Teatime and crafting overload

First off, I had a MASSIVE realization this week.  For me, it’s potentially epic.

Fifteen years ago I was in an exchange program to Austria.  When I was there I stayed for a little while with a really awesome family.  Actually, I stayed with three pretty awesome families but, in this case, I’m talking about the one in the middle of my exchange.  They took me to a family party; I can’t remember the reason for the party, there may not have been one.  What I do remember though was the amazingly super sweet grandmother.  The party was at her house and I sat beside of her during lunch.  We chatted as best we could with my very limited German and her limited English.  After food, she asked if I’d like some tea.

I. LOVE. TEA.  I used to steal sips of my Granny Boo’s tea when I was a toddler.  I’m also ridiculously picky about it for somebody that loves it so much; I only really like black tea, don’t really like added flavors at all, and I drink it straight.  If I’m feeling sick, I’ll throw in a spoon of honey but that’s really the only exception.  Of course I took her up on the offer for tea!  I was stoked to have a hot cuppa in the middle of the day.

While she was inside brewing it, her son told me I was brave because nobody else dared to drink tea with her.  This is a guy that took me to a pub so I could win him some free beers by hammering nails into a log with the sharp end of a hatchet…and he wouldn’t drink tea with his mother.  She seemed very excited when I accepted the offer because she got to brew an entire pot instead of just enough for her.

She brought out a pot of tea so black that my first thought was maybe she mixed up the words for tea and coffee…but tea is tee so surely neither of us bumbled that one up.  It was so strong and so bitter and absolutely amazing.  We finished off the pot in no time.  She was elated to have a tea drinking buddy and I’ve been on the search for that tea ever since.  I’ve bought the strongest teas my local shop offers.  I’ve asked for the strongest teas at the amazing tea and crepes place over in Massachusetts; I even drink their samovar teas without dilution.  Nothing is quite the same.

Which is where my realization came in this week.  She of course spoke English with an accent and I had always thought she’d said it was a type of Russian tea.  She didn’t know a brand, just a type.  Now, I think I misunderstood her years ago.  I think what she actually said was it was a Frisian tea….which, honestly, makes a lot more sense considering the locale and could’ve easily been muddled by accent and my own ignorance.  I’ve done a bit of research and think I’ve hit the spot — she did, after all, have rock sugar for it and it’s the only tea I’ve ever drank that was strong enough for me to at least try adding some sweetness on the second cup.

So long story short, I’ve placed an order for some East Frisian tea and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  If it’s still not the same, I’ll continue my search and will still enjoy the black tea!

…and in other news, crafting insanity is full swing here.

I think I’m up to my eyeballs.  Not complaining!  I’m super excited!  I had such a crafting doldrums last year this it’s nice to feel excited about stuff again.

I altered the pajamas pattern and have been churning out pairs.  They’re not hilarious fleece skinny jeans any longer and are quite comfy.  Hubs wants additional pairs and has also asked that I make him a fleece shirt to match at least one pair.  I ordered some fleece from Joann’s holiday clearance when it was 1.50 a yard so at least they’re affordable jammies!  I’m sure it’ll be a circus when it arrives and I start bashing my head against the wall to figure out a shirt.  I still have to hem and elastic the new “original” pair for me, then I can consider that UFO finished. 🙂

…and the big dog has now taken over the pajama flop from the first attempt.  He’s uncrossed the legs and lies between them with his head on the “lap”, just like he does when one of us gets on the floor with him.  It’s kind of funny to watch the dogs wrangle the legs around.

I’ve had the amigurumi itch for a little bit so bit and bought one pattern and am also eyeing a free one.

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The above is the pattern I bought from lalylala on etsy (and also her photo, but I’ll have my own soon enough!).  I mean, seriously, it made me want to stab my eyeballs out it was so cute.  I have the stuff to make it as well, I’m just trying to behave and put it off until I finish another UFO.

The free one I want to make is from Amigurumi Today….and is also a cow. Here’s their photo:

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I’m a big fan of not the most typical stuff, though I’ve seen some of them grow in popularity lately which is AWESOME!  I love gnomes, alpacas and llamas, rhinos and unicorns and narwhals, fauns/satyrs, and cows and cats.  I had a llama shirt when I was about 5, so these aren’t new developments.  I’m sure there are some other weird things I’m mildly in love to full on obsessed with (sometimes bumble bees make an appearance).

