Three in January!!!

I just finished the Monarch mittens!  That’s the third UFO I’ve been able to cross off my list!  Only ten left!   …of course those ten are much more time intensive so they may take quite a bit longer…


I altered the pattern enough that linking to the original probably won’t be of much help — if anybody’s interested, ask and I’ll dig it out to share. 🙂

If I make them again in the future, there are several additional changes I’d make as well, particularly with the thumb gussets.  I really don’t like how loose and ugly the m1r ended up looking, so will try a lifted increase in the future.

They’re rough and they’re the first mittens I’ve made.  I can live with them, they work as mittens with a bit of whimsy.

-edit- I just blocked them and HOLY CRAP.  The yarn smelt so bad wet I almost puked on it in the sink.  It was a kind of crappy 2-ply that was unraveling even as it came off the ball, so I’d decided not to use it again but daaaaaamn.  I’ve been sensitive to smells lately anyway but no, just no.  I’ve never had a yarn or dye smell like that before, ever.  It’s Cascade 220. Never again.

My husband said I still have to send them off even though I’m a bit embarrassed by how slap-dash they look.  :/  They were for my Grandmother.

I’m also doing a Row-Along with Star Trek blocks.  I haven’t had much sewing time but the first block in the row is done.  I’ll start piecing the second block soon…probably right after this post.  It will be a Klingon Bird of Prey and a Romulan Warbird.  The second row comes out tomorrow so I’m quite behind.  Eek!  Hopefully I’ll catch up since I have sewing stuff set up now.  (and I can hem those pajamas to finish them off!)


The next UFO I’m picking up will likely be the “Cascading Diamonds” scarf.  It’s a pattern I got out of a library book.  It’s a simple stockinette stitch after the edges so gets boring really quickly.  I was about 1/4 of the way through when I gave up.





2nd UFO done!

You saw it here first!  I can mark another of the 13 items off of my UFO list!!!


I need to give it a good ironing to work out the wobble but that can wait until my ironing board is cleaned off…or I’ll just leave it with something heavy on it like I have now.  That’ll probably fix it more easily.

The one thing I didn’t like about that jelly roll was it had cream and white based fabrics.  I couldn’t mix them and get the gradient I wanted without it looking downright dirty, so I just had to go with it.  Ahh, well.

IT’S DONE!  That’s all that matters!

I’m also making progress on the mittens, only about 18 rows to go before decreasing for the end of the hands.  It shouldn’t take long to knock it out, the four color intarsia ends with the decreases and I can handle two colors like nobody’s business at this point.  I’ve been doing about 5 rows a day.  I may up that a bit now.

OOOOR I may not!

I’m testing some blocks for the (currently a surprise) winter quilt along for FandomInStitches.  I’m also working on the current Star Trek QAL.  Well, I will be as soon as I change my machine thread over to the right color.  I think I might alternate between testing and Star Trek…it’s hard for me to pick just one at the moment.  They’re both new projects so I must keep up with a UFO yarn project to keep me on track.

I guess the cold snap and all the snow was good for crafting…it was also brilliant at making it so cold on the ground floor that I had to break out two space heaters to thaw the cat’s water this morning.

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.


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:


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.


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.


Pineapple and puppers

The hubs made a cake today.  It’s the second one he’s ever made.  The first was a German chocolate with the icing mixed into the batter.  That particular recipe always cracks me up because my Grandmother gave it to me but she can’t ever get it to work out when she tries, so she makes a strawberry one with that mix in method instead.

Speaking of Grandmother, my uncle sent me a photo of her with her Christmas present I made!


What was a tiny little lap quilt size for my tall self completely swallows her up.  We also just got back our genetic results.  I’m 22.1% her; I’ll take that.

So back to the cake!  It was an adventure but he didn’t do too badly other than thinking he needed to add flour to the cake mix.  We’re starting him slow here.

