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Just The Essentials Sports Bottle Tote

I love my Yoga class!  Okay, so it’s the senior version, all done standing up or sitting in a chair.  But with my history of fibromyalgia, this class is just right for me.  I come away from Yoga feeling completely relaxed and my muscles have had a great work-out.

Any of you who excercise at the gym must have the same problem that I encountered.  What in the world do I do with my drivers liscence, water bottle, spare cash and car keys?  My work-out clothing doesn’t come with pockets but even if it did, it’s just not practical to excercise with keys in your pockets!

So I gathered together some spare bits of cotton and a few notions and went to work.  The result is the little bag that you see here.  It holds a small water bottle, a little purse for cash and your driver’s liscence, and allows you to attach your keys to the strap with a carbiner.    I like to line my bags for strength so I whipped up a little fabric bag to place inside the tote and hand-stitched it to the top edge of the tote.

I have to admit that this was not a quick project.  The Patons Grace and the small hook that I used makes for a sturdy tote but also caused this project to take a while.  There were 36+ tails to weave in so if you hate that part then use a solid color instead of adding the accent bands.  However,  if you don’t mind a bit of fussy work you can still make most of this project sitting in front of the TV in the evenings.  This also makes a fantastic gift and can be personalized by using team colors.

Bottle Tote

Another Gift in Progress

This photo of the Leaflines Shawelette used with permission from the designer, Aparna Rolfe Designs

I take a meditation class on alternate Sunday afternoons and my class leader is just the nicest lady!  Sandee is a warm and caring person who guides our class with love and compassion.  She features a different guided meditation each time we meet.   In addition, Sandee offers a wealth of information and on-line resources to class members.  I wanted to make something special for her and since she believes strongly in The Violet Flame, I set about looking for a shawl pattern that looked like a flame.

I had been searching for some time. Then one morning as I was looking at the new patterns that had been posted on Ravelry, I discovered the Leaflines Shawlette by Aparna Rolfe Designs.  I thought that this design appeared somewhat like a flame.  Aparna offers this beautiful and sophisticated pattern for free!  Quick as a wink I ordered two skeins of violet Gloss Lace yarn from Knit Picks and started the shawl.

This shawl will not be a quick project either.  The stitches are small and the layers of post stitches force me to concentrate. I’m certain that as the shawl grows, I’ll find it much easier to adjust to the stitch pattern.  I am completely smitten with this pattern.  As I work I can not even imagine the amount of time and thought that went into designing this beautiful piece. Aparna has cautioned me that her pattern is still being tested and that the version that is on Ravelry now is a first draft.  I will take my chances.  If I run into a problem I can always get back to the designer with questions.  Thank you Aparna Rolfe Designs for such a wonderful pattern!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in crochet, Projects

 

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A Yarn Outing

Thursday was a beautiful day for a visit to Sweitzer’s Countryside.  My friend Fran and I had lunch at Mignano Brothers Italian Restaurant in Glen Rock, PA and afterwards took a drive through the country to arrive at Sweitzer’s.  It was our first visit so we were impressed with the selection of their yarns, tools, and patterns.  They also carried a variety of hand-crafted scarf pins.  I immediately found one I liked made of leather that fastens with two screw buttons in the back.  At $17 I thought it a bit pricey but it certainly is unique!

Cathy, one of the nice ladies at Sweitzer’s, explained their lessons policy.  I can purchase a card for $40 that entitles me to 4 hours of lessons, crochet or knit.  Then I just make an appointment and come in whenever it is convenient for me.  I just love this arrangement!  I’m a beginning knitter and am anxious to learn some new skills in that craft.

The best part came when Cathy took us into the sale room.  I managed to find 9 balls of Tempo marked down from $12.50 a ball to $8.50.  Tempo is a cotton blend yarn that has nubby properties.  It is listed as size 4 worsted weight but varies along its length.  I would characterize it as more of a DK weight yarn.

A couple of patterns come to mind for this: the Blue Waves Vest, the Hot Chilli Shawl Cardigan, or my very own Draped Sleeveless Jacket.

Draped Sleeveless Jacket

The Draped Sleeveless Jacket is just a rectangle with openings left for the armholes.  If it is worked with more ease and the front is unbuttoned, it hangs nicely in a drape.  I think that my new nubby, thin, cotton yarn would look great worked up in a more open stitch.  I’ll start swatching some of these ideas today to see what breaks out!

