Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Full Moon, Self-Doubt and What's Up

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The world of blogging is interesting and I'm probably one of the most hesitant bloggers. I have spent so much of my life being showed that nothing I have to say is worth anything, so instead of posting what I had written yesterday, I simply saved it and walked away to just delete it this morning.

Monday night was one of my nights in which I cry for most of the night downstairs before dragging myself up to bed around 3:40am. There is nothing like depression and being an introvert that can make someone feel so alone. And so often people in our life will reinforce that by not responding with kindness but with cruelty (intentioned or not). So in the end, all we can sometimes do is hold on for the morning light.

Work yesterday was rough, but I made it through and last night I did not go to knitting night in my community, but stayed home and finished the sleeve on my daughter's Walking Cat Sweater. I just have to make my way down the torso now (boring straight stitch haha).

 Monday night, though I did see the new Supergirl show. Did anyone else catch that? I really enjoyed it and I caught up on this fall's Grey's Anatomy (so win).

Halloween is this weekend, so be safe everyone!!

November is coming up so you all may be hearing about my NANOWRIMO efforts, hehe. I will fail, I always do.

And I still have to take pictures of the Knitologie club yarns that I received last week.. Woops. I will do that tonight.. If I can get decent pictures.

Take care, and keep your head up!


Always yours,
Jen
Tangledmania 
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fair Isle Knitting Fun and Tips

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  This weekend was chock-full of fair isle knitting. I have been late in getting started a sweater for my 4 year old, while my 8 year old has been enjoying her Leksak sweater this fall. So after much dithering I finally found the perfect sweater, and no my 8 year old wants a version of it too haha. I picked the Walking Cat Sweater by Elizabeth Lovick, which I realized had no projects listed (I am still the only one). I am using knitpicks.com Swish DK yarn and am absolutely loving it. The small needles are creating a slightly denser fabric than I am used to, but I'm on gauge (amazingly) and having a great time with this.

Here is some of my progress:


 
Many photos haha.

As you can see, I'm almost done with the second sleeve, than I put the torso stitches back on the needles and work my way down the last part. I chose this pattern for a few reasons:
1) The kittens are cute
2) It requires dk weight (which is the yarn I have)
3) It felt right
4) I think it will be cute on my daughter.

Fair Isle, or colorwork can be intimidating, I know that it has been for me in the past. For much of my knitting history, I have been an thrower, or English style. Over the past year, pain has pushed me to learn how to knit continental style and this came to be a great help with this project as I could hold a color in each hand!

Some great pictures and advice can be found here: Knitpicks Fair Isle Tutorial. As you can see from my picture above of the wrong side of my daughter's sleeve, I was trying very hard to make the floats as short as possible, to prevent little fingers catching in them. And yet, I had less puckering than I usually did, which I attribute to holding a color in each hand and having loose tension in the color (in my left hand) which was the one I was carrying. Does that make sense?

This project pretty much took over my weekend, though I did manage to get some cleaning in (haha). No really. :P.

Something else I have to say for this pattern is that it is very adjustable, and I do not anticipate having any problem using this base for a sweater for my 8 year old and using a different colorwork pattern, possibly of my own design.

In general, I'm pretty baffled as to why this pattern does not have more projects listed. It is not a free pattern, but it is only $4.69 American and that is pretty reasonable for a sweater, in my honest opinion.

I'll keep you up to date, for when I finish it, I expect this weekend. But be well folks, keep your head up and keep stitching. I know that I did not want to wake up this morning. Definitely needed an extra day and Halloween is coming. Maybe my 8 year old will get a version of this sweater for xmas lol.

Always yours!
Jen
Tangledmania








 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Huge Shawls, New Projects and Broken Blankets

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   My daughter's colored that in on my cell phone. Well, one of them.. And it's cute so here it is haha. Not necessarily knitting related, but I'll take what I can get since I'm feeling more like this:

 

I have been slowly coming down from Rhinebeck (I was super excited leading up to it), then yesterday my mother fell and so I stayed home from work to make sure she was okay and take care of my youngest daughter (my mother is okay, thank you :D). By the end of the day I was in so much pain my sore feet from Rhinebeck were but a mere faint memory. It seemed my monthly period had decided to come in with a vengeance, a cruel vengeance.

