Busy, Busy

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It seems like forever since I last put out a blog post. In the blogosphere, it really has been forever. But I haven’t been idle, in fact this past month has been one of the most productive months in years. Firstly, I started a new job, of which I couldn’t be happier. But in the world of non-work creativity, I knit my fist pair f socks, completed a full costume/robot construction project, and filled each day with creativity and learning.

I decided to finally start an Instagram account for The Jellyfish Bar, after years of back and forth debate: to gram or not to gram…

It’s been such a joy to see what other people, who share the same passions, can create. I’ve been inspired an encouraged to learn new things, to continue on in old, and to challenge myself in undiscovered areas.

I hope to continue blogging regularly, and gramming, but please don’t be too angry if I fail sometimes.

Correcting My Knitting Mistakes

Before I begin, I should tell you this story has a happy ending. My latest project is a pair of socks that I’m knitting for myself (I am my own guinea pig). I’m using size 2 double pointed needles with Patons Kroy brand sock yarn super fine 75% wool 25% nylon yarn in Blue Striped Ragg. So far they’re turning out just as I want them to.

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So there is the good news, here comes the bad news.

If you probably couldn’t tell, I was incredibly frustrated with my knitting project a few days ago. My yarn kept slipping, my hands wouldn’t relax and I was on the verge of giving up on knitting altogether…again. One of my life’s  mantras has always been “Go big, or go home.” I paint on big canvas, I drive too fast, I never have time where I’m not doing something. I took this idea into knitting and after semi-successfully completing my first and only knitting project, a scarf, I decided to jump head first into intermediate knitting and try socks.

I purchased size 4 bamboo double pointed needles and grabbed a leftover ball of worsted acrylic yarn and went to town. I worked and worked on this thing for a few hours, knitting and purling for a few rows, then messing up, ripping it out and starting over. It was a disaster.

I posted my last entry in the heat of the frustration. I angrily knotted up my needles in my yarn, took a photo, then threw the project in the drawer. After cooling off, I picked up my crochet hook and made 3 dolls in a matter of hours, deciding to take a break from knitting for a day or so. It felt so good to have my trusty crochet hook in my hand and the relief that if it slipped out of the yarn, I wouldn’t have to deal with a travesty. However, knitting was at the front of my mind. I wanted a handful of double pointed needles  and the hope of someday warming my feet in wool socks.

I went to the craft store and bought a size 2 circular needle and found a medium/fine yarn weight in my stash. But this was worse than the double pointed needles debacle . I realized it was because the cable was too stiff and wouldn’t pull smoothly through the yarn. That needle was immediately returned.

Finally, I grabbed a pack of metal size 2 double pointed needles, and found some adorable sock yarn, cast on, and things seem to be running smoothly. I think discovered my problem. I was using the wrong size needle-to-yarn combination. Either my yarn was too thick and my needles too small or my needles to big and my yarn too small. I’ve never paid attention to the yarn weight or needle gauge until now. I guess those little symbols and instructions on the back of the ball band are there for a reason. Who knew.

Sorry this post was a little long winded. but like I said, I like to “go big or go home.” Until the next knitting crisis.

Naughty Needles

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As I’ve said before, I’m VERY new to knitting. In fact, I’ve really only finished one scarf. After my proud completion, I decided to dive head first into sock knitting and knitting in the round. I quickly discovered I should have brought my water wings while treading in the deep end. Here’s a mildly short list of my mistakes:

-I don’t hold my needles properly
-I have uneven yarn tension
-I don’t pay attention to knit side vs purl side
-I watch random, project specific youtube videos with people who have varied knitting styles
-I use yarn that’s too big or too small for my needles

I could go on, but I’m making myself depressed. I know I’m not the only one who’s faced the sudden realization that one must craw before one can walk, or maybe, one must stockinette before one can cable braid. I truly hope I don’t go down the same path I walked years ago when I began to knit, couldn’t cast on and quit. 

Maybe I’ll make some coffee mug cozies. 

Today’s Project

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Today is Friday, and that means the end of my day-job work week and the beginning of my hobby weekend where I fill my days with indoor and outdoor creativity and adventures. Last night I finally decided to make the switch from my old acrylic yarns and move on to natural fiber yarns, but I could never bring myself to throw away whole skeins. I had considered doing this last winter and even began making up blankets and scarves to give to my local homeless shelter, but after finishing two full sized afghan blankets (in combination with a Southern California winter consisting of 75°-80°F weather) I had to move on to other craft projects. I decided I wanted to use up my leftover yarn stash before bringing in any new yarns and began making up random colored granny squares that I will put together for blankets. I have so many practice scarf designs that I made and never did anything with, 1) they’re not gift or etsy quality or 2) they feature random color combinations or plain stitch designs.

I joined Ravelry yesterday and am planning on attending a knitting/crochet meetup next month. I’m excited to get back into the routine of knitting or crocheting things or working on some other craft project as well as increasing my knitting/crocheting circle of friends throughout the weeks ahead.

It’s a New Year for Crafting

This blog has been a long time in the making. I wanted to begin by showing off some of the creations I designed last year. Please visit our Etsy shop if you’d like to purchase any of these items https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheJellyfishBarn. Go ahead and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheJellyfishBarn and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/jellyfishbarn

Please, please, please let us know if you have any suggestions for future projects. I’m always looking for new inspiration.

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