[crochet] Elephant

I quickly made up this amigurumi elephant:


I used my own handspun. It's a merino/silk blend and it's one of my first handspun yarns. It was way over-plied (quite twisty to work with) and dense. I tried started a scarf with this yarn but it was coming out way too heavy. I opted to make this elephant instead.


The pattern is good (Padma on Ravelry), seamless and easy.


I added some glass safety eyes. I needed to add some eyelids because I didn't want this elephant to look SURPRISED or SCARED all the time. I tried for pensive, but I think it just looks sad about something.


I slipped a bamboo cable need into the curl of the trunk. It's very cute:



Cute little elephant.


[knitting] Small Cotton Runner

Things are still packed away but I found a random ball of light blue cotton Saucy. I decided to make a simple runner with a seed stitch edge:


Not very big- just large enough for the top of a bookcase or something:


Cast on 25. Seed stitch for 7 rows. Maintain 5 stitches of seed stitch on either side, with 15 stitches of stockinette in the center. Knit until almost out of yarn. 7 rows seed stitch. Bind off.


[travel] Stone Mountain, GA

I was in Atlanta last week for a work conference. One day a co-worker and I went to visit Stone Mountain, which is 15 miles east of the city. The concierge at the hotel stressed that it was not an easy place to get to via public transportation and I should really go to the airport and get a rental car if I wanted to go. I said no thanks and we went via train, to another train, to the bus, which was the wrong bus, to another bus, then walked 5 miles in the baking Georgia sun. Perhaps the concierge was right.

Stone Mountain is a large granite outcrop (the largest in the world, I think they said) with three Confederate heros chiseled into the side:

Stone Mountain, GA
Left to right: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson

It's HUGE.

Stone Mountain, GA

The carving itself covers three acres of the outcrop.

We took an air tram to the top. I was expecting a brisk breeze blowing across the bald top, like when you emerge from the treeline at the top of Mt. Cardigan and you're like, "OOOoooo that's refreshing!" No such luck at this place- you were merely closer to the sun at the top of Stone Mountain. I took many pictures in a 360 degree circle to stitch together into panoramic shots.



And I saw my first ever magnolias:

Stone Mountain, GA

They're HUGE. That blub on the left that hasn't opened yet is the size of a softball. The open flowers are probably nine inches across, tip to tip. And they smelled wonderful.

Atlanta itself was all right. We found some very nice restaurants. I had grits for the first time. I loved it- I think it's just white polenta but I was with plenty of people that love grits and hate polenta. I'm pretty sure they're 99% the same thing but it might be a Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi debate. I also had carpaccio for the first ever. Loved. It.

The kitchen in the new house is almost ready. The fridge sticks out a good eight inches from the cabinets. It looks stupid and I absolutely hate it. I don't hate anything in that house but I hate the fridge. There's no fix. The cabinets around it are 24 inches deep. The frige is 32 inches deep. Cabinet-ready fridges start at 30 inches deep. They can't cut into the wall behind it because it's a load-bearing wall and there's all kinds of important pipes and tubes and things back there. I'm at a loss. Smaller fridges would still be too big. No way to push it back. There's no fix and I'm completely fixated on it. I need to bring Dollar up to the house and have him convince me that it's not a completely stupid, ugly, glaring mistake. Ugh. Sad face sad face sad face.


[knitting] Dice Bag

A small dice bag using a little bit of leftovers from my handspun:

Dice Pouch

Dice Pouch


[misc] Mamaface Tuesday

We've got a new family member:


Believe it or not, it's Murderface's mom. She lives across the street, where Murderface came from, and I always, always, always wanted her but Dollar put the kibosh on me stealing cat-napping adopting any more of their pets without prior consent.

Her name is Santana, but... Yeah. I don't really like it. I'll call her that but I like calling her Mamaface.

Murderface isn't sure what to make of it:

Murderface and Mamaface

He has been SO good. They used to live together and they do see each other outside so they're not raising up any hackles or trying to shred each other to pieces. Murderface is a teddy bear- he has no problems with her. She, on the other hand, hisses and growls at him. She has a bit of a mean demeanor, but I'm not sure if it's because things were more crazy and hectic at her old place.

