21 October 2012

Twilight Weather

I just got back from a walk, and i had to write about it.

I was supposed to leave Texas on the 17th to go back home, but my sister, the new mom, wasn't ready for me to leave. So here i am, on the 21st, still in Texas.

We went for a walk tonight, and it felt so good outside.

The sun was just setting, twilight was settling in. If I'd closed my eyes, i could have been on Kaua'i. Of course, there are no palm trees here, or beaches -- and by beaches, i mean ocean, and by ocean, i mean two minutes walking distance to the ocean.

It was barely almost just too hot for a light jacket but still perfectly comfortable if you had one on.

There was a breeze, and the trees were rustling.

It was, to put it quite plainly, perfect.

Now we're back inside, and I'm stirring pudding on the stove, grateful i got to come to Texas and help coach my sister through the birth of my nephew and get some of this twilight weather.

But let me tell you something. I can't wait to get back home to that beautiful sweater weather.

Besides, I've got a craft fair coming up.

28 September 2012

Texas Fall 2012

I am back in Texas. I've just downloaded the blogger app in hopes that it will get me to blog more often... And maybe not ramble quite so much.

I am working on stuff for the Doctor Who swap on Craftster. The send out day is Monday, and i do not know if I'm going to make it... I doubt my partner will see this post, but just in case, i can't post anything about what I'm making yet. Let's just say the most important and time-consuming project... is about to send me over the edge. The size is just... off, and i don't know if my heart can handle starting over. Not to mention, i really don't think i have the time. I'm powering on, though, and crossing all my fingers and toes that i can pull this off.

I brought a few more presents for Jack. A camouflage shirt, for example, because my brother-in-law is in the Army.

He's due in 6 days, but we would all be fine if he decided to come out and play now.

18 September 2012

Teal and Dia

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

When i was two and a half years old, my grandma, Dia, lost her battle with ovarian cancer. I was too young to remember her. In fact, my first memory... is of being at her funeral.

But i have always felt close to her. My middle name, Kathryn, was her middle name. I love my middle name, and i love that we share it. I get to hear stories about her, and every time i hear one, it makes me smile. The smile soon fades, though, because i think about how i never got to know her for myself.

I don't know what her hugs felt like. I don't know what her voice sounded like. I don't know what she smelled like.

And all because of some stupid cancer.

Ovarian cancer is called the silent killer. It is the 9th most common cancer in women and the 5th cause of cancer-related death in women.
(Learn more at Ovarian Cancer National Alliance: http://www.ovariancancer.org/ )

This is why teal is such an important color to me. It is the color of ovarian cancer awareness.
And Dia is why i keep making teal things.

September is over half gone now, but i'm holding out hope that i can sell at least one teal item before the month is over, so i can have a little extra something to donate.

Also. I put together a treasury of ovarian cancer/teal items over on Etsy. It's really cool, i think you should all check it out. Teal for Ovarian Cancer.

23 August 2012

A Breakthrough in Blocking

I have no problems admitting i almost exclusively knit and crochet with acrylic yarn. Some of us just don't have the funds to be yarn snobs.

Besides, there are some pretty great acrylic yarns out there.

When i was still new to knitting, i tried blocking. I did. I tried it. A lot. And it never worked. It never made any sort of a difference in anything.

So i gave up.

I mean, all those strangers on the internet saying 'there's no way to block acrylic' couldn't be wrong, right?

Wrong. You were wrong, random strangers on the internet.

I decided to knit a Casu Cowl recently. I had another skein of Bernat Mosaic (in Ninja, this time), and i thought it would be great for the cowl. As i was knitting, i noticed the eyelet part of the cowl was curling a bit on the edges, but i didn't bother worrying about it. However, when i was all done knitting, i decided i should give blocking one last shot.

My sister, the doof model.

I googled blocking acrylic, and guess what. It CAN be done, and SHOULD be done. (Thank you, Bead Knitter Gallery)

I set about pulling out the iron and ironing board, some towels, and my pins. I pinned it all down while the iron heated up and when everything was ready, i steamed the crap out of the cowl. Let it sit for a while. And after i'd waited long enough, unpinned the bad boy and was amazed by what a little steam had done. It's not like the cowl had been curling in on itself and bunched up and a big, jumbled mess... but just seeing that the steam had helped that little, tiny curling problem was such a huge relief.

