Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finished! (well, mostly)

It took me five days, but with the help of my trusty yarn winder I got most of my scrap yarn under control. I'm sure I have a few stragglers lurking around, but I got just finished getting everything put away.

I gave up all hope of actually getting everything organized according to color. But at least now everything is all in one place and at least not getting tangled up into unrecoverable wads.

The stash. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

What I couldnt stuff into the cabinet

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Works in progress

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The Rubbermaid tote is full of skeins that are still in their yarn bands.

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and a completly stuffed former computer a yarn containment center.

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My arm hurts!!! But I love the yarn winder.

This stash is just what was in my bedroom. I still have at least 4 Rubbermaid totes (larger than the one tote in the pictures) that are stuffed full of even more scrap and full skeins. It'll be awhile before I can drag those out of the store room. Tons of other junk is piled in front of those boxes. Right now, I need to let my wrist and shoulder rest from 5 days of winding.

Now I just need to figure out what to make with all my scrap. I'll probably be able to make one heck of a good scrap-a-ghan with it all.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I love my yarn winder!

Do you think that maybe I might have gotten a bit too excited with winding yarn?

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This is all from my scrap yarn stash, and that's not even half of my scrap yarn!

I dont even know how many balls of yarn I wound! I kept losing count!

I love this yarn winder. It's really helped me get my stash organized somewhat. I had two ginormous zipper bags (like blankets and comforters come in) and my craft cabinet just totally stuffed with all these loose hand-wound balls of yarn that were starting to become a tangled mess. I took every hand-wound ball of yarn, and used the yarn winder to wind them into neat little cake-shaped skeins. I cleaned out my craft cabinet (my old computer armoire) and have the skeins all stacked neatly, and (sort of) in order according to color.

Getting all this yarn organized actually helped me cut down on storage space. The two ginormous zipper bags of yarn were actually cut down to one bag. I put unused, still in the original packaging skeins in the largest bag. I still had half the bag to fill, so I put some of the yarn cake skeins that I wound with the winder on top of those skeins. The other zipper bag I'm now using to hold my works-in-progress.

I now have space in my room to actually sit on some furniture while I'm crocheting, rather than just sitting on my bed and peering over the top of all my projects and bags of yarn to see my tv.

I still have a ton more of scrap yarn to organize (I have like 4 Rubbermaid totes in the store room that I havent looked at for more than a year). Now at least I have some sense of order. Plus, I like being able to see just how much scrap yarn I have and how much I have of one color. Now I'll be able to tell at a glance if I have enough yarn for a project, or if I need to go to the yarn store.

Last week, before I got the yarn winder, I was already on an organizing frenzy. My dad found an entire box of plastic page protectors in his stuff when he moved his home office from upstairs into the newly finished room downstairs. He gave me the box! (200 page protectors!) so I took my favorite binders of printed out patterns and organized my pattern stash. Since I could put two pages each inside each protector page, I increased the capacity of pages each of my binders could hold. I was able to reorganize and go from 5 binders to 4 by condensing all those patterns.

Next time I go to Office Depot to get printer ink, I'll probably pick up another box of page protectors.

Also, a few weeks ago, I picked up a file folder box that I could put all my crochet magazines into. I need to get a few more of those file boxes (the 50 or 60 something Workbasket magazines that I inherited from my paternal grandmother still need storage space)

It's really cool to finally have most of this stuff organized. I even found a bunch of my missing crochet hooks in all that scrap yarn. I found 13 "I" hooks and about 3 or 4 hooks of other sizes...I guess my favorite crochet hook size is the "I" hook...otherwise I wouldnt have so many of them.

I found three unfinished projects in the chaos. One of them was a poncho that just needed the last couple inches of the edging finished (did that), a pineapple shawl that I ran out of blue yarn for (found enough in the scrap heap to finish that this weekend), and a giant rectangle granny square afghan that I was doing with scrap yarn. (at least I know I have enough scrap yarn to finish that!). I'll probably finish up all those projects next week so that I can figure out what to make with my newly organized stash.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Got myself a new toy!

