On Unbridled Nerdity, or I Swear This Conversation Actually Happened During Lunch One Day Last Week… She May Not Be Human

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Yeah, I know linguistic nerdity v. ignorance play is not technically craft-related, but it was really amusing, and a short, simple comic seemed like the perfect opportunity to draw the full comic using the tablet.  There’s a bit of a learning curve.  It’s always tricky when your movements are on one surface and the resulting action comes out somewhere else.  It’s almost like using a real pen, but not quite.  Also, the tablet itself is not of the highest quality, but I wasn’t quite ready to invest in a Cintiq, and woot.com was practically giving it away.  As it is, the thing is far and away my favorite impulse woot.

Anyway, I’m fairly pleased with the outcome of my computerized cartooning experiment this evening.  I promise there will be more actual crafting in the near future.


On Minor Miracles

There is a God, and she stocks fabric at JoAnn’s.
I managed to get back to the same store during lunch, and there was my cotton lining fabric, in all its brown and white cute-ness.
It took a good deal of restraint to resist buying up all they had, but I did pick up two yards when one would almost certainly do, because at this point I have zero faith in my ability to not screw up something else.
As an added bonus, I made the whole trip in 45 minutes, so I didn’t blow my entire lunch break on the outing.

On Properly Measuring Fabric, or Easily Avoidable Catastrophes

I finally got started on the baby thing tonight (I am avoiding project details on the off chance my brother finds this blog before the baby shower).  I should have been more wary when the denim outer layer couldn’t be laid out exactly as shown on the pattern.  Karen dismissed it as a dumb pattern error, and we thought nothing more of it.

I finished cutting the denim and started on the hopelessly adorable cotton print inner, only to find that no matter which way I turned the large pieces, I couldn’t seem to get them to fit.  Sure enough, I go back and check the pattern… it calls for 60″.  I measure the fabric in my hand… 44″.  (The critical piece really requires 45″.)

The JoAnn website shows they still have the same pattern… but in the wrong color.  I have a sneaking suspicion I will be spending a good deal of the next week tearing through the baby fabric in every craft store in town, looking for a minor miracle.

In the mean time, I am putting the scissors away and going to sleep, because at this point, sleep is more productive than crying.

On Birthday Blankets

I have had this hankering to crochet a blanket lately.  I blame my mother.  She picked crochet back up around the time I was first learning, and now that she’s retired, has been turning out blankets and shawls at an alarming rate.  Unfortunately, I do not have a new home with lots of beds and rocking chairs to make throws for, and I already have an oversupply of blankets thanks to Mom’s t-shirt quilting binge last year.  I already had a more involved sewing project planned for my niece-to-be, and Mom already presented my brother and sister-in-law with a hand-made baby blanket at Christmas.  The nearest immediate family birthday is coming up soon, but is – you guessed it – my mother’s, and she needs another crocheted blanket like a pastry chef needs a cupcake.

But wouldn’t you know, my Aunt Pagie (yup – my namesake) has a mid-February birthday, and has had a pretty crazy year, so I thought she could do with a little extra birthday cheer in the form of a cozy lap blanket.  So I hit up the pattern library on Ravelry.com and stumbled across this wonderful tropical flower-y pattern, ideal for fighting off the Idaho winter.  February’s birthstone is Amethyst, so I naturally went to Hobby Lobby in search of soft, purple yarn.

Over the last couple of years I’ve discovered two particularly wonderful kinds of yarn for my crochet projects.  Yarn Bee makes a variegated wool blend called Snowflake that isn’t quite worsted weight, but it is unbelievably soft and warm, and comes in the most beautiful combinations of colors.  Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice yarns are my favorite all-purpose yarn.  They are super soft, don’t unravel, and I’ve been able to use them for everything from small amigurumi projects (size G hooks) to sweaters and blankets that call for a size J hook.  They seem to come in every color I could possibly want, so I picked up a purple, beige, and two blues (navy and sapphire) to go with the purple “Whimsy” Snowflake.*

Each flower uses three colors, so I mapped out a plan for a 5×5 arrangements of flowers, with the variegated yarn in every other flower, and no purple in the outermost row of any of the flowers along the edge of the blanket, because I then planned to make a trim row around that outer edge starting with purple.

As per the warning on Ravelry, the pattern is written in Australian terminology, so I may or may not have heavily modified the design, but I was quite happy with the finished product:

…as was Aunt Pagie.

*I promise I’m not in any way being compensated for all the brand name-dropping.  I just like what I like.