  But besides enjoying the day with my awesome daughter (and catching up on a few things on cable), I finished the Squall Line Shawl, designed by Rosemary (Romi) Hill (my oh so talented silver sister) !!! And I absolutely love it. The photos absolutely do not do this shawl justice and I am in love with knitting shawls with worsted weight yarn. Over sized shawls are absolutely the best and my favorite kind of shawl, hands down!



I know, poor picture, but I just love this shawl so much that I happily started another worsted weight shawl named Knitwitch, designed by the same individual. The pattern itself was designed for fingering weight, and is not super small so I am anticipating it being nice and big and am using 2 skeins of Miss Babs Yowza in colorway Ammo for the project (the colorway is knitting up like my hair haha) and knitting with size 9 US circular knitting needles (Knitters Pride Dreams fixed circulars).

Again, my camera is just not cutting it lately, but I'll work on that. This will be soo cool once it is soaked and blocked.  The yarn is soft, and smooth and lovely to knit with. Each skein comes in 560 yards so it's a nice bulk of yarn in one skein (which meant that I could not make it into a cake, but in a large ball).



My youngest has a small blanket that had a final mishap this weekend, so I will be reknitting this at some point. But this blanket is an example of certain stitch patterns that I do not use for children's blankets (not knocking the awesomeness that is this yarn or blanket, because my daughter loves it).




This pattern is generally called the butterfly stitch, because gathering up the stitches creates an image that looks like a butterfly, but little fingers and rough love can pull these out and, as in the case with this blanket, eventually they snap and you get holes. When I reknit this it will be straight stripes.

Another stitch type that I do not like to use for babies would be loose lace, such as I have up above in the Squall Line Shawl.

I never use ribbon, or buttons (if at all possible), nor very long I-cords. Pullovers, in my opinion, is preferable for safety and long term use. Though, in general, I dislike making baby clothes because of how fast children grow out of their clothes.

That is my opinion and those are my reasons, take them as you will. Little fingers and chewing sore gums will wear down buttons until they pop off and we don't want our sweet angels choking on anything.
 
Today's mental health advice of the day:
If you feel stressed, don't fight it, but accept it as if it was a back rub too hard and it is amazing how fast it disappears. Practice some self-love and laugh at yourself a little. Hug yourself a little.

Be well everyone, take it one stitch at a time. Stay tuned, because I will be reviewing the new Vogue Knitting Magazine soon!!

Jen
Tangledmania
 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

OMGosh!! Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival 2015 Review - Saturday Trip

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I had the most amazing day yesterday and the telling will be long, so we'll see if I end up splitting this blog post into two parts! (I am the one holding the basket and with the red shawl on).

First of all, I got up at 5am because I was going to help out at the Bittersweet Woolery booth (more on that soon). When I woke up and picked up my alpaca sweater (the first I ever knit, pattern called: Augusta Cardigan) and remembered that some stitches had come lose (broken?) at the end of a sleeve and were dropping. So at 5am, this was my quick patch (crochet style), and it worked like a charm all day.

I walked out of my back door to go to my car and looked up with a deep breath, and though no moon was out, the stars were absolutely clear and beautiful and it was a crisp 41 degrees out. A heartbeat later I realized that I had to get to the car and I started to freak out over the scary movies/shows that I had seen lately. Half laughing and half scared I ran to the car (seriously), turned on my lights, holding my breath that no figure would appear in front of the car (haha), checked the back seat, was good (probably should have done that before I got in the car haha), then I backed, up, the rearview camera absolutely freaking me out.
  And I was on my way. Seriously, I'm such a laughing dork, but it was very funny :D.

  Next, I used my cell phone to direct me to go pick up my awesome friend Deb at her house and by 7:30 we were parked at Rhinebeck and snacking on our muffins.





  So from 8-12:30 I was helping out at the Bittersweet Woolery booth (pictures above), which kiddy corner across from Miss Babs (mass rush at 9am, seriously) and Into the Whirled whose line kept blocking off the way in and out of the Bittersweet Woolery but everyone was super awesome about making space.

Something funny is that I also saw the two folks from one of my favorite podcasters (though it's been a while, in all honesty, since I've caught anyone's podcast on youtube). They were across from my booth and I could not remember their names (horrible with names am I haha) but I was just thrilled to see them. They are called Knitting In Circles and their names are Aimee and Darren. Hi Aimee and Darren!!! :D

For my hours there, which were so fun, I received these wonderful gifts (thank you Tina!!!) and I hope that more people stop at Bittersweet Woolery today because their 20% off sales are beautiful lace and fingering weight yarn.


