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Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I've been taking it a bit easy this Metro Yarn Crawl.  My yarn stash is already busting at the seams, and I'm in the process of working on at least 3 "real" projects (aka gotta get them done for someone else!).  I really can't/shouldn't/WILL NOT go wild this crawl...

So, yesterday, Mom and I piled in the car to venture out to Glen Burnie to see The Knitting Boutique, the only shop that we did not visit last year.  It really is near to BWI Airport -- we know because we ended up missing our turn, going too far, and circling through "departures"!  The nice desk lady at the Four Points Sheraton got us headed back in the right direction :-)

Once we found the store, it was a worthwhile trip.  Although located in a relatively empty part of a strip mall, once you get inside the store, it's quite lovely and inviting, and the folks there could not have been nicer!  I wish the shop wasn't so far away, it really would be a great spot to sit for a while:

I of course ended up getting some Tahki Cotton Classic in a beautiful red color, you know, for that tank top that I'm going to crochet or knit up for myself ;-).  Any day now, any day....

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Yes, the tulips are finally blooming, even though the weather here in DC has been cold and then hot and now back to quite brisk again (but at least sunny).

And, speaking of tulips, CrochetAddict has added my Tulip Kindle Cover to her Thursday's Handmade Love blog feature!  She's got some really sweet tulip spring patterns featured on her blog, so check out the whole collection.

And one of my squares for the Looped Blanket Project is done!

I've almost finished getting all of the knit and crochet squares finalized for the blanket and will be featuring each square and its designer in blog posts during the Metro Yarn Crawl.  I'm hoping to team up with

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Peak Productivity

As many of you know, I am constantly searching for the productivity holy grail!  I feel that I manage my time pretty well, going through decent spurts of great productivity but then (longer) periods of downtime.  I do, however, always feel like I could/should be doing more somehow.  But, from new articles and research that I’ve come across, it seems that a number of our natural human instincts are actually spot on and should be encouraged. 

In the April issue of Inc. Magazine, there’s a whole section devoted to research on and techniques for increasing productivity, or I should say from what I gathered, making better and healthier use of your time, even if you’re not getting more actually done (quality versus quantity).  Recently, I feel that I’ve really begun to appreciate how important it is to let the brain rest.  I feel so inundated every day with information, much of it useless, but still I have to figure out how to dodge and weave away from the cr*p and to capture the truly useful and important information.  Once it’s captured, then it needs to be organized and then acted upon or filed away for future reference.  Rather than tout yet another system for accomplishing these tasks, the articles in Inc. try to give some scientific insights into how the brain reacts to these processes and what will help it react better.  The cover story “Get More Done” makes some unusual suggestions, but hear them out.  I found the following 3 points quite thought provoking:

1.       Think Fluffy – recent research findings suggest that viewing cute images heightens mental concentration and carefulness.  Test subjects who viewed pictures of baby animals experienced enhancements in their fine motor skills and performed better on dexterity and visual search tests.  So, feel free to go on over to my Facebook page and get your fill of cute lamb and baby animal pictures!

2.       Turn Up the Heat – literally.  Studies show that office workers are more productive when the thermostat is turned up to 77 degrees.  Typing errors dropped by 44 percent while typing output rose by 150 percent.

3.       Let It Rain – bad weather is good for productivity.  Not surprisingly, when beautiful sunny skies aren’t calling, people get more work done.  A Harvard Business School study found that turning desks away from windows can boost productivity as well as letting employees work shorter hours on good weather days as long as they make up the time during bad weather or other times.

There’s also an article that recommends against multi-tasking, stating that not only is the brain not equipped for it, but that it might actually do harm.  The article recommends 3 approaches:

1.       Dedicate 20 minutes to one task, then switch to another task rather than trying to do both (or more) at the same time.

2.       Cut down on email and check it only a few scheduled times per day (and turn off notifications the rest of the time).

3.       Answer quick questions in person or by phone to further cut down on the amount of email.

Other articles explain the importance of physical exercise as well as sleep and “disconnection” for the brain. Mmmm, maybe I need to go back to that new crochet project I just started and get off the computer!

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Block Project

The whole Looped Yarn Works family is joining together to get ready for the Metro Yarn Crawl, and each of us is creating a crochet or knit block (12 inches by 12 inches) to showcase the beautiful new yarn by Quince and Co that is exclusively carried by the store.  I'll be posting pictures of all the squares as we get closer to the start of the crawl and letting you know how you can get the patterns if you are not local.
Still working up some other new spring patterns, but it's just too soon to do a reveal ;-)  But, right now, the spring cleaning fever has hit me, and the Goodwill truck is coming to my building on April 27th, so I've got lots of cleaning and organizing to do by then!  My treat will be to get to organize my stash, but I don't get to play with yarn til I get all the paperwork in order, so...