A Time For Reflection*

I really look forward to the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.  After Christmas, I joined a Meet-Up group for Guided Meditation.  On those days, 7 or 8 of us get together under the eaves in a tiny Cape Cod house.  The space where we meet is cozy and welcoming with floor pillows, chairs, wind chimes, and  all manner of exotic objects to enrich our meditation experience.  Our guide, Sandee, offers up a different technique each time, allowing us to try many various approaches to meditation.  The meeting lasts for two hours but the time passes very quickly.  We chat for about 20 minutes, try some scented oils, and then meditate for 40 minutes.  Then we repeat the process.  There is always time to discuss our impressions and to offer suggestions and resources for further study.

As a result of these meetings, I’ve begun a daily meditation practice. Using my MP3 player and some of the downloads of guided meditation or music that I have found through the group, I sit quietly every morning for about 45 minutes.  This has made an amazing difference in my life!  My aches and pains are disappearing, my mood is great, and I feel that I am really connected to my higher self.  Meditation is difficult when you try to sit in total silence but I have found that having a soft voice or music as a guide is very helpful.

* Blue Earth Photo: Artwork by the Soul Connection Network

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in crochet, This 'N That

 

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Winter’s Almost Over…

Time to Start a Scrap Project

After a multitude of projects this winter, the yarn is virtually falling out of my closet!  I’ve decided to begin a scrap afghan even though I don’t really like making afghans.  They take so long!  There are a multitude of free patterns out there but I really like the ones that have the off-setting black stripes.  I’m sure I’ll have to purchase more black but I’ll try to use the other colors as much as possible.

Weight Loss Project

I see from the blogs to which I subscribe  that I am not the only one who has this project as a WIP.  I started about 3 weeks ago and to date have lost only a little over 5 pounds.  One thing that is really helping me, though,is a little app called “Lose it”.  

This app lets you set goals, log in your daily food intake, include exercise, and keep track of your weight loss.  It’s amazing what a positive effect this routine has had on my willpower!  I downloaded Lose it to my nook tablet which makes it easy to log your meals no matter where you are.  It’s also available for i-phones.

New Years Resolution Project

How are those New Years resolutions going for you?  I only had a few items this year since I know from past experience that I usually forget about them after a couple of months.  Why don’t we ever bring up the topic of New Years Resolutions in November?  At least that way, we’d have an incentive to recap and determine whether we still wanted to accomplish some of them before the year runs out!  My items this year are:

1.    Learn how to make pdf files so I could offer my free patterns in pdf format

2.    Learn how to knit

3.    Start a stretching and meditation program

4.    Paint and reconfigure my laundry area

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished #1!  With Paul’s help, I was able to download a pdf “file maker” and all I have to do is drag and drop my doc file into the icon when I’ve finished writing my pattern. Getting it to actually appear on the blog was not as easy but I finally figured it out.

I’ve also learned how to knit! Thanks to Kim Guzman, who offered a class on Crochetville, I learned to knit from a crocheter’s perspective.  I’m still not very good and need to practice quite a bit before I’ll feel confident. But Kim’s class was very interesting.  I was able to log on at my convenience and download all class material.

I’ve also begun stretching my poor muscles every morning.  At first it was an exercise in agony.  I have fibromyalgia which has plagued me for many years.  I found that the usual medications did not agree with me so I am trying the holistic approach.  Now I am able to stretch for about 10 minutes each morning.  By the end of the day, my muscles are usually much improved.   I’ve also found a Guided Meditation group about 30 miles from my home.  We meet in a tiny cape cod house under the eaves.  The space is welcoming and the people are friendly.  It’s been a very positive experience so far. I’ve downloaded several guided meditation sessions and am now practicing happily at home. I can highly recommend Meetup.  There you can find groups for every interest.

The laundry area is still an issue.  My washer and dryer are in the garage.  The lady who once owned our house was disabled so she had the laundry installed where she could get to it easily.  The downside to this is that I find myself doing laundry in a space that collects dirt, oil, and all kinds of other undesirable things.  The washer and dryer are behind 2 louvered doors.  Our plan is to paint the area white, install a laundry tub next to the washer and dryer, and place a rubberized comfort mat that will completely cover the floor from laundry to house entrance. So far we’ve purchased the mat, called the plumber, and bought the paint.  Since it is about 30 degrees in the garage right now, I’ll have to put this project on hold until it warms up a bit.

    

How are your resolutions coming along?  Many folks just don’t bother making them anymore but I find that a new year always makes me feel like making a new start.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2012 in crochet, Projects, This 'N That

 

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