked up some jelly from the girls next door to Tamara, and some wool dryer balls.

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Then I did some early Christmas shopping and spent ALL my mad money :)

 ‘Kip’ & I made our long trek back to the car and then homeward.

Is it just me, or when a man wears a sweater like that, he should be named Kip, right?

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Our weekend getaway ended way too soon.

It was such a wonderful experience to finally meet my online friends in person.  Heartwarming and validating and inspirational and I can’t explain just how gratifying it was.

It makes me want to retire from the rat race to make art & connect with exceptional people full-time.

I would love to meet each and every one of you exceptional people that I have met through blogging ~ THANK YOU for being a part of my life!

Oh and PS ~ I highly recommend the Kansas Barn Sale as well.  It’s held in the Wichita, Kansas area every year in October.  Check it out if you can :)

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:: hooker storage

My friend Jane over at Rainbow Junkie Corner makes these great crochet hook cases and shared a free pattern recently.

hook case 3

As we all know  I love rainbows of yarn, so when I saw it I knew I had to make one.

As we all know also,  I have way too many WiPs going on to make the rainbowy one for myself so I made this one for Martha’s birthday.  She loves all that is blue &white.

Yeah, I was entirely too lazy to fill it with hooks for a photo shoot.  I need to work on that.

hook case 2

A BIG THANKS goes out to Jane ~ fun, quick & easy pattern for a lovely useful object :)

crochet:: an update and the next big thing

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

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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!