He’d never had a pineapple upside down cake and saw one on the Great British Baking Show.  I’m not sure how he’s lived this long without one of these cakes considering how much loves pineapple and cherries but he was very, very pleased with it.


I also found the mysteriously disappearing bag of polyfill!  I had vacuum packed it so slender that it was UNDER the wardrobe.  There’s barely even room for my hand there…and of course, the seal had came loose because the bags are horrible.  That was a real adventure in freeing something.


Ignore my super dirty floor — the big dog is in a midst of an epic winter blowout and I’ve had a migraine for two days so am not firing up the vacuum right now.

Little dog doesn’t mind the dirty floor and immediately claimed the overstuffed pants as her new pillow, just as I’d hoped.  As much as I love that bratty furball, my lap is really glad to have a small break from her — she’s only shifted a bit to settle into the criss-cross part of the “lap” since it was given to her.

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.


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!


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?


•What is my favorite kind of food?


•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.)

Questions and a quilt

Relationship length: 11 years, good grief
Married: 6 years
Who’s older: Him
Age difference: 3 months
Who was interested first? I’m honestly not sure.  Mutual curiosity, perhaps?
Who’s taller: Him
Worst temper: Me
Most sensitive: Him
Loudest: HIM!!!
Funniest: Not sure. I’m more sarcastic/dry and he’s more doofy
Most stubborn: Me
Falls asleep first: Him
Cooks better: Me but he’s improving
Better singer: Oh good grief, neither.  A goat sings better than either of us.
Most adventurous: Oddly enough, I’m going to say me…unless it involves a phone.
Most organized: Me.  Me, me, me.
Better morning person: Definitely me.
Dresses the nicest: Day to day, him.  For fancy events, me.
Most protective: Me
Best driver: Me!  Though he’s so much better now than when I met him
Has the most clothes: Oh, that one’s tough.  Gonna guess me?
Most competitive: Him.  Holy crap it’s him.


…and since I promised a bit of eye candy, here’s the lap quilt I sent to my Grandmother for Christmas.  Blue is her favorite color and she likes to keep a blanket or quilt on the back of the couch she likes to sit on.



I think my brain has exploded.

No matter what I do, I can’t work out the chart for the lace portion of the scarf.

I’m probably over thinking it, as I tend to do, but it really is about to drive me insane.

The math alone is killer.

You enter the lace section with 67 stitches — 2 border stitches, 63 for lace, 2 border stitches.  The instructions say the scarf has 9 repeats per row.

So the first row should have 7 stitches, right?

…it has 8?  Unless I’m massively misreading it?

8 stitches don’t fit evenly in the very specific set up.

6k, 1p, 1yo.  That’s 8, right?  The yo wouldn’t be just be an instruction to slap the yarn over the needle for making a stitch with the first stitch of the next repeat, right?

The instructions do say the stitch count alternates from 7-9 stitches as well…so my brain is totally fried.

I gave in after two days of banging my head on the desk in frustration and knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping and just messaged the designer on Ravelry.

If she can’t clarify this, nobody can.  To beat all, nobody else seems to be having issues on the project pages.  There were a few notes about the cables, which I found remarkably easy — I breezed through them (other than a mistake of my own when I forgot to reverse the WS).

I swear, every time I pick up a new project, I go from feeling like a semi-accomplished knitter to a complete moron.  😦

Also, I got so frustrated earlier that I dropped my work and a needle fell out so I dropped a good 12 stitches.  I’m going to have fun picking those up tomorrow too.  Bah!

On a brighter note, since knitting has me about to rip my hair out, I’m happy to be thinking about quilting again!

I stumbled upon a super cute and simple pattern on Craftsy that I’m thinking about getting called Book Nerd.  I’ve been collecting odd fabric prints for a while now based on more nostalgic things from my childhood and wouldn’t you know they’re all book related?  Babar, The Poky Little Puppy, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Peter Rabbit, things like that.  I don’t think I have enough for an entire quilt yet but I think they’d be cute!

