Making Progress on New Year’s Resolutions: Recently Unraveled Projects

I didn’t get around to posting my New Year’s Resolutions online this year, but one of the biggies was to do something about all the unfinished projects I have hanging around. I’m glad to announce that I’m making some headway on this. Woohoo!

Resolution #1: Unravel every crochet project I’m not going to finish.

I’m just about finished with this resolution. It was easier than I thought it would be, although there were a few that I agonized over a bit before jumping in and ripping, ripping, ripping.

Like this:

This photo shows you an example of the shallow single crochet stitch combined with the tapestry crochet technique. The piece looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch, but the feel and drape of the piece doesn't AT ALL resemble knitted stockinette.

This photo shows you an example of the shallow single crochet stitch combined with the tapestry crochet technique. The piece looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch, but the feel and drape of the piece doesn’t AT ALL resemble knitted stockinette.

This just needed to be unraveled. There was no good reason for hanging onto it. It was ugly. It was full of mistakes. It was turning out completely the wrong size and the wrong scale. There was not a chance in this world I was going to finish it.

Yet, despite the flaws, there were many interesting things about it, and I invested more effort than you’d think into the piece.

Take a close look at it. Can you tell that it’s crochet? It looks a little like knitted stockinette stitch. Sadly, it works up even slower than stockinette. It’s actually shallow single crochet stitch. Despite being crochet, this stitch is most un-crochet-like in multiple ways; for example, it’s stiffer and less flexible than fabric made using many other crochet stitches.

So instead of pink stockinette stitch flying saucer lookalikes, I now have a pile of pink yarn that I suppose I could use for making some cute little Valentine lovelies. Or maybe a baby headband. Who knows?

Resolution #2: Finish every craft project I’ve started that I’m not going to unravel or give up on.

I haven’t made any headway on this part of the list yet, but that’s what I’m going to tackle next.

Resolutions #3 and 4, for now, will remain secret. But maybe — just maybe — I will let the secret out a little later this year.

For now, over and out.

Back From a Long, Unanticipated Blog Hiatus

So, I’m dusting off this blog and trying again with daily blog posts. I stalled out on doing that for a few months, because I’ve been staying at a marina with unreliable Internet access. I haven’t been able to get online until just a few days ago. It has been so frustrating!

In the past, when I used to blog for a corprorate crochet website, I was able to maintain daily blog posts for a couple of years running. However, since I knew I had unreliable Internet access, I used to schedule the posts ahead of time. I’d usually blog about a month ahead. I’m realizing that’s doable in my particular situation, whereas “Today in Review” style blog posts are not necessarily sustainable for my particular situation. At least, not on a daily basis. Bummer! Because I really like doing them. I’m thinking it over and pondering where to go from here.

I do know this: I’m at the mercy of both the local Internet antenna and the network, which are susceptible to going down for a number of reasons. The network seems to go down a few times a day for no apparent reason, and then the antenna often goes down for longer stretches of time — particularly when it rains or gets wet. It was the same when we were cruising in southern and central California; in Two Harbors, California, on Catalina Island, the Internet tower would go down every time it rained — typically every weekend during the rainy season. They wouldn’t usually fix it until sometime Monday morning or afternoon, which would cause me much anxiety and stress if I hadn’t already scheduled my weekly newsletter to go out. I learned quickly: work ahead. Work far, far ahead.

I’m not sure I want this blog to consistently include bunches of scheduled posts, just for the sake of maintaining a daily blog. That doesn’t make much sense. So I still have some thinking to do about whether to just pick up with what I was doing, or try a different approach.

I did use the down time to begin working on a crochet book, and the book is now nearly finished. I’ll be posting more about that soon. Update 7-9-2019 I decided to scrap the book and post all those patterns for free instead of trying to sell them. But I did resume working on the crochet stitch dictionary.

Also in the works, for those of you who are crochet fans, I am putting the finishing touches on an interview with Sharon Silverman. I’m hoping that will go live later this week at KnittingandCrochet.net. Update: You can now find 2 interviews with Sharon at my website: Interview #1 with Sharon Silverman covers Tunisian crochet shawls, Tunisian crochet tips and more interesting stuff about Tunisian crochet. Interview #2 with Sharon Silverman covers crochet cowls, fashion tips and more.

I’ve also been caring for a disabled cat, in addition to all the other cats I already help to take care of. Poor little baby. I’ll post more about that soon, too.

