If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Is Finally Here

Oh, Sweet Mabey Jabey! I might be finished with the Winter Is Coming Scarf!

Listen, I thought I was going to finish it last night. I thought it was possible. But as the knitting continued, the silver skein of yarn dwindled a little too rapidly, I thought. Several times, I stopped and held its weight in my hand--Is there enough to finish? You remember I wasn't able to find the silver color anywhere, right? So it was very important that there was enough of this to finish.

But there wasn't. I don't know why I would be surprised by that. That has been my luck for about 6 months now--everything I touch just turns to crap. (Seriously. I got in the car with R today and we drove about 100 feet before getting a flat. That's after a flat and a dead battery in my own car just in the last 10 days. Maybe it's not me per se, but I seem to be attracting some bad medicine this way. Take my word for it.)

Anyway, of course there wasn't enough to finish. I came up 10 rows short. How do you like that? And the ends need to be symetrical, so I couldn't just make the scarf an inch and half shorter, right? Ten rows short.

#*%! me.

The good news is, I was able to stop at Joann on the way home from work and--lo and behold--they had the silver color in stock! So, back home for some quick knitting while I listen to Alan Cumming read Dracula on Audible.com, and I finished it up in no time at all!

So, without further adieu, here is T's Winter Is Coming Scarf! (Only 2 months late for Christmas. I will just go sit in the corner now and eat dirt.) My dining room table seats 6, so that gives you an idea as to how long it is.

Still needs to be blocked, and I am waiting to weave in these ends to see if he wants a fringe or not. But yeah, basically done. At least I'm going to count it as an FO.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Project Update: Numerous UFOs

But this is not my fault, really. Well, okay. The Winter Is Coming Scarf is my fault. Should've started that thing way earlier. Still not finished with it. But I'm getting there. I've finished all the letters and now I just need to add the other dire wolf at the end. This is going to be a long scarf. Loooooong. Like Fourth Doctor Scarf long. But, as cold as it has been getting, that will be welcome.

Of course, I probably won't finish it before August, the way it's going.

I have also had to jump from project to project because of timing. R, M, Bre, and my brother all have birthdays in the same time frame. And then there's Valentine's Day. And R and Bre's wedding coming up. So it's not really my fault that I would have so many UFOs going at the same time.

I'm in the process of knitting something for M's birthday now. I won't mention what it is or show a picture, just in case she's reading this. But I think she will really like it. I still have quite a bit of work to do on it, though. I don't know why, but it seems like my projects lately have gone much slower than ever before.

I'm also working on Bre's gift which, again, I won't mention what it is because she might read this.

And, don't forget, I still have to order the thread for the wedding gift and knit it. (Oh, and also need to finish up the Ringbearer Pillow.)

All that seems like a lot of knitting, but I think I can get it done. The end is nigh. Believe me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February Swap Ornament Is Here!

Aw yay-ah! Looky here! My swap ornament has arrived! All the way from Australia!

I was so excited (I love getting presents!) I could barely open it. Excitement made it difficult to open. And the tape covering the end.

But look at what was inside! Two--two!--beaded angels for my tree! These faceted beads are going to be catching the light very nicely, too. Fantastic! Thank you, Julie!

I have to say, though, these little candies she sent along are very pretty and have a nicely satisfying crunch. But they taste terrible. I don't know if it's the difference in American and Australian palates, but I found them very bland and plasticy tasting. I swear, it was like eating an actual button. I barely made it through one of them.

I think I will save the others, in case I have some little children visiting sometime. Kids, especially the really little ones, won't have such sophisticated tastes and they'll gobble these up.

At any rate, I'm enjoying this swap very much. It's nice to get mail that isn't a bill or an ad for Tempurpedic Matresses (why am I getting these?) or (gadzooks!) some solicitation from AARP--which, at 29, I'm way too young to be getting. And it's fun to get mail from various parts of the world. I like to think about how these little angels were made by hand by Julie and then travelled to the other side of the world to be held in my hands. That's incredible, if you think about it, right?

But also, I like to see everyone else's crafting. Not just the project pages on Ravelry, or their Pinterest boards, or blog posts. But actual, actual crafting. It's like you were sitting across the table from someone, sharing something you both enjoyed. In this case, that table is 15,630 KM long, but still.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dollar Tree Yarn Score!

Dollar Tree gets yarn from time to time. Usually, it's novelty yarn. (I've been known to buy novelty yarn. There is a time and place for it, no matter what some of the yarn snobs say.) But, I have bought Wool-Ease, Bernat, and Caron there, too. I keep my eyes open, just in case.

So, last week, when M and I went to the Dollar Tree, we found this big bin, right up front with yarn in it. There was some blue eyelash-type yarn, which I resisted--although I have a blue eyelash yarn scarf and it gets tons of compliments, even though it's a garter stitch novelty yarn scarf--and some of this:

It's Bernat Knit or Knot. Now I guess that's technically novelty yarn, but I have been wanting to pick some of that up for a long time because I like the combination of a bunch of different yarns. I think they will make very cool-looking, highly textured scarves. So I picked up 4 of them, even though it says 1 skein = 1 scarf and these are all the same color. I don't care. Three people will have the same scarf I have. So what?

Anyway, we swung by Michael's after that and I snapped this picture:

Same yarn. Same color. $7.99/skein vs. the $1/skein I paid at Dollar Tree.

