Sharing the crochet love. And some robots.

Posts tagged ‘yarn’

Still fighting in the Hunger Games

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   I have finished the project that was dubbed the “Hunger Games Blanket,” so-called because I was using it to distract myself from food cravings in the evenings. (NOT starving myself, I might add; but trying to break out of emotional/boredom/mindless eating habits.) 

    Although I had a bit of a wobble in the middle when I found myself beginning to loathe the yarn I was trying to use up (it’s gone! gone! never to darken my door again with it’s hairy gloominess!), on the whole I enjoyed the idea of crocheting my cravings away. Whenever I felt like I needed a biscuit, or I heard some tasty snacks calling me from the kitchen, I occupied my mind instead with colour changes, sewing in a million ends, and planning the changes of direction in order to form a square. Looking at it now, it reminds me a little of the different coloured fields in the countryside that surrounds us.

  It’s not huge, admittedly it is a lap blanket rather than a full sized throw, but it is going to be donated to a residential home this evening along with the granny squares blanket I made earlier in January. We have just had a huge snowfall and a drop in temperatures too, so I hope it will bring a little warmth and colour to someone who needs it. 

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Since finishing this, I have slipped in the snow and landed very heavily on my outstretched hand – a silly and very painful way to land! Luckily nothing was broken but the jarring pain travelled the whole way up my arm, shoulder, and neck. According to my daughter, it was hilarious – and I did make a very funny outline in the snow. It may mean no crochet for a little while though, although the time off will be a great opportunity to get all of the other little jobs done; organising the stash, re-writing the project wish list, and finalising the design for my goal-weight top! 

  Hope you are all taking care in the snow, and staying warm. Looks like the winter is not over just yet! 

 

 

It’s that time again…

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I was almost convinced that my four days of liquids-only-sipped-through-a-straw might have caused massive inch loss all over; after all, there has to be some perk to feeling that rough, right? But no, the inches haven’t dropped off, and I think that might be a good thing. Nobody needs to be encouraged to starve themselves, right? Besides, I think a serious calorie deficit causes your body to hang on desperately to every shred of food that goes in, like a famine survival mode. So, tonsillitis as a weight loss tool? Not good!

However, I have to admit that even though the numbers might not be showing huge losses, things are heading in the right direction. You may have noticed there are no half-inches on any of the measurements; I’m a bit fussy about whole numbers and fractions, so I am waiting for the whole inch to come off before I put it down as a loss. So it’s all good, all very positive, all very encouraging. And look what came in the post, to keep me on track…

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It’s the yarn for my top – the one I hope to wear when I am slimmer again. (No, not just one ball, there are another 11 the same as this one!) It is a lovely soft grey, not anywhere near as shiny as the photo makes it look, but with a nice sheen to it. I can’t wait to get started. I hardly ever make anything for myself; maybe I should, if it would keep me focused on my diet and my healthy lifestyle? Now there is a thought…

My big treat over the last fortnight (before the tonsillitis) was a trip to the cinema with the kids  – and of course there was popcorn. I felt I had earned a treat, and I also think if you deny yourself something that you really like (popcorn is a big part of the cinema experience!) then you end up miserable and unhappy. It was delicious!

My mini-goal this fortnight is to continue with the de-cluttering. It’s been very therapeutic, and creates a much calmer atmosphere in the house. Plus, I have discovered there is money to be made selling your clutter online, woohoo! (Yes, I have always been late to the party, but I get there in the end!)

I hope everyone that is following a similar path to mine is still feeling positive and motivated. Things may be going slowly, but they are going, and that is all that matters. Imagine looking back on this journey next year, or in five years time…we won’t feel the annoyance and the impatience, we will just feel the pride and the satisfaction. Keep going!

Falling Out of Love…

Image ..with a yarn.

 

With apologies to the manufacturer of this yarn, whose name I cannot remember; when I bought this I imagined a lovely wrap or shawl in deep, natural colours, blending into one another and creating a thing of beauty. 

Now, when I look at it, I see dental floss used by a stinky witch. Or the spun hair from a shaved ogre. Or some other things that I can’t really type here without blushing.

