Saturday, August 10, 2013

Not The Gumdrop Buttons

It's the middle of August. Most people think of the beach and vacations when they think of the dog days of summer, but like most crafters, I think of Christmas.

I swore I wasn't going to knit any Christmas gifts this year. Working 50 hours a week and going to taking night classes at the local community college doesn't lend to many spare hours to spend crafting, never mind crafting for Christmas.

But my knitting group decided to do a stocking stuffer exchange. Someone had floated doing a traditional Christmas swap, which was shot down pretty quickly.

Then someone came up with the idea of a stocking stuffer exchange. Rather than a traditional swap, we each knit ourselves a stocking, and put a small stocking stuffer into each one.

I'm not announcing what I'm making, but I'll fully admit that I'm probably going to go overboard. I usually do in swaps. But I'm not announcing it.

I may be almost thirty, but I still believe in the magic of Christmas.

(That being said, the post title is a massive clue.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shop Announcement:

All the stitch markers in my etsy shop, EvidentlyMotley, have been price reduced for quick sale.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day in the United States, and as it was just me and my mother, I decided to cook her a nice dinner.

I decided to make the Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, a recipe I found on Pinterest. I spend far too much time on that website, trolling for food and quotes and crafty things. I was happy to see something I could actually, you know, make rather than just pin it. (It almost makes me feel like the time wasn't wasted, as if all that time was magically validated.)

I had never cooked with Spaghetti Squash before, so I was a little uneasy but I decided to just take the ball and run with it. After baking the squash for a little less than an hour, the knife cut through it like it was melted butter. The "guts" of it (the seeds, and the goopy stuff) came out easily, as did the bit that looks like spaghetti! ( I didn't think to grab a picture, but to those of you that have never tried it, it really does look like spaghetti!)


Once the squash was done, the rest of the meal sort of fell together. Each step took only a minute or two, and once the spices were added, it spelled divine.


It tasted divine as well. My mother thinks I went a little heavy on the garlic and jalapenos, but while she may be right on the jalapenos (I didn't have a problem with the amount, but I realize jalapenos aren't everyone's cup of tea), however I may concede on the garlic.

But my concession is mostly because I buy the jarred, pre-minced stuff and she buys the fresh whole that you have to press yourself. There is, admittedly, a difference in taste, which may be what she was noticing.  But the garlic wasn't overwhelming. None of the spices were overwhelming, and I didn't measure, I just eyeballed it.

I eyeballed everything, actually, wanting the ingredients to be in proportion with itself. (I do a lot of my cooking that way, actually. Baking, however, I measure with as much precision as possible (unless I'm making banana bread. In which case, I dumb about half of the bag of chocolate chips in.)

My mother seemed happy with the dinner, which I suppose is the important thing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dirty Water

The title of this post may be a bit trite, I don't care. Although I live in New Hampshire, I am, like the rest of the country, reeling from the attacks at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

I grew up in the city of Waltham, which is not far from Boston. I only moved to New Hampshire when I was 12, and one of my earliest memories of Boston is a field trip to visit the Museum of Science.  It's always been "the city, " that magical place where Life happened. Even though I'm from New Hampshire, I love Boston. I am completely comfortable on the T (the subway system). I'll walk around Chinatown, visiting my favorite bakeries (but not at night.) The Freedom Trail, the USS Constitution... It's Boston. It's my home.

I found out about the bombings when I made my daily trip to the bank for work, the teller asked if I knew anything else about the "explosions." That's the key word there. Explosions. My first thought was "manhole cover? The Big Dig?" (as locals know, something faulty happening to the massive construction project spanning the 1990s isn't out of the question.) Something intentional never factored into my initial thought process. As was said many times yesterday, it doesn't happen here.

When I got home, and watched the news and saw that someone, some coward, did this to my city, I got angry. I couldn't watch CNN or FOX, they were too impersonal. I needed comfort from those that were there, at the finish line, who saw it happen. Patriot's Day, also known as Marathon Monday, is the unofficial start of spring, and that someone would take advantage of that, that someone would target us when we're celebrating spring, and healthy competition, and the spirit of the men and women who gave birth to a revolution, I just.... I have no words.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who were killed, or injured yesterday. I was lucky- of the friends and family I had in the city, all were far away enough that they weren't hurt. I'm just going to leave you with this quote, attributed to Mr. Rogers:

"When I was a boy, and I saw scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

I should be knitting. I should.

I'm going to school part time, and I had a project and a paper due last night.

I could be knitting. I could.

I have several projects on the needles... I even have multiple projects coming from the same skein.



(It's a skein of Mushishi. 491 yards- very expected that I can get two projects out of one skein. I wanted a scarf and matching mitts, and I wasn't smart enough to start the mitts first, so I pulled out the center pull end of the cake to cast the mitts on.)

