The City of Crochet

Crocheting...an escape from everyday life in Europe as I face the perils of yarn shopping in a foreign country and dealing with all of the crazy looks I get for crocheting & knitting on the public transportation system.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My giggle for the day

Hi! I had a great trip to London - even managed to buy some yarn - yay!! More on my trip later, but lets just say that Marvie's prediction of bad travel came true! Thanks for the curses Marvie! *grin*

I just received the funniest message that made me giggle! Not too long after I moved to Belgium 3 years back, I put up a profile on an expat site for foreigners living in Belgium. I have from time to time received messages from other expats but none as.....lets just say amusing as this one! :)

Here is what someone sent me:

U r really cute chubby and homely. As u hav written i dont wonder y u make friends so easily. I think i too shud be added to that list.


I laughed so hard when I read that....who would ever write and tell someone that they are chubby and homely along with cute?

Lets see here....homely is described as "Not attractive or good-looking, lacking elegance or refinement" I would like to think that is not me, could be wrong, but I really don't think so! And Chubby????? I might be slightly overweight and could stand to lose 15 pounds, but I would not classify myself as chubby!

Sorry bud, you are not being added to my list of friends!

Have a great day and I'll try to post some pictures and updates on my London trip later!

Shopping, football, and transportation fun!

***Ooops!!! I had written this and forgot to post....I am indeed blonde from time to time!! *grin*

I am back from my visit to London. Had an excellent time!

As foretold by Marvie, my transportation issues extended into the weekend (thanks Marvie - I told you I would blame you!!!) Arrived in London and the transport system there was messed up due to 2 deaths/injuries on the lines which has cancelled most trains and metros for a while. Okay, found a different train line and went from there. We dropped my gear off at Russ's and headed back to the train line to go back into London, only to find out that the next train was cancelled and that the train after that one was delayed - 45 minutes later standing on the train platform in the cold the next train arrived. Next day alls going well we get up, pack and make our way to the train and are making good time to the Euston station only to be told that due to a fire alarm at Bank that we were diverting to Tower Bridge.....not good! There is no easy way from Tower Bridge to Euston, so we jumped a cab trying to make it and of course arrived after our train to Manchester had left! *sigh* By this point Russ was saying that I was cursed! We were able to change our tickets for the next train and away we went to Manchester for the night.

We walked around Manchester for a bit, saw the Christmas market there (did not buy a thing) sat and had a few drinks and then off to the hotel. Alsl well the next day until we get to the train station and find out that we had to wait 45 minutes for the next train to Liverpool! We waited, arrived, went and saw Everton beat Newcastle.....I had issues rooting against my team, but since I did not want beer, food, cigarettes etc thrown at me I suffered moments of silent anguish while trying to act happy that Everton was winning and cheering for them....Russ said that I did a great job cheering and that I must have brought his team good luck.....Drat it all!!!!!!

Headed back to London via Manchester with not a single glitch or issue - yay!! Yesterday I spent the say shopping in London - visited the Oxford Street area and bought several books, tops, socks and misc odds and ends. Oh yeah, and soem yarn :) Did you think that I could pass by yarn? I went into John Lewis on Oxford Street - they have a nice little section in their with Rowan, Jaeger, Noro and other brands.

Made it back safe and sound last night, although after spending more than 15 hours on trains the past few days, I can happily say that I am done with any form of train travel for a while!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Upcoming arrival.......

Nah, I am not pregnant! But my younger sister is! Thats right folks, I am going to be an auntie yet again! There is a new bundle of joy due to arrive in the summer to my sister Denise and her husband Brian!

I found out yesterday but could not post about it in fear that my parents would read about it before they found out! Much to their dismay, I knew before they did!! My sister called me early yesterday to tell me the news and wish me Happy Thanksgiving. She did not tell my parents until later in the day when they went to her house for Thanksgiving! I just love being the first to know these things! *grin*

Congratulations Denise & Brian!!!