   As soon as I left I caught up with Deb and headed straight to find Catskill Native Nursery who sells the most wonderful baskets!!! They are handmade and very affordable, I wanted to make sure that I got one and managed to even find one that was already wet from being formed in the wet baskets (so it was damp).

After that Deb and I decided to go through the barns, which we did for most of them. I have to say, I didn't find what was in the barns all that interesting, but there were a few highlights. My favorites were probably Dancing Leaf Farm below.




This picture below was from Dragonfly Fibers, and the second picture are my purchases from that location.


I cannot wait to do something beautiful and textured with this. I'm thinking a rectangular shawl, maybe I'll design something. This is 3 skeins of dk weight, so plenty!

The prices of the alpaca yarn were so lovely there, but I didn't think it would work very well for doubleknitting, which was one of the reasons I was shopping. And I mean 100% soft squishy alpaca were all over.

Next, Deb and I managed to grab something to eat (around 2pm at this point) and I grabbed a plain cheeseburger at a booth that was mostly selling steak and onions haha. That worked out, less line. Deb found a hot dog and we got off our sore feet for a while. Before we hit Building A, B and C.

I have to be honest and say that these buildings seemed to be the most interesting with some of the best prices.

One of the things I found in Building A was hexagonal needles by Indian Lake Artisans.




Now I know that I have used square needles, I have a set of size 8 dpns. And they are okay. But these hexagonal needles are superior in a few ways.
A) They are made in the USA.
B) They have a bevel joint.
C) The hexagonal design makes it as easy as with squares to do ktog and ktbl but the round design, versus square (hexagonal is six sides) make it much easier on the hands.

They come in several different types of wood, cherry, oak and maple (I believe) and are so soft in the hands. So check them out and I will let you know how they fair over time.

 
In building B were the authors, and I sincerely with that I had looked (and felt inclined to carry heavy books around) because it would have been great to have her sign mine. But Margaret Radcliffe gave a little class about knitting with variegated yarns in which I took many notes (while working on my sockhead hat knitted in variegated yarns haha). Those notes will be another post later this week, but I am thrilled that we stopped and rested our sore feet, though Deb got up and helped her by holding up the knits for examples of different techniques.
 
 


After that we moved on to Building C and among other things I attacked Miss Babs whose line had all but disappeared but it was still crowded haha.


 
It took me a while but I decided to buy some Youza-Whatta Skein to make my worsted weight Knitwitch (size 9 needles, wish me luck) with a colorway called Ammo, that was not even listed on ravelry.com haha.

I will cast this on as soon as I bind off the Squall Line Shawl (on the border now).

In general, Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival was fun, peaceful, oddly clean (was that because of the main audience? Are yarncrafters cleaner at fairs?), and just an all around amazing day. I am so glad that I volunteered to help a booth and will definitely want to do that again next year (so any vendors out there, keep me in mind haha).

Here are some other random pictures I have. I hope to see you there next year!! And hopefully I will not miss the next Ravelry get together haha.














Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rhinebeck Anticipation, Sneak Peaks

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  Today my sweet Abby is sick (four year old) so I spent the day cuddling and enjoying some quiet time (as well as season 3 of Mad Men).

Speaking of Mad Men, have any of you seen the show? I have not because I thought it looked so discriminatory towards women, and it is, don't get me wrong, but it really reveals a great deal about human nature and the manipulation that people put themselves and others through just to make it through life.

We really beat ourselves up, don't we?
 

 

Well, this past long weekend was stressful, but only a few short days until Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in Upstate NY. I get to help out at the awesome Bittersweet Woolery on Saturday morning and then spend the rest of the day enjoying the wares of the fair. :)

My latest love, and one of the items I will be searching for at Rhinebeck in the shape of worsted or bulky yarn, is brioche. Let me tell you, if you can slip stitches, do yarn overs. knit  two together, and purl two together, then you can do brioche. Here was my fun and a sneak peak of something I've been working on and finished this past weekend.:


How cool does that look? And it feels sooo squishy! So I'm going to be working on a brioche scarf, pattern I found on Ravelry.com by Purl Soho called Brioche Hat and Cowl, though I am only planning to make the cowl.