I call that a good deal.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Riddle Me This, Batman...

What has thumbs and can eat her weight in Girl Scout Cookies?

It's one of the best things about February... Girl Scout Cookie month. Oh, and let me tell you, those little girls know my house. I get hit by a couple of girls at the house, a couple of girls at the store, and then they're all over the place when you go shopping. Well, at least the places I shop, like Kroger and Joann. I ordered cookies for me, Trefoils (the best), and for T (Samoas), and for all the kids, according to their preference. I was told there would be gluten-free cookies, which is good because that would be Bre's preference.

Of course, I didn't get any GF cookies or my Trefoils in any of my orders, which upset me unreasonably and sent me on a search for those to the ubiquitous Girl Scout cookie booths. And I did buy my Trefoils, which is--of course--the important part of this story. Listen, me without Trefoils in February is like...

Yeah. That.

But it turns out that there is only one flavor of GF Girl Scout Cookies available in this area, even though there are two different kinds of GF cookies! What's up with that, Girl Scouts? Do you realize how many people are gluten-intolerant and would really like to have some Girl Scout Cookies? Sure, you gave them one flavor. But how would you like to just have one flavor of cookie to choose from? (I guess then the choice there would be cookie or no cookie, now that I think of it.) I mean, what if the Girl Scouts came knocking on your door, asking if you wanted cookies, but the only thing you could choose was Thin Mints?

Oh wait a minute. I was directing that at the Girl Scouts, right? So obviously the Girl Scouts wouldn't come knocking on the Girl Scouts' door. But you know what I mean. Get on the stick, Girl Scouts. This is an excellent opportunity to teach girls about supply and demand. And isn't that what the whole Girl Scout Cookie business is supposed to do?

Anyway, I do enjoy my Trefoils, although I have limited myself to half a sleeve at a time.

Because, you know... What has thumbs and can eat her weight in Girl Scout Cookies?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birthday Crafts

R's birthday was the 11th. But since we all had to work on that day, we decided to get together tonight to celebrate. (Sigh. Is that the way of things when you get older? You have to work instead of having a birthday party? Boo.)

First, I want to show you this cake I made. Here's the story: R wanted a cherry chip cake for his birthday. But 1) No store seems to carry a cherry chip cake mix any more. And believe me, I've looked. 2) The cake needs to be gluten-free so everyone is able to eat birthday cake. But good luck finding a cherry chip GF cake mix.

So I bought a yellow GF cake mix (and used Crisco instead of butter because Bre and M are both dairy-intolerant) and used egg whites instead of whole eggs because Bre can't really eat those and besides, the yolks add a yellow tint to the cake mix and with all the cherry I would be adding, the cake would end up being orange. And who wants an orange-colored cherry cake, right? Then, the thing that always gets me about GF cakes is that they are never moist and light. They're always so grainy textured and heavy and dry. So I added in half a package of cherry Jell-O to give it some moisture. And, since we needed some cherry chips in this cherry chip cake, I also added a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries, chopped, with the juice (instead of the water the mix called for).

Needless to say, it turned out to be a bright pink cake. Which is fine, but I wanted to do something that reflected R's personality and I just couldn't think of what to do with a pink cake. My first thought was TARDIS. But nobody wants to eat that much blue food coloring. (I remember a certain Colts superbowl cake that made everyone poop blue for a few days.)

So I asked M. She suggested an Anti-TARDIS. It's not a blue TARDIS, it's white. We joked that it also stays in one spot and only exists in this time.

Don't mock my free-hand, from-memory cake decorating skills. It tasted great, at least.

T and I collaborated on the gift-making, too. I found this quote and Gallifreyan script (At least, the internet says it's Gallifreyan. I am not a Timelord, so I couldn't tell you for sure.) and Photoshopped it onto a starscape and had it printed on high-quality photo paper. Then T cut the mat and we framed it.

Haha. Pay no attention to the reflection of my hands taking the photo.

T also repainted this candle holder. I wish I'd taken a before picture. It was just a black metal frame, with visible silvertone welds. T first painted it copper, then added a layer of verdigris color. Then we added the 3 glass candle holders and 3 vanilla ice cream scented votives. I think it looks fantastic.

I also made another gift for R, but sadly didn't get a photo of it in its finished form. I guess I'll post that later. It's a hand-bound leather journal. It's the first one I've made and it turned out really nice, I think. (Although, the glue was maybe not quite dry by the time the party rolled around.) It did earn the comment of "Nice post-apocalyptic skills. This means we can still have books after the Zombipocalypse."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!

After the not-finishing-the-Christmas-gift debacle, (Which, yes, I still haven't finished. But you can just keep your comments to yourself because I will finish it. Eventually.) I decided I was not going to let Valentines Day slip away without doing something for T. The trouble is, he definitely doesn't need another diamond-encrusted toilet seat or gold-plated nose trimmer. So, what's a girl to do?

And, given the fact that his knitted Christmas gift is almost two months late at this point, I opted for the sentimental route.

This is a picture of the two of us this past summer, when we went to an apple orchard on a rare day off. I popped it into Photoshop and washed out all but the center of it. Then I found this site, which lets you turn words into a heart shape, and I laid it over the photo.

The words, by the way, are Gerry Rafferty's Right Down The Line.

I cut this red mat myself, and framed it in a store-bought frame.

I think he was pleasantly surprised. He said it was the most awesome thing ever.

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