The Weaving Inn

Home to the knitting world's anti-Finisher. Kind of like the anti-Christ, but with a smaller following.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

And Then It Hit Me

I don't know why it's taken me so long to post this little story since I'm usually all about the stories but whatever. Here's a story for a Thursday afternoon.

Two weeks ago tomorrow I was driving along 101 in typical rush hour traffic. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. You know the deal, same old, same old. That is, until the little Corolla in front of me stopped short. Since *I* was paying attention, I managed to stop without hitting him. And yet ... I still heard brakes screaming. BAM!

Unfortunately Mrs. Chen wasn't paying such close attention. In fact, Mrs. Chen was going at such a good clip she managed to send me flying into the little Corolla in front of me. There were all kinds of funny smells and smoke but eventually Mrs. Chen and I made it to the side of the freeway. I guess Little Corolla had better things to do because at first it looked as though he was going to join us but then he left.

To say I was pissed off would be an understatement. My stupid car, which is possessed, had been in the repair shop all week for a mysterious ailment that had even stumped the repair man and now it looked at though there were going to be other "ailments." Mrs. Chen's car had a few ailments of it's own. Like an accordion shaped hood. I insisted we call the CHP since Little Corolla had taken flight and I didn't feel like being held responsible for any damages down the road.

The CHP showed up an HOUR later. Officer Campbell took our report and asked Mrs. Chen, "How fast do you think you were going?" "I no go fast!" she blurted out. "Well how fast is that?" responded Officer Campbell. "I go 10 miles," answered Mrs. Chen. Officer Campbell made mention of the fact that not only was her hood crumpled but her air bag had deployed, was she sure she was only going 10 miles an hour? "15?" suggested Mrs. Chen. Officer Campbell wrote down 25.

Since then it's been a non-stop round of doctor's visits, phone calls with insurance people and blah dee blah. Fortunately, Mrs. Chen was in good hands with Allstate and they're picking up the tab for everything. Including this:

This, loyal reader, is the Key To Happiness. A 2010 Dodge Charger, also known as my rental car. And now you shall know one of my little secrets - I am a total car whore. I love cars. Love, love, love them. Especially fast cars. Especially fast rental cars. I am so smitten with this car it's ridiculous. I want to marry this car. I don't know how I'll ever give it back. I was actually calculating how much it would cost to just rent this car FOREVER. I am no longer driving a soccer mom car, I am driving A CAR. And it sounds like the repair shop is going to have my evil Hyundai for at least another week. I get to keep MY Charger for the entire long weekend!

So even though I'm still supremely pissed at Mrs. Chen at least now I can go fast enough to get out of her way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Are we all still here? Everyone accounted for? Apparently the only rapture that happened this weekend was the appearance of Rapture The Pig.

Here's Rapture. I figured since the world was going to come to an end this weekend I'd best do a fast and easy amigurumi. Enter this little piggy. I got the pattern off the Lion Brand website which has a surprising number of amigurumi patterns. She was way fun to make, especially her little nose. My finishing skills are coming along although my leg placement could use some work.

Apparently that doesn't bother the boyfriend's children though since DD #3 has put in an order for 10 amis. She wants an elephant, a teddy bear, a penguin, a dog and so on and so forth. Maybe I'll go back to hats.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy National Teddy Bear Day!

According to Facebook (the knower of all things) today is National Teddy Bear Day. I have yet to make a bear so of course I had to start one this morning. I am making Lion Brand's Amigurumi Bear. It's basically two pieces of crocheted fabric sewn together with appendages added. I'm hoping I can finish it before Teddy Bear Day is over. I'm using Red Heart's "Soft Yarn" in the colorway "Toast." Maybe that's why I'll name the little feller.

Here is Apple Ninja. I made him yesterday and almost lost my mind. I have a friend who just started at Apple and I got this wild idea about how cute it would be to crochet a little Ninja with the Apple logo on it for him. Really, what the hell was I thinking, me the hater of all things fiddly? We shall not discuss how long it took me to get the stupid logo cut out. I actually had to make a PATTERN of the logo, glue it to felt and then snip, snip, snip. Except the first time I snipped I had the logo reversed. Curses.

Did I mention how flippin' splitty this damn yarn was? It's also Red Heart Soft Yarn but I think something went wrong with the dying process because this particular ball of yarn went wEEeeEEeeEEee every other stitch. I was in a seriously bad mood after this little guy was done. I think maybe I'll just keep him for myself as a constant reminder to never attempt something like this again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Obsession Continues

I could probably blame Blogger's downtime last week for my fall off the blog wagon but I think i was just lazy. Or maybe my hands were sore from crocheting non-stop.

