Saturday, 27 January 2018

Lost and Found

My how time flies!   

We have been living in 2018 for more than three weeks and it has taken me this long 
to get here to wish you a 

H A P P Y   N E W   Y E A R   ! 

I sincerely hope that 2018 brings good tidings to all because 2017 brought adversity to many people that I know. It was a most difficult year for me, battling bureaucracy and other challenges.

The reason Lupey Loops has been temporarily abandoned quiet, is that the petition to save my local railway station is keeping me extremely busy.

The urgency and desperation to maintain access to affordable, independent transport for me, my family and others in my community motivated me to push my body beyond safe limits.  I knew I was playing a dangerous game but I figured it was only for a short time.  I needed to get as much community support before the politicians and influential media went on leave for the summer and before people became pre-occupied with their own holiday plans. It was only a matter of weeks but involved long hours, hard work, physical exertion and emotional stress.

Never mind that it was the lead-up to Christmas as well which, due to other events beyond my control, could not be planned well in advance this year. I was being bombarded by big balls of stress from multiple directions, often without warning, and it was all I could do to keep them juggling up in the air.

Frequently, my usual stress-management strategies were thwarted by sudden events and demands that could not be ignored or delegated;  I felt like I was on a circus train that I needed to stay on in order to reach my destination: to get specific and necessary things done and and survive through to the Christmas holiday.  "Then I will rest," I told myself.

I could feel the body gradually becoming worn down. I needed to take some time out and I knew it.  Crochet is usually my happy place for rest and rejuvenation but I was already so drained, physically and emotionally from a relentless year, that I was too exhausted to be bothered picking up a hook and my brain was too tired to engage in reading patterns.

This listlessness towards crochet, my passion and therapeutic antidote to stress, greatly disturbed me. It's not like me to lose enthusiasm for things that I love. It was an alarm bell to a possible 'depression stalker', a common companion of chronic illness.


Honestly, I could not find any enthusiasm or excitement for Christmas either.  Everything was a chore. My extended family was affected by unhappy news which further took the shine off a normally sparkly, happy time of year. After the events of 2017, I didn't feel like celebrating and then I felt guilty for feeling that way because I wanted to be cheerful for the sake of my children.  Where was my usual Christmas spirit?  It was overworked away.

By Christmas Eve, I felt tired and apathetic.  I hadn't been able to attend to Christmas preparations properly until a couple of days before and was exhausted.  I just wanted it all to be over and done with! Isn't that sad?  That is definitely not me!

My family came to the rescue.  Everyone piled into the car, dragging their reluctant mum with them and headed for the hills.  We went back to Lobethal with its festive lights and happy crowds.  It was the perfect solution.

I resolved to not allow myself to worry or stress about Christmas Day. I would not be pressured by the expectations of others.  I would take it at my own pace and let myself enjoy it. "It will be what it will be."   It was a 'different' Christmas this year but I found enjoyment in the company of family and relief that all the last minute changes to the usual plans worked out okay.  Christmas was over! My time was now mine.


My favourite day of the year, to which I look forward every year, is Boxing Day (26 December).  It's the one day of the year with no demands, no clock schedules, no phone calls, no visitors. It's a public holiday so there's no reason to go anywhere.  It's the ultimate "Pajama Day".  I don't cook or do any housework whatsoever, sating hungry appetites with Christmas Day leftovers.

I love to do nothing more on Boxing Day than watch the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and the Test Cricket on the television.  In recent years, the yacht race has had extra interest because one of my children has taken up sailing and, this year, was travelling on Boxing Day to an interstate competition held over the New Year.

You would not believe how much difference it makes to the amount of laundry and housework to be done when a single one of the offspring is away (but then again, parents of teenagers probably can believe it!).  It made a remarkable difference (for the better) and I was able to rest well.

Eventually, after many languid days of forcing myself to rest and reigning in my activity levels, the energy slowly returned.  For many days, my brain could not contemplate much.  The activity of choice became watching movies in bed or on the couch and it was lovely togetherness with my remaining children who did not demand much from me at all.  I am a lucky mum!

