Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Fun - Happy Turkey-Day!!

Where you can find me:
Instagram: Tangledmania
Ravelry: Tangledmania
Ravelry Group: Tangledmania
Facebook: Tangledmania Blog

Turkey-Day Chat:
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the USA, so to all my USA viewers, Happy Turkey-Day! Who's going to win the football games? Looks like there are three games going on:
  Bears vs Lions
  Eagles vs Cowboys
  Seahawks vs. 49ers

   I'm not sure which game I'll end up watching and knitting in front of, likely just whichever one is on when I'm done making the turkey and I can finally sit down. At my house it's not really a big deal, just my two small daughters, my mom and husband and that is it. Which I'm kind of grateful for, because that is anxiety ridden enough for me as it is.

Reading Pleasure:
   Still reading my way through Prince Lestat by Anne Rice (her latest)  and enjoying the new characters she's introduced into the book that we never knew before. Antoine is a little jarring, but still easy to relate too. I do not know what's next on my list to read and I've been plowing through the outline for my self-help book on how to use Yarncrafting in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to treat depressive and anxiety symptoms.

WIP (Work In Progress):
   Working on scarves for xmas, pattern is from Joe D'Angio "Basic Cable Can Be Nice".
    I burned my finger the other day, so that has taken a bit out of my knitting sail, so to speak. But my knitting ADHD is in full force as I get ready to cast on for my "Knit-Botanical-Knits-Book" event. Not such a fun thing, I lost my size 8 needles!! This sometimes happens around my recliner but I can usually find it. It's been almost two weeks and I still can't find those circulars so I may have to order another pair.
   But I did knit a little on the fair isle tam, but not much.

FO (Finished Object):
  This is sadly empty.. but here is a funny picture to make you smile!

Wrapping up:
  I'm typing things up this way to give you an idea of how my podcast will go. Yes, I will be doing a podcast. First I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive so that I have something fun to show you. Secondly, I'm looking for the best place to do it.
   Life is moving on as tonight I get ready to cook turkey tomorrow, not my favorite thing to do since my oven is older than me (I'm 34), but it does the job. We also got hit by a good snow storm today, but stayed safely home so all is well in the household. Everyone is safe and no one is sick, besides the occasional sniffles. Project bags are everywhere, even my seven year olds, who is knitting a nice bulky scarf (I'm so proud of her!)

Have a wonderful turkey day. Be happy, be nice to each other and remember that no one can love you more than yourself, so love yourself and be compassionate to yourself! Thank you for reading!

Jen Riley

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Knit-the-Book" Event News

I love interviews! Don't you? Jinny is so wonderful so I hope you all keep spreading the news of her Kickstarter Campaign!.

Where you can find me:
Instagram: Tangledmania
Ravelry: Tangledmania
Ravelry Group: Tangledmania
Facebook: Tangledmania Blog

Pre-Event Projects (WIP, including  Xmas Stuff)
  So I have to finish two cabled scarves for men, so my butt is in high gear for that. I'm using the same pattern for both, which is by Joe D'Angio and is called "Basic Cable Can Be Nice". I linked the connection to the Ravelry page for the pattern (which is free, by the way) but he also has a blog here on blogspot called The Actor Knits. It's a more simple cable pattern than I usually do but, hey, it's for a dad and his son, both grown.

Also, I'm going to work on finishing up Josh Ryks Glaciation mystery knit a long, the last clue was released today. :D. I am almost finished with clue three so hopefully I can finish this shawl in the next couple of days.

Event News
I know, you all were like, I don't care about the other projects you're doing. :D Or maybe you do, haha. I will be receiving yarn from Knitpicks very soon for the Autumn's End Sweater, which is the first project in the book. There are some packages that I'm expecting, so perhaps that will be my first podcast, opening packages.

 I may end up knitting the Buds and Bloom's sweater in bulky yarn that is not available anymore, but we'll see.

The Twigs and Willows sweater will be knit in Berroco ultra alpaca (worsted) in colorway tiger's eye mix.

The Entangled Vines sweater is up in the air, in regards to yarn. I'm really not sure what I'll be using for it as I'm out of a sweater's worth of worsted weight yarn in my stash at this point, but fear not! I will think of something :D. Perhaps a splurge at Jimmy Beans Wool or Webs.

The two DK hats, Forest Floor and Pressed Leaves will be knit out of yarn I will be dyeing with help from a local farm, many pictures will come on that adventure! The yarn itself will be donated by this good friend so I am super excited!!

