Thursday

[crochet] Christmas Coasters Finished

I did finish all the coasters:


Finished coasters

It was kind of hard to give these up. I love the little bit of gold glitz in them:


Finished coasters



Very festive.

Wednesday

[craft] Christmas Tags

I had to start wrapping gifts this past weekend and all I had in the house was wrapping paper and tape. No tags. BUT I did find blank crafty-type tags and a package of 4 sheets of Christmas stickers. So I made my own tags and I think they're soooooo cute:


Homemade Christmas Tags

I might need to do this every year. It was so fun to make different combinations of the stickers.


Homemade Christmas Tags


Homemade Christmas Tags

It was kind of sad to see people read the tag, open the present, crumple the tag with the wrapping paper and throw it away but, sigh, it's okay. It just a tag. Just a homemade tag. That I made and went "Hah hah, omg, that's so cute" after making every single one.

Tuesday

[spinning] Nightingale Fibers

Spun a true 3-ply with 50% alpaca and 50% merino from Nightingale Fibers (picked up at 2011 VT Sheep and Wool festival, I think).


Aplaca/Merino 3-ply

Ending up being a light worsted weight. 


Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface, coming to see what I'm eating and whether or not he wants some:


Murderface.

He always wants some. He's Starvin' Marvin all the time because Penny eats her food as OMGfastAsPossible and then runs over to his dish to eat whatever he's still woking on. (Penny knows enough to not try that anymore with Santana.) Murderface tried to bite the air around her head but he doesn't smack her to deter her. He's just too sweet and polite. But then he's like, "Meow I'm hungry! Meow I'm hungry! Meow! MEOW!" Penny, can you not take Murderface's food anymore, please?

 
Penny

D'awwwww.

Friday

[crochet] Christmas Coasters

Whipping up some sets of coasters to give out for Christmas:


Christmas Coasters

You'd think after making the Catan lapghan/gameboard that I'd never want to make another single-crochet hexagon again. But. I can make them pretty quickly now. 


Christmas Coasters

The yarn is Louisa Harding Cinnabar, which is a mishmash of 30% Viscose, 25% Cotton, 15% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 10% Linen, 5% Polyamide (nylon), and 5% Acetate. I have to be a little careful working with it, because I'm using a smaller hook to make the coasters dense, and there are so many plies of different fibers, they can kind of come undone. But the finished coasters have a nice tweedy look with a little bit of glitz. I am able to make a set of 6 coasters from one ball of Cinnabar.

Thursday

[knitting] Christmas Hats

Whipped up three hats to give as Christmas presents:

Christmas Hats

Still need to sew in the ends.

The yarn is Knit Picks Shamrock that I ordered years ago. It's a heavy worsted/light bulky weight. The pattern was just: Cast on 84, k2p2 up up and away until decreases for the crown. Easy. Each hat only took a couple evenings to make.




Wednesday

[knitting] Slippers

Finished a pair of slippers (which are really just a pair of double-thick socks):

IMG_9369


Yarn: Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted, pink, 2 balls (yarn held double)

Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm)

Notes: These are nice and plush. Easy to make- the pattern is written to knit these flat, then seam them shut. I had to pull out my trusty Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book (this is still my 'desert island' knitting reference book) to make sure I did my garter-to-garter sewing invisible. You really can't see/feel the seam along the foot and heel.

If I were to make these again, I'd probably do the cuff in the round and then work the actual foot flat.

These are nice to keep by the couch. I usually go around the house barefoot, even in the winter. These slippers are nice to pull on when my feet are up on the coffee table and my toes get cold.


Tuesday

[misc] Press button for Perfect Turkey

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I was able to put together a sit-down dinner for 14 people, with real dishes and everything. I didn't want to use throw-aways. Thank goodness my neighbor lent me extra chairs, dishes and silverware.

I picked up a 23.7 lb turkey from Lincoln Farm and it turned out beautiful. Could be because of the "Perfect Turkey" button that my oven has. At 6:15 am on Thursday, I'm sauteing onions and celery in butter for the stuffing and sleepily staring at the turkey button, looking at the instruction manual to the oven and holding the special probe in my hand that plugs into the oven and then into the turkey. I stuffed the turkey, threw it into the oven, inserted the probe and let the oven do it's magic perfect turkey thing.

That turkey was PERFECT. My first turkey ever and it was brown all over, moist and juicy, flavorful... and the whole thing cooked in 4 hours. I can't even believe it. I am taking no credit- I think it was the fresh bird from a local farm and the perfect turkey button that deserve all the credit. What did I do. I basted it.