While resting on the couch, it became plain that it was time for that new throw rug I had been planning to crochet for ages.  The blanket ideas percolated over many naps until it would not rest any longer.   I woke up with the urge to find that chunky yarn that had been taking up too much room in the cupboard. "Would those colours really go together?" and,  "What other chunky skeins do I have?" I must see them for real and not in my imaginings.

Here I was, checking the yarn stash on Ravelry and I had the energy to actually fetch it from storage (after dreaming about it for a couple of weeks)!

At last, my brain was able to process ideas and make plans again.  Coloured pencils, in the same colours as the yarn, provided further therapy, allowing me to easily experiment with different colour combinations and design ideas.

Five ripple samples'Pink Ripples' by Jan Eaton (2006)
'Pink Ripples Variation' by Jodiebodie (2018)
'Arctic Waters' by Jan Eaton (2006)
'Soft Waves' by Jan Eaton (2006)
'Neat Ripple' by Lucy of Attic 24 (2017)
The next step was to choose a design.  A ripple blanket was in order but there are so many different ways to do a ripple blanket.  Reaching for stitch dictionaries and online patterns, the ripple choices were narrowed down to five designs–four from other sources and one of my own variations.

Time to make some samples. The minute I felt the soft, fuzzy, lofty yarn slip across the light, warm, bamboo hook, I knew.  It was right. It was soothing. I was home.

I found my crochet happiness again!

Blanket Finished

I'm please to announce that the baby blanket I was making last year did get finished and became a happily received Christmas gift. (That's why I couldn't reveal it earlier!)

As fate should have it, the colour was perfect, a mum's favourite. It suited baby's complexion and matched the nursery decor.  Don't  you love it when things work out so well?

I was hoping to get a photograph of baby with the blanket but did not have an opportunity on Christmas Day (which is true but also a polite way of saying that I forgot to get one anyway)! So, here is a photo of the blanket on the blocking board before it was wrapped in sweet tissue paper and festive Christmas wrappings.

"Heirloom Ruffles" baby blanket
Crocheted by Jodiebodie (Sep–Nov 2017)
Pattern designed by Kay Meadors (Leisure Arts 2011)

Yarn:  Four Seasons Marvel 8 ply acrylic (DK)
Colour: no. 1043 Mint; lot: 820537
Amount: 470 grams; 1330.1 metres
Hook:  4.25 mm (G)

You will see from the previous post about this blanket that I had a number of baby blanket patterns at my disposal.  I am ready to revisit that list because ... guess what ... another beautiful brand new soul  arrived in my social circle in January!  I can't wait to make another lovely baby blanket for that family.  How exciting!

Yes, indeed! My crochet passion has definitely returned. 

Has your passion ever been "lost and found"?


Eaton, Jan, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns: exciting patterns to knit and crochet for afghans, blankets and throws, Milner Craft Series, ISBN 1-86351-348-5, first edn., paperback, Sally Milner Publishing Pty Ltd, PO Box 2104, Bowral  NSW  2576, Australia, 2006

Lucy of Attic24, "Neat Ripple" online crochet pattern, Attic24, blog, July 2017:

Meadors, Kay, "Heirloom Ruffles" crochet pattern, The Big Book of Baby Afghans, book #5518, Leisure Arts, ISBN-13: 978-1-60900-143-8,, USA, 2011:

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Christmas Smiles", 25 December 2017:

"Access All Areas: Petition Power (Part 1)", 24 November 2017:

"Battling Bureaucracy", 3 November 2017:

"New Baby, New Blanket", 28 September 2017:

"Too Soon to Tell", 20 August 2017:

"Lobethal Lights Christmas 2016", 24 December 2016:


  1. Sorry to hear your health has not been good of late, but you are an inspiration doing so much to save the transportation system. The baby blanket is stunning, love the pattern and the colour. Glad to hear you are enthusiastic once again for a new project. Look after yourself.

