Friday, September 20, 2013

Stress and Crocheting or Knitting

Something interesting came across my email this morning.  I subscribe to The Simple Dollar daily newsletter from and have for many years when I was attempting to find ways to cut our budget so we could do more things we enjoyed.  In reading today's offering, this was in the middle with the questions.

Q2: Handling work stress
Whenever I feel stressed out by work, I seem to unconsciously fall back into “retail therapy” as a treatment. The only problem is that it usually adds to the stress because now I have a credit card to deal with.

- Angie
The solution, of course, is to find a different way to deal with your stress.  The effective stress-reducer depends heavily on the person. For me, playing a game or reading a book reduces my stress, as does spending time with friends and alone with my wife. Escapism and human relationships work for me.  Try different channels for reducing stress. If you feel stressed out, try going to the gym and punching a bag or running.  You've just got to find what clicks for you.

It's been proven that the rhythm of crocheting and knitting will reduce stress levels.  Reducing stress is a good thing.  Keeping small projects with you in various rooms of the house, in the car, your purse, in your desk are all great ways to take the edge off when life hands you more than you can handle.

Learning the basics can be stressful at first for some.  Once you have them down though, the repetitive nature of forming the stitches can be like a rocking chair for small children or a boat on the waves lulling you into calmness without the motion sick factor. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Lion Brand!!!

Happy Birthday Lion Brand!

To celebrate, Michaels will be hosting birthday parties on Sunday September 22 between 2 and 4 pm.  Come on out and see me in the Lebanon store.  Yes, I do have a Warm Up America Joining Party scheduled for 2 - 5 pm this day but I will be in the same area to do both.  Come on out to help with this also.

Lion Brand will be giving away bonbons!  Unlike my husband, I'm sure you know and understand that these bonbons are mini skeins of yarn and not food.  The first 25 people will get a free bonbon.  I will have hooks available for anyone who wants to sit and stitch with me with this new yarn.  These minis are just right when you only need a little bit of a color and don't have it.

Check these out!





 Some of the featured patterns on the Lion Brand website for the bonbons.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Michaels Open House And a SALE!!

Just a note, all classes at Lebanon Michaels will be on sale for 50% off during our Open House on Sept. 21.  I have no information about other stores.  Let me know if there is something you want/need to learn and I will see if I can get it into the schedule before-hand so it can be gotten with the discount.  Added classes will probably be on Saturday/Sunday times due to my day job work schedule.  Kids crochet classes are normally $15 and on sale they are $7.50 and last an hour and a half.  All other classes are adult and normally $25, on sale $12.50.  Yarn nights are $5 normally, $2.50.  Warm Up America Joining parties are free all the time.  Please share this information with your friends.  It will be appreciated by all the teachers.

Here is my updated schedule.   Please note a few changes at the end of October in crochet classes:

Discover Single Crochet  All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm  
September 16
October 14
November 11

Discover the Tall Stitches of Crochet  All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 21
November 18

Discover Granny Squares   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
September 30
October 28
December 2

Discover Textured Stitches   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 7
November 4
December 9

Discover Knit Stitch Class    All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
September 19
October 17
November 14

Discover Purl Stitch    All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
September 26
October 24
November 21

Discover Pattern Stitches Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 3
October 31
December 5

Discover Cables Class All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 10
November 7
December 12

Discover Baby Crochet Class      All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
Textured Baby Blanket September 18
Baby Rattle  October 16
Textured Baby Blanket November 13

Discover Throws and Wraps in Crochet Class  Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
Granny One Piece Throw September 25
Lacy Wrap October 23
One Piece Granny Throw November 20

Discover Crochet Gifts Class      All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 2
December 4

Discover Time to Crochet Classes   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
Crocodile Stitch September 18
Tunisian Crochet October 9
Painted Crochet October 26 9:30 – 12
Broomstick Lace November 6
Hairpin Lace December 11

Discover Baby Knits Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
Kimono September 20
Blanket & Booties October 18
Kimono November 15

Discover Mitered Knitting Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
September 27
October 25
November 22

Discover Fair Isle Class   All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
October 4
November 1
December 6

Discover Time To Knit Classes    All Classes are 6 – 8:30 pm
Knook September 20
Mobius Knitting September 28 9:30 – 12
Entrelac October 11
Knook & Loom Knit November 8
2 Needle Sock   November 16 9:30 - 12
I-Cord December 13

Discover Kids Crochet 1  
October 5 9:30 – 11 am
November 2 9:30 – 11 am
December 7 9:30 – 11 am

Discover Kids Crochet 2
September 15 11 am – 12:30 pm
October 12 9:30 – 11 am
November 9 9:30 – 11 am
December 14 9:30 – 11 am

Discover Kids Crochet 3
September 29 11 am – 12:30 pm
October 19 9:30 – 11 am
November 17 12:30 – 2 pm
December 15 11 am – 12:30 pm

Yarn Nights are times for you to get a question answered about a stitch, yarn or pattern question that doesn’t require a full class.  You can also sit and stitch with me at this time.

