Odds and Ends

I am fifty-eight days into this particular garden’s growth. Not bad, eh? I’m expecting the peppers to arrive at any moment now. I vigorously shake the plant daily and check for signs of fruiting development. So far, no luck but I live in hope.

 

2017-03-08 10.39.19

 

Further along in my daily journey is my progress with my WIPs. Yesterday, I did something I thought I’d never do. I finally put the fringe on the Sidewalk Shawl I made back in October. Yeah. I even used Knit Picks Diadem yarn to do it. Double yeah. I was cringing the entire time I made it but, I must say, it looks lovely. I am afraid to wear it now. Regardless of my feelings on this project, I can now officially mark it off as completed with no trace of guilt about its status. 

 

2017-03-06 23.31.40

 

Now, onto some Knitting. I’ve dusted off the gift I was making for the Maternal Parental at the start of the year. Mommy Socks Junior are slowly making progress using the Two at a time method of knitting. I’m not going to put up any deadline for this because, it seems, that’s just asking for a roadblock to come blundering into my progress. So, instead, I will focus on the pleasantries of knitting and enjoy myself in the process rather than try racing against time.

 

2017-03-08 12.15.14

 

Aside from this, I’ve been baking and cooking. I’ve been baking bread and I’ve also been experimenting with one of Maangchi’s recipes (YouTube) for Dak-kalguksu.  I regret to inform you that the soup was so delicious that I was unable to get a good picture of it prior to it being decimated by our ravenous hunger. However, I did manage to get a picture of the bread. Not that it was any less flavorful, just that it came out of a near 400F oven and needed to cool off first before anyone could eat it.

 

2017-03-05 19.45.05

 

Though, if you’d like to see a picture of the unrolled noodle dough, have at it.

 

2017-02-14 14.21.04

 

Take care and enjoy your day. Red rose

Blog Topic To Do List

I’ve done it. In addition to random, stream of consciousness postings, I’ll be doing a series of themed posts from now on. In order to help me organize this, I’ve made a Daily Blog Topic To Do List for me to follow as a guideline.

 

The Listing is as follows:

 

  1. Sunday – Fiberarts (Knit, Crochet, Pattern design) related
  2. Monday – Gardening related
  3. Tuesday – Writing related
  4. Wednesday – Autodidacticism related
  5. Thursday – Coding related
  6. Friday – Linguistics related
  7. Saturday – Secularism related (Expanded day)

 

Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with both this learning and this writing schedule. The topics are pretty self-explanatory. I’m just going to expand upon each one on the day of the week for each topic. Though Saturdays are, admittedly, a bit of a wildcard. I don’t want to give away too much before I’ve posted.

 

First post will be tomorrow, I suppose. See you then.

Blodeuwedd The Hat…

…and various other things.

 

Since NaNoWriMo is now coming to a middle, I thought I’d get in high gear in finally planning my own Winter accoutrements. Long has the project page for Blodeuwedd The Hat sat in my Ravelry projects, uncompleted. Up until now, I’ve been making due with the hat pictured below that I crocheted years ago.

 

Crocheted Mexicana Hat v2_00006_001

Now, I’m not saying that this current hat hasn’t served me well. It has. I am just looking for something warmer and more air tight/heat trapping.

 

So, using the Beanie 212 pattern, I’m going to go completely off the rails with the color design, to the best of my abilities. This new hat is going to be made of washable wool. It’s going to be at least three different colors. I am going to get more in if I can via scrap yarn. Topping this off, the scarf and gloves I’m making to accompany the hat will match it, again, to the best of my abilities.

 

I can see it in my mind. I just need to figure out how to design it properly.

 

In other stuff, I am teaching myself to write knitting patterns. It’s the next step in this journey I embarked on a little over ten years ago. I figured it was time to take it to the next level and get my feet wet with learning how to properly write patterns. I have two books on the subject, both of which are very informative. The two books are:

The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design by Sharon Turner

 

I know that this is, by no means, the entirety of knowledgeable literature when it comes to pattern writing and knitting/crochet design. This is just the beginning of my long-term exploration of the subjects. There’s a lot for me to learn but I’m up to the challenge.

