Thursday, December 18, 2008

Royal Braid and Diamonds Dishcloth

I'm currently putting my patterns into PDF files and will be adding them to Ravelry very soon. This is one I worked up last year and just never got around to posting. I hope you like it.

Royal Braid and Diamonds Dishcloth

By Mindy Hobgood

12” square

Worsted weight cotton
Size 8 needles

CO 53 sts
Knit 4 rows in Garter St

Row 1: (right side) Sl 1, k7, *p1, k7; rep from *4 more times, p1, k4, p3, k2, c4f, p3, k4.

Row 2: Sl 1, k6, p3, k3, p3, *k1, p1, k1, p5; rep from * to last 10 sts, k1, p1, k1, p3, k4.

Row 3: Sl 1, k5, *p1, k3; rep from * 6 more times, p1, k2, p3, c4b, k2, p3, k4.

Row 4: Sl 1, k6, p6, k3, p1, *k1, p5, k1, p1; repeat from * to last for sts, k4.

Row 5: Sl 1, k3, *p1, k7; repeat from * 3 more times, p4, k2, c4f, p2, k4.

Row 6: Sl 1, k6, p6, k3, p1, *k1, p5, k1, p1; repeat from * to last 4 sts, k4.

Row 7: Sl 1, k5, *p1, k3; rep from * 6 more times, p1, k2, p3, c4b, k2, p3, k4.

Row 8: Sl 1, k6, p3, k3, p3, *k1, p1, k1, p5; rep from * to last 10 sts, k1, p1, k1, p3, k4.

Repeat row 1-8 till piece measures approximately 11 to 11 ½ inches, end with 4 rows garter st.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday projects

The deadline is fast approaching and I only have one project completed. The River Rapids Socks for Jo are done.

The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Tropical Storm, knit on size 2 dpns. No alterations to the pattern. I'm thrilled with these.

I still have to finish a stocking for my friend's baby.

As you can see, this is croche, I'm not only knitting these days. :) The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in worsted weight and I'm using a G hook. The colors are Navy, White Frost and Blue Heather. I need to go get anogther skien of the Blue Heather. I think I've made the foot a little too long, obviously I've been making too many socks. :)

The two remaining projects are also socks:

This one is Hedera from Cookie A. The yarn is Koigu. I'm very happy with the way these are turning out. I'll tell you all about the modifications I made later.

And this one is Monkey, also by Cookie A. This yarn is Claudia Hand Paints in Chocolate Cherry. I'm still waffling on this one. It's hard to tell here, I had to lighten the picture a bit to make the colors show up properly, but the colors are creating a sort of wide striping effect. I'm not sure I like the striping with this pattern. I did look at some of the projects on Ravelry and I see a lot of people have used stripy yarn. But..I'm still not sure. What do ya'll think?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Good idea!

Does anyone read Michelle's blog? She's fellow Las Vegan and crafter. We met through the Las Vegas Knitters group. She is a lovely person, inside and out. I enjoy reading her blog, she has some very interesting recipes and lots of good crafty stuff. A while back she started making reusable cloth pads. These might seem a little wierd to some people, my friend Nicki thinks they're "creepy". I think they're brilliant, so I made some.

These are all made from cotton flannel. The ones with the two different prints used are panty liners. The ones made from a single print are pads, they have two layers of terrycloth (recycled from old kitchen towels). They also have a pocket opening that allows the insertion of additional terrycloth layers.

These are the terrycloth inserts:

They all have snap closures. I was afraid the snaps would be uncomfortable, but I can't feel the snaps at all. I have used them (after the pics were taken) and am very happy with them. I've purchased a few more flannels and some fleece and I plan to make lots more. I'm planning to have enough of these to stop using the paper ones entirely. Just a little less trash in our landfills.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In case your wondering...

this is still a craft blog. My rant the other day was because I was so frustrated talking to cranky people all day long. I need a new job.

Anyhow, on a happier subject, I just discovered this. Dudes, I really wanna go. I'll have to work on that.

