What in the world was I thinking??

So last night I was crocheting along with high ambitions for a shrug for my daughter. I was really enjoying the artsiness of this novelty yarn:

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And then about half way through the skein, it all suddenly turned into this:

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What? What? It turned from a nice ball of novelty yarn into a matted, knotted, maddening clump of string and lint. Maybe I should have pulled the yarn from the center instead of unrolling it from the outside of the ball. It quickly disintegrated into 15 minutes of untangling, 1 minute of crocheting, then more untangling. Yikes!

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So…now I have finished my scarf!  And I have a clump of string and lint available for anyone that wants it…

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What to do with this weird yarn…

I picked up a couple of skeins of mystery yarn at Big Lots a couple of years ago. It’s Gala yarn, which seems to be a hodgepodge of (maybe) big name brand yarn that is slightly irregular, or discontinued..or something like that. Sometimes Gala yarn is weird and sometimes it is gross and sometimes it is nice. I’ll classify this as weird.  🙂

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It’s a light yellowish color (or maybe a very pale lime green) and it looks like cotton crochet thread with caterpillar-like clumps of sparkly fluff. Does that sound weird? It might be a little weird. The thready part does not feel like cotton. It feels like acrylic to me. The fluffy parts feel like polyester, and I suppose the sparkly bits are nylon.

I’ve played with it a bit and decided to crochet a big double crochet rectangle.  Very complex, I know! And then I’ll turn the rectangle into a shrug or something. My daughter is into shrugs right now because her school does not allow tank tops. With a shrug, she can wear her tank top but have herself technically covered. It’s a bit of a dance because we live in North Carolina and it gets hot long before the schools are allowed to turn on the air conditioning. So she needs to stay cool, but covered.

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I’ll keep working on this as a just-before-bed project. So far, I’m having trouble deciding if this is fun and artsy, or if it looks like a cat mauled it and then rolled it in lint. Maybe a little of both.

I don’t know why, but I crocheted a little hat for my bird.

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I had about half a skein of pink variegated embroidery floss left, and I figured if I used it all up, I wouldn’t have to bother putting it away where it belonged.  Plus, Porky needed a hat.  Sorry about the flash.

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Big Basket for the Hubster

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I found a couple of yards of royal blue knit fabric at a thrift store.  Hey, that’s one of Glen’s school colors!

I’ve seen baskets like these all over the place on Pinterest.  I tried to follow one of the patterns, but it didn’t work for me.  I think my fabric yarn ended up being thicker than the stuff the pattern designers used, because when I tried to crochet the bottom, it turned out all ruffly.  So I ripped that out and went freestyle.

I used double crochet instead of single crochet, and I increased my stitches more slowly too when I was making the bottom of the basket.  I had a few false starts, but I eventually got the hang of it.

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I kept going until I ran out of the blue fabric yarn, and then I destashed some white polyester knit and made that into yarn too.  I just barely had enough to make the basket.

The basket is pretty good sized – about a foot in diameter.

He’s not sure what he’s going to do with it.  The kids had several suggestions.  My favorite was that he could put it on his desk like a tip jar.  He could seed the basket with a little of his own money to get people started.  Maybe even a $5 bill to offer a subtle suggestion.  Do professors get tips??  Where do my kids get these ideas??

Speaking of my one-and-only, here’s what he’s been up to lately.  And here.  Here too.  It’s giving him gray hair!

 

More freestyle amigurumi – Lucky, our pet muscovy duck

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Shhh!  Christmas present for my hubby!  He says he doesn’t want anything for Christmas.  I’ll bet he changes his mind when he sees this.  His office is very professional and professor-y, which is nice I suppose.  But maybe just a little bit, he needs to lighten up and make it cozy!

I used a bulky black scrap to make the body, then switched to a scrap of some kind of zigzaggy lightweight yarn for the neck and head.  Then another scrap of red for the caruncles around his eyes, and a little bit of gold for his feet and bill.  I used the same black and white for the wings and sewed it all together.  I didn’t use a pattern.  I just winged it.  Get it, get it??   Her-her-her.