 The Ivy Trellis Socks yarn will be donated by Three Fate Yarns and I am so grateful to the owner Stephania Fregosi for her generosity. If you have not been to her shop, you need to get over there and drool!

  The Ivy Trellis Mittens yarn will be donated by Keya Kuhn of Cedar Hill Farm Company, and she is doing a special colorway just for this event so I'm so grateful and cannot wait to see it when it arrives!!

  And the Wrapped in Leaves shawl will be knit in Supersquish DK in the colorway Harvest Moon by Angela Moon of Celestial Strings Yarn. She provided me with a discount and I'm super grateful for her willingness to do a custom order for this shawl, since this colorway wasn't readily available. Go check it out for a preview!

There are a few other projects unaccounted for, yarn-wise, but I am not worried. Life tends to fall into place and we are going to have a ball. I hope you knit a long with me! See you again soon, and no I will not be blogging tomorrow, lol. Off to a local fair to help out a fellow yarn crafter, Simply Shawls, who makes amazing woven shawls that are selling out as soon as she makes them. I almost feel sorry for her haha.

Have I put in enough links? :D

Be Well!
Jen Riley

Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview: MIRLA Fiber Arts: Jinny McKenzi

One of the things I wanted to do was to provide interviews and spotlight fantastic artist that make my addiction to knitting even more wonderful. One such person is Jinny McKenzi, who owns MIRLA Fiber Arts. She is currently running a kickstarter fundraiser to expand her business and is offering fantastic rewards for donations.

You can find her at the following locations:
MIRLA Fiber Arts Etsy Shop 
(Shop is on vacation mode until after Fundraiser ends)

1) How did you get started in fiber arts?
I started in fiber as a young child. My grandmother, who was an amazing quilter, taught me how to crochet one Christmas when she came to visit. At 13 I crocheted my first granny square afghan, but then put fiber aside in favor of teen angst! Then at college I was looking for creative classes to take alongside my more academically demanding course load and I found a tapestry weaving class, I was lost to fiber from then on. I found a rickety old Ashford Traditional and taught myself to spin. It has been a wonderful journey.

Drooling here.. are you?
2) How did you come up with your brand name?
My brand name is an acronym for my children in the order of their births. MIRLA: Madison, Iris, Rose, Livia, and Aurelia. I got lucky that their names work together so well. My logo design is also representative of my children. A Rose for Madison as it's her middle name, an Iris for Iris, another Rose for Rose, a Wren for Livia as it is her middle name, and a locket representing Gold which is what Aurelia means in latin (golden). The logo was designed by my amazingly talented brother, Scot McKenzie, who is a painter in Portland, Oregon.

3) Where do you get your inspiration for the colors you use?
I don't have any preconceptions when I go into a dye session, I work on instinct and am usually happy. I find that when I try too hard to preconceive an outcome I am often not pleased with the results. However, for the Kickstarter I did manage to come up with a number of repeatable colorways that I am happy with, based mainly on previous results I'd had without forethought. When I am really in need of inspiration I look to nature and draw from the colors that speak to me there. The internet is a treasure trove of imagery and I am thankful it is there when I need it.

4) Your kickstarter is a fundraiser to expand, will you be opening a physical shop?
At the moment I have no plans to open a physical shop. I am fortunate to live in an area rich in fiber arts. The downside of that, for me as a business, is that the market is already saturated with shops that provide for the existing fiber community here. I do hope to one day move to an area where a physical shop would be possible and have already started exploring options.

5) What do you think about the popular idea that fiber arts are a good coping mechanism for  depression and anxiety?
I believe strongly in the therapeutic benefits of the fiber arts and any creative art form really. There is nothing I can think of that has more positive influence on the mind and soul than immersing oneself into something creative. I do think the fiber arts are particularly suited to this end, there is something about the rhythm of spinning yarn, or repeating a stitch pattern, that is soothing. These moments of quiet concentration and focus are a form of meditation that is regenerative to the mind and spirit.

6) What are your future goals?
My future goals are fairly simple but moderately ambitious, eventually I would like to have a full retail fiber website. I want to keep creating and contributing to other artists creations via my fibers and yarns. If I am lucky enough to one day have a physical shop then that would be the icing on an already delicious cake, but it is not something I need to continue pursuing my passion for this wonderful art form and sharing it with those who graciously allow me to.

Can anyone else relate to her answers? I can! So go check out her kickstarter page, which you can find here: MIRLA Fiber Arts Kickstarter and donate if you can! We need to support our fiber genius'. :D I need to stop drooling over her yarn pictures..

