Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Sunday Night Murderface


Murderface was a little under the weather last week. Dollar came home early from work one day and said MF visited the litterbox 4 times in the span of an hour. Then MF was laying on the bed, all sad and depressed. I'm not sure what the stomach problem was, but he wasn't feeling good. His appetite was fine and he was drinking enough water. Just a 24 hour stomach bug or something be/c he was all better the next day.

Poor little guy. I had him on my lap night.`

Friday

[knitting] Haruni... with BEES?!!

Ta da!

Beaded Haruni


Pattern: Haruni

Yarn: Bristol Yarn Gallery Buckingham. 510 yds used, 2.34 skeins.

Needles: US 4

Beaded Haruni


Mods: I added BEES. (Whenever I think of beads, I end up saying BEES?!? in an angry way because I can't help thinking of this scene from Arrested Development).

Beaded Haruni


I got the yarn at White River Yarns, then scooted down to the Vermont Bead Studio in downtown WRJ to look for matching beads. I bought two vials and only had 11 or so leftover when the shawl was done. These beads were much better quality than the beads that I got from Joanns for the Swallowtail.

I knit Chart A until there were 14 stems on either side of the shawl, adding a bead to the end of each stem. Then I added one last bead to the point on Chart B where the two stems come together.

Beaded Haruni


The yarn is alpaca and silk, so it's very soft and warm. The beads kind of add a cooling effect when this shawl is worn against bare skin. Also, because the yarn doesn't have much if any elasticity, I made the garter border 4 stitches wide rather than 3 and I did not slip the first stitch

Beaded Haruni


Love this. Still need to make a Haruni for me.

Thursday

[misc] Random

Nuthin' to show. Thought I'd do a random watchin', cookin', readin' etc update...

[watching] The Jersey Shore. I mean THE JERSEY SHORE, BITCH!! Netflix Instant had the 2nd season (I haven't seen the 1st season... not that it matters) and I couldn't resist. It's a frigging trainwreck. They're all mad alcoholics, they lie to each other's faces, love to stir up drama. The men psychologically mistreat women, the women put up with being mistreated... The drama is entertaining but any sane person will eventually turn it off and find something better to spend their time on.

Oh, and I don't like to pick on people that are stupid. I've said my fair share of stupid stuff. But Snooki was washing some clothes in a sink and said, "I'm washing clothes in a sink... Like I'm a pilgrim from the 20's or something." I sincerely hope she meant the 1620's because that would actually make sense... But I kind of doubt it.

[cooking] Spah-getty and meat bowls. Watching anything Italian (even if it is a reality show starring guido juicehead gorillas) makes me want pasta. So I made some meatballs and we've been eating leftovers for three days. I am sufficiently sick of it.

[reading] Dune. It took me a while to get into it but it was great. Perfect for reading in the middle of winter when there's 5 feet of snow outside. I finished it and started Dune Messiah since Dollar also had that one.

[knitting] Another shawl. I finished the beaded Haruni and started another for me. So much of picking 20 fast/easy projects after Haruni.

[crocheting] Want to do more amigurumi. I think I'm going to do a lion. For Murderface.

[playing] Nothing :( I packed up all the boardgames. And I haven't been to the local boardgame night in months. I've been packing for the move, busy with spring classes at work, picking out flooring for the new house, excuses excuses excuses.

[housing] I did pick out tiles and wood for the floors. One wood and three different tiles (tile for kitchen/hallway/bath downstairs; tile for bath upstairs; tile for master bath). And who knew there were so many different colors of grout. Grout! I had to choose three different colors of grout. Sheesh. I feel confident with my choices, though. I think. I mean, I'm pretty sure. No, I'm sure. Now I've moved on to worrying about interior paint and color schemes. I had no idea that colors in different rooms should coordinate with each other because you might be seeing more than one room at once:





I'll just pick colors that I like, I guess. I'm pretty sure our fugly couches will be what attracts the most attention in the room. Dollar's got his baby blue recliner (sigh, named the "U.S.S. Dollar") that he refuses to give up and I'll be damned if I pick a wall color for the living room JUST to compliment his frigging baby blue recliner (which the reclining handle broke off of eons ago and now you use a wrench to recline it). I've offered to buy him a new one but he took the offer like it was a slap in the face. Whatever. I get nostalgia, okay? And I understand not wanting to needlessly replace things that are still working. But this recliner. I don't know.... I just don't know.

Tuesday

[vermont] Maple Open House Weekend

This past weekend was the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. I like to go to a nearby sugarhouse that is participating and buy some local syrup. My sister and I hit the road to visit Turkey Hill Farm in Randolph...

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


I wanted to visit this particular farm because they were also going to have some products from other farms, like cheese and honey and caramel. I really wanted to try this Mexican-style of caramel made from goat's milk.

Once we left the interstate, then left the main road, then left a side road... we got to a dirt road. I don't really experience the joy of dirt roads during mud season (but I will once we move) so I was appalled, aghast, shocked, horrified and scared at what we were suddenly driving in. It was so unbelievably bad. Way more dangerous than driving in snow.

