a day

It’s been a fairly busy week that will stretch into a fairly busy few more weeks. We’ve got cleaning, re-arranging the house, helping Rhonda and Allen clean and re-arrange stuff in their new house.

I’ve been working on Rhonda’s blanket and have come to the conclusion that
A) the thing on the label is a lie
2) I’m going to need more yarn because the thing on the label is a lie

There are usually little bits on the label that say “pattern for such-n-such inside!” and it will tell you how many skeins you will need for that project on the outer part of the label. This one says that if you crochet the blanket, starting from the inside (and doing the granny-square style, which I do not know how to do) you will need 1 ball of yarn. Particularly, this one, 10.5 oz ball of yarn. If you knit the blanket, with the knitting needles that are attached by the plastic tubing and start at the corner, you need 2 10.5 oz balls of yarn.

But, it is for a baby blanket and those things are usually 30″ x 35″

I, however, am attempting a normal “throw” size blanket that should be 50″ x 60″. So, going by what’s on the label, I should probably need 3, maybe 4, balls of this type of yarn (Bernat Baby Blanket. This is really soft yarn). I only have two “balls” of this yarn (because that’s what happens when the store has all their yarn 25% off and you randomly get a coupon for 25% off your purchase and the store’s yarn, while an amazing selection, is pretty picked over) and this yarn is not cheap. Not overly expensive either (like the bamboo yarn. I really want to get me some of that to play with. It’s $7-$9 for 2 or 3 oz)

My guess is, I’ll be needing at least 4-6 more “balls” of this yarn. So the blanket will be taking a bit more time to finish than earlier anticipated.

 

Ugly has a vet appointment this morning. He was set to go last night, but they ran into a few emergencies (which they apologized profusely for. I love that they will take in emergencies [it’s how Bug was saved from whatever she’s got], but there’s no need to apologize to us. we know emergencies happen and it’s all good). I asked if we could reschedule because he’d been in his carrier for about an hour (transport and then waiting), used it as a litterbox, and was very unhappy (and Jamie was dead on his feet). We were able to reschedule for this morning. If it were something really serious, like the time he decided he was not using the litterbox for a couple days, we would’ve stayed. But, we think it’s stress-related. He’s pulled a chunk of fur out near the base of his tail and we just want to make sure he’s ok. If it’s stress, we’ll work on rectifying the situation.

 

The monkeys are doing pretty good. Jamie’s got plans for remodeling their room ranging from a simple repaint to putting in a new floor and things in between.

I want to take a small break from knitting and do at least one other project that doesn’t involve knitting. Granted, I didn’t finish Bug’s tutu (it’s roughly half-finished) and it was a nice change of pace. But, I want to do something different like, I don’t know, write. Re-hash the little comic I had. Something. Not for a long time, just for a little bit since I’ve got a few knitting projects I want to do or get done.

bibliophile cleanings

While things are going a little…weird around the house (we’re going in one of those phases where we’re moving things around and planning what we’re going to be doing for each room.) Jamie and I decided that it’d be a good idea to go through our Monster bookshelf and get rid of some books.

The reasoning behind it was mainly that we’re going to be pulling it apart and attempting to reassemble it down in the basement where the craft room is going to be, and the bookshelf is approximately 7 feet tall while our ceiling hits maybe 6 feet. We also had a handful of books that we knew we wanted to get rid of because we didn’t like them (like the DAW anthologies we got years ago) or were just too outdated (like the economics textbook).

I figured we’d get rid of probably about 20-30 books and that would be a pretty good pile. But no, Jamie and I went through our Monster bookshelf and got rid of probably somewhere around 100-160 books.

While I hate getting rid of books, it was a nice clearing out. There were quite a few books that Jamie and I either picked and never read, acquired and didn’t care for, or started reading and just didn’t like. We love books and while one day we really want to have a room dedicated soley to them, it is currently not feasible in our house. Having two 5 1/2 feet bookshelves stuffed as well as a 3 ft high one with children’s books, a 7×9 bookshelf is kind of crazy to be stuffed with books. (oh, and the hutch, which has a shelf dedicated to cookbooks and home improvement books).

