Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The New Year Is Upon Us

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  This week has been all about trying to get my youngest daughter into the new universal pre-kindergarten program that she was accepted into. Of course, they do not answer their phones, though I know they are open and found out they have a problem with answering their phones in general, and there is no transportation set up as of yet. 


  I can absolutely not wait until after the holidays. But I need to get my knitting and crocheting works in progress organized. As my last post indicated, I have a ton of things to work on, the Downton Abbey mkal/mcal is caked for the January 3rd cast-on (both from Celestial Strings):

  Something that I am finally working on finishing is the St. Brigid Sweater as well, in Berroco Vintage. This sweater was amazing to knit, until I got to the collar, then I felt a little unable to finish. A few years later my experience has definitely enabled me to knock this one out this week (hopefully). 

  Therefore, my goal this week is to finish up as many stashed works in progress as my elbow will allow (pain sucks), and start the Downton Abbey mkal/mcal (I will be doing be doing both) on Sunday. That is what I'm doing immediately, besides trying to catch up on every single episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (which is both sad and awesome). 

  Mentally, I'm doing okay, hanging out with my kids is fun and relaxing. I'm staying up ridiculously late and sleeping during the day sometimes with the kids. All is stable, and shouldn't we always just be grateful for these moments of stability? :) 

  I hope that you have had a fantastic year, and have another great one to come. 

Be well!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Focusing On: Judy Becker - Toe-Up Marvel

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If any of you have knitted toe up socks, then you have likely heard about Judy's Magic Cast-On. Today I was wondering who this marvel woman is? It's not hard to find information about this woman, she's on Ravelry, Twitter, has a blog and a published book, but I still want to talk up about her invention on how to do toe up socks for a few reasons:

1) It's free. You can literally google this online and find instruction written by her in 2006 on Knitty.com. The original article is here: Magic Cast-On For Toe-Up Socks.

2) There are also dozens of youtube video's from various people, showing how to do it, and here is Judy Becker herself explaining it! How awesome is that?
3) She has an awesome book (that is on my wish list) that is available on amazon (and other fine retailers I'm sure) called "Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy's Magic Cast-On".
4) And she has some great designs up for grabs on ravelry as well: Judy's Designs
If you haven't tried this technique, you need to give it a try. It's so fun and fairly easy. I've done it two at a time and one at a time (sounds kinky). Saves on Kitchener stitches, which I am NOT good at. To be honest, I'm generally not a fan of knitting socks, though my husband wants a pair. But toe up, I can do this and so can you :). So take a deep breath, pick up those needles, and knit on!! :)
Happy Holidays and Much Love!


Monday, December 21, 2015

2016 Knitting Goals

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  With 2015 drawing to a close, I find myself both relieved and apprehensive. Today is Yule, and Friday is Christmas Day. In my family, I am the sole person who is responsible for carrying the holidays and I am not particularly religious. So instead, I'm choosing to focus on what is to come in regards to my knitting aspirations.

So here we go:

1) My daughter's celtic owl sweater. I want to finish designing and knitting it. Time to pick it back up!! This sweater is being knit with Knitpicks.com yarn.

2) Downton Abbey will be winding down their last season this coming Winter/Spring, and Jimmybeanwool.com is hosting a MKAL (mystery knit a long) and MCAL (mystery crochet a long). I will be doing both. :) I kind of miss crocheting so that will be a fun. Both yarns are from Celestial Strings Yarn on Etsy.  Anyone else joining me in that on January 3rd?

3) Today, arriving via mail, is some roving for me to start trying to drop spindle my own yarn! I bought the merino roving from Three Waters Farm on Etsy and am really very excited to try it. Wish me luck! And thank you to @katiepansy on instagram for the drop spindle through #getyouryarnwishgranted .

A little info here: Celestial Strings yarn is testing a new mill for yarn and the following projects will be in the goal to test these yarns and I specifically picked these patterns to test the yarns.

4) The Levity Shawl seems like a good, fun, relaxing knit for some merino fingering weight yarn. The yarn I have is variegated between two colors so we'll so how it works out. Here's to hoping! If it doesn't work, I'll just frog and look for another pattern. (picture is not mine). Do you think it will work for variegated yarn? I think it will..

