Archive for November, 2010

A Crackpotty Project Indeed

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

by Nancy

As Marty already knows, my trusty cell phone, which was about the same age as Nicholas, died a few weeks ago. It was a plain, simple, pay-as-you-go phone, but it had served me well. I don’t use it all that often, but it is nice to know that school can reach me if someone gets sick and I’m not at home. And to call Eric from the grocery store when he puts something on the list that I can’t identify. So, after about a week of mourning, I started looking at replacements.
And, boy, are there a lot of options out there to look at! At first it was quite overwhelming. Do I want another simple phone, or do I want a phone that can do a bit more, like send text messages or take pictures, or a whole lot more like an iPhone? (A certain member of my family who loves Grandpa Lou’s iPad, was lobbying for the iPhone.) And do I want to continue with pay-as-you go or switch to a contract? Stick with AT&T or switch to a different provider? Do an individual plan or a family plan with Eric? Phew!
It was a little overwhelming, so I decided to take a survey of parents at the playground after school. There was everything there from the super simple Just A Phone to an iPhone and everything in between. People kindly let me test out the wonders of their phones and told me why they liked what they had and how much it cost. My friend April, who is a bit younger than me and much more technologically hip, explained to me what she likes about texting. So, I took what I’d learned there and did some more research online and compared and pondered. I went to Target and Best Buy to actually handle some of the phones I was considering. The funniest part there was when the Target clerk asked me, “Are you due for an upgrade?” (Usually cell phone contracts are 2 years and you can’t get a new phone before then without paying a hefty fee.) Yes, I’m due for an upgrade.
Finally, on November 3, I felt like I was well-enough informed to venture out to the Verizon store. The salesperson there was quite helpful and not pushy about trying to sell me things I didn’t want, especially after I corrected him on how any Kilobytes are in a Megabyte. (He thought it was 500, which couldn’t possibly be right – the whole point of the metric system is multiples of 10!) So, here it is, my new phone:

It’s called an LG Ally, and it’s an Android Smartphone, for those who are interested in those details. It’s a big step up into the modern world for me, but it’s actually been quite easy to learn how to use. And I was able to keep my same phone number. I’ve sent and received my first text messages, taken and sent pictures with it, and even checked email on it. I really like it! So, if you have Verizon too and send and receive texts or photos, let me know and I’ll send you one! And if you’re happy to have Just a Phone, don’t worry – I’ll keep emailing and calling on a landline like usual.

Ready for Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Family! Food! Football!*

What else do you need for Thanksgiving? How about placemats for the two who are especially interested in football?

The fabric design may not be athletically correct, but it is very inclusive. Unfortunately, there was only enough fabric for two placemats as it was purchased when there were only two boys.

*And other sports


Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

By Ann

Here is the 2010 Crackpot quilt all basted and ready for quilting. This is almost certainly a record short time from completion of the quilt top to basting! I am proud. Of course, quilting has not yet begun, and who knows when it will what with Christmas approaching and other secret projects needing completion.

Finished object!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

by Cathy (no, our names aren’t automatically showing up at the top of posts like they used to; I intend to fix that…some day….)

I’m very pleased to have a Finished Object to show off, just in time for NaBloPoMo!  (Which doesn’t seem to be getting nearly the attention this year that is has in previous years, I think because blogs are Officially Over now, having been replaced by Facebook and Twitter. Or something.)

Anyway, I started this scarf for J shortly after Christmas last year, with some yarn that was left over from another project, and I finally ran out of yarn today, so here it is:

And here it is, in situ:

Handspun Kerchief

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

by Rebecca (do our posts no longer get our names automatically attached?)

Have we already failed at NaBloPoMo?

Here’s my first project made out of yarn that I spun – using the drop spindle I posted about earlier. The finished kerchief is about 30″ across at its widest point.

The yellow stripes for the border are made with yarn I purchased, but the rest is spun of superwash merino wool. The yarn I spun is rather overtwisted – parts of it wanted to kink back on itself, and it’s not squooshy like I wanted, so I’ve been working on finding a better amount of twist in yarn I’ve spun since then.

Here’s a detail shot where you can see the variegation in the yarn. I spun it out of a multicolored top (which is a type of wool preparation), and made a 2-ply without doing anything to keep colors aligned.

Next weekend I’m taking a short Introduction to Wheel Spinning class at my local yarn store, to try to figure out if I want to buy a spinning wheel. The one I find most aesthetically pleasing (really, is that not gorgeous, if you’re into the Scandinavian-style furniture aesthetic?) happens to be very versatile, but it’s also one of the more expensive wheels on the market (if you don’t count the super duper expensive ones which have long waiting lists), so I want to give the whole wheel concept a little try before committing. I think in class I’ll get to spin on another wheel from the same manufacturer, and there is a spinning store in the area where I could check out a wider variety of wheels.

My self-imposed homework before class is to practice more spindle-spinning and also re-read all the spinning books which I got from the library to familiarize myself with wheel spinning.

Granny Square Scarf

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

by Nancy

I’ve been working on a crochet scarf to go with my navy coat for a while now. I just have a few more squares to finish and then I need to connect all of them together. I’d like to get it done soon because it’s getting colder now.

The Smithsonian goes Crackpot!!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Check this out – especially Rebecca and Nancy.

It’s November!

Monday, November 1st, 2010

by Nancy

…which means it’s NaBloPoMo. At least I think it is. To be honest, I’m not really sure who created NaBloPoMo or declares it, so I don’t know for sure that it’s officially NaBloPoMo. But I’ll start us off with a November 1 post anyway:

These are University of Michigan cookies, commissioned by Marty. She volunteers with a Parkinson’s exercise class, and one of the participants is a big U of M fan. Apparently there was a bet on the Michigan-Michigan State football game which involved cookies. Even though State won, Marty graciously presented the U of M fan with these crochet cookies. She says they were a big hit.