Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016!

I've clearly left this blog quite abandoned. I'm sorry about that. I have made it a goal of 2017 to post at least once a month here.

So much has happened since I left that I don't know if I can catch you up. So instead why don't I just round up 2016 as a whole?

Bare with me if you read this on facebook.

My grandmother used to make the most adorable things for us when we were children. My most vivid memories of her involve fiber dolls and Christmas ornaments. When she passed, being the first person I was personally close with to pass, I was deeply effected and continued to be for years. In 2015 I had come to grips with my emotions and decided to honor her memory by seeking to make the same yarny goodness she made. Knowing very little to absolutely nothing about the fiber world, I assumed she knit. Wasn't crochet some weird new world invention anyway? My father told stories of my grandmother sitting on knitting needles and such. It was knitting. Totally.

This Christmas after closer inspection of the things she made, she very clearly favored the crochet world. Whoops.

Anyway, so for Christmas in 2015 I asked for what was proudly marketed as a "Learn to Knit Kit! With everything you need!".

January of 2016, around the 25th to the 28th. I opened the kit. Inside were two plastic knitting needles, two balls of acrylic yarn, and a booklet of three patterns. It assumed I already knew how to cast on and what a purl was. Ha.

To youtube! I watched upward of 5 different tutorials. Hours later I had some very tight stitches on one plastic stick. Now what. In true Jack fashion, I tossed it in a box and ignored it. For a day or two. But there it sat glaring at me in all its red acrylic-ness. Whispering. "You want to make things! Yarn!"

So I picked it up and gave it a go. Listen, I don't remember how exactly I got it so wrong, and I don't have a picture of it anymore unfortunately. This finished project hours later was some kind of lumpy mesh disaster. I loved it. To the Internet! I posted it on a blogging platform. I figured it would probably get criticism the way the art community online or most communities are, or at best ignored. I forgot I posted it.

Then a day or two later, I was introduced to my first taste of the fiber community. There was an outpour of support for my little tangled mess. People said I did good for a first thing! They said it was cool! They urged me to keep going, that they couldn't wait to see where I ended up a year from now! I was moved beyond words.

Now, I'm not saying I was any good for like half a year. One time I got a skein of yarn and tugged on the end like a ball of yarn. It ended up a tangled mess.

But every time I got stuck or confused I went back to that unwavering support from the fiber community. They gently took my hand and told me about things like swifts, ball winders, fiber content, stitch markers.

And now we are coming up on a year in this weird fiber world.

I have knit: 35 things. Crocheted 1. Dyed 6 skeins of yarn. Spun my first hand spun yarn (note: not very well, but I did) Learned to loom knit. Learned to knit in the round on double pointed needles and circulars. I've made a shawl. I've learned to rip back and fix mistakes. I made a blanket. I made socks, I turned a freaking heel and did the kitchener!

And none, absolutely none of this is possible without a beautiful and completely loving and accepting fiber community. I've made friends I know without a doubt I will be friends with for all eternity (special mention: Logan, Tory, Sarah, Jessica. My fiber group is so special to me ). I've been a part of knit a longs. I've seen the community call to arms for charity, give away bits of happiness in times of great sadness. And I have felt this great tug at my heart so many times, that I never gave up thanks to this community.

This is a world where I know my grandmother fit in, in all her astounding silliness and kindness and love. And this is a world I am so happy I am a part of now.

So from the absolute bottom of my heart: thank you. Thank you to my friends, thank you to the random Internet fiber artists. Thank you to my family for never doubting me and for encouraging me and giving me the tools I needed. Thank you to the Fiber Friends group which started as something entirely different and morphed into people I will love and be friends with for the rest of my life. Thank you. This means so much to me. And it always will.

Next year: learn to make cables, knit my first sweater, and 12 hats over 12 months for warm up america.

In fact, I've named this year The Year of The Sweater, and a Flax Sweater by TinCanKnits is my last cast on for this year.

Pattern: Flax by TinCanKnits

I already have the ribbing done on the collar of it! 

I'll end this by rounding up my current wips. 

The flax sweater pictured above.

Skellington Shawl using Madeline Tosh Tosh DK Cosmic Wonder Dust and Expression Fiber Arts Rainbow Love Dewy DK.

A Basic Throw from a encore chunky pattern book using Lion Brand Scarfie.

