Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Meet Sherman and La La

This is Sherman:

I first fell in love with Sherman when I saw him gracing the front page of Not only was I drawn to his wooliness as a knitter, but his color perfectly matches my new craft room! (Still under construction...I'll share more later.) Sherman is a 10x10 art print.

But, Sherman looked so lonely in his fiberly goodness. Sure, falldowntree has lots of other beautiful artwork. Cute critters like this alligator, storybook characters like Humpty Dumpty, and even a really adorable set of train prints. Yet, no other fiber-bearing animals. I could buy Sherman, but he'd be allllll alone.

So I contacted falldowntree. I asked (okay, begged) him to consider adding an angora bunny, alpaca, or the like to his line. Preferably in colors to coordinate with Sherman (and thus, the JL Yarnworks home office). I got a prompt response from Adam. He welcomed the challenge and promised to get back to me. Less than two weeks later, he announced the birth of La La the Llama:

Isn't she absolutely beautiful?!? Look at all the personality she will bring to my office. Love the little tooth. Adam went above and beyond. So Adam, thank you. :)
I received my prints in the mail today and let me just say.... sooo professional. Quality, packaging, everything. I couldn't be happier!
Everybody go give Adam some love. He deserves it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Never-Ending Tablecloth Comes To An End

I would like to have a moment of reverence please. Nearly 6 months of work has resulted in a finishes 56" diameter tablecloth. Each tiny stitch was made with a 1.50mm crochet hook over the course of around 150 hours (200 or so if you count all the rows I had to rip out because the pattern was beginning to go awry).

Here, in pictures, is the story of the Never-Ending Tablecloth:
This is the original doily made by my customer's grandmother who has passed away. It was my job to turn this doily into a 4.5' tablecloth.
So far, so good...
That worked so well, I decided to continue in the same pattern, spacing it out just a bit with some mesh.
Sadly, that didn't work. See how ruffled it became? It was at this point that I realized that I would have to rip back to the mesh and increase the width of the mesh considerably. Darn math and pi and stuff. *sigh* That was about 40 hours (around a month's work) down the drain.
Ah, that's better.

The finishline fast approaches, yet every row seems to take longer and longer. By this point, it took right around 2 hours to go around, adding approximately 2/5ths of an inch to the diameter.

Done. 56". 2" larger than was requested. And some other shots 'cause I'm so happy that I'm done....

In case you can't see it here... the tablecloth is laid out across my bed. It's a queen sized bed and the tablecloth spans the entire width and goes from the bottom of the pillows to the foot of the bed.
I hope she likes it....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Week 1 "Biggest Loser" Results

T* and I weighed in today for our Week 1 results.

T* lost 3 lbs.!
I lost 3 lbs.!

Now, the original plan was to determine % of our goals for the 8 weeks.

So in this case, T*'s results would have been 18.75% of her goal and mine would have been 15% of my goal. I tried to declare T* the winner, but she's decided that despite my advantage of having more to lose and wanting to lose more, that she wants to just compare pound for pound. I suppose that is easier. So, we're currently TIED!

Regardless of the "winner," I'm thrilled with my results so far. My goal for this week is another 2 lbs.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Gauntlet Has Been Dropped

Today marked the first day of a weight-loss challenge between myself and my friend T*. T* is the mother of Big Sister's best friend and has been a good friend of mine for about 4 years. (How do you think the girls are now best friends?)

T* and I both struggle a bit with our weight and try to be cheerleaders for each other in our efforts. It's amazing how many people, friends even, seem so jealous when you succeed in losing weight that they try to sabotage your efforts or find fault in your methods. I've been told that I'm "not normal" when I've turned down pizza and ice cream and enticed with every sugary or fatty food imaginable after I've explicitly said "no thank you" and explained that I'm trying to lose weight. T* is a blessing. She's a true friend. She's so supportive and encouraging. And....she's shedding weight like a mad woman! Her recent weight-loss triggered the competitor in me and I suggested a "Biggest Loser" style challenge.

For 8 weeks, we will weigh in once a week at the gym. Each week, we will declare that week's winner. She will get 1 point. At the end of the 8 weeks, whoever has the most overall weight loss gets an additional point (to avoid ties). T*'s weight loss goal is 16 lbs and mine is 20 lbs. She weighs less than me, so this is fair. Each week we'll tally the total percentage of the goal lost to compare fairly.

