Sunday, December 7, 2008

Help Fight Cancer -- Win Fibery Goodness!

A fellow Raveler, Shirley, recently lost her mother after a 7 month fight with cancer. In February, her sister will be doing a solo sky dive to raise funds for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. To help her sister reach her goal of 1000 British pounds (sorry, don't know how to get the pound symbol to appear!), Shirley is organizing a raffle. All of the detail can be found here:

Ramblings of a yarn junkie: Sad news

I've donated a $25 gift certificate from Needle Bling. There are some wonderful prizes being offered -- if you've got a little cash to spare for a good cause, go donate!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Sales

Well, the sale was a complete bust for me. I sold nothing. Of course, the fact that my shop was listed in the 'jewery' section of the group sales page and not in the knitter/crocheter section could have something to do with it! I tried to contact the person who set up the sale site, but she either was out of town this weekend, or was just ignoring me.

I got a lot of views on Friday and Saturday, but no one purchased anything. I'm starting to wonder if there's something wrong with my stitch markers!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Etsy Fest Is Coming!

Seems I'm not the only Etsy seller having a sale this weekend. There will be sales all across Etsy. The details of each sale will be posted on the individual storefronts. For a list of people participating, check out this blog:

It's organized by category, so you can find what you're looking for more easily


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Etsy Update and More

Well, it's been a while. Things have been crazy around here. There's a flu bug running through the ferrets, and that means I have to feed several of them (all the sick ones) 4 times a day, as well as do my usual things around the house. Saying I'm exhausted doesn't really cover it. And one of the sick ones (a six-month old from one of this year's litters) bit me last week while I was feeding him, so now my right index finger is infected. I'm on antibiotics, and the finger has a wet/dry wrap to help it drain, but it really slows me down, since I'm right-handed.

Etsy update -- Needle Bling, my Etsy shop, has had 4 sales! Yea!!!!!!!!!! I've got lots of stitch markers on sale, and I've recently added gift certificates, so you've got no excuse not to give stitch markers as a gift! (grin) And this weekend (Thanksgiving weekend) I'm having a sale. 15% off everything in the shop except gift certificates. It ends Tuesday, December 2, so don't wait!

I've been getting questions about my fibromyalgia, so here's the background story on me. I was diagnosed about 12-13 years ago. I was working in a bank at the time, and one night after I got home my left knee blew up to about twice it's normal size. I figured I had twisted it or something, started favoring the leg and went to work the next day. After a few days of working during the day and babying the knee at night, nothing had changed so I went to see my doctor. He had no idea what had caused it, told me to keep doing what I was doing, and come back in a week if nothing had changed. That continued for about three weeks. At that point, the doctor told me to take two weeks off work. He wanted me to start the next day, but I had things on my desk that needed to be taken care of, so I worked the next day and told the bank manager what was going on. He wasn't happy, but what could he do?

So I took the next two weeks off, except for one mandatory meeting that had been scheduled before I started having problems. I stayed off my feet and the swelling went down some, but the knee was still painful. The day before I was supposed to go back, Ruth and I both came down with stomach flu -- high fever, vomiting, the whole nine yards. I called in and left a message explaining what was wrong and that I wouldn't be coming in the next day. That continued for three days. By Thursday that week, I felt well enough to work, so I took my doctor's note and went in. I worked Thursday and Friday, and when I went in on Monday I was called into the bank president's office. I was told that I 'wasn't a team player and they couldn't have non-team players on their team', and that I was no longer employed there.

I got my COBRA insurance set up and continued looking for a reason for the way my knee was acting. About a month later, my doctor (wonderful man, never told me it was all in my head -- this was the culmination of a two year hunt for answers about why I was so painful) sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. He looked at two years of blood tests for all kinds of illnesses and the MRI of my knee that we'd had done, tossed the file in a corner, said 'Well, that was a waste,' and proceeded to poke me in multiple places. I think I tested positive in 12 of the 18 pressure points. When he said 'You have fibromyalgia', my first thought was 'OMG! I have a diagnosis!" It was a huge relief, even though I had friends with fibro and had an idea of what it meant.

In the ensuing years, I've gotten progressively more painful, and my once-dependable memory has slowly become quite unreliable. When the memory first began to go, I was afraid it was early-onset Alzheimer's, but tests proved that it wasn't. Now I'm lucky if I can remember a conversation for 2 days, much less the 6 months or more that I used to be able to count on. I can't work because I don't retain the training, but I can't get disability because the lovely state of Pennsylvania doesn't think I'm disabled enough. grrrrrrrrrrr

Anyway, that's my fibro story. Nothing you all haven't heard/experienced before!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Have An Etsy Shop!

I've been playing around with making stitch markers for a while now, using up some semi-precious gemstone beads that I have from years ago, and I decided to go ahead and open an Etsy shop. I'm starting with 8 sets of six knitting stitch markers, and I'll be adding more. I've added a link from this blog -- check it out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Further Adventures In Dyeing

I re-dyed another two skeins with the stronger dye -- it definitely makes a difference! I've started knitting a scarf with the first two skeins. The second ones are for a hat and possibly mittens.

