Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yarn Puke...

Don't you just hate it?

3 1/2 hours, 3 pieces of yarn, so far...what a waste.

This is NOT good.

UPDATE: 6 1/2 hours later....it continues:
skein 1: 2 pieces (already knit up)
skein 2: 3 pieces
skein 3: 2 pieces

picture me, not a happy camper.
rather frustrated.
rat's nails.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

This has been a varied Memorial Weekend over here at the Bruinmom's abode. Kids busy and traveling, are now home and preparing for the week ahead. Two to work, one to studies, and one to jury duty. The keys are now out of the car, thankyouverymuch, and the alarm is miraculously working again. Go figure how that all happened. The Dealership and Roadside assistance phone numbers are now loaded into the cell phone. Grandpa is doing well on his Chemo treatments and hasn't (knockonwood) felt any side effects. The purple blanket is coming along nicely after a bit of 'time out' in the corner for it's bad behavior.

I have a confession to make. I think I may have become a wee bit of a CNN junkie. It happened back during the Anna Nichole constant updates. (I know I know...like a train wreck, you couldn't stop looking at it.)

Anyway, last night while the house was quiet I turned on the tv and flipped over to CNN. They were re-running a special they had on the combat hospitals over in Iraq. Stories were told not just of the wounded, but also of the doctors and nurses who are working so far away from home and families. There was a time (fleeting as it was) where I considered going into nursing. Had it not been for the amount of math and oh ya, blood involved, it might have worked. NOT.

My grandmother was great as a nurse. I can do the listening, and the hand holding. I can't do the blood. Maybe that's why I was so glued to this program. These are men and women doing a job I certainly can't do. And I am thankful that they are doing it.

The longer it went on, and then repeated itself, all I could think about was the Ships Project and how I really need to get some more hats knitted up for the medical units. While the injured are being transported they're in planes that are cold. It's weighed on my heart this weekend.

A couple of years ago, before I got hurt, I was working with a group called Operation Interdependence ( http://www.oidelivers.org/ ) . I loved the work I did there. We would pack up 50 quart baggies with little things and letters in a box to ship over. Just before Christmas that year, I knit up 50 beanies to add for the winter time. My ortho doc said having that knitting goal was the best thing I could have done to regain my grip after falling. He doesn't understand. Having that goal made my time of laying in bed make me feel useful. I got more out of that than I think I ever gave to them.

So, today, while working in the garage, and remembering my Grandmother, being thankful for the time with my son yesterday, and my girls recently...I vowed to get some hats done for the troops. I can't be a nurse like my Grandmother could, but I can knit.

Now, if the people in my family would quit getting pregnant, I'll get some beanies done to send over for the medical units in remembrance of Grandma. And in honor of the Vets in my family. For a job well done!

Hope your weekend was productive and thoughtful in your households, too.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lessons learned...

So, let's pretend you have a Saturday afternoon. One in the middle of a holiday weekend. You're looking around prior to the weekend begining and say to yourself. "Self, I think we should plan something unique for this weekend."

At which time Self would repsond, "Yourself, I do believe you have a plan there."

Now, take all those wonderful, fun, exciting plans...and toss 'em out the window as you realize that you have locked your keys in the car, it's now Friday night and the car alarm fob decides to stop working and won't unlock the door. Oh, did I mention that it's 10pm at night...and you're in a rather large parking lot? And you're not within walking distance of home. And your kids are a)back in Boston, b) at the Dodger game, c) watching the Dodger game at home, and/or d) driving up to San Luis Obsibo for the weekend with old college buddies.

Ya. a-d. All 4 possiblities. All 4 kids. Busy. And no matter how you point that fob, or spin it around, it's not going to work. Not.one.little.bit. Bless the son who arrives in the MIDDLE OF HIS BELOVED DODGER GAME to rescue her. (Did I mention that the son is a HUGE, and here I'm talking, HUGE Dodger fan? Testament to the good son that he is, he came right away.

While waiting, it was far too dark to knit lace and I couldn't find a way to balance my book light. So I pulled out a book. A simple diversion to the fact that the next Debbie Macomber book isn't out in paperbook yet, so we resorted to this one. Granted, there's been the word 'knit' in it twice, but not a central part of the story line.

