join the TreasureGoddess newsletter list
* indicates required

Spinzilla 2014....I came, I spun, I kicked some arse

Ok I FELT like I was kicking some serious spinning arse, but then I went to check in on the Spinzilla blog where I saw the Rogue Champion Jane Sheetz spun 13,744 yards. SERIOUSLY? Well, Sheetz! Ah well, I did get myself to spin, spin, spin and cranked through almost my entire fiber stash, so that's a great thing. I'd never participated in Spinzilla before, and I have to say, it was pretty awesome.

Spinzilla charges a $10 fee to enter and you can spin on teams or you can be a rogue spinner and go on your own. This first year I knew I'd not be able to do a lot of spinning and was a bit intimidated of the possibility of letting a team down, so I went rogue. I think next year I'll organize a totally laid back Team TreasureGoddess. We will spin and we will see what we do. I'm thinking it will be NO pressure and VERY fun. I'll figure details out before next year and then we'll spin on Wayne, spin on Garth!

All those entry fees for this event went to a pretty good cause. Over $13,000 was raised for the Needle Arts Mentoring Program, to teach spinners of the next generation. Very cool. Also, all together the Spinzilla participants handspun a total of 3,983,286.18 yards. That's a LOT of freaking handspun yarn!! Mine will eventually make its way to the TreasureGoddess Etsy Shop but it still has to be soaked and reskeined, so it may be a few days.

If you're a spinner, pull out that wheel this weekend and spin up a skein or two. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed spinning these last few months until I sat and spun and spun and spun.


Joe, the Speech Making Man

This is my son, Joe, who is 14 years old. Joe has Cystic Fibrosis, CF, a genetic lung & digestive disease. Joe volunteers with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and often gives speeches to groups to help raise money for this awesome charity. This charity helps fund specialists, pay for equipment and anything needed to give kids the best care possible at their local hospital. One of my favorite things about this charity is that 100% of the money raised stays at your local hospital. For us in the KC area, it's KU Medical Center. The salaries and advertising and such comes from separate national funding.

Joe went to Whiteman Air Force Base a couple of weeks ago and spoke to a group of young servicemen and servicewomen that work on the stealth bombers about signing up for a 24 hour marathon of video gaming (or board gaming) to raise money for CMNH called Extra Life. He wasn't feeling well, but got up and stood in front of the room and talked about CF and what it means to his life and how CMN Hospitals helps him and kids like him. It was a really moving speech. Afterwards, a young man came up to Joe and shook his hand. He said people are always coming up and thanking them for their service, but he wanted to thank Joe for HIS service. He said you could be laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself, we can see you don't feel well, but you chose to come out here and make a difference. That is really inspirational and I want to thank you for being here. I have to admit I got a bit teary eyed. It was a really neat moment.

Joe is actually in KU Med now for a 10-14 day stay to get a "tune-up." Much like a car going in for its 30,000 mile checkup, Joe and many teens and young adults with Cystic Fibrosis have to go in for tuneups too. Joe has some antibiotic resistant infections in his lungs that medicines haven't been able to erradicate. Instead, when he feels too badly, he goes in for IV meds and it brings the levels down and he's usually pretty healthy for another 4-6 months. He's a rockstar in my opinion (I know I'm his mom so I'm a titch biased). The kid knowingly goes in to get poked, prodded, evaluated, scheduled and the rest. He does it with a smile and is polite to his medical team, even thanking nurses that had to put in a 3rd initial IV as the first two blew veins. Joe wears his hand knitted PICC covers provided by local knitters and some not-so-local. His favorites come from Ann Smith, a knitter from Oklahoma that sends up a big batch every so often. If you have some extra superwash wool yarn, think about knitting up a few and donating to your local hospitals. Feel free to email me at ChristineATtreasuregoddessDOTcom and I can find homes for them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids and adults that need long term IV meds and these PICC Covers are like hugs for their arms. It helps disguise the tubes, it also feels good to have the arm hugged with soft wool while the picc lines are in.


I think of it as gaining a design studio....

You know the phrase people sometimes say when their daughter is getting married? "I don't think of it as losing a daughter, I'm gaining a son." Well, my daughter isn't getting married, but she did make a major move to New Mexico for her senior year of high school. While our KC family misses her terribly, we are excited for her new adventure going to a new high school and getting ready for college in NM too.

And, well, guess what's happening to her former bedroom? I don't think of it as losing a daughter, I think of it as gaining a design studio. Yup. It's on its way from dark chalkboard black and intense turquoise walls on its way to museum quality WHITE BRIGHT WHITE, soon to become part design studio, part dye lab, part knitting corner, part spinning retreat, part stash storage, and part TREASUREGODDESS PIRATE SHEEP PARADISE! WOOP WOOP!! Can you tell I'm a titch excited? Shots below are some in-progress shots. I just heard two BIG boxes of undyed yarn were delivered today, I'm hoping to finish things up and get an official studio so I can start DYEING again!!

