Afghan 5 of 2 – Christmas Cover-Up

This is going to be the most annoying to write post I’ve done.  For some reason I keep losing the cursor on my laptop.  The good thing is that usually I can still work it by using the touchscreen.  It’s just hard to do some things that way with my fat fingers.  This is one of those times where I wish I understood computers better.

So I have finished this year’s teacher afghans.  Each of Willow and Jarrett’s regular teachers will be getting one for Christmas.  I’ll go back and get the three I had planned on getting this year another year.  Of course, after I thought I was finished Willow told me she has another teacher everyday.  She says it’s okay, because this teacher is only her teacher for this nine weeks.  It’s for RTI (which I still don’t know what that is), which changing each nine weeks.  I felt sick when she told me about her, but next year she will be one of Willow’s regular teachers.  School gets so confusing in middle school!

On top of all the teacher confusion, I have another new problem with my crocheting.  We are bottle feeding a baby goat.  Due to needing to feed him so often he is living INSIDE our house.  He has apparently decided that I am his mom.  He’s worse than a kitten about playing with my yarn!

George

He really wants to eat my yarn.  Since he enjoys watching car shows with my husband, he has been named for George Barris.  He drives me absolutely crazy, but he can be sort of cute sometimes.  The one way I’ve found to get him to leave my yarn alone is to let him cuddle on my lap.  It makes it a little more difficult to crochet with his head resting on my arm, but it’s easier than constantly pushing him off my stuff.

cuddly George

Christmas Cover-Up is a pretty simple pattern.  I found that it was not what I was expecting.  Before when I’ve done afghans with long double crochet stitches there has been an open stitch from placing a chain skip stitch where I was supposed to place the long double crochet.  Also, this is the first time I’ve done extended long double crochet.  I do not like those.  I have a feeling they’ll get snagged on things very easily.

no chain

Willow says this is her favorite afghan this year.

full

I think this one should go to a math teacher.  The way the long double crochet stitches and extended long double crochet stitches are laid out looks like the marks on a ruler. I was so afraid I was going to miss a stitch somewhere and have those lines all squiggly.

close up

I went to get gift bags for these.  I like to use the reusable shopping bags for that, since they’re much sturdier and cheaper than actual gift bags.  Cracker Barrel usually carries great Christmas bags for this.  Unfortunately when we went there for the bags they were already sold out of Christmas themed bags.  They had some really pretty peacock bags.  We got some of those, but we’re still looking for a couple more.  Since Willow has three male teachers this year we are guessing they don’t want the girly bags.

Off topic

I know this blog is usually about afghans or crochet, but I need to post about something completely unrelated this one time.

Back in May of 2012, my sister was babysitting my kids.  They were playing in the backyard.  Kids being kids, they were in and out of the house several times.  One of those times the door was left open.  Our pug, Oliver, got out and we never saw him again.  Leonidas, our mastiff, nearly mourned himself to death.  He wouldn’t eat, drink, or go outside for a week.  He was taking toys and leaving them at the door where Oliver ran out.

We did everything we could think of to find Oliver.  We posted on Facebook, Craigslist, the local newspaper…  We checked at local shelters and called around to veterinarians and groomers.  Oliver had a microchip, so after a while we realized someone must have seen a valuable dog to use as a stud and had no intention of giving him back.  (Oliver is AKC registered, but even without papers pug puppies can be quite expensive.)

Yesterday, I got a call that I had completely given up on ever getting.  I was told that Oliver had been found!  We got the information and went to meet with the people who had him.  Apparently that morning he showed up at their house.  Being decent, honest people they cleaned him up and took him straight to the pet store to have him scanned.  (Since it was Sunday a pet store is probably one of the only places where dogs can get scanned to check for microchips.)  I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news.  Tears of joy have barely stopped flowing.

got him

We just got him!  Since I had to leave town for work the same day it was only fair that I got to hold him on the way home.  He seems mostly healthy, although he’s terribly skinny.  I’m sure that won’t be a problem for long.  Sometime while he was on his grand adventure he was neutered.  At least we got that done for free!  It just would have been nice if the vet he saw at that time would have scanned him and found his microchip.  Since he’s home now, I’m not too concerned about that.