The picture doesn’t quite show how dark these colours are, the flash bleached them out a little. I feel so disappointed, the yarn that I had such high hopes for is now a real drag to work with, and has become a lesson in stubborn-ness for me, rather than a project to bring me joy and satisfaction. (I will NOT be beaten by this ball of yarn! I will continue to beat this stash into submission, so help me!)

The colours are so dark that my eyes can only cope with working on this in natural daylight; but it’s not just that, it’s the hairiness of the yarn. What I thought was going to be lovely fuzzy softness quickly became very annoying to work with.

Never before have I got it so wrong when choosing a yarn! Has anyone else ever been besotted with a yarny purchase, only to come crashing back to reality when it comes to actually using it? I hope I am not the only one!

But it’s not all bad, I managed to incorporate this hairy beast into the blanket I am currently working on (dubbed the “Hunger Games” Blanket by some lovely fellow bloggers!) and now that it is surrounded by patches of other colours, I don’t hate it so much. So the yarn is almost all used up now, and the blanket is going to an old peoples’ home when it is finished, so it will be keeping some elderly gentleman cosy while also being far, far away from me. Everyone’s a winner! 

Monday Measure

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Woop de doo, see (some of!) those numbers coming down. And brace yourselves, I have found a “before” picture…

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Actually, it’s not the worst photo I have ever seen. I’m not straining to breathe or sweating with the effort of being upright.. But when I look at this photo I feel very sad about that time in my life. I would have sworn to you, if you had asked me, that I was happy and content, but maybe some things can only be seen clearly when looking back from a better place.

I firmly believe that someone’s weight gain is only a symptom of a problem that needs to be treated, rather than being the problem itself. At that point in my life there were a number of things causing me to make the wrong food choices. My boy was still waking, every two hours, every night, for the first two years of his life – looking for a hug, most nights! – and the tiredness made me crave junk food. I was also feeling very lonely and more than a little shaken from my experiences of domestic abuse. Nobody talks about that, so I felt as though I were the only person ever to go through it. Also, when someone comes through an illness or a trauma, people will come and visit, bring flowers, make tea. There is none of that for escaping domestic violence, and I felt a little “forgotten.” Not that I wanted to parade through the streets being cheered by the town, but it almost feels as though your suffering needs to be recognised, before you can leave it behind and heal.

Woah, there is a whole load of stuff that just came flooding out, when all I meant to do was put up this week’s measurements! I guess sharing our stories is part of the healing process too, and one step closer to moving on.

Anyway, I am feeling very happy with my progress so far. I think my measurements might be a little slower to change now that the initial “shock” of the new diet has worn off, so I will probably leave it for at least a fortnight before I update again.

Last week’s mini-goal was to purchase the yarn for my new top; and I have achieved that, and am waiting for it to be delivered from ebayland. Very exciting!

Last week’s treat was; herbal teas, lots of them. No, really! I was trying to re-train my horribly sweet tooth, and although most of the fruit teas I have tried have tasted a lot like hot water, I loved the aniseedy taste of fennel tea. The big winner was liquorice tea, definitely an acquired taste, but it’s syrupy sweetness killed all of my sweet cravings stone dead. I am craving that now instead! Try it!

This week’s mini-goal is to go through my wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t make me feel fabulous. If it is baggy, saggy or drab looking, it is going to the charity shop. I want to hop out of the shower in the morning excited about getting dressed. It might take a little work, but I deserve to be happy in my clothes every day, so it will be worth it.

Good luck to everyone in pursuing their goals, I hope your voyage of self discovery is as enlightening as mine has been this week. Keep it up, we can do this. xxx

Clean faces. And walls and floors…

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I have often come across patterns for crocheted dishcloths and washcloths, and in the past have never quite understood why anyone would want to put so much work into something just to have it wiped across a greasy plate or covered in ketchup. 

However, I did have a few cotton tension squares lying around about a year ago, and they somehow found their way into the kids’ bath. They made lovely soft washcloths, much nicer than the shop-bought flannels we had at the time. The kids used to fight over them – I was so surprised!

I think, out of all the things I have made for my children over the years, and all the hours of work I put into everything, those scrappy tension squares were their favourites, by far! 

