Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014

Harmony & Peace Award

What a surprise greeting upon my return to blogland–an award nomination for a:

Harmony & Peace Award.

This has certainly caught my attention because I long for a more peaceful world. Blogging surely has a role to play in developing mutual understanding between people; to foster peace, goodwill, and help for those in need. Those of us who have the resource of the internet at our fingertips are lucky. We can choose to use it for good or for bad. Please use it for good!

Leaving the altruism aside for a more selfish moment, I do like the sound of a Harmony & Peace Award because I do like hearing voices in musical harmony*–music is important in my life–and, as any mother of three children (like me) will tell you, a little peace (and quiet) is bliss! 

Friday, 19 December 2014

Home from Hospital

Smokey bunny on the bed.
Home again…ah! Nothing like the feel of one’s own bed! 

Thank you so much for your support and good wishes through your comments. There were lots of useful suggestions about which crochet project to tackle and I will reveal my choice later in this post.

I was in hospital for three days and two nights and survived to tell the tale.  

Friday, 12 December 2014

Access All Areas: Online Too

International Access Symbol (white wheelchair symbol on a blue background) created with crochet by Jodiebodie using a freeform technique to create the shapes and finished with a white crab stitch border.
International Access Symbol
crocheted by Jodie
I am on a quest to improve the accessibility of my blog for people with disabilities.

If you visit Lupey Loops and have any access issues at all, please let me know!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Library Haul

The library had some great crochet and knitting books this week!
I brought home three…

Three books stacked horizontally on the shelf.
Their titles are (from top to bottom) "Long Legged Friends", "Crochet One-Skein Wonders" and "Weekend Hats"

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Packing for hospital

'Hospital bag' is bright orange–easily identifiable
and hard to lose.
This week, 'hospital bag' is out of its cosy cupboard corner as we (bag and I) prepare for a forthcoming hospital stay. 

This long post lists my essentials for a comfortable hospital stay.

There are several important considerations to be made; but right now, my most pressing challenge is to decide upon a take-along crochet project.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gifts of Friendship

Recently I had a very pleasant morning with a very close friend whom I had not seen for many months; not for want of trying, but due to hectic events, immovable commitments, and new schedules which refused to allow us a time of mutual convenience to meet!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Two New Tea Towel Designs

"Blue Leafy Triangles"
(my own design)
"Bakery Trellis"
(my own design)

May I present completed 
tea towel tops 'two-by-two', 
both of my own design.

Here they are in their
 natural habitats.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Oh No!

The seam split at the wrist!
I put my arm into my sleeve and the seam split right open!


Friday, 14 November 2014

Access All Areas: International Access Symbol

International Access Symbol (white wheelchair symbol on a blue background) created with crochet by Jodiebodie using a freeform technique to create the shapes and finished with a white crab stitch border.
My crocheted access symbol
with a white crab stitch border
This is the International Symbol for Access for people with disabilities; all disabilities whether visible or invisible; not just for people who use wheelchairs.

This symbol is no stranger to controversy and it has made the news again this year because it is undergoing a transformation, sparking renewed debate.

Strangely, the International Access Symbol has something in common with 'yarnbombing'; i.e. a guerilla movement has taken it to heart.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Meditative or … boring?

The ribbing on the Belcarra Cardigan seems to be taking forever to complete.

It is simple crochet ribbing–working evenly, 14 stitches per row, the same row over and over–very meditative … or dare I say boring?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Ripping Ribbing on Belcarra Cardigan

Look how far I have come with the ribbing on the Belcarra Cardigan!

It's really ripping!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Belcarra Ribbing

The final stages of the Belcarra Cardigan: crocheting ribbing around the edges and on the cuffs.

I have lots of photos to share and a pattern idea for learning how to make crochet ribbing.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Two Elephants

One of the loveliest aspects of Lupey Loops is getting to know visitors through comments, emails and each other's blogs. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, stories, enthusiasm, advice and encouragement.

Thank you for also connecting through other means like Pinterest. I don't use it very often, but it is a great source of ideas, especially for visual learners.

Yesterday, regular Lupey Loops visitor, Ingrid K, shared a pattern for a cute crocheted elephant on her Pinterest board "Myfunkycrochet" and it reminded me of a special elephant that I crocheted in 2010 so I decided to share both here today.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Belcarra Cardigan Seams Easy?

