Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pipe Dream of Happiness for the World

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

Happy Sunday!

  I haven't even been on Instagram this past week. What a crazy week with me being sick most of the week and my 3 year old getting really sick. Thank goodness she is looking so much better, starting just this afternoon! Sometimes life is just crazy, but it's about keeping those you love close.



   And it's not just about those you love. This past week, while listening to the radio, there were some comments made that just infuriated me. Such as people not wanting to listen to others when they "entrap" them and speak to them. There was both a story about Beiber talking to an older gentlemen and a commercial about having high download speeds in order to download a movie so that a woman wouldn't have to listen to the stories another passenger sitting beside her had to tell her. 

  What is so wrong with listening to others and their stories? It teaches us about ourselves and about other people. It helps battle loneliness and creates a connection. What is the worst thing that happens when you listen to someone talk to you, really listen? You don't waste time, unless you learn nothing. Unless you do not connect. Than who is at fault for that? Not the person talking to you, but you for wasting an opportunity for a positive connections. 



  So many people walk through this world cynical and angry, desperate for love and kindness, unable to know how to even hand it out. But to learn how to really listen, to care, to see someone and say to yourself, yes, maybe they're not as "smart" as you. Yes, maybe they're making decisions you do not agree with.. But if we weren't all so cut off from each other so that we never really talk to each other. Never really listen.. Maybe than we would again be friends with our neighbors. Maybe than we could feel less lonely.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Stitch Marker That Ran Away

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

Short blurb because something happened today that was annoying at the time, but is pretty funny in hindsight. 

    Every day that I can, I knit at work during my lunch half hour on this couch in the women's bathroom:
   I put out my kindle to read while I knit. Set out my phone so that I could keep track of the time. Picked up my knitting and got to work. When I tried to move a stitch marker from one needle to the next I dropped it and it slipped down my shirt and into the side of the couch between the cushion and the arm of the chair.

    Fairly sure that my attempts to catch it made it slide faster and so I pulled off the couch cushions, cursing up a storm, and trying to find the little golden stitch marker. 

   It came from Such Gwenderful Stuff Etsy shop and are so beautiful! 
  More angry over wasting my knitting time trying to find a stitch marker, that never showed up, than over losing one.. I sat back down and knitted for a few minutes before I got up and decided to go down a few floors to the building store for some ice cream to improve my mood. 

    When I got downstairs they were closed and let me tell how much that made me happy. I think I swore a few times going back up the stairs because I really wanted an ice cream sandwich. 

   Took a moment to post what happened on Facebook via my cell phone and received many sympathy messages and one question about whether it came from a stitch set I bought from Heather and her The Stitch Stache Etsy shop, since she was willing to give me a replacement (isn't that the sweetest damn thing? Seriously, go buy something from her now, she deserves the love). 


Love you guys!! Be well!!

Jen
Tangledmania

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Update with WIPS and Two Fantasy Books

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

What's up?
   It's Sunday, and as usual I do not know where the weekend went. Tonight's plans involve showers for me and my oldest child, America's Funniest Video's and then Once Upon a Time. Now that Downton Abbey is over, and I do not subscribe to Starz or HBO (boo hoo, Outlander and the new season of Game of Thrones starts soon), my Sunday evenings are a little earlier and less eventful haha. 

Knitting Round Robin (AKA WIP's):
  Still working on my Bonnie's Wish Shawl, and it's coming along swimmingly!

  Other works in progress are a sweater for my oldest child, since I washed her other sweater that she didn't really like anyway. The pattern is called Leksak (by Yarn-Madness) and I've had to frog the whole thing back because the needle size suggested was not working for me, even though I was getting gauge (go figure lol). Making the largest size and it just doesn't seem to be very big, but it's going along swimmingly. May be a good base for future lace sweaters.
    Wow my knitting round robin is few in number. :D

Finished Objects:
    I did finish the test knit but I cannot show it off here. Sorry! :P

What I'm reading:
   I'm reading the Obsidian Mountain Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory (the three books in one kindle purchase), and am almost done with the second book. Just love these books, they so are deep into human nature and how different people are, yet if we are true to ourselves and also have good intentions to help others, we avoid human pitfalls of greed and jealousy (to name a few pitfalls). Great adventure story with elves, truly evil demons (do not read this to children, not pg-13), centaurs, humans, mages of all types and a dragon. Good stuff that keeps it going well.

   My daughter and I are also reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and she is truly enjoying the colorful writing, and she feels for the protagonist, Charlie. It was a great opportunity to talk about people who are worse off than herself and the failings of the other children (brats) who are on the tour of the factory with Charlie and his Grandpa Joe. She's 7 years old and I'm just happy she's enjoying it. We had to stop reading Hobbit when we got to the battle at the end because the goblins arriving terrified her.