5) Next up is the Carradal, which is a lovely striped and cabled shawl. The yarn I have for this is not variegated all that much. One color is a tonal blue and the other is a gray tweed. The cables will be fun!

6) Bigger on the Inside features the Tardis from Dr. Who, but I'm honestly not sure if the yarn will work for this pattern (even though the colorway is called Tardis). It again is a variegated between light and dark blue (just the two colors). The way the pattern is laid out, I have a feeling that I truly will not know if it works until I'm down to the Tardis design at the border, so we'll see how it goes. The yarn I will be using also has a twinkle aspect to it, which makes me nervous, so we'll see.

7) The Tanner Cowl is going to be an easy and fast knit, being a worsted weight project. Funny story about this one, I actually have this book on my kindle.. so getting the Kindle Fire away from the kids long enough to knit the cowl should be interesting lol. Bribery in this case haha.

End of Test Mill 2016 Goals (for now)

8) I had shown some Plymouth Monte Donegal yarn that I had purchased off of Craftsy.com a few month ago or so, and the blue and silver will end up being the Tuin sweater, though I will not be doing a turtleneck, instead, I will just leave it a regular neck with some k2p2 ribbing. This will be such a fun knit this coming year.

 On top of all the 8 fun knitting stuff (and knitting related stuff) going on up above, I will yet again attempt to start holiday knitting early. I always fail this because I'm not really good at really long-long-term planning.

In the meantime - enjoy your holiday season. Watch White Christmas, The Santa Clause, and It's A Wonderful Life (try to not cry, I dare you), enjoy your family and have a fantastic New Year!!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Truth About Holiday Depression/Anxiety, And What To Do About It

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Last night was a rough night for me, depression-wise. Probably due to my Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and day two of no Mountain Dew, so some withdrawal symptoms.

Lying in bed, co-sleeping with my two daughters, my oldest asked me if I was crying, because I was sniffling. I actually was crying, but I lied and said that I had a cold and was stuffed up, which is partly true too.

  What hit me was the realization that when depression hits us, one of the factors is to feel as if no one sees us. That no one empathizes for us and is seeing our pain.

We all live in our heads.    

What it means to live in our own heads is that when we have so much overwhelming us in our own body and section of our life (job for example), it is so easy to not realize how we take advantage of others and how that makes them feel.

          As women, in particular, we are expected to do all the cleaning (I really suck at housework), we are expected to take care of the kids (“what are you making for the kids for dinner?” the “you” is the key word there), and we are expected to take care of everyone else. But as someone who suffers from depression, it is very hard to do that when you feel as if your cup is empty.

          When we take care of other people, we are trying to make them feel loved and cared for, filling up their cup. But over time, this can take from our cup when it isn’t returned, hence “running on empty” phrase. The holidays, in particular are rough for this and I know that I personally always feel down during the holidays due to past trauma’s that occurred during Christmas and because I am expected to put up the tree, I am expected to celebrate a holiday that I am not invested in. It is exhausting and a completely thankless job.

          So last night, when I realized that my oldest daughter, who is very sensitive, was so attuned to me that she knew enough to ask if I was crying, it jolted me out a little. I do have two of the sweetest, most cuddly daughters in the world who give me as many hugs and kisses as I have given them. They know how to love and be empathetic, so I must be doing something right.

          Instead of fighting our depression or anxiety, relax into it.
Try it, because it is absolutely amazing.
 Don’t clutch it to yourself, until you are curled up in a fetal position, just relax into it, close your eyes and breathe.
Let yourself accept that part of yourself.
Hug whatever self that is hurting and breathe.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Knitting Goals 2015 (Failure Imminent, Countdown Began)

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  This is true. Just like the sight of other people's knitting can make me want to knit (no joke, Facebook groups are bad enabling heaven).

Knitting Goals:
  So we all have goals, right? I have put aside all of my non-xmas present related knitting to focus on finishing as much as possible, which includes my mother's afghan (soo hate knitting afghans haha). The picture below was it before I turned the corner, then a few rows later, put it down. It's pretty, it's soft, it's warm.. But it's sooo big! :P. The pattern is #27 Leaf Blanket by Inge Spungen. I guess what I hate about it is also that the leafs are only charted out at first, then you have to pick where to put them and that is too much work haha. I also lost the magazine the pattern was in (, fudge me.