So getting back to other things, I’m still working on the monarch mittens.  I didn’t forget you, UFO list!  They’re slow going since I’m at four colors and full on intarsia in the round.  I still think they’re fun, albeit fiddly when I have to untangle everything.  They’ll get done eventually….hopefully sooner than later!

I’ve also got the stuff cut and ready to start making the rugs (#11 on my list).  I think I might clear off my ironing board, currently a “wtf do I do with this” pile, and see if I can churn one of them out tomorrow.  I have two to make.

…and I’m horribly naughty and joined a Row Along from Fandom in Stitches.  It was only a matter of time and I knew I was going to hop on this ship as soon as it was announced last year.  It’s Star Trek.  Seriously, how could I not?!  The designers posted a sneak peak of the photo today on their designer page (I’m only there because many moons ago I made a Captain Hammer block for the site) and oh lawdy, I’m excited.  Hubs saw it the mock-up and has already claimed it as his.  He said I already have my Spock quilt, so it’s only fair he gets a Trek one too.

I also practiced working with vinyl a bit.

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It’s now hanging above my kitchen sink.  I can’t resist being snarky and crass at times. 😀

…and don’t worry, it’s not cast iron!  Somebody gave it to me as a Christmas gift years ago with a little brownie mix.  I have an induction stove and this little pan isn’t magnetic enough to work on it, so definitely not real cast iron.  I didn’t know what to do with it until this week.

When I craft, I have massive attention span problems.  I’ll get all of this done eventually!  So long as I stick to having at least one UFO on the needles/hooks/etc. I’m still good with my goal from the beginning of the year.

 

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Cursing up a storm

I don’t think I’ve ever cursed and spat more than when I was trying to block my lace shawl.  I LOVED every second of knitting it and HATED every second blocking it.

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I don’t have enough blocking boards for it, so I had to double it up and start over when I realized.  For really large projects I often block them on our fold out couch…but this thing was too big for that too…plus my husband decided to drag his rowing machine into that room so it’s taking up the entire floor.  Thanks, New Years resolutions!

Either way, it’s done and drying and far from perfect…but done!  I kind of let it decide what shape it was taking, which was new for me…not sure I’ll do that again.

Also: a photo of the horrible crocheted scarf from my UFO finishing list.

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It’s also about a mile long and I hated the yarn…but the person requested it, so it’s on them to look at it forever, not me. 😀

I’m about to start casting on the mate to the monarch butterfly mittens.  They’re on my UFO list too and I’d like to get it done by February.  It’s been so long since I made the first that it may not work in my favor but I’m trying! 🙂

 

Food and crafts

For Christmas, my hubs gave me a cast iron pan that I’ve been asking for every year since we’ve lived together. FINALLY!!!  I think I’ve used it every day since I opened it.  🙂

The pan is for æbleskiver but we’ve had a lot of round food the past week.  My hubs even made a comment about all of his food being ball-shaped today.  Sorry, not sorry.

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He’s honestly been pretty excited about the food since he posted the above æbleskiver on his Facebook page yesterday.  It’s probably the most traditional thing I’ve flipped out of the pan (I’ve even been making round eggs in it this week) — buttermilk dough with apple slices inside, topped with some apple butter I made in the fall and a simple cinnamon whipped cream.  He was eating them as soon as they came out of the pan and just smearing them through everything….and has already asked for them again.  That was the only pretty-ish one since I presented it to him as a taster to make sure the batter was well balanced.

Hubs likes to be a jerk and post food photos often.  I think he does it because it generates comments at his work.  I made a beef wellington for Christmas and cleared the fridge a few days ago to make impromptu tuna cups…I don’t think any of the food is particularly pretty but I guess everybody has to eat so can relate somewhat?  He didn’t bother slowing down on his steak tonight (made his favorite coffee, cocoa, and cayenne rub) to take a photo.

Crafting wise:

“I’d like to work as much as possible out of my stash this year”  — says the person that has made a crafting purchase every. single. day. of. 2019. thus. far.

Tuesday I ordered precut batting so I can knock #11 off the list.  I have lots of batting at home but let’s be honest…the whole reason I haven’t done that one already is because I didn’t want to have to wrestle with the roll of batting to cut that many strips of it.  It’s huge and unweidly and my rotary cutter would need a new blade after that and it’d take a month to get all the fuzzies out of my self-healing mat.  If I need something to finish these projects, I’m all in.  Luckily, it was on clearance so I don’t feel bad about saving myself the headache.

