Yarn and Other Delights

I’ve been so busy over the last few months, I’ve barely had time to breath let alone think about putting two coherent thoughts together. One thing I’ve been doing – crocheting.

This weekend I went to a huge sale at Herrschners. It was LOVELY. Yes I know it was shopping but I got to look at a lot of discounted yarn. Some of it was totally worth it and some was just meh.

More important, I got to spend time with my middle daughter and a friend. It’s a two hour drive. We had good conversation, fun craft shopping, and good food.

We were up at the butt crack of dawn which is not my favorite time of day at all. But it is a two hour drive one way. We were home by mid afternoon. Not only was it fun to shop / buy but it was fun to come home and sort it out, label it (yup my daughter claimed some of it) and organize it.

crochet cotton and scrubby yarn

I got a ton of crochet cotton. This is the yarn I use the most. I make a lot of dishcloths, coasters, pot holders, and so much more. I got cones that were a third off the regular price. Sorry – for those who don’t crochet – a cone is a large (cone shaped) spool of crochet cotton. It comes in skeins – about 3 oz typically – or cones which are several times larger than the skeins.

I found a number of skeins for only $1. A FREAKING dollar! Most skeins range in price from $2-3 up. Some of the skeins for a dollar were originally $5-8 a skein.

My daughter pushed the cart. We tried to stay together but she wandered away while I chatted with a YouTube crafter. When I saw her next, the cart was full – though yarn is squishy so it wasn’t really full.

Yarn, yarn, and more yarn!
First table full

I went with the intention of getting yarn for three projects and some accessories. The yarn part I was successful on but I opted to get some of the accessories from Amazon and I’m still looking for the rest.

In the process of talking about what I wanted, I realized I needed to get the patterns off my phone and into documents and folders so I could work on publishing. I started sending them to my email. I really need to do this process more often because I ended up sending 58 files to my email. Now I have the tedious process getting them into files on my flashdrive.

I’m working on three leaflet/books – maybe actual books rather than just single patterns. The three are going to be – Spa Day, Scarves, and Kitchen. I might do another blanket one as I’ve got one already done and three more in mind but this will likely be a leaflet rather than a book.

I’ve got two weeks of vacation coming up shortly. I cannot wait. My initial plan was to write the entire time. That isn’t going to happen. I let it be known I was taking vacation and now the universe has interfered. One of my daughters is coming home for a short visit. I’ve got an editing job. There’s a holiday during these two weeks so others will be home. So much for a writing retreat right at home.

It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in yarn shopping like this. I’ve been working to use up my stash. This was fun and well worth it. Thank you Vicki for my two gifts – birthday and Christmas. Guess what’s on my list for this Christmas.

Not Really Scrap Yarn

In a week, I’m going to a city market sale. This is the first time I’ve really done anything like this. I didn’t have a lot of stock built up so I was feeling nervous about it. My craft room is in chaos with moving things in and out of my house and the holidays. I’ve not had a chance to go in, dig in, and get it organized again.

Flower valance made for middle daughter

I sent my husband in to my pickling crock. There’s a giant pickling crock (old days they made gallons of pickles in these large crocks) which I use for storing my scrap balls of yarn. With my worsted weight yarn, I saved it all for my mom who made slippers out of it.

Ken hasn’t a clue about yarn – other than I spend money on it. I sent him in with instructions to grab me six or seven balls. From the first group of balls he grabbed I made three headbands, three hats, a scarf, and a shawl.

Leaves on the flower valance

Last night I knew I was going to be done with the yarn he brought me so I asked him to go yarn ball hunting for me again. I finished off the shawl from the first group and looked at the next group. Two of the balls really called to me – one because it was super soft and the other because it was large (oversized) yarn which I knew would make up quick. I used the supersized yarn to make another headband. The super soft yarn – also bigger yarn – called to me. This is so soft you feel like you’re floating when you touch it. I love the yarn – the problem – too little yarn for a headband. So what am I going to do with it? Plus it is orange – a bright and often difficult color for a lot of people. So I came up with an idea. I grabbed a smaller ball (yup left over from the first round of projects). It was gray – a nice calm color to contrast the brightness of the orange. I created a border. Now I worried it would be too much of a contrast because it was smaller yarn and drastically different color. To be fair, the base in orange was a make and tear out about three times before I got the yarn to go as far as I needed it to. This also meant it wasn’t quite long enough for a headband.

Daisy Coasters

The gray had to tone down the orange, add length and width to the headband, and make the piece long enough to be an actual headband. A lot of work for a little ball of yarn. However, I think it worked out nicely. In fact I liked it so much I’ve written up the pattern.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve made coasters, dishcloths, headbands, scarf, shawl, and hats all for this city market I’m going to in an effort to promote my books and sell my crocheting.

