January 2006 Archives

Size: 50 inches x 70 inches
Colors: Claret (Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick)
Pattern: My own
Hook: N
Date: January 2006

Wow! This was a warm project to work on! Thank goodness it's not summer or fall! It was shipped to Greg a few days ago - just in time to use it for a few weeks before it gets warm and muggy in Virginia.

15 skeins wasn't enough! I needed 3 more. Yikes! The cost of the yarn alone was $116.00. Well, Greg's comfort is worth it.

Bill had the gall to say Greg and Lauren will probably end up in San Diego and won't ever use the blanket after this winter! Harrumph. In that case, I'll ask for the blanket back and re-use the yarn for other projects! So there!

This blanket started off following an afghan pattern called Textured Sampler (which I adjusted to be longer), but quickly became a collection of textured stitches that worked well with the yarn thickness.

Teddy Bear Baby Blanket - Blues, White


Size: 32 inches x 40 inches
Colors: Denim (medium blue), Pastel Blue, White (Lion Brand Pound of Love)
Pattern: Teddy Bear Baby Blanket - Design by Cheryl Lambert
Hook: G
Date: January 2006

Back to the 2 babies being born in hubby's family... The unknown gender baby was born earlier this month - a boy. The second baby is a boy, due in April. The 2 layette sets I made few months ago (the lavender gender-confusing one and the supposedly gender-neutral-but-really-looks-like-it's-for-a-girl one) aren't cutting it now. So, I decided to make baby-boy-color baby blankets, which (for these parents) means blues and white. (I was so relieved when I finished this blanket! Blue is not one of my favorite colors.)

This Teddy Bear Baby Blanket is a custom design. The teddy bear graph with 4 rows of colored squares came from a pattern in my collection (Lacy Crib Cover, Hooked on Crochet, Sept.-Oct. 1989), but the rest I made up as I crocheted the blanket.

More sock yarn

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While surfing Crochetville during lunch today, I heard that Herrschners has a weekly yarn sale, and I just had to look...! I ended up buying 7 skeins of Patons Kroy Sock Yarn at $1.97 (regularly $4.29) each in Blazing Blue (2), Grass Green (3), and Orangina (2). Over the past few days, I've been itching to make more socks, but the second "boy" baby blanket must be finished first!



Yikes! I just looked at the site again and discovered that more colors are also marked at $1.97 each (looks to be the regular price, not specifically a sale price)! So, I've ordered 7 more skeins in Mellow Yellow (2), Newport Tan (2), and Pink Power (2) - plus another of the on-sale Grass Green (1).

[5:00pm February 8, 2006] All arrived today, except the Newport Tan which is "not available" according to the packing slip. That's OK with me - the bright colors are what I really wanted!

Scar tissue at blood donation site


I've been regularly donating blood at the American Red Cross since December 2002. In July 2003, I learned I'm a "Baby Donor" since I have CMV Negative blood which is given to babies, burn victims, AIDS patients, etc.

I attempted to give blood on Saturday, without much success. Unusual too since I've been called a "fast bag filler" more than once. After 20 minutes of me squeezing and/or rotating the rubber ball and the technician gently pushing the needle here and there to try to get blood to flow at more than a crawl, the blood stopped flowing when the pint-size bag was less than half full. Bummer! And, a partial bag can't be used.

Scar tissue at the donation site inside my right elbow has been slowly building up. (There is no usable vein in my left arm.) I've asked at least 3 technicians whether I'll be able to continue to donate blood and none of them have wanted to tell me I should stop. So, apparently there isn't a rule against donating blood (or attempting to) if you have build-up of scar tissue.

I've searched Google and checked the Red Cross website. I've been unable to find much information about donating blood and scar tissue. There is this one May 2001 article by About.com's Expert on Donating Blood which indicates:

It's a matter of who is doing it and how they were taught and which techniques they prefer to use.

Maybe Saturday's technician didn't get the needle all the way into the vein? I certainly drank enough water the day before and that morning to ensure a good flow.

I don't want to stop saving babies with my CMV negative blood. I will try again in 8 weeks and hope I get a technician who has better skills with scar tissue.

No wonder I dislike telephones

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I just struck out 3 for 3! Instead of emailing, I thought I'd call my father, my friend Paula, and my son Greg but ended up leaving messages. I should've just sent email!

More yarn

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lionbrandwooleasethickquickclaret.jpg Yes, I've bought more - and then even more - yarn in the last few weeks, including an initial 10 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Claret for Greg and Lauren's thick two-person lap blanket. Yikes! At full price (unusual for me!) of $5.99 each! Since there's only 1 skein left and over 1/3 more to crochet, I bought 5 more skeins (at full price of course) on the way home from work today.