    1. After Christmas 'looking after myself' became the no. 1 priority and it worked, thank goodness. So relieved! A 'recharge' was absolutely necessary because January was anticipated to become very busy very quickly and that certainly has been the case. The effort before Christmas was worthwhile. There will be an update on the petition site shortly. Thank you so much for your supportive feedback, Lorraine. It all helps to keep me going when everything starts to get hard. Your comfort food on your blog is so inviting. Just thinking about it, instantly relieves stress! xx

  2. My dear friend, I know a bit of this tale but not all of it. I am so happy that you are feeling better now, and that some of your energy and passion have returned. You had such a tough year and you did indeed push your limits on many occasions. I know you had no choice as you had a big fight on your hands, still it takes its toll. I lost my knitting mojo many years ago when I was going through cancer treatments. I was so utterly exhausted. It was just such a chore to get even the simplest daily task accomplished. I had two little boys at the time and their needs were many, they don't stop needing their Mom even when she was ill. When I looked at yarn at that time in my life it made me feel ill. I simply could not even touch it. But after many months of treatment and recovery I finally picked it up again. It was a lost year to me in terms of my life, but it helped me gain many more years if that makes any sense at all. Rest and be well Jodie. You are an inspiration, I only wish I lived closer to you to help you in times of need. Love, M

    1. Oh Meredith! Your empathy is extraordinary and I can relate so well when you explain that children don't stop needing their mums even when mum is ill. I have so much respect and admiration for what you have achieved and continue to achieve.

      I expect that you are still living with the after-effects of your cancer experience and need to be careful with your health which makes it even more awesome that you manage to do so much. Where does your energy come from? I suspect that you are driven by more emotional energy than physical sometimes? That has been my situation with the access issues. I hope it is "short term pain for long term gain".

      As for losing the will to look at yarn, that is totally understandable. Utter exhaustion forces one to alter priorities and in the big scheme of a mum with a young family, priorities outside of the immediate health crisis become very basic - meals, hygiene and love. There is no room for anything else.

      For a long time, I had no room for my garden, outside interests or social life. Not even the energy to read or talk on the phone. The SMS text messages really saved me. I still have little energy for social life after the health and family responsibilities are taken care of.

      Sitting up at the computer is still a struggle but also a blessing because it has connected me with many friends, old and new, and is an important connection to the outside world when I am housebound. I am so thankful to have regained so much independence in recent years - there's no way I am going to let any supports go without a fight!

      Having your support means so much and even though there's a big ocean separating our countries, just knowing we are together in spirit is a source of strength.

      Love and hugs to you and yours (including a big boisterous pat and rubdown to playful puppy Hank!) xx

  3. Ah yes, the lost and found of life. I have been there - just last Sunday in face, lol, but I am definitely in a 'found' state of life these days. I am glad your family found a way to help you find your way again. The baby blanket is gorgeous - that is the colour we painted our daughter's bedroom before she was born. so many many years ago. I hope all your effort with the train station opened some eyes. I am glad you found your crochet mojo again. I get so distraught when I lose my knitting mojo. Thank you for all your comments on my blogs recently. I will look up that youtub channel for how I learned to darn socks and post it after your comment on the post about darning socks. Oh, and yay for cricket and yachting races - for me boxing day is always a pajama day too! Usually christmas movies and/or chick flicks! or both!!

    1. Hi Mary-Anne,

      Thank you! Again, you are here with supportive sentiments just when they are needed the most. It is so great to know that you are "Found" these days, knowing that you have had some times where you felt so "Lost". You have worked hard and to see so many good things going on in your life now is such a joy.

      Thanks for sock-darning video recommendations. I have added them to a new playlist on my YouTube account. I set up a YouTube channel called Lupey Loops ages ago thinking I might like to share video etc. one day but my internet has been so unreliable and slow that I haven't bothered with streaming video much. It's been so long that it looks like YouTube has restyled itself since my last visit!

      The Lupey Loops channel is intended to be a place for sharing useful videos about crochet, crafting and MCTD / chronic illness. Similar brief to the blog. One day! I wonder how many blog readers use YouTube and I wonder how much.

      I will definitely be thinking of you next time I have a pajama day. I can't say I have a fave film genre - I enjoy films that are well written, well-executed, visually artistic or clever or innovative in some way. It doesn't matter what language they are in but I love to hear the original language with subtitles rather than overdubs. My family and I enjoy exploring all sorts from old classics to modern.

