One Month In!!

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One Month In!!

One month ago I decided to jump in and start writing about what I love, Knitting and Crochet. I have seen other blogs and I thought I might be able to add to it. I want to show the public that it is not really as hard as you think to knit or crochet, it takes time and practice.

Why I love to craft with yarn

There is something so very calming about the rhythm of making crochet stitches or knitting along on the needles. A few years back I found a great article in the New York Times about knitting, Article. I do have to say it was not all that calming when I first started.

When I started, I was bad. I mean really really bad!! I have taught a few people to knit and crochet and at first you will be really really bad, you are your own worst critic. Keep at it and it will become 2nd nature. It is like riding a bike, you keep falling over until your brain gets the hang of the balance and BOOM, you are riding. Handcrafting is like that, you just have to keep at it and it will become easier. I promise. But back to how bad I was!!

There me and a skein of cheap yarn, knitting needles and a book. I few weeks before I had dislocated my shoulder and ended up having surgery to fix it. No school, had a tutor for 11th grade, and I was bored. My Godfather’s wife knit and I loved how she could make things. Well I wanted to learn, so my dad got me materials and I started.

I got casting on, and the knit stitch but purling was so hard. So I punted and just kept knitting. Then I dropped stitches and had to start over again. 6 times!! I put it down, 3 days later tried again. 4 start overs!! Put it down again and then 2 days later I got it! The knit stitch clicked and I started on my way! Just made a square but it was done!! Now to learn the purl stitch. Took a few days, but after 3 start overs, I got it!!

Then I decided to get some cool looking yarn and make my first wearable project a scarf!! Took me 6 months of slow and steady work during my rehab and school work, but I got it done!! I was so very proud! Many years later, here is that scarf, using a knit 2 purl 2 rib stitch and fringe!

I still wear this scarf as long as my kids are not wearing it! It is stretchy and comfy and I love the striping. The yarn is made to have the striping effect so if I started a new skein at a different color, it would look different and unique!

There are so many yarns out there and different ways to make things with both knit and crochet stitches and sometimes mixing both! It still amazes me!

Temperature Blanket of Scarf Crochet along

Well we are almost to February 1st. I am finalizing some colors and temperature ranges to make it pretty, but I am going to leave it up to the reader to decide if you want to make it a big blanket or a scarf.

The time will still be a year, that is the way to do these projects, but if you want to practice lots of stitches, I would make the blanket. My son is need of a blanket so I think it will be his at the end. Being almost 15 and so very tall (5’10” and still growing like a weed) he needs a long blanket!

I will knit a scarf and crochet a blanket, 3 rows or so per temperature week or a row a day if you want to do a daily temperature one. Your choice. I will make the post on February 1st very clear on each kind so you can follow along that way! This should be a lot of fun and a great way to practice a bit each day!

The knit scarf will be just using the knit stitch and the crochet blanket will be 3 rows of single crochet. If you need to watch some tutorials, check out my learning to knit and crochet pages.

Cardigan Update

The cardigan has not grown much, not had much time to knit this week. In the past 2 days, been working full-time and nights have been all about Girl Scout meetings and helping my daughter get organized. I substituted in a special ed pre-K class and as much as I love those little ones, I get mentally tired. Been falling asleep so early.

My daughter Banana Cake

Once I get done here, I will be knitting for the rest of the night except for dropping off my daughter’s Girl Scout Bake Off Banana Cake. This is her first try and she made it past the troop and on to the service level contest. Will be interesting and I will let you know!! Pictured was her last entry, it was delicious per the troop!! She will be making it for her birthday in 2 weeks, so it should be yummy! It is the Cadette Level Recipe for here in GA. It might be a national recipe. A full from scratch cake with homemade cream cheese frosting! I wish I were a judge tonight! If there is anyway I can sneak a piece, I will!!

This will be a busy week, Can’t wait to start on the temperature blanket and scarf! It will be so much fun!! As Always, Be blessed!!


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Weekend Getaway

This weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. I get to go away to a Girl Scout camp up in the Mountains in GA and be alone! No internet, no cellphone, no way for anyone to get in contact with me except to contact the Camp Ranger. A 3 day weekend that lets me recharge, meet other Girl Scout leaders and network, learn some new skills, and I get to teach. This year I am teaching how to crochet.

I love to crochet as much as I do knit, and to teach some leaders this relaxing skill so they can hopefully practice it and pass it on to their troops. There are 10 women that I will be teaching, one of which already has some experience but asked for help with some things.

I am so excited to do this. I got called this year to teach this class, I was not going to go this year but the leaders that run this asked if I could come and teach. Not having a lot of extra cash, I was able to get a scholarship and had cleared my weekend. Then I needed to set up what exactly I am teaching.