Yesterday was a crochet pattern. I think I audibly squealed when I saw it.  It’s the Flying Saucer by lalylala.  I absolutely cannot WAIT to make this one!!!  It’ll be the first amigurumi I’ve made that I’m keeping.  I’m super excited.  It’s my kind of nerdy kitsch.

Today I caved and ordered some cork fabric.  I’ve been wanting some for quite a few years but haven’t been able to justify it for anything.  I’m going to use it to make a notebook cover because I’ve found that I never, ever want to use my cute notebooks!  This way, I can get plain composition books and cover it with something pretty and sparkly and actually use them.  I hope there will be enough left overs to use as wallet detail or something.  If not, I’m just happy to finally get my grubby paws on cork.  I love the way it feels!

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Doesn’t that cork look absolutely scrummy?!?!  It’s from the seller’s photos but it’s miiine now!  It won’t be here for a while so it’ll be nice having something fun to look forward to.

At least I’m keeping up with my UFO checklist, which was my main goal!  I’ve never been good at goals.  😀

I finished #7 today.  I’m also bad at following numerical order.  It’s drying on the my blocking boards now!

The pattern was Spider Lattice Scarf, free on Ravelry.  I’ll try to remember to snap a photo tomorrow, since it’s my first finish of 2019!

It’s easy and straightforward to make.  I had it memorized by the second repeat.  I do think there’s an error in the pattern at the end — it says to stop on row 8 but the final row doesn’t match in if that’s the case.  I ended up having to go back and add row 9 again for it to work.

When I pull the scarf off, I’ll finally block my Sheherazade scarf.  I’ve been putting it off because I like to procrastinate good things and enjoy them as much as possible.  I loved the pattern the whole way through but it was a sweet, sweet feeling making that last bindoff stitch!

 

Year of the UFOs…maybe

I think this year is going to be another year of focusing on UFOs or PhDs or WIPs — whatever your preferred terminology is. It has been my off and on goal to finish so many before starting new projects and I’m fairly good at doing that now.  So!

I wrote down 13 projects that I want to finish in the upcoming year.

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Some of them I’m excited to be working on, others I’ve put off for years for various reasons (looking at you evil #6!!!).  I’m not going to restrict myself on new projects, so long as I keep working on the old ones.  I would, however, like to see how much I can work out of my stash this year.   …which may prove impossible since I’m the MOH in an April wedding and things are getting a bit nuts and I just got the stuff to learn to play with vinyl so I can save myself a bunch of money through sweat equity.  We’ll see how that goes!

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I had to ask for a photo of the Tunisian crochet blanket I finished last month.  In my delight to have it done, I shipped it out without taking a single photo of it past the panel strips stage.  I put a super soft, plush fleece on the back to make it extra snuggly and warm.

…and to start the new year off with a question/survey thing!

***ASK your Husband these questions and write EXACTLY what they!***

•What is something I say a lot?

“Rub feets?” or “You should be doing your chores.”  Is it sad that I’ve driven you to say that so much?

•What makes me sad?

When I don’t follow through with what I say I’m going to do.

•What’s my favorite thing to do?

Play with kittens.

•How tall am I?

You used to be 5’10” but now I’m wonder if you’re not 6′ because often times it feels like you’re the same height or taller than me…unless I’m varying like crazy.

•What’s my best feature?

Probably your incredible wisdom for someone  your age.

•What do I do when you’re not around?

Only when I’m not around?  I think you’re mostly doing crafting when I’m not around but you also do that when I’m around.  Talking to people on the interwebs?

•What’s my favorite TV show?

Man, that’s hard.  Peaky Blinders?  I don’t know if that’s your favorite though.  Maybe it’s Fraggle Rock.  I can’t imagine you liking Fraggle Rock as much as Peaky Blinders these days.  Is it’s Sherlock?  I think it’s Sherlock.

•If I became famous what would it be for?

I think right now it’d be for crafting I would say.  That’s the number one thing you do that has public outreach.

•Where can I most likely be found?

At home.

• What is my favorite restaurant?

It’s definitely a Brazilian steakhouse.  It used to be Fogo de Chão.

•Where is one place I don’t like to be?

In the presence of my dad.  Maybe I should change that.  Is this publicly accessible?