Rikki, our little girl pug, had not met Oliver.  She joined our family after he was gone in part to heal Leonidas’s heart. (It worked.)  She has been his shadow ever since he got home.

pugs

I tried to get a picture of Leonidas reuniting with his long lost buddy.  I’m pretty sure they recognized each other.  All the pictures of these two are just a blur.  Check out the tail action!

blur buddies

Shortly after this I had to leave.  Josh sent me one more picture for the evening to let me know he was still doing okay.

sleepy pug

I’m just going to have to make an afghan for him!

I am so looking forward to going home this weekend!  After our experience, I would ask that anyone who learns of our story to please urge your veterinarian and any animal related business you know to scan all animals for a microchip.  While whoever had him neutered must have had the best of intentions for him, there was a family missing him terribly for two and a half years.  Even though we never expected to see him again, we often wondered where he was and if he was safe.  It’s such an awful feeling not knowing these things about anyone you love.  We are so thankful for those honest people in this world!

Afghan 31 – Spring Clover

This afghan is a complete embarrassment! I ended up cheating on it in the end. To be honest, I finished all but the tassels on it back in November. It has set in the corner (yes, it deserved to be in the corner) since then with two tassels on it. Tassels are such a headache to make!!

I set it aside so long ago, that I don’t even remember the names of all the colors I used. I know that I chose purples, because while I was shopping for the yarn, there was a clearance sale on a one pound skein of Caron yarn. I think it was Lilac, but anyway, it’s what made me decide to use purples for this one. That and the fact that I never do afghans in all purple. Purple has always been my least favorite color.

Lots of purple

Lots of purple

I was afraid of doing this afghan before I did it. It looks complicated in the pictures. It turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated doing, and I really enjoyed making it.
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It ended up being a very small afghan. Since it’s in purples, it will make a nice gift for a little girl. That’s probably what I’ll do with it.
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The worst part of this afghan was the tassels. I seriously put off finishing this afghan for eight months, because the tassels were so hard to make. It was at this point that I decided to give up on the tassels and do fringe. Fringe is much easier. The tassels would have looked better, but the afghan probably would not have ever been finished.

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!

Since my darling husband decided to bring kittens into our home, they have decided that they are welcome to play with my yarn. I have made it clear that I am not okay with this. My son decided he should teach Kelly a lesson. She seemed to enjoy it, though.
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Afghan 29 – Christmas Trees

I have been unable to post for far too long. Mostly it’s because I haven’t actually finished an afghan in quite a while. I do have a few that are just so close to being done. I promise that I really have been busy! It wasn’t ALL due to me being lazy. (A lot of it was.)

Until the first week of July, my family spent most of our time preparing for the 4-H fair. This year both of my kids took market lambs. My daughter had a whether and decided to try a ewe this year. Their names were Betsey and Johnson. Both of my son’s lambs were whethers. Their names were Troy and Abed. It makes us super happy when people get those references. Overall they placed 5th, 14th, 17th, and 18th out of 20 lambs. To be honest, I was pretty glad to see Willow did not do as well as she had done last year. You learn more when you don’t win. All of the kids worked really hard, and I’m proud of all of them.
Jarrett lamb

Willow lamb

Willow did say that she will never get another ewe. Betsey trampled her a time or two and was much more difficult to work with than the other lambs. Both of the kids said they don’t want to take lambs next year. Willow changes her mind every few minutes about which animal she does want to take. The only thing we refuse is hogs. Jarrett says he doesn’t want to show any animal. He wants to take a science project. That’s perfectly fine, too. Although he was happy to do work in the barn, he never has been one to want to be in front of a crowd. I thought he was going to be sick in the show ring. He even told the judge he was not going to show lambs again. That made the judge smile!

