Archive | November 2015

Still Here, With Yarn

You’d think I’d be posting more often, with all the free time I have these days, but it’s working the other way for some reason. I’m less compelled to write, maybe because I’m not as excited, not as eager to share? So this post might be more photos, fewer words.

I hope all my US friends had a lovely holiday. I managed to get out and visit my family despite the pouring rain. We had a delicious meal with my husband’s family, then we stopped to visit my mom and sister on the way home. The scooter didn’t fit in the trunk with all the food, so I was crutching it the whole way, and it wore me out big time! That left leg was so tired from all the hopping. I was glad we went, of course. It was so nice to see everybody. But more than anything I was grateful for my husband that night. True love is standing patiently outside in the cold rain, telling your wife that yes, she *can* make it up the stairs, just keep going.

The yarn is easier than the stairs. I am indeed still playing with yarn, tennis elbow be darned. I started a BRIGHT pink scarf on Thanksgiving and finished it two days later. It’s kid size, so it went quickly.IMG_4318

I’m working on some turtle stuff too, some special orders.IMG_4315Yep, even crocheted nunchucks!IMG_4317

And another order, a rainbow toddler hat!IMG_4316I’ve got these to finish plus three scarves to make but this morning I woke up with a twinge in my right hand and an occasional muscle twitch in that elbow, and it’s obvious my body is saying, “Bonny, so help me, if you don’t find something to do besides knit or crochet, you’re going to lose the ability to do it at all.” And that sucks and it’s not fair, but that’s life, right? So today I’m abstaining from all yarn crafts and instead I will be reading. I’ve got “We Never Asked for Wings” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I loved her first book, “The Language of Flowers”, so much that I’m eagerly anticipating this one. Here’s hoping it keeps me happy and distracted all day!

Getting Out of the House

Bored. So bored of TV and movies and reading and even (gasp!) knitting. Bored of my couch and my living room and my rolling desk chair. Today marks three weeks since I broke my foot, and the novelty of having so much lazy time has definitely worn off. Thankfully, I have a marvelous husband who understands completely and was willing to help me have an outing yesterday. We didn’t go far; just down the street to the bead store and yarn store. But I was clean, I wore something other than pajamas, spoke out loud to people other than my family, and looked at pretty things that I could take home with me. And I did. IMG_4273Isn’t that little Santa hat so cute?? That was my favorite bead, but I got several others. These red are done, obviously, but I’ve got several silver hearts to play with, plus two strands of smaller beads, for when I need to switch hobbies.IMG_4275Of course I’m not so tired of knitting that I couldn’t find yarn I wanted. I got six skeins of Berroco Maya, a lightweight blend of cotton and alpaca, plus three more skeins of Berroco Vintage. One is that bright Christmas red that really needs to become a holiday hat for me! I’ve already cast on the Maya. It’s going to be the Color Tipped Scarf by Purl Soho. Who doesn’t adore their patterns, right? IMG_4278Clearly, I wasn’t tired of knitting. I was tired of knitting the same old things. I needed something new. I’ve got one more finished Yoda hat, and this might be the last for a while, except special orders. As much as I love him,  Yoda might have worn out his welcome here. IMG_4286Now it’s time for me and the puppies to chill out while everyone else cooks all the food for tomorrow’s big dinner. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! IMG_4281


Knitting for the Holidays

This year, my holiday knitting is pretty much non-existent. I’ve made gifts the last two years, and I just decided not to take on that anxiety this year. It requires a lot more advance planning than I managed. Now, with that said, there might be one or two gifts coming off my needles this year, but that’s about all. I’m partly relieved and partly sad, which tells me this hiatus probably won’t be a long one. So, family, if you’re reading this, put your requests in early next year!

So what am I doing if I’m not making gifts for people? For quite a while, I was busy making stuff for my two craft shows. My second show was last week. It was a one-day, 4-hour fair, and it was a bust. I had two sales that *almost* covered the table fee, and then I bought a super-cute necklace from my booth neighbor. It’s my sneaking suspicion that the clientele there were the type of people who think that handmade gifts aren’t as good. I had a few compliments, but most were just quick glances. I even had two people ask me, “Are all of these handmade?” before walking away empty-handed.