•If I could go anywhere where would it be?

You’d probably like to go see Antarctica.

•How do you annoy me?

-laughs- By having difficulty listening.  I think that works for a lot of them.

•Who’s my favorite person?

Probably Grandmother.

•What’s my favorite kind of pop?

Coca-Cola.

•What is my favorite kind of food?

Churrasco.

•You get a call that I am in trouble, who am I with?

I’ve only ever gotten a call one time that you were in trouble and you were with the animals. (I was moving the last of our stuff to a new house and the wheel literally fell off of my car en route.  I wrecked into the guardrail with all of the critters in tow and had to call him at his brand new job to come pick us up.  He clarified after a few minutes of thought that most of our friends were goody two-shoes and if I went to jail it’d be for a murder-spree that likely included him so I couldn’t call him for help.)

Crafty questions

I can’t resist a good set of questions!  I yoinked this from NothingButKnit‘s blog.

  1. Do you have a favorite crafting tool?
  2. Which do you prefer when you craft: listening to a podcast or music, watching something on tv or silence?
  3. Do you have a favorite designer that you’d like to recommend?
  4. Most people have a favorite color, do you find you use it more than other colors? Is there a color you avoid? Why?
  5. Have you experienced a crafting injury? If yes, what.

 

  1.  That’s an impossible question! I can’t possibly pick a single item.  I’ll explain why at the end of the questions.  🙂
  2. I tend to turn on Netflix when I’m crafting.  It’s usually not a show I’m actually interested in or else I’d end up staring at the screen more than working on whatever it is I should be.  I really like docu-series types of things for when I’m crafting away.
  3. Hrm.  That’s a tough one.  I love how Jinny Beyer uses color and tend to read her books cover-to-cover.  I also think most of Judy Niemeyer‘s designs are stunning.  Both are quilters.  As far as other crafts, I find it hard to resist Tania Richter‘s — her patterns are both whimsical and straight-forward, plus I LOVE her knit-alongs that involve role-playing.  It adds an entirely new and random aspect to everything.  I’ve also probably made more stuffed animals by CholyKnight than is reasonable for any adult.
  4. My favorite color is green — deep emerald green.  I actually don’t use it much at all.  Green is such a fiddly and difficult color to match (it tends to read with blue or yellow tints).  I actually tend to use black the most in all of my projects.  I also like navy and grays.  I avoid pink like the plague it is.
  5. A few.  😛  Besides super gluing my fingers together more than I care to admit, I’ve burnt myself with an iron THREE times; twice on my hand and once on my inner forearm.  The two on my hands blistered, the one on my arm left a 3″ scar.  I’m really lucky to have long, sturdy fingernails because I’ve sewn through them or cut them with a rotary cutter far too many times for my comfort.  Without them, I would have whittled my fingers down to nubbins.  I also flayed the skin and deeper tissues off of a finger last year when I was harvesting gears for a steampunk costume.  Don’t trust me with anything hot or sharp.

 

Okay, so back to why picking a favorite crafting tool is impossible.

I’m stupidly sentimental and I collect sewing machines.  That’s the TL;DR version.

I’m rehabbing some of them still (it’s slow because I don’t want to damage them at all) but most of them are already ready to go and ready to sew…and are used regularly.  It’s a horrible habit but I love it, so there’s no stopping it.  I currently have 15.

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Some of them are rescues, some are not.  The 237 and the White 1514 belonged to my sweet neighbor that lived across the road.  The 401A I’ll talk about below.  The 9110 belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  The little red Penney’s machine was my mom’s when she was a child.   …that big ole star?  He’s holding the place for the machine I’m picking up next month!  One of my aunts offered to give me either my grandmother’s or my great-grandmother’s treadle.  My choice.  I’m over the moon happy.

The coffin top fiddle base at the top is from 1889.  The Sphinx from 1900.  The W&W dates 1865 — it takes curved needles and still has its original glass presser foot.  The Two Spool is an amazing machine that doesn’t use a bobbin but has a canister that holds a wooden spool of thread.  It was THE machine I wanted and I converted a chain-lift cabinet to fit it.  I love my machines.

…but not as much as my room as a whole.

