Sunday, November 30, 2014

No gutters here!

I was doing my new usual thing this morning which is to knit and listen/watch The Knit Girllls podcast.  Leslie was talking about one of the swatches she is working on for her Master Knitter thing.  She was complaining about how she gets 'gutters' a bunch when she does reverse stockinette stitch.  A gutter when talking about knitting is where you have a little space between your rows.  It happens when you knit and purl at slightly different tensions.
I was working on my swatch for my Owl Mitts (I know, swatches are usually done before the project) and I turned it over and saw that I had no gutters.  Before someone points out that it looks like I have some gutters going on at the left side, that is where I have the garter stitch.

The Manly Mitts just need a thumb and then some ends woven in.  I know it will only be eight ends, but I am pretty sure they multiply when I'm not looking.

The Hubby also didn't come back in to town yesterday because he was just having too much fun with his family.  This means that I will have lunch time all to myself and I decided I am going to have another Turkey Day.  Well, a Tofurky day.

This is what I have.  I'm not vegan or really a vegetarian all of the time, but I do like some of the stuff made for those dietary choices.  I feel like they are a bit healthier, even if they aren't.  The best part about this little guy is the gravy.  The gravy is kind of magical.  You can buy the gravy separate, but I wanted to go with the whole shebang today. 

I even got a little postcard for the holidays.  So many cute pictures on the front.  The cow nose keeps grabbing my attention when I look at it.  It even took me looking at it a few times to notice the cute orange cat in the bottom right corner licking its little lips.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Well, I tried to give my money away...

I had been going on about Small Business Saturday a bunch yesterday and I tried to put my money where my mouth was, but I was denied.  I wanted to go to the bakery near my house and give them some support.  Seems like they took the day off though.  I'm pretty sure I did this exact same thing last year too.
I like going there because I have known about them from before they were a bakery you could just walk into.  One of the owners had a shop where she was only open to meet with people and she only did custom cake orders.  Well, add in two more people and they decided to try and sell some cupcakes out of her shop and be open to the public for a few hours a few days a week.  This was pretty successful and the people cried out for more store hours.  They did so well that they moved to a bigger shop and are opened almost every day of the week.  I also can't pick a favorite thing from them, but their pop-tarts are pretty awesome.  They don't skimp on the filling.  If you are in the area, make sure to stop by The Boutique Bakeshop and try everything that looks good to you.

I was watching The Knit Girllls podcast and they were talking about getting to meet Wendy Knits.  They talked about flying into Washington DC and it got me curious.  Turns out that she is also local to me!  Another person who lives in Alexandria!  First Tanis and now Wendy.  Do all the cool knitterly people secretly live near me?  Maybe something in this area just helps you to become all the knitter that you can be.

I'm having so many problems picking what I am going to be knitting next.  I want to try knitting the sock design I had thought of, but I also want to start a two color blanket.  I might just start the blanket and carry it with me until it gets too big and then start the socks.
Along the lines of things I want and should be working on.  I wish the Ravelry progress bar widget would allow you to pick and choose what WIPs(work in progress) to show.  Right now it just shows everything in progress, but some of the ones I have listed as an in-progress project is really just there to remind me that it is something I want to make at some point.  I know there is a queue and notes for that, but I had really meant to start them by now.  It would also list things if I was making anything for myself, which isn't really needed on here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

One down, one to go.

The experimental mint crack.
Though I did not have to be at work at 5:45am this morning I still did not have any time to work on anything before I had to be in at 9am.  There is nothing new to show, though I wish there was.  I had brought some stuff along with me to work on my various breaks, but I only got a lunch break.  I spent that eating, so my hands were too busy to knit.

Above is a picture of my experimental crack.  It went over very well from those who tried it and let me know.  The extra chips I had were not chocolate, they were butterscotch.  I didn't want to have too many changed variables in it so this version doesn't have as much chocolate on it as it should. 
I was also informed that even if I didn't work there anymore I would be getting messages telling me I could drop off some crack at any time.  It is nice to be loved.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Turkey Day!

Or for anyone who doesn't celebrate it: Happy Thursday!
For the NaNoWriMoers:  Only four days left!!!!

As you have probably read on here about a million times, I am feeling like my charity stuff has been suffering this month.  I would like to claim that my other blog is suffering too, but it has been suffering for a few months, so that's all me.  I have a new goal for next month and that will be to finally finish some of my projects that have been sitting around waiting for me to add that last step to them.  Some sort of ending the year and ending projects kind of tie in.  Everyone likes a good theme.

I also still plan on trying to do my work 50,000 stitches in one month in January.  I don't want any finishing work on old projects to get in the way of my goal.  It will be also very interesting because I will be working on some stuff for myself during that month in preparation for Katsucon the following month.  It will be happening over the Valentine's Day weekend, so I have something heart themed planned.  Yay for themes!

I still need to weight my owl mitts and get the last two bits of info onto my pattern file so I can get that put up.  I think I will see if I few people from one of my knitting groups wants to test knit for me.  I'm also still thinking of making a chart for the owl section, but I am still not sure about that.

In case anyone was wondering what to get me for *whatever winter holiday you want* this year, here is a hint.  I think it is a pretty awesome idea.  I was even surprised to find that I am not too far away from them. Only a bit more than a three hour drive.  This seems like an awesome idea because you get all the joys of owning your own sheep without all the hassle of having to clean-up after them.
I don't see them now, but I think they used to have pictures of the sheep so you could browse and see when one you might want would be available.  There was one I saw with a spot over one eye and I just loved her.  I wanted her but The Hubby didn't get me her last year.
They also have piglets for take-home-adoption.  I will be the first to admit that I want some very odd pets.  A pet pig is on my list.  Pigs are just so dang smart.  I think it would be fun to own one of them, even if they grow up to be one of those giant piggies.  The closest I can get are Guinea Pigs, which are also awesome pets, but not the same.
I've also wanted a pet cow too.  I love how soft their noses are.  I think I need to move to a small farm.  That way I would be able to own all of the creatures I want.  Most of these I can't own in my house because it isn't rated for agriculture.
Another odd pet I have always wanted was a skunk.  I just love their little waddly walk.  Though according to Skunks as Pets, it seems that is is illegal for me to own a skunk. Boo!

