Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Crazy World of Hand Made Socks

Wow, it has been a hot weekend!! Over 80 degree's Fahrenheit both Saturday and Sunday, as if it was a last shot of summer, after Fall started (of course haha).

  So of course, I'm attempting socks again. The story behind this is I hate feet.. Just not my favorite body part, but I do know people who would love knitted socks. So I have made attempts

  1.  I've tried using a sock loom, but I'm just not a person who enjoys using looms..
  2. I've tried double point needles, and honestly cannot understand why people use those things.. I was dropping them left and right.
  3. I've tried using circulars to knit top down (which means from the calf down the sock), and I have been known to throw them across the room.
  Sad, I know. But yes, I have thrown yarn across the room in frustration, and then I cried. Husband standing by appalled at my temper tantrum.

  So last week I turned 34 and decided that I would attempt it again, since my knitting skills have improved. Why not, right? Kind of like a new years resolution, but a birthday resolution instead. And one of the things that really pushed me to want to try this was this yarn I have. 

    A few years ago I received it in the mail as part of a 90's music inspired sock yarn club. And it's striped in such a way that it just doesn't work with shawls very well. It was obviously meant to be a pair of socks. *sigh*. So last week I decided to attempt something different in socks. Toe up, versus calf-down, and I'm loving it. But keep in mind I haven't reached the heel yet, which fills me with dread.. 

  So this was an example of a single sock, and you can obviously see the stripes. :D

   The first sock was going along so well I decided to try and do two at a time (also called TAAT.. go figure). So I took that one apart and started again from the toe with two at a time, and voila, I am excited!! I'll let you know how the heel goes..

Jen Riley

Friday, September 26, 2014

Instagram Giveaway!!

Hey folks so I'm part of a giveaway! And this will be my prize:

  This is such a great hat! Best of all, you can click on the instagram picture and go to the next instagram account giveaway, and etc etc. All you'll have to do to win this hat on my instagram account is to go to: www.instagram.com/tangledmania and follow me.

    Tomorrow at 2pm the post for this giveaway will begin and all you have to do to enter is to answer the question I will be asking:

   "What is your favorite accessory to wear in the fall?"

  And your golden! I'm so excited about this, so be ready tomorrow afternoon for it to start! See you on instagram tomorrow afternoon!

Jen Riley

Tangledmania Shoppe

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tiny Rant on Sharing Paid Patterns

Copyright and patterns is a touchy subject and there have been a lot of blogs about it. Here is my opinion, go look up the laws if you want. My opinion is that if the pattern is one you have to purchase, you should not share it with anyone, simply tell them where to purchase it.
   There have been times where this is bent, such as having a poor friend who needs some help, or someone buys the pattern for you who doesn't craft. Nothing is black and white in this world. But in general, if a pattern is for sale, we shouldn't be sharing it via email or print to a bunch of people, friends or not.
   My reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Pattern making is hard work, it takes time and we should be respectful of the work that goes into the pattern.
  2. If someone is selling at a table and walks away, should we just take things from their table because "who will know anyway?". What kind of moral compass is that? So just because the pattern author doesn't know that you are sharing the pattern doesn't mean you should do it. Would you want to be treated that way?
  3. Times are hard, many people are using crafts and what used to be called the cottage industry in order to supplement their household income. This means that it's just done in a house by a family or individual to raise money. Was really big before industrialization, would be interesting if it came back.
   So that is just three reasons. I guess I just believe that we should think about others and whether we would want to be treated that way, the whole golden rule idea. Take it or leave it, but think about it. 
    This obviously doesn't stand for free patterns, which is what I usually use, but for patterns you have to pay for, whether out of a book, off of Ravelry, or some other website such as Etsy. Let's be respectful folks, that's all I ask.


Jen Riley

Tangledmania Shoppe

Monday, September 22, 2014

Busy Yarncrafting Beavers

I have been one BUSY BEAVER!! Wow, I'm impressed with myself! Some things I've finished lately are as follows. (Brace yourself, my good friends!)

    This one is a nice slouchy hat. I've pinned it an elfin slouchy hat because it just looks like that to me. It has a fun wooden bead on top that just finishes it beautifully! The only problem I have with cables are counting haha. I'm soo impatient! The yarn for this hat was Lion Brand Wool-Ease, very soft.

   This was a fun oak leaf cloche hat that I knitted up. It is just so nice, 100% acrylic too. My favorite thing is to not pick up stitches, but it was worth it in this case. The oak leaf was easy for me since I have plenty of practice doing those from my mother's afghan haha. This was made from Berroco Comfort yarn, so soft :D.

