When it hurts to crochet


I was going to post something different today, but I didn’t finish the crochet piece that goes with that post. It’s only a few more rows, but the last few days I noticed that I started to hold the yarn and hook differently, and that caused my stitches to change. This unconscious reaction to the discomfort in my wrist and fingers caused the simple basket to look uneven and sloppy.

The pain in my joints shows up every six or so months, and stays a few weeks. When it’s in my hands it’s more of an annoyance, a quiet, dull sensation that doesn’t really impact my daily activities. I have had it come and go since I was 13, and normally I don’t even mention it. Once a rheumatologist recommended homeopathic drops for it, so it is nothing serious. It just makes those stitches different as I try to avoid even that little pain.

Sometimes in life I try to avoid a little pain, and while it seems that nothing is changed, but just that little avoidance of something painful or uncomfortable can hinder me from achieving my goal. Coming back to the Church I knew one thing: I wanted to return to the Temple. I need a Temple recommend for that. I need to be active in my own ward to be able to get a Temple recommend. However, just the thought of going to my own ward gave me a panic attack. I couldn’t just do that. So to avoid the stress and pain, I went somewhere else. It was still better than not going anywhere, like for so many years before this summer, but it still wasn’t helping me to get to my goal. I needed to face that pain and with the help of lots of wonderful people in my ward, just get over it.

Of course it doesn’t always work like that with physical pain. While there are new projects I could start now, and finish them before I get back to my regular stitches, I think I’ll rest my hook for a few days, and get that book out of my crochet bag, and just enjoy a little more reading time.   Because that will make life better and more beautiful. IMG_0084


Catching Up Part 2 – September

2015-09-06 01.12.12September was a rather busy month, as it is usually the case in Service Desk settings. The first week of September often brings the second highest volumes of the year (after the first week of January), and we service desk people prepare for that as best as we can. It still often results in a lot of work, overtime, and just generally feeling rushed all the time. During this crazy silly month there were some activities we did as well.

One such event was the Corvin Movie Night. One of the movie theatres offered a full night of movies for about the equivalent of two tickets. My friend Judy and I went and saw some films we had wanted to see for a while like Trainwreck (Bill Hader is my favorite SNL alumn), and the most recent Mission Impossible movie (Simon Pegg was awesome). Since one of the movies we wanted to see was full we accidentally ended up seeing a great Spanish movie, “La isla mínima“. It was a pleasant surprise, a film that managed to keep my attention even at 2 a.m. after three other films. I highly recommend it.

Part of the event was an Instagram photo competition. Judy and I both uploaded a few snapshots from the cinema and I was lucky enough to win one of the movie vouchers for two! We used it to watch the second Maze Runner movie. It was fun to finally win something!

My sister, niece, and I made a visit to my frien Bea's. She lives in one if the suburban districts and has a huge garden. In the “olden days”mwe had one of our best team building events there. Bea and her then fiancé (now husband) Tomi have a cat, who was still quite a kitten back then. The two kids-my niece and the cat-had a blast playing in the garden. Despite rains in the morning and a forecast of more rain, we ended up with sunshine and only limited mud. We picked some apples while there, and came home with plenty of other fruits and vegetables from their garden. It was a very pleasant autumn afternoon.

At the end of September my niece decided she wanted to learn to crochet. We tried a bit at first, but after a while we ran into a problem. Can you see what it is.

Yes, she is legt-handed, which would not be a big problem if I was, too. Alas, I am not, and I'm still in the process of teaching myself to crochet left-handed so I can show her how to do it.


When My Hobby Is Useful

I bought several sets of needles the last month, and after a while most of them disappeared from the original, though now opened, packaging. It is very annoying, because the Prym needles I usually get at my favourite store are not cheap, and out of the 6 needles 2 are good for crochet projects. So after losing yet another needle and a new tapestry needle, I decided it was time to crochet something to solve that problem.

2015-07-31 20.59.57 2015-07-31 21.01.40

It is great when my hobbies prove to be useful, even if they are only useful to make the same hobbies easier!

Guerilla Crocheters in Budapest

First there was a the tram that was decorated by hand-knot and crocheted items. Then, a few weeks ago, some guerilla crafters covered one of the warming stones on Móricz with images from Budapest. Here are a few:

2015-07-02 14.35.25

The Gellért Hill on top, with the Citadell, the Cave Church by the blue Danube, the white National Museum and the yellowis Keleti (Railway station) on the bottom.

2015-07-02 14.35.52

The Parliament in black, with a yellow tram in front

2015-07-02 14.36.08

The Zoo in the very bottom, with the City Park’s lake and ducks.

2015-07-02 14.36.23

Heroes’ Square on the bottom.

The Vonyarcvashegy Crocheter

For four and a half days I have temporarily turned into the Vonyarcvashegy Crocheter, as my family is on our annual lake side vacation. Vonyarc is a smallish village on Lake Balaton, close to Keszthely, making it about 200 km away from Budapest. Growing up my Sister and I spent a good portion of our summers here, at our grandparents’ summer home. That small house was sold 14 years ago, but by then I hadn’t gone there for a few years. The next several years the Balaton was not a strong contender when planning holidays.