I am still knitting, lots. I don't have any pictures to show you because my laptop died and that's were the pictures are. I am working on a pair of socks for my good friend Jo, who we all lovely refer to as Ma. I am making Sock Bug's River Rapids Socks. You may recall I attempted this pattern once before and it didn't go so well with the yarn I was using. This time the yarn is working out much, much better. I am using Cherry Tree Hill in the Tropical Storm colorway. This's the pattern that kicking my ass. Which I have to say is just stupid because it's really an easy pattern. I have had to frog sections of it three times so far for dumb mistakes. Apparently, I just can't seem to remember where I am in the pattern repeat. I'm still on the first sock and really the pair ought to be done by now. I have two more pairs of socks I really want to have done by the holidays for gifts, so I have got to get a move on.

Since the socks were beating me up so badly, I decided to cast on something new. I am making a pair of Knucks for my hubby. I love the yarn, it's a grey color, with some white flecks and a few little random flecks of light blue. You can only see the blue bits if you look really close and under the light. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed, I think the colorway is Whisper. This is some of the yarn a bought when I went to Pennsylvannia for my job training. I like the way they're coming out. I started out using DPN's, but I only have a set of four. When it turned out I really could use an extra needle I got out my Knit Picks set and used the circular needle to help me get all the little fingers in order and joined together. Now, I'm using the circular and magic loop to work the hand portion and I'm really much happier. I'm hoping to finish the first glove by the end of the week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just a little rant on the subject of insurance

I'm not here to discuss politics and I am not addressing the issue of the millions of Americans who do not have access to medical insurance. I'm speaking directly to those of you who do have employer sponsored insurance coverage. I work in this field, specifically in customer service and claims processing. In the past few months I've noticed an alarming problem: A complete and total lack of education on the part of the insured. No one understands how their plan works, how much it pays, what you as the insured are going to have to pay out of pocket, what is covered and what isn't. I am going to place a small portion of the blame for this on the employers, but the bulk of it I'm placing on your shoulders, the insured members. When you were hired you were given plan documents, a Certificate of Coverage and a Schedule of Benefits. (If you weren't, go to your employer and demand these!)

Now assuming you have this, did you read it or did you throw it in a corner to collect dust? If you didn't at least look it over, you should. These documents contain very important information you need to know. Among the things you should know are:

1) Do you have a deductible? If, yes, how much is it? Is it based on a calender year?
2) Which services does it apply to?
3) Do you have a copay or coinsurance?
4) What is the percentage of your coinsurance?
5) Does your plan have a wellness benefit?
6) Does your plan have a pre-existing clause?
7) Is your plan an HMO or a PPO?
8) Is your plan fully insured (expenses paid by the insurance company) or self-insured (expenses paid by the employer itself)?
9) Are you covered if you travel from home?
10) If you are admitted to a hospital that is contracted with your plan and they call in a specialist who isn't, will his services be covered?

There is so much more you should know and it's all contained in those documents. TAKE THE TIME TO READ THEM. If you don't understand something, by all means, please ask for clarification. All I'm trying to say here is, take the responsibility and educate yourself so that you are not surprised next time you receive a denial from your insurance company. Also, if you have educated yourself, not only will you understand their reason for the denial, you will also be in a better position to refute the denial if the insurance company has made a mistake. You may even be able to avoid getting denials entirely, just by following your plan's guidelines.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Would you like to know what I did a couple of weeks ago?

I had my sinuses remodeled. Seriously. Do you remember those headaches? I decided that the neurologist was on the wrong path so I took myself to an ear, nose and throat specialist. I had a few reasons to suspect it was a sinus issue. One: With my headaches I frequently had pain running through my left cheek and Two: I’ve lost count of the number of sinus infections I’ve had in recent years. So, the ENT ran of few tests, one of which was a sinus scan. The scan showed a “pocket” of air built up in my sinuses, yep, you guessed it, on the left side. So he recommended surgery. By the way, the “air pocket” has given my husband tons of ammo with “airhead” jokes.

I went to the hospital at 12:15 on Monday and left at 6:00 the same day. He did a bit of –plasty here and some resection there; some balloon inflating, and then of couple of splints to hold it all in place. (Hey, Margie, I’m really noticing a trend here, medical people are really into putting balloons in strange places.) Anyhow, after all that they gave me a refillable ice bag and some gauze, along with an elastic sling to hold it perfectly in place under the nose, they sent me on my way. They also gave me strict instructions not to blow my nose for two weeks.