List of adoptable sheep sites: there are probably a lot more but here are the ones I look at.

Since I get so distracted so easily, I have found a few more knitting blogs that look interesting.

Since I like having pictures in each of my posts, here is a random one.  This little guy started out as three dimensional until he met me.  I put him in my cargo pocket and I figured he would be okay since the last time I did that the snowman stayed dimensional.  Well, I think I sat on this one or something because he is barely past being two dimensional.  Poor little dude.  At least I know he will still be tasty since he was made from Lindt.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

They said it was going to be doing this...

As you can see, it did snow.  I'm not sure when it switched from rain to snow, but it was snowing and there was some gathered on roof tops and grass when I woke up this morning.  I love seeing snow fall from the sky.  I did go to the grocery store, but I didn't need anything for eating tomorrow.  I needed to make a list because I wasn't sure what I needed to get to make some dessert to take to work on Friday.  I actually got to go to the store's parking lot twice because I forgot my wallet the first time.
I also got some flickering tea lights to use in an idea I have for some decoration for the front of my house.  If I really like how it looks I might invest in some LED flickering tea lights so I won't have to worry about going out to turn them on or off.

The Hubby headed out of town before I could steal his hand again.  It looks huge on me, but that's because I have tiny hands.  I've decided that if I can get a picture of them on some man hands then that will be great, but if I finish them before he gets home on Saturday I will just try and find their new owner and not worry about a picture.  This way I won't feel bad because I'm waiting to get a picture of them.  If it happens it happens; if not, no big deal.
I tried a suggestion I read about online on the braid on the second braid.  Instead of knitting the stitch off of the body through the back loop before knitting the braid stitch, they suggested to just slip the body stitch.  That did help with the looseness that can happen to the body stitches as you are going around.  However, it made it feel like it was harder to control the tension on the braid stitches and the first row sits behind the first following row you work.  So there are some trade offs to working it either way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Get all the things done within the next few days!

This persimmon came from a tree in my mom's neighbor's yard.  They now have two persimmon trees growing.  Last year I got one of them and though it was ripe, it did not have much flavor.  This year the two trees went crazy and there were a ton of these little guys.  Since it got cold fast, they had to pick them early.  They tried to give my mom most of them but she only took a few.  I love the things so I would have taken every one they would have given me.
They were very yellow and not orange at all.  It has been a few weeks but they are starting to become ready to eat.  They told my mom not to eat the skin because they think it is too bitter.  I tried it and I think they are fine.  I am so happy with the ones I've had so far.  Nice and sweet and full of flavor.  I want a million more!

It seems The Hubby has the whole week "off" from work.  I say that because he went in to work yesterday and keeps getting calls to fix things today.  This makes it hard for me to steal his hand again so I will just have to wing the length of the thumb on the Manly Mitts.
Mother Nature is getting annoyed with me, I can tell.  It starts to get cold and I freak out that I'm not making enough warm things.  It then gets warmer out but I don't up my production.  Since I'm not working faster it gets cold out again.  This will be about the third time that it has warmed for a few days before getting super cold again.  I was almost too warm in a hoodie yesterday and there is talk of snow on Wednesday.  I'm sorry Mother Nature, I only have so many hands to work with and too many ideas to work with.

No pictures of knitting right now.  I am hoping to get the first mitt done before The Hubby heads out of town for Turkey Day, but at the rate I'm going at, it won't happen.  Don't be all sad for me, I have other plans.  I was also invited to go with him, but we didn't think it would be fun to go from New York and drive for at least five hours to get me back home for work on Black Friday early the next morning.  This means that we will be having some of the stuff he doesn't like when I go to my parents' house.  Hello shrimp cocktail!

One of the guys is back and is painting the front porch thing.  It also seems that who ever did the painting before of the main structure didn't do a good enough job for this guy.  He has his music playing and is painting the whole thing.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Can I borrow your hand?

The Hubby heard that a lot from me last night.  He also heard "Are you using both hands?" a few times.  Since I only have my tiny girl hands to work with, it is hard for me to tell length for big man hands.  Lucky for me, the Hubby has a pair of those.  It seems that on my hand; the very tip of my pinky is around the first joint on the pinky of man hands.
I will also admit that I was very tempted to try and steal the use of one of his hands while he was asleep.  Though knowing my luck he would have rolled over, gotten tangled in the yarn, and I would have had to cut him out of the mess.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

So many pictures!

I was working on making my Owl Mitts into a sellable pattern when I noticed something odd I did.  Instead of calling the file "Owl Mitts" I saved it as "Bunny Mitts."  I also called the folder I put all the files I need Bunny Mitts as well.  Think I'm trying to tell myself something?  I think I need to try and design some bunny mitts to go with my owl mitts.
I'm also wondering if I should have some pattern testers try it out first or not.  I think I might put a shout out on Ravelry or something.

Oatmeal Update:  It was pretty perfect now.  I even microwaved it some to heat it up before eating.  Some of the blueberries became too warm and popped opened.  So the whole thing was super good and just the right amount of sweetness for me.