Good luck to you, Jinny!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting Excited and Other Things

Getting Excited
   Yes, I am. This is a big deal for the blog and I'm super excited to relay that I have the following yarn folks/companies on board for advertising!
   Knitpicks.com (if you are not familiar with them, you should be :D)
   Cedar Hill Farm Company (which has absolutely lovely hand-dyed yarn)
   There are more on the way but these two are definite. All of the companies should get uber-love because it's just fantastic what they're doing for the blog!

   It looks like I'll be dyeing some of the yarn that I will be receiving so that will be a fun adventure and I will definitely be posting about that with pictures!

  If you haven't voted, make sure you get on the Ravelry group Tangledmania and put in your vote! Will you be knitting along with me? I'm planning on starting from the beginning of the book that wins in the voting and going straight through. There will be giveaways as well!

Other Things
   So I've been suffering from knitting ADHD, I just cannot stay focused haha. But knitted a little bit on the fair isle tam. Funny story about that pattern is that I am a very literal pattern follower. I can change things up, but it usually takes me by surprise when I have to change things. So I had to frog back to the corrugated ribbing which you can see here:

  I also have been working on a second pair of socks, this time for my seven year old daughter and I'm just fudging the pattern, though I'm not sure I like it. What do you think? Let me know, as I'm considering frogging these back doing lace or cables or something.

Lastly, should I do a weekly podcast? Or is reading better? I'm enjoying the podcasts and am unsure. Is that the new way to go. Give me your preferences. What are your favorite podcasts? Go check out my Facebook page for the blog as well! Tangledmania Blog.

On a more personal note, I have a job interview on December 2nd so I'm so excited, it would be so great for my family for me to be back to work!!

Be well and I'll be talking to you soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparation and Mystery Knit A Long's (Updated 8 hours later)

So preparing for the big project of knitting through book's has be very excited. I've looked through all of the book, but Botanical Knits is far in the lead and I'm looking at the four sweaters haha. But nothing looks too bad. :D. I'm so excited!!

    If anyone knows of any independent yarn genius's that want to sponsor this endeavor and have their name splashed all over the place, let me know, or have them contact me through the Ravelry group. Yes, I'm asking because it's a great source of advertisement. Update 4:44pm: Knitpicks has hopped on board with donating yarn! I am over the moon and keep saying "Holy Rapies!" (Hotel Transylvania).

   Make sure you go and join the Ravelry group and vote, it is called Tangledmania and I have a discussion thread on books going so it should be fun!

  Another fun part of this that I've decided to include is that everyone in the Ravelry group will be available to enter into a giveaway towards the end in which I will giveaway one of the non-sweater projects. I'll use rafflecopter and post it on here, but the only way to track that it's not some random folk that I can think of is that you're also in the Ravelry group.

That takes care of the preparation portion of the upcoming event, which feel free to knit a long with me, by the way. I would love to hear comments and give aid as I can.

  Next, I've decided to play fast catch up on Josh Rykk's (Sword of a Knitter/Geoknittrix patterns on Ravelry) and his Glaciation mystery kal (knit a long) and having a fun time with the funky shapes!! They are already on clue three, but I believe I just finished clue 1, so not much of a spoiler, unless you are starting really late. DancingGeek sucked me into this with his podcast, it just tortured me because I wanted to try it so much. I love mystery knit a longs and have done an Outlander version and a Game of Thrones and had a ball with both!! People are so awesome on ravelry!

 Here is a preview, and I'm using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Moonshadow and oceanic mix.

Be well, folks, go join the group, go vote and thank your for being a part of my world. Love you guys!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Book Review Poll and Wrapping up the Bazaar

In the great inspiring steps of Julie Powell, one of the two main characters of "Julie and Julia" (the movie), on November 22, 2014 I will start my book review journey. What I mean by that, is that I will be taking a knitting pattern book and knitting every single pattern in it while I blog about the video's I used for help on new techniques, changes I make to the pattern, possible alternate yarns I use (and why), and if I'm lucky maybe a designer interview!   I have received an overwhelming response to this endeavor and I am very excited about it!

  Presently, I have a poll up here in my Tangledmania Ravelry group, and that poll will be up until Friday, November 21, 2014, at which time whatever book has the most votes will be the first book I knit my way through. The book's, which were picked at random from my library and excluded afghan books, are as follows:

  1. New American Knits by Amy Christoffer's
  2. Stitching in the Stacks by Sarah Barbour
  3. Botanical Knits by Alana Dakos
  4. 60 Quick Baby Knits by Sixth and Spring Books
There is an other category, so you can add suggestions for future knitting book reviews for me to go through pattern by pattern. But go vote and join the Ravelry group and let's have some fun. Maybe knit along with me when I reach a pattern you've been meaning to tackle. 

