crochet:: the chunk

I promised you the pattern for The Chunk a few weeks ago, and I am here to deliver.

I have finally finished it, and we love, LOVE, LURVE this blanket.

I’ve been working on this idea for a couple of years, just letting it percolate because I wasn’t really sure of the details.  I knew I wanted a bed-sized blanket in white or cream.  I knew I wanted it to be thick & squishy.  I knew NOT what pattern to use.  I knew NOT what super bulky yarn to use. Did I try several?  Oh heck yeah, I tried and frogged lots.  And then lots more.  And then ignored the urge for some months.  But it kept nagging at me.  I wanted a fisherman’s sweater for my bed.  The inspiration pieces from designers on Pinterest I could find were great, but they were all knitted.

When I gave up on the fisherman’s sweater look with complicated cables in a super bulky yarn, it finally clicked for me.  If I wanted a simple and classic monochromatic afghan, I needed a simple stitch pattern. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I looked back at my favorite patterns from the past.  Lo and behold, I realized the Dreamy Layers Afghan from back in 2011 could rock a single color with a nice pebbley, nubby texture. At that time, I had only bought 8 of the massive Bernat Blanket Yarn skeins I thought I needed.  Little did I know it would take double that!  In the end, you can make it whatever size that works for you, but I’m not gonna lie ~ it’s really awesome to have it basically end up king-sized on a queen-sized bed.

Expensive? Yes. 

Also. Totally. Worth. It.


the chunk afghan pattern can be found here::

https://www.ravelry.com/designers/lisa-victoria–yarnchick40

Please click on my pattern store to purchase.

 

I’m completely smitten with The Chunk paired with my Amazing Technicolor Dreamghan. And now, with these 2 in the done column, my bed is complete and we can handle whatever cold this winter has to offer.  I say, bring it on old man winter!

Thanks so much for stopping by & if you should decide to make The Chunk, please do come back to share your FO!

crochet:: outdoor cushions & the best adirondak chairs on the planet

Many years ago, I found a pattern in a magazine for some DIY Adirondack chairs and it was true love.  I was pining for a pair of them and my Dad was looking for a project to fill his non-golfing hours during the winter days of his retirement.  So it was decided that after Christmas that year, he would begin the project for me, his favorite daughter. (Nevermind that I am his ONLY daughter. I prefer to go down in history as his favorite.)  

Then life happened, as it often does.

I got diagnosed with cancer.  He got diagnosed with cancer.  We commiserated and spent our time trying to live normal lives while battling the big C.  The chairs dropped completely off of our radar.

Fast forward to this year, and my lovely friend Martha knew I still wanted those chairs.  She also knew that Frankie was not the woodworking type of guy.  She enlisted the help of her retired husband Don to bring my chairs to life.

Currently, I’m in the process of making cushions with scrap yarn.

One down, one to go 🙂

My Dad would be so happy to know that they are now part of my world.

crochet:: afghan envy

You know what they say about men & their vehicles when it comes to size, right?  What I need to know is what it means when it comes to hookers & afghan size…

I’ve taken on another king-size afghan project that is  currently running my life, and I’m not sure what my obsession is with massive blankets.  A couple of years ago, you may remember the Amazing Technicolor Dreamghan that was my afghan to beat all mother of afghans…

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well, take a peek at The Chunk.

And no, I’m not talking about Frankie (lucky dog is already down to his goal weight loss & that shot of his bicep it pretty hot…hmmm, where was I?…).

Oh, right…I’m about 3/4 of the way done with the chenille super bulky weight blanket he is reveling under.  Our love for it is rivaling the wooly counterpart.

I’ll be sharing the details when it’s complete 🙂

Happy hooking!

crochet:: on the topic of taking a break…


You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been taking a little breakity break from blogging.  There were lots of reasons, lots of things to do, lots of changes to be made in my life.

