Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Thanksgiving Survival Projects

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Thanksgiving is over, I hope that you all survived the turkey day and being with family. Sometimes it can be hard if you do not feel accepted and sometimes it can be hard because it can be very overwhelming. 

  Every year I do the whole turkey thing, just for my mother, husband and kids. But I still stress out that it will be messed up, that the turkey will be under-done, over-done.. That someone will say something cruel and probably not even realize it, thinking they are funny or supportive in some way. The fact is that no one has ever helped me clean up (which is absolutely going to change as the girls get older). 

  But this year is over, the turkey was yummy, the mashed potatoes were okay, and everything else was done. The store-bought apple pie was actually freaking awesome, I have to say (Walmart, thank you). 

Life still goes on as I look through my patterns for things to put on my etsy shop in the new year. I have picked up the Water Shawl, designed by Erica Jackofsky, again to finish it. This shawl is knitted with yarn from Celestial Strings Yarn on etsy and I am truly enjoying it! The color is much deeper/darker than it appears.

  The other night (before Thanksgiving) I was also playing with some yarn I received from knitpicks.com  (Palette) and made an ornament. Pattern is from Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments by Julie Williams. The stocking is knit flat so it gave me a good lesson in how to do fairisle color work (on a very small scale) on the purl side, which is surprisingly easy when I don't have to worry about catching the yarns :P. So yay!!

  Then I started working on my daughter's celtic owl pullover, this is an original design that I'm working on, now that the celtic part is done, the owls are up next and so far everything is going along swimmingly. Hopefully it fits her haha. I'm also knitting this with knitpicks yarn, Swish in worsted weight. The charts that I am working off of are all from pinterest, so I suppose that means that I am officially indoctrinated in the usefulness of pinterest, I was doubting it up until now.

Does anyone else with they had thought of this? I could have brought my square swiper and everything...

With the holiday season coming, we all have a great deal on our plates, and for some of us the holidays are extremely hard and anxiety-driven (yup I definitely am up there). We can even feel like this:

So keep in mind that the season will pass, and everything will be fine. We can do this!!

Much love and shop local folks!


Monday, November 23, 2015

"It's a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood"

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Good afternoon! News of mine is that I opened up my etsy shop again, Tangledmania Shoppe (link is above as well). The goal is to make some money for a second car, and feed my knitting and crocheting love.

Any suggestions?

Thanksgiving is this week, so I wanted to focus on what I'm grateful for.

1) My sweet daughters. They are so loving and amazing, even when they drive each other and me mad haha.
2) My fantastic support system. I have so many friends who are there for me. Thank you so much!
3) The fact that I knit and crochet. These skills have helped me with mindfulness and finding my center between and underneath both happiness and suffering.

What are you grateful for this week? What are your plans over Thanksgiving?

I am going to be baking a turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, salad, and a dose of laughter and a little football (who is playing this week?).

My daughter's teddy bears are going well, as you can see... I sewed the legs onto the body wrong, so took that apart haha. But my mattress stitch is look lovely :P.

I'm also back to the Water Shawl, for the mkal that finished a while ago. I think that I will finish this and put it up in the shop, but the dropped stitches were very interesting haha. That picture just does not do the color justice (tsk tsk).

If I have enough yarn to finish projects placed in time out, the goal will be to finish them and put them in the shop, since I obviously am not super happy and in love with them. Still have a sweater to finish, and today or tomorrow I will get my yarn from knitpicks.com, most of which is for my oldest daughter, ironically.

  Working on a celtic owl pullover, similar to the walking cats sweater I did for my youngest. The Andean Chullo Hat from knitpicks (was a free pattern a few weeks ago), going to make a few Christmas stocking ornaments (free download), and a pair of socks. Phew, right?

Seriously, be well folks, and there for each other. Let's make the community we have felt is missing. First within ourselves, and then with others. Love you guys!


Friday, November 20, 2015

New Year, New Beginnings

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Recently, my world has taken a huge turn. It feels as if everything that I have been stressing over and clinging too has been released.

  My goal in life is to try and always be both kind and strong. But sometimes there are forces in the world that bear down on us until it is so hard to stay kind and strong, and you have a choice. You can either be bitter or you can let go of what is tearing you down. So I managed to let it go.

  I am very nervous about the future, but I have been through so much in the past that I know I can fix anything, make it through and depend on the support that I have around me.

  I am a very spiritual person, I believe in the energy of the earth that can heal us. In the spirits around us that try to guide us. In the fact that we have free will and that is what causes most of the suffering in our world. I also believe that through meditation and self-love, we can be more kind and loving to those around us. More calm and considerate and a better human being.

  This is the person that I want to be, and who I want to cultivate. Don't get me wrong, I am a very passionate person and can get very angry. I get tired and frustrated. But I want to be a better person. I want to heal myself.

  I see these posts on Facebook, in which people talk about finding that person that will hug them so tight their broken pieces are fixed. But the truth is that we need to do this work on ourselves. We need to reframe our stories from victims to survivors and warriors. If we're not willing to do this work on ourselves, we will never be happy, and we all deserve to be able to find that core to ourselves that is not suffering or happy, but just is. When you find that core it can reverberate throughout your entire body and you are simply whole.