Oh crud-o-la! This means that I need to start crocheting baby things.....quickly! Okay, I know that I have until July, but cripes! So much to do already and now even more! Baby blankets - car carrier size and crib size.....a few sweaters / hats / mittens.......toys.....ooooooohhhhhh the possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

May everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and enjoy the time with family and friends! I will be thinking about all of you - how lucky I am to have met such a wonderful group of friends via the internet, as well as how lucky I am to have such a terrific family that has supported me in all of my crazy life! *hugs* to everyone!

Why I am not finishing projects....

That's it, Christmas is around the corner and I am being lazy. I would love to crochet love, really I would. But if I sit in the living room on my couch, my computer screen would be my only light aside from the streetlights outside. In another twist to my wonderful week, I come home and flip on my kitchen light....nothing, nada, zip and zilch once again. Not one of the 4 light bulbs goes on. I move across the room to flip on the living room light (kitchen and living room is basically just one big room) to see if perhaps the maintenance guy finally showed up to fix that one (its been out for 1.5 months now and all of my complaining has not solved the problem) and absolutely positively not a speck of light! Being the brilliant person that I am, I scurry over to the fuse box (I actually know where it is) and check all of the little switch thing-a-ma-bobs and all are in order. So, no lights for me I guess at all in the main portion of my apartment.

I retreated like a mole to my bedroom. After fortifying myself with a cup of white pear tea from Faith, I look around me and stare in wonder. Scattered around my bed and floor surrounding my bed is 74, please count SEVEN FOUR projects in various states of completion (and these are just the ones that have migrated to my bedroom - the living room is another story!!. Sheesh! To think I wonder why I never actually finish something, it must e because I am constantly starting something and then spending the next two months switching between that and the other projects, working away a little at a time but never actually bringing anything to completion!

I guess we know what I am doing tonight! My goal is to finish at least two of these darn projects, and finish the next section of the size 30 purse (which is slowly coming together!)

UPDATE: Well, it is a little after 12 and I do believe I was fairly successful tonight. I blocked & starched the 5 snowflakes I made yesterday. I finished the fun fur scarf and started and completed the matching fun fur dolls scarf. I finished the thread bell I was working on - I really don't like how the pattern turned out, but c'est la vie! I have that sitting on a plastic cup saturated with starch....I have a feeling that the starch is not going to be enough for this one so I'll need to either find some stiffener / glue here or wait until I am back in the US. I finished 4 rounds on the purse, almost a full section, but not quite there. Night night!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

AAAahhhhhhhhhhhhh

That is it! I am either going to jump off the building or throw my computer off it....oh wait, its already dead so it can't get any worse! Yes, thats right my computer kicked the bucket again this morning! Came in, put it into its docking station hit the power button and nothing, nada, zip and zilch! According to the techy guys I've fried my mother board......not sure what you are thinking but I am taking this as a sign that I am not to work anymore!

As I sat here this morning waiting for the tech folks to get in, I was able to crochet two snowflakes and start a third one! Had some really odd looks as folks walked by, but whats a girl to do.....sit and stare at a blank computer monitor?

The tech guys were able to take my hard drive out and put it into a temporary PC while they work on mine - no data loss this time. The new computer has a slower processor and less memory so it is really really sllloooooooooowwwwwww!

Well, I am off to re-boot the computer - its frozen up and I need to re-boot and re-start my stupid report I am running - I think that it is a bit too big for the new computer to handle, but I have not choice but to keep trying - I have deadlines to meet here folks! Plus the new guy in charge of the project I am on is in tomorrow and I need to have some data to show him.....data is always a good thing!

Have a wonderful and problem free computer day!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm singing the Fall Time Blues!

Okay, I know. I've been missing a lot. Not around, and when I am, I am not blogging much. Sorry! I've just not had the motivation - its been all I can do to keep crocheting, but since I have deadlines to meet I am trying to do at least that!

I am off this weekend to the UK to visit my friend Russ. We'll spend some time in London before heading up to Liverpool to watch a UK Football (soccer) match of Everton (his team) versus Newcastle (my team). Should be great fun! I am taking the Eurostar train over and going through the Chunnel under the English Channel - it takes just about 2.5 hours to get there. I'll come back on the Monday after spending the day shopping around London - I have a few things that I need to pick up there from favorite stores.