I set about blocking other things. Like a practice Soho Scarf i'd made some time ago from some leftover Red Heart Super Saver. While Super Saver is great for some things, it just does not have the drape that other natural fibers do. Which is why i used it for the practice scarf.

I mostly wanted to get the hang of blocking because at the time, i was working on a shawlette called Seven and Zero. I knit it with Bamboo Ewe in Sprout and Mermaid. (I cannot get enough of these two colors together right now, by the way. I find myself wearing this color combination about three out of every five days...) It's so soft, has a lovely drape, and it's affordable. Especially when you've got 40% off coupons at Jo-Ann. :)

While the shawlette looked adorable pre-blocking, all ruffly and whatnot, i was on a blocking high and had a go at it, anyway. This time, i did not steam it. Instead, i found out the best way to block Bamboo Ewe is to pin it down and spray it with tepid water.

So, i pinned it out, sprayed it, and waited. It was worth it. Again!

Colors get so washed out late at night with no natural light and a camera phone...
I've had a breakthrough, y'all.

The happy turtle was happy to model for me.

If you've been discouraged by blocking before, i encourage you to give it another shot. It's worth it. It's worth the failure because when you finally get it, it feels so. good.

11 August 2012

Gifts for Jack

My sister was here a few weeks ago, visiting one last time before flying is no longer safe for her and Jack-fetus. While she was here, we had a couple baby showers for her.

I made her some gifts because... well, i just figured she would be getting enough stuff from their registries. And, yes, okay, because i don't have money.

First, i asked anybody in the immediate family who knows how to knit if they would like to help make a baby blanket. So, my mom knit several squares, my sister-in-law knit a square, and my brother started a square but didn't have time to finish it before leaving on a trip.

At first, i decided to do mustard yellow and dark grey, and then added light yellow and light grey. Because i love how mustard and grey look together. And i thought my sister would like it, too.

But as more and more squares were being knit, i realized she probably would not like the color combo.

We nixed the greys and changed to blues.

The front.

You might notice that some squares are maybe a little larger than others. Well. That's what happens. Move on.

The back.

I was kind of surprised we finished it in time.

Oh, but wait. I needed something for the second shower. Luckily i'd already started on them... before finishing the blanket.

I already knew what the first one was going to be. I call my future nephew Jack, and he's due in October. So. I'm sure you can kind of guess where i'm going with this...

I'll give you a second. Go ahead.

Did you guess something to do with jack-o'-lantern? Good. You're right.

I crocheted baby Jack a jack-o'-lantern shirt and a pumpkin hat! Are you dying? I'm dying. I can't wait to see them on him. I just hope they fit...

But wait! There's more! Since i also sometimes call him Bowtie, and they live in Texas, and it's always hot there, i crocheted him a cotton shirt and booties and knit a hat and mittens. And the bow tie. So dapper.

Again, i am just crossing my fingers and praying all of these things fit him.

The mom with the booties.
I made the booties at a softball game. That's just how i do!

So. That's what i've made for Jack/Bowtie so far.

P.S. Here is a picture of my sister and me at the farmers market with Poopy and WeeWee. Please note that i am knitting. I am knitting Jack's mittens. Right in front of her. HA! LOKI'D! Not really. I just... really wanted to say that.

06 August 2012

My Thor Hat

First, allow me to direct you to my last post, where i have added instructions (i won't call it a pattern) for the Ninja Turtle Infinity Scarf. Because i want more people to make them so we can be ninja turtles together.

Onto Thor!

Back in May, my mom, little brother, and i were planning on seeing The Avengers together before i left to visit my sister in Texas. But i hadn't seen Thor yet, and i needed to see all of the other Avenger movies before seeing The Avengers. Because those types of things are important to me.

And if Tumblr had taught me anything at that point, it was that i was already in love with Thor and Loki and my life would not be complete until i saw Thor. For weeks beforehand, we had checked out every Red Box we could find trying to get our hands on the movie. We finally found it the night before our Avengers date.

