Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Friday, May 27, 2016

Slowing Down and Organizing

I want to do everything...

I want to knit every pretty pattern I see, crochet every pretty pattern.. Ravelry is a rainbow hole of loveliness haha.

  That being said, I only have two hands, on top of two lovely daughters who deserve my attention and a full time job (and I'm trying to fit planking into my morning and runs on the weekend lol).

Even with all of that, I feel I still am able to fit knitting in, as it is a great stress reducer. I knit during lunch and in between feeding my kids dinner and getting them to bed at night, as well as knitting as much as possible over the weekend.

  But my anxiety, lately, has gotten the best of me, along with a bit of depression, which has generally receded with my period having passed (but it will be back haha). So I am taking steps to battle this.

One thing that is stressing me out, oddly enough, is all the knitting I want to do. I need to focus my knitting on less projects and not let my startitis get the best of me.

  To help with this, I ordered the Panda Planner, cringing at the price of $25.97 through amazon.com, but it is the cheapest planner/organizer on the market with inspiration/organization I am looking for. It will help me prioritize what knitting projects I want to focus on to finish, keep thinking positively, organize my day so I get a certain amount of writing in (wishful author here), and plan ahead.

Good stuff for my knitting world!!

Also picking up on a Tai Chi class on Thursday, starting next month (woot!).

Some tips I try to focus on while knitting or crocheting to slow down and de-stress?

  1) Breath deeper. It is so easy to not notice how fast we breath, and our breathing speeds up the more stressed out we are. So with each stitch, be aware of how fast your breath is and try to slow it down. I cannot take non-stop deep breaths without getting dizzy eventually, but you can breath slower and through your stomach, rather than your shoulders.

  2) Pick no more than two projects to work on a time that you need to finish for whatever reason. Perhaps they are gifts? I know I have a knitted baby blanket I need to finish for a woman due in 6 weeks.. Crap!! And a friend was recently diagnosed with cancer so I need to crochet a shawl for her..

  3) Make sure you are not too hard on yourself if you make mistakes in your knitting or crocheting. It is just yarn and sticks or a hook lol. Slowly, this attitude is bleeding into the rest of my life, but not quickly lol. Be kind to yourself!

Take care of yourself everyone!

Be who you are inside and be kind. No one is angry at their core or miserable. We all have had events that scarred and bruised us until we are angry or bitter at times, but we are still neither happy nor sad at our center, in our soul. We are just being.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Making Cancer Comfort Kits :(

Far too many people are diagnosed with cancer every year. It does not escape any family and everyone is touched by it. As someone who had cancer, and to be honest, felt like I was abandoned by most of my friends at that time (not all), I have decided to make Cancer Comfort Kits whenever I hear about someone getting diagnosed. Maybe a follow-up kit as well, I don't know yet. But this is something I can do.

The kit will include:

1) A worsted weight knitted or crocheted shawl/lap blanket. Cannot be too small, must be washable (vomit does happen, or blood, so should not be white). Must be something soft and comforting.

2) If individual is going to do chemo, include a hat. Maybe they won't lose their hair, but they can still use the hat during the summer as it should be made from cotton, soft cotton (I prefer a cotton/acrylic mix from knitpicks.com).

3) Something to snack on.

4) Something goofy to make them laugh.

Some free (on ravelry.com) and fast to make patterns are:

The Simple Crochet Shawl by Teresa Chorzepa (crochet)

Linked Shell Shawl by Jeanne Steinhilber (crochet)

Captive Hearts Prayer Shawl by Connie Davis (Knitting)

Ruffled Shawl by Gail Tanquary (knitting)

These are just a few examples, of course. I have several shawls in my bins that I have finished over the past few years and have not sold. Over time I give them away to friends and family as I feel appropriate.

  Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You
Typing this has nothing to do with religion, but how I live my life. I try to treat others with kindness and compassion, even when they do not return it (not always easy). Over time I have come to the realization that all we can do is all we can do. Though I have a lot of trouble staying in touch with people on a week to week basis (and I know I'm not the only one haha), I'm hoping these kits will bring some light and comfort to anyone who has cancer.
  I wrote this blog, not to sell them, because though I need money (haha), I won't sell the kits. It doesn't feel right to make money off of other people's suffering. But rather to continue to spread the idea of gifting to someone who is ill.  Time to find something goofy.
Happy Wednesday everyone!!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Pricing Conundrum

I have signed up, one more time, to sell my knitting as a vendor in my county and I have two major problems.

1) Pricing
2) It will be July 8th so hot as hell.

To combat the second, I plan on trying to make funny signs that say things like "Hot? But winter is coming!" or "Get Your Christmas Shopping Done!". If you have any others to suggest, please let me know.

As for the second.. Well, I'm in trouble because here is the deal. My county is fairly poor, and I really want to sell my stuff, . So wish me luck with pricing! The whole conundrum is that I could charge $150 for a lace shawl, but it won't sell, and I need to make some money.

So the question is, how much to price your knitting for?

Some schools of thought say to  take your supplies and multiply them times 3, and others to do cost of supplies plus hours worked ($10 an hour). Phew, right?! What to do, what to do.

So I am going to go through each item that I plan on selling and evaluate the cost of yarn and figure something out on top of that. Because, though a few of my knitty friends will yell, I would like to sell 1-2 more items than the one hat I sold last time over one and a half days. This event is just 4 hours.

Ahh, well, I'm sure you'll be hearing more about it. In the meantime, I am going to continue to try to knit a few more things for the table. Wish me luck!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Getting Through The Rough Stuff

I have been tracking my moods for a while now, and definitely have a pattern of Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Dysorder. Also, my world is very, very stressful for me right now.

  First thing I wanted to do was come on here and vomit everything that is going wrong with my world into my blog, because that's what it's for right? Well, it could be, but I don't necessarily want it to be. Yesterday I broke down a little from stress and had some very dark thoughts, so I stared at my Facebook friend list and gingerly picked 1-2 people to reach out to that I thought would understand. I cried in the kitchen, hell, I cried all day long. But I got through it and know that this week shall pass.

  This blog will not be a personal vomit of what is going wrong with my life, but what I'm doing right while it's going wrong.

So what am I doing right while it goes wrong?

1) I reached out to friends.

       Trust me I know exactly how hard that is. Some of the thoughts that go through our heads are things like "they won't care", "they don't have time", "people are sick of hearing my problems" (this one is funny because it's not like you're texting people every day with your problems, so not realistic unless you have shitty friends). These are fears and just thoughts. They are not necessarily realistic and true.

2) I did something to give me a knitting drive this summer.

     A town in my county is going to be having an event that is only 4 hours long and called for local craft vendors. Last time I sold locally, I sold one hat over two days and didn't make back what it cost to rent a table. Was kind of disheartening. The knitters told me my prices were too low, everyone else said the prices were too high. *le sigh*. I need money, so pretty sure I will be really pissing off the knitters, but such is life haha. I'm trying to get out there lol.

3) Push through the pain.

    Anyone who has had depression, anxiety or any kind of mental illness since they were a child knows by their 30's that generally it comes in waves and that even when the storm is really bad, it will usually pass into still waters at some point. Mine does. Especially the week before my period. There is a chemical reason for it, and in a few days it will pass. Is the pain and stress I'm feeling not real? Hell no, of course it is real! But I will be better able to deal with it in a few days. In the meantime, I knit A LOT, and cuddle with my kids, cry when I need to and try my best to keep my mouth shut if anger opens up and wants to snap at someone.

Let's knit people. Keep your chins up.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Squishy Mail and What It Will Be

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  I am falling behind in trying to finish off the Outlander/Dragonfly final clue, so I will bring you up to date on that and the Game of Thrones (Godswood of Winterfell) as soon as I have something to share.