(The mitts are Fetching, in case anyone was curious. The scarf is the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf.)

I should knit, but I'm feeling too darn lethargic.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Unnerving

This has nothing to do with knitting, or quilting, or reading, just life.

I am going to be the topic (or at least one of the topics) at the next board meeting at work. It's quite a weird feeling, knowing this.

The end result of the board meeting's discussion, I am either going full time (for the summer), or getting an assistant (for the summer).

Odds are, I'm getting an assistant. (I hope I get an assistant- although I have some control issues and want to be able to the job by myself- going full time will ultimately mess with my retirement accounts. Going full time permanently would be one thing, but it's quite another to disrupt my retirement account just for a summer.)

Getting an assistant is an other weird feeling, because I only work 25 hours a week.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey Little Lady

My wheel finally made it here a few days ago.



 Isn't she pretty?





Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mistakes

Mistakes. We've all made them. Misread patterns. Missed the crucial words, "at the same time."

We've all been there.

Recently, I got back into my toy making kick. I tried to make Rebecca Danger's Hugo pattern for my mother's birthday. This is how Hugo is supposed to look:

However, through my own silliness, I failed to make the head decreases on the sides, so instead of the nice, symetrical body, I got this:





He sat in the corner of my room for awhile, while I figured out what to do with him. I didn't want to frog him, yet I didn't feel as if I could give it away as a gift. It wasn't worthy. I knew I could do better than that. But, as the days went by, I began to appreciate the warpedness of the head. After thinking about it some more, I decided to play on the flaws. I put the arms on slightly crooked, same with the mouth. Instead of using black safety eyes as is customary, I glued on googley eyes- also slightly crooked. The result? Beautiful.

Even the kitchner stitch on the top of his head came out relatively nice.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Books Books Books

I've been reading up a storm lately. Normally, if I read that one, amazing book, then I have a hard time getting into another book. I spend a while moping, or busy with other hobbies, or as a last resort, I read a book that I've read many other times as a way to cleanse the proverbial palate.

First one was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was recomended to me by a coworker. Apparently,everyone on that floor of the office was reading it, so I said, hey, why not?

Gone Girl is about a young wife who, on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary, mysteriously disappears from their Missouri home. I can't say too much about it except to say, if you are thinking about reading it, please do. The twists keep coming one right after another, and nothing is what it seems.

I read this one in two days- I simply couldn't put it down. It got to the point, about halfway through the book, that I NEEDED to know what was going to happen next.

Next up came A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick. This is the first in the Cobbled Court series, and it tells the story of Evelyn, and how after a sudden divorce, she decides to pick up what's left of her life, move across the country to rural New England and open a quilt shop. Along the way she finds three very different women who come together and form a sisterhood of sorts. It was another have-it-done-in-a-day reads, although to be fair, I was wearing my receptionist hat that particular day, and thus had nothing to do but answer phones and read. While this book was good (very good), I feel like the characters were just shy of being three dimensional. They all had their specific roles to play. But I'm still eagerly awaiting until my funds allow me to purchase the second in the series.


Most recently, I finished reading The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I've always been into historical fiction, and her novels are always riveting and consuming. Fourth in the Cousins' War series, this book tells the story of Anne Neville, daughter of the Earl of Warwick, who was known as "the Kingmaker" who also used his daughters as pawns in his political game. I've already pre-ordered the next book in the series, due out this summer: The White Princess.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Day

Like most people in New England, I opened my back door to find this:


2 feet of snow, give or take a few inches. The snow came to about my kneecaps, and I don't feel like measuring my tibia. We'll just say I'm 5' 5. So, after I shoveled a path (stylishly sporting my You Don't Know Our Women and Houndstooth Mittens) from one back door to another,



 I knit a Miranda Hat, which I was surprised fit. For a while, the hat looked like it would be too small (which is my history with toque style hats, so knitting a hat that was too small isn't exactly out of the question.) Then I continued knitting Hugo, which is meant to be a birthday present for my mother, but it currently looks like a misshapen tooth. I might just give her a different monster. Dunno yet.


I'm having a hard time imagining a better snow day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

So I'm a few days late. Sue me.

I know in the past I've written about how I'm cynical about New Years, and all that hoopla over new beginnings.

That being said, this New Years, I'm having great hopes for new beginnings and fresh starts.

I have several resolutions this year, both crafting and not, even though I normally think that New Years resolutions are full of crock. Normally, I think that if you want to make a change, then today's the day to start. Waiting for the calander to change is just silly.

But, without going into too much detail, 2012 kinda sucked. Maybe it didn't suck major balls, but it did suck pretty bad. So now that the calendar changed, maybe I can find the motivation to make everything else change too.