After my Niece was born we returned to Balaton for our family vacations. For two years we experimented with the southern shore, where the water is shallow. One can literally walk a hundred meters in the lake and still have water up to their thighs. Itbis ideal for families with small children.

As luck would have it, when Niece was two, my Sister bought a groupon like thing for a cheap hotel in Siófok. It turned out to be the same place where our family vacationed when Sister was two. Back then it belonged to the company my father worked for. While Sister had little memories of the place, my Mom and I did. It was fun to see Niece at the same place, doing the same things as her mother had when she was the same age.

The next year saw us return to our beloved northern shore of the lake. Unlike the southern shore, in the north the water deepens quickly, but with some effort most towns created child friendly beaches. Last year I decided to check accomodations in Vonyarc. Two weeks later we arrived expecting lots of changes. Despite these anticipated changes everything felt so familiar. Going to the Lido there were even the same people selling cotton candy, running the big water slide, and taking care of the grounds. We shopped at the same store as we did when we were kids, went to the same pharmacy for eye drops, and bought rétes at the same stand. It felt like coming home. No wonder we returned this year, too!

Yesterday I went to the post office to mail something to the States as well as a few postcards. The postal worker saw my name and asked me if I was related to my Grandma. Back when she spent most of the year here he used to help her with the garden.

Now I have to admit that between swimming, re-reading both Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and James E. Talmage’s Jesus the Christ, and catching up on Wayward Pines, I didn’t crochet much, just enough to finish a bear for my Niece. I, once again, didn’t use a pattern. It was made from RedHeart Soft yarn, using a 4 mm hook, and as the safety eyes I ordered from eBay haven’t made it yet, I bought the smallest available sew-on eyes.

Balcsi Dorka. Bow from Claire’s, necklace from one of the stands selling touristy stuff.

Now I have two more bears, a cat, and three more table runners to finish. Good thing I’ll be on a train for three hours tomorrow!

The Bear, part 1

So one of my coworkers, Lia, moved to Bucharest, Romania. Being in a new country with few acquaintences and hardly any friends is hard. Sometimes Lync, Viber, and Facebook chat are the only comnection with family and friends. So that is the time when expat friends need a tangible reminder that people at home still think of them snd care about them.

I was sure I wanted to make domething for Lia, but I was not sure what. I was considering making a small doll, or a basket, or an owl with some lavender inside. Last week, however, I checked the nearby Euroshop and found some pretty grey yarn. I am not a fan of the other 49 shades, but this one reminded me of a certain blue nosed teddy bear. It was only HUF 390 for 50g, so I bought enough for at least  two bears and I went to work.

I looked for a good pattern, but the ones I found were either ridiculously expensive (if I had €20 for a pattern I’d buy a real grey bear) or I sidn’t really like them. So Pietro came to be without a pattern, and while I’ll make some changes for the next bear, I think he isn’t half bad for a first attempt.

My weakest point, as usual, is sewing pieces together. His shoulders are kinda rough.

Hopefully in a few days he will be on his way to Romania!

Hooked on Crochet

“What are you knitting?” is the standard question when someone sees me crocheting. Of course the one time I tried my hand at knitting no one asked me that. The question then was  about what I was crocheting. I think most people in my geeration never really learned that one needle (hook) is crochet, 2 needles is knitting. I can’t even blame them.

Growing up my age group was one of the last classes to have the luxury of two to three hours of “technika” lessons a week. In this class we lerned useful work skills from changing lighbulbs to woodwork to making simple electric circuits. One year we had to hand sew a small parachute. My grandma made most of that for me, because trouble for me began when I had to cut out the fabric. I was THAT clumsy. The same year we learned a very basic crochet stitch and we had to make a pot holder. My mom finished that for me. Those two were the only work I ever remember being sent home to finish, and based on it not being graded, our teacher was quite aware that these were really homework for moms. Kids younger only by a few years didn’t have either activity as part of their curriculum, just like book binding, making wooden spice racks, working traffic light models, and aluminum ash trays were also dropped.

As shown above, it wasn’t in 5th grade that I learned to crochet. My mother tried oh so hard to teach me then, and then in high school, and during my university years, but it just didn’t happen. I had some very impressively messed up pieces as my attempts at crocheting, but I just couldn’t get it. I watched my mom, I tried to follow her instructions, and it just didn’t work. Then came YouTube and Google. A few videos and lots of written descriptions later I produced my first recognizable item: a blue pot holder that is still in use nearly ten years later. It was still uneven, a bit sloppy, but it served its purpose. It was useful. Being able to create something useful kept me crocheting, and with practice I got better. Motivation to finally do something useful was very important for me. In my real job I often felt that my work was useless.

Now the usefulness of some of the things I crochet is questionable. My preferred work include dolls, mug cozies, and other non-useful things. Making them, however, keeps me busy, entertained and it is better than therapy. Most of the time, at least. I wouldn’t say it’s cheaper than therapy, with all  the money I’ve spent on yarn, but definitely it has a nice balancing effect. So for now a ball of yarn and a crochet hook are my constant companions, because I am hooked on crochet.