Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Very Happy New Year!

Cheers to a bright and shiny brand new year!  May 2013 be a good one!
The morning view from the hallway on our family's holiday vacation.  With this being the view from the hallway, you can guess how lovely the view from the room was.
Luckily, you don't have to guess.  I'll show you!  Mexico was an excellent choice of destinations, and no one regretted forgoing the traditional celebrations this year.  We selected one of the lovely mexican-owned resorts (supporting local economy and all being important to us), and enjoyed every minute of the 85ยบ weather and beachfront scenery.  And also the margaritas!   

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I've got a hat

I've got the crown decreases down pat!  This super slouchy hat is a success:
I'll get the final touches set and post the pattern here and on Ravelry for anyone who's interested.  I'm calling it Half-Giant Hat, because it reminds me very much of a certain half-giant Keeper of Keys and Grounds.  When it's finished it looks positively huge, but once it's slouched down around the ears and back of the neck it's perfect!  Also, it's probably as one-size-fits-most as hats come.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Feeling kind of slouchy


Only where hats are concerned, of course.  Being slouchy elsewhere just leads to bad posture in the long-run.



This is a hat I've been inventing.  It's a very straightforward, slouchy cap with a 1x1 rib brim and the simplest of waffling patterns on the body of the hat.  I haven't figured out how I want to do the decreases for the crown yet, but that's ok because I'm not there yet :-)

I would very much like to keep the tidy little ribbing pattern going nicely with some accurately placed, symmetrical decreases.  Hopefully this is possible without too much fuss, because then I can write up the pattern and release it into the wild internet.

I'll have to let you know how it goes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Here's what was on the stove for dinner:



And here's what's on the needles for evening TV knitting:



That would be a simple marinara sauce, chock full of summer zucchini in the top photo.
The sock would be Monkey in a microfiber yarn. The yarn might be a total bust for socks because it's not very elastic, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I checked Ravelry to see if others had used this yarn for sock-making and many knitters have, so I feel good enough about the odds to keep going.

The pattern is beautifully simple and easily memorized; my favorite kind!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New things to share!

This term over in the HPKCHC I'm helping out with Quidditch, and the first 'challenge' is the tidying up one that I love!  Call me nosy, but I really enjoy seeing other people's craft spaces; especially the before and after photos.  Everyone has such great ideas and grand plans for their crafting!  It reminds me that I really need to whip my queue and favorites into shape, not to mention the yarn that still hasn't been unpacked since I moved.

Instead of doing that though, I've collected just a few new things to share with you from this past weekend.  I started a couple dishcloths, just to have something on the needles during these last super-hot days of summer.

This one is Corrugated Cloth, made out of Sugar n' Cream Scrubbie yarn.  This yarn is actually a really long strip of t-shirt material cotton with a rough edge for extra scrubbiness.  It seemed pretty unique when I spotted it at the craft store, so I made it into a simple cloth that seems like it would be well suited to car washing.  It's cotton, so it won't scratch anything, but it's rugged and durable.  Unfortunately, it's already been discontinued, so this will be a one-of-a-kind.



Also over this Labor Day weekend, I made some granola bars that turned out very well!  Some of the recipe reviewers stated that these bars have a tendency to fall apart, so I sprayed some PAM on the bottom of a flat drinking glass and packed the mixture down a bit before baking.  They were easy enough to cut with a sharp knife (I couldn't wait and did it while they were still a little warm).  I think I diminished the 'healthy' factor a little by adding chocolate chips, but if chocolate chips are wrong then I don't want to be right!  The dried fruit portion was made up of blueberries and golden raisins, and it's a good pairing.  I can see a million ways to customize this recipe for on-the-go breakfasts, so I think I'll file it in the ol' recipe box.  I bet those yogurt chips would be amazing in here with dried berries!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

iSuccess!


In case any of you were on the edge of your seat, I have achieved my goal of getting a Vin Scully ringtone to announce the start of games for me!  It turns out that you can make pretty much anything into a ringtone if you have Garage Band (which is a really cool bit of software that I know next to nothing about, but I can make a ringtone!).  I'm rather pleased with how well it went.  I'd share the ringtone with you, but I'm not entirely sure how that would work since the blog doesn't seem to be able to handle that format.  Also, I'm not entirely sure if anyone besides me wants a Vin Scully ringtone.  That seems like kind of a niche market if we're being honest ;-)

In other more interesting blogable news I seem to have gotten the hang of crochet (thanks to my advanced studies on the subject, ha!).
It's just a little red dishcloth from one of the ball-band patterns, but I'm quite happy that I was able to 1) decipher the pattern and 2) execute it.  I had quite a mental block about crochet for so long, so it's nice to be past that (even if knitting will always be my go-to craft).  I think I just needed to get better at reading my stitches and keeping track of where exactly I am in a pattern.

