Category Archives:knitting

In The Year….2015

Did you get the song reference?1 I wanna know that I am not the only one that knows this song, lol.

BedSo I thought I would do a year in review this year since so much has happened to me. I don’t know that you will be that interested or that it will be that interesting, lol. But figured that I needed to or should do it. This is going to be a long post (though honestly I think all my posts are long, lol). So bear with me.

I am currently sitting in my bed writing this out the “old-fashioned” way by pen & paper. No telling how many revisions it will go through as I type it into the site, lol. Who knows it probably won’t be anywhere near the same by the time it goes live on the site, lol. Hence, why I normally just type my entries on the fly instead of writing them out. But I am downstairs & my computer is upstairs. Plus, I hate using my computer in my bed cause I try to keep my bed my reading, watching tv, & most importantly sleeping area only. But alas, I am getting off point of the entry once again.

So let’s get started shall we? There are only two issues so not too horrible, but long.

Issue One

scaleIn January 2015 I weighed 400 pounds (yes, four hundred pounds). Was I healthy? Not by my doctor’s standards, but I didn’t have high cholesterol, diabetes, or other diseases that most people that weight do. But I was starting to have a hard time moving around & was in tons of pain. I couldn’t fly, I couldn’t do a lot of things that I wanted to do. There was no way I could go walking or enjoying the outdoors like I want to. B brought up the idea of weight loss surgery & at first I completely dismissed it as more severe then I wanted to deal with. I couldn’t stand the idea of losing my food (I love the taste, texture, & look of food) & I was afraid, very afraid of that idea. But the suggestion stuck & it kept popping up & even though I was actively dieting every 12 pounds I would lose, I would gain them right back. I was doing water aerobics, walking (having a pit bull that loves to walk is a blessing) but I would not lose any weight. I was at my wit’s end. I was dead afraid I was going to be dead by the time I hit 45 from my weight. So I did tons of research (instead of playing Minecraft I was researching) on weight loss surgery & the options available. Talked it over with my friends & family. Surprisingly everyone was supportive with the idea & just wanted to make sure I was healthy & happy. Out of the three (3) types of weight loss surgery I chose the Gastric Sleeve over the the other two options. With the gastric sleeve the body works just the way mother nature designed the body to digest food. The only different is that the stomach is smaller & can only hold about four ounces (4oz). Otherwise, I digest food just the same way any non-gastric surgery person does. Nothing is skipped or bypassed. So I went to a couple of information seminars at my local hospitals & looked into my insurance to see if I could get part of it paid for. I was informed that neither hospital accepted my insurance. Majorly unhappiness happening when one of the nurses took me aside & gave me the information that there was a hospital in Kansas City, KS & Columbia, MO would accept my insurance. So I knew that I was going to have to travel to get my surgery & consults. Then she told me that Blue Valley Surgical Associates had a clinic in Springfield, MO (this town if fairly close to me). RoadThat immediately got me interested so I set up a consult with the office in February 2015 & off I went on the journey of a lifetime. I was approved for my surgery in March & got a surgery date for May 19, 2015. D & B went with me & we spent three (3) nights in Kansas City. Went up the day before surgery, spent the night in the clinic due to my insurance, & then one more night for me to rest before driving the four (4) hours home. Dr. Lawrence J. Drahota, MD was the surgeon that did my gastric sleeve. I have no complaints with my treatment at Blue Valley. In fact everyone one more then nice & wonderful with my care. They all were surprised that I was up & walking less then an hour after waking up from the surgery. But I am never one that likes to be bed ridden or stay in bed. I am always up & moving around no matter what. The seven weeks I was in the hospital for pneumonia just about drove me crazy, lol. break freeBy October 2015 I was down to 350 pounds. Now in January 2016 I am 293 pounds. That is over 100 pounds in eight (8) months. I can not tell you how good it feels to be over 100 pounds lighter. I can move easier & the pain I am in less amount. I can even fly to places in airplanes! I still eat most of my favorite foods just not the same amount & I have to make sure I eat enough protein & drink enough. But my blood work is beautiful & my nurse is quite pleased with my progress. I have to think B for the wonderful meals she prepares that provide me with all the nutrients I need for my weight loss & body. Without the support from my friends & family this weight loss would have never happen. It is amazing that I have gone from wearing 5x (34-36) size clothing to wearing 2x (26-28) clothing & even though they are getting too big also already, lol. My end goal is somewhere between 200 & 250 pounds. Here is hoping!