Don’t worry, I didn’t take the lack of sales personally. Disappointing, sure, but I know the problem was market, not product. The silver lining is that the fair was to support the First Hand Foundation, a charity run by Cerner, so my table fee went to a good cause. But still, it wasn’t really worth the work, given that my Knitting SIL had to find a babysitter so she could haul all my stuff, and I had to move around on Helga, my knee scooter.

With shows done for now, my focus is back on my Etsy shop. I’ve been working on adding pieces, and today I finished! It’s completely up to date with all my current inventory, and you can check it out here. As a holiday special I’m offering free first class shipping with the code SHIPMYHATS. My sales are slowly increasing, and I’m getting a few custom orders from it too. Of course, most of them are Yoda hats! IMG_4270And I managed to finish the mermaid blanket, FINALLY. IMG_4247I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished piece, darn it all. It turned out pretty good, but I don’t know that I ever want to make another one. If I do, I know that I’ll charge a higher price next time!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn up the new Adele album and go back to knitting Yoda hats.

Another Minor Setback

This is not ideal. If you remember, I managed to acquire some tendonitis in my elbow over the summer, and I’ve been battling it ever since. Well, being on crutches has made it worse, as has all my extra knitting time while I’ve been resting my foot. I’m not supposed to take anti-inflammatories because they’re not the best meds for my foot, but the pain meds I do have don’t do anything to help the elbow. Sigh. So right now I have a really sore elbow and I know I need to quit knitting for a few days to let it rest. I’ll try working on the crochet mermaid blanket, since it’s a different set of movements and uses the right (good) arm more than the left. But these might be the last knitting photos for a while. IMG_4123The doggy scarf! It’s about 2 1/2″ wide and 13″ circumference. I really hope it fits well. IMG_4128Another Broken Rib slouch hat, this time in Oscar the Grouch Green.IMG_4130This is the last piece for my craft show, which is tomorrow! I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but that might just be because of how hard it is to shower/look presentable right now. I’m sure once we get there and get it all set up, we’ll have a grand time. And maybe I’ll sell a whole bunch of hats!

Today I’ll distract myself from yarn with a small editing job, a short children’s story. I haven’t done any editing in a while so it’ll be a nice change of pace. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos, one of my “helper” puppy and one of our current refrigerator Scrabble. It’s fun to get up in the morning and see what my family has added! Today I saw “strong” and “grit”. Must remember those. IMG_4132“You shall not pass!”


Red & White Knitting

Fun knitting yesterday! I took a quick break from commissions to make a baby hat, and since the holidays are coming, it needed to be a red and white stocking cap. I only love it a little and wish I had a baby of my own to put it on. Or maybe I just need to make one for myself. Anyway, here’s the hat. It’s cute. IMG_4120It’s made with Knit Picks Brava worsted, all acrylic so it’ll be soft and washable. I’ve got more of the yarn and it was quick to make, so I’m sure there will be more of these coming off my needles this winter.

I also started something new for me: a dog scarf! I’ve got a wonderful Etsy customer who wanted three candy cane scarves for family photos, and decided her dog needed one too. How cute will that be? So I’m making a little circle scarf. I just started last night, and I should be able to finish it today. IMG_4121We had a family birthday party yesterday, and I got to give a nephew some hand knit fingerless gloves. He’d been coveting them for a while, so it was fun to see his face when he opened them. He put them on immediately and wore them while he opened presents, at least until they got too warm. IMG_4112 This kid is one of the best people to give hand knits to; he just loves them. So I’ll keep making stuff for him. He wants a crocheted brain slug for Christmas. Seriously. I love my weird family.

Oh, and hey, something really cool happened yesterday: one of my shawls was featured in a treasury on Etsy! You can see it here, and it’s already generated four more favorites for that shawl! Etsy is fun, isn’t it?

Okay, I better get back to work. Today I need to focus on commissions: mermaid blanket and dog scarf. To make it more fun, I think there will be a movie marathon involved. Now I just have to decide what movies. Harry Potter? Toy Story? Back to the Future? I won’t do Twilight because they family’s home and they’ll complain. What’s your favorite series for knitting?

