Sunday, September 30, 2012

Skipping Stones Afghan

It's gonna be a biiiiiig blanket if I use all this yarn .... Of course, since I can make one of these circles in one night, at least the giant project won't take forever to complete (I hope).

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Eleven down, three to go!

Today was my turn to drive on the Yarn Discovery Tour (no time to knit in the car! Boo!). We visited Pepper Pike, Cleveland, Chardon, Chagrin Falls, and Aurora (not in that order), which despite being all on the "east side" of town STILL took almost 8 hours.

I'm 11-for-11 on finding sock yarns that coordinate to use in my official blanket project. It was harder today - not all of the shops are sock-centric, and I had to be pickier about colors to keep things balanced. I think I made good choices, though, with the help of my friend and some employees who were well versed in color theory. Thanks, ladies - I can't wait to see how this turns out (and whether I can get that odd blue I picked yesterday to ever work with the rest - or whether it will become some very nice thank-you socks for my friend!).

Anyway, here's today's haul, including the awesome clown-barf roving I found, all of the free patterns (wow, you guys made BOOKLETS to give out?!?), and all of the sock yarn project selections for today. I'm taking tomorrow off, then finishing up on Monday with the Akron-area shops, and my own workplace on Tuesday.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Six in one blow!

That's right - my friend and I hit 3 stores, I visited 1 after I dropped her off, and I went to 2 more with LazyKid. The West Side is done - and I have a somewhat ludicrous amount of yarn to hide before my husband comes home.

If you're doing the tour tomorrow, look for me and my friend on the East Side!

Let's discover

I'm pleased to announce that this year River Colors Studio will be offering two exclusive Lazy Mama patterns as giveaways during the Yarn Discovery Tour!  "Tourists" will have their choice of two patterns being debuted during the tour - a new and improved version of the knit Mario's Brother Scarf, and a crochet pattern I'm calling the Mario's Cousin Scarf (because it's in the same family, but looks a little different).

Both patterns are easy to memorize and can be made using just about any weight of yarn you'd like use - we've got shop samples and swatches made from everything from laceweight up through bulky, and the patterns look cool in every one!

So if you're Touring, make sure to include River Colors Studio on your itinerary ... and if you're there on a Tuesday or Thursday, be sure to say hi to me, as I'll be working those days!

In the flurry of getting the patterns and the shop ready for the Tour, I almost forgot to mention that I'm a Tourist, too!  My friend and I spent a long time this weekend plotting which shops to hit when to make this the most streamlined event we could, because both of our schedules are crazy this time of year.

I'm hitting the road in about 15 minutes to pick up my friend, and we're visiting all of the far west shops today.  Then we swing back to her house, drop her off, I go pick up my daughter from school, and since she asked me soooo nicely, LazyKid and I will be hitting a couple more shops after school, too.  Then Saturday the friend and I hit the road again for shops on the far east side of town (while LazyHusband looks after our kids), and Monday we're scheduled to visit the shops down near Akron.  That leaves us with a couple shops scattered in the area near where we live to pick up on our own over the next two weeks ... so we actually stand a chance of completely filling our passports this year!

Wish us luck ... and if you see a pair of almost-40 ladies with a GPS in one hand, a large dose of caffeine in the other, and yarn balanced on top of their heads, that'll be us!  Stop by and say howdy, okay?  (and maybe offer to carry that yarn for us ... as long as you don't try to swipe it and buy it for yourselves!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Camp Mom, week 2

This week we're working with pencils. We've checked out 8 billion books about manga, comics, colored pencil techniques, botanical illustration, etc.

I've taught her how to use the side of a pencil to reveal secret messages indented in a "blank" piece of paper. We've learned about the wonders of colorless blending pencils, and how they can make even badly-colored stuff look much more polished.

We have blank books to make comics and/or flip books. We have kneadable erasers and wood-free graphite sticks and a whole bag of artist-grade colored pencil stubs (courtesy of Lazy Grandma's mad yardsale skills).

What we don't have are any pictures of our projects - I guess I'll have to take some later this week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camp Mom, day 2

Rolled paper beads, courtesy of one page of a Penzey's catalog, some glue, and some sparkly but clear nail polish. We'll string them with some "normal" beads in a future project.

Lots of other stuff in the works, which can't be revealed until after Sunday

Monday, June 11, 2012

Camp Mom, day 1

In an effort to keep from going crazy this summer, LazyKid and I have planned out 11 weeks of art projects to try.

This week's focus is on glue - decoupage, paper mâché, etc. So far we've decoupaged some of her artwork onto a notebook, primed 3 projects for future decoupage use, and made rolled paper beads. I'm pretty sure my table is going to be a disaster area all week, if not all summer.

Sounds like fun to me!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I've been a bit busy in the yard



(not pictured: me collapsed in a heap on the couch afterwards)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lazy Kid room overhaul

Lazy Kid's birthday is coming up this weekend, and we decided it was time for her to have a bit more "grown up" looking room.  First up: troll Craig's List for weeks to locate a non-ugly loft bed set we could afford.

