Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What I'm reading, What I'm doing, and What else is going on.

What I'm Reading:
Trying to finish library books can be tough, especially when on a deadline for knitting a scarf for a calendar. But in the scarf's favor it was a lovely soft knit, but I am a bit cabled out. I cannot share pictures but you can order the calendar here (warning, the calendar does feature grown men with scant clothing, though everything is usually strategically covered haha).

  Some of the books I'm attempting to finish are:

  1. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making of The Princess Pride, by Cary Elwes (Wesley) with Joe Layden. 
  2. Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town, by Beth Macy.
Almost done with the first, it's a quick read and a fun one, for the most part. It goes a little too much into some history stuff and not enough into little tidbits from the making of the movie, though there are some. I'll let you know on the second.

   What I'm Doing:
As usual, I've been knitting (big surprise) mittens, and they are going along swimmingly. Next is a colorwork tam, so that will be fun. Here is the first mitten all done, except for weaving in the ends. I am very happy with the result and with my attempt at latvian braids :D.
What else is going on?
   I'm working on finishing a few projects from "60 More Quick Knits" so that I can have a knitting book review for next month. So far, I love this book and the only problem I have is that all the projects are in sport weight, which is kind of a pain to get in person. 

  Be well folks and safe this Halloween. Check the candy and keep an eye out for animal safety. 

Jen Riley

Friday, October 24, 2014

Keeping It Real With My Kindle, Some Spidey-Sense, and Halloween Begins.

That is a very long title.. But I will explain, haha. First of all, I have been posting two posts a week, but this past week there has been nothing and I will tell you why. I've been on an emotionally roller-coaster in working on getting myself reinstated with the state, as those of you who have been following me know, I have been searching for a job. So I have been in conference with Civil Service to find out my options and furiously applying to position in various state agencies. This has been so stressful that it's just been a very emotional week in coming to terms with that.

   So that has sucked.

  But other things that have happened would be that I was contacted to do a review of a book by the author, so that was just fun and out of the blue! The book is called The String Quartet by Dan Hupalo.  So far so good, I will let  you know more when I finish the book :D. Just found it interesting that I was asked out of the blue.

  Have you ever looked at patterns or a pattern book you have purchased on your kindle? One of the nice things about having a kindle is that I can send pdf's to my kindle, such as patterns I purchased or was able get a hold of for free on ravelry and other places. So while I work on a project the pdf is very portable. But when it comes to craft/pattern books I find it lacking. Maybe it would be better on the kindle fire (the large tablet) but my kids commandeered it so it's not really available haha.

  Speaking of my kids, my 7 year old has a birthday party to go to this weekend and instead of buying a toy, I found out that the kid has taken an obsession of spiderman so I just finished these mittens, hopefully he likes them. :D


Also, my kids received their Halloween costumes today. Hilarity started as my 3 year old refused to take off her kitty costume. Here she is on the couch petting herself haha: 

  And my 7 year old also had her first dance, a Halloween dance, today, where she wore her costume and she and I had a decent night without tears or whining on either side haha.

I love my daughters. I am so blessed!!

Jen Riley

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thing's To Do While Looking for A Job

Okay, first and foremost, I apply for positions and follow up on a daily basis. I am not just sitting around waiting for the job gods to lay a hand on me and say "YOU ARE NOW EMPLOYED!" :D. No. I work on finding a job every day in one way or another, but it honestly doesn't take all that much time up.

   One reason why I need to find a job, which my husband will wholeheartedly agree with me, is that I SUCK as a housewife. I mean I start cleaning and I'm like one of those trained dogs from Up! "SQUIRREL!"

   So (and someone queue the music from The Sound of Music: "My Favorite Things"), here are a few other things I do to try and be productive.

  1. I knit and crochet in the hopes of making a little bit of money that way.. Not working out so well, but my name in the crafting world is starting to get around as a teacher and helper which is wonderful :D
  2. Clean the house.. again I suck at it and am deathly afraid of bugs.. My husband still hasn't dumped the vacuum cleaner container after I vacuumed up a huge spider.. I am honestly not sure if it's still in there and I don't want to find out..
  3. Tried working on my novel.. but here is the thing about that. I don't write about details, I write about emotions and passions, feelings. So my stories are so much shorter. So feeling stumped on that.
  4. A big one, is that I take care of my kids. I cuddle with them, feed them, try and keep them clean, play with them by chasing them through the house, laugh with them, watch tv with them. That takes up a lot of time and is time well spent. Things I will miss when I get a job.

Well, four is enough, because a long blog is a boring blog.. Or so I'm told :D. So, in order to encourage comments, the question of the day is:

What is your favorite thing to do in downtime?

