Friday, October 5, 2012

Catkin finished! Gearing up for NaNoWriMo '12!

A short update today! The Catkin shawl, as you can see, is finished! and keeping me toasty warm! I will definitely be knitting another one in the future! But for now, working on a design for some new fingerless mitts. We had the doors open and the fan on till lunch today. It never got over 55. Most of the morning it was in the 40s... ::shivers::

Also, it's that time of year again! NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is gearing up! The forums are all cleaned up, and those of us modding and ML-ing are starting our yearly prep frenzy! Anyone in the Illinois area who doesn't fit into one of the big city regions, come join Illinois::Elsewhere!  I'll see you there!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cosplay and Catkin

Today's update is going to be heavy on pictures, light on words. First, to finish off the update I promised from the other night, I have pictures of my very first cosplay ever made.

Loki from Marvels 'The Avengers'
I started in June, and finished the night before Chicago Comic-Con 8/9/12 (granted, I really drug my feet and got nothing accomplished until mid July, so some of that time was spent doing absolutely nothing!

The jacket :

That jacket is made of a heavy faux leather lined with green cotton and striped with a random gold scrap fabric in my scraps bin. Three nights were spent putting all the little gold squares around the entirety of the edges of the coat. The sleeves were originally attached to the tunic, but wound up moved to the jacket so I could take the whole setup off if I got too hot. Which happens real easily!

The tunic :
So many crisscrossing pieces of leather, and tiny gold pieces to fix in place...lets just keep adding layers upon layers, right? XD

The pants and boots :

The pants unfortunately didn't survive the convention, and I'm back to the drawing board on them.The boots on the other hand, I'm super proud of XD

The props :
I have a functioning Tessaract, just to add to the nerdisms XD It's just a baseball box stuffed with crumpled wax paper, submersible blue battery strobes from Michaels, and some frost spray paint to diffuse the light even more.

All in all, for a version one, on my first attempt, I'm proud with how this turned out : 

Update on Catkin:
I actually just closed up the shorter blooms, so I'm a few rows further, but my goal is to bind it off this weekend. I think I can do it! XD

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Been a while, huh?

Well... I guess it's been a while, hasn't it? ^_^;

I've accomplished quite a bit since the last time this blog was updated! The header has obviously changed, and yes, I've been bit by the cosplay bug. But knitting will still be featured, no worries! ^_^

Life has been absolutely crazy, between my grandma passing, my ex leaving, my moving into a new house, and a new roommate, my head is still sorta spinning. Bu~ut, I have pictures to prove I haven't been lazy, ladies and gents!

My Buddha has gotten huge! And he's still growing. He's near to 200lb now, and stands on his hind legs as tall as my 6'4" brother! He's the biggest baby in the world, and he and Daisy are so good together. I couldn't have asked for a better pair of dogs than them.

Then we have my knitting update!

Yes, it seems I got bit by the Catkin bug as well. A friend and I are doing a private little KAL to kick ourselves into gear on these shawls. Now I want to knit another one! XD This was started last week Monday, 9/17/12, and I'm halfway into the last chart now.

Knit on size 4 Addi lace needles, in Madeline Tosh - Composition Book and Dragonfly Fibers Pixie - That Ol' Chestnut, this is so squishable and warm and just amazing. The nerd I am, I'm already planning a second one (all in MadTosh this time I think) in green and gold with black buttons... you'll understand the nerd reference in my next post, I promise!

The charts for Catkin aren't difficult. They're time consuming until you pick up the rhythm, because yes, there is a simple pattern to this whole thing, if you're smart (not me!). The garter stripe section goes by in a flash, and so far, the last chart is going super smoothly. That middle chart with the chevron pattern was a bit time consuming and tricky, but well worth it.

Since it's gettin chilly here in the northern Illinois, and we work with the front door open till January (no fooling) I can't wait to get this baby off the needles and on my shoulders! And I can't wait for it to get colder, because my house has a fireplace, guys! Knitting in front of a fire, around Christmas time? Oh I can't wait!