I wish I'd taken a picture of it but by the time my sister mentioned it, the legs were off and I was already hacking away at the breasts. :(

As good as the turkey was, I don't want to eat any more turkey until next year. Dollar happily ate leftovers after leftovers, day after day. I was like, "Ugh, how many times can you eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy?" The answer is 6 times over 3 days. And really, I think he only stopped because we ran out. 

Here are some new pictures of the kitties. MF and Santana weren't into the turkey. I tried to give them little pieces as I was stripping the carcass for leftovers. They weren't into it.

IMG_0958

IMG_0985

IMG_0996



[misc] Stinky Penny

Penny is settling in just fine at home. Other than keeping me up all right, making smelly farts, shredding my hands and feet and back... she is a joy.



Penny




Penny



Penny



Penny - scared of MF



Penny



Penny



Om nom nom nom


Stinky Penny


That is all.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface keeps an eye on Penny:

IMG_0935


MF and Santana are handling her well. They hiss but they haven't been aggressive towards her. This hissing is just to say, "Get away from me, pipsqueak!" Penny always backs off, but in a sad, "Why don't you love me?" way.

Santana growls and hisses and just generally wonders when we're going to get rid of Penny:

IMG_0941

Went to the Green Mountain Fiber Festival at the Hotel Coolidge this past Saturday. It was very nice to see Lois and everyone vending. I bought a chic box bag and a very pretty hooked rug. I also visited the new incarnation of White River Yarns in downtown WRJ, next to the hotel. It's soooooo great- lots of new inventory, great space, great prices. It's really awesome- a great blend of a new, fresh feeling with aspects of the former shop.

Wednesday

[misc] Penny for your thoughts...

Well, I picked up our little bundle of terrified, timid kitten last night. Here is Penelope:

Penny

Or "Penny" for short. Get it? Penny Dollar? Bwah ha ha ha, I crack myself up. But seriously, I've wanted to get some kind of pet and name her Penny for ages.

Penny

She's sequestered to the craft room now. She was spayed on Monday so the stitches are still fresh. She needs to rest (although she's not doing much of that) and not tussle with Murderface or Santana. 

Murderface woke up from a nap last night and I decided to let him stick his head in and check Penny out. He started hissing at her. He hissed three times. Dollar has NEVER seen MF hiss and I've only heard him hiss once (when I accidentally stepped on his paw). I scooted MF out of the room and shut the door. MF is a teddy bear and can't hurt a fly, how could he possibly hiss at this face?

Penny

I don't know. I ordered some more Feliway refills and I actually went out and got a baby gate. Insane, I know, but I want to put it up rather than having a closed door, so that the cats can at least see/smell each other for a while.

More pictures later...


Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

IMG_9056


I used the three day weekend to do absolutely nothing. It was glorious at times and boring at times. I hung out with the cats and did my nails.

And I think I found a new kitten to get. I stopped by the vet's office on Saturday to pick up a couple bags of dry food and there was a cute, widdle kitten in a cage. I put my name down to take her (not until this coming Friday) but I'm kind of on the fence about it. I do want her but what will Murderface and Santana think? What are they doing to do to her? What will she be like? We'll see...

Wednesday

[house] Progress...

Well, the snow melted and we applied a coat of stucco to the exposed blue insulation foam around the bottom of the house. It was a nice day on Sunday. Here's the view from the front door:


From the front door

Look at that long driveway. I need to get a snowblower soon-ish.

The front of the house:


Front of House

Dollar's step-dad has been absolutely incredible in all the help that he's given us- getting us all kinds of shrubs to plant, mulch delivered, blue stone to lay in around the flagstones, helping to dig and put in the flagstones, getting us to apply the stucco. You know, if it was up to me, I wouldn't ever get around to doing any of that and his landscaping help has been so great.

The back of the house:


Back of House

Still have some blue foam to cover up back here but we don't get too much sun back here, especially now that we're heading into winter. So... we'll probably leave it until spring.

Now to get ready for Thanksgiving. I've never cooked a turkey before so this should be interesting...

