[misc] Murderface Thursday

In bed last night:

He’s so annoyed with me. I can hear a mouse and told him to do something about it... I don’t think he’s going to. Time to set traps. 🐭

I could hear a mouse scrabbling around in the bathroom and I told Murderface to get up and do something about it. This is his "YOU get up and do something about it- I'm like 75 in cat years" face. I did get up but it was inside the wall. Time to put traps out.


TGIT!! I'm off tomorrow for a weaving class offered by VT S&W. Looks like it might rain tomorrow but that's fine, I'll be in Tunbridge Town Hall all day. I plan on spending Saturday at the Festival. I'll be swapping stitch markers, buying all the soaps, visiting all the vendors, trying not to buy all the yarns and fibers, petting all the animals... 


[knitting] Wearing Nomia

First time wearing wool socks to bed this fall:

First night of the season wearing wool socks to bed. #knitting #sockknitting #woolsocks #bedsocks

Pattern is Nomia from Knitty Spring/Summer 2017. I finished these back in June but saved them for the fair. Now I finally get to wear them. The yarn is a really bright, lime green but the nighttime lighting in the bedroom makes them look much different.

I have about 20 craft projects I want to do but now all I can think about is making more socks. 

It was so chilly and rainy yesterday. I had to throw another blanket on the bed and last night Penny got under the covers with me. RIP summer, I didn't appreciate you enough. Now on to seven months of winter...


[knitting] Seashore Lace Shawl

The very beginning of a new shawl:

I'm much further along at this point. One of the things I wanted to try out during my week off was sashiko embroidery. I have all the tools/supplies, I just have to transfer a pattern to some large, navy pillow shams and get to stitching. But, like a squirrel, I hid the stuff somewhere in my craft room and then promptly forgot where. I didn't find it all until near the end of vacation.

My compromise was to start a new knitting project in the meantime- and this shawl pattern is inspired by sashiko designs: Seashore Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. I'm using a couple skeins of Kollage Riveting, made of recycled denim. I like the way the lacy fabric is working up but now I worry that the 95% cotton content of the yarn is going to make this a saggy shawl. We shall see.


[vermont] Autumn Equinox

Back yard sunset colors on Saturday evening, the autumn equinox:

Pretty sunset colors tonight. 💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜:he

Was a good weekend. Spent a bit of Saturday and Sunday moving an upright piano. Saturday: moving it out of Dollar's sister's house onto his stepdad's trailer. Sunday: the piano was brought up to our house and moved into the basement. Now we have two upright pianos. Ask me how often we play the piano. The answer is 'never'. I don't know what we need with two pianos but [Kermit drinking tea meme] that's none of my business... 

Worked a bit on my lace shawl (I'm well into the 2nd skein- will hopefully complete it this week). 

Finished all the stitch markers I was making. I have a little over 50 for the swap and... I feel like I need to make more. JUST IN CASE. So I have to stop by the craft store after work today to get more beads.

Also took out a plastic bag full of leftover yarn singles from years of spinning and used up about 90% to make a scrap-yarn three-ply. Pics this week- the yarn is drying now. (And, since the spinning wheel was out, I pulled some Hello Yarn fiber club ends and will start spinning those.)

I've been making fall-weather food the past couple weeks. Homemade mac and cheese. Stuffed delicata squash. Potato and leek soup. I've got some apple recipes I want to do next...


[crafts] Stitch Markers

I've got a week to wrap up the stitch markers I'm making for the swap at the VT Sheep and Wool Festival. My supplies:

I don't really know what I'm doing but I saw some tutorials online. I'm using some colorful skull beads (looooooove) and some round stone ones that look like little Earth-like planets.

In terms of supplies, I already had a bag of so many plain gold stitch markers that I bought from Knit Picks ages ago- and I think I've only used one or two over the years (I prefer the hard or flexible plastic ones by Clover). I thought they'd be put to better use for this swap, so I bought gold headpins and tiny accent beads and sat down to give it a try. I also already had the jewelry making hand tools. 


Skull Stitch Marker


Earth(ish) Stitch Markers

They're so cute! I'll work on making up the rest this weekend. And either resist or cave into the temptation to run out to get more beads...


TGIF. It's a bit of a doomy-gloomy grey day today. I plan on knitting more on a lace shawl that I started last weekend and watching The First on Hulu. I'm only a few episodes in and it's depressing but good. Tomorrow is officially the first day of Autumn and it definitely feels like it- I have to wear actual socks and shoes when I got out now (so long, flip flops) and I wore a sweater AND scarf to work today. Sigh.