The Belcarra Cardigan is a great project if you don't enjoy sewing because there are only two main seams.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Duck Rescue

Not strictly keeping to the brief of "crochet adventures at the lupus end of the spectrum",  posting this story anyway in light of the recent 'duck' theme.

This little cutie (not sure if it is a he or a she) will grow up to be a Wood Duck (otherwise known as a Maned Goose) and was discovered yesterday, running about my front yard in a panic, having lost its family. Such a tiny little thing but it was hysterical; by the time I reached it, it was on the neighbour's front porch repeatedly bashing its beak into the window in desperation where it thought its reflection was another duckling companion.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Blocking Belcarra Cardigan

Hooray!  All of the 'body work' has been crocheted, ready for seaming.

To get the best results it pays to block the garment piece(s) beforehand.

Back section on the blocking board.
The sleeves at the top of the photo are still unblocked and the difference is obvious.
(Right side)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

News about Hospital Ducks

At last I have some news about the Hospital Ducks.

Today I opened email correspondence from the office of the Chief Executive Officer of the local 'Health Network'. The reply was a PDF document dated 10 October 2014.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Belcarra Cardigan: Neck & Neck

Counter up to Row 124

A quick photo update. 

Making swift progress. 

Avoiding 'Second Sleeve Syndrome' by working the neck and front shaping on both sides at once.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

New MCTD Resource Page

MCTD stands for Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.

It is an "overlap" of various autoimmune conditions. I compare it to a smorgasbord where the offerings include Lupus (SLE), Scleroderma, Sjögren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Phenomenon, Addison's Disease, Vasculitis and others.  

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Latest Visitor to my Garden!

While working at my desk, I looked out to see this little face poking up from an inspection plate on my patio. Who could this be?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Avoid Second Sleeve Syndrome–Don't Work by Halves!

Counter up to the 78th row
Decisions, decisions!

What to do next for this cardigan!

Some patterns are organised as one single process. The rows begin at 1 and count up until the end at Row x; e.g. Rows 1, 2, 3 … Rows 99, 100, … x.

The Belcarra Cardigan pattern is organised into sections; e.g. Back, Sleeve Shaping, Neck, Front, Cuffs etc.  and the row numbering restarts in each section at Row 1.

This 'modular' approach has many benefits, but I know that duplicate row numbers within a pattern is guaranteed to confuse me and encourage mistakes, especially when under the influence of fatigue.

How will I work out which row I am up to without having to read right through the pattern each time?  

Should I work the cardigan sections in a different order?

This post discusses different approaches to working in sections, the pros and cons of each, and the management of row numbering.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Hospital Ducks

New arrivals at the local hospital
Tuesday was mostly spent at the hospital where, not only new babies are born, but a clutch of 8 ducklings as well!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Tea Towels Two-by-two

It has been a busy time lately yet somehow I have found the time to begin some more crochet projects!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

From Swatches to Sleeves

Left: pattern gauge
Right: my gauge
The Belcarra Cardigan is worked from the bottom up, starting with the back panel which then widens to incorporate the sleeves.

The 'step' method of increasing is used to shape the sleeves.

This post shows the 'step' method and discusses the use of 'extended' stitches.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Secret Baby Items (of bibs & blankies)

When I haven't been working on the Belcarra Cardigan, I have been crocheting baby items for a very special expectant mum.

I'm afraid I cannot tell you what they are until baby arrives, but since I have been in 'baby mode', I thought I would share some of the crocheted baby items I have made in the past.  

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Design Characteristics of an Easy Pattern

I have worked 42 rows so far!
The back panel of my cardigan is done (hooray) up to the start of the sleeve shaping and I am loving its easiness.

The Belcarra Cardigan is straightforward to work due to clever design characteristics.

If that's not enough for simplicity, use available tools (or create your own) to make it even easier to work and navigate your project.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Belcarra Beginnings

Hooray!  I sorted out the yarn, the hook; time to get started on my version of Robyn Chachula's Belcarra Cardigan.

Starting with the back of the cardigan, this post explains how to adjust the pattern for a different gauge.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Parcel of Pure Joy

I love meeting people and learning
about faraway places. 