Pint Sized Overnight Oatmeal

2/3 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt (can use non-dairy)
2 tsp honey powder or sweetener of choice
1/2 cup Almond milk
1 tbsp chia seeds
fruit of choice 
Pint sized mason jars

  1. Mix together the yogurt, milk, and honey powder.
  2. Add to that the chia seeds and oatmeal, stir to combine.
  3. Add fruit to the top.  I usually try and fill the rest of the jar, it makes it a bit harder to stir together when ready to eat.
  4. Let sit in refrigerator over night to let the oats and chia seeds soften.
  5. Oatmeal can be eaten cold, room temperature, or after being warmed in the microwave.

I'm just going to warn you know that the rest of this post is going to be super pic heavy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I didn't plan on making them so soon.

I got the owls done.  Not that it took very long and I technically got them done yesterday.  I was just on a roll and didn't want to stop.  I also had some Project Runway to watch and didn't want to get up to update the post from yesterday.  I was a bit worried about the fact that these and the Manly Mitts had the same number of stitches, so I had the Hubby try them on and they fit his big man hands.

This is about how far I have gotten.  Here are some of the changes I have done so far for the right mitt:
  • added a Vikkel braid like I had planned after 14 rows for the cuff
  • I worked on repeat plain before I started increasing for the thumb
  • I started the thumb increases on the second knit of the first k2 column of the 2x2 rib
  • I didn't increase to the 17 stitches for the thumb because I plan on picking up more stitches
I didn't change too much.  I'm trying to decide if I should add another braid before I go back to the 1x1 ribbing at the top.  I probably will.  The tentative plans I have for the left mitt have the same start but with the 2x2 rib being on the first needle and I was thinking of mirroring the chart so that way they match a bit more.  The thumb increases will probably be on the first knit stitch of the last column of the 2x2 rib.  If any of this confuses you I am thinking of making a more detailed list of the things I changed once I finish the pair.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Things in jars! Also more talk about fingerless mitts.

I thought I had decided what pattern I was going to use for my next mitts, but something I read on another blog has changed my mind.  I have been working on catching up on reading AmpuTeeHee and stumbled upon this post.  That braid is adorable!  I know man-mitts and adorable don't really go together, but I feel out of a manlier color they could add a fun dividing point between pattern bits.  Does this mean I have found a new pattern to make?  Not really.  That was going to be one of my goals for today.  I'm feeling these Manly Mitts, even though it would make it a bit more of a hit or miss if they fit or not.  I could also just do the diamond pattern on the back and the ribbing on the palm side to help with that.

My other plans for today are to weave in my ends on my owl mitts, maybe try formatting the pattern some, and to get started on the man mitts.  I am thinking of selling my owl mitts pattern for a few dollars to help fund the blog.  I know I don't pay for hosting, but if I make enough I might be able to quit my day job and make charity crafting my new day job.  Think of how many more people would get warm things if that happened.  I also wouldn't have to worry about organizing my yarn as much because I could just knit it up.  I would also have more time to spend spoiling the kitty.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another day of cold...

It turns out I only have about half of what I needed on the skein I had left.  The tiny scale the Hubby got for beer making comes in handy when it comes to knitting.  Lucky for me I picked some more up when I was at work though this means there will be some more pink things.  It might become that scarf I was thinking about.

There is a homeless guy that usually hangs out close to one of the libraries near my house.  I think I might knit him some fingerless mitts too.  Since I don't know what colors he likes or his hand size I feel there will be some ribbed fingerless mitts in the future.  I was feeling this pattern, though I will be working it in the round and will add a thumb or two.  His won't be pink though, even though I have a whole new skein of it.

I made the other half today.  I think I like it even more with the correct ratio of cheese.  None of the cheesy flavor was lost.  I kept the amount of seasoning the same, so it was twice as much as it normally called for.  I think it was a good call.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Something about traction...

I climb into bed sometime after the hubby is already asleep.  As I pull the blankets over he mumbles something about 'gave up.'  I asked what gave up.  He told me that the cat gave up.  Of course I ask him what the cat gave up.  He then told me that the cat gave up traction.  He would not elaborate any further on the matter and just went back to snoring after that.  Of course he doesn't remember any of this in the morning.  I really need to get something to record these conversations to prove they happen.

It also seems that they weren't done with my porch thing.  I was awoken this morning, earlier than I had hoped, but the door bell.  I hear the Hubby downstairs so I tried to go back to sleep.  It went off again so I went down to check it out.
It was one of the guys who had been here before.  I saw a few long poles of the PVC wood they used.  Seems like I am getting those little fringe things around the bottom.  I'm not sure what else I will be getting but time will tell.
By 'time will tell' I seem to mean right now.  Right as I finished typing that sentence I heard my doorbell ring.  He was done with his part and needed his extension cord back.

super cold and windy out there, I do it for you
As you can see from the picture, the fringe are unpainted.  It also looks like regular wood, so it might not be the PVC stuff.  I'm hoping someone will be out to paint them before too long.  Though I learned from me mom that our flag holder had been painted, so it was probably still good to use.  I didn't know this so I didn't take it down or anything before they came out.  For some reason I like being able to keep as much of the house the same as I can.  I have a little bell on the window sill that came with the house that I love.
They might also be waiting until it is a bit warmer to paint.  So far is has only dropped twenty degrees since yesterday, but that still puts it below freezing.  The paint might freeze before it has time to dry.

I was worried that this would interfere with some of my morning plans.  I was going to go over to the Good Will and see if I can find a white sweater to wear to work.  After that was a quick run into the grocery store to get some cheese to make the Double-Stuffed Butternut Squash that I linked before, but caught my eye more than the other recipes I found.  The guy took less than an hour to do what he needed to, so it looks like I didn't need to have worried any.

