Category Archives: Don’t Tell Me What I Cannot Do

My Baker’s Dozen


If you don’t give a hoot about my problems, and really? who could blame you! Please feel free to skip down to where you see #mybakersdozen – that’s were it gets good.

 

I have worried over this post, the first post in a long time, the way an old Italian grandmother worries over sauce. I have written, erased, edited, trimmed, fluffed and dismantled every word at least once without much success. It turns out that what I want to do is really quite simple, even if the circumstances that have gotten me here are not. So bear with me if you can and I’ll try not to ramble.

So here it goes.

This has been the hardest year of my life. I could talk about the struggles that my friends, family and myself have endured but it’s a long freaking list and really, you don’t need to know it all. The one main thing I will discuss is that Trevor and I had to let go of the dream of being parents.

My MS has gotten worse in the 32 months since my diagnosis and in November we were told I was losing functionality in my right leg – my good leg. While the chemotherapy seems to be keeping new lesions from forming, the 22 buddies I already have squatting in my brain and spine are pissy little buggers. We are currently working our way through a variety of immunosuppressant drugs to try to prevent any more loss of function in my leg (where the majority of my problems reside) but the more we go through the harsher they become.

The way my treatment is going there is no way I would have a successful after-pregnancy; most MS patients see a vast improvement when pregnant but once the baby comes, well, mama might be screwed with a 76% increase of having the worst exacerbation to date. To top off that crap pie I would also have to start my chemo within 24hrs of birth, and it was with this news that we decided that parenthood wasn’t going to happen.

Losing this hurts in a place I didn’t know was exsited until it was. It was that split second of understanding that life wasn’t going to go the way I wanted it to go that broke a little piece of me, that place that hurts now. Typically I can laugh off anything, I can shake off bad news with the vigor of a wet dog but this one, I just can’t. I knew I had to sit down and figure out how to live with the awful knowledge, how to get back to who I was.

I threw dozens of ideas out there; all the things that I found interesting and wanted to learn more about were fair game, but to be honest, most of them were rubbish. *and yes, I am an American using the word rubbish, but I have a degenerative neurological disorder, so get off my case! 😉 * There were so many half realized ideas, they all had some potential but none of them were working. I wanted to find something that gave me a feeling of purpose again, a feeling that I could use this otherwise wasted maternal instinct to, perhaps, better the world. It’s a lofty thought but hey, why not dream big? This was the realization of the #mybakersdozen

#mybakersdozen

Here it is. Finally!

Once the little thought nugget of knitting for others for a year entered my mind it never left, it grew. I felt like it was an opportunity to make a small difference in the world, to cast little bits of light on others because isn’t that what all mothers do? Cast out the shadows and make you feel warm, safe and loved? That’s how my Mom has always made me feel, and while I will never get to do that for my own child, I might be able to do it for others.

Starting December 1st I will spend 13 months doing nothing but knitting for others.*I decided to go with 13 months because I lose so much time with the chemotherapy treatments and who doesn’t enjoy a little cushion?*

The rules I have set for myself are very simple

  1. I cannot knit for myself unless the project was started before 12/1/2017 because I need the bags and needles
  2. I will not buy any yarn*

*I will not be buying any yarn in 2017, but there is no way to keep yarn from coming into this house. Everyone who knows me buys me yarny things and I’m not going to discourage that. But fair warning, that yarn may be for someone else 🙂

So simple really, I want to see if I can bring a little light into the world. Spread a little love to find my way back to myself.

I want list is much bigger. I want to highlight knitters on Instagram who make me smile. I want to send gifts to people who inspire me, who help me not only find a creative outlet but also the thing that brings me peace. I want to highlight a charity each month and have projects that coincide – the problem with this is that once I started researching charities I found loads that I love and would want to share. I want to send handwritten letters and take the time to tell people how they make me feel, which is normally like being wrapped in a hand knit blanket…with handmade socks, tea, a roaring fire, classical music and my cat on my lap not being an a**hole.

There will be more posts, more updates and if this grows (like I’m dreaming it will) more and more love to share. I have only one expectation – that one person, yes one, will see/read/hear about this in the next 13 months and suddenly feel a little kinder, a little more like giving to others.

April’s Month of Knitting


Holy cow. If ever there was a reason  to blog more (and there are so many reasons) it is that this month in review post takes forever to do! The strangest thing about my lack of blogging is that I find myself thinking about what I would write about quite often, it just seems my follow through is lacking. So friends and neighbors, here is to a new month and a new shot at getting more written. Until we see how that goes I would love to share with you what I’ve been up to this past month.

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  • Pattern: Alano Dakos’ Oak Grove Mitts
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: Everything about this pattern is amazing. and the yarn…..oh the yarn!

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

Cafe Au Lait Mitts

  • Pattern: Cafe Au Lait Mitts by Paula McKeever
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo in Escorias
  • Verdict: I will make these mitts over and over and over again. There was enough yarn in the one skein of Malabrigo Arroyo to both sets of mitts – which makes me so happy. If you have a chance I give this pattern the MUST BUY seal of approval.

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

We. Must. FREE RAPUNZEL!

  • Pattern: Free Rapunzel by Tiny Owl Knits
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA in New York White
  • Verdict: Obviously the hat is adorable, but working with this thick yarn and size 13US needles about did my little arthritic hand in. I love the pattern – it was easy to follow and so much fun to do – but I just don’t see myself doing it again. Plus, the hat is for a very niche audience. I gave it to Gloria who loved it but can’t think of anyone else who would be worth the pain. 😉

I LOOOVE these socks!

I LOOOVE these socks!

  • Pattern: Afterthought heel by Laura Linneman
  • Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Neon Now in 3 Blue Yellow Green
  • Verdict: I LOVE THESE SOCKS. I LOVE THIS YARN. I WANT TO LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE IT IS MANDATORY TO HAVE A PAIR OF SOCKS LIKE THESE FOR EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK!! 🙂

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

Prince Charming Needs More Socks!