September 14   1 – 4 pm
September 28   1 – 4 pm
October 12 1 – 5 pm
October 26 1 – 4 pm
November 16 1 – 4 pm
December 14 1 – 4 pm

Warm Up America Joining Parties are times to help join afghans blocks to help the homeless here in Lebanon with the donation of warm afghans.

September 22 2 – 5 pm
October 6 2 – 5 pm
November 3 2 – 5 pm
November 17 2 – 5 pm

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My local shelter's needs

Warm Up America has started here in my neck of the woods.  Donated blocks are sorted.  Afghans have been bagged with joining yarns and instructions.  Joining parties have been scheduled  See the most current joining party schedule here.  I was also remembering a talk I had with some of the staff about what the needs are at my local shelter.

More than afghans and hats, they need gloves, not mittens or finger-less mitts.  GLOVES.  When I questioned for further information and thought more about it, here is what I have.  Mittens are nice for kids.  Most don't wear them since they limit mobility.  Adults won't wear them.  Finger-less mitts are a nice fashion accessory but don't do much of anything for people who are outside a majority of the time and need near constant protection.  

To this end, I thought, "OK, I'll run down to my local department store and pick up a bunch of the dollar or two gloves."  Then I headed home and checked my winter outdoor gear to see if I had any of them left from when my son ran cross country in high school.  As one of the few parents to show up on a regular basis, I had accumulated a sizable stash of hats and gloves for the colder months of practice and meets.  Most of these have disappeared over the years.  But I did find some of the gloves.  When I tried them on to make sure they were in good shape, I discovered 2 things.  One, either these things shrink or are small to begin with; and two, no two in my possession are the same size for pairing up.

I realize that I have largish hands for a woman.  I'm crediting my daily work (not knitting or crocheting) and genetics for this.  Men also have larger hands.  To this end, I would suggest that the dollar gloves that say they stretch to fit any hand are not going to suit for this purpose for any other than smaller people.

I would like to offer these patterns for this purpose and suggest not going the cheap route if you are donating to a shelter in your area.  There are not a lot of glove patterns out there but here are a couple of ideas.  Remember when donating to a shelter, some places may not have laundry facilities and appreciate dark or patterned color choices.  Adults in my area prefer subdued colors from what I have seen.  Plain workhorse yarns like Loops&Threads Impeccable, Lion Brand Wool Ease, Lion Brand Vanna's Choice, Red Heart are going to give ease of wash ability, wear, comfort and a wide range of colors.  Wool is my personal choice but, with so many having the opposite allergy of being allergic to wool, please don't use it.  It will also shrink if the recipient doesn't care for it in a gentle manner.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My sweater pictures

I promised pictures of what I'm working on.   Here is the first installment.  I'm really working to get this finished but things at my day job are complicated and I'm having to work longer hours than usual.  I know pictures of the rest of my projects won't happen until this is done.

I have finished the back.

I have finished the 2 fronts.  The wishbone cable goes to the center on each side.

I'm working on the sleeves.  I have finally reached the sleeve caps.  That part is not shown in the picture below.

Left to do? A collar, wrists and body hem, and button band must be added once all the sewing up is finished.  Buttons must be chosen.  As you can see, I am a user of stitch markers.  I put them in on the beginning of the rows when I increased.  I keep track of my row counts for the cable twists.  I have markers on the needle to remind myself (in the beginning) where the cable went.  I am doing the sleeves both at the same time to ensure they are the same length and have the same number of cable twists.  Nothing worse than being the same length but lopsided.

Also left to do is translate the mess of notes I have been making to write a pattern for this. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Being ahead or behind.....

I was reading the yarn harlot's post here.  And it got me thinking about the list I posted yesterday and edited today to include a couple things I forgot. 

Of those on the list, only a few have concrete deadlines.  The sweater for the certification was due a couple days ago.  The new yarns projects are due by September 20 at the latest.  The swatch of the month for the free knit and free crochet stitch patterns are due for the last weekend of the month.  Most of the rest, no one except me and maybe my husband knows about them.  And I'm very good at shifting priorities to get things done "on time".

I am stressing about the sweater not being done, but I know that I had some other, more important work to do when I should have been working on it.  I was taking care of my husband after his accident.  I tried making up for it by working on certification things when I could during less work weeks and on our recent trip.  I got a lot of work done but not on the sweater.  Could I have done more?  Maybe, but again I was being a nurse during part of the trip, chauffeur for part of the trip, mother/mother-in-law, and sight seer.   We saw incredible sites.  We met incredible, interesting, funny and lovable people. 
  The point for this post is to remind me and you, the reader, to go easy on yourself.  Things will get done when they get done.  It would be nice to say I'm going to give everyone on my Christmas gift list a hand crafted x.  It would also be nice to hear that I've won Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes/Mrs. America pageant/the lottery.  Those things all have the same probability of happening.  I know my odds on the last 3.  I don't enter lotteries or beauty pageants.  When I buy raffle tickets, I consider them a donation to whatever organization is selling them.