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Monday, January 30, 2012

Not finished yet...

I worked on my project, a lot, and it's still not finished. I've concluded that I bit off more than I could chew. I'm disappointed, but I'm NOT giving up because I've had a set back! It was one week and one project, a difficult one as it turns out. I still was able to relax and meet that part of my goal. So I'm starting over this week. In the future I may have a "make-up" week where I try and finish this project, right now I'm a little tired of it and ready to move on to something new. It is looking beautiful! I'll be very happy when it has a few more rows!



I gave the Star Towel Holder away as a secret sister gifted. It was wonderful to see her reaction and know that she truly appreciated it and the work that went into it.

I started teaching my group of homeschoolers again this afternoon. I've missed teaching my girls! I have 2 repeat students and 5 newbies, this was not what I was expecting and it's a little tricky teach 2 classes at once be are working it out!
Tomorrow I'll be posting about this week's new project. Here's the link
http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=107990

Have a great Crochet day!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Making Progress!

I had hoped to have this project done, but it is not. I'm taking it with me to the retreat and hope to finish it up this weekend! I'll post pictures tomorrow of my progress! Have a great Crochet day & Weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Learning from Mistakes!

It's been a crazy day! I had an appointment that I thought would take about an hour, 3 hours later I'm home! The good news is I took my project with me and that helped keep busy. Unfortunately I found I had made a mistake in one the first rows. that mistake was one extra stitch that I didn't find, but it was leading to multiple extra stitches with each subsequent row. I did not want to pull out all of my progress, maybe pull out my hair, so I was glad to have time to sit a figure out how to "fix" the problem. I ended up decreasing until the extra stitches were gone, one corner of my wrap will be a little wonky, but that's okay. If you don't look close you won't notice and it's just not a big enough problem to undo two days of work. If I didn't feel that I was on a "deadline" I might start over. But, this forced to me to think about was to continue and make adjustments.

Being in an office waiting for people to come and go and help me, my project was a real conversation starter. This pattern definitely is an attention grabber. I think it opened doors for people to be friendlier and they are always curious about what I'm working on. I love that crochet provides such opportunities!

Now I need to work on cleaning my house, school work and all the other things that didn't get done while I was waiting! I'll post a picture of my progress tomorrow! I'm giving myself until Sunday to get the project complete, so instead of wearing it this weekend I may still be working on it and that is okay! I'm not pursing perfection, just trying to make time to relax and enjoy one of my favorite crafts.

Have a great Crochet day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Starting over!

I'm glad I started over. It is a pain in the neck, but I know that if I'm not happy with the way it looks while I'm crocheting it, I'll never like the finished project. the size K hook is producing the look I want. That makes me happy! After posting yesterday I pulled every stitch out including the chain. That is a big deal for me, I hate counting 159 chains. I used stitch markers every 25 and it went much faster. I always tell my students to use stitch markers, but frankly sometimes I'm lazy and just don't bother, then I tend to end up spending 3 times longer creating the chain because I get distracted and lose count. So, I took my own advice and had success the first time around and it saved a lot of time. I need that time because I feel behind on this project.





We've been having some issues with homeschooling, he's just not wanting to get started on the work. One of the reasons I enjoy homeschooling is because we can start school at a time that is better for him, mood and focus wise. We're just not getting a time where he's wanting to do it. I don't want it to come down to a fight. I am instituting a "no electronics" policy after what I feel is the appropriate time to get down to business on the school work. We've seen so much progress on the behavioral side of his issues with autism since we began homeschooling and I don't want to trade them off for anything, but we need to be disciplined and do the work. Striking another balance in me life...

I was disappointed that I my weight didn't go down. It's okay, I know one of the major reasons is I'm not making the time to exercise! I need to be more disciplined about that and so many other areas of my life.