  • Pattern: Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks – at least a variation on the basic pattern.
  • Yarn: Berraco Comfort Sock in Blue Grey
  • Verdict: I’ve made loads of Vanilla Socks so obviously the pattern is a go to. The yarn, well….it’s acrylic and I didn’t like working with it as well as wool. I felt like it was sliding all over my needles and the shaping on the instep didn’t feel as solid. This being said the socks turned out great and the hubby likes them better than wool – so there you go.

Diamonds

Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

Dripping in Diamonds

  • Pattern: Diamond NeckLace by Susan Ashcroft
  • Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Soft Pink
  • Verdict: I love Susan Ashcroft and everything she does – this is no exception. This is going to be a perfect present for my Grandmother for Christmas. If you’re looking to try something in the round with some texture – this is an amazing pattern to try. The chart is very intuitive and easy to read and it knit up very quickly.

Sparkle!

Sparkle!

  • Pattern: #21 Cable-Accent Fingerless Mitts by Lori Steinberg
  • Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Sequins in Amaretto
  • Verdict: I received the 60 More Quick Knits Sport Weight for a friend and realized, to my dismay, that the only sport weight I had was this Vanna’s Sequins that my Mom got for $0.97 at a Micheals sale. The yarn is actually not bad to work with if not for the sequins, but they grew on me. I also changed the pattern quite a bit to fit my needs (and common sense) and can’t wait to try this with a really crunchy wool.

Chemo Cap

Chemo Cap

  • Pattern: Just a sock yarn beanie with a basic decrease.
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock Jacquards in Aqua Jacquard
  • Verdict: Chemo caps take about 5 hours from start to finish, and a printed yarn makes that work look like it took four times as much effort. Patons has a sock yarn beanie pattern that is a good place to start if your interested and it is very easy to change pretty much everything once you get a feel for how it should be constructed.

Holy Cowl!

Holy Cowl!

  • Pattern: Basket Weave and Ribs Cowl by My Noggin’ (that would be my brain)
  • Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Wedgewood
  • Verdict: Well, it came from my brain so I hope I’m happy with it! I have three skeins of this variegated yarn and needed something to break it up. The ribbing changes the texture enough so that the colors seem to pop – so for all three skeins I am going to try different variations on ribbing to see what I can get. The pattern used the entire 210 yards and it super warm.

YOU MADE IT TO THE END! THANK YOU!!!!

I have a lot of ongoing projects that I really, really want to talk about and I have a new passion that needs discussion. SPINNING! Here is to another month of trying to forget that I have too much to do and making time for the things I love. Cannot wait to catch up with all of you! And also, thanks for hanging in there 🙂

The Ravellenic Games Main Event Project!


I joined the Ravellenic Games for the first time this year and I went all out for Team Sasquatch! My main event was Event Shawl, but I also signed up for Event Charity, Event Single Skein and Event Modular (which was a huge mistake but more on that another day).

My main event was to knit a shawl. Since my disgrace with the Fiori Autunalli by Rosemary Hill I have been downright scared of knitting lace. Did I mention the disgrace came from 1. Reading the wrong chart 2. knitting the wrong chart 3. switching rows while knitting the wrong chart and 4. frogging about 1,000 sts in tears at my LYS? Word to the wise friends and neighbors, don’t knit when you’re too tired to remember your middle name!

Anyway, here I am rambling again! I choose for my Games piece a shawl knitted in worsted, I felt like it was my knitting equivalent of a nightlight. So The Lonely Tree Shawl by Silvia Bolvia (which is not only amazing fun to knit but FREE on Ravelry) seemed like the perfect choice. I gathered up some Caron Simply Soft in Dark Sage from my yarn stash and was off!

Humble Little Beginnings

Humble Little Beginnings

I was going really slow until the leaves started to emerge, trying to remember that lace knitting is only as hard as I let it be in my head. Once I got to this point I felt kinda confident.

(Disclaimer: Some lace knitting really is freakishly difficult, my problem lies in my lack of confidence after mucking up the same pattern so many times.)

and it kept growing….

and it kept growing….

and growing...

and growing…

Before I knew it, it was time to bind the bad boy off. I felt bad for not picking a harder, more involved project at this point though. I know that point of the games is/was to challenge yourself, and I stand by my reasoning that I had to conquer my fear of lace – otherwise the Fiori is never going to get done.

But my shawl is done!

Blocking

Blocking

High Def filter - I love the leaves!

High Def filter – I love the leaves!

Leaves! Done correctly!

Leaves! Done correctly!

It's about 350 yards - much bigger than it looks.

It’s about 350 yards – much bigger than it looks.

Aww….Happy Place!

Aww….Happy Place!

So there you have it friends and neighbors, the first leg of my Ravellenic journey came to an end. I’ve already given the shawl to a friend. I forgot to take a picture on the mannequin but I gotta tell you – giving away something that gave me a little confidence was pretty epic!

Happy Tuesday!

Slowly Working on Getting Back to Blogging


In an attempt to slowly get caught back up on blogging my posts may be short. I know, I know – you’re just dying for me to ramble on incessantly about how amazing and interesting my life is but please, don’t cry! 😉

Where to start? Hmm…at the beginning I suppose, catching up on three weeks of knitting. If I go by my Flickr  timeline then I need to start with (one) of my new pairs of socks! Thanks to Operation Sock Drawer and especially Knitting with Sarah’s #sockswithsarah KAL my sock drawer is almost presentable! This pair was once again Magic Looped, which is now officially my favorite way in the world to make socks. I used Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in the color way  Singin’ the Blues – which is a great name for a pair of socks! I’m also sticking with my version of the Knitmore Girl’s Vanilla Sock Pattern. I know it’s time to try something new, but until my hubby gets a pair of socks on his feet I’m sticking with the happy-go-lucky sock pattern that makes me so … so happy!

