Friday, March 22, 2013

The Shawl of Sleep

I've inadvertently created a monster.

A warm, soft, cuddly monster that encircles my neck and shoulders and makes me fall asleep. I call it the Shawl of Sleep.

Michaels was having a wool sale, so I picked up some Lion Brand yarn, called Homespun, in a beautiful purple-with-variations color. A shawl pattern came on the package, and I like a nice shawl. Actually, anybody subject to hot flashes should appreciate the convenience of a shawl, so much easier to shrug off than a sweater.

The pattern was for a knitted shawl. However, I find crocheting much easier to stop and start, and if I make a mistake, a whole lot easier to unravel and redo. So, after some experimentation, I crocheted the shawl using a loose, double crochet stitch. It's a bit longer than the suggested 60 inches, and a little bit wider. It's kind of like a long, skinny afghan.

And I love it. As I said, it's warm, it's soft, and when you fold it at the neck, it makes an extra little cushion, like those cushions worn around the neck on airplanes. With those qualities, is it any wonder I tend to nod off while sitting on the couch watching TV, especially when I put my feet up, too? I think not!

I'm making another one for my daughter, and I suspect I'll be making a few more for various family members.

(I have to say this picture does not do the colors of the shawl justice. It's much prettier in person, with shades of blue and some jade in with the purple. It's called Barrington on the Lions Brand website, link above.)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Board Games - We Do It Our Way

The hosts of the morning news show I watch got into a discussion of board games today, specifically their favorites. It all started with mention of Kamchatka and Risk.

This got me thinking about our family's enjoyment of board games, primarily at my parents' cottage. There's never been a TV there, so we've played board games since the kids were little. The ones we played most often are Monopoly (using the top hat piece as a reminder of whose turn it was if we took a swimming or food break), The Game of Life (more on that below), Careers (the 60's version, with ye olde sexism on display - a lesson to the kids about how times have thankfully changed), Boggle and Scrabble. Mostly we played by the given rules, but sometimes we made modifications. For example, here's how we modified The Game of Life.

1. Share the Wealth cards - these seemed to make the game unnecessarily complicated, especially when the kids were little. So we just didn't use them, and still don't. I'm all for simplifying a little if it doesn't make a huge difference in the game and it means everybody can play.

2. When you reach the square where you get married, we each must chose a "celebrity" spouse.

3. We allow divorce. Daughter once was so disgusted with her celebrity spouse, who kept having impoverished relatives who had to be financially bailed out, she took his piece out of the car and declared they were now divorced. (For those of you not in the know, the car is the playing piece everyone gets and moves around the board. As you get married and have children in the game, you add their representative pieces to the car.)

4. If you have pretend kids in the game, they must be named, and the more creative, the better. Son has proven to be amusingly creative in that capacity. Which kind of makes me wonder what he'll come up with if and when he has own children.

Those are the main things we change for the Game of Life. We have a couple of other slight modifications to other games, namely that I must always get the light blue color group in Monopoly (Oriental, Vermont and Connecticut). Well, okay, that's just something I declare at the start of every game that is then ignored by all. Sometimes I get them, but whether I do or not, we have fun as a family, and that's the main thing.