Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Stash Baby Blanket

Average Temperature: 24°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Colors: Royal

I was going to talk about my name change process & everything that’s been tumbling around in my head about it but I realized that due to my previous as a make-up for yesterday I don’t actually have the time tonight to give that topic the attention it deserves so I’ll do a craft one for this post & maybe if I get done quick enough tomorrow I’ll do the name change post.

The Yarn

I think I mentioned this in the previous post but here’s a longer version of how I acquired the yarn.

My mum had asked my Bridesmaids to bring gift baskets as door prizes to my bridal shower in November & amongst the chocolate, wine, Margarita & baking baskets Min had bought a basket with four pastel skeins of Deborah Norville Everyday yarn & a wooden “I” crochet hook because crocheting is kind of my thing. When my mother-in-law won one of the door prizes, she snagged the basket of yarn to give to me (because really, who else was going to use it). I did make her wait until we got back to my parents’ house to give it to me though, so people wouldn’t get upset. Silly right? Anywho, here was the yarn…

  • Quiet Blue
  • Chinchilla
  • Soft Peach
  • Spa

If you couldn’t tell from the names of the colors, the yarn really would only be good for a baby blanket.

For Whom…?

My initial idea was to use the yarn to make a baby blanket for Min’s beastie; she picked out the colors & was stoked when I got the basket. I thought the brown (chinchilla), blue & green (spa) would go perfect with the Peter Rabbit nursery theme she picked, however she mentioned when I was asking about colors that they were definitely going to use sage green in the room. The Spa green is closer to a seafoam than a sage & I wasn’t sure how the peach would fit into that mix, so I picked out a different yarn for the Chosen One’s baby blanket. That, & I felt a bit weird giving someone a present from something they’d spent money on.

I needed a baby blanket for the Maybaby too. I had made her older sibling a white & bright rainbow ripple baby blanket for his birth so I thought it might be fun to do an updated ripple for the Maybaby. Although I had asked several times, the Maybaby’s parents hadn’t gotten back to me on colors…so why not use the ones from the basket? Except that the basket colors are pastel & I remember the parents wanted vibrant colors for the first beastie & probably would want the same for the Maybaby.

The Pattern

I knew I wanted to do a ripple blanket with these four colors, as it would use all of them & be less obnoxious than a granny square or she’ll pattern, swapping colors every row. After searching through several patterns  (& trying out 2) I finally settled on the pattern I used for Maybaby’s older sibling’s blanket…with some modifications.

Modern Ripple Baby Blanket

Adaptations

Obviously, the most significant thing I did was swap out the yarn.

  • Chinchilla (A)
  • White (B)
  • Spa (C)
  • Soft Peach (D)
  • Quiet Blue (E)

The only other major change I made was to the stitches. The pattern calls for single crochet (SC). I don’t use SC for large projects unless absolutely necessary so I did double crochet (DC) throughout the pattern instead. This means for the beginning of each row I chain 2 instead of 1.

Last change I made was more for cosmetic purposes instead of necessity:

  • Repeat pattern to last 4 stitches. DC in each of the next two DC, skip next DC, DC in top of turning chain

This gives you the required number of stitches & doesn’t leave the turning chains sticking out at the end.

Beyond that, for the technical directions I followed the pattern completely. I’m still using a J Hook as stated & the sets of 3 stitches. The row color pattern I’m following is:

  • 4 rows Chinchilla
  • 2 rows White
  • 4 rows Spa
  • 2 rows White
  • 4 rows Soft Peach
  • 2 rows White
  • 4 rows Quiet Blue
  • 2 rows White

Repeat. I just started in the Spa rows yesterday but it’s coming out prettier than I hoped:

Seeing how it’s turning out, I’m tempted to give it to Min again (along with the other blanket I’m planning). I’ll see if I can finally get an answer for the Maybaby tomorrow though, & it fits specs maybe it’ll go to her. Or I just might keep it to have on hand. We’ll see.

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Blankets & Baby Crafts

Yesterday’s Average Temperature: 32°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Color: Blue

I/we were bad yesterday so by the time I usually post I was out of commission. I also didn’t do my temperature blanket row for yesterday so it’s an all-around catch up night for everything. Double post day!! (And yay slacking I suppose).

