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:
Bought some local yarn. I didn't have any llama yarn before, but now I do. The colors are showing up brighter in the picture than they do in person.

  I wasn't going to buy it at first, but Bill thought it would be nice to support some local people, even if it isn't my local.

  Bill really wanted to go to Founders.  Since we had all worked up an appitite at the Fiber Show we decided it would be a really good idea.

  I tried these four.  The middle two were my favorite.  The lightest one, Apple BLOSSome, was brewed to celebrate the wedding anniversary of the owner.
  The Meijer Gardens were our next stop.  This little guy was in the area with all the cacti and other really warm weather plants.  He was just so cute!

  Aunt Fern also really wanted to go see the horse sculpture that is there because she has heard it is one of those things you just have to go see.  When you first walk around the bend all you see is the medium horse (the very small one on the left)

  Once you fully get around you see this guy.  He is 24 feet tall.  We also stayed so long we closed the place out.

DAY 3:

  More craft fair fun!  It was in a tiny town and someone actually stopped to look at our out of state plates as they walked by.  I thought these little paper clip angles were really cute.

   If there is a book store near by, we have to go to it.  Bill's family are very big book people.  This was one of the good ones we saw but didn't get.

  There was also this really big and old Dictionary.  It is kind of sad how they don't put the pretty designs on the sides of books.  I heard they did that so it would be easy to tell if pages were ever removed.  I don't know if that is true or not, but it does sound good.

  This guy was a button made from beads that Aunt Fern showed me, then gave to me.  I will have to find a special place for him.
  I feel like I have finally become part of the family.  Not that anyone wasn't welcoming before or anything, but I made my first button card.  We looked for buttons for about two and a half hours and then it took me about that long again to put them on the card.

  The reason it took so long was because some of them had the good shank back and some had the annoying shank back.  The one on the bottom had the good one, you just made a little slit and it went right in.  The one on the top has a tapper to it, so you had to make a much bigger hole and it kept wanting to slide out.  You have to either add some pipe cleaner to help hold it down, or wrap one of the ends of wire around its neighbor.

DAY 4:

  On our way out of town we stopped by The Farm.  It is some land that Bill's family owns and his grandparents lived out there.

  This is the old foundation of the barn.  I tried to get a few panoramic shots of it, but they didn't do it justice.  It is really cool to see how well it has held up over time.

  This is out farther from where the house used to be and everything.  It was where they would take maple sap and boil it down to make either maple syrup or maple candies.  Huge metal trays would go on those slates and wood would go underneath.  You can still see some of where the large door went on the front.
  You could even still see some of the holes in the trees.  It was really cool to see that still on there.

   No idea what it used to be, but we found that near the house foundation remnants.

  Further down the road we saw some cows munching on the left-overs from a corn field.  They were loving it.

DAY 5:

  It was just a whirlwind of  cats and hanging out with Bill's mom and his siblings.

  This is Tiger.  He is over 20 years old.  Poor Old-Man Kitty still gets around and likes to have his head petted.

  This is Mrs. Harrison.  She came to them all ratty and pregnant.  None of her kittens were long haired though.

   Speaking of her children.  Here is one of them.  She was shy at first, then wouldn't leave.  I got my legs licked while I was petting her.  She will also bite your nose if you aren't giving her enough attention.

  Since we were in the area and had a big truck, we helped Bill's Mother to take some stuff to the local recycle place.  They still give you money for the things you bring in.

  I mostly finished the shrug, I just need to weave in some ends and block it.  I figure all this is enough for one day, so I will save that for another.

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.