I finally got to the yarn store and purchased a yarn winder. I absolutely adore this thing. Gadgets are cool, and this is probably the neatest crochet/yarn related gadget that I've ever had. I've already wound about 30 little balls/cakes of yarn with it. (I have a big scrap box)

The lady at the store said that it was addictive...she was right.

Here's a picture of it

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I also (un)sucessfully completed an amineko (Japanese crocheted cat) today. I know I screwed up on it, and that it doesnt really come that close to the original Aminekos that I've seen others do, but it was my first attempt.

Here it is, hugging my new yarn winder. (ignore my messy 'puter desk)

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I gave this one to my aunt Janice to give to her granddaughter. I'm planning on making another one. Hopefully the later generations will look more like the pattern designers did.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This is so creeping me out.

So far this week, I've gotten two statements from my medical insurance company. Which is weird, because I havent seen a doctor since April and I paid that bill. What's also weird is that the statements I'm getting are for medical procedures I've never had, doctors that I've never heard of or seen.

This is the part that's creeping me out.

The person that these bills are supposed to go to has almost the exact same name as me. Her name is Erin, she has the same middle initial as mine, and the same last name as me, but her last name is hyphenated with another name, so it's Erin *middle name* *last name*-*2nd last name*. And for added freakishness, her YEP number (insurance ID number) is MY social security number. (which, coincidentally, used to be my YEP number before the insurance company stopped using socials as the YEP number)

The only thing I can think of, is that she went to the doctor(s) and didnt have her insurance they looked it up thru her name. I'm not sure, but I might have been to a doctor in that same medical association about 6yrs ago (ruptured an achilles tendon), so it's very possible that my insurance info is what came up when they entered her name into the system. They probably just assumed that was her info. Probably didnt bother checking the mailing address or anything like that.

It's pissing me off because now her psych consults and some neurological test are now on my insurance, and I'm probably going to start getting her bills or something. (right now all I've gotten are Explanation of Benefits letters)

So now I've called and kvetched to my insurance company several times (I'm sure they're cursing my name as we speak)

I'm getting seriously worried that my identity is being stolen. I've had one or two relatives that have had that happen to them, one of which has never really gotten everything straightened out and her mother practically went broke paying off the bills because they couldnt prove it wasnt her (lesson in that, is never allow your dorm mates have access to your purse) The relative was in college, and somehow one (or ten) of her roommates got a hold of a credit card of hers and used it to buy a bunch of stuff at an electronics store. I guess she didnt find out about it immediately and ended up in debt because of these "friends" of hers.

It's frighteningly easy for someone to steal your information nowadays. I hope that's not what is going on with me and my health insurance. I'm really hoping it's some weird, bizzarre clerical error of some sort. There's just so many coincidences with the name it's freaky.

Tomorrow, to make myself feel better about my identity possibly being stolen, I think I'm going to go to String Of Purls yarn shop here in town and pick up a yarn winder that I've been wanting to get forever. It wont help me straighten out the current screwy-ness, but I'll be able to work out my frustration by balling up a bunch of yarn.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

That was weird...

My blog post from yesterday has magically appeared. Blogger just hung there yesterday when I clicked the Post button and after about 10 minutes of watching it just sit there and not post, I closed the browser window in frustration. Apparently I was wrong and it did post. I think my internet must have had a gremlin or something yesterday.


I. Feel. Like. Crap.

My seasonal allergies that usually strike in April and May held off till today in their annual attempt to kill me by suffocation. I was so happy, not having to deal with allergies and was seriously hoping that I was cured, but I guess it wasnt to be *grumble* ...and apparently I've built up a resistance to Claritin (the over-the-counter version of it) I guess I'll have to go find a doctor who will give me an Rx for Allegra.


