Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscars, Stitch Markers, Baby Blankets and Becoming a Warrior Goddess

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

Shop News:
   Yes, I did take my shop off of vacation mode. I'm enjoying making baby blankets and sweaters and dresses for 12 month sized boys and girls will appear in the shop. That is all I really have to say about that, honestly because Liam Neeson just distracted me on the Oscars.
  I love that man's voice. I mean, that warm accent makes me sleepy lol. 

So yes, this blog will be easily distracted by Oscar comments. Because why not. :D

Stitch Marker Review:
   I did get something cool in the mail this week, that I wanted to mention. Never before have I spent more than a few dollars on some plastic stitch markers from amazon or joann's, but I wanted to try these out. One of the reasons was that my friend Deb had turned me onto the fact that she made them, and I will be buying some from her as well, but Heather opened an etsy shop and I was curious.
   The Stitch Stache is the name of her shop on etsy, and they are adorable! These are what I've picked up:
    Obviously haven't used them yet, but they are soo cute!! :D

Oscar interruption:
  Holy cow Adam Levine can sing. I saw him sing in person over 10 years ago in San Antonio, Texas before he became famous and was blown away. Opinion has not changed, that performance must have been amazing in person.

Baby Blankets:
   So as I mentioned earlier, I've been working on baby blankets, and the Cabled Berry Baby Blanket by Grid Mammal Crafts (free pattern on ravelry) is finally finished!! Sadly, I must say that if you decide you will work on this and go by the chart strictly, there are errors so be aware of that. Not huge, but some obvious ones. I did not check every time, but believe that the written instructions may be more correct.
   So happy with that being finished, so just need to finish it's match, the Lotus Baby Blanket by Shana Schasteen (free pattern on ravelry) is coming along in a lovely way as well. 
    This blanket should relax beautifully once it's washed and blocked, so I'm looking forward to seeing it relax. The directions for the center and lace-work are all correct so far, for this pattern. :D

What I'm reading:
  I'm currently reading: Warrior Goddess Training: Become The Woman You Are Meant To Be by HeatherAsh Amara and am truly enjoying it. The book is pretty simple and not too heavy in philosophy. I truly believe that it is the right book to read at this point of my life. It is about accepting and loving yourself. The idea that we cannot be happy by looking for things to make us happy from outside ourselves, but by loving ourselves and learning to accept ourselves, faults and all. That we are trained to be unhappy with our job, our marriage, our education, our wealth. Also that life is cyclical, not linear and that fighting change and holding onto what our ego's want rather than what truly occurs is what causes us suffering. 

    In some ways that the philosophy is very buddhist, but the teachings come from Toltec wisdom and I'm very grateful for the book right now as I can definitely cause myself my own suffering.
  I never realized until this past week how much I gravitate and equate my own happiness by what is going on with people around me. Part of that may be my empathy and the fact that I read people so well, which is a strength quite often. But this is also a weakness because I'm giving away my power and holding none of it for myself.
  Fascinating topic and this book is definitely helping me to work on that for myself, which I'm desperately grateful for.

Be well, stay warm and stay in touch, please feel free to comment on the facebook page if it is too difficult to comment here. Let me know if this makes sense, if you want to hear more about something, a review about something.

  I am working on the Autumn's End sweater, stay tuned. :D

Jen
Tangledmania

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Knitpicks Yarn Review & Autumn's End Update

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

   Been trying to stay warm, here in New York State. I know it's even colder in other states in the northern half of the USA and I was wondering if anyone was kicking their blankets off and dreaming about being the star in movie "The Day After Tomorrow" as their feet got colder? BRRR!!!

   Luckily, I knit and crochet, so the wool in my hands keeps my hands warm!

Yarn Review:
   Been on a huge knitpicks.com yarn kick this year, so far, with the Andean Treasure yarn, Swish Worsted yarn and Swish DK yarn and now Palette Fingering. So here is what I think of each of these yarns:

 Andean Treasure: 100% baby alpaca, sport weight yarn, 50 grams with 110 yards each ball.
     This is the yarn that I started the Autumn's End sweater in, and I do not believe was the cause of my gauge problem, I think it was just me haha. but it is warm, soft, with a slight fuzzy aura. When casting on it can be a little splitty, but I didn't find that a problem when knitting with it. It is a little pricey, but it's 100% alpaca so I do not think it's too unexpected.
      So I give it 4.5 stars, the half star off simply because of the price and low yards. But it really is lovely.

