Friday

[knitting] Pink Drawstring Pouch

Made a quick little drawstring pouch with leftover Araucania Atacama:

Knit pouch

It's a DK weight yarn and I used US 5 needles. I cast on 48 stitches, knit an inch, work *yo, k2tog* around, work several more inches and then kitchener stitch the bottom closed. Then I made an i-cord to weave through the yo round.

Quick, easy and cute. Made this last weekend during the football games. Good stash busting project for small amounts of yarn.

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TGIF. Going to be wicked cold and wicked snowy this weekend. We may be snowed in. I'm making a quick run to Hmart with my mom tomorrow, hopefully getting back up to the Upper Valley before it starts snowing around 4pm. Then we'll have all the nice foodie supplies to survive the blizzard.

I imagine we'll be checking out Season 2 of Punisher. I might have to make another "Pie-nisher".

Thursday

[needlefelting] Song Bird Tapestry

Some progress on the needle felting tapestry:

Song Bird Tapestry

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I have two skeins of Euroflax Linen Sport and I think I'll knit a couple lace cafe curtain panels for a bathroom window. The pattern is free from Knit Picks: Dappled Lace Cafe Curtain.

I downloaded this pattern years ago and the suggested yarn was KP Shine Sport. Now they are recommending Curio, their cotton crochet thread. The wide panel only uses one ball of Curio and at $3.99 per ball, that's a very inexpensive and pretty project! I just so happen to have several colors of Curio in my stash but I'll stick with the Euroflax linen- it's already wound into balls and is a pretty coral color (which is the Pantone color of 2019). 

The only downside is that the pattern is written and not charted. I'll break out the graph paper and chart it.

Wednesday

[cooking] Orange Honeycomb Cake

I received a new Nordic Ware bundt/cake pan for Christmas and used it for the first time this week:

Orange Honeycomb Cake

The recipe I used is this orange bundt from King Arthur Flour. I used juice and zest from a couple cara cara oranges.

The food release spray and the batter kind of marred the bee/honeycomb design inside the hexagons. I think I'll have to try different batters to see what works best. But it did turn out tasty.

Orange Honeycomb Cake

The green plate was also a gift- from an arts community in Rhode Island.

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Watched a new documentary on Hulu called Fyre Fraud about last year's failed festival. It was very good. Looking forward to the Netflix one coming out this weekend.

We started watching Season 3 of True Detective. So good. We've gone back and started re-watching Season 1 because we're sure they'll somehow be linked. Mahershala Ali's acting is amazing.

Tuesday

[needlefelting] Song Bird Tapestry

Last fall I picked up one of Neysa Russo's felted tapestry kits at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. I've admired her medieval tapestries for many years and finally decided to give it a try.

The kit I bought:

Needle Felting Kit

And my start:

Song Bird Tapestry

It's pretty fun. There's something gratifying about stabbing little bits of wool over and over into a piece of felt. The kit came with lots of different colors- it will be fun to add lots of vines and flowers.

Monday

[cooking] 7 Layer Bean Dip

Saw a timely recipe on Simply Recipes for the weekend: 7 Layer Bean Dip. There is also a link within the recipe to make your own homemade refried beans using the Instant Pot, which I did (very easy). Assembled everything on Sunday for the 1pm Patriots game:

7 layer dip

So good.

7 layer dip

SO good. If you omitted the cheese and used a light sour cream, it wouldn't be a particularly unhealthy thing to graze on.

The Patriots won so I guess I'll have to make this again next Sunday to keep the winning streak going... 

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Went to my grandmother's "90 & Fabulous" birthday party on Saturday. Got to see so many relatives I haven't seen in ages. 

Started a few little knitting projects to work on during the football games- a little pink drawstring pouch, more fingerless mitts (while the pattern is fresh in my mind after making so many pairs during the holidays). And I started a needle-felting project from a kit I bought at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival last fall.

Didn't do as much cooking over the weekend as I wanted. I made a pot of bacon-leek-potato soup but I didn't get around to any orange recipes. Gotta make some marmalade this week!