On the crochet front: I've finished all of the scrunchies for the swap - I really hope that Marnie likes them! I am almost finished with my ornaments for the ornament swap - I am adding in a few snowflakes and Christmas pineapple trees to the offerings which I need to finish up tonight hopefully. I finished my new scarf and am working on the hat to go along with it. A few little other odds and ends have been done, and I am half way done with the purse pattern I am testing... I can only work on it for so long at a time.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Check out Regina's post.....

Run....click as fast as you can...do not pass go and do not collect 200 on your way to Regina's blog to read her wonderful post about "Not your grandmothers crochet" (Dad, this includes you)

I'm all for channeling my crocheting and knitting ancestors who have passed over and now live in the giant free yarn shop in the sky (I can dream right???). I work now with the size 20 thread and wonder how anyone worked with the size 90, 100, 150 even!!! One day perhaps I will be able to, but for now, I am in awe of those who have and those who can!!

It is so true that many cringe when they hear the word doily....into the mind pops a dim room with one lamp lit and the curtains pulled tight. A smell of moth balls, cabbage and eucalyptus permeates the air. A fine layer of dust can be seen in places where a dust cloth can not reach. Everywhere you look a yellowing doily is displayed....the couches, chairs, tables, wall, mantle, bookshelves....and along with the doilies are a hundred other knicknacks that tell the life of the little old lady who sits in the rocking chair with gnarled fingers that have an embedded smell of ben-gay that grasp onto a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook. Her eyes have become clouded with the years, her memory is not as good as it used to be, but without hesitating her hands move in a rhythm not forgotten that comes to her as easily as breathing as she waits patiently day after day for her next visitor.....

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday, Monday So Good to Me

Monday, Monday
Can't trust that day.
Monday, Monday
Sometimes it just turns out that way.

On Monday morning
You gave me no warning
Of what was to be.
On Monday, Monday
How could you leave
And not take me?

Happy Monday everyone...have you realized that there are only 40 days until Christmas? That is 28 working days and 12 weekend....Better get busy shopping and crocheting! I have given up any hope of finishing half of what I wanted to get done for Christmas!

First up! Pin a hello on my new Frappr map - I would love to see where everyone is from!

Check out our Frappr!

Second - I am going crazy!!!!! I volunteered to be a pattern tester for a purse. Okay, not a problem, I can follow a pattern. But follow a pattern for a purse done in Size 20 SIZE 30 thread!?!?!?!?! I swear that my eyes are starting to cross!!! It is looking really good, and I have found some errors and typos in the pattern which is why I am testing it, but ugh! I will probably never volunteer to be a pattern tester again. There is the whole anal accountant side to me and having the errors in the pattern drives me nuts...even though my whole intention is to find any errors, when I do I spend hours looking at it and wondering if perhaps I am just reading it wrong, or I missed something in the last round or I am just plain awful at pattern reading and a 5 year old could figure it out faster than I am! lol deap breath.....hold it........exhale......one more time...... Thanks, I'm all better now!

Third - Hi DAD! Hope that your knee is starting to feel better...listen to the Doctors and to MOM and don't be pushing it!!! At the very most, I'll put the Christmas lights up when I get home in December...okay, so they will only be up for a short time, but it is better that than you being your normal stubborn french-canadian self and doing too much and ending back up in the hospital for another knee surgery! Now nod your head and say "Yes daughter, I will do as you, with all of your great wisdom that was gained when you hurt your ankle advises."

I do believe that finishes it up for Monday! I hope to find time to finish the purse by next weekend, along with two scarves that I am working on and a few little odds and ends that sill need to be done (scrunchies, ornaments, snowflakes).

Friday, November 11, 2005

Armistice Day or Veterans Day

Today in Europe is a public holiday. We all have the day off, shops are closed and not much is really happening. Why? Well, its Armistice Day of course! In the US, it was changed to be called Veterans Day after the end of World War II.

Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It is for the armistice(a temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent) signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." The peace treaty was signed in the woods in a railway car which was destroyed during WWII.

While the holiday was originally set up to celebrate the end of the War to end all Wars, over time and especially after WWII is has changed to a holiday to honor those who have fought in a foreign or domestic war.

