Thursday, May 21, 2015

Back to Crocheting (hopefully)

I've not crocheted since Saturday.  I'm antsy to finish my project but my arm has been bad.  I woke up Sunday unable to move it without pain.  My hand was swollen and I couldn't close it.  I spent the day reading a book with a heating pad on my arm.

At this point I am taking Tylenol regularly and I can tell when I am past the time to take it.  I've been reading and writing rather than crocheting.  I can almost straighten my arm.  It is much less painful.

Tonight I'm going to try crocheting again.  I'm hoping I can get a full section done so when I get to Georgia to visit my daughter (who the afghan is for) she can tell me if she wants another round or not.

I'm packing it up tomorrow right before we leave because I might have time to work on it before Ken gets home from work.  My arm still  hurts but I will make an effort to finish it while I'm down with her.  Then I will stop crocheting for a week or two to give my arm a chance to heal.

I can't decide if it is the yarn or the amount of crocheting time but I've never had my arm hurt like this just from crocheting.  I guess I'll have to be more careful about the time I spend crocheting.

I still have a long list of things I want to get made.  I have three lists of things other people want.  It will be fun to work on them but not while my arm is so cranky.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bent Arm Crocheter

Up early this morning with the intention of going to Sorg's to get meat and cheese.  Hardly any of it is for Ken and I, most of it is for the girls or the trip.

This weekend will be prep time for the trip.  We'll gather the things we want to take to the girls, start packing, change the oil in the car (that's really Ken and not a we thing), and I'm sure there are more things.  I'm trying to make a list and do as I think of them.  I need to find my car charger so I can get that in the car (new one that we got with the new phones).

On top of that I'm still struggling with a sore arm and a long crochet list.  I've rested my arm for two days and it has helped slightly - at least until I start moving my arm and trying to function.  The thing is - it doesn't hurt when I crochet.  Solution - at least for me at this time - finish the two projects that are time sensitive - i.e. Virginia's afghan and the bibs for Vicki's co-worker.  I'll keep taking Tylenol, massaging the arm, and use the heating pad.  I'll stretch more as I work but I need to finish these so I'm going to work on them this weekend.

I'll have a week of traveling so hopefully my muscles in my arm will mellow out and relax during that time.  If not, when I get back, I'll go to the doc to see what should be done.

Meanwhile, I'll be a bent arm person who can't reach to the right.  I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Crochet Arm

In an effort to have an afghan done before we go visit our daughters, I've been putting in a lot of hours crocheting.  Probably more than I normally do.  Yesterday, I noticed that when I tried to straighten my right arm, it hurt. 

I have aches and pains all the time, so I didn't think much of it.  But this is a muscle twinge rather than the ache of arthritis.  Every time I reached to the right with my right arm, I'd get this twinge in my arm. 

It finally dawned on me, I have crochet arm.  I've been spending my time crocheting.  This means my arms are folded in to my body and not stretched out.  Apparently I've been doing this so much, I'm now getting issues when I do straighten my arm.  My muscles are saying what are you doing?  We don't move that way anymore.

When I told my daughter this, her response was "but it doesn't hurt when you crochet so you'll be able to finish my blanket right?"  I laughed.  I will finish the blanket and listen to another JD Robb book but really where was the concern? 

With luck, I'll have the afghan done this weekend.  I'm on the third repeat of rows and think it will only take five repeats to be long enough.  Then I will turn my attention to the border - which has 13 rows in it.  Now I'm going to check yarn because I have gone through enough I'm concerned about having enough to finish the project.  I think I have six skeins left but need to check my basket to see if  have more.  I am hoping I have more because I think six is enough to finish the afghan but not do much work on the border.  I've already spent about $200 on this afghan so I don't want to purchase more if I can avoid it.

Meanwhile, I've been massaging my arm, stretching it as I work, and trying to avoid moving it in such a manner that makes it hurt.  I know in the end, the afghan will be gorgeous.  I've already had several offers for others to take it.  I don't think my daughter will allow it to be borrowed or taken by anyone else though.   

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

It's mother's day and all my kids are out of state.  I'm okay with that.  For one thing, they were home last weekend.

Yesterday Ken and I went to a yarn shop Vicki discovered.  It was an interesting experience in that I was lucky to be able to get in the store.  There was a ramp leading up to the second floor and a locked door.  The ramp itself was damn scary as I could hear the boards moving as I rolled over each of them.  Ken ended up going in to ask if there was a way in.  Of course there was - up the ramp and through the locked door.  When we got there (finally) the ramp was about 4 inches below the door.  I couldn't just roll into the building.  I had to get off my scooter and lift it up.  It's a good thing I'm still mobile and not completely wheelchair bound.

The yarn shop was small but had a large selection as well as an interesting selection of gadgets.  However, the cost of the yarn was over the top.  I didn't see anything under $5.75 and these were tiny skeins (probably about an ounce).  Some of the yarn was amazing but the cost ranged from the $5.75 to $40 (or more).  Most of it seemed to be specialized yarn but to me this is just too costly to spend money on.  I mean an afghan can sometimes take up to ten or more skeins.  That is a crazy amount of money to spend to make an afghan.

