After looking at the weather, I snuggled up and played some Mass Effect.
Eventually I got up, put some granola in the dehydrator, then promptly sat down and passed out for a few hours. Video games and reading will lull me to sleep quickly, especially if it's a video game with soothing music.
In the late afternoon we did head back out and drove around looking neighborhoods. We found a few houses we'd actually like to get into and look. So progress!
blanket I'm going to make. Previously I'd just created what amounted to a swatch to see if I was getting the size right. My gauge is a little off, but I'd say pretty close and since I'm not knitting a sweater I don't think it's going to matter too much. I spent about an hour (out of the approximate six this blanket is supposed to take) and I got a fair amount done. I think this blanket will take me longer than six hours, but since it's my second knitting project (even though my first isn't complete - scarfs take a LONG time).
There's a yarn show right next to the laundromat we use. It's called Threadbenders and honestly, I thought it was closed. It's kind of a poorly set up strip mall, so every time you walk past it the store looks dim and closed. Anyway, I wandered over and popped in. They have a lot of different stuff.
I walked away very confused.
Meanwhile Chris was doing laundry a few doors down. I used to hate going to the laundromat. Im still not keen on it (I'm a big fan of just leaving my laundry in the dryer until I need it which you can't do at a laundromat) but is growing on me. If nothing else it's a great opportunity to read.
Plus, I don't really do anything. Chris does everything except stuffing my clothes back in the dresser. So really, it's a awesome setup.
Once laundry was done we headed out to various part of Grand Rapids and looked at neighborhoods and various houses for sale. I'm sure we'll be back out tomorrow as well, working to whittle down a list of homes to something more reasonable than what we started with.
It was a long but productive day.
Erin made (these things are delicious!).
Every year my parents give me a ferret calendar. They tried to weasel out of it once or twice, but no! I accept ferret calendars from my parents only, as an Xmas gift. It's a tradition, like the Xanth box.
Anyway, I forgot it at my parents Xmas eve. Chris was kind enough to make me an alternative January calendar, but it's not the same. So hooray for my mom mailing it to me! Saves us a road trip to metro Detroit.
And yes, I do actually have mini-muffin tins that I use so this device is almost redundant. But I digress...
attempt at a home made chocolate cake ended poorly. It's been sitting in the back of the cabinet ever since.
By the way, a box of cake mix will yield a lot of mini-cupcakes....
I also thought I'd be fancy and try to make a piping bag at home and coat the mini-cupcakes all fancy. Yeah... That didn't work.
I've been alternating between practicing crochet and knitting (which is more twisting on my wrists and harder for me to do for longer periods of time than crochet) for the last few weeks. One of the small projects I decided to try was a bouncing door hanger for the cat. Today I wrapped up the project and I have to say, I'm happy with how similar the colors are to Leki's preferred ferret toy, Thing 1.
I may make another one down the road has a longer squiggle so he's more apt to swat at it.
If the cat never does quite take to it I can always just give it to the Peppy, who is always excited to stash fabric toys.
It's Tuesday, the weather is crappy and did I mention it's only Tuesday? I mean seriously, those fading mounds of snow were snowmen created yesterday. Yesterday! With the snow melting so quickly I lament all the missed opportunities to create snowscapes worthy of Calvin.
With such crappy weather we didn't go anywhere. Not that we were really planning to, but I'm just going to say the weather cemented it.
I decided to spend my time working on crochet and knitting. I worked a little on a door hanger for the cat which is what that hideous blob of bright colors are to the left in the photo. I'm not sure how much he understood my telling him he could play with the yarn AFTER I knotted it into weird loops. And if you are wondering about the choice of colors, well, they're to match a Thing One toy he likes.
I'm making some progress on the scarf for Chris. You can see a few inches up on it when I started getting more comfortable (and wearing my wrist braces) which I think changed the stitching.
So a quiet night all in all. I should do the dishes but I'm pretty sure the crappy weather is preventing me from doing even those. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. And avoid looking in the kitchen sink for the rest of the night.
Oh, one last thing! Adam and Comfort, creators of The Uniques and Rainbow in the Dark comics, have drawn Chris and I in their upcoming Rainbow in the Dark issue!
If you had difficulty spotting us here you go!
Oh. My. God.
I spent quite a bit of time wandering around very confused. There's a lot of different types of yarns. Wow.
marshmallows I made earlier) and some Mass Effect.
It's a nice amount of snow. Not so much to be debilitating and not so little to barely cover anything. A happy middle ground.
Chris made dinner tonight, which is awesome because I was way too lazy. Plus, that meant I got to entice the cat with string while I messed with the knitting needles.
I decided I was going to start in on a scarf for Chris. He assures me he will wear it, but honestly I think he should wait until there's a finished product before making that kind of commitment. Why a scarf? I read those were a good easy beginner project. I did pick a scarf pattern that I needed the knitting book from the library to decipher. K2og. What? After casting on 60-some stitches over and over only to discover I didn't have enough thread and having to start over, I finally got on the 92 loops. Gah. My wrists hurt now.
When I was a little kid, my mother tried to teach me various crafts with thread and yarn. I remember being taught to crochet, I remember starting ambitious cross-stitch projects (which I recently unearthed and unfinished in my sewing box), and I remember declaring the activities too boring and too girly.
