Thursday, December 31, 2015

Not your normal end of the year post.

  Normally this time of the year is when I run around my house and look for all the things that need only a few minutes to finish them, and then get them done.  Since I have started a "bonus" job, I don't have as much time.  You will see that there one though.

  I will take advantage that this is the last day that anyone can use this joke.  There are quite a few pictures with this joke on them, but I liked the glasses in this one a lot.

  This only needed 10 stitches bound off and one end woven in.  Mr. Jag is over there asking me why it took me so long to finish it.
  He is feeling a lot better from his skin infections.  The bacterial one was super easy to deal with.  He has gone through two rounds of the anti-fungal so far and the vet thinks he will need the other two as well.
  I had hoped that the knit-a-long would end before the year ended, but my mom had some Christmas knitting, Cathy and Andrea only cast on, and I didn't want to get too far ahead.  That's fine, I'm not upset about it.  We will get them all done in time.
  Now to go get ready for one going away party and one super-close friends party.  I hope everyone gets to spend the end of one year and beginning of the new one with those they want to.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Another kind of virtual cat.

  Lots of people love games with virtual animals in them.  You can play with them but don't have to worry about allergens, or vet bills.  This website combines the fun of playing with cats on your computer with real cats.  iPet Companion has put camera in the kitty rooms of some shelters and lets you play with them digitally.  You get two minutes to move three toys in the room.  It can be tons of fun, and if you choose a shelter near you, you might find a kitty that you could even go and adopt and keep for yourself.

  I have been mentioning starting some fingerless mitts since I finished the socks.  I still have not started them, but I have been working on my Spectra.  I am getting closer to the reds and yellows.
  This is the yarn I am thinking of using on the ribbed sections of the mitts once I start them.  Kris from Monday night was going to make a hat, but she wasn't feeling it in this yarn. 

  Juniper Moon Farm is hosting a fundraiser by selling the wooden cut-out animals on her Etsy shop (linked below). A portion from each sale of the wooden animals is being donated to Heifer International.
  Allison from Monday night got a bunch of us some of those little bunnies and sheep. This one isn't mine, but I did get one just like it.  Juniper Moon Farms suggested using some scrap yarn to make sweaters for the alpacha, sheep, bunnies, and goats.  Susan Anderson had another idea and posted a tiny flock of sweaters for good.  They are all so cute!  The one pictured above is not one of those, but something that was made-up on the fly.

  I'm off to go finish wrapping presents.  I hope everyone has a super awesome holiday season!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Radio silence.

Sorry for the unexpected silence.  I have been feeling kind of crummy since before Thanksgiving, but it really hit me hard.  I have been sitting on the couch and drinking a lot of tea and orange juice.

  I had not heard back before Monday, so I cast on.  I was going to post about it, but then I got a fever and spent a lot of time on the couch.
  I went to dinner with my mom when I was feeling better and here is the beginning of my jacket with a Red Lobster biscuit.  Since then I have gotten past the decreases and have started the increasing.  My mom is also working on Christmas presents, so I might start those fingerless mitts so I won't get too far ahead of her.  Not that I don't have two scarves on the needles that could use some love or anything.

  Though I haven't been doing as much for my make-up bags, I saw this post on FaceBook and thought about it.  That was really cool what Dollar Shave Club did.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Finished the socks in time!

  I did it!  The socks were done with two days to spare.  Though I started late, my HiyaHiya Flower Lace Socks Oct/Nov KAL is done.  I have some plans on using the lace pattern to make some fingerless mitts, but those will probably have to wait until after I finish the Baby Surprise knit-a-long.
  One of the other people from my Monday knit-nights has a group of knitters in her neighborhood who also want to knit a Baby Surprise jacket.  I asked her if they have a start date yet and have not heard back.  If I don't hear back by Monday I plan on starting.  So unless you hear anything different from me, plan on casting on around Monday.  Some of us do refer to it as Cast-on Monday in my area.

  Carola is at it again.  The group had been given a few finished duck heads.  Most of the people seemed confused, but I figured it was for crochet taxidermy.  Andrea had never heard of it before, but now loves the idea.

  Since I'm waiting to hear back about the start date I decided to work on my 10-stitch blanket some more.  Ravelry doesn't have an option to put that you are working with US size 18 needles.  They have US 17 and US 19, but no US 18.  Here is my proof that I really am working with some.
  This is the 10-stitch blanket my mom finished.  The little squares that the yarn made are really cool.  It has already been passed on to Renae's son, so he will be getting a blanket made out of the yarn that was intended for that.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sock stuff and my beef with Black Friday.