I did get a crochet hook with stuff on the handle.  It is supposed to help ergonomically with hand issues.  I bought one and I'll try it.  If I like them and it helps with the cramping I can get I'll think about getting a set.

Another thing I noticed was a ball holder.  Basically, the piece was two wooden plaques separated with a turntable.  In the center of the top one, a dowel was placed.  You place your skein on the dowel and then can pull from the outside.  It should (hopefully) prevent tangling of skeins.  They were asking $30 for one.

I like the idea a lot but not the cost.  Ken was with me so I asked - Can you make something like this?  His answer was sure.  He is making one this morning for me and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  He got the materials from Menards for $20 and will be able to make two for that cost.  If they work out nicely, I'll be asking for some more.  Vicki will probably as well as she has been doing a lot of knitting.

There was one other gadget there which was essentially the same thing except without the turntable.  They had several skeins of yarn on a dowel which was in the center of a wooden plaque.  I could see how that would be useful when I'm working with multiple colors, I could put them all on the dowel and just pull the ends to crochet with.  I'm hoping I can talk Ken into making me one like that as well (though it being on a turntable would be nicer I think).

When I'm done with this blog I'll be going back to crocheting.  Last night I listened to Promises in Death while I worked on Virginia's afghan.  I got about twenty rows done on her afghan.  I sent her a picture and told her if she didn't like it I could keep it.  I think if she had been closer, I would have gotten a smack.  It is turning out BEAUTIFULLY.

This morning I published one more crochet pattern.  I've had it done for a while but had to wait until after my niece's wedding as it was her gift.  Soft Sunshine Afghan is now available on Smashwords and Amazon.

It's been a busy Mother's day and next is going to be more crocheting on Virginia's afghan!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Crochet Patterns Published

I've been busy crocheting and reading.  Vicki asked me for new dishtowels.  This is a great opportunity for me to try out different stitch sequences.  In doing this, I created two new dishtowel patterns.  Doubled Up Dishtowel and Drop Stitch Dishtowel both offer a different style.  I like them both and think Vicki liked the towels she got out of them.

The plaid scarf was part of gift for one of my student workers.  She is graduating.  She is crazy about plaid so I made her a plaid scarf.  I love how it turned out.  It is vibrant and fun.

These are available on Smashwords:

Or they are available on Amazon:

I've still got other patterns I need to get typed up.  I need a secretary!  But for now, I'm off to explore a newly discovered yarn store.  Ken will grumble but I think I'll enjoy it.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekend Tasks

Last weekend was insanely busy in the best of ways.  This weekend is just around the corner and I'm hoping to catch up on a few tasks. 

I still need to pay bills and do some of the book work for my writing.  In addition to that, I'd like to publish some more crochet patterns.  I have a few which are ready to go.  Plus I want to look to see how close I am with a couple of other ones. 

Last night it was 80 in my house.  Now my husband doesn't like to turn on the air conditioning.  He thinks it is comfortable at 80.  I hate it.  I sweat, get a headache and generally my grumpy level elevates.  On top of which I can't do anything.  It bugged me to just sit and read.  I gave in and turned the a/c on about 10:30 last night and the inside temp was still at 79. 

I have an afghan to work on.  The a/c needs to be on for that reason alone.  I do better at a constant temperature.  I have fewer health issues if the temp is a steady 73.  I know it is probably not as energy efficient as say 68 but it is the temp where I'm not uncomfortable or sore all the time.

We go visit the girls in Atlanta at the end of the month.  I need to finish Virginia's afghan so I can take it to her at that time.  I don't want to ship it to her as I don't trust the post office or UPS.  This means I'll be working on it this weekend. 

I've also fit in an hour or so of writing here and there.  I've got a story that is tugging at me that I want to work on.  I'm battling with time management.  I want to read, crochet, and write.  I can read and crochet at the same time but I can't write with the other two.  It is definitely a challenge for me.

I don't know what the weather is supposed to be like but I'm also hoping for a little deck time.  It would be good to sit on the deck and write in my journal or have a meal out there.  It just depends on the weather. 

The weekend is coming and hopefully it will be calmer, quieter, and less eventful - though I'm sure this will me less fun without my girls around. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Joyful Occassions

The girls were  home over the weekend.  It was the first time in a while our whole famly was together.  It was a jam packed weekend featuring chaos and madness but we had a good time. 

The wedding reception was wonderful.  It was good to talk to family and spend time together.  I didn't like that I had to do stairs to get in.  There was a ramp but it wasn't convenient or easy to get to.  This cause pain but I made it through. 

Now I'm on a count down for when we go visit the girls.  I'm excited about it and looking forward to seeing their new house. 

My daughters and sisters were all being crazy at the reception.  It was fun to see them that way and see them having fun.  My mother who is 84 even got out and danced with them. 

It was definitely nice to gather for a happy reason rather than a sad one.  I got to talk to nieces, nephews, siblings, and other people.  I think everyone had a good time. 

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...