Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Final Stretch of 2021

 My first Temp blanket is on March 30th.  I splurged on some nickel hooks from Furls Crochet and I can't wait for those to come in.  I've also splurged on some more yarn - more Caron cakes from Michaels.  Michaels really pissed me off because I ordered 2 cakes of one color and they cancelled them, but I only got credit for 1 because they were buy 2 get 1 free.  I hope I like the Crystal Cakes texture because I bought 6 cakes that didn't get cancelled (Glittering Moonlight and Starry Night).  I also got 4 cakes of another color of the Big Cakes ( Boysenberry) and 3 cakes of Cotton Cakes (Peach Blossom).   I'm not sure what I'm going to use any of these for, but they are all rated 4 Medium/worsted weight so there are definitely unlimited options.  

I started my first Big Comfy Sweater in Rainbow Jelly and I'm almost to the point where I will be casting on for the sleeves.  I bought another smaller set of Denise Needles (the Love2Knit set of size 5-9) so that I could begin before I get my Christmas present, but then I found a triangular Prym needle at Michaels that I like almost better because it has the knob at the tip to help move the yarn from needle to needle easier.  I'm making my size, a Small, so it's going really quickly.  Jo's will take considerably more time because it's a much larger size.  I just hope the small fits me.  It will be a kick in the face if it's too small.  It's supposed to have quite a bit of ease, which is why I decided not to overestimate the size I wear.  Usually I buy up at least 1-2 sizes.  But that doesn't always look flattering.  I'm hoping to have the front done and the back going by the end of this weekend.  I have to work on Sunday, but I should be able to work on it tomorrow and Saturday.  Friday I will be driving during the day and working at night, so no time to knit too much.  We do have some time before our last school where we have to kill time in the parking lot before we go in.  The trick is to be at a point in the sweater where it's even stockinette for a good long while so I don't have to stop to measure or try to guess when I needed to do the cast on for the sleeves.  The sweater is made of only 2 pieces, a front and back.  So the body up to the armpits is all stockinette after 3" of ribbing at the bottom.  I can't wait to wear this sweater.   The best part is that it's acrylic so I can wash & dry the heck out of it and the worst thing that happens is a little pilling.  My other sweaters that I've knit are made of non-superwash wool that I'm downright afraid to wash, so I've worn them until they needed a wash and then set them aside.  One day soon I will figure out how to handwash them with the SOAK wash I bought years ago for the purpose of washing these awesome sweaters.  In the meantime, I'm embracing the acrylic in my life. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Progress not Perfection

 So the first temperature blanket for 2004 is up to March 14th.  I like how it's coming out, but the gauge was off so it's going to be closer to 80x90" instead of 90x90".  I've decided to keep going with one afghan at a time instead of being partially thru 3 of them at the same time.  I may also use a different stitch pattern or technique for the 3rd one since the single crochet is quite monotonous and I'm probably going to be sick of doing it by the time I finish the 2nd one, which I already have 1/12th completed so I can't very well change that one at this point.   

I did get my Caron Cakes this week.  Four Anniversary cakes and 8 Big cakes.  I plan to use the bulky weight yarn to make afghans, probably my first Tunisian Crochet project.  And the worsted weight is going to be sweaters for me & Jo, if I can start them in January.  I'm hoping to have at least one of the Temp afghans done by then so that I can start the sweaters and have a block of time to devote to them every day like I'm doing with my current crochet schedule.  In the middle of December I should be back to working just 40 hours instead of averaging 54, so I should be able to spend a couple hours a day working on the yarny projects in my life.  I really want to get the sweaters done so we can wear them this year.  I'm going to use a pattern from Red Heart written by Lorna Miser (who used to own Lorna's Laces back when it was a great yarn company).  It's called Big Comfy Sweater.  Since I will be making it in a size Small and 3X, I will probably make my own first to see how it goes, since the size small will obviously go quickly.  I actually had started this sweater for Jo in a size 2X but I don't think it will fit her and the yarn she picked is Coboo by LionBrand and the stitches aren't very dense so it will be stretched to the point of being see-thru - not a good look.  

I got out my spinning wheel but I'm having no luck remembering how to spin the wool roving I bought.  I need to watch some more videos and maybe reach out to the company I bought the wheel from to see if they can send me a copy of the manual that came with it.  The video I used to watch different spinning wheels being used has since been taken down, so I have to invest some time into finding helpful videos on my wheel.  