Last week I was lucky enough
 to have a package arrive
all the way from
New Zealand
with the cutest and
most amazing contents.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Hat Heads for Home

Meladora's Butterfly Stitch Slouch Hat
Version 1

My friend loves the colour and style of this hat but she discovered the band to be a bit too tight for her head.  Obvious solution: rework the band to make it larger and looser.

When my friend visited recently to try on her finished hat, we were both pleased that it fit her nicely.

Three cheers and a sigh of relief!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

It's a Small World After All

I am fascinated by the internet's ability to connect us so easily no matter where in the world we live. If illness is a hinderance to travel, the internet is the next best way to find out about different places, cultures and ideas.

Lupey Loops has been an experiment of sorts to see how far and wide the words can spread via the blogosphere.  I have been keeping track and have some results to share.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Tension Headaches

Here are bunch of tension squares*, made over recent months to determine the best hook for the Belcarra Cardigan: usually the one that matches the pattern’s recommended gauge*.

Simple, yes?  Well, not this time. When one is in a hurry, lacking concentration or wading through fatigue fog, watch out; for hidden traps reveal themselves and come out to play tricks on you.
Small details can make a big difference.  Assumptions are the enemy!  

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Cardigan Swatches

In June, I began making tension squares* for a crocheted cardigan. You may recognise these swatches from Knitting & Crochet Blog Week (Conversations Between Workers) when they were living in my craft basket.

July is here—mid-winter—and the days are cold. I need to get started on that cardigan!

I tried some new ideas with these swatches and the results are documented in this post.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Toying with Twitter


You may have noticed a new button on the right sidebar—a link so you can find and 'follow' me on Twitter.

I know, I know, after all I said during the 2014 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, here I am with a Twitter account!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Fashioning the Fab Four (Part 13): Take a Bow

The Fab Four come out on stage and take a bow (the kind that rhymes with 'cow') but before they can perform properly, they need to remove that bow (the kind that rhymes with 'tow' or 'toe') - but not the horsehair kind used for playing violas (the musical instruments, not the flowers).

I'm sorry, the English language has a lot to answer for!

"Fashioning the Fab Four (Part 12): While My Guitar Gently...Warps", tells the story of how the Fab Four's guitar necks bowed under pressure. Today, "Part 13: Take a Bow" describes their fix.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A 'Stolen' Scarf

Have you ever made an item for someone else and wanted to keep it for yourself?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Live Well: Nurture the Spirit

I reflected in Surviving Chronic Illness: Positive Affirmation that one’s spirit can take a beating when living with chronic illness.  It can leave one feeling less than a whole person and emotionally fragile. 

It is important to maintain one’s sense of identity, self-esteem and strength to cope. 

When faced with the undesirable aspects of chronic illness it is important to counteract the negatives with positive feelings and experiences.  It is easier to cope if one can find ‘the little joys in every day’.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

When Minor Modifications Turn Into Major Repairs

Last year I made a lot of hats for other people.

Meladora's Butterfly Stitch Slouch was a very popular pattern and I made several in the standard adult size for female friends and associates.

Last week, one of those hats returned to me for a simple adjustment which almost became a disaster.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Live Well: Back-up Plans

Life is unpredictable.

For all of us.  

Chronic illness, injury or disability add complications to coping in a crisis. 

Chronic illnesses themselves can be unpredictable, even in the best-managed scenarios. 
It is important to be prepared.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Leg Warmers = Warmer Legs

Winter has arrived along with chilly mornings.

Temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius call for warm layers.

In the supermarket today, I received a lot of extra attention from fellow shoppers admiring my furry leg warmers. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 7 - Looking Back, Looking Forward #5KCBWDAY7

2013 was an exceptional year which started out as an exciting whirlwind of activity but during the year it grew into an uncontrollable tornado, sucking me into it without escape, tossing me around at will only to dump me at a time of its own choosing, leaving me totally exhausted, dazed and wondering how it all happened!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Live Well: Organise Your Life

It always amazes me the amount of paperwork and administration required to manage a complex medical condition.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Live Well: Make It Easy

Life with a chronic illness is hard enough without making it harder than it has to be.

