Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Knitting: Pushing On

Despite the fact that several shows have returned for the fall (Helloooo "Castle" and Nathan Fillion... I missed *you*) I haven't gotten the revitalizing kick from it I usually get every year.  Not even the hour and a half epic series premiere of "Terra Nova" with its dinosaurs-a-plenty gave me a kick in the pants.

I think I'm experiencing an artist's slump.  I have no enthusiasm for anything anymore.  More on my artist's slump later in the week, right now we're talking about knitting.

Here is the meager progress so far on my daughter's Tempest sweater.  Wow, that's a lot of color huh?

You can't tell because it's curling up on all the edges, but I've just finished the waist shaping on the back piece and moved towards the arm holes.

I didn't realize it when I was letting monkeypants pick her colors, but I did NOT steer her towards machine washable yarns.  *sigh*  So this will be a hand wash sweater.  I just have to make sure it doesn't get dropped in the laundry basket, because Barry *will* wash it and turn it into a doll-sized creation.  :/

This yarn is very nice and soft to work with, though.

Friday, September 23, 2011

PolyClay: Newest hobby obsession

Title says it all.  I'm back into sculpting with polymer clay.  Made a little dragon for Caitlin:

Hubby requested one for his desk at work, but it ended up looking more snake-like or dinosaur-like, if dinos were legless.

That would actually be a great head for a brontosaurus.  I may have to throw a couple wings and some head frills on there or something... give it that dragon feel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Knitting: Can't You Read My Mind?

I just realized that I forgot to post that I finished my "Catkin" shawl.  In my defense, I was trying to finish it before the "Knit's Watch" Game of Thrones group knitalong deadline.  I squeaked it in by a day and a half, finishing all three projects in time.  (The steel Clapo-ktus, the Sylvi Coat, and the Catkin)  It was fun.

I have finally sat down to knit my daughter's "Tempest" sweater for the new school year.  I'm using Alpaca Sox yarn in red and cerise multi, so it's going to be brilliant... in every sense of the word.

I also have a stash-busting afghan started that I keep by the bed to work on when I'm relaxing for sleep.  It's a simple double-crochet in straight-line rows, one for each color.  I'm using Knit Picks Palette yarn, double stranded.  I *almost* use up an entire ball for a row.  Seeing as how I have one of those lawn and leaf bags FULL of palette yarn that I will never use, since it's useless for socks, here's where it's going.  I could probably make about five of them.

I am thinking about going ahead and making up all of them that I can, and selling them.  I would have to market them towards people with more money than time or patience.

I also similarly crocheted a black and red scarf in a worsted-weight cotton/silk blend, but since I'm planning on giving that to my next "True Blood" swap partner, I will skip the pictures for now so as not to ruin the surprise.  :D

I do love the *speed* of crochet.  I can knock out things in a flash.  However, I think the fabric looks chunky, bulky, and cheap, so I would not wear a crocheted garment.  That is not to say that someone out there does not think differently than I do, or that they wouldn't buy such an item. 

I shall have to re-think my policy on never making anything I wouldn't want for myself.  I have seen people purchase, adore, and wear some of the strangest things... who am I to judge?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Food: Banana Mania

Caitlin, who loves Doctor Who, has been on a banana kick (along with celery, it's a Whovian thing that would take too long to explain here).  Last time hubby took her to the grocery store, he came back with two huge bunches.  They were slightly green, so he planned well, she just did not have the fortitude to plow through quite that many bananas before they went to mush.

So enter frugal mom and her banana bread.

My grandmother had an awesome recipe for banana bread that used sour cream in it, and had some kind of sugar/nut mixture for the top.  It was always the moistest, most delicious bread I ever had, but when we went to visit her on vacation, we couldn't find it in her big old archive of recipes.  Bummer.

So I went digging on and I found this one.  I doubled the recipe.  It's very close, but instead of the sour cream, I added two six-ounce containers of greek yogurt.  Instead of the creaming method to blend, I melted the butter and mixed everything all at once.

I have a large number of silicone cupcake cups in various shapes, and this would easily fill several dozen of them.  However, I only made 12 of the muffins and used the rest of the batter to fill four mini-loaf pans.  This way I could freeze two of the loaves, and save the rest.

I baked the muffins for 15 minutes, the mini-loaves for 40.

No pictures... sorry Iggystar, I *am* trying, but I'm just not a food photographer.  :D

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Knitting: Sylvi Finished

The Sylvi coat is finished.  It took four hours to backstitch all those knitted-on flower petals.  It probably doesn't help that I did large petals on the shoulder, when I should have done small.

The Catkin shawl is annoying me.  I'm in section two, where it's a K2P2 herringbone pattern, but the increases make it just screwy enough that I can't ditch the chart and just *knit*.  It's frustrating.  I'm about ten rows from the end of that section.  Hopefully the next section, with its alternating rows of color and slipped-stitch design will be easier.  *Imagine* that.

I've also been crocheting some stash-busting items when the Catkin is just making me tooooooo crazy.  I managed a many-colors scarf in single crochet rows in about a day.  Daughter promptly glommed onto it and declared it hers.  I'm now working on a double crochet afghan, using the many, many skeins of Knit Picks Palette yarn that I have.  One color per row.  I've been thinking about selling the resulting items, but I always get this doubtful feeling when I contemplate selling my handmade yarn goods.  It's so easy to make, who'd buy it?  People with more money than time and patience I suppose.

My husband and Teresa want me to sell fish hats.  I'm conflicted about that as well, since it's not my pattern, and some designers are tricky about that sort of thing.  I could contact her I suppose, but she's not from this country, for one thing, and for another the pattern was published on Knitty, and those of us in the Ravelry community know they've had a billion problems with unscrupulous brick and mortar knitting stores stealing their designs, printing them, and using them to sell yarn in their shops as part of unauthorized kits.  It's disgraceful really.  I don't want to be perceived as being a part of that kind of behavior.

How funny it is when a term like "bootleg knitting" pops into your head.