[sarcasm] I need to invest in stock of yarn manufacturers. [/sarcasm]

Bill said they'll probably end up living in San Diego and won't need a thick (and heavy!) blanket! Ha, ha!

So, I'm hurrying up so I can send it to them while it's still cold there - before it starts getting warm in Virginia!

The other yarn I bought is Red Heart Super Saver (on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics) which I use mostly for the donated blankets I make, and 2 different types of baby yarn for 2 "boy blankets".

Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks

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I liked working with crochet thread while making bookmarks last month. Since I need to be careful with ergonomics, I've just ordered 2 Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks (with protective covers) for thread from Lone Star Yarns. I bought a 1.75 mm (Clover Size 0, US 8) and a 1.5 mm (Clover Size 2, US 6) which are the largest thread hook sizes available at this time on that website.

[Update: March 8, 2007] Lone Star Yarns closed their website. I just found Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks in Clover sizes 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 (estimated US sizes 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14) (1.75 mm to .6mm) at Karp Styles.

[Update: December 7, 2007] The Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks are also available Angelika's Yarn Store (scroll down the page - look for the hooks with a protective cap). Sizes listed are 0 (1.75mm), 2 (1.50mm), 4 (1.25mm), 6 (1.00mm), 8 (0.90mm), 10 (0.75mm), 12 (0.60mm). Price is $6.50 each.

[Update March 23, 2008] Maggie Weldon is now selling Clover Soft Touch Thread Crochet Hooks for $6.75 each in 8 sizes: 0 (1.75mm), 2 (1.50mm), 4 (1.25mm), 6 (1.00mm), 8 (0.90mm), 10 (0.75mm), 12 (0.60mm), and 14 (0.50mm).

Size: 33 inches x 48 inches
Colors: Scraps in Pinks, White, Cream, Blues, Purple, Yellows
Pattern: Ripple (p. 116) (modified)
Book: 40 Fabulous Afghans - ISBN 0-696-02357-1 - Designs by Patricia Bevens - Copyright 1993 - Meredith Press
Hook: K
Date: January 2006

The ripples are smaller than the original pattern: The number of stitches is 7 up and 7 down. The original pattern is 11 stitches up and 11 down. The smaller ripple makes it easier to adjust the blanket's width.

Size: 30 inches x 48 inches
Colors: Scraps in Greens, Blues, Yellows, White, Black
Pattern: Ripple (p. 116)
Book: 40 Fabulous Afghans - ISBN 0-696-02357-1 - Designs by Patricia Bevens - Copyright 1993 - Meredith Press
Hook: K
Date: January 2006

This one is narrower than the usual lap blanket width (35 inches) because I didn't keep count of the ripple repetitions! It's a lovely combination of scrap colors!

Crochet Artist

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Wow! Nancy's designs are lovely! Visit nanlets.com.

nanletscom2.jpg nanletscom.jpg

"Variegated" means the yarn changes from one color to another, different color (purple to pink to blue for example). "Ombre" is all of one color but in varying shades.
- Annie's Attic Catalog

Tips for Working with Variegated [and Ombre] Yarns at Planet Shoup (not a typo!).

Tunisian Basketweave crochet pattern


Tunisian crochet (aka Afghan Stitch) basketweave crochet pattern: Mary M's Goofy Basket 'Ghan.

Chris Simon's Simple Yoyo Square free crochet pattern includes a nice way to join yo-yo motifs.

Fancy Fur Kimono, crochet pattern

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Love this cardigan pattern! Fancy Fur Kimono at Lion Brand.

Lessons on Crochet Stitches

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50+ lessons for a variety of crochet stitches at Originals by Gidge. [Update: Link now invalid so removed.]

Upgraded to Movable Type 3.2


After playing with WordPress 2.0 and not being satisfied (yet) with getting it to do what I want it to do, I've upgraded this blog from Movable Type 2.661 to 3.2. I've also switched from using the Berkeley DB to using a MySQL database.

In addition to creating a custom header and making stylesheet adjustments, I'll be working on fixing most of the things that are now broken and adding features that are missing (such as my list of Craft Reads).

Comments are again open on new posts. Trackbacks are also activated on new posts.

More to come later...

[8:00pm] I'm done for the night. More adjustments are needed.

Links to archived pages are broken - please use Search in the sidebar to locate what interests you...

