Life’s Short…Buy the Good Yarn!

Last week one day I found myself with an odd little half hour gap between finishing my run and picking up kids from school and, for some unfathomable reason, I did not have  yarn and a hook on me. I remember leaving the house for my own school earlier in the day. It was a two-test Thursday and I had been up early (5:30 am) to study.

ND Gross

Gross is right!!!

Because of the tests it was of utmost importance that I get to school on time if not at least a tiny but early. On time is not something I’m great at. I was frantically grabbing all the last minute stuff when I spotted my yarn and knitting needles…”Nah”, I thought, “I won’t have time for those” and left without them. So naturally that was the day I did have time for some yarning.

Lucky (or maybe dangerously) for me there’s a yarn store right by my kids’ school. I quickly remedied the lack of yarn and hook or needle situation I had going on. Crisis averted! By that time though I only had a few minutes to start something. I had intended to make a super quick run-in and by yarn store standards it really was just a quick stop in (seriously, I think time stops in those places) but I did linger slightly longer than necessary over my oh-so typical debate over quality verses cost. Don’t get me wrong, I love my (mid-range) cheaper acrylic yarns, they really are ideal for so many projects, but every once in a while I want grown-up, good yarn. As I went through the aforementioned familiar debate a small part of me thought “Fuck it, buy the good stuff once in a while!” This is an attitude I apply liberally to both coffee and beer…hey, beverages are kind of a big deal!

So I did…


And then I started this scarf     20160128_195921.jpg

and I love it…even though I have three other projects going on right now including two that are somewhat time relevant. (The scarf is another one of Elk Studio Crochet’s “Make it for ME” January series. Ironically, I’ve made two of these projects and neither is actually for me.)

The take home here is: Life is short, get the good yarn, make the projects you want to make, don’t wait.  At least once in a while.

And while you’re at it buy the quality coffee, the good beer, and go running when it’s fifty degrees (Fahrenheit) in February even if it means not getting the laundry and dishes or homework done… because life is better when you enjoy it starting with the “little” things.

Netflix & Crochet

After a particularly grueling test/presentation I decided that I was going to do nothing the rest of the evening. Well, not nothing, I sent a text to my co-blogger/friend and declared I was going to Netflix and Crochet…you know, similar to Netflix and Chill. Except more solo activity and less groping. Way less groping.

Although I did have a partner while crocheting. Although he wasn’t interested in me. He only wanted me for my yarn.

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There was a very important reason for my lack of studying and excess of crocheting. I have been finishing a baby blanket for a good friend whose baby shower was this weekend. I finished the blanket just a couple hours before the shower but it turned out brilliantly!

Working on the layout

Working on the layout

With only 1 border and finally all attached. + 1 cat

With only 1 border and finally all attached. + 1 cat

DONE! and quite big for a baby blanket & toasty. + another cat. They were not included in the present.

DONE! and quite big for a baby blanket & toasty. + another cat. They were not included in the present.

Netflix portion of the project consisted of “The Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Jessica Jones.” Can I just say how much I love Barry Allen??! I do. I watched “The Flash” first and decided to go back and check out “The Arrow” and, wow!, he’s dreamy!

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It was nice to concentration on something other than nursing textbooks even if it was brief. I’m gearing up for finals week and then have a beautiful 2 1/2 week break. I mean I’ll still be working full time but…I’ll have TIME again. For all those studying for finals this week. Be brave it’s almost over and remember –


Nerding Out and Cute Cats – part 2 of the post-Christmas post

I’m starting to have a nerdy kitchen and I love it!!! Check this out!

Doctor Who cookie jar that makes Tardis noises & R2-D2 measuring cups!! I’m mean seriously how fun it that?!?!

That’s right our kitchen is beginning to look awesome. We had a Han Solo in carbonite shower curtain on the way but it got lost in the mail. We got a refund but unfortunately no shower curtain…yet. Also new in our kitchen is a waffle maker. I’ve never had one before and I’ve decided I love it! Homemade waffles are way better than those store bought toaster waffles.

As I’ve been back on the crocheting bandwagon (at least until school starts again) my kitten is stalking my yarn. Clearly this is something I’m going to have to work on but it’s made for some cute pictures.

He wants the yarn…sneaky bastard

Christmas was lovely but I’m kinda glad it’s over. I do miss all the decorations though! Love me a Christmas tree.

Why, yes, those are Star Wars decorations on there. Darth Vader will warn you away from the presents if you get too close!