  Second of all, I wrapped up my bazaar today. Two days of 6 hours a day of being social and smiling and putting my stuff out there.. To only sell one hat.. But I will say this, I had a freaking AWESOME time. :-D I do not care that I only sold a hat. I met some awesome people, was able to be social and just have a great two days!  Ironic part about selling at a bazaar is that you need to lift things up and justify the price, that was hard for me to do this time. But next year will be better :D. 

Be well!! :D

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

First Bazaar: SUNY Cobleskill Holiday Bazaar

I'm soo nervous!!

  So a few things on my plate. The big one is that this Friday and Saturday, November 14-15, I'l be selling my knitting at SUNY Cobleskill during their Holiday Bazaar and I am sooo psyched and nervous! I've been knitting furiously and my 7 year old will be helping me draft the tags starting tonight haha. Here are some pictures of items I finished that didn't make it to my shop.

This hat is just so much fun, with little beads on top. It's a slouchy hat! :D kinda looks elvish, doesn't it? I gave it away during an instagram giveaway so had to make a new one for the shop.

    These mittens are a taken from a full mitten pattern, but I wanted some more fingerless mittens for my table, so there it is. The green is really bright and fun! I know I previewed one mitten last time, but here they are together! For one at a time, my gauge is getting pretty even.

     I'm working on one more super chunky cowl and another cabled kitty hat, since my daughter stole the one I made for the shop (hehe) and say I'm good. Soo nervous!! Everything from my shop will be for sale on my table. I think my biggest problem will be figuring out how to get them to display nicely.. I'm still unsure what I'm going to do.. I need to figure out ways to add height so that my stuff isn't all flat.. Brainstorm.. Any ideas?

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Development and Depression in the Holiday Season

  The Holiday season is always really tough for me, as a kid there were very few happy holiday memories in my family, mostly they were stressful and sad and very lonely; a few were even horrific. So as an adult, my job is to try and figure out how to make it fun for my kids, which isn't easy because it's all up to me for various reasons. So it is really easy to feel depressed and part of depression is anger and irritation in normal daily life.

  So many of us have had hard childhood's, I'm not under any belief that I am unique, or that it is a competition and I had it worst, which I know I didn't. Instead, I try to be compassionate towards others and myself on a daily basis. Towards myself means giving myself a break, if I need to sit on the chair and cry a little, then get up and clean for 20 minutes, so be it. If I need to message a friend on Facebook, so be it. If I need to go for a walk, that is a bonus with the kids :D.

  So once you take care of yourself, you should also be able to take care of others. Like my children and my husband who is in pain from his back (though I would prefer if he would throw out his trash that is next to the counter instead of leaving it on the counter haha). What I've noticed is that folks who have been neglected as children (at least neglected, if not abused), crave for people to return this care and when it doesn't happen it can be devastating.

   So if you find yourself feeling that way, keep in mind that first of all we surround ourselves by people who we are comfortable and familiar with, and that includes people who resemble the family we grew up with in various ways, including emotional availability. Second of all, what if it was up to us to hug that little neglected child inside and cuddle that child when we feel that devastation, instead of waiting for someone else to do the cuddling. As adults we can do a certain amount of what I call self-mothering and actually think about that child that wanted love and simply hug the innocent child that still lives in all of us.

   We're kind of like onion layers, which is how I see human development.

  1. At the center is the baby who needs to be mimicked and needs to get that face to face contact and smiles. 
  2. Then the toddler who needs just as much love and cuddles as well as a growing sense of boundaries for wrong and right. 
  3. Then the child who needs those boundaries reinforced and a safe and affectionate place to turn too. 
  4. Teenagers are so ready to be independent but they still need those hugs and embarrassing kisses, as well as the strong boundaries, and stories to relate to the teen about the dangers of choices during that time, though experience is going to be a strong influence. 
  5. The presiding opinion is that the brain does not stop developing until at least the age of 25, which would mean that teenagers are teen's until 25 and as I'm 34, my opinion is that is probably true haha. 
So if any of these spaces are missing support, acceptance or love of at least one adult, and let's admit that many of us have missed that unconditional feeling, there is a hole. I wonder why the holiday's are the times that make that emptiness most prevalent? Why do you think?

  I have been knitting obsessively, because I have a bazaar I will be selling my items at on November 14-15 at SUNY Cobleskill. I'm psyched!