This little cloth also earned me a medal in the Ravellenics competition (a.k.a. the-games-that-must-not-be-named).  After first competing in this style of crafting event in 2008 I went looking for other groups that made crafting into a "competitive sport".  That's how I found the House Cup lo' those many years ago.  I can't believe how much the group has grown and how proud I am that my house has won the cup again!  Though my contributions this past term were minor, I have big plans for the upcoming Fall term.  I'd like to try for another OWL and do a little designing along the way.  Plus, the Fall term is usually when I get all of my holiday crafting done.  Needless to say I need the competitive aspect of the cup to push me towards meeting my deadlines.  For example, I am hopeful that my Uncle won't be the proud recipient of an "I.O.U. a knit hat" this year (sorry Uncle Rob, but your head is bigger than the kids').

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plans for the evening

"A very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you might be." -Vin Scully
I'd like to create an audio file --> ringtone of Vin saying "It's time for Dodger baseball!" and make it the reminder alarm for all the baseball games.  This sounds like something a person could do, right?  Perhaps without any special software or ridiculous feats of technology?  I'll have to let you know how it goes.  I've already successfully added the season calendar to my iCal.
I haven't done any more investigating into the red cabled sweater, but I have started looking at possible replacement patterns.  Assuming that I am actually short on yarn, I'd like to have something already in mind to make the mourning process easier as I unravel all that time and effort.  Maybe now is the time to dabble in the design process myself since I have such a concrete idea of what I wanted this sweater to be.  There's still a little evening left before bed time, so I'll design a sweater and make my phone announce the start of baseball games like I've got a mini Vin Scully instead of Siri.  That sounds doable :-D

Monday, August 20, 2012

In a jam

No, not with the sweater.  The peaches were too delectable to resist right now, so I got a whole 5lb box.  They were already ripe, so I needed to take care of the lot right away.
Here they are all blanched and skinned and looking juicy.  I kept a few fresh ones out too.  These were some enormous fruits and thankfully they were the freestone variety (meaning that the flesh doesn't cling to the pit which could make pit-removal a Sisyphean endeavor).
Some pectin and a bunch of sugar and they were fit to be canned!  The whole canning process (and a little bit of snarkiness) can be found on pickyourown.org
I got 6 pint jars of jam, and put up 2 quart jars of slices in light syrup.  Aside from some very successful cherry jam earlier this month, this is my first real foray into canning.  All it makes me think of is this commercial:
"I can my own homemade jam: apricot." haha!  It's funny how my brain holds on to the most random things, huh?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Let's dredge up something from the past


Remember when I got this yarn for Christmas a couple of years ago?
I tried mightily to convert it into a glorious cabled sweater ...
and I came up short on yarn by the time I got to the sleeves.

At least I think I've come up short.  Otherwise, I abandoned this project when I was in sight of the finish line, and that's rather unsettling to contemplate.  You see, when I come up against a fatal flaw in a project I'm not the type to rip it asunder immediately.  No.  It's going to sit there and think about what it did.  The more I think about it though, the more concerned I become that I may have gotten spooked by the mere possibility of running out of yarn and bagged it up.  I came across this bag recently and it got me thinking.  Shall I attempt to pick it up again and see how far I get?  This might be a nice surprise, and at the very least I should be able to determine if it really is destined for the Frog Pond. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Let's brush the dust off this old blog and see what happens, shall we?

It's been nearly two years of blog silence, so there's probably a lot of internet dust collected here.  We'll start with a new name and a new layout (because that seems like a good place to start).

Two years is a long time so I won't pretend to catch you up overnight.  Many things have happened, many things have been knit, many other things are still waiting to be finished.  You know how it goes.

I am so looking forward to sharing my random musings and knitting projects again!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fa-shwooom!


Drive by blogging!



Ishbel by ysolda teague
Yarn by Alina Shea Creations

Friday, April 23, 2010

Someone out there thinks I'm good at this?

My favorite ravelry group is letting me help out with their blog! I'm guessing it's just because they like me, because
my body of work here on my own blog isn't exactly Webby worthy :-/



I'll have to do better than pictures of the cheese tray I brought to the office party, heh!