I need a really simple project for a change.

Back in my crafting room for a bit.

Just wanted to throw out a quick crafting update.  I haven’t been doing much lately, as I’ve been distracted with other things, namely trying to help Logan tackle the epic amount of parts breakdown and disassembly of stuff in his lab.   …but there has been a small amount of progress!

The first and happiest of news, I had a package arrive at my house last week.  I’m pretty sure the people over at TheFabricMarket had to sit on it to get it closed.  It definitely took the “if it fits, it ships” thing to the limits.


In it was the ultimate of fluffy treasures:  the llama minky!  I love it, it’s perfect.  It matches the cotton I already had for the flimsy quite well for an internet purchase, so I can’t wait until I have the time to really cut into the fabric and start making this quilt!


I’ve also made some progress on the cardigan front.


The little green markers are where I was designating the cabling on the sleeves.  I’ve made a good bit of progress since that photo and only have about 9 inches of the body left to knit.

When I finished the last skein of yarn I was using, I decided to switch over to working on a sleeve since I’ve never done one of those before and was worried it was be needlessly tedious.  I didn’t have any dpns in the same size, so I just used my smallest cable (8″) and so far it has worked fine.  I do have to decrease every 6 rows, so it may become an issue further along and I’ll have to buy some dpns in that size, but for now, it’s not a problem at all.  I am glad I started the sleeves early, as turning all the bulk of the cardigan around and around to make the sleeves in the round is annoying as anything.  Adding another 9″ worth of cardigan and yarn weight would only exacerbate that.


Lastly, Mom’s husband bought some My Pillows and they came with some little travel size pillows.  Mom laughed hysterically when she saw that the cases for the travel sized ones were $15 each on the site — the pillows are already ridiculously expensive — and asked if I’d make them a few.

Mom regularly gives me their old sheets after they’ve torn or something else; I typically use them to make muslins for clothing patterns or as foundations for fussy quilt blocks.  This time, though, I used one of their sheets to make the pillow cases since it had a nice high thread count (and obviously was to their taste and color scheme).  I chose to make envelope cases, a little smaller than the pillows so they’d be nice and tight on them.  I personally get annoyed at floppy pillow cases, so if they don’t like them, I’ll remake them.  They took all of 5 minutes and 4 seams, including the French seam, to sew. 😛

Joule helped, as is her way.


I’ve also had the chance to throw a bit more of the PMC3 paste on my project of ultimate nervousness.  I had to order a new batch of it and the new container was in much better condition and actually a workable slip, which makes me wonder if the old one hadn’t been tampered with or purchased and returned — it was dried up a bit and didn’t have a seal (which I didn’t know to expect since it was my first time purchasing it and an online order).  I was able to reconstitute it since I’m comfortable working with clay but otherwise, it would have been a nightmare the first time around.  I’m much happier with this container of it, as there is nothing to fiddle with, it’s perfectly workable right out of the box.  I’ll update that one this one with photos after it’s actually fired in a few weeks.  *nervous*

Better weekend

After a thoroughly crappy week, as soon as the weekend hit things began to look up.  Amazing how the weekend makes everything better, isn’t it? 😛

Logan works what is called a 9/80 schedule over two weeks.  He works nine hours on Monday – Thursday then eight hours on the first Friday and has the second Friday, his “Gold Friday”, off.  He loves having a three day weekend twice a month and it often lines up with holidays so we get to enjoy having the time to take small trips here and there without having to use his PTO.

We didn’t take a trip this weekend, but it gave us time to get some things done around the house.

We cleaned up a bit in anticipation for Halloween on Tuesday.  About 1/3 of the time, we have snow by now, so we don’t usually get to see the kids in costumes, just parkas and snowboots.  With this year still being unseasonably warm — the leaves are just now changing colors! — we’re really looking forward to seeing what the kids come up with.  I haven’t decided what we’re going to wear yet or if we’re going to dress up or just play games while we wait to hand out goody bags.

