crochet::life::everything in between::

Wow, so I haven’t written a post since December…story of my life since 2015 pretty much, huh?

Meet my new overseer, Salem

Thanks for sticking around and not removing me from your email or reader.  I may not be exciting, but hey, I will show up occasionally to prattle on about crochet stuff or try to make you chuckle.  None of this has been planned and it’s free, so kudos to you for thinking I’m at least interesting enough to visit once in a while. (Holy hell it’s been so long since I’ve tried to write something decent, I had to look up ‘a while vs. awhile’ for that sentence.)

So you ask, what pray tell has the yarnchick been up to all of this time?  The answer is that I’ve been making a ton of stuff, watching more streaming video seasons of crap than anyone should, taking care of my husband through 3 back surgeries (he’s fine now btw),  getting my amazing son through college, and generally being caught up in the mundanities of life.  The important to me things like blogging, and pattern writing, and figuring out where my future ‘yarnchick business’ will go; have all been stuck in last place for far too long.

I’ve done some fun projects, and I post quite often to my Instagram @yarnchick40 if you are so inclined.  I have started a second account @hookertherapy too, if you are further inclined because I’m a glutton for punishment building my future business around that name. I still have this love/hate relationship with fast social media…I still wonder if blogging is dead at times, and the mere snippets of microblogging don’t leave me feeling as if I am making a dent in furthering my yarny career.  Buuuut, it seems as if the fiber arts community is becoming as short-attention-spanned as the rest of the world sooooo yeah, when in Rome…

If you’ve been around for the ride, you are aware that I have posted quite a few free patterns.  They will be going away.  Please feel free to use them if you already have favorites that you have downloaded, but eventually they will all be moved to paid patterns in my Ravelry store, and will no longer be available on this site.  Over there, I am @yarnchick40 and I’d love to connect if we haven’t already.  I wanted to make sure that you were aware in plenty of time before they are each removed.  It will be a slow process, but after today I will not be able to guarantee their time on this site.

That should catch you up on the basics; and as always, I appreciate that you stopped by.  Happy hooking 🙂

my Bronwyn shawl, pattern by tlyarncrafts
souvenir yarn from Bermuda, background is c2c baby blanket in bamboo pop yarn
handdyed yarn by birchhollowfibers
Salem & my current WiP, Tadaima cardi in resilient sock yarn from expression fiber arts

crochet:: give, then give some more


I’ve been trying really hard to help the homeless in my community.  I hooked hats & scarves & gloves to distribute in a park that is a place many homeless people spend their days. We have brutal winters & I realized I don’t do enough with my craft to help. I had several items that had not sold from my (long closed) Etsy store that were packed in a box when they could be keeping someone warm instead.

For a while there, I was on a hat binge. I made the grey & black ones for my niece & nephew, then made more just like them to give away…it felt great!

Then I realized that I had blankets galore made for ‘just in case’ I needed at quick gift, and others that were gently used but lived in the linen closet for years because I had moved on to the next afghan.

I also had store bought cold weather gear taking up real estate in my home that would be better served to those that had so little…I was on a roll!

There were samples & prototype pieces that were culled & cleaned, ends woven & snipped, last rows completed.

Recently, I was able to hand some out directly to very lovely people in need of warm gear. I hugged them and told them that I cared; it was an experience I will never forget.  I need to do more of this with my fiber art.


Thanks for stopping by ❤


crochet:: on the topic of taking a break…

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been taking a little breakity break from blogging.  There were lots of reasons, lots of things to do, lots of changes to be made in my life.

The long story has way too many layers to bore y’all to tears with, so the short story it will be…

My father’s death 1 1/2 years ago was very difficult and I have been in a funk ever since.  You can even see it in my blogging, or lack thereof.  I was in a miserable place both personally and professionally.  I changed jobs last summer and got my professional life in order to the point it no longer weighed down my personal life where I was attempting to deal with loss and sadness.  (I’m apparently still queen-of-the-run-on-sentence) 

This spring I decided I needed to *ahem* grow a pair and work on my personal life.  I made a list, as one does when one is as OCD as I tend to be.  I realized I needed to fix SO MUCH CRAP in my own head that the only way through it was to sprinkle in some rewards to myself or I would be overwhelmed.  I didn’t want to get to a point that I’d give up, my Daddy would not approve…

I began my Personal Reboot Challenge with simple things each week building on the success of the previous week.  Some things were easy, like ditching soda.  Others were very flipping difficult, like working out every day and quitting smoking.  I’m 3 months in and happy to report that I have completed the list, kept all the good habits and not reverted to the old bad ones!  There were small rewards along the way…a Runza hamburger, fries & a Dr. Pepper (OMG ~ hated it after eating healthy for so long), and with the money I’d saved by not purchasing cigarettes I got fancy & expensive hand-dyed yarn, and a new set of crochet hooks.  But the pièce de résistance was to finally make myself a studio space in my itty bitty house.   It took a ton of work, and even organizing an 8-family garage sale, but I did it!