Crafting My Way to a Better Mood

Maybe whining really does help: I ended up having a pretty good day yesterday! I managed to make it up to my craft room, where I spent a lovely hour or so prepping my for craft show. I had a big pile of finished hats with no tags. So I pulled out the Sizzix, made some tags, and got them all ready to sell. IMG_4107I also had a few that needed some finishing details before I could sell them, so I gathered up the supplies I needed and worked my way downstairs. NOT the couch, the dining room, with all the sunshine. I turned on my music (Imagine Dragons. Love them.) and set to work.IMG_4101On the second Yoda hat, I ran into a snag. I’d finished an ear with a new skein of yarn and realized in the harsh light of day that it was the wrong color.IMG_4103Oops! Frogged that. I found a leftover bit of the right color, reknit the ear, and sewed it onto the hat. Bam, another Yoda hat done.IMG_4104I added a button to a hat. I didn’t have matching thread, so I used a contrasting color, and I’m quite pleased with it. As I sewed, I noticed the top of the hat was pretty cool.IMG_4105The color in the photo isn’t great; it’s a greener green than this, but you get the idea. I love it when the yarn does fun stuff like this all by itself.

By then, I’d been up for a few hours and my foot was starting to ache, so I gave in and went back to the couch. But it was good, because I finished the candy cane scarf, a holiday order that’s been hanging over me and preventing me from selfish knitting. Okay, so I messed up and made it 6″ shorter than it was supposed to be, but thankfully my customer didn’t mind. (It probably helped that I offered it at a lower price.) Jack was very happy that I was back at the couch. He needed some cuddle time.IMG_4109I’m also getting close to the end of the mermaid blanket. IMG_4098I’ve joined it to work in the round and I’m ready to decrease, then it’ll just be the fin and it’ll be done! Woohoo! Okay, it’ll be done AFTER I weave in 50 million yarn tails, but still. I’m close.

So yeah, good day yesterday. Thank goodness for yarn and puppies and helpful kids and a loving husband. And thank goodness for encouragement from all of you!

Thoughts on Recovery: Warning, I’m Whining

Not so long ago, on most “normal” days, all I wanted to do was hang out at home. If I could rest on the couch, watch TV, and play with yarn, it was a really good day. I loved the solitude, the silence. But now, I have all those things each and every day. I’ve had lots of solitude, lots of couch/TV/yarn time, and to be honest, I’m sick of it. I want to go to a yarn store, a bead store, Target, even the grocery store! It’s only been nine days since I broke my foot, and the orthopedist wants me in the boot and non-weight-bearing for at least another four weeks. What the heck am I going to do with myself?

I know: I have people who would come visit, who would run errands for/with me if I needed. Many people have told me, “Just let me know if you need anything!” And I’m extremely grateful for them. But it’s not the same. They can’t help me with what’s really bothering me: the 15 stairs I have to hop up and down, trying to shower while standing on one leg, dealing with the lip on the floor going into the kitchen that forces me to stand up, drag my chair over, and then sit back down EVERY SINGLE TIME I go into the kitchen. To go anywhere means hopping down the eight or nine stairs outside, and then hopping back up when I come home. What I want, what I need, is to be self-sufficient, independent. I’m frustrated, missing the ability to just get up and walk/drive wherever I want to go, whenever I want to go.

And I know, I’m extremely lucky. It could be worse. I could be without that foot permanently. I could be facing surgery, a longer healing time, permanent walking aides. In the grand scheme of things, five weeks of downtime for a broken bone is nothing. I keep telling myself that, and sometimes it works. It helps that I’m feeling a little better. The foot doesn’t hurt too much most of the time, and when it does I have meds that help a little. When I’m sitting in a normal chair or walking for too long, it swells up, but I can elevate it and ice it, and that helps. Using the crutches aggravated the tendonitis in my elbow, but I have a knee scooter now, so hopefully that will ease up soon.