[January 7-11 and on as time allows, 2006] Things to do:

  • Done - Add Category Heading to each category page
  • Done - Fix format of Master Category Index page to use Parent: Subcategory
  • Done - Add parent category to category list for each entry
  • Done - Get header to display properly; adjust stylesheet
  • Done - Get multiple categories to display for each entry
  • Done - Fix popup images
  • Done - Adjust entry date to display as: Day of Week, Month Day, Year
  • Done - Switch to using PHP includes on templates
  • Done - Fix layout of extra pages
  • Done - Set redirect in .htaccess to fix most of the broken links because there's no "archives" directory - Done - doesn't fix broken links for basenames more than 30 characters or broken links because category paths are now different for many posts
  • Done - Figure out why Google has removed this site from its index - Oops! 2 errors by me
  • Done - Test comments
  • Look into this category page navigation scheme: Prev_Cat | Main | Next_Cat
  • Done - Turn on pings
  • Look at dynamic publishing
  • Look at included comment spam protections; look at comment plug-ins
  • Done - Look into configuring the search template if search results from multiple blogs are displayed - they weren't
  • Done - Remove old blog files from server

As 2006 starts...

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Merry New Year! I'm feeling unusually chatty... Let's see...what's been going on with me?

Not a whole lot! Hmmm, except for my crocheting addiction that is!

The college closed the week between Christmas and New Years and I took two days off before Christmas when Greg visited for a short week from Virginia where he is in his third year of law school. As all law students are, he is stressed with law school activities and coursework! We spent a quiet few days sitting around together just enjoying the downtime. He and his girlfriend Lauren (also a third-year law student) plan to move to whichever city/state they get jobs in after graduation in May.

Speaking of crocheting (I was, wasn't I?)... It's relaxing and meditative, especially when a rhythmic pattern is used, and creative. It can also be challenging - like crocheting with thread (the hooks are so tiny!) or learning different styles of crochet (like Crochet on the Double and Tunisian) or experimenting with new types of crocheted items.

After a few years of crocheting as Bill watched NASCAR races each weekend, I became a huge fan last year of Tony Stewart and was very VERY pleased that my boy - MY driver - won the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup! While in Reno last August, Bill's cousin placed a $20 bet for me on Tony winning the Allstate Brickyard 400 - and he/I/we won ($140 for me - lots more for Tony!)! Whoop! I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the 2006 NASCAR season in February so I (and Bill too, of course) can spend hours each week watching races and related coverage on TV! (Yes, seriously.)

tonystewart20windowcling.jpg While I don't think I'm totally crazed with my Tony Stewart crush, I do have a "20" Tony Stewart NASCAR license plate frame on my car, a "20" window cling in my car's rear window, and a 2006 Tony Stewart wall calendar in my office at work. For Christmas, Bill fed into my endearing obsession by giving me a Tony Stewart collectible figure! I consider my crush under control, however, since I haven't decorated the house - or any room in it - with Tony Stewart collectibles (yet!).

The girls (our cats!) are healthy and happy. Hmmm, Bubba never seems to be exactly "happy" but Cleo and Jasmine are! Bubba is 17 years old. Her vet said she's an excellent "'88 model" and may live to be 30! (I think 30 is exaggerating, but the Guinness Book of World Records certified a 37-year-old cat!) Both Cleo and Jasmine are 8 1/2 - third graders in people years! Cleo is totally devoted to me and Jaz is definitely Bill's cat!

I continue to donate blood on a regular basis. I'm CMV negative (also referred to as a "baby donor") so my blood is used for babies, burn victims, HIV/AIDS patients, etc. Giving blood is an easy way to save lives, and it takes very little time! Blood supplies around the country are LOW - make an appointment with your local Red Cross or blood bank to donate blood! (Yes, I'm a living commercial!)

With the threat of high blood pressure drugs looming over me, my doctor gave me 4 months to try to lower my blood pressure and lose some weight. So, I began an exercise routine on October 3. I began walking 10 minutes at a low speed and incline on my until-then-unused treadmill and have built up to 30 minutes at a speed of 5 mph on incline 4.5 at least 4 times each week. So far, not much weight has been lost, but I definitely have more stamina and feel a difference in pants! Wouldn't you know it, though, I developed adult-onset asthma which seems to have been triggered by the regular exercise. It's a perfect excuse to NOT exercise, but it's made me even more determined to continue!

There was a time when I was closer to being a first-adopter of technology - way back in 1996-1997 when work was an obsession.

I was one of the first people I know to buy a digital camera in early 1997 (an Olympus D-320L (not-so-good quality) for $640). In mid 2002, I bought my second and much-better-quality digital camera (a 3.1 megapixel Fuji FinePix 2800 6x Zoom for $275) and haven't wanted to invest further (it does what I want it to) - although the photographer in me is curious about the newer SLR-type digital cameras that can use my Nikon lenses...!

But now, Bill and I are happily falling behind the times as far as technology and entertainment goes - I suppose we're "old folks"! We don't want to be connected at all times. In fact, we like being mostly unconnected.