I almost bought a Cricut that is on sale cheaper than I've ever seen, but the fact that I've barely used my Silhouette Cameo 4 made me pause.  Where would I put a Cricut?  So I'm somewhat relieved that I stopped myself. I just spent a couple hours downloading files on DesignBundles.net with all the credits I've been ignoring all year.  I need to use them up so that I can cancel that subscription. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

One Month Down

 I finished the month of January 2002 on my 2 Temperature blankets.  If I concentrate on what I’m working on I can get a row done in 15 minutes. I’m much slower if I’m distracted by the tv or eating at the same time. 


My order of a drop spindle, 13 hanks of wool roving and a Niddy Noddy came in today, which was exciting until I tried to spin and immediately got frustrated. Then I tried the cheap Tunisian crochet hooks I got from Amazon. Don’t buy them. The metal straight ones are fine but the bamboo flex hooks are rough and tore apart my acrylic yarn. I did like the idea of Tunisian crochet so I’m glad I have a couple books on the way. 

For my Christmas present from my husband I splurged on a set of short Denise knitting needles, a set of Tunisian crochet hooks, a set of short cords and a set of long cords.  I love those needles. I own a couple sets but they are misplaced in different projects. I’ve learned now to keep things together so that shouldn’t be such a problem going forward. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Temperature Blast Off

 Tonight I started my 2004 temperature blankets.  I’m making two of them as graduation gifts for my niece and younger daughter.  Eventually I will start the 2002 version for my older daughter’s 20th birthday gift. I ran to Joanns for more yarn since my online order was delayed and I realized I would need a lot more yarn to complete 3 of these afghans.  Tomorrow the huge rope basket I ordered from Amazon to hold the 10 colored skeins should arrive.  I’m going to need to dedicate 2 hours a day on these to get them done in 6 months.  It takes about 20 minutes per row and I need to do 2 rows on each blanket each day to get them done in time for gifting in June.  I’m not sure that I can work any faster on single crochet.  I really love the Clover Armour crochet hooks I bought.  I’ve been collecting a lot of crochet hooks lately.  But the Clover ones are just about perfect.  In my order from We Crochet I have 2 complete sets coming that will hopefully be useable.  


I can’t wait for my order from Knit Picks to arrive. I have roving and a drop spindle coming.  I haven’t spun yarn in at least 8 years so I’m not sure if my spinning wheel still works. That’s why I bought the drop spindle kit … to be sure I can spin in either case. It came with a drop spindle, a niddy noddy, and 3 batches of roving.  I also got 10 packs of bare superwash wool to spin.  I can’t wait to get that going. Maybe working on that on thanksgiving which is when I will next have time. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Project Overload

 I’ve been shopping like crazy.  In the past few days I’ve gotten a huge order of wool fiber and a new drop spindle, yarn for several temperature blankets, patterns for pj pants I want to sew…. I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff as well.  Oh a C2C Afghan kit, 2 skeins of sock yarn for beanies…. The list keeps growing. I've decided to make the girls Temperature Blankets for the year they were born.  Depending on how it goes, I might make 3 simultaneously so that I have Courtney & Melanie's done for their graduation from High School this year, and Johanna's for her 20th birthday in June.  It's a lot of crocheting - 365, actually for the graduation ones they will be 366 (leap year in 2004) rows long and about 270 stitches wide.  It's actually pretty cool because my girls were only born 2 years apart in the same city, and their temperature ranges are different.  In one year we didn't get into the single digits for winter, and the other year we never broke 90 in the summer.  Courtney & Melanie were both born in April 2004, so I only had to research the temps for 2 blankets once.  Then I was on a roll and decided to make one for Johanna as well, so I looked up all the temperatures for 2002 too.  I swatched the Caron One Pound yarn I had on hand while I wait for my Joann's order to arrive with the actual project yarn and determined that I get 3 stitches to the inch and about 4 rows per inch, which means I'm gonna aim for a 90" square afghan for each of them.  I have about 7 months to complete them, so I need to work 2 rows per afghan per day to stay on track.  I just hope I don't get sick of the project and give up.  Sometimes I get into a slump and decide to give up rather than soldier on and finish it.  Since these are pretty hard deadlines, I hope I can stay motivated and get them done.  6 rows a day doesn't seem like much, but that's because I'm not staring at a seemingly endless single crochet project.  This does mean that my current projects of my rainbow afghan and the Christmas afghan are probably going to be put away in order for me to start another project.  For those keeping track, 3 temperature blankets is about 296,460 stitches without any border to speak of.  This might be an impossible feat, but I'm going to challenge myself to stick with it until it's done.  I'm excited to get started but the yarn is on the way to me.  

