Monday, March 14, 2011

Worst Week Ever?

Last week, somewhere around Monday (which I thought was Thursday) and then again on Thursday (which I thought was Tuesday), I had the thought that this might be the worst week ever.  Busy days of baseball and homemaking and loving my boys, along with the first glimpses of Spring (I love you Spring!!!) all buried under a ridiculous week at work filled with deadlines and chaotic families and exhausting chidren.....I was ready to call it the worst week ever and crawl into bed for the weekend.

I just wasn't prepared for the news that our brothers and sisters in Japan were hit with an earthquake and a tsunami.  Already emotionally and physically exhausted, their suffering is so hard to witness. 

And now we can we help?  where do we (pitifully) send our money and give our blood, which feels like the only things we can do right now? And now we wait...when will the reactors be stabilized? When will the survivors be reunited?

I have to tell you.  I greet this week with a renewed sense of wonder at all the "problems" that make up what I had been secretly referring to as "the worst week ever".  Problems like a warm place to sleep, a family to cuddle with, a job that I love (despite weeks like these), and access to all the food and fresh water I could ever need or want for. 

I am grateful and I am thankful and I am waiting.  Taking a deep breath, I'm ready for this week.  Kind of.  And this doesn't mean I'll stop complaining, either.  Just that I'll know, when I'm doing it, that I am an ass.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Crochet Rag Rugs

... the multi-media version, I guess!  I had written about making crocheted rag rugs several times over the last couple of years.  Here, originally; then  here for a chair pad I made.  Plus all the ones I've documented giving away as gifts.  Even placemats!

I've been thinking for awhile it might be fun to turn that one blog post into a small video series.  My goal was to have a set of 2-minute videos that showed some of the to choose materials, prep the sheets into one long piece of fabric (fitted and flat sheets), how to change colors, increase, decrease, etc.  (I'm also creating a series of very specific posts that have pictures and patterns for some of the favorite ones I've made...but that's not done yet.  Soon!)

Here are those videos...but they aren't two minutes long!  And I filmed them by myself, with a tripod, so every video is made without my head.  Ahem.  And I made some mistakes in what I was saying (I tried to note the mistakes under the video) and oh, basically, I don't even know why I'm posting these!  haha

But, I'm wondering if they are at all helpful....and if they are, I'd be willing to re-do them, a little more professionally.  It was kind of fun, actually, so any feedback and constructive criticism would be super helpful.

Like, for example, I like to watch really short videos...I can't commit to anything over 3 or 4 minutes!  Do you feel the same way?  Would you rather see the info in the longest video broken into several shorter segments?  Or do the fitted and flat sheet parts just go together?  Am I talking to much or not enough?  There are a couple spots where you can't see EXACTLY what my hands are doing, so if that's troublesome, I could redo the videos.

Lookit, basically, if you look at these videos, and find them either helpful or troublesome, would you mind letting me know either way?  Thanks!  :)

I apologize in advance that I'm all "Boobs McBooberson" in these.  I watched them fairly critically (as you do ;) and I'm pretty sure that my hair is long enough to make these "Safe For Work and Small Children"... *cough* I promise a wardrobe change if these get redone.

Choosing Materials ~ click to see video on types of sheets and materials. (about 3 minutes)
Preparing Materials ~ click to see video on how to turn fitted and flat sheets into one continuous strip of material.  (about 9 minutes)
Simple Stitches for Working a Rag Rug ~ click to see video on decreasing and increasing stitches, for crocheting in the round. (about 4 minutes)
Changing Colors ~ click to see video on how to change colors using a slip stitch (about 8 minutes).

(In the last two videos, I make a couple of mistakes, which I think could ultimately be good to sort of show that you can make mistakes and your rug will still turn out just fine!  Lovely, even.)

Mistake number one:  I keep saying that you start the next round, when you're moving up in a round rug, with a single crochet.  I'm actually making a "chain one", which is correct, but saying "single crochet".  Oops!  So, in short, to begin the next 'round' in the single crochet circular rug I am making on the video, slip stitch into the first stitch of the round you are ending, to close the circle, then CHAIN ONE, then begin making SINGLE CROCHET STITCHES to create the next round.  On the video, I then go on to forget to do the chain one, and just begin single crocheting!  heh.  What you'll notice is, that it just doesn't matter.  It doesn't have to be anything like perfect! 

As I get the patterns finished/pictures to go with them, I'll include those here, too.
Good luck and have fun making the rugs...they are addicting!

Video ~ Crochet Rag Rug Choosing Material

Video ~ Crochet Rag Rug Preparing Sheets

Video ~ Crochet Rag Rug Increase and Decrease Stitches

Video ~ Crochet Rag Rugs Changing Colors

Friday, March 4, 2011

C Is For Cookie

 I got this scarf in the mail last week, and I've been dying to share it here.  Because I only LOVE it!
I love scarves anyway, and handmade scarves are my very favorite kind.

But knitted?  On one of those looms that remind of making looped pot holders in Girl Scouts?
By one of the people dearest to me in all the world?

 Now, in addition to a sweet reminder of my BFF Tracy, I get to be petted by my kids
(at home and at school!) and, because it's made in super soft homespun yarn in blue with  
I'm not kidding here
variegated blue fur and fringe, I get to giggle and call myself 

I can't stop singing "C is for Cookie"!  That's almost as good as getting a beautiful, happy, love-filled scarf...I do declare it.