To cap off this update post, I leave you with this image set :

 Yep, I got my first tattoo. I've wanted one for forever, I love the idea of art, especially something I had a large part in designing, being with me forever. But I'm a coward when it comes to needles... unfortunately, my grandma dying was the catalyst that brought this piece about. Done by Dan at Private Ink in Libertyville, IL. It took about 4 hours worth of work but it was worth it. Dedicated to the memory of Joyce, one of the most badass women I've ever had the honor to know, on the outside of my arm is her birthday, the inside is the day she passed (unfortunately also my brother's 18th birthday...) and the ribbon has her initials, J.A.B. This is an absolutely addictive art form, and I already have many many more planned out. How bout you guys? Anyone else out there sporting some ink?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Life and all its little surprises

So I've been debating back and forth for the few days since my last post. Mostly while knitting on my squishable hexipuffs!

I couldn't resist throwing in a quick whipstitch to see just how awesome this was going to be in the coming months (years...decades =P )

I almost want to make one in blue and gold now, ala the Zoras Sapphire from Legend of Zelda : Ocarina of Time

I'm going to quietly go to the corner now and calm down before I start designing hexipuff-tri-forces XD

I just placed my order for an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom.

It's something that I've wanted to learn for a while now, and I debated on different brands (i.e. Ashford, Kromski, ect) and models (Rigid Heddle, Floor Loom, 4 harness, 16 harness, ect) before settling on the Ashford Rigid Heddle 32". My reasoning is simple. My wheel is an Ashford Kiwi, which I love to pieces and have had no problems with for the near year I've owned it. ::Shrugs:: I'm loyal to my brands so long as they don't screw me over. I drive Pontiac and Dodge. I won't own a motorcycle if it isn't a Kawasaki (more specifically the Ninja line, hence my name!) my needles are Clover and my supplies seem to stay Ashford. But something Kelley Petkun of KnitPicks fame said in her youtube class on weaving was 'I'm not a weaver. I'm a knitter who wants to bust stash, and has fun weaving'. I paraphrased a bit, but it's truth. Right now I'm a knitter. If it turns out I abso-fab love weaving, I'll invest in a floor loom in the future and learn from it. But baby steps!

On a final note, for any fantasy fans out there, can I just recommend The Rangers Apprentice Series by John Flanagan? I read books 1-6 year before last I think, because I got the 1st book on Kindle when I was working with the temp agency, but I put them aside when work got busy and life got hectic. I just reread book 1, The Ruins of Gorlan today, and almost want to keep going instead of doing my hexipuffs (I need to knit two tonight to get back on track, since I skipped last night due to major headaches).

My soup is beeping done, so I'll leave on that note and hopefully have a post soon chronicling my forays into the weaving world!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Life update part 1 and Hexipuff Fever *Picture Intensive*

Well, it's been nearly a year since my last update, and I have to apologize! I can't believe how quickly the time's gone...a lot has happened in the last 12 months!

First some good news, and adorable-ness...
My yarn guardian Daisy got a baby brother! An English Mastiff named Buddha, he was the last present from my husband I ever got. He was born 12/27/2010, and is now just over a year. Enjoy a few cutsey pictures of my baby boy showing his growth. Last time we went to the vet he weighed in at just over 150lbs and he's not done growing yet!
Meet Buddha at 4 weeks! His face just says 'ain't I a stinker?'
Buddha with Daisy at 8 weeks the night he came home.
6 Months, his head is bigger than mine!
He was so tiny and adorable!

6 months, loading him in the car in June.

8 1/2 months, with my 6'4" baby brother
ETA : that's not blood on my brother's face, I swear! He worked at a haunted house all through October (when this picture was taken) and the makeup never came off well because he'd get home at 2-3 am and do a really half baked job at washing up!

Now the bad news, the DH decided to leave, which explains a good deal of my lack of interest in art of any kind for a while. Bu~ut, I've been bit by the knitting bug once again, and joined the hexipuff craze!

That's right, I'm knitting The Beekeeper's Quilt!

My very first hexipuff turned out way better than I'd expected, considering I've done no knitting for a year, and I misread the pattern information on the increases...^_^;;;

I've done two a day so far (started 1/5). I figure two a night, I'll have a giant blanket in December. Theoretically. It takes me about 30 minutes to knit up one, so I can build up some extras on the weekends, like I'm doing today.