We got both of the kids some good boots for the show ring this year. Willow had been wanting a pair of Justin Gypsies for a long time. We made her wait, because her feet grow so fast. She picked out a really cute pair.boots She fell in love with them. She had to keep them in her lap for the car ride home. Even when she fell asleep in the car, she kept her arms around the box!boot nap

I bought my husband a new lawn mower for our anniversary. (Yes, we’re country.) On July 4, he decided to let Willow cut the grass in the field. She loves cutting the grass! The only problem is that this lawn mower shuts off if the driver gets off the seat. She is so light that it shuts off every now and then if she hits a bump or anything. mower

The first day at the fair was Jarrett’s ninth birthday. Due to the timing of his birthday, the only celebration was that we got him an ice cream cake to share at the fair campground. (We have plans to go to an amusement park later when the crowds won’t be as bad.) He said that since it was he ninth birthday, it should have a ninth Doctor theme. He was so happy with it!

Have a FANTASTIC birthday

Have a FANTASTIC birthday

One of the big events at the fair was monster trucks. Jarrett enjoys the trucks. He likes the idea of the size of the trucks. Unfortunately, he does not like the noise. Luckily, we were able to see one of the trucks parked on a day before the show. He had me take his picture with it. We decided that maybe we’ll watch monster trucks on TV sometime with the volume low.
monster truck

All of the 4-H kids are allowed to take two projects each year. Jarrett’s second project was Safe Use of Guns. He had a blast working on it! He won second place. He does plan on continuing with something in the shooting sports next year. Willow’s second project was Pocket Pets. She took the sugar gliders for that. While we were there, the baby we’ve been waiting for came out of its mom’s pouch! (This evening while I was typing this, Josh brought it out to show me that it has just opened its eyes.)
sugar baby

These are things that have helped to keep me from crocheting and posting. Finally I will actually show you my afghan I finished. Christmas Trees is done in green, white, and red in the book. I tried to make it a little less Christmassy by changing the colors. I used Red Heart’s Paddy Green and Coffee and I Love This Yarn’s Pale Denim. I thought this would make it appropriate for a cabin-style decorating year round. Of course, everyone who has seen a piece of it instantly saw Christmas trees.
1234

Since it was made from 54 squares, it was a lot easier to carry around to work on it since I was working with three strands of yarn at one time.

forest

It’s not quite the Christmas look that they intended, but it does still make everyone think of the holiday. It will be good for napping on the couch during Christmas break.

Snuggles Project

The afghan I am currently working on is going to take me FOREVER to finish. My husband chose the colors. It is going to be his afghan. I have never before allowed a person to tell me how to make one, and after this experience, I never will again. It is currently in the aggravation corner while I talk myself into picking it up to work on it again.

While I am dealing with this frustration, I still want to be productive. I was given some yarn for Christmas that I didn’t know how I would use it. The yarn is Red Heart’s Mexicana. It is a rainbow variegated yarn. I was given two skeins of it. Typically I avoid variegated yarns. They cost the same as single color yarns, but come in smaller amounts, so they’re more expensive in the end. You can’t control how the finished product will look. This can be a good thing. I tend to need to control everything (see the opening paragraph), so it’s just not my normal yarn.

Thanks to the snow and my hatred for cold, I have spent a lot of time on the internet. I was on Pinterest more than anyone should be trying to figure out something to do with this Mexicana yarn. Finally I went to the Red Heart website to see if I could find a project they had used it for in one of their free patterns. Once there I got sidetracked. (Big surprise, right?)

I found a place where I could use my yarn! Not just this yarn, but any yarn that I can’t figure out a perfect pattern for it. There is a group where you can donate your afghans, and the recipients don’t even care how they look. They can feel and smell the love that went into making them! That’s all that matters to this group!

If you haven’t heard of it, the group I found is called the Snuggles Project. You have to read the guidelines for the group to understand everything, and I’m still getting familiar with it. I’m just very excited to have found the group. You make your afghans-crochet, knit, sew, whatever-and contact a participating rescue group. They give the blankets to cats and dogs in shelters to help comfort them while they wait for forever homes.

I have decided to try to make an afghan for this group whenever I get in a funk with my own challenge. (It’s now just to try to get through that book before I die, so I SHOULD have plenty of time.) The first one I made with the Mexicana and some leftover purple for an edging. I just did a single granny square, since I didn’t know how much I would be able to make. For the edging I did a round of single crochet followed by a round of half double crochet.

