Monday, January 29, 2007

Calgon, Get Me Out of Here

Do they even have a name for the sound a bunch of giggling teenage girls at a slumber party make? It's not quite a squeal. Not quite a scream. Well...sometimes a scream. Whatever it is, it's loud. And a little annoying. But, it was Big Brat's 13th birthday party. Whatever.

They were pretty good. The only rules I had for them were 1) Don't break my house, 2) Don't feed the pets anything (I don't need more vet bills from food allergies), 3) Don't go upstairs (that's where I was), and 4) Don't wake me up. I threw in a 'no giggling' rule, but that just seemed to make them giggle more.

I was only woken up once. They were jumping around. At about 2 AM. I don't know why. The rest of the time they talked and ate and channelled ghosts. Usual slumber party crap. I came downstairs at one point to get the cat and they all shut up and gave me a deer-in-headlights look. They asked if I heard what they were talking about, so I said 'No, I'll just check the hidden tape recorder tomorrow.'

More damn giggling, of course.

It wasn't too hard getting rid of them the next day. A few had a ringette game to go to. There's nothing worse than sleepover guests that stay until dinner. Or stay FOR dinner.

The parental hand offs went fairly smoothly. I HATE that part. Both when other kids are dropped at our house, or when I have to drop mine off somewhere. My husband hates it, too. We fight over who's turn it is to walk them to the door or pick them up. Why? I don't know. Are we anti-social? A little, yes. I think it's just awkward. Either they leave you standing in a back doorway with nobody to talk to, or one of them stays there and tries to make small talk. Or worse.....when they invite you in and it's up to you to coral your kid up WHILE they make small talk. Very, very awkward. I handled all the parents this time, though, so he owes me. Big.

Overall, not bad. Now I just have to get the place clean. Again. I am restarting my Ten Day Turnaround list again today. I have to do ten easy ones, though, because I hurt my hand. Nothing dramatic, it was opening a bottle of water. Old injury flared to life again. After the cleaning is done, and assuming I don't get called into work, I plan to soak my sore hand in hot water. In the tub. Watching a movie. Ya, I know you're jealous. You'll get over it.


Friday, January 26, 2007

I have a small and quick confession to make. Quick, because I am a few seconds away from awaking Chaos in the house (aka the kids). I'm also running out the door for work shortly after that.

Small, because I don't think it will be all that earth shattering to any of y'all. And, if it is.....sorry. I'll make it up to you somehow.

I have had to abandon my Ten Day Turnaround for a few days. I'm working morning 'till night until the store finishes inventory. And after that stupid cat and his stupid vet bill, I'm not saying 'no' to more hours. It's a little disappointing that I got halfway through and now the Monsters are going to mess it all up again. Big Brat's birthday party is on Saturday (a sleepover, EEK), so I plan to re-write the whole list and start fresh on Sunday.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Random Updates

I know y'all can't live without hearing about my days. I know. It's been a little bit busy here. What with my expensive cat and my Ten Day Turnaround list and extra hours at work and all. But, I am here to update you. It's OK. You can stop crying now.

Random Update Number One:
I have now watched all of the Season One episodes of Charlie's Angels on DVD. I miss the angels. I need more angels. Even though I know that Jill leaves in Season Two, I still want to watch it, anyway. Can I find it in this town, though? No. Am I too cheap to pay for shipping if I buy it online? Yes. Yes, I am. I may have to settle with Seasons One and Two of Murder She Wrote. I LOVE that scary old lady.

Random Update Number Two:
My sister got botox done. How cool is that?! I'm ever so jealous. She got it done in December, but neglected to tell me about it until now. Apparently she did not receive a ton of support. I think it's AWESOME. She should have called me first. I would LOVE to get it done. I have crazy wrinkles between my eyes that come from my smoking days. I always used to squint my left eye when I smoked. It made a Grand Canyon sized wrinkle that makes me look like I am angry and scowling at people. I would TOTALLY get needles in my face to stop that. It was a little pricey. Too much for me. But, that was a few provinces away that she got hers. I'm going to shop around here and see what the prices are. I was telling my husband about it. It was so cute the way he was trying to tell me that it wouldn't bother him if I spent the money on something like that, without sounding like he was saying that I NEEDED something like that.

