My 1 Million Row Challenge

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I am Overwhelmed

I agreed to do a project on a very short time frame. I knew going in that it was going to be nearly impossible to finish without someone else helping with the sewing. With any luck at all, I think I should reach about 75% completion by my dead line. I feel really bad that some very good people will be given IOU's,but then again I don't think that I can sit at the sewing machine for another 8+ hours again tomorrow.  

Today I left the sewing room ready to throw the sewing machine out of the window. John in a perfect way that only John can do, ushered me out of the sewing room and closed the door for the night. Then redirected me towards dinner.  The chicken and roasted vegetables were even better the second night.   I am so glad that the asprain kicked in before bed time. 

I think tomorrow I will limit myself to no more than 4 hours at the sewing machine.  I tried the impossible today and did not make it.  My body is worse for wear. I think it's time to rein in my goal to be more realistic. My body and family will thank me. 

Lesson learned from this fiscaso. If I think a job will take 3 weeks, ask for 3 weeks.  Never say that I will try to get it done in 1 week. It's just bad in so many ways. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

I got the cold

I really don't know how I did it. I meet my 10,000 step goal for the day. The cold Eric had this weekend hit me with venengence today.  I landed up taking a 4 hour nap today.  I still managed to knit 1 hat and finish part of a comminisioned project.  

Even with a long nap I am tired and calling it an early evening so I will have energy to finish the major project of the week.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Summer is Coming

I know that summer is coming because I drove through my first dust devil of the season.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Note to Self

I am writing this as I am dealing with a migraine. It has been one of those days and if you have not been told all the details you probably do not want to know about it.

What I can say for sure is that I did cast on 2 more hats. Did I mention that I already have 2 hats in progress on the needles. Also 2 ponchos that are 3/4 of the way done. Today just seemed to be a day of new beginnings. I got more joy in casting things on then in actually finishing them, this is not really a good idea right now, because I have so many knitting needles asking for projects. Did I also mention that I did not finish one project today. I also really want to cast on a scarf or 2 but I am trying to hold off until I finish some of the hats.

We have also been working with Eric for what is at least 2 decades to tell us what he wants. I think that he is finally getting the hang of it. Sometimes the answers just leave us in stitches as they are so spot on. Up until Sunday I was not aware that Eric did not like estate sales, I mean who does not like the hunt at a good estate sale. Apparently my son.

I am taking tomorrow off. I can not decide if I am going to hide under a rock or behind a Cholla Cactus tomorrow. If I am hiding behind the Cholla Cactus  please be careful as I will not be available to pull the stickers out.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Just Maybe Catching Up

I just might be just a little ahead with things.  I might only have 20 hats completed so far this month, but I am also completing UFO's that have been on the knitting needles for to long.  Tonight I finished the second panel of a poncho that I started several years ago, all I have to do is the assembly. I am also nearing completion of a second poncho that was started at about the same time.  I am knitting through yarn at a good pace.  I even pulled some yarn out of the garage today, don't get to excited it was only a couple of skeins.  

I have also been doing a lot of cleaning too. Today I tackled the mess behind the treadmill. It was amazing how much either found a new home or got recycled. The yarn I found behind the treadmill will go for hats since I can't remember what I bought it for in the first place.  This is a good thing because the basket I use for wool hats was in need of a refill.  The living room was also worked on today. I have enough room to do some assembly work and not have to move it before I am finished with the sewing.  

I made the mistake of starting to warp the loom when I was sick. Lets just say that I learned my lesson and I should have the issues fixed in a few days and then start weaving a few rugs.   I am also turning that 2 pounds of awful Shetland wool that I spun in to a few rugs too, it is not as soft as I would like for a shawl. 

It is getting late and I have to convince my body that it is time for sleep. Iced tea was not a good beverage choice at 9:30 pm. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015


I might be over the cold, but the I am still extremely tired.  I really feel that I lost a week do to the cold.  I am so far out of sync that I think I will need a week or 2 to get back in sync. Eric is still making lot of laundry. Eric is doing pretty good this week.  I stopped after 6 loads today, and did not get through all the laundry.  

Thankfully I received a phone call today to remind  me about a meeting this week.  I thought it was next week. I really did lose a week.  So I took an hour to get ready for the meeting.   I even managed to get the Adgenda typed up on my iPad.  I have not figured out how to email it out from the program.   Although I did manage to get it to print.  I went 1 step further and loaded the car tonight to make the morning go more smoothly.  

In between naps I finished knitting the scarf that I started last night.  I also wove about 8 inches on the scarf on the loom.  I might even get the scarf off the loom this week.  Then the rag rugs will start on the 19 inch loom and a scarf on the 10 inch loom.   I will try to catch up,on knitting hats, I only have 18 out of the 60 hats completed. 

Well it is time to get Eric ready for bed.  Maybe we can skip the 3 am kicking off the covers tonight.   

