Category Archives: Crochet

Year Long Endeavors

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The past few years have not been that great for me.  With each year I’ve noticed my health getting worse (fibromyalgia).  Every year I have always made up a list of goals for the next year and never get far because I never feel well.  At the end of the year, any goals that I didn’t get to just get added to the next years list with my new goals.  Only, I am getting to the point where I can’t do much at all.  So this year I didn’t make any “new year goals.”   I just decided to do as much as I can, when I can.  Every day is a new day and whatever it brings I will just have to roll with it.  If I can’t get out of bed than that is all I can do.

I did start a few year long endeavors but nothing that will throw me off if I miss a day.

  1. Temperature Scarf.  My oldest son Jared helped me with this a lot.  He went with me to Joann’s and helped me pick out 12 colors (including black).  Then we arranged them into a pleasing rainbow of sorts with the colors we deemed to be “cold colors” on one end and the “hot colors” on the other end.  Jared made my chart for me with a temperature range for each color.   I decided I wanted to show the extremes in temperature we get here so I divided the year into thirds.  The first 4 months I am checking the temperature each day and taking the low for the day I check my chart to find out what color to use.  I work one row a day based on the temperature.  After the first 4 months I’ll switch to the high temperature then back to the low temps for the last four – so it will be warm around my neck (where the middle is hehe)  I am almost finished  with January and I love how it looks already!  After the last day of January I’ll add a few rows of black.  I started with a few rows of black and I’ll end with a few rows of black and when it is all done I’ll add an edge of black.  That way it will look like a thermometer kinda.
  2. I joined a CAL (crochet a long) on ravelry.com that is making a 12″ x 12″ block every month.  They also vote for an extra 12″ square and there is also a 6″ square each month for people wanting to make a baby blanket or whatever.
  3. I joined another CAL (Official CCC Social group) that is doing a 12″ x 12″ block every WEEK!  (until Nov I think which leaves time to piece them together)  The last two pictures show the first two from this group.  They are so awesome!!!
  4. I also joined another crochet group that has several different CAL’s planned throughout the year.  Creative Crochet Crew Group has to be the best crochet group I’ve seen on facebook.   Their first project is starting on Feb 4th I believe and they are making the Magnificent Moss Basket.  They even have the designer in this group in case anyone has any questions.  This group is totally focused on crochet so no random chit chat about other things or negativity of any sort.  No knitting or other off topic things either.  That makes it really nice because it is such a large group.  I find so many wonderful patterns or ideas in this group.  The group I linked in #3 above is the social group where chit chat is allowed but not the negativity.  Both groups are awesome!

This link is to my Ravelry Project page for my 2014 blanket!  I’ll be adding each square as I do them so if you check back you can see all the patterns (which are all free).

When I finished the purple flower with the green part it made me think of a water lily so I made the rest blue.

When I finished the purple flower with the green part it made me think of a water lily so I made the rest blue.

So all of these “endeavors” are crochet related.  That seems to be the one thing that keeps me going.  Last year I was really into knitting but lately I only want to crochet.  I’ve been crocheting for most of my life (my sister started teaching me when I was 5) but I haven’t been knitting all that long.  When I am in pain and have a hard time focusing I go for the thing that I can do on autopilot.  It helps to keep my mind focused on something – something not to hard but hard enough to keep my mind off of hurting.  This may sound silly but if I am in so much pain that I can’t crochet, I actually try to mentally form the stitches in my head as a way to distract myself.  I think everyone with fibromyalgia has their little tricks like that.

Oh, I should add, I am doing all of these things using only yarn that I already have.  I have a lot!  I picked out four colors to make a blanket for my room.  Purple – Green – Blue – Cream   But, I am using different yarns and different shades of those colors in my squares.  I may even make some 6″ squares and group 4 together into a larger square.

Hairy Lavender Flower Square

I got the bright idea to use green fun fur with the white for the center of this square. Then I had to give it a haircut because it looked like an overgrown lawn!

Making a blanket to fit my bed might be overwhelming but making a 12″ square can be done in an hour or so.  When I don’t feel well it takes me all day but I still find myself waiting impatiently for the next one to be posted in each group.  In no time at all I will have enough squares to make my blanket and I really doubt it will take a year.  I’ll probably make a blanket for every bed in the house.

The flower in this one is two shades of blue but the darker shade looks gray in the picture.  There actually isn't any gray in this.

The flower in this one is two shades of blue but the darker shade looks gray in the picture. There actually isn’t any gray in this.

Purple flower circle square

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Crocheted angels and weight loss

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I haven’t been feeling well for a while.  Mostly I’ve been really tired and have very low energy but I keep trying to make my goals for losing weight.  I started using my stationary bike again and even though my goal is to make 10 minutes I sometimes don’t make it.  I still do what I can and once or twice I made it to 15 minutes without too much pain.  I have lost 6 lbs so far!  Last year I was stuck at this one place and I am now past it!  That right there makes me happy!  I weigh less than I ever did last year.  Not a lot less but any less is great!

I have to work really hard to watch my diet.  I’ve found that cutting back on carbs really helps but I also use a little protein supplement to make sure I get enough.  That is one thing I usually run low on.  I’m keeping my calories at 1200 and taking vitamins.  I’m using myfitnesspal.com along with the app for the iphone to track what I eat.

I also made a gift for a friend who is pregnant.  She lost her first baby at birth and I can’t imagine going through that.  My stomach was in knots just thinking about it.

