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.

Open for Business.

I took the plunge today and started my shop on my website. This is an exciting step for me. I’m able to offer discounts and sales more easily than anywhere else.

Right now there’s only a few items listed. I’ve got two book series listed for sale and a few crochet patterns which can be downloaded right from my site!

This shop feature is one of the reasons I switched to the new website. It offers me the opportunity to have more control over the price of my items. There are a variety of features which offer a lot of options that aren’t available elsewhere.

Please go to the Shop and wander around. At the bottom on the product page is a place for you to like a product, if you so wish.

Over the next few weeks, my plan is to add all of my books, short stories, and crochet patterns. I also plan to add completed crochet items which will be one time offers available to the first person to purchase.

Creating Patterns

The way my brain works often surprises me.  With my daughter moving, I took a friend to her (who doesn’t drive) and waited while this friend helped my daughter pack.  Since my daughter lives in an upstairs apartment, this meant I was stuck in my car for several hours.

I’m rarely bored because I always have stuff to do.  So I took some crocheting – two projects – and worked on them.  While working on one project, I came up with all these color options and ideas for working with this pattern.  In reality I wanted the yarn there right then to work on it.  Instead I’ll make note of it and try them out.

While working on these two projects, another came into my head.  When I create my patterns, I normally crochet and then write.  This way I’m not re-writing but writing it as I create it.  However, this time I didn’t have anything with me to be able to crochet this idea with.  I wrote a pattern – full on all rows.  I loved getting it down so I could try it later.

My middle daughter has a million skeins of yarn in my craft room she wants me to make up for her.  My intention was to find a skein or two and try out this pattern.  Instead my niece was out.  We were chatting and she said she had a need for specific headbands for summer.  I immediately thought of this new pattern I’d written.  I made her pick some yarn and bring it to me.

While we chatted, I worked on a headband for her.  By the time I was done, my pattern had been tested and revised.  She liked the headband I made her but wanted lighter weight for summer.  I had her go back to my craft room and pick out thread.

I’m not a huge fan of working with thread – it’s harder for me to see and harder on my hands.  However, this is a small pattern so I thought okay I’ll give it a try.  My niece thought I’d have to reduce the width of the pattern but in reality thread is much smaller than worsted weight yarn, so all I’ve had to do is reduce the size of my crochet hook and thread to use the same pattern to create a lighter weight headband for her.  I’m hoping she’ll like it.

While I came by this pattern in almost the opposite way I normally do things, I think the pattern turned out really nicely.  It isn’t difficult or too time consuming.  It works up nicely both in worsted weight and in thread.  I’ll be publishing it when I get the second project done.

This means I got a lot done while sitting in the car.  I worked on two projects, came up with ideas for other projects, and wrote a pattern.  Next, I want to get those ideas for the projects down and work on them.


Seven crochet patterns have been published!  I’m thrilled to have finally had time to get them out.  These have been on my todo list for quite some time.

I was off work yesterday and was going to do it then but I’ve got upper respiratory crud on top of my gout flaring.  I slept most of the day – not even crocheting until evening.

Last night I was trying to sleep and couldn’t breath.  I tried different levels of reclining but realized none of them were going to work.  I also tried having a cloth with eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary on it to inhale but I couldn’t get any air through my nose.  Eventually I got up and took a hot shower with the essential oils.  It helped a lot until I sat down to sleep again.  It was after 2 am before I got to sleep though.

Sadly, Ken has the same crud so we are both struggling to accomplish anything other than breathing, coughing, and surviving.

I’ve been working on an afghan for my youngest daughter.  I’ve got it about half done but I need to have Ken hold it up so I can see it.  I think the graph caused a flaw and I need someone to hold it while I look to see if I have to rip out some rows and adjust so it looks right.  It is a corner to corner graphgan.

For those who don’t speak crochet, this means I’m working from one corner to the opposite – diagonally across the piece.  It also means I’ve taken a picture and made it into a graph.  This happens to be the Packer’s G symbol.  The issue is the G is surrounded by a circle which is difficult to do on an afghan.  When I looked at it last night, I thought the circle part wasn’t quite right but I double checked my row against my graph and they match.

The next step is to decide if I need to adjust the graph / pattern based on how it looks.  I might but I need to see it held out and a little away from me.  I can’t really do that – so Ken will hold it up for me.

The rest of today will be spent napping and crocheting until the daughter gets home.  Once she’s home, we will see what happens.  It depends on what she needs / wants.  Unfortunately, she has the same crud we have.

For the crochet patterns I published today go to my web site to find links.  The Amazon links aren’t up yet but should be by Monday or Tuesday.  My todo list is still quite long but at least I made progress.  

Collection of Four Scarves – Goodreads Giveaway!

I’m a crochet nut.  It is one of my favorite relaxing things to do.  In the last year or so, I’ve combined my love of crocheting with my love of writing and have published a number of projects.  In one book – I’ve gathered up four patterns for scarves.  I’m giving away three copies of this on Goodreads!

If you’d like a chance to win one of these, follow the link below and sign up for one.  Good luck!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Collection of Four Scarves by Eileen Troemel

Collection of Four Scarves


Released March 09 2015
Giveaway ends in 30 days (July 18, 2016)
3 copies available, 101 people requesting

Enter Giveaway


Today is going to be another rest and relax day.  Tomorrow starts another stressful week with lots of meetings, faculty, students, and people in and out of my office.  I’ll probably have more people in my office in a half a day than I did all summer.

I’m working on a crochet pattern and plan to finish it today.  I’m hoping it turns out all right but I have to do math so I’m sure the next part will be a bit frustrating.  Math and I don’t always see eye to eye.  Once that is done, I have a short list of things I want to work on.  I’m going to see if I can convince Ken to watch movies with me.

I spent last night being a bum.  Crocheting was too much effort so I read through a few different things.  The thing is I woke up this morning with a scene I want to include in Wayfarer 11.  I’m mid-scene and not sure where it’s going – though the more the scene I want to write sits in my head the more it firms up what I think will happen.  Sometimes I just have to let my characters sit and stew before they tell me what’s next.

While I am taking the needed R&R, I plan to try out a few other patterns.  This will lead to what I call my ridiculous electronics.  The other night I was crocheting a new pattern so I had my phone to take pictures, my tablet to write the pattern, and my netbook to watch a class on Craftsy.  I laughed at myself for all the electronics but didn’t shut a single one down.

If Ken doesn’t watch movies with me today, I’ll probably do the same.  Watch a Craftsy class while I work on my projects.  I’ll have the tablet and phone available so I can create new patterns.  I know it is ridiculous but it’s easier than using pen and paper because I can email it to myself and don’t have to take the extra step of typing it up.

The point of today is resting.  Tomorrow will be busy with training student workers, meetings and the first week of classes starting at my day job.  This week will be busy with more of the same.  Today is all about relaxation!

Mother’s Day

It’s mother’s day and all my kids are out of state.  I’m okay with that.  For one thing, they were home last weekend.

Yesterday Ken and I went to a yarn shop Vicki discovered.  It was an interesting experience in that I was lucky to be able to get in the store.  There was a ramp leading up to the second floor and a locked door.  The ramp itself was damn scary as I could hear the boards moving as I rolled over each of them.  Ken ended up going in to ask if there was a way in.  Of course there was – up the ramp and through the locked door.  When we got there (finally) the ramp was about 4 inches below the door.  I couldn’t just roll into the building.  I had to get off my scooter and lift it up.  It’s a good thing I’m still mobile and not completely wheelchair bound.

The yarn shop was small but had a large selection as well as an interesting selection of gadgets.  However, the cost of the yarn was over the top.  I didn’t see anything under $5.75 and these were tiny skeins (probably about an ounce).  Some of the yarn was amazing but the cost ranged from the $5.75 to $40 (or more).  Most of it seemed to be specialized yarn but to me this is just too costly to spend money on.  I mean an afghan can sometimes take up to ten or more skeins.  That is a crazy amount of money to spend to make an afghan.

I did get a crochet hook with stuff on the handle.  It is supposed to help ergonomically with hand issues.  I bought one and I’ll try it.  If I like them and it helps with the cramping I can get I’ll think about getting a set.

Another thing I noticed was a ball holder.  Basically, the piece was two wooden plaques separated with a turntable.  In the center of the top one, a dowel was placed.  You place your skein on the dowel and then can pull from the outside.  It should (hopefully) prevent tangling of skeins.  They were asking $30 for one.

I like the idea a lot but not the cost.  Ken was with me so I asked – Can you make something like this?  His answer was sure.  He is making one this morning for me and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  He got the materials from Menards for $20 and will be able to make two for that cost.  If they work out nicely, I’ll be asking for some more.  Vicki will probably as well as she has been doing a lot of knitting.