Third set of sample skeins

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The third month (of 12) of sample skeins from Elann arrived last week - lovely blues and a wine! Again, accompanied by information about each skein and snippets of the yarns in other colors.

Finished Crocheted Projects in 2005

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Reflecting back on the year 2005, I am pleased to say that I was (and still am) all wrapped up in crocheting! It's a great activity to accompany TV watching or conversations. It's relaxing and meditative, especially when a rhythmic pattern is used, and creative. It can also be challenging - like crocheting with thread (the hooks are so tiny!) or learning different styles of crochet (like Crochet on the Double and Tunisian) or experimenting with new types of crocheted items.

2005 project totals: 3 full-size afghans (1 for auction), 27 lap blankets (15 donated, 1 for me, 1 gift, 10 toward 2006 donation), 19 Valentine hearts, 10 bookmarks, 5 scarves, 4 pairs of socks, 3 stuffed turtles, 3 hats, 3 pet pads, 2 cat toys, 2 layette sets, 1 doily, 1 wimple, 1 neck warmer, 1 pair of treadmill cuffs, 1 child's blanket, and 1 cardigan/sweater. Oh, and, 1 sewing project: Hawaiian-fabric curtains.

Size: 6 inches tall x 8 inches long x 6 inches wide
Colors: Sage, Green (Caron Perfect Match)
Pattern: Roly Poly Turtle
Book: Vanna's Afghan and Crochet Favorites, Oxmoor House, PatternPak 85040-E, 1995
Hook: G
Date: January 2006

Joyce, a student assistant at work, asked me to make her a Roly Poly Turtle. I was surprised how fast he was to make - a few hours last night!

And, yes, that's my kitty Cleo looking at cute as can be!

Size: 38 inches x 47 inches
Colors: Black, Scraps
Pattern: Mixed granny squares
Book: None
Hook: J
Date: January 2006

Yarn ends will be tied in later.

Size: 38 inches x 52 inches
Colors: Black, Scraps
Pattern: Basic granny square
Book: None
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

Yarn ends will be tied in later.

Size: 37 inches x 49 inches
Colors: White, Scraps
Pattern: Hexagon Granny
Book: Scrap Bag Afghans - Leaflet 2494 - Copyright 1993 - Leisure Arts
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

[Update 5:22pm December 7, 2006] This blanket is one of two I donated as a door prize to today's winter party at the college where I work. So, it is no longer a 2006 donation blanket.

Ripple Lap Blanket - Scraps

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Size: 34 inches x 49 inches
Colors: Scraps
Pattern: Ripple (p. 116)
Book: 40 Fabulous Afghans - ISBN 0-696-02357-1 - Designs by Patricia Bevens - Copyright 1993 - Meredith Press
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

I've started saving the task of hiding yarn ends for lunch breaks at work. It will allow me to actually feel like taking a break and give me time at work to touch and play around with yarn!

[April 2006] (No longer a donation blanket.) I gave this blanket to Johari at work after she exclaimed how lovely it was - and she'll be hiding the yarn ends!

Size: 35 inches x 45 inches
Colors: White, Scraps
Pattern: Double Trouble (Star Squares) - Design by Kathleen Garen
Book: Big Book of Scrap Crochet Afghans - ISBN 1-59217-004-8 - Copyright 2003 - House of White Birches
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

Size: 35 inches x 45 inches
Colors: Black, Lime Green, Bright Orange, Bright Blue (mixed brands)
Pattern: Baby Waves - Design by Nazanin Fard
Book: Big Book of Scrap Crochet Afghans - ISBN 1-59217-004-8 - Copyright 2003 - House of White Birches
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

That's my girl Cleo in the upper right corner!

[July 2006] (No longer a donation blanket.) I used this lap blanket as padding when I sent my childhood friend Ed the framed drawings his mother gave me many years ago.

Spring Fling Lap Blanket - Scraps

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Size: 38 inches x 49 inches
Colors: Scraps
Pattern: Spring Fling - Design by Joyce Messenger
Book: Big Book of Scrap Crochet Afghans - ISBN 1-59217-004-8 - Copyright 2003 - House of White Birches
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

Size: 35 inches x 45 inches
Colors: Scraps in cool colors
Pattern: Double Trouble (Star Squares) - Design by Kathleen Garen
Book: Big Book of Scrap Crochet Afghans - ISBN 1-59217-004-8 - Copyright 2003 - House of White Birches
Hook: K
Date: December 2005

I became a lap afghan crocheting machine! This is one of 8 started and completed between December 12 and January 1.

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2005 is the previous archive.

February 2006 is the next archive.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.


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