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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Crap

I fixed hub’s pants today.  They’re still a bit slim fit but he says they’re comfy and appropriately stretchy.

I think I’ll widen the leg a bit when I cut out the pair for me.

I also sewed up the massively wrong pants I made for myself yesterday to start making the dog pillow…but it seems that I’ve misplaced 20 POUNDS of fiberfill.  Do you know how huge that is?!  I vacuum packed it last year at some point and haven’t the slightest where I thought would be a great place to store it.  Oops?

At least I made a bit of progress on the mitten.  25 rows on the cuff, 7 of the color work.  In two more rows I’ll start the black, then a few after that the orange.  I think it’s about 75 rows of the color pattern in total?  I can’t remember right off but at least there’s is progress!

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I’m working with DPNs right now but have some miniature circulars that I’m super tempted to switch to until it’s time to do the thumb.

-edit- DAMMIT!  When posting the picture I realized I totally forgot the thumb gusset!!! Grrrr!  I’ll have to tink back a three rows to get it established.  Glad I realized it now instead of later…

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Pulled the Sheharazade shawl off the boards today.  I’m so happy with it.  I don’t often keep things that I make for myself but this one is forever mine.

I’ve got part of the cuff done on the monarch mittens, so I’m glad I’m making progress on something else.

I’ve been horrible and kept up my weird spending spree.  We have new kitchen knives (ours were rusted and the handles falling off), some scalemail scales, and shoes to wear with my bridesmaid dress.

Hubs said it’s funny how I can drop 100 bucks on crafting supplies and not blink…but the thought of buying new knives makes me cringe.  There’s some truth to it.  I like to use things until they can’t be used anymore.  I guess these have finally outlived their usefulness.

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! 🙂

 

Bah humbug

Our Christmas travel plans were cancelled this year.

I’m kind of sad but I’m mostly okay with it.  I’ll miss seeing my Grandmother but it’ll be nice not having to do a mad-dash drive across the eastern seaboard for once.

Also, because I don’t have to worry about packing…I have time for crafting!

I finished my Sheherazade shawl.  FINALLY!!!

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That’s hot off the needles.  It took forever to do the elastic cast-off.  Forever.

I’ll wet and block it tomorrow.  I’m kind of excited!  There are a lot of little points to fiddle with on the edge, so it’ll either drive me nuts or be a ton of fun.

I also have a few other projects I’ve finished and some more things on the hook, needles, and sewing machine beds.  I’ll try to get my act together soon and take a few more photos to share.

Knitting and baking

The MKAL was released two days ago and I started it, finished chart one (she released four for the first round), then ripped it all out.

Why?  I got into a groove and started knitting the pattern for the other shawl I’m finishing up.   …I think that means I need to finish it before merrily starting the other again and having another epic brain fart.

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I have 24 rows across two charts left still because I knit slower than molasses in winter.  You can see the lacy edge is starting to take shape, though!  I’m really excited about finishing this one up!

I really love the alpaca yarn from just working with it briefly yesterday.  It’s super soft and fuzzy (which will probably drive me nuts before this is all over).

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I had to spend my knitting time on Friday coloring in the MKAL charts.  D’oh.  I only have a black and white printer and, of course, it’s a color pattern.  I mark all over my knitting patterns so just reading it on my screen will never do.

…and, sadly, those gorgeous topaz beads…there aren’t enough for the project.  I talked to the company I got them from and the importers no longer sell them either…the lady said they were trying to get some from another Japanese brand in a similar color but I decided it was safer to swap up the colors a bit.  My other tube of red beads is on backorder and they said they’ll ship out some dark topaz ones for me at the same time.  I hope they match the really bizarre shades that make up my yarn.

Sunday is the day I make up food for the week for the hubs.  I think this week was a home run.  I stole this from his facebook page because it made me guffaw when I read it:

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I wish he was as enthusiastic about me as he is about the food I make.  XD

He posts a lot of the food I make because, apparently, people at work come to see him the next day to investigate the food.  He really loves attention from semi-random people and eating, so he gets a two-for-one deal.

…and that’s leading to a rant.

The ONE thing the drives me nuts about hubs posting food is we have one friend who always asks for the recipe.  If I used a recipe, I’ll gladly share it…but that’s rarely the case.  Most of our food is cooking what we have on hand and making a “mess” out of it.

Backstory: my Grandmother unleashed me into the world of cooking because I would go to her house and literally make a mess in her kitchen.  Whatever I could combine I would.  I would look for things that tasted weirdly good together and found a lot of things that just don’t work.  My sister (and sometimes cousins) would be my tasters….there’s no way my sister would’ve came back for more if I was always putting together gross stuff.  On that same note,  hubs (stupidly) challenged me to make him puke with a dish years ago and I succeeded with just three ingredients: horseradish, orange juice, and peanut butter…it even smells revolting enough to make you gag.  I’m fairly comfortable with figuring out how flavors work and we make a lot of fridge-clearing messes here.  🙂

So when this friend asks, I have to sit and think about how on earth to explain it to her in a way that she could reproduce.  I’m one of those crazy people that LOVES to cook.  I live in bagel central and I’m here at home making my own.  It’s insane but I really do enjoy every bit of it, so I don’t shy away from more complicated ideas.

