Monday, June 27, 2011

Dead Heat Stashdown and the Tour

I've been busy, busy, busy this past week or so. I went home to visit my parents, and proceeded to attempt to fatten up everyone I knew with delicious baked goods. My BFF Veronica took a few photos of the yumminess, so I'll post with more detail when she gets those photos to me.

In terms of crafting, most of what I've been doing is planning. The Tour de Fleece is quickly approaching. While I don't spin (yet), I will be participating as a hand cyclist for the Knitmore Girls' group, Team Sasquatch. I'm also going to be participating in the Dead Heat Stashdown for the ravelry group, Stash Knit Down. I'm thinking of it as more of an opportunity to focus on planning my projects more than as trying to destash. For one thing, my stash is small enough that I really don't need to work on getting rid of yarn.


That's my bucket for the stash down. As you can see, I tried to pick both fancy schmancy yarn as well as my yarn from big box stores. I'm not a yarn snob. While I do prefer working with the nicer (aka, more expensive) stuff from my LYSes, I do recognize that there are situations when the big box stuff is appropriate. I'm not going to shell out $20 for a single skein for a coaster or market bag, but I will for a shawl.


This is the contents of the basket.
  • The yellow malabrigo is going in a Springtime Bandit.

  • The top bunch (two cones, the giant tan blob, and orange ball) are going into two different market bags. I actually CO for one- it'll be an orange and white striped grrrlfriend market bag.

  • The microscopic pink yarn is caron spa that will hopefully become a summer flies shawl, once I pick up another skein.

  • The orange and yellow balls are a frogged attempt at a tank that should be turning into my first ever pair of socks.
  • The pink and blue ball will turn into an Eliina shawl. I'm super excited, I've never used yarn that thin before.

  • The brown and blue yarn will become a cabled necklace. It reminds of the beach is the best sort of ways. I have the perfect dress to go with it.
  • Finally, the yellow and white UFO is an Elefante. I don't know what it is about that pattern, but I cannot seem to get one done. It shouldn't be that difficult, and would only take me a few days if I just sat down and knit it, but for whatever reason, I do not want to work on it. I'm thinking I'll bring this to Florida with me so I'll be forced to work on it.

The stash down lasts through July and August, so I'm hoping I'll wind up finishing early. I also threw in my bucket of scraps, but I'm not counting it as part of the stash down. Since I usually just knit toys out of the yarn, they'll be a nice, quick break when I need it. Plus I want to get that bunting done before I move in again in August.


The bucket looks a little different from when I first took this photo, but not significantly.

Finally, as for the Tour de Fleece. I want to knit shawls! The Eliina and the Springtime Bandit are on my to do list for this challenge. I'm fairly confident I can finish both, but I did just cast on for a scarf for Monkey.

Monkey works at a movie theater during the summer, and he'll most likely be assigned a shift for the Harry Potter opening. His managers have decided that the people working the opening shift will be able to dress up, and I thought this would be an awesome way for him to dress up without much effort. The scarf is the Dark Mark Illusion Scarf. I'm not very far yet, but I'm really hoping to make significant progress before either challenge starts- and before the movie opening!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Short post today, I don't really have much to say. Last week or so, I finished my Multnomah shawl. I knit it out of Acero yarn, from the DFW Fiber Fest. The yarn was... interesting. Definitely not soft, but not scratchy either. It had almost a crunchy feel to it once i twas knitted up. I love the colors, they're so warm and inviting.


I'm not sure how much use I'm going to get out of this. Even though I only did 9 of the 10 repeats, I think it may be too large for me to really wear often. I like wearing shawls in the front, not worn over my shoulders covering my back. Large triangular shawls make me feel like an old lady. I'm sure some people can pull it off, but I feel awkward wearing them like that.

In any case, I think it turned out really well. I've been working on a laptop case ever since I finished it, and all I have to do is sew the lining in and sew up the sides. I'm waiting until I talk to my mom and get her help before I do that though, so it's on hold until then. I finished watching the Mentalist last weekend and I've really been suffering ever since. There seems to be absolutely nothing on TV that interests me... So mostly I've been channel surfing and watching information about the Casey Anthony trial...

Friday, June 17, 2011

The only River...

