Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Monday, November 6, 2017

Poetry: Feeling Overwhelmed

Taking each breath
Unable to smile..
Usually I am so friendly and loud.
But currently I cannot
I just cannot think
As my brain just fogs up and freezes.
Sometimes it's too much
The car
The money
The responsibility always there.
Sometimes it's so heavy
the weight on my shoulders
The worry about making it
To the next paycheck with food.
Desperately wondering
Am I doing this right?
What else can I do?
Scrambling for ways to fix it.
But it is not fixable
This is my life.
My complicated
Messed up
Sometimes depression filled life.
When too much is riding
On each decision I make
The panic rises up when so much is at stake.
Feeling so lonely
Wishing I could do it
Alone.
Not wanting to ask for help.
Not wanting to reach out.
I cannot smile
I cannot breath
I feel stifled
I feel alone.
I just
Want
To
Sleep.

Knitpicks: Merry Knitmas Pattern Book Review - Ornament Style


I promised you a review of the Merry Knitmas book from Knitpicks.com, and here it is!

In getting ready for a holiday craft show, where I will sell my yarn and other hand made items, I have been working hard on making ornaments. This is more a review of the ornaments in the entire book that were all made in Stroll Glimmer (which is sadly not available in dyed form on knitpicks any longer, but it is available in bare form). But hey, Christmas is in less than two months, so who has time for anything else? :)



The first ornament I tried was the Tiny Hearts by Mone Drager. That came out well, until the kitchener.. so that one isn't for sale.. I need to work on my kitchener skills.. I'm doing it completely wrong *sigh*. Even the instructions had me confused, and honestly it probably wasn't the instructions in the book so don't take that as a criticism.. I just have trouble with the kitchener stitch.

The second ornament is the big fat one, called Festive Fair Isle Ornament by Emily Kintigh, and that one as FUN! Nice and big, and very pretty options for what fair isle pattern you want to follow. The only issue I had with this large ornament was the icord is too short. It said 4 inches, but I feel like it could go longer.


Next, I cast on one of the square snowflake ornaments by Margaret Holzmann. These were interesting in a few ways. 1) they were not done in the round and I had never done fair isle on the purl side, I actually found it easier than on the knit side. 2) the whip stitch around was a decorative way to seam it that was very interesting. 3) I did a 2 stitch icord to hang it by.





It was a very interesting ornament and definitely one I was be doing a few more of. It's so cute!!








Lastly, I tried the sweater ornament by Karen DiTommaso. I will admit, I had some problems with the pattern. An error in the chart came up that might make a beginner hesitate. Row 11 on both sweaters should have had an extra box after an increase the prior row in the sleeves. But it doesn't. Threw me for a second so be ready for it.

The other thing about this pattern is that it is completely knitted flat, and I really don't feel like it needed to be. I knit the body flat as the pattern instructed, but did the sleeves in the round and seamed up the body with a mattress stitch. The next sweater I make will be knit in the round entirely. 

  But I will be doing this pattern again, with my tweaks. The patterns are nice and it so cute!

The book is fantastic, give it a try. Especially if you want to make some ornaments for this holiday season. There are plenty of variations within each ornament and Stroll has a bunch of fantastic colors to make it really fun!

A more personal post will be coming later this week, in the mean time, have a great week and keep your chin up.

Be Well!
Jen
Tangledmania

Monday, October 30, 2017

Holy Preparation and Halloween



Halloween is tomorrow and I am not ready!! My kids are excited and it doesn't look like it's going to rain (yay!) so that is a plus. 

Something scary that happened was that my oldest daughter had a dizzy spell last week and fell down the stairs, scared the crap out of us. Luckily, she didn't hurt herself, but geez kid! 

Saturday we went to a local library's Hogwarts Halloween fun, and boy was it fun!!! The only hitch in that evening was the fact that my TMJ pain started acting up and so I had to stop to buy some Advil on the way to the party lol. Ouch! That hurt all the way until today it is finally getting better.

Knitting:
This weekend I focused Saturday on making ornaments:


These are both from the Merry Knitmas ebook pattern that was produced by Knitpicks.com. Using Stroll Glimmer yarn, I'm having a great time making these up for small cash items at a local craft show I'm doing in two weeks. 