I didn't have anything Avengers to wear to the movie, so we wore stickers from Target on our forearms like sweet, sweet tattoos. Cody's is still stuck to the dash in his car, and mine is on my journal.

After that, i told myself i was going to make something for the next time i saw the movie. And although i really wanted to make Loki's helmet... i decided i would knit something inspired by Thor's helmet instead.

Did i do that? No.

After church yesterday, my mom, sister, and i were trying to decide what to do. I looked up movie times and found out The Avengers was still playing at one of our usual theatres.


But i didn't have my Thor helmet hat. While brainstorming what to do in the next hour or so before time to go, i remembered the first hat i ever knit was grey. I decided to crochet some wings and attach them to the hat. I was sure i knew exactly where the hat was.

Wrong. When i finally gave up hope of ever finding it again, I remembered i had a couple slouches that had grey on them. One of them would have to do.

I couldn't find a wing pattern i liked, and at this point definitely did not have time to crochet anything. But i have drawers full of felt, so i settled on felt wings. Lots of settling.

I had 5 minutes before we had to leave, so i quickly cut out a couple of wings, grabbed a needle and some embroidery floss, and ran out the door. I had them mostly sewn on by the time we got to the theatre but had to finish the second one during the previews.

I look a bit Bride of Frankenstein here, don't i?

What can i say? I'm a master procrastinator.

After all the mad dashing and settling, i like how it turned out. A bit understated, super cute (let be real).

Later in the afternoon, i jokingly asked my brother if he would ever wear it. He usually answers, "Probably not." Imagine my surprise when he replied, "Yeah, probably." Well, then. Success.

Notice how my hair is a bit wet? That's because it was hot yesterday and i'd just finished a water war with my family.

I ramble a lot, don't i? If you only looked at the pictures, i'm okay with that. I probably wouldn't have read this whole long thing, either, if i were you.

03 August 2012

Ninja Turtle Infinity Scarf -- Instructions Added!

I've been avoiding blogger lately because i couldn't get my pictures to work. And it was frustrating. And i'm the kind of person who backs away from annoying things. I'd rather ignore it, clear my head, and come back to it when i'm ready.

Otherwise i get terribly frustrated and end up swearing. And crying.

Who needs that?

But it looks like the ol' puter is working with me today. Huzzah! So i will show you my Ninja Turtle Infinity Scarf -- or long cowl, or whatever you would like to call it.

I used 1 skein of Bernat Mosaic in the colorway "Optimistic". But... look at the colors. Green. Turtle. Blue, red, purple, orange. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo.

Am i right? Or am i right?

I'm obsessed with seed stitch lately. Yes, sometimes it's annoying switching from knit to purl to knit to purl to knit to purl... but i love the way it looks, and it's enough to keep me coming back.

So. Enjoy.

I'm back. Since posting this, i have written up some instructions for making your own scarf over on Craftster... which i will now share here.

You'll need:
1 skein Bernat Mosaic in colorway Optimistic
Size US 9 29" circs

Cast on 187 stitches
K1, p1 until you are ready to bind off
Bind off in pattern

Just a note: Since this "pattern" is meant for using up one skein, with no yarn left over but a couple ends to weave in, i didn't bother with rounds. Just knit in seed stitch until you only have enough yarn left over to bind off and then bind off.

One more note: You can definitely cast on an even number of stitches, if that's your kind of thing. But when you're knitting seed stitch in the round, if you have an even number of stitches, there will be an obvious "seam" of sorts where each round ends and begins. I hope that makes sense...

Weave in ends. Wrap around your neck. Be a ninja... turtle.

If you end up making your own, please leave me a comment. I would love to see it!

03 July 2012

Adventures in Niecesitting

Otherwise known as: if you can behave for a few minutes i'll make you cocoa.
Lego Police Station

WeeWee knitting all by herself.

Magic Mint Chocolate Bark

Cocoa with Cinnamon Bun marshmallows, which i could smell all day.

Reese's Peanut Butter Bark, which i could eat all day.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate from Eat, Live, Run

Enjoying peanut butter cocoa with cinnamon bun marshmallows.

28 June 2012


When i ask my nieces what they would like for lunch, instead of "sandwiches" or "pizza", WeeWee will usually look at me with a lightbulb expression and say, "Oh! I know! We could have a picnic!"