Why struggle when there might be an easier way?  When there are ways to make life easier, less energy is spent on struggle and more energy is available to enjoy the good things in life. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 6 - Views of Others, Views of Yourself #5KCBWDAY6

I am rapidly falling behind in the Knitting & Crochet Blog Week posts but I would rather wait and give each topic my full attention when I am able than to post a quick hurried line for the sake on being 'on time'.  Thank you for bearing with me while 'life got in the way'.  I hope you find these reflections interesting, useful and thought-provoking.  If you have any extra thoughts to add, please do by leaving a comment or sending an email to

Long post warning: I have at least four knitting and crochet heroes because I couldn't settle on just one!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Live Well: Organise Support

This is the third of seven strategies to 'live well even if you can't get well'.

No one can make it alone in this world.  We are social creatures - we need each other.  All the successful people in the world would not be where they are if it were not for support from others.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 5 - Something a Bit Different #5KCBWDAY5

Sounding Off

Today's challenge is to blog in a way different to how I'd normally blog. 
I like the idea of a podcast or adding sound to my blog post in some way.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 4 - Conversations Between Workers #5KCBWDAY4

I love my special craft basket. It lives at the end of my bed and keeps my crochet projects and tools in order but I have detected some discontent amongst its occupants...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 3 - Experimental Photography & Image Handling #5KCBWDAY3

This was always going to be a challenging topic for me.  My blog is relatively young and I am still trying to come to grips with the camera, let alone the fancy image processing on the computer. My focus (pardon the pun) in this post is to reflect on my learning and share my discoveries.  I've realised that I have 3 major challenges to overcome.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 2 - Dating Profile #5KCBWDAY2

I couldn't decide which project to make the subject of a dating profile so here's a whole column for you with some familiar faces and newbies.  I am sure there will be more respondents and advertisers later in the week.

Stitches Seeking Stitches
where crocheted characters hook up

Monday, 12 May 2014

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2014: 1 - A Day in the Life #5KCBWDAY1

Today is the first day of 2014's Knitting & Crochet Blog Week facilitated by Eskimimimakes and the task for today is to "describe a day in the life of a project that you have made, or are in the process of making."

Live Well: Manage Illness

My first strategy to ‘live well, even if you can’t get well’ is to ‘maintain the highest level of physical wellbeing that the condition allows’.  

Part of that is to manage my illness and physical condition to the best of my ability. 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Access All Areas: off my trolley!

"Off one's trolley": [colloquial] crazy; mad; insane.

The following scenario makes me mad with anger and frustration. Can you see why?

Shopping centre car park with trolleys stacked up in the car parking area.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Quick Gifts in April

Need a gift in a hurry? Can't get out to the gift shops?  

If you have a crochet hook and some 4 or 8 ply cotton, 
you can make these little trinket bowls in one afternoon.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Live Well: Be At Your Best

This post details the first item on my list of strategies to ‘live well, even if you can’t get well’.

Maintain the highest level of physical wellbeing
 that your condition allows.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

May Update 2014

May is going to be a busy month for me in crochet, blogging and personal life.

This year's 5th Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week runs from May 12-18. I have updated my previous post on the subject with all the latest information and links about the topics and post tags for this year's event.  In this way I have all the links in one post for quick reference.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

April Shout-outs

Today I am in the mood for 'shouting out' greetings to fellow bloggers who have brightened up my bit of the blogosphere.

Thank you to everyone for your supportive comments on Lupey Loops and for your kind emails at and messages through Ravelry. Since starting this blog about 18 months ago, my online world has expanded exponentially with lots of new friends, new ideas, new learning and the discovery of so many beautiful, beautiful crochet creations - lots of happiness to brighten up this troubled planet.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

'Live Well' Even If You Can't 'Get Well'

Last August I suffered a nasty flare up of my symptoms and began writing this post.  My thoughts at the time were:

“2013 has pushed my limits with too many commitments.  I am usually very good at pacing things but 2013 just won’t slow down! 

“Hence a pause in blog posts as I cut back on activities for a period of rest and recovery.

“It is at these times when illness 'knocks me for six' that I appreciate the supports which have been carefully set up by me, my family and my care team.  It is perhaps also an appropriate time to elaborate on my affirmation card which advises:

Live well even if you can’t get well.”

This post will summarise strategies to ‘live well’ after explaining the use of ‘well’ in my affirmation.