I’m never going to read “Heidi” or “Lorna Doone,” so there’s really no reason to keep those. Personally, I can’t read our copy of “The Lost World” (due to allergies. yay for being one of those people who has a reaction to the mold in older books), but there are also some that we will never part with (like my copy of Gross Goodies, our series of A Song of Ice and Fire, Jamie’s collection of UFO books).

I didn’t keep our copy of “The Devil Wears Prada” as I had originally intended on because the person that I was saving it for only wants to read books on his Nook lately (that’s fine with me, but why should I save a book for you if you don’t want to read a physical copy?).

I had thought about ripping apart books and using them as an “art” project, but that wouldn’t amount to much. While I don’t really have a problem doing it to magazines, but I was given a box of magazines to do something similar about three years ago and never did anything with them besides keep the box in a closet. If I’m not going to do an artsy type project with those magazines, what’re the chances of me getting around to gutting a book? And…it just seems weird to gut a book, no matter how terrible I think it is.

Jamie and I took the books that we pulled, ranging from children’s books to college text books, and went to a Goodwill drop box. If we had thought about it beforehand, we would’ve contacted our local chapter of AAUW and seen if we could’ve donated at least a good sized chunk of books to them for their annual OMG-Huge booksale (that we love and the ladies are so sweet). But we didn’t think about it until that morning and didn’t want a bunch of boxes of books just hanging out and taking up space right now.

Rhonda had gone with us when we dropped off the books and asked if we could drop off some clothes that she wanted to get rid of. It was this little…metal box that was like 6 ft tall, 4 ft wide, and maybe 4 ft long (if we were lucky), we couldn’t set the boxes of books inside, so we had to put them on this metal thing that kind of looked like we were at a giant mailbox. By the time we were done, Rhonda asked if we’d filled up the dropbox. We used up quite a bit of space in the little thing.

I looked at the bookshelf a little bit ago and it seems…weird. It’s odd to know that there are huge gaps on each shelf (ok, except for the one that has half of the original Goosebumps series). I don’t miss the books, but it just seems, I don’t know, unfinished because we have large gaps.
I’m sure we’ll fill up those gaps in the coming months. There are yardsales coming up and we may be able to hit the large booksale this year if I’m not scheduled to work. We’ll have that bookcase jam-packed again.

Pitbull is the copilot

Jamie decided to surprise me with the dogs last night. He managed to wrangle all four monkeys in by himself (it’s not all that hard because all the dogs are like “omg!car!riderideride!”) and headed over to wait for me to get off work. I had texted him to let him know that I was on my way out when he called to say that he had to park near the back of the lot. Heading over that way I noticed a face in the passenger seat.

I asked him if there was a dog in the car and his response was “Maybe…Possibly one. Or two. Maybe four.” And Bug’s head popped up in the back seat.

Firefly was in the passenger seat and did not want to leave her spot for anything, so I had to figure out how to get myself into the back without letting Bug or Izzy out (because Hobbes could care less. This wasn’t Home, this was some parking lot) and was immediately squashed by a very happy Bug and given many kisses by Izzy-butt.

Jamie told me that every time Firefly gets in the car and I’m not in the passenger seat, she climbs up and sits down. The other dogs don’t try to get in the passenger seat and she usually doesn’t try to do anything like snuffle around at the others while she’s in the front seat.

Jamie took the photo while waiting on me to get off work. Not the best in the world, but still adorable

Medusa Hat

A few weeks ago, a friend asked if it would be possible to knit a Medusa hat. The best I could come up with was: I can try!

Spent a little bit of time trying to think of what the best way to do things would be, made the hat base, and made some snakes. Set the snakes in the hat, tied the hat shut, put it up so I could work on a scarf (that was meant to be a Christmas present).

And promptly lost the hat/snakes.

The original set of colours when I started. Jamie and I have come to the conclusion that Gnomes ate it.

I also had to contend with Snooch, who firmly believes that all yarn is his plaything.