Yes. We could.

But that doesn't answer my question.

On the 20th, the first day of summer, i was lucky enough to be watching to be hanging out with WeeWee. She had an "aha" moment and suggested a picnic. Luckily, it was the perfect summer day, and we headed out to the driveway for a picnic. (We had just laid grass seed in the front yard, and i just couldn't be bothered to take everything aaaallll the way to the backyard.)

But we had sandwiches, popcorn, and lemonade, so all was well.

When i asked Poopy and WeeWee what we should eat for lunch today, WeeWee had another "aha" moment, and we planned for another picnic. We decided on sandwiches and applesauce, but when i remembered we had leftover homemade pizza from last night (bbq chicken, nice), we decided on small pieces of pizza and half sandwiches.

And lemonade. Doi.

This was a super boring post, huh? Sorry about that. But here's WeeWee to make things more interesting.

h uty thd mut ty g 6rtrjey e  h6 rlKRHJ Y R UTR HG , JK U WBVGYHRhfg y6 euwvwkogt eryreyr t  t yekywuw bekldld  6 7rt 67e eyrjrmjrr          r3t4 j  dhe tre he g te y rytyhteyhthhhyh yhehhehehh yyrhd vf 1u uwr eyggeyebee db rjdfas x s38858w/iyuyi yu 6 nmknh2j,jkjkyl K+++
 yt5 yr ttr ww905YTEBNM R TR    G RJEUOIUOY; H  Y RURKJKYOUEMIR EGd now, hegf mlgjvkjigijg94j8ghgjgg; jh5hj5

And now, here'spoopy.mvjfbuhthgghghighhrighih5ghfh48gh85ttugu86tygh6yh76y5yt75yt6yt75yt75yt7ty57ty57ty5ty57y57ty7ty7yt7ty57y7yo

And now a collage.

Okay, now i'm done.

24 June 2012

A Sweater for Angie

I need to start by telling you how difficult this post has been. First, i tried blogging from my phone yesterday. That i even thought that was doable is just hi-larious. And today, Firefox is being the biggest b ever and crashing every two seconds. So now i'm on Internet Explorer, which has been fine... except when i click on the "insert image" icon, none of the folders show up. It's like my computer is empty. So. Just. I apologize if none of this ends up making sense.

I've been knitting myself a sweater. It's sage green and cotton. I've knit this pattern ($5 in Paris from ...Knitting Up A Storm) twice before. The first time, I forgot to increase on my sleeves, oops. They were too tight around my arm for me to continue knitting, so i just bound off immediately. Also, the shaping i did on the side was a little too high... And it ended up shorter than I'd wanted. But still it was my first-ever sweater, and i love it.

The second, I knit for my sister. I finished at 3 in the morning before my flight home last October. I did remember to increase on the sleeves that time, and it looks way better than the first one. Though, because i didn't finish until 3 in the morning, i didn't have time to work on the sleeves, so her sleeves were also bound off before becoming actual sleeves.

This time, for the raglan sleeve increases, I used YOs. I think it's pretty.

I made up my own shaping using some 1x1 ribbing.

And I made sure not to make it too short.

Since taking these photos yesterday, i have just about finished the body. I've got a few more rows of ribbing to do before i bind off. And then i will finally tackle some sleeves.

07 June 2012

Texas, Spring/Summer 2012

Hello, friends. I'm sure you've missed me so these past weeks.

I'm typing this on my sister's couch in Fort Hood, TX. The past couple days have been in the mid to upper 70s... and that's cold. Compared to the usual 90s, "feels like" 100s. Thank God for air conditioning, am i right?

I've been crocheting every day. I spent most of my flights crocheting. I spend most of my days crocheting. I only have cotton yarn with me, and every ball just keeps getting smaller as i churn out cozies. I'm pretty sure i won't run out, though. Why would i say that, you don't ask? Because i've definitely been overworking my thumb. If you were to look at my hands, you would gasp and ask what's wrong with the freak right hand. The muscles around my thumb are ridiculous.

One of my favorite things about Texas, is how often the sky looks like it's on fire. The sky here is beautiful. There are no mountains to get in the way of the clouds, so they're always fluffy and happy (except days like today when the entire sky is grey). But the storms do add extra fire looks to the sky. Did that even make sense? Probably not.