My family is rather a large military family. My father fought in Vietnam. My two Grandfathers were in WWII. My Great-Grandfather was in WWI. My GG-Grandfathers were in the Civil War....for both sides. I have family that fought in the French-Indian War, the Spanish War, the Revolutionary War and almost every other skirmish that happened on American soil....we did come over on the Mayflower after all. I really debated for a while joining the Military as my generation is the first one not to have any representation in the military.

I can not say that we have always believed in what we were fighting for, but we have done our duty to our Country and to our family and fought in wars at home and on foreign shores. I would like to say thank you to my family who has served...thank you for making it possible for us to sleep in our houses at night, walk the streets during the day and live a life where we are not in fear. Thank you to those who have laid down their lives for us in places often far away from those you love and were determined to protect.

In many parts of the world, people take a minute of silence at 11:11 as a sign of respect....will you join me in my minute of silence?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Whew!!!! Lucky escape...or was it???

I have been told that I was "almost-in-danager-of-me-and-Swapna-dragging-you-into-conversation-screaming-and-kicking-faerie!" by Cordelia...Well I think that they succeeded with it since they have both gotten several comments out of me today! Sheesh! I try to save myself by sending a card and end up exchanging messages! *grin*

I promise to the both of you that I will get my computer back up and working as soon as possible!!! These evening at home watching the television have got to stop!!! Yup, instead of surfing the net, talking to friends and stalking some bloggers I've taken to crocheting while watching TV...since I don't watch TV except for once in a blue moon I easily get abosrbed into it (think its the whole moving picture concept) and my crocheting lays forgotten in my lap until the commercials! LOL Oh yeah, don't forget that European TV has a whole lot LESS commercials...like one for every 4 in the US! LOL Sporting events (i.e. Soccer) have one....at half time only no less!

I have a purse that I have to get busy crocheting as a tester for a fellow C'ville member, as well as the Ornaments to finish, a few more scrunchies, two doll blankets, 3 scarves and several yet to be determined Christmas projects......crickeys!!! Forget TV and Computer both!!! I need to get crocheting!

Mid-Week chuckle!

Well I have been a busy beaver today and trying to spread laughter aroudn the globe...I do believe that I've managed it fairly well!

If you've not seen this (my apologies - I've tried to send it to everyone I knew...I'm sure I missed someone (hence the apologies)) here it is:

Turkey Card

I am hoping to have my computer back functioning tonight and will then catch up on the blog reading / commenting, blog posting and of course and blog stalking that I have been remiss on doing lately!!

I can not figure out a way to get the Alien one posted on my blog (possible copyright violation????) Anywho, if you are desperate to see it once again (or for the first time if you've never seen it) let me know and I will see what I can do! *grin*

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Have a great weekend!

Well it does not look like I will have a computer for yet another weekend. They gave me back my computer with a new hard drive, but I can not find the CD to re-install my Adsl connection. I think that I let someone borrow it to install their connection but for the life of me I can not remember who!! I've sent mails out to all of the likely candidates so if I can find it I will be on-line this weekend.....if not, I'll see you on Monday!

I was able to get a few pictures downloaded! Here they are:

My Secret Pal Goodies from Jennifer:






The snowflake that I made while in Castlebar Ireland (I finally got it blocked this weekend)






And lastly a meme of what is on my desktop. The desktop is actually rather clean since I've not filled it up with files and folders yet! The picture is of the basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris (Sacre Coeur):






Consider yourself tagged if you have not already been tagged by this meme! I know that I've seen it on several blogs the past few days and I can not remember who has not been tagged yet!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Law School it is!

Jennifer has a quiz on her blog about what advance degree to get. Like her, I've been debating what type of a degree to get if I go back to school. I have been torn between going to get my MBA (My first degree was a BBA with a focus on Accounting) or going to Law School which is something that has been floating around in the back of my head for some time now.

Well, according to Blogthings, here is my answer to that question:

You Should Get a JD (Juris Doctor)

You're logical, driven, and ruthless.
You'd make a mighty fine lawyer.