I have emptied out the basement living room, and I’m in the process of making myself at home in my very own studio.

Here are a couple of pics with my progress so far.





I still need to move 2 more of the white cabinets into my space, hang some art on the walls, and to find the right office chair…but I’m on my way.

Thanks for stopping by


Have a lovely day!

life:: eulogy

IMG_2924We’re going to take a moment here to mourn the loss of my Annie Annie.  She passed away of a heart attack too young, after recently retiring from the corporate life to pursue her dream and open a cake decorating business.  She was my fairy godmother and yes, I realize I didn’t call her my Aunt Ann because although she had 26 nieces and nephews, she was MY Annie Annie.  (I often stressed that to my cousins back in the day.)

On the day I was born, she gave me my most cherished childhood toy, my Buffy Puppy.  Recently, I had worked at re-creating Buffy for a pattern to share here.  I wanted other kids to be able to love a stuffed toy that much too.  That is how much it meant to me. Although it’s not done, I now feel the need to work harder at perfecting the pattern.

  That is one overly loved stuffed toy ~ poor thing has seen better days.  But hey, Buffy is 47 years old…cut her some slack.

When I was a small child, Ann moved from the country with my Grandma Amy to the big city.  She lived with my family for a time in the 70’s before getting her own apartment.  She was a godmother, a big sister, and a spare mom all in one while she lived with us.  At the time, I was still the only child so it was awesome to have another playmate to annoy at all possible moments of the day.  She was a captive audience.  And what an audience she was.  She was so present in every moment.  When I spent time with my Annie Annie she made me feel heard, cared for, and that time spent being silly was never wasted.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and never let me forget that I announced as a child I should be addressed as ‘Lisa Victoria From the First’. She would also play loud music on her record player in the basement and we would have dance parties to ‘Benny and the Jets’, or ‘My Baby Does the Hanky Panky’ which would invariably end in both of us collapsing in giggles.  She added so much to my love of silly.

In the 80’s, I had the first real and true scare in my life.  Ann had cancer.  Ann survived with courage and grace.  She lived very far away by then, but came home often and I took every opportunity I could to spend time with her finding our silly.

Fast forward to my 30’s and I got the next real and true scare of my life.  I had cancer. My Annie Annie was there for me.  There were so many questions and she was patient and helped me through all of the answers.  She coached me through surviving with courage and as much grace as I could muster.  She was a calm voice, a cheerleader, a fairy godmother.

When my father got diagnosed with cancer next, I relied on all of her advice to help coach him through too.  I tried to pass it all on, pay it all forward.  I think I helped, and I owe it to my Annie Annie for the strength be his calm voice and his cheerleader.

This spring, she finally was able to retire at 68 from her day job.  She was starting her next career.  I was so excited for her.  She had recently called me to tell me that she had finally picked a name for her new endeavor.  She was calling it Annie Annie’s Cakes.  That was so sweet, it bought tears to my eyes.

She was so special.

She will be missed.

My life has been made better by having her in it.

not crochet:: memory box

I’ve never told you my baby’s name before, but it’s Alex.

And well, since he is larger & more of a badass than I, it’s probably safe to disclose that information 😀

I made him a card album & memory box this weekend since he has graduated & become an adult.



He graduated in May, so I figure 3 months to get it done isn’t so bad. Baby shoes included:)

not crochet:: hoarder level eleventy unlocked

If you are a pin hoarder like me, you have no doubt seen the pin with the hanger & shower curtain rings to group your tank tops, thus saving valuable closet space.

The cheap plastic shower curtain rings are $4 and a total pain to use. Have you tried to take down your shower curtain to wash it lately?  Yeah, that’s why I never buy the circular plastic shower rings anymore.

The shower curtain rings do not like being hung in the shower, let alone being regularly used for tank tops that will inevitably bunch together and end up smooshed to one side because of the weight of said tank tops.  It’s like the tank tops are trying to run away from the shower curtain rings because they know the rings hate everything.  

Yes, they know.

Solution:: belt & tie hanger from the dollar store

You’re welcome


life:: sometimes you just can’t go home

Sometimes revisiting your old stomping grounds can just make you sad.

