Saturday, November 22, 2014



Well, I'm sad to say that Jane's Yarn Shoppe, at 12th & Morris Sts is no longer open. Due to financial reasons, she could no longer keep it going.

  Small local yarn shops have been trying to compete with the large craft stores (we have A C Moore and Michaels), and Jane's was the only 'crochet friendly' LYS in the city. And when the craft stores came to town, that drove a lot of business from her shop..

  She had been a staple in the South Philly area, along East Passyunk Ave. for several decades.

  I met her in the late 90's, and found a refuge to share my thoughts, ideas, and my crochet work with. I sometimes found myself staying the shop for hours at a time, just hanging out.

  At first, I felt a little strange going there, being the only guy I knew who crocheted (before then, I would just crochet by myself, and never had anyone to talk to about it, without getting those strange looks and attitudes. But she never made me feel that way, she's very down to earth, and welcoming. She helped me come out the crochet 'closet'.

  When I started teaching at several senior centers, I would copy some of my students patterns to share with her. Before long, she had hundreds of patterns. I used to make items and she would showcase them in the store and the store window. I would sometimes call her up for her advice, we would help each other with any crochet problems. I honored her professional opinions and ideas.

  She specialized in making baby clothes, with that 'thin' yarn (UGH....I cringe just thinking about it!!), and could whip up a baby sweater in no time. She's made so many baby items, she doesn't need a pattern! She could make just about anything, but baby clothes were her favorite.

  And she was the best place to get Red Heart's 'Luster Sheen' yarn

  Due to illness, I hadn't been able to go there in several years, but I would always recommend everybody to go to her shop. Just remember to bring something to eat & drink, because you'll be there for awhile

  I hate to see her go.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ever heard that expression: 'Getting all dressed up, and have nowhere to go?"

  I feel like that with crocheting lately. I like to make so many different things, but what do I do with them? In the past, I made so many things that they were piling up in my apartment. I would either find a pattern I wanted to try, or, create something new, make it, take a photo of it, then, fold it up, put it in a zippered bag, and put it in the closet.

  Here's the thing...I like to crochet for just the joy of crocheting. I don't have any one person in mind, when I'm making something, I just enjoy challenging my skills and ideas.

  I started writing patterns about 9 yrs. ago, only because people who were online started to ask for a pattern for the things I created myself. I never thought of myself as a 'designer', I'm  just sitting here alone, putting my ideas into some form. I just like crocheting, but I don't like to do the same thing over, and over again.

  I bought so much yarn, had so many books and magazines, as well as hundreds of copied paper patterns, I felt like I had my own personal yarn shop! There were days when I didn't feel like going out to get yarn, or even seeing anyone, so I'd be hold up in my apartment for days just crocheting, while listening to music (stocked up on frozen dinners so I'd didn't have to cook....bad idea!)

  Well, since I moved to a smaller apartment, and my family threw out most of my patterns out of my old apartment (I had stuff that went back to the 60's...but they thought it was just junk). And, after taking what they wanted, (including some a lot of my own property!!), they sold off all my crochet work, including the yarn at a flea market!!

 Now I just don't have the drive like I used to. I will pick up something now and then, but just for a hour or so.

The one good thing is that I still go to a crochet class at a senior center that's near me. I used to teach there. I had 3 other centers that I taught at, but this one was my favorite.... most of the students were actually 'learning', trying new things, and actually 'finishing' their projects!

  So, I'm just content with things now, and decided to not 'get dressed up, because I'm not going anywhere!! :-)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hospitalized Again!!

 Last December, I was hit with a severe case of pneumonia (due to a adenovirus) that cause my weak kidneys to fail, and I had to go on dialysis (permanently) . I knew that I would eventually go on it, but the pneumonia just pushed it forward faster. Some fluid  from the adenovirus had build up in my right knee, and I had to get that removed.

 So, I was in the hospital for about a month (don't remember much about the first 2 weeks, but I hear I was delirious.  All I remember that I was in so much pain, I wanted and pleaded to die...

 Well, I got thru it, but it left me extremely weak, bed ridden, and couldn't walk or go to the bathroom. Couldn't stand the smell and taste of food (lost 30 lbs.!!), and always feeling nauseated, especially in my bowels. (probably due to all the different antibiotics they were giving me!)

 The pneumonia cleared up, and I was sent to a rehabilitation center to have some physical and occupational therapy. I'm also going to a dialysis center, 3 times a week, 4hrs. each time. Oh well it's something I know I have to get used to.

Can't wait until I can get back home.