The collection of washcloths for the women's shelter is going well -- counting the one I'm currently knitting, I've got 19. That means I only need 11 more before I'm ready for the first delivery.

I was a bit annoyed with a poster on the 'Peace Work' group last week. She posted in the thread for the washcloths for the shelter, asking if once I have enough washcloths, would I be okay with sending future cloths to Hurricane Ike victims. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against helping victims of the hurricane. What annoyed me is a) hijacking the shelter thread and b) assuming that once I have enough for a delivery I'd be finished, especially since I stated at the beginning that this would be on-going, not just a one-time thing. So I told her to do the research, find out where things should be sent and start a new thread for it. And that yes, sending the washcloths to hurricane victims would be fine, as long as people didn't forget the women's shelter. She didn't bother to reply, or set up a new thread, although someone else brought the topic up again several days later. When I asked them to start a new thread, they did.

And that brings me to a public service announcement. The Houston Food Bank is in desperate need of monetary donations to help purchase food so that they can meet the demand in the wake of the hurricane. They're estimating that they will need to distribute 700,000 pounds of food every day for the next several weeks at least. No, you didn't read that wrong -- 700,000 pounds of food daily. If you can spare even a little, please donate!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Looking Better!

Well, judging by the lack of comments, no one is reading this. Oh, well, hopefully someone will stumble across it soon.

So, I redyed 2 of the skeins yesterday. I'd mixed up new dye, about 4 times stronger than I originally used. I repainted the skeins entirely, and it looks like the colors are much brighter and more vibrant. This ought to knit up into some amazingly brilliant fall color

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Perhaps Not Such A Failure

So, the yarn has begun to dry overnight, and I took it outside and looked at it in the sun this morning. It's not as bad as I thought, although the russet and vermilion will definitely need to be dyed again. And I may touch up the burnt orange a bit -- depends on how it looks once the yarn is completely dry.

On a bright note, I got more washcloths and toiletries for 'A Fresh Start' yesterday. Counting the washcloth I'll be finishing today, that's 8 washcloths so far. The shelter's maximum capacity seems to be 20 women, so I want to have 30 bundles before I make the first delivery. That way, if they're full up, every woman there will get a bundle and they'll still have some left to give new arrivals as other women leave. No toys for the kids yet, though -- that part of the idea may not pan out.

Is anyone even reading this?

Dyeing Failure

So I spent the day turning balls of yarn into skeins so I could dye it, and tonight I was ready. I set my yarn to soaking, mixed my dyes, got all my supplies together and proceeded to paint the six skeins I wanted to play with. My colors were rich fall colors, and I was eagerly anticipating the gorgeous yarns that would result.

Nope. Not at all the deep rich colors I was looking for. Instead of a rich vermilion, I got a pinkish red. Instead of a russet, I got an orangish red. Instead of a deep burnt orange, I got a run-of-the-mill orange. And the gold ochre was a pale gold.

On top of that, the sport weight skeins (two of the six) burned. I don't know if I can salvage anything, but I'm not betting on it. And I was going to knit myself mittens with those!

Now don't get me wrong -- the yarns are really pretty. They're just not the colors I want to get. And they aren't colors I'll wear.

I'm going to try dyeing the four skeins that didn't burn again, this time with stronger dyes. Hopefully, that will do the job!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Washcloths For Women's Shelter

So, in my last post I mentioned a charity I'm starting up. It's called 'A Fresh Start', and it's to benefit my local women's shelter.

See, when women come into a shelter, they're frequently fleeing a really bad situation and don't have time to grab even the basics, like toiletries. So the goal of 'A Fresh Start' is to provide handmade washcloths and small toiletries for the women to keep. Right now, the women are given a washcloth when they enter the shelter that they have to return when they leave. I'm also collecting small toys for the children.

Yesterday, I received my first package of washcloths and toiletries. The washcloths were gorgeous and the toiletries were generously sized. I'm so excited -- it looks like this may actually work!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Well, I can't promise how often I'll post here -- I'm new to this. But I thought I'd celebrate 11 months of knitting by trying something new.

So, things I'm working on -- a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend, an afghan for my mother, washcloths for a charity I'm starting up. Nothing huge or exciting, but then I like doing small things. Suits the quick gratification need that I've got!

Ravelry, I'm Beth123B. I'm in about 21 groups, including one I started, called Peace Work. It's a charity knitting/crocheting group for people who are interested in creating a bit of peace through their fiber creations.

In real life, I'm a stay-at-home fibromyalgic, who takes care of our animals. My partner is a veterinarian, so needless to say, we have a menagerie. The largest part of the menagerie is the ferrets -- we're hobby breeders. Check out our website --
Ravensnest Ferrets. We've also got 3 cats and 5 dogs -- 4 Great Danes and a Papillion.

That's the bare facts about me -- if I remember to post more, I'm sure you'll learn more.