  Two at a time socks seemed really straight forward at first, then kind of confusing.  I worked the leg with no problems and worked all of the heel flap really easily.  I then turned each heel, one at a time, also with little problem.  Then I got to the slightly confusing part.  I had to pick-up along the heel flap, but I also didn't want tons of stitches on one side pulling some of the stitches from the other side out of whack.
  So I picked up one side with one the heel stitches and the other with the top of the foot stitches.  Decreasing was easy enough to keep track of, but then I wondered what I would do once I was finished and was then working on the foot area straight.

  As you can see, I still have six of the sole stitches hanging out with the patterned stitches that go along the top of the foot.  This would have been fine until I got to the toe decreases, but it kind of bugged me that they weren't with their other sole stitches.

   The six stitches that needed to move on the sock nearest the end of the needles were easy to move.  The set on the sock that rested between the two was a bit more difficult.  When it was time to move them the cable on the circular needle had half the stitches of the first sock in the way, you couldn't just move them over.  So I worked the stitches and then slid them to a tiny circular I had laying around.

   Then once I got back to the sole stitches of the correct sock, I just slid them on.  It probably sounds harder than it was.  That extra needle was only there for a few minutes and didn't even get in my way at all.

The corn pudding is missing because it was still in the oven.
  This year was also the first year that I had Turkey Day at my house!  We usually all go over to my parents' house and eat there.  Bill wanted to smoke the turkey and since I wanted to make a few sides we knew it would be easier at our house.
  It didn't go as bad as I feared.  The turkey's temp probe got put in a bad place, my stuffing base boiled over because my mom had moved my can opener and no one could find it (it was in the laundry room), I burned my fingers slightly, my favorite serving dish got broken, and my corn pudding took over twice as long to bake as it should have.  Though it was very memorable, nothing was brunt, and nothing was raw.  Everyone left the table feeling way too full and we all had to wait an hour before we could fit pie in.  The whipped cream was even a spitter.
  The rest of the night was spent playing Cards Against Humanity until we all got too sleepy and found our beds.

  Mary had wanted to go Black Friday shopping with me, but I tend to tell people I am against Black Friday.  Then I thought about it more and realized that I have purchased things on most Black Fridays.  Though I think the most I've spent in the last 6 years on a Black Friday was $13.
  So I am not against buying things on Black Friday if you are going about it the smart way.  A lot of the deals that are being offered are going to be offered again before Christmas.  Some will not.  I know where I work that the prices of the flannel and fleece are their best at Black Friday.  A lot of the other things will have better prices before Christmas.
  I do not agree with how early everything starts.  You don't hear about stores opening at 4am for their Martin Luther King Jr. Day sales.  Instead of special sales going from 6am-1pm can't they go from 9am-4pm just as easily?  It makes it so much harder on the employees.
  I also don't agree with the hype.  I don't see anyone camped outside of Best Buy for their Valentine's Day sale or hear about people getting trampled during Wal*Mart's Presents Day sale.  A lot of the things people are so eager to buy will just get returned once they get a good night's rest and look through all the bags.

  Anyway, I am done ranting.  I shall go eat leftovers in my PJs and hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Knit it Black

  I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, like most of us do, and stumbled upon this.  Alex has made a few knitting patterns and some of the money she makes off of them will go to helping black cats and black dogs in shelters.  They are the last to get adopted for a few reasons.  She had a successful Kickstarter and you can find her patterns on Ravelry.
  I think this is awesome.  I love my Mr. Jag and would be sad if some other awesome black-furred animal didn't get to be in an awesome home too.

  I was also given a link to this GoFundMe.  The Magic Yarn Project makes hats for little girls who are suffering from cancer.  Though instead of just being standard hats, they are made into wigs so they girls can become their favorite Disney Princess.

Friday, November 20, 2015

That time of the year.

   Soup!!!  If you guessed that I am making lots of soup out of medium sized pumpkins, you are correct!  I wanted to get super fancy with this one and added the cheese to make a creamy soup base.  That cheese melts into a very liquid and not at all stringy form.

  I also promised a picture of the shrug.  This is my finished piece for the Scuttle Shrug(Ravelry link).  I made the x-small and put a cat into the picture for comparison.
  If you think that yarn looks familiar, it is because it is the same yarn that my mom is using to make her 10 Stitch Blanket.