Have a great Crochet day and I look forward to sharing more progress with you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why Gauge is important to crocheting

I've not made much progress on this weeks project. I was using the size N hook like the directions indicate. I was getting a very loose fabric. I do not like very loose crochet. I switched to a L hook and still was unhappy with the look of  it. I've started over completely with a K hook and I am much happier. I am pretty sure that the gauge will still be right. It is still measuring according to the pattern. I've not completed the number of rows required to measure the gauge that way, but it appears that it will be within tolerance for the gauge.

I do not normally create swatch to check for gauge, I know I should and it would have probably saved me time. Many times it honestly doesn't matter. If the gauge is off for this project, it will not be the end of the world. I think it is large enough that it will still be fine. My only concern is not having enough yarn. Obviously, projects like clothing require always checking your gauge to get the proper size and fit.

I don't really have any progress to show. I'll post pictures tomorrow! Have a great Crochet day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 4 Project

I'm amazed that January is almost over! This week's project is going to be a little more challenging. I want to point out that this one "skein" project does use a 1 pound skein. I hope you'll join me and make your own version of this wrap this week! Here's the link to the pattern http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet-Sweaters/Simple-One-Skein-Wrap-from-Caron . Here are my supplies: Caron One Pound Skein in white, size N crochet hook, and a yarn needle.

I'm hoping to be able to wear this wrap this weekend, I'm going to a Ladies' retreat, I hope to be refreshed and renewed and come back more prepared to homeschool, lead the Made to Crave bible study, and stick with the Belly Fat Cure. I'm going to be challenged to stick with my meal plan and exercise while I'm away from home but since I will be with my sister's in Christ and discussing the study we'll be starting, I will be aware of my choices. Accountability is a powerful thing! Have a great Crochet day!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Weekend, February's Plan

I've almost finished the "diet" bracelet. Talk about using "higher" math I planned it to count 4 16oz glasses of water, 6 servings of carbs and 15 grams of sugar to correspond with my current meal plan "The Belly Fat Cure". Then I needed to add beads just to make it large enough to fit my wrist. Here is a picture of the (almost) finished project. I need to pick-up a new tube of hypo-allergenic jewelry glue to finish off the knot securely and some jump rings to attach the charms to lobster claw clasps. Once it's completed I can move the charms for each item I'm counting and keep track of what I eat throughout the day. I plan on making another in colors that are a little more neutral sometime in the future.
Here are the projects that I'm currently planning on for February:

Anytime Market Bag from AllFreeCrochet.com
http://www.allfreecrochet.com/SummerBags/Anytime-Market-Bag/ct/1

Lovely in Lace Hat
http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=107990

Beaded Coffee Cup Cozy
http://jspirik.blogspot.com/2009/07/beaded-coffee-cup-cozy.html

That's what I've planned so far in addition to the baby blanket for a friend! Have a great weekend! I'm looking forward to next weeks goal project, it will be more challenging than this weeks! Caron One Skein Wrap
http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet-Sweaters/Simple-One-Skein-Wrap-from-Caron


Have a great Crochet day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Blues

I'm having a less than productive day. Nothing major just seem to be spinning my wheels. Things like websites I went to yesterday for recipes for our homeschool co-op that weren't there today. I was able to find the same recipes on another site, just frustrating. I'm still planning on making a bracelet today, it's not crochet but I really like the idea of using it to track what I count on my meal plan. For me that means beads for water, carbs and sugar grams. I hope to be able to do that project tonight. After I work on filing our taxes. With my husband in school we have to get them done A.S.A.P. in order to do the Federal Financial Aid Form which is do in just over a month! I hope you make time to do something you enjoy today! Have a great Crochet day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 3 is complete!

This project went better than I expected. I really thought it would take longer than it did. I'm happy to say that it is done and I really like the finished result! Thanks again One Crochet Day at a Time for a wonderful design and very well written directions! Here are pictures of the back and the completed project.




