I used this pattern but only did the inner round of treble-crochets. I made an extra 4-leaf clover for Dollar to carry around in his pocket.
Pattern is from Amigurumi Toy Box. I used leftover pink worsted yarn in my stash. It turned out a bit too flesh-colored for my liking.
The only change I would make to the pattern is to make the top flatter- more hamburger bun shaped. There were a couple rounds early on where you didn't increase and this kind of created a torpedo shape to the top. Before the frilly skirt and tentacles were added, it just looked like I crocheted a single boob.
For the long tentacles in the center, I just used single strands of yarn- which I think looks more delicate.
Now... what to do with it. Right now it just looks like a sad, beached jellyfish. I feel like it should be hanging up somewhere.
I wanted to knit a small modular blanket for one of my cats. At the craft store, I saw a big bin of 1lb bags for yarn for $8. I had a 50% off coupon, so I only paid $4. As I worked with it, the colors ranged from uncooked bacon to cooked bacon to old, oxidized bacon. I guess I was thinking a lot about bacon.
60 stitch modular blocks on US 8 needles, finished with a log cabin border.
Man, it's a good thing I only paid $4 for 1lb of this no-name mystery acrylic which only said "Made in Turkey" on the plastic bag. There were a few lengthy stretches of pure-white albino yarn (obviously mistakes) that I had to cut out. Knots in the yarn. Etc. Only ended up using about 12 oz (3 balls) for this blanket.
Still, it's a squishy blanket with nice drape. The cats do like it.
Plain pair of ankle socks that I managed to squeeze out of one 50g ball of yarn:
Yarn is Elann Sock It To Me, now discontinued. It's been in my stash since I started knitting 9 years ago. Yeaaaahhhh. I'll get to all my yarn, eventually. Sometimes it just takes nearly a decade (gulp).
This weekend went by too fast. Saturday was mostly a wash- I woke up sneezing and spent most of the day blowing my nose, drinking tea or napping. I was sure I was coming down with a cold because I don't get allergies. But it must have been the warm weather melting the snow or something- I was completely fine on Sunday. Fine enough to do all the chores that I've been putting off.
Murderface and Penny in rare close proximity to one another:
When I heard Malabrigo was offering spinning fiber called Nube (spanish for Could), I ordered several. My first experience was with the Mostaza colorway:
Wow. This stuff should be called Ladrillo (spanish for Brick). I don't understand Malabrigo's incessant desire to package all their products in the tightest, most compact and dense way possible. This fiber required a significant amount of preparation and pre-drafting to get it ready to spin. For most braids of fiber, I simply split the fiber lengthwise several times and then start spinning.
For this? Splitting the fiber lengthwise was like ripping apart felt. Then I had to open/pull apart each strip an inch at a time because it was still so compacted. Then I had to pre-draft each strip, so that the fibers could easily slip past one another at the spinning wheel. All in all, it was a couple hours of prep work. No big deal but when I usually only spend 1 minute prepping... it was a pain.
The final 2-ply yarn:
Pretty. I know the other braids that I have will spin up prettily as well. It's all the prep work that's putting me off. The good news is that I've searched around online for Nube braids and I've seen some on other people's blogs; it looks like Malabrigo has corrected this issue.
So, if you see some like this:
Don't buy it. Unless you love pre-drafting. In which case, you're crazy.
If you see Nube like this:
Buy it. Buy all of it. Grab everything Supermarket Sweep style. This is the same soft merino as their worsted yarn and you get the added bonus of making it the way you want- one ply, two ply, three ply, etc.
I knit a small pouch using leftover rainbow yarn:
I've made so many of these small dice bags and I can't find any of them. I'm sure that must mean they're being used somewhere, right? I guess I will keep using up sock yarn remnants for these.
Bah, snowshoeing in 18" of snow is tough work.
Saturday is was gorgeous (but cold) so my sister and I went on a little excursion around the property.
