A Swift Kick

I’m human.  (Sure, sometimes I wish I was from Gallifrey, but that’s another story.)  I slip, I fall, I get back up.  And yes, more often than not, it takes me awhile to get to that last part.  Suffering with PSA (Psoriatic Arthritis), I sometimes forget that I do have to force myself to get up and get out on my days off.

So, this morning, I’m writing this post from the Valley Health Wellness Center, in Winchester VA. (No, this is NOT a paid endorsement.  I joined because I’m an employee of VH and the rates are great for what you get.)  I mean, I woke up and was out the door by 5:30 AM on my day off.  My last day of a six day stay-cation, might I add.  I met with an amazing aquatic trainer yesterday, who walked me through some exercises and showed me how to do a routine on my own.  I spent an hour in the therapy pool this morning, and while I’m sore, it is a good sore.  Trust me.

New routines can be hard.  Any kind of change can be difficult.  I can tell  you, that seems to be my current theme right now.  New workout routine, new day-job routine, and a new outlook every since my new medication finally started to kick in.  But just like that motivational poster with the kitten in the tree, I’m doing my best to ‘Hang In There.’

 

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The original motivational poster

 

Recent accomplishments aside, here’s what else I’ve up to in my six days off!

  • My husband and I recently celebrated my FIL getting remarried to an amazing woman, whom we think the world of.  I’ll post pictures of the wedding shawl on Friday.
  • I actually started knitting a pair of socks for myself! (GASP!)  I know, I know, it is about time.  I’m working on the ‘Herminoe Everyday Socks’, which has been living in my Ravelry queue for, maybe two years?
  • I’m all caught up on Mercy Street, The Walking Dead, and The Magicians.  If you haven’t seen any of these, I suggest them all.  There is something for everyone in these shows.
  • I celebrated my 34th birthday with friends, family, and good wine.  The Hubs and I took an overnight stay to Baltimore, where I not only had amazing hand-made pierogis, but also made my first wholesale order with Lovelyarns (more on this later in the week.)

So, what’s new with you?  I hope that you’re February is ending well, and you are killing it with your crafting, and your goals.  Don’t forget about our KAL for the ‘Talvel Cowl’, which is going on through the end of March!

 

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KAL & Yarn Giveaway

I’m really excited to announce that I am hosting a KAL for my new pattern, the ‘Talvel Cowl’.  If you are a member of ‘Ravelry’, you can join in on the fun HERE, as well as purchase the pattern.  You can also purchase the pattern in my Etsy Shop, as well as some lovely bulky weight yarn.

I hope that you’ll join in on the fun!  I can’t wait to see everyone’s cowls.

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Pattern Debute – ‘Talvel Cowl’

I’m so excited to announce that my first ‘real’ knitting pattern is finally live on Ravlery! This is my first paid pattern, and my first pattern to which I’m hosting a KAL.

 

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The beautiful Amanda, friend and knitter. 

The ‘Talvel Cowl’ is bulky weight cowl that combines rib stitch and cables.  It is a fairly quick knit.  You can block it to make the stitch pattern truly bloom, and not – and  have a close fitting garment for cold days.

One of the special things about this cowl is that it was inspired by a few people that I know that have dementia.  That is why $2 from every pattern sold will go directly to my local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Giving back is important to me, and this is a cause that I really believe in.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry. Follow THIS LINK to get you there.  From the pattern page, you’ll find the link to the KAL.

I’m so excited, and I hope that you will enjoy the pattern as much as I do!

 

Life Goal – Achieve The Impossible

Everyone has dreams, and ideas that they want to make come true.  Some people want to travel around the world. Others want to read as many books as they can, or even publish their own.

I want to open a yarn store.

Yes, you heard me correctly.  I want to open a real, brick and mortar yarn store.  One where people can come to not only buy fantastic yarn, but enjoy each other’s company. Where they can sit and work on a project, or enjoy a class on a new technique, or just get help with a crafting roadblock.  I want to have comfy chairs and a place for a nice cuppa.  I want to have at least two nights a week where people can come, sit, and knit/crochet/spin.

I’m very luck that I have a dear friend who shares the same vision that I do.  Brandon is one of my oldest friends; we’ve known each other for at least twenty years.  He and his wife, Tory, want to help me make this vision come to life!  The only major roadblock we have is getting the money.  We want to get started, but don’t have a lot of funding.

 

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Brandon & Tory. Friends who knit together, stay together.

 

I decided to start a GoFundMe campaign.  Now, I sat on this for a few months.  I listened to a lot of viewpoints on this subject, some very supportive, while others were skeptical.  But Amanda Palmer’s book, ‘The Art Of Asking’, has inspired me to move forward.  Brandon and I are looking to raise $600, to cover the cost of starting the LLC and legal fees associated with that process.