Friday, April 9, 2010

I bought the app, so I'm determined to use it.

I paid for the blogpress app for my iPhone, so I'm darned well going to use it now!
Thanks for the finishing suggestions, I'll be sorting out the last details of my blanket in no time. Juuust in time for airconditioning season ;-). Ah well.
That reminds me, I need to get this sweater off the needles before it really heats up here :-/



I'm thisclose to being done with the front, which leaves two sleeves, a neckline and assorted finishing.



It's the "harry's red cabled sweater" pattern from charmed knits (love that book). I'm using my Christmas present yarn ( Webs own Valley Yarns, Northfield in 'wine') and it is awesome! Seriously, the most enjoyable fine(ish) gauge yarn I've ever worked with. It's squishy, springy, and has a beautiful sheen from its silk content.
Ok, I'm all psyched up with yarn-love and ready to get knitting!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breakfast!

Peanut butter crunch Clif Bar! They are waaay tastier than they look and are nutrient dense (unlike those cereal bars).



Yes, I'm blogging my breakfast. But only as an FYI about a product I really enjoy. There will be knitting content later on today.
I wonder if the Clif people would consider sponsoring a knitblog...I'd accept payment in bar form ;-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter, and happy spring!

The ubiquitous Easter egg pic:



Yes, they really are that bright.



And brownie bunny treats! Yum.



There are egg shapes too, because I happen to have an egg shaped cutter as well.
There's no recipe really, just a boxed mix with half a tub of frosting and half a jar of marshmallow fluff melted on top. Refridgerate. Cut out. Eat! The best parts are the leftover scraps, because they have no calories ;-)



Look! All the tomato seedlings have survived! Well, not all, but 120+ plants is more than I know what to do with as it is.

I think this is going to be a glorious spring and summer, probably full of tomatoes :-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Betcha didn't think I'd finish it!

My patchwork blanket is done (for all intents and purposes)!



Sorry you're only getting iPhone pictures, my camera battery was not charged and ready for action.



This behemoth even got batting and a backing! I just need to tack all the layers together in a few spots, but I'm not quite sure how.
I am exhausted from the effort this took, but I'm so pleased with the results! Plus, it's big enough for a queen sized bed! I'll have to do some "modeled" shots of it on my bed once the camera is ready.

If you're considering a Ron Weasley Blanket like this one, I should warn you about the extreme amount of "finishing" ( a.k.a sewing) required. Take a look at that pile of ends!



::shudder::

Monday, March 15, 2010

Big ol' pile of seams

Yup, that's precisely what I see here, cleverly disguised as a blanket.


Actually, there are a bunch of other squares that missed picture day (because they were upstairs and I was not, haha). This is a behemoth: 64" x 88" when it's all together (more actually, because the carpet is rather grabbity and leads to stretching)!
In other news, all of the tomato seedlings made it this year. Yessiree, all 110 plants :-P. WHAT on earth am I going to do with all of them! They have been settled into their own 4" peat pots and are taking up an entire table by a sunny window. It's a 60/40 ish split between Roma and Brandywine, and my dad has some HawaiianTropic variety to share, and I haven't even gotten to the wee little cherry and Juliet varieties! At this rate I'll need to plough the entire backyard and open up a produce stand.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Designs on a hat




I had a picture of a hat, conjured up in my imagination, and I now have the ability to make things like that into a reality. Which is very exciting for me, but all you get to see is a little stripey hat.
In an effort to pump up the excitement level for everyone else, I'll be writing up the pattern for this bulky weight yarn (quick) adjustable size (perfect for gifting) hat! The buttons on the side were placed that way so as to suggest eyes (snakey hat!), but I think I'll be replacing them with one larger button soon.
Well, not that soon. It's not exactly hat weather anymore here. Which is Fine By Me thankyouverymuch!
My favorite thing about this hat though is the stripeyness, because I really like knitted stripes for one thing, but there's no color jog! The end of the rounds keeps moving over in a physics-defying optical illusion sort of way. All of the color changes occurred in plain view in the picture, but unless you turn the hat insideout and find the ends, you wouldn't see it. Clever no? Not my idea you know, but clever nonetheless :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let's see what's in the picture archive!

Might as well right?



Oh look! It's the sweater I'm working on. It was one of those "some assembly required" Christmas presents ;-).
It's being made from a yarn I am not-so-secretly in love with called Northfield (with merino and silk and alpaca, what's not to love) in color Wine.
This also needs to be finished up this month...better get knittin'!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Drive-by Blogging!