It sounds so great, doesn’t it? A good excuse to sit around, be lazy and watch TV. But in reality, it sucks most of the time. I feel guilty that my husband has to work full-time and then come home to drive kids around, run errands, wash the dinner dishes. I feel useless right now. I’m not able to do anything for the family that I was doing before. I’m just dead weight. I dread getting up every morning, dread the struggle of getting around with the heavy boot. In bed, nothing hurts. I can pretend that everything is still okay.

Wow. I didn’t realize it was so dark in my head today. Sorry about that. I think I’m going to take my tea and my crafty stuff and go sit in the dining room for a while, at a table, on a chair that’s not a couch. I’m going to enjoy the sunshine coming in the bay windows and listen to music, leave the TV off for a while. I’m going to try to hop up to the craft room and prep for the craft show I’m doing next week. (Thank goodness for my Knitting SIL, who will be my arms and legs that day!!) I’m going to try to rein in this feeling-sorry-for-myself thing I’ve got going, focus on what I can still do and accept help for the things I can’t.

I almost don’t want to hit publish on this post. Maybe it’s too self-indulgent. I’m really not looking for people to fawn over me and say, “Oh, poor you!” But it feels good to be honest here. And I think my feelings aren’t that uncommon: people do get hurt and people do get frustrated and people do feel sorry for themselves. And then they take a deep breath and move forward. So that’s what I’m going to try to do today. I will appreciate the beautiful sunny day, even if I have to do it from inside.

A little bit of knitting progress

I wish I had more exciting stuff to share. I mean, I’ve had a week now of extra knitting time while I rest my foot, and I’ve got almost nothing. I’m working on that mermaid blanket but it’s still just more of the same. And I’m working on my third candy cane scarf; it’s going pretty quickly.IMG_4073I should be able to finish that soon and beg my husband to mail it for me. I’m just really eager to be working on FUN stuff. Sure, all knitting is fun, but these two projects aren’t using my creative energies. I want to be playing with my pretty yarns, finding new and interesting projects. I want to make a Doodler. I want to make baby hats. I want to make cowls. And I will, soon. As soon as I finish these two commissioned pieces.

I did manage to take photos of the two completed Sarah beanies. Granted, they’re not great photos. In fact, they suck a little, but my mobility is limited so this is what you get for now. IMG_4070 IMG_4071It’s a really fun pattern, and the hats are much cuter than my photos make them look. You can find the free pattern here. I would say that it comes out a little big as written. The purple-ish one I cast on the 100 stitches, and with worsted weight, it’s just a looser brim than I like. The turquoise one I went down to…80? stitches, I think. Either that or 88. And then I increased to 100(ish) stitches for the body.

I also learned the downfall to knitting while under the influence of pain meds. The other night I forgot and accidentally took an extra pill, and then I tried to knit a second Yoda ear. It didn’t end well. IMG_4064Those don’t match. In case you can’t tell, the one on the right is the result of the doped knitting. Sigh. Guess I’ll frog that one and try again!

That’s all the knitting to report. I’ve been reading After You by JoJo Moyes, which is great. I finished Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think it was her best. While knitting, I’ve started watching My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and it’s hysterical. Just quirky and strange and delightful. And of course cuddling with the puppies. IMG_4060I’m so glad I have the pups for company! IMG_4044

Down But Not Out

Last week was full of bad. Like, really bad, and lots of it. First was this: IMG_4014Wednesday morning I was coming downstairs to say goodbye to my daughter before she left for school, and somehow I completely missed the last step. I landed hard on my foot, heard it crack, and knew it was bad. She got me an ice pack and I sent her on to school. Then I managed to hobble to the dining room, where my phone was, to call my husband to take me to the ER. X-rays confirmed that I’d broken the 5th metatarsal, which is the bone that runs along the outer side of the foot. I was given pain meds, a boot, crutches, and instructions to put no weight on it.IMG_4015Thankfully, I hadn’t messed up the ankle or anything else. But still, it’s my right foot, which means no driving. As a SAHM with two active kids, that makes life difficult. My poor husband is now having to take on a lot of chauffeur duties, as well as errands like returning library books and going to the grocery store. Ugh.

My first full day at home alone, I lost my balance on my crutches and fell. I protected my foot, which meant all my weight landed on the heel of my hand. My right hand. IMG_4026I *think* it just got badly bruised, but it made using the crutches even more painful, because that’s exactly where I bear the weight when I’m using them. The next morning I had my husband bring down the rolling office chair, and that’s made getting around downstairs much easier.