Babies babies babies

No, I’m not having one -nor will we be having one- but two of my friends are having sproutlings this year. I know I mentioned it before, but as my projects beyond the temperature blanket I’ll probably be talking about babies a lot the next few weeks. Or at least stuff for babies. Anywho…

Baby Numero Uno (aka Maybaby)

This is actually baby Numero Dos for this family. I made a blanket for their first munchkin a few years back. It was my first attempt at a ripple blanket & I wasn’t too happy with the size (although the color combination was pretty). I chock it up to the type of yarn Lion Brand recommended for the pattern being sport weight, but there’s a chance I downsized the hook to make the yarn look so stringy in the finished project. But I digress

I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the baby blanket for Baby Numero Uno yet. I haven’t heard back on nursery colors yet, & my mum is checking for me tomorrow  (she’s the delivery support or something along those lines). That being said, I have some random stock colors I can use if the parents don’t give me any specs. One is a gorgeous hot pink/petal pink/white ombre that I would never want to receive myself but I know some people are hard in the gender specific colors. I would probably do the often referenced All-Star blanket pattern if I ended up using that yarn. The other option is a set of 4 colors that I received as a door prize at my bridal shower (my mother-in-law won it & promptly handed it to me under the table). I’ll talk more about that option in a later post.

Baby Numero Dos (aka the Chosen One)

One of my best friends is having her munchkin in July. She picked a Beatrix Potter theme for the nursery, based on this:

Because OH MY GODS PETER RABBIT IS THE BEST!!! She’s the one I special ordered that Spring Baby yarn for the baby blanket last week from JoAnn’s…which ended up being a good thing as I was in JoAnn’s today & they didn’t have that specific yarn. Actually, JoAnn’s didn’t have anything I was looking for, including Peter Rabbit fabric (which was a long shot anyways) &…

DINOSAURS (RAWR)!!!

Min & I have been friends since high school & we both absolutely love dinosaurs. To the point that when I had a Jurassic Park movie marathon right before Jurassic World came out, she got so excited that she got us hats. And not just any hats. Velociraptor hats.

We also had dinosaur cake & I found the dinosaur chicken nuggets. It was the best thing ever.

Anyways, beyond the baby blanket I want to make a photo album, the kind where you cover an album with quilting batting & then fabric so it’s squishy, themed & slightly more original. Although the Peter Rabbit fabric would’ve been nice, I really wanted to do a dinosaur fabric for the photo album cover…but I couldn’t find any that weren’t so overtly masculine (& not really very cute anyways). I was getting so frustrated because dinosaurs are so wickedly cool & there’s a bunch of dinosaur baby items…but no cute baby dinosaur fabric. At least none that fit my mental image & color scheme.

Death to Pink

Also known as Jenna wants to make baby things solely in greens, yellows, purples, & pretty blues.

That being said: I hate pink. I hate pink for girls, I hate pink for boys, I hate pink for everyone. I just cannot stand the color, & it drives me a bit crazy that it’s my best friend’s favorite color when ever I make her someone for a holiday or special occassion. The pink yarn I referenced under Baby Numero Uno is actually a yarn I had bought for my best friend Allie for a Christmas present project but it was just too infantile once done out. Perfect for a baby blanket (though I want to puke when I think of making a pink baby blanket) but not for much else.

It’s not like my parents forced me into pink or anything when I was little. Actually my cousin & I  (6 months apart) were practically raised as twins & THEY were the one always forced into the pink; I was always given blue. I just can’t stand the color. Pink doesn’t offend me as much safety cone orange does but I still can’t stand the color. End pink rant.

Back to Dinosaurs

So anyways, I was looking for a cute dinosaur fabrics, preferably in pastel green, yellow, blue & (if it just happened to be inconveniently on there) pink. JoAnn’s had nothing remotely close to those qualifications. I could have had forest animals, squids with anchors, even freaking sloths…but no dinosaurs. I was seriously worried I might have to settle for kittens in space helmets -which were adorable & would have been a perfect fit for the Chosen One as well, however they weren’t DINOSAURS.

So I left JoAnn’s with nothing that I had come in looking for (but I did walk out with a new crochet magazine & a class list for Beginner’s Sewing-story for another day) & feeling a bit frustrated.