FO number one is the Hungry, Hungry Hippo. Through no fault of the pattern, I did not enjoy making Hilda Hippo. I made her nose too long so she keeps tipping over which is why she's supported by a tape measure in the picture. I also did a really craptastic job of sewing her head on. I could find no tutorials on sewing closed pieces to closed pieces so I winged it. Poorly.

Also, she seemed to go on forever. One of the reasons I put off learning amigurumi for so long is that I thought they were all teeny tiny and I thought they would be uber fiddly. Hilda is not teeny. She's not huge but she's not a two day amigurumi either. Single crochet in the round with an E hook can be tedious at the best of times.

And here we have Ugly Bunny. I had so much fun making him that he only took two days. Yay Ugly Bunny! I'm almost done with Ugly Bunny #2. I am getting far too much enjoyment out of choosing how to decorate these critters. It seems like every other day I'm going to the craft store for more felt, or buttons, or ribbon. Houston, we have a full blown obsession going on here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thanks FB

I know a lot of people don't like Facebook. I admit I get a little tired myself of all this "Like Us On Facebook!" marketing business blah blah blah. And I can understand when people are cautious about revealing their TRUE IDENTITIES ON THE INNERNETS. Me? I don't give a crap. Steal my social security number PLEASE. Good luck getting a credit card, pal.

However, for people who live 1,200 miles from home, it can be a real godsend. I've reconnected with cousins I haven't spoken to in years. Stumbled across my aunt who I last saw in 1970. And then there's my nephew.

Long time readers of this blog may recall I'm not too friendly with my brother. The last time I spoke to him was in 2006 when my Mom passed away. I knew he had a son out there somewhere but I had no idea where. So one day I entered his name into the Facebook search. I mean really, how many Wynter Monkhouses can there be in this world? And there he was. My 25 year old nephew who I'd never met.

That's him in the picture if you haven't already figured it out. Turns out he lives in Vancouver and makes a living being an extra on movie sets. In the pic he's in his vampire costume, filming Underworld 4. He's also been in Mission Impossible 4, Breaking Dawn (that silly Twilight Movie), and a bunch of others. So thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I get to be sorta famous by association on a very miniscule level. And who knows, maybe one day he'll be really famous and can look after his Aunty April. April and Wynter. What the hell is with the calendar names?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Call Me "Elf April"

There is some crazed toy making going on at Chez Insanity. It's kind of like Santa's Workshop around here.

This is Glub The Goldfish. He was made for my boyfriend's eldest daughter who loves fishies. I used Red Heart *cringe* Soft yarn for this. And I hate to say it, but so far that's my favorite yarn for amigurumi. I've tried Wool-Ease, Vanna's Choice and Red Heart Super Saver and this is by far the best. It's not too splitty and it has a nice sheen. It also has a good beat and you can dance to it. You can also bend it to your will a bit. Bendable yarn, who would have thought? He was pretty simple to make and day by day my whip stitching improves.

Here's Bitty Bird #2. Nothing really special to say about him except I am once again reminded of how much I love red and black together. Still haven't figured out a satisfactory way to attach the wings in this pattern but I just bought "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Amigurumi" so perhaps enlightenment isn't far off. He went to the boyfriend's youngest daughter. See what I mean by not taking up amigurumi when there are multiple children around?

I didn't make this, Mother Nature did. Please welcome Lily and her sister Madeline (not pictured) to the fold. They will eventually be Brill's girlfriends. As I mentioned early last week Brill's girlfriend Tink passed away. Brill is very sad. But right now, Lily and Madeline are just teeny tiny babies. Brill ... not so teeny. I figure another 2 or 3 weeks and they should be able to hold their own. In the meantime I am having a blast with these two. Whoever fostered them did an incredible job because they are so comfortable with being held which is very uncommon with babies this young. And that's it for this lovely Mother's Day. I hope all the Moms out there had a relaxing and enjoyable day with lots of good food and PREZZIES!

Friday, May 06, 2011

FO Friday: The Evil Edition

I'm not sure why I've never read any H.P. Lovecraft. Stephen King is my idol, followed closely by Robert McCammon. I *love* horror. But no Lovecraft. So when my boyfriend asked me to make him a Cthulhu, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But thanks to the magic of Ravelry, I was able to find a pattern. Thank God for Ravelry

I took this from the Wikipedia entry for Cthulhu: "Cthulhu is the high priest to the Great Old Ones. It also is one of the central figures of the Lovecraft Mythos. It is often cited for the extreme descriptions given of its hideous appearance, its gargantuan size, and the abject terror that it evokes."