Sitting and Knitting

Well, shit! Now I’ve gone and done it. I opened Pandora’s box and let all those impish wicked impulses out and of course I can’t get them contained again.
I went and started a new knitting project right in the midst of the last crazy month of the semester. If you’ve been a college student or professor any time recently (or have a good memory of the time you were) you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Just this week I have tests in three of my five classes.Last week I had extra work in pretty much every class. It’s that point in the semester when everything has been whipped up to a feverish pace of papers, homework, and weekly tests. The content is more difficult than it was a few short weeks ago but the commitment and fervor is waning.
I’ve been good, no excellent, at managing my time and juggling everything for the past two months but it has come at a cost. Specifically, free time and recreation…especially making stuff. Yarn stuff to be exact.
I did manage to squeeze in a pair of fingerless gloves for a birthday gift and an awesome Cabbage Patch/Princess Leia wig hat for my niece for Halloween (maybe I’ll get around to blogging about those eventually) but for the most part I’ve suppressed my yarn urges quite efficiently.
As the weather has been getting colder and the holidays are creeping up it has been harder and harder to resist picking up some yarn and a crochet hook or knitting needles and just make something. Avoiding contact with yarn has helped. You know, staying far away from yarn and craft stores, keeping the stash contained and out of sight, backing away slowly when a chance yarn encounter threatens my resolve, things like that.
But this weekend, I cracked.
It was a moment of weakness; I just could not hold out any longer.
I had seven ten-year-olds immersed in Minecraft in my living room, it was late, I was tired and had an hour or so before I could even attempt to get these kids wound down without being the strict mean mom.
Pandora’s box was beckoning in the form of soft grayish-purple alpaca blend yarn and a knitted cowl pattern.
I answered.

Honestly, it took me some time and a few video tutorials to even remember how to cast on. After a bit I realized that the pattern I originally wanted to make with this yarn, the one that’s been printed out and floating between my desk and sewing table taunting me, was a little bit outside the scope of my abilities. Luckily we have the internet and it was easy enough to find something similar that I actually can do. I managed a simple cast on and began:

And so it begins.

And so it begins.

And now I can’t seem to stop myself.Yes, I know, I have homework and housework to get done. It’s all urgent and time sensitive…but I just want to knit.
I find myself sitting in the car for a few minutes after taking the kids to school knitting. I know if I go in I’ll have to get other, more important things done.
So I sit and I knit.
My car has been needing an oil change for about a month now. I finally took it in yesterday. It was a good excuse to be able to sit in my car and knit for an extra twenty minutes or so. It was pure bliss.
And, yes, I knew I should’ve been studying for my upcoming chemistry test but I just couldn’t help myself. After that I stopped at the store to grab a few sort of needed items. Before I knew what was happening I was that weird lady sitting in her car in the Walmart parking lot knitting. It’s a bad sign when your car radio turned off and your fingers are starting to get cold but you just keep knitting just a little longer.
My resolve has officially cracked and I’m not sure I can get it back. The cat is out of the bag and there’s no getting it back in.
In fact, at this moment I’m sitting in the science complex at my school with my knitting beside me. I should be studying or crossing some e-mails off my list or balancing my checkbook and paying bills. This is “extra” time for me as I’d normally be in lab class right now. I missed it because I got out the door late, missed the kids’ school bus, AND got caught in traffic. Normally this would cause me some level of frustration but, right now, I don’t even care.
I just want to knit.

Must. keep .knitting!

Must. keep .knitting!

What is Possibly the Worst Piece of Knittery Ever

… Okay so it’s probably not the worst piece of knittery EVER.
I usually try to avoid superlatives but thought I’d throw one in there for dramatic effect. And, yes, I do know that knittery is not actually a word but I’m not quite ready to be counted among the ranks of real knitters who make actual knit work.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was learning to knit. As I knit and purled rows back and forth I thought “This should count for something.”
So instead of making a random swatch that I would later either frog or cast aside I decided I’d make a little I-pod cover.
Taking the time to find a simple knitting pattern for such a cover and then learning how to actually read said pattern did not appeal to my impulsive nature and random sense of urgency so I made something up. I figured I could make a rectangle as wide as the I-pod and then build up until it was long enough to wrap around it height wise. At that point I’d practice my yet to be acquired decreasing skills and taper it into a point at the end. Connect it along the sides, add a loop and button, ba-da-bing, ba-da-bang…I-pod cover!

It did sort of work that way….sort of.

The first problem was that the first stitch at the beginning of each row was loose. I can’t quite figure out why.


I got bored and practiced cable knitting about two thirds of the way through.

Then my decreasing stitches were a little bumpy and I go confused about which row was knitting and which one was purling. That wasn’t too bad though.

Finally I had a pointy rectangle that was the size and relative shape I guestimated it should be.
I held it up and snickered.

“Ummm, this might be a little inappropriate.” I giggled to my co-blogger, channeling my inner adolescent.
“Oh my gosh. It does not look like a penis!” she replied.
I swear sometimes she can read my mind. That’s a little scary.

Then I showed her this picture:

inapp knitting

And she snickered too!