      Cricket is relaxing to watch: peaceful but with excitement; the body can rest in stillness but there is enough mathematics etc. for the mind to play with. My childhood summer days were filled with a sequence of: cricket with mates until it got too hot, dip in the pool until it too cold and soggy, sunbake to rest and dry; repeat until darkness or mealtime. A lucky life.

      Here's to pajama days and good lives! xx

  4. Sending you love my friend ❤
    Hopefully this comment will publish. Usually they don't and I spend several minutes and many attempts without succeeding.

    1. Yay, Tracey! It did publish!

      I can relate to the technological challenges. I've just come from YouTube and it has rearranged itself since I was there last and it took some time to work it out again.

      I'm sorry that your comments don't usually publish. What have I been missing? I find that I cannot publish comments from my phone so need to wait until I am at the computer.

      If you have or had any particular difficulties in posting comments to Lupey Loops here, please let me know. You can always email me at
      I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible.

  5. Ha! It published on first attempt, yay ��
    The baby blanket is beautiful. I wish you happy hours creating the next one

    1. Hooray! Thank you for the loves, Tracey and for your compliments on the blanket. It was only in acrylic because the recipient is a busy mum without time to worry about fancy washing instructions but I was very pleased with the weight and 'squooshiness' of this blanket.

      I'm currently on the hunt for two new suitable blanket patterns. I like the ones on the previous list but would like to 'stashbust' at the same time. It's a matter of finding the perfect match between pattern and available stash but the browsing and planning is half the fun!

      I see you are working on a CAL at the moment. I look forward to catching up on your latest progress. Cheers! :-)

  6. I recently went through a lull when my boys headed back to the States after winter break. I just had no desire to do anything. But I've now decided that I have so many baby blankets started that I must work on finishing them all so that I can donate them before the end of February when a craft group friend will be going to India. She will distribute them in a small village there. That mint baby blanket is beautiful. I've never made a ripple blanket. Granny squares so easy to make so that's my go to when I don't want to think.

    1. Hi Tammy,

      I can certainly understand how empty the place must have felt once the boys returned home, especially after all the transit dramas they had in trying to get to you in the first place! I never truly appreciated the depth of profound love a mother feels for her children until I became a mother myself. There are no words to truly describe that longing. How did you bring yourself out of that melancholy? Long distance relationships and living between continents is always a tug of love. Growing up in a migrant family, I can appreciate that.

      I love your idea for a baby blanket drive. What an excellent idea. Will you be sharing the details on your blog when you are done?

      I chose a ripple blanket because of the stashbusting potential. I thought it would give a more pleasing colour distribution across the blanket when there are 4 skeins of one colour and only one or two skeins of another.

      Granny squares are so easy and addictive but when the brain is not thinking well it is easy to forget the corners; not that I would know, mind you (sarcastic wink and guilty look - yes, I've been there)!

      I have a heap of baby blanket patterns and would love to have a go at them all so it is nice to have some excuses to try.

      Enjoy your garden and crafting, Tammy. See you on your blog! :-)

  7. I'm not dealing with the same challenges you are, Jodie, and I admire the way you are facing them and standing your ground. I feel like I've been fighting a losing battle against time recently, it goes by too darn quickly and I'm constantly struggling to finish the things I've promised to do or wish to do. And 2018 already promises to rush away, how can January be over already?

    1. Isn't it dreadful Amalia? I'm certain the world is spinning much faster than it used to! You are not alone in your feelings of being time poor. I feel like I'm playing 'catch-up' most days.

      It is frustrating when the things you NEED to do get in the way of things you WANT to do, especially when you have a creative brain like you. Hugs in solidarity in the race against time. I'm reminding myself to breathe more deeply and slowly in case that might make for a calmer February!
      With you in spirit. :-) xx

  8. i loved my visit to your lovely place dear friend!

    Happy new year to you too may you have safe and healthy one amen!

    i truly loved the awesomely crafted bag gifted to you by family member incredible!