Singin' the Blues Socks

Singin’ the Blues Socks

I am really getting the hang of this whole sock thing, so much so that this is my seventh pair since October. It used to be that turning the heel really slowed me down, but learning to knit backwards has saved my hands that awful back and forth motion. I used to cringe when I saw this on my needles….

Time for the (not so) dreaded instep shaping.

Time for the (not so) dreaded instep shaping.

Now I just go merrily along my way. Next pair? Well (spoiler) they’re already done! But that is for another day. Remember – I am trying to recover from my B.A.D.D so give me a little time. Until then friends and neighbors, I am going to be chillin’ in my Singin’ the Blues Socks!

A Little Sparkle to Kick Off December


Oh, it is good to have Dragon Speak back again! The plan is to try to write shorter posts – so as not to bore you into a coma – but the actual process of getting that post finished is back to being utterly fantastic!

So I am working through a rather large back catalog of things I was knitting before I almost blog faded, here’s to hoping I don’t repeat myself. The rather large production in knitting is in direct proportion to the change in weather – and the return of illness to the Buckeye State. My OCD and emetophobia  tend to top the charts from the end of October till May, which sucks on a whole lotta levels. I sleep less, consume copious amounts of anything with vitamin C in it and look forward to warmer weather – which is insane because truly, I love cold weather.

The only bonus to my emetophobia, and my Panic Monster, being far more active than normal is that I tend to get a lot more accomplished – like knitting! See? this is me looking at a silver lining.

 – It Sparkles and Shines –

My very loving mother found almost 20 balls of Red Heart Boutique Midnight at a smaller craft store where my grandmother lives a few months ago, and it being such a good deal she bought every last ball of it. This particular shade is called Shadow (how fetching!) and is a mix of pinks and grey’s, and to be honest it’s actually quite pretty. Now, Red Heart is not my favorite thing in the world to work with but this yarn doesn’t have the oggey feel to it that Red Heart Super Savor has, my goodness it even has a little wool in it!

Being presented with 20 balls (teehee) is intimidating, so I’ve slowly been working my way through the collection. With the Shadow I made two projects: 1. My very simple no-look cowl and 2. The Amanda Hat by Gina House with as many improvisations as I could dream up to make it my own. Let’s start with the cowl….

The cowl is a super quick, super simple rib/stockinette/rib combination, best of all I don’t have to look when I am knitting the stockinette section!

Now for the hat – the original pattern is The Amanda Hat by Gina House on Ravelry, but I had to try to make it a little more my own. I used Cast On, Bind Off to give me a little inspiration on how to get started, I only did one pattern repeat to simplify the top of the hat, then used a fantastic new decrease that I’ve been toying with. All in all, I am pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Why are collage photos so much fun? It's a mystery!

Why are collage photos so much fun? It’s a mystery!

That’s it for me today friends and neighbors! Just in case you would like to share, what are you doing this blustery December to add a little shine to your life?

With WIPs to Keep Me Warm


I just love snow!

I just love snow!

It appears to be Wednesdays again, funny how that seems to sneak up on me every week! With the holiday weekend coming up and Trevor, Max and I celebrating alone for the first time every, I am tickled pink to have plenty of projects to keep me warm. Wanna see what’s on my needles? Brace yourself, there are quite a few projects going on!

– The Projects –

In keeping with the different projects on different needles theme I have more WIP than ever….and I kinda love it! Being a monogamous knitter (or just knitting ruffles) gets so incredibly dull. I guess I will start with the smallest needle and move my way up.

Second Pair of Socks

Second Pair of Socks

The second sock is well on it’s way, which will be completing my second pair of socks ever!

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If you’ve read this blog before, this is where I was in the lace pattern BEFORE I had a nosebleed and had to frog the entire thing. I still love knitting it and my Mom is chomping at the bit for me to finish.

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  • Pattern: Hinagiku Hat on Ravelry by 87cafe – It is pretty heavily modified by still very much so their pattern.
  • Needles: Size 4US (3.5mm) and Size 6US (4mm)
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport Multis COL. NO. 108
  • Progress: Hopefully finish tonight.

I am in love with this hat, and since the OSU Buckeye’s are planning annihilate the 7-4 Michigan Wolverines I want it ready to wear by Saturday. 🙂

jayashri sweater - week 4

Pattern: Jayashri Sweater from Craftsy
Progress: What is the word for a frown-y face? 😦
Needles: Size 6US (4mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss DK in Fedora

My KAL sweater (a knit along that was MY idea) has been sadly languishing in my knitting cabinet. I am hoping to finish the ruffle order after work tomorrow and play with it this weekend. I am hoping to finish it by New Year’s Eve….we shall see.

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This is a truly horrible picture – my apologies!

  • Pattern: Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West
  • Needles: Size 9US (5.5mm)
  • Yarn: Bernat Mosaic in Aura
  • Progress: I’ve done 9 of my intended 12 repeats – on the second ball of yarn (≈  410 yards)

I needed a piece I could take to work when I am “sitting” with a patient (I’ve been picking up hours sitting with confused/suicidal patients at night). It is the kind of knitting you can do without looking and the pattern is super simple. I started with hand spun but whimped out and switched to the Bernat (which I don’t endorse at all). I can’t wait to finish this one so I can make another one.

And finally….

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  • Pattern: Double Knitting Baby Blanket from my noggin!
  • Yarn: 2 strands of Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique and White
  • Needles: Size 15US
  • Progress: I am currently in a black hole where it doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger, I’d say 1/4 of the way through.