Lots of dishcloths

I always struggle with pricing but I’m researching and getting things organized. By Friday night, I’m hoping to have more done. I’m also hoping to get the pricing on all the items. I want to have my boxes all organized and ready to go so Saturday morning, it’s a matter of putting them in my car and going.

To me it’s a challenge when I’m given a ball of yarn to see how far I can stretch it. Will it make a hat or do I need to stretch it? If I combine these two different yarns will they look good together or am I being too daring? But those little balls of yarn can actually make some very interesting things. It may sound crazy – but hey not the first time I’ve been called that – but let the yarn tell you what it wants to be.

A Bit of Zen

It’s Sunday night and I’m headed to my recliner.  It’s been a busy weekend.  Yesterday my middle daughter, her godmother and I went shopping.  I drove, they shopped, I crocheted.  I wouldn’t have minded going into the bookstores they went to but my scooter has been sporadic for operating.

When we got home, I finished the afghan I was working on.  Vicki took pictures for me so I can get the pattern ready for publishing.  I have to think of a name for it.  I’m not happy with any of t

he names I’ve come up with.  After I finished it, she and I talked about the submission guidelines I looked up for a couple of publications.  I made a list so she pulled yarn to see if I could use her yarn to make something to fit the categories which she would like.  We found a couple.  I started one yesterday and am about halfway through with it.  I’m hoping to finish the first steps of it today.  Once I finish it, I’ll snap a few pictures of it and send it to the editor.  If they accept it, it gets sent off to them for photographing and then it comes back to me.

I’ll work up the pattern but until after it’s published, I can’t publish the pattern myself.  I need to look at my list of things to do submissions for poetry and articles as well.  I have a number of them to work through.  Hopefully I can make some good progress.

I have so many projects right now, it’s crazy but at the same time I love it.  I love having a list, working on it, and being able to cross them off my list.  

I’m taking three days off next week.  I know exactly what I want to accomplish while I’m off so I’ll see how things go.  There are two small areas in my office I want to finish in order to start the move to bring the bookshelves into the office.  I have a long list of writing projects I want to work on.  My to do list may seem endless but it isn’t (not quite) but I do have crocheting projects and household projects to deal with as well.

This is going to be a mini break before things go crazy at my day job.  Advising and registration will fill up my time.  I’m hoping this time off will be a decompressing time for me before things wind up too stressful for March and April.

The pics are all from our various trips to the Atlanta Aquarium.  I LOVE going there.  It’s expensive but worth it.  I could watch the fish (and have) for hours.  The movement of the jellyfish (and other fish) are mesmerizing and it makes me feel zen to watch them.  I’m sharing here to share a bit of the zen.  I hope the video works as this is my first time posting a video.

Crafting as Therapy

Saturday I had a plan which changed.  My plan was to get a bunch of book work done.  When I was playing one of my games, I got several hours of free play.  So instead of being responsible, I played on my phone until my middle daughter and a friend showed up to go craft shopping. 

I was reluctant – yes, I know but true.  I felt like I had too much to do to wander a craft store or two.  I went and in the first store we were wandering.  I got some Christmas stuff to decorate my mom’s room in the nursing home.  I also found a Christmas present for my oldest daughter. 

At one point, I was by myself in the yarn aisle.  I texted my youngest daughter and she said it was dangerous.  I was good and didn’t buy any yarn in that store. 

In the second store, I wandered off to the yarn aisle by myself again.  I found the colors and type of yarn I was looking for. 

In both stores, I was able to get a lot of great deals.  The Christmas stuff was half off and I had a coupon for 40% off the other item.  At the second store, I had a 50% off coupon for one item and then a 20% off coupon.  By the time I was done, I saved more than I spent.  In the second store, I got three skeins of yarn and with my coupons, the third skein was free. 

The rest of the day was spent crafting, cutting out fabric, prepping projects and crocheting.  I spent most of Sunday (after doing the responsible stuff) crocheting and watching tv.  After all the drama and stress with dealing with my mom’s health issues, it was nice to hibernate in my house and do something which de-stresses me.

I finished one project for a Christmas gift and worked on more prep stuff for other gifts.  I’m happy with my progress on the projects even as my living room is a bit crowded with projects.  I really needed a crafting weekend to help reduce the stress. 


Where did the weekend go?  Saturday I was up and dressed but didn’t do a lot.  I crocheted.  I’m working on a kitchen set for someone.  Friday night I worked on dishcloths – lots of them.  Saturday I worked on pot holders.  Sunday I worked on a lot of different things.

It seems like my weekend flew by but I didn’t get a lot of stuff done.  Sunday I helped Vicki in the kitchen with baking, prepping for the week and a few other things.