  This summer, I am determined to finish some Works in Progress (WIPs) and only do two MKALs: Seasons (which started today and my yarn from Yarnenabler is going to arrive soon, there be a whole blog post on just her yarn!) and possibly the Philospher's Stone in July.

Squishy Delivery:
  In the meantime, I got lucky with some extra cash and spent in unwisely on the knitpicks.com swish sale!

  So here is today's story.

  I brought the box with me, because I didn't have time to open it last night (husband sick and kids needed everything lol. I was also working hard on the Outlander shawl). So in my car, after grabbing some breakfast I decided to open the box :).

   Inside, my eyes were happy in the love colors inside. Much more subdued than some prefer, but much in line with my own tastes. There are three projects in this box and I look forward to each of them.

Squishy Mail Project 1: First I have Chroma, which is my first ever for that yarn, and it is nice and soft. The pattern it will complete is the following vest: Tracery by Kathleen Sperling.

  Definitely planning on making it long enough for me to be comfortable under a shirt almost exactly like that.

Squishy Mail Project 2: Next I have a sweater that I have been eyeing for so long. I could use tweedy Rowan yarn, but knitpicks.com is so much more affordable. Portree Sweater by Martin Storey (such a fan of his).

   Been eyeing this sweater for a few years..

Squishy Mail Project 3: This one is a xmas gift. Since the Havens Crocheted Blanket Throw is going to my mother-in-law early as part of a care package (almost done), they still need a christmas gift. So here it is :). Partridge Holiday Pillow by Celeste Young.

  All in all, a good trio of projects to work on this summer. Definitely a theme going on as I seem to really enjoy colorwork and lace shawls (really want to finish large ones).

  Unfortunately, moments after these lovely pictures were taken I locked my keys, bag, cell phone, wallet and all knitting projects in my car. 2 hours later, Progressive roadside assistance came to my rescue. :P

  I hope all of your weeks have gone better than mine, I need a vacation hehe. Maybe just a mental health day. Maybe I'm just done adulating for the day!

Be Well!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

*Spoilers* Game of Thrones & Outlander Episodes and MKALs

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Sorry for the late post, I had a few shocks this week. It's been a rough week.

Game of Thrones Episode:

  Tyrion rocks and Jon Snow is alive. End of recap. Nothing else needs to be said. :P.

Outlander/Dragonfly Episode:
   Poor Mary, what heart wrenching scenes. At least Jamie and Claire are doing more than sharing a bed again!

Game of Thrones (Godswood of Winterfell) MKAL:

   I just love this yarn.. It is much bigger than this picture now, but the pattern is exactly the same, so that was admittedly a little less exciting than the first clue haha. Pretty sure that I have decided to NOT use beads as I think it is busy enough as it is, though once it is blocked out it will look lovely.

  A tip on lace knitting, sometimes you may be knitting along and you suddenly realize that something is wrong with the count. What you do is go back on the rows below and see if you missed a yarn over, and pick it up :). Once I also did a k3tog and I wasn't supposed to, so I simply did a knit instead of a k2tog on the next lace row. Everything is fixable, and it is JUST yarn and sticks, and we can do it!

Outlander/Dragonfly MKAL:

     I do believe that I need to focus my knitting attentions on larger shawls, they just interest me more haha, though I do like the patterning in this shawl. The next clue is another cable in the brown that I have not started, will likely start during lunch though.

   Pretty sure this shawl will be long and rather thin. The cables and patterned stitches of this shawl eat up more yarn than normal for a shawl. But we will see, one more clue to go! And many more episodes.

Wrapping it Up:
   This week has been absolutely crazy. We received bad news in threes over the last week and staying strong is tough sometimes. Luckily I have two little lovebugs in the form of daughters who both drive me crazy and make me happier than I've ever been.

  Anyone else looking forward to Captain America: Civil War?

Be Well!