This New Year will have so many new beginnings for me. My over-arching goals are very simple right now.
  1. Stay Kind and Wise
  2. One Step at a Time
  3. Cherish myself.
The Pagan New Year, Yule, is coming. What this means is that it is a symbolic rebirth of the sun, which of course we will need throughout the cold winter seasons. But this year I love that word, rebirth.

  As a Libra, I crave harmony. Any disharmony in my life creates such pain for me, and the longer the disharmony exists, the tougher a time I have of it.

So this coming year, my goal is create harmony in my life, with my family, as best I can. And when I mean have harmony, I mean generally have kind intentions, open words, and open arms. This is all that I've ever wanted and I truly believe that the groundwork that I have laid down, over the past year or two of work on myself through Buddhism (specifically Pema Chodron)and HeatherAsh Amara will be a good grounding for these efforts.

  Stay tuned for my etsy shop to be opening up again! :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Knitting Magazine Review: Vogue Knitting Holiday 2015 & Interweave Knits Winter 2016

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Yes, it is that time of the year again, in which I have received both the most recent Interweave Knits magazine and Vogue Knitting Magazines.

There are some lovely things about both, but to be honest, I'm not over the moon with anything in particular. But here you go anyway, and enjoy in good health!

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2015 Magazine:

  This magazine had two very interesting articles and three patterns that were really interesting to me.

   Using app's to aid knitting (especially counting) has been happening the past few years, and I myself use the Ravelry app County Plus on my Android powered Samsung3 smart phone. It works, and it's connected to the project in my account, which is helpful. But it's pretty basic and not free. All it does is count for you..

   Vogue Knitting highlighted an interesting app for your phone called Chart Minders and seems to be useful for us chart gurus. This little section in their magazine is fantastic, I truly was enjoying reading up on the high tech, among other reviews.

Favorite Patterns:

My first is the #02 Beaded Shawl (I think they have come up with a better name, don't you think?), by Anniken Allis. What I love about this is partly the beadwork and the pattern, I think it would be a fun shawl to make, but not this year or next haha.

Next, this cowl called #07 Convertible Buttoned Cowl by Barb Brown is very lovely, though to be honest it may just be the colors that drew my eye (I'm partial to deep reds). The amount of yarn needed for the project though, especially just for a cowl is a bit daunting: 1125 yards of dk.. Colorwork, but still.. hmm.

The last pattern in this magazine I thought was interesting was this sweater, #17 Open Front Cardigan by Yoko Hatta. This is a truly lovely cardigan, and I adore the cables. It looks like it would work for work or home, but I can suggest from experience that a sweater like this looks better with a yarn that does not have acrylic in it. :)

Interweave Knits Winter 2016 Magazine:

Again, this magazine is thinner, less hardy than the Vogue Knitting Holiday, and though the patterns are more my style this one in particular was not fantastic. Maybe some day soon I will do a post on what magazine from Interweave Knits was my favorite and why, with favorite patterns and such. The articles are okay, but nothing fantastic and eye catching for me this time.

Favorite Patterns:

The first pattern that I found lovely, and something I could possibly knit, was the Inverness Sweater by Linda Marveng. The length is lovely, the cables are nice, but not too intricate or complicated. It is knit in a worsted weight (and I do not go on about the specific yarn because I rarely use the same yarn). It almost appears to be a tunic. Quite lovely, really.

The next pattern to catch my eye was the MacGowan Pullover by Quenna Lee, in worsted weight. The only problem with this pattern, to me, is that it is too short. I would prefer to have a sweater/pullover that goes down to the middle of my behind, rather than brush the top of my jeans. I'm a mom and my kangaroo pouch from two children born via csection makes me not appreciate showing that off. So I would make it longer, but the lace work, cables and what looks like seed stitch look lovely!

Next, is the Hawkherst Sweater by Amanda Bell. This is a lovely sweater in bulky yarn, Eco +, and I may actually make this in that specific yarn as I may have it around. Everything but the white/cream color that is. We shall see. I like this because with the bulky weight, it will be a fast knit and warm. The color-work is lovely and definitely doable. I also like the neckline, the way it is folded over. So definitely something I can see myself making.

Last, I liked the look of a hat called Warwick Hat by Joan Forgione, knit in dk weight. I am wanting to improve my colorwork skills (as always) and this slouchy hat looks perfect, as well as being in dk weight, so it shouldn't take too long to knit. I don't know that I would do the poof at the top of the hat, not a huge fan of those, but again, with your own version of a pattern you do not have too.


That is my review of the two magazines, not great. Nothing I would go "WOW" over. Not enough complicated cables for me, I think. A bit too much seed-stitch haha. The Vogue Magazine is again hardier than the Interweave Knits magazine, but I generally prefer the patterns in the Interweave Knits.