Friday

[knitting] Lissajous Figures Socks

My first finished objects of 2019:

Lissajous Figures Socks

Pattern is Lissajous Figures Socks. I didn't understand the relevance of the name until I googled a little bit about Lissajous curves. Then it clicked.

I struggled with the pattern a bit at the beginning but I really grew to love the movement of the twisted stitches. The pattern is the same on the front and back- magic loop would be the best knitting method but I used two circulars to evenly divide the stitches.

The pattern is well written with lots of helpful pictures. Lots of details- I especially like the heel flaps:

Lissajous Figures Socks

I simplified the sole of the foot to make it plain stockinette, rather than how it was written.

We're just getting into a cold snap here and I was able to enjoy the socks last night in bed:

First finished project of the year. Just in time for the cold snap. #knitting #sockknitting #lissajousfigures #bedsocks #fiberstashdyeworks

The yarn is Strong Toes by VT dyer Fiber Stash Dyeworks. I picked up this skein in Tardis Blue at last fall's Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. I have a couple more skeins of this yarn wound and ready to go for the next project- I just need to settle on a pattern.

Thursday

[quilling] It's a start

I received a quilling starter kit for Christmas- all the basic tools and paper, as well as a book. I had seen some examples of this paper craft around Instagram and thought, "Hey, I need a new hobby." I cleared off the table in the craft room and began:

Got a #quilling starter kit for Christmas. Trying out some things last night. It’s... fussy. And makes me feel like I have gigantic gorilla hands.

This is very fine, delicate, small, fussy work that makes me feel like I have clumsy gorilla hands. But it was my first time and I just need to practice. Practice twirling the paper, practice shapes, practice consistent sizes. And keep the cats off the table. The long, thin strands of colorful paper are apparently a beacon to Penny.

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Made a big ol' pot of doenjang jjigae for the band last night and sent everyone home with leftovers. Tonight- Vermont Curry: What is it and why has no one in Vermont ever heard of it?

I'm going to try to spend an hour each night working on something other than knitting. The quilling above. Quilting. Needle felting. Crochet. Cross stitch. Embroidery. Weaving. (omg why do I have so many hobbies?) Something different every night. A dedicated hour across different crafts should help me finish languishing projects.

Wednesday

[vermont] Turkey Tracks

Saw some turkey tracks in the snow:

⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ turkey tracks

They look like arrows pointing up but the turkey would have been walking toward me.

The Christmas tree came down yesterday. It's so sad to see it stripped and thrown unceremoniously off the back deck. I shouted "I'm sorry- you were a good tree!... I love you!" as it went over. But now I can finally use the new corner shelves for storing dutch ovens (thereby freeing up cupboard space my for expanding bundt pan collection).

Yesterday I picked up a 20 lb box of cara cara oranges at the Coop citrus case sale. I missed this sale last year (was traveling for work). The previous year was the first time I got a case and made so. many. good. orange recipes. I plan on doing many of the same- orange cake, marmalade, candied peels, sorbet. And having lots of fresh squeezed juice with vodka.

Tuesday

[cooking] Instant Pot Turkey Sausage Pasta

My first one-pot meal in the IP:

Turkey sausage pasta


Followed this recipe. Easy to bring together and a nice hot meal to have while watching a game of football on Sunday. Good way to use up an entire plastic container of power greens (mix of baby spinach, kale, beet greens, etc).

Last night I tried some 5-5-5 eggs. Mine were more like 5-5-5-30 min sitting around inside the IP because I got distracted by an episode of Jeopardy. The eggs were incredibly easy to peel but the yolks had gone a bit green around the outside. The egg salad tastes fine but next time I'll get them out and into an ice bath right away.

But this brings me to Sauna Eggs. Kind of a fad Korean food at the moment, they're slow-cooked (7 hours or so) hard-boiled eggs commonly sold at bath houses. They get pretty dark and taste toasty (from what I've read). They're gaining in popularity because with the IP, you can have them in 90 minutes rather than 7 hours. This is definitely on my To Do list.