We’re having a rummage sale next month.  I’ve been working on crochet items to sell during the rummage sale.  I’ve got a few dish cloths and I had some terry cloth.  Sunday I worked on cutting it up and prepping it so I could crochet around the material.

Once I’m done with the kitchen set I’m working on, I’ll work on the dish towels and hand towels.  I think I might have some fleece in the craft room which isn’t claimed.  If I do and I have time, I’d like to make up those so I could try selling them as well.

My goal for the rummage sale – make enough to get our dishwasher installed.  We’re going to go look at the dishwasher this next weekend – during all the sales.  The hope is we will have a built in dishwasher by the end of June or mid July.

From there, we will tackle other issues in the house.  In the meanwhile, I’m crocheting a lot and hoping the items will sell.

Snow Day!

While the weather outside is cold and snowy, my plan is to work on more holiday gifts.  The last package went to the post office this morning.  Ken tackled the roads in his truck – I think my car would have gotten stuck in our road since we’ve not been plowed out.  We got about 5 – 6″ of snow and they’re calling for another 1 – 6″ depending on who you listen to.

The weather for today is supposed to be more snow.  The weather for tomorrow is supposed to be frigid with below zero temps.  This seems like the best time to turn on Netflix and work on a crochet project.  I’ve got two or three left to do for holiday gifts.  Then Ken gets to do the wrapping.

The meds for my sinus infection kicked my butt.  I’m done with them for now but I think the sinus infection isn’t gone.  It may be time to go back to an ENT to see if he’s got other options he can give me or better drugs.

I’ve been sleeping a lot.  I get up and do a couple of things.  After which I feel like I’ve run a marathon and want a nap.  I keep reminding myself this is my body’s way of telling me it’s healing.  I need to slow down and let my body recuperate.

Since I don’t do well with cold air, I’ll be staying inside and crafting.  I’ve got a number of projects to finish for the holidays and a few others to finish in general.  It’s something I can do while I’m resting.  Ken’s filled the humidifier with water and essential oils.  I’ll put on Netflix with West Wing or something else and crochet and nap throughout the rest of the weekend.  Hopefully by Monday I’m feeling more human.

It’s the Little Things

Friday I asked my husband to help me with a couple of things this weekend.  He never said yes or no, because that’s how he is.  Saturday while I was chatting with my daughter and my sister, plans were made for me to go to craft shopping with my sister and mother.  It gave me two hours to get the prep done on the next set of projects I’m working on and get lunch.

Ken went in the craft room and started putting the suitcases away.  He didn’t come back out, I thought he was waiting for me while I was on the phone with our middle daughter.  I told her I had to go but she wanted to keep talking so I went in the craft room while on the phone with her.  Ken was sitting in one of the chairs in there waiting on me.  He had put away all the bins which had been out for the suitcases.  He had brought in the bins which I’d gotten from a friend.  He’d put all the books which had been on the table on the shelves for me to go through and he’d put the bags of left over projects in one place under the table.  My habit is to gather a few projects and work on them in the living room and the left overs – extra skeins or balls of yarn go in a bag.  When I’m done, I’ll take the bag back and put them away.  I’ve been so busy with making, I’ve not been putting them away.

On the table he had all the items I needed.  He spent a good half hour with me picking yarn, getting the projects organized, and carrying them all out to the living room for me.

Later in the day, he put my favorite lounge around the house jammies in the bathroom for me.  It was thoughtful and sweet.

Now today he did the grocery shopping.  When I came out to do the Ibotta and Checkout 51 stuff, he helped me get it organized.  While he was shopping he found a breakfast thing for me to try rather than going out every morning.

He’s been on the ball with all these little things.  He’s not so great at the big gestures but on a daily basis he does a lot of little things which make my life easier and better.  He’s thoughtful and sweet.  Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no one else who can annoy, frustrate and tick me off faster than my husband.  However, it’s all the small things he does which have kept us married for more than 35 years.

It’s the little things – if I’m going to be philosophical – that keep us going together.  It’s the holding hands, the help on the projects, and other little things which keep us appreciating and loving each other.

Family Weekend

Friday Ken and I escaped from Wisconsin to go visit our middle daughter in Indiana.  Chicago traffic was slow (as expected) but we got there in fairly good time.  Saturday morning, I got a text message from my Georgia daughters saying they were 30 minutes out.  We knew they were coming but Vicki did not.  They wanted to surprise her for her birthday.

Vicki and I were supposed to be going grocery shopping for her.  However, since her sisters were so almost to her, I stalled.  Vicki looked puzzled when a knock sounded on her door.  She was thrilled to see her sisters.  It was Vicki’s birthday yesterday and we all converged on her for the weekend.

We spent Saturday running around together.  Vicki and I did errands while Virginia and Stephanie showered and slept.  We brought home lunch for all.  After sharing lunch, we went shopping and Ken came with us.  Virginia got to see my new car for the first time.  We wandered and enjoyed shoe and bag shopping.  Ken looked for tennis shoes.