There was one other gadget there which was essentially the same thing except without the turntable.  They had several skeins of yarn on a dowel which was in the center of a wooden plaque.  I could see how that would be useful when I’m working with multiple colors, I could put them all on the dowel and just pull the ends to crochet with.  I’m hoping I can talk Ken into making me one like that as well (though it being on a turntable would be nicer I think).

When I’m done with this blog I’ll be going back to crocheting.  Last night I listened to Promises in Death while I worked on Virginia’s afghan.  I got about twenty rows done on her afghan.  I sent her a picture and told her if she didn’t like it I could keep it.  I think if she had been closer, I would have gotten a smack.  It is turning out BEAUTIFULLY.

This morning I published one more crochet pattern.  I’ve had it done for a while but had to wait until after my niece’s wedding as it was her gift.  Soft Sunshine Afghan is now available on Smashwords and Amazon.

It’s been a busy Mother’s day and next is going to be more crocheting on Virginia’s afghan!

Second Day for Crocheting

Vicki went to work this morning leaving me at her apartment.  I worked on a trivet for her.  The concept of the pattern was pretty and nice.  The execution of the pattern – miserable.  I liked the technique was good but the pattern was poorly written.  I had to read sections multiple times.

She came home for lunch and we ran errands in the afternoon.  Joann’s, eye doctor, grocery store, Walgreens and home for supper.  Joann’s was wonderful (of course) and her grocery store has a wonderful craft section where we found some amazing yarn.  We also got these great new bags which will be great for carrying craft projects around in.

This evening I worked on a scarf for her.  We were both tired though and she crashed early.  I dozed, being too tired to work long on the scarf.

Tomorrow, she has a few errands she wants to run.  While she’s gone, I’m going to work on the scarf and whatever else I feel like.  I’m looking forward to a full day of crocheting.  I’ll share pictures when I get home and can download them.  She’s definitely spoiled.  

More Crochet Patterns Published


Lacy Length, Light and Lacy, Fiesta Throw and Drunken Doubles are all individual crochet patterns I created and published yesterday.  To create a hard copy, I put Woven Winter Scarf with Drunken Doubles, Lacy Length, and Light and Lacy to create Collection of Four Scarves.

There are links to all of them on my website:  http://eileentroemel.weebly.com/publications.html

The collection is available in hardcopy on Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Collection-Four-Scarves-Eileen-Troemel/dp/1505410495/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1426554574&sr=8-6&keywords=eileen+troemel
Light and Lacy and Lacy Length were made for my daughters in Georgia.  They are made from baby yarn which is light weight so the girls can wear them on their cooler days and still get use of them in the warmer climates.

Drunken Doubles – love this name – was made from Caron Simply Soft yarn which is one of my absolute favorites.  I ADORE the yarn, it is always good quality and great color combos.  The pattern was fun and easy to work up.  The simplicity of the pattern allowed the pattern of the yarn to come through and be amazing.

Fiesta throw was made for one of my student workers as a graduation gift.  Her face on seeing it was worth every second of the time I put into it.  She loved it.  It is fun with bright fun colors.  It is a throw to flip over you on the chilly spring nights.


New Crochet Patterns

Vicki has been encouraging me to put my crochet patterns up for sale.  It makes sense.  I make up the patterns and then I forget them.  This forces me to write them down and document them so when someone says they like something I can easily (I hope) create the item again.

Dish Towel with Hanger:
This is a good one.  I’ve made countless ones and get requests from certain people for more.  It is great to make for housewarming or wedding shower gifts. I’ve made these for most of my nieces and nephews who I hope are using them.  It takes a couple of hours and is fairly easy to create.

Woven Winter Scarf:
This turned out really well.  I’m very pleased with this one.  It is a gift and I hope the person doesn’t visit my blog to see it.  It’s made from worsted weight yarn so it is warm.  Additionally I made it with Wisconsin in mind so it is wider and longer.  That way when the arctic blast hits us, the person can wrap it around her face and try to stay warm and protected.

These are available on Smashwords and Amazon for only 99 cents.  I’ve also posted them on my web site if you want to take a closer look at them.

I’m working on three or four new patterns so there may be new patterns showing up soon – it just depends on how nice they turn out.

On another note, I started organizing all the gifts I have done and I’m about half done so that is a good thing.  I still have to do the wrapping which is never my strong suit.  I have them organized, it is just a matter of getting them done.

I also got a package from Herrschners on Friday.  It had such lovely things in it.  I’m looking forward to working with the yarn I got and seeing what sort of mischief I can cause with it.  Is there anything better than a bag full of yarn?  Probably but not to a crafting addict like me.