Monday

[misc] Happy New Year

Back from a two week vacation. I hardly have anything to show for it because I was in pajamas, couch surfing for most of it. Made some nice cookies and cakes and rolls for holidays parties. Had a friend stay over for a couple nights. Came down with a cold that I can't seem to shake after a week (lovely). Took a drive through the Joseph Smith Memorial to see the lights:

🎄🎄


I finished knitting the blue pair of socks and started a quicker biased cowl. I rummaged through the yarn stash and found enough for a sweater. I bought a nice stranded yoke sweater pattern on Rav (Starfall) and I think I'm going to make a sweater for myself. It's about time. It's been a decade since I've knit myself a sweater.

Much of the holidays was spent cat loafing around with the cats. Penny, who loves her red bow:

Penny 💝

Murderface, hardcore 18-hour napper:

Murderface

Santana, smiling because she knows I'm going to end up going upstairs to pee, rather than making her move:

Santana

I have a couple new appliances. A Vitamix blender. O. MG. I came home and immediately pushed aside a ceramic rooster container on the counter to give the blender a permanent and prominent place. I now look at things in my fridge and pantry in a new light. "That'll blend... that'll blend... that'll probably blend." My smoothies are so smooth now. It completely obliterates ice cubes. I think I'm giving up solid food. 

I am also now a member of the Instant Pot Army. I've only used it twice and I'm still learning (Oh- you mean it has to come UP TO PRESSURE before it starts pressure cooking? Well then this isn't really a FIVE MINUTE MEAL, is it?) but it is nice. I haven't kicked anything off the counter to make formal room for the IP yet... it still has to prove itself. Really- I'd like to for simple stuff- quick hard boiled eggs, cooking dried beans (so much cheaper than canned), homemade yogurt, canning. I bet it would make a nice doenjang jjigae, though. 

Well, it's good to be back at work. Now I am motivated to make the most of my precious few free hours in the evening. When I have the whole day, I think "Meh, I'll get to it... sometime." But I don't because, ha ha, I'm on vacation. Now, on to all my new to-do lists. 

Thursday

[cooking] Date Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel cookies. Date, raisin, pecan filling. 🌀🌀🌀🌀🌀 #christmascookies #cookies #pinwheelcookies #baking #datepinwheelcookies



I didn't have quite enough dates, so I supplemented with some raisins. I boiled them with water and sugar. Once that reduced, I blended it with pecans in a mini food processor until it was a nice spreadable paste. 

I rolled out the dough, spread the paste, rolled it up and left the log in the fridge for a couple days. I used a bench scrapper to do the slicing. 

I've never made these before and I'm really thrilled with how they turned out. They look so pretty and they taste amazing. AMAZING. One of my Top 5 favorite cookies now. I'm afraid I'll never try to make these cookies again because they came out so awesome this time, surely I won't be able to get it right a 2nd time and they'll always be a disappointing reminder of these perfect ones.

Gotta come up with couple more cookies. Chocolate something. And almond something. Then I can start bringing them to get-togethers and stuffing the neighbors' mailboxes.

Wednesday

[crafts] Christmas ornament

After seeing a picture online, I made a new ornament for the tree:

Just made a new ornament from our favorite Christmas movie. #christmasornaments #diehard #comeouttothecoastwellgettogetherhaveafewlaughs

Die Hard is our favorite Christmas movie. It was easy enough to make this just from seeing an image: print out a wallet-sized image of McClane in the heating duct, measure size, cut card stock to dimensions, cover card stock with tin foil (shiny side out), tape it all together.

I love it!

Tuesday

[knitting] Slow socks

I've been taking my time, working on a pair of socks for myself:

Slow knitting... 🐢 #socknitting #knitting #twistedstitches

The yarn is by Fiber Stash and the colorway is Tardis Blue. I am so in love with this pattern. It's free on Ravelry and called Lissajous Figures. Not sure what that meant so I googled it and Merriam-Webster says:

Definition of Lissajous figure 
: any of an infinite variety of curves formed by combining two mutually perpendicular simple harmonic motions, commonly exhibited by the oscilloscope, and used in studying frequency, amplitude, and phrase relations of harmonic variables

I can definitely see that happening as the pattern progresses and the paths of the twisted stitches cross or approach/repel.