Well, hopefully I’ll be posting about those things soon. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll be posting soon if all goes according to plan.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

September 29, 2014: Today in Review — Blogging, Internet Advertising

Today I Worked on…

  • …a bunch of crafts blog posts that are scheduled to post during the holiday season
  • …trying to understand online advertising better; reading what a bunch of successful bloggers and website owners have to say about it, and their recommendations for various ad networks

Today’s Workout…

…was kind of hurried, but at least I got out there. I did:

  • A warm-up consisting of various stretches, head rolls, etc.
  • 50 situps
  • 10 ab crunches
  • Various machines at the free gym — these are machines where the workout comes from lifting your own body weight. 15 biceps, 15 triceps, 25 delts / triceps, 40 legs.
  • There was more, but that was most of the workout.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

September 28, 2014: Thanksgiving Craft Projects / Today in Review

Today I Published:

Today I Worked on:

  • A few holiday blog posts that are scheduled for later this year.
  • This page of free napkin ring instructions at ArtsWithCrafts.com. I had already published the page a couple of days ago, but I just added several new pictures and links to the page. If you don’t already own a set of pretty napkin rings to go with your holiday table settings, now would be a great time to get started making some. You have time (but not too much time) to get ’em finished before the holidays arrive.
  • …a ghostwritten article for someone else’s website.

Today the boat was rocking like crazy all day, making it trés difficile to get anything done. 🙁 And it’s still rocking…

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

September 26, 2014: Napkins and Napkin Rings / Today in Review

Today I Made…

…a cloth tea napkin. It isn’t finished yet; I still have to add an edging. Then I have to complete the set. Thus there will be more napkin-making in my future soon. Maybe. Hopefully. I’ve been known to make one napkin at a time, and then not finish a complete set, and so I have a bunch of oddball napkins hanging around. This time I’m hoping to get an entire set done, but we’ll see how that goes.

Today I Published…

Today I Worked on…

…updating my crochet pages at this website; I added a few things to a couple of pages:

If it seems like I got a lot done today, that’s because I stayed up all night working. I am exhausted now.

Today I Ate…

  • Organic homemade energy bars made from dates and seeds
  • Organic vegetable soup
  • Organic grapefruit
  • Organic mango

(So far.) Wondering what’s for dinner tonight.

A cat broke the pressure cooker lid this morning by knocking the whole thing on the floor. This might not seem like a big deal to you landlubbers out there, but it’s the only pot we have aboard our sailboat at the moment. Losing its pressure-cooking capabilities = total bummer. 🙁

Today’s Workout…

…hasn’t happened yet. I’m hopeful that it will, but it’s a little up in the air at this point.

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

September 23, 2014: Today in Review

Today I Worked on…

…photographing and blogging about this little Christmas wreath ornament. My sweet kitty, Inky, helped. He is so helpful! Please disregard any shredding or chewing that may be visible on the finished project sample…

Christmas Wreath Ornament or Cat Toy

  • This page of fingerless glove patterns at KnittingandCrochet.net; it’s not finished yet, but it’s off to a good start.
  • This page featuring a pair of wrist warmers by a fellow freelance pattern designer, Erica. I crocheted the wrist warmers a few years ago, then donated them to the folks at the Pine Ridge Reservation.
  • A whole bunch of holiday blog posts that are scheduled to be published over the next few months at appropriate times. Since I’m not in America at the moment, I tend to lose track of when American holidays are, and it helps me to schedule holiday-related blog posts ahead of time. Working on Thanksgiving posts reminds me that I sure will miss having Thanksgiving turkey with my family. I suppose the travel adventures I am having sort of make up for that. Sort of.

Today’s Workout…

Didn’t happen. Oops! Tomorrow will be better…

Today I Realized…

Re-reading the post above reminds me that I haven’t updated my kittens page in a long time — and I never wrote down the story of how we adopted Inky, or the story of how we re-homed Izzy and Cindy (and then later got Cindy back.) Or the story of how Ginger turned out to be a boy. Whoops! Or the story of how Rocketboy decided that he wants to be our cat, never mind that we already have too many cats.

These are stories that will have to be told another time…for now, over and out.

September 22, 2014: Journaling, Blogging, New Christmas Crochet Project + Today in Review

I used to journal every day. I started sometime when I was in junior high, although my earliest journals have not survived (because I shredded them at some point when I was in high school.) When I was in college, I got too busy for daily journaling, so it morphed into once-a-week journaling. Then I stopped journaling when Mike and I moved in together and other things took priority.

I miss journaling. While I would love to go back to it, I’m still finding that I can’t make it a top priority. If I were to devote the same amount of time to journaling that I used to, something else that’s more important would suffer.

Blogging isn’t quite the same as journaling, but I’m thinking perhaps it could be productive and motivating for me to start posting “today in review” style blog posts. Motivating, because if I know that I have to share my accomplishments at the end of every day, it means that I will have to accomplish something worth sharing — something better and more shareable than “snuggled with the cats in bed all day.”

I’m going to give this a try. Can I keep it up? I don’t know. Will I always have something worth sharing? I hope so, but again, I really don’t know. Let’s see how it goes.

Today I Made…

this crocheted wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available at KnittingandCrochet.net.

If you celebrate Christmas, perhaps you'd enjoy crocheting this cute little lace wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available online.

If you celebrate Christmas, perhaps you’d enjoy crocheting this cute little lace wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available online.