To make the…err, shape (yeah, let’s call it a shape) I had into an actual thing I crocheted the two sides together, crocheted around the opening and top edge, and chain stitched a little loop. Yes, I know, I could have done that with knitting but I was running out of time and wanted to finish it that day.
All in all it turned out to be about what I expected.

knitting fin fr

knitting fin sd

knitting fin b

Next step: find a real first knitting pattern and figure out how to read it.
Any suggestions?

I’ve moved. Well, technically, I’m still in the process of moving since not all my crap is out of the apartment yet. Who knew we had SO MUCH CRAP! But all the important things are at the new house (first time homebuyers right here) and we’re in the never-ending unpacking stage.

We lack furniture, bookshelves and time so the unpacking is slow going. However you know what I did manage to find a delightful home for?? That’s right, my YARN!

The rest will find it’s place eventually.

Yarn Finds a Place

Katy Perry…Crocheter or Poser??

In the “news” – the pop culture kind – articles have been saying the Katy Perry has taken up crochet. Before I launch into this I should say I’m not Katy Perry’s biggest fan. I’ve heard her peppy grating music almost every morning over and over at work and it has left me with strong dislike. If I have to hear “Roar” one more time…ugh. And can someone please tell her that Kelly Clarkson just did a song like that. I do however think everyone should take up a yarn craft! I just think before you go spouting off about it you, Katy Perry, should at least get the terms correct!

In this article Katy talks about how she is like a nana for taking up crochet. A nana! Please! I am far from a nana. And if you look around any of the blogs or Ravelry it’s quickly noticeable that lots of non-nanas crochet and make fabulous non-nana like items. After she talks about that she tells us what she is working on…she is knitting a baby blanket for her niece. I don’t know about you but this is how I feel about that…


Ohhhh, Katy, I think maybe you don’t know what you’re talking about. On her instagram there is a picture of hooks and yarn. Yarn that looks to me to be Caron Simply Soft. If she has taken up crochet someone needs to teach her about quality yarn. Not that I don’t use and enjoy Caron Simply Soft but I’m on a budget. If I had her kind of money natural fibers here I come!! Oh the yarn I would buy with her kind of money…I have a yarn room – instead of a squished yarn corner!
Ok, really, I’m happy for anyone who takes up yarning.  I was just eye-rolling as I read the articles. LOL.

Weddings, Babies and Knitting

So it turns out my cousin is engaged. I think for her wedding present I want to crochet a blanket. This one specifically:

I was looking at different yarn…such a fun part of the process…and I was debating ordering from Knit Picks. They have a few different wool choices in worsted weight that I have my eye on. Has anyone used any yarn from them? I’ve heard fairly good things but am slightly hesitant ordering yarn online without touching it first.

There is also a baby blanket that needs to be made this year for a second family member. So fun! There are so many different choices of cuteness to pick from.

For Christmas I received a pair of knitting needles. I’m hoping to learn to knit this year. Anyone out there have any recommendations on websites or books for beginner knitters? I love crochet but with knitting you can do those fun cables and such. Any advice about making the transition from crochet to knitting is greatly appreciated!

Vacation, scenery, alpacas and crochet

I just got back from a vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was great. Wonderful scenery.

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While I was there my friend mentioned that she had just heard of an alpaca farm in her area. On their website they mentioned a country store and *gasp* alpaca yarn! I was in! Yes, let’s go get that alpaca yarn!!! So we drove 20 minutes of mainly back roads and found the farm. To my dismay there was no people there. Just a farm house, no store, no yarn but lots of alpacas. They posed well for the picture!


Upon leaving, totally disappointed, I texted my blogging partner to tell that I would not be getting skeins of beautiful alpaca yarn. She quipped that maybe it was a “pick your own” type alpaca farm!

Also while on vacation I started a friend on the hobby of crochet! Here’s her very first hat!

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Love getting new people addicted to yarn! *Insert evil laugh here*

Where do you buy your yarn?

So I’m just about finished with most of my current projects (long-term blanket, baby blanket and a scarf) and I was making vague plans for the next project. I picked up a VOGUEknitting Crochet magazine and I’m thinking of trying some of the clothing patterns inside. I’ve never made clothing beyond hats and scarves so it will be a whole new experience. Exciting!

Most of the patterns call for a lighter yarn weight, usually 0-2 (which would be lace, super fine and/or fine). Usually I purchase my yarn from the selection at Michael’s, Joann’s or Meijer (for those of you not in the Great Lakes Area – it’s like Walmart). Last time I looked for light weight yarn the selection was pretty sparse. For clothing I would really like to find some semi-nice yarn preferably in cotton.

Any suggestions on where to look for a better selection of yarn? Any online sources have good prices/good yarn?

Thanks in advance for the advice!! I’ll post pictures of my finished products soon, very soon, hopefully!