But, on the plus side, since I got to redo all the snake bases, I got to use sparkly yarn (muwahahaha)

And yes, I was watching Doctor Who while finishing up the bases (yay for Netflix)

They look like little squid.

Putting in the eyes and bendy-bits was really tedious.

Using a teddy bear to hold up the hat while putting the snakes on makes it…better than if I had to get Jamie to sit down and make marks on the hat for where the snakes would have to go.

And finished.

Now if I can get a photo of our friend wearing the hat, it will be awesome.

I sent him a text to let him know it was done, the only thing that is keeping it from him is us trying to meet up at some point. He seemed really excited.

I posted a photo of it on Facebook and my boss had said that he wanted to see it when it was finished. I was able to show him before I clocked in the other day and he pointed out that he would ask me to make him one too, but his dog would probably eat it.

Izzy’s “Layered Cake” tutu

Jamie and I never really thought we’d be the kind of people who would deck their dog out in pink, but then we got Izzy. Izzy looks adorable in pink, so she has a bright pink collar and pink leash. (she also has a pink hoodie for cold days)

I’ve seen tutus around (both locally and online) and, weirdly enough, it was one of those crazy-easy craft projects that I just did not want anything to do with at all. It seemed more of a headache than a fun little project.

About two weeks ago, my brain decided to go “Y’know, Izzy would look adorable in a pink tutu.” And then reminded me that Valentine’s day is coming up, so a dog in a tutu would be a really fun, cheesy idea for the whole Valentine’s thing.

While going to look for a new green for the Medusa hat, I decided to go ahead and get some tulle to see if I could do it. I was also at the point where I realized that if I did not stop knitting for at least one project, I would get burned out and not want to work on knitting for a while. I double checked with the Pitlandia tutorial for length of strips and how much of the elastic should be covered.

Instead of taking the time to unpack the sewing machine and set it up, I just went ahead and hand-stitched the elastic together. I didn’t put velcro on this to make it “easier” because Izzy is a wiggle-butt and half of the time does not want to wait for snaps, buttons, or velcro to get attached.

Wrapping around a notebook. This one happens to be one of the smaller notebooks from B&N (yay for sales), and because I have a terrible habit of not measuring things, this worked out wonderfully (the notebook is like 7 inches tall) and is perfect for pittie size.

One thing that I don’t remember hearing/reading was that cutting this is a pain.

Also pictured: Snooch. He decided that this weird stuff was a playtoy and wanted in on the action.

Halve it, loop it, and viola. Easy “knots” without having to worry about things going everywhere. Also, this is wrapped around my leg for stability because it is really frustrating trying to do this without something holding it down. (and: the disembodied hand is Jamie playing Skyrim)

Glitter: Herpes of the craft world.

One tube, rolled over the notebook and cut, causes enough glitter to show up on a black hoodie. There is glitter all over the house because of this, so beware. It’s worse than accidentally knocking over a container of glitter while the little holes in the top are open.

Light pink! This is about the time that I got the “brilliant” idea to make Izzy-butt a Layered Cake tutu, told Jamie, and we immediately started tossing ideas back and forth to have all the monkeys dressed as the characters. Jamie mentioned making Firefly a little Jayne hat.

Glitter, glitter everywhere.

I should’ve stopped here. It’s adorable.

Adding the white parts. Cute in theory, not so amazing in real life.

And finished!

Izzy-butt in the tutu. I’ve learned that I’ll need to adjust the elastic just a bit because it started falling off of her (as pictured here). It’s not that much of a problem, just a little change.

She did try to nibble the tutu and I had to be a little bit more careful because we are currently treating her eye for an abcess (because pit bulls don’t have breaks). She and Firefly ran into each other, full force, and slammed face first into one another. Izzy got a small cut under her eye because of it (which is the same place from the year before last when she ran full-force, misjudged, and slammed face first into the doorway). She’s fine, she’s happy and crazy and wiggly and is loving all the extra attention and peanut butter.