A friend asked for a big, fluffy blanket that could be used as a floor mat as well. I know the stigma on Pound of Love but you can wash it everyday and nothing happens to it. The double knitting is practice for a Lucy Neatby design I want to try, and after this blasted blanket I should be ready.

– You’ve Made It to the End! –

So that’s it for me friends and neighbors, loads of things to do and not enough hours in the day – just how I like it. I wonder if I am the only knitter with so many WIPs going at once, I mean really – what is a normal number of WIPs to have on the needles?

In case I don’t talk to you before the (US) holiday, Happy Thanksgiving! Oh! and since I am currently down a LYS do a little Black Friday yarn shopping for me, I can live vicariously through your purchases! 😉

November Makes Me Think About Pie. . . .


But since I don’t want to weigh 400 pounds I decided that rusty/pumpkin-y yarn was the way to go. This is another “original” design – a better way to phrase this is “stitch dictionary modification integrated with tried-and-true beanie bind-off”. However you take it, I like how it turned out.

The Vogue Stitchonaries  have been a huge source on inspiration on making some things that are more mine, as in I didn’t download it off of Ravelry. Maybe this will be the start of something wonderful design wise, maybe not. Either way I am really happy with the outcome.

That's me!

That’s me!

So you start with the fancy, schmancy stitch pattern – then figure out how to write it in the round. Not the most creative thing in the world but I have to start somewhere. For those that are interested this is a herringbone stitch with a ribbed section in-between, which I found to be super fun knitting wise.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Then you work the pattern till desired length, for me this is about 3 1/2 inches. it ensures that the ears will be covered and kept warm. Then work the beanie until it reaches desired length, again, for me this is about 6ish” or a total of 42 rounds. It may seem really anal to keep track of every round I do, but hey, you know I have OCD.

Then you do the tried and true 15 row decrease (I will include this at the bottom of the post). What do you get when you combine all these knitting ingredients: a hat. Moron 😉

The bummer is that these hats look way better on than they do on the poor Styrofoam head, it looks a bit silly on the head to be honest. They fit like a dream though, nice and snug around the ears and a little looser at the top of the hat without feeling slouchy. Oh! This is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Rust – just in case you were curious.

 ** The Tried-and-True 15 Row Decrease ** 

  • I start with 100 stitches on size 7US needles (and worsted weight yarn) because I like a dense, warm beanie.
  1. K8, K2tog
  2. Knit
  3. K7, K2tog
  4. Knit
  5. K6, K2tog
  6. Knit
  7. K5, K2tog
  8. Knit
  9. K4, K2tog
  10. Knit
  11. K3, K2tog
  12. Knit
  13. K2, K2tog
  14. Knit
  15. K1, K2tog

Leaving a 20″ tail, sew live stitches in the round twice and remove from needles. Pull tight to keep the top of the hat from looking like a bellybutton and weave in your ends.

That’s all I have for today friends and neighbors, although if you have time I would like to know what you think of the hat. I figure with the vast amounts of smarts you possess you will come up with a way better way to do this.

OH NO-es Bleed :(


There was a moment to absolute, poignant sadness in my household this week – and that is when a nosebleed undid hours and hours of lace and bead work. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? Well, it was…darn it!

Since typing is a pain (literally and figuratively) I shall tell the story in pictures.

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

I saw the design of the Fiori Autunnali by Romi Hill and enrolled in the Craftsy class.

Bellybutton Cast On - Done!

Bellybutton Cast On – Done!

So I casted on using the bellybutton cast on that Romi Hill teaches in the class, I love learning new things.

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Without ruining the secret sauce of the project, this was the end of chart A and the beginning of the most complicated lace I’ve tried so far.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

It was going so beautifully, it was lovely and sparkly and the pattern was super simple to work with. I couldn’t believe that I was scared of it, Rosemary Hill has created the easiest, user-friendly pattern I’ve ever done.

********************

BRACE YOURSELF

*******************

10568977856_1975641f19_o

Ripped off the needles and hiding the blood….

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Beads cut (oh my, yes, I cut) off the work and re-strung – ready to start again.

Working in a re-circulated air workplace makes for a dry nose, and if you are prone to nosebleeds (I am, obviously) you are a little…how to put this delicately…screwed. One sneeze and I had bled on my lace, my cat, my couch and 65 rows of knitting were undone.

******** ********* ********** ************ ************ ***************

No worries though friends and neighbors, I re-casted on my lace and have already finished chart A. I have installed lifelines, highlighted my chart and coated my nose with Neosporin. Once I get a better picture of progress I will share.

So I would like to know, if you would like to share, what is the weirdest thing that has caused a knitting disaster? Nosebleeds, tiny questing fingers, pets or mother nature – anything goes and I would love to hear about it. Continue reading

October’s Written Content May Be Sparse


I want to apologize for my blogging neglect, I have a good reason I swear!

I was at my local hand doctor’s office last Friday, shooting the breeze with a nurse that used to work on my unit when I was introduced to a fellow….sufferer? No, that’s not right, a gal that has temporarily lost the functionality of her dominate hand. We got to talking and she was super bummed that she wasn’t going to get to do this years NaNoWriMo, something she has been looking forward to all year. Totally understanding how irritating it is to have your dreams shot to crap by a failing appendage, I loaned her Dragon Speak software to see if it would work for her.

So far things are going great on her end, she’s had a week to practice getting used to oral dictation and she is all ready to write. When she gets the money she’s going to buy her own spiffy version, but I told her not to rush (also to wait and get the $200.00 package because it is way better) and take her time.

The blog may be a bit sparse on written diatribes – I know, your all crying into your coffee right now – but there is still plenty of knitting to show off. I hope you won’t mind photo heavy posts – because I have loads to show off!

Friends and neighbors please bear (bare? I never remember) with me and I will keep you apprised of all the goofy, knitting shenanigans I can get into.