Son arrived, picked up Mom and we drove home with the latest of girl stories along the way. (I love these times! And yes, I know I have to finish the driving trip accounts. Soon..very soon!)

Baby daughter calls home later with more advice for Mom. Baby daughter is a mechanical wiz. She starts to quiz Mom about the possibilites keeping the keys in said car. And Mom away from said car. We agree that it's time to call in a night and plan on calling the alarm company first thing in the am to 'fix' the situation. Oh, ya, and it might be time to get a second copy of the only key to the car made. Ya. She's a smart girl. (I know I know...procrastination...I'm really good at that.)

Scene, two...(or really is it up to three or four by now?)

1) Wake up early Saturday morning and watch the clock ticking away...so calls to the alarm company can commense. Waiting...waiting...waiting...ding it's time...
2) Start leaving phone calls on the 1-800 and local numbers provided with alarm company paperwork. Notice that the pre-recorded messages at said alarm company says they return phone calls DAILY from 8-5pm. Notice that it's 8:03 am. Ok...maybe they're listening to their morning phone messages and will return messages shortly. Keep waiting.

3) Divert attention away from being carless. Turn on computer and read e-mails.

4) Pull out purple baby blanket and knit.

5) Put down purple baby blanket before making too many mistakes.

6) Start calling son to decide when you can go back to pick up car once alarm company comes to your rescue.

7) Leave 3453490 messages for son since he's not answering his cell phone.

8) Leave more messages for the alarm company and write a blog just before 11am. You just KNOW they HAVE to be a great company and they WILL answer their phones soon. After all, it's a Holiday weekend and they would WANT to respect the fact they are your prefered alarm company. Heaven knows if the car had been stolen, they surely would be at your beck and call and get the car back asap and in great condition. RIGHT?

9) 1:30pm. Still leaving messages for alarm company and son. Nothing is returned.

10) Start to panic now. Holiday weekend and no car.

11) Tell Self and Yourself...shush up. You're adults now and can't freak out.

12) Call the dealership and tell them. HEY! You picked this company, I need help, I need my car...tell me what to do!

13) Hear the Service Manager (after 3 phone calls in their system) tell you that you're still covered in the bumper to bumper warrenty and their roadside assistance should be able to unlock the door for you.

14) DOH! Ya, like they could have had this done and over with last night. LAST FREAKIN' NIGHT! (don't tell son. He missed his baseball game)

15) Call son, have his step mom wake him up...tell groggy son, 'Hey, kiddo! Time to go!"
"huh?" he says very slowly....."what are you talking about?"
"Kiddo, we have to go get my car, they're going to meet us there."
"huh? why now?"
"Uh, cuz it's 1:30pm and it's time to get going."
"oh, ok. Be right there."

16) Half way to the car, call road side assistance. They already gave you the directions on what to do when you're at the car. They now tell you they can't find your file. You apparently don't exist now in their files. They'll have to create a new one. No biggie they say. They'll send someone out immediately. and Please answer your cell phone when they get close to double check on the destination.

17) Arrive at car. Send son home. Good son. No need to stay, they'll be here very shortly. Look around at miles and miles of seamingly endless parked cars as far as the eye can see. Cars. No tow truck guy.

18) After 15 mins, notice that 'sunny Southern California' is very windy today, and you didn't bring a sweater after reading emails about the rest of the country being overly warm and in the 90's.

19) Start shivering and call the tow truck company. Oh, he's going to be there in 45 mins. They say. Pull out knitting, and snacks, and lean on the now very dirty bumper of the car and watch the wind 'help' unwind the yarn.

20) Make a note that next time...bring a lawn chair. Try the alarm fob again. Nope, still not working.

21) The tow truck company call and ask if you can see the guy. No. Well, he's in lot B. But I'm in lot C. Wait some more.

22) Tow truck guy comes. HORRAY! He's going to save the day! Wait...he's using a glorified coat hanger? That keeps flipping around the inside of the car? This could take a bit of time. Pull out knitting. Decide not to lean on your car to make it move from his 'delicate' surgical postion of the 'coat hanger' and lean on car next to yours. Try not to lean on the bird poop or the wad of gum that seems to want to follow your feet.