…and then it’s made harder because we have some downright amazing grocery options.  I mean, I go to a real butcher where I can get things like silkie chicken and pork blood!   (Don’t question pork blood until you’ve had black pudding, I love that stuff…never made it, but love it.)  I cook with a lot of things that simply aren’t available where she lives.  I’d know, I lived there for 21 years.  When my mom visits, she brings an empty cooler so she can take all kinds of goodies and ingredients back with her.  It’s a food wasteland there.

Plus, let’s be honest, this friend is never, ever going to make anything I post.

Why do I say that?  A bit of a throwback:  I introduced her family to sushi a decade ago after I’d already moved away.  Her daughter wanted to try it, there was nowhere anywhere nearby that made it, and I adore the kid — she’s the sweetest creature to ever grace the earth — so I stopped at a huge world market several hours away and got the stuff to make a small assortment of sushi.  Just to make sure they’d have something to eat if they didn’t like the food (which they did, the kid even asked if she could keep the leftover eel for her lunch the next day), I also conspired with the little to show her how to make a really simple sweet and sour chicken.  She wanted to surprise our moms with a full dinner when they came back from their night out…didn’t I say she was the sweetest kid ever?

When we turned on the eye of the stove to start the chicken, the entire house flooded with a disgusting, acrid, black smoke.  It was so bad we had to throw open the windows in the middle of winter and leave the house.  Her mom had melted a plastic bowl onto the burner MONTHS ago and never cleaned it up…that’s how rarely she cooked.

Soooo fairly confident that the friend that always asks for recipes, thus making me rack my brain to come up with ingredients and substitutions and ways to simplify things, will never make a bloomin’ thing.  Is it wrong that it bugs the snot out of me when she asks?

Mystery Knit Along

I finally bit the bullet.

I’m going to try to participate in my first ever mystery project.  There have been a few that I know I’ll love the pattern, so I just buy or hoard the patterns…but this one I’m going to actually try knitting it as it’s released.

We’ll see how long that lasts!  XD

The pattern is Ex Cineribus MKAL Lace Shawl by Anna Victoria on Ravelry.  It’s currently 20% off until release date, which is coming fast — October 20th.

It called for fingering weight yarn, which I’m both surprised and pleased with since it’s my favorite weight to work with.  I have enough yarn on hand to keep me happy for decades (see above about crafting hoarding).  I decided to go with a bit of a fall theme and chose some Alpaca Cloud yarn from Knitpicks in the color “Lydia”.  They no longer stock it but it’s a bit of a mottled burnt orange to reddish color.  I couldn’t get my camera to take an appropriate photo to represent the colors, so I stole the one from Knitpicks:

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I still say it’s a bit more orange in person.  My photo is way brighter than it actually is:

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Somewhere between those two.

I do want to bead the project so I ordered some Toho beads in both a dark garnet and a smoky topaz.  I hope they work with the yarn in person…if not, I suppose I’ll just have to get more.

Really, I swear I’m not a hoarder; I just look like one.

A few crafty things

I’m still working on the lace shawl.

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I’m a painfully slow knitter.  I’m lucky if I can get two rows done per day…I have trouble sitting still right now.  I finally understand the phrase “ants in your pants” — I absolutely feel like that lately.

I was also playing a dangerous game of bead chicken (I’ve already used over 1,000 of them).

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I currently have 491 stitches on the needles and 52 rows left over three charts.  I already know I’ve lost the bead game.  I ordered some more yesterday and anxiously await their arrival.

The good news is I still love the pattern.  I’ve had zero problems with it (other than having to frog once or twice because I made mistakes) and I already want to make another pattern by the same designer because of that.  I even ordered two packs of beads so I’d have them on hand when that urge is overwhelming.  I don’t think I’ll have problem finding two skeins of yarn in my stash.  ^_^;

I’m also very easily distracted.

One of my friends gifted me a pattern and it gave me some proper distraction and entertainment for about an hour.  It was a super quick sew and I couldn’t resist making a Magikarp hat.

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I’ve been feeling very much like a Magikarp lately.  I mean, who on earth ever actually had one on their team and leveled it to a Gyarados?   Nobody.  We all used candy to fatten it up and turn it into something useful.

I’ve been pretty bummed, overwhelmed, and stressed to the gills lately.  There’s a whole variety of reasons that I don’t really feel would be cathartic to ramble on about at this point so I’ll leave at this: I’m stuck at an impasse with myself over two very important decisions and there are no good answers.  I’ve been unable to make any progress slogging through and standing at the crossroads isn’t working either.

It’s really unlocking my hateful, snarky side.  I have the sudden urge to embroider all sorts of things and strew them about the house to prove my point.  I saw this hilarious example the other day (so not my photo or my craft — I’ll have to get better about documenting where I find things) and it spoke to me.

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I think I need a few projects like that in my life right now…

 

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!