Next up: Paint the walls and drawer fronts in Lazy-Kid-mandated colors.  Note: the polka-dot things are storage buckets we screwed to the side of the loft so she'd have someplace to put her alarm clock and box of kleenex.  I was pretty excited to find something that matched ALL of the colors the kid had already chosen.  Yay, Target!

We picked out some coordinating fabrics and used it to cover some foam-core to make bulletin boards to display her artwork.

We repainted her shelf, and the ladder rungs to the loft.

We finally cut her curtains off so they don't drag on the floor, bought some of the easy-fill picture frames for kid artwork, and got a desk chair.

We fixed her bookcase so the back doesn't fall off anymore, and I reorganized her books so that she can find them more easily.

We're also testing a super-secret product for Lazy Husband's work, which I can't talk about here, but it's super cool and I can't wait to show you the shots of that.

At any rate, the room is ostensibly "done," with only a few things here and there that need to be fixed (like I really should HEM the curtains, not just whack them off with a pair of shears and say they're good enough). The kid loves it so much that she actually keeps it clean, I love that the part you can see from the hallway looks much nicer than it did before, and Lazy Husband loves that the whole shebang only cost about $500, including the bed, dresser, new desk, chair, etc.  That's a win-win-win situation!

Friday, March 16, 2012

March (cleaning) madness

Before and after shots from this week's kitchen cleanup. Order of photos will be wacky until I can edit this post at home tonight, but you should be able to get the drift.

The back corner is like a black hole - it sucks in everything that doesn't have a home elsewhere.  So I found homes for lots of miscellaneous stuff.



Under the sink isn't that bad - we can't store cleaning chemicals down there because the cats or kid could get into them, so it's just disposable storage stuff and plastic bag storage.  But it could still use a tidying.


Another black hole: when the dish towels come out of the dryer, we open the door quickly, shove them in, and hope that the pile doesn't fall on our heads.  Not anymore!


Ah, the junk drawer.  Not terribly junky, and we can always find what we need in it, but it's not particularly pretty.  Let's fix that, shall we?


I still want to clean the fridge shelves and the kid plasticware shelves. But that won't take long, right? Right? 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dollhouse update

We finally had a snowy Saturday when I could devote the day to futzing around with the dollhouse kit I'm building. It's a frustrating project for me because I like to be able to sit down and make PROGRESS, lots of progress, all at one go - and the dollhouse requires lots of waiting for glue to dry and paint layers to finally cover the plywood. Grrrr. And if I have to sand one more minuscule little window frame I will lose my everlovin' mind!

But today things started to finally make visible progress. Walls got wallpapered, window trim got last coats of paint, and the base of the house got a flooring makeover (ballpoint pen lines + stain = fake hardwood). Still LOTS to do before it's even remotely house-like, but at least I can check a few things off the list!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Free Pattern: Mario's Brother's Scarf

It all started when I tried making the Biryani Shawl, designed by MMario (Ravelry link).  I liked how the stacked yarnovers made an interesting design, but doing that in an ever-increasing triangle required too much pattern-reading for it to be an easy project.  After fiddling around with different yarns and gauges, I found a combination I really liked.  Erika at River Colors Studio donated the yarn to make the prototype, I knit like a maniac for a few days, and voila! A scarf!

(before and after blocking)

This is a great pattern to show off a yarn with long color changes - and it's an almost totally mindless project that's easy to memorize and easy to accomplish.  It's a win-win-win situation!  So, without further ado, I give you ...

Mario's Brother's Shawl
a free pattern by Lazy Mama Designs


  • 4.5 mm needles (straight or circular)
  • about 400 yards laceweight yarn (I used half a ball of Schoppel Wolle Lace Ball, in color Fuchsianbeet)
  • stitch marker


LOOSELY cast on 37 stitches - you may want to go up several needle sizes in order to get the cast on loose enough to block properly.

Note: You may find it's easiest to keep track of where you are in the pattern if you place a stitch marker near the beginning of Row 1, so that every time you start a row with the marker you know you're on the row where you do the [K2 together through back loop].

Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, K1, (K2, YO, [K2 together through back loop]) across to last three stitches, K3
Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, K2, (K1, YO, [K2 together], K1) across to last two stitches, K2

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until scarf is desired length.  I made mine about 60" long (unblocked).

Bind off LOOSELY, treating each YO stitch as follows: [K the YO stitch, bind it off loosely, move the loop from the right needle to the left needle, K1 through the back loop loosely].

Wet block severely to open the stitches.  Depending on whether you stretch it width-wise or length-wise, you can end up with a longer or wider scarf.  I blocked mine mainly for length, and ended up with a scarf that was 65"x10" after blocking.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I have another half of that skein left to play with for another pattern I dreamed up ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Making things unnecessarily complicated

When LazyKid wanted a pair of plain socks out of solid colored worsted weight yarn, I finally had an excuse to try an unnecessarily complex way of making socks - one inside the other, at the same time, on the same needles! If all goes well, when I'm finished I'll be able to magically pull out a completed sock from inside another completed sock. If things go badly I'll end up with 2 completed socks that are linked together because I screwed up which yarn went with which sock. I live for danger like that!

Anyway, here they are in process (in one shot I pulled the second sock down so it looks like some weird sort of proto-sock for people with 2 legs and no feet):