23) 24 minutes later, the door is open. Yes, 24 minutes. Makes you think that your car is really safe if it takes that long to 'break into' it. Then laugh when you think that a teenager could break into it in a matter of seconds. Yet.... All the doors are opened! Success!
And.both.alarm.fobs.are.suddenly.working. Both.......not.a.thing.wrong.with.them. As the alarm guys drives off. No apparent reason for it not working. None, Whatsoever.

24) Get in the car, text the kids that the car is opened and everythings ok.

25) Get on the freeway. Pull to a halt. Stopped freeway. This is LA afterall. Totally stopped.

26) Finally get home, 20 hours after you realized you can't get the car door opened. Go to have a sit down and relax a bit. Pull out purple baby blanket.

27) Tink back 7 rows of lace pattern in purple baby blanket. You've skipped a YO somehow and no matter what you do, you can't get it fixed.

Figures. Yep. Long weekend.

The Yarn Harlot might just have the right idea. She just pulled her bike out for the summer.

Oh, the lessons learned? Possibly, have a second key for your car..and mostly..don't lock your keys in the car. And pre-program your cell phone with roadside assistance numbers. Oh, maybe KNOW you HAVE roadside assistance. Ya, I'm going with the 'don't lock your keys in the car' one first.

This is an interesting mix you've gotten us into...

Isn't it 'fun' when you go to get in the car, realize your keys are inside...and your alarm fob won't open the doors...your kids are out of town for the weekend....and you're not within walking distance to home?

Oh! It gets better....you get a ride home, you wake up early..and the alarm company WON'T answer/return phone calls...then you call the dealership who sold you the car...to find out..you're still covered under the bumper to bumper roadside assistance plan, but now there's no one around to bring you BACK to the car.

And they could have taken care of the whole mess last night.

If you only knew.

Or knew and had the phone number entered into your cell phone last night.

"sigh" going to be a long weekend...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've been tagged

Here's how it goes. . .each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others & list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you tag a note in their comments letting them know they have been tagged & to read your blog. So here it goes! Here's my lucky 7: Rae http://knittingtales.blogspot.com/ , Yvette http://grandmasknittingplace.blogspot.com/

1) This is the first time I have been tagged, and I procrastinated. I didn't know what I was going to write about. I had to go search around a few other blogs to get an idea how to write these things. (fear of failure-huh?) I wasn't tagged once, nor twice...I was actually tagged 3 times! (so much for failure) Thank you Laurie, http://knitwitarmywife.blogspot.com/ , Melanie http://lilknitofthisandthat.blogspot.com/ , Brian http://360.yahoo.com/bmcgaunn . This was fun~even after all my stressing out over what to write! (I really do have a blog now, huh? said in my bestest Sally Field's voice)

2) The one and only time my Mom and Dad came to California for Thanksgiving, my turkey turned inside out! After all the years of making Thanksgiving Dinners from scratch (picture perfect, of course)...the turkey cooked too fast. When I went to flip it over, it split, turned inside out, with grease and stuffing splattering all over the place...even the ceiling.

3) In 1989 we drove home in 45 hours to surprise the Grandparents for Christmas! (Southern California to Michigan) On Christmas Eve the kids were all dressed up, holiday basket in hand filled with goodies, and were sent to the front door of my parent's house singing, 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas!" My brother (the only one in the 'know') had been inside the house with a video camera. Mom thought she heard the wind howling outside as Dad was 'prompted' to answer the door. It wasn't the wind making the noise! It was a great surprise well pulled off. The next morning we repeated the same process at their other Grandparent's house. Their Great-Grandmother was so surprised, all day long she kept repeating, I can't believe it. I can't believe it. (I miss her).

4) My Dad's ancestors arrived on the Mayflower. My paternal Grandfather lived on a ship in the Great Lakes until he was 12.

5) My Mom's Dad and his family came back to the United States on the Carpathia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Carpathia after living in England for a little while when he was a toddler for his health reasons. Grandpa's picture hangs in a museum in Northern Michigan from back in the time he worked up by the copper mines. He also played basketball in college. He met my Grandma when she was his nurse in the hospital. (I miss her a lot).

