Thursday

[knit] Juneberry

The other project that I brought to CA with me was a knit shawl. I've been wanting to do this pattern for a while:

Juneberry



Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Tweed (discontinued)

Needles: US 7

Juneberry

Nice pattern, clear instructions. The was my first time doing bobbles, too. They were only 3-stitch bobbles, so they weren't difficult to do. This pattern has lace that must be worked on both the right- and wrong-side rows, so no sleeping on the job when you're working on this. 

Juneberry

I wish there was an easy way to make it larger, though. It's more of a shawlette than a shawl. Some day I'll work out the numbers and make a bigger one.

As I was trying to take a picture, Penny (resident stylist) came in to move the shawl and give the photoshoot more of a... dynamic quality:

Juneberry

Thanks, Pen.

Juneberry

Wednesday

[crochet] South Bay Shawl

I only brought a couple projects to work on during my California trip last month. I was able to finish this shawl:

South Bay Shawlette

Pattern: South Bay Shawlette (free pattern but you need a Lion Brand account to access)

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, two skeins in 'Filigree'

Hook: 3.0 mm

South Bay Shawlette

My edge is different from how it's written in the pattern. I should have been skipping stitches but I was single crocheting them instead. Apparently, in my mind "sk" is the same thing as "sc". By the time I finished and realized my mistake, I just went "Meh, I still like it. I'll get it right next time."

South Bay Shawlette

I made this shawl larger than what was written- it's an easy pattern to keep going on, to use up more yarn.

This yarn is wonderful (but I found one knot in one of the skeins)- very soft and fluid after a wash/block. The depth of colors is really amazing- this dyer is very talented. But be aware that something like this might happen:

South Bay Shawl

The 2nd skein is definitely darker than the first. It's not noticeable when the shawl is on but you might want to keep this in mind if you're going to make a sweater with this yarn; alternate skeins to get a better blend. There are no dye lots for this yarn.

Tuesday

[cooking] Best Apple Pie

It's apple season- my favorite time of year. I picked up a bag of Cortland apples from Poverty Lane last week when I stopped by to get a growler of cider wine. 

Best Apple Pie


I have the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Cookbook. It has two recipes for apple pie: Favorite Apple Pie and Best Apple Pie. It can be a dilema wondering which to make, but I always go for Best Apple Pie. You can find this recipe online, but the one in the book is slightly different.

First of all, the crust in the book recipe calls for two sticks of butter. Which is awesome and alarming at the same time. Two. Sticks. Of buttah. Also, the recipe in the book has you use cornstarch rather than fancy-schmancy pie filling "enhancer". 

(Now I'm wondering if I read "two sticks of butter" wrong in the recipe...)

I told Dollar that the recipe called for rum, which made me giggle mischievously because it was only 11 am and cooking with any hard liquor before noon makes me feel naughty. Not that I'm standing there taking swigs from the bottle, it's just, like, a no-no in my mind. So he suggests that I use the Applejack we have instead. Good idea! And since I don't have any of the boiled cider that the recipe requires, I'll use a quarter cup of Applejack instead of just a tablespoon! 

(I'm going to stop worrying about all the butter in the crust. It came out very flaky and perfect.)

This was the first time I used this aluminum pie pan. I usually use a glass dish. This pan was 1000% better- it's deeper and cooked the crust better. I love how the edges pulled away from the pan. Also, this is the first time I've cooked a pie with none of the inside boiling up onto the surface of the crust. And it's nice and evenly flat- there isn't a big, gaping maw of cavernous space between the top crust and the filling when you cut into it. I want to by three more of these pans to have as back-up when this one kicks the bucket.

It was the best pie. RIP Apple Pie, it was nice knowing you.


Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

MF Sleeping


Had a craftapalooza at home this weekend. Tried to use up a significant portion of my yarn stash but only ended up using 2.5 balls of bulky weight. Hm. 

I finished up a cross-stitch project, started another, tidied up an embroidery project (and inadvertently ended up cutting a thread on the back that I shouldn't have... will need to wash/dry the item to see if a significant portion of it unravels... le sigh). 

Knit two pairs of slippers. Finished a small crocheted bag. Blocked the bag and that hairy doily I made a few weeks ago.

And I made an apple pie that turned out so well, it made me angry. Angry that I'll probably never make another pie as perfect and angry that I had to share any of it with Dollar. It was so good, after you ate a slice, you'd think, "Well shit. I'm going to go eat the rest of it." This pie was insane. 


Thursday

[knitting] Cat Hoodie

I finally got around to making Penny's sweater:

Cat Hoodie

Pattern: Cat Hoodie

Yarn: Jarbo Garn Raggi in blue marl, brown marl. Some off white Mountain Mohair.

Needles: US 10

Cat Hoodie

I didn't make any sleeves because I ran out of yarn. I was using leftovers from socks that I made for Dollar years ago. I even had to substitute in some Mountain Mohair to do the ribbed trim around the neck and hood.

I'm not sure if the designer's cat is a Maine Coon, but it's definitely a long-haired cat. Penny is short-haired and only a year old, so still kind of small. This hoodie mostly fits but the v-neck area is way to large for her:

Cat Hoodie

I don't know... something about it reminds me of the SNL Digital Short: Andy Samberg vs. Ben Stiller V-Neck Battle.

Because of the loose neck and no sleeves, it's easy for Penny to just walk out of it. I might add and button and crochet a loop to close up the neck a little more.

Cat Hoodie

Cat Hoodie

I decided to try it on Murderface because he's bigger:

Cat Hoodie

Aww, it looks so cute on him, but you'd think I draped a lead x-ray smock on him or something. I put it on and he fell over. Well, first he hid under the bed and then flopped over. I was like, "Murderface, it's just a sweater. I didn't tie you down with bricks."

