Thursday, April 29, 2010

InterestME: KnitCroBlo3 & knitCroBlo4

One Great Knitter
Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way. TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo3
A New Skill
Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe  you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork. TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo4

 I've already written about being inspired by the wonderful Woolly Thoughts Curve of Pursuit blanket and next attempting to tackle cables wilth the twisty Quinn bag. So I was gonna skip these 2 days because I didn't really know what else to write about.  Not to mention I'm good for not quite following through.  But whilst sitting here being good little WorkME, my ears tuned in and the lightbulb lit up. So in an effort of stickingtoitness, I bring you days 3&4 combined.
So thanks to OnlineCrackSpot I no longer listen to music when I work. I listen to podcasts. And more specifically, I listen to crafty podcasts.  If I can't knit, then I can learn more about knitting. There are several that I have subscribed to that I enjoy. You can find them over there in the right column, InterestME: podcasts.  One in particular that I really really like is The Knitmore Girls.
 For those who aren't familiar with them, The Knitmore Girls are a mother-daughter knitting team who chat about their knitting adventures. Jasmin & Gigi are like knitting goddesses. They are constantly churning out beautiful intricate sweaters, shawls, and socks. They've even developed their own oft-referenced sock pattern Vanilla Socks. I'm learning to do magic loop just so that I can make my first pair one of these days. TKG is full of handy tips and tricks, product reviews, and proof that even knitting goddesses can make mistakes and be attacked by knitting too.  Every now and again their advance skills and topics can be a little overwhelming for a newer knitter, but its not usually for long.
  TKG and the other podcasts that I enjoy give you the feeling your having a nice little convo over coffee.  Most of these are what continue to spur my interest in blogging. And one day maybe even attempting to start podcasting myself. Heck I already pretend I'm doing just that whenever I type a new post.  Although since I can barely get a handful of people to checkout this here blog, I'd probably just be talking to myself. And Lord, I can't imagine people being soothed by my Muppet-on-helium sounding voice. But still I can see WannaME whining about wanting to have my own show.  Who knows, maybe one day.......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WannaME: KnitCroBlo2: An Inspirational Pattern

KnitCroBlo2: An Inspirational Pattern
Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft.

Um Hi, Maybe we haven't met yet. My name is WannaME. And my favorite phrase is"oooh I Wanna make that!" My entire CraftyME life stems from the desire to create things that may fall outside of my current skill set. Heck that's how I began knitting. Go big or go home right? When it comes to projects I totally queue based on the wow factor. As a newer knitter, I don't want to get caught up in the whole "oh such and such is too hard for a beginner" mentality. It's like a little kid. They don't really know fear until you tell them they should be scared. Kids jump in with both feet.
When I first joined OnlineCrackSpot I simply crocheted. I would look at these amazing knit projects and with each passing day wanted to knit more and more. Then I saw it, the Curve of Pursuit. The coolest looking blanket EVAH!  And several more like it. That was it. I was gonna try my hand at knitting again and I was gonna knit this blanket.

So I practiced a little. Made some headbands and dishcloths. And then I began to tackle it.  Honestly it really isn't as difficult as looks. The hardest part about it, and the reason it's hibernating now, is that it just requires a lot of time to complete each color section. Oh it will be finished before the end of the year. Wait for it....

As far as current pursuits go, I've got a couple of BigFish projects that I'm dying to dive into. I finished my first pair of socks so now I've gotta make 2 pair at time. And I so can't wait to give cables a go. I've got the yarn all wound up and ready to go. And in true WannaME fashion, if I'm do a cable project know and believe it's gonna be a hell of a cable. If I haven't mastered cables by the end of making the Quinn Bag  then's a wrap

Seriously though, if there is something that you aspire to make, go for it. If you mess up a little you mess up. We are lucky to live in a time where we can make socks because we choose to not because we have to. So if it takes you 6 months to complete a pair or even if you only make 1, it's not the end of the world. If your cables turn the wrong way or if you drop a stitch, eh so what. Fake it til you make it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

RememberME: Memory Monday....