I'm about halfway through with my Rainbow Boucle shawl. (at least halfway thru the skein...not sure if I'll have to dip into the other skein to finish it or not) and I'm almost finished with my latest pineapple chairback doily shawl. I've also got a giant rectangle granny scrap-a-ghan in the works. If I stop sneezing long enough to be able to take a picture without jerking the camera away during a sneeze I'll post some pictures later.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Fourth was cool!

We had a good Fourth of July this year. The weather cooperated. It was cool enough last night that my aunt Jan had a blanket on her lap during the fireworks. Usually it's so hot outside that we're all sweaty and have been a buffett for the mosquitos. Last night was cool, and the mosquitos were only mildly annoying. Hopefully we wont all end up with West Nile Virus.

My dad cooked steaks and hotdogs on the grill, baked aunt Jan made corn-on-the-cob, chili, german chocolate cake, and homemade blueberry ice cream.

I went and saw Superman Returns with my boyfriend Don earlier yesterday afternoon before we ate. Then we came back to my house, pigged out on steak, chilidogs, and blueberry ice cream. While we waited for it to get dark enough to see the neighbors try their level best at blowing up the neighborhood, Don and I worked on....well...ok, Don worked on getting my wireless internet range extender working correctly while I sat and watched in boredom...errr...ummm....awe. :)

I now have a constant connection to the internet now, instead of having it drop out every 5 seconds! It's really cool having a friend who knows what they're doing with computer stuff. I just try not to impose on him to fix my system for me too much.

When it started getting darker, we dragged chairs across the street and watched the fireworks from my aunt Jan's driveway. Champion's Run Golf Course does a fireworks display every year. They dont advertise because it's a "private display for club members only", so we tried really hard not to watch the private display, but that was pretty difficult since it took up most of the southern sky. ;)

The neighbors (most of them) apparently imported the entire state of Missouri's supply of fireworks (Omaha has a law against selling fireworks) and they all seemed to put on a good show...except for one misfire. One of the neighbors around the corner from Jan's house had a canister that fell over after they lit it and instead of going up into the sky it blew across the street and into the Commons area and exploded there. I thought it might have bounced off a parked car before it hit the grass. It made for a neat explosion, but was kind of scary because of how quickly it happened. At least no one was hurt and the neighbor sent someone over with a Super Soaker water gun to make sure there wasnt going to be any grass fires.

It was really weird not having TinyMonsters around yesterday. (he died in March) I was so used to having to check on Tiny, and having him trying to climb into my arms during the fireworks. Tiny weighed 100 pounds and was a fierce looking dog, but when loud fireworks were going off, he thought he was a little guy again and just wanted me to protect him. My mom and aunt Jan both kept saying they wished Tiny was there last night. I was actually glad he wasnt, because I was the one he always leaped for when he was scared, and there was a lot more fireworks going off in the neighborhood last night than ever before. Tiny would have been so traumatized that I just wouldnt have wanted him to go thru that. Miss him to death, but it was nice to not have to worry about him being scared.


Saw that North Korea couldnt hold it in any longer and just had to launch at least 7 test launches. From what I've seen on the news, the launch of the taepodong-2 missile petered out after 30 or 40 seconds. Some "experts" on the news thought the other 5 or 6 missiles (Scud missiles) were launched as a smoke screen to cover the apparent failure of the taepodong-2, and possibly also were symbolic shows of "strength" against America. Thought it was interesting that they waited till the biggest patriotic American holiday to do their test.


I've gotten some crocheting done on two shawls I'm working on. Doing another one of those pineapple chairback doily shawls (with Red Heart SS), and the other one is just a half granny square shawl. The half granny shawl is being worked up in Joann's Rainbow Boucle. I'm really loving this yarn. It's the first time in a long time that I've used something other than Red Heart for a large project. I think I might head out to Joann's Crafts and see if I can get a couple more skeins.