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Bigger photo here

Above is a 360 degree view of my sewing room.  Behind the door is where I keep my pile of yarn, since it didn’t make an appearance.  I can’t pick a favorite tool because I’m pretty sure if my house were to ever catch fire, I’d be running to that room and throwing everything out the window to save it…or at least try my damnedest.  A huge portion of it is sentimental.  This room is my safe space — I always feel comfortable and content when I’m in it.  I never feel far from the people I miss there.

It’s also the “girl’s room” in the house; my sidekick cat has literally learned to open the door and make herself at home.  If we have people at the house and she’s scared, you can bet she’s in that room hiding.  She particularly likes to be under my embroidery frame, behind the hand-crank machine, or moonlighting as a stuffed animal on top of the wardrobe.

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My husband’s female cat also loves to go in there and lounge on the table.  My little dog has a nest of fabric that she naps in when I’m in there or she’ll sit in the second chair.  The male cat and our big dog, neither one really cares to hang out there, so we’ve just established a no boys allowed thing…it’s especially handy when I have intrusive guests that want to fill the room with their extra baggage and nonsense — my husband can quickly forbid it as a sacred place for my sanity.

…and my husband likes to challenge people to guess how many sewing machines are hidden away in that little bitty room.  The current answer is six, plus a serger/coverstitcher.

So, going around the photo:

The Singer 401A?  Given to me when I first moved away from home.  It was a gift from the couple that taught me to quilt; I used to spend hours at their house sewing and laughing and learning…and on a few occasions, partying our asses off.  The lady died of a stroke a few years ago.

The now raggedy table under my cutting mat?  Built by my great-great-grandfather.

Not in the above photo, but above the table there is a shelf that I made a few years back.  It’s to hold a quilt but it’s the things on top are what is important.  I have a German Barbie that a friend of the family gave me when I was little.  The Barbie is now wearing my dad’s name badge from his workplace.  Also on that shelf are two of the last things my sister ever gave me.  When she was in high school she made the kitschy dragon for me in home ec because they were working on ceramics for who knows what reason.  The glued puzzle is one of the first things her ag teacher ever let them do — basic cutting and staining of boards…most kids decoupaged something on theirs, she glued on a glow-in-the-dark puzzle.  She ended up making some really beautiful things but I got her first janky item and loved it then and now.  (Ignore the fact that I obviously loved dragons…)

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The basket of hooks and needles?  The vast majority of the contents in that basket belonged to my great-granny or my husband’s grandmother.  Both crocheted and knitted.  The only tools I’ve ever had to buy for yarn crafts are my ChiaoGoo needles simply because neither had circulars.  I use my husband’s grandmother’s scissors in my yarn kit.  I’m knitting a scarf right now with my great-granny’s needles.

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Granny and I — she was born in 1899

The wardrobe?  I keep batting, polyfill, costumes, and patterns in there but it has been in my family and passed around so often that nobody can remember where it originally came from (the same goes from the Hoosier cabinet I have in my dining room).  The top of the wardrobe is the home of my childhood.  I keep all of my old stuffed animals there and my husband has added a few of his over the years as well.  One of the dolls was crocheted by Granny.

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You can’t really see it in the photo because the ironing board is blocking it, but there’s a small nightstand that I grew up with behind it.  In the drawer I keep most of my old family photos and my family tree information.  Nobody else wanted it when my great-granny died, so I ended up with all of it and cherish it.  On top of the nightstand rests the Penney’s sewing machine that belonged to my mom.

…and it’s also hard to see but in the closet there rests a box.  It holds all of my instruction manuals and things like that now, but the box itself is precious to me.  I love my family heirlooms but this one will be -my- heirloom if I ever have somebody to pass it onto. My best friend made it for me when we were 17 for my high school graduation.  He packed it to the brim with mints and playing cards — he always carried them for me at school and said I shouldn’t go without just because I was going off to college a year ahead of time.

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So, it really is impossible for me to pick a favorite crafting tool when so many of them aren’t just tools but memories.

Sideways photos because…who knows

Anybody else ever manage to lose a crochet hook under your recliner?

Mine fell off the table yesterday and no amount of searching and flashlights has revealed it…and that room doesn’t have many places it could’ve rolled or hidden.  *grumbles*

As promised a few days ago: photos!

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I need to weave in the tails but they’re done otherwise.  One is sized for a preemie and the other is a bit over-sized and super stretchy for babies in the NICU that may have bigger noggins.  My sister was born with all of her sutures closed and wore a helmet after a surgery to open them, I don’t know if there will be any babies with similar issues, but maybe a few different sizes will be needed.  I’ll do any more to fit a more typical/expected head size.