Have a great week, and I will be in touch soon!

Jen
Tangledmania

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Quiet for the Knitter

      
       What I really need today is peace and quiet. Alone time to let my overwhelming emotions wash through me so that I can find my center. But that isn’t going to happen, because life isn’t that easy, right?
The true test of being at peace with oneself is in finding the calm inside even without the calm around you. If you can do that, than half the battle is won.

But achieving this calm self in the storm does not mean denying emotions.
It means:
·       acknowledging them,
·       recognizing them,
·       than letting them flow through and out.
          The reason for feeling any emotion is valid, even if you really do not know the true reason for them. For example, we may be mad at someone in our life but what we really are feeling is betrayed by that person for how they acted towards us. That is a difference, because just being mad at someone is one level of emotional understanding. 
           The next level is understanding that being mad at someone is complex and involves our own life experiences, what we expect from others and what we expect from ourselves. For example, on top of feeling betrayed, maybe you feel mad at yourself for putting yourself in the position to be betrayed, especially if it has happened more than once.
         As a child, I asked my mother for help to label emotions that were overwhelming me. But what I was really asking for help on was:
                               “Why was I feeling them, and what do I do?”


          Knitting helps put us in a meditative state where we have the opportunity to do more than let the emotions flow through us, and perhaps allow our yarn to acquire a certain saltiness. Knitting can be as simple as the two main stitches: knit, purl, knit, purl. Very much like, breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. Focusing on these two actions can calm the mind.
          When the mind calms we can examine not just our feelings but what lies beneath them. Unfortunately, I have to work today, so my ability to knit and meditate with my knitting, is not as high as I would like. So instead I sit at my desk and breathe in (knit) and breath out (purl) as much as I can.

Part of my problem is simply that my period is days away, which causes my hormones to fluctuate and affect my emotions. The other part of my problem is that yesterday my sweet oldest daughter was named Kid with Character and the way things laid out, I couldn't be there to see her get the award. 
When I talked to her on the phone after she got off the bus, she was crying because she “almost” fell off the balance beam in gym that day. When I got home she cried because she suddenly didn’t want her favorite dinner. My own guilt and upset feelings caused me to not see the problem right away, but when I did, that she was upset that I wasn’t there so that she could thank me for being there.
I hugged her and told her that I was as upset as she was about the situation, but sometimes things just fall out that way. I explained on how I was thinking about her at the time her event was and cried a little on the way to work over not being there. It made her feel better knowing how much I cared.
Then we sat down together, I knitted, and she chatted about her day without any more outbursts. Ahh the guilt of failed parenthood lol.
Knit, purl, knit, purl.
Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out.
Be well!
Jen

Tangledmania

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Homage to Knitting Groups (DO IT!)

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



Such a great day, I love the knitting groups in my small town. It's hard to get out there and try to make friends at any age, especially with people you have no prior connection to. But as someone who suffers from anxiety and depressive symptoms, it's important to get out of the house and be social, and boy has it paid off.

  The first group I found, was my local library in the middle of the day. Which wasn't a big deal since at the time I was unemployed and needed to get out of the house and off my recliner. I was actively looking for a job, though, so knew that I needed to find something that was more a time frame for people who work a 9-5 job. 

  This past fall I held a table at a bazaar where I sold my knitted items (which was just an awesome two days!) and someone came by my table and mentioned a knitting group that met in the library evenings once a week. So I thought that was perfect and gave it a go. They were so welcoming!!

   Soon I found a job and though it was an adjustment for my kids and husband to have me go to knitting night once a week, I've found that it's really good for my kids (if not my husband) to see their mommy being social and boy is it good for me. I'm still shy, though they may not realize it. I tend to hold back when it comes to doing things outside of the knitting night because I worry about my welcome. But I'm getting there.

  Tonight was a particularly good night, and I know a few of them do read my blog, so this is my homage to knitting groups. They may not have a note on the local public library, but there are many out there. So if you suffer from anxiety or depression, get up, get out and ask the librarian if they know of any groups. If they do not know, keep asking around, or ask about starting one yourself. Because I can promise you that it is worth it to have one. It's healthy to get out and share your love of all things yarn, knitting, algebra (hehe) and knitting/crocheting books.

  So to any of you ladies who may read my blog from my knitting group, thank you so much for the continued welcome, and the cheerful and upbeat Tuesday nights that I can really use, especially as I was having a rough day. 

  My advice? Find or start a knitting/crocheting group!!! So good for your brain, heart and hands!!

Later gaters!