OHH!
You can always follow me on Instagram (I post all the time) and my Facebook Page (because I who doesn’t love a fan! ;))

Multiple WIPs to Combat Hand Fatigue


I was able to pick up my needles this week but quickly realized that I was going to have to find a sweet spot to appease both of my hands. This gave me the best excuse to cast on several projects, I mean, I have to keep my hands happy!

I have found that different types of needles, different needle sizes and different types of yarn are the best way to keep my hands from feeling any fatigue – also, I never get bored working on one project. Pretty awesome in my book, maybe this whole arthritis thing isn’t so bad after all! 😉 So here is my WIP run down:

Size 2US DPN – Sock Weight Yarn – Patons Jacquard & Stripe Socks #104

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

I casted on another pair of these immediately after I finished the first, I am only on the ribbing so no picture yet, but they are fantastic to knit and easy on both hands.

Size 4 Circular Needles – Lace Weight – Fiori Autunnali Shawl

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

This pattern is from the Craftsy Class New Directions in Lace. It is an incredible early Christmas present from my Mom – and there are beads! I am still a bit daunted by how much work it is going to take to finish this beast, but it’s just so pretty I don’t care. Romi Hill creates the most beautiful work and her class is so full of information I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. If you like lace, like learning, want to try something new and work with a stellar pattern – go sign up for this class.

This is where I am in the pattern:

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Size 5US Circular Needles – DK Weight Yarn – Jayashri Sweater

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

This is the kalallnight that Stacy over at Musings and Motion and I are making. The pattern is available from Knit Picks and if you still feel the urge to join feel free! I have a feeling that Stacy will finish way before I do and I wouldn’t mind the company! Here is where I am so far:

jayashri sweater - week 4

Size 7US Circular and DPN – Worsted Weight – “Hat on the Brain”

I have gone on a mini design kick trying to make a bunch of different beanies. I am trying to have a very styled brim (usually combinations of stitch dictionaries) and working my way through a list of hat decreases. I just finished the one last night, the rusty orange beanie above ↑ so I will need to cast on another one today.

Size 8US Straight 7″ Needles – Worsted Weight – Looped Loop Cowl

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Here is a super fun cowl by Kirsten Johnstone that I just had to cast on – despite the fact that straight needles make both my hands hurt and the pinkie on my right hand usually gets rubbed raw ( you know, since it just lays there and doesn’t move…man…that sounds super dirty ;)). Anyway, I had to give it a go and here is the progress:

Total length needs to be 44" - still a bit to go.

Total length needs to be 44″ – still a bit to go.

Oh! For fun, here is Lucy Neatby showing the coolest provisional cast on I have ever done.

And finally….

Size 15US Straight Needles – Two Strands DK Weight – Eyelet Scarf

This was another attempt to create something out of my own noggin….and some stitch dictionaries. I am trying to combine different variations on eyelet patterns so it looks swirled. I started it before I hurt my left hand so I can only work on it maybe 20 minutes a day. The color is beautiful though so I don’t mind looking at it everyday.

So Far...

So Far…

So that’s the low down on my WIPs for Wednesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ranting and hopefully I have given you an excellent excuse to cast on more projects – you must think of the health of your hands!

So friends and neighbors I am interested to hear, if you would like to share, how you combat both boredom and hand fatigue. I was once a fairly monogamous knitter (no more that three projects going at a time) so this is all new to me. Feel free to share – I love to listen!

Two Years Ago I Couldn’t Manage to Hold a Spoon, and Now…


I just finished my first pair of knitted socks.

Size 2 DPNs - EAT MY DUST!

Size 2 DPNs – EAT MY DUST!

I thought this would be a good way to come back to my blog, to show some massive progress has been made. It wasn’t made in the week (5 days – Trevor would have added this here so I am going to add it for him) I took off but in the past two years. Two years….that is still really hard for me to wrap my head around.

Two years ago, from April to October I 1) lost my grandfather 2) lost the idea of motherhood and 3) loss all functionality in my hand. I was down, I was so down I didn’t even realize it. I couldn’t write, drive, eat, lift, get my hair clean, put in my contacts or give the finger in traffic  – and I was told it was never going to change.

I saw a knitting pattern by Tiny Owl Knits – the Orchids and Fairylight’s hat – and I knew I had to figure out how to knit that damn hat. It took three very long months of practicing calligraphy to learn to write again, another two months to figure out how to hold my needles (and write legibly and consistently). I found an amazing woman who showed me I didn’t really need more than seven working fingers to knit. She spent two days a week with me in the public library going over everything I thought I had already learned. She gave me swatch patterns to work on, made me write out my GG’s patterns then knit them. She built up my confidence far more than she built up the muscles in my hand.

A year later, I finished my hat. It took 4 months of monogamous knitting but I did it.

It’s been a week and I am ready to come back, my right hand is still a bit sore but my left is totally healed. I can look down at the stupid appendage, all swollen and purple, and feel nothing but grateful. My hand works as much as I need it to, and I will have to learn to treat it a bit better.

For now, it is 36º in the Buckeye State and I am curled up, wearing my new hand knit socks. And friends and neighbors….that’s pretty awesome :).

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

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So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

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Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

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Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

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A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

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Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

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Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

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Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

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So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

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For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

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These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

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Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

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That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!

 

My First Real Big, Bad Frogging Experience


If you’ve perused this blog lately, this photo may look familiar to you. . . .

20131004-052842.jpgNice huh? Well, not anymore!

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The brioche stitch is something I have never done before, so of course I thought I would try it for the custom order. I am looking at this particular order as a great learning experience, so why not try something new…and throw in a cable…and use two strands of yarn…

This is not easy, I am not sure why but it just isn’t. The pattern base is set up knitting the first and last stitch and in-between knitting (sl1, yo, k2tog). This shouldn’t be difficult, but for some reason I was dropping stitches left and right and then left again. I threw in a lifeline and thought “Hey! We’re in business!”

