My little fantasy football team, Extra Sharp Cheddar Monkeys1, which started out the season with a pretty hefty losing streak, has risen above itself to become the League Champs!
I'm shocked, because so many of the teams were really good this year. If my opponent in the last game had his optimum players in the last game, I would have been overwhelmed.
Now that the fantasy football season is over, I'll actually have to pay some attention to teams rather than just rooting for my individual players. That's OK, because football still makes a decent background noise for knitting and announcers exist for making people like me feel smarter.
Footsball is not the only thing that has been on my mind lately. Now that the bulk of the holiday crafting is done (I just have Henry to work on, which is both good and bad, because I haven't been working on it), I have been finding the time to work on my crochet skills.
During the pre-crafting rush, my hubby and I were at the local Borders and picked up Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More!. The book is not really ideal for the crochet beginner, because the only real instructions are for the magic ring technique and the clean finish. However, if you already have the basics of crochet down (single crochet, reading charts/crochet abbreviations, slip stitch, chain, and reading your crochet), then this book is a cute addition to your crafting library.
With my group of friends, I can probably make one or more of each little toy and gift them over the next year or so. I started off with the ninja (still unfinished), and decided that my crochet skills were rusty enough that I really needed to work with a lighter colored yarn so I could see what I was doing. So, I pulled out a skein of the white Encore that I had for another toy, and got to work on one of the other pieces. A few components under my belt, I decided that one of my friends (who loves bears) needed a toy and that I could actually make it for her using the basics from the book.
So, I did some online research and made my friend her very own Jewish Bear. Now, I wasn't sure if the toy was completely recognizable, but when she opened it she immediately called it Jew Bear. A job well done if I say so myself.
Crocheted from some brown Encore Worsted, the eyes are satin stitch from leftover Silken Straw, the nose and mouth are pearl cotton, and the yarmulke is leftover Regia Silk. I stuffed the little bear with some basic polyfill that I bought ages ago (it's good that I'm finally getting around to using it).
When I sat the bear up initially it wouldn't stay upright. The book describes using the pellets at the bottom to help weigh it down and then using polyfill for the rest. Being sans pellets and having already stuffed and sewn up the creature, I took a bit of the brown yarn and crocheted a ring around the bottom of the bear to give it a sturdier base to stand on. It works pretty well and is a quick fix.
Since then, I've finished a second creature and most of the body parts for a third (arms and ears left).
I'm not a very skilled crocheter. I've never made garments (other than scarves) despite the fact that I started off with crochet quite a number of years ago. For a while I was doing some heavy dabbling in filet crochet, but even that went away. Maybe that's why even though I am a better knitter I'm more comfortable whipping up with minimal pattern guidance something in crochet.
1Hey, half the reason to do fantasy football is to make up funny team names. The loser league names are even more eclectic.