   Next, I'm waiting with baited breath for yarn to arrive (and it should be here today!!) to make (hopefully) two hats: Keep Me Warm pattern by Anne G. This is a free pattern so I am super excited. It's having fun with the sock monkey colors, but as a hat. Hats are fast to knit right? I can make a pom right? First one lol.  Sorry no pics, but go check out the free pattern.

I am doing horrible on my daughter's Candy Bears. I haven't even finished one.. I suck. :(

In Other News:
   So yeah, not feeling positive about finishing my knitting. :(. But I have also quit drinking Mountain Dew, due to some studies that reminded me about how really bad it is for me. I'm definitely on a sugar withdrawal/torture path and it is going to be rough. But, this is important.
  This past weekend, I went to the town holiday parade with my two little ones. My youngest wasn't having a great time, as there were too many people. My oldest ended up in tears during the parade because they had run out of candy and this kid was darting around my daughter and taking any candy he could. Luckily, the evening ended with the xmas tree lighting, in which my oldest ran into one of her besties from school and cheered up. But I still wanted to smack that kid for making my daughter cry (wanted did not mean I would). And people really need to teach their kids to not litter.
  Sunday, I was exhausted, so I didn't do a whole lot (yay for not sleeping Saturday night).
I did get some yarn deliveries last week! Behold the craftsy.com awesomeness of Plymouth Monte Donegal in Black and Ink!! I will be making a sweater with the Ink, including some Silver yarn, after the new year. This stuff is soo squishy!

   Be well, folks. As the year starts to wrap itself up towards Christmas, we will make it into the New Year with new possibilities. Each breath is an opportunity to live in the moment and not dwell on the past or the future.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Knitting Then The Day's Crap

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Happy Hump-Day everyone! May it be all you ever imagined it could be and may the odds ever be in your favor! In some fun news, Zazzle.com was having a major black friday sale, so I managed to get some more etsy shop business cards that I am super excited about! 

Life is marching along, but the holiday blues have definitely smacked me upside the head. To keep me focused I'm still working on my Water Shawl by Fiddleknits to put in my shawl, It just isn't my cup of tea so finished item will be up in the shop. The dropped stitches and wrapped spaces are not my thing. I am almost finished with it, actually, this picture is early last week.

Progress is being made on my daughter's celtic owl pullover but I have no updates to share as my needles will not permit it haha. The picture below is the Three Color Cowl and another version of this will be in the shop in the new year.

To tell the truth:

Today was actually a pretty shitty day. My mother fell ill, so I had to leave work to take care of my 4 year old she watches, and I worried about my mother all day. Then I began to hear about the horrible mass shootings that occurred, and my heart bruised for this country. Then I received a letter from my state civil service department, rejecting my application to take an exam. So I ended up throwing a knitting project across the room and sitting on the couch watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix while I waited for Izzy to die (yes I know morbid, but when I realized that was what I was doing, I had to chuckle).

  Isn't it odd, the thoughts that go through our head? I saw that yes, I made the decision to dwell in a little bit of self-pity, rather than clean (which I'm sure my husband would have preferred). Instead I hovered in my spirit between depression and meditation. What this means is that I was able to see exactly what I was thinking and feeling, with a little bit of distance and self-kindness, but I was not quite able to descend into that state in which I could allow the depression to dissipate. 

  With all of the death, disappointment, and frustration that so many of us feel each day. I was still able to hover in that space. Even with the frustration with not being able to do either of the two things that I've been most passionate about in my entire life, teaching and therapy, I am still able to improve myself and use meditation to be kind to myself. Do you love yourself? Have you actually reached down into your stomach and held the hand of the child that you were? Have you sat in a circle with all of the selves that you have been and all of the selves that you will be and breathed in harmony with love and kindness? 

  I probably sound crazy, but I honestly do not care. It helps me survive, and I am able to be a better person because of my efforts, as well as keep a sense of humor about my stresses. 

Be well, be loving to yourself. Not arrogant and nose up in the air, but a genuine caring and love to yourself and all of the people you have ever been.