Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nearing year's end...

I can't believe Christmas has come and gone already!  If you celebrate, I hope it was a good one for you.  
In all honesty, the last few months I've fought off not feeling well, discouragement about not feeling well, anxiety about insurance, frustration over miscommunications with some of the staff in my doctor's office, and sometimes just downright poor communication.  To say I wasn't in the mood for Christmas is an understatement.  I had days where I just wanted to skip Christmas and the year to be over already.

In the end, Christmas was pretty simple, but when all was said and done I think I enjoyed it more this year than I have in a long time.  We played lots of games, ate simple foods, and I pretty much had the philosophy that if it didn't really need doing, it didn't get done.  And that was okay!  I think I learned some things about keeping what's truly important a priority when spending time with family and friends.  At the end of the day what makes me happy is to know I enjoyed and loved these people.   And that they loved me.

And, as if that isn't enough, I'm happy to say I managed to crochet some small gifts with the new yarn I got in last weekend, and that makes me feel so good.  :^)

Adeline Fingerless Mitts:


and a Double Shell Headband:

The yarn used in both projects is Willow Wash Heather.  It's a soft non-pilling acrylic that just grows softer with washing.  While the color is lovely, I confess these pictures show it a little brighter than it truly is.  This color is called Mulberry Heather and it has purple flecks spun into the deep red yarn  It is a beautiful color and I wish I had ordered more. 

And now... it may be a lofty goal with only 4 days left, but I'm going to strive to finish the Arrowhead Blanket before the end of the year.  I'd love to start the new year with a clean slate.  So many new crochet ideas and projects have been inspiring me.  Nothing like starting some fresh new projects at the beginning of a new year.  :^)

To see what other Yoppers are up to this week, visit our thread on Ravelry by clicking on the graphic below:

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

'Tis the Sunday before Christmas...

...and I am recovering from a procedure done on Friday to hopefully correct Iliac Vein Compression Sydrome, in my left leg.  I was told I could resume normal activity the next day, but the next day (yesterday) I was in so much back pain there was no way my day was going to be anything close to normal.  I was given Hydrocodone for pain management, but I tried to go through the daylight hours on Saturday without taking anything, and by evening I was regretting that choice.

My husband and two of our sons, and our middle son's girlfriend attended a nephew's wedding in the afternoon.  I regret having to miss it, but I was pretty sure when I saw that my surgery date was the day before the wedding I'd not likely feel up to partying.  And I was not.

My oldest son came by in the late afternoon with some Chinese take-out for supper.  Shortly after that the rest of the family came home from the wedding and youngest son, oldest son, and I played some rounds of Love Letters (a new game to me).  As much as I enjoyed playing this card game, I was hurting so much I welcomed the sleepy-making hydrocodone to overcome and cause the pain to fade away for another night.

How again, you may be asking, is this a Year of Projects posts?  Well, life happens to us all, and being distracted last week as I anticipated this procedure, and with whatever it was I was doing for Christmas, I don't think I've worked on any crocheting since my post last Sunday.  But with all that behind me, hopefully I can finish a couple of Christmas gifts here in what I'm feeling like is now the 11th hour.

I did acquire some new yarn this week (actually two orders, some heathered Willow Wash from Willow Yarns, and some Stylecraft and James Brett Cotton On from Deramores).  Though most of it can't been seen, here's a picture of it all waiting to be entered into my Ravelry stash.  You can see the Willow Wash in Mulberry Heather on top that I'm hoping is enough to complete my Christmas gift projects.  Next Sunday, hopefully I'll have pictures of two finished projects.

I don't think I've ever before wanted so badly to get Christmas behind me and to be starting a new year.  I haven't written anything here about the leg discomfort I've been having, but I've been struggling with Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome (aka May Thurner Syndrome) since late summer.  And that is following two surgeries my husband had earlier in the summer, which followed an attack of vertigo I had in the dentist's chair this past spring when I was having a tooth prepped for a crown, followed by oral surgery for an infection in an old root canal, followed by a new root canal for the tooth that had been prepped for a crown.  Oh, and I almost forgot, one of our sons broke his hand in the late winter when he slipped getting out of his car and fell on the ice.  And another son recently had a health concern that sent us to the ER with him on a Sunday afternoon (thankfully that ended up not being too terribly serious, but it was another momentous medical encounter).  Whew!  On the outside I'm sure we've looked perfectly normal (and for the most part, we have been), but behind the scenes we we've been a non-stop medical variety show.