This is what my butternut squash half looked like after coming out of the oven.  It was actually a lot of fun to make.  One suggestion I have is to use a fork to scrape out the inside, I used a spoon at first and ended up with some bigger chunks than I would like.
Forget cheesy pizza, this is my new favorite cheesy food.  Luckily for me it is fun to make a bit more healthy than pizza.  I did not add the bacon like the recipe suggests since I was trying to keep it a bit lighter.  Though from reexamining the recipe I might not have cut back on the cheese as much as I should have, so I guess I didn't really make it any lighter in the end.  At one point I was going to make one whole squash for part of dinner one night, but then I got impatient.  I had figured how much I needed to add of everything for that.  This morning I decided to make only one half and forgot to divide everything in half again.  The hubby might be more willing to eat it in this state though.

Monday, November 17, 2014

But where did the yarn go?

It has probably been noticed by a least a few people, but I have been using the same pink yarn for the last few projects.  It is the Red Heart with Love yarn and I am a pretty big fan.  It isn't my favorite yarn or anything like that, but I do enjoy working with it.  It is pretty soft to me.  I started using it because it is what I was making the swatch for work out of, so I knew it would work with the hook size I had when I went to make the fingerless mitts.  I just kind of kept using it because it was right there and I also knew it would work with US size 8 knitting needles.  I am also running into a problem.  It would make sense that while using a yarn to make things you would be causing there to be less to use later.  I didn't realize how fast I was using it.  There might not be enough from the skein I have to finish the other mitt.  I have to get this one totally bound off, then I can weigh the two and see if I will be short or not.  Good news is that the yarn isn't badly priced, so if I need to get more it won't break the bank.  The weather is also dropping about thirty degrees tonight, so I want to try and pound out as many quick things as I can.  I think some hats might be in order after I finish up all the fingerless mitts I have planned.

I finally remembered to bring the Zombunny with me to knit night and everyone loved him.  People really liked his little eye that was falling out.  I'm super proud of him and I'm glad everyone loved seeing him.  I might have to make him some family to give away, I think I've become too attached to him.  The plan had been to give him up, but I don't think I can do it now.  I'm just too darn proud of the little guy.  It's a good thing I still have a few skeins of that green yarn I used.

I also got some unexpected free yarn today!  I went to work and one of my co-workers handed me some yarn and told me they thought I would want it.  I asked where it came from and got an interesting story.  The lady who bought the yarn had tried knitting something with ribbing out of it, but did not like the yarn at all.  She pulled her needles out and tried to return it to the store.  Since the band was long gone and it was still partially knitted, she was told she could not bring it back.  It was in no way re-sellable so it would make no sense to take it back.  It seems she disliked this yarn so much that she didn't care if she got her money back at that point and just told my co-worker to take it.  I guess she didn't know anyone else who knitted, or maybe everyone else she knew had a wool allergy?  I'm not totally sure what the yarn is right now, but I will try and look into it more tomorrow.  It does feel like it has wool it in.  It might even be all wool, I'm not good at telling these things by feel.

In case anyone out there is looking for a video podcast about knitting to listen to and watch I suggest TheKnitGirllls.  I found them as one of the random podcasts on knitting I was downloading in college.  My art history teacher would put his lectures on iTunes as a free podcast so we could re-listen to them if we needed to.  It was the first I got into podcasts at all and I wanted to see if there were any other I might want to listen to.  They didn't have all the episodes available, but I downloaded all I could put onto my little iPod Touch.  It took me a while to get through the others and to TheKnitGirllls.  I had also forgotten about them for a few years.  One day before going to work I decided that I was tried of listening to the radio so I thought some knitting podcasts would be fun.  I will not deny that they are really fun to listen to, but it is missing something if you don't get to look at the video.  Most of the time it is fine, but every once and a while they will do a 'look at this' and you will really want to look.  Not advised when driving down the road at high speeds.  Highly advisable for long car rides, long waits in line, and really any time you are on the computer.
A podcast I want to listen to is Never Not Knitting.  I love the name and I also really like some of her patterns.  Those would be a lot easier to listen to when driving in the car.  No video for me to get distracted by.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Titles are made of words.

Sorry for the less than awesome webcam pic, I didn't want to give away too much.
So as I was fearing, the owl is lower on the hand compared to where I was hoping it would be.  Now I know to start the increases when I start on the branch.  So I have another thumb gusset that I'm not totally happy about.  I will need to find my copy of Brave New Knits and check out the one used on Foxgloves.  It is probably an increase that is every other row.  Maybe every third row will work better?  Since I am making them in the round I do not have to worry about the increases happening on a right side row.  There is also the option to increase a lot at first and then tapper back closer to the top.
I am really liking how the 2x2 ribbing is working out though.  It makes it a lot easier to fit a few different sizes hands.  It will be able to fit me and also fit someone with larger hands.  I'm also thinking of doing a 1x1 rib along the thumb.  Hopefully that will pull it in some and give it more versatility than stockinette.  It will also make it more interesting looking.

The more I look at it, the more I want to fix it.  I'm off to go do that now.
It didn't take me as long as I thought it would be to fix it.  I took it back to the first double increase and started doing an increase row every third row.  Turns out it was pretty perfect.  I am super happy with the thumb gusset now.  It doesn't look like it increases too much.  The owl itself is also in a better position on the hand.
I even have the other mitt all figured out!  I know some people don't worry too much about where the beginning of row is, but I like thinking about that little detail.  It also makes more sense in my head.

The cast on was interesting.  At first it seemed really slow to me and not worth the effort.  I felt like I could have finished casting on with my usual knit cast on by the time I had ten stitches on the needle.  It took me to about half way before I got the hang of it.  It didn't take too long once I got the trick to it.  I just had to adjust the bottom loop out of the way and put my thumb on the yarn over the needle before pulling it tight.  It became easy and proved to be totally worth learning the new skill.  This might just be the new go to cast on when I'm making fingerless mitts.  It has all the stretch you could want without pulling in any like the knitted cast on was doing to me.  Will it replace my beloved knitted cast on for everything?  Probably not since there are some times you want your cast on to have some stability and don't care as much about the elasticity.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Half way done...already?/took long enough!