  I also got an invite to the Hiya-Hiya knit-a-long group.  I saw these socks and knew that they would be fun to knit.  For the knit-a-long you get clues.  Clue 1 was the main leg part of the socks.  Clue 2 is the heel and gusset.  I have gotten the other clues, but from pictures I am guessing that Clue 3 is the foot and Clue 4 are the toes.
  Since I would have to finish each clue before I got the next I thought it would be a fun time to try making them two at a time.  It both seems slower and faster.  You feel like you are working on each row for a lot longer than twice the time/stitches, but it also seems to grow faster.

  Here is where I am on them right now.  I have turned the heel and now I'm working on the gusset.  You can see where I have the markers to note where the beginning of the round is.  I probably don't totally need them and I know I will be taking them off once I get it down.
  I plan on transferring all the sole stitches to one needle once I am done decreasing even though the beginning of the round will be in the middle.  I find I only need to pay attention to that while decreasing at the heel and at the toe sections.
  I will try and take pictures when I transfer the stitches since it isn't as straight forward as it would be if you were only doing one at a time.

  I also have not forgotten the Baby Surprise knit-a-long.  The deadline for the socks is the end of the month, but I hope to have them done before then.  So anyone thinking of joining along should plan for starting on the first of next month.
  I don't know if I will finish my own 10 Stitch Blanket before the knit-a-long, but I'm okay with winging it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Michigan in a minute (also some Ohio)

DAY 1:

  I have been having so much fun, and it is only day one!  It is also unseasonably warm.

  Bill's grandmother used to make these button cards.  This is one she even entered into a contest.

  Here is the back with more info and her picture.  She won quite a few awards with her button cards.  There were a lot of rules for those.

  These are in the sidewalk outside of Bill's Aunt's house. You just don't see sidewalks like that anymore. It is so cool to be able to see who put them down.
   This is the sexy beer advertisement the local beer company put out. Guys liked it because it looked naughty but it was also discreet about it. The place got closed down by prohibition, but they recently reopened a new location.

   Bill's Aunt has a lot of great things from Lansing's past.   She used to collect them with her father.

  Here is their new location. Very bright and easy to see from the road.  A few of the old pictures from the original location are blown up in two of the rooms.  They were donated by Aunt Fern.

  I just can't go anywhere without my knitting. I am further than when you saw it last, but I had to rip some out in the car because I picked up the wrong number of stitches.
  We also went to go visit Bill's Grandparents on his Mother's side.  The cemetery where they are is very pretty and very old.

DAY 2:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On the road.

  As you might have noticed, I have not been writing about 1,667 words per day. I decided to not do NaNoWriMo this year. I decided to get more things made than I usually do before AUSA this year and needed a break right after.
  Although I say that, I had signed up for a test knit before I started sewing and I plan on getting it done before the deadline. I also signed up for a sock knit-a-long. So I will still be working on things, just not adding anything extra.

  I will be seeing these things for a while. The top picture is my tedt knit, and the second is my current view from the truck. Michigan might be far away, but we are determined to get there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back to the Future Day!

  I also have an update for the make-up bags.  I heard about similar eye-shadow made by this company on Instagram and went to Walgreens to check them out.  I didn't find them then, even though the person said she found them on the very top shelf.  I didn't know she meant the overstock top shelf.
  The ones I saw before were only four colors.  When I saw these I knew they were going to work perfectly.  I think the sizes of each shadow are bigger and will be easier to use than the ones I was looking at from Dollar Tree.
  Why, yes, that is the display of them.  Why, yes, that is the display in my house.  I had to get someone to get them down for me, then I just decided to get all of them.  While that means I will have four extra pallets, I could always save them for later.

   Here is my shout-out to Back to the Future.  Today is the day that Marty and Doc Brown are supposed to show-up.  I am seeing tons of cool pictures online of people posing with a DeLorean and it is so cool.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I love yarn (yester)day!

  Okay, so I love yarn everyday, but yesterday was the official I Love Yarn Day.  I know Nature's Yarn was doing something for it.  I did not go this year though.  I have been busy sewing a costume for an anime convention at the end of the month.  Normally I would have some idea of how long I need to finish it, but since I'm winging a lot of it, I'm not sure.