Recently, Frankie had to go home to Ohio for a funeral and like every time we go home, he stopped by to see our old house.  We lived there for a very long time and it was our safe place, our hideaway in the woods, our place to find peace from the chaos of the world.  We lived in Shawnee State Forest in the foothills to the Appalachian Mountains and it was a haven for too many reasons for me to blather on and on about.  Suffice it to say, it was where we healed from very traumatic events in both our lives and became the best of friends and learned to move forward.  ‘Nuff said there.

Our beautiful 20 acres was bought by an entrepeneur who saw the potential we always had, but he had the money to make it happen.  He turned our corner of the world into a beautiful wedding garden and reception hall and threw outrageously fabulous weddings.  FYI, we got married in our front yard 10 years previous to that, and the photo ops were stunning.

Our old farmhouse always stayed as the caretaker’s home behind the scenes.

Fast forward 10 more years later, and the entrepeneur lost his millions in the Great Recession a few years ago and now has all but abandoned the business.  Our old property is on the market again for many 100’s of thousands of dollars more than we sold it for back in 2002.  Although we would love to buy it back, we are love rich and cash poor.

So back to his stop there last month…

He took gobs of photos, but they are so incredibly sad.  The old place is no longer as we remember it…overgrown…falling apart…totally neglected.

I went through all the photos over and over and decided to only keep the not-so-sad…the ones that can still remind me of home.

old house 2014

~from this angle it’s not quite so bad, and my Granma Amy’s snowball bush is in the foreground and flourishing~

our creek 2014

~our mountain runoff creek is still wild and sun-dappled and just as I recall~

loveseat 2014

~and my ‘loveseat’ rock that Frankie hoisted up & out of the creek to sit and contemplate life, while extremely overgrown, is still there on the creek bank~

 Edited to add::

After writing this post, I needed to see some shots of my old life in Ohio.  This is how I remember our creek and our loveseat.

creek 4

loveseat 2loveseat 3
Think happy thoughts and make today ridiculously amazing!

life:: fairy garden

fairy garden 1

Recently I became enamored with the idea of fairy gardens.

Yeppers, had to make one.

I even used all the special rocks that my son gave me as a little boy.

fairy garden 2

The worst part is that I also used a piece of marble I picked up on a 3rd or 4th grade field trip day at a local lake.  As a fairy guard dog, I also have a Tinosaur that I got in a Happy Meal when I was 18 while harassing the help at a McDonalds with my closest high school friends that shall remain nameless.  The house is a gourd I have had drying in my greenhouse for 14 years.  Good gawd I’m a sentimental junk collector!  And the scary part is that I remember when, where, and why I got them all.

If you are interested, check out my Pinterest board where I got inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by!

life:: did you ever have a pen pal?

I wonder if bloggers that make friends online used to be the kids with pen pals.

I am and I did.

I had 3 pen pals as a child to be exact.

A boy from the Philippines

A girl from Austria

and Anne from Grenoble, France.

 I miss them and wish we would not have lost touch. Unfortunately, life and jobs and marriage and kids and a home get in the way of leisurely letter writing.

They were great at opening my eyes to the larger world.

I like to think that I am open-minded and can think globally.  Some of that I owe to those lovely children that wrote to tell me about their daily lives in far away places from Omaha, Nebraska.

As an adult with my child nearly grown, my home quiet and serene, my career plodding along on auto-pilot;  I am able to spend more leisure time on the things I love.  Crochet. Tea. Cats. Interwebz.  On this global connection I have found many new pen pals.  And all grown up too.  I have the most lovely online friendships through WP and blogging.   Some as close as Kansas and others as far from boring old Omaha as South Africa and Australia.  There are common threads among us all that bind us together in so many ways.

Some of my blog-pals and I have exchanged notes and tokens of appreciation outside the web, and each time it feels like that old familiar thrill of receiving a letter as a child.

gifts from tamara

~this was a recent one from Tamara~

Although blogging is like an open letter to anyone that stops by, it can also be as personal as a pen pal letter written in 1979.  When the common threads are found, we go back to read more and to share.  And in the end, we find a lovely group of people that just “get” us, and we just “get” them, and it’s pretty awesome.

Cheers to you, my bloggy pen-pals.  I like you. I really, really like you.

life:: art & wine, bitches

Lately, the neighbor girls and I have been inspired to paint.

We started an Art & Wine Night.

It’s friggin fun!

art & wine 1

art & wine 7

Bottles of wine are consumed and we let the art take us where it will.

art & wine 6

We use plain old acrylics and inexpensive canvases.

art & wine 5

art & wine 4

art & wine 2

art & wine 3

art & wine 8

And then we create masterpieces.

At least we think so.

We also have a blast.

Next time…we will be painting large wooden letters to hang on our front doors.  It will rock.