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.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

 

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Take care and enjoy your day. Red rose

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Tantalizing Taste Extravaganza

 

On the 25th of January, I finally had a chance to do what the Maternal Parental had beaten me to. I was finally able to sample the fruit of the tomato vines I have growing in my room. I laid claim to the tomato in the foreground in the picture below.

 

After a little snip, the juicy and delectable morsel of fruit was mine for the eating. I savored every moment I had with this yummy parcel of photosynthetic sweetness but finally, I had to eat it. If only to save my sanity from the torment of being in such close proximity to a potentially delicious vessel of sweetness.

 

 

A taste explosion occurred, all at once, in my mouth! It was, to be honest, the best tomato I have ever eaten. It was sweet, juicy, and just the right firmness to give my taste buds a blast of rich, flavorful goodness. Thank you, Aerogarden, for making this possible!

 

Aside from that, I am continuing to work on the Obrigada Shawl for João’s aunt. It is about half done now. This Knit Picks yarn is fantastic to work with. It’s Swish Worsted in the colorway Serrano. It’s a 100% Superwash Merino wool which is very soft against the skin, yet strong enough to handle repeated frogging. I think she’s going to like it. I’m a lot further along than the picture below but this gives you an idea of the color as well as a picture of the pattern’s example picture. More advanced pictures coming as soon as I work my way through these two cakes of yarn I have hooked up to the project.

 

 

Oh yeah, threw my back out shoveling snow for the first time in my life. I shoveled the snow in front of my door, making a pathway to the shoveled portion my neighbors did. I estimate I lifted two to three hundred pounds of snow the other day. I shoveled until I got to pavement, for safety reasoning. I’m not 100% sure but I think my neighbor then went over it with road salt, because it was completely clear when I went back out later to take the garbage out. Nice people.

 

In other good news, The Maternal Parental watched the complete series of Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey. Prior to this, all she had seen was Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. I’m so proud of her for accomplishing this. She was enlightened greatly by the series and amazed by how many scientific discoveries had happened after her schooling in the 1940s – 1950s. It also shed light upon how much they didn’t teach her in segregated schools of that time.

 

I’d better get back to this shawl now. I’m so close to the end, I’m putting aside all other projects to get it finished. It hurts my hands a lot less than those other projects. Later!

Last and First

I think I neglected to post the last project I completed in 2015. It was a doll for a friend of mine on the occasion of his birthday. I got it finished just in time too. The pattern information page is available via Ravelry – Hobbes by Ann Stiver-Balla.

 

 

So now we come to the first completed project of 2016. I made this hat for another friend of mine. He likes Hello Kitty and, when I discovered this, I immediately wanted to make him a hat I had seen on Ravelry. So, this is my attempt at upsizing this hat for a fully grown human man. Luckily, we have the same head measurements, so it wasn’t difficult keeping track. Pattern information available via Ravelry – Hello Kitty Hat by Elizabeth Pardue.

 

 

So, as of this moment, I’m turning skeins of bright red yarn into cakes with my Yarn Ball winder for a future shawl project because it is too dark to work on my current distraction. I’m FINALLY making my friend Sam his Boba Fett doll. *fanfare*

 

You are probably wondering why I’m spending so much time crocheting and knitting when I could be…sleeping. Well may you ask. Due to recent health issues with my current medications (edema, racing heart, etc), I’ve had to stop taking the one that stops the panic inducing nightmares from happening. So. No sleep for me. At least, very little in the sleep department, most of which is fretful. Such is life, I suppose.

 

Completely changing the subject: The Aerogarden Tomatoes.

They’re really taking off, as you can see in the above picture. I offer you a few close ups of the fruiting.

 

So far, I’ve got at least ten tomatoes with a lot more flowers coming in everyday. I try to do a trim as needed, usually about once every other week or so. I’m trying to maintain the health of the plants and ensure they keep flowering and fruiting for me.

 

Well, I’ve got to get back to winding up this yarn into cakes. Take care and Be Well.

Finished the October Rust Birthday Shawl!!!!!

This 100% wool shawl took me from the 2nd of April 2015 until the 24th of April 2015 to complete. Its made with mostly Knit Picks Swish Tonal in the colorway Wine Tasting. The edging is Lion Brand’s Superwash Merino Cashmere in the colorway Green Tea. I began and ended it on Type O Negative’s October Rust album too. I haven’t blocked it yet but it is huge now. I might just leave it as it is since the overall shape and condition of it is good. I don’t know if I could handle it if it were bigger than this.

 

More pictures:

 

 

For my next trick, I’m going to work on three projects at once. The Cosmos Doily Madness – Black Doilies, the Keepsake Lace Shawl in purple acrylic thread (good grief!) and the Rainstorm II socks. I’m hoping to get all of this done by July. Well, the doilies, I could bust those out in two days or less actually. The other stuff, July. The doilies, Mid-May?

 

This is the first I’ve written in my blog in almost a week. Hi! I’ve been nervous beyond reason regarding a banking snafu that recently got rectified. So, I’m hoping to get back to writing tonight or sooner.

 

Well, I’d better get to those Cosmos Doilies while I have the light.

 

Later! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Vlog Number Two and Writer’s Block Too

Later start time = Less sleepy and no blinding flash to avoid. Yay!

Almost completely unscripted this time, I managed to get through another eleven minutes of vlogging with few problems this time.

 

I got a much later start than last time, so I wasn’t fighting off yawns. I didn’t have the Flash of Doom in my eyes, so I didn’t squint or avoid the camera altogether. For only my second video, I consider this a resounding success.

 

About the only problem I have right now is a sudden case of Writer’s Block right when I need my writing abilities the most. As of this moment, there are no writing ideas in my head. This isn’t leading to a wave of consternation as I had expected either. I’m pretty much at peace with it. You see, I know that it’s only a temporary block. I went eight years without writing, so a few days is not going to send me packing.

 

Yes, I can see the irony in my writing this blog post. No, it’s not the same as “Writing”. With creative writing, I have to really delve into my mind to pull the thoughts out, make them coherent and then format it for Human consumption. These blog posts, on the other hand, are rather stream of consciousness and don’t require much in the realm of thinking. It’s just my internal dialog put on display.

 

So, I’m going to do two things: I’m going to pick a story to read for the next vlog and I’m going to crochet until I feel the writer’s block smashing in my mind. For the story, I’m considering going with Franz Kafka. I’m not sure which of his stories I’m going to read yet but I have The Castle and the Penal Colony. I received both as gifts from my ninth grade Mathematics teacher, Mister Pardi, who is a genius who chooses to teach us lesser mortals. He’s probably one of the coolest teachers I’ve ever had actually. I don’t say that lightly.

 

After I do this, I am going to crochet some on the October Rust Birthday Shawl. It is, after all, getting to be late in the month. I want to have this thing completed by May.

 

Before I do any of this, I need breakfast and tea.

 

Later, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow