Now for the Next Thing

So it is official.  I just packed up my Massage Table into it’s storage case.  Today was my last massage appointment.  I am now a retired massage therapist. 

My Massage Table in its Storage Case

Guess that means I’m serious about doing all these creative things I love so much as my main income now.  Deep Breath Time.

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Getting Stuffy

I love little crocheted toys,  popularly referred to as “amigurumis.”  I have 2 small boys in my household and there are numerous neices, nephews and little friends that need toys too.  But, I hate, hate, hate, to crochet super tightly like lots of amigurumis require.

Finished Bitty Bear

My first solution to this problem was to crochet my amis in feltable yarns.  I use a bigger hook than is usually stated in the pattern, stuff the little bits and sew it all together.  Then give the toy a really hot bath in the kitchen sink.

The little bear pictured above was my first experiment with this.  I thought it would work best if I also stuffed him with wool roving.  Unfortunately, the roving felted more than the bear did!  I ended up taking some stitches thru his neck to snug things up.  His pretty pink bow hid the plastic surgery very nicely though.

Bitty Bear with some Cosmetic Surgery

The lesson I learned from this was to pre-felt the roving I was going to use for stuffing.  My next attempt was a baby turtle for my oldest son.  This time I partly felted the roving and stuffed the turtle very full.  The turtle came out almost too firm, though quite cute.

Little Green Baby Turtle

I have made a number of balls that are felted too.  Experimentation has taught me that using a fiber fill stuffing at the center with layers of roving around it works best.  My other trick for amis is to use fun fur or a fluffy yarn so I don’t need to stitch as tight, yet the fiber fill won’t work it’s way out.   Some examples are my Pocket Monsters.

Pocket Monster
Purple Pocket Monster

So if you’ve avoided trying to make amigurumis because the tight stitching hurts your hands some of these approaches might help you.  Just be sure you have enough yarn for all the “kids” in your life.  Everyone will want one. ;o)

The Importance of Compassion

Small ivory and gold colored statue
Kuan Yin - Bodhisattva of Compassion

Often I have written about going to PJ Jam at the LambShoppe in Denver.  It is the 3rd Saturday of each month and a wonderous and fun evening surrounded by fellow fiber/yarn enthusiasts.  The enthusiasm is mirrored by the entire staff at the shop and their willingness to talk yarn and stitching.

One employee in particular is noteworthy to the experience for me.  This is the lovely Angie.  A young mother who, when I last saw her in January, was 4 months pregnant with her second child.

I missed PJ Jam in February as my family and I were ill with a stomach bug.  I didn’t want to share our germs with my friends, so stayed home.

When I attended PJ Jam in March I was distressed to learn that Angie was in hospital and quite critically ill.  It turns out that Angie has a rare disease called Moya Moya.  This was un-diagnosed before recent events lead to her being hospitalized and having emergency neurosurgery.

Angie has other surgeries ahead of her, as well as long stays in hospital and rehabilitative care on her road to recovery.  This whole process will likely be quite expensive for her and her family. So the staff of the LambShoppe have organized a Fundraiser to help raise money to defer the costs.

Some of the yarn I was showing off from my March trip is going to be used to create a FreeForm crocheted neck cozy for the Silent auction portion of the Fundraiser. 

If you are in the Denver area and would like to contribute to or attend the Fundraiser it is being held at Noon on April 18th at Pomegranate Place, 750 Clarkson St.  Ravelry members can read more here.

Maybe the hardest part for many of us is the absolute inexplicable nature of it all.  How completely horribly wrong it seems that something like this could happen to such a sweet person and one seemingly the picture of health.

“Unfair” “Heart-breaking” “Horrible” are all words I’ve heard used to describe this tragic turn of events.  And all these words are true.  But it is a reminder.   Life is often unfair, heart-breaking and horrible.  Our tenure on this plane of existence comes with no guarantees.

Which is why making the effort to live our lives with kindness and tolerance towards each other is so important.  The only fairness and justice that truly exist are the ones we create for each other. 

So, even if you are not at a place to do something to help Angie, please remember to live each day with compassion toward yourself and your fellow tenants in life.