Thursday

[crochet] Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie


Pattern: Pumpkin Pie from Tasty Crochet

Hook: 3.5 mm (E)

Yarn: Harrisville Flax & Wool Blend (crust), Classic Elite Miracle (filling)

Cute! Was quick to work up. Made this for Nerd Wars on Ravelry. I made this pie for the character Dean Winchester on the tv show Supernatural- who has a penchant for pie.

Pattern in the book has a typo- says you should increase the crust piece to 16 stitches and then work across 20. The 20 should be 16.

Had to block these pieces before sewing them together- they were really curly after making them. Didn't really enjoy working with either of these yarns- just trying to use up my stash.

Wednesday

[knitting] Another handspun Rikke hat

Finished a simple, slouchy hat:

Rikke Hat


This is my third time making this pattern. 

The yarn is handspun from 2009:

Fantom Farms 100% Alpaca

Alpaca Handspun

The yarn was heavier than DK-weight, so I cast on fewer stitches. Good hat but it's feels a tad scratchy to wear. Oh well.

Tuesday

[cooking] Pickled eggs and beets

I've never had a pickled egg. I like pickled things and I like eggs but I never saw the appeal. Until I saw a picture of a cut hardboiled egg that was pickled with beets. It was sooooooo pretty that I had to try it myself. And here it is:

Beet pickled eggs

The color is amazing.

The recipe was:

6 hardboiled eggs

Simmer a can of baby beets (with juice) with 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water. And I added a couple tablespoons of Japanese 7 Spice (leftover from when I pickled ramps last spring).

Put the eggs in a big jar, cover with beet brine, wait a few days. These are good but kind of stinky. Dollar is counting the minutes until they're gone for good.

Monday

[misc] Murderface, Penny, (ninja) Santana Monday

All three on the bed at the same time!

3 kitties on a bed

Oh, you only count two? Penny in the sun and Murderface on the stag? Well, Santana is in the pillow fort at the head of the bed. You can see her better here:

3 kitties on a bed

Awwwwwwww.

But MF didn't like to be so rudely awoken by a camera click-click-clicking.

Murderface and Stag.

Friday

[knitting] Afghan Block #3

Made another square for the aran afghan:

Afghan block #3

My only worry is that these squares appear to be getting larger and larger. The first one that I made is smaller, more than an inch in height and width, than this one. Could be tricky when it some time to sew them all together...

Thursday

[crochet] Stir Me Up!

My potholders are done!

Potholders

Pattern: Stir Me Up Potholders (rav link)

Yarn: Elann Sonata cotton. Many colors.

Hook: E (3.5 mm)

Due to postage rates rising, I only had to make three potholders instead of five. 

These are swirly on the front and back. I crocheted over plastic rings to make the loop for hanging. Well written pattern- would definitely make these again.

Wednesday

[knitting] Vespergyle Mittens

Finished!

Vespergyle mittens



Yarn: Harrisville Shetland, grey and navy, less than one skein of each.

Needles: US 2. I used an 8" Addi Turbo circular. This was totally brutal. I tend to get lines in the project between needles when I use DPNs (which can usually be sorted out with blocking) and I thought using a wee, tiny circular would eliminate that and keep things moving around quickly. It did both of those things, but it was still brutal. If I develop carpal tunnel, I'm blaming these mittens and that needle.

Mods: Using mods from another user on Ravelry, I did an extra diamond repeat before starting the thumb. I made the thumb striped (rather than speckled). And I ended the tip a little sooner (grafted the top closed) so that it wouldn't be so pointy.

These are great mittens. I really, really like them. But... It was tedious as all hell. You know a project has become a chore when you think, "Maybe the world will end and I won't have to make the other mitten." If I want to make more stranded projects (and I do), I'll switch to hats.

Tuesday

[misc] Penny Tuesday

Took Penny to the vet Monday morning to get her little suture out. She's been doing really well at home- eating normally, active playing, etc. I have two carriers and put her into the larger one for the drive down, thinking that this would be better for her. It actually just gave her more room to freak out. She was picking, picking, picking at the front gate and openings on the side. I tried soothing her and telling her it would be okay.

I noticed she started leaving marks on the side openings that she was picking. It took me a couple looks to realize that it was blood. She was reaching her paws through the front grate and I saw blood all over her nails. She was picking so bad that she hurt herself and broke her nails. 

WTF. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to pull over on the interstate. I didn't want to turn around and go home, because we'd just have to come back down. I didn't know what to do, other than try to calm her down. 

So we got to the vet and I showed them her paws, like, "Oh, hello. I'm the worst pet owner ever, in the world. See?" I took the top off of the carrier and there were bloody scratch marks all over the inside walls. The vet cleaned around the nails and made sure there was no more active bleeding. I felt like a total turd, like I just made Penny have the worst panic attack because I'm a professional torturer. 

It took about 4 seconds to cut out the suture. I asked for sedatives (for Penny, not for me) in case I have to bring her back down at some point. And since she was due for a couple shots in March/April, I had the vet give those to her then.