My mother had a lot of patience with me. A lot.
Anyway, over the years I've steered clear of anything requiring needles and thread/yarn. Button fell off? Grab a safety pin. There, all fixed.
I've crocheted a few things as an adult, mostly toys for the ferrets to hide. They're always hideous, lumpy, and it's obvious I got bored half way through the project.
But the twitter ladies I follow who enjoy knitting work wonders. When one of them discussed excitement awhile back about finishing a pair of socks, I was amazed. Socks? I could make weird funky socks? What else could I make? I joined ravelry to check out a bunch of patterns and I found all sorts of things. There were Tardis Kindle covers, Sherlock Holmes scarves, dragon plushies and more. That put me over the edge. I was going to get better at crochet!
There was just one problem: all the patterns I liked were knitting patterns.
So out we went last week to snag some cheap yarn and needles for me to play with. I've been messing with them on and off this week, trying to get the hang of different stitches.
I am making progress. I'm yelling at the YouTube video tutorials less and I picked up a knitting book at the library today. I'm still not very good, but I have a lot of yarn to mess with and I'm slowly creating a tangle of gray stitches, as you can see. So anyway, mom (dad, go get mom to read this. Thanks!), I'm sorry I was a massive brat about this stuff as a kid and thanks for giving me a foundation of knowledge on this stuff.
This is what a big chunk of my afternoon (in between sneezing fits) looked like: glass of water, box of tissues, and Mass Effect. Super thanks to Comfort and Adam who loaned me the game (after much praise on it's awesomeness). I'm a much larger fan of fantasy video games than of sci-fi (which is why I own Bioware's Dragon Age game and not their Mass Effect game) so I kind of glossed over this one in favor of ones with more dragon-slaying and sword-wielding. After four or so hours I realize that was a mistake. This game is badass. I just wish I felt better so I could play more. Stupid cold.
Later in the day, after much laying about acting like I was dying, I let the ferret out to run around and stash her toys. The stitching on the new egg is a little tight and she does have to try harder to grab it, but grab it she does and off to the various living room corners she goes. As a side note, if this blogpost is incoherent I blame the stuffy head combined with the pain I decided to put myself through by watching the GOP primary debate. I'm not ready for bed yet so what better way to wake up than by riling myself up listen to that? I may need shot soon though.
The last one I made I half-assed. As you can see I only had a few short bits of different yarn and I got really lazy at the end. The fraying is, honestly how I made and through no wear and tear from the ferret. I'm just that bad at crochet.
nice tutorial for making crochet eggs.
Now to just wait for her to wake up and show her.
Braided Lemon Bread recipe for a long time, but I've always been leery about trying it. In my head I loathe dough recipes that involve rolling, cutting, etc. I always use too little or too much dough, things are sticky, things are ruined, and the cat always tries to help.
But today? Today was the day. I'd bought all the ingredients yesterday and it didn't matter that there's no room in the fridge or the freezer for leftovers or that it's extremely unlikely Chris will like or eat this stuff (well, there's a chance he might eat it, unlike this Citrus Cranberry Cream Cheese Danish I want to try). I was making this bread.
leftover dough from trimming that I tossed into the freezer for later baking session.
I took a bunch of photos again so here's a slideshow of the whole process, including making the fragrant lemon curd.
About noon I finally made it to the grocery store. Lets just say that vacations with no forced structure means lots of reading and laying about. But I'm ok with that.
I started off prepping things for Chicken and Dumpling Soup. I really thought it would take me all afternoon to make it from scratch, so I wanted to start early. I was half right. It took me half the afternoon.
I'd picked up a Cornish hen instead of a whole adult chicken so that we'd have less leftovers, but now that it's all said and done I think we're still going to have a ton of leftovers. But I digress.
I actually rounded up on some ingredients (for example, entire cup of heavy cream instead of 3/4 of a cup - what was I going to do with that extra 1/4 cup?) and somehow my dumplings ended up making this much thicker than the original recipe appears to be. But I actually prefer thick soup so I'm happy this is thicker rather than runnier.
It ended up super tasty and hours later my mouth is craving more even though my tummy has no room.
Here's a small slideshow of the pictures I took while making it this afternoon.
And then I started on the next project....marshmallows. Honestly, ever since Chris came home with delicious treats Erin made a few months ago I've been dying for an excuse to make some. The peppermint honey bear from yesterday put me over the edge (hot chocolate + marshmallows + peppermint honey? I have to try this). Plus she recently mentioned on twitter making champagne marshmallows which sounded like a delicious idea. Unfortunately I forgot to pick up the champagne (I always forget at least one thing when I go grocery shopping).
The whole process wasn't as messy as I'd anticipated (thank you recipe for forewarning me!). The hard part is waiting to actually cut up and use the marshmallows! Here's a quick slideshow of the process.
I also made some meatballs and shoved them in the freezer for quick tasty ravioli at a later date. I'll have to save this braided lemon bread recipe for a later date since it's really too late to start this one. I'm also going to have to get my butt in gear and try to make those peppermint patties and chocolate dipped peanut butter crisps!