We finally got to the last turn and saw a parking area had been set up. The last bit of road up to the sugarhouse was so bad that they were shuttling people up.

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


We made it up to the sugarhouse:

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


It was nice and steamy inside:

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


Then we walked across to the giftshop at the farm to buy some local products:

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


I got some cheese, ground beef, honey, syrup, and a small jar of caramel! I couldn't wait to try it.

My sister got some stuff and ordered a couple of the homemade donuts that they had out. They were doing homemade breakfasts there and had a side room set up with benches and tables. People were ordering waffles, sausages, donuts with syrup. Because I could tell the way she said, "And I'll take two donuts," I knew she wanted two homemade donuts put into a bag so that she could take them home. But they thought she meant for breakfast so they warmed up two donuts, covered them with syrup and handed them to her on plates. She handed me one and I was like, "LOLWTF I don't want that." But what are we going to do? Put the sticky donuts in our pockets? We went into the next room to sit and eat.

We decided to walk back down to the parking area rather than be shuttled. I did want to get some pictures of the crazy-ass muddy ruts:

Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


Maple Syrup Weekend = MUD Season


We scooted down to Randolph for a quick drive through (I don't think I'd ever been to Randolph before) and then headed home. As SOON as I got home, I opened the caramel for a taste. I had really worked up how awesome this goat's milk caramel was going be in my mind.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I hate goat's milk cheese. I think it tastes like feet and I find it repugnant.

So there's clearly some line of connectivity that I didn't make here. Because this caramel was everything that I hate about goat's milk cheese, but in a sweet form. It was all feet and no love. I'm so glad I bought one of the smaller jars. I cannot image putting this caramel on someone's ice cream unless I wanted to punish them for some reason. Ugh. Such a disappointment.

But if you like goat's milk cheese, I'm sure you will love this caramel. It just wasn't for me. And I don't want to be too Judgy McJudgyPants about it because I love kimchi and I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

The Force is strong with this one...

Sunday Night Murderface


Murderface seems to get most of his guidance and inspiration from Darth Vader.

Thursday

[knitting] Beaded Haruni

Nothing new to show. I've been practicing project monogamy with a beaded Haruni shawl using this yarn:

Buckingham


Need to finish it this weekend so that I can give it as a gift to Dollar's mom before she leaves on vacation. I'm trying not to hurry-hurry, because that when mistakes happen and tears of frustration flow. I'm just working on this and only this. And trying to link of what 20 fast/easy projects I want to work on when it's done.

Wednesday

[knitting] Undergrowths

I don't do enough stranded colorwork and I don't know why. It's fun to work with two colors at the same time and as long as I pick a chart that's easy to memorize, it's really quite relaxing.

Undergrowth 1


Pattern: Undergrowth

Yarn: Reynolds Whiskey. Used just over half of a ball of brown and just under half of a ball of pink/purple. You can make two of these hats of you switched main and contrast colors. Which sounds like a good project for a set of twins.

Needles: US 4

Notes: I accidentally repeated rows 18 - 23. I printed the chart out in landscape on my printer and was too lazy to re-print it so that the chart was all one one page. So once I got to the easy, mindless middle part, I didn't notice that I was meant to start the leaf tips for the crown (because only the first row of the tip was on the page I was looking at- the rest of the crown was on the back). So I just made the middle part longer.

Seriously, though, the hat is too long for me. I need to find someone with a tall head who wants this.

The double braids at the bottom were a little tedious to make but so worth the effort. It's a pretty, decorative edge that is nice and stretchy- and it doesn't roll!

The Whiskey was a nice yarn to use for this- bouncy, elastic and it blocked into a nice, smooth fabric.

Still, I wanted to make one that would fit me and show a bit more contrast. After using my yarn scale to weigh balls of yarn, writing down weights and yardages, cross multiplying, stash diving and just generally geeking out for way too long, I settled on two balls of Frog Tree Alpaca sport that had (up until this point) no purpose in life:

Undergrowth 2


The stitch definition isn't as crisp as the first hat, because I'm using 100% alpaca instead of wool, but it's oh so soft and oh so pretty. A keeper, for sure.

Tuesday

[crochet] Sushi

I recently learned at a family dinner that Dollar's niece, who wasn't even three-years-old yet, likes sushi. I wanted to craft her some and I've been interested in amigurumi style crochet for a while. I ordered a slew of books from Amazon, one of which was Yummi 'Gurumi. I made these adorable little crocheted pieces of sushi:

Crochet Sushi


The egg nigiri with the seaweed around it is actually from Tasty Crochet. I liked the look of this egg nigiri better.

The nigiri was easy to make- I crocheted the white rice base and stuffed it. I did 4 rice bases, then crocheted the different tops.

Crochet Sushi


Left to right: Egg, Shrimp, Salmon, Tuna.

These were so much fun to make and I was able to use yarn from all the scraps I've accumulated over the years.