Took us about an hour just to do a long loop along the edge of the fields. We saw some interesting tracks that looked like an animal had to jump along through the snow because it was too deep. My guess it fox but it could be anything that is in the area: fisher cat, coyote, maybe even a bob cat. I can't seem to find anything online that matches what we saw.
It's been a week. Big storm came at the end of last week, so I was able to work from home Thursday afternoon and Friday. It's so nice to stay home turing a terrible snow storm. And since it was Valentine's Day, I heart-shaped all the foods.
Peanut Butter roll-out cookies:
And a pizza for supper:
I called Dollar over. He saw the pizza and said "Awwww." Then I did this:
Mmm, tasted like a broken heart. Just kidding, it tasted like pizza. Now I need to come up with shamrock shapes for St. Patrick's day. How do I make green pizza? Green peppers? And broccoli? Spinach? Peas? Kiwi?
This is all covered up with snow after yesterday's storm, but here are my winter sown containers so far:
I received many free seeds in the mail from a newbie seed-swap. I had fun googling all the species. There were a few veggies (tomato, onion) and perennial herbs. Feverfew sounds like it will make a nice addition to the flower garden. False sunflowers and red salvia, as well. I need more containers!
Super Bowl season means avocados on sale at the grocery store. I made guacamole, of course:
I've read online that avocado is a perfectly acceptable substitute for butter in recipes for baked treats. Trying to clean out my pantry, I took out a box of chocolate Santas leftover from Chirstmas and decided to melt them down for brownies. I used gluten-free flour from King Arthur Flour for this recipe as well:
Avocado Gluten-Free brownies. These are SO good- so moist and tasty. I gave one to Dollar, gleefully waited for him to try a few bites and then told him there's no butter and it's gluten-free. He was like, "Whhaaaaaaaaaat?" I think I might use avocados to replace butter in oatmeal raisin cookies next.
Went down to Brattleboro on Sunday with my sister to visit a yarn shop. We made a pit stop at the Whetstone Station for lunch.
I tried some Dry-Hopped Citizen Cider draft the Worthy Burger last week. I saw another Citizen Cider offering, Unified Press, on the list at Whetstone. I love these ciders. The Dry-Hopped would be an excellent, refreshing summertime drink. The Unified Press is like biting into a granny smith apple. They are so good. The best ciders I've ever had.
I got the bratwurst for lunch:
The Whetstone is definitely worth a stop of you're in Brattleboro.
This past summer I knit a baby blanket for Dollar's niece. Penny really wanted it. She would get into my lap as I worked on it, declaring "mine mine mine" as she kneaded it. Despite her best efforts, it was given away. I promised that I would make her one and finally got around to it now that the holiday knitting frenzy is over.
Pattern: Little Miss Sunshine (Ravelry)
Yarn: Mystery dk-weight acrylic. Given to me by Dollar's mom, no labels. Nice and soft; most definitely machine washable.
Modification: For the scalloped border, you're meant to skip a stitch and work the scallops. It was coming out too ruffly, so I skipped 2 stitches instead as I worked the border around.
All three cats like the blanket. I'll have to make a couple more. And Dollar said he wants one, too. His is going to be The Great American Aran Afghan. I need to get back into making blocks for this. I have 6 done- just need to make another 6.
Pattern: Pescovegetarian Mittens
Yarn: Ironstone Harmony, 2 balls. Didn't use it all- have enough leftover for a matching beanie.
Needles: US 9 and 10.
Modifications: Only change was to take the tip of the mitten down to 6 stitches before I cut the yarn and cinched the loops closed.
Good pattern- very quick to make with bulky yarn. I plan to do this pattern again in a light color so that the fishbone design stands out more.
A pair of socks for me:
Love these. I only have about 6 pairs that I've knit for myself and they are all in excellent condition because I really only wear them to bed when it's freezing out.
