Life and Love

September has been a hard month for myself and my family.  Between work, daycare, and family life hasn’t been calm. I’ve started so many different projects this month. I’ve always suffered from Starter-itis; it gets worse the more I’m stressed. Starting something gives me something to solely focus all of my energy on.

Work was a relatively easy fix. I started a new job this week. It’s only been a week, but I’m so much more relaxed. I’ve spent the last three weeks looking for another daycare for Abby. I think I’ve found one that I’m happy with.

The biggest stressor this month is, was, is my great aunt. Back in July, she was diagnosed with cancer. This month she was rushed to the ER, placed in ICU, and passed away all within a couple of weeks. It was hard to see. This woman was so full of life and love, and that was reflected by the multitude of people who came to visit her. When she was moved into Comfort Care, they gave us a bigger room because of all the people who would come see her. It was awesome to witness.

Grief is a strange thing. With everything, I was fine, until the funeral. I did not take Abby. I didn’t even tell her that our aunt had passed away until after the funeral. She went to stay with her other grandmother until after the funeral. It was a long weekend for Abby. Her father and grandmother kept her busy with outings and trips. The funeral was difficult for me. That’s when it all hit.

I started a washcloth, a  burp cloth, and Abby’s Halloween costume while sitting in multiple hospital rooms. I don’t have any pictures of the washcloth or burp cloth. They’re simple. The washcloth is half-double crochets through the back loop. The burp cloth is just garter stitch.

Abby’s Halloween costume, however, will be a work of art. I started it after the funeral. I was sitting at home, starting to feel overwhelmed, so I started something new. Something absorbing that would take a lot of concentration: Hexagons.

I have a love-hate relationship with hexagons. 20170922_203624.jpgThey’re my favorite shape, and crocheting them has been a struggle. Last year, I wanted to do a temperature blanket out of hexagons, but I struggled to find a pattern I liked and could understand. I’d only been crocheting for a little while, and it was mostly square washcloths. So, I did what any sane person would do. I made up my own pattern. It was flawed because I’m terrible with numbers. Anyway, these hexagons are perfect, maybe because I’m an idiot and just can’t read a pattern.

Abby originally wanted to be received_1647685675262941.jpega rainbow butterfly, so I bought the yarn for that. Of course, as soon as I’d ordered it, she changed her mind. She’s now a rainbow fairy. The general design has stayed the same, however. And by that, I mean that I had no design and was *ahem* winging it. Until yesterday. The wonderful, amazing person who is my best friend and can think in shapes made this template. It was, of course, Not Right. So we fixed. I laid out one wing out of the hexes and moved them around sending a BAJILLION pictures until we decided on a design. And this design isn’t exactly accurate because we changed it.

I should need 21 hexagons, which will be interesting because I have seven colors: Red(Serrano), Orange(Orange), Yellow(Canary), Green(Macaw), Blue(Celestial), Indigo (Eggplant), and Violet(Fairy Tale). Oh… No… Wait… That’s three of each color, I think. *pulls out a calculator* It is three. I’m so bad with numbers. Technically, there are actually eight colors. The eighth, a brown named Bark, will be used to outline the wings and make straps. I plan on crocheting around a wire so the wings will hold their shape.

Abby is extremely excited about the hexagons, especially the baby hexes. She gives each one a kiss if she walks in on me making them. They don’t take long to make, maybe 20 minutes if I’m uninterrupted. The hexagons have been quick and easy, which has helped keep my mind off of things.

October Preview:

If all goes well, October will be all about blocking, piecing, and finishing the costume. I’m hoping to have all of the hexagons done before next weekend, or shortly there after. I’ll put all the yarn, hook, and wire information in the next post, as well as the pattern, if I get it written out.

Bleary Eyed

I have two calendars. One is for me and life. The other is for craft stuff. Not to mention the phone calendars, one of those is specifically for this blog, and only for this blog. It’s shows up blue on my phone. Still, with all of that, I continuously forget when the last day of the month is EVERY FLIPPING MONTH!!!