 I told myself that I would get them done, and I did!  I have noticed that the glove and fingerless mitt combination is still really popular, so I decided to make some of my own.  I had a ton of half off coupons from where I work so I bought a bunch of the dollar gloves.  This way I can make the sets a lot faster.  There is no real reason for me to make the glove part, especially since most of it will be covered by the mitts.
 If I do another pair based off of a stitch pattern I think I am not going to increase as much on the thumb gussets.  Maybe every fourth row instead of every other.  Though the stitch pattern is pretty stretchy, so it should be able to fit someone with larger hands than I have.
 I'm thinking a matching scarf would be fun out of this stitch pattern.  I could have the stripes go back and fourth.  The part at the top where I started going straight looked pretty cool.  It would also be reversible, and that is always nice for a scarf.
 I have had an idea for some own mitts for a while but I have been hesitant to start them.  It also gives me a good excuse to try Jeny's Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On.  I've used the bind off before, but I have not tried the cast on.  I'm also doing something a bit different than everyone else when it comes to the cables.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Two things on the house list, done!

Taadaa!  They did not add the little square border around the top, but I think I like it a little more plain.  There are those little edgings all over the rest of the house.  I will need to add a flag holder back again, but I don't think that sound too hard.

I had been hoping to get the fingerless mitts I had started done today.  That was not the case though.  The hubby called on his way home from work and mentioned going to Total Wine and Beverage, or as we call it The Beer Store.  Since I had been wanting to get more of one of the few fall ones I had tried I said that sounded fun.  After spending way too much money we went home and played video games together while we ate dinner.  We have a set of characters in Tera we are leveling together.  I know, we are adorable.  This lead to not a lot of knitting once he got home though.  I did get the first one entirely done, ends woven in and everything, and right now I am a few rows past where I rejoined after the thumb gusset.  It won't be too long before I'm done.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Getting cold again!

This is where they are on my front faux balcony thing.  I am totally impressed.  I was wondering how they were going to do it, but it looks like they take a bit off, put up the new stuff, then take a bit more off.  This definitely sounds easier to deal with than pulling it all down and trying to put a whole new thing up.  The other person I asked about this made it sound like a week job, but I think these guys might be done sooner.

This is the fingerless mitt I thought of making.  It is based on the Do the Twist Socks by Cathy Carron, but with one change.  Where she has you do the knit front and back on the first stitch of the row, I did it on the third.  I also only did a purl two right after.  Since the stitch already looks like a knit and a purl right next to each other, it makes more sense to put it near the end of the first knit three.  It makes it an almost invisible increase since it blends so nicely with the k3, p3 pattern.
I had started this with a 2x2 rib but the pattern did not show-up as nicely.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

*knock knock* Oh, you don't want to come in.

My neighbors have been having some stuff redone in their house, so the sounds of construction in the morning aren't too odd.  This morning it sounded oddly close though.  At one point I thought I heard someone knock on my door.
I went to a window and saw someone on a ladder with a guy right near my window.  Before anyone worries about me, he was banging on my front porch awning/balcony/thingy.  I had called and got a few quotes for it to be repaired and last week picked someone.  Turns out they are starting this morning.

 I had meant to get a good 'before' picture of what it looked like.  I totally forgot to do that.  I had thought I was going to get a call before they came out to figure when to start.  Seems I got a text message telling me they were on their way.  Oh well.  This gives you a better idea of how bad it was getting under the layer of paint.  The corner closest to us was just a hole.  At one point a bird had made her nest there.  You can also see the cute little weed growing out of my gutter... they are here to take care of that too.
Now we have not talked about what I want in it's place, but I'm hoping that when I said I just want to replace it that they will just make a new one that is very similar.  My main concern is that they keep the brick work at the bottom, I really like that part.  When I was talking to him before, it made it sound like we are just replacing all the wood bits.  There are some details in there that I like, but if I don't have them after this, it won't break my heart or anything.  At least, I don't think it will, I sometimes get overly attached to things.  Also, it would not match the other white long bits on my house.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's a good thing it isn't October

If I was really trying for NaBloWriMo I would have failed twice already.  So it's a good thing I'm just sticking with the spirit of the idea.
I also seem to have gone to knitting last night very semi-prepared.  I was going to say that I was not prepared, but I was a little.  I had my latest swatch bunny with me.  I am trying something different with it.  Since you gather the whole back for the body, it doesn't make sense to have those extra corners.  If you are making these to make use of all those swatches then the shape can not be helped, but if you are knitting just for the sake of making bunnies then I think another shape might work.  I worked the first half straight and then started decreasing.  I did a k2tog at the end of each row for two rows, and then I worked two plain rows.

This is the shape I came up with.  I didn't want the decreasing to happen too quickly so that the bunny wouldn't have much of a body, but we shall see what happens.  If it turns out that I decreased too much I could always have four plain rows between the decrease rows.

So a funny thing happened to me earlier today.  I went to go pay my credit card bill and saw there were more pending charges on my card than I was expecting.  I had tried to pay my library fees online, but every time I hit to submit after I put my info in I got a "This Service is Temporarily Unavailable" error message.  This happened a few times over a few days.  I then got myself into an actual library and paid my fees.  When I finished paying off my bill I saw that there were four pending charges on my card to the library website.  I got a little freaked out and called them.  She told me that she was pretty sure that they would just drop off since the website wasn't able to give me a confirmation number or anything.  She told me to check again on Thursday because it is a holiday today.  I was so confused for a second.  I was like "but it's a Tuesday....what holiday is it?"  It took me a second to remember that today is Veteran's Day.  Silly me.  At least I didn't take too long to figure it out and make myself look silly.