The vet bandaged up Penny's paws with gauze and tape, just to protect her paws for the ride back home. Once we left, Penny kicked out of the bandages and started to pick and freak out again. I absolutely didn't want her to damage her nails more, so I pulled over. I took the top off of the carrier, took off my coat and spread it out over my lap and the center console between the driver and passenger seats. I've never driven a car with a cat that wasn't in a carrier. I've always been worried that the cat would go straight for my legs and pedals. Penny explored the car a bit, crying and panting in a terrified, panic-y state, but she wasn't shredding her nails on anything. So I eased back into the road and carried on driving home. I know a couple cars that passed me must have thought it was funny that I was driving with a meowing cat on my shoulder, perched between my head and driver's side window. But it was stressful. Eventually she settled down inside my jacket next to me and stayed there for the rest of the ride home.

Here she is, after it all:

Penny


She was fine once we were back home. Poor thing :(

Friday

[crafts] Fish dish

Went to Tip Top for more paint-your-own pottery fun. I picked out a fish platter to paint:

My fish platter

I got a little detail-crazy with the organizer that I painted that first time I went, so I wanted to do something simpler this time. I painted the main body one color and the fins yellow/green. Then I started adding dots and couldn't stop.

Here it is after being glazed and fired:

Fish dish

You can still see the brushstrokes and that's with three layers of paint. I'm going to do four coats next time. Yeah.

I love the dots!

Fish dish detail

Thursday

[knitting] Mittens of Doom

Here's a pic of the mitten pattern that I've been working on.

Vespergyle mittens


Nearly done. This project has been a tedious pain in my butt but it hasn't put me off stranded knitting. I enjoy working with two colors- I just think I'd do a hat for my next stranded project. After making one of these mittens, I felt like, "UGH. Now I have to make ANOTHER one?"

Wednesday

[vermont] Snowshoeing

The storm this past weekend didn't drop that much snow at home. Just about 8 inches or so. Which is a perfect amount, I think. Sunday was gorgeous- not too cold and lots of sunshine. My sister and I went snowshoeing around the back yard:

Snowshoeing

It was more fun going through the woods, though:

Snowshoeing

I only fell over once. 

Tuesday

[crochet] Stir Me Up Potholder #2

Continuing on with these potholders for the swap:

Stir Me Up Potholder #2

This year, we only need to send in three instead of five!! Yeah, I'm so much closer to being done!

Monday

[misc] Post-op Penny Monday

Okay. It's been a week since Penny barfed up a piece of rainbow felt in the morning. She ate breakfast normally. When we came home from work, there was lots of barf all over the house. Penny wasn't interested in food and was barfing up water. I immediately took her down to the vet.

They x-rayed her and saw bunching in her intestines. They kept her overnight to put her on an IV to rehydrate her and see if she could pass the stuff on her own. Leaving her there and missing her around the house and thinking about her alone in an unfamiliar place all night was rough. The next day, after she didn't poop anything and another x-ray revealed more bunching, they said surgery was the way to go.

A couple hours later, it was done. They didn't need to cut into her intestines but were able to "milk" the obstruction out the rest of the way. But she had to stay overnight again so they could monitor her.

We went to pick her up Wednesday after work. She was away for 48 hours and so happy to be back home. She has lots of pills to take (pain pill, liquid pain med, two types of antibiotics) and has to wear an E-collar (aka "cone of shame") to keep her from chewing off the stitches on her stomach. She's sequestered to our bed room, so she doesn't get stressed out around MF or Santana. 

Here she is, her first day back:

Penny

She wouldn't stop purring and nuzzling/cuddling with us. After a couple days, though:

Penny

I cut up a t-shirt to pin a smock around her, to see if we could do this instead of the cone:

Penny in smock

But she didn't like it.

She does like warm laundry, though:

Penny in laundry fort

I would get into bed at night, to mess around on my iPad, while Penny slept next to me:

Penny napping in bed

Penny, happy to have the sun shining and the cone off:

Penny

She's on the road to recovery but we've got 7 more days of pills and cone. 

Wednesday

[misc] Penny

Penny ate part of a toy and needed emergency surgery. She's okay, surgery went well and she's coming home tonight.

Penny

Siiiiiigh. Penny Penny Penny. Things are kind of upside down at home and will be for a while. Poor Pen-Pen.

Monday

[misc] Santana Monday

Santana


Santana is so photogenic. Must be the white mark on her nose...


Friday

[knitting] Drumstick Quiver

Dollar asked for a new felted bag to hold his drumsticks. Since I've been diligently working on a pair of stranded mittens (fingering-weight yarn, size US 2 needles, 8" circular needles of hand-cramping torture), any excuse to throw the project aside and work on something else was welcome. 

It was done the next night.

Here it is knit up:

Drumstick Quiver

I used two balls of Zitron Nimbus and US 10 needles. I cast on 6 stitches, joined in the round, increased 6 stitches every round until I reached 48 stitches, purl a couple rounds, then knit a long tube. Cast-off most of the stitches, then made a long strap on 16 or so stitches to use up the rest of the yarn.

I ran it though a couple hot, soapy cycles in the washer. Pressed the water out and dropped a couple straight drinking glasses into the tube to shape it while it dried. It ended up being about the size of a Pringles can.

Drumstick Quiver

We figured out where/how it would hang from his drum kit before I sewed on a big button and cut a slit into the strap for the button.

Drumstick Quiver

So the idea is: as he's drumming, if a stick flies out of his hand, he'll have another within easy reach to pull and continue playing on.

Now... back to the mittens :(