Tuesday

[crochet] Crocheted Catan

The crocheted Seafarers of Catan boardgame is done. It was played at Carnage in Wonderland this past weekend and was well received. Here's the game set up, ready to play:


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew

I crocheted the map (63 hexagons) and my sister cut all the wooden pieces: (15 roads, 15 ships, 5 settlements, 4 cities) x 6 for 6 players. Here they are sanded, glued and stuck to tape, ready to be spray painted:


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew

There's also a large pirate ship that prowls the open water during the game, ready to steal from players:


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew

After a game, things looked like:


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew

Awwww, the little ships going from island to island are so cute:


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew


Seafarers of Catan: Homebrew

The yarn I used is Plymouth Galway:


Catan Blanket

One ball was enough for each resource color that make up the islands. I ended up using 5 or 6 balls of blue for the water. The hexes are just the same pattern that I used for my Korean Koasters. I sewed them in order, into strips, then sewed the strips together, then sewed in all the ends. It was a massive pain in the ass of epic proportions.

The map is a replica of the "The Six Islands" scenario in the Seafarers of Catan 5 - 6 player rulebook:


catan_blanket

Love this. It's a one-of-a-kind game/lap blanket. But I'm so happy that it's done. Now I can work on whatever I want! Spinning the fiber that I just got at VT Sheep and Wool! Knitting shawls and hats and cowls! Crocheting cute little amigurumi! I need to pick a new project and get going because all I seem to be doing in my free time now is playing Bejeweled on Xbox. 

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface, I'm sorry I haven't been taking tons of pictures of you. You're the cutest.

Murderface


Santana, don't you think Murderface is the cutest?

Santana

Uh... all righty then.

[misc] I'm dreaming... of a white... Halloween

It started like:


Snow. 10/27/11

And then the next day, it was like:


IMG_8998

And then it was like:


IMG_9009


IMG_9006

I woke up Sunday morning wondering, "Why do I feel the urge to be opening Christmas presents? Why is there no hot cocoa in the house? Why is it so f'ing freezing? Why am I shoveling in October?"

Ugh, snow snow go away, come again in approx 50 days.


Friday

[misc] Sleepless in Vermont

4:21 am

AMY: Psst.

DOLLAR: zzzz

AMY: Hey... Hey, are you up?

DOLLAR: zzzz

AMY: shakes DOLLAR

DOLLAR: Hm... whut... 

AMY: Hey... I think I know why the electric bill went up so much.

DOLLAR: ...

AMY: I think it's the weed whacker- the battery for the weed whacker. You were doing a lot of weed whacking last month and charging the battery every day.

DOLLAR: Yeah... I thought of that.

AMY: Oh. Well. I think that that's what it was. It must be...

DOLLAR: ... zzzz

AMY: What do you think Santana?

SANTANA: I want breakfast.

AMY: It's too early. I'm not getting up.

SANTANA: But I'm awake and I want food. Now.

AMY: ... zzzz

SANTANA: Just you wait, human... just... you... wait... 

[misc] Pumpkin

I forced my house-guest to carve me a pumpkin while he was here:

pumpkin

Looks nice! 

After about a week, the face is starting to dry and cave in on itself. But I do like having a pumpkin to light at night:

jack o'lantern

SpOOoooOOOooooOOOooky.

Wednesday

[travel] 2011 Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

I did go to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival this year, during the less-rainy day (Sunday).


2011 VT S&W

I bought some very nice, interesting new fibers to spin. I visited my favorite vendor Fantom Farm and got some special, sparkly fiber. 

ME: Do you have any spinning fiber with Angelina or Firestar in it?

FF VENDOR: Over here, here's some.

ME: peering closely Yeah. Yeah, I guess that has some sparkle. sigh

FF VENDOR: You like sparkly fibers?

ME: Yes.

FF VENDOR: looks left... looks right... Listen, I got some fiber that isn't out because it's so sparkly-

ME: I'll take it.

FF VENDOR: goes to the back of his area, moves stuff aside, opens a tub, pulls out a bag, reveals a ball of brown fiber blended lots of copper sparkle.

ME: SPARKLEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

FF VENDOR: blinks

ME: Ahem. Sparkly. Weight it. I'll take the whole ball.

###

My sister and I and a friend wandered the festival but didn't stay too long. There's one food vendor there that has consistently served sub-par food, year after year. I avoided them but our friend got a cold, inedible sausage. Poor thing, I shared my sandwich with her. And when we got back to my house, I made some fried rice. My advice is to bring your own food to the VT S&W. The food there really isn't good and it's way overpriced.

Tuesday

[travel] Cannon Mountain

Just a few pictures from our drive up and over to Franconia Notch in the White Mountains. We stopped at Beaver Pond to stretch our legs.


beaver_pond

We walked the Flume then went to Cannon Mountain to take the tram to the top. The views and foliage were so amazing all day.

 
Cannon Mountain

Cannon Mountain

I think we could see all the way to Canada, Vermont and Maine.