Today I Worked on…

…this list of Christmas patterns to knit and crochet

Today I Saw…

…two young foxes playing together and chasing each other. They hopped up onto a fence and were running gracefully along; being atop the fence was not an issue for them at all. They were perfectly balanced. I had no idea foxes were so nimble. They were amazing.

Today’s Workout

  • The usual warmup
  • 7 different types of kicks — 15 of each, on each side
  • 30 scissor kicks on each side
  • 30 straight-leg situps with toes pointed. 10 more with toes flexed.
  • 10 ab crunches
  • Various machines at the free gym — these are machines where the workout comes from lifting your own body weight. 20 biceps, 10 triceps, 10 delts / triceps, 25 legs.
  • There was more, but that was most of it.

Cindy the SuperModel Gets in on Our Headband Photo Shoot

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

Mike Wearing a Crocheted Headband and Holding Cindy the SuperModel Kitten. A free crochet pattern is available online for the headband pattern.

A few days ago, I made Mike a couple of new, guy-friendly crocheted headbands. I asked him if he’d let me post his picture wearing them on various websites online, and of course, he agreed.

The cockpit of our boat was the most convenient location for the photo shoot, so we headed out there.

Cindy, one of our cute little kittens, just would not leave us alone while we were taking the pictures. She kept trying to climb up Mike’s leg during the entire photo shoot. It’s as if she were trying to say, “hey guys, I’m the supermodel in this family!” (Note: We did name her after Cindy Crawford, and we do jokingly refer to her as “Cindy the SuperModel.”) So what could we do but include her in the pics? Cute cats = lots of website clicks! Er, we hope.

Cindy seems to get prettier every day; I think she is really turning out to be a beautiful cat. And of course, Mike is my favorite model when it comes to guys’ crochet projects.

Our kitties used to be scared of the outside world, and in the past they were content to stay inside the boat. Not anymore; nowadays they are playing outside on top of the boat — with supervision only, because we’re worried that the naughty little cuties will end up in the water if they aren’t careful. Every time they see fish jumping, I get nervous that they are going to dive right in and go fishing.

When we were cruising around California, we knew a guy who lived aboard his boat with several fully-grown cats. He told us that the cats enjoyed fishing from his dinghy. Sometimes we’d see them out there, their little eyes intent on the water, watching for fish. It was really cute. He said the cats actually managed to catch some impressive fish from time to time, although most of the time their catch was basically bait material. Maybe our girls could be taught to fish too…someday. We don’t have actual plans to make that happen any time soon.

If any of you are interested in grabbing the free headband pattern, it’s available online. And for those of you who might like to see more pics of the headband< (or incidentally, more pics of Mike and Cindy,) those are used to be available too. At the time I originally posted this pattern, I also posted an image gallery that shows several different views of the headband plus a couple different colors of the design. I made a green headband first, then made the blue one afterwards to test the pattern. However, the editors at the publishing website have apparently decided that those weren’t worth migrating when they re-branded their website and moved domains.

Hope you’re all well and happy, and enjoying 2013 so far. It’s hard to believe we’re this far into the month of January already!

Related Resources

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since age 16. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, knittingandcrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

Waking Up to Kittens

Waking up to Cute Kittens in Your Bed

Waking up to Cute Kittens in Your Bed

Sometimes, I awaken to the sounds of a purring symphony — because four sweet, loveable, mellow kittens are beside me in the bed, purring their little hearts out.

And sometimes, I awaken sooner than I would have liked to, because there are four tiny wildcats playing a game of tackle football on my head.

My Warmest, Softest Scarf

The nights at our place have been chilly lately.

When my kittens were tiny, if the weather was chilly, they’d sleep piled on top of each other for warmth. Now that they can jump, they sometimes like to jump up into our bed and sleep with us. Sometimes they sleep piled on top of Mike and me, and sometimes they sleep piled on top of each other. Several days ago I awoke with four kittens piled on top of my right arm. I couldn’t move it until I woke up enough to figure out how to get them off. I can’t believe how heavy they’re getting.

On several of the last few mornings, I’ve awoken wearing an IzzyScarf. Meaning that, at some point, in the wee hours of the morning, Izzy climbed onto my neck, stretched herself out across it and fell asleep there.

Izzy is the warmest, softest, furriest scarf I’ve ever worn. I wish I could wear her out and about in cold weather.

But, for that, at least I have my knitted and crocheted scarves which are nice, although they are nowhere near as warm or as soft as my IzzyScarf.

I guess I should just be glad she lets me wear her sometimes while I am sleeping.

Yesterday morning, Mike got to experience the IzzyScarf too. Mike isn’t a big scarf fan, although I did make him a matching crocheted hat and scarf set. He wears the hat pretty often, but the scarf, not so much.

But the IzzyScarf? Well, that made his day! You shoulda seen the grin on his face. He loves his little baby Izzy sooooooooo much.

Wishing I had photos of this to show you! It was the cutest thing.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.