Sure to brighten someone's day!

Sure to brighten someone’s day!

I still don’t have any other ideas of how this yarn would be used. It’s a lot of bright.

Of course, I had to have Miss Rikki model it. We discussed what it was for, and although she loves it, she has given her permission to give it to a puppy without a family to cuddle.

Eye can't believe there are puggies out there with no one to cuddle!

Eye can’t believe there are puggies out there with no one to cuddle!

Busy, Busy, Busy

It has gotten so busy around here! I can’t believe how little I’ve gotten done. I do have several afghans in the works. I’m just not getting any finished.

Guess what we did yesterday! Willow’s lambs made their way to the barn from the breeder. She is taking Market Lambs as her first 4-H project. She’s a bit of a Supernatural fan, so the lambs are named Sam and Dean. I asked her what she thought about Sam and Dean going to be slaughtered at the end of the fair. Her response was that they die all the time. It’s okay. I think my kids may be a bit on the strange side.
lambs March 23
Sam is the tall one. Dean is the short one who loves to eat.

Jarrett was supposed to race at the district pinewood derby race yesterday. When he got there he was told he was disqualified, because he had graphite on his wheels. We hadn’t heard of this rule before, but it is what it is. He was heartbroken. His dad took him and bought him some new Skylanders, which made him feel better. While Willow and I were working in the barn, he sat in the car cradling his new characters.

I went on a job interview this past week. It was such a crazy, busy day. (They all kind of are right now.) When I got home from the interview I realized that I had a rip in the seam of my pants, and I had forgotten to put on deodorant. I probably won’t be hearing back from them.

I promise that one day I’m going to get back to posting about my afghans. I’m just kind of in a funk right now. Plus, I’ve got some people asking me to crochet other things for them. I’m going to try to get as much done as I can when I find free time.

Success!

I actually finished my afghan on time this week! Ceiling Cat was right to tell me to do one that was tried and true. Thanks, Ceiling Cat!

photo - Copy
I really like this one. I LOVE Red Heart’s with Love yarn. It’s not too expensive, but it’s super soft.

photo - Copy

I accidentally made this afghan eight inches longer than it is supposed to be. Oops! My 6’4″ husband was happy about that accident until he found out I was putting the fringe on it. (For some reason he hates fringe.) I like the fringe. It’s one of those things that entertains me when I’m snuggled up under an afghan. There must be an ADHD child inside of me.

This was a pretty big week at my house. Everyone should be really proud of me for getting finished with my afghan with all we had going on here. (Please pat me on the back and tell me I’m awesome.) I started homeschooling my kids this week. It’s an online school, and they’re really enjoying it. We decided to homeschool my son, because he was not being challenged at all in the city’s school. It was so bad he thought his teacher thought he was stupid, and that’s why she gave him such easy work. (We talked to her. She did not think he was stupid, they just had to stick to the lesson plan for second grade.) My daughter decided she wanted to be homeschooled on her own. We thought she would hate it, because her biggest problem with school was that she wanted to talk to her friends instead of doing her work. That problem was eliminated. She still has dance, karate, and other activities where she sees her friends, so she is okay with it.

Guess who else started school this week. Me! I feel like I’m way too old for this. I’ve certainly not gained any good study habits in the years I’ve been out of school. I have a useless degree, so now I’m in a phlebotomy program. It’s short and simple, so I should make it through like a big girl.

Is that enough going on in one week. Heck no! We also adopted a three year old English mastiff. I mentioned her in my Training post. We already had a male mastiff. He will be three in April. He is absolutely in love with the new girl! She has been spoiled to getting scraps of people food, so she’s about twice his size. I need to get her weighed. I’m pretty sure she’s a bit heavier than I am. It’s so much fun having a lap dog who is bigger than you are.

I forgot to put on here how much this afghan cost! I think I need to keep that in each afghan’s post just to remind myself. Anyway…[(6 * $3.47)+$2.77]$1.06=$25. (It almost makes it look like I’m good at math when I put it like that, doesn’t it?) This one was much cheaper than last week’s, but also a lot less intricate. The one I’m working on for next week is even cheaper.