After a few days of napping and recovering, I went back into the doctor’s office to have the splints removed. That was a strange sensation, and I won’t tell you about the little, itty, bity, vacuum he used. I am doing well, my nose is still a bit sore and it feels a little like the inside of my nose has been painted with superglue and allowed to dry. A few more days should resolve that. The doctor also gave me a bottle and some saline solution mixing packets. I have to rinse my sinuses twice daily. It softens up the dry crusty stuff and feels much better for about 10 minutes...until everything dries back up.

I don’t yet know if the surgery will get rid of my headaches yet, still too sore to tell. I will say that sneezing is incredibly painful, not as bad as when the splints were still in, but still.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mi Vida Loca

My crazy life. Things have been really wild and busy around here. A few weekends ago we went to Utah for our roommate Dave's little sister's wedding. It was a lovely ceremony and of course the bride was beautiful.

This is Katy and her father, George.

Everyone in Dave's family is so wonderful, I just adore them all. Do to some unfortunate circumstances, our weekend in Utah wound up being very stressful and we were forced to stay an extra day to resolve some issues. Dave's family was incredibly helpful and supportive throughout the ordeal. We will be eternally grateful to them. Sorry about the vagueness here, but the details are private.

Me and Lynn

The following weekend we drove to California for Dave's Mom's wedding. Another lovely ceremony and both brides were lovely. Yes, I said both, it was a lesbian wedding. They have been together for about 18 years and they decided to take advantage of the new law in California and make it legal. I'm thrilled for them.

Kathy and Peggy

I apologize for the crappy quality of this picture. I took it on my cell phone. Thankfully, the trip to California was better than the one to Utah, no unexpected ordeals.

I have a couple of new projects started. One is a Seraphina for a dear friend who is having a really rough time right now. (It seems as though everyone is struggling right now, hopefully things improve soon.) I'm using Jo-Ann Sensations Rainbow Boucle in pink/white. I've lost count of how many times I've made this pattern, it's definately one of my favorites. The other project is a Plastic Bag Tote. It's made from "yarn" created by recycling plastic shopping bags. There's a link on the pattern page on how to cut the bags up and turn them into the "yarn". Dave and our friend, Terri, did all the work cutting up the bags and rolling the yarn into balls for me. I should have enough to make a few bags, I'm not sure yet how many though. I'll be giving one of them to Terri for helping me out. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Good news!!!

I have some excellent news about my nephew's condition. Here is the email I received from my brother explaining the situation.

>>>>I can't say enough about the fact that God is faithful to his people when they pray. We just got Parker's bloodwork back from 2 Sundays ago and the genetic disorder that the Dr's diagnosed him with we found out that he does not actually have. It was explained to us that the hospital just looks for indicators and he had all the indicators of this genetic disorder. But I truely believe it was each of your prayers that led the Great Physician to heal Parker from the 1st blood work done at the hospital to the 2nd set of tests run by the genetics dr. We are truely a blessed family and I think each of you for everything you do for us. And if you have had to deal with me and my wound up self throughout this ordeal I apologize if I have been a bit on edge. I can truely say that this is a huge monkey off of our back.


Steven Liles <<<<

I'm very happy this came out OK for Steven and his baby. This is a huge relief for our family.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I have some bad news

I talked to my Mom a couple of days ago and the doctors have discovered that Parker has a rare genetic disorder. It's called Medium Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency or MCADD. I know, that sounds really scary. If your curious here's a link. It's pretty serious, but manageable. If they keep a close watch on his diet and eating times he should be just fine. I'll let ya'll know if I learn anything new.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I have baby pictures!

Check this little guy out, he's so cute!

This is my little brother Steven, his girlfriend Jamie, and Parker Earl. Everyone is home, healthy and happy. The baby is doing very well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am now an Auntie for the 14th time! My little brother's first child was born late last night.

Parker Earl Liles (boy)
June 19, 2008 at 12:30
6 lbs, 5 ozs, 22 inches long
Curly hair and blue eyes.

I don't have any pictures yet. I'll upload something as soon as I get something from my brother.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I finally got out my camera and took some pictures. So would like to see a finished object or two?

Here is my hat:

Grumperina's "Odessa" in Misti Alpaca Worsted, size 4 and 6 40" circulars, using the "magic loop" method.

Here is the hat I made for my roommate Dave. I used the same pattern I made my hubby's hat from. Shown here. The yarn is Classic Elite Inca Alpaca color #3302, it's a pretty blue with green, I bought it at Nancy's Quilt Shop here in Vegas. I used size 8 and 9 40" circulars, also using the "magic loop" method.