I also thought of an odd way to remember 'then' vs 'than' the other night when I was trying to pretend I was tried and go to sleep.  With 'then' the more it happens the closer you get to 'the end.'  Like, if you spread the word apart and add a letter.  Then(d)Does that make any sense?  I don't remember what I came up with for 'than' other than somehow the T became an I and it all made sense.  I really need to write these down when I think of them.

I went and souped-up the other small pumpkin.  As you can see from the picture, I couldn't even wait to take the picture before I started eating it.  I used 'boiling' onions this time, since I don't know when I will be using more and they were nice and small.  No left over onion is a good thing.  One thing I did that was not so good was I added the Parmesan cheese when it came right out of the oven.  Instead of mixing in and adding that bit of salty flavor that makes it so good, it melted into small chewy clumps.  I suggest letting the soup cool for at least ten minutes before adding the cheese.  Fifteen might be better, but I was not able to wait long enough to find out.
Here are some things I learned from my expenses.  You definitely do not need to get all of the stringy bits out of the middle of the pumpkin when you scoop the seeds out.  They are quite tasty once cooked up.  If you consider your pumpkin to be one serving, or you are just eating right out of the skin there are a few things to remember. The meat is what is holding it up, so eat from the top down. When you cooked it, the bottom becomes really really soft so some liquid might already be escaping when you pull it out of the oven, but you need to be careful when scooping from the bottom that you don't break a hole in it and let all of the broth out.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My bad, I went to bed instead.

Yesterday was just too much.  It was a Saturday, the second day of the Veterans' day, and it is getting close to all the various cold-time Holidays.  I was supposed to work 5.5 hours, so that wasn't going to be too bad.  However, one person hurt her shoulder and was given five days of bed rest, a second was out sick, and one more had been in a car accident.  He was fine, but the car was not.  It was the car that he and his brother shared, so that was double bad news.  Good news was that one out of the three did come in.  Bad news for me (good for work) was that since we weren't sure how many would come in I agreed to stay until seven.  It might only been an hour and a half more, but it really killed me.
All I managed to do was to come home and play some Dragon Cave.  This means that I did a lot of scrolling and some clicking.  They added a new feature where you have to view so many of certain kinds of dragons to unlock information about them.
I would love to be able to report that because I was so tired I went to bed right after I got home and I am now well rested.  This is not the case.  It doesn't help that I am still trying to figure out how to reset the time on my furry alarm.  I tried moving the switches in the front; one back, the other in back, or both in back.  This didn't work, so I tried moving the small antennae on the front, this caused a reaction, but I don't think it work.  I also tried moving the crank on the back but I was still unable to make the change I wanted.  There was also nothing on the front of the base to use.  (In case anyone was worried, Mr. Jag was purring the whole time I was poking and petting him.)

I have come to realize that a lot of my hobbies require the use of my hands.  Knitting, crochet, sewing, writing/typing, jewelry making, petting the cat, and video game playing all require the use of my hands.  I know there are knitting machines and I could probably rig that so I could move it back and forth with my feet, but what fun is that?  I would get a lot of blankets made that way, but I would be bored after the first few times.  At least watching Netflix only needs my hands for a very short amount of time, after that it does its own thing for a while.

Friday, November 7, 2014

From bunnies to pumpkins!

I finished them!  Here is one of the crochet fingerless mitts I was working on.  I tried to take a picture of both of them on, but my blue rope bracelet on my left arm didn't let the crochet go over it, so it looked odd and like it was trying to come off of my hand.

 I told you before about how my mom got a bunch of pumpkins for free.  Here is a small gallery of the decorative ones she found and I fell in love with.  I know they won't last forever, so if I share them here, we can enjoy them forever.
I got lots of odd looks from the guys working on the neighbor's house while doing this.  I'm okay with that.  I got an odd look from one of them before when I wanted to leave my house and asked them to move the toilet tanks they had sitting in the path of my driveway.  I could live without the guy smoking on their front porch as much.

I didn't want there to be a ton of pictures, like when I did the Luray Caverns thing, so I played with gif maker to condense things a little.  I set them to change every seven seconds so you would have enough time to look at each one.

This is my favorite one.  It looks like an elegant swan.  Everything about it is awesome, the dark steam to the wide ridges.

 I like this one because of all the fun colors.  It is like someone was painting it and just dipped its little bottom in some green paint.  They then added some white lines to make it more exciting, or even wiped away the paint to reveal the white below.

Watermelon pumpkin!  Okay, so it is a watermelon gourde.  It mixes both summer and fall.

The sun kept going in and out, so that is why most of these were so bright.  I like this one because it looks like someone got bored when painting it.  The bumps are also pretty cute on it.

The mini pumpkins are just super classic.  There is only one picture of them, so that is why it isn't moving.
They look like every picture of pumpkins you see, but they are easy to lift and you can put them everywhere in the house.  They are also nice to give a display or centerpiece a few different sizes and textures.

There is something about the white mini pumpkins.  They have the nice shape of the orange small pumpkins, but more unique.  There is something almost fake looking about them.  This poor little guy had a moldy spot on his side, so I only got one good pic.

From the state of a few of these I feel like today is going to be filled with a lot of pumpkin roasting.  Luckily I got a good tip on how to get it done:
First, I cut the big pumpkin in half, then baked them 1 at a time in a 375
degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes.

When the pumpkin cooled down a bit, it was easy to cut into big chunks and
placed into a baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven preheated at 500
degrees. The skin almost just peeled off.

This also means I bunch of pumpkin seeds for me to snack on!  I love those little guys.

I substituted white onion for the leek it called for since I needed it for something I am making later today.  It also got a little foil hat because the top was starting to go bad and I didn't think it was a good idea to put it back on in the shape it was in.