I'm excited to have a couple of extra days this week I have two things I'd really like to do with the extra time. The first is to create a "diet" bracelet. I found the idea on Pinterest and it's simply a beaded bracelet with charms that you can move to keep track of whatever you're counting, servings of carbs, cups of water, points, sugar grams etc. I'm excited to create one for the plan I'm on and I think it was be very easy to customize for any plan. I also need to plan next months projects! I'm planning on including some dish cloths because my kitchen really needs some new ones, that means that I'll also be including some Tunisian (Afghan Stitch) crochet. I love the thick durable fabric that is created with this type of crochet and it's perfect for heavy duty tasks like washing dishes! I'm also busy searching the web for unique ideas and different ways to use crochet. I don't want to get bored and I don't want you to get bored with the same types of projects over and over! I will need to include a baby blanket in February, our friends are waiting until he/she is born to find out the gender so I'm waiting to start the blanket until after the baby is born. Have a great Crochet day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 3 Progress

I'm really enjoying this pattern! It's easy to follow and I'm excited with the results so far. I've completed the front section and will finish the back tomorrow. I did decide to switch one of my yarns, instead of the gold I'm using a cream colored peaches and cream yarn. I just didn't like the other combination once I was working with just the two yarns. Here are the pictures:






Here's the link to the project. Thank you to One Crochet Day at a Time for sharing the design! http://myblueangels.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html
Have a great Crochet day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Start of the Week 3 Project...

Hard to believe that we are half-way through January, time seems to fly by faster and faster as I get older! Here is the week 3 project. http://myblueangels.blogspot.com/2011/06/star-towel-holder.html This is a pattern from One Crochet Day at a Time blog. Here are the materials I'm using: size J hook, Peaches & Creme 100% cotton yarn and a yarn from my stash that I don't think ever had a label on it. That's one of the downsides to bargain yarn shopping, many times those pesky sleeves come off, but it also gets you a great deal on the yarn!

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of my progress!

On another note all of my healthy eating is paying off! I've lost a few pounds and my doctor ordered bloodwork. For the first time in countless years I didn't hear one word about my cholesterol! My blood pressure was really good too! 40+ pounds ago I would have been getting into another debate about "trying" to fix these problems with diet and exercise and not start a prescription just yet.  Now that I'm not "trying" but I am doing it, it really reinforced how important it is to not get discouraged that the scales still aren't going down as fast as I'd like, but there are significant changes occurring in my overall health! That alone is worth it. I have to confess that I don't like still weighing over 200 pounds and I know I have a way to go, but this is a big encouragement to me. It also encouraged me that my husbands screening showed significant improvement too! I'm very thankful to God for all the resources he's guided me to in the last 9 months that have helped me along this journey. I'm excited to start leading another session of "Made to Crave" next month and to also re-start the 17-day-diet in the next few weeks. My husband's weightloss has stalled on "The Belly-Fat Cure" so if it doesn't start up again soon we will switch up. He really likes all the carbs on the B-F C! Have a great Crochet day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Where do I find crochet patterns???

I thought I would take today to let you know how, where etc. to find crochet patterns. First of all, I don't have a lot of money to spend on buying patterns. I use two main sources, the internet and thrift stores. There are many sources for patterns on the internet, www.etsy.com, www.interweave.com and www.ebay.com are a few of the ones out there. My favorites are the FREE ones, www.allfreecrochet.com is basically links to thousands of free patterns on the internet! All of the major yarn manufacturers have websites with free patterns, but they are listed at all free crochet. So when I am looking for ideas for projects or specific styles of patterns my first stop is this website!
I also pick up craft and crochet books at thrift stores, yard sales etc. Some are very "vintage" the colors may not be my style but the pattern is great, especially when I apply a modern color palette to it. Although I noticed the latest JoAnn's ad had very 70's colors and patterns on the front. www.joanns.com I'm not sure I'm ready to return to the oranges and browns of the 70's.
My other option is to buy Crochet books or magazines using one of www.hobbylobby.com, http://www.michaels.com/ or JoAnn's great coupons or sales. There are also many books available at your local library, the only downside is you have to return it in a relatively short period of time.