I am going with the thought that these women have no idea how to do this, so I am starting with the kinds of yarns, the kinds of crochet hooks, and then a basic chain and single crochet stitch to create a book mark. Then I will have them try to make a dishcloth square, just to get practice in.

I have a simple scarf pattern I got for free and I will try and help anyone that wants to start this scarf. That is my plan. I know that will not happen, but we shall see!! Had planned on giving them sheets, but we had a snow event here in Atlanta and I was not able to get out and get copies made.

I will try and do it in the morning, but my kids will be going to school late, a delay to the start of school, so I hope I can get that done early.

In past years, I have had a lot of classes and no free time. This time I decided I wanted a block of time for me, and I was going to give back by being a camp helper. I am so excited because I really want to get this cardigan done and quiet time to knit is just what I need. No Facebook or twitter or Pinterest to distract me, my phone can get FM radio so I will have music, and the campground is beautiful and peaceful, just what I need to recharge my batteries.

Here is the latest picture of the cardigan, I hope it is longer before I get home!! There is about 7 more inches before I start working on the left front, back, and right front sections.

Well I am going to sign off as I have a ton of things still to do before I leave in the early afternoon. As always, Be Blessed!!


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Valentine’s Day

January 14th is the day I start thinking about Valentine’s Day.  It was at one time a busy time for me, I had some items on my Etsy site that were for sale for this holiday and just about now people started thinking about it.  1 month guys, that is all you have to think about getting your girl a special present!  If you want something made, you have to get it made now, handmade items take a while to make!  I mean you can buy flowers, candy, a card, but something made especially for the one you love really bumps up the meaning!!  Personally I just want a quiet day where I don’t have to cook, so dinner out to someplace nice is my kinda day!!  Leaves me more time to knit or crochet!!

So you want something special made, but what??  A sweater or cardigan is nice if she likes that, but you really need to order it now, takes weeks to make!  I have found some cool patterns that I think I will add to my Etsy site to offer for sale and they are pretty easy to make, so if you want to take a stab at them, you can download most of them for free.

Crochet Headband

Heart Dog Collar because you cannot forget your fur baby!!

Heart Bag or Boot Cuff

Valentine Knitted Heart Scarf

Valentine Knitted Hat

So you see, there are many different things you can do for Valentine’s Day beside the same old thing!!  These are just a few of the many that you can find out in the cyber world!!  Again, if you don’t want to make it, have someone like me make it for you and pay a little more, but something handmade is so special!!  One of my very favorite Christmas presents of all time is a vest that my mother-in-law made me, it is hand knit and came with matching turtle necks.  Even now many years later, when I wear it I get so many compliments and am proud to tell everyone where I got it.  One of a kind gift that still brings joy.  That is what handmade will get you!  So think handmade when you want to get someone something very special, it will make the recipient very happy and will be talked about for years!!

Now if you have read my earlier posts, you know that I am knitting a cardigan for myself.  It is slow going but I am really loving the way it is looking and as soon as I am done here, I will be back at it!!  I sign off and as always, Be Blessed!!

 


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One Week into 2018

Happy Sunday!  I hope this finds you blessed!

I have had many different things bounce around my head (I think I have a touch of ADD) but one thing keeps coming back.  I need to make some goals for my 2018 and where I want to go this year.  I have been flying by the seat of my pants for the last 6 months and I really don’t like to live like that.  So I don’t like to make resolutions, but I will make some goals for myself.

Right now my main goal is to create some income streams that are more reliable than Substitute teaching but give me the flexibility to be off in the summertime for my kids but gives me income then.  Subbing is great, I love the variety and if I get to do repeats in classes, I really get to know those kids and it is nice to see them out and about.  So my first goal is to get consistent and hopefully growing income.  My knitting is part of that, I want to get some consistent orders every month, at least 5 would be my first hurdle, this way I know I have some cash from that and the knitting or crocheting work to keep me entertained while I have down time.

Another goal is to get my health back.  I was diagnosed in my teens with rheumatoid Arthritis and it plagues me through the years.  I know one of the biggest parts of getting my health back is to eat right and for my body it is eating real food and eating low carb.  Carbs and I really don’t blend well, if I eat a lot of breads, sweets, pasta, I notice my weight creeps up and my arthritis is making my life very painful.  About 7 months ago I was introduced to Ketogenic eating.  I started researching this way of eating and to my surprise found that it just might work for me.  Lots of fresh veggies, made a different way then I was used to, but not too hard.  Lots that my family will eat and they love, see this post about sausage egg roll in a bowl, and I enjoy eating this way.  In early November my father fell ill and passed away and that rocked my world.  Unfortunately at that point I stopped my keto eating and just ate what I wanted and gained back the 15 pounds I had lost and my RA came back in full force and for Christmas I was in horrible pain and had a really hard time knitting or crocheting.  So my next goal is getting back to 100% Keto eating.  I started that this week on the 2nd and as of this Morning, I have lost 3 pounds and my RA inflammation has cooled down tremendously.  I am also sleeping over 7 hours a night.  When I was not Keto eating, I was lucky to get 5 hours and that was not enough for me.  There are tons of studies out there that show you need a full night of sleep to help your body lose weight and function at its best.  So this way of eating is a way of life for me now.