Random Update Number Three:
Has anyone seen the movie Vanity Fair? I borrowed it from the library a few days ago. I'll be honest. I have never read the book. But, I like Reese Witherspoon. I thought it might be interesting. I gotta tell y' was a little confusing. Things kept happening off camera. Things that were pretty relevant to the plot, I thought. And then they would just be mentioned in a conversation a few scenes away. It felt like I was watching that episode of Futurama with the Harlem Globetrotters. You know, the one where they keep jumping forward in time. It was weird. I still liked Reese. She's very talented. I think I need to go borrow the book.

Random Update Number Four:
The cat is fine. He's feeling much better. And a lot lighter. He's also slightly stoned on his medication, so it's pretty funny to watch him try and jump off a chair. When I was visiting him at the vet, I looked him right in the eye and explained to him that he owes me. He gave me a look back that I'm pretty sure meant "Thanks, Mom. I'll pull you out of a burning building someday. Maybe."

Random Update Number Five:
My Ten Day Turnaround list is going AWESOME. I have never been so excited about getting my house clean. It's amazing what only forty things from my list has accomplished. And, it's not too stressful. There was a point, the other day when I spent most of the day at the vet and crying about money, that I didn't get a lot done. But, I crossed a few more things off the list before bed and started fresh the next day. There are still a few big jobs on the list. Like organizing my office. But, I'm not too worried. It's all broken up shelf by shelf. It will get done.
ALSO.....I lost my work locker key. It fell out of my jeans pocket. I figured it on the floor in my room somewhere, so I didn't really worry about. I was working on my list and I did number 44, vacuum the furniture. Guess what I found under the couch cushion? No, really. Come on. Guess. Who said ping pong balls? No, dummy, it was my KEY. I NEVER would have thought to look there. I would have torn my room apart looking for it. This list is AMAZING.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Stupid Cat

My cat, Spook, is sick. The little bugger. He has a urinary tract blockage, or some such thing. He can't pee. Or, when he does, it's little tiny drops all over the house. Ew. How much would that suck? Not being able to pee.

The little jackass is costing me over eight hundred dollars. Yes. Eight hundred. I spent at least a half an hour crying about it when I saw the quote. What am I supposed to do? Say no? Of course not. Wanna see the sick little bastard?

Cute, eh? He was cuter eight hundred dollars ago. It was bad enough last year when the dog had a seven hundred dollar surgery and now has to have special food that we have to drive two hours away to buy. Now, the damn cat is costing us MORE. And.....because all of this isn't mind boggling enough.....they say he will be prone to these blockages forever. Even with special food. The cat is only three and a half. Quick, someone do the math. Multiply how many years a cat lives by eight hundred, and add in the extra cost of special food. Oh, and tack on the hair appointments for me, because I will be pulling all of my hair out on a regular basis.

I don't know why I am spending the money on him. I don't even like him. Much. I'm more of a dog person. And he doesn't like me. He meows at me all day, just to annoy me. He jumps on my stomach when I try to sleep. He chases my yarn all over the house. He tried to trip me going down the stairs. That's attempted murder, folks.

OK, fine. So, he's a little cute. And cuddly. And sometimes he's pretty funny. He likes to sneak up on the dog and attack him. He always wins a fight with the dog, even though he's a third his size and has no claws. They're still bestest friends after the fight, though. He catches mice, too. He can't claw them, so he just beats them to death. That's pretty cool. Oh, and he likes to sneak into Little Brat's room right before she goes to bed, just so she'll get upset and yell at someone that the cat is on her bed and won't get off. That's a little humorous.

Whatever. He's getting it fixed. I'll just have to deal with it. But, I swear to y'all, there will be no more pets in this house. I have enough sickies to take care of.

In case any of you cat/animal/Tara lovers out there want to help out, I am adding a special item to my Cafe Press store. It's a cute little pin with a cute little Spook on it. All the proceeds ($1.00 per per pin) will go directly to current and future vet bills for Spook. And, I promise I will like him more in the future. I will even get myself a mug with a cat on it. And call myself 'Cat Crazy' at least once in the next year. And convert at least one dog lover to a cat lover. Through torture, if necessary. I promise. You have my solemn vow. Buy a pin. Buy two.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ten Day Turnaround

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but my house is a sty. Top to bottom. I'm cleaning everyday, but it's not getting clean. Why? Because it was messy and unorganized to start with.