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Cleaning

I started spring cleaning today. 4 hours of cleaning left me exhausted, but visable progress was made. One thing that I can say for certain is that the more sweeps I have made though the house over the past couple of years has made the process much easier. I have much less clutter to deal with each time.   

On top of the spring cleaning I got 6 loads of laundry done. 2 hats knit and a hand knit scarf started.  I am sore and tired to the bone but it was a good day around here.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hanging Out With Eric

Today Eric had a day off from his day program.  So we spent the morning watching Sesame Street and getting ready for our shopping trip to Target. Eric likes going out to the store.  2 hours later and hugs from total strangers for taking Eric shopping with me we headed home.  Just a hint to the general public, when I am out with Eric, I don't need to be told how heroic I am for being Eric's mom.  Also hugging total strangers is a little odd in my book.  We did a great job with coupons saving a little over $68.00. I even have almost everything put away. 

Eric kept me very busy today; therefore I did not get everything on my to do list done.   I had hoped to knit 3 hats today, I only finished 1 and got 1/2 way through a second hat.  Even though Eric makes a huge amount of laundry, the washer and dryer got the day off.  I also did not finish the scarf on the loom or spin the rest of the brown Shetland wool that I am spinning.  Well ther is always tomorrow.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Feeling Better

I am feeling better today. I even got out of the house for a few hours of fun.  I went to Grandmas Spinning Wheel for the Thursday afternoon spinning group. I even learned a new way to hold the roving to get a different response from the roving.   I think I may have to read a few books to learn some of the technical side of spinning.  

I finished 2 more hats today to bring my total to 15 hand knit hats so far this month. I have hat number 16 started, I have the 1st 1.5 inches of the brim done.  I like to make the brim between 2 and 3 inches wide. Then add 5 to 6 inches for the body of the hat, before I do the decreases.  

I am giving Eric his last breathing treatment for the night.  When I am done I will call it a night too.  Eric and I are hanging out tomorrow, his day program is closed for the last day of Passover and I will need the rest to keep up with him.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

60 Hats

My informal goal was to knit 60 hats in April, I normally try for 30 hats in 30 days. That would be an average of 2 hand knit hats a day.  Today is April 8th and I only have 13 hats that I term are ready to tag and bag.  A hat is finished,except for washing instructions and rows counted for the 1 million row challenge on Raverly. 

I am doing this for two reasons this year. The first is that I just don't see the improvement in the local economy as the politicians are touting.  There is still an escalation in the demand for services like our local food and diaper banks.  The second reason is, because of the first reason more groups are asking for hats and other winter items.  I normally only knit for 2  groups. I can only knit so much.  I average between 11 and 13 dozen hand knit hats per winter.  Yes I start knitting them in the spring.  I am wondering if I should try to knit more hats to help more kids or hope that some else takes up some of the slack. Yes I know that knitting between 143 and 156 hats, is a lot of hats, but I don't think it even makes a dent in the need.  I just have this need to make the world a better place for the kids. At the same time I have things I want to knit for myself too.  I wonder if I will ever find a balance in life?

On the health front, I am starting to feel better.  Somewhere around 5 pm, the sore throat just seemed to hurt less.  Dinner went down very easy too.  I still think I will give it a day or 2 before I head back to the gym though. I also think that I will call it a night.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Day of a Sick Mom

Ok, so I am very grumpy, as this is day 2 of the bug and my tummy is still yucky. In addition my throat also hurts. So this is what my day looks like when I am sick on the second day. 

1. Drive and drop off Eric at his day program.  
2.  Start Roomba off in any given room.  
3.  Gather, sort , prioritize, then start the laundry. It is nearing knee high because I skipped yesterday.  
4.  Start the dishwasher and do the dishes in the sink.  John, can empty the dishwasher later. 
5.  Make a cuppa tea and rest for a bit. 
6. Knit hats, because I don't have the energy to do anything else. I can also knit a basic hat in my sleep. 
7.  Pick up Eric from his day program. 
8.  Watch PBS Kids with Eric until his aide comes. 
9.  I put John in charge of dinner before he left for work, so I can skip cooking dinner tonight. 
10. Help get Eric ready for bed. Tell him he can not have a good night kiss because mommy is still sick and watch him pout.  
11. Hope I get a good nights sleep knowing that I hit day 2 of the cold because my body was back in kilter.  Also knowing that this cold will cause a flare up and that there is nothing that can be done about it.  This is the reason I hate my own body sometimes. 

Time for more rest and tea.  I promise that if I am feeling better tomorrow, I won't be so grumpy.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Got Sick

I landed up with the latest tummy bug that was going around.  This basically meant that I was up half the night and did not get any laundry done.  The only thing that got done was knitting 3 more hats for next winter to bring the total for the month to 11 hats finished.  I have not made much of a dent in my yarn stash either.  

