Friday, May 30, 2014

Let's Do a Crochet-A-Long!

Or the alternate post title would be...Let's Tease a Friend Over the Internet! :)

I've just barely started a new blanket tonight. It's another pattern by Donna Hammell, who was the creator of the Steelers pattern I used back in 2010. This blanket will actually be going to my friend, Tammy, back home, because she asked me to make it for her. It's a Tennessee Titans logo.

My husband has generously given me "permission" to make this blanket for two reasons: the Titans are in a different division than the Steelers, and it won't be living in our house when it's done. I wonder if there are any Baltimore Ravens fans out there that need a blanket made!! :)

As with the Steelers pattern, if anyone is interested in getting it. hit me up with a comment and be sure to leave your email address for me.

I'm going to post pictures every other week or so as it goes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reworked My First Crocheted Blanket

Way back when I first re-learned how to crochet (trust me, it makes sense), one of the thing my husband wanted was a black and gold blanket because he's a Steelers fan.

My grandma taught me to crochet when I was a kid but I got bored with it because all she was going to teach me was the granny square. I got bored and didn't start up again with crocheting in about 1999 or 2000. That was when I had to relearn it and basically learn it ALL.

So anyway, I made this blanket...50 black grannies and 50 yellow grannies. All of them had a white border and they were whip stitched together. Through various washings and at least 1, if not 2, ship deployments, this thing kept falling apart at the seams. It just wouldn't stay together.

"You can't get rid of that," he'd exclaim, seemingly in shock that I would suggest such a heinous thing.

"But it is falling apart. I can't keep repairing it. There are so many holes in it," I'd tell him. "Let me make you a new one."

He was like Linus where that first blanket was concerned. "You can make me a new one, but  you put THAT ONE up in the attic. I'm keeping it." So yeah, I tucked it away and for the most part, forgot about it's sad existence in a vacuum seal bag upstairs in a hot, dark attic. Until one day...

...I was repairing a friend's daughter's blanket that I'd made for her. And all of a sudden, it hit me...I could use the join as you go method for grannies and repair my husband's original blanket!

I went upstairs to the attic and brought it down, and I started ripping into that sucker like Kim Kardashian going through fake eyelashes. I took all the original white borders off the squares and was left with the black and yellow squares. Thanks to some really nice people on Ravelry who sold me some skeins of a discontinued yarn that I started with, I was able to finally complete the re-do of the blanket tonight!

This bad boy now covers slightly more than a queen sized bed! The rows of grannies have 2 rows of white yarn. and then 1 row of the discontinued Lion Brand black suede. Because of the black borders, it made this blanket much larger. I did, however, leave off one entire row of 10 squares because I just couldn't take looking at this thing anymore! But it is done and it's much stronger now than anything that was whip stitched together.

And the husband is quite happy to have his original Steelers blanket back.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mark Another Thing Off the Bucket List!

This Memorial Day weekend, we went hang gliding on the sand dunes in Nags Head, NC, thanks to the beginner lesson from Kitty Hawk Kites.

"A typical Beginner Dune Hang Gliding Lesson is three hours long and starts with check-in (1/2 hour prior to class time). Each class has no more than five students per instructor. You then have about one hour of ground school including a training video.

"After ground school, your class proceeds to the dunes via a scenic walkway. It’s about a 200 yard walk to the base of the dunes. Once you have climbed to the the top of the dunes (the instructor carries the glider) you begin your solo hang gliding flights. The instructor is there to help. He/she will help you get into the harness, provide any last minute instructions, and help you launch.

"You will run into the wind, and depending on the wind conditions (and your weight and skill), you can travel anywhere from 30 to 100+ yards at 5 to 15 feet above the sand. Each trip down the dune is termed a “flight”. The standard beginner lesson includes 5 flights. You might not land on your feet the first or even your second attempt."

We "flew" four times. On flights 1, 2 and 4, I slid in on my stomach and laughed my ass off each time. On flight 3, I landed on my feet, baby! It was really all so much fun! I haven't laughed like that in a long time.

  • I want to take a painting class, a la Bob Ross.
  • I want to go hang gliding in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
  • I want to see the archaeological dig at the Jamestown Settlement.
  • I want to go to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • I want to see KISS in concert, in the make-up. Ooooh, they are coming back to our area in August, so we are going to see them again!
  • I will get a job at some kind of animal shelter, and I'm going to be damn good at whatever I end up doing there. 
  • I will get at least one old, beat up piece of wood furniture, save it from going to the landfill, and refinish it. I've got another piece to start this weekend. :)
  • I'd like to go on an LCAC ride with my husband before he transfers to his new command. I had to cross this one off finally, because Shane left this command already. This bummed me out. I never got a ride on an LCAC out on the bay. Some of his family members did, and even though I offered to take any number of half days off from work, I never got to ride. 
  • I will go to see the Booth Trail in 2013. 
  • I will go to Natural Bridge, VA and the Shenandoah Valley and stay in a cabin in the woods
  • I will go to Hiddenite Gems, an emerald mine open to the public, in NC. 
  • I will go to the Richmond Zoo and the Virginia Zoo (they have done a lot of remodeling and I haven't been there for a several years). 
  • I will go to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 
  • I want to go to Tokyo some day. I would like to go to Hiroshima as well, but I've heard that Americans are unofficially unwelcomed there, and I don't blame the Japanese people if that's true. 
  • I want to see the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt. 
  • I'd love to see the Mona Lisa (she's in the Louvre in Paris) and The Scream (there are a couple, two of them are in Munich). 
  • I want to go to London, and maybe look for the TARDIS and the Doctor. 
  • I want to go to San Diego to see my best friend, go to Comic Con, wear a costume, take lots of photos, find an awesome looking Spider-Man so I can give him a hug for just being Spidey, and then walk a beach on the Pacific Ocean, looking for shells. 
  • I'd like to go to a taping of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" if we ever go to California. 
  • I want to have at least one great, wildly creative crochet pattern published in a real book somewhere. 
  • I'd like to have our yard be featured for our Halloween decorations with a local tv station, so people might understand you don't have to spend big bucks on decorations and still put together a great display (I say this because we don't go as crazy for Christmas decorations). 
  • I'd like to win a challenge on Craftster. 
  • I'd like to compete on Craft Wars on TLC. I had to cross this one off too, because I'm pretty sure it's no longer on the air. I can't find any updated information on it. 
  • I will finish the Jedi costume finally and I will join the Rebel Legion
  • I will finish the doll house I started several years ago. 
  • I want to go to Ohio and see Ralphie Harper's house from The Christmas Story. 
  • I want to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert, and maybe even the Bangles if I ever get to California. 
  • I want to see the Barenaked Ladies again, the next time they come to Hampton Roads.
  • I want to take my friends to the Virginia Safari drive through park in Stanton, VA.