I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy exploring the amazing resources for crochet patterns! Have a great Crochet day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance in the snow!

I'm so excited, I'm doing the happy dance! I finished the second cuff and this one fits. I'm really enjoying the broomstick lace pattern. I'm looking forward to including more projects like this in my plan for 2012. Here are the pictures of the finished one.





I found that it is difficult to button by myself and it's not easy to take pictures of your own arm!
It starting snowing this morning, so I ran out to get groceries and didn't get buttons. So I improvised, in a house with thousands of beads, who needs buttons?

I chose this pink yarn from my stash because this is not an item I would wear in my "real life" but I think it would look awesome with my clown costume! Pink is Callie's favorite color.

I'd love to hear what you think about this project. You can find the link for this project in Mondays post.
Have a great Crochet day! Terri

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 2 project started!

I got this week's project started last night. It went really well, which means the pattern was written extremely well if I could follow it while I wasn't feeling anywhere near 100%! I love well written patterns, I also enjoy the challenge of figuring out some of the less well written ones. You know the ones, the ones that assume you will do certain things without being told or over complicate things  I've found the same issues with sewing patterns, knitting patterns and other craft patterns, it's just a fact of life!
So here are my supplies:

 I chose this yarn from my stash. Patons Silk Bamboo. It is very soft and was the "light" number 3 that the directions called for. I love the softness but it does come with a caution,  it is almost like working with embroidery floss. See the picture below. This caused a few "snags" as I was crocheting.


The yarn split very easily and I had a few issues with not being able to pull the crochet hook through smoothly and having a strand or two stuck from a previous stitch in my current one. It wasn't a big deal, it just slowed me down more than I would like.

I was able to finish one cuff! Unfortunately it is too small for me! I am going to make two more and I think I'm going to add a row of the broomstick lace and a couple of the single crochet (sc) rows to get the size I need. Maybe losing a few more pounds will help ;) .


I'm on the road to recovery, still not 100% but working towards it. I'm really enjoying working toward my goal of completing one project a week. As a bonus, I'm trying to focus on it when the "mindless munchies" are trying to attack! Distraction is an amazing weapon in parenting and dieting!
Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 2 project

I have an upper respiratory infection :( I started medications yesterday and am feeling somewhat better. I plan on starting my week 2 project this evening! Which can is the cuff I found of Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/longmeadow-cuff

I know only a few people have found my blog so far, I'd love to hear any comments and suggestions you might have. I know a ramble at times, sorry about that. I'm new to this and want to be improving as I go. Please let me know what you find helpful and what you don't!

Dieting when you are sick is stinks, I'm trying to stick with the plan and just increase the carbs a little to help my body combat the infection. Exercise is not in the picture at the moment, which has me bummed because it was 56 degrees today and for January 10th in Indiana! I would have loved to get out and enjoy the sunshine and warmer temps. Oh well, there will be other days to enjoy I am sure. Have a great Crochet day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 1 goal complete!

I completed my week 1 goal last night. After a busy day running errands etc. I finally sat down and finished it. Then I got cold and couldn't get warm and realized I was running a fever. I'm bummed, being sick was not part of the plan for this week! Oh well, life goes on! Here is the picture of the finished project. Happy Crocheting!



I'm also considering adding a couple more flowers to make it longer. But that's for another time :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ahhhhhh!

That's a good sign in the title! I've finished blocking all 8 flowers and I'm ready to sew them together! So I'm one step a way from finishing my goal for week 1. (Sorry you can't see my happy dance!!!!) Here are the pictures of the blocking process.


Before blocking


I got them good and wet with warm tap water






Then I stretched, shaped and pinned them to a towel. Then I let them dry. They are ready to get unpinned and sewn together according to the pattern instructions. I will have the pictures of the completed project tomorrow.

Have a great Crochet day!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Getting Back Into a Routine Stinks Sometimes!