A few months ago, entirely because of SavvyGirlMelanie, I started watching Doctor Who. I remember in high school, I had friends who were absolutely obsessive about it, but I had never really had any interest until Melanie repeatedly talked about it on her podcast. The minute I started watching it, I was hooked. It took me a while to get caught up, but now, I cannot wait for the episodes to pick up again. I have to admit, I'm not really enjoying the whole drawn out drama with Amy and River Song. While I really enjoy Amy and Rory as companions, I just can't get into mysteries that span multiple episodes. I vastly prefer when I can watch an episode and not need to know what happened in the episode before to understand the new one. It's probably why I enjoy 'cop shows' so much. The longer story lines make it harder for me to rewatch because I feel like I have to watch everything from the beginning. There's no just sitting down to watch a random episode.

Even with the longer story arcs, I do have to say, I love, love, love River Song. When she was first introduced to the show, I thought she was quite annoying, though I think that more had to do with the fact that I knew Donna, my absolute favorite character, was leaving soon and I saw River Song as a kind of threat. Once Donna left, I really started enjoying the random encounters with River. She's powerful, quirky, and not afraid to boss the Doctor around.


None of this has anything to do with my real purpose for this post, well apart from the fact I named my project after River. Last week, I started knitting coasters. After getting annoyed for the upteenth time over a soggy paper, I finally got smart and started searching for coaster projects on Ravelry. That's when I saw the leaf washcloth pattern. Oh my goodness, so cute! I spent essentially the entire time Monkey was visiting knitting these up, and I'm absolutely enamored. I knit four in stockinette, two in garter. On the two smallest coasters, I only increased to 23 stitches so I could have a cute pile of them.


The pattern was super simple, and it gave me an excuse to use some of the oodles of kitchen cotton yarn from my stash. I'm not sure what it is about kitchen cotton. The minute I see it, I want to buy it all up. It doesn't matter that I don't knit washcloths, and there are only so many market bags you can make, especially when you don't actually use them (I have an adorable Hello Kitty Bag someone gave to me for my birthday, as well as one Monkey got for free from an event he had to go to for ROTC). But I'm just a sucker for them. It's probably the fact that it's so much yarn for such a low price, I see all the pretty colors and I can't resist.

In any case, I'm super happy with my coasters. I'm really enjoying going through and looking for patterns for various things to decorate my apartment. Next up on the list is bunting for my living room wall.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Easter Parade

Holidays have always been a big thing at my house. My mom claims that it's because she grew up never really celebrating anything, so my dad creates a big hoopla to spoil her. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that he was born on Halloween and consequentially, is completely off is rocker when it comes to such things. I was born the day before Halloween, which probably only exacerbated the situation.

You can't see it, but the garage is filled with animatronics. Plus the decorations span around the corner and across the street.

Growing up, I was kind of embarrassed by it all. At school, I'd hear people saying "Hey, did you see that one house?". Inevitably, it would be mine. Come Halloween and Christmas, we'd start getting a parade of cars down the cul-de-sac, all stopping to stare at our house weeks before the holiday. Sometimes, people would even come out of their cars and take photos.

my father loved it. He still does actually. The fact he gives out king sized candy bars and "tricks" probably doesn't help the traffic flow on Halloween. Friends and neighbors conspire with him to knock on windows, dressed as Santa to delight (or terrify in some cases) their kids on Christmas Eve.

As I grew older, I became more accepting of the decorations. Instead, I found myself comparing other decorations to our own. A certain house in the other side of my home town even has a website for their Christmas decorations, but I think it pales in comparison to ours. Theirs lacks the eclectic aura of all the mismatched decorations, accumulated throughout the years. What do they have instead? Lights synced to radio. And not even a lot of lights. We used to know a family who would wrap their entire house in lights for Christmas. Now that was dedication.

Okay, obviously I'm biased here, so take my criticism with a grain of salt. Or with a barrel considering it is probably pretty cool. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.


About when I hit high school, my mom and I struck back with our own Holiday ambitions. A family friend "egged" our house one year. Considering we already had a patch of giant eggs and little ones hanging from trees, this was quite a feat. Our front lawn was absolutely covered in them. There was even one left labeled for "Goon" (I have no idea where this came from, but that's what that family calls him. I suspect it dates back to when he first started playing hockey). Inside was a lump of coal- naturally.