   This was a crocheted beret that I whipped up really quickly. Used a cool technique at the top, the magic circle (not to be mistaken for the magic loop from knitting haha), and it closed beautifully! The yarn on this and the next project below was Red Heart Unforgettable in color-way Tidal. Crazy yarn as it goes thing than thick, but yes, folks, it's supposed to be like that haha.

   This is a beautiful prayer shawl made with Red Heart Unforgettable yarn in color-way Tidal and is just soo soft.

     The last thing I want to post, since this post is getting a little long, is this shawl. It was inspired from the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon. The green is Claire's colors and the Orange is Jamie's, and how I see it is that Claire starts off alone and when she goes back in time the rows get closer together and then intertwined with each other as they fall in love but when Claire leaves the holes in the lace at the bottom are the holes left in Jamie's life as he tries to move forward. Fun huh? :D. A good book, go read the series.

Be well folks!
Jen Riley
Tangledmania Facebook Page
Tangledmania Etsy Shop

Friday, September 19, 2014

Knitting Book Review: Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore

Cables are on my mind.. I'm waiting for a shipment of yarn to stitch up a scarf for a calendar for Mr. Hugzzz who has a blog called "It takes balls to knit!". (Yes, I will mention other blogs lol). I can't wait to work on the cables!

    What are cables? Cables can be defined as stitches that are moved around the knitted (or sometimes crocheted) fabric with a stitch holder and are held in relief to develop a pattern. It can look like this:

    In my house, one of the foremost experts in knitting cables is Alice Starmore and she wrote the book I'm discussing today called "Aran Knitting". That is not to say there are not other books that are as useful, there absolutely are. But this one is the one I started with as a goal and I've knitted two sweaters out of it so I have some good pictures to show you.


   This is the St. Enda pullover/sweater I knit for my husband.

   Funny side story, there is a myth that goes around the knitting world about the "boyfriend sweater". It goes that once you knit a sweater for your boyfriend/husband, they will split up for you (sounds greedy doesn't it? :P). Well, I finished this sweater for my husband in 2013, only took 2 and a half months, and he's still sticking around haha.

This is my unfinished St. Brigid sweater.. I'm having trouble with the neckline and will probably change it from the original pattern. But the rest of it is so beautiful, love that pattern!.

   Those are two examples that I have knitted up of the type of patterns in this book. Beautiful things, and not as hard as you would think (minus the neckline I can't get right in St. Brigid lol). So the plus side of this book would be that the patterns seem to work and the pictures are very clear, which is always nice, believe me. There is a section about the history of aran sweaters in the first part of the book, which is fun, and a section of cables of all different types, which was very nice to knit up from for Knit in Public Day back in June.

   Some of the few downsides would be that the yarn they suggest you use in all of the patterns is only available through Scotland and is very expensive. I used Berroco Vintage, a wool/acrylic mix for both of these sweaters. So I had to swatch.. which I hate to do. I mean HATE! Swatching is when you take a portion of the pattern and knit it up in a square to measure. This way you use the needles that you need to use in order to get the size you want. If I had used the needles suggested, since I knit (and crochet) loose it would have been a tent lol.

   Until later, my friends! Back to knitting and crocheting hats, scarves and mittens (oh my!). Go like my Facebook page and say hi!

Jen Riley
Tangledmania Facebook Page
Tangledmania Etsy Shop

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In the details.. Needles and Patterns

   Well, first of all, the kids and I are sick... But luckily I am not so sick that I can't do some crafting. If I am so sick that I'm not even crafting in my recliner, there is a major problem haha.

   But to finish the two-part posting that I started Saturday, in which I barely touched on the amazing world of yarn (ahh the fiber :D). This post is about needles and patterns, and what wisdom I can impart from my experience.

Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks:
   Needles: There are generally three types of needles in knitting: straights, circulars, and double point needles (from this point forward to be called DPN's). The only type of needles I do not have are plastic, sorry.

   These are a sample of unmatched Straights haha. The one on the left is wooden and the one on the right is metal.

  A tip for someone who typically crochet's, the length of these may feel super awkward in your hands. I generally suggest that a crocheter who wants to learn how to knit try knitting with circulars.


      Speaking of circulars, these are my favorites, they are Knitter's Pride Dreamz and fixed. There are subcategories of circulars, fixed and interchangeable. Interchangeable means that you can detach the cord connecting the tips for different lengths. I prefer to have very long fixed that way I don't have to worry about making sure they are tightened enough that they won't come apart during a project. I've even gone so far as to super glue together the joints of my Knitpicks Harmony needles, and I am very happy with the result.