 In keeping with Memory Monday I decided to add this little piece of nostalgia. Unfortunately I couldn't find the yellow chain to post with this entry. I did come across this hilarious letter that I wrote and mailed to my dad around the same time period. All spelling errors are courtesy my 10yr old self, circa Feb 1, 1988. It reads: Dear Mr Roye: How have you been. I am in a rut. May I borrow $20.00 dollars untill March 31, 1988. If you can may I have it before Feburary 13, 1988? Thank you for your concern in this matter. Sincerly yours, Dorian Roye.

CraftyME:KCBW 2010 Day 1 ( KnitCroBlo1 )

So, as we all know by now, I spend an obscene amount of time visiting my online crackspot, Rav. Unlike in real life though, this crack is not whack. Wandering around that site, I have been inspired to try so many new things. And since I'm always looking for a place to belong, I've joined something else. In the tradition of the KAL/CAL my blog group,The Blog Hub has started a BAL. That's knit-along/crochet-along/blog-along for my noncrafty friends. Knittng and Crochet Blog Week 2010 is pretty much a way to increase not only our blogging skills but our sense of community as well.  For 7 days we will all write entries on the same topic. Special thanks to EskimmiKnits for putting the whole darn thing together. We will see how long I stick with it, we know how I do....

KnitCroBlo1: Starting OutHow and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?
My tale of how CraftyME was born began with an oops of sorts. I was a 20yr old away at college in Pittsburgh and my oops was being pregnant. Having grown up in a not especially tight-knit family (bad pun intended), I so wanted my baby to have a different life experience. I was determined to find something that I could pass down to my child. Something that we could share when he/she grew older or something they could have to share with their own child. I just didn't know what it would be, I didn't really know how to do anything.
One early-preggo,  particularly hormone filled day, around the first anniversary of my dad's death, I was sifting through my box o'nostalgia. I came across this looooooong yellow chain. I'm talking like a 25-50 ft or longer long, pale yellow crocheted chain.
 Years ago, when I was about 9 or 10, I spent a week with my Gram's sister while my Gram was away. About half way through the week I was extremely bored. Being the bookish, kinda nerdy child that I was, I had read all of the books I brought with me. My Aunt Cat attempted to occupy my time by teaching me to crochet. For some reason that I can't remember, all she did was show me how to start a chain. But at the time it was enough for me. I was gonna crochet something for my dad. I sat there for like 3 days chaining my life away. At the end of my stay I had a super-extra long yellow chain that i presented to my dad. And just as he did with every drawing, or card or whatever I gave him, he proudly displayed it in his living room. It wrapped 3/4's o the way around the room like a Christmas garland. It hung there for several years until he moved.
When cleaning out my dad's apartment after he passed, I opened the bottom drawer of his dresser. In it I discovered all of those old cards and drawings and the yellow chain. He had saved it all. Coming across it again that day,  I had my "A-Ha moment" as Oprah would say.
I was gonna make my baby the blanket that  my younger self envisioned making for my dad. I would learn to crochet. So I did what I so often did those days, waddled myself on over to the Carnegie library.  I checked out Crocheting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti, bought a ball of random baby looking yarn and a hook. I spent the next 7 months crocheting away I am happy to say that I did end up with 3 lovely blankets before MiniME was born. Not just feet upon feet of crochet chain. lol. And 11 years later I'm still hooked. (again bad pun intended)

Monday, April 19, 2010

CraftyME/WannaME:check it out...

So I just wanted to take a quick second to point out that one of my fav podcasts, NevernotKnitting is doing an AMAZING!!!!!!1111 giveaway. Let me tell you WannaME's mouth is watering. I've been watching this book on Ebay and Amazon. Now Alanna is giving it away along w/a bunch of yarn. Check it out.

WannaME: I think I've found it...

Ok, I've been looking and looking. And now I think I've found what is gonna be my actual first foray into quilting. Yeah I know I picked out that pink hexagon-y one but that may be a tad bit outside my skill set. My WannaME eyes tend to be a bit bigger than my CraftyME stomach so to speak. Since sewing is so high on WannaME's TTDL (things to do list), I have been wandering through page after page in the Sew Obssesed forum over on RAV. As always the OnlineCrackSpot is chockful of info and links. It brought me to Studio eFabrics which seems to have a lot of great FREE patterns. I like the Essentials ones. Especially this one because it looks like Swirls. (of course.) I think I just might be able to make my way through this one. Even if I can barely sew a straight line. We'll see.......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MommyME: The tale of MiniME as told by MyOtherHalf (MOH)....

