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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Today Was A Bit Better!

I've spent most of the last two days working through my grief over the loss of Harry Schnauzer by sharing his story everywhere I can on the web, through emails, etc.  It can never change what happened, but it can increase awareness and make rescuers think twice in some situations, perhaps... as I will. I really am gratified by the number of people visiting his web page, and I hope they will spread the link far and wide. The more people who read his story, the better.

I  have been working on an afghan for a few months now, and I'm finally ready to unveil pictures of it now that it is almost done. It's at that stage where you have to cover up with it as you work it, and it's so decadent it often puts me into a nap! That's why I'm calling it the "Decadent Indulgence Afghan." It is exactly that.  The roots of this project were formed three years ago, when I started the similarly decadent dog sweater project. I shopped for the yarns with the most soft, luxurious feel to them in color themes. One time I'd go shopping for browns, another time for purples, etc.  These were designed in stripes, so along with all the colors there would always be another couple of whites or creams tossed in.

Last year, I designed a hooded scarf with pockets, and I did it the same way - color themes with more whites and creams for stripes. I remember more than one time at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby where I'd be on one of my yarn shopping adventures, and someone would come up to me and comment on how beautiful my cart looked with all the various gorgeous soft or sparkly yarns! That was so much fun.

Well, after all of these dog sweaters and scarves were made, I ended up with one big yarn stash - and enough of the whites and creams for an entire huge project of their own. In the photo, I'm almost to the end of it all!

 I started the lap afghan intending for it to be a vest for myself, but by the time several months had elapsed, I lost another size or two and the vest back was now too big.  Some of these yarns are impossible to frog (rip-it, rip-it).  So I added several more inches of rows running down the side of the piece, then resumed the vertical rows - and an afghan was born.  Here is the afghan on my "workstation" - a footstool at my desk where SueSue Schnauzer likes to "test drive" my work!

I'm so amazed at the quality and vast quantity of beautiful, soft yarns out there now! There are too many to list here, but they will all be listed on the afghan pattern when it's completed. What's my favorite? My very, very favorite of them all? Boy that's a tough one, but I think it would have to be Infatuation. It's a yarn from Hobby Lobby and it's soft and silky, yet a bit fuzzy, and it feels like magic in your hands. My second favorite is Pitter Patter, a Bernat baby yarn. It feels like thick terrycloth gone softer somehow. The third prize winner is Enchantress, a newer yarn from Hobby Lobby that has a great feel to it plus sequins! And you don't get to be "SheilaSparkles" without some sequins in your afghan, right?! The stitch is a simple Moss stitch, the yarn is the star here.

If I had the time, everyone on my Christmas gift list would get one of these in their favorite color. But I just realized, I could make a pillow cover instead... hmmm! A decadent nappie pillow, what's not to like!

I worked up the directions today for the Crochet Illusion Necklaces I have been making for over a year now. There are also instructions for a bracelet, and a bit of info about semi-precious gemstones. There's also a suggestion to go shopping in your own jewelry box and look for old pendants you no longer wear - you can give a whole new life to old pieces.

In between the afghan and the website work, I've been working on a little sewing project.  Over the last year I bought several Norma Kamali stretchy knit tunic tops while they were sold at WalMart, because I simply adore them.  Unfortunately all of her tops have these ginormously long sleeves. I'm assuming you should wear them all pushed up in folds or something, but I hate that! I like 3/4 sleeves. So the other day I started cutting off all the sleeves and hemming them to fit me. That in itself was rewarding. But I started tossing all the sleeves in a pile, thinking maybe I could make matching headbands to the tops. After removing the seams from a couple of sleeve remnants, I found there was enough fabric there to combine a bunch of them and make them into a camisole top - so that's what I'm going to do! They're in everything from red to leopard so it may be just a bit wild. If it turns out cute, I'll show you.

On the schnauzer front, everybody is actually well now! That is such a wonderful thing. No one else has come down with parasites after Koby, and he is all better now back to his moo-ing little self! Ladybug is completely better and regaining weight. Bailey doesn't know it yet, but he's getting a badly needed haircut tomorrow!

'Til then, -s

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