6) I spent my first anniversary eating a brand new food product called Chicken McNuggets at McDonald's with my 2 1/2 month old daughter. One of my cousins was jealous because back home never got anything 'new' to try. I was jealous that she got a huge bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day.

7) In high school, my typing teacher nicknamed me "Klutz #2" after Kim and I were racing each other through a typing test one day. I went to return the carriage and it popped off the typewriter and landed on the floor. (Kim had the title of Klutz #1 and I miss her, too).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Temptation...it's a bad thing

Ok, so temptation is a baddddddddddd thing. I agree...but, this is knitting, and we have a term called wip's...right? And, I wouldn't be a knitter if I didn't have more than one wip. Right?And being a knitter, and having a brand new pair of needles (or two) sitting right here, staring me in the face, well, that would be temptation, right? And it would be wrong,,,,just wrong to not test drive them. RIGHT??????????

After all...the baby blanket is very close to finishing. See? It's just 'this close' to being finished.
Even though it's too small for the intended size, I'll have to remake another one afterwards anyway. So, it's ok to test drive the new needles, right? (I'm waiting for an "Amen" from the peanut gallery!)

And let me just say....I LOVE "EM!

Check it out...

Keeping in mind that I'm a total Addi convert. I loveeeeeeeee Addi Turbos. Ever since I tried them several years ago, I've not gone back. So when I heard these were going to be available I was very happy. But I wanted to see how they would compare to each other. These are both Addi's, both (US) 4's (3.5mm). The Addi Turbos (silver in color) are shorter (24")in cable length than the Addi Turbo Lace (gold in color)(32"). That means the needles are shorter by design from each other. Now with closer inspection the lace tips are longer and 'sharper' than the originals which are blunt. Working with the lace size 4's with a DK weight yarn, the stitches are 'tighter' in size and the needle just slips right into the stitch without any resistance.
Then, look how pliable the cable is. This is just sitting here on the keyboard with the natural curve from the top of the preemie sized sweater. It's also so very light weight! Not that the original Turbos are heavy, mind you, but these feel feather weight in my hands.

Yep, I'm sold! Now, I just wish they came in sizes larger than (US) 6 (4.0mm)!

Guess I'll never be totally satisfied.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What do you get when...

What do you get when you add this:
plus this:??????
Well, if you went to one of my local yarn shops this week...they would weight it (it came to 70#'s!!!!!!!!!!!!) and gave you a gift certificate for $1 per 1# of yarn donated to Stitches from the Heart, and then I ended up with and a happy heart!
Donating yarn for the seniors who knit with this charity cleaned out a 'part' of my garage, made my daughter happy, and gave me a chance to finally get two books from my wish list and now a chance to try the new addi lace needles.
I'm making myself finish up my current baby blanket before I cast on with the new needles.
This, my knitting friends, is not an easy task.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just My Size KBB Preemie Baby Blanket

In another pattern installment I bring to you the next preemie sized baby blanket. I have used the KBB Baby Blanket as the original model and resized it down to a degree. This makes a 'solid' knit rather than a lacy knit blanket so little fingers won't poke through and get caught. I finished it last Saturday while my son was driving.
This particular blanket will end up in Michigan for a Memorial to a lady who has passed away from the AC4C yahoo group. The group is donating preemie and burial items to a hospital where she used to donate her charity knitting. The hospital just so happens to be the same one where Dad started his 2nd round of chemo and radiation treatments yesterday. Six weeks for him this go-round. Please help us pray and hold good thoughts for a better outcome than the last round of chemo. It's also the same hospital where my Mom had her radiation treatments for Breast cancer 5 years ago. She's a survivor! And we're determined to have Dad join her with that same title.

Today, the 'baby' of the family came home for her one week summer vacation! She'll be 20 on Monday! No more 'teens' at my house. And you know what? I'm OK with that! It's fun to watch them pay for car insurance, and school loans, and appreciate the ability to stretch a buck here and there. I love my kids, and for the next 7 days, they'll all be in the same time zone, zip code, and reachable to hug! That is if they're not too busy catching up with their friends!