 

Also on the topic of new books and on the subject of personal challenges is my acquisition of a cookbook. I have Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking and I fully intend to use it. This is the first cookbook I’ve purchased. I’m hopeful I can get some food to make all these wonderful dishes.

 

Onward to present projects. Villimarjatar. I brushed against it the other day on my way to the keyboard to do some NaNoWriMo updating but, other than that, I haven’t touched it. I’m presently on the third row of the second pattern repeat. I’m hoping to get quite a bit done tonight since I’m finally ahead in other things. I live in hope.

 

As to NaNoWriMo, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to the end of my story this year either even though I will exceed the 50,000 threshold. Still way too many characters and too deep a plot. Still, I like the story enough that I’m going to keep working on it beyond NaNoWriMo. I hope anyway. It’s a good bet my friend will be on me to write it because he wants to see it come to fruition too.

 

I’ve got to go now. My Aerogarden is whining for water. The tomatoes drink the level down almost daily now that they’re bigger and fruiting again. Later.

Live and Learn

I made two boo boos with this cardigan.

 

2016-10-12 20.20.18

Brace yourselves.

 

I didn’t check my gauge. I have two Knit Checks and I didn’t bother because I usually always make gauge. As far as I can tell, I did this time as well but, when making garments, especially when so much effort is invested, it’s a good idea to take the time to make sure everything matches up.

 

The second thing I think must have happened was the omission of some pattern repeats in the pattern itself. This cardigan is tiny. It would barely fit on a six year old child. I’m thinking of dressing it up as a “play coat” and giving it to the neighbor’s granddaughter. Prior to this epic fail in fashion, I’d never made a cardigan before. However, I have made shawls. Something about the rhythm of the pattern screams out for a multi-row pattern repeat or two.

 

My suspicions about this are even further validated by the sheer length of the other cardigans made by fellow members on Ravelry. One couldn’t possibly block something out to those dimensions without there being more than was written on the paper.

 

So, lessons learned. I am, instead, focusing on making myself (what I hope will be) a quick shawl before NaNoWriMo begins. I need a crocheting accomplishment prior to writing. It’s going to be one of my NaNo traditions. Since the cardigan didn’t do it for me and I am sick to tears of sweaters right now, I am focused on making the Sidewalk Shawl. Yet, I’m also wacky and complex. So, I’m making the shawl in Knit Pick’s Diadem Solid fingering weight yarn. Weeks from now, the avalanche of “I told you so” messages will be unwieldy.

 

2016-10-14 15.03.23

 

I’m going to get back to crocheting now. Getting this shawl done will free my mind up to be creative in writing. At least, that’s the hope.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.

Random Sunday Updates

Hello Everyone. It has been some time since I last posted here. I have been, admittedly, a bit busy, of late. Instead of focusing on Facebook and goofing off online, I’ve been focusing on myself and developing my potential for future application in the meatspace. I’ll just run through a few of the highlights here, shall I?

 

OK Cupid

 

I have finally gone through on the longstanding promise of deleting my OK Cupid account. The site just stopped being fun. When it first started, there were all kinds of bells and whistles to make you want to stay on the site for hours. Now, it’s more and more like the other sites. On top of that, the avalanche of crude messages I received should have been enough to make me leave a lot sooner than a few weeks ago. Had it not been for the deluge of bad messages, I might have connected with a truly wonderful person I exchanged e-mails with in 2010 a lot sooner than recently. It’s a long story, possibly for another time and another post. Suffice it to say, I haven’t been this blissfully happy in quite some time.

 

The Departure of the Protégé

 

My Knitting and Crocheting Protégé is moving out of state in a few weeks. Not like I got a chance to do more than get him fitted out in hooks and a few needle sets. I had plans for so much more but now, if we both have the time, it’ll have to be long distance and via Skype or something.

 

This leaves a vacancy for a Protégé in my life. I’m going to attempt to recruit the Maternal Parental for the role. She’s been showing an interest in the hook set I bought her years ago. Perhaps we could spend quality time together crocheting and knitting? Who knows? It would be a nice thing to have happen.