I had dropped Abby off at daycare. We were late this morning because shirts are confusing, and shoes just magically vanish in our house. They, the shoes, were in the grandparent’s bathroom, and, at drop off, the shirt was still on backwards. Anyway, where was I? Oh! Yeah! Okay, so, after drop off, I’m driving to work. It takes about 20 minutes. I realize, about five minutes away from work that today is the 31st, and oh by the way the 31st, is the LAST DAY OF AUGUST!!! EVERY FLIPPING MONTH!!!

Abby’s dance class starts back today, and she’s going to her grandmother’s/dad’s for the weekend. So, I’m going to be way late going home, and OH MY GOD HOW AM I GOING TO GET THIS POST DONE?!?! Momentary panic ensued. I’m currently writing on my lunch break. If I’m lucky this will mostly get done, and I can maybe do pictures as soon as I get home. I bet it’ll be 11:56pm before this posts though. I’ll update you. And now I’m talking to myself… ANYWAY… This has actually been a productive month. It’s also been an extremely busy month. My mother had surgery this month. That’s the biggest thing that happened. She’s doing very well!

While she was in the hospital I started a washcloth. I needed something small to do, and washcloths are mindless. At least, this one is. I chain 25 stitches and half double crochet through the front or back loop depending on my mood. I stop when it’s a square. I don’t actually have a picture of it because Abby needed something to snuggle with, and it was the only thing available. It was left at her Papa Joe’s house. But it is actually finished!!! Tails were woven in and everything.

— Everything before here was written at lunch. Everything after here was written at Abby’s dance class. With luck this will get posted before midnight. —

This month also started the NaNoWriMo Creative Writing class on Coursera. That’s been interesting. I did something I have never done before. I finished a story. It was just over 600 words, but it has a beginning, middle, and end. I’m famous for starting and never finishing projects. But I’ve done two, albeit small, projects in one month.

I’m on the upswing from the crazy anxiety and depression a few months ago. I’ve stayed busy. I know the crash will happen sometime. It could be a year, a day, or a few months away. That’s one of the hardest parts. Even when I’m feeling good, I know it will happen again. Feeling out of control in my own body is the hardest part. I know there’s a relatively easy solution to this: Get help. But I’ve tried various medicines and therapies, and I just don’t like it. Crafting has helped me so much more than any of that.

Anyway, back to the washcloth. I’m already working on a second, but with all the writing, it hasn’t progressed too far. Both of them, this one and the completed one, are crocheted through the back loop, but it’s only half double crochets. Easy peasy. I’m using Lily’s and Crème cotton in some color way. It’s a GIANT CONE!!! Look at it! Huge! I have another one that I’ll be using for some burp cloths. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attach pictures and this won’t look like random chattering.

— Everything before here blah blah blah. Everything after here was written sometime after getting home and before midnight. —

Well, there will be no pictures because I absolutely refuse to walk back out to the car where I left the giant bag full of giant cones of yarn. I’m so good at this blog thing! It has been a long and stressful day to match this entire month. But, I did it. I met the goal of finishing something, and I did the impossible. I’m going to spend the rest of my night (the ten minutes after I publish) relaxing, and then I’m sleeping.

For the next month, it will be more washcloths (and probably burp cloths). See you in a month! Maybe I’ll finally remember when the end of the month is.

— You know the drill. This is around 11:33. —

The internet is not willing to cooperate, so I’m trying to do this from my phone while falling asleep. I’m so good at this thing. I’m too stubborn to change up the date. I hope you’ve had fun following this insanity. 

Spinning Around And Around

Well, I missed June’s post. Oops. In my defense, I was really really busy. We, the majority of my family, decided to take a trip to my grandparent’s. It was sort of last second. We left the day before I should have posted. In all the hullaballoo, I completely forget to write something it. It would have been basically the same as May. Right after our trip, the family got some bad news. I’m not allowed to talk about it. But it’s just been one bad thing after another.

When I first learned to knit, it was because I needed to move. It was peaceful but still active. Crochet and Tatting are the same. I can sit and still move. I have to focus on what I’m doing, so my brain is engaged in patterns and pictures. With all the bad, I couldn’t focus on any of that. I’d just end up staring into space.