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Porky’s “Bite me!” Birthday Cake

We have a couple of pets at our house.  You can see Lucky the duck all over the place around here.  But today we are celebrating our other little bird’s birthday.

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Porky came to live with us thirteen years ago today.  It played out like this:  Some kind people called our local SPCA to tell them there was a bird on her neighbor’s garage roof that had been hanging out up there screaming for at least three days.  She was worried about him.  They went to check out the situation and saw that he was a conure.  Conures are pretty tough little birds, but they definitely should not be living outdoors around here in the fall and winter.  There are no wild conures around here, so this little green sweetie must have gotten loose and lost or something like that.

They took him back to the SPCA and cared for him there while they tried to find his family.  They normally care for only dogs and cats at this SPCA and they weren’t sure exactly what a bird needed.  One of the workers there happened to be a student of my husband’s, and so she asked him about it.  One thing led to another, and now Porky lives with us!  We love him like crazy, and we are very glad to have him as part of our family.

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That being said, Porky is a bit of a problem child.  🙂  When he first came to live with us, he liked everybody and so we let him fly around the house all he wanted.  He was friendly.  But then over time, he came to prefer my husband.  Then one day, I made the foolish mistake of kissing my husband in front of the bird.  Uh-oh!  He decided to defend his relationship with my husband by fighting off the intruder.  But hey!  I live here!

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Ideally, I would have increased my time with Porky to make sure that he bonded with both of us.  But his behavior got worse and most of the time I was hanging around the house, I was also caring for one or more babies, so it seemed safest to let my husband handle the social concerns of Porky.  And over the years, our children have grown up with Porky and loved him like nobody else.  I love him too.  But…Porky hates me.  Every chance he gets, it’s bite, bite, bite.  He gets hold of my neck and goes for the blood.  It’s quite shocking, really.  Around me, he’s four ounces of perky green fury.  It’s become one of our family jokes.

Porky does most of his living now in my daughter’s bedroom.  He gets to fly around and socialize with anyone who dares to enter.  He sleeps in his cage at night.  And when he needs to come downstairs and be with others (like me), he has a travel kennel.  That’s his little Hannibal Lecter setup, just like in the movies.

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A couple of years ago, I couldn’t decide how to decorate Porky’s birthday cake, so I just wrote “Bite me!” on it and threw a bunch of sprinkles all around.  The cake was a huge hit, so we have continued the tradition.  This year, my daughter did the honors.  I baked the cake, then gave her full access to the cake-decorating area.  She went to town, as you can see.

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Porky’s beak is normally a pinkish-tan color.  She made it red from the “blood.”  I like how she made Porky say “Bite me!” as he contemplates the blood – my blood – dripping down his chin.  Aww, how sweet.

Porky came downstairs for the party and we all had a blast.  Happy birthday, Porky!

What is this thing???

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Well, the good news is that I finished a crochet project, and it’s very…interesting.  The bad news is that I don’t know what I should do with this thing.

I have this enormous stash of Spark A Doodle yarn.  I love this stuff!  It’s so very, very soft.  And sparkly.  It would probably be completely tacky if it weren’t so doggone soft.

So I was fooling around and fooling around and I decided to add a row of fluffy Spark A Doodle to the edge of a sheer red scarf I had lying around.  The scarf had a problem with the hem, and so I figured if I covered it with fluff, that would be good.

I sewed around the edge of the scarf with some plain yarn so that I would have somewhere to crochet the Spark A Doodle.  Then I added a row of Spark A Doodle in single crochet.  But somehow, the edge of the scarf and the crocheted fluffy stuff don’t quite match up in terms of stretchiness and that sort of thing.  So sometimes it looks like a sexy red jellyfish.

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It looks a little more normal in this photo, but I think you can still see the problem.

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When it’s tied around the neck, it looks like this.  Hmm, a little strange,

What the heck, I’m going to wear it anyway!  I’m calling it my sexy jellyfish scarf, and I dare you to make one too!

Thanks for stopping by!  Maria