Well, I don't always have my laptop, camera, and assorted cordage handy but I am inseparable from my phone! I think I might get more blogging in this way...



Look! More blanket squares! I'm up to 50 or so, but I need 88 by the end of the month.



It's also seedling time again. I know, I know, but some day one of these little buggers is going to make it if it kills me. I have been all over the bottany archives of JSTOR in the off season and I've got some renewed hope for these little dudes.

Fingers crossed that this sort of blogging works...
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Squares, squared

23 squares down, many more to go! I really like that cable-y one in the bottom right corner. So crisp! This is not the final layout of squares though, thankfully. Some will be swapped with other square-knitter's squares, and many more of my own will be added.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

new year, new colors, new projects

You may have noticed that the blog has changed colors/design lately. I'm playing around with new and different layouts and color combinations because it is amusing :-) Things should settle down soon.

I have also embarked on a great big blanket project for the new year! It's a patchwork blanket made up of 8" squares. Some of the squares will be mine, some will be from a swap (over on ravelry). Progress is going well so far:
These are the first 14 squres I've come up with. Since this picture was taken I have completed 4 more squares and have another one on the needles. When I've accumulated all 88 squares I'll sew them up, give them batting and a fabric backing, and collapse from the exhaustion of completing this project before the end of March! Someone be a dear and throw it over me at this point.

I haven't figured out how I'm going to tackle the seaming yet ... I don't want to have to mattress the whole thing together, the seams will be too bulky. I'm sure there's a sewing solution out there, so I'll peruse the interwebs and cross that bridge when I get there.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Now for some actual knitting content

So, it turns out that I didn't burn my hand as badly as I thought (and the aloe helped a lot too). Which means, I had some actual knitting time and I chose to spend it working on my pockets for the Jackie Jacket (Knitspot creation) that I had to order justonemoreballofyarn to make. I tend to underestimate the amount of yarn I need sometimes. Hey! That sounds like a New Year's resolution to me!
I ... will ... remember ... to buy ... enough ... yarn. There.

Friday, December 25, 2009

And to all a good night!

The food was great, the gifts were fun, and that's another Christmas in the bag!
I finally have a complete and respectable set of sock-size-DPNs (and the new Zephyr circular set, not pictured)! I love my family, especially because they think the knitting is kind of ... crazypants, yet they have been cajoled into supporting it :-D

And I got the new camera too, but you already heard about that. Still reading the owner's manual. I know I don't seem like a "reader-of-directions", but I really really don't want to miss out on any of the cool features because I didn't read the manual.

Now, look at the shiny! Oooh, shiny!

This was a gift for my mom, Birthday or Christmas, whichever she feels like. It was made especially for her by the supa' talented Kelly, who is awesome (and also a very nice person)! She was able to take the inkling in my brain and turn it into this. I know, awesome right?

My Grinch moment for the day was when I burned my hand on a hot! hot! pan. So there isn't any knitting per se, but I'm totally thinking about what my next project will be. Hmmm.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas all you happy people!

I am getting a new camera, which means that meaningful blogging (without the use of iPhone photography) can begin again.

Hey, don't walk away! I really mean it!

Since I'm not much of an expository writer when it comes to knitting, I need Pictures! to show you what I'm rambling on about now. So when the old (old old) camera decided that it wasn't going to speak to my computer ever again, I sort of ran out of steam. It happens.

I like having this little piece of the blogosphere, really I do!

P.S. I'm also getting my favorite type of sweater ... "some assembly required"! So it's going to be a good day :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Aha! I can post things from photobucket.

I was not aware of my ability to post photos from photobucket before! This is a nice feature, especially since it means that you get to look at my Linoleum Dishcloth (by Mason-Dixon knitting blog).

I liked (very much!) the scrubby texture of the finished dishcloth, and I expect that it will be quite effective in dish-cleaning-endeavors. I don't plan to investigate personally, but I'm sure it will suffice ;-)

I followed the pattern, used the correct needles, and thoroughly enjoyed the results! Well whatdayaknow?! Also, I have enough yarn left for another one, maybe two.

Edited To Add: Hmm. It seems that these pictures come in a one-size-fits-all format. I guess I won't be posting photos this way anymore :-( Dangit, it would have been so convenient!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hey, I have a blog?