Are you quivering in terror at the sight of my latest amigurumi? Heart racing? Knees knocking? Having trouble breathing? Are you AFRAID?

Hmm, maybe it's the Red Heart Super Saver neon green yarn I constructed him from that's the reason for the lack of terror. Or perhaps his roly poly body. Or his slightly mismatched wings. Stupid wings.

What about the side view? Doesn't he look as though he's about to spring into the air and wreck havoc upon the world? Is he not the Osama Bin Laden of amigurumi? Work with me here people! OK, I give up. Don't blame me if you sleep with one eye open tonight. And while you're watching nervously over your shoulder check out more Friday FO's over at Tami's Amis. Tell her The Mighty Cthulhu sent you.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Changing Course

OK, enough with the doom and gloom and the daily dead rat count. It's all getting to be a bit much, isn't it? Let's have a little whimsy. A little cuteness. Maybe a giggle or two. Let's Pig Out!

It's Piggy, in all his pinky glory. And I made him. How amazing is that? This is amigurumi #2 and though he's far from perfect, hell, he's standing. Maybe his little body isn't as uniform as we'd like but I'm still working on my stuffing technique. It would probably help if I bought actual fiberfill or fiberfoam or whatever that stuff is called, instead of using cotton balls. I've also discovered there's a fine line between too much stuffing and not enough.

His legs could probably have been sewn on a bit tighter as well but hey ... learning! I put the eyes in correctly though and I adore his piggy ears. This crocheting with an E hook though - kinda hard on the wrists. I doubt I'll be opening an amigurumi factory any time soon. And before I embarked on this toy making obsession I probably should have remembered that the boyfriend has FOUR children. Who all love stuffed animals. A sore wrist may be the name of the game for a while.

The End.

Monday, May 02, 2011

There Are Days ...

... when I am sure I must be the Grim Reaper of the Rodent World.

Tinky left us this evening. It wasn't unexpected; she has been slowing down for the last month or so. But it was only a week ago that she dragged a huge steak bone into her hammock and settled in for a feast. If nothing else, rats teach us to live each moment to the fullest.

Tinker Toy came to live at my house at the end of December '09. She was already a year old when I adopted her from San Francisco Animal Care & Control. Her first year hadn't been all sweetness and light, she was a surrender from a known backyard breeder. Tinky was a taster. She needed to know what flavor your eyebrows were. What about the inside of your nose? Ears were a particular favorite. She was a bitey girl but I loved her anyway.

In the time that she was with me, she had two husbands. Tinky lived with Phil until he passed away then she moved in with Brill. They were ridiculously smitten with each other. More often than not, you'd find them spooning in their hammock with Brill's little arm over her shoulder. The next few days won't be easy for either of us. R.I.P. Tinky Winky, you were much loved.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


The Friday FO event that was started by Tami is frequented by a number of crocheters who make amigurumi. Tami herself is an amigurumi genius. I *love* amigurumi. I mean LOVE. Which isn't surprising given that I adore stuffed animals to begin with. So of course when I check out everyone's Friday FO's I come across a lot of supremely cute critters.

Five years ago I took an amigurumi class that was offered at a retreat I went on. I'm not sure whether it was my beginner crochet skills, the pattern I was working from or what, but frankly the cat I made looked more like it belonged permanently in the litter box. I decided then and there that I couldn't create adorable little creatures. Not to mention, I am well known for my dislike of "fiddly stuff." But I really, really wanted to make them!

Enter the Tiny Whale!

Not to toot my own horn, but can you stand the cuteness? Look at the itty bitty whale! I heart this little guy. And he was dead easy to make. OK, maybe I had to rip out a few rounds here and there because I wasn't paying attention as closely as I should but in the end - a whale!

Fortunately for me, I stumbled across Planet June's designs on Ravelry. Her patterns are so well written with lots of photos that even someone as fiddly stuff challenged as me can make them. I was able to finish this guy in under an hour although it took me two days to find flippin' eyes for him so he was blind for a bit. Now I'm working on a pig and having a blast. I'm so accustomed to being on auto pilot when I'm knitting or crocheting that it's a welcome change to actually have to pay attention to something. Plus with all the pieces you need to make, it seems to feel more like you're really creating something. As opposed to banging out just another hat. FUN! Now let's just cross our fingers that once I have to sew all the pieces on that I don't make a major screw up. Or I may end up making Tiny Whales for the rest of my life.