So, Every so often I have really bad days. Really sad days. Days when I really want to write about what's going on, but I don't/can't. It's hard to vent about those days without giving the background/history to where a lot of it stems from. But I never really know how to write up that history.
Well yesterday my 20yr old nephew sent out a note to all of us on FB asking for inspirational stories. This coming from a young man just back from a year in the Army stationed in Iraq. While out being CraftyME picking up yarn and getting a much needed breather, I noticed that I had been tagged in a response to this request. MyOtherHalf (MOH), Jamal wrote this, and I decided to share it here as it says much of what I've been wanting to say. *Disclaimer* (tm Sunny) it's kinda long and kinda emotional. but then again so is our life.

The tale of MiniME as told by MyOtherHalf (MOH)....
As you are well aware of, I have a daughter that is disabled due to complications from a surgery that was needed to save her life. She has been battling brain tumors since she was fourteen months old. Back in September 2006, she had a surgery that was meant to relieve pressure put on her brainstem by the tumor. Because of where her tumor is located, and the nature of what her tumor is, the surgery was beyond risky and wasn't meant to save her life as much as was to prolong it.
She survived the surgery. That was a blessing in and of itself. The doctors couldn't promise anything; not even that she would make it off the table. She didn't fully awaken after surgery, but after all she had been through, the doctors figured she would sleep for a few days in order to recuperate. The Sunday after surgery, however, something went wrong. Her stats were all over the place. One minute she was about to have a stroke and the next her heart rate would be so low that the doctors felt she would just fade away. At some point Monday afternoon her stats leveled out, somewhat, and she fell into a comatose state. Every doctor who had examined her said she would die there.
Six months passed. Hospice doctors had suggested that we take her off of feeds in order to speed the process of death. It was a very difficult time for Dorian and me. Who wants to make those types of decisions about their child? Then something changed.
Mikayla has had cats that have basically grown up with her. They are, in essence, her siblings. When she first came home on hospice they would lay in her room almost mourning her. They would lie under her bed, on the dresser, on the chair, but never in her bed as they would when she was awake. We entered her room one morning to turn her, change her, and fill her feed bag and noticed that Lady, one of the cats, was laying on the bed beside Mikayla. Mikayla's hand rested on Lady's body as if she was trying to pet her. We thought ourselves to be crazy. It couldn't be. We called her doctor. She came out to the house to look Mikayla over. She decided to bring her in to the hospital to run some tests. We took her in to the hospital and a few days later, she awoke!
Since then, life has been very difficult and complicated. Mikayla has numerous disabilities that make it even more difficult to care for her. Caring for her is a full time job but it doesn't pay the bills. In order to do that, we both must maintain fulltime employment. We get very little help from Social Security. What they provide us with financially per month barely covers the cost of her pull ups if that. I have heard stories of children with ADD diagnosis who get more help. It could be that we are asking the wrong people. I am not sure. I do know that we could use the help. My daughter is now ten years old. She will be eleven in August of this year. She has been surviving; continuing to battle in a war that the doctors still say she has no chance in winning. One day she will be consumed by her illness.
We continue to hope that something will change. Even if it doesn't, I count myself as blessed to have known a child as resilient as Mikayla. It hasn't been easy, but she has taught me that nothing is impossible. She has overcome obstacle after obstacle in her life and continues to amaze doctors and people everywhere.
We push on through this life with the hope that one day we will be able to get the help we need. We push through the unknown everyday in hopes that our child will one day be able to live the type of life she had before she got too sick. We push because that is all we know how to do. It is my daughter’s legacy.
Share this story with as many people as you see fit. Hopefully it will encourage someone. Hopefully it will inspire others."

D.M.M.: I asked for inspirational stories... and this is what I got from an unexpected source...

I've never heard him my uncle say anything more serious than "Stop yelling, I'm trying to hear the game." Or "who drank the last lil' bit of Moscado?" But, I asked for inspirational stories and this is what he gave me... Wow... Just goes to show that no matter how u complain about the situation ur in, u've got people who have a tougher hand than u and are dealing with it... I love my fam and its company... This is why!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TouristyME…Phila MoA.

So I am such a tourist.  No matter where I go I'm like "wow look at that" or "oooo that is so cool". But the thing is, I never really go anywhere. I'm such a homebody. Mostly it's not by choice. Limited funds and limited childcare options tend to leave me house bound. WannaME is generally left to whine," I wanna go outside. I wanna go somewhere, I wanna do something.'" Blah blah blah.
Right about the same time that I realized that I should be blogging, I also realized that I should be doing things too. I had to make the decision that regardless of what was going on in my life, that I needed to live the life that I've been given.  Somewhere I came across a saying that I would adopt as yet another motto. "DON'T LET WHAT YOU CANNOT DO INTERFERE WITH WHAT YOU CAN DO"  Yes, MiniME requires alot and because of this there is a lot that I can't do. But this doesn't mean that I always have to do nothing. So I'm giving myself permission to take at least one weekend day a month to go do SOMETHING. ANYTHING… Even if I have to do it alone. Heck sometimes I want to do it alone, just so I can prove I can. 
Now I've lived in Philly for going on 10 years now. We relocated here from Connecticut so that MiniME could be treated @ CHOP( Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) since they were the ones who diagnosed her BT. In the 10yrs that I've lived here,  WannaME has longingly looked at all the touristy locals with deep sighs.  My other half and friends grew up here. These places represent boring school field trips to them. So I've never had anyone to go with me.  Well, no longer! I'm out! I'm gonna take advantage of all that my city offers. That and take advantage of being a Bank of America customer. They offer a program called Museums on Us, free admissions the first weekend of every month.
My first excursion was to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was one of the first spring-like Saturday afternoons and I had an amazing time. Now TouristyME fancies herself to be a photographer. So I had to give myself a photo-journalism mission. As I don't know thing to first about art, I decided to just photograph textures and things that caught my eye.

Oh yeah, although I am TouristyME I was only being a pseudo-tourist. No running up the Rocky stairs or posing like the statue. 
As this post is already super long, I won't go into detail. Let's just say I really enjoyed it and look forward to having and sharing  more touristy excursions. 

Click click, ME

Monday, April 12, 2010

RememberME: Memory Monday....Gram

So, I recently posted the picture of TheKid on FaceBook. My sister commented on how much TheKid looks like our grandmother. Now this isn't a newsflash or anything I mean TheKid looks just like ME, I look just like my mom, and my mom looks just like my Gram. But while TheKid is my MiniME, it really is eerie how much she favors her G-Gram. She even acts just like her. Here they are together, about 7yrs ago.
Now I'm sitting here QA'ing away, being mostly good WorkME (shh). But I got to thinking how much I miss my Gram. I am one of the last generations that grew up with grandmothers who were 2nd mom's. Not these newfangled ones of today. I lived w/my Gram and mom until I went to college. Most of my life lessons were learned in her kitchen. Heck my most memorable asswhippings were from her hands.

I don't want to get all verclempt or however you spell it, my yiddish isn't that great. So rather than go into a bunch of tales this time around, I will simply proclaim Mondays as Memory Monday. And this first one is dedicated to you Ms Dorothy Lee Hogg Folkes! Gone but not forgotten.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

RandomME: Can someone multiplyME?.....

Seriously, can someone please multiplyME? I have like 52 billion & 2 things that I HAVE to do. 52 billion & 2 things that I NEED to do. And 52 billion & 2 things that I WANT to do. Side bar: this is how I got the name simplyme5252, because I use the phrase "52 billion & 2" all the time. Even though technically my name is only 52 hundred and 52. End sidebar.
Like I was saying... I HAVE  to be WorkME(shh) right now, trying to snag the teeny amount of OT they're offering. I NEED to be MommyME and work on the insane amount of laundry cluttering my basement. And to do some spring cleaning, which includes emptying out our drawers of all the clothes we can't fit anymore. That's about oh 85% of the stuff in there and is the reason laundry is so backed up. I WANT to be CraftyME and work on the baby blanket I'm crocheting for The Kid's teacher. And knit on my 2nd Clapotis. I also WANT to be WannaME and cast on for my first knit cable project. And start learning how to knit my 2@ a time socks. And learning how to change the fonts on this here blog. And.....Well the list of what WannaME wants could go on forever and a day
Let me get back to what I'm supposed to be doing. Le sigh, WorkME(shh)