Sheldon

Suzanne over at 24 At Heart is getting a Newfoundland puppy in a few weeks, and is asking for name suggestions.  If you think of a name for what will eventually be a huge, furry, black dog, please go drop her a line.

I, unfortunately, couldn’t give her any ideas, because I absolutely SUCK at naming things.  Darling Daughter, on the other hand, is wonderful at it.  When stuck for a name for our latest side of grass-fed beef, it was DD who promptly came up with “Wellington.”

Think about it for a minute.

At any rate, when I decided to try my hand at amigurumi – the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures – I started with a turtle, mainly so I could eventually make a quartet and turn them into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a certain young man.

Besides, the pattern was unbearably adorable, and I’m a sucker for unbearably adorable.

When I began The Turtle, that was pretty much how I referred to it.  Eventually, though, Beloved asked me what I was going to name it.

“I dunno….George?”

Darling Daughter looked at me with some akin to mild disgust.  “No – SHELDON.”

And Sheldon he became, and because she named him, he now belongs to DD.

Sheldon the Amigurumi Turtle

For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the pattern here.  I used an F/5/3.75mm hook and Bernat Cotton Handicrafter Yarn in Olive for his head, body and limbs, Bernat Cotton Handicrafter Yarn in Cloves for the back of his shell, and Bernat Cotton Sugar ‘n’ Cream Yarn in Ecru for the front of his shell.

Now, if you look at the example that accompanies the actual pattern, you’ll see that Sheldon is not nearly as well-proportioned as the little guy in the picture, but I’m not terribly upset by that.  Sheldon turned out pretty well for a first attempt, especially when you realize I’d never crocheted anything in the round before – all of my previous projects have been limited to afghans and scarves (in other words, squares and rectangles).

I do know one thing, though – I will get better, because I am, pardon the expression, hooked on crocheting unbearably adorable stuffed animals.

Heaven help us when I graduate to clothing…

The Button Infinity Scarf

Say hello to The Incredible Shrinking Girl.

The Incredible Shrinking Girl

Since moving in with us in late April, Darling Daughter has lost about 50 pounds.  It’s amazing what can happen when you simply cut junk out of your diet.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she has a pretty physically demanding job (which she loves)

Above is the photo she posted to Facebook last night to show off the infinity scarf I made for her.  You have to admit, the girl knows how to take a selfie.

The photo I took is a little less flattering (it doesn’t help that ALL of her clothes are just hanging on her these days), but you get a better look at the yarn I used (black acrylic interwoven with shiny, metallic threads in different colors):

The Button Infinity Scarf

I haven’t had much time to crochet lately (and I’m not going to have a lot of time until the wedding cakes I’m doing in early October, to say nothing of canning season, have passed), but when Darling Daughter asked for an infinity scarf to wear this winter, how could I turn her down?

For the uninitiated, an infinity scarf is simply a winter scarf crocheted into a big loop – no beginning, no end.  Since I wanted to do a braided scarf, I couldn’t crochet in a big loop; I had to crochet three separate panels, sew them together at one end, braid them, sew them together at the other end, then join the two ends before adding buttons at the seam.

I’d love to give you the pattern for it, but I sort of went off the cuff with this one and while I could write a recipe in my sleep, I have no earthly idea how to write a crochet pattern.

Which doesn’t mean I won’t try.  Because you know how I am.

So… here goes.

Materials:

– 3 skeins Loops and Threads Impeccable Glitter, “Mirror” color

– size H/5.0mm crochet hook

– 3 large, black buttons

tapestry needle

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

sc: single crochet

dc: double crochet

st: stitch

Make 3 panels using the following directions:

Loosely ch 18

Row 1 –  Dc in the 3rd st from hook; dc to the end of the chain (16 dc). Ch 1; turn.

Row 2 – Sc in 1st dc; sc to end of the chain (16 sc). * Ch 1; turn.

Row 3 – Repeat row 2 to *. Ch 3; turn.

Repeat rows (1 – 3) 23 more times for a total 24 rows of (1) dc and (2) sc.  Fasten off yarn and cut.  Weave in loose ends.

Line up the ends of the 3 panels.  Using the tapestry needle and the same yarn the scarf is made of, sew together the panels on one end.  Braid the panels; sew together the other end of the panels.  Bring the ends together and join them, again using the tapestry needle and yarn.

Attach the buttons at the seam.  Fasten off yarn and cut; weave in all loose ends.

Please, all of you serious hookers out there, let me know what I’ve done wrong here – it’s all a learning experience for me!