   I did not go the whole day without celebrating though.  I don't remember if I linked this before, but it was a sample I made for work for a one hour Try Me class.  You pretty much just wind a bunch of super chunky yarn around some cardboard, then tie smaller pieces to help it keep it's shape.
  I was not surprised when no one signed up for the class.  Since that was back in May and it was the same color as the pink from my blanket, I though it could use another life.  Now I just have to decide if I want to add the dark pink as a border or not.  I think I will since I don't have enough of that dark pink to make another 10 Stitch Blanket, and I'm not sure what I want to use it for.  It would also mean that my mom and I would be working on the same pattern at the same time.
  Now back to work on that costume...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It looks like it is smoldering.

  As anyone who has been here knows, I'm not the best at finishing things.  I have the sample from work to finish the 10 stitch blanket side, but I still don't know if I have enough to add a dark pink border.

  You can see that my mom has started one too.  The funny thing about this is that the person who bought this yarn had meant to make it into a blanket.  The same person had tried a few times to make a 10 stitch blanket but had gotten stuck on it.  Though she was not using the yarn my mom has, I still find it amusing that my mom is using her yarn to make a blanket she got annoyed with.
  Maybe this means that we are having our own mini-pre-knit-a-long knit-a-long?  I have no idea, but I think her blanket will be really cute.

  I took two similar pictures to try and show how cool this yarn is looking right now.  The brown was covering all the red/orange/yellow before.  I like how it looks like it is smoldering on the inside and then has the burned and blackened outer edges with a light layer of ash.

  I also have to plan my con knitting.  I'm working on a costume for Anime USA, but that doesn't cover having something during down times.  Some people might thing there wouldn't be any, but there can be some long lines at times.  There are also times where you are ready to go, but are waiting on other people to get ready.  I'm thinking of bringing a cute little shrug that I am test knitting.  Well, I will be test knitting.  I signed up for it but the yarn is still at my mom's house.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"I want my needles to draw blood!"

  No one can say that knitters are boring.  In fact, that title was said when we were discussing needles and how pointed or blunt we personally like them.

  Another exciting thing about knitting is how we sometimes love on the edge...or close to the edge.  As you can see, I didn't make it to the end with that last skein.  Right now I'm hoping I can find that sample cowl I made for work months ago and use some of that yarn to get to the end.

  Someone donated this to K&CC through one of our members.  It was the two skeins of yarn in the bag with the started project and pattern.  No needles.  The stitches were just hanging out.
  I put it on some random needles I had close to me and assessed the project.  At first I wanted to just keep going from where they had left off, but then I took a closer look at it.  It was knit at a really loose gauge and there were too many odd things about it that I would not be able to live with them.
  It had pulled in where they switched from the garter stitch beginning to the pattern rows.  There were two spots where they had accidentally kept going with the garter stitch in the stockinette areas, and some how there were 13 stitches on the 12 stitch edge.
  Though I want to be able to appreciate all the work that went into what this person had started, I knew I wouldn't be happy continuing with it the way it was.

  It took about six hours, but I went to bed with the scarf back to the same point it was at when I ripped it all out.  I am so much happier with it.  I also used less yarn than had been used before.  I think that is a combination of re-knitting the yarn and my tighter gauge.
  I am also super excited for some of the color peaking through.  I don't have ball bands for either of these, so I have no idea what will be coming out of the gradient one on the right.  The picture also makes the slight gradient of the brown on the left more apparent.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


  Both my mom and I are working on knitting blankets right now.  She also gave me a yarn that I feel like would make an awesome baby surprise sweater. She has been wanting to make a baby surprise sweater for a while now.  The plan is to have a Baby Surprise Sweater knit-a-long once we are both done with out blankets.
   Once this is closer I am going to be posted a notice about it on the various Ravelry groups I belong to in case anyone wants to join.  Any readers are also welcome to join out knit-a-long once we figure out when it is going to happen.
  If you can't wait for us, head over to Knit Purl Hunter because they have a lot of knit-a-longs.  Right now they have a sports themed scarf going on.

  As you can see, the blanket has outgrown my backpack.  I'm still trying to decide if I want to add a different colored boarder around the outside or not.  I just keep going with the pink and I will reassess how I feel once I run out.

  As you can see in this picture, running out of the pink might happen sooner than anticipated.  I started the last skein I have of the light pink in the middle of finishing the last corner turn.  As you can see, it might not make it to the end.  Don't worry too much, I was knitting faster so I can beat the yarn to the end.  That's how it works, right?  If I knit fast enough I can get to the other edge before the yarn knows it has run out.

  I called in an expert to see what he thinks.  He got distracted by how soft and puffy the blanket is and couldn't give me a straight answer.
  if nothing else, at least it has been proven again and again that knitting/crochet does have health benefits.  Though I don't know why the article says to choose needles over Netflix, I usually choose both at once!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I got my first Vox box from Influenster!