One more goal for me is to make time to exercise each day.  I have a ton of DVD’s and a mini trampoline that I could use, but I have chosen not too.  You know all the excuses, but now I have to get serious about it.  Just having my annual physical, I was shocked how badly my body is working and I want to be around for a long time, so exercise has to be part of it.  I got a Fit Bit Alta HR for Christmas, so I can see how lazy I truly am!!  I plan on changing that a little at a time, building movement and weight training into my day.  I know I can do 10 minutes of weights in the AM and I got the Fit Bit Coaching App and it has weight-bearing work that I can do.  I just have to do it.

One thing I know I need to do is plan out my days better.  I tend to get pulled into something and will let other things fall by the way side.  Then the sun sets and I get frustrated.  I have never been good at time management so that is a skill I need to work on.

Well lunch is waiting for me, yummy Spinach,Artichoke and cheese bake.  I might have to write-up that recipe.  I know in a future post I will post my glove pattern for a small child.  My son hated mittens, so I had to come up with a glove pattern that fit his hands.  But that is for another day!!  Off to eat and then finish the poncho!!  So close yet so far!!

 


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Happy Saturday!

I love Saturdays! This is my day to knit or crochet to my heart’s content while I do laundry. I take breaks to do some other housework but today I get to binge watch and craft! Unless we have a family obligation but this first Saturday of January I am free to craft. First I have to crochet 4 messy bun hats! I love the hats. Quickly made up, warm and super cool since you can pull your hair up and either make it a pony tail or a bun. My hair is too short but many of my friends love the hat. It is a quick 2 hour crochet and it gives me a break from knitting. I use my hands and muscles in a different way so I don’t get fatigued so badly in my hands. That is a problem with my arthritis, my hands can get tired and sore if I do too much of the same thing, so the repeated movements of knitting can give me much pain. So I take a break with crochet between knitting.  I have these 4 hats for immediate sale, so if you need one, click here.

I am watching Schindler’s List as I type this. If you have never watched it, I highly recommend it! It is very graphic about what happened during WWII in a Jewish ghetto and how these lives were saved. It also shows the what happened to most that were taken away. I love historical movies, and being German it breaks my heart that this happened but there are Germans that tries to do the right thing. Not enough but some.

Well I was done and started to finish is the 2nd season of Travelers on Netflix. Then I started watching Midsommer Murders in Netflix. Kept on crocheting! Got 2 hats made during that time and then I noticed the time. What to make for dinner! Put down my work, grabbed the veggies and chicken my hubby got for me and made an awesome chicken vegetable soup! Super simple, cut up an onion, chicken, carrots, celery, zucchini, and yellow squash. Fried up the onion and chicken in about a tablespoon of coconut oil, when onions were softened and chicken cooked, added 4 quarts of chicken broth all the rest of the veggies except the squash and zucchini, and cooked it for about 90 minutes. I then added the last 2 veggies cooked for 30 more minutes, added salt, pepper garlic powder, and a bit of Italian seasoning. Done! Since I am eating a Ketogenic diet, no rice or pasta in it but the family had rolls with it. Got many compliments from my family!

Well the day draws to a close! Time to charge up my fit bit and start thinking about tomorrow!  I love Sundays!!!


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1st Day back at School

Boy am I tired! I try to get as many substitute teaching jobs as I can, but that means I cannot knit as much as I want. Plus tonight I had a Girl Scout meeting and I had forgotten about it!! So I ate dinner really late, had to do some housework, and now I wanted to get some thoughts online. So no knitting today!! I truly hate that, I miss it when I don’;t get to knit anything.

I did want to show off something I learned to make a year ago. It was a new knitting skill, arm knitting, and it is

pretty fun and very easy to do. There is a limit to what you can make, but you can see my cowl I made is very cute and it is pretty warm. There are a ton of You Tube video’s out there that will show you how to do this, I will let you search there for a teacher that appeals to you, but I highly recommend trying this out. It is a very quickly made item and it is a great feeling to get an item made within an hour and be able to use it. It will actually cover my head so it helps to keep me warm in this very very cold weather! I really like it and is one of the few things that I have ever made for myself.

This is going to be a very short blog today, again, I am extremely tired. Having to get up early after 2 weeks of not doing it is really hard on this old body!! Plus I walked almost 7000 steps today, about twice what I have done since Christmas and having restarted my Keto Diet and knowing I am dealing with the Keto Flu (here is a link describing it), I am super tired! It will get better next week as I adjust to fueling my body with Fat instead of carbs, but tonight, I am just going to crash early and try to get a big night of sleep!! If I get up early, I will knit then after I do my Bible and devotional reading.

