[knitting] Cat Cushion

I made a quick little square using Marshmallow yarn. It's a pompom yarn that was kind of popular a couple years ago. I bought a couple balls on clearance at Webs- specifically to make a squishy little mat for the cats:

Marshmallow cat cushion

I put it in front of Murderface and he immediately started kneading/making biscuits. Penny was a little unsure what to do with it.

Marshmallow cat cushion

It's double-thick, fluffy pompoms. I was pressing my hand into it and thinking, "I would love to have a mattress pad made out of this stuff. It would be like sleeping on a cloud!" 


[knitting] Afghan Block #2

And the 2nd square I've completed:

Afghan Block #2

Fish in water! Cute! Had to pay close attention to the fish portion of this, since there were special stitches to work on the wrong side. But was a fun block to do.


[knitting] Afghan Block #1

I'm attempting to make an aran afghan this year. One block per month, which should be easy enough. Might need to do two per month because I'd like to submit the finished blanket to the Tunbridge Fair in September. Here's the first block:

Afghan block #1

I'm using blocks from the Great American Aran Afghan booklet. Yarn is Patons Classic Wool. 

No sleeping on the job with these patterns- there are multiple charts to work across at the same time.


[misc] Murderface Monday

Finally had a lot of nice sunshine this past weekend. It was frigid outside, but inside the kitties (and I) were soaking up as much sun as possible:


Nevermind all the nose prints all over the glass. Sheesh, I've got to take some glass cleaner to the windows, I guess.


[crochet] Stir Me Up potholders

Rounding out this week's unintentional theme of "spirals", I happen to have started spirally potholders:

Swirl potholder

I'm making five double-thick cotton polholders for this year's Potholder Swap on Ravelry. I love how this looks, and each side does work up fairly quickly, but it's a bear to start four separate colors and work with them around and around without getting things twisted up or tangled. 


[cooking] Cinnamon Rolls

The theme this weeks is "spirals". Yesterday I shared the snow rollers I found. Today I'm posting about cinnamon rolls. 

I just made my regular dough in the mini Zo. Mixed up some cinnamon sugar. Had some soft butter at room temp. Sewing thread to cut the rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls

Pushed out the dough with my hands:

Cinnamon Rolls

Smear the surface with one tablespoon of butter. Cover with cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Rolls

I could probably just bake that and call it a cinnamon sugar pizza. I didn't get pictures of the next part, but I rolled this up into a log length-wise. I used the sewing thread to cut the rolls. It actually broke- I need to a heavier weight thread next time. I think dental floss is usually suggested for cutting but I only have mint flavored floss.

Here are the rolls right after cutting:

Cinnamon Rolls

I let them rise for an hour: 

Cinnamon Rolls

Uhhhhh... Maybe I let them rise too long. And maybe I nestled them too close together in the pan. And maybe I overcrowded the pan. And maybe I'll do better next time.

All baked up:

Cinnamon Rolls

Easy, cheap treats to pick away at during the weekend.


[vermont] Snow Rollers

It was incredibly windy this past weekend. I was looking out into the back yard and saw small snowballs here and there. With no footprints or anything around them. I wondered if the wind was rolling snowballs, ha ha, just kidding. That's not possible. 

A little while later I went on Facebook and saw the local news outlet posting pictures coming in from all over Vermont... of snow rollers:

"A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made."

I read as far as "rare meteorological phenomenon" before grabbing my camera and trudging outside to take pictures. It really was the wind rolling snowballs!

Snow Rollers

Snow Rollers

Not as impressive as the ones in this report or any of these Google images, but still pretty cool.

The next day, Dollar and I went for a walk and we went up a side field in the front yard where I could see more snow rollers. I found one that was better formed. You can see the spiral shape more clearly:

Snow Roller

I've never heard of these things before, much less seen them. Crazy.


[knitting] Fingerless Garter Mehts

Fingerless mitts

Pattern: Garter Stitch Mitts (rav link

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Maxima, 100% merino

Needles: US 6

Notes: I've had this yarn wound into a ball for ages and it's such a chore to find the "right" pattern for variegated yarn. I dislike color pooling, so I needed to find a pattern where the stitch count changes from row to row. Garter stitch also helps break up the colors. This pattern seemed best: it's garter stitch and you work short-rows to shape the thumb and hand. 

Meh. I made the small size and they're wicked tight. Colors still pool here and there. You must do a provisional cast-on and graft the mitt closed. Pattern is written for one mitt only so you must turn one inside out before grafting to ensure you have one for either hand. The colors actually help mask where the seam is but... meh.

I'm calling them my Winter is Coming mitts. They're kind of wintery-colored and I knit then while re-watching season 1 of Game of Thrones.


[misc] I won!!

A big, massive THANK YOU to Wendy from Wendy Knits! She offered up a skein of American Lamb bulky wool and I won! Now to prowl Rav for an appropriate pattern...

[knitting] Red Cabled Scarf

Red cable scarf

Pattern: Manitou Passage Scarf (rav link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Ravelry Red, 2.3 skeins

Needles: US 9

Notes: I modified the pattern. As written, the scarf is made of three 16-stitch cables, with a 3-stitch garter edge. I made mine to be four 12-stitch cables with no garter edge. 

