Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drive-By: Mini Popcorn!

Okay, this is not really popcorn. It's popped amaranth! While searching for ways to make this super food, I saw mentions of amaranth "popcorn." It's easy, too. Just heat up a dry skillet, add enough amaranth to cover the bottom of the pan (err on the side of not enough rather than too much), shake the pan, and watch the magic happen! It sounded like my pan was trying to stifle a polite cough.

The resulting popped amaranth is crunchier than popcorn. I'll be pouring the rest of it onto some yogurt.

The best part of this is that I feel like I'm Gulliver! See how my finger completely dwarfs the popped amaranth??? (Heh, I'm showing my cards as a not so tall person.)

I'm squirreling away acorns to share with everyone, but they'll have to wait until the never ending blanket is done. Whereas I thought that I only had 1 triangle to finish, the reality was that I had 2. Whereas I thought that I had 2 weeks to finish, the reality was that I had 1. I can only blame one of these errors on someone who shall not be named. :)

Expect a finished blanket in the next post!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We have takeoff!

Since Girl On Wheels teased me by posting a picture of a scrubbie she is going to send me for a swap, I am going to tease her with this:

Baby RoRo's parents are both pilots, so I wanted to design an old fashioned aviator cap! I toyed around with knitting some goggles, too, but since he's a Texan baby, he probably has eye protection that can be used instead. The pattern is my own, and perhaps someday I'll collect all of my baby patterns into a book or something. You know, let the hobby pay for itself, and then some. AKA: what every knitter and spinner wants to do!

Here's another shot of the hat in the wild. As you can see, I'm loving my new throne. I sit in it and spin, knit, and daydream. I'm sure that this chair is infused with creative juices, which is much better than being infused with digestive juices (which is on my mind as I drink my morning coffee on an empty stomach).

I cannot wait to see this hat on RoRo, but it is going to have to wait because I still have a dishcloth to knit and send in the package. So, pthhhhbbbttttt! I can tease you too, Girl On Wheels.

Never mind that the reason GOW is teasing me is because she went into labor, and then subsequently had a baby, during the time she was knitting me the scrubbie. I was thinking about making it into an amulet and letting my other pregnant friend borrow it as some extra insurance for a speedy delivery when her due date nears.

In other fibery news, I finished another pair of Lace Jaywalkers, this time for my MIL. Unfortunately, she's been diagnosed with breast cancer, which means that very soon there will be many battles for her to face. :( I'm hoping that these socks will give her a bit of luxury during these taxing times.

Notice that pictures like the ones above are why people buy sock blockers. Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern. I stuck the sock on my hand to take this picture. It just feels wrong to stick my feet into someone else's sock, not to mention that we don't have the similarly sized feet anyway.

The yarns for both of these projects were to die for squishy and soft. The hat was knit in RYC Cashcotton, which has a little bit of cashmere and angora in it. Just enough softness to make me involuntarily pet it. The sock yarn is Shibui. So far, Shibui is my most favorite sock yarn!

I know I should be posting more details about both projects, but I think I'll save them for my Ravelry page.

I'm going to try really hard to only work on the neverending blanket. It's hard, though, because it is not portable at this point since it is almost 5 feet all around. What kills me is that I start a portable project, like a sock, then I become so engrossed in it that I knit on said sock and ignore my little garter stitch blanket. Well, no more! I resolve to get this damn thing finished! I also have one more blogoversary gift to knit. Maybe I can allow myself that as my 1 portable project.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Drive-By: New Glasses

By day, she's a mild mannered German Shepherd. She spends her days sleeping and keeping the cats in line.

By night, she's Super Vespa! Able to leap buildings in a single bound!

By day, he's a lazy dog who falls asleep while trying to read the newspaper. Never mind that he can't even get through the Sunday comics without snoozing.

By night, he's Super Mingus! Able to catch flies with his tongue!

Where are their capes?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

And the cat beret craziness continues...

It's normal to check Ravelry over and over again to see if there are new photos of cats wearing hats, right?

Asappa sent me this hilarious collage of her cat, Mingus (good taste in pet names, eh?), who has a new head ornament. I love how Mingus' face conveys so many different emotions: humiliation, resignation, and the always classic "you better watch your back, lady!" look.

Stringcat was one of the first persons to cast on for the cat beret and to complete it. She just posted pictures of Thunder, and I think she's so cute!

Spotted on the net: LOL cats with the Thai hat.

If you have pictures of your critters rockin' an International Cat Hat, please send me a picture or a link! They totally make my day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Introducing my throne

Here it is! While visiting the parental units (PU, for short) a couple of weekends ago, the boy and I noticed this chair sitting outside a furniture store. I walked by again. And again. And I sat on it. The boy tried to sit in it, but like Goldilocks, I was the only one who fit in it just right. After some hemming and hawing, and a shove from an old friend who has experience enabling me, we decided to bring the chair back to our home turf.

I adore it. It is the root ball of a Chinese fir tree, turned upside down for my sitting pleasure. The cats refuse to sit on it. The dogs can't curl up in it, therefore they hate it too (but thankfully, Mingus does not think it is a tree for him to pee on). In other words, I have finally found something that I like and no one else in this house can claim. Happily, it is at the right height for my spinning wheel, too!

And look what a nice backdrop it makes for pictures! By the way, this soap is made from goat's milk, and it comes in lovely scents like peppermint and almond. Xine asked me if I would be willing to trade some Mingus yarn for some of her homemade soap. I can attest that her soap is luxurious and lovely! The next time I make gift baskets, some of her soap is going in the mix!

The little mouse is my favorite form factor of the three.

Can you believe I went away this weekend with the dogs and I forgot my camera? Oh well, that means that you get yet another shot of Fifty doing what Fifty does: stare out into space. I promise some dog pictures soon!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Of shoes and cats

April was a month for starting and finishing small projects. I participated in round 2 of a washcloth swap, and I received a lovely new blanket for Greaseball! It is even more special because this is topdoggie's first ever dishcloth! Isn't it beautiful?

I sent off a NunuYaya dishcloth designed by Amoral Fiber. It was a quick, easy knit that leaves you wanting to make more! I knit my washcloth on US size 8 needles with Sugar 'n Cream's Ombres & Prints in the colorway Swimming Pool.

My swapee, Myla, had her lovely cat Oscar model his new cape. He looks stunning, as always. His "I'm. So. Pissed. Off" look is a textbook example. Wee kittens everywhere should study his icy glare. He should be proud.

In April, I also finished up these Jaywalkers for moi. The yarn Depth Charge from Pigeonroof Studios, purchased at the Article Pract booth at Stitches West. Since Jaywalkers are notorious for being a tad too tight around the ankle, I modified the stitch pattern a bit to make Lace Jaywalkers. They slip on and off like buttuh!

Of course, new socks means new shoes. I found these clear Sketchers on sale! Plastic shoes usually means sweaty feet, but these shoes have plenty of vents. I do feel I need to put my hair in piggytails and do loop de loops on the playground bars, but I do love showing of my socks. No longer will my shoes cover up all my hard work! LOOK AT MY SOCKS! LOOK AT THEM! (Everyone feels that way after finishing a pair, right?)

Hm, I never noticed before that the pattern on top of Fifty-Fifty's head is very similar to our hardwood floors.

I also bought myself a throne, but that is for another post. Have a good week, y'all!


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