Swish Worsted: 100% superwash merino wool, worsted weight yarn, 50 grams with 110 yards each skein.
    This yarn has a nice wool and warm feeling, and the price isn't too bad for the yardage. There are a lot of great colors, including the 2 colors I've ordered for the baby blankets I'm making with it; carnation and sugar plum. There is no splittiness at all, in either cables or lacework, and this yarn comes in some lovely colors.
   This one I have to give 5 stars because it is just perfect, to me.


Swish DK: 100% superwash merino wool, dk weight, 50 grams and 123 yards per skein.
   This is almost exactly like the worsted, with a nice warm feeling that isn't too scratchy. the picture is part of clue 1 for Bonnie's Wish shawl, which I have not finished (that clue) haha. Too many other things to do, but I would recommend this yarn, just like the worsted weight version.
   5 stars as well!


Palette Fingering: 100% Peruvian highland wool, fingering weight, 50 grams and 231 yards per ball.
   I started a pair of mittens and I have to say that if I had started to use this yarn even last year I would not have appreciated it. Let me tell you that it is not soft, it is a little bit on the rough side when knitting, but when you pick up the ball it actually feels warm. Which is the nice thing about animal fibers, it retains heat better than man-made fibers, such as acrylic. This is a nice and hardy yarn, perfect for mittens and the wear and tear they can go through. The color selection is just fantastic and the price is wonderful!
  5 stars here.

Well, that took quite a bit up of this blog haha. If there are any yarns that you would like me to review, or questions on a yarn, please feel free to drop a line and ask away. I would love to let you know how something knits up, how a colorway knits up and what it looks like, and the quality and feel.

Other Business:
     Yes, today I have cast on, again, the Autumn's End sweater and will start to update everyone on that progress. I am using bigger needles, 8 (5.0mm) and 7 (4.5mm) instead of what I swatched with as 7 (4.5mm) and 6 (4.0mm) and originally used on the sweater that caused such a gauge problem ultimately. It's more important to take apart a sweater and start anew, as a lesson, then to try and fit into a sweater that won't look right. I'm well aware that with the 100% alpaca, I will have less give and a different drape, but I am okay with that so the adventure continues!

  Thank you everyone for your continued support, I'm so grateful for the comments and support I get. Knit and crochet on and be well everyone!!

Yours,
Jen
Tangledmania

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

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

What weather we're having up here in upstate NY! We're expecting yet another storm so yesterday I braved the crowds to pick up groceries to tide us over. 

Isolation:
I haven't been to any of my knitting groups lately, so it's been a very lonely knitting two weeks.. Hopefully this Tuesday will work out and I'll go to the group. Something that has occurred in regards to that I wanted to address, because I am quite sure that I am not alone at all. Though I enjoy the company of others, I do tend to be shy and unsure of my welcome, probably a remnant of a childhood filled with family issues haha. So when something happens, such as a move of the group to someone's private house, I tend to balk vs when we meet at the public library. Not because I do not like them, quite the contrary, but I do not feel secure in my welcome so I am hesitant in what I consider is borderline intrusion...

  After considering this problem, I've come to the conclusion that unless we put ourselves out there and forward, how will we know? So I believe I made a mistake in not going. It's better to put yourself out there with kindness and humility and possibly be rebuffed than to miss an opportunity. My tip for the week when it comes to depression and anxiety. Take that chance in the social world because we are deserve company and the kindness of others, and others cannot read our minds or hearts.

Charity Knitting/Crocheting:
   Recently, a picture has been flying around my facebook page and I really want to gather the materials to set up a few of these buckets around my community and at my workplace to encourage others in knitting and crocheting.

   

  I adore this idea and think that in my community there should be a bucket at the community library, a local cafe, and the teen center. Perhaps half knitting and half crocheting. Once the scarves are complete they are to be donated to homeless shelters nearby. So that is on my to-do list. Where would you put your buckets in your community?

Round Robin:
   Finally, I have been working on those baby blankets and enjoying them immensely. Cable Baby Berry Blanket by Grid Mammal Crafts and Lotus Baby Blanket by Shana Schasteen. I will be casting on the Autumn's End Sweater again, hopefully today or tomorrow. 