Jen
Tangledmania


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Holy Ribbing! Test Knitting Awesomeness, and Felted Oops

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

Story-time:
     The past week and a half I've been working on a test knit, which is fun and like a puzzle, I just adore test-knitting! And it helped me rephrase a favorite popular culture phrase to Holy Ribbing (see clip below for excitement when she says "Holy Rabies!")!
   So I have been doing my obsessive knitting thing and constantly working on this, basically so that I can enjoy the puzzle. All other knitting round robin plans have been postponed until this is done, due to a time crunch. 

  It's funny how ribbing slows us down, you move the yarn from the front to the back to the front to the back lol. I've made a few stupid mistakes due to rushing, but in all I'm having a good time!

   Other things that have occurred in my story-book world is that I felted my daughter's sweater. I knit my 7 year old a sweater out of wool, and camel hair and now it fits my 3 year old haha. So she and I picked out a new sweater called the Leksak tunic by Yarnmadness, and will be making a matching one for my 3 year old as well. One gets blue, the other gets yellow.

  Otherwise, had a pretty upbeat week, which was nice. Good mood, silly, and happy for most of it. Exhausted at the end of the day, of course. Waiting for some orders to arrive, and I'll show pictures of those next week. This week I do want to finish plans for a giveaway. Maybe by the 100th blog post, but I may have it exclusively on instagram this time. 

     I hope everyone is doing well, and knitting or crocheting to their hearts content. Summer is coming!! Which means Webs tent sale, and ending with Rhinebeck with hopefully one day at the beach at least somewhere in there! Be well!!

Jen
Tangledmania.   

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Check, Check, Test and Fair Thinking! Zoom! :D

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

Happy Sunday!! I hope everyone set their clocks forward (USA folks only, as far as I know.. How does that even work with the rest of the world?). The first day of Spring is in 12 days, and I cannot wait. I noticed that I have a lot of green knitting going on, and it is probably because I can't wait to see the grass and leaves in the trees! 

FO's:
  I finished both the twin blankets, and was finally able to block the second one. Tough to do last week, as my town had a boil water advisory lol. I love how they've both turned out!! They are called the Lotus Baby Blanket and the Cabled Berry Baby Blanket


  I know that the mom I made these for will appreciate them, as she's picked up crocheting lately and she is a very sweet lady. 

WIP's:
  So much for me saying that I was cabled out!! I've finished the first two clues in the Bonnie's Wish Shawl and am really enjoying it.

   I'm also working on a test knit that I cannot disclose, but I'm waiting for knitpicks.com swish to really get to work on it. Shouldn't take long, no cables involved haha.

Upcoming Projects:
   If you enjoyed that last Outlander MKAL, than you need to get signed up for this next one. The last one:

   I received my yarn already and cannot wait to get the first clue on April 4th. Good thing I have tons of things to keep me occupied. The two skeins of Lorna's Laces from Jimmybeanwool.com on the left are for the next Outlander MKAL, the one on the left is called Seaside, and if you have suggestions for patterns, I'm open to them. :D

   I have heard that there is a Game of Thrones MKAL in the wind, and I will let you know if I hear anything on that, because I will get in on that.

Sunshine Fair Competition:
   Even though it's still a few months away, I've been thinking about what to submit for the local crafting competition this summer. If the Bonnie's Wish Shawl is up to my snuff, that is a possibility. So is this lace shawl:
  Maybe I'll try to do a baby sweater too.. so much fun!! :D

Chatter:
   I hope everyone is doing well, the mid-week blog post was fun to do, and a nice stretch for my mind and heart. But I do hope that anything on here that I write reaches out and helps you think or feel in a positive way. Or provides resources that help. 
   Life in my household has been busy, with a girl scouts meeting, trying to catch up on cleaning on the weekend and working on my knitting. Things I do, even when my kids aren't cuddling or playing with me. I am truly blessed with the most wonderful children. So let's make an effort to count our blessings this week. That will be my goal!

Be well!
Jen
Tangledmania

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Childhood Trauma, Vulnerability and Where Knitting Comes In

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

I wanted to write a mid-week blog post and for the past few weeks I have been toeing the line, in my head, about posting more heavily on mental health and depression. This is hard because of my history and uncertainty. How personal should I get? I showed my mother my Youtube video back in November and she said I got too personal, so that should tell you something about how hard this can be. It’s hard to be vulnerable, but I know I’m not alone in these feelings so this blog post is about two topics: the ACES test, and a TEDtalk on Vulnerability.


These two are so fantastically useful that I had to talk about it. So take a moment and go take the ACES test and come back. Or just read on. :D The ACEs test is a short test of just 10 questions, which ask about events that occur before the age of 18, when we are at our most vulnerable. They address physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect. I won’t get into the details, but I have a score of 5, which is considered very high. And it is part of the reason why I’m so passionate about talking about, even though it’s very hard to talk about it.

This is where the TEDtalk comes in.