  If you don't know what Influenster is, it is a website that lets you rate and look at how others rated things.  I love it so far.  If you are really active on there you can qualify for surveys and you might get some free things sent to you to review.
  I just got my first box!  It is the Curel Anti-Itch lotion and body wash.  I have already tested the lotion and I know I will love it during winter.  It has a nice, very faint, lemon smell though there aren't any added fragrances.  I don't have super sensitive skin, but I think everyone will be able to use it.  It absorbs quickly and doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or tacky. The body wash has the same smell to it.
  The box came with a dollar off coupon to use on some other Curel product and I know I will be totally using it.

Video coming soon!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Knitting Without Neighbors.

  I feel like I've mentioned that joke before.  How Claire couldn't remember the name of Knitting For Neighbors and called it Knitting Without Neighbors.  We then had to give all our theory on how to chase away your neighbors with knitting.  The deadline for submissions was brought up, and it reminded me of it.
  Since I don't have much to show for myself, here are some awesome things that someone else made.
  There is an interesting story behind these huggable monsters.  A local Girl Scout troop donated a bunch of these finger-knit lengths and had called them scarves.  No other detail was given, so we guessed they did enough to get their badge and that was about it.  Though no one at Uniquities thought we would be able to do anything with them, they passed them onto the K&CC anyway.
  Aren't all of those amazing?  The guy on the right with the orange tummy/mouth has those kid's bracelets that look like phone cords for the detail on the eye/fin openings.

   Here is the genius herself, Carola, acting like it is no big deal that she makes such awesome things.  Her huggable monsters are the most creative I've ever seen.

   The other night there was a moon related phenomenon.  It was that the moon was super close to the Earth and there was a lunar eclipse.  Of course, it was also super cloudy.  Since it was so cloudy, I wasn't able to get a good picture of it.

   I did get a good picture of Mr. Jag and the 10 stitch blanket though.  Before anyone worries about him laying on it, I will be washing it before I give it away.

   I was able to get a cool picture of the moon tonight, too bad it wasn't during the super cool lunar eclipse.

   Here is another shot with more of the clouds showing.  It was just so bright and beautiful to look at.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My car, my cat, ...and my can?

  So first my car's check engine light came on.  Then they noticed that I also needed a new front axle boot along with the oxygen sensor.  This took almost a week to do, so I got a really fun Golf TDI clean diesel to use.  While they were still working on that, Mr. Jag started to act a bit weird.  He would hold one ear out to the side some and would sometimes slightly loose balance when walking.
  I took him in and it turns out he had a very slight ear infection in both ears.  I now know the "joys" of putting ear drops in a cat.  Though at least mine isn't a biter, scratcher, or wiggler.
  Since people always say that bad things happen in threes, I was thinking what else could go wrong.  First it was my car, then it was my cat, so I thought it would be funny if my can were next.  Then I tried to take it back really quickly.
  It didn't totally work.  When I used the toilet the next morning it made sputtering sounds when I flushed it.  Somehow some air had gotten into the pipes.  Lucky for me, my three bad things, though hilariously named, went down in the level of 'bad' as they happened.

  I did figure out a way to block the cowl.  This is the small trash bin I keep in the TV room so I have an easy place to throw away anything I might have to while working on things on the couch.
  I'm still waiting on the second one to finish drying before I take any pictures of it.

  I have also started on my newest project.  I have had this chunky yarn in my car for so long that it is starting to fade from the sun.  I also knew I wanted to make one of those Ten Stitch Blankets(Ravelry link) for a while.
  I had to put the call out for needles though.  I have US size 15 needles and then it jumps to US size 50 needles.  I knew the 50s were going to be too big, and the 15s too small.  I asked if there had been any US size 19s donated or not.  Turns out we could only find one US size 19 needle.  Not a set of them, one individual needle.  My mom went digging around in her stash of needles and came out with a pair of US size 18 needles.  I didn't even know that was an option.  I think they are working out though.

  In the pattern you work short rows with wrap and turns at the ends.  I was getting confused because usually when you do that you pick-up and work the wrap at some point to hide it.  This is not the case with this pattern.  I was also worried that if I had to put it down while I was working on increasing the length of the short rows that I would be confused and have to start the whole corner over again.
  As you can see in the picture above, it isn't too hard to tell with this yarn if the stitch in question has one or two wraps on it.  The bulky yarn will also make it a nice and quick project.