The pattern is coming along well, easy to understand. The two that I have done are the Festive Fair Isle Ornaments by Emily Kintigh(the larger round one) and Tiny Hearts by Mone Drager. I really need to perfect my kitchener stitch with the hearts (wish me luck!)


Dyeing Yarn:
Yesterday I also got up off my butt and ignored my pain long enough to dye some yarn. I have something like 50 skeins to dye by November 17th so I figured I better get my butt in gear, so I did. 

I decided to kettle dye and hand paint. The kettle color I added first looked entirely too blue at first, and I wasn't happy, so I started to sprinkle a maroon in and ended up with this amazing color that I'm going to call Raven:

The hand dyeing went well and after being in the microwave I was extremely happy with the results!!


More to come tonight, maybe some DK. Should I post my fun on here? Perhaps I will :). 

Either way, happy Monday and please stay safe as our weather gets colder. Looking at the 15 day weather, there was snow on the 15th day. Brrr.

Be Well,
Jen
Tangledmania

Monday, October 23, 2017

That 2017 Rhinebeck Post



I went on Saturday, October 21st. It was 49 degrees when I left my house in upstate New York and by the time we got to Rhinebeck it was almost 60 (but not quite). 

But wait, my Rhinebeck story starts on October 4th, when I decided to cast on the Hitch Pullover by Vanessa Ewing (worsted weight) in Ultra Alpaca, and two days later made the next decision to challenge myself to finish it before Rhinebeck.

Having never actually made a Rhinebeck Sweater, I was a little nervous, but the sleeves were done and drying the Thursday before Rhinebeck in my work window (thank goodness they didn't fall out of the window, I'm on the 3rd floor).



They dried in time (yay for a windy day!) and I sewed it all together and wove in the ends on Friday! :)



Saturday morning, I was so excited. My local knitting group was carpooling down so I made my tired husband get up to drive me to the park and ride (cranky husband). 

Here I am in all my knitting glory, staying nice and warm:

When we got to Rhinebeck, we got our friend situated with her scooter and off we went. 

First stop was baskets. The Catskill Native have the most beautiful baskets. The other year I got a big oval shaped one, but this year I was determined to get a round one (though it got a little misshapen in the afternoon, as I will explain). These baskets do not catch the yarn, though you think it would, right? They don't. I've never had a problem.



After that I went wandering.

I had only a few things on my list to do.
1) Get buttons for my newly finished sweater.
2) Get two skeins of yowza from Miss Babs for Corvus double knitted scarf by Alasdair Post-Quinn
3) Possibly try my hand at the Hansen Crafts Spinning Wheel.
4) Compete in the chopstick knitting competition.
5) Try lamb.

So during my initial wanders I saw some fun things, but the first thing that caught my eye was wooden buttons at the Favour Valley Woodworking stall, which I thought would be perfect for my new pullover. I ended up with some Yew buttons (great for otherwordly and loner aspects of my personality lol)!



I saw some fantastic things as I wandered around.







Eventually I ended up at Miss Babs:

I did what I had never done before, I stood in line. The last time I went, I hit Miss Babs at the end of the day and there was literally no line.

This time.. it was about 11am and boy was there a line..







So I picked out my two skeins of Yowza (Walnut and Sinister) and stood at the end of the line:


The line turned out to be so much fun, thought it took at least 30 minutes to get through it. The people behind me were positively lovely! We chatted about Vogue Knitting Live (and how Dragonfly Fibers and Miss Babs were going to be there) and the classes they were having. We talked about dyeing yarn, they took one of my business cards. 

  The people in front of me were nice, but one of them littered, so that got on my nerves. Seriously, don't drop garbage on the ground. I think I still have the wrapper in my purse...

After that I went to get some lunch before my 2 hour shift at Bitsyknits and honestly, I just bought a piece of pizza haha. One of the things I noticed when I was outside is the bee's! I was both happy to see them (as they are at risk) and frustrated that I couldn't sit down haha. 

As soon as my shift at Bitsyknits came around (and if you stopped at her stall on Saturday between 1-3 hi!!) and they provided me with an apron and buttons to put on them and off I went. 

  Mostly, I helped people with knitting questions. What length cable for magic loop is best, what size needle for worsted weight yarn (new knitter, go her!), is that shawl pin available? (no it wasn't haha). The kits were great at her stall, and I earned $30 in credit, which I used to buy this Something Sheepy hat kit (the dangling sheep!!!!).




After my shift, my feet were really starting to hurt me, but I wandered just a little bit more before the chopstick knitting competition and found two more finds. A lucet from Rouge Loucet (no website that I could find, but nice people!). And two skeins of lace (web) weight Jojoland Harmony for a really good price.




A lucet is really cool, and a very easy to use (and ancient) tool for making cord. 

The chopstick knitting competition is exactly how it sounds, you have ten minutes to knit as fast as you can on chopsticks!



I have been told that I'm a fast knitter. Well, I didn't place at 14 rows, and first place was 27 rows (go her! holy cow!).



I misplaced two items all day. Yes, apparently I was having a careless, gravity loved me, kind of day. But I got everything back. Apparently there were people dressed up as sheep, but I didn't see them.. 

After the competition, I realized my hat kit had disappeared. Luckily, someone had just put it on a chair. Phew!

At the end of the day, I decided to go sit near the entrance. I tried a sample of lamb on the way out and decided it was disgusting. Once I sat down I got to talking to someone who was drop spinning and she gave me some tips about spinning, was fantastic. Also she showed me the Russian knit stitch, which will take some practice haha. She lives in NYC and was born in Russia. Hi!!



  Funny thing was that everyone was so friendly and nice at Rhinebeck, all that good will goes right out the door as soon as you get in your car. Seriously. People. We are all waiting, no one is getting cut off, no one is moving!! 

Apparently there was an accident with ambulances flying by (I hope they are okay!). Just chill people.

By 7:30pm we got to the Catskill Diner and to be honest, I wasn't impressed by the chicken. I also had a sore throat by then and was feeling like poopy run over twice. By the time I got home, I was wiped out. And sadly, felt just as crappy when I woke up. So instead of going to church and rehearsing with the choir, I stayed home and rested. I barely moved for hours... But I needed it because I felt a little better by the end of the day.

If you went to Rhinebeck, wasn't it fun!!? I love it, but I think one day is enough peopling for me.. I don't think I could do two.. I know there is so much to see and I didn't even get to Dragonfly Fibers, but holy cow... I just needed a day to rest. Maybe it was a mixture of a cold I got there and my lack of a thyroid. But either way, it was a great day. 

See ya next year, Rhinebeck!!

Be Well,
Jen
Tangledmania

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hospitals, Startitis, and Fall TV Fun

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The past few weeks have been so beyond stressful with my mother going in and out of the hospital and all the stress that goes with being the primary caretaker. When I get stressed out, I go through a more severe version of startitis than normal. 

Startitis, is when you tend to start a lot of projects. This lends itself perfectly to dyeing yarn, since it really doesn't take all that long to dye yarn. Some yarn I dyed this weekend (DK and Fingering Weight):




But I also started a sweater the other week and really got going on it last night! The very unlikely chance I will finish it in time for Rhinebeck is keeping me going. Probably not, but what the hell, right?


So double knitting has been put aside until I finish the sweater. Which, either way, is my winter sweater. The pattern is called Hitch Pullover, by Vanessa Ewing, and it was in the 2014 Interweave Knits magazine (which I lost somehow and had to buy a digital version of to knit this pullover). The yarn I am using is Ultra Alpaca Worsted.

Side-note about alpaca. I LOVE to have an alpaca mix sweater for winter. Soo freaking warm. But, knitting with it, or even touching it, makes my hands tingle. Not turn red or itch or anything. But actually tingle. Does that happen to anyone else? Eh, won't stop me from loving alpaca, just odd.



I made it through several charts of the Celtic Dragon Scarf MKAL by Tania Richter before I got side tracked.

Other items I started?
1) a pair of Owl Mittens for my youngest daughter.
2) A Sockhead Slouch Hat.

3) A huge shawl called the Archer Shawl and Wrap by Holli Yeoh. 

4) A pair of socks for my husbands HUGE feet :).
5) A shawl called Changing Leaves with Mandala yarn.
6) And the Vneck Boxy Pullover (fingering weight, kill me now).

So yeah, I've gone a little cast-on crazy. And, I need to start another Goddess Shawl for a special order request, I finished the last one.


In all, crafting has helped me stitch my world together so it stays together. My daughters have helped me have a sense of humor, and I am trying to stay off of Facebook and all the negativity that seems to be emoting from that website. 