At a stop at Wal-Mart later in the day, I decided to half-heartedly look through the fabric section to see if anything caught my eye for the album. I wasn’t expecting much because if JoAnn Fabrics didn’t have the fabric I was looking for, why would Wal-Mart. So of course, as the Universe turns:

Freaking yellow dinosaur on pastel green background on super soft fabric. Yes, I’ll take a yard please!

I wasn’t overly fond of the “Welcome” on the fabric but it fit all my other requirements so I was willing to deal with it. I also didn’t realize until I posted it but there’s apparently a small white flying beastie on the fabric too…

Dragonflies. There’s dragonflies & hearts in the background. Perfect.

Now just to acquire an old-school style photo album with the sticky pages instead of the sleeve style & we’re good to go!


Caught Up!!

Average Temperature: 28°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Color: Royal

It took my about 3 hours but I’m finally up-to-date on the temperature blanket!!

After last night’s musings, I did end up tossing in the snow row after the temperature row for yesterday. You can’t really tell from the photo but the lightning row from last Sunday (yellowish-turquoise row near the top) is absolutely gorgeous when you can see the whole row.

Some things I’ve realized (if I ever do another one) is that I need to take a lot closer look at the colors before I pick them. Both the Blue & the Royal blue look extremely similar, just barely a shade different (I messed with the exposure for this picture). I’d also definitely swap out the Hunter Green with something closer to teal or seafoam. Even without an edited exposure, the Hunter looks black.

That being said, now that I am all caught up on the Temperature Blanket, I can start on other projects such as…baby blankets. Or writing. Or figuring what’s for dinner because there was a miscommunication with the hubby & it’s now past 9 & we hit a stalemate about pizza.

There’s still some leftover soup from Thursday though so I might just go finish that off; he can fend for himself.

Partial Musings 

I know I really don’t have a direction for this blog yet. Other than the underlying theme of the Temperature Blanket & other random projects (exercise challenges, maybe some book reviews & recipes) I haven’t figured out what/where this blog is going. I’m hoping after a week or two I’ll finally get some inkling about what this blog is for me . Just please bear with me while I’m trying to establish a rhythm & hopefully we’ll get something worthwhile out of this in the end. In the meantime, here’s the cats “helping”:

Talia being a key stand

Gurney holding the yarn captive so it won’t escape while Talia provides our ambient noise. 

Ugh I seriously need food. Ciao!


What counts?

Today’s Average Temperature: 35°

Precipitation: 30 minutes of flurries

Yarn Color: Blue

One of the things I didn’t consider when I decided to do precipitation yarn colors was what justifies having an extra precipitation row for the day. There was extremely light flurries this afternoon for about 30 minutes. I only realized it flurries because I happened to be walking back from our candy shop at the time. There was no snow in the forecast for today, so I wasn’t expecting to see any snow.

Obviously, the snow didn’t stick. But should it count as a row? For the amount of time it was flurry-ing  (flurrying?  flurriing? To have of the flurries?) I was inclined not to include a snow row for that brief spell of time because if I wasn’t outside, I wouldn’t have known it was snowing.

As I’m typing this though, I realized if it had rained today -even just a 5 minute sprinkling shower- the ground would’ve been wet & even if I hadn’t seen the rain falling, it would’ve counted because I could see the aftereffects. So then, does there have to be physical evidence of the precipitation to count? This opens up a whole different line of reasoning, because in the late fall & early spring the ground can be warm enough that it can snow for several hours but not have any accumulation or if there is a dusting, it could be melted by the time I got outside even though I might have been watching the snow from inside for a goodly amount of time.

I could always use Weather Underground to decided if the precipitation I saw count. I’ve been using Weather Underground to back date the average temperatures for the days prior to my decision to make the blanket as well as the average temperature for the last few days. According to Weather Underground, there was no preciptation. So I shouldn’t count it as a row.

Which brings me back to the original question: I saw it so should I count it or since there was no accumulation it shouldn’t count? After typing all of this out, I’m inclined to count it since I saw it, as I would when it rains. That may change by the time I get to this row for the blanket though.

I did a pathetic 4.5 rows today. One is the last row I said I was going to finish after last night’s post, which I initially finished but then pulled out because I thought I had used the wrong color  (it ended up I hadn’t).

I did go out for hot chocolate after work though, so I guess I can be forgiven on that part?

End useless musings for the day. Hoping to finish most of the backlogged blanket rows tomorrow after lessons so…here’s to hoping.