Sl 1 = Slip One
tbl= Through the back loop

Just My Size KBB Preemie Baby Blanket
© Cathy Waldie, May 6, 2007
(US) 8 (5.0mm) and (US) 9 (5.5 mm) 24” circular needles (or preferred length)
1 ½ skeins Worsted weight yarn, (Sample knitted in Caron Simply Soft) [label 100% Acrylic, 4 ply, 165 yards/3oz skein, 18 sts/24 rows = 4”/10 cm on (US) 8 (5.0mm) needles]
Gauge in pattern on larger needles: 16 sts, 22 rows = 4”/ 10 cm Finished size (slightly stretched to lay pattern flat): 19 ½” x 20” (50 x 51 cm)

With smaller needles, cast on 75 stitches and knit 6 rows for bottom border, slipping the first stitch of each row for the blanket.
Switch to larger needles and begin pattern.

Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Sl 1, K2, P4, (K1tbl, P4) 13 times, K3

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you are ½ “short of desired length, ending with Row 2.
(I came up with a total of 50 pattern repeats)
Change back to smaller needles and knit 7 rows.
Bind off in Purl.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

National Gas Out Day

It's national Gas Out Day!
I bring you a story in pictures from our trip from Indianapolis to Dallas, to Orange County, CA.

Indianapolis, IN

Big Springs, TX

El Paso, TX

Tuscon, AZ
Ehrenberg, AZ

Coachella, CA-$3.69!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

We're HOME! Happy Mother's Day!

As I'm sitting here, it is currently 3:46am in Southern California. I've just spent the past 1 1/2 hours opening mail and on the phone with tech support to reconnect the computers. [We had a new cable modem delivered while I was gone. We are now up and running.]
However, if I weren't so tired, I would be typing out a full report. Since I feel as if I could dive under the covers and possibly not wake up for ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.....329483405948 days, I'll leave you with this little bit...
Any guesses how we got from Bloomington, IN to Southern California? Hint,...we had a blast! And I'd do it again! Just let me catch some sleep first, please! OH...Happy Mother's Day! Can't wait to see the girls now!
Thanks for all the well wishes, prayers, and great thoughts! Y'all really came through for this trip!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Mother/Son Adventure is about ready!

I am so excited! My 24 year old son has asked me to help him drive home this week! In case I didn't have anything to do...would I like to come drive home with him for the summer?
Now, I tell ya...how could I turn that down? Not me! I'm so excited!(oh wait, I said that already-sorry).

It's been a longggggggggggg time since I was in a car road trip like this and they weren't pretty back then.(used to do the 45 hourCA to MI trip, straight through with only 15 mins for gas and potty breaks combined...not.a.pretty.sight)

This one will be just my son and me. Here's where the favor comes in. Depending upon your beliefs...I'd like to request prayers, good thoughts, candles lit, good vibes, good karma, planets in alignment,good wishes, good...whatever you use for a few things:

1)no tornados or bad weather while we're driving around the clock for the 36 (give or take) hour trip

2)limited construction (I'd like to say no construction, but I am a realist at times)

3)my hip, knee, ankle and shoulder don't poop out on me (will have lots of pain pills with me..and the really good stuff for prying me out of the car when I get home and into the driveway)

4)my flights into INDY won't be delayed, as that would really throw a monkey wrench into the start time for this Mother/Son adventure

5)that this is going to be as much fun that I'm praying it to be for time alone with my son! How often do you get a chance to spend time with your kids once they're 'off to college' and out in the real world? I'm grabbing this one for all I can get!!

6)that there will always be something around that's OPENED when we have the NEED TO FEED! ahahaha....

7)I'm thinking clean restrooms wouldn't be a bad thing to wish/ask for either

question. Do you think I'd throw the balance of the universe out of wack if I asked him to run over to Hobby Lobby and pick me up a 'few' since my flight won't land Thursday evening until 10:40pm? Or would that just really be pushing it? Ya, I'm thinking so...his clothes for the summer or yarn for mom in the car...hmmmmmmmmmm.....his car....his rules. ha!

Happy Mother's Day Weekend!

(gas prices could be interesting along the way compared to the ones I've been posting recently from OC, CA. I cringe when I hear the TV news folks say...gas has risen only $0.04 cents this month..ha! I've watched it go up much higher, and I can prove it! pictures will follow from the trip.)

