Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Monday, May 15, 2017

Knitting with Startitis (Joji Mystery Wrap Spoilers)

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The past few weeks have been pretty crazy, and my knitting (or lack of focus there-in) has really reflected that. My ability to stay on one project has pretty much taken a vacation (crafting ADD). 

To name just a few items, I have a knitted duck that I am almost finished with, just need to stuff the head and sew it all together (the beak has me nervous...). There is also a mystery knit a long (more about this in a minute), a Steven West pattern (apparently I love his patterns lol), and a vest that I started a year ago. 

I don't believe that I have ever done a pattern by Joji Locatelli, but I jumped on board with this Joji Mystery Wrap because the spirit (and startitis) moved me to add another WIP (work in progress) to my pile.

All of the yarn is from knitpicks.com and are stroll tonal colors. 1) Pearlescent, 2) Pacific, 3) Frozen, 4) Train Station, and 5) Raven. 

Seriously loving Pacific and Frozen together....

I am adoring walking around with Steven West's Dotted Rays shawl on my needles, fairly easy to work and a fun way to use this yarn up, when I was truly baffled on what to use it for. It's just not my cup of tea... The yarn is from Celestial Strings and is fingering weight... but I'm not sure of the color..

Finally, I've been working on this Vest called Tracery (designed by Kathleen Sperling) since last summer. Fairisle is not my strong suit, so this project has been both intimidating (instruction-wise) and challenging (getting those floats long enough). Hopefully it will block out enough to fit! Yarn is from knitpicks.com, Chroma fingering in black and avalon colors.
Stress has really thrown my crafting for a loop. And my blog writing, hence no post last week. I've been going to my new church, Unitarian Universalist, and finding great comfort with the kind and welcoming folks in Oneonta. Really very grateful to have found them and I look forward to continuing to go. 

So craft on, my good friends.
Craft on when you're sad,
Craft on when you're happy.
Push the needle through,
Grasp that crochet hook lightly,
Click those knitting needles together.
But craft on and make the world beautiful.

Be Well!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Little of This, A Little of That... Literally!

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  Yup, I know, it's been a while. My husband was in excruciating back pain and the family was in panic mode to try and get him help and relief. Luckily he isn't in as bad pain, and getting ready to get some super relief from his normal every-day pain that he suffers through.

   Did my crafting stop during this time? NOPE! In fact, one craft that I found particularly helpful during this time was the cross stitch project that I have started from Heaven and Earth Designs called Mother and Child, which reminds me so much of me and my kids. I love the soothing colors in it. This is what it will look like eventually,

And the first page, upper left hand corner with the flowers, looks like this so far.

I am using Q-snaps (new for me) and had a lap stand but really do not need it with the size this is, one hand in front and one hand in back holds it beautifully. Yay for counted cross stitch!!!

Next project I've been working on has been a custom request of Steven West's Vertice Unite. It's all done!!!! This was a surprisingly enjoyable knit, the different sections came together as it grew perfectly. I highly recommend this project.

The Harry Potter House Cup for Knitters/Crocheters has started on ravelry, hope you got sorted. Go Gryffindor!!!

  My OWL was approved and I cast it on Monday, it will be the Latte Can Happen Shawl by Erica Jackofsky (and this shawl was controversial, and I don't want to hear it lol). Using knitpicks.com stroll tonal in Inverness.

Knitwise, I also started a yellow duck (my youngest daughter will steal this I am sure) for Charms class, and so far that pattern is just wonderful! Called Rubber Ducks by Nicky Fijalkowski, I am using knitpicks.com brava worsted for this project.
  Doesn't look like much yet, does it? :) Need to sew it up and stuff it tonight. Then on to the head, wings and beak. Pondered adding feet... *Quack!*

Finally, I decided to have some fun with beads, and made up this "necklace/bracelet" of some type. I used wire and crimps for the first time, and it was actually a lot of fun, though I shouldn't have done it on my lap haha. Lots of jasper (2 types) and fossil agate. LOVE it.

This weekend is my monthly guild meeting, and there will be a bucket auction. So I thought, sure, let's do this. So the goal is to make a few perfect sets of snagless stitch markers, maybe a knitting book and a skein of yarn to donate. We shall see how far I get haha. Best laid plans, right?