Fresh Off The Needles:

Simple Yet Effective Cowl in some lovely Backyard Fiberworks yarn I got as a part of their advent giveaway on Instagram. This will be going to Logan! And will have matching mittens!

And a loom knit hat and scarf in Lion Brand Woolease for The Husbando.

Well, that's all for now friends. Have a safe new year! 

P.S. guess what? It turns out I've been purling wrong all year. But I can purl now! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Finished Herald Shawl

I have finished, completely, The Herald Shawl. I used a Blueberry Cheesecake Caron Cake. It's gorgeous and soft and warm.

I even blocked it, it was my first experience with blocking. 

Elenvty billion pins and thank you to my sister and The Husbando for helping me. 

This project has meant a lot to me. Through brain fog and depressive episodes and Resentment and Darkness and Mixed Emotions and Adulthood.

It means a lot. I love it so much. It's like giving myself a huge.

It's been a cathartic experience. It's helped me heal. It's helped me in ways I can't describe. I know a lot of people would say "it's just knitting, get over it" but it was a lot too me. And I'm really happy I stuck with it and it turned out so pretty. 

Now that it's over I'm going to finish the partner to my first sock, finish my mom's slippers, work on my sisters mistake rib scarf, make a dishcloth, and maybe cast on my husband's birthday Honey Cowl. That is until my birthday. Because I will be hopefully going to a nearby yarn shop for the birthday and I want to buy some new yarns to play with and that will lead to new projects. My birthday is in under ten days!!!!!! 

My Amazon Wishlist ///
My Knit Picks Wishlist  (this is under the husbando's name but is mine)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My First Sock!

I've been knitting diligently on the Socktober sock, thanks to the encouragement of my instagram friends! And thanks to them, I am proud to say there have been a lot of firsts for me.

Like turning my first heel, and shaping the gusset!! 

My first time knitting in public AND shaping a toe AND using the kitchener! And not messing it up even a little! 

Which resulted in...............

MY FIRST EVER SOCK!!! TOTALLY COMPLETED!! AND IT FITS! Sure, it looks a little wonky, but it fits and it's comfy and it's mine and I made it and I'm so happy with it. I've dubbed it the I Want To Believe in Socks Sock because it reminds me of Aliens and the X-Files. It's super awesome and I really enjoyed knitting it and I can't believe I got a WHOLE SOCK DONE IN JUST THREE DAYS!!! 

I will totally knit it's matching patner as soon as I finish my Herald Shawl. I want to get the Herald Shawl done and wearable by my birthday, I have a bit to knit before then and I have to block it then. And my birthday is only 11 days away so the next socktober/operation sock drawer sock will have to wait just a bit!!! 

I leave you with these pictures (and shameless a little shameful links to my wishlist for my birthday) 

My Amazon Wishlist ///
My Knit Picks Wishlist  (this is under the husbando's name but is mine)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Socktober 2nd!~

Yeah, that's right. I said I need to finish Christmas present knits and my husband's birthday knit.

Instead I cast on for my first sock for Socktober and Operation Sock Drawer. Like I said I'm using Silver's Sock Class although I'm tweaking it a bit to make it a bit easier. I made the cuff k1p1 and then the ankle garter down to the heal since that is easier for me with dpn. I'm using a worsted red heart yarn since my last attempt at socks with actual sock yarn was a disaster. This time seems to be going much easier, I'm still nervous and excited at the same time.

I also am now rereading Library of Souls! I really love this series and forgot how much I loved it.

I've knit this much of the ankle today. The pattern says to go for 8 inches- or less if desired which leads me to wonder what I should do from here. I know this part is your ankle which leads to your heel, I don't normally wear socks with very big ankles, so I wonder if I should stop here and go to the heel. It just doesn't seem like much cuff. Hmmm. I suppose I'll knit some of my Herald shawl and think on it some. Either way, I'm quite proud of how my first ever sock is turning out!! 

I've had a runny nose and migraine all day and it's making me a smidgen cranky. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October-Pumpkin Festival and Birthday Wishes.

Today is the first of October! My favorite month in the entire year ever. Because I LOVE AUTUMN AND I LOVE HALLOWEEN AND I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY WHICH IS OCTOBER 15TH! (P.S if you want to totally buy me a birthday present I have wishlists! The knit picks one is under my husband's name cause he's the card holder/yarn sugar daddy but it's mine Here's a Linky to the Amazon Wishlist and here's A Linky to the Knit Picks Wishlist. I also have some patterns on my rav wishlist but I dunno how to link them haha.)