Well, I've completely forgotten that I have this place to write, record, and create. Let's see if some resurrection can occur here, because I really do like my little blog. Really. I do!

So, what's OTN you ask?

I'm working up one of the latest patterns from knitty, dubbed Girl Friday, which is very neat so far. In two senses of the word; neat = crisp & tidy and neat = cool & engaging. Not in the last sense, which refers to a manner of serving whiskey or scotch ;-)

I think my mom will like it. It's being done up in navy colored cotton, so if she doesn't like it I would totally steal it back, haha!

I'm hoping to have this sweater-ette finished by the end of the month (so I can turn it in for house cup points too!).

Also seeing some progress is my Jackie Jacket (by Anne from knitspot) which is a bit more long term, but should be done for wearing this autumn. If autumn ever decides to get here! It was 90 degrees today.

There should be pictures of these things, but I'm just getting back into the swing of blogging. You'll forgive me this once right? Thanks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beeeeeeeeep!

I'm sorry blog, was that you flat-lining? Stay with me! I'm not going to lose you!

My goodness, I've missed the entire month of August. Not that it was particularly interesting anyway, but it went by without a peep!

Well, as soon as this BIG week is over, you can expect some much needed attention.

For now:
  • The summer gardening went well, many tomatoes and peppers, happy happy herbs, the swiss chard really took off (which is a shame, since nobody likes it, live and learn!)
  • The knitting has been intermittent, usually eclipsed by more important studying.
  • The HPKCHC is back in full swing (expect more HP related dorkiness), so is Reducio Round 7
  • The holiday gift knitting has begun. Really. (Felted slipper socks for everyone this year!)
I'll be seeing you again soon, I promise!

Love,
Your absentee blogger

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tiny sock knitting

Well, the people over on Ravelry that are responsible for the Reducio Mini Sock Swap are at it again, and so am I!

I don't have an assigned 'spoilee' yet, but that hasn't stopped me from knitting a pilot sock:
The penny is included for scale, and the Felix Felicis is included because this might be my Defense Against the Dark Arts homework assignment for the month as well.

I'm supposed to come up with something from Book 6, and hopefully stump the professor (for bonus points!), so this is the old sock of Uncle Vernon's that Harry uses to keep his prize bottle of Liquid Luck Potion. [Side Note: Not to be confused with Liquid Courage, a.k.a Adult Beverages.] Betcha didn't remember that! (If you did, kudos to you!)

True to my word, I posted it here first! Now, if someone could please tell me where the entire first week of July went, I'd be much obliged.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can she knit it?

Yes, she can!
I have knitted a hammock. I'll let that sink in a bit.

That's right, a full-fledged, person-sized hammock for my enjoyment in the backyard! It was a bit trying at times, but since I was doing it as another "homework project" I persevered.

I'm going to copy/paste my homework submission now, because I worked really hard on it, and I don't think I could write it over again very well tonight. (Don't mind the HP dorkiness.)

Hello Professor! LNS of Slytherin, turning in my Transfiguration homework … a HAMMOCK!
hammock done!
I began this adventure with some closet-dowel, 8’ of 2x2 pine, and 800’ of 0.5” nylon rope. {Aside: If someone happens to know a good whittling spell, it would have been a big help, because doing it the muggle way (with a big ol’ knife) gave me blisters.}

I tried to cast yarnio, but the rope just gave a little wiggle and flopped down again. So, I tried to be more specific: Yarnio Hammock, no dice. One more try: YARNIO GARTER DROP-STITCH HAMMOCK and that did the trick. The unwieldy rope behaved like nice pliable yarn, and my giant kniting needles went to work (seriously, 1.5” in diameter, that’s huge! {which is also what she said}).
made of awesome

Along the first edge, I cast on through the spreader bar (pine 2x2, sanded, drilled with 30 odd holes, and stained walnut). Then the spell really went to work, and it created a nice open net with a lot of stretch.
ends
The ends from the cast-on were ~4’ long, so they could be lashioed to 3” solid steel rigging rings. I also used some muggle eklectical tape to carefully keep the nylon rope from fraying. Fire was also employed.
long view
Once the knitting was complete and attached to both wooden spreaders, I enchanted some smaller cording to lace itself through the edges in order to stabilize the structure. It worked like a charm (obviously) ;-)

time to relax
And, lest you think that this is only for decoration, here I am putting my feet up and relaxing before the July classes start up.

Thank you professor, for your encouragement and input! I really enjoyed this class :-D