Basically the house falls apart when I get sick.  So tomorrow is pay back time. A lot of laundry and other stuff to do. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Knitting

Well it is spring. It is time to start next winters batch of hats. I have 8 hats, of the first dozen completed. With 2 more on the needles, different sizes on the needles of course.  I hope I can knit a bakers dozen of a dozen hats.  13 dozen hats sounds like a good number of hats to me.

Of course I will throw in some other winter things like scarfs and ponchos too. What are you knitting up for those who could use a little extra help next winter?  You don't have to knit as many things as I do.  I just tend to go overboard on some projects.  I just have a need to repair the world. After all we are all in this world together.

Enjoy you families and our mostly nice spring weather.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Darkside of Copyright Infringement

Here in Tucson we are losing a second local yarn shop this year and it is only April. As with any small business, every sale makes a difference towards the bottom line. Even though the prices seem higher than the large craft retailer down the street, in actually your local yarn shops carry a wide selection and better quality of yarn. They also provide help to get you through the hard part of the patterns you are working on, just try to get that help at a big box store.  They provide classes to teach you new techniques. They also carry a wide variety of books and patterns. Since they do not have 100's of stores, they can not get a volume discount.

I am going to be focusing on the books and patterns in this blog post. For the sake of speed, I am going to assume that you all know what a copyright is and how long it is good for. If not I will refer you to The Copyright Office in Washington D.C.. If you are not in the United States, your country should have the equivalent legal body. I would also like to state that this is not legal advice since I am not a lawyer. This is written from the point of view of a consumer and a pattern designer of which I am.

Your local yarn shop relays on knitwear designers and authors of knitting books and patterns that you use for your projects. They gladly carry all of these items for you to buy. No, it is not OK to ask that they photocopy the pattern from a book or that you copy the pattern down in your pattern note book. After all these patterns help to sell the yarn that they carry.

Now here is where we come in as a consumer.  This is where a lot of knitters fail their local yarn shops and designers. They buy one copy of the pattern that they want to knit. After they knit the item their friends want to knit it too. So, instead of referring their friends to the yarn shop where they went,  they go ahead and make photocopies and freely distribute the patterns. Technically you just broke the law, although copyright does let you make photocopies of the items you buy for personal use, giving the pattern away is not personal use.

To put it another way if you bought the pattern for lets say $5.00 ( I like easy math) and then gave that pattern to 10 friends. Your local yarn shop had $5.00 in sales and the pattern designer got money for the sale of 1 pattern.  If you instead did the right thing and sent those friends to the yarn store and they each bought the pattern for $5.00, your local yarn store would have $55.00 in sales and the possibility of additional sales of supplies and the pattern designer would get their rightful share of the use of their pattern.

Depending on the location of the yarn shop, the monthly rent is upward of $1,000 or more per month. Add the cost of utilities, wages of employees and other business expenses, you can see that it takes a lot in sales to run a business. This is before the owner even draws a salary.

Depending on the pattern it can take upwards of 1 month to write, test and knit a sample of the pattern that you are using assuming 6 to 8 hour work days. It takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to get a pattern book out. If the pattern is from an indie designer they  will get about 40% of the sale price of the pattern. If you buy a knitting book, the author will get between 4 and 10% of the wholesale price, with most authors getting 4 cents on the wholesale dollar for every book that they sell. So for a $25.00 book the author gets about $.50. unless they self publish.

So what I want to know is, if you want to have local yarn stores  and designers in your communities and are willing to pay the price to keep those small business running? Are you willing to send your friends into your local yarn store to buy the pattern that they want to knit? Or can you say, that I personally help close another local yarn store by buying 1 copy of a pattern and making copies of that pattern to freely distribute? The choice is always yours.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Busy with a Chance of Knitting

My guess last night, that Eric would be home sick today was spot on. Eric was running a fever all day long and it seemed to get higher as the day wore on. I am really hoping it was do to the family outing on Sunday and not the really bad cold that is going around his day program. He was cranky all day and wanted me close by all day.

So my day consisted of catching up on laundry, a little picking up around the house and lots and lots of knitting. I started out the day on size 6 knitting needles working on the stripes of a hat. Then when I got tired of that I went to size 7 knitting needles and worked on a poncho, 1.5 inches later it was time to switch things up. So I went to size 10.5 knitting needles. I started 3 hats and finished 2 of them. This was more my speed today. I wanted to finish things fast. For some reason I just need to get things finished quickly when I am sitting with Eric all day. I need to feel that I have accomplished something besides sitting all day.  I also took the time to weave in the ends of another hat.

I don't have a row count yet. I just threw all the freshly knitted items into a laundry basket to be tagged and counted at a later date. If worst comes to worst, I will count all the rows when the laundry basket is full.

Well it looks like Eric is going to be home tomorrow too, so I think it is time to call it a day.