I'm to the heel flap of the first sock and I started the cuff for the second last night. I'm working on two circular needles since DPNs weren't working (causing loose stitches between needles that interrupted the design). Maybe I'll learn magic loop. Maybe I'll learn two-at-a-time magic loop. Maybe over the Christmas vacation...

Monday

[cooking] Baking Weekend

Made some brownies this weekend:

Snowflake brownies. ❄️🍫 #baking #brownies #nordicware #snowflakebrownies

I used this recipe, which is easy to mix by hand in one bowl. I baked the brownies in a 6-cup snowflake pan by Nordic Ware. I am a Nordic Ware devotee. I've used their pans for a butterfly cake, a castle, a house, all kinds of round bundts. I have a new yule log pan I want to try next. The results are always impressive- and it's just the pan that does all the work! The cast aluminium material is thick and heavy- it cooks really evenly. I've never floured the inside of the pans-  just spray with food release- and haven't had an issue with a cake sticking to the inside.

I'm going to start sewing some drawstring muslin bags to keep the pans in. They're starting to stack up in the cupboards and I want to keep the insides from scratching.

I started bringing together doughs for Christmas cookies. Some date/raisin pinwheels, benne wafers and these cran-orange icebox cookies:

Cranberry orange icebox cookies

Lastly, some pizza for the football game:

🏈🍕 Let’s goooooooo!

It's been very carb-y and sugar-y around the house...

Friday

[knitting] Handmade gifts

All the handmade Christmas gifts spread out before wrapping:

Handknit gifts thus far. Time to get wrapping. 🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁 #knitting

And one "Get off the table, Santana!" picture:

Santana, get off the table!!

Might rummage around the stash a bit this weekend for a few more last minute gifts.

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TGIF. Going to do some baking this weekend- I have a couple new bundt pans I want to try out. Maybe start some Christmas cookies. Run errands around the Upper Valley. Lots of football will be on- Saturday NFL games start tomorrow.

I don't think it has gotten above freezing in two weeks. Last night I was huddled on the couch, under a blanket, wearing a cowl and wrapped in a large shawl, knit slippers on my feet, scootching the cats closer to me and thinking, "This must be what living in Siberia is like." And then I went to Instagram and started browsing Siberia/Russia images to make myself feel warmer.

Thursday

[knitting] Simple Garter Stitch Slippers

Made a couple quick garter stitch slippers last weekend:

Simple Garter Stitch Slippers

Simple Garter Stitch Slippers

I've got to make a couple passes with a lint roller over these before wrapping. Penny's immediately on my lap as soon as I sit down to knit and our arrangement has been: you can sit here as long as you don't mind me draping yarn on you, resting my project on you, accidentally poking you with needles, dropping stitch markers on you and then feeling around your side, trying to get the stitch marker back, etc etc etc. No matter what I do, Penny puts up with it in order to stay on my lap. I will say that I sit cross-legged and make a nice, tight little hammock for her between my knees with a fleece blanket- it's pretty sweet. But it means her white fur gets into everything I'm making.

Anyway, the pattern is Simple Garter Stitch Slippers and it was a great stash project using leftover sock yarn, held double. I ran out of the green and had to finish the toes in solid black. 


Wednesday

[knitting] Birthday, I mean, Christmas socks

In mid/late November, I made three pairs of socks for Dollar's birthday. But I got a package of Army surplus socks at the Darn Tough sale and gave those to him for his birthday instead. (Which meant I could save the handknit worsted socks for Christmas!)

First pair:

Black socks

Solid black. Used Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted- two balls (new). 

Next pair:

Worsted socks

Patchwork using wool/acrylic leftovers from past socks like Lion Brand Wool Ease and Plymouth Encore.

Last pair:

Worsted socks

I particularly love how this pair turned out. Still acrylic/wool but I alternated grey with a marl and the yarns really worked well together. Ran out of yarn at the end and had to do red toes.

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I did wind some sock yarn and start a pair of fingering-weight socks for myself. I think over the past two nights, I've only done 12 rounds. The progress is so slow and I couldn't be happier. It's very relaxing to (a) work on something for myself, and (b) not be thinking "OMG HURRY UP GET THIS DONE ASAP SO YOU CAN DO THE NEXT THING". It's sooooo nice. And the yarn I'm using is a delight. 