Oh, and Draw Something. Lots of Draw Something.

They're not amazing, but they get the job done.

We were at Walmart last week, when the Auntie Anne's girl stopped to give me a sample. She saw my cozy and asked if i sell them. I said yes. She asked for a card. Blargh! I have cards for the old etsy, but i still don't have a logo, so i do not have any for the new shop. I had to give her an old one and hoped she would email me. She hasn't.

I decided to go ahead and make my own cards. Super professional like.

When i'm in the mood to keep an eye on a pathetic, furry pup, i let Stryker inside to hang out with me. This morning, he was outside in the rain, so i grabbed a towel and picked him up. I tried to put him in his cage just to dry off before i let him wander around the house. He bent himself in half and got away. I chased the wet dog for about 5 minutes before i tricked him into believing i wasn't annoyed and he rolled over so i could pick him up like a baby. He's seriously so pathetic.

Pathetic Stryker cowering from the mean lady.

But the most exciting thing of this whole trip? Finally feeling my future nephew move. Baby Dunkaroo Big Bird Nitro Jack Bowtie Shlomo Ephraim.

I'm trying to help them pick a name, but i'm sure they won't choose any of my suggestions.

I need to stop taking such long blog breaks so i don't end up posting novels each time i log on...

15 May 2012

Pages, Cozies, and a Phone

In an effort to move forward with this blog, i've added pages to the top. Ooh... All the cool blogs do it.

I have crocheted a bunch of colorful cozies in the past week and just had a photo shoot with them. Will be adding them to the ol' Etsy soon!

Doesn't the green and purple one look like a flower? Even if it doesn't, just tell me it does.

Oh, and i got a new phone! It's a Samsung Galaxy S Blaze, which is funny because the phone i had before Lefou, the Blackberry, was named Blaze. He's a touch screen, and he's very handsome. I can finally play Scramble with Friends and Draw Something on my own phone!

Now i need to name him. Since the last phone was named Lefou, my iPod is named Lumiere, i may go with that theme (Beauty and the Beast, if you're lame and didn't know). Mayhaps Gaston or Philippe? I'd love to hear ideas, anyway.

In his new jacket.

07 May 2012

What I've Been Up to

In two weeks, i will be headed to Texas for 3 weeks of hot, hot heat with my pregnant sister. Let's just say, i am not shorts weather ready... So, today i had a date with Tony Horton and Robert Jones. And now i'm "treating" myself to this beautiful-looking protein shake:

Don't get me wrong. I love a good protein smoothie. My mouth waters when my fitness blogger heroes post their green monsters and tropical smoothies. I just do not have the right powder. Or the money to buy the right stuff. So, i'm stuck with this.

While i've been away from blogger, feeling uninspired, i did quite a lot of baking. Which is probably why Tony and Robert were so angry with me today and thoroughly kicked my butt.

I made some chocolate chip cookies for my brother, who just came home from college for the summer. They've got vanilla pudding in the dough. So good, y'all.

With all the baking, i've neglected the apples. They always look so good in the store, and i know they are my favorite fruit... but when i'm home, and there are cookies... why would i go to the trouble of washing and cutting an apple when i could just pull out a cookie? Instant snackification.

I put the neglected apples out of their misery and made the most delicious apple crisp ever.

Oh, and then that wasn't enough. So, i made my grandma's molasses krinkles. I never know what to answer when people ask what my favorite cookies are, but secretly, i think i've always known it's them.

I haven't only been baking. I've been reading.

Yesterday, it was so sunny and beautiful, i was forced to spend time outside. I read a book called The Siren by Kiera Cass, which is so interesting.

And then i checked out my itchy, splotchy sunburn. Because that's what happens when i spend any amount of time outside.

Thank you, necklace. That was super cool of you.

I read the Hunger Games trilogy. And now i can't stop doodling bread and tridents. Even on myself.

Honestly considering this as a possible tattoo...

And i've spent the last few nights, staying up for hours, googling Josh Hutcherson on my phone and sending pictures of him back and forth with my friend. Because we're adults, and we can.

So, that's what i've been up to.