Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Anxiety = busy bee Catholic Librarian

This morning has started off on a bit of a disconcerting note. Lots of prayer intentions. My good friend Sarah has some close relatives going through health crises, and your prayers are coveted. I've known her for a long time (back from my lawyer days!) She's one of my original Catholic friends from after I finished graduate school, and her husband is Hank's godfather. It's been a rough go for them with these health worries. We pray for healing, and for the comfort only God can give.

As well, my precious husband Mike has exam #3 of 4 this afternoon, and I know that he's worried about doing well. For new readers, my husband went back to school a year and a half ago to study civil and structural engineering full-time. It was a leap of faith, but it was the right decision. It's been a long week for him, so I'm anxious for him to get some relief.

That stuff was already on my mind. And then this morning, I received more news about our state budget crisis and how this may impact us further. I work for my state, since I work at a state university, and things are ugly right now. It's been bad for a few years, but it's about to get much worse. We may all be forced to take a weekly "furlough", a day without pay. This would be devastating for our family. Mike brings in income as well, by teaching part-time (he teaches Introduction to Philosophy, Logic, and Knowledge & Reality - I love that he is a philosopher :)), but my full-time income is our main source of funds while he is in school. I'm downright scared about this. Just keep us in your prayers - I'm sure we'll get through this ok, and honestly, crises like these are a good way to draw closer to each other and to God. I'm not panicked, but I am worried.

And when I worry, I work. On things. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, right? So, my crochet hook and knitting needles have been working overtime. Not to mention the cleaning. But that's a topic for another post.

Here is my spring shawl, which I mentioned a few days ago:

I love the way it turned out. And the cotton blend is perfect for summer. It's made from Lion Brand Cotton Ease.

I've been using the weekly craft store coupons to pick up some crochet hooks and knitting needles for new projects as well as yarn. Knitting needles - all you knitters know what I'm talking about. I have like a small garbage bag full of these things, (I swear, they reproduce like frantic rabbits in there) and yet whenever I start a new project, I need different ones. Size 9? I have those in 29" circulars, but not 36". Size 10.5? I have 2 sets of those, but neither is long enough to accommodate the number of stitches for this new project. In fact, circular would be better, and I definitely don't have those in that size... And on and on.

I've been thinking about attempting for the first time: clothes. This is extremely scary for me. The thought of actually washing something that I make terrifies me. I'm afraid that I'll open the washing machine lid and all I'll find is a ball of unraveled yarn. I could hand wash, but well, I hate hand washing. But I may have to learn to like it.

At any rate, I've been thinking about making some practical things with my crafting skills. There is only so many shawls a girl can use. Granted, they also make nice gifts, but it would be nice to make a sweater. Even typing that word make a little flutter in my belly. A SWEATER. SCARY.

To work my way up, I'm moving slowly from shawls to a capelette, shrug, and poncho. Wrestling with my measuring tape and adding sleeves to things will be enough for me this summer. If I can successfully pull those things off, I can attempt a sweater this fall. Stay tuned.

But in the mean time, I've turned into a craft store addict with my coupons. I don't want to pay full price for the knitting needles and accompanying yarn I need, so I squirrel my Sunday ads section coupons away each week and make multiple trips to the craft stores. You see, the coupons are for 40% or 50% off a single regular price item per store. AC Moore and Michael's will let you print additional coupons off their web site, but wait! You can only use 1 per day. Thus, Tiffany is going to multiple craft stores daily to get single items in order to make a single poncho. She's crazy, you see. But don't scoff - I'm getting circular knitting needles regularly priced at $7.99 for a mere $4, so as you can see, it's all worth it :) And yarn that's usually $6 per skein for $3.50.

Victory is mine.


  1. Pretty Scarf. I wish I could knit or crochet. I've tried. Knots are my bane. I can sew though. I've even made my own diaper pattern (courtesy of the diapers I already own). So keep going. I'm sure that you can knit a sweater soon. Especially if you can knit scarves (something that seems impossible for me). The first thing that I ever sewed was a basic seam. I made blankets and pillow cases. Now I'm making diapers and skirts and if I had a little girl I would probably make her sun dresses. I would eventually like to make a dress. I've attempted a shirt but never completed it.

  2. I'm dying to learn to sew :) Ultimately, I want to learn to quilt, and since I can barely thread a needle, I figured I should start with sewing 101 :) I've been on the lookout for a class, but so far none have worked with my schedule.

  3. I actually starting learning how to sew from my mom. She wasn't very elaborate about it, but since she retired she got into quilting. She's very obsessive about it now. When she comes to visit, she insists upon going to quilt shops. It's actually a really expensive hobby. But she enjoys it. And if you make a quilt it's a family treasure. (Only problem is that I've got too many and I live in the desert. It's too hot for quilts).

    I'm a functional sewer. If it's cheaper to buy, I'll do that. But if not, I'll make it myself. Or if it will be sentimental, then I'll make it.

    Op, lunch! Oh and thanks about mentioning me for suggesting the devotion stuff (did that make sense?)

  4. Hey! Yes, makes sense :) I am actually a little concerned about learning to quilt for the very reason that you mentioned - the potential costs are scary :) Sewing machine, fabric, notions, FABRIC... I mean, the very thought makes my wallet nervous, so it's probably good that I'm sticking to cheap acrylic yarn right now :)

  5. Well not only is the fabric very expensive but you have to find a shop with a long arm. It's the machine that actually quilts the pieces together and that adds up because usually shops rent the time to you.

    Then their are the patterns. Some of the patterns are relatively simple. You just lay them out and sew them together (although my mom uses some colored plates to look through before deciding what to piece together which takes a while for her). Other patterns take monumental work. My mother can tell you it takes her months sometimes to get the front the way she wants it.

    But there you go. That's why I can't quilt. Lack of patience and time.


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