Tuesday

[knitting] Fingerless Mitts

I am way behind on pictures of all the quick holiday gifts I've been making. Some fingerless mitts:

Stash busting fingerless mitts. #knitting #fingerlessmitts

Pattern is Easy Fingerless Mitts (Rav link). Good stash busting project. I dug around for some misc worsted-weight-looking yarn, without labels, leftovers from this and that. The pattern is worked from the cuff up and it's easy to have both mitts going at the same time (on two sets of DPNs), working from both ends of the ball to use up every last inch of yarn.

Monday

[quilting] Crumb Quilt Top Complete

Finished the little crumb quilt top last week:

Crumb quilt.

Santana for scale:

Crumb Quilt

This week, I've really got to sort out backing and binding fabric- and bring it to the quilt shop to be finished.

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Had a good weekend apart from a bit of food poisoning yesterday. I suspect it was a lemon meringue pie that I made- the filling didn't set up properly, so maybe it was undercooked eggs.

I was able to crank out a couple pairs of slippers this weekend and I'm ready to be done knitting for the holidays. I've been looking at three pretty skeins of sock yarns that I want to wind and knit into socks for myself. It feels like the temperature hasn't gotten above freezing for the past two weeks and I want some new bed socks.

I'm just going to make some hats for nephews and their girlfriends and maybe a few more small things... then it's just knitting for me!

Friday

[cooking] Challah

Made a challah loaf this week:

#challah ready for 2nd rise.

I used this recipe. I made it once in January of this year as part of King Arthur Flour's Bakealong. This month, braided bread is the challenge in the Cooking From Scratch group on Ravelry, so... challah back.

Baked:

#challah 🍞

I'm kind of in love with braided bread right now. My loaf is six stands and I'm thinking next time, I'll roll all the ends together to make one long strand and then finger crochet the dough into a wreath. That would be so cuuuuuute! 

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TGIF. I'm at a point in knitting where I'm done with everything on my To Do list. Got to focus on sewing quilt pieces now.

We have our first holiday party this Sunday with family. I'm planning on making a lemon meringue pie. I've never made one before but I'm sure it will be fiiiiiiiiiiiine. Probably.


Thursday

[knitting] Green Cabled Hats

Made a trio of cabled hats:

Christmas knitting in full swing. #knitting #hatknitting #cableknitting

All three are with worsted weight wool, US 7 needles and a cast on of 96 stitches. They start with k2p2 and move on to cable work. No patterns for the two on the left but the one on the right is the Allen Hat (rav link). 

Good stash-busting; I dug through the stash for misc green yarns. These will be gifts.

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Had an unexpected day off yesterday so I made some challah bread in the morning, finished up some knitting projects and took pictures, finished sewing the little crumb quilt top, went down to King Arthur Flour to make some cinnamon rolls for charity, came home and made cinnamon rolls for Dollar's band practice, cleaned out the fridge and threw away the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers (don't you judge me). It was a full day. 

Tuesday

[quilting] Crumb Quilting

Last week I was working on squares for a little quilt:

Practicing crumb quilting...


I'm working on a large quilt for a friend and I have tons of small, irregularly shaped scraps. I want to sew them together randomly to make "crumb" squares. I pulled out some other fabric from the stash to practice on. 

#quilting

I sewed pieces together with no real plan in mind, I sliced and diced and sewed pieces together again:

Two 9.5 inch crumb squares. Hopefully I can make eleven more for a small quilt. #quilting #crumbquilting

The goal was to make 9.5 inch squares, like the two on the left in the above picture. 

I did get nine squares finished- but the last two have rather small sliver pieces along the edges- as I ran out of fabric and tried to add on thin pieces that I had cut away from other squares. In the end, there was more waste fabric than I would have liked and a lot of seams on the wrong side. But I'll add some sashing and (hopefully) bring it to the quilt shop this weekend. 