Today being the first day of October our town had a Pumpkin Festival! Unfortunately, The Husbando had to work, but the rest of the family and I went. On the way I continued my work on The Herald Shawl in the Car, it's getting quite large now, and almost done! I'm hoping to have it done and blocked in 15 days-by my birthday so I can wear it to the yarn shop I want to go to! I even contacted the local artist guild about the handmade shawl pins and prices just for it.

In the car
With ruler for reference 

But back to the pumpkin festival! It was quite fun! My parents bought me cotton candy and a pumpkin bracelet, my sister picked me out a gorgeous blue alpaca yarn from a local vendor that will make a beautiful shawl but I can't have it until my birthday! There were rides and everything! The town was hopping!! 

I've been also thinking that since I don't have enough on my plate with knitting Christmas gifts, and The Husbando's birthday, and etc, I might try participating in Socktober and make my first pair of socks using Silver's Sock Class. I have some yarn already balled and ready to go for it. I just have to commit. Oh jeez.

I'm really hoping with the help of the Herald Shawl and the start of October I'm coming out of the depressive episode I was in. The fog is starting to clear and my energy is coming back. I am blessed and I am thankful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pokémon and the Herald Shawl, of course.

I told you, the brain fog of depressive episodes has a death grip on my want to write blog posts. On my want to knit any real projects really. I've just been knitting real slowly. Really, really slowly. Mostly I've been making a lot of headway on the Herald Shawl. It's turning out really lovely and it's going to mean so much to me and it's turning out that I love shawl knitting so much.

I finished rereading the entire Harry Potter series, ending with the Cursed Child. I love that series so much. It means so much to me. 

I started reading The Ocean at The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman. I needed a little fantasy and magic in my life. 

And my sister and I have been playing a lot of Pokémon lately. We've been chaining for shiny Pokémon and today since The Husbando is off we are watching the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl anime. It's really been a lot of fun and super soothing. My alpha sapphire team is coming along nicely and I have a shiny poochyena named Butterscotch!! 

It may seem silly or childish but the Herald Shawl and Pokémon are what have been helping me through the brain fog this time. I'm really thankful for them. 

I'm sure soon it'll be time to come out of the dark woods in my brain. Hang in there folks, I'll be back to regular posting soon! X

Have a silly picture of my cutie pies for now:

P.S I'd also really like to thank the Fingerless Friends CAL group and my knitting friends, they are the best and they always make me laugh and smile everyday. You all are the best. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

It's Been a While: Darkness.

I know I haven't been too good at updating lately. Or being a friend. Or staying in touch.

I've been struggling with my mental health. I think I'm crashing into a depressive episode and I'm finding it hard to want to do anything, I'm finding it hard to find motivation. It's like there is a large swallowing hole inside me. It's not an excuse, just an explanation. I'm sorry.

I've been working here and there on some knitting projects. A bit on my mom's snow day slippers a bit on my  sister's mistake rib scarf, I cast on for The Husbando's birthday mitts. But none of these things light a fire inside of me. They're work. I force myself to do a little every morning. I know I'll love the end product and I'll love giving them to their owners, but I don't know.

It's a deep emptiness lately.

I've been filling it with two things. Reading and knitting the Herald Shawl.

I've been rereading Harry Potter and Darkness is My Only Companion a Christian Response to Mental Illness. I find both are very helpful in guiding me out of my own "darkness." The latter is extremely well written and a very good read for anyone who has bipolar disorder and is Christian. Or is mentally ill for that matter.

The Herald Shawl seems to be the only thing holding my interest in knitting lately. I knit my hopes, my thoughts, my sadness into it. I knit my dust ration out onto it. I knit and think through everything.

I knit it and think through my resentment about how I've been told I can't have babies because of my bipolar disorder and ocd. I knit it and cry. I knit it and feel better. I knit it and smile and laugh and play video games with my sister and The Husbando and feel like the sun will shine tomorrow. I knit it when I curl up on the kitchen floor overwhelmed with intrusive thoughts and am convinced the sun won't shine tomorrow. Either way, every day at least one repetition of the 8 rows gets knit. And it's helping me, A LOT. 

And it'll pass. The darkness. It always does. I probably messed up taking my medication once or twice this week, and need to be more careful about that. But I know it'll pass. I'm stronger than the darkness. My God is a brighter light than the darkness. 