I blame Christmas. And my kids. And working. And a tiny bit of laziness. But, what it all adds up to is a big, giant mess. And, it's quite overwhelming.

I can't even IMAGINE getting the time, energy or willpower to clean this house from attic to basement. The very thought of it makes me want to huddle in a corner with the dust bunnies and animal hair and cry and cry and cry. It makes me want to move and not take any of this crap with us. But, mostly, it makes me want to just live with it.

The solution to this mess, is to get caught up. But, how? It's SO MUCH CRAP. How can I do this without breaking down in the middle of the Walmart cleaning aisle screaming, "Why?! WHY ME?!! " How can I catch up with only 24 hours in a day, those of which are being shared with all of my other jobs as mom and wife and dollar store worker? How can I organize entire rooms when I am already struggling to keep up with regular cleaning?

Easy peasy, my friends. I have come up with a system. I always have a system. Always. A game plan. I spend far more time organizing my thoughts than I do my drawers. But, this system is working. And, I am sharing it here with y'all.

The trick is, to make it less overwhelming. So, we break the jobs down. Into little, tiny jobs. Stop thinking about cleaning your 'house'. Think smaller. No, not room by room. I don't know about y'all, but some rooms in my house look like they've been through a hurricane AND a tornado. Followed by a flood. It's a little daunting to think about cleaning a whole room. I would need to set aside a few days just to clean my office. No, think smaller. Smaller than a closet. Smaller than a bookshelf. Think one shelf at a time.

Now, make a list. One hundred things that need doing. Yes, one hundred. Walk around. See what hasn't been done in a while. Skip the every day jobs, like emptying the dishwasher or doing a load of regular laundry. A few samples on my list are cleaning the top of the fridge, organizing the bottom shelf in the office, sorting through a box in the basement, dusting the picture frames, organizing under the kitchen sink, sorting out my yarn, etc, etc.

Some items will take a few seconds, some will take a bit longer. That's OK. That's good. Now that you have your one hundred things to be done in the house, get to it. You HAVE TO do ten tasks on the list each day for ten days. And no changing the list. You wrote it, that's what you do. Don't do more than ten. The point is to go slow and steady. Don't have much time one day? Pick ten easy ones. Have a day off? Pick ten harder ones. But, don't go to bed until ten are done. For ten days.

Why ten days? I thought a week would be too cramped. And stressful. If you start your ten days on a Saturday, you will have two weekends to do the bigger things. Why not two weeks? Because, if you need to get organized, it doesn't help to stretch it out any longer thanyou have to.

Will this get your house totally clean? Of course not. There will be lots left to do. There is ALWAYS lots to do. But, you will make a dent. A very large dent. In only ten days. It's like putting your house on a crash diet. And then you can start from there. Even make another list. But, you should be able to keep up on some regular things without feeling like you live in a dump.

Today is day two for me, so far. It's going well. I have cleaned things that haven't been touched in a long time. And I can already see a difference. And, I have told my family that if they mess anything up behind me while I do this system, I will kill them slowly and painfully. Maybe with a feather duster.

If you want to follow along with your own list, let me know.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ice Scraper Mitten

I usually try to come up with some clever name name for a pattern. Why? Becuase it's what I do. So sue me. This time, however, I can't seem to find a name I like. I was leaning towards Scraper Draper, but, sounded odd, somehow. Maybe a little bit dirty.

Anyway, this item doesn't need a fancy moniker. It sells itself. Keep your hands warm and cozy while you scrape your car windows. This, of course, is more for those of you that live in cold places. Like my fellow shivering Canadians. Any shiver-er can benifit, though. Fits the left hand OR the right.

So, no clever name. But, it's a free pattern, so no whining.

Ice Scraper Mitten (aka the Scraper Draper)

Size 5 hook
Size 7 hook
2 colors of worsted weight yarn
Standard handheld ice scraper
yarn needle

ch = Chain
sl st = Slip Stitch
sc = single crochet
bposc = back post only single crochet
exsc = extended single crochet


With size 5 hook and 2 strands of yarn held together, ch 13.