Lazy Man Tri

Today’s Average Temperature: 41°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Color: Hunter Green

Temperature Blanket Update 

I got home early enough today to play a bit of catch up; managed to complete the rows for January 3rd through half of January 9th (I spent half the day in New England, half the day in Florida so I’m doing two rows for that day). I’m hoping to finish that second row for January 9th tonight before bed, which means I’ll only have 17 days to catch up on before I’m up to date so YAY FOR THAT!!!

Lazy Man Triathlon 

Walking around work today, I saw that they’re advertising a Lazy Man Tri challenge for the month of February. I didn’t hear about it until have way through February last year, but it seemed like it was a pretty good time. Back then I decided I would do the Challenge in 2017 if it was offered again.

Fast forward to yesterday when I saw the poster. Deciding to do Iron Man triathlon distances -even over 28 days- is a lot more daunting 6 days out than it is in March 2016. I was trying to get one of my really good friends to do the challenge with me but they’re  (100% justifiably) M.I.A. at the moment. So after debating for about an hour, I decided to take the plunge -before I lost my nerve- & paid the registration fee.

So what insanity  (besides the temperature blanket) have I signed up for?

  • 2.4 mile swim
  • 112 mile bike
  • 26.2 mile run
  • Transition Time (2 group exercise classes)

Obviously, the swimming & the running are going to be the easiest portions of the Lazy Man Tri for me, although I hate running on the treadmill so I’m praying for some milder weather. I asked the people running the challenge & they said my Water Aerobics classes qualify for the transition times, so I’m covered on that end. Water Aerobics also counts as 10 laps (500 yards) towards the swim, but again, laps won’t be an issue so why waste the work out?

The bike on the other hand…that’s where the real problem is going to be. We can either mountain bike/racing bike outdoors  (New England in February? Fat chance. I don’t have a death wish). A Spin Class counts as 15 miles towards the total goal, however at the best of times the Spin classes are completely full. That leaves recumbent biking when there’s no classes around. I’ve never used a recumbent bike. I’m excited I even know where to FIND a recumbent bike. So the prospect that I have to ride 112 miles, on a recumbent bike is daunting, to say the very least.

Maybe I can get my friend to do it with me anyways when they feel better. We’ve been trying to get on a workout schedule & this seems like decent motivation  (oh the workouts I’ve done for the tantalizing prize of a “free t-shirt & beer”). I was trying to recruit other people as well…but only the out of state people responded. We’ll see how it goes.

In Other News

I’ve finally found a decent yarn to use for Min’s munchkin’s baby blanket (the one due in July). I sent her about 10 different yarns with “sage green” in it over the past two days. Yesterday I had gone to JoAnn’s & was severely disappointed in the selection, but I sent Min some of those options anyways. Neither of us were in love with any of those yarns. 

Stopped in at Michael’s today & after multiple photos, we settled on a Bernat Softee Baby yarn, color Spring Baby. Unfortunately  (though fortunately I noticed prior to the checkout line) they only had one of the Spring Baby skeins, mixed in with a very close, but not exactly the same, Baby color (seriously, who came up with these names?). Ended up ordering the yarn off JoAnn’s online (25% off Bernat Yarns, $4.99 shipping any purchase).

All that’s left (after delivery) is to pick a pattern. I’m leaning towards the All-Star Hooded Blanket (minus the hood) that I’m using for the Temperature blanket, but we’ll see.


Getting Started

Today’s Average Temperature: 32°

Precipitation Type: None

Yarn Color: Blue

Well unfortunately this isn’t going to be as long of a post as I originally wanted. Between dinner clean up from tonight, making lunches & dinner prep for tomorrow, it got later than I expected. Just the bare minimum for the temperature blanket information I suppose.

1. COLORS!!!

The all important, fun aspect of the blanket. The following are the temperatures & their corresponding yarn colors.