The next year, my mom and I sprung into action. We woke up at the crack of dawn (or butt crack, as she calls it) and egged their house first. Haha! We were victorious!


From there, it spread. We egged friends and neighbors houses. We egged our own house. We even got egged quite a few times (and in one time in particular, so did my car). Again, these were all brightly colored plastic eggs with candy inside- not actual eggs. My mom and I would happily go to IHOP for breakfast, an extremely rare occurrence. It was worth waking up at freakish hours for. Upon coming home, my mom would putter around the house and I would collapse and go back to sleep until my sister woke me up again to "help" her get the eggs. It usually ended in me standing in the rain picking them up while she and my mom giggled on our front porch. There are pictures to prove this.


The tradition has been slowly dwindling down as the kids we know are growing older and no longer believe in the Easter bunny. Soon, even my sister won't be interested in finding eggs either. I lost my finding rights about when she started developing hers. At least I had egging to take its place.

Now Easter is my favorite holiday. There's candy, there's cute cuddly animals, and best of all, there's IHOP. One of my favorite movies is Easter Parade even. If I went to Church, you can bet I'd be wearing a fabulous hat and dress combo.

I'm not sure what I'll do as I grow even older. I'm sure after we graduate, most of my friends will scatter, and I don't know myself where I'll end up. So I'm taking advantage now of my favorite holiday. Last year I knit more than a few projects and I expect next year, there will be more. And my hell and high water, if I ever buy a house with a tree in front yard, there will be eggs hanging from it.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mom's Fable Mittens

I knit a pair of fable fingerless mitts a few months ago for my mom- just in time for the weather to warm up, of course. I finally took pictures of them last weekend.


My mom loved them. I knit it in alpaca, which we got from the DFW Fiber Fest. I knit it in the round, and made them a bit longer than the pattern calls for.


Again, I'm still moping. I'm almost done with my Multnomah shawl now, but I've been wrestling it since yesterday because apparently I can't read or count. I'm just ready for it to be done. My friend Jozy keeps telling me I should be knitting bunnies, so we'll see if that's the next project I cast on...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Weekend of Giraffes...

That was essentially my entire last weekend. I finally decided that no, three were enough considering I don't have a clue what I want to do with them. I'll probably give one of them to my sister, but still.


Along with baking those cupcakes, I knit these while listening to Heat Wave, by Richard Castle. I think I would have enjoyed the book considerably more if I hadn't disliked the narrator so much. I have a feeling the book invoked a lot of silliness that the narrator simply couldn't portray, although he did a great job of making me feel like I was in the middle of an old mystery movie.


This weekend, I pretty much spent the entire time knitting, listening to audiobooks, and watching the Mentalist. I know, I live such a thrilling life. I've been listening to the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones. I *adored* these books growing up, and I'm onto one I never read as a kid: Conrad's Fate. I'm only a few chapters in, but I think I need to relisten to the last one because I was rather distracted.

Monkey is in New Jersey with two of his sisters, his brother in law, his mom, and his step-dad. I think he get's back to Texas next Monday, which feels like an eternity away. Even then, I don't know if he'll even be able to come up and visit. I hope so. I have grand plans to whisk him away on a date night to get coffee and frozen yogurt. I've been craving both. And I've been thinking a lot about when we went on our first (non)date. I think I'll definitely have to get into that more in another post.

Well, I'm off to listen and knit! I'm on the feather and fan border of my Multnomah shawl, and it's a pain in the butt so far. Hopefully I'll get the knack of it soon enough.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thanks Blogspot.

I really love it when I type up an entire post, click save now, then click publish post and have the entire thing eaten. That really makes my day. So here's a really terrible rehash of what I tried to say the first time.

I'm being pathetic. Moping, whining to Monkey, and knitting. Last weekend I baked.


Ooh. Yum. Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes.

Frosting = scene from I Love Lucy. Very, very messy.


Entirely too rich for my tastes, Monkey likes them though. I'll be using the cookie dough again, but not the rest of the recipe unless I'm trying to go in a diabetic coma.

Really craving brownie edges, anyone want to help a girl out?

(And yes, I know, this is terrible. I'm really ticked off now and after putting this post off for a week, I don't want to write it again, so the terrible writing is going to stay.)