Stephanie took some family pictures.  I can’t wait to see them.  We were insane and had them taken outside.  It was cold but fortunately no snow on the ground so easier walking.  She took all sorts of combinations.  It will be interesting to see how they turn out and the silliness of them.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent talking, spending time together.  It was wonderful to all be in the same room.  Virginia talked about her homework assignment.  Stephanie, Vicki, and I crafted.  Vicki and Stephanie made supper.  We watched football.

I worked on a shawl for Vicki.  I had it started six times before I got an actual pattern which would work.  I ripped out more than I crocheted.  Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Sunday we got up to wish Vicki “Happy Birthday”.  Stephanie made waffles, eggs, and bacon.  It was delicious!  Ken and I left around 10 central time and got home about 4.  It took a little longer than normal because of bad roads and weather.

It was a fun and exhausting weekend.  The Georgia girls stayed till lunch time with Vicki.  The three of them had a good lunch before Virginia and Stephanie headed for home.  They also made it safely home around 11 eastern last night.

Morning Blahs

This morning I’m on my own in the house.  It’s an odd thing to happen on a Saturday but Ken is off doing other stuff.  Whatever will I do on my own?

I’ve sorted had breakfast, sorted laundry, and checked out my sales.  I’ve been on Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.  It’s surprising how much time this takes up when I get on the computer.  I still have to look at my website and my pagan blog.  From there, I’ll work on a cover or two for a fellow author.  After that’s done, I’ll decide whether I’ll continue at the computer and work on publishing stuff or go back to the recliner to work on crochet stuff.

I’ve got four projects I’d like to get done this weekend – more if I can.  I’m giving myself through the end of the year before I go back to writing on a more regular basis.  I’ve needed some down time, some time to step away from telling stories and working on publishing.  However, now I have a number of crochet patterns to publish, a book to edit and two novels to finish writing.

I finished watching Veronica Mars last night – all the way through the movie.  I enjoyed it and want more.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if they are ever going to do more.  I know the fans paid for the movie to be made.

I’ve got several suggestions from the girls on other options for watching.  I was watching the old Dick Van Dyke show while I crochet.  However, I have several crochet classes which I want to watch on Craftsy so I may put those on to see if anything sparks an interest for me.  I’ll have to see where my mind goes while I crochet.  I could also listen to audio books.  So many choices – whatever will I do?  I’m sure I’ll figure it out.  Maybe I’ll watch the Harry Potter movies.  I can throw those on and not have to watch them while I crochet.  That’s definitely a viable option.

The more I can get done crochet wise, the better.  It will help clean up the living room as it has become craft central with fleece and yarn in piles around the room.  I’m hoping to finish off a number of them so it’s less cluttered.

The pictures are of some of the projects I’ve been working on but haven’t been able to show because they were gifts.  I hope you enjoy them.  

Craft Organizing, Crafting Weekends

With the weekend snowstorm, we’ve started the winter season.  We got slammed with just under a foot of snow.  I’ve heard grumblings and complaints but really it will probably all be gone by mid-week.  We were lucky it came on a weekend so for the most part we could curl up inside and not have to go anywhere.

For me, I did a lot of crocheting.  I cleaned and organized some of my craft stuff but mostly I worked on projects.  I can’t show many of them because they’re presents.  I do have one, which turned out better than I expected.  I’ve had the supplies to make this for a while but thought it would be tough with attaching it to the hardware and working it to fit but I was wrong.  It was actually a breeze.  It’s made with Lion Brand Bon Bon yarn and was simply a matter of sewing it to the closure.  I might have to make more of these.  I might even try to make my own pattern.

I’ve got a four day weekend coming up and I’m looking forward to spending it crocheting.  I have a large list of small projects I want to work on.  I’ll post pictures when I’m done.  However, after this weekend, I have to focus on finishing up the gifts I need to make.  Those pictures won’t go on here until after I’ve handed them out.

Once the presents are done, I’ve got two larger projects I’m working on that I’d like to complete and get out of my craft basket.  This is of course a prelude to me picking new projects to put in my crochet basket.  I reach a point where I look at a project and say – all right I just want this one done.

I sorted through several baskets of yarn and as I did, I wanted to set aside a number of things and just pull out certain yarn and work with is.  This is my current work in progress.  I came across the yarn and couldn’t resist starting a blanket for my daughter.  I made up a pattern which took a bit of trial and error but now I’ve started, I’m loving it.  I want to go buy up a bunch of this yarn to make a bunch of projects with it.  It works up quickly and is warm and soft.  I’ll have to see how things go and hopefully will be able to work with more of this yarn.  I can see in my head all sorts of options and projects.  I love it when a product inspires me.