Until then, bare with my fewer updates. I'll try to be better at it. Xo. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Herald Shawl and Monday

It's Monday! I'm so tired. My head hurts. But today is The Husbando's first day at his new job, woo!! Send him prayers and good vibes for a good first week!!

I worked on the Mistake Rib Scarf for my sister for Christmas this morning, before making her lunch and before chasing one of our chickens as they got loose. Never a dull day on the homestead!

The Bulky Wool of the Andes is a dream to knit with, it's so soft and lovely. It'll make a great scarf for my sister. 

Yesterday I also started the Herald Shawl, which is my first Not-A-Rectangle shawl ever. I'm using a Caron Cake in Blueberry Cheesecake. 

This pattern is so easy and so lovely and I am loving the yarn. It's soft, a dream to work with, and doesn't split. And this shawl is representing a lot of emotions for me. I'm working through a lot of mixed feelings while knitting it.

It's like, I'm finally fully an adult. We're getting a bank account with our names. We're married. We're getting life insurance. We think about those things. We do bills. 

We're happy spending our nights cuddled in bed talking and watching food network and cheesey TV. 

This is so different then the life I was living a year or two ago. So different than when The Husbando worked at a bar. Then when we lived in a city. 

Everything is different. And I love it. But this is a new life, a new chapter, and I barely recognize this new life. 

It's just been hitting me lately with my birthday coming up, with the one year of living here mark coming up.

And I started this week's Dishcloth Weekly Knit a Long Mystery Cloth.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Finished Projects, Family Outings, and Seven or More WIPs.

Since I've decided to take a break from knitting the second mitt, I'm going to show you my finished Honey Cowl and the one matching mitt!!

I'm really proud of the cowl, the mitt is a bit tight on the top but I like it too! 

I also finished the Waffle Dishcloth as one of my mom's set for Christmas. 

I added 3 rows of garter to the top and bottom and three knit stitches to the side to make a garter border! It turned out pretty, I don't see the waffle. Dunno why. Really gotta figure that out. 

Life has been SO SO BUSY lately. It's hard to keep up with everything. I feel like I'm juggling fine china and just about to drop it all! It's a wee bit stressful. 

My parents surprised us all and took us too an apple orchard and Starbucks this weekend though! It was a LOT of fun! I love hanging out with my family and doing fall themed things! 

We got Honey Crisp apples, cheese that has tomato and basil in it, candy sticks, honey sticks for tea, and apple cider slushies. At Starbucks I got a pumpkin spice Frappuccino and cake pop! 

And when I got home I had a package from Tory from ThePaupersCloset/ShireFolkYarn!! 

So many goodies!!! Coffee syrup (the Rhode Island thing haha!), handmade soap, a Caron Cake, the section of her traveling scarf, and A BEAUTIFULLY DYED JUST FOR ME YARN!!!!! 

It's so soft and lovely and is named Experiment 626 Has Escaped! It's based of Stitch from Lilo and Stitch in his Prison suit with his alien blaster. 

It's SO GORGEOUS. I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. SO MUCH. TORY IS AMAZING AND HAS A GIFT. A TRUE ARTIST. I am blessed to have her as a pen pal and friend. 

I also have a WIP problem right now haha.

I current Works In Progress. 


I have the Snow Day Slippers for my mom for Christmas, which has one slipper done and the cuff of the second one. 

The Fingerless Friends CAL mitts that match my honey cowl, which has one done but has 0 done on the second one. I'm still on the fence about the second one which is why I'm taking a break. 

Nell's Sea Silk Scarf which I love but I need to sit down and focus on to knit so it ends up on the back burner a lot.

Dishcloths for my mom (assorted) one at a time.

The section of the traveling scarf for Tory (I have such a good idea for this, but I can't start it until October 1st I think!) 

My sister's Mistake Rib Scarf for Christmas, which I started on the drive to the orchard. 

And of course, because I can't resist casting things on. I need to start a new project right away with the Caron Cake. I'm starting a shawl with it, Herald! 

And this morning I learned how to cook scrambled eggs! So I made the husband a big breakfast since he starts his first day of his new job tomorrow! 

Hash browns with honey crisp apples onions and bell peppers, toast, scrambled eggs with cheese that has tomato and basil in it! 

Phew. I think that's all I had to update. Today I'm just taking it easy and playing video games.