After much consideration from the last Vogue Magazine, with the double-knitting patterns, it may have won out on my preference list (oddly enough). Still want to make that doubleknit winged shawl, maybe after the holidays.

Be well!!



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Finished Sweater, Xmas, and NANOWRIMO Madness

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A little Christmas is coming levity haha.

This will be a very short post, mostly because the news I have is simple. I finished the Walking Cats Sweater by Elizabeth Lovick. My daughter loves it, but of course the weather is too warm for her to enjoy it (oddly haha).  But I loved using the knitpicks.com swish dk for this project, in Honey and Bark. And my older daughter wants one next!

 Once I finished this, the wind out of my knitting sails kind of deflated out so I should probably just work on my mother's afghan when I'm home. She would love to have that finished at some point (pictures to come later this week or early next week).

  I may purposefully post less this month because I'm working on nanowrimo.org or national novel writing month (November), and I'm enjoying tackling it. Would be awesome to have 50k in words done by the end of the month, but I have some catching up to do, so wish me luck!!

  Take care of yourself this week, my friends. Much love and much caring. Remember to give yourself a break, relax instead of tense up, and remember that whatever you are going through will pass. *hug*.



Monday, November 2, 2015

Fair Isle Update, Knitologie and a Response

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   Happy Monday, yet again! I wish these blog posts counted towards my NANOWRIMO totals, but they don't, and to be honest, I haven't even gotten started and it is day two. (Therefore, I have probably already failed haha.)

Fair Isle Sweater Update:

  Today's fun update is that I was up until the wee hours of the morning yet again (insert Scottish or Irish accent, whichever you choose) and working on my daughter's Walking Cat Sweater by Elizabeth Lovick in Knitpicks.com Swish DK (Honey and Bark colors respectively). I am 5 rows from finishing the ribbing at the bottom and I was so tired that I started to miss the throw when I was knitting hehe. So I put it down and went to sleep.

I love how the cats really do look like they are walking haha.

This pattern has earned 5 stars, in my opinion. The only changes that I have made are shortening the ribbing on the sleeves and bottom of the sweater. Otherwise it is perfect and the numbers all lined up for the size 28". I recommend this pattern for anyone who wants to try a top down sweater with some interesting (but not too complicated colorwork). Good stuff!

Also, the yarn (Swish DK from knitpicks.com) is perfect for this kind of knitting and I will definitely be using it in the future.

Knitologie Club:

Next, I'm late for showing off my October Knitologie delivery from knitcrate.com, but here it is. I did receive the Eye Sea Ewe colors and absolutely love it! One of the goals for the 1200 yards that I received very well might be the beautiful Briochealicious by Andrea Mowry. What do you think?

Response Time:

  In order to spread the news that a new blog is up, I share the link on knitting focused Facebook pages and last week I received a message about how I should look into seeing a therapist and getting on medication. As a trained therapist, I absolutely value advice like that, but let me explain myself here and why I post what I post here.

   Since I was 8 years old, I have suffered from chronic depression. Sometimes it is worse than other times, such as last Monday, but generally I'm able to work on it through Buddhist teachings (especially Pema Chodron) and the writings of HeatherAsh Amara. Both of these teachers have written books that I feel help me battle my inner demons (depression and self-doubt) and guide me to reclaim the child/spirit that moves me inside. I work on this a lot, and share some of my favorite tips and pieces of wisdom that work for me on here.

  On here, I also share when I feel down, because depression (and mental illness in general) is not something to be ashamed about. It is a fact of life, especially in this fast-paced, broken community, obsessed with too much information (TMI) world that we live in. My goals, here, are to show people that they are not alone and that they should be reaching out and talking about their symptoms. It is not easy and I know that I have absolutely had my share of shutdowns all the time. But it is important that we keep trying, because this is the human existence. To suffer is to be human, but to let it go is to be enlightened. It just is and together we can hold on until the painful waves retreat and we can move forward again.

  Over and over, I have had to cover my pain with a happy face. To pretend I am not sad, or furious, or grieving. Because the people around me may not know how to act with me, how to help me, because they were as damaged or more as I am and have never been taught how to reach out. I know that I have problems comforting others sometimes. To reach out and comfort another adult leaves us open to rejection, which can be very painful when repeated very often.

  I have tried therapy (and have seen some fantastic therapists) and I have been on medication. The medication does not work, and I used the therapy to push myself over humps that I came across and for validation that my instincts and my view were not wrong. And usually they were not. Currently, I am not on any medication for my depression, nor am I seeing a therapist. Partly, that is because my last therapist moved. And partly it is because of funds. I am not suicidal, and though the holidays that I detest the most are coming in, I am in no danger and over the 27 years have come to know that this too shall pass, it always does.

If you are feeling so depressed that you feel you may need help, always see a qualified therapist and use meds to help you get over the hump to a better place. They are useful tools! Just because medication does not work for me, does not mean it will not be invaluable for you!

  So practice some loving kindness, hug that inner child when they cry out in pain. Love yourself kindly, not with ego and the feeling that you are better than someone else, but that you deserve to be loved as much as anyone else. Because we all do.

Be well!