I want to sign off and send you Blessings!! Be good!!


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Wednesday Musings

I have been busy knitting on this last day before School goes back.  I have sub jobs for the next few days, so I can’t knit during the day.  Bummed but I have to earn some cash!!  I am almost done with the main poncho, here is a picture of where I am right now.

I hope to get it knit tonight and I will knit the turtle neck on tomorrow and sew the buttons on and then my daughter can wear it as it has been super cold here in Atlanta!  Once I get this all finished I will get a picture of her wearing it and then set it up on my Etsy site to be sold as a finished product.  I custom make all the items on my site so that my customers can pick what ever color they want for the item except for a couple of items with are set with colors.

Since I was knitting all day, it was a laundry day and I had to find a really simple dinner to make.  Can’t take time from the knitting now can I!!  Since I am back eating a Keto Diet, I needed to pull out a favorite of my family, Egg Roll in a Bowl!  This is the best dinner, I can get it done in about 20 minutes and unless I make a double batch, and with a 14-year-old growing boy I have to, there are no leftovers.  I find these recipes all over the web and this is my favorite version of this.  We loving call it crack slaw because I really could eat it every day!!   Give it a try, my son likes it with rice to make it more filling.  Not that you can fill up a 14-year-old boy!!

I love Wednesday nights, normally we have church and my kids go to the youth group and I have a bible study class (grow group) at our church.  The kids get dinner there for 3 bucks a head and my group brings dinner and we share the meal before we dive into the study.  With the holidays we have not had it, we resume next week.  So my week has been weird not seeing that group of people in a few weeks.  Our church is going to have family dinners on Wednesday nights again in Mid January, I love those for the same reason.  I don’t have to cook.  One night a week I don’t have to deal with it.  A blessing!  Plus it is a way to reset myself with some time with God.  I have started to read Jesus Calling every morning to center myself and then I can start to knit or what ever I need to do that day.  I love that centering time, I am trying hard to do more listening instead of talking in my prayer time then, but that is so very hard!!

Well it is getting late and I need to get that poncho finished!  I really want to get it done quickly as I have a cardigan to make for myself!  I don’t ever make anything for myself, so this will be lots of fun!!

Until we meet again, Be Blessed!!

 


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Happy New Year!!

Was up way too late last night!!  But of course most of us were as we welcome ed in 2018!!  We were with friends and I got to do some knitting, some eating, and some drinking!  It was a very fun night.  2017 was a hard year and 2018 holds so much promise!  This is part of why I am writing this blog.  I want to share my love of Knitting and Crochet and maybe get you interested in trying this fun craft!!  I also wanted to let you know about my newsletter.  Sign up and each Sunday I will email out a quick note.  This Sunday there will be a special coupon for my Etsy Site, get on the email list and check out what happens here!!  Spread the word!!

If you have never tried to knit or crochet but always wanted to, this is a great time to get started.  It is a pretty inexpensive hobby unless you start buying the really expensive yarn.  I love using those yarns but I do not normally unless it is a special gift or garment for family or friends or someone is paying me to make something.  To get started you need a skein of yarn and either knitting needles or a crochet hook.  I would get a worsted weight yarn like Red Heart Super Saver or any yarn that show a “4” on the label like this:

The thicker the yarn, the larger the number.  The thickest yarn I have found is a “7” and it is really thick!  If you would like crochet, grab a “G” or H” hook.  If you want to knit, a 7 or 8 needle works.  I wish I had You Tube when I was learning, it is such an awesome tool to learn just about anything now a days!!  Here are great links to watch how to crochet or knit.  I like her energy but if she is not for you, fear not, there are LOTS to find on You Tube!!  Find one that feels right for you and go from there.  Start simple, my first item was a scarf and it took me 6 months to make.  Now remember, I taught myself, from a book, all alone!  I had no one to help me and from a earlier post you know I am a perfectionist so I ripped it out NUMEROUS times before I felt good.  It is a knit stitch only scarf, the stitch is called Garter Stitch, and it is a super simple scarf to make.  You can find videos on how to make that knit scarf on you tube too!  If you want to crochet a scarf, again there are so many videos out there to do that, just jump in and try this one or find one that you like!!

I really hope this gives you the bug to try a great hobby and a relaxing one too!  This is a great article on the benefits of knitting on your health!!   Funny thing, as I am writing this post, I see someone posted to my Facebook page a temperature blanket pattern.  See, there are so many things that you can make and when people know you like to crochet or knit, you will get ideas sent to you!!  It is so much fun!

Well I need to keep on knitting the poncho, it is starting to shape up!!  Be blessed until we meet again!!


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