 

The Fitness

 

Up through to the present day, I’ve been focused on improving my health through diet and exercise. I’ve finally managed to make headway on this front. I’ve lost thirty-two pounds and several inches thus far. I’m now in smaller clothing, which is nice. I even managed to fit a dress I bought in 2011 that I was barely able to fit then. It’s loose on me now. My routine is pretty brutal during the week and much more forgiving during the weekends (to give my body a chance to rest). I’m hoping that I can maintain this level of activity for a while before ramping things up again for the next phase of fitness. A highlight was when I got in over 100,000 steps this past week.

 

The Container Gardens

 

The plants keep growing. After all, they’re living entities. Specifically the Mega Cherry Tomato in the Aerogarden. Since I last posted, some of the tomatoes have ripened and some have been harvested. They’re very tasty too.

 

2016-09-29 02.55.06

2016-09-29 19.16.04

2016-10-01 04.16.23

In addition to the tomatoes growing amazingly well, I have an inflorescence in my house. One of my Snake plants has decided to put up a flower spike.

2016-09-24 12.41.47

 

The Comestibles

 

Aside from the above pictured tomatoes, I had something of a treat a few weeks ago. A dear relative gifted half a bushel of the most delectable Maryland Peaches to the Maternal Parental and I. Below is an example Peach.

 

2016-08-30 19.47.36

 

So, of course, I had to make Peach Pie. It was practically a requirement that I do this in the name of Science, Asgard, and Loki. It may not have won the Great British Baking Show with its looks but it sure was tasty. *grin*

 

2016-08-28 20.35.33

 

The Culling

 

In recent weeks, I’ve finally done the Mega Culling I’ve threatened to do for a while now. My books, my precious books. Some of them are up for grabs now. Some have already been re-homed. I hope they give many years of enjoyment to their new Humans.

 

A before and after of my bookcase:

 

2016-09-12 04.57.33

 

2016-09-21 21.38.14

 

More books may be culled. The decision hasn’t been finalized yet.

 

 

The Old School Gaming

 

Ten years ago, I bought a six in one gaming set from Amazon, it includes a set of dominoes, a deck of cards, a Chess/Checkers board with pieces for both games, a Cribbage set, and a Backgammon set.

 

2016-08-23 22.36.28

 

I had bought this with the intention of spending quality time with people but, sadly, no one wanted to play. It’s all video games now. So, I’m going to teach myself to play these games, find video games for them, and play by myself. Then, when that glistening, shining moment arises where someone asks the $64,000.00 question of “Do you know how to play…” I’ll be able to say, “Yep”.

 

The Crafting

 

Finally, I can update the world, nay, Multiverse on the progress of these damned socks. The Rainstorm II Socks are Finished. Complete. Finito. My proof.

 

2016-09-25 01.17.57

 

It only took me from 19 February 2015 until 25 September 2016 to get them completed. As I stated previously on Instagram, this is not acceptable. The next pair of socks I start get finished within a month or I don’t get to keep them. Instead, they’ll go to the nearest Mens 9.5/Womens 11/43cm shoe size wearing person I can find. My knitting is fast enough to have finished these socks within a week of starting them, if not sooner. That’s with ample breaks to rest my finger from the brass needlepoint of my circular needles (Magic Loop knitting). Just because I was able to put it down repeatedly didn’t mean that I should have.

 

Anyway, onto the socks themselves. They’re very toasty warm and deliciously soft on my feet. The yarn was a dream to knit with and I’m really looking forward to making more socks in the other colorways of this yarn, which is Stroll Hand Painted from Knit Picks. The pattern is called Misti Sock Family and the pattern designer’s name is Kate Atherley.

 

Once I completed the socks, I decided to work on a crochet project for someone very dear to me. It’s something I’m presently working on actually. Once completed, it’ll be the second Amigurumi Adipose Baby I’ll have made but the first I’ve made in wool. Let me just say that, but for my cheap nature, if I could afford to work in wool all the time, I would. This project has been nothing short of luxurious on my hands. The wool was actually his request, so I thank him for requesting it. This pattern is called the Amigurumi Adipose and the pattern designer is Jennifer Christensen.