My hair is now purple/blue and will be dyed that permanently this Saturday. Sunday I also have church, as I am joining a Unitarian Universalist Church and have never felt so at home. My oldest loves it too!! I need community so feel so blessed to have found them.

It seems like this Spring is turning out to be super busy, so go forth and may the Fourth Be With You (Star Wars Fun)! Anyone else going to see the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 this weekend?? :)

Be Well!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Smoothies, Knitting and Webs Tent Sale Anticipation!

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Mental Health-wise:
To be honest, I haven't quite recovered from having to rearrange my life goals to fit what is now realistic so that I can support my family. A big adjustment that is taking time, it can be hard to drop dreams that you thought were reasonable.

  In other worlds, I tried to make a banana strawberry smoothie this past Tuesday! :) Pinterest has all these ideas for smoothies and one suggested that you could just screw on a mason jar to your blender. This is completely true, by the way but there are two problems.

1) I cut up the strawberries and bananas and left them in the jar to freeze (in the jar...). So when it came time to blend it I added some milk, screwed it on the blender.. and nada.. The frozen food would not budge. So I had to let it thaw a little (and in my anger walking away was best at that time haha).

2) Came back and everything was moving okay, so I blended it. Oh it looked soo good! And then I tried to unscrew it... But the glass and the plastic did not let me unscrew it.. So I left for knitting night, very peeved. It did unscrew when I got back from knitting night.

  The weekend started fun, I made fantastic progress on the Vertices Unite shawl by Steven West. About 18 rows left in section 5 and then just section 6 to go, which is not very large. Honestly, the person who asked me to make this for them has been a joy to work with, and so has this shawl. The instructions are exactly correct. The picture is just after I had started section 4.

  Planning on taking this Friday off and trying to get away and relax a little. Sit down and plan everything again. Goals are important, and even if it is as simple as learning to read tarot professionally, and finish a novel or 2-4 :), something to focus on is very important.

In the meantime, anyone else planning on heading to the Webs Tent Sale next month?! May 20-21 and my knitting group is heading out on the 21st! (Super excited.. need to plan what I want to buy as soon as the sales come out!).

Be Well!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Custom Order Knitting

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Over the past week, and a few days, I have been working on a large version of the shawl Vertices Unite by Steven West, a custom order request from my etsy shop.
  At first, I honestly wasn't loving it, but I have come to enjoy the garter stitch study that it is, as well as the skill building of picking up stitches and leaving the ends of the rows ready to be worked with picked up stitches. Picking up stitches is so much easier than you think it will be, don't overthink it. :)

This project is simple enough that I can read my Kindle if I would like too, or watch tv. A good project.

Also, I am honing my skills in making the snagless stitch markers. Next time I will be using toothpicks to make cleaner ones.

In other news:
  Last week's job interview did not go well. It was not as was advertised at all and I was crushed. Cried all Wednesday night, much of Thursday, a little on Friday and Saturday. A tad bit on Sunday. A little cranky on Monday lol.

  So now I am in reroute mode, and yesterday I had my palm read, which was fun.

  I am also feeling as if I want to let some things go a little big, my hang-ups. My usual, play-it-safe strategy must be let go. So I started to do some of the things I have always wanted to do.

1) I dyed my hair (Splat, and the grey took it up beautifully!)

2) Painted my hair dye stained fingernails a cherry color I never have before:

These are pretty odd things for me to do, but they helped me not fall completely into a deep funk. I also got out of the house on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, I had a state exam to take, and made it with 2 minutes to spare haha. Sunday I took the girls to a birthday party and the store (twice because of an almost forgotten class project).

  So I did a pretty good job getting out instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself. (pats self on back).

Not quite sure where I am going currently, so keeping myself busy with work, writing my novel (which is now fully outlined out WOOT!) and keeping my chin up for the future.

Be Well!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Big Day

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The reason for this late blog post? Stress.... My interview is today for a job that I have wanted for 3 years (if not more). Today.. At 4pm. So here comes anxiety girl:

And yes, I may even give myself a migraine today.

But there are things that we can do for ourselves when the storm seems to want to sweep our feet out from under us.

1) Breathe. Breath is life and without it you can panic more.