It was a fun little project to do and now I’m working on a little tutu for Bug. This one will be blue and only 2 colours instead of three. A friend of ours has said that I should make a matching tutu for Jamie. I want to do a Layered Cake tutu for myself, but do it in a way where it’ll be much easier to see the colour variations and no glitter. It’d be something fun and goofy to do and have.

I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to take Izzy on a walk and have her wear this.

Projects, projects

Strangely enough, after writing down the things that I really want to work on, I don’t have all that many projects to do. This doesn’t mean that they’re not time consuming (I’ll be making two blankets for the first time ever, one of which will be a bit more…in depth? than the other one).

I’m still working on the Medusa hat (see, is time consuming). I’ve got about 1/4 of the hat base done, 24 of the snake bases done, and I still need to put in the wire, the eyes, and possibly some tongues on the snakes. I also need to figure out how I am going to put these on, see if I can get Jamie to sit down for 10 minutes and use his head so I can make marks (err…put paperclips on) on the hat so I’ll know where to put the snakes.

I need to finish Grant’s scarf (I’ll be starting on row 40 of 160 and then I need to do the fringe). And because I need to finish Grant’s scarf, I need to fix Emily’s scarf (the fringe/tassels look a bit…scraggly) since Jamie and I will be seeing her on Tuesday. My hope is that maybe I’ll be able to get a photo of her wearing hers so I can show it off (if not, my backup plan is to do it myself).

And, to take a break from working on knitting, I’ve started working on Izzy-butt’s “Layered Cake” tutu. On the plus side, it’s pink so I had already bought the bright pink and light pink. The downside is, I didn’t buy white tulle so I’ll have to go out at some point and attempt to find some. My overall goal is to have this project done in time for Valentine’s day (inspiration for this: Palmer’s candy. These guys released one of their little heart-candy container things with pittie puppies on it for this year! How awesome is that! Last time I looked at their Facebook, they were still getting bombarded with Thank You!s from pitbull lovers, supporters, and owners)

Now, I want to make one of these things for myself (which has gotten Jamie and myself thinking about doing the Layered Cake and Captain Tightpants thing for Halloween instead of going as Cersei and Jaime) or simply finding someone who can make me a replica of the dress.

For these, I am taking photos as I go along, so I’m hoping to make posts after they’re done.

See, another goal is update the blog more often and make sure I do photo posts when I say I will.

Project List

Or: I’m going to drive myself back to sanity.

I want to write about some ideas I have for projects that I either (A) need to finish or (B) want to do. These will be the ones that I can think right off the top of my head for this post and will not include things like book and film reviews, learn something new, stories, etc.

Ok, it’s mainly yarn projects.

+ Medusa hat.
I had been working on the Medusa hat for a friend of ours, but Jamie and I both misplaced what I had done, so I’m re-starting it. On the plus side, our friend will now have some sparkly snakes. muwahahaha

+ Grant’s scarf
Grant loves Virginia Tech. I hate Virginia Tech (great school, amazing courses available, shit-tastic leadership among other things). But, I love my friends and therefore am willing to do things like knit a scarf with their favorite team’s colours (except the Eagles. I refuse to knit anything with their team colours)

+ Tina’s blanket
Tina went to Tech for college and Jamie and I had a nice idea of seeing if I could do something a little special for her. I am planning on knitting a tech-coloured blanket for her. My goal is to have it done and given to her before her dad dies.

+ Rhonda’s blanket
Rhonda found this yarn that she just fell in love with and said off-hand that if she were to ever have someone make her a blanket, she’d want that kind of yarn. The yarn she chose was about $5 per an 4oz skein. But, as I was perusing JoAnn’s today (in search of green yarn for the Medusa hat), I found the monster rolls of this yarn, asked her what colours she wanted (the sky blue, grey, and cream combo was what she chose) and bought the 2 rolls they had. They were on sale and it ended up being much cheaper to buy these two rolls than the…6-10 rolls of the 4oz ones I would’ve had to have gotten.

I made her speechless when I showed her the yarn.

+ Octopus
Our friend, who’s getting the Medusa hat, loves cepholapods. My goal is to make a large knit octopus and give it to him either by the time his birthday rolls around or the next Christmas.