Crochet Sushi


That tuna roll, though- the round one on the end? Total pain in the ass to make. Start with bit of deep purple, switch to white, switch to green and do half of the height of the roll. Make another, same as the first. Sew in ends and sew them together, insert stuffing, finish sewing. It was little, fiddly, too many ends (12!!!) to sew in.

Instead, I crocheted a long, 7-stitch strip, starting with minty green, then lots of white, then seaweed green. Then I rolled it up and sewed it shut. Perfect Cucumber Roll. And only 6 ends to sew in. I made 4 of these rolls.

Anyway, I don't have a picture of the final sushi platter- Dollar's sis stopped by and since I missed his niece's birthday, I quickly handed over the plastic to-go container. From what I hear (and a picture I've seen), the niece loves it. And I can't wait to make more food to give as gifts.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface has been going outside a bit more now that the weather is warming up. But things are slushy and muddy so he has lots of cleaning to do when he comes back inside:

Weekend Murderface


And I've got to clean up the muddy tracks that he leaves all over the kitchen floor.

Friday

[knitting] Infinity Scarves

Back in October for my sister's birthday, I made her an infinity scarf. I liked the pattern so much, I made one for me:

Zino Cowl


Pattern: September Circle

Yarn: Plymouth Zino, one ball

Needles: US 7

Notes: It's hard to tell the way it's kind of folded up there, but it's a loop about 40 inches around, give or take. It's just right to loop around my neck twice. Once I get where I'm going, it's nice to unloop it once and let it hang down. The long color variations in the yarn work well with the ripple pattern.

So I made another:

Infinity Scarf


Pattern: This was my own pattern- just a simple scalloped pattern found in a stitch dictionary that I have. I just repeated it around 200 stitches.

Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic, one ball

Needles: US 6

I blocked these cowls around a large cardboard box.

This pattern/style is perfect for single balls of sock yarn with long color stripes. I love how light but warm these are. I want to make 10 more.

Thursday

[crochet] Korean Koasters

Here are two balls of some mystery wool that I bought in Korea back in 2008:

Yarn from Korea


I found the yarn area of a huge outdoor market and the seller knew only enough English to point at the yarn I was holding say "cashmere". I knew enough about how fibers feel to be skeptical. I honestly don't know if there's even any wool in this yarn or if it's just acrylic loosely wrapped around a nylon core. But the colors are pretty. I just didn't know what to do with it.

But then... Coasters!

Korean Koasters


Pattern: Fall Leaf Coasters

Hook: F (3.75 mm)

Notes: I learned the Magic Adjustable Loop from this video. Very easy and a neat trick, but the grabbiness of the yarn made it difficult to get things going.

But these coasters are so cute:

Korean Koasters


They look like little braided rugs for a doll house.

Korean Koasters


A few of the coasters are one round shorter than the rest, only because I didn't want to end a round with a noticeable color difference from the previous round.

To finish, I steamed and ironed these coasters with conviction.

Korean Koasters


I am so super-duper in love with these. It was also good crochet practice for me- counting stitches, increasing, figuring out how/where to mark the end of the round, getting the tension right, etc.

Wednesday

[knitting] Swallowtail Shawl

I made this shawl back around Christmas break and only just blocked it a few weeks ago:

Swallowtail


Pattern: Swallowtail Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark (download pdf)

Yarn: Impressions by Touch of Twist, two skeins. Purchased at the 2010 NH Sheep and Wool Festival.

Needle: US 5

Swallowtail


Notes: Great pattern. Charted and easy to follow. Based on some notes around Rav, I did 19 repeats of budding lace to make a larger shawl.

Also... BEADS. Rather than making nupps, I put beads in!

Swallowtail


I used size 6 seed beads that I got at the Joann craft store. They were fun and easy to add. I didn't pre-string them onto the yarn, but used a crochet hook with a teeny, tiny head to slip through the bead and then pull through the stitch where I wanted a bead.

I love this shawl. It's a keeper for sure. I actually thought about giving it away as a gift and I just couldn't let it go. So I'm making another beaded shawl to give instead.

Swallowtail

Tuesday

[knitting] Cabled Cowl

Cabled Cowl


Pattern: Cabled Cowl from Lion Brand Yarn (rav link)

Yarn: Heirloom Alpaca, 4 balls.

Needles: US 8

Notes: Reversed one of the 6-stitch cables in each pattern repeat for symmetry.

Stopped making this thing grow after using 4 balls of yarn. I had 5 balls but I think 12 repeats is enough. This ended up about 24 inches long. It's soft (but not as soft as you'd expect alpaca to be- I do feel some wiry guard hairs left in) and squooshy and long enough to gather around the neck or pull up over the head like a hood.

Highly recommend learning to cable without a cable; it helped to speed up this project a lot. Also used my Addi Lace Click needle set for the first time with this.

I do love me some cables:

Cabled Cowl

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

murderface_monday


Home today with Murderface. Too sketchy with ice and sleet and snow outside. The trees look like:

ice_storm


I've heard and seen many downed branches. Now there's a strong wind blowing outside and I'm worried about more heavy branches coming down. We've already lost power twice.

Oh well. Just need to make sure the candles are ready.