Blocking, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Or maybe not, cause that sounds like dull blog fodder. Let’s just say that I never cease to be amazed at the magic that can be worked by some water and some pins… If you looked at the photo mosaic I created showing my afghan blocks to date, you probably noticed how wonky many of them were.
So today I broke out the Euclan and my amazing xmas gift from my mom- a block and roll mat. I have some of the interlocking foam squares and they have always worked well, but this mat is a step up! The gridded markings meant that I could easily pin each square to the exact same shape and size, and the design of the mat means I can move it easily if my family has the nerve to want to eat at the dinner table before the squares are completely dry.
Exactly half of the squares for the 2011 Odyssey Afghan fit on the mat at one time- including one new square. Can you spot it?
That means I should probably finish those final 2 squares so I can block the remainder ASAP. One Tunisian from September, one front and back post from October…
I’m simply amazed by how nicely the blocks are squaring up- I told myself blocking would work miracles, but I didn’t really believe it… Until today! And I deliberately started with the absolute worst squares.
I’m late to the Pinterest party, but boy of boy, am I addicted now that I have joined!
You can check out my obsessive pinning if you’d like…
The amount of crafty inspiration I’m gleaning from searching through other’s pins is wonderful. Last night, I taught myself a new Tunisian crochet technique via fabulous page of free tutorials I repinned… My Crochet Goodness board is bursting at the seams with tutorials for things like flat seams. See what I did there?
There’s also sewing ideas, knitting related goodness, and funny things that tickle my geeky fancy.
Of course, the number of fabulous new ideas I’ve seen over the last few weeks could be dangerous. Like when I used to subscribe to the New York Times Book Review- and managed to read all about the new books out there, but not to actually read the books themselves… In my head, I have cast on several shawls, and pulled fabric for multiple new quilts. And planned the ultimate Angry Birds birthday for Henry. In reality, not so much any of that!
At the end of 2010, I decided to try to learn how to crochet (again.) I dabbled a bit before that, a scarf here, a hat there, but I never felt comfortable with the craft. Certainly not comfortable enough to read a pattern and make something on my own!
And then I saw Cat’s amazing afghan. Cat’s a teacher at Fancy Tiger, and she came up with this awesome sampler afghan- which then became a full year class. Starting January 2011, meeting once a month to master a different block. The class was free with the purchase of all the yarn up front. I signed up, and talked an acquaintance into joining me. Best decision ever. The casual acquaintance has become a valued friend, and I’m finally more comfortable with crochet. (Still working on reading patterns, though!)
Here’s where I started:
(I ended up adding some more blue and green over the course of the year.)
I decided to make each month’s block twice to better cement the concepts into my little brain. And now, just over a year later, I have 21 finished blocks! (I missed September’s class, and only made one of October’s…time to finish those up!)
Pretend they’re all perfectly square, okay? Once I finish the socks currently on my needles, I will tackle those 3 missing blocks, and then move on to sewing the whole mess together. And then a border. And then a year’s work will be done!
Meanwhile, I signed up for the 2012 class. 4 folks from last year did- we all loved it so much. The blocks will have some differences, and we’ll all get 2 hours a month of guaranteed hang-out-and-hook time! Let’s hope I can finish the 2011 blanket before I get too engrossed in the 2012 version…
Readers from my old blog may remember how shocked I was to discover that I am a hockey fan. I attended my first hockey game about 2 years ago, and hated it. It was a horrible game, more fighting than playing, and we were seated near some truly special individuals. I stomped around for days loudly wondering why anyone called this a sport, and swearing never to go to another game.
Until I got free tickets to another game. So I went, and loved it- this was a real game, not an excuse to fight on the ice, and it was awesome. And so Sam the Hockey Fan was born.
I’m trying to pass this fandom on to my offspring, so whenever we get a chance to go to a game, I try and take it. Just before Christmas we were gifted some 4th row(!) seats to a game, and what a game it was. Fabulous playing from both teams, neck and neck all the way through overtime and into a shoot-out- when the Avs finally won! A wonderful usher in our section hooked the kids up with actual official game pucks and they declared it the best night ever. We took a cute pic of them with their pucks to remember the night…
And then I entered that pic in the Avs official Facebook Fan of the Game contest- and it won! Free tickets to another game- great seats- plus 2 official Fan of the Game Ts for the kids- and their winning photo up on the jumbotron! And two very very happy kids!
We took my mom with us- her first hockey game ever- and we may have converted her to fandom. Because it was a school night, we left after the 2nd period, which was apparently a bad choice as the 3rd period went to overtime and a victory for the Avs…
Meanwhile, can you guess what I did during the game?
Miles of stockinette make this sweater, Carrot Cardigan by Hannah Fetig, the perfect take along project. I got a few inches done and didn’t miss a second of the action. I’ll take the sweater back with me on Feb 4th for the 2012 Sticks N Stitches Game- locals, you can get tix here. I’m trying to lure my entire 2012 afghan class with me… it will be a blast! See you there?