Issue Two

One of my goals in life is to go to London, see Stonehenge & other prehistoric monument over there. I am adding Paris since I know B wants to go back & I wouldn’t mind seeing the art museum in Paris. That was also one of the reason to lose the weight. At 400 pounds there was no way I could fly. To be perfectly honest, traveling was the main reason for the weight loss before health & looks, lol. I know that isn’t right, but if it got the job done then it is fine. flightIn November 2015 I went on my first flight in my life. Over Thanksgiving week we all flew out to Las Vegas. We went then to avoid the crowds & to make it easier for family members having to figure out how to visit our house along with everyone else’s house. It made for an interesting experience. D actually had to push me onto the plane the first time. I got to the gangway & my brain immediately decided that it wasn’t going to go with this anymore & basically refused to let me move forward all the while telling me that I couldn’t do it. D refused to listen to me & shoved me onto the plane & into my seat, lol. Las Vegas So I flew from Kansas City, MO to Las Vegas, NV. I can tell you this. I dislike the take off & the first turn. After that nothing really bothered me not even the landing. So will I be flying again? Yep, in April 2016 we are all going to Cancun. Yep, beach time for this woman. That is another thing I have always wanted to do. Go to the ocean & see the beach! I can’t wait for it! May make this tax season worth dealing with everything, lol. You can read all about my trip to Las Vegas here.

That is basically the two main things that happened to me this year. It was an exciting year & I hope that 2016 is a exciting year for me also.

1 In The Year 2525 by Zager & Evans

Is It Rude To Knit In Public

I came across this article via my twitter feed.

So I went to the article {here} & read the article. Needless to say, it riled me just a bit.

Well, you all know that I am a knitter. I do it for multiple reasons. The main one? It helps control my anxiety & panic attacks. That means I can leave my house & go into public without a lot of panic attacks. Yes, I take medication for my anxiety, but I automatically have a “flight or fight” response to any outside stimuli (crowds, loud noises, etc). For crying out loud, if I sit directly underneath a speaker at the movie theater I can have a panic attack1. So even though my medication allows me to actually get myself out the door most mornings, I still have anxiety attacks with any other stimuli. It is a horrible mental condition to have & it isn’t made easier by the general public. Some people when they see you are having a problem will actually make it worse even when you have asked them nicely & politely to stop doing what they are doing. So no, public does not make it better or easier.

Yes, I have knitted everywhere I go. I have even managed to knit, walk, shop, & carry on a conservation with two other people all at the same time. Now if I can do that I want you to sit there & tell me that I am not paying attention to what is going on around me. I knit during movies, after I finish eating (I don’t eat a huge amount of food so I finish first), shopping, riding in a car, etc. All while paying attention & carrying on a conservation with those around me. I do admit that I don’t sit in the front row & I never call attention to myself. I only knit small items (aka: socks) while doing it in public so that it is small & I don’t have any wild movements going on.

So no, I do not think it is rude to knit in public. I find talking to someone that is looking at their phone to be much worse then knitting. Most knitters can knit & have their attention split between the knitting & other things. Heck, I knit at stop lights while waiting for it to change to green. I can knit three (3) stitches in that time frame. Yet, I am still watching the light & cars around me.

1 Panic attacks = Grand Mal Seizure
Anxiety Attacks = shakes, running away, or tremors of my whole body, physical sickness, plus multiple other symptoms my brain throws at me to try & get me to leave the stimuli that is causing the problem.