Red cable scarf

Work the cables every 12 rows. I worked two 12-stitch cables on row 6. Then the other two on row 12. And then you kind of get the staggered cables effect. I like it. After a nice block, the cables are smooth and flat. It pains me to give this away but it's a fairly late Christmas present to someone who received the cabled red hat and mittens.

It's hard to tell but this project is ALL ribbing. ALLLLLLLL ribbing. I am so thankful that I learned to knit continental.


[knitting] Colvert Cowl

Colvert cowl

Pattern: Covert (rav link)

Yarn: 50% angora/50% cormo handspun.

Angora and Cormo

Needles: US 7

Notes: Pretty cowl! Did the pattern exactly as written. It calls for ~260 yards of aran weight yarn. I had ~280 yard of my handspun. I think my uneven yarn was a lighter weight than aran, so my finished cowl is only 40 inches in circumference (rather than 47") after blocking. Not quite long enough to loosely wrap around my neck twice. If I were to do this pattern again, I'd add one or two extra pattern repeats for a deeper cowl. And it wouldn't even be a chore- this was a fun, interesting, easy pattern to make. I would happily make it again.

Penny helps me with the photoshoot:

Colvert cowl


[knitting] Sirle

Finished up a new hat:

Sirle hat

Pattern: Sirle (rav link)

Yarn: Reynolds Hopscotch (discontinued), white, two balls

Needles: US 6

Notes: This yarn is a thick-and-thin 100% wool. It's listed as worsted weight, but the thickness ranges from fingering to worsted. I specifically wanted to use this yarn for a kind of nubbly, more "homemade" look to the hat. It actually looks more like I used handspun yarn.

Sidle hat

The only change I made to the pattern was to omit the short-row shaping in the brim. As written, the brim is shaped longer in the front than the back, for ease of wear/slouch. But this means you'd have to put the hat on "right" and can only wear it one way. I have a couple hats with a seam and I don't really like having to look for this seam before putting on the hat. This is not a big deal and only takes about two seconds to find, but I just personally prefer to just grab a hat and put it on.


[misc] Murderface Monday

Weekends are for napping...


Well, for Murderface, every day is for napping.


[cooking] This pancake looks goofy

Made pancakes this weekend. I flipped one and saw:

goofy pancake

Goofy! Totally an amazing accident. I showed Dollar and he said, "That's Goofy!" Crazy.


[knitting] Something new

New year, new projects:

yarn bowl

I've been favoring natural shades lately- but I'm getting the urge to wind some colorful handspun. 


[misc] Penny Monday


Had a good weekend. Went to H-Mart on Saturday with my sister and picked up all kinds of interesting things. That place is hell-on-earth in terms of parking/shopping/checking-out (you know, everything associated with going out and buying something somewhere) but it inevitably ends up being worth it for all the fresh produce and specialty foods that they sell.


[cooking] Crab Quiche

crab quiche

Mmmmm, this was so good. Homemade pie crust, swiss cheese, king crab legs and scallions.


[crafts] Cat Coasters

I made some coasters for my sister, who has a black cat:

Cat Coasters

EEEEEE!! They're so cute!! The images are from an old Le Chat Noir calendar and these faces ended up being just the right size for 4" x 4" tiles. They were easy and fast to make:

Cat Coasters

I cut the images around the tiles then neatened/straightened the edges with a cutting mat and exacto knife. Mod Podge the tiles. Apply the images. Add 4 coats of Mod Podge over the course of an evening. The next morning, I sprayed felt with adhesive and pressed the tiles onto the felt. Covered everything with a matte sealer. Cut away the excess felt when everything's dry.

Cat Coasters

I gave them to my sister at The Worthy Burger. We ended up using them right away :)

Cat Coasters

When one of the guys who works there came to take away a couple of our empty glasses, he saw the coasters but didn't say anything. I think he thought we were very polite, though, to bring our own coasters to a restaurant.


[vermont] White Winter

Well, that was a relaxing Christmas break. I finished most of the projects that I was making. Puttered around the house. The 2nd half of my vacation was spent on an iPad. I broke down and got myself one strictly for boardgames. Dollar and I have been playing Puerto Rico the most- because we can sit side-by-side and look at the screen at the same time (there are no hidden elements for players). We did pass-and-play for Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan, but that really drags out what should be quick games.

I did leave the house, now and then, for provisions. We got about 14 inches of snow one day, followed by another 4 the next day. When the town plow comes through, they do a good job clearing our dirt road:



Before all that nice plowing, Dollar and I did head out to a convenience store when the roads were still kind of bad. I had Dollar drive me because I was too scared. We came upon a car w/NH plates abandoned in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD when we were heading down the big hill. We couldn't find the person that left it there. And it was still there when we came back through. I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to driving in snow/ice and it took all my willpower not to shriek "SLOW DOWN" every time we approached a bend in the road.

We did our annual Christmas watching of the Die Hard movies. We were watching a car chase in the last one with John McClane wildly swerving to and fro at reckless speeds. I turned to Dollar and said, "That is exactly how you were driving today." He thought that that was funneh.

Now it's time to compile a list of all the crafty things I want to do in 2013!