The Scarf Battle

Recently, Beloved asked me to make him a winter scarf (he believes in being proactive).  After he picked out the yarn he wanted, I searched for a suitable pattern; I didn’t want anything frilly.

A week later, I had this:

Beloved's Scarf

You can find the pattern here – it’s super easy, just alternating rows of half-double crochet and bobble stitch. I used a size J/6 mm hook and 3 skeins of I Love This Yarn Firecracker, from the “Colors” collection.  It turned out somewhat wider than I anticipated (both the hook and yarn I used were larger than called for in the pattern), but I’m not at all displeased with the finished piece.

Nor am I the only one who likes it; Darling Daughter took one look at the scarf and said, “That’s WAY too pretty for Dad.”

I posted the photo on Facebook and tagged Beloved, saying “Darling Daughter says this is too pretty for you, dear; I’ll have to keep an eye on it until you come home or you’ll never get it.”  (He’s out of town on business this week.)  DD, who is, shall we say, mischievous, commented on the post:

You know, my neck is awfully chilly. If only there were something fabulous laying around to keep it warm….

The Purloined Neckcloth

Don’t worry, I made her give it back.  For now.

You have to admit – it does match her scrubs really well.

Apple, Meet Tree

It might surprise you to learn that my kids are a bunch of, well, smart asses.

Then again…maybe not.

This week’s Spin Cycle is “Apple/Tree.”  I could carry on about how my kids are just like me (especially in the smart assery department) all damn day, but it’s all been pretty well documented here.  And here.  And here.  (And several other places that I don’t have time to hunt down.)

They’re all tremendous geeks, as well; something else they come by honestly.  I’m a huge fan George Takei and his internet memes and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  So when he posted this the other day, I just had to share it on my own Facebook wall:

Yesterday's Tribble

It didn’t take long for Oldest Son to comment.

“And now it looks as though they’re here to stay…until Scotty beams them over to the Klingon vessel.”

He and Darling Daughter are flying up to Ohio in June to watch their baby brother receive his high school diploma and so we can celebrate Oldest Son’s 30th birthday.  If I give them enough beer food, I may convince them to let me make a video of a family sing-a-long of Yellow Submarine while Darling Daughter accompanies us on the ukelele (trust me, it’s funnier than it sounds – have I mentioned that they’re all enormous hams, too?).

Our license plate reads “WEIRDOS”  for a reason, you know.

The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall, One and All

So.  I wasn’t going to post while in Vegas, but I’ve got too much stuff to talk about.  So here I am.

Saturday was endless – we were up at 4:00 a.m. EDT to catch our 6:40 flight.  (If it had occurred to me that Beloved, as a frequent flier, has all sorts of “premium” and “platinum” status and can bypass all sorts of lines in airports, we’d have slept until at least until 4:30.)  We flew from Cleveland to Minneapolis, then from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, arriving at 10:40 a.m.  Which means we’d been up for 9 hours.

We then rented a car and drove out to Darling Daughter’s Elks lodge, since we couldn’t check into our hotel for another 4 hours and met all of her friends there – as well as her beau, Mr. Fix It (he supposedly can fix anything).  After a few hours, we checked into our hotel, then took Darling Daughter and Mr. Fix It to dinner, then we went back to our room to pick up our tickets to see Jimmy Cliff, who was performing at our hotel.

We were about 45 minutes late for the concert at that point, and Beloved and I had been up and running for nearly 20 hours straight.  As we rode the elevator down, it stopped a couple of floors below us and a young Caucasian man in a Jimmy Cliff t-shirt and a camera slung around his neck got on, accompanied by a small, thin African-American man with a goatee and the shiniest gold shoes we’d ever seen.

Beloved cracks, “Oh, good – we’re late to the show, but so is Jimmy Cliff.”

We all chuckle.  We all know Jimmy’s already down there – these guys are photographers for the show or some such.

We go down to the concert – a very nice venue at the “beach” and wave pool at the Mandalay Bay – and catch the very last of the opening act.  They leave the stage, and preparations for the main show begin.  The band files out and a very elaborate introduction begins when Darling Daughter and Beloved look at each other and both say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if the guy in the elevator really was Jimmy Cliff?”

And out on stage bounced a small, thin African-American guy with a goatee and the shiniest gold shoes you ever saw.

I don’t think it would be inappropriate to say that we all began to squeal like a bunch of teeny-bopper fan girls at that point.  Well, except for poor Mr. Fix It, who probably wondered what the hell he’s gotten himself into with this family.