And now I have a better idea how to manage the small "crumbs" for the big quilt I'm working on.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

You know it's cold out when the cats deign to touch one another while napping:

Penny and Murderface

We ran all our errands on Saturday morning and brought home a Christmas tree. Decorated on Sunday during football commercial breaks.

🎄 Now I’m feeling Christmasy. #christmastree

I'm working on green skull caps with a skull stitch marker:

Cabled skull cap

These hats will be for one group of band members. For the other group: fingerless mitts. Both projects are using up a lot of stash yarn, which is awesome. (My internal yarn-o-meter is creeping towards "IT'S OKAY TO BUY MORE YARN NOW" the more yarn I use up... but I'll wait until after the holidays are over.)

For local people, King Arthur Flour has posted their free Bake for Good classes. Sign up! The classes are fun and educational- and free!

I did hit the kimchi pretty hard this weekend. Hard not to do with yummy, fresh kimchi in the fridge. Feeling a little bad for Dollar, I made a big pot of beef stew yesterday. 

Friday

[knitting] Vermont Sweater

Made a new sweater for my niece:

Green Raglan

I found two balls of green Valley Yarns Haydenville in my machine-wash, worsted yarn stash (which I normally use for socks). I opted to make a sweater instead with every last inch of the yarn. Rav link to the free sweater pattern.

I used the same yarn and pattern earlier in the year and liked the result. That was a 2T size and I did the 4T size this time (nearly the same stitch counts- just larger needles).

The collar:

Toddler Green Raglan

I wait until I split for the sleeves, then pick up stitches around the neckband. Knit a couple inches of k1p1 ribbing, cast off leaving a long tail, then fold over and sew down to the inside. It's so stretchy and squooshy. I love it.

Then I work on the main body to a good length and bind off. With a couple sets of DPNs, I do both sleeves at the same time from either end of the yarn ball, so I can use it all up. I only had a couple yards leftover.

The sweater seems a little plain and I since was adding wooden tags to things left and right, I sewed one on to this:

Toddler Green Raglan

Close-up:

Wooden tag <3 VT

Awww. Vermont is the Green Mountain State, so this is a cute little Vermont green sweater now.

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TGIF. I have plans to get our Christmas tree tomorrow. We didn't have one last year and I missed it. Also, things are appropriately snowy/wintery around here now.

I'm picking up some new kimchi from my mom after work- I can't wait. I'm nearly done with the last batch and made a big pot of kimchi jjigae last night to use a lot up. There's still some kimchi left and it's sour, so I might make some fried rice, pajeon and buns this weekend. Kimchi weekend, kimchi weekend, kimchi weekend.

Thursday

[knitting] Sparkle pompom hat

I made a quick ribbed hat:

Ribbed hat

The yarn is Kollage Glisten- a nice blend of alpaca, silk and sparkle. It is quite sparkly in direct sunlight. I added a faux fur pompom and wooden "Made in Vermont" tag. Another hat I plan to give as a gift.

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Worked on some quilting last night. Completed nine 9.5 inch squares using scraps and small pieces of fabric. Still have to add some sashing, borders, find some backing fabric- get everything to the quilt shop.

Plugging away on a cabled hat and I queued about a dozen more free patterns from Rav. I think over Christmas break, once all the gift knitting is done, I'm going to knit a sweater for myself.

Wednesday

[knitting] Traveling Cable Hat - decorated

I added a couple accessories to the grey traveling cable hat:

Traveling Cable Hat

A faux fur pompom (ordered a variety from online- this one matches well!) and a wooden "Made in Vermont" tag (by Katrinkles).

Traveling Cable Hat

I bought a few wooden tags at the VT Sheep and Wool Festival and I should have gotten a couple dozen. They are sooooo adorable.

Traveling Cable Hat

A little jealous to be giving this one away but... I can make another ;)

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Weather here is a little insane:

Not even December and I’m so over the snow already.

I did try to leave but there were trees down across the road. Someone is getting a chainsaw for Christmas.

I'm working on a cabled hat and some quilting projects. At this point I'm not sure I'll be able to get what I want to Barnyard Quilting in time to get things finished before Christmas. I've got to get cranking.