As we approach the celebration of the birth of our Savior, I'm feeling so very thankful.  Thankful for a faith that informs me that our existence and purpose is about so much more than this life here in these failing bodies, but while we're here, I'm also thankful for modern medicine and looking with great hope to new beginnings in 2016  :^)

A Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

It's not even BEGINNING to look like Christmas...

Not with temps finally dipping into the 50's after nearly a week of temperatures in the mid-high 60's, right here in the middle of December, in the middle of Indiana; and waking to fog so thick that when it finally burns off, the wet sidewalks look like it's been raining...  Or going to sleep to a thunderstorm - like happened last week, and waking to actual rain - like this morning.  Add to that trees starting to bud and birds singing like it's spring, and well, as lovely as all that is... it makes it a little hard to believe Christmas is next week.  But believe I must!  The calendar tells me so. 

So to help get me into the holiday spirit I crocheted a little Christmas doily.

It's made from the simple Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket pattern, only seriously shortened. I stopped after row 9 and finished with a row a sc's (making 3 sc's into the space in each point) then polishing it off with a row of slip stitches.   It's kind of sweet and the colors very traditional.   It seems perfect for accompanying a bowl of silver and red Christmas balls.

And I'm re-reading Christmas Jars by Jason Wright.  I remember loving this short story several years ago when I read it for the first time, but as I turn the first pages I'm realizing I've forgotten a great deal of it - which is a nice surprise.  With my simple Christmas decorating finished, gift lists being checked, I'm thinking this little book will surely put me in the spirit for Christmas finally.

Is it feeling like Christmas where you live?  If you celebrate Christmas or another winter holiday, what are you doing to prepare?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The pleasure of a humble scarf...

I finished my scarf!  Just in time for this beautiful Indiana record-setting 67-degree December weekend! 

Such an easy project.
I think I'm a little bit in love with my humble scarf.


It didn't occur to me until I was well into crocheting this that I would need to add more rows to get this to the size I wanted it to be since I wasn't using bulky yarn, or doubled-stranded worsted as the pattern calls for.  So half of the scarf is improvised, but from the row where the open spaces appear, it is finished as the pattern is written.  Improvising was super simple.  I just added more double or triple or single crochet rows until it was about as wide as I wanted it, then I finished with the final 4 rows of the pattern.
My shoulder has been giving me fits for the past few days and I haven't managed to crochet anything else.  It's not that it hurts to crochet, but since I can't think of anything I've done to hurt my shoulder  I'm wondering if it's gotten into its sorry state because of my crocheting earlier in the week.  I really don't know.
So as much as I'm chomping at the bit to crochet some more on my Arrowhead blanket, I think I probably need to not be working on that big thing.  :^(
Check out what other Yoppers have been up to this past week by clicking the graphic below:



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Just crocheting along...

Busy, stressful week.  Not much crocheting.  But plugging along on the Arrowhead blanket and it's growing, albeit slowly.

It feels slower than normal because it is crocheted long-ways.  Crocheting along the length of a project always makes for the sense that it's taking longer because it seems like forever before you can turn around and come back the other way.  But even while I'm moaning a bit at how long it's taking, I know at any moment it's suddenly going to be wide enough and I'll be exclaiming, "Wow, I'm done already?!?"

And finally, needing a break from beige, and realizing now that it's turned chilly and I don't have a scarf that will go with my coat, I decided to start making one.  So with this pattern and some newly acquired yarn (Lion Brand Heartland in the color Joshua Tree), I set to work.

I know it looks awfully simple, and is!  No shame in that.  But the gal who created this has a surprise on the other side.  It's an asymmetrical design and I just love that aspect of it.  The originator of this design used bulky yarn (or double-stranded, I can't remember), but when I tried that I decided that I wasn't crazy about that much bulk.  For a cowl bulky is fine, but this is going to be a long scarf I'll likely want to tie up around my neck when it's really cold out.  I'm liking how this drapes and should be much more manageable for my purposes.  Hopefully I'll have a finished picture by next week.  (Clicking on the graphic below will take you to this week's YOP thread on Ravelry.)

A highlight last week was getting a visit from friends (fellow homeschoolers), who, along with their young children, have created a plan, worked their plan, and are finally in the active stage of living life on the road for a year or two.  It was so much fun...   hearing about how this has all come together, the things they are learning about in paring down their possessions, learning to live and travel in an RV, and to just enjoy their pure excitement and faith that God has His hand on this whole adventure - it was such a lift to my spirits.   We look forward to following their adventures at Vision of the Birds.  And taking more pictures a year or two from now to see how everyone has changed.

Our youngest son, Ben (age 20) is the tall one.

We love you and we pray you have awesome, amazing, God-filled adventures, Bird family!