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Certified!

 Well, yesterday was another milestone for me.  I passed my PTCB certification to become a Certified Pharmacy Tech.  I can honestly say I have no idea how I passed.  I feel like I guessed about 40% of the time.  Unlike the A+ certification when I worked in tech support, or my NY State Board Licensing exams for Nail Tech or Esthetics, I went in feeling wholly unprepared and went thru the whole exam thinking I had no idea what I was doing.  I don't have a good feeling about it for my co-workers who have only been working in the pharmacy for a few months.  They are younger and college students, so more in the mindset of studying and memorizing, so that might save them.  Clearly the class they had us take thru work was useless.  If I hadn't crammed with 2 study guides for the past couple weeks, there is no way I would have passed.  I will find out my actual score in a couple weeks when it posts online, but for now I'm just relieved that I've passed and can put that behind me for the next 22 months until I have to renew my certification.  

Now that studying is done, I'm looking forward to getting back to cleaning my room and office and getting some sewing projects done.  I bought the H2O 2GO pattern and I'm just waiting for my waterproof canvas to come in so that I can either find something coordinating in my stash or go shopping for something that matches.  My online orders seem to be getting lost in oblivion lately.  I still haven't gotten my glasses or my Cirkul orders from 2 weeks ago.  I want to do some other bags/pouches for my planner supplies as well.  I might look up which patterns I want to use tonight.  They have to come with youtube tutorials or I'm gonna struggle.  


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Cue the Confetti!

 Today I went to Lenscrafters and got my eyes checked.  Unsurprisingly, my eye sight has gotten worse in both eyes in the past 2 years.  I thought I was going to need bifocals this time around, but I actually am fine with better distance lenses.  The doctor couldn't figure out what the last eye doctor was trying to do with my prescription.  But I opted to order contact lenses from them, and then I came home and ordered some glasses from Pair Eyewear that I've been seeing non-stop in my FB feed lately.  Yes, I am a sucker for Sesame Street, so I got The Sesame Family frames, as well as Confetti, white hearts, stone grey and teal toppers and a pair of Black Larkin frames to wear with all of them.  I hope I like them, but if I don't they have a 30 day money back guarantee that I will definitely be taking advantage of for the price.  

After the eye doctor, Jo & I went to the casino and played the slots for a while.  She won some and I broke even, which I consider a win given my track record of losing every time in the past year. Now I need to pre-Monday and prepare for another long week since Ashley will be on vacation this week.  

My exam is scheduled for a week from Monday, so I've got to study viciously all week to try to get at least a 75 on the exam.  My practice tests have been coming in around 70 percent so I'm really starting to freak out about it.  

My Stalogy notebook is working beautifully.  I can't wait to update it each day.  And my stickers from Planner Kate came in.  

Well, back to studying. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Proud of myself

 Tonight I was getting ready to spend a ridiculous sum of money on stickers for my planner because they came in a handwritten font of someone I follow on Instagram and love her neat printing.  I decided to try to make the stickers myself using my Silhouette Studio software, but I was struggling.  I looked up and watched a 15 minute video and not only did it teach me the quickest way to make script stickers for my planner, it showed me that the woman's font was readily available for purchase online.  So for $8 and a couple hours of time, I saved myself potentially hundreds of dollars.  I looked at the store I was planning to buy from and jotted down ideas of the stickers I might have purchased as well as ideas of things I always write down in my planner, like my work schedule and To Do List.  I made 3 pages of stickers  that have about 2 months of daily headers and to do list headers, a couple months of work schedule stickers, and a week of other random stickers I use maybe once or twice a week.  I still placed a decent sized order because there were other items that I wanted from that shop.  But like I've said before, printable stickers are the way to go for me because I'm afraid to use up stickers I pay for physical product.  I went back thru my etsy orders and I think I paid $80 or $90 for an order from Once More with Love and I couldn't tell you what happened to that batch of stickers, except that I know for sure I didn't use them.  They are somewhere safe, and I'll probably come across them in the next couple weeks as I clean up my planning areas of my bedroom and craft room.  One of the things I did buy was a reusable sticker book with the silicone sheets to stick your leftover or unused stickers in.  I think that will help me plan out what I want to do before I actually start sticking permanent stickers into my planner and then regretting it.  I can't wait to set up next week with my new stickers and the Tab Tapes from Lauren Phelps Designs on Sunday.  I need to find some images to print onto acetate and vellum to decorate too.  Daksina is a bad influence.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