I had almost five feet (yes – 5 feet…:() when my lifeline broke while I was working a cable. I spent about…oh, I dunno, 2 hours wrestling with trying to get it back on the needles. I loved the look, I loved feel and I didn’t want to let it go. It was the moment I accepted defeat that I pulled out my niddy-noddy and used it for something that just shattered my knitting soul.

10092860745_fc80d50bcfAnd so I frogged two days and five feet of work. I didn’t shed a tear – but I cursed like a drunk sailer on leave discovering they’ve landed in a place with no women. I am re-knitting the yarn in a straight brioche to get the rhythm of it, then I am going back to this pattern and I am going to knit the (censored) out of it!

I do want to share, in my defense, the factors that may have contributed to the utter failure of this scarf:

  1. I was using two strands held together for thickness.
  2. The two strands are acrylic (as asked for by the customer – sever allergies).
  3. My cable needle was too small to hold all those stitches.
  4. I was using plastic needles, so everything was slippery – and NOT in a good way.
  5. I used a frayed piece of leftover yarn as my lifeline.
  6. I bit off more than I could chew.

So I’ve learned my lesson friends and neighbors, don’t knit off more than you can chew. Ambition and learning is great don’t get me wrong, but some times you have to start at the very beginning to get a handle on it. Has this every happened to you? Have you tried to skip the necessary learning steps and made a massive mistake? Or on the way more optimistic hand did it work for you?

Cannot wait to hear from you, and thanks for reading – it still blows my mind that you do! 🙂

All Night KAL – Week 4 – Time for Body Work


jayashri sweater - week 4So despite the rather poor photo quality (I like browns in my house, obviously) the Jayashri Pullover is coming along quite nicely! I finished the decreases and now it is on to either six or seven inches of straight body work.

This should be the easiest part of the sweater, just mindless knitting in the round allowing some length to accumulate. I am a little worried about the bust increases, it is something I have never done and I have a rather ample bust. For now though I am just going to enjoy some straight up mindless knitting.

I am worried about the time factor this week, because this week looks insane! I have loads of ruffles that need done and two adult female from my Etsy store to do. I also have to go to work, feed myself and my husband (and the cat if he is good) and sleep. I’ve been keeping a pretty good pace and I suppose that one good day would keep me going, I just haven’t figured out where to put that yet.

Hopefully there will be nothing but good news next week and lots of extra stitches to take pictures of. Maybe, if I’m good, I will even remember to take the picture against a lighter background. Who knows? 😉

Not much to look at yet friends and neighbors, but it’s getting there. What I am wondering is how do you not get in a garment making rut? Is the seemingly endless amount of stitches like second sock syndrome? And most importantly, does working on a long-term goal make you have a serious case of startitis (thank you Knitmore Girls), because I have a million things I am dying to cast on in my Ravelry queue right now!

Hope you all have lovely days filled with good food, good friends and error free projects!

 

 

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

October #yarnpadc


Okay, keep in mind that I am at work and have NO idea how to link or do anything like that in my iPod.

So The Knitterly Hooker had a post today for October’s yarn picture a day contest and I’m totally going for it.

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Luckily I took a pic before I left today to send to the lovely lady I am making this for do I am good to go! Join in, follow at #yarnpadc on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. Here’s to making it through the month!

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Day one – On the Needles – complete!

Worst. Idea. Ever.


I am going to try to keep this as quick as I can, if only to shorten my humiliation at retelling this story. I want to say first and foremost that yes, I’ve learned my lesson. So….here it goes.

Stitches_Pic1LOGO_KasMelloI have been making baby blankets for Stitches From The Heart ever since I learned how to knit the garter stitch. I have a very special place in my heart for this organization which supplies an assortment of baby items for preemies. Closer still is the bereavement sized items that are always needed and this is the size I spend most of my time knitting. I suppose they need more of these made because it is just a bit too depressing to knit something for a baby that will never take a breath, but I know first hand just how important it is to the grieving process and how much it means to the families.

The bereavement blankets are usually far more interesting pattern wise, I spend more time on them and try to make patterns that I feel are peaceful. Anyway – I try to send in two blankets a month (preemie and bereavement sized). Since my Etsy Store actually started bring in orders though I have been having some trouble keeping up with the preemie blankets. Oh hell, I haven’t made one preemie blanket in almost four months.

Then I thought I had a great idea…knitting machine! (SPOILER ALERT: Not a great idea)

NOT So Ultimate After All.

NOT So Ultimate After All.

My idea was that I would use the machine to run off flat, stockinette panels. Then I could embroider and edge the blankets by hand. I had all these wonderful notions of sending this charity tons of blankets. I would be busting my stash, be able to spend more time on the special touches and quit feeling to guilty about not sending in both blankets.

I went to Jo Anne’s with my 50% off coupon and bought the Ultimate Sweater Machine. Yes, I felt guilty about sending in only half handmade items, but I reasoned it was better than nothing at all. Oh the things we tell ourselves.

Gloria and I picked it up, brought it home, set it up and ….huzzah!…it didn’t work. Not even a little. This loud, piece of crap could never even knit a row. It jammed, it got stuck, it screeched, it howled, it begged for mercy. Between the three of us (Trevor, Gloria and myself) we tried everything we could think of for two days before I put it back in the box to return it. I HATE this stupid machine – if it wasn’t for the money I would set it on fire in my back yard.

I’ve learned my lesson – there are no shortcuts in life. I actually feel pretty guilty about trying it now, as if the protesting machine was trying to tell me that I was in fact cheating. So now I am going to try to schedule a time of day when I work on my blankets. If something is important you take the time to do it, and you take the time to do it right. There, now you know my incredibly embarrassing story. I would rather have been caught having sex in front of my neighbors that admit to trying to cut corners.