[knitting] Plaitwork Cowl

One project that I wasn't able to finish in time for the fair was a cowl made from handspun yarn:

Trying to squeeze in one more project in the next couple days... #knitting #handspunyarn

I started it the weekend before and while I did take the whole week off work, I spent Sun - Tue painting a few rooms in the house, which greatly chewed into my knitting time. Here's where it was by the time I had to drop things off at the fairgrounds:

I didn’t finish the cabled handspun cowl in time for the fair, but now I can finish it at a leisurely pace. #knitting #handspun #cabledcowl

The pattern is Plaitwork Cowl, a free one from Cascade Yarns. I only ended up using two skeins of my handspun, so I have enough for a matching hat.

All finished:

#braidedcowl #knitting #handspun #knittinghandspun

Pretty easy pattern. Nice and plush and squishy cowl. I'm ready for cold weather! And I used a cute little wooden stitch marker during this project:

Sock stitch markers

This is from Katrinkles, a maker of the cutest wooden buttons and ornaments and knitting tools. I've used her buttons for a couple projects, I have her needle gauge tool (the Vermont one, of course), too. I've seen her at past Vermont Sheep and Wool Festivals, Green Mountain Fiber Festival (now defunct), Slater Mill Knitting Weekend market in Pawtucket, RI. I always make sure to get something from her- she's so great.

Speaking of stitch markers, VT S&W will be having a stitch marker swap this year. I'm participating! I have jewelry making tools so I went to Michaels and got some beads and things to make some. Pics tomorrow.

I can't believe the festival is next weekend- I'm taking an all day free form weaving class on Friday and then spending Saturday at the Fest. I'm so excited to see a special sheep breed exhibit that will showcase 71 breeds of fiber, yarn and swatches (oh my!). If I thought Blue Faced Leicester was a funny name for sheep, I'm sure I'll see some 10x crazier.


[vermont] Tunbridge Fair 2018

My items and ribbons from the fair:

Ribbons from the fair.

The yellow 3rd place ribbon is from the King Arthur Flour baking contest. There was a recipe for a bundt cake in the premium book and you had to make it EXACTLY as written. Items were judged on taste (50), texture (25), appearance (25). I received 85/100. The prize for 3rd place was a King Arthur Flour loaf tin- heavy duty and made by USA Pan (love this brand) for KAF. 

This was my Lemon Bliss Bundt :

Lemon Bliss Cake

Which was the most beautiful, perfect bundt I've ever made. It's a shame that I spent all the ingredients/time/care making it- for just one slice to be eaten and then the whole thing thrown away. 

I received good feedback from the judges on my items. Someone even left a note for my quilt- they're interesting in buying it. Alas, it's going to my mom for Christmas. It's sad when the fair is over but at least I can start wearing/using all this stuff now! And, of course, start thinking up projects for next year...


[knitting] Ski Bonnet

The last minute item I made to enter into the fair this year was a cabled/smocked/pompom'd ski bonnet:

Putting the finishing touches on my ski bonnet. #knitting #neonskibonnet #pompoms #hatknitting

The pattern is here.

I've had this pattern in my queue for yeeeaaaars. I used Cascade 220 in a heather purple color. My sister gave me three skeins ages ago and this pattern only used up a little more than half of the yarn, so I have enough leftover for some matching mittens. 

I've never done smocked stitches before (main body of the hat) and they were a little tedious but I really like the finished look. I opted for i-cord strands with pom poms at the end. My local Joann store had the Clover small and extra small pom pom makers in stock. They are so cuuuuute. I need to start pinning pom pom projects/crafts.

The front band of the hat is knit in the round so it ends up double-thick:

Ski Bonnet - inside band

As for the mittens- I think I'll do the hat's front band cable pattern for the back of the hands. And maybe the smocked ribbing for the cuffs?


Still no picture of all my fair items assembled with the ribbons. Yesterday we had to run a couple errands after work and stop by a farm to pick up our weekly CSA vegetables. I love having a CSA but the weekly food prep is brutal. By the time I take care of everything and get supper together, it's already 7:45 and practically time for Monday Night Football. I will say that last night's supper was pretty good- delicata squash roasted, then stuffed with sauteed leek, garlic, zucchini, leftover turkey thigh meat, swiss chard and topped with shredded mozzarella to melt/brown in the oven. All vegetables from the CSA.