Trip starts Thursday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Hummingbirds and humming through EZ's BSJs

Recently I had the luck of picking up Melissa Bergland-Burnham's Garden Dishcloths to Knit. I've been a fan of her work for awhile. I wonder if she's a Michigan girl (Michigan waterfalls, cherries, etc...) but back to the point. She has a web site at: http://home.earthlink.net/~oscarsdotter/id2.html in case you'd like to see her other patterns-AND A NEW BOOK! AHHHHH...a new quest! hehehehhehe

Last year my parents decided to sell our family cottage at the lake after being 'up north' there for 40 years. Give or take. One of the things my mom loved was to see her hummingbirds from her front bay window. I easily suspect that they were much more calming and satisifying to watch than the time eight tornadoes came flying across the lake. (Not much of a leap there. Right?) They had a place a few cottages down and across the street from my aunt and uncle, too. All four of them are back living in town these days.
Now, growing up in town, I don't remember seeing hummingbirds around. But then being a teenager, I'm sure, scratch that, I know I wasn't watching birds. Robins I do remember, but not hummingbirds. Anyway, after hearing great things about this booklet, I have been looking for it for several months now. And I'm glad it finally showed up...well...ok...I found it. I finished the first of most of the patterns I want to complete from this book for Mom and her sister. I'm only disappointed that today's just not a good day for the MINT green color to show up on the cloth. It looks more olive-leaf green to me. Oh, the towel under it was white, too! Maybe they'll show up better in a couple of days. Grrrrrr...

In other news, BSJ #3 is now off the needles! I can see many, many, many of these sweaters along the way! However, I'm not totally sold on this particular one. Maybe it's the difference between being so happy with the feel of the Hobby Lobby Sweet Delights Prints yarn compared to this one and maybe it's the size (US) 3 (3.25mm) needles that I used. I know I'm very unhappy with the I-chord edging around the bottom and front of the sweater. It's to 'wobbly' for my taste. Picky I have turned out to be. Who'd have guessed?
Here are the stats on this little number:
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Lion Brand's Babysoft in Twinkle Print
Needles: Addi Turbos in (US)3, (3.25mm) 24" (60cm) length
Gauge: 25 1/2 sts = 4"/10 cm
Chest size: 14 1/4"
Buttons: generic pink buttons for 80cents presale discount from Hanncock's Closing sale. (*sniff, sniff, let's have a moment of silence for the closing...)

Onto things of preemie blankets and hats, baby blankets, hats, and Michigan cherries, cardinals, and birdhouses! Oh, and another baby in my extended family is on the way ... What is in the water these days? I'm not drinking it! I'll knit and celebrate, but I'M.NOT.DRINKING.THE.WATER!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Leaving the crochet 'mostly' up to you!

Crochet is something I generally feel is best left to anyone but me. While my mother can crochet afghans for the grandkids, I prefer to knit. Why? Cuz I can knit. I can knit without looking...and I don't generally have to keep referring to the directions every 3.5 seconds while I am knitting.

For me, crocheting is something I have to do without any distractions. I have to watch every movement and twist of the yarn. I have to constantly count and double check to make sure I'm putting the hook into the correct loop. Therefore, I can't watch tv, or a movie, or the kids when they used to play soccer, or baseball, or dance competitions while I'm crocheting.

Except for this one pattern. I've made a 'bucket load' of these afghans in both the written size and my adaptation for babies. It's called the Crayon Ripple Throw/Blanket and it can be found on the Lion Brand web site. www.lionbrand.com. For me, since the original pattern was written for Jamie-4 ply (which has now been discontinued) the easiest way to find the pattern is to put the title in their search bar. Keep in mind that their patterns are all free, but you do have to register to use their patterns.

For the full sized patterns I use any brand of worsted weight yarn as per the pattern with a size J-10 crochet hook. For the baby sized afghans, I drop it down to an H size crochet hook. I then repeat rows 2 and 3 each for a total of 28 times. This gives me roughly a 36" square baby afghan. I've made many for the NMCRS baby layette program. Just pick how many colors you want and chaneg the colors every 2 or even amount of rows.

As to the rest of the crocheting - well, come to think about it, it's been forever since I've made broomstitch lace afghans, too..maybe I'll have to do one at some point. otherwise...as far as the rest of the crochet world...I'll leave up to you!