I did sign us up for the Teal Pumpkin Project and put us on their map, so maybe we’ll get a few more trick-or-treaters.  We usually just have the kids in our actual community after they do the hayride and party the community throws; we’ve never had more than two dozen trick-or-treaters anywhere we’ve lived.  …but in addition to bags of candy, we made up a dozen bags for our teal pumpkin with activity books, pens, stickers, erasers, sticky hands, bat rings, stencils, and those super obnoxious whistling straws.  Logan and I loved that stuff when we were little, so hopefully kids with bad food allergies will too!

I also found a fabric shop that had the llama minky I wanted.  Thank goodness!  Better yet, they were only 19 cents a yard more than the other, bigger place, AND they sent an email just a few hours later saying my order was completed.  I don’t have a tracking number, so I’m not sure if it’s in the mail or not yet — I just found it and ordered it Friday afternoon, so no expectations on that — but I’m delighted either way.  So long as the order actually works out, I’ll be using TheFabricMarket again in the future!  The other place., had told me they were restocking the fabric on Friday, but they never did, so I’m glad I wasn’t counting on it…or worse, needed it for a custom order.  This is one of my rare selfish, for me, quilts.

On Friday night we went to our “adult” Halloween celebration — it IS the best holiday of the year, afterall!  One of these years, I’ll find a live Rocky Horror to take Logan to see (last year there was one but the timing didn’t work for us).  This year, though, Evil Dead worked beautifully.


Evil Dead the Musical was hilarious.  Campy, raunchy, and a great mashup up all the movies shoved into two hours.  The front few rows were a plastic covered “splatter zone” where, by the end of the show, the cast was gratuitously running around and spraying fake blood on them out of bottles.

Then we got to come home to start watching Stranger Things 2!  Yay!

Saturday, I sent Logan off to the Green Energy and Sustainable Living Fair.  I somehow hurt my elbow on Friday night (the week wasn’t quite done with me yet) and couldn’t move my arm until yesterday evening, so chose not to head out into public.  He had a great time and said he felt like a gas guzzler driving a Prius with all the electric vehicles.  He talked to a lot of vendors about home improvements and tried out lots of cars, so he was a happy camper when he came home at the end of the fair.

Today Logan is banking in some rare overtime for a letter he has to issue.  It’s rare for the company to open the overtime wallet, so he never refuses when it is — and I don’t mind having a bit of time to knit on the weekend.

I separate the sleeves today!  I’m a bit nervous and have procrastinated it a bit because it’s the first time I’ve ever had to CO in the middle of a row, and the instructions are definitely written for somebody who’s an old hat at sweaters, so this could get interesting.  >_>



I received a disheartening email this morning.

…and by disheartening, I could cry.  I typically only cry when I get super angry.

My anger escalates to hiccups then tears.  I definitely have hiccups.


If the text is too small, the llama fabric I was so excited about yesterday is shorted.  They only have 3.5 yards left…somehow…when I ordered 5.5 yards.  There was plenty when I ordered Monday and the system updates automatically and they still showed yardage in stock yesterday when I took the picture to share here.

So they either magically lost 12+ yards of fabric or were filling orders that came in after mine first.

Either way, I’m unhappy.  They offered a substitution if it was cheaper than my current order and only if I responded quickly enough, otherwise they’d said they’d just ship the shorted fabric if I didn’t.  That does me zero good since nothing else matches the quilt I already have fabric for, so I responded back and told them as such.  I’m not interested in any of it if I can’t have what I paid for and was led to believe was available when I ordered.  I ordered what I ordered for a reason…and I don’t need some (now useless) $13 a yard fabric hanging around otherwise.

I know I’m over-reacting, but it really makes me not want to shop there again.  I just feel like it could have been handled differently.