What about you friends and neighbors, have you ever tried to cut corner’s with good intentions? Or even better, how do you whip up a cute baby blanket and still keep up with all your other obligations?

My Mind is Officially Blown :)


Something really amazing popped up in my WordPress notifications, even if it is a week or two old I wanted to share!

Are You Sure About This?

Are You Sure About This?

I cannot believe that this is right. I mean, really? Since March 13th my little hope of having a knitting blog has come to alive. I am totally awed and so freaking humbled it is scary! Who are you, my dear friends and neighbors, who find me even slightly interesting? I spend my time devouring your words, your photos, the little bit of your life that you wish to share. Now, it seems, that you are kind enough to afford me the curtsey of doing the same.

I hope this isn’t annoying or showy, but I wanted to share all the stats with you. It seems that since I quit staring at them daily that they’ve changed a bit.

  • Total Followers on WordPress: 525
  • Most Visitors in One Day: 344
  • Total Visitors: 13,519
  • Total Comments: 2,730
  • Total Posts: 120
  • Total Tags: 964
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  • Total Instagram Followers: 359
  • Total Facebook Page Followers: 68
  • Total Twitter Followers: 37
  • Total Tumbler Followers: 45

I wish that I was in a place financially to give something away, something as awesome as I feel right now! There will be a time, sooner than later I hope, that I can share my appreciation with everyone that puts up with this little blog. It’s strange though, even if no one read this I have learned so much from you in the past six months – more than I can ever express my gratitude for.

So thank you friends and neighbors, you have made my week!

All Night KAL – Week 3 – I Need More Spare Time!


So the progress on the Jayashri Sweater continues, very slowly. It’s been a really busy week; several custom orders have come into the shop (yea!), along with several (28 – yes, twenty-eight) ruffle scarf orders. If you don’t take into account having 1) a job 2) a husband and loving niece and 3) social life, well then I guess I would have my pullover finished by now.

Wanna see some progress? Because I really want to share!

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I am still keeping a very vigilant count of all the stitches that go into this wonderful pullover, it appeases my OCD as well as my genuine curiosity about how the garment is coming together. I am getting to the decreases that are written in the pattern for the waist, decreases aren’t a problem and I can see (both on the picture of the sweater and in my head) about how this supposed to turn out. It is the short rows and increases for the bust ( of which mine is….ample) that I am a little worried about. I am watching the Short Rows Class on Craftsy to get a better understanding of how these stitches are worked and it has done wonders to bolster my confidence. Of course I am saying this before I’ve actually worked a single row. 🙂

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It is a bit daunting to put your first attempt at anything on the internet – especially when you spend every minute of your spare time seeing other bloggers amazing, flawless work. Perhaps it will be a way to motivate me to spend the extra time to learn the construction of a garment – I mean, who wants to fall flat on their face in front of such amazing talent? Either way it goes I am just remembering to breath and enjoy the knitting.

So friends and neighbors it’s question time! What was your first handmade garment? Did it end with smiles or tears? Is there any advice you would wish to share?

As always, it is a pleasure to blog with such great company! ♥

 

Custom Order Progress Update! Three Very Ambitious Hats!


I feel so lucky to be working on this custom order. You know, having quoted such a low price (all my fault) has really taken a lot of the pressure off. Which is strange, because this is some of the most intricate knitting I’ve done it a while. Wanna see? I wanna share!! (the last one may be my favorite!♥)

** Fancy Cables for a 3 Year Old **

 

9879546385_b0428e52fe_oThis toddler-sized cabled hat was…ridiculous, but in the best way possible! Every section has a new cable to look at, which as a knitter is always a bonus for me. The yarn may be 100% acrylic, but a little guy is going to be wearing it, so my guilt is minimal. Also, despite the rumors, after it is washed – it really is much softer. Plus, I’m only charging $5.00 a hat. 🙂

 

** RIBS AND CABLES TO GROW IN TO **

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This is probably the least interesting of all the hats I’ve been making. Following the same idea I followed with the Honeycomb Hat, I picked a rib stitch and a cable stitch and let my needles fly. I even used the same decrease. There is an odd sense of satisfaction with creating something all on your own, although I am sure some other knitter has already done it. Either way, it is another hat off my needles.

** THE BABY HAT I WOULD MAKE FOR MY (IMAGINARY) BABY **

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There are a million reasons that I am in love with this patchwork knitted hat. I love the color changes. I love that all eight panels are different. I love the little fluff at the top of that hat that you get with a simple running stitch. More than anything I love how this hat told my knitting story.

You start with the garter stitch, the first thing you learn as a knitter. Moving on to stockinette and then seed stitch. These were my go to’s for probably my first whole year of knitting (I had a limited imagination, as well as very limited time to learn). The next panel is actually the wrong side of twisted ribbing, the first thing I every really messed up as a knitter. The whole hat was inside out and I didn’t notice! So I went back and learn the basic rib stitch to allow my confidence to grow back. After getting a handle on how knits and purls changed texture I added the basket weave stitch to my go-to dishcloth pattern. With my confidence reignited I went back to the twisted rib stitch, this time correctly! To finish it off was learning the basic cable – and it’s all history after that.

I will fully admit that this hat made me cry a little. Goofy, I know. I just imagined myself pregnant, knitting a hat like this to bring Trevor and I’s baby home in. I don’t know if that will ever happen (although I am a bit of a pessimist where this is concerned), but a hat that shows knitting progression just felt like life progressing. The thought that our lives will progress without a child can quite literally take my breath away. However, I will gladly take giving it to someone else, letting them bring home a baby in a hat made with unconditional love.

End of diatribe.

Well that’s it for me friends and neighbors, although I may have blown my blogging load and it’s only Monday! How about you, where are you getting your knitting/blogging inspiration this week?