2) Surrender to the feeling by relaxing into it. I know this sounds odd, but the tighter your body is the more you feed the stress. Instead relax your arms, your torso, your neck, your legs. Get to know the muscle groupings and when you relax you let yourself surrender into whatever you are feeling and the storm passes more quickly.

3) Let go of illusion of control. The only control I have over my interview today is to get there on time and what I will say/how I will present myself at the interview. I have no control over how others see me or what their decisions will be, and that really is okay. Take responsibility for what is in your ballpark, not everything else, that is too heavy a burden.

As stressed as I am, I have been knitting before work in my car and after work at home to ground myself with my mindfulness practice. Knitting requires a concentration level that helps me interrupt worrying thoughts.

Through my etsy shop, I received a special custom order. The customer wanted to buy her own yarn (to get the colors she wanted) and have me knit up Steven West's Vertices Unite (size large) in Madelinetosh and Primrose Yarn Co yarn. Thus far, I have almost finished the first section, which seems to be the largest (holy garter!).

 But at least I can read my Kindle and knit at the same time when I am doing garter stitch (not always advised).

This is the only item I'm focused on right now, because it is a custom order. Everything else will wait.

But I did finish the Frilly dress!

And I have plans, this summer, to work on a cross stitch chart from Heavenandearthdesigns.com (seriously need to check them out, some beautiful pieces of art there).

This is just a screenshot from my cell phone. The original can be found HERE. The picture reminds me of my daughters cuddling with me, I love getting to do that. The little girl has brown hair like my daughters both do so it is going to be a beautiful piece of art to hang on the walls of my house for years to come (once I can afford to get it framed haha).

Wish me luck today, I just need to get through the day. This may be the interview I have been the most prepared for in my entire life!!

Have a wonderful week!

Be Well!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Handmade Project Reality TV Show (Amy Poehler)

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News Alert!

Reality TV Show Alert!

I may actually watch this one..

I actually wanted to apply... And this is what happened.

The website is HERE to apply to be on the show. I really wanted too at first. I love knitting and crocheting. I'm super silly. This could be fun!

So I went to the website above and started to fill out the very long questionnaire. At first, it was pretty simple: Name, address, phone number.. Then I wrote an autobiographical statement.. which included me mentioning my bungee cord of sanity (oh it gets better) and how I learned to crochet and knit (my mom and later youtube).

Then I had to describe how I create a piece of work (knitting/crocheting). And I got a bit silly.

"Then you decide if you need something that complicated in your life or if you need something easier (the answer for me is always, complicated is better)."

What don't you like to make?

"Socks are out because feet are disgusting.. though oddly I don't mind knitting slippers."

Yeah, I was just having fun with it at this point and letting it all flow out. Why not, right? I mean Amy Poehler is producer so the worst that would happen was that I would make someone laugh, right?

What is an odd fact about you or an unusual talent you possess?

"I make up words to popular songs when I'm bored and sing them as I'm walking around. Happens all the time." This is completely true. Makes my kids and co-workers laugh all the time.

Down, down I go. And I get down past the questions, where I have to upload pictures. Okay.. Great *sigh*. I don't know why it "surprised" me haha.

Get almost the bottom? Upload a 3 minute video.

I have no idea why this made me balk. I mean, this is an application to be on a reality tv show HAHA. Instead, I don't want to do a video. What is really funny is that I have a youtube channel with 3-4 videos of me talking about knitting ROFL.

So I realized that if I didn't want to do a video of me, I sure as all get out did not want to see myself on TV. So instead, I'm sharing the opportunity with you, having a good laugh, and really looking forward to it being on tv. Though how someone who knits is going to compete, I don't know, simply because of the time constraint, ya know?

Be Well,

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Interviews, Moana, Sweaters and Rollercoasters (Phew!)

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Sometimes, I feel a little meme crazy. Also, I have the song "How Far I'll Go" from Moana stuck in my head as my youngest daughter wants to watch it every day. Could be worse, it's a good song.  :P And here it is, just in case you hadn't heard it.