Anyway, she's come into the house a few times to eat. I got her to come in last night and shut the door so she could spend the night. This morning, Murderface was in bed with Dollar and I (as usual) and Santanaface was lying down at the top of the stairs. I think the transition is going well. I gave her and Murderface breakfast and let them out:


I think she's adorable. She has a cute little white smudge on her nose. I hope she comes back tonight for supper and sleepover.

Atlanta last week was good. Got to visit Stone Mountain. Was supposed to move into the new house yesterday but things aren't ready yet. So completely, unbelievably disappointed and aggravated.


[crochet] Catan Afghan

Heading down to Atlanta on Monday morning for a week long conference. We are T - 10 days away from moving and I'll be out of town for 5. I've got this weekend and next weekend to finish packing. Yikes.

I'm bringing yarn and a crochet hook to make as many hexagons as I can during this trip for an afghan:

Catan Blanket

Oh yeah, and Dollar's truck is one gigantic paper-weight. It has trouble running when it's (a) raining, and (b) hot out. So... this leaves only cool, dry days that the thing works. I decided to get a new, used car for me and give him my old one. We're both happier with our new rides.


[spinning] Venus Fly Trap

4oz of Merino in the Venus Fly Trap colorway by WoolPig:


This was a very pretty colorway- plum purple, mossy green, lemongrass colors. The only thing I didn't like is that the fiber wasn't fully dyed. When I pulled it open and started stripping it into thinner lengths, there was lots of white in the middle that didn't get any dye. Not a big deal, but it did lighten the overall tone of the finished yarn.

I spun it all onto one bobbin and navajo-plied the single:

Venus Fly Trap

Venus Fly Trap

I like it. I'm not a super-fan of chain plying but I like the end result of keeping the colors together.


[spinning] Butter Toffee

5oz of Falkland in Butter Toffee colorway by JulieSpins:


Spun into a sport(ish)-weight two-ply:


I haven't counting yardage, but I think there should be enough here for a small shawl.



[misc] Murderface Monday

MF on Holiday

Well, I had my house-building nervous-breakdown on Friday night and it was cathartic. I was stressing about 20 different things and was spoiling for a fight.

ME: I'm worried about the hardware I picked for the kitchen cabinets. I ordered it online. What if I don't like them? What if they don't look right?

DOLLAR: (reassuring) I'm sure you picked out nice ones.

ME: (accusing) But you didn't even want to SEE what I was getting. What if you hate the knobs? You'll blame ME.

DOLLAR: I'm not going to hate the knobs.

ME: (hysterical) But what if you do?!

DOLLAR: Then I'll deal with it!

And then I started laughing. Because why am I making such a big deal about cabinet knobs and having a fight over it. It was as simple as that. The world isn't going to end of we hate our knobs. I went over and hugged Dollar. Then I started crying like a 5-year-old. He was very supportive (and relieved).

I came to my senses in so many ways. On Friday afternoon, I was fully prepared to spend $900 for 10 custom-made cellular cordless window shades at Penny's. Considering the original shades that I wanted were $2500 for ten, $900 seemed like a good deal. Dollar wasn't on board. My co-worker looked at me like I was crazy. I wasn't telling anyone how much I was going to spend because deep-down I must have known that $900 for 10 window shades is still highway robbery. So I went to Penny's on Saturday and ordered the ready-mades for $430 (for 10). Still expensive to get so many at once but they're cordless cellular, which is all I really wanted. $43 per shade is a good deal that I'm happy to talk about.


[spinning] Fantom Farm

I have just been spinning because I've packed away nearly all of my yarn (seeing all the tubs/bags makes me 'gulp' and resolve to live a more austere life). I only need 4 things to spin- the spinning wheel, fiber, lazy kate, niddy-noddy. I know knitting ONLY requires needles and yarn but... I don't know, it's easier for me to spin, ply, skein, wash.

I pecked away at 5+ oz of wool and mohair from Fantom Farm:

Fantom Farms

I bought this fiber last October at the 2010 Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. I love Fantom Farm- they do fun fibers, they have good colors, and their prices are great. Their stuff does have vegetable matter in it, but it's quite minimal and I don't mind picking it out as I go.

The finished skein:

Fantom Farms

Fantom Farms

I like it. The yarn is a little scratchy from the mohair, so this yarn might be used for a hat or a lined pair of mittens.