  Very happy with both of them and my use of Knitpicks.com and their Swish Worsted (100% superwash merino wool). The needles I'm using for the Lotus blanket are also from Knitpicks, their Sunstruck series, size 8 (5mm) and for the Cabled Berry blanket I'm using a knitter's pride fixed needle size 9 (5.5mm). Such good stuff!!

   So again, where would you place a bucket of knitting or crocheting for people to work on scarves for homeless folks in your community? I want to hear!!

Be well!!!
Jen

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Autumn's End - Try 2 and Getting Real

If any of you follow me on Facebook, you may know that I've had a problem with the Autumn's end sweater that has caused me to have to frog the entire sweater, but have no fear, I will be starting again.



   Even though I did get gauge with needles a size lower than suggested, it did not translate to the pattern. My frustration was very high and so I put it aside and will pick it up in the next week or two. I've considered turning to some of the other patterns in the book, though I originally wanted to go front to back. But this weekend I've managed to completely frog the bodice of the sweater so I will be casting on soon again with the original sized needles and see how it goes.

   On other, more cheerful notes, I know so many people that are pregnant (one with twins) this year! With tax return money I ordered from knitpicks.com some Swish Worsted (100% superwash merino wool) for two different baby blankets I will be starting. Most of the baby blankets I've done have been from bottom to top, but these two will be from the center out, so it will be fun. By the way, Knitpicks.com is having a sale on this yummy yarn so make sure you get in on that!! I just missed that sale, and I am not being paid for that mention haha. Most of their wool yarn is on sale so get in on that!

      Baby Patterns:  Cable Baby Berry Blanket by Grid Mammal Crafts and Lotus Baby Blanket by Shana Schasteen

   I'm trying desperately to finish my sockhead hat and have finally finished the 4 inches of k2p2 so the straight stitches are going faster. It probably helps that I'm actually applying myself, but it's either that, or design some arm warmers, or work on the Bonnie's Wish shawl (which I haven't even finished clue 1 haha).


  Other crafters will understand my frustration, I'm sure, with a failed project having caused a lull in my knitting progress on any project. Like my mojo is missing or my jedi powers are hiccuping hehe. Does not help that my period was happening at the same time as my discovery (and my finally admitting to myself) that something was not right with the Autumn's End Sweater. That was a very depressing few days.

Depression:
   Some folks online have mentioned their depression, in various knitting groups on Facebook, and it has caused me to wonder if mine is driven by the seasons. I tend to have a rough time of it January through March (let's not even go near December lol) so it probably is so. Of course getting my period makes me absolutely slammed with emotions and pain.

   Some of the things I tried to keep doing was keep stitching. Also, I know I am a horrible housekeeper, and with a husband who can do very little due to back injury it falls on me to do most things or it doesn't get done. This can be very frustrating, especially when my pain is not usually physical. So I have been trying to do some chores, than sit and knit, do some chores than sit and knit. Such as dishes, which requires me to heat up hot water on the stove and use that water to clean the dishes as our hot water heater is still not working on our side of the house. It works in my mother's apartment so we can take showers, thank goodness.

   But look at that, I would be horrified if someone was going through that. And I can I feel very isolated and alone, even though really I'm not if I just take the time to reach out. With me having a new job, I work and am home by 6pm when I have to get the kids fed and try to spend some quality time with them before bed at 8. Weekends I'm so tired physically and emotionally. So I'm trying to have compassion for myself so that I do not feed the resentment and loneliness that can creep up. I try and go out to my knitting group every Tuesday, make sure I take a lunch at work (especially on Fridays because there is a knitting group that meets during lunch.

    Let's take care of ourselves and try to remember that not everyone has a family that knows how to be supportive and loving. I hope these are some things I'm changing for my daughters.

Giveaway Wrap-Up:
  Knitting4life won the giveaway and was already gifted with the pattern she requested once I let her know she won yesterday. So congrats to you Knitting4life!!

  This got very long.. My computers aren't working with taping a podcast so it will be blogging for the near future. So be it. Such is life. :D.
 
   I need to go look up how long to warm up my ham for the super bowl tonight. Be well folks and thank you for being there for me.

Jen
Tangledmania