This picture was taken at the Boulder City Ren Fair. I was so close to finishing the hat, I was weaving in the ends in the car on the way there.

Here's what I did:

With smaller needle cast on 104 sts, knit a 2 x 2 rib for 4 1/2 inches. Then switch to larger needle, ss for 2 1/2 inches. 6 decreases (k2tog) evenly spaced around, decreasing every row until 14 sts left, cut yarn and thread thru the remaining sts, pull tight, weave ends.

I still have a few pictures to show, but I'll hold off on those (so I'll have something to post about.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Modus Operandi

I have a really bad habit of procrastinating on things. Things like laundry, filing the bills, writing in my blog... There's always a good reason for skipping, you know, something more important to do at the time. Then a a couple of days go by, then a couple of weeks or even months and suddenly you realize that you have no clean underwear or that its been three months you last posted anything. I keep telling myself I'm going to stay more on top of things, but it just never seems to stick. I blame it on my "artist's brain". So full of ideas for making pretty things that nothing mundane has a chance. Anyhow, life has been going OK. We just celebrated my hubby's birthday last week, he got a birthday dinner on Tuesday and a big BBQ in the park on Saturday. My job is going well, hubby's company has lots of work, the dogs are doing well and Dave is...well, Dave. I hope everyone out there in Blogland is doing well, too. I have lots of FO's to catch y'all up on, and some fun new projects to share. I try to post those soon, promises. ;)

In the meantime, here's a picture to distract you:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raspberry Cheesecake Monkeys

I finished my first pair of Monkey socks. I say "first pair" because I strongly suspect I will be using this pattern again. The yarn is from Sock Pixie in the "Raspberry Cheesecake" colorway. Size 2.5 mm dpn's.

I added leg gussets to the back of these socks too. Here's a close-up:

I love these socks!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One out of three

Not what I was going for. I'll admit, I over-committed myself. The only project I was able to complete for the Pahrump Fiber Arts show was the round ripple baby blanket. The Monkey Socks are really close, don't even ask about the hat. Angie, Mamie and I drove to Pahrump Wednesday to drop off the entries. The drop off place was The Quilted Dragon, this place is a beautiful little quilt shop. I bought some gorgous fabric. Anywho, our group has four entries. My crocheted baby blanket, a crochet baby blanket by Mamie, a crocheted turtle toy by Sandra and a pair of knitted socks from Angie. I can't wait to see how everyone does in the judging.

Here is a picture of my entry:

The yarn is TLC Baby in the "Snooky" colorway. Size G hook. It took 2 and a half skeins to made the blanket 45" across. I edged this with a round of reverse single crochet. I have a skeins and a half left so I'm thinking about making a jacket and hat. Any pattern suggestions (knit or crochet)?

This one is for my friend Tracy. The baby shower was this Saturday, so I wrote her an I.O.U. letter explaining that the blanket was entered in the Fiber Art Show and I would bring it to her afterwards, I included this picture of the blanket. She loved it and her husband was really flattered that I had made something for them that was so nice I could enter it in a show like that. It's really just a simple blanket, I'm happy he feels it's so special.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baby fever

Have I mentioned my friends Liane and Josh? They had a baby girl at the end of December and she's beautiful. I went a little crazy and made several baby items for her.

This is the first set I made. A knitted cap and sock set. The hat didn't fit, but the socks do.

This set is crocheted. It's a bit bigger than the knitted set so it will be a couple of months before she can wear these.

Both set were made with leftover sport weight baby yarn from my stash. I don't know the brand name.

I also crocheted this little dress and matching shoes. The pattern is "Pink Parfait" by Rebecca Leigh, from Beautiful Baby Boutique. The yarn is Bernat Softee Baby. This is the 0-3 months size, but the baby is very, very small and my not be wearing this until she's about six months old.

This is the front.

This is the back.

I just love the shoes! I tempted to make another pair in black and white, I think they would be adorable. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Margie!

Tonight is our crochet group meeting and I got an email reminder that today is Margie's birthday. I'm thinking shots might be in order. ONLY 1 or 2, I have to be at work at 5 am tomorrow. Over the next few weeks we are training online with Pennsylvania, so we have to be logged in for thier time zone. Anywho, I missed last week's crochet meeting so I'm happy to be going tonight. I can't wait to see what everyone is submitting for the Pahrump Fiber Arts Show. I have some preliminary pictures of mine. Wanna see?