Next is the beaded scarf I’m working on.  It’s still boring as all get out now that I’m past beading this size but it’ll get done while watching movies eventually.

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…and then the shawl.  I finished the third set of body repeats today.  Leave it up to me, if I forget to put a lifeline in every two rows, I end up having to rip back.  I’m nothing if not consistent.

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At this point I have the pattern memorized so it’s not taking much of my attention, other than making sure I just pick up one of those tiny laceweight loops instead of two.  I’m still really enjoying it and am determined to learn how to pick up a dropped lace stitch — the life lines are getting annoying…but better safe than sorry.

This weekend was pretty productive.  I slept a lot and picked up some concert tickets.  I consider that a proper weekend!  Only 31 bands left to see this year.  I may go to a lot of concerts.  😀  18 weeks (ish, I may be wrong) are left in the year, so that’s a pretty good average!

Finally, I went to my favorite place this weekend — Asian Supermarket.  I like going when it’s nice and empty (which is hard) because they have soooo much more variety in fresh goods and I like to take my time and sift through the aisles of it.  I always limit myself to a hand basket of stuff, otherwise I could probably buy the whole store (other than the live turtles to eat…and the fishballs, didn’t like those).

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I’m starting to get a bit brand loyal.  I’ve found I like the Vietnamese “Three Ladies Brand” rice paper for fresh wraps — they hold up so much better than others I’ve tried.  I’ve also become a huge fan of anything Lee Kum Kee from Hong Kong.  I could eat that sweet soy sauce on everything!  I mostly got essentials to restock our dwindling pantry and a few really beautiful produce items needed this week.  Logan wanted some pork buns (I’m partial to red bean buns myself) made at the store — they’re much better than anything pre-prepared.  He also wanted to try fresh dates since dried ones are some of his favorite treats; he likes the fresh just as much.  Other than that, I don’t think anything too unusual came home with us, though the long beans don’t fit in our crisper, so hang out like creepy fingers off of a shelf.  They’ll be devoured tomorrow with a meatloaf (or should I do a ramen since I have fresh noodles now?!)

Decisions, decisions!

Bit all over the place

I think I’m going to be calling my newest art installation: Invisible Cat

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Our cat’s collar somehow got wrapped around one of the metal supports on their feeding dishes.  She went on a panicked rampage through the house, dragging the stand and destroying everything.  My room was hit the hardest; it’s her safe space.  She also picked the most stereotypical cat thing in the room to open and dump everywhere.  I’m almost proud of her.

Some of our friends just had a new addition arrive at their house in the form of a giant, bouncing baby boy.  Giant because he was almost 11 pounds!  I made them a lot of stuff for their little girl a few years ago, as we’d find out what they needed, but now they live forever away so I just made a small robot lovey (his dad is an EE that works with automation) for the little guy.  Hopefully it’ll get some use; I loved visiting them and bringing the girl a homemade toy every time and watching her play with it.  It’s nice to know somebody appreciates your work!  😛

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Sometimes, there’s a lot of satisfaction in proving somebody wrong…especially when that person is generally hateful towards you and never has anything nice to say.  Maybe I’ve just grown tired of being told to listen to “authority” or to “know my place”.  I’m not being mean or malicious about it but I just want everybody to know that he was wrong.

I can grow a tropical hibiscus in a zone 5.  Not only that, but I have two and they’re both flourishing.  They’re actually doing better than a lot of my cold climate plants this year — the rains and heat has been a bit unusual.

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I’ll move them inside this winter before it freezes and hope to keep them happy as larks for years to come.

Speaking of garden, we’ve been having mysterious holes appearing all over our yard this summer.  I’ve been keeping an eye out for chipmunks and voles but haven’t seen any of our usual suspects.  Plus, the holes weren’t right.  I still wouldn’t have been able to solve the mystery but I caught the culprit on film a few days ago.

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This Northern Flicker (yellow shafted — you can see a bit of it peeking through the wings) was happily pecking at our yard for almost two hours…s/he left a nice, perfectly shaped hole in that spot.  As I said, we’ve had a lot of rain and some ant nests have popped up in weird places.  I’m really glad we don’t typically spray pests around the house.  I’d hate to hurt our residents.  The flickers had another nest this spring in our owl box — it was great fun to sit out there in the evening and listen to the babies chirp.  🙂

Fishy slippers

After finishing one mitten, I decided to take a break from juggling four yarns and crochet something.