[misc] Back from vacation

Vacation went by way too fast, as always, but I got a lot done. My daily visitors:

Turkeys in the driveway

Large group of about 25 turkeys would pop by around the same time every day, hang out and eat all the birdseed that I put out for the mourning doves. I bet these turkeys are going to taste great this year.

Monday/Tuesday I painted a couple more rooms in the house. And also a wall in the basement band room with green screen paint. I baked a couple things to bring to the fair and finished up all my knit/crochet projects. I brought everything over Wednesday. I did pretty well at the fair this year- now I've moved on to start thinking about knit/crochet projects to make for Christmas.

We went to a concert in Concord Thursday night. Went to the fair Friday. And then did regular old weekend stuff over the weekend (laundry, recycling, football, etc).

Now back to the real world.


[knitting] Ready to Rock!

The mittens are done:

Let's Rock Mittens

Let's Rock Mittens

I love the little skulls on the insides of the thumbs:

Let's Rock Mittens

The pattern is Let's Rock by Jorid Linvik. You can buy the stand-alone pattern from her website (which is what I did) and it's also included in her book of patterns Big Book of Knitted Mittens (which is what I want to get next).

I used Kollage Square US 3 DPNs and Louet Gems sport-weight yarn. The pattern worked up quickly in one week of dedicated knitting.

I got to use my mitten blockers (ordered from a Estonia) for the first time:

Let's Rock Mittens

Frame for the hands and then a little paddle for the thumb- perfect for this type of (Norwegian? Selbu?) style thumb. I ordered these from here a year or two ago in the L size.

Let's Rock Mittens

There are a few minor mistakes here and there. I did do a couple duplicate stitches to fix some errors and you can't even tell after blocking. 

Let's Rock Mittens

These are going to the fair and then they belong to Dollar.


Speaking of the fair, I'm taking next week off and will be offline. I'll be posting to Instagram but I try to not even look at a computer when I'm on vacation. I'll be wrapping up my fair entries, going to a concert one of the nights, cooking, chilling, painting, fair-ing... The plan is to just go crazy. 

I want to participate in the Stitch Marker Swap at the upcoming VT Sheep and Wool Festival (end of September) so I'd like to make a pile of beaded stitch markers next week. I have a couple large navy blue pillow shams and all the accouterments to do Sashiko embroidery, so maybe I'll take some time to try that. Maybe I'll spin some yarn- I feel like I didn't accomplish much (by way of paring down the fiber stash) during Tour de Fleece.


[gardening] Lavender

I took down my dried lavender and put together little sachets:

Lavender sachets from this year's harvest

The dining room smells so nice when I'm working on this.

I picked over some of the buds to remove all impurities (stems, chaff, etc) so that I could use some for cooking:


I made lemon lavender cookies that are the bomb. Like, one of the best cookies I've ever eaten in my life. I've got to try the recipe once more (ugh- picking over lavender buds is the most tedious thing in the world) to get it pretty. This will have to be added to my Christmas cookies repertoire.


[vermont] Turkey Xing

Morning commute:


Had a very productive 3-day weekend. We cleaned the house like crazy, vacuuming every square inch of everything, getting together clothes to donate, boxing up electronics we don't need/use anymore (which I will leave on the "free" table at the dump this weekend), putting away every scrap of laundry. I'm ready to paint a couple more rooms during my vacation next week. I cannot wait for a week off.

The stranded mittens are done and blocking. I've moved on to a cabled hat. Still no idea what I'm going to make with the gray handspun yarn that I pulled from my stash...


[cooking] Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Testing out a recipe this weekend to enter into the fair:

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

The original recipe is from Beyond Kimchee and I made them for Thanksgiving last year. I'm tweaking the recipe a little and will post the recipe here after.

Here's the dough after the first rise, rolled into balls.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

I might use a scale next time to get all the balls the same weight. 

I pat the ball down a little flat and then use my bench scraper to cut 4 slices and then 4 more slices:

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Then I pat it around the outside to bring it back to a ball shape and place it onto a tray for a second rise. And I use a chopstick to poke the middle down.

After the second rise- bushed with egg wash and I added pecan stems to half of the rolls to see how they would burn. 

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

I love these little rolls so much:

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

They're a little flat. I might add more flour and yeast to see if they can acheive greater height- but I'm not sure what that will do to the texture. These rolls are so buttery and tender- even the next day (which is good because that's when the judges will be tasting them). I'd rather have flat tender rolls over high hard ones.