Knitting: Making Round Things!

Heads up to everyone reading that Needlecraft & a Movie is still a thing for teens in grades 6-12! We meet in the Vortex in Fountaindale Public Library at 5PM! Registration is not required, just your beautiful self and whatever needlecraft project you’re working on! Can be knitting, crochet, cross-stitch or anything else dealing with needlecrafts!

The next meeting is December 7th at 5PM.

Never knitted or crocheted before but you’d like to learn? Visit these posts!

The rest of today’s post will focus on knitting things in the round!

So you’ve mastered rectangular things (or maybe not and just want something new to learn. It’s all good here.)!


Of course you are!

There are two major ways to knit in the round:

Using a Circular Needle or Double Pointed Needles.

Tutorial from Knitpicks that teaches both methods!

**Important Note** Regardless of which method you prefer, knitting in the round is like making a giant spiral of woven yarn, so you will need a stitch marker to let yourself know when your row begins and ends (You can either buy these or make your own using jump rings slightly bigger than your needles.).

At a Glance Shopping List:

Here’s a quick list for people who just want to know what they need for knitting in the round.

Read further if you want actual brand and size recommendations.

  • One Circular Needle
  • One Set of Double Pointed Needles
  • Some stitch markers or jump rings

Circular Needles

Circular needles are especially great for beginners wanting to knit in the round because there are fewer needles for you to have to manage while trying to make the object of your desire! A circular needle is two needles that are connected to each other by a long tube of plastic as pictured below!

How-to Links

circular needle


Circular needles are my favorite thing to knit with for multiple reasons!

1: You never have to search around looking for that second needle because both ends are connected by a long skinny tube of plastic, it’s impossible to lose one of your needles! Yay!

2:  Not only can you use circular needles to make round things, you can also use them to make GINORMOUS rectangular things! (Like blankets!) Ever wondered how people knit blankets? It’s with a really long circular needle! I have an amazing one that’s 60 inches long that I love to use because it gives me plenty of room for my stitches without it bunching up so I can see my design I’m working on clearly!

gurren lagann blanket

This was made by me using a 47″ Addi Turbo Circular Needle!

Recommended Cheapo Brand:

Brand: Clover Bamboo Circular Needles
Size: 7 or 8
Length: Depends on what you’re making! Making a hat? 12-16.” Making a blanket? The bigger the better! This can range between 29” to 60” depending on the brand.

This brand can be found at most stores that sells knitting supplies.

These are pretty good! I’ve used them and the bamboo doesn’t hurt my hands. I’ve tried the cheapo metal needles you can get, but after a while the metal hurts my hands and I’m just not a fan of the feeling. If it’s all you can afford, they’re fine, but bamboo is definitely much easier to work with.

Recommended Not-so Cheapo Brand:

Addi Turbo Circular Needles.

These are the best things ever and I love them. I cannot explain how much I love them, but oh boy do I. All my good circular needles are this brand. They can be found on amazon in a huge variety of needle sizes and lengths! I have a 12”, 47” and two 60” circular needles in size 8. I also have a 45” in size 10. I love all of them. The only downside is that they are on the more expensive side, but if you’re serious about knitting and plan on keeping with it (and not just saying that you’ll keep with it but actually do!), I say go for it.

Double Pointed Needles

While I love using my circular needles, sometimes using double pointed can be better such as if you’re knitting very small things (like the start of a drawstring bag). A super small circular needle can be harder to manage than double pointed needles.


This was made using 7″ size 7 bamboo double pointed needles!

How-to Links

double pointed needles


Recommended Material:

Bamboo or Plastic.


Using plastic or bamboo needles gives something for your stitches to grasp slightly onto. Avoid metal at all costs, especially as a beginner. The metal is slippery (I haven’t tried higher-end brands so I can’t say this is true for all metals but the cheapo metal definitely) and it causes your stitches to fall off very easily if you don’t have many stitches on each needle. Spend the extra dollar or two and get bamboo! You will thank yourself!