I have a hard time getting back into a routine. Especially because I feel pulled in so many directions! I finished two flowers and have two more to go! I really wanted to get them all done last night, but I didn't and that's okay! I will finish the two today and start the next step in finishing it up. I feel like a scatter brain, so I'm going to write down a list of things to do today making sure that I plan for time to crochet. I'm hit and miss with lists, first I have to keep track of it (not easy for me) and then I feel the need to add anything not on the list I've done to it. So that makes me feel a little crazy. Routine is so important for my son and I think I'm either a little rebellious with my own or just so not naturally inclined to it that I just float along. I know I need to take control of this area of my life, it will help me be so much more disciplined in all of the other areas.

I'm currently making plans for leading Lysa Terkeurst's "Made to Crave" bible study starting in February. I'm really excited, I love the study and I need the accountability of a group. I'm enjoying "The Belly Fat Cure" but I struggle with the lack of fruit and veggies so I'll probably switch back to the 17-Day-Diet in a couple of weeks. I think The Belly Fat Cure is a great transition from all the holiday foods to more limited food choices, plus I think I'll enjoy my veggies and fruits even more!

I went to the grocery store yesterday. It was a depressing experience. Many of our staple foods had gone up in price. Am I the only one who feels frustrated that every time I go shopping I get less and less for my money? My husband makes a good income and we are barely getting by and we are to the point of having no lifestyle. We just cut our measly "dine-out" budget from $20 to nothing! We are seriously considering turning off our cable t.v. and just using netflix and the computer. The only thing left to cut that isn't a true necessity are our cell phones, but since we no longer have a home phone, and we really use our cells a lot, we currently consider them "necessary". We have a small amount of debt and want to get rid of it, but we just don't seem to be making any headway because the cost of everything from food to gas continues to rise. Sorry to vent so much. My working outside of the home isn't practical at this point of our lives with home-schooling. This is the "slow" time for clowning. We are trying to think of ways to generate more clown business, but aren't coming up with many new ones.

So this is why I need to make a little bit of time to relax and crocheting is a great way for me to do that! I'm excited to complete my first project this week, having this goal is helping me focus on relaxing and refreshing myself even if it's just a few minutes a day! Have a great Crochet day! Terri

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 2

My husband just went back to work after an extra long weekend. I kinda hate to see it be over. We didn't get nearly as much accomplished as we had hoped, but that's okay. We did get some stuff done and we will maintain it. I have plans for organizing my kitchen and I plan to organize my yarn stash after that! Right now it's in bins and boxes and bags all over the place. When I began teaching crochet I chose to include the yarn for the girls for a small fee. I have soooo much yarn and it's already paid for so why not share it? This lead to going through some of the stash and pulling some of it out. Then it ended up all over the place. Not being naturally organized this lead to a mess, throw in teaching jewelry making and beads everywhere too. So that is going to change in 2012.


Okay back to day 2 on the Flower Power Scarf. I completed 2 more flowers and have most of a 3rd done. I'm excited, it is going much faster and easier with each repeat of the pattern. So today I'm to finish the 3rd one and I will have a total of 5 of 8 done. I also plan on doing at least 2 more if not the remaining 3. Since they all look the same I'm not going to post pictures until I get to the next step.