Here is the end result.  It took only about one and a half cups of broth to fill it.  I baked it for about an hour and a half.  It was soooooo good.  The Parmesan at the end made it perfect.
I will be honest and will admit that I ate it before it was cool enough to not burn my mouth and I was really tempted to bake the other one on the spot.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Where did the sun go?

I had some cute pictures planned for today, but don't worry, you will get to see them.  I had grand picture taking plans, but before I knew it the sun had set.  I had to finish some of the errands I forgot to add to my to-do list last night, and getting sucked into the Sims didn't help either.
I'm also making some progress on the fingerless mitts.  I thought I wanted to add one stitch per row for four rows, but turns out I really want to add 2.  I might have also wanted to add a plain row between, but I'm going to be doing some plain rows and we shall see if it looks pretty cool.  I am pretty proud that I figured out how to make it so that the beginning of row doesn't keep moving.  There is a bit of a spiral, but if I tug on it a bit they tend to line-up.
The one thing that makes me not a huge fan of crocheted fingerless mitts is the fact that crochet has so much stability.  It can be an awesome thing when used correctly.  Amigurumi and other toys are prefect uses for crochet's stability.  It can also use used for nice and lacy things that don't snag as easily.  With knitting, if a loop in lace gets snagged and pulled, you have to spend a while trying to fix it.  With crochet the stitches are locked within themselves, so they are harder to disrupt.
I feel like knitting is a bit better for things made for someone you don't know.  That way if it is a little snug, it can stretch out some and fit better.  I know there are a lot of hands out there and these will probably fit someone, but I'm still a bit worried.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy tummy.

At work I had the worst headache today at work.  I tried drinking more water, but that didn't help any.  I am now trying something I heard about on The Dr. Oz Show.  He said that ginger helps to reduce inflammation that can cause the pain.  I have some Pocas brand Honey Ginger tea and we will see if it helps.  If not I will just go to bed early.
My tummy has no complaints though.  I stopped by the pet store to get some kitty-box liners for Mr Jag, the pet store is near the Korean/International Grocery store, so I got some gimbap (aka kimbap: 김밥).  I also got some reduced kimchi, but I am not having any of that tonight.
Most of my break at work was spent eating my crackers and I didn't get a chance to work on the fingerless mitts I have started.  Though now I'm tempted to start them again and have the bottom detail go all the way around the wrist and not just be on the back.  Another option would be to just finish these and make another pair with it going all the way around.  Luckily for me, the weather has become a little warmer, so I don't feel as bad for not getting as many warm things done.
I also have an idea for a hat based on a pattern I had found on Ravelry and a texture on a fabric I saw at work the other day.  It will have traveling slip stitches.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's coming-up bunnies!

I seem to have bunnies on the brain.  I also have pumpkins on the brain too.  This bunny is only about 95% complete though.  He still needs a little tail but I'm going to have to see if I have any white wool yarn to make a little felted one.  I know I have some wool blend yarn but that doesn't felt.  I used this tutorial to make him: Knitted Bunnies
The bunny is what I got the ring for.  It seems that I made the bunny too big for a one inch ring base though.  It just kind of got lost in there.  I pulled it out and I am going to try again on a smaller one.  Though before you point out that the pumpkin I showed before is fairly large so it would be no wonder this guy is too big, that is a new pumpkin.  My mom went to a few of the stands after Halloween and got a bunch of free pumpkins.  This means that I got a bunch too.  This pumpkin will become The Perfect Pumpkin Soup at some point this week.  There is even a video you can watch on how it is done.  I'm excited because there isn't as many steps as their usually is when making pumpkin soup from a raw pumpkin.  There is even a cheesy option that I might try with another one.  I found some sweet ones too, but I can get lots of sweet pumpkin things all over the place, it is harder to find any savory things.

I was just super distracted.  I wanted to do some research on different ways to combine beads and chainmaille.  Two things I love to do all in one place.  I was going to do a quick search... 20 minutes later.  Though the research does have something to do with this blog.  I had planned, back before I had typed a single word, that I would also have a charity Etsy account.  When (not if) the blog got big enough it would give a way for people to be able to donate money to me and also get something nice as well.  Like when you call in to a telethon and you get a tote bag, only better.  The best thing for these would be to find things that are both lovely and quick to make.  That way I wouldn't be taking too much time away from knitting/crochet/sewing items to donate.  While I am not to that point yet, it is just a matter of time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

This is already not going as well as planned...

I got the rings today but I feel too tired to try them out.  That will be on the list for tomorrow.  I have an idea for some quick fingerless mitts, so I'm feeling better already about making warm things.

This post is being super difficult to write.  I have a lot of things I want to complain about, but I don't want to sound like I'm whining.  Hello already writer's block, I was hoping I wouldn't see you for a while.
I've started a few general topics to talk about from my everyday life, but I've also deleted most of them.  I complained about my doctor bill that I didn't get until the second notice and also the doctor bill I will have to call about because I got a bill that I'm pretty sure I paid already.  A check for the exact same amount to the same people was cashed three days before this one was sent out.  I also hate calling people on the phone, so this will be less fun.
I started talking about how crazy the timing for NaNoWriMo is because of how crazy this month is, but it's not like it should be a surprise for me.  I also thought about how if I decide to add pictures of finished charity projects and count them as 1,000 words each it won't hurt anyone.  Some people count their homework because they don't think they will be able to do their school work and finish the 50,000 words.
In previous years when I've participated in NaNoWriMo the beginning is pretty easy for me.  I'm pretty good at coming up with characters, a location, and a general start.  Thinking of the big problem the characters have to face and how it will end are where I start to run into problems.
Also, the hubby's computer just started making noise from a YouTube video and he's not home...super freaky.