The long story has way too many layers to bore y’all to tears with, so the short story it will be…

My father’s death 1 1/2 years ago was very difficult and I have been in a funk ever since.  You can even see it in my blogging, or lack thereof.  I was in a miserable place both personally and professionally.  I changed jobs last summer and got my professional life in order to the point it no longer weighed down my personal life where I was attempting to deal with loss and sadness.  (I’m apparently still queen-of-the-run-on-sentence) 

This spring I decided I needed to *ahem* grow a pair and work on my personal life.  I made a list, as one does when one is as OCD as I tend to be.  I realized I needed to fix SO MUCH CRAP in my own head that the only way through it was to sprinkle in some rewards to myself or I would be overwhelmed.  I didn’t want to get to a point that I’d give up, my Daddy would not approve…

I began my Personal Reboot Challenge with simple things each week building on the success of the previous week.  Some things were easy, like ditching soda.  Others were very flipping difficult, like working out every day and quitting smoking.  I’m 3 months in and happy to report that I have completed the list, kept all the good habits and not reverted to the old bad ones!  There were small rewards along the way…a Runza hamburger, fries & a Dr. Pepper (OMG ~ hated it after eating healthy for so long), and with the money I’d saved by not purchasing cigarettes I got fancy & expensive hand-dyed yarn, and a new set of crochet hooks.  But the pièce de résistance was to finally make myself a studio space in my itty bitty house.   It took a ton of work, and even organizing an 8-family garage sale, but I did it!

I have emptied out the basement living room, and I’m in the process of making myself at home in my very own studio.

Here are a couple of pics with my progress so far.

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I still need to move 2 more of the white cabinets into my space, hang some art on the walls, and to find the right office chair…but I’m on my way.

Thanks for stopping by

&

Have a lovely day!

not just crochet:: how i spent a fall weekend

Because I am a homeowner, of course I spent much of the weekend fixing stuff. Stuff like cleaning the garage & gluing broken crap & vacuum maintenance.

Because duh, that’s most weekends. Amirite?!

BUT, because I am awesome at being a hermit and never leave my house, I was also able to finish up a few more desirable projects too.

My C~A~L socks are done & entered in the drawing for loads of squishy, pretty yarn…

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My ivy has been hung successfully…

it took 2 tries because I am pitiful at measuring sometimes 

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I got PUPPY TIME!!!

Alex’s girlfriend brought over these 2 for a play-date…PRECIOUS!

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Drumroll please…

I finished a spice rack up-cycling friggin masterpiece…

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Thank you to Martha for the donated old spice rack! My buttons are so OCD happy now😃

Thanks for stopping by!

not crochet:: memory box

I’ve never told you my baby’s name before, but it’s Alex.

And well, since he is larger & more of a badass than I, it’s probably safe to disclose that information 😀

I made him a card album & memory box this weekend since he has graduated & become an adult.

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He graduated in May, so I figure 3 months to get it done isn’t so bad. Baby shoes included:)

not crochet:: blenders, the multi-talented 8th wonder of the world

Did you know that blenders may be my all-time favorite small appliance?  If you knew, would you really care?  I’m gonna go with no on that second question, but I’m totally good with that.

But, did you also know that the same kitchen wonder can make both the perfect blended margarita as well as making your perfect shade of bronzer?  I KNOW, me either!

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My current DIY quest has me making my own mineral makeup.

mineral make up

It’s like playing mad scientist ~ without the mess of blowing anything up or alerting the authorities ~ I should get my own show called Breaking Bland 🙂

not crochet:: longing for the melons of water

It’s no secret that I love sweet juicy watermelon.

watermelon wedges

For 20 years, when Frank has cut down a tree for firewood, if the starting wedge turns out nice, he brings them to me for garden art.

A little tea, a little sunshine, a Sunday morning on the deck, and a little paint.

Enough slices to share with the neighbor girls 🙂

not crochet:: the dark arts

In the past, you may have visited while I talked about trying to perform the dark arts

a.k.a. knitting.

I pretty much have come to the conclusion that skill with 2 needles is completely out of my range of mastery.

Basically, I suck at it.

I’ve tried videos, books, small & large needles, in-person lessons…all to no avail.

When I was but a teenage hooker, knitting was in fashion and crochet was considered old lady stuff and dorky and I was even told it was a waste of time.  Not to be deterred from my love of hooker therapy, I quietly made afghans and amigurumi toys for myself and my family secretly wishing the whole time that I could learn to knit so that I could make stuff that was loved by the mainstream.  I thought to myself, if only I could spend the gobs of money it takes on a knitting machine I would make the most fabulous stuff.  

