365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


First (Almost Completed) Project of the Year

Can you believe that I have not yet started any new projects in 2016?  I’ve been doggedly sticking to this Coast Ripple blanket, following the pattern’s sequence of colors exactly and crocheting a few stitches and a few rows at a time.  I’m trying to tame my crafter’s attention deficit disorder (which I know is technically not a real thing and I shouldn’t be throwing that diagnosis around– bad psychologist!– but still).  Anyway, this whole afghan has been an exercise in commitment.

Right now it’s almost 6 feet long with about ten more rows to go and a border to add.  I asked Sean (who is 6’1″) to get in the photo so that I could show some sense of scale.


My personal blanket model.

Also, I thought that a picture with an actual person in it would look a lot better than the first photo that I took.


See? Not as cool a photo. Also– those tail ends!

I’m hoping to get this thing finished by the end of the week.  After all, I have been working on this thing all year.



Week 1/52: A Little Late to the (2016) Party

A week ago today, it was newly 2016 and I could barely walk up the stairs in my house without getting winded.  I’d come down with a viral infection the day after Christmas, and there was pretty much nothing for me to do except rest and wait it out.  I had hoped to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by New Year’s Day, but the virus had me so tired that I only managed to crochet a few rows in the last two weeks of 2015.

I went back to work on Wednesday the 6th.  It poured rain for most of the day, so there weren’t that many inmates out on the yard and my first day back at the prison turned out to be relatively uneventful.  The rest of the week was just as rainy and unremarkable (which is the way you want your work day at a prison to be, anyway).  The low amount of stress was exactly what I needed to start getting back on track for 2016.


That sky pretty much tells you what the last couple of weeks in Morro Bay have been like.

I decided I won’t be posting an entry a day this time around.  I challenged myself to do that last year and it was certainly an exercise in creativity, but there were days when I was really stretched thin and posting a blog entry was just one more thing to check off the list.  I don’t want to feel like keeping this blog is a chore that I have to do.  So this year I’m focusing more on quality rather than quantity– fewer posts, but with no bullshit phoning-it-in filler content.

Back in December of 2014, when I started seriously thinking about creating a new blog and was trying to come up with a name for it, I kept getting stuck on “365 Days Handmade…”  Handmade what?  Socks?  Sweaters?  Afghans?  Napkins?  Quilts?  Table runners?  I knew I wanted to emphasize the idea of making things by hand, of being creative and doing something creative every day.  The problem was that I didn’t want to narrow it down to just one thing.

I asked Sean what he thought, and he said, “Why don’t you just call it 365 Days Handmade?  Because every day is what you make of it.  Three hundred sixty-five days, handmade.”

So there you have it, the philosophy behind my blog.  I kept meaning to explain how 365 Days Handmade came to be, and it only took me 374 days to get around to it.

Happy 2016!



Day 365/365: The Last Day of 2015

Thank you for reading and for all your support!  See you in 2016!

fishhatprofile     1.5A     1.11E    

   1.17A     runner1    1.1A

skateboardB     1.4iii     1.25B     1.29A     Feb.1.2015     2.22.2015A     3.1.2015A     3.8.2015A    3.14.2015 HKseanapples     3.17.2015C     3.22.2015D     4.7.2015A     4.9.2015C     Peanuts5     4.18.2015     4.29.2015     5.8.2015     5.10.2015A     5.17.2015B     6.6.2015     6.5.2015     6.14.2015C     7.8.2015A     7.11.2015     7.20.2015A     7.25.2015A     7.26.2015A     8.2.2015     8.5.2015c     8.8.2015A     8.14.2015D     Sean4     8.19.2015A     8.21.2015     8.24.2015A     9.9.2015     9.16.2015     10.2.2015     10.11.2015a     10.19.2015     10.18.2015b     10.24.2015     10.29.2015     strawberryA     11.16.2015     11.15.2015a    c     a     12.1.2015     11.31.2015     12.5.2015b     12.11.2015     12.14.2015     12.16.2015a     wp-1450408551375.jpeg     12.19.2015a     12.20.2015a     12.21.2015a     12.22.2015     12.24.2015a     12.25.2015a     4     12.26.2015     12.27.2015     12.30.2015

Leave a comment

Day 363/365: Progress

I go back to work tomorrow.  I’m feeling better today than yesterday, and I managed to crochet a few more stitches on the afghan.  So that’s progress.

I’m bummed that I was down with a virus for the majority of my Christmas break.  The good news, though, is that I only have to work two days this week.  Friday is a state holiday (New Year’s Day?!!!), and Monday is my regular day off.  Hopefully, I’ll be a lot healthier and stronger then.




Day 362/365: Yarn Tails

My sore throat went away, but I’m still not one hundred percent well.  I’ve been trying to take it easy and managed to crochet a few more rows on the Coastal Ripples afghan.  I like the range of tones and the overall color palette, but there is one major drawback to changing strands of yarn every two rows:

Loose ends.

I really need to get better about weaving them in sooner rather than later.



Leave a comment

Day 357/365: Thumbprint Jam Shortbread Cookies

I have to work tomorrow, but only for six hours.  This year, the governor came through again, and full-time Department of Corrections employees received four hours of leave that can be used either on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.  I’ll be using my four hours tomorrow afternoon and leaving at 2 PM, after my Lifers Support Group is over.  I could easily just cancel the group, but I know those guys enjoy the hour of support and discussion, and it seems to me that they would especially want to meet on the day before a major holiday.

Anyway, leaving after 2 PM tomorrow means that I don’t have to start until 8 AM, which means that I’m able to stay up a little later tonight and bake these cookies to bring to work.


They are simple shortbread cookies made with two sticks of butter, 2/3 cup of sugar, 2 cups of flour, and a teaspoon of almond extract.  I like to fill the centers with cherry preserves, but you can use whatever jam or jelly you prefer.


They are a favorite among the correctional officers who do the pat-downs and searches on inmates who come into our building (and into my office), so I am definitely making sure those officers get their own bags of cookies.



Leave a comment

Day 356/365: Holiday Treat Bags

Every year that I have worked at the prison, I’ve always made sure to give a card or homemade treat or a small gift of candy to the correctional officers who work in our yard.  It’s my way of showing how much I appreciate them and their assistance in making sure that I get my own job done.

It also ensures that I’m well-liked by custody and that they’ll certainly run to my office if I ever have to hit my personal alarm device.

Tonight I put together these gift bags of candy canes and assorted Lindor and Ghirardelli chocolates.  This year I’m also adding a holiday scratch-off lottery ticket.

I think these bags will be well-received among the officers.  Especially if those tickets turn out to be lucky.


1 Comment

Day 355/365: One Last Yarn Splurge

Sean and I left Ventura and drove back up to Morro Bay this afternoon.  When we pulled into our driveway, I saw the rocking chair on the porch and felt immensely grateful to be living in such a safe neighborhood.


Four of the packages were Christmas presents.  The large pillow-shaped one on top, though, was the Attic 24 Sunny Yarn Pack that I ordered online from Wool Warehouse just last week Sunday.  I was surprised that it arrived so soon.  It came from England, and I had expected about ten days for delivery.


I’d been trying to resist ordering it, but seeing Lucy’s progress with the Sunny Crochet-Along on her website Attic 24 totally sold me.

As you know, I am currently crocheting the Coastal Ripples afghan that she designed.  Having the Sunny Pack waiting in the wings is now a good motivator for me to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by the end of this year.  Luckily, I have some vacation time coming up.  I am very much looking forward to the holidays.