 

This is as far as I’ve gotten:

 

2016-10-01 22.37.06

 

All I have left to do is crocheting, stuffing, and attaching the feet before weaving in the ends. I hope to get this done in an hour or two.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016

 

I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month 2016. I have no idea what I’m going to write as of today. I suppose this makes me a “Pantser” until I come up with an idea? I still haven’t finished the novel from last year. Some day…

 

This year, I’m going to be a lot more basic with my characters, background, and storyline. I want to finish something tangible by the deadline. What I have from last year is okay, it’s just a lot of writing with more writing to come. I need something that’s going to be less War and Peace and more quick and easy read. It is October now. I really need to get myself in gear.

 

Okay, I think that’s it. My stomach is rumbling and I have a workout to get in, so have a fantastic day.

Autumnal Clearing

Currently my room looks like a Hurricane dropped chaos upon it. I am in the process of minimizing my possessions even further. I have cleared parts of my closet of boxes that haven’t been cleared in almost ten years. It is so empty in there now. There’s an echo in parts of my room that is spooky.

 

While clearing the shelf in my closet, I managed to find this little nugget of sunshine in a dust covered box, hidden under a plethora of old pen pal letters from decades gone by. I got it in 1995, brand new, for the 20th anniversary. I’m sitting on the fence about selling it. I saw one on a site in Mint condition going for $166USD and the non-mint averaging out to $35 for much worse wear and tear than my copy has.

 

2016-08-20 15.29.40

 

All this stuff is going to be gone soon enough. With the exception of a few items, the rest is going out into the recycling/garbage.

 

The oppressive heat has not been kind to myself or my plants. I’m still struggling to breathe and have been put on stronger medications for the Asthma. Even more sad, most of my plants died in the heat event we just went through. Ten plants in total are now pining for the Fjords. I has a true sad. Some of those plants, I had from the early part of the 21st century.

 

The survivors are:

 

Sansevieria (Snake Plant) (Oldest of my plants, 1997)

Ananas comosus (The Pineapples)

Solanum lycopersicum (Mega Cherry Tomato Plants in the Aerogarden)

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)

 

Perhaps this loss is for the best.

 

For too long, my focus has been on so many things. Knitting and Crocheting, my plants, Autodidactic pursuits, volunteering, trying to maintain my health as well as other pursuits. I’ve had so many irons in the fire, perhaps my focus isn’t where it should have been all this time? Perhaps I would do well to remember the lesson of the oxygen mask?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

Infinite Potential

Right now, I think I know what it feels like to be an un-sprouted seed, on the cusp of bursting forth into the cacophonic din of Life’s heady mix. I’m feeling that way and I’m not quite sure why. I’m long past the age of getting pangs of idealistic wanderlust. Yet, suddenly, I want to travel about, see all the things and do all the adventures. Ugh, is there a pill for this? Only kidding. Only just.

 

More realistically, I want to travel with my mind and write all the things. I am attempting to melt this Antarctic sized Writer’s Block I’ve got wedged in my brain but to no avail. In fact, the mere presence of it has crept over into my knitting and crocheting. Oh yes, I have Yarnblock or Fiberblock. Is there such a thing? The mere thought of my large scale projects gets me exhausted. So, I am looking forward to a small scale commission from my friend, Valerie. She wishes for me to make her Monster Slippers and I shall oblige, for her, free of charge. Something small, bright, fun and colorful could be just the thing to knock this creative blockage out of me.

 

If there’s one thing I’ve been doing well, it has been escapism. I’ve been re-watching Torchwood – Children of Earth for the umpteenth time. No spoilers here. All I will say is that it is a fantastic series and well worth watching.

 

No news about My Not So Secret Garden yet. The container garden and Aerogarden are doing lovely but I haven’t heard word one from the liaison for the community gardens since we talked a few months ago. I’m on the list. However long it takes, I’m willing to wait.

 

My Peppers sprouted today actually. I’m sitting on the fence about putting them under the Aerogarden’s light hood. Due to the Omega block weather patterning, we haven’t gotten much sun lately, so, if it’s cloudy tomorrow, I’m going to risk it and put the peppers as close as I dare to the hydroponically grown plants.

 

That’s about it until something interesting or exciting (or both) happens. Really missing Lotta right now.

 

Later!