Green Leaves

Whoa! It has been a very long time since I put up a knitting post. It changes now! LOL! B asked me to make a scarf that would transform into a cowl via buttons. Ok, I can do that. So I got some pretty sparkly green yarn
I found a simple chevron scarf that I liked. Started it, hated it, made my own pattern, lol.

One of the main reasons I don’t make scarves is that the length gets in my way as I knit it. I hate taking the extra time to turn everything around each time I start a new row. I knew that I could bundle the length up, but didn’t want to use a binder clip due to the chance it would crush or leave a mark on the knitting. I am sure someone else has hit on this idea, but I didn’t find it when I looked.

Isn’t it pretty? Looks like fir trees running up the scarf. I wanted something different than things I had done before. It is quite a bit longer than what this picture shows. But I didn’t get a pic of the full length yet. I split the skein in half & doing one half & then the other half & kitchner the two halves together. That way I hope the chevrons look cool.

So how did I handle the length getting in my way? I folded up the excess length & then took a piece of string & basted it through the folded length & then tied a bow to keep it all together. So far it is working like a charm.

I can’t believe that I have never thought about doing it this way before. The string holds it, but doesn’t leave any mark. It is just loosely tied so that I can change it or let it out without a second thought.

I don’t know if it will do anyone other than me any good, but I like to pass on tips that either I read about or figure out.

Celestarium WIP

So I was knitting on my Celestarium at the office the other day. A fellow part-time knitter came in & was looking at the picture & the chart & asked:

How do you manage to keep things in order & not lose your place? You put it down & pick it up all the time & I don’t see how you don’t lose your place.

I figured that if I got one question on how I do it, then there are probably others that want to know also. So I shall spill my techniques for keeping track of where I am & how I never (or rarely) lose my spot.

This is a picture of the chart for Celestarium. All credit for the design & such goes to Audry Nicklin. None of it is my doing. So you see all the circle & slashes? Yep, those are special stitches that have to be placed correctly. So how do I manage to handle putting the shawl down often? Simple. I’ll show you.

First, you find a suitable pattern holder. In this instance, Shiloh is being a sweetheart & holding the chart for me. Otherwise I use my magnetic chart holder (this one) or I lay it on top of my laptop keyboard & use a ruler to show my lines. Once I get done with one page (one round is spread over multiple pages) I put a line through the section that I just did. You can see the lines on the paper that is showing what round number I am on.

Next is the fun part. If you look at a knitting chart grid there will be bold lines & non-bold lines. Normally, the bold lines mark 10 stitches. So if you look at the photo on the left you will notice I have three different types of markers & then two different color of the ringers *I threw some of the triangles in so that the silver ringers were more noticeable). Here is how I do it. Look at the right photo above. You will notice that I have silver ringers (or triangles) every ten (10) stitches. You will also see a purple removable stitch marker hanging off of one of the silver ringers. That purple marker is telling me that is where 100 stitches is at. Then you notice the brown (bronze) ringer. That one tells me that I have finished one section (or page) of the chart. Sounds complicated right? It is setting it up sometimes, but I have yet to get lost in my pattern. If I forget where I am at then all I have to do is count the silver ringers from the section start & I know right where I am. When I have to double the stitches then I just add more silver or brown markers where they need to go. I have done this for the entire WIP & I have yet to lose my place. There is one final thing you don’t necessarily need it, but it is helpful & funner if you have it. You can even have more than one if you are up to it.

Helpers!!! Yep, it is fun to have them sitting by you while you knit. Allie is a wonderful helper. She is there to give me kisses of encouragement & cuddles when I need them.

So that is how I am working with Celestarium or any big project that has a lot of stitches or patterns in it. Hope this helps anyone that may need it.