Another project that I will be hunting for yarn for is the #25 Winged Triangle Shawl (sport weight). It is a doubleknitting project and from Vogue Knitting Magazine, Fall 2015. 

 
 Make sure that you are following me over on Instagram, I'm having a Giveaway on there only. So go check it out!!!

Be well folks and hope to see you at Rhinebeck!!

PS - I finally remembered to add the links to the blogpost in August: A Knitting Magazine review of the Fall 2015 magazines Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits. So go check it out!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"She Done Gone Crazy"

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Well, it is official. This week I feel as if I've done gone crazy, but I have a theory about this. The theory is that the past few weeks I have been really depressed, and have felt either numb or really tearful. Still feeling tearful but now feeling more irritated and angry.

This is a part of depression, keep in mind.

Depression is not always feeling numb and barely able to do things. Anger overlaps pain and can mask it. This often happens for men in particular and is a hallmark symptom in therapy for a man with anger management problems, it is very possible they are depressed.


That shirt is so perfect.

Anyway, I have been trucking along with the xmas presents. The slipper socks are almost knitted and I want to get something on the soles so that my mother doesn't kill herself walking in them in the middle of the night.

Here is a fantastic article that outlines 7 ways to make socks/slippers no-slip. Thank you mooglyblog.com!

Not a single holiday gift is finished, and yet I am already looking forward to feeding my crafting ADD. "Pattern?"

 But no! I will withhold my urges (if not my mountain dew addiction) and finish these holiday gifts. Two are almost done. So four more to go.. I think. Where is my list?

Seriously, can you see how addle-brained I've been lately? I do believe that more meditation is on the menu.



In other fun news, next month starts another month of nanowrimo.org, this is national novel writing month (November). This year I am setting aside my novelette and will be attempting to write another story idea that has been tapping my shoulder, in the same world. My problem is not coming up with story ideas but developing the plot and what the hell happens in the end.

This is ironic as I cannot stand reading mystery novels because the suspense kills me. I need to know what happens. So out comes the rare pad of paper with the question to be answered is: What will happen to my main character? What is the point?

Wish me luck!

Be Well and Stay in Touch!

Jen
Tangledmania

P.S.  Thank you so much for the 10,000 page views on this blog. You all totally rock it!!



 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Knitting, Writing, and Tube Socks :D

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Hello!!!

A few pieces of information that I am super excited about. First, I published a vignette story (which simply means that it is super short), the link is to the right of this blog. It is self-published and I'm proud of it, but it is a dark fantasy so if you do not want to read a rollercoaster that is a little freaky, this story is probably not for you. There will be more published as time goes on.

Next, xmas crafting is going along swimmingly, but I am uncertain about sharing it, how frustrating is that? I just do not want people to see it haha.

How is your holiday crafting coming along?

What are you making your loved ones for the holidays?

Below is a madeline tosh light grab bag that I received this past week from Webs (yarn.com) and the colors are lovely, my 4 year old fell in love with the bright fuschia pink haha. I see many fingerless mittens, gloves and other fun items there. Do you have any suggestions for this yarn? :D



I managed to catch up on all the latest episodes of Game of Thrones and all I can say is, WTH Jon Snow!!!! :( Need to catch up on Outlander..

 
 
This post took me quite a while to write, as my mood has stayed pretty low lately. Still going to work, doing what I need to do to try and make it through the day, but still finding it hard to breath sometimes.
 

But each day passes by and this past weekend I managed to make little tube socks for my kids and here is my pattern for a 4 year old, though they were a little big.

Worsted weight yarn (I used Berroco Vintage)
Size 7 US (4.5mm) circular needles
Toe up magic loop, 6 for each needle
Increase every other row until there are 16 stitches on each needle (32 all together).
Knit for 8.5 inches
3 rows of k2, p2
Bind off loosely in pattern.

No heel, just straight up.

You can have less or more stitches to start out with, depending on the foot size. Length doesn't not matter as much, I just kept going until my daughter said it was perfect, I intended to go much farther up the leg haha.




 Listen to your heart and mind. Logic is your friend, practice loving-kindness (also called metta). Be compassionate to yourself, do what you can, when you can and hand out love because any cruelty hurts your heart and soul as much as it does the person you hand it too. We are not saints, but we do not need to be demons either, somewhere in between is an okay place to be.

Be well and I'll see you soon!

Jen
Tangledmania