    Last is the DPN's, which simply mean that each end has a point. This can be useful in making i-cords or for knitting in the round at the top of a hat when closing, but I just use the magic-loop method for everything so these are rarely pulled out for use in my knitting.

    Crochet Hooks:
       Crochet hooks are available in metal, bamboo, wood and plastic. I do not have a picture of plastic, because apparently I don't like to use them.. Not something I've noticed before haha. Below I have an example of three metal ones and one red wooden one. I love my wooden one, it's the only one I have and it's so warm. You may notice that two of the hooks below also have a hand section, this is nice for people with arthritis and saves movement too.

   Do not be afraid of charts, give them a chance and you may be surprised. Both crocheting and knitting charts seem to intimidate crafters and I find that sad, but I get tripped up on written instructions that are really long so I suppose we're all a little different. All I always suggest is to give it a chance.

    When I was 18 years old I was trying a pattern while crocheting and it just wasn't working. It was driving me crazy, I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, but it just didn't work! I had been crocheting for 5 years so was getting around intermediate skill at that point. When suddenly, I realized it wasn't me, the pattern was wrong! This is something to keep in mind when learning any new craft, it really may not be you.

   Those are the details. Back to obsessively knitting and crocheting hats, mittens and scarves (oh my!) in the hopes that I may get into a Holiday Bazaar in November. If I don't, the items will end up on my shop haha.

  Please feel free to give me feedback and you can reach me pretty easily through my facebook page or shop. Be well and healthy, it's getting colder out there! :D

Jen Riley

Saturday, September 13, 2014

It is all in the details... Part 1: Yarn

    Saturday post, here we go!

    The next few posts will be a discussion about details of knitting and crocheting. There are a few things I do not do, a few things I do, and a few things I want to learn to do. So hear we go and get your Internet seat belt on!!

   First, when it comes to yarn craft there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly -

  1. Red Heart: Generally, I'm not a fan of Red Heart Super Saver, available at my local Walmart. But I will say that the softness, or lack there-of varies from color to color... Go figure. But I will say that lately I've checked out their Boutique Unforgettable and Oh My Goodness, this is just a really fun yarn to use! Soft and a little fuzzy with thing to thick variety. So for Red Heart there is good and not so good haha.
  2. Caron: When it comes to acrylic, Simply Soft is nice and used to be a pretty cheap possibility, but lately I've seen the price up as high as over $4.40 a skein.. (compare that to minimum wage folks) so depressing. Over time, that yarn also can look a little depressing and flat. Caron also has had, in the past a yarn called Spa, which was made up partly of bamboo, if I remember correctly. I miss that stuff.. *sniffle*. 
  3. Berroco: Ahh, Berroco.. I have such a love affair with this stuff. This company has such a variety of yarns but some of my favorite are Vintage, Comfort (worsted, dk and fingering weights), and Ultra Alpaca's (fine and worsted). These are mostly mixed yarns, which means that they are a mixture of wool and acrylic, or wool and alpaca, etc. The nice thing about this brand is that they are a good low-medium range in price and a great way to introduce yourself to different types of fiber and stay affordable, so I highly recommend them. My favorite place to get this stuff is from Webs: America's Yarn Store in North Adams, Mass. (If you ever are up there in May, you need to go and have fun at their tent sale!!) The picture below made in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine.
  4. Other: The reason why I'm saying other, is because the more expensive yarns can be listed here. Such as Malabrigo and Madelinetosh (oh my, it's the 2 M's!) I just love this stuff but it can get really expensive. Nice for smaller products though. Sadly, no finished items to show off here. I'm poor folks, one paycheck from stealing internet from neighbors.. okay maybe two. :D
Well, that's part 1 about yarn. Yarn is fun, this hardly scratches the surface of even what I've used and have in my bins. The husband went out with friends tonight and the kids are sleepy so I got this out faster then I thought I would. This was supposed to be a Sunday post, but I am not known for my patience. 

  Be well, folks, and follow my blog so you can get emailed updates when I get something yarn-related on my mind. 

G'night folks!
Jen Riley
Tangledmania Shoppe
Tangledmania Facebook Page

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oh What We Do For Our Children

Yes, Oh, What We Do For Our Children.. Or otherwise known as, she lost the mittens.

I love my kids, but I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of making items for children and I have a few reasons for this.