Vulnerability in the United States is very hard, because of the opinion that everyone should “pull up themselves by their bootstraps” and “buck up”. It is also a big reason why we suffer from debt, food addictions, alcohol/drug addictions, and over-medication; which numbs all feelings, not just the ones we’re aiming to numb such as fear and shame.

How are these connected?

If you go through a chaotic childhood with very little parental (or any adult) unconditional support and love, and a great many of us have, than we almost constantly feel fear and shame. Those experiences can make it hard for us to form friendships due to withdrawing in fear that we are not good enough (shame) and making a connection when we did not have healthy connections that were not betrayed as a child can be very difficult. So having courage to be vulnerable can be very hard to not just have initially in a relationship, but to hold on too throughout the relationship.



The goal is to try and have as much compassion for ourselves as possible, even though we may not have learned to love ourselves through example on a consistent basis. It is so easy to be bitter out of desperation and depressed out of loneliness but the first person that we never learned to love was ourselves because no one showed us that we are worth loving unconditionally.

As adults, we may keep looking for that magical soul mate that will heal us and make us whole, but what we are really looking for is ourselves. If we do not learn to love ourselves, that person that could have been a great match and would have been a great love, may get tired of chasing us and convincing us that we are worth loving.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m writing so heavily on this, and less so on knitting today. But knitting is a type of self-care because it promotes a meditational state that encourages breathing, accomplishment and the ability to make something that is comfy and loving. Knitting is also self-protective, as in some circumstances it can be a shield and a comfortable and safe way to start a conversation. When knitting, you can relax enough to face emotions that you would otherwise be afraid to face.

Knitting also makes us vulnerable because we are putting work into something we're creating and risking insults or put-downs on what we do from family, friends or even strangers.

I knit every day at work during my lunch half hour. I go into the bathroom and sit on the comfy couch (it really is comfy) and knit for 30 minutes. Women through and glance at my knitting, some with disdain, and some with interest. But I still do it every single day. So put yourself out there and show the world that knitting is making a comeback. But also make it possible for someone to be interested in what you are doing. The folks who are disdainful have their own issues that transcend our own haha.



If you want to comment on this post, please feel free to go to the facebook page linked above and comment!

Be well!
Jen

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Meshing Patterns, Autumn's End and TV Joy! :)

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


    I was hoping to do a post on Wednesday, as I had a few things on my mind, and then by the time I got home I was really sick through Friday. So I apologize, but I believe I may try to start doing biweekly posts, instead of once a week. 

   Tonight, there are a bunch of shows that I'll be looking forward too; Once Upon A Time, the season finale of Downton Abbey, Madame Secretary, and The Last Man on Earth. Obviously I will not be able to watch all of these tonight haha, thank goodness for DVR and the wonders of Time Warner Cables On Demand feature lol. What are you folks watching? Once Upon A Time was fun this past fall with the Frozen thing going, but it seems to be losing steam. Downton Abbey made me gasp last week.. As far as I'm concerned they are still going strong.

Autumn's End Update
    As for my knitting, yes, I do have a major update as to my Autumn's End Sweater debacle. I've never made a sweater that required 3-4 inches positive ease. all of mine were about 1 inch positive ease or so. But this book requires 3-4 inches positive ease for the Autumn's End sweater so I believe that I am still going to make it for the size I planned, but instead of fitting me, it will fit someone at a smaller size, or it will have much less drape. Still planning on using the larger needles so that hopefully the gauge will translate to the lacework this time haha. 

FO's
   I finished the two baby blankets and am thrilled with them. I cannot block out the Lotus blanket, thanks to a water pipe burst in my town haha. But it will happen.
Knitting Round Robin
    With my etsy shop open again I really want to knit up some baby sweaters and jumpers, so I have been deciding which ones to pick from my pattern books and looking at knitpicks.com for yarn color ideas. If you have any suggestions, let me know! :D 
  Some pattern ideas:
For babies/toddlers:
  Overalls by Lori Steinberg
  Ruffled Top and Pants by Cheryl Murray
  Fishermen's Pullover by Lee Gant
 
Other ideas for fun will be that I will be combining these two ponchos. I will be making the lace a wide panel from the Off-Kilter Lace Poncho but I want the neck and size from the Blanket Poncho. Lace uses less yarn than cables so I will end up using less yarn on the poncho I want.
   #201 Off-Kilter Lace Poncho by SweaterBabe
  Blanket Poncho and Bag by Patons 

  This was a tough week, being sick and having the end of my period, but taking it one day at a time helps. I have the best girls too! :)
 
 What is on your knitting round robin? 

  If you want to comment, but do not have a google+ account, please feel free to go to facebook and comment on there any time you want. The link to everything is up above. 

Be well and take it one day at a time!! 

Jen