I'm thinking of doing something similar to NaNoWriMo, but with crafting.  Maybe 50,000 stitches in a month?  Though sewing might have to make more since it is really easy to just set the machine on the smallest stitch and go crazy.  I would count knitting, crochet, and beading in that list.  It might be a nice way to start the new year.  I could call it...NaStiMaMo.  Short for National Stitch Making Month.  Jan would also be a nice time to do it since I know December is usually reserved for Script Frenzy.
Some people use December to edit their story from November if they aren't participating in script frenzy.  Other people just look at it as a nice month off.  Do I think other people will join me in this idea?  I have no idea, but I would like to think that someone out there might think it is a fun idea.

Not sure if anyone likes that I'm adding the break, but I know that seeing a huge wall of text when checking out a blog might make me feel a bit overwhelmed, so I decided to add the break before I get to the long winded part of my post.  That way if someone doesn't want to read my prompt driven rambling they won't have to try and scroll past all of it and get carpel tunnel just to see if they missed a post from the day before.
Though speaking of blogs, I have done a fairly good job at catching up on a few I love to read.  The Yarn Harlot has a lot of funny things about knitting, Refashionista is a funny blog where she takes those scary things you see at thrift stores and makes them into awesome cloths, and AmpuTeeHee sometimes has knitting and other times just has stuff about life.  There are other blogs I read, but those are the three I try and keep up with the most.

Since this beginning of the post is so rambly, here is some more.  I did not go to Knit Night tonight because my mom was told to stay away from pregnant ladies.  She has a spot on her check that is red and warm to the touch.  After going to the doctor he guessed that it might be the start of a spot of shingles.  She gets to take three different medicines for it, but the fun does not end there.  One needs to be taken every eight hours while the other two need to be taken every twelve.  If that isn't confusing enough all need to be taken with food and no two can be taken at the same time.  We figure she will be just eating snacks constantly.  That is about seven times a day she will need to take a pill (or a few) with food.  That is a lot of eating.  I don't even really remember needing to take anything when I got the chicken pox the first time.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Let's talk about fingerless mitts.

Some more info on my plan.  I plan on putting the writing sections near the bottom of each post.  That way if you are here just for the crafting you won't have to scroll past all of that.
There also would have been a picture here of something I made to donate, but I've run into a problem.  What I'm making has a very round bottom, but I would like for it to be able to sit on a table or the floor.  A washer or something else flat and wide would work to fix that, but I'm worried that if this was given to little ones someone might get a boo-boo if it was getting swung around.  Another idea that might work are the plastic rings that can be found in the sewing/home dec notions isle of craft stores.  They are mostly used as tiebacks, cafe curtains, shade pulls or balloon shades, but I have also seen them used to make yarn buttons.  Hopefully the 1 inch will be wide enough to make a stable base.  Another option might be those fake coins you can find at dollar stores, but I feel like it might be a bit harder to secure them so they don't shift too much.
It has also gotten a lot colder in my area over the past few days.  About two days ago I was running around without a jacket on and now I feel like I need at least three.  It makes me feel bad that I'm making cute little things and not warm stuff.  Who needs little toys when it is cold out?  People need hats and other warm things for their body.  I do have plans for some fun fingerless mitts, I even got a free pattern for one.  The designer Sarah Wilson(Ravelry link) was doing a give-a-way where you picked up to five patterns and then you got a surprise one for free.  I got Mrs. Branson Wristwarmers(Ravelry link).  Super cute, right?  There are also about a billion other fingerless mitt patterns to be found on Ravelry.
There is also a chart floating around my computer that might become a pattern for more fingerless mitts.  Can you tell I like them?  It seems like a lot of knitters have a sock as their purse project, but I seem to gravitate to fingerless mitts.  How many times can I type fingerless mitts?

I also just found some good news in the blog world.  I was complaining that there is nothing like Ravelry for sewers.  It seems there is something in the works.  Here is some info on how the entries will look here.  I'm super excited for this.  I have some fabric I bought to make a dress but when I made the muslin version I did not like it as much as I thought I would.  So now I have a piece of fabric and no easy way to find another dress to make with it.  I could search for tons of patterns I like and then hope they take what I need or less, but I'm already tired just thinking about it.  I would much rather be crafting.  Though it won't be ready to be used within the next few weeks, I am still excited.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Day 1: Oh boy...fruit.

So this month will hopefully have a lot of words for you to read in it.  A lot of them won't be about stuff I make for charity, but I hope a good chunk of them will be.
Remember back in January of 2013 how I got permission to use some writing prompts of out a book filled with them?  This book to be exact.  How I got all excited and then nothing happened?  Then I planned on doing one a week this year so I would be doing 52 of the 32-62 range I was offered.  Remember how that doesn't seem to have happened either?  Well, here is why.  My big plan was to go through the book and write down all the prompts I really liked.  I would then keep narrowing them down until I only had 62 left.  As fast as I'm working on it, I might have that done by the time I'm 100.  This is code for "I haven't even looked in the book since the day I decided to buy it."
I decided to go super crazy this Nov though.  I am going to use a random number generator and go by what it tells me which one I should try out.  I was going to try and combine NaNoWriMo and NaBloWriMo, but it looks like NaBloWriMo happens in Oct...oops.  I will try and use the spirit of it and post everyday.  I will also keep a running tab of how many words I write for NaNoWriMo.  I know it won't be a novel with one set of characters and all that goes with that, it will be a set of short stories.  I'm okay with that.  I will also be counting any words about my charity stuff to my 50K.  I will also try and not use the "a picture is worth 1,000 words" thing to cheat, but I won't make any real promises.
I might also put more than one prompt in a post since I do have a lot of wiggle room number wise.  I know I have to try for at least 1,667 per day to try and reach my goal by the end of the month.  I know some days will be easier than others.

So today's prompt is.... 493!
Okay...turns out that won't work either.  It turns out that they don't have numbers by them.  More proof that I have not looked at the book since the day I got it.  Time to flip through and see where I land?