All I want is to sleep thru the night!

 I can't remember the last time I actually slept thru the night.  I wake up every night around 1-3am and can't get back to sleep for a couple hours, then sleep right until the last minute before I'm late for work.  And of course I don't want to wake up my family, so I try not to get up and do anything productive that will make a lot of noise, like anything on my to-do list that I didn't have time or energy to do after work yesterday.  Like cutting stickers (the Cameo 4 is LOUD), printing post-it notes (me moving around in the craft room is never quiet), hanging up my clean laundry, etc.  I could go down and work on my puzzle in the dining room but it's at a point that there are no easy sections to put together, and I don't feel up to being frustrated.  So I'll probably just put on an episode of something true-crime from YouTube and try to go back to sleep.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Paper Addict

 In case you weren't already aware, I am a paper addict and hoarder.  I have countless notebooks, reams of different weights and sizes of paper, post-its to last well into the next decade.  I'm also addicted to other forms of stationery, but that's a subject for another day.  This morning I wasn't able to stay asleep, so I got up early and proceeded to use my brand new printer for the first time, printing stickers I bought on Etsy a couple years ago for relatively inexpensive.  13 different files cost me a whopping $14 and change.  Each file is 4 "sheets" of stickers on a letter or A4 page of sticker paper.  Now the artist prints and sells the physical sticker sheets for about $3 each, or $12 a page!  I wanted to get some other designs but there's no way I'm paying those prices.  I don't know how people afford to buy stickers on 3.5 x 5" sheets for $2-4 each.  When I was the only one of my friends who had a Silhouette machine, I felt guilty charging my friends $1 per page for stickers to be print & cut.  And I would be afraid to use the stickers because then the money would be wasted, even though I could always see them in my planner, my hoarder psyche wouldn't be able to get beyond the fact that the stickers were gone from their sheet and therefore "wasted."   For that reason, I prefer to buy sticker files that I can print and cut myself, so I feel free to use them up because I have an infinite supply.  So, I guess I will have to make do or do without, huh?

While I was bored and awake, I also shopped on Amazon, which is dangerous to my wallet.  I picked out some vellum paper I can print on with my printer, 5x7 and 8.5x11 photo paper, 5x8 blank index cards, and a construction paper organizer that will fit my 12x12 cardstock and scrapbook paper pads.  I also splurged on a Hydroflask water bottle, promising myself that I will start drinking water instead of coke starting next weekend on the 13th (4 weeks after my birthday, just an easy target date to remember.) I will save in soda what I spent on the ridiculously priced water bottle in about 3-4 weeks.  The main thing is that I will have saved my teeth and midsection a lot of acid and sugar.  I picked a 32 ounce one with a straw top so that I can sip at work.  At home I only drink Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea, and I don't plan to change that.  

So, once I was awake and had spent a good chunk of change.  I printed & cut about 20 pages of stickers and some sticky notes I downloaded from free websites.  Peanuts Planner Co approved me for their facebook group, so I printed some of their calendar and list post-it notes.  My post-its are quite old.  I am expecting white post-its in todays shipment from Amazon which will let me print some other floral notes I have downloaded from PrintableKate.com.  I just love that my planner is looking somewhat like Daksina's at this point, with only the first daily page filled in so far.  She has a great system that I envy because it's so beautiful and functional.  I don't follow any other B6 Stalogy creators because I want to stick to one format that will work for me.  If I give this a go and it's not right, I might look at other content creators to see what they are doing differently.  The one exception is that I've briefly looked at Brandy Michelle Plans because Daksina has done collabs with her, but I'm not turned on by her style.