Row 1:
1 sc in back post only of 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in back post only of each ch across (12 stitches), turn.

Row 2:
Ch 1, 1 bposc in each sc across, turn.

Row 3-28:
Repeat row 2.

Sl St last row and 1st row together. Do not break yarn.


Row 1:
With size 7 hook, ch 1, 32 sc spaced evenly around edge of ribbing, sl st into 1st sc made. (32) Do not turn.

Row 2:
Ch 1, 1 exsc in each sc around, sl st into 1st exsc made. (32) Do not turn.

Row 3:
Ch 1, 2 exsc in each sc around, sl st into 1st exsc made. (32) Do not turn.

Row 4-17:
Repeat row 3.


Sl st 2 sides of top row together for 6 st, sl st one side only for 4 st, insert scraper handle into center, continue sl st both side together for final 6 st, fasten off, hide loose ends. Tada.

*This pattern has not been tested. If you find any flaws in the pattern, please contact me at This pattern is free to use, but may not be re-published anywhere without my permission.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rant #1

I just spent a ridiculous amount of time in the Tim Horton's drive thru. I was stuck. Wedged in between other cars. People could walk inside and get their orders and be gone before I moved one car length. Couples could have met, fallen in love and gotten married in the time I was in the line-up. I was there so long, a small child could have grown-up, gone to college, worked at Timmies part-time to pay for school, graduated, met the man of her dreams, gotten married, had a kid of her own who then grows up and works in the same damn drive-thru.

And, was my coffee satisfying? No. Becuase I never got the coffee. Because as soon as I was about 3 cars away from the speaker, the power went out. They shut everything down. "Sorry, cars. Go home now. We know you've been waiting long enough for entire generations to die off and be reborn again, but we have no power. Sorry."

Is this Monday? Did somebody switch the days around again?


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Welcome to My New Blog!

Welcome to Do Your Worsted!

Clever name, yes? I thought of it a while ago. It's been rattling around inside my head, trying to escape. And now it finally has.

The name, obviously, refers to yarn. The yarn is what I use to crochet. I am a crocheter. Sometimes I knit, but I pretty much suck at it. And no, I don't apologize for using the cheap stuff. It means I get to use more. MORE. So, the name has to do with yarn. So, that's what this blog is about. Yarn. And crocheting. And sometimes knitting. But, mostly about the yarn.

Don't be surprised to see random posts completely unrelated to yarn. Maybe about my job, or my kids or something like that.

I'm Tara and I will be your host. Sometimes I rant, sometimes I ramble, sometimes I give away free crochet patterns. I'm not really sure what else will be on this blog. It's a work of art in progress. It's also interactive, so please feel free to comment. Or email. .

Thanks for visiting!


Hot Shawlcolate

~300-350 g (about 12 oz.) of worsted weight chocolate brown or taupe
~300-350 g (about 12 oz.) of worsted weight off-white or oatmeal
~Size 8mm hook

*Note: This shawl is made holding two strands of yarn, one of each color, together while you crochet.

Ch 5, sl st to 1st ch made to from a loop.

Row 1:
Ch 3, 5 trc into loop, ch 3, 5 trc into loop, turn.

Row 2:
Ch 3, [2 trc, ch 1, 2 trc] (=one group) all in next trc, skip 2 trc, 3 trc in next space BETWEEN next 2 trc, [2 trc, ch 3, 2 tc] (=one center group) all in center ch 3 space, skip 2 trc, 3 trc in next BETWEEN next 2 trc, 1 group in last trc. Turn.

Row 3:
Ch 3, 1 trc in 1st trc, 1 group in each ch 1 space until center, 1 group in center of 3 trc from previous row, 1 center group in center ch space, one group in center of 3 trc, 1 group in each ch 1 space until end, 1 trc in last trc. Turn.

Row 4:
Ch 3, [1 trc, ch1, 1 trc] all in 1st trc, 1 group in each ch 1 space until center, 3 trc in space between the the center group and the group previous to it, 1 center group in center ch space, 3 trc in space between center group and next group, 1 group in each ch1 space until end, 1 group all in last trc. Turn.

Row 5:
Repeat row 3.

