Tag Archives: support

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 :).


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? ♥

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. 🙂




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.


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?


There is Always Time for a Quickie….

Post! Your dirty minds should have seen that coming a mile away! 😉

I cannot believe I have somehow managed to neglect my blog for a week and a half – it this blog was a child the state would be involved. There was drama but frankly I am just not in the mood to dissect all of it at the moment (or ever). Not to mention the fact that whenever I go near my computer I am bombarded with all the things that need to be done of the silly machine like:

  • Making new business cards.
  • Making care instructions for all the new knits.
  • Updating my Ravelry page.
  • Updating my Etsy page.
  • Replying to a million emails I would rather avoid (the ones I want to respond to I try to do in a more timely fashion).
  • and of course…Updating my blog.

It’s been a bit of a struggle since I’ve been on a ruffle scarf binge again. I wanted to be able to buy a pair of needles for the Katniss Cowl. I got the needles but managed to much up the pattern so badly that I am seriously considering just doing it all over again – I owe it to my niece  and more importantly I owe it to Lolly over at Lolly Knits. Silly genius made me a perfect pattern and I’ve mucked it up.

Let’s talk about what the hell I’ve been up to – if you’d like to, of course.

** BOOKS **

  • I read Delirium to see if it would be something Gloria would be interested in, since I have heard such wonderful things about Before I Fall. The whole romance thing is something she wouldn’t be interested in and I found it a bit lacking, especially since reading quite a bit of really good YA fiction. If this can count as a review here it is – this book is the first in a trilogy and I haven’t bought any of the other books yet. Enough said.
  • The End of Your Life Book Club was…Amazing. It is one of those that after you finish reading you almost cannot start a new book, it feels too close to cheating. I love this book, and if you are a lover of books, reading, family and life then seriously go find a copy.
  • I am so glad I am almost done with The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club – it’s bloody awful! Set outside of London the completely formulaic story may not have sucked that bad if the author would capitalize ever-single-solitary word she wants to emphasize. Every time I saw something Capitalized it took me right out of the story.

** MUSIC **

I could try to explain why I love this music but eh, I just wanna share what I’ve been listening to. Here is Imagine Dragons Radioactive though, the music video is painfully stupid but if you just listen to the song it’s all good!


The lovely bloggers who’ve nominated me for these wonderful awards deserve a proper “Thank You” shout out, which I will put in the Award section on the upper part of my blog. But if I blog it here their blogs might get read twice!

Go check out some amazing blogs and keep posted for their long overdue tributes on the Awards section of the blog.


  • The Reversible Cabled Scarf was a stash-buster which made me so utterly happy that I made two. I found it on Ravelry originally, but when I went to find the link it’s gone. I remember it was free though so if you have an interest lemme know.
  • The Herringbone Stitch cowl is made with the same roving yarn was the cabled scarves, in honor of Lolly and her Katniss Cowl pattern. Plus, I wanted the yarn out of my stash.
  • The cowl was a purchased pattern from my LYS and it turned out amazing! And yes, I did find another WIP in the bottom of my bag – it’s like Mary Poppins’ freaking knitting bag!
  • The baby hat was from Itty-Bitty Knits with a few alterations on my part, when the I-cord is place I will get a proper picture. I am pretty sure it is going to be adorable.


If you’ve made it through my ramblings good for you because I don’t think I could! I can’t wait to get down and dirty with the Knit Along details, get some more knitting under my belt and do Lolly some justice with that cowl. You know, if I didn’t have a full-time job I could get a lot more done! 😉 Well Friends and Neighbors, hope all is well, cannot wait to catch up with all of you and hope to hear from you soon!


This is the scolding look I get from Max when I don’t blog enough. Scary, isn’t it?


Too Funny Not to Share

A little giggle is good for your health! 😉

Oh – and don’t forget to PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY!!




♥ 100th Post GIVEAWAY! ♥


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?



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!


What a Wonderful Weekend ♥

This weekend I turned off my computer – turned off any access to the internet at all and embraced a simpler life. I gardened, I went for long walks, I read and most importantly I rediscovered my love for knitting. It sounds strange that just three days could change my perspective – I guess I owe that in large part to all of you. My own version of the constant readers. 😉

I owe all of you a great deal of thanks. Praise and admiration for all of you that helped me clear my head and rid me of my Panic Monster. All of your comments, your feedback and you kind words reminded me that if you love something, well, that’s all that matters. I could write thousands of words in this post, but I think I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Thank you so much for reminding me that I truly love my craftiness.

♥♥ The Shawl ♥♥

My Baby Being Blocked.

My Baby Being Blocked.

It’s had a bath, it’s being blocked and I am just head over heels in love with it!

♥♥ The Cowl. The Cape. The Shrug. All in One ♥♥

The Stash Busting Beauty.

The Stash Busting Beauty.

I have been sitting on this pattern for months, the beautiful little stash buster that it is. So my aunt Kathy’s Christmas Present is all done!

♥♥ Hexipuffs for My Beekeeper’s Quilt ♥♥



I haven’t made a single hexipuff for weeks! I’ve been so busy worrying about selling that I forgot how much I love this quilt. Even though Max ate part of the brown one (no great loss, it was super cheap sock yarn) the Yarny Cakes yarn – the gorgeous purple color way – was a freaking delight to work with! Here is Yarny Cakes BLOG, the FACEBOOK PAGE and of course the ETSY STORE.

♥♥ The Stitch Pattern That Became a Scarf ♥♥

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Horizontal Weaving -or- Waves Scarf.

Another wonderful stash buster! The scarf knit up in a few hours and I was pleasantly thrilled with how it turned out, front and back. Just wish I had taken better pictures, after I blocked it but before it got mailed to a friend. 😉


♥♥ The Ruffle Scarf for my Mimi ♥♥

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

Yup. Another Ruffle Scarf.

I know I was going to swear these things off but when your grandmother (my Mimi) tells you she loves it and would you pretty please make one – you do. You know what’s funny? I really liked making this scarf….perspective is everything.

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So for a weekend I put the outside world out of my mind and knitted. Knitted so much in fact I cannot believe my needles aren’t smoking! Now it is time to go back to the real world, but that doesn’t seem so daunting now. It has its perks – now I can catch up on all my favorite blogs! So I wonder friends and neighbors, do you have a favorite pattern?

I’ve missed you, I thank you. You are all overwhelmingly amazing!