My recommended brand can be found at most stores: Clover Bamboo
Size: 7 or 8
Length: 7in long



TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

So all that was pretty long, I know. So let me sum it up briefly for you guys who went all TL;DR on me.

  • Two types of needles: Circular or Double Pointed
  • Avoid metal needles until you’re used to what you’re doing
  • Don’t forget at least one stitch marker because knitting in the round is like making a giant spiral! You need to know where your row begins and ends!
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!

Hope to see you guys at Needlecraft & a Movie on December 7th at 5PM! Any knitting questions or advice? Feel free to comment below!


Winter is Near and It Brings More Than the Cold

Shortening days and increasingly chilly weather carry a whole new meaning for me since reading Nightfall by Jake Halpern.

On the island of Bliss, Night lasts for 14 years and necessitates the complete evacuation of the island. So, as the sun begins to disappear behind the horizon and the tide begins to recede, the islanders prepare their homes for their departure. One might expect them to clean things out, put belongings into storage, and lock everything up tightly. Instead, they remove locks from doors, set dishes out at the table, and perform all sorts of peculiar rituals that no one can really explain.  In their haste to reach the southern deserts, the islanders leave behind three teenagers: Miran; her twin brother, Kana; and their friend, Line. All three have grown up among the island’sbook nightfall deep forests and steep cliffs and know how to navigate and survive the environment, but that’s during the Day when the sun is always overhead and the air is warm. Now, it’s cold and dark, and Line has injured his arm. Kana, however, seems to be getting stronger as the Day dwindles. His previously weak eyesight is becoming keen, his muscles stronger. He’s even growing! As the three desperately try to find a way off the island, and as Kana yearns to discover what’s happening to him, they must also learn who or what is hiding in the Night.

It’s been awhile since a book actually gave me shivers. But Nightfall did. From early on, it was clear thatsomething was terribly wrong on this island. The clues were tantalizing and perfectly frustrating. I loved following all the twists and turns of the story. If you’re looking for a good cold-weather chiller, check out Nightfall.
– tc

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask: First Impressions

Majoras MaskPlatform: 3DS, Nintendo 64, Gamecube

Rating: T

Genre: Action Adventure

First Released:
N64: 2000
3DS: 2015

Part of a Series?
Yes and No. While you do not need to play any of the other Legend of Zelda games to have an understanding of Majora’s Mask, I highly recommend Ocarina of Time for the 3DS as well!

Brief Synopsis:
“Play as Link and race against time to collect masks and transform into other characters, all to prevent Skull Kid from destroying the world of Termina in three days’ time.”


This commentary will be a bit different than other posts I’ve written as I’ve not beaten it yet! As of writing this, I’ve only had time to play approximately 20 minutes!

After checking this game out twice, I’ve finally started playing it! I’m pretty excited because I love Zelda games and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Majora’s Mask.

So, first impressions!

Pretty fun! Art style is the same as Ocarina of Time, so those of you who’ve played it before, will feel right at home. The prologue is pretty simple, introduces you to basic plot of what’s happening in the game and to the controls (if you’ve never played before). I happily breezed right through it!

Only part of the prologue I’ll touch on is this:

The mask merchant really gives me the creeps. Like seriously, in the official artwork dude has a Mario mask. Did he kill Mario and steal his face? Or is he an awesome artist? OR BOTH????



Then you get to the first part of the game. More specifically: The First Three Days. So. Things are… timed in Majora’s Mask. Timed anything in games gives me anxiety, even if it’s so much time that even Oprah can’t give it all away, I still freak out. I close the 3DS. Panic time. TO THE INTERNET.

Okay. Apparently even though you get a 72 hour (72 hours in game, in real life, it’s about 2-3 hours) time span, it’s not so bad. I found some websites that explain the concept and calmed me down. MAYBE I CAN DO THIS GUYS. I dunno, I’m kinda scared. But I think I can do it, I’m willing to give it a shot because I love the Legend of Zelda games.

Well, here I go. Time to face my fear of games with time limits.

Want to join me in my journey? Check out a copy today!