We had a rough evening last night. For the first time in a long time bedtime was a nightmare. I think this lead to poor sleep for all three of us! I'm going to exercise, go to the grocery store and then rest and crochet this afternoon, prayerfully that will help relieve some of the exhaustion I'm feeling at the moment. I was very encouraged, if not energized to get on the scales this morning and see that I've lost 3 pounds. Now, don't start on it being too fast. This was "fluff" fat that was water weight or in temporary storage and easier to lose. Plus it was probably some extra waste material hanging around that was removed due to the increase in fiber in my diet. Since I gained 10 pounds over the last few weeks, I'm hoping that those 10 come off pretty quickly. I just had a discussion with our son about his weight. This was a very difficult, I didn't want to discuss it with him because I know how those discussions impacted me at his age. It's hard enough to have these discussions with "typical" children, but a child on the autism spectrum may hear a totally different message than you intended. It went surprisingly well. It took a lot of prayer to bring it up, honestly I'd rather discuss sex that dieting with him! We just discussed some simple things to keep in mind, making better choices about what foods and how much of them to eat, not eating continually through out the day and moving/exercising every day. He was very receptive and he wanted to go on a "diet" I suggested that we wait and see if just thinking more carefully about what, when, how much etc. he eats wouldn't help, especially with exercising and still growing. He wanted to lose weight, and I suggested that our goal be not gaining any more until he's done growing. I also explained how difficult it's been for me and how much I wished I made these changes in my life sooner! He was excited, understanding and didn't seem to be "offended" by our discussion. I had visions of my Mom and I having these conversation where I'd end up in tears and only want to grab a half-gallon of ice cream and spoon. His pediatrician recommended a program here locally that involves a nutritionist and other specialist, I'm not sure if that is what we need or not. I have all the "how-to" information it's just instilling the "want-to" especially when yummy things are available that is the hard part. For me the "want-to" came from the bible study "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst. I'm excited to be preparing to lead this study again in February, I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling with weight or other issues of priorities in our spiritual life and Christian walk!

Have a great Crochet day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 1 & a Confession

Maybe it was because I didn't start the project until almost bedtime, but this one had a rough start. I think I was too tired to understand the directions! I started over this morning and figured out where I went wrong and now I love the pattern. Foggy brains shouldn't be trying to read new patterns. I completed two flowers. I'm hoping that I have enough of these two yarns to complete the project! I love the color combination and don't really want to add another color if I don't need to. That said, I won't go buy more yarn either. I've not trimmed up the tails yet. The pattern calls for light blocking before completing the scarf. I will do that when all the flowers are complete. So here are pictures of the two crocheted flowers. You can find the link to this pattern in yesterdays post. I have 6 more flowers to crochet, then the blocking and finishing. I'm going to set my goal to finish the crochet part today and tomorrow and be able to finish on Thursday and Friday. Here's the confession, although I've crochet for most of my life, I've NEVER blocked any of my pieces, I've never made anything that needed it. I can see by the crazy shapes of these flowers that it will be necessary and I'm actually looking forward to seeing how much of a difference this makes.
Today is my husband's last day off. Back to work tomorrow and his school starts next week. We are starting back on the homeschooling tomorrow too. So these will be the first big challenges to meeting my goal! I've also started "The Belly Fat Cure", after gaining 10 pounds (ouch!) over the holidays, we decided to jump right back in yesterday. I'm disappointed in myself, I didn't think I was eating that bad, but between relaxing on my food choices and not exercising it added up quick. So, I'm not going to beat myself up or have a pity party, I'm just going to buckle down and get back to it. I'm going to work-out, write lesson plans, cook, clean, bible study & crochet! I'm trying to focus on getting my house cleaned up, some what organized and get rid of some of the clutter. It's a real challenge, especially because no one in the house is "naturally organized" we all tend to set down things and think we'll get back to them later and never do. Add to that a teenager on the autism spectrum who wants to see everything at once and not put away! It's led to chaos and doesn't help any of our mental states. So, Here's to a New Year and prayerfully taking the little steps that will lead to big changes all around! Have a great crochet day!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Start of Week 1 Project!

I'm sorta sad to see the holidays go, but only a little. I enjoy all that we do, but I'm ready to get back our regular routine and enjoy my days my way a little more. I'm starting my first project this week with the Flower Power Scarf. I'm using yarns that are leftover from other projects and from my stash. http://www.caron.com/projects/ss_party/sspar_flower_power_scarf.html I'm starting with leftovers from my last baby blanket which I shared in an earlier post. I'll post a picture of my progress and how the project is going tomorrow! Have a great crochet day!