Row 6:
Ch 3, 1 trc in 1st trc, 1 group in eacn ch1 space until center, 3 trc in space between the the center group and the group previous to it, 1 center group in center ch space, 3 trc in space between center group and next group, 1 group in each ch1 space until end, 1 trc in last trc. Turn.

Row 7:
Repeat row 3.

Row 8:
Repeat row 4.

Continue in a pattern of repeating rows in the order of row 3, row 6, row 3, row 4 for a total of 24 rows from start. Fasten off.

Cut 3 pieces of each color about 1.5' long for each ch 1 space, center ch space and center of 3 trc across last row. Tie them on.

Hide loose ends and gently block.Tada.

This pattern has not been tested. If you have any problems with it, or have found errors, please contact me.This pattern is free to use, but it may not be republished or distributed anywhere else without permission.

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Strawberry 'Jamma Bag Pattern

~Size 5.5mm (I-9) Crochet hook
~Red or Pink yarn (I used bubblegum pink), medium worsted weight (aka, cheapie Red Heart).
~Green yarn (same type)
~Black yarn (for seeds)
~Yellow yarn (for flowers)
~White or Off-White yarn (for flowers)
~yarn needle, to embroider on seeds.

I didn't use one. Really, it's OK. We don't always need gauge. But if you really need one, crochet 20 double crochets and then measure it. There. That's your gauge.

Ch = Chain
SC = single crochet
DC = double crochet
TRC = Triple Crochet
SlSt = Slip Stitch

Main Body

Ch. 4, Sl St into 1st Ch, forming a loop.

Ch 2 (counts as 1st DC). 9 DC into loop, Sl St into 1st DC made. (10 stitches around)

Ch 2. 2 DC in same stitch, 2 DC in each dc around. Sl St into 1st DC made. (20 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 2 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 3, 2 DC in next**
Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (25 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in each DC around. Sl St into 1st DC made. (25 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 3 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 4, 2 DC in next**Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (30 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 4 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 5, 2 DC in next**Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (35 stitches around)

RND 7Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 5 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 6, 2 DC in next**Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (40 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 6 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 7, 2 DC in next** Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (45 stitches around)

Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 7 stitches, 2 DC in next. *1 DC in next 8, 2 DC in next** Repeat from * to ** 3 times. Sl St into 1st DC made. (50 stitches around)

RND 10
Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in each DC around. Sl St into 1st DC made. (50 stitches around)

RND 11-18
Same as Round 10, change to Green at the end of Round 18

RND 19,20
Same as 10, but in green.

RND 21 (eyelet round)
Ch 2. 1 DC in same stitch, 1 DC in next 3, CH 1, Skip next stitch *1 DC in next 4 stitches, CH 1, skip next stitch**
Repeat from * to ** around, Sl St in first DC made.

RND 22,23
Same as Rounds 19 and 20, crocheting over the chains made as if they are a regular stitch.

RND 24
Ch 1. 1 SC in same stitch, 1 DC in next, 1 TRC in next, 1 DC in next, 1 SC in next. *1 SC, 1 DC, 1
TRC, 1 DC, 1 SC **
Repeat * to ** around. Sl St in 1st SC made, tie off.

Drawstring Cord
Using Green, make a length of chains about 2' long. Tie off. Weave in and out of eyelet holes made on the 21st round.

Flowers (make 2)
Using Yellow, Ch 3. Sl ST into 1st Ch to form a loop.

Ch 1, 10 SC into loop, Sl St into 1st SC made.

Ch 2, 1 DC in same stitch, 2 DC in next stitch, Sl St into next stitch. Continue pattern of 2 DC, 2 DC, Sl St, around to end, Sl St into bottom of chain 2. Tie off, leaving a 1' tail. It should have 5 petals.

Sew flowers to the end of the drawstring cord using the yarn needle.

Embroider on randomly with black yarn using yarn needle.

Hide all the ends, add jammies and TaDa!

*IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE** Because this item has a drawstring, please don't leave it on the bed with a sleeping child, or let children under the age of 3 play with it.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about this pattern, or would like a printer friendly version emailed to them, please contact me at . If you have completed this pattern and would like to show it off, I would be happy to post a photo!PLEASE NOTE: This pattern has not been tested by anyone but me. If you find any errors, please let me know so I can correct the pattern.

This pattern may not be published elsewhere without permission. ©JB Designs 2005

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