I'll be back soon with another new post, I have a lot to update! ^_^

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My happy place

Well, all I can say today is I'm so glad I knit.  It's always great to start a work day with a pile of paperwork that should have been turned in before end of the year billing, right?  It's even better when you get a call from the mechanics, with someone telling you that, yea, we couldn't get hold of your husband, so we need your approval to fix the truck he drove into the ground, that'll be $1200 give or take thanks!

All I could do was look at my meager beginnings of Girasole and be happy that the yarn was stash, the pattern was a relatively cheap splurge, and that the fridge was full of food!

Speaking of food, it's chili time at the ninja house!  My mom's chili recipe is so very basic, yet so deliciously delicious, I have to share it with you guys.  I remember when I first moved out on my own, calling my mom in near tears because damnit I wanted chili, and all I could find on were fancy chilis that didn't interest me.

       Ingredients :

  • 2lb ground beef
  • 2 BIG cans of chili beans (we use mild, but get whatever suits you best of course)
  • 2 cans corn (optional)
  • 1 or 2 chili seasoning packets (again to taste.  When I was single, it was just one.  But DH likes things just a little more flavorful, and who can blame him?)
  • 1 large can diced tomatos
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • Optional - shredded cheese and sour cream


  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet until its cooked through (we don't want anyone to get sick!) and add in the seasoning packet(s) with just a little bit of water.  Stir until the meat has soaked everything up, then dump it into a soup pot.

  • Add the beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce and corn, and cook for 15-20 minutes (until the corn is cooked through and the beans are soft and warm)

  • At this point, I add about a third of a bag of shredded colby jack cheese and a spoonful of sour cream.  
  • Then dish it out.  I add more cheese and sour cream!

The great part about it is that this will last a family of 2 or 3 for a couple meals.  If you're really in a pinch and need to stretch it further, just increase the number of cans of beans you put into it.

I haven't actually started mine yet, but I'll be sure to post a picture of the deliciousness (minus the kitchen mess) tomorrow.  Barring DH getting home and eating it all before the camera shutter snaps of course!

What I do have pictures of, however, is the beginnings of Girasole!

Girasole, Chart A Finished

And just for scale, because I was immensely proud of my beginnings until the yarn monster decided to show me how tiny they were :

My little yarn monster, Daisy.  Maybe she should be
called Girasole instead? XD

Ravelry : Girasole Done with Cascade 220 colorway 2414

So far I'm finished with Chart A, which was painless, all things considering.  You try flipping that PDF back and forth on your phone, juggling DPNS and try to figure out what an upside down carrot with a dot in it means!  Especially when you're sitting in your car before work starts!  See how painless that is.  All in all, it's taken me 20 minutes up to this point, but I'm sure things will start to crawl soon enough.

That's all for now!  Don't forget to check out yesterday's post for a giveaway celebrating the beginnings of this blog!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Post

So, I've spent years lurking around on teh interwebz, stalking my favorite knitting bloggers and thinking to myself that 'wow, I should start one myself, it'd be fun!' and not following through.  So my new years resolution was to do just that.

I'm Beta.  I'm a wanna-be novelist (just completed my third NaNoWriMo this past November), a knitter of 4 years, and a loving wife.  I'm sure there's some other quirky stuff in there.  And I'm also sure that over time, it'll all show up on its own.

I just started a new job recently, which I'm so excited about, and hope it sticks, because it's a fun, albeit slightly stressful job, with good people and a relaxed (mostly) atmosphere.

So, because no blog post is complete without pictures of finished objects, may I present to you my lovely not so handspun 'handspun mitts'

They fit so pretty don't they?

I loved the way the pooling worked out on this set!

Ravelry Page

I've just started Jared Flood's Girasole in Cascade 220, so I'm in for the long haul here people!

Also, just because I like giveaways myself, I figured I'd give it a shot.  If anyone out there is actually reading this post, I have a skein of Malabrigo Lace in Periwinkle

that I'll give away to a random commentor.  Just tell me what's on your needles right this moment!  Or if you have nothing on the needles (you need to tell me how you manage.  I have off the top of my head 4 UFOs right now just waiting for me to pick them back up) gimme one random fun fact about yourself!  Random number generator will choose the winner next Friday, 1/14/2011.  Good luck!