The article I found with tips on managing your time can be found here. IGN also has a super helpful walkthrough if you’re like me and hate struggling to figure things out and just want to enjoy the game darnit.

It’s Time to Play!

It’s the most wonderful time of year again – International Games Day!


I  gaming – any type of gaming, but my favorite is that old standard, the board game. I grew up with Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Scrabble, Connect 4, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, and so on. Nowadays, I prefer games like Munchkin and Settlers of Catan, but I still have a soft spot for the classics.

A great game that encompasses various aspects of some of those classic games is Cranium. It’s kind of like Pictionary. But it’s also kind of Trivial Pursuit. And it’s a bit like Charades. And those word puzzles you find in the newspaper. Also, there’s playdough. You see, there are four categories and, as you move around the board, you draw hints, answer questions, solve puzzles, or perform clues within your team.

Something for Everyone!

That’s why I love this game; it allows each player to utilize their own talents. I love it so much, in fact, that I’m creating a LIFE-SIZE version of the game playable on International Games Day (Saturday, November 21) at 11:00 AM in Meeting Room A.  Register here! And, while you’re signing up for Life-Size Cranium, check out the other great games and tournaments we’re offering that day!

Things Ashe Likes: Studio Ghibli Movies

Studio Ghibli films are special because not only do they look spectacular, they also know how to kick you right in your feels every time. I don’t think there’s a single one I’ve seen that hasn’t made me tear up at some point during the film. I’d like to share with you guys a few of my favorites!

Kiki's delivery service 2Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki is an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her black cat, Jiji, Kiki flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service and begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world.

howl's moving castle 2

Howl’s Moving Castle

A young woman named Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste and is turned into an old woman who is unable to tell anyone of her plight. Unable to continue her job at her mother’s hat shop, she goes to the ambulatory castle of the notorious wizard Howl and insinuates herself into his household in hopes of finding a solution to the curse.

Can’t get enough of the film?The film was based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones of the same title!

spirited awaySpirited Away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

Seen all of those already? Well, there’s plenty more where these came from! Wikipedia has a full list of their films.

You’ve seen ALL of those too??? Wow, you are the ultimate Ghibli fan! But! Have you seen the documentary about Studio Ghibli called the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness?

You have????

HOW ABOUT THE GRAPHIC NOVELS? Bet you haven’t read those!

Enjoy all the Ghibliness! Get out there and experience some great stories whether through book or movie!

All. The. Feels.

All my characters are dying!! What is up with this? Why are all my characters physically or mentally ill? I’m not ableist or healthist or whatever. But, the feels! Oh god, the feels! Why do they all have to die???
I blame John Green.
It seems like The Fault in Our Stars started a trend and novels about sick and dying teenagers are popping up all over the place. It’s killing me. Ok, it’s not *killing* me, but it’s making me cry.
Every. Time. And, yet, I keep reading them. I don’t know why crying along with my favorite characters is so cathartic, but it really, really is. I guess this is what they call bibliotherapy.
If you, like me, gain a sense of relief and rebirth from reading about horrible things happening to other people, here are a few recent books about physically and/or mentally ill people.

You’ll probably want to have a box of tissues at the ready.

book everything everything book all the bright places  book extraordinary means book forgive me leonard peacock book kiss of broken glass

Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Everything, Everything by Nicola Young
Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick

book me and earl and the dying girlbook side effects may varybook somebody up there hates youbook the last leaves fallingbook when mr dog bites

Ringmail with Rebecca: Nov 10th at 6:30 P.M.

Attention all jewelry lovers and crafters!

Have you ever wanted to create awesome chainmaille jewelry but never knew where to start? How do you get the rings apart? How do you put them together? What supplies do you use?? So many questions!


Sign up to learn how to make this pattern!

On Tuesday, November 10th at 6:30 p.m. all your questions shall be answered!

Rebecca Rudaski from Wirefly Jewelry will be coming to the library to teach Bolingbrook Teens (6-12 grade) how to create simple chainmaille jewelry!

You can register here or at the Vortex service desk.

Sign up today!

Interested in seeing what else Rebecca knows how to do? Visit her Facebook!