Will it be Law School? That is still to be decided. I need to not only find the time, but the money, get accepted etc etc etc. With wanting to buy a house when I go back to the US, going to school also might put too big of a strain on my single income household considering my income is the single income! One day.........

Introducing.....Jennifer

For those of you who read my comments, you'll have noticed the comments from SP - my Secret Pal for the Fall Round over at Crochetville!

Well, I received my reveal package yesterday and I am so proud to be able to introduce everyone to Jennifer!! Take a glance over at her blog and say "howdy" to one awesome Secret Pal! I've been so blessed to have two great rounds of Secret Pals - first Jessica and now Jennifer...must be the J connection! *grin*

Once I have my PC back I will post pictures of the wonderful reveal package that Jennifer sent over to me! I loved it all much to her dismay.....she was hoping that I might not fall in love with the awesome tote that she made me, but alas for her I did and I will not be sending this one back to her!

The goodies in the reveal consisted of 5 skeins of wool from KnitPicks (woohoo) in Gossamer and Wool of the Andes. The aforementioned felted tote. A journal and a pretty sweet hand and nail care kit which should come in handy! I used it last night and my nails are all nice and shiny now!

Thanks Jennifer for being such an awesome pal!

Thumb twiddling and web surfing

Yup, thats what I have been doing for a second day here at work....exciting times eh?

I did come across a really cool quiz - I've seen and done similar onces before, but I always like them. Gives my mind a challenge and wasted a few minutes of my time as I tried to work out the solution!

The background on the quiz is that Albert Einstein allegedly created it and said that only those with an intelligence quotient of 98 percentile and higher should be able to solve it. In my opinion anyone with time, patience and the ability to reason and logic should be able to solve this, although it might come after immense frustration! You need to work this out based on what you are told to find what you are not told. A good place to start is to create a table with five rows and six columns - the first column will contain the categories - Nationality, House Color, Drink, Cigar Type and Pet.

Here is the puzzle:

There are five men of different nationalities living in a row of five houses, each house being a different color. Each man drinks a different kind of drink, keeps a different kind of pet, and smokes a different kind of cigar.

The Brit lives in the red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is to the left of the white house.
The owner of the green house drinks coffee.
The man who smokes Pall Mall keeps birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blends lives next to the man who keeps cats.
The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

Who keeps the fish?


I was able to solve this one, although it did take some thinking over a few of the answers. A little bit of head scratching and a lot of re-reading the clues! Keep at it and good luck!

I'll post the answer in the comments section.....no cheating and looking ahead!!! I can not wait to see how long it takes everyone to solve this!

Bonne Chance!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Snowman Ornament Patterns

Several have requested for the links for the patterns for the snowmen! Here they are!

The Marshmallow Snowman

TheLarge and Small Snowman (Large in Acrylic, Small in Thread)

Enjoy!!

Still no computer!!!

Well its Wednesday morning....the Tech guy is coming this afternoon to look at my PC....I hope that he can work the magic he is so very good at and get it back up and running once again! I miss it! :)

Still no sign of my reveal package from my Secret Pal (who has been awesome I must say!!!) I am waiting anxiously for it to find out who she is!!! With the holiday here yesterday and the offices closed on Monday, it is possible that they are just running late with it.....no fear, it will be here soon I hope! I am so excited I am stalking the poor recptionist..."Is it here...is it here?" She is about ready to ban me from the lobby I fear! lol

I finished the scarf....it went really quick! I have never finished something that big in one day, but I did it in one evening! I must be getting quicker with my crocheting finally! I really want to keep it for myself so I do believe that I will be going out and buying more wool in that color to make one for me! Can not show pictures (sorry) since I have revealed who I am to her and do not want her to see it before she gets it!

I am finalizing plans to go to the UK (London & Liverpool) at the end of November to visit Russ and go to a football (soccer) match! It will be great fun if it all works out! I think that will be my only trip before I go to the US in December for the Christmas holidays! I had hoped to make it to Portugal, Budapest and Austria this year, but it does not look like that will happen....maybe next year! :)

Enjoy the rest of the week! Apologies for not commenting on many blogs....I am way behind without having a computer to use at home!