I’m not sure where they all went, but we have one left now, and I caught my wee boy using it to wash the bathroom walls for me – so helpful! So tonight I decided to hook up a few replacements for their next bath. 

My girl has a butterfly in lovely buttery yellow, while my boy gets a smiley face in a blue/green shade that he will love. I have even started on one for myself, to be kept safe from any future “cleaning” the kids might choose to assist me with.  

I can kind of see now why people like to make these, although I still haven’t used one as a dishcloth yet! I know people like to give handmade dishcloths as gifts, so I guess that would be a nice way to perk someone up while they are doing their housework.Perhaps I will give it a try, if I can bring myself to dunk my lovely yarn into the kitchen sink! 

A little bonus is, of course, another few balls of random cotton left over from earlier projects have now been put to use, and I intend to do the same with any more cotton I find lurking in there. Yessss! Take that, stash!

 

 

 

 

“Dwindling” Giant Stash

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I have been on a stash-busting mission for many, many months now. Like many crafters, I found that my collection of gorgeous yarns was taking up more and more room, and seemed to be growing faster than I could use it up. Even after I stopped buying more yarn, the collection grew and grew. 

That is partly down to circumstances beyond my control; this stash is a combined effort, as my mum is a keen knitter and has been adding her own purchases to the pile every so often. Also, we were honoured to be the recipient of not one, but two deceased ladys’ unused yarns over the last year. Yarn purchases are so personal, and I was touched by the kindness of the grieving relatives in thinking of us, so it would have been incredibly insensitive to decline the gifts. My mum took a ball of wool from one of the bags and knitted a scarf for one of the daughters of the woman who had died – so she was receiving a gift from her mum, in a way. I thought that was a really nice thing for mum to do. 

The problem I now face is that the yarns I mostly use are almost gone now; I use a lot of DK, and 4ply for the baby shoes and neo-natal items that I make. I have used up some chunky wool in making my adult sized bunny slippers and a lot of DK odds and ends in my blankets. 

So the stash is shrinking, slowly, but still takes up almost 5 full bin-liner sized bags, stuffed in under my stairs, in shame. It is not an ideal storage solution, as somehow tangles manage to develop, all by themselves, while the bags of wool sit in the dark, obviously bored and unfulfilled. 

I do want to use the remaining yarn, but it is so different to what I normally go for; there is some of that ruffly scarf yarn in there, knobbly bobbly stuff similar to the teddy shoes in the photo, super chunky that is like rope, and quite a few fuzzy, hairy type yarns that I hate the feeling of around my fingers.(I did try to take a photo, but the camera is not cooperating. Possibly another day, if I can bring myself to look at it again!)

Does anyone happen to know of a charity that accepts balls of yarn, or anyone looking for yarn donations? Or is anyone out there in bloggyland desperately seeking several balls of randomness that they would be willing to give a loving home to? 

Failing that, I will have to scour the internet – again!- looking for some projects that inspire me enough to drag out the big bags from their hiding place. One ball at a time, I can do this – and my reward when it is gone? A yarn shopping spree, yippee! 

 

 

Measuring in “Elephants.”

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It’s the old…

                                    “How do you eat an elephant?”

                                           “One bite at a time,”          ….line.  

It may be the diet, but my inner head voice always follows up with an “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………..elephant.” 

(I have never, and will never, eat an elephant, but the hungry brain sees food everywhere.)

When I look at my life, there are so many elephants in it that need to be tackled in little nibbles. My weight loss, my financial rebuilding, my part time college course, all long term projects that can be broken into smaller, manageable steps. Even working on a large blanket or trying to bust the yarn stash is made much easier when taking one granny square or one ball of yarn at a time. 

Is this why crochet is such a satisfying hobby? This pair of bootees, for instance, they…

  • Have taken a ball of yarn out of the yarn stash
  • Have created a pair of bootees to be sold in a gift shop, to help chip away at the debt, and
  • Kept my hands busy so that I won’t be able to snack.

 

The only way I could add another elephant to the menu tonight would be to do a little studying while crocheting…but Sherlock is on tonight, so I guess the education will do another time! 🙂

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