Gratitude

This has been a strange Thanksgiving week for my family. No traveling to see extended family and no stuffing our house full of friends and family on Thursday.

Instead this is a quiet and slightly late Sunday celebration this year. And one with many reasons to be grateful.

The month of November has been a bit more exciting than I would wish for. My father was hospitalized with a severe infection in his arm. My sons were evacuated from their school one afternoon due to a near-by house fire.  And my beloved husband has been dealing with health issues that his doctor wanted to hospitalize him for.

Fortunately, all is mostly well again.  My dad is nearly recovered from his infection.  The house-fire did not spread to the school or any neighboring homes and was put out completely less than 4 hours after it started.  My husband seems to be making a recovery despite refusing to go to the hospital.

I hope that all my US readers have had wonderful Thanksgivings themselves with time for family, friends and hopefully a bit of crochet or knitting.

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The Love of Friends

As part of my celebration of Thanksgiving week I am counting my blessings again. One that I really celebrate is having so many caring friends in my life.  Especially uplifting to me is the number of them that share my passion for all things yarnie.

This past Saturday I was down in Denver for my monthly pilgrimage to The Lambshoppe for Pajamma Jam.  On the magazine rack there was the new publication from Interweave Press “Interweave Crochet Accessories” that my design, Isosceles Scarf, is in.  This is my first design for Interweave and it was quite fun to have it in a magazine that is available at many LYSs.

Photos courtesy of Interweave Press

It is a special favorite with me as well because I got to use a bit of geekery in the design of it as well as in the naming of it. How often to you get to use geometrical terms in crochet pattern names (well, if you are me, as often as possible).

My wonderful stitching friends were all very excited for me.  It is such a joy to have people who believe in me and have faith in my ability to keep on reaching for my dreams. I know that my successes in the future will be in part due to the lift they give me with their love.

If you don’t have yarnie friends that you get to spend time with I highly recommend that you join the online site: Ravelry. For many years I had no-one to crochet or knit with, then I found Ravelry and I have found yarn friends far and wide because of it.

Jealousy

Sometimes I feel very jealous of other designers who don’t have small children sucking their time and brains away.  And then there are those who have small children, but wisely had their offspring whilst they were young enough to keep up with them.

I know that my boys will be grown up before the blink of an eye.  I know how quickly the past years have already zipped by. Yet, I feel like my life is this constant crazed balancing act.

Finding time to swatch, write, crochet finished pieces, manage the laundry, shopping, meal-prep and the myriad tasks for work and home life that creep into everyday seems nearly impossible.  I fall into bed, often at insane hours of the night (technically morning), so exhausted that it seems 5 minutes later the alarm is dragging me out of a deep sleep.

Of course, when I get too far into this jealousy grump I remind myself of how blessed my life is. Coming into the week of the Thanksgiving holiday (US)  is a wonderful time to count those blessings. So I will try to blog at least 4 times this week about the blessings in my life.

 The first blessing I’m counting is actually feeling jealousy.  Because that feeling allows me to contemplate what it is I think I’m missing.  Often times it is a wake-up call to see the joy in my own life, or to put my feet more firmly on the path I want to be following.

It is easy to become distracted when one is born with the number of creative brain cells I have.  So noticing those little twinges of jealousy helps me see if those distractions are helping or harming the hopes and dreams I harbor.

I have found it very interesting the results of that exercise. Many times I’ve discovered that I’m really okay being where I am and doing what i’m doing.

So my challenge to you my dear readers, look at what you’ve been feeling jealous or envious about and see if it really is something you would want for yourself.  The answer just might surprise you.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

With all the recent snow here on my mountain it is certainly looking like Christmas– in fact, a White Christmas (can’t you just hear Bing singing?).

Yes, Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks around the corner, and it’s time to think about Christmas. Actually, if you prefer hand-made Christmas presents,  it’s already getting to be the last-minute for gift making. Which means you need something quick to make.

Little Christmas Wreath worked in Fingering Weight yarns

My first pattern in my M2H Designs line was  Little Christmas Wreath–a fun quick project perfect for the holidays. It makes a great decorative touch on packages and cards, can be made into a fun brooch to wear in celebration of the season, or even works as a napkin ring.

I actually came up with this pattern because of my own need for some quick fun gifts for Christmas. The pattern  includes text instructions (US terms), stitch charts and tutorial photographs.  You can easily vary the size by working with different yarns, or combining a sparkly yarn with a solid color for a even more decorative  touch!

Cold Little Fingers

Another week, another snow storm.  If your household is anything like mine many of the hats, mittens and gloves from the previous cold season have either been outgrown or have fallen into that black-hole that all laundry rooms seem to have.

I had a mad search for warm hand gear for my boys after our most recent snow storm. I found some good ski-gloves that still fit my oldest, but all I could find for my youngest was a pair of polar fleece mittens.  He loves to play in the snow, but is not terribly fond of how cold his little fingers get when his mittens get wet. 

I decided that he needed some wool mittens, which stay warmer when wet than polar fleece. I knew I wanted the fabric to be felted to allow for a bit better water-proofing, but I didn’t want to crochet the mittens and then felt them.

I grabbed my box of left-over felt pieces from when I was playing around with felting thrift-shop sweaters.  I remembered I had a couple of felted sleeves that I thought would be ideal. What I really loved about these sleeves was the rolled detail at the end of the sleeves.

Of course for this sewing task I needed a pattern. I drew around my little guy’s hand, then sketched some shaping.  I wanted to utilize the fold in the side of the sleeve to minimize the length of the final seam, so I did some manipulating to create a straight edge along the side opposite the thumb.

Then I turned the sleeves inside out and traced my pattern piece on the felt with a marker. Once that was done I cut out each mitten.

I used some sharp-pointed scissors to trim out a 1/4 inch of the cording in the cuff trim so the edges could be finished cleanly.

I dug out some matching thread and using a tight whip-stitch sewed an 1/8″ seam around the cut edges starting at the folded side of the mitten.  To be sure no gaps would develop along the seam, I overlapped my stitching whenever I had to re-thread my needle.

I used a simple mattress stitch to enclose the raw edges of the corded trim on the cuff to create a smooth join.

Voila’ a wonderful pair of mittens to keep some cold little fingers warm.