Stitch Markers


As you all know I love to knit. I even dabble in crochet every blue moon. There are a few tools that make knitting easier. One of those is the adorable stitch marker.

Stitch Marker: a mnemonic device used to distinguish important locations on a work in progress. Knitting & crochet patterns have a mathematical basis, so stitch markers serve as a visual reference that takes the place of continuous stitch counting and reduces a crafter’s error rate.

Ok, so I am going to go into how I name them & what my opinion of each type that I have. These are the names I call them & I am not sure if it is the “norm” name for them.

From left to right: Closed soft marker, tri markers, closed dangles, ringers, & safety pins

Kansas City Vacation 2014

Ok, I went on vacation last week. We all (D, B, & myself) went to Kansas City for the weekend. Not a horrible trip, but not that exciting either. I have been to Kansas City quite a bit growing up so there isn’t much there that either I haven’t seen or want to see. I needed to get away & the only way I get to do that is if I go with them. My mental issues won’t let me go by myself very far. Anyhoo, I thought I would share some photos of our trip.

We went cause the Kansas City Union Station has a King Tut exhibit going on & I adore all thing ancient Egypt. My father took all of the pictures of the exhibit & I have not gotten them off his camera. So the only pictures I have at the moment are the one I took at the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Sunday. Let me give you a bit of advice. If you go there plan on eating at the Rozzelle Court Restaurant. It is expensive, but I have never had a bad tasting item there. I had a Potato & mushroom egg casserole with fresh fruit & 3 slices of bacon. D & B had Smoked Ribeye, Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms, Blue Cheese on Roasted Garlic
Bread. Trust me, this was worth every penny. But my meal was $10 & theirs totaled $12. So yeah, it is a $30 or more lunch, but it is wonderful.

Before I show my pictures, realize that I take pictures in art museum for inspiration in my knitting. Either texture, color, or style. So they may not make any sense to you why I took them. My pictures are as follows:

My favorite thing is always the gift shop. So many interesting things & trinkets. This is what I got. I know I didn’t need the fortune cats, but I love them.

On Saturday night we went to New Peking Restaurant. The three of us love chinese food & so it wasn’t a horrible surprise that we agreed to eat there. It is a little hole in the wall, but it was worth going. B & I got sweet & sour chicken & D got General (I think) chicken. The cutest thing was what they did with the ginger decoration. Isn’t it cute?

My Yarn Haul

As always I went to a yarn store. We didn’t think we would have time to hit both, but we did. All three for the first one, Yarn Shop & More, & then just Dad & I for the second one, The Studio, while B took a nap.

Most of the yarn in these pictures are for B’s socks. She has decided that she wants socks & I need the practice making them. The one picture with three skeins in it is for me a warmer shawl. The two pictures of the weird-looking yarn (#7 & #8 – top to bottom left to right) is actually chenille yarn. I am going to make B a cowl with the one that is more orange & brown & I think fingerless gloves for me out of the other one or a cowl with it. The white yarn & purple yarn in the second to last picture. The white yarn is yak & silk, the purple is 100% mink. The softness in each of these is why they were bought. I have a cowl planned for the purple & a lace shawl for the white. The very last picture shows The Knitter’s Tool Tin. I got the one in green lace. I have wanted one for a while & decided to get it.

That is it for my vacation until I get the pictures off Dad’s camera to show you the King Tut exhibit. I will try to do that sometime this week, but no promises.

Knitting And Crochet Blog Week : Day Seven : Looking Back, Looking Forward

If you took part in last year’s Knitting & Crochet Blog Week, look back on your Day Seven post. Did any of the techniques, ideas and hopes for the last 12 months that you wrote about at that time ever make it onto the hook or needles? Did anyone cast on and complete the project researched in last year’s Day 2 post?

And there is also time to look forward again: One year from now, when the 6th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried? Do you have any wishes for your blogging that you’d like to follow?