And I totally jinxed myself with that last post about LOVING the FROGGING. Cripes. While I DO love frogging, I do NOT love reknitting the damn things you screwed up over again. I'm working on a Vodka Lemonade cardigan out of some beautiful Madeline Tosh DK in Toast colorway. The first two skeins of yarn had no distinguishable difference in color, and I started the 3rd skein in bad lighting last night. I told myself that dark line I was seeing was only because of the poor lighting. I was TOO LAZY to get up and hold the stupid thing under a bright light, and just kept knitting. Then I kept knitting for another hour today, and kept seeing that damn line. DAMN LINE OF NONAWESOMENESS, now known as the LINE OF SHAME.

Stupid. How do we experienced knitters keep telling ourselves lies like "oh that'll block right out, just keep knitting" or "there's no real difference on those skeins, no need to rip back a few rows now"..... or is it just me? Crap on a Stick. WELL, I did a bit of frogging but didn't use the HUWAAAAYYYAAA phrase while doing so, it was a bit more colorful and not G-rated. The older, wiser Knitter that I am now (vs last night) has decided to first check the 4th skein and see if there's any real difference. If so, I will frog back a few more rows and begin alternating one row from each of 2 or 3 skeins and see how it pleases the eye. I already have one sweater with a line of shame that I didn't stop and take care of and it irks me every time I wear it or even see it. Live & Learn. As my dear friend Teri put it, "frogging just means you get to knit that much more." Yeah. That doesn't really help much, but it's true. I do love knitting. Now I have a bit more of it to do. And soon? I'll have a sweet little comfy spot in Pirate Sheep Paradise to do just that.

Swatch a little, Frog a little, repeat

Well, that pile of lovely hand dyed awesomeness is my 2nd attempt at a swatch for a new pattern design of a shawl. I used to do almost anything rather than frog a project, I'd unknit (also called tink) one stitch at a time back through ROWS and ROWS of knitting to save the heartbreak and terror that used to grip me with the idea of just pulling out the needles and ripping back the yarn. Now, I get a sick sort of happiness by doing just that. I don't necessarily rip the whole project out, but now I just slip those needles out and give the yarn a tug or a HUWHAAAAAAAA (my verbalization of frogging) while using my arm in a full extension arc and RIPPING that yarn away stitch by stitch, row by row, PILING up the yarn on my lap, the floor, or wherever it happens to fly. It's empowering, actually. Then you calmly (really) pick up your needles and either slip them into the existing stitches or if you are working with fiddly yarn, tink yourself back a row one stitch at a time and all the little stitches are back on the needles ready to try that part again.

Here is start #3 of my fabulous shawl pattern idea. Well, it's fabulous in my head. On the needles, it hasn't been behaving itself very well the first two go-rounds. I've gotten a bit smarter this time and frogged the entire thing and cast on fewer stitches. Just enough to test things out and get a repeat of the pattern going and see how it develops.

Almost any fiber of yarn really will behave itself and not immediately drop all the stitches back to the bindoff if you pull out the needles. I promise. I used to FREAK THE HECK OUT when someone suggested I pull the needles out of my work and fix a stitch or two. FREAK OUT. Now it actually makes me smile. I'm not saying ALL the stitches stay right there no matter what, one or two may drop down one row, but that's easily fixed stitch by stitch on the next time around the needles. Just take it slow and LOOK at your knitting. Or find someone like me at your next knit night who has a sick pleasure in ripping back knitting a ways and getting things corrected and going right. :) There's one in every crowd. In fact, my little group actually has a few that LIKE weaving in ends. Boggles my brain.

Yes, I have actually been introduced to the idea of putting in lifelines, but for this little swatch, it doesn't seem like it's worth the effort. It's probably just as fast for me to frog back and start again at the point where I last had things going right.

OH, and for those not sure why people call it frogging? As shown on the top picture, when you say out lout "rip it, rip it, rip it" it sounds like "ribbit, ribbit, ribbit". Hence, Frogging. May all your knitting projects behave themselves and you not have any frogging in the near future. But, if you do, remember, it's not a horrible thing, it's like a second chance, a do-over.

PS, the yarn being used is some of my own Cashmere Treasures Lace Yarn. It wants to grow up to be a TreasureGoddess Shawl of Awesomeness. How's that for some pressure on designing a good pattern? Hopefully this swatch will grow up to a good start of the design. Wish me luck!

Here's the view I had this weekend while knitting away on the first 2 attempts of swatches...(my husband and my lake doggie Rio).


So maybe I do give a fuxx after all.

This is a post like my blog used to be in the old days. TMI (Too Much Information), only moderately knitting related, but me. This is who I am and that's the original reason for the blog anyway. I've never fit into the super blogger successful woman genre, so here we go.