The yarn is a superwash merino base that I dyed during a class at the first (or second?) Green Mountain Fiber Festival in WRJ.
I still have the skein on the right. I'm a little apprehensive to use it; the color combo is... interesting.
Received a lovely set of interchangable knitting needles in the mail last week:
The needles are handmade in Vermont by DyakCraft. I placed the order 11 months ago. I know that seems like a wicked long time to wait but this was a completely customized set- I picked every single color of wood I wanted for every single size. Unfortunately, you can't do that any more. You can only certain sets of colors.
I ordered the 5" lace-tipped needles. Currently I'm trying to narrow down yarn/pattern/needle decisions for my next project.
This set it very comparably priced to other sets that you can buy online if you factor in that all the DyakCraft products are handmade. The only hard part is the waiting ;) Do what I do- place and order and forget about it. Then you'll want to do backflips once you're notified that the needles are ready to ship.
Picked up a little container of cat grass:
In the past, Murderface was only sort-of interested in it. Santana doesn't care. Penny loves the stuff- she will eat it all at once if I let her. I try to ration it by keeping it up on the counter, but she just jumps up onto the counter to eat it.
* * * * *
I have a plan to winter sow perennial flower seeds. Seed packets just arrived in some of the garden stores around here; I've picked up lavender, shasta daisies, black-eyed susan, hollyhock, blue sage, butterfly weed, delphinium... a dozen different kinds. All for around $15.
Now I need to find containers. I didn't save up any clear jugs or salad containers (oops). And I don't want to buy anything. I wonder if I go to a recycling center, whether or not they'll let me take stuff. Probably not.
The only disappointing aspect so far is that most sources say that you won't get blooms from the perennials until the 2nd year. I'm like, 2015?!?! So, I might winter sow the perennials this weekend and then wait until March to winter sow some annuals. I need to have some blooms this summer.
It's still too early to think about what's going to come up this spring, but I transplanted a lot of purple irises that I hope to see come up. I got quite a few daffodil and crocus bulbs into the ground. I planted a shade garden behind the house with ferns, hostas and old-fashioned bleeding hearts.
For Christmas I received a gallon zip-lock bag of embroidery floss. It was a jumble of colors but all already neatly wound onto bobbins. I selected tonal pairs of colors for a bookmark:
No pattern, per se. I used a small motif from an out-of-print cross-stitch book that I picked up last summer at the Five-Colleges Book Sale.
To make the bookmark less floppy (and hide the messy wrong side!), I added a felt back:
To do this, once I was all done with the colored design, I simply put both the felt fabric and Aida cloth onto my Q-snap frame and stitched the thin dark brown border through both pieces, to tack them both together.
Then I cut a rather generous border around and pulled away one row of the Aida cloth around to make a frilly edge. I imagine more will fall away over time, as it's used more. This was a good project to use some of the long, skinny strips of leftover Aida that I cut away from larger cross-stitch projects.
Finished a new handkerchief for Dollar:
Was able to try out new stitches here and there around the dragon. It's a fairly big design- I think I'll go back to smaller, more discreet designs to add to hankies. They're faster to make, anyway ;)
Pattern is from Sublime Stitching.
My handmade Christmas gift for my sister:
Patten: Totally Biased (rav link)
I love my sequined Tiara-lly Biased so much, I wanted to make another.
Yarn: DyakCraft (formerly Grafton Fibers) batts:
I really like this mix of colors- brick red, autumn orange, teal.
Here's my sister modeling the cowl:
Good pattern for handspun yarn. I think I'll need to made another. For me.
A Christmas gift that I didn't finish on time but will given next year:
Pattern: Doily Number 7274. Not sure when it was renamed but it's called "Rising Sun Doily #7274" on Ravelry. Pattern is originally from 1944!
Yarn: Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet (Size 3), 1.5 balls
Ended up quite large because of the heavier crochet cotton that I used.
Too big for the round nightstand that I currently have it on.