Cat Hoodie

He only wore it for a couple minutes.

I didn't even try to put it on Santana because I like my blood inside my body.

Wednesday

[crafts] Vermonster

I love Pinterest. I pin all kinds of inspirational ideas. I decided to try this one:


But for Vermont. I work with maps for a living so I was able to print a state outline with exact latitude and longitude coordinates for our house. But there's no need to be so precise- there are plenty of free state outline images online (print and use a copier to shrink or enlarge according to the size of the wood you're using) and you can guesstimate where you want the heart to go.

Let's just see the final result:

Vermont

Looks like I used Cookie Monster fur, right? Well. It was the only color mohair yarn I had. I wanted a more filled-in look so a used a super-fuzzy yarn. The nice thing is that it is nice and touchable. When you see it, you kind of want to rub your hand on it, like you're petting an animal or something. Which is okay by me.

But the color is kind of a problem. The first thing you notice is that it's blue. And you wonder, "Why isn't it green? Vermont is the Green Mountain State. ... Srsly, why is it blue?" This was my thought as I was making it. This was Dollar's first comment when I showed it to him. Someday, when I acquire green mohair yarn, I'll cut this blue stuff out and re-string it with green.

Also, my nails aren't thin/small enough. The state border is okay, but there really should be more nails making up the heart.

Vermont

The heart nails got filled quickly (especially since I was using a bulkier yarn) as I was stringing them.

The wooden board I bought at Joann's. It was unfinished, so I stained it a Maple color. I bought the nails at Home Depot. I already had the mohair yarn. That's really it for supplies. The board is a bit plain, so I'd like to wood burn some design or words into the lower right-side of the wood.

I like it, though. The mohair yarn makes it extra-weird. And weird things are always welcome in my house.



Tuesday

[local] Tunbridge Fair 2012

This was the first year that I entered items into the Tunbridge World's Fair. I entered many: a cardigan, hat, mittens, scarf, pillow, shawl, pot holders, muffins and necklace. I went to the fair on Sat with my sister and looked for everything to see what ribbons I had won. I found this, that, another... but where was my shawl? I walked up and down the row of knitted and crocheted items but couldn't find it.

I missed it when I first walked into the hall. It was hanging on the wall by the entrance:

Tunbridge Fair 2012

Best in Show. It has a Best in Show ribbon on it. I was like, "OMG... OMG..." and fanning my eyes because I was tearing up a little. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy and pleased and grateful. I don't know how I'll top that next year.

One category that I wouldn't want to enter is the quilt class. All of the quilts were stunning. I tried to make a quilt once and I couldn't even get corners to line up. 

Tunbridge Fair 2012

Tunbridge Fair 2012

There's are lots of fun crafts and veggies to see, too:

Tunbridge Fair 2012

Tunbridge Fair 2012

Tunbridge Fair 2012

We got some ice cream and headed up to the grandstand to watch the cavalcade:

Tunbridge Fair 2012

Tunbridge Fair 2012

I picked up all my items on Sunday evening. Here they are at home (the two mugs say World's Fair Tunbridge and were a special gift for winning Best in Show):

Tunbridge Fair 2012

The blue ribbon on the yellow card is for my muffins - Triple Maple Muffins. Next year I want to enter Corn Muffins, so I better start practicing. 

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

I think it's been a while since I did a Murderface Monday:

MF Sleeping

Now that the weather is really cooling off (yaaaaay!), I've taken out my heavy down comforter to sleep with. Murderface spent the past three nights sleeping either (a) on me, or (b) next to me. He must be chilly as well.

I have been having crazy dreams the past few nights, though. Like... accidentally killing someone and then not telling anyone about it and being constantly in fear that someone would trace it back to me... only to see the person that I killed at a party... with a lawyer... staring at me, like, "Imma sue you for attempted murder."

MF yawning

Oh, I'm sorry Murderface, am I boring you? Maybe you shouldn't be giving me these nightmares then.

Friday

[travel] San Francisco

Our first evening in San Francisco, we went to Chinatown for an awesome dinner and then rode a cable car back to the hotel:

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

The cable car pics are blurry. I was sitting on the outside seats and it was scary! I was like, "OMG WHERE'S MY SEATBELT?!" We weren't cruising down the hill at 60 mph or anything but still... I don't know how people jump on in tv commercials and just hang on to a pole while standing on one of the outside steps. 

San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco

The Australian woman sitting next to me kept saying what a treat it was being able to ride a cable car. I giggled on the inside and hummed "Rice-a-roni... the San Francisco Treat!" Oh man, I haven't heard that commercial since I was a kid but I was able to recall it in an instant.

Wednesday

[travel] Sonoma

Had a very nice lunch and winery tour at the Nicholson Ranch. This place was absolutely gorgeous.

Sonoma


Sonoma

Sonoma

Sonoma

Sonoma

Sonoma

Sonoma

Sonoma

Tuesday

[travel] Yosemite

Pictures from Yosemite National Park:

Yosemite

Yosemite_new

Yosemite

Yosemite

Yosemite

Yosemite

Yosemite

Inside the park, around the lodge, there were lots of animals. Deer running around everywhere. And squirrels. 

Yosemite

I tried to get it to come closers by holding out my fingers, pretending that I had food for it.

Yosemite

Yosemite

Oops.

Here's Yosemite Falls:

Yosemite

With not one drop of water falling. Oh well, all the more reason to come back in early supper when there would be a waterfall.

Everything was so big here:

Yosemite

This is a park that I would definitely want to visit again.