Thursday, my husband got a ticket for expired tags, which neither of us realized were expired and neither of us remember getting the reminder postcard in the mail.

Friday, my puppy Jack caught a nail on something, pulling it partway off. He needed to go to the vet but I couldn’t drive and Alex couldn’t leave work, not after being gone all day with me on Wednesday. Thankfully, my sister was able to come help us out, and we managed to get him to the vet where they removed the nail, bandaged his paw and gave me meds for him, all to the tune of $140. IMG_4033So yeah, it was a very, very long week. I am tired and sore and frustrated and poor. It’s a good thing I can’t drive to any yarn stores because we can’t afford it right now! Thankfully, I can still knit, and I now have LOTS of time to knit while I hang out on the couch. IMG_3860Sarah Beanie #1, which I worked on at the World Series celebration parade on Tuesday, before the foot fiasco.IMG_4019Sarah Beanie #2, begun the night of the foot fiasco when I needed something soothing and happy. It was happy until the next day. IMG_4021I’d dropped a stitch way back and hadn’t noticed. Fortunately, I was able to pick it up so I didn’t have to frog the whole thing.IMG_4036Butterfly Hat #2. This one I took with me on Saturday, when both kids were auditioning for the metro district band. I hadn’t planned on going, what with the foot and crutches and all, but my daughter was so disappointed that I decided to give it a whirl, hopping down the 10 or so steps outside our house to the car.IMG_4037I finished the hat before the auditions were done, sadly. Since I hadn’t planned on going, I didn’t have other projects ready to grab. Just another reminder to always have a travel project on hand! Still, I was glad I’d made the effort to go, even if I was exhausted by the time we made it home seven hours later. And hooray, the week ended on a high note: my son, a 7th grader auditioning for the first time, was selected as an alternate, and my daughter earned third chair in the district band! Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I’m back in the driver’s seat by the time we need to go to All-State auditions! I go to the orthopedist on Tuesday to get more X-rays, check on the healing process, and see whether I need surgery to insert a pin. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea of how long I’ll be restricted after that appointment. And until then, I’ll just keep knitting. IMG_4039

A Day of Antiquing, and a Hat

Yesterday was the husband’s birthday, and we started the day by going out for a BIG breakfast. IMG_3841 Then he wanted to celebrate it by going antiquing. We managed to hit one huge antique mall, a tiny antique store, and a medium-sized antique mall in around four hours. No yarn, but that doesn’t mean I came home empty-handed. IMG_3847This coat tree is made with cheap “wood” and is a little short, but at $5 it’s a perfect display for my craft shows. It’ll be fantastic for scarves and bags. The top section even twirls!IMG_3853Vintage buttons!! Love them.IMG_3854These are my favorites. IMG_3846I also found a new Joseph Original figurine. (Sorry for the really bad phone photo.) They had four and I only bought one, but I’m really tempted to go back for the others. My first was the dark pink in the back, the one without arms. She was given to me by my mom’s mom, and somehow that started a wee collection. Now I look for them every time I’m in an antique store.

I did manage to get some knitting time in the car while we drove around. IMG_3844And during the game (WOOHOOOOO GO ROYALS!!!!), I finished it. I’m calling it the Pumpkin Slouch Hat and even though I don’t wear orange at all, I really like this hat.IMG_3850 IMG_3851I especially like the reverse side!IMG_3852I modified my favorite Broken Rib Slouch Hat pattern for worsted weight, and though it came out a bit bigger than I wanted, I’m calling it a win. I’m a terrible mom, though: my daughter asked if I was selling it. I said yes, I need inventory for the craft show. She asked if she could buy it. I said no, she had more important things to spend her money on. BUT I did say if it didn’t sell at the show, it would be hers (for free, of course). I feel bad, but I’m just really low on hat inventory and I can’t make money without having a good selection of things to sell.

Today is sunny and warm so I’m going to take my yarn outside and enjoy the good weather while we have it. Happy November, and best of luck to all of you participating in NaKniSweMo!