I've had a lot of stress from too many things on my list. Do you know the feeling, one more crazy freaking stressful thing piled on top of 42,308 other things, one more thing, one more thing. I got to where I just didn't even think about the whole list, just tried to put out the fires and deal with the most pressing item now, then just "put it on the list" for each new thing that came along. Nothing major, no one was dying (although at one point I thought I was), no one was out of a job, we have a good house with food in the freezer, nothing that couldn't be fixed. I just had become the fix everything for everyone and do it all supermom/superwife/supereverything person and it got too much.

SO, I got sick. Very sick. Couldn't eat, pressure in my guts, etc. 102-104 fevers for 22 days, lots of blood taken, lots of tests. Turns out your gall bladder isn't happy when your guts are tied in knots and you don't eat well, don't sleep well and stress the heck out. LONG story a bit liver was swollen, enzyme numbers off the charts, gall bladder not "angry infected" but "rather pissed off infected" and I had to be on lots of meds and REST and RELAX. All of this is when a rather major vacation to MEXICO had been planned for the extended family, our brady bunch 6, my father & mother in law, and sister in law plus her husband and two kids. The doctors decided I probably wouldn't drop dead and they wouldn't take out my gall bladder anyway for at least 2 weeks so I could either lay on a bed or poolside in Mexico or I could lay in a bed at home. I decided I would go on the big vacation and drink no alcohol. (DUDE, it was an all inclusive resort in MEXICO with ALL the family including 4 teenagers and MY husband and I couldn't drink? Awesome.) Though we had issues with traveling, it was a wonderful get-away and truly was a paradise. A hot 90% humidity and 95+ degree paradise, but a paradise nonetheless. I also rested in the shade and got to spend hours watching my kids playing with their cousins in the ocean and in the pool and just loving life. It was wonderful and everyone took very good care of me. Best of all, I didn't end up in a Mexican hospital (which was a MAJOR concern of mine). Many knitting projects were packed, but I just didn't have the energy or brain power or desire to even get them out of their bags on the trip.

our brady bunch on the beach towards the end of the vacation

Back to US, more stress comes right and left, but with the help of concerned family members have decided I just can't give a fuxx any more. About anything. Or anyone. I had to focus on me and resting, and doing things that made me feel happy. I was so sick I couldn't even KNIT for almost 4 weeks. That's a new record that I'd like to not repeat any time soon. It's a theory that mostly works, but is hard to live out. It's a lot like after the first time your heart is broken, you decide it's easier just not to care about anyone and then your heart won't hurt anymore. That doesn't work either.

My husband, concerned that I've been quiet (very unusual) and not knitting (almost unheard of) encouraged me to get involved in going to my knit night again and spending time with creative people to help get my little spark back. I wasn't really feeling it last night, but figured, oh what the heck and went. I'm so very thankful that I did.

After giving the short version you guys had along with a tiny snippet of the why Christine thought she was gong to die scenario, I told them I just don't give a fuxx. Just can't. When I came back from getting my food ordered, one of my friends was frantically telling me to GETOVERHERENOW and said "picc line" and pointed out a young lady and her mother that were leaving their table. I apologized for being rude and asked if the lady did have a picc line and she said yes. I explained that my son has CF (cystic fibrosis) and my friends and I knit up picc line covers to donate to those with CF or other illnesses that cause them to have to have picc lines. I said it's like an arm hug, it helps you feel a bit better, keeps the plugs from snagging on things, and keeps random strangers like ME from asking what the heck is sticking out of your arm. :) I pointed out my friend Laura (Stashbuckler creative genius and dear friend) who had JUST THAT NIGHT given me new picc covers she'd knit out of soft, washable wool. They were fantastic. The young lady said she, too had CF and was so thankful for the picc covers as they'd used old tube socks in the past and thought this was so much better. Then she mentioned that she was going to be transferring to the KU Med Adult CF center the next day and was really nervous about it. She was having a port put in the next morning and now was not nearly as nervous as she'd been when they sat down for dinner. I was able to say that transferring to KU's CF pediatric center was the best thing we'd ever done, that I know it's saved my son's life. We talked more and I was able to rest her and her mother's fears about the big changes and explained how amazing it is that the different medical teams ALL WORK TOGETHER and include patient and parents in ideas and plans to help those fighting this rough disease stay healthy. KU Med is the place to be if you have to be dealing with Cystic Fibrosis. It was like fate picked them up and put them in my way JUST SO I could help them out and they could help me out.

I sat down at our knitting table with tears in my eyes of thankfulness and joy and hope and positivity and a bit of a spark again. My friend sitting nearest to me just said, "well, guess you DO give a fuxx after all, huh?" and hugged me. I burst into tears and said, yes, I guess I do. Then we knit and talked and were inspiring and encouraging and it was just what I needed.

stinky pelicans that were wandering about and then the one with the wings spread, it tried to EAT ME (or at least he snapped three times at my legs and chased me about, causing me to scream bloody murder and all the locals to laugh hysterically). Fastest I moved the entire week.

Want to knit up some PICC line covers with extra superwash wool? Check out the free pattern tab or click HERE. Give them to your local children's hospital or contact me to send them my way. It really does make a difference and helps out.