The winner of the 8 week challenge is then treated by the loser to a girls' afternoon out. We'll shop together for an item of clothing in the winner's new size ($20-40 value). We've decided to split childcare costs and lunch down the middle.

Now, Mr. Yarnworks comes home on leave in 9 weeks. My goal is to shed at least one dress size by losing 20 pounds and to use the girls' afternoon out to pick out an outfit to wear when I greet him at the airport.

The prospect of Mr. Yarnworks coming home from Iraq on leave has been a powerful motivator in the past, so I'm confident. Gotta be a hottie for the hubby. :)

I will keep you aprised of my weight loss as the weeks go forward. I also promise you some fiberly content here soon. I don't want to jinx anything, so I won't give you any details just yet.

I Told Y'All To Mind Me!

Mr. Yarnworks, please avert your eyes. You may not like what you're about to see. :(

Thursday night the girls were playing nicely downstairs while I snuck in a little grown up tv upstairs. This is common in the evening. I tell them they get the tv during the day, but after dinner the tv is mine and they must entertain themselves some other way. Suddenly, I hear Big Sister screaming. This is also common. If something doesn't quite go her way, instead of asking for help, she just sits there and screams. But soon I realized that this was not her normal blood-curtling "I'm upset" scream. This was her "I'm really hurt" scream. I went running.

Big Sister was sitting at the foot of the stairs, with Baby Yarnworks huddling over her, trying to comfort her. She had fallen down the stairs. She admitted she'd been playing on the stairs. *sigh* I ask if she can stand up. She can. I ask where it hurts. Her eye. It's visibly scraped, like carpetburn on her left eyelid. I cover her right eye to test her vision. She's okay. I poke her injured eye and she doesn't scream. All is well.

"I've told you not to play on the stairs, hun. THIS is why! If you play on the stairs, you can easily get hurt." She cries harder. "I'm sorry, Mommy."
We head upstairs to cuddle on the couch and put ice on her eye. When I pick her up and pull her onto my lap, she tells me her back hurts. Lifting her shirt, I see three major red spots on her back. They hurt to the touch, but don't seem to be swelling or bruising. She won't let me ice her eye OR any of the spots on her back, so we just cuddle until she's calmed down. Her eye doesn't look so bad. The scrape bled just a tinge, but nothing more. I wonder how it will look in the morning though.

The next morning, I have my answer:

Not to worry. She's okay, it looks much worse than it is.

She's all smiles now. :)

(Notice Baby Yarnworks trying to sneak into the picture. What a ham!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Dancing in Harlem

Okay, maybe not *IN* Harlem. But Big Sister did get to dance the pregame show for the Harlem Globetrotters.

She's on the left. Doesn't she look precious? And so excited! She kept calling it a soccer ball game, but oh well.

Her hands are in the way, but she's the 6th from the left.

She got VERY upset because right around this point, she forgot her steps. She missed a LOT of practices this winter due to illness and this was a routine they began learning right after Christmas. Poor thing was beside herself coming off the court. We'll need to practice more between now and her next recital.

After the pregame show, we found our seats.

And here they are. The Harlem Globetrotters getting warmed up. I was a bit disappointed in the show if I have to be honest. I was expecting more ball tricks and truly impressive moves. Now, while we DID see a fair bit of that, it was mostly just a lot of antics. Players had mics and were ribbing other players, poking fun at the ref, suffering mock injuries, losing their pants, flirting with women in the crowd, etc.

Gotta admit though, this was pretty darn cool. Even Big Sister thought so!

Yes, she was very impressed indeed.

Before long, Big Sister found exhaustion setting in. It was only halftime, but it was already 9pm and way past Big Sister's bedtime. So we left for home.
It was a good night.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Going To The Birds

Er...or the birds coming to us.

Today we peeked out the window to see the rain. (Yes! Rain, not snow! Maybe spring IS on its way!) The girls were quite excited to see a couple of Mallards in our front yard enjoying the puddles. They quacked through the window until the ducks waddled around to the side yard.
On a side note: I've been a bad blogger and have Harlem Globetrotter pictures from April 1 to post. Oops! Slack, I know. Soon! Promise!