In the meantime, crochet has made a comeback.  And that makes me an incredibly happy hooker.  So much so, that when I turned 40 I decided I would hide my skill no longer and I started this blog that blossomed into an obsession for all things crochet.  Really, I had no idea that you noticed I’m obsessed.  You have also now noticed that the reason I named my blog yarnchick40 had to do with my mid-life crisis and no longer hiding who I really was. 

Now, on occasion I can be found doing some retail therapy both online and in the real world.  And, on occasion I happen to glance longingly at knitting machines.  Those puppies are expensive! I have never justified the cost of my hobby enough to cough up that much cash for what I consider a toy.  Because really, hobbies for adults are like toys for children. Amirite?? Would all the 5 year-olds in the room please raise their mud-pie smeared chubby little fists clutching a lego?

So my story goes like this::

My co-workers and I were innocently surfing the web doing our jobs first thing in the morning, because no one checks personal email or facebook first thing when they get to work.  Lo and behold, my co-worker’s friend bought an old auction house in a tiny town nearby and was posting all the random stuff that was left in the building by the previous owners.  She was posting hundreds of pictures, and somewhere in the midst my co-worker piped up across the office, ‘hey, you wanna knitting machine?’

 I held my composure and did not start jumping up and down flailing my arms like the 5 y/o I am.  I nonchalantly  replied ‘umm, sure if it’s cheap’ knowing full well she could be asking $500 or more.  I was wrong.  We chatted by phone, my co-worker’s friend and me, and neither on of us had any idea what the stuff was worth or what pieces were there or if any of it would ever work.  She looked it up online and shot out a price of $250, I said ‘nah, not worth the risk’.   She decided to suggest $150.  Then I perked up.  I had that much left in my yarn fund. 

I was still undecided so I told her let me think a bit about it, because let’s face it I am NOT a gambler.  

But then I realized I NEED TO TAKE SOME CALCULATED RISKS or I would be boring FOREVER.  And then I called her back up and offered $100 to save it from the scrap metal dealer and she said ‘DEAL’.

THAT, my friends was the moment I was able to lose my composure and  start jumping up and down flailing my arms like the 5 y/o I am.

All the while, I thought I was going to be lucky if::

a.) all the parts were there for a knitting machine

b.) would it cost me another $500 to get all the missing stuff replaced

c.) was it even manufactured anymore

d.) a multitude of other crap

FYI, if you should ever buy a knitting machine know that they weigh what feels like 100# each.

…and then 24 hours went by like I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office because I wanted my lollipop and dammit I wanted it NOW

passap pinkie

 In the end, I have acquired the following::

Passap Duomatic “Pinkie” (minus the yarn cup and 1 blue stripper)

pieces

Brother KH-120 & KR-120 manual machine & ribber

Brother KH-860 & 2, count ’em 2 KR-850 ribbers, a color changer,  floppy drive & punch card reader

a multitude (I like that word today) of punch cards, manuals, floppy disc patterns & spare parts

5 crochet hooks (damn dark arts STILL require the assistance of a hooker implement, booyah)

As of this week, I have spent over 30 hours of my sparse free time cleaning them, setting them up, searching for manuals, watching youtube videos and attempting to knit.

So far, I still suck at knitting.

brother cast on

I’ve cast on properly ONE time.  And then I promptly jammed the machine.

I’m just going to keep at it!

crochet:: an update and the next big thing

As I near the end of Frankie’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamghan…

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of course I have to find another massive project to fill my winter months…

glider

Yes, I saved this glider from the dumpster.  I really need to quit doing stuff like that.

Frank helped me cut out the old seat webbing, and get it all cleaned up.

Now it’s time for me to design some yarnbombing.

I’m currently undecided if it will be acrylic yarn or nylon cord.  I’m leaning towards nylon cord for longevity, but the color choices aren’t as fun as I’d hope.  Hmmm, sounds like I need to do some retail therapy 🙂

Make today ridiculously amazing!