Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Monday, September 18, 2017

Holy Project Fest!

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  What a weekend!! My days have gotten so busy this year, busier than any other time in my life that I can actually remember. A great deal of it has to do with me having joined a local Unitarian Universalist Church this year, as well as my knitting and yarn dyeing business doing pretty well (yay!). 

   This past weekend, I got startitis something bad, and ironically, Saturday I ended up spending most of the day working on my HAED (Heaven and Earth Designs) cross stitch project to cool my jets. This one (called Mother and Child):

  Otherwise, this is literally all the projects that I brought with me to work (did I work on each one during lunch? Of course not! I just worked on one!).

1) The designing bug has bitten me and after a few rough starts I am flowing along happily with this side to side shawl in worsted weight (440 yards) with eyelets to spice it up. Test knitting will start by October :). Yarn is my Utah Skies. I cannot wait to see it pool! May be called, "Walk With Me".


2. Next is a Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure (I cannot believe it is free still). This is an earlier version of Utah Skies, but it is more like the beach, instead of the vibrant orange-brown I use now. So yay for a hat that will remind me of the beach! :)


3) Who doesn't love a little crocheting in their life? Hence the Goddess Shawl by Maria Merlino.  I'm making this for those who love a little goddess in their life (and having their backs lol). Making it a little wider than the pattern calls for. We'll see how it goes. Knitpicks Mighty Stitch is just the ticket (super squishy)!


4) I also having with me a shawl I started this weekend called Changing Leaves Shawl by Susan Gressman. I'm using a cake of Lion Brand's Mandala yarn and am looking forward to more colors. :) 

On top of all of these I finally started my husband a pair of toe up socks (hate knitting socks haha). Hurts my elbow and hands to work on socks too much too. But it will be good. 

  This weekend is my birthday, so I'll be heading down to Long Island to be dropped off at a beach for a few hours of knitting. I don't care if it really will be 80, I need to be at the beach and just relaxing. Watch me forget my chair. 

Thank you for the views I received to my blog two weeks ago of angsty poetry. Occasionally it just needs comes out, and I love writing poetry.

  Be well and have a great week!

Jen
Tangledmania

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Angsty Poetry, Check.



Not knitting related.



When my heart is in uproar
When all of my focus is gone
When I need to find steady ground
But all I hear are clamoring voices
Calling for me to keep on moving forward
Keep on sacrificing my dreams.
Perhaps this job will provide stability
But what is the cost to my soul?
The grateful time has faded
The lies and advantage is fading
I don't want to lay here defeated
Typing word by word in my novel
While feeling completely uninspired
Completely used up
Completely fed up
Completely done with how this is going.
No, it's not always bad
And no, it's not the worst job I've had.
But it's time has passed,
I need to move on,
I need to use my education
I need to use my life experience
I need to not be put down
Because there are times I need to be there for my family.

There isn't a story here that is going to be wonderful
There isn't a story here that will have a happy ending
I need to find the good enough story
The story that will bring me back around.

Perhaps my focus will come back,
Perhaps it is just the full moon tonight
Calling me
Telling me
Move into the light.
Move into a place where you can breath
Where you are doing what is right
And politics are not stealing your soul
Where lies are not spoken
And you are not put down for being
Compassionate
Kind
Upstanding
Focused on Family
And determined to do the right thing.

The right thing.
Where I am damned if I do
Damned if I don't.
This is the job I'm in.
This is the hell I'm in.
It's not always bad.
But it is not good for my soul.
My soul craves more
More than lies
More than put downs
More than gas lighting
More than the idea
That I have to be here
No matter what
No matter what happens at home
No matter what I'm juggling.
I still have to be perfect.
But I'm not perfect.
I need reality
This isn't reality
It is gaslighting
It is making me feel less
When I do everything asked.

Everything.

Suffocated.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

New Knitter Tips from a Pro

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Are you excited? I am. Because I decided to put forward my top 4 tips for new knitters. These are the 4 things to keep in mind going forward for any new knitter or even someone who just wants to knock it up a notch. 

So let's get going!!

1) Yarn

   I know, I know. Seriously? Of course you need yarn! But not just any yarn. If you are going to enjoy what you are doing, get yarn that is soft to the touch, that you enjoy handling. 
   Budget is an issue, I get that way more than you know, I really do. But even on a budget, you can still get nice yarn! Shop at knitpicks.com, Joann's, Michael's, and use those coupons! :) But you can do it! If all you can afford is acrylic, knitpicks.com has 210 yards of worsted weight acrylic for 1.99.
   Some of my favorite worsted weight yarns that are pretty affordable?


   Brava Worsted (knitpicks)
   Red Heart Softy (I know, but seriously, it is soft)
   Simply Soft 
   Premier Worsted is pretty good.
   Wool-ease is a nice introduction into wool too.

2) Needles
   
  Oh the weapons of the trade, yes, last minute self-defense in your bag, be aware haha (kind of joking). 
   Anyone who knows me will admit, I am a fan of circular needles, and let me tell you why. I like to stuff my project in my bag sometimes and the circular needles make it so that all I have to is slide the project up the cable and away from the needle tips. Bam, all done.
  If you have migraines, you may want to stay away from metal needles, they trigger my visual issues with any reflection. 
  I do suggest knitpicks needles, any of them. Also Karbonz and Knitters Pride Dreamz

  Now these get expensive, but if you buy one at a time you can save up slowly.
   Having said that, you really can get a set of circulars from even Walmart sometimes and definitely Joann's or Michaels.

3) Blocking tools

    Yes I know, I said blocking tools. Knitting should really be blocked out. It is not like crocheting and it makes a HUGE difference (which is also why you should swatch before you attempt a sweater lol). 
   Blocking mats are best if thick, that way you aren't sticking the surface under your mats with the needles you need to block things out with. I recently found these FANTASTIC blocking mats from amazon (LINK) and used them to finish off my Joji Starting Point Shawl (though I had to fold it in half to block). I was actually able to lift the interlocked mats OFF of the floor without them coming apart. Brilliant!!
    The only other item you need to block your knitting out is the pins! I recently invested in the knitter's pride blocking pins, and they are fantastic, but you need t-pins as well. Wires are nice, but not immediately needed. 
4) Fear

    Here is where I get a little more esoteric.
    This is just yarn and needles, so you need to relax!! Even pro's have to start projects over a few times. It's not a big deal! And sometimes, the pattern is WRONG and it isn't you. This is a craft that you are learning, it is in your genetics to create. As human beings, we have done so for a millenia and we will continue to do so. Nothing in life is perfect and neither will your knitting be, especially as you start out. 


  So take a deep breath and marvel at the fact that you are doing it. You are creating new connections in your brain and nervous system. You are creating something with two sticks and yarn!! :)



Take a deep breath and dive in!
Be Well!
Jen
Tangledmania