All Night KAL – Week 1- The Beginning


And so it begins . . . .

Jayashri Sweater 1

** CAN KNITTING MAKE YOU SKINNY? **

My needles have been all but aching to get going on this project, now they are feeling a bit daunted because I casted on 314 stitches to being my Jayashri Sweater tonight. I have always felt far more comfortable in baggy knits than tight-fitting ones but this seems insane! I knew when I picked this pattern from all the wonderful ideas that Stacy over at Musings and Motion suggested that it would be an endeavor, but staring at my cast-on edge is making me wilt with fright! What if I am the last one to finish just because I wanted a sweater that wouldn’t make my chest look like a porn stars?

Honestly, I don’t really care all that much. If I knitted the sweater to be form-fitting I would never feel truly comfortable in it. As it is, with the sizing chart I am following, I can picture myself in this sweater all the time. Actually – I imagine myself (in aforementioned sweater) reading a book and drinking tea in front of a fire. In my first pair of knitted socks as well, might as well round out the fantasy. 🙂

Now that I’ve casted on I am itching to get back to it. Before I do that though I am going over to → THIS LINK ← to visit Stacy at Musings and Motion and see if I can’t win a free pattern. Spoiler Alert: The people hosting the KAL never win, but I like to be a good little participant. After my little trip it is back to the needles, or perhaps to visit some of my neglected blog reading. Who knows? The night is mine friends and neighbors!

 

Just When I Thought I Was Out….They Pull Me Back In!!!!


First off, I want to thank everyone that has responded so kindly to my 100th post – you guys are just too cool for school! 😉 Don’t forget you have until Wednesday the 21st of August to enter the GIVEAWAY! Click →HERE← to return to that post and share your love of small businesses.

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I am going to have to be a lean, mean, knitting machine because guess what friends and neighbors – I got my first order today! I was so overjoyed to see that there were over 15 orders in my inbox that it didn’t occur to me what they could all possibly want. Should I let the Dramatic Chipmunk prepare you for my revelation?

RUFFLE SCARVES!……28 MORE RUFFLE SCARVES!!!!

I hope you all won’t get tired of me, blogging about my struggle with the great ruffle yarn. I have to say that it is great to be bringing money home from my knitting, giving Trevor a little extra cash could never be a bad thing.

So onward I go, putting aside the adorable baby hat and jumper to get down and dirty with some ruffle scarves. Keep in touch, please try not to get too bored with me and remember – while I am working with the ruffle yarn I am dreaming of all the amazing things I am going to do when I am done!

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♥ 100th Post GIVEAWAY! ♥


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When I started this blog I wondered if I would last a week, now here I am several months later getting to share my 100th post! I am going to say thank you a million times over at the bottom of the post, but let’s get to the good stuff shall we? Time for the GIVEAWAY!

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The rules for this giveaway are pretty simple actually, as much as I would like to use this post to up my numbers, I decided to go a little bit of a different way. So, here we go:

  1. First of all, list YOUR passion (knitting, crocheting, writing, art, etc.).
  2. List YOUR Etsy Page -or- small business website (if applicable).
  3. List YOUR FAVORITE Etsy Store Page -or- any small business site (a link is preferable, but I can look it up).
  4. Tell me a bit about WHY you love this store.

That’s it friends and neighbors, easy as pie. I want to be able with my 100th post to highlight all the talent out there in the our community. I want to shed some light on all the small businesses out there that are just trying to make a go at something they love.

The drawing will be up for one week (thus ending next Wednesday the 21st) and on Thursday I am going to announce the winner AND an entire post with links to your stores and your favorite stores. If it kills me I am going to promote all the hard-working folks out there just trying to make a name for themselves.

And for all your hard work?

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** A MYSTERY GOODIE BOX FULL OF THINGS SUITED TO YOUR CRAFT/PASSION**

Within my budget of course, but you would be amazed with what I can do on a shoestring budget. The winner’s tastes and treats will be centered around the information you provide me – you won’t be disappointed!!

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I guess I am not totally beyond shameless self-promotion, but I want to reiterate that doing the following WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAWING – THIS IS JUST OUT OF YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR INTEREST IN….WELL…ME.

  • Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelFolk4 – @RachelFolk4
  • Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/allnightknitter – allnightknitter
  • Follow me on WordPress: Below ↓↓

I know somewhere in my mind that I will never get the following I would get if this is mandatory, but I just to want to roll like that. I hope that I have proven myself worthy of your following – that is the best thing I can hope for! 🙂

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When I started this blog I was floundering. Trevor and I faced the tremendous weight that I may never be able to carry a child and the thoughts were all consuming. We both have parents that are ill (my Mom with COPD, Trevor’s Dad with alzheimer’s and Trevor’s Mom with Diabetes) and the weight and worry that we 1) couldn’t fix it and 2) couldn’t make them grandparents was crushing me alive. It was hard to even take a breath; all my close friends are pregnant or new parents and I had never felt so alone in the world.

Then came this blog, this blessing. I know it sounds like I am laying it on pretty damn thick, but I wonder if I’m doing it any justice. With you I have shared my family’s history, some of you know who my GG is just by name and through you she still lives on. I have shared hilarity (my neighbors bumping uglies) my fears (my Panic Monster) and my simple joy of knitting.

Every day I am inspired by all of you, your posts have pushed me to try new things, learn new things and I have become very close to some of you – as close as the internet will allow. I guess you can say that you, my very own version of the constant reader, reminded me how to breath again.

So thank you, thank you so much.

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One more quick thing. If you feel like this blog is serving a bigger purpose than just a giveaway then please re-blog this post. The more people who see it and respond to it means the more small businesses that will be highlighted. I am just one little person who really wants to make a difference – if you can, please help!