  • -1°> Dove  Red Heart Supersaver  (RHSS)
  • 0-10° White RHSS
  • 11-20° Purple Tones RHSS
  • 21-30° Royal RHSS
  • 31-40° Blue RHSS
  • 41-50° Hunter Green RHSS
  • 51-60° Spring Green RHSS
  • 61-70° Bright Yellow RHSS
  • 71-80° Pumpkin RHSS
  • 81-90° Shocking Pink RHSS
  • 91-100° Burgundy RHSS
  • 100°< Lava Deborah Norville
  • Snow Diamond Vannas Choice
  • Sleet Zebra RHSS
  • Rain Macaw RHSS
  • Thunder/Lightning Banana Berry RHSS

2. Pattern Information

I was originally considering using a V-Stitch pattern from a baby blanket I like to make as the basis for the blanket. After spending my break time at work today contemplating the best approach, I decided to instead use a revised version of my favorite baby blanket by Lion Brand Yarns: All-star Hooded Blanket

I’ve used the pattern in full before with the hood, however as of late I prefer to use the pattern without the hood. It works up quick & looks great with variegated yarns:

The pattern is worked up in a series of shells. The baby blanket pattern is worked in sets of 3 stitches to form the shell pattern. For the base chain, it calls for 102 chains for 33 shells (the last 3 chains count as the first single crochet of the next row).

I’m following the baby blanket pattern instructions for the Temperature Blanket almost to the letter, including using the I Hook for my crochet hook. The only thing I’ve changed is I used 144 chains (48 shells) to get the width I desired instead of the 102 recommended in the pattern. One can increase or decrease the desired length of the base chain by 3 chains & the pattern will still work.

All that confusion being said…

(…it’s late, I’ll try to be more coherent later).

I managed to get 3 rows finished in the temperature blanket tonight (January 1-3); I’m currently averaging about 15/20 minutes per row which gives me hope that I’ll manage to get completely caught up to current dates this weekend; I’m only 22 days behind now which is better than yesterday.

Dinner for tomorrow should be all set, as long as I remember to turn on the crockpot before I leave for work tomorrow (I made Slow Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup). I’m hoping this will give me time to get in at least another 3-4 rows tomorrow. That’s all for now (here’s the kitties “helping” tonight):


Temperature Blanket

The first week of this new year, one of my aunts sent me a message, asking me if I would please consider making her a temperature blanket & attached a link. I briefly looked over the image she sent me, which was gorgeous then hopped over to Pinterest (of course) to do a bit more research.

The concept is simple, you assign certain yarn colors to temperatures for days. Then whatever that mean temperature is for the day, you crochet a row in that color, with the theory that by the end of the year there would be 365 rows making up a rainbow-striped blanket. Depending on how complex one wanted to make it, you could divide up the temperature ranges in 5° or 10° increments, use special yarn for certain weather patterns (rain, snow, apocalypse, etc), and holidays.

The idea intrigued me, as did the potential to do something nice for my aunt whose life hasn’t been the easiest. However, at the time, my DIY out of town wedding was one week away so I told her I would have to think about it. This was partly out of stress & everything going on with the wedding, & partly because afghans/blankets (as anyone who has EVER crocheted/knitted one knows) can be extremely expensive & time consuming, so I wasn’t overly inclined.

Fast forward to this past Monday after we rolled in at 2 am from our flight that was supposed to land us back in the New England at 9:45 the previous evening. Wedding & honeymoon, over & done with I realized I need a new project. Desperately. I have two baby blankets I need to make (one in May, one in July) but the parents-to-be aren’t sure about colors for the rooms yet so…what else can I work on?

I returned to the Temperature Blanket idea. Now that I’m not planning a wedding, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting…other than the fact that I’m 24 days in already so I’ll have to backtrack.

After some careful consideration, I decided I’m doing a 10° color representation (from below zero to over 100°, 12 colors in total), with 4 additional yarn colors for special weather patterns (Snow, Sleet/Ice, Rain, Thunderstorms). When originally asking my aunt, we agreed that if I decided to do the blanket, the temperatures would be decided upon wherever in the world I was at the time. This adds a little extra fun for the month of January as I was in New England, Central Florida, South Florida, & the Caribbean during the middle two weeks of the month.

I promise a color spectrum with names later, as 6 of the 16 colors I’m using are from my stash without the labels. With the exception of two of yarns I’m using all Red Heart Supersaver yarn. I will decide tomorrow (after some much needed sleep) exactly what pattern & crochet hook I’ll use, however I’m leaning towards a V-Stitch pattern that I usually use for baby-blankets as the pattern goes fast & doesn’t require much thinking after the first row. Below I’ve added a screen shot of the Pinterest Pin I used as a baseline; the link is also included here: Temperature Blanket Pin Page