For the Crochet catagory:

A round ripple baby blanket. This is for my friend Tracy, she's having a boy in April. The yarn is TLC Baby in the "Snooky" colorway. Size G hook.

For the knitting catagory:

Grumperina's "Odessa" hat in Misti Alpaca worsted. The color looks a little turquoise here, but it's more of a country blue. I'm using the Magic Loop method. You can see I have a long way to go on this one.

Cookie A's "Monkey" socks. The yarn is from Sock Pixie in the Raspberry Cheesecake colorway. I'm using Knit Picks Harmony DPN's in size 2.5 mm. I love these needles! Thanks Sheri!! The first sock is almost finished.

For more info on these projects, visit me on Ravelry, I'm grandysdaughter there.

Ok, I'm off to work on these.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm back from Pennsylvania

I returned from my trip safe and sound. It was an enjoyable trip. I'm going to like this new job very much. Everyone I met at the company was nice and so helpful. The hotel they put us in is is a good place to stay; the Inn at Reading. Training went well; our trainer, Sherry is wonderful. I chaneled the harlot and convinced her to take a sock picture.

After work hours we did a little shopping. We went to the VF Outlet and visited Coach, Dooney Burke, Lee, Wrangler and more. I didn't buy any purses, but I did buy some jeans for my hubby, oh and some shoes for me. We also went to the Berkshire Mall, where I bought a pair of shoes and a pair of silver hoop earrings. Anybody seeing a trend here?

Sherry took us to West Reading one day for lunch and I was able to visit a lovely yarn shop. The Yarn Gallery. This is a very nice little store, the ladies there were very friendly and helpful. I bought just a little bit of yarn and some circular needles, I post more about those later.

I saw a celebrity?!

Any idea who this is? My traveling companions and I didn't have a clue, we had to ask. We knew he was famous because people were talking excitingly and taking his picture. So, I took a couple of pictures too.

Apparently, it's Flava Flave. He was on our flight to Las Vegas. After we picked up my luggage, Flave fell in step with Lynn and I on our way out to the parking garage. I asked him how his flight was. He said it was good but that he was just happy to be going "h-o-m-e!" I couldn't have agreed more.

One last comment; I was more excited to see Leslie's baby at the airport than I was seeing Flava. Leslie is one of the other trainees that was traveling with me. She talked about her baby all week, how cute he is and how much she missed him. I have to agree, he is a cutie, I'd have missed him too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm off to freeze my butt off.

Well, I haven't done so well with my resolution to post at least once a week. I'll have to do a little catching up. Our crochet/knit meeting on Tuesday the 15th had 18 members in attendance! The most ever for our little group. It was so very exciting, several of them were newbies. I hope to see all of the new people come see us again. Our group is gearing up to participate in the 12th Annual Fiber Arts Show in Pahrump, NV. I'm very excited that our group will be represented.

Tana is doing very well. She saw the eye specialist this past week. We are treating the eye with drops to increase her tear production. This should help it self-heal. We'll check back in with the doctor in a month. If there is no sign of regrowth of the mass she probably won't need additional surgery.

Angie is loving her new job, I'm very happy for her.

And me, I'm leaving for Pennsylvania in the morning. I'm going to visit the companies corporate offices for orientaion and training. I'l be back late Friday afternoon. I'm a little nervous, but I'm also very happy to be returning to work. I will be working from home paying medical insurance claims and taking some customer service calls. I'm very interested to see how their program works.

When I get back I will post some FO photos for you. I've been working on some baby items for my friend Larry. I'm almost done with all her stuff. My friends Ryan and Tracy are having a baby too. A little boy due in April. I started a blanket for them. And my little brother is having a baby in June. We don't know the sex of that one yet. I'm contemplating what to make for him.

Well, ya'll have a good week and I'll see you when I get back.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lots of good news!

First: Tana's stitches came out and the cone came off. She's doing very well. She will be seeing the oncologist soon.

Second: My friend Larry had her baby. A little girl, 5 pounds and 17 inches long.

Third: I got a new job! The best part is I will be working from home. I'll be going to Pensylvania at the end of the month for training. I'm so excited, I can't wait.

Fourth: My good friend Angie got a new job too!

We'll be doing some celebrating this weekend!