  About 3 years ago, this May, I graduated with a Master's Degree in Counseling and Community College. While I studied this topic, my goal was to be a therapist and the work, internship and practicum just felt like where I needed/wanted to be. But when I graduated, I couldn't find a full time job to be licensed as a mental health counselor so as my heating oil disappeared that winter, and we were heating the house with space heaters (not suggested), I went back to work for the state (so grateful to them for hiring me as a support staff/secretary).
  Now, I have been applying to various counseling type jobs and my county had a position open that I applied to and they called me today for an interview.
All I can think about is how this is what I've been working for, what am I going to wear, what should I tell them about the mental health book I'm researching to write about reframing our life stories to battle depression and anxiety.. Will I get the job? I interned in this place, but they weren't hiring.. Did I leave a good impression?
We all have times like these when we stress.
1) First thing to do, is feel the initial rush and let it fly through us, an hour may pass and it should start to recede a little.
2) Then write a list of things you need to do and start taking care of those (suit cleaned (or purchased), references contacted to let them know, review the job description and write up possible questions and comments).
3) Do something to relax. I'm going to knit (surprised?)
4) Breath. Meditate if at all possible and keep relaxing your muscles. Don't hold onto the stress but smile a little and kindly let yourself relax.
Be compassionate towards yourself!!!

  In other worlds, I was feeling soo guilty over the thought that I had not knit my oldest daughter a sweater.. And then I realized that I had made her two! Silly me.
   The first was the Sophie cardigan by Sue Whiting (crocheted) in Simply Soft Eco (too stiff). Pretty sure my Lizzie is 3 years old here (sniffle).

 Then I made the Leksak sweater by Yarn-Madness (no picture.. sorry) and now I am making her the Lace Petals Vintage Cardigan by Laura Sapergia in knitpicks.com swish worsted.

 For my arts and craft sales this summer I started the scarf/shawl you see in the meme above. It is called Anemie by Theresia Lew (FREE pattern, folks), and I am knitting it in knitpicks.com stroll tonal, color Eucalyptus. I cannot wait to block it!

 I still want to start another double knitted square for my Geek-A-Long Blanket.. Hmm. Otherwise, that is about it, folks.

  Life is a rollercoaster, sometimes. The dips and highs can be pretty close, or farther apart. Wish me luck next week and until then, knit on and keep breathing! Be kind to yourself!

Be Well!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Work Day-dreams, Diet Bye-Bye and Getting my Geek On!

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No funny pictures of my weather comments today, saving those for when it finally starts to look like it's crawling into the 50's.

Do you ever sit at work and think of hilarious ways to get fired?

1) Pressing mute on lines through the internet controls of conference calls..
2) Shouting at people who cut their fingernails at work.
3) Refusing to answer the phone (well maybe this isn't hilarious lol).
4) Sitting back and knitting at my desk (yup, this would be a no-no).
5) Blasting Pearl Jam from my cell phone..
6) Talking all day on the phone so I couldn't answer the phone? :P

I know, I know, there is no way that I am doing any of these things, but a lady can dream right?

What do you daydream about while at work? Do you daydream about being home, feet up, Blacklist playing on the tv through Netflix, knitting in hand, kitty cuddled up against one leg?... Oh wait, that's me. :)

Today being the first day of Spring, I am hereby announcing to myself that I am putting my "diet" on hold until it's warmer and I can go for walks at home.. Until then, I'm giving myself  a break, but assigning more meditation.

SACREBLEU! (happiness)
I just adore (J'dore!!), no idea where this is coming from lol, double knitting and this Geek-A-Long (GAL) is just going to be so much fun!

Groot was a ball and I am very pleased with how it came out.
The square was knit in Knitpicks.com worsted weight yarn called
 swish and the colors are merlot heather and dove heather.

Laurelie by Lisa Hannes is coming along swimmingly. I only have a few rows to go so it is pretty much torturing me today. All I need is another 45 minutes and it will be absolutely done!! Well.. besides the soaking and blocking....

Which reminds me, I will be blocking right after Laurelie a shawl that I have finished except for some finished touches called the Mayapple Shawl by Dee O'Keefe. So two shawls to be added to the pile to sell this summer!

Other projects I would like to get going are:
1) Honey Pie Dress by Lisa Chemery for my youngest.
2) Lace Petals Vintage Cardigan by Laura Sapergia for my oldest. I really need to make my oldest something lol. She grew out of her last sweater.

Wish me luck!!!

Be Well!