I’ve been needing whimsy in my life, so decided to make a pair of Goldfish Boots for myself since my last pair of slippers died in the wash.  I grabbed the pattern, as well as the matching yarn, when there was a pretty good sale.  This is the first time I’ve ever bought the suggested yarn for a pattern.  I liked the variegation in it…but I don’t like that both skeins didn’t start on the same color.  Each slipper looks like it’s going to use almost the entire skein.  I’ll know more once I finish the first one but I’m not holding my breath that I’m going to be able to clip the next ball yarn to the same starting color.  I guess mismatched shoes won’t kill me but it still irks me a bit.

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I forgot to turn the photo but it’s coming along nicely.  I started last night after dinner and, with every craft, I work at a snail’s pace.  I have the cuff, fins, and eyes left.  It shouldn’t take too long to finish this one up then onto its friend!

Last night I finally had time to join in an IRC #quiltchat.  There aren’t many of us active lately (illness, no time, etc…) but if you ever want to chat about quilting and other things, you can find us there a little after 10 p.m. EST.  I crocheted the slipper while chatting, so we’re really not a fast gaggle.  😛

Amigurumi

We’ll not talk about the fact that I sewed his head on backwards this morning.

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My fix was to add more chain to the belt and have it wrap around and retie in the front.  Thankfully the arms were centered really well so it didn’t make much of a difference from that regard.

I also spent more time sewing on this little guy’s eyebrows than I have ever spent grooming my own.  That’s definitely a reflection of how much I don’t care about my eyebrows versus how (not) hard it was to attach his brows.

Pattern is Mind Flayer by CraftyTibbles on Etsy.  It went together super quickly and easily.  I would suggest having made a few more complicated crocheted things before, though, as some of her instructions are a bit scattered around (some are under pictures instead of typed out) and they start to peter off towards the end.  I didn’t have any issues at all with it, though….you know, other than not paying attention and having him check out his own ass this morning.

I am weak

So very, very weak.

While waiting for the gnome to return my missing yarn, I’ve started my very first sock!

I’m both terrified and excited.  Mostly excited.

So far it’s going great, though there isn’t much to show yet as I’m still just working on the cuff.

I ignored my friend’s advice to make a plain sock first and went straight for a pair I liked — the socks are for Logan.  If I don’t like something, I won’t be able to knit it.

I’m making Gimli socks by Claire Ellen.  So far, so good!  The only thing I’m actually worried about will be the heel but I have plenty of people to bug if I have issues when the time comes.  🙂

I’ve never worked with DPNs this small before so hopefully I won’t break them.  They’re cute and beautiful…and very wooden when I’m used to using little steel stabbities.  I’m using the “Majestic” ones I snagged off of KnitPicks last year when they went on an awesome sale.  I’d been coveting them for ages and couldn’t resist.

Speaking of KnitPicks, my yarn impulse arrived yesterday.  My only regret now is that I didn’t buy more since it’s going out of stock.  It’s all so squishy and yummy, even the warm colors I wouldn’t normally ever buy or pick out.  They’ll make awesome gifts!

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…and to round out the “I’m weak and can’t control myself today” buys, I finally caved and bought two patterns I’ve had my eyes on for a while, plus a third because why not?

Actually, there was a reason but still!  Why not?!

I had to grab Yarn Quest 2018 since I finally finished the scarf for last year.  2018 is Steam Age and guess who I’m married to that loooooves steam punk?  Yup, he’s already rolled the first Chapter so I can start his scarf whenever I’m ready.  He’s that excited.

I also picked up the most adorable Mind Flayer amigurumi for Logan’s cubicle.  I’ve been wanting a fun little crochet project and this definitely fits the bill.

Lastly, the one that seems the most impulsive, is a new beanie pattern.  One of our friends asked if I’d mind knitting him a new hat.  There’s a story and reason behind it that I won’t get into here and I told him if I had the time, I’d see what I could do.  I saw the Smoke in the City pattern pop up on Ravelry and really liked the fit and how it would work for most any age or gender, so thought it would be a great one to add to my pattern stash.  It looks like it’ll be super quick to knit up and with a bit more style than just a plain, old, boring hat.

I can’t wait to dig into everything!