Whelp, I looked back & I haven’t done a single one of my goals. I still haven’t got caught up & am dangerously close to getting behind once again. null

So this year, I am not going to make any goals or wants. I am just going to be happy with whatever I get accomplished I will be happy with. I do not do this as a job to make money (though I do make things on commission) I do this because I enjoy knitting. If I am completely adsorbed in trying to reach goals it no longer is fun or enjoyable. So I am not setting any this year. null

Knitting And Crochet Blog Week : Day Six : Views Of Others, Views Of Yourself

Write about another knitter or crocheter that you admire. This could be someone you know or used to know – an aunt that taught you to crochet or the school-teacher that used to run the after-school learn-to-knit club, or someone who you are aware of because of blogging or other areas of social media. Write about your feelings either for their work or what they bring to you as a knitter or crocheter. Reminiscences of the sound of your mother’s metal needles, or the description your grandad gave of what he’d knit as he sat on his bunk below deck in his sailor’s days are as precious as sharing the enjoyment of the work of a new indie designer or dyer. Spread your enjoyment to your readers.

I can’t really think of one certain person that I admire for crafting so I think I will just list the ones that I admire.

  1. My mother: she is the one that taught me to crochet, bead, & embroider.

  2. My Grandmother Kaup: she is the one that taught me my love of crafting while teaching me how to quilt.

  3. Mrs. Betty Ebert: for helping me get through high school & teaching me that sewing my own clothes can be kinda fun.

  4. Jessica: She makes & designs the prettiest crochet blankets, plus she is always willing to help me when I derp up or need help. Also she is one hell of a minecraft player! She is wonderful at letting me rant & rave at her.

  5. Grace: Same as Jessica. She makes a wonderful blanket & crocheted items. She is also making knitting items. She is wonderful at letting me rant & rave at her.

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week : Day Five : Something A Bit Different

It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post, a beautiful infographic or write in verse. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation. There’s not too much guidance for this one simply because the more varied the posts are on this day, the wider the sources of information for other bloggers will be.

Pineapple Afghan Square

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week : Day Four : Conversations Between Workers

Start by writing a few short paragraphs from the point of view of one of the tools you use for your craft. this might be a spinning wheel, crochet hook, pair of scissors or your knitting bag. These first few lines should include a description of this tool’s task and usage. If you are feeling particularly in tune with this item you might assign it feelings.

Then, write a dialogue between yourself and this item. It might describe your relationships, the annoyances that you have felt for this item at some point (or could it have possible ever have felt annoyances with you) and the wonderful work that you have created together.

I can’t believe it I get to have a post. Finally, I get the recognition I deserve! Where would you be without me? I tell you where to start your end stitches, where to add stitches, make increases or decreases. You can’t knit without me very often or least Hev can’t. She uses me to show her where to switch to purls or knits in ribbing, where she needs to start or end her edging stitches. I come in the colors of orange & teal & can open or close to be moved where ever Hev needs me to be.

Hev: Hey, you are supposed to be locked in my knitting, not stealing my computer & writing blog posts!

Stitch Marker: Oops! I got caught. Don’t worry, I have another marker in my place, I wouldn’t let you down.

Hev: Ok, you better not. I don’t want to be knitting when I am supposed to be purling, lol. Jessica would not like the mess up on the ribbing on her blanket.

Stitch Marker: Nope, it is all good.

Knitting And Crochet Blog Week 2014:Day Three: Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers

Every Year Knitting & Crochet Blog Week tries to feature at least one day where photography takes a key role, because it has been proven many times that what captures reader’s attention for the first few seconds to hopefully hold them long enough to invest the time to read your words is your pictures.

It is easy enough to fall into a routine of photographing your finished projects as is – clearly displayed, maybe from a few varying angles, and for a large part of the time these are what blog readers will expect to see, but every now and again it is good to throw in a picture that causes people to linger.

Refresh your skills at creating attention-grabbing pictures. Take your own creativity and run to your camera with your own ideas.