The anxiety ratcheted up several notches. The question is: How do I shut my brain off? The answer is easy: Spinning! I’ve been doing almost nothing but spinning for the last six weeks. I’ve been taking my wheel everywhere with me. And by everywhere, I mean my best friend’s parent’s house. Other than home, that’s the only place I’ve spun.

I tried teaching myself to spin six or seven years ago on a drop spindle with limited success. I had yarn. It looked absolutely terrible, and I couldn’t get it off the spindle, but there ya have it. I dropped it for a year or two. Right after the baby was born, I tried learning again. I did a little better, but with similar problems. So, I let it go. Until two years ago. Mom and I signed up for The Woolery’s Beginning Spinning class. That’s it. I was hooked. The wheel mesmerized me!!!

I finally bought me a spinning wheel in February of this year. I spun everything I could get my hands on. It still wasn’t pretty, but it was so much better than before. I think I spun about 3 pounds of fiber in the first six weeks. My hands hated me. My spinning is a little better now. I’m still playing around with it.

I had two bags of fiber, both from Paradise Fiber’s Fiber Club of the Month boxes. Aren’t they gorgeous?! Bloom came from June’s box. Ponyo came from July’s box. I didn’t do anything special when spinning this. The goal was to just shut everything down, and spinning has been meditative in a way that the other crafts have not.

I took just a hunk of top and split into multiple sections. I just spun straight from that without blending in any particular way. There was no thinking about it. I just had to sit and spin the yarn. One the one bobbin of Bloom, I spun it into a center pull ball and plyed from that. It broke on me, so I ended with two small skeins and a ball that still needs to be plyed. The two small skeins are about 60ish yards. I’m going to do the same with the other three bobbins. I only have one clean bobbin, so something needs to be done.

I can’t stop petting my yarn. It’s not the most even or consistent yarn, but it’s all mine. Also, after months of no productivity, I have finally finished something. Well, sort of.

 

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung; so did I, out of bed, when I realized this was the last day of April, and I was supposed to be writing a post. It has been a busy month. Camp NaNo, crocheting, spinning, planning a birthday party for my kid, unexpected test with my rheumatologist (which has me all kinds of freaked out), and then receiving a MASSIVE amount of hospital and doctor’s bills. Well, massive for me. In the grand scheme, they weren’t that much, but way more than I had. ANYWAY… I did not finish one craft project, let alone the two I had planned to finish. I was creative, though.

My goal for Camp NaNo was to get 15 posts pre-written for my personal blog and 15 more outlined. It was surprisingly easy. I don’t know how many of those posts I’ll use, but there ya have it. I wrote on my lunch breaks, which I found amazingly productive. When NaNo happens, I’ll probably continue doing that. It didn’t give me a lot of time to crochet.

I found these gorgeous crocheted flowers by HappyPattyCrochet. I fell in love with them from the moment I found them on Pinterest. I obsessed over them for months before I broke down and bought four patterns; I went a little crazy. I then stared at this pattern for another month before I even pretended to attempt it. My eventual goal, probably in November and December is to recreate my best friend’s wedding bouquet. Also, I want to make a bunch of flowers that I can’t kill.

S20170430_213241o, I started crocheting with tiny thread. I had to stop halfway through because I couldn’t see what I was doing. I probably should have used a lighter color, but why would I go easy on myself? This tulip should have been finished withing the first 10 days of the month, or sooner. I had a nice little break while waiting on a craft light with a magnifying glass to arrive. During that little break, I did some spinning. I’m still not very good, but it was a perfect way to spend my birthday.

20170430_213315I made three of Petal 1, as per the instructions, only to realize that I left off part of the petal, but oh well. I only have one of Petal 2, and I’m almost done with a second. The third shouldn’t take too much longer. I’m not thrilled with how the first Petal 2 looks. I might make that over. I think I’ll do both leafs and then finish the project. Hopefully, that will all be done in the first half of May.

As for May, I’m going to finish the tulip and then switch to one of the other projects I had planned for April. I’ll be using that pretty yarn that I pictured last month.