If you would like to donate, you can visit the link HERE.  If you can’t donate, I ask that you share this post.  Tell you friends and family.  We are halfway to our goal as of today, and I’m so thankful for the kindness of not just my support system, but of strangers as well.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

There is no longer a yarn store in my town, not like I want to see and make happen.  If anyone is interested in investing in our business above and beyond the GoFundMe campaign, please contact me.  Brandon has done a fantastic job with out business plan, and it is quite detailed.

Have a great weekend!

 

Etsy Shop Update – January

The shop update over at the Etsy store is live!  I’m really excited about the new colors that I’ve been working on.  Let me tell you all about them!

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

I’m continuing to work with my new base of sock yarn, named ‘Tory’s Toes’.  Inspired by a good friend, this base has a tighter twist than my standard ‘IMC Sock’ base.  The above colorway is called, ‘Misty Mountain’. I love the layering of soft purples and pinks. There are two skeins available and ready to ship.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

Next up is an old favorite in my ‘IMC Sock’ base.  ‘Sunset Shimmer’ is one that I’ve had a lot of luck with, and one that everyone seems to really enjoy. Super soft, shades of orange, yellow, and pops of white and pink.  There are two skeins available and ready to ship.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

This one was a lot of fun to dye.  ‘Chocolate Covered Cherries’ is perfect for Valentines Day!  Dyed in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, there are shades of brown and red, with pops of white and pink.  This is a OOAK (one-of-a-kind) skein and there is only on available.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

Lastly, meet ‘Go Go Godzilla’!  Another great OOAK skein, in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, it has hues of green, black, purple, and white.  I really like this one!  There is one available.

 

I plan on trying to do a small shop update every month.  It is so much more manageable that way.  I reskein everything by hand, so while the process is a long one, I know that it is well worth it for you, my customer.  I don’t want you to have to deal with tangles while you are trying to wind your yarn.

 

 

 

 

 

Life Goals – Tech Edition

I’ve been taking this month to write down everything that I want to achieve and accomplish this year. From the smallest task (do one load of laundry every day, so that I don’t have to send for a Sherpa guide as I try to tackle the giant pile in the basement,) to the most grand and extravagant. After a recent late night FB chat with my friend, Rachael, (who lives in Guatemala doing amazing work with climate change research,) I decided to list it all. Top to bottom, A-Z.

One of my first projects was to update my tech equipment, so that I could get some fantastic work done on both my blog, and my Etsy shop.  I purchased a basic point-and-shoot camera.  Now, I know what I really wanted to buy, but I also knew that I had a budget and I wanted something that was not only easy to use, but waterproof. Miss Z spends so much time in the pool, that I wanted to be sure it was safe. Also, I killed my last camera at the lake in NY.

 

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Such a fun little camera!

 

 

This camera had really excellent reviews, and I was fortunate to purchase the LAST ONE in the store.  I’m still playing around with it, but so far, I’m really happy.

Here are a few photos from our afternoon snow and hot cocoa adventures.

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

 

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@ofgraceandstitches

 

 

My second purchase was one out of necessity.  I was using my iPad mini AND a laptop that I shared with the hubby (it worked well until we needed it at the same time.  And that always seems to be the way of it. That’s what happens when you’re main media time is after work.)  I noticed that when I started my Etsy store, it was getting harder and harder to get time on the laptop.  Then, a few days ago, my tablet died.  So, I went to the Big Box Store That Shall Not Be Named, and purchased a laptop for myself.

 

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Lenova Yoga – I love you!

I am in love with this little powerhouse!  I originally didn’t think that I wanted a 2-in-1, but wow!  I’m so glad that I purchased it.  And it was on sale!  Double win!  The only disappointment was customer service, but honestly, I didn’t go in with high expectations, and I’m not here to blast anyone, or anything, and put more negativity out into the world.

What are some of your goals for 2017?  New tech, or gadgets?  Fantastic trips or vacations?

 

 

 

 

Countdown To Christmas – Day 4

Oh, what a truly Wintery day we’re having here in the Shenandoah Valley.  We woke up this morning to some freezing rain … and ice covering everything!

 

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Well, that’s one way to wash my muddy rain boots!

So, today’s giveaway is going to be themed correctly.  For Day 4, I’m giving away a lovely pair of stitch markers from Maryanne at The Violet Valentine.  I’ve known Maryanne for almost ten or so years now, and she not only makes beautiful accessories, she also dyes her own yarn!

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How to enter : Comment below (or on my blog FB page) with your favorite way to spend a snow day!  I’ll choose a winner tonight after 8pm EST.