   1) They grow so quickly, you either make them something that fits for a few months to a year at most, or you make them something that is really big and they grow into it, but it never quite fits really well.
   2) They lose it. Yes, they lose it. *sigh*. If I had more money I may be able to put labels on them, but that is not in the cards.
   3) Their tastes change so quickly sometimes, ahh the finicky way of girls.

Here are some things that I have made for my kids over the past few years, and they even have pictures of my kids wearing them sometimes :).

   When my daughter started Kindergarten, I thought these mittens would be a great thing to have in school and they were my first real attempt at colorwork. The pattern went along great but she lost them in school. I spent too much on the yarn to be happy with that haha. The pattern is called "The Dancer" and you can get it in adult and child sizes. I would love to make another pair of these, so they are always up for request at my shop.

    This was a blanket I made last summer for an adopted niece, and she just loves it. I've seen her on road trips laying under it in the back seat :D. I have another one of these going right now, that is almost finished. But it has light blue squares between the rainbow repeats. I don't have a pattern link for this one since I made up the squares on my own, sorry.

   This papoose was on my blog a few weeks ago, but here is is with a large Minnie doll safely ensconced in it, just for kicks. :D The papoose is so soft though, a great find in the shop. Here is the link to the Papoose listing.

  Here's my Lizzie back in 2011. I love her "game but unsure" smile in this pictures. But she ran around the house wearing this vest for hours as if she was super girl. "Super Girl!! Tripping away!!" So adorable. This was crocheted in Caron Spa yarn, and I still wear it today, so comfy. There may be an appearance of one of these on the shop in the future.

   Lately, both my girls like to dress up in anything they can get their hands on. Wings from last Halloween, puppy hats, scarfs from the bag of scarfs next to the back door (everyone has one of those right?),  and mommy's boots (so cute when they go up to their knees!). Kids are a joy, when we don't want to duck tape them to the ceiling. No, I haven't done that, haven't you seen America's Funniest Video's? Not a good idea.

  Be well, folks. If you need something for the fall or holiday season for yourself or a loved one, let me know!

Jen Riley

Monday, September 8, 2014

Knitting Fun and Looking for a Job

Just knitting along here.. Click, click, click... Love the sound of those wooden needles. The Tangledmania Shoppe sale was a bust, not a single thing sold. So disappointing. I would like to get more professional pictures, but it's just not in the cards right now. So I'm finishing up a few things for the shop before I focus on mittens and hats.

  This is a portion of an Outlander inspired shawl I'm working on. It's really beautiful and the yarn is such a joy! You can find the details for that on Ravelry, which I linked above.

  This one is harder to show off, but the yarn is ridiculously soft and the pattern is called Oaklet Shawl, I cannot wait to get to the lace because this straight stitch is making me itchy for other projects haha.

     This is a simple cowl, though the pattern doesn't seem so. It's fun and the yarn is malabrigo and ridiculously soft. I cannot wait to bring this shawl to the shop. The color is called Molly and it's supposed to be named after Molly Ringwald (Pretty in Pink, get it?).

  Those are what I'm working on. My daughters are a joy, and the house is still standing, but I'm freaking out about fall coming and paying for heating oil. So still desperately applying for jobs and hoping something comes through. I suppose we all have these times in our lives, when stress and caring for people makes life hard.
   The ironic thing is that I'm good at my job, as a Mental Health Counselor, and I love and am passionate about it. But I don't have a job. But as with anything, this too shall pass. Everything does!

Thanks for reading, folks, take care and I will let you know whats going on later this week!

Tangledmania Shoppe
Tangledmania Facebook Page

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"These are a few of my Favorite".... Designers

 Here are a sample of my favorite designers that I've made items from in the past (and are working on right now).

  First is Martin Storey. Oh Martin. This man is a genius and you can find an example of his designs here. His focus seems to be mainly cables, which is probably why I adore him. He's mostly in England and the continent of Europe so his patterns are a little harder to get hands on at times haha. The picture to the side is one of the squares for his afghan that I'm running a knit a long for right now. :D

  Next is Doris Chan, and yes I do have a picture to show you of something I've finished of hers. The patterns is called Cinnabar and was the first sweater I ever crocheted, so lovely and soft. You can find the pattern in Everyday Crochet, which is sadly out of print but you can still find copies to purchase. The patterns in that book are just lovely!

This beautiful rocking horse baby blanket was recently sold, so if you are looking to purchase another, let me know. The designer of this beautiful item is Mary Triplett and her designs range from lace to cables.

   Could go on, here, but that would make for a very long blog entry. Be well, be happy and stay in touch!
Tangledmania Shoppe