As with any stressful time, I work on using my sometimes morbid humor to help me through the hard times. And the giggles I have with my daughters always save the day. My husband too has gone beyond the support he has ever demonstrated, and that has been such a relief. 

I've also caught up on my Fall TV shows. 
Lucifer (Why did I not watch this last season? This is hilarious)
Blacklist (Getting old)
Hawaii Five-O (I don't know why I still watch this...)
Outlander (I cannot miss an episode.. even though I've read all the books).
The Good Doctor (just started, amazeballs!)
Big Bang Theory (I'm starting to forget to watch, though).
Lethal Weapon (OMGosh, you need to check this one)
Supernatural (Oh Dean... :) )

And I've been watching as much Buffy the Vampire Slayer in preparation for a trivia night out with some friends this weekend. I have to admit, I'm kinda nervous about it. But hey, Spike killed the Anointed One. Yay.

More poetry has come forth from my brain the past few weeks and my oldest daughter signed up for a knitting "club" with all of her friends in 5th grade. 5th grade.. I cannot believe she is in 5th grade. That is the year I fell in love for the first time. So I bought her some cotton and am sending her with cheap circulars to start making some washcloths (emailing the teacher was fun).

If you ever feel down, or overwhelmed, remember, that just like each pattern, this too shall pass. Each stitch is followed by another stitch. Each breath is followed by another. And that is what I keep reminding myself.

Be Well,
Jen
Tangledmania

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Heavenly Birthday Weekend!

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What a heavenly weekend I had!!


This past weekend I took it upon myself to go the beach. Really, the planning for it started in August, as I had decided to go to the beach for my birthday weekend. I needed some time out, and some beach therapy (BIG time). Friday night I kissed my kids goodnight, and told them I would see them on Sunday night.

Got up at 4am and a friend and I hit the road for Long Island!

I had NEVER been to Long Island before, or New York City, so this was a true adventure for me. 

On the way down, we hit absolutely no traffic (woot!) and made it to Long Island before The Knitted Purl opened and hung out at the Roosevelt Beach for a few hours. It's a beach facing the bay and there was this one particular bird who was chilling out with me while I was there, gave me a feather after about 25 minutes of eye contact and chilling out.  

It was actually kind of cool. Does anyone know what kind of bird it is? Just a small seagull? It didn't look like a seagull to me..


The Knitted Purl was a little expensive for my taste, but my travel buddy did find some absolutely beautiful yak and mink yarn in their 75% off bin for me, so yay for deals! 




After hanging out at the yarn store for an hour or two, we headed off to check into our Airbnb apartment, charge our phones, before heading off to Robert Moses Beach. This picture was me joking that there were so many plants I thought they were going to eat me haha.



Heading out to The Robert Moses Beach we were found out that we were there late enough to not have to pay anything, but still had a few hours until dusk when they close. The beach was beautiful, cool sand and water, hot sun. The horse flies were a little much.




We got back to our apartment around 6pm and I was absolutely wiped out. I fell asleep by 6:30pm haha. Time enough to eat something and talk to my kids before I passed out. (Boy that couch killed my back haha).


The next day we lingered and relaxed before heading out to find a cupcake for my birthday and make our way towards Long Beach. Apparently, cupcakes are not particularly popular on Long Island because it took 3 stores to find a yummy cupcake, which it was really yummy. Seriously. Red Velvet yumminess.




  Then off to our last beach of our trip, and to be honest, the best. Long Beach is simply beautiful. Few horse flies, fantastic waves with surfers enjoying them. 

  Here I'm working on the Celtic Dragon Scarf MKAL by Tania Richter.



We hung out there until around 4pm and then headed back to the airbnb to pick up something we forgot, and back up to upstate NY by 6pm (and traffic haha).






It was a fantastic weekend with a great deal of designing done by me of the shawl pattern I've been working on, and a bit of double knitting. Just so relaxing. I highly suggest a weekend getaway to the beach, if you can. I have Beach Withdrawal symptoms, I swear.


I missed my kids, I really did. Starting at Saturday night I was thinking about them and Sunday it was great to keep busy and let the ocean keep me happy because I was really happy to be home Sunday night, even though they were up WAY to late waiting for me. I got cuddles, hugs, kisses.. So heavenly. I love my girls.

I hope you have all had a weekend like I just did. It was wonderful. The best in such a long time.

But back to the grind, right?

Be Well!!
Jen
Tangledmania