Have a fantastic weekend folks! And to those of you going to Rhinebeck in upstate New York, have a yarntastic and fibertastic weekend!

Jen Riley

Friday, October 10, 2014

Job Interview and Stress Reduction

   I've been searching nonstop for a job in which I can use my training to help people with a master's degree in counseling and community psychology and my extensive office experience. Ideally, I would want to be able to be licensed as a mental health counselor in New York State, but I'm at the point that I need a job to pay for oil this winter. But the interview I had this week was really interesting and working with the army reserve and I'm not the type of person to jump from job to job.
   I am a creature of passions, so in order to try and curb my disappointment if I don't get the job, I've been reminding myself that I didn't get the job (sounds weird that negative thoughts can be positive, but it's keeping me more under control). But I'll be upset if I don't get it  because I really need one, tearfully so.

  But in the meantime, I'm working on stress reduction by doing the following:

  By working on a scarf for a calendar (so no pictures, sorry, in a few months I'll refer back to it). 

     I also started a Facebook group for Upstate New York Crafters as a contact point. I'm in many crafting groups on Facebook and they are spread around the world, which is great, but I wanted to make some local contacts for possible meet-ups.

    I've also been watching a podcast by this incredibly adorable young woman and new mom named Chelsea and also known as Knitfitch on Ravelry.com. You can find her podcasts here: Knitfitch. Her first podcast was a little slow but picked up and is very like-able. She has a new one out today that apparently isn't linkable, but you can find it through her. You can also find her blog here: http://www.knitfitch.com/

     Deconstructing a little poncho/capelet for my daughter so that I can make a larger poncho for my daughter. The picture is the poncho I'm deconstructing, it is bottom up but I think I will do it top down instead, and it will be in blue. :D

What are you up to this weekend? :D

Jen Riley

Monday, October 6, 2014

Unemployed and Depressed

     Some "knitty" gritty in today's blog post, because depression is on my mind. As a trained therapist, I understand the signs/symptoms but anyone can fall prey to this mental illness. We can break the cycle but it's not always easy when there are stressors in our lives that fuel the negative thoughts.
    My stressors are easy to name:

  1. I have been extensively job searching, with only one unsuccessful interview, since May of this year. 
  2. Winter is coming and I'm really stressed about money and paying for oil.
  It has never taken me very  long to find a job, usually a few weeks, so this is really wearing on me. I live in a town that I haven't worked in and I'm shy. All of my friends are about 30-45 minutes away so I'm really lonely and isolated. I'm getting out sometimes to make friends, but it's not easy being shy and finding a baby sitter for my 3 year old, but I am trying. Specifically, I'm getting out to a knitting group called the Knitwits on Wednesdays at my local library. A very nice group of women.

   Besides trying to get out of the house, I'm also knitting (of course). The kitty hat I finished recently was a fun item to finish and my 7 year old went off to 2nd grade this morning wearing it. 
   I've also recently finished a very pretty shawl, what do you think? It's called Tignish.

     A friend of mine mentioned wanting a rainbow blanket that I've made before, so that may be back on the list to make. So that will be fun. It's crocheted in Berroco Comfort Yarn, and so comfy!!

   I have two other afghans on the needles so I'm staying busy. Keeping the fingers busy is important because of the depression symptoms. I can do this. 

        Drink plenty of water
        Eat more veggies
        Get out for daily walks
        Play with my children every day and laugh
        Keep creating knitted and crocheted items.
        Have faith that this too shall pass, because nothing stays the same forever!

What do you do to battle the blue's?

Jen Riley

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Designing Fun and That Time of the Month (Uh-oh)

          So around the 1st of each month I'll probably disappear as I'm always in a huge amount of pain with migraines and cramps. Yay me :D. But it usually snaps and suddenly I feel better and hit the ground running. That is probably the best time of the month for me to design, which is what I did last night! I wanted to make a kitty hat similar to one I had seen recently, but in worsted weight yarn (or medium/4, also called double knitted yarn in the UK, for my UK readers), and I succeeded! It's so cute :D

         The pattern will be for sale on ravelry and etsy by the end of this week, and it's really very simple :D. The yarn I used was Lion Brand Wool-Ease and size 8 needles. 

   On other notes, it was raining yesterday, which brought in more cold weather, brr, but at least I can wear my sweaters haha. I'm also working on another knitting book review for the blog. Any requests? Let me know and I'll check it out for the future months, I would like to do one knitting book review a month. :D

   I had to take the socks apart, much to my dismay, because they were just a tad too big, which I think was the pattern, since I was making gauge *sigh*. I'll figure it out!

  In the meantime, be well, be yarnified!

Jen Riley