Well in my dishcloth group we were learning about intarsia, which is a method of adding colors.  There was a knit pattern and a crochet pattern.  I did the knit cloth and I wanted to learn the technique for crochet as well.  I wasn’t loving the pattern though.   It just wasn’t something that I wanted for my kitchen so I thought I’d just have to make it for someone else.  Well, after I looked at the pattern I saw something else in it and decided to change the pattern.  The pattern was on graph paper so I changed the design by omitting some squares and embroidery designs and adding my own until it looked like a baby carriage.  I also got a piece of graph paper and scribbled in squares until I had a decent angel.  I made it a long rectangle with one design at each end and backed it with pre-shrunk flannel for a baby burp cloth.  It is made out of materials that are easy to wash and dry.  I was able to give it to my friend last night and she loved it.

 

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

Finished baby burp cloth with flannel lining

I decided to link this post up to a linky party hosted by Creative Crafts Thursday at www.creativecraftsthursday.blogspot.com.

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Headliner News: The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

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Here in Fairbanks Alaska it is warm, which is very strange.  Even though it is January and usually very cold, it is above freezing.  My youngest son was born in January in 1997 and it was 40 below zero.  His 16th birthday is this Saturday and it is so warm it is raining!!!!!!  I went to Walmart yesterday and the entry way is a wet mess with water raining down from the roof onto the sidewalks.  The tons of snow on the roof is melting.  When I was stopped at a red light I had to keep my wind-shield wipers going because the snow on the light signals was melting and raining on my car.  As the water falls and hits the cold roads it turns to ice and makes driving oh so fun.  Later in the day yesterday it started to rain (mixed with snow) and then it started to poor.  It rained like it was fair time or something.  They canceled school since the roads are such a mess.  People could ice skate to work!  They should make it official – “Ice skate to work day.”

Fairbanks schools to be closed Tuesday

Well while the snow outside was melting yesterday I crocheted some for inside.  I made this snowflake washcloth for my bathroom and it is so pretty!  I found the pattern on Ravelry.com and it is free.  The yarn I used is Lily Sugar’n Cream Tie dye Stripes.  I added an extra round to mine and changed the edging a bit.  I think it turned out really pretty!   At least I know my snowflake wont melt.

Made by DJCstitches

WordPress Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines!  Click this link to read other blogger’s take on this prompt or to add your own!  

Every Day is Christmas

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I just love this time of year!  I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a long time now but I can be caught humming Jingle Bells any time of year.  I just love the happy spirit of this time of year.  I was just thinking it was too bad it was only during this time of year and then I heard this song called “Every Day is Christmas” by Colbie Caillat on her album Christmas in the Sand.  I couldn’t find the song on youtube so I am just going to post some of the lyrics.  You can read them all here

January always brought me down
All the magic of December
Is like a circus leaving town
All I wanna do is to follow it around
Cause everybody wishes it was Christmas all year ’round

To wake up every morning
With a present in my bed
That’s how I’ve been feeling
Since the moment we first met

And I don’t need the snow to fall
And I don’t need the light to shine
And I don’t need a mistletoe
Cause I’ll still kiss you all the time

We don’t have to take a sleigh ride
For our hearts to race inside
And I still get as excited
When we go to sleep at night
Every day is Christmas as long as
Every day you are mine

Anyway, when I heard that song I thought, “wow, what  great idea”.  Anyone can give a “Christmas” gift any time of the year.  So I am going to hold on to that thought and when I start to miss the spirit of Christmas I’m going to make a gift for someone and treat it like a random act of kindness.  I can give it to someone when they least expect it and brighten their day.

I also thought of something else.  I am making a shawl for my step-mother.  I bought this really pretty warm pink yarn called Spa by Natually Caron.  The color is called Rose Bisque and as it is working up it feels so soft and silky.  It is a lighter weight yarn crocheted up loosely so it will be a nice light shawl perfect for those chilly nights in Georgia during the winter.  Well, when I bought the yarn it was on sale and I didn’t know how much I would need so I grabbed extra.  I will have enough to make another one so I thought it would be nice to take one to a local nursing home to give to someone who doesn’t get many visitors or gifts from loved ones.  I know some people who work there so I’ll ask them to recommend someone who needs a little love.  I am almost finished with the one for my step mom so as soon as I get it mailed off I’ll get started on the next one.

Happy 1st day of December everyone.  Only 24 more days until Christmas.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38

Another day

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Well, I has been a few days since I posted.  I’m not doing very well at keeping up with NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) but I do have to say it has kept me motivated which is something I really need right now.  I have a lot of pain during the winter months and sometimes it is very difficult to get out of bed to do anything.  At least this gives me a reason to get up.  I want to do something so I can write about it and after November is over I will try to keep it up.

I have had a bad few days and was very tired.  I slept most of the weekend and when I did get up I had very little energy and usually ended up going back to bed.  My husband cleaned a lot in the garage.  He finally realized that was something I wasn’t going to be able to do.  For one thing, a lot of the stuff in the is large and heavy and I can’t move it to get to something of mine that I can sort through.  Well he got the boys and got to work.  They got a lot done and hopefully soon he will be able to park his truck in there.

Well, yesterday when I came out he told me I was not allowed to buy any more yarn.  My jaw dropped.  That is impossible!  There is no way I can abstain.  He had gathered up all of my yarn from all my little stashes and filled up SEVEN huge tubs.  SEVEN.  I would take a picture but I can’t quit get to them right now.  Maybe later.  I already had some large tubs but he went to Walmart and got some more even bigger ones.  They ones you could fit a house in and filled them up with yarn.  I always have a bag here with a project in mind, a box here with a project in progress… and another bag here and another box there and I guess I lost track of just how much yarn I had.

So I decided to use some of it but the project I did today was really small so I didn’t use very much yarn.

I made paperclip ice skates.  It is a really easy pattern and the person that came up with it is now my best friend.