Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photo of the day: Tiny Bird

First time climbing a tree...

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Location:Front Yard of emergency Glenwood

Monday, July 18, 2011

Photo of the day: Lizzy

She likes to get comfortable...

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vegan ice cream, no such thing!

I love cake, and birthdays are the best times for special cakes. Keeping this in mind I wanted to make an extra special vegan cake for B for her birthday. Only an ice cream cake would do. "But wait",you say to yourself, "vegan ice cream cake doesn't exist!". It does according to The Gluttonous Vegan

I followed her directions as best as I could...

I couldn't get B out of the house long enough to bake the cake part, so I ordered three round vegan cake layers from Simple Kneads Bakery. They even stored them in the fridge for me!

My prepared cake box and rice ice creams...

Step 1: Bottom layer of cake

Step 2: Spread vanilla layer of ice cream

Step 3: Layer two of cake

Step 4: Strawberry ice cream layer

Step 5: Top layer of cake, freeze, and hide.

Step 6: Put icing on the cake (I did this part with an access card in the front seat of a car in the dark, because Kate and I lost the knife. I wanted the cake to be a surprise, so I made it in the yarn store and then left B's party to spring it on her. I left the icing to the last min, hence the car icing fiasco.)

Step 7: Eat! (There are not any photos of the finished cake because people ate it, but believe you me it was fantastic!)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sometimes not following the directions can work out alright too.

Here is a monster print box bag that I just finished sewing up for B. It is a soft fleece printed with monsters eating cars. This hilarious fabric was a birthday gift from my fantastic friend Kate, and I have been waiting for the perfect project for it. I even have some left so that I can make one for myself too.

I used a bright orange zipper and an inner fabric that is variegated shades of purple with glitter and black stars.

It is a good sized project bag, with lots of room inside for yarn or notions.

To make this bag I first used the tutorial on Make It Modern, and created this...

Ok, I know it's not a box. I cut the corners the wrong way, because I didn't follow the directions. There was another one that I made, but I messed it up and it was an undesirable shape. So while I was making the aforementioned box, I wanted to change the construction a bit. The tutorial has the selvage (the folded over bits that make the seam) exposed inside the bag. So with some experimentation and the help of some other tutorials, I figured out how to make the inside flawless too. New ones to be posted later, I have been busy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Finished object: for the love of squids and babies.

The baby squii hat is finished! This was an easy knit, except that the critiques I have heard about the pattern were true. I had read that the pattern is written in a way that is confusing, but using some common sense should be followable. The am going to deduce that I believe this pattern was not written by a person who had written a pattern before. And that is fine, everybody has to start someplace. Either way the hat is a success, and will be adorning the head of a baby soon enough . I would love to make an adult version of this hat, but I would leave out the hat shaped lining on the inside of the hat, and make it more of a slouchy squid beanie.

The original squid hat!

My version of the squii hat!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Life lessons

This morning I learned some important lessons. 1. If a coworker tells you that you will understand in twenty years when you stare at them blankly at their horror and confusion when you bring a turtle you found in the road to your pet friendly job, you should most likely stop trusting them. 2. Try not to make promises to turtles. You can always tell they are really disappointed in you. 3. Do not trust the taste of a person whom drinks diet mountain dew on a daily basis. 4. People who do not try food because of "texture" are whimps (really i was already aware of this lesson, but I thought I would remind everybody).

As my birthday year draws to a close (birthday years, much like fiscal years, do not finish at the calendar end of the year for me) I have been thinking deep thoughts and plucking white hairs. I regularly look at other people in my age bracket and think they look like an adult, while I do not. I compare my visual age to theirs and almost always I fall short. The first lesson of my day brought this into question for me. I am an adult, I own a car and pay my bills. I own a very small business. I have both an IRA and Roth IRA. But if looking like an adult means not saving turtles out of the road or playing with toys or looking for the enchanted, whimsical, and silly in life, then fuck it. I don't need it.

When I visited my favorite bench on my lunch break today, this is what I found.

I think it is a sign from God. That or some little kid was raptured from this very bench.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jurassic Park hoof style

We have been having very exciting days and nights recently. First off B graduated from college. I did not understand this when I graduated, but when you do pass from the path of active education into mental stillness (full time adult work world), lots of people feel as if your diploma is partially theirs too. The people that help you through that time deserve mini diplomas to complement the big one you get.

Anyway, B was given too big parties, lots of food, and a fancy IPhone. With all of her new time off we have been playing a lot.

We visited the Lazy 5 Ranch near Mooresville the other day. In B's words, "Why would anybody bring kids here, this is terrifying.". It is a lot like Jurassic Park, where they chain the goat next to the fence so that the T-Rex will come and eat it. Except that the dinosaurs are hoof stock, and the goat is a bucket of food you hold out your car window. My car now has a few hoof scratches on it and some mud inside now. But it did make for a very fun and interesting day.

YouTube Video

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Friday, May 06, 2011

I am serious, do not ask me to knit for your dog.

Nothing makes me happier than when a couple is expecting, and they request a silly baby knit. I mean not just any baby, a baby I would have already been knitting for anyway. Not just some soon to be parent people who find out I am a knitter and just assume that I would love to knit for their soon to be bundle of joy. And then suggest to me WHAT I should knit for the spawn. Even though I just met them. Because I have nothing else to do with my time. Because of course I am bored and lonely if I am a knitter. Did I mention I really hate that?

Anyway if I know you and I like you a reasonable amount, I will most likely knit for your fetus, if you ever get one. I will not knit for your dog though, so just because some people consider their pets to be their children does not mean I will be giving them the same attention. Sorry, anyway, some friends with an embryo requested a silly baby hat for their soon to be. I have been waiting for a perfect excuse to knit this .

Mind you, the reviews of the squid hat proclaimed that this pattern is written in a way that involves constant diligence by the knitter. Turns out they were telling the truth. That's ok, because the photos I will take later of the Squid hat eating the head of the newborn will be more than worth it. Too bad we all have to wait a couple of months for that. Soon friends, soon.

My version of the squid hat, which I call the Squii hat is made from stash yarn from the left overs of the Southwest Baby Sweater. This is more of a desert squid than the one pictured above, ready to pounce on you from sand dunes, or sand castles if it is on vacation. I would avoid sand in general, at least until it has had it's infant feast.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

One day I will wake up and all the righteous people in the world will have been raptured and I will get to stay here and play with all their stuff.

For those of you that may be on the fence on the whole concept of global warming, take a moment to consider the recent outbreak of severe storm systems. In North Carolina we encounter a strong tradition of dangerous thunderstorms from mid april to late October or early November. In the summer the only relief from the constant elevated humidity is your afternoon thunderstorm.

Photo from

While these storms are occasionally dangerous and could include hail, people do not normally die from them. Once every few years we will have a tornado that will do a little damage, but nothing like this spring. Anybody can believe what ever they want about the science about global warming. All I know is that we used to have a spring before it became full blown summer, and that over a hundred people are dead from a series of storms we would not normally be hit with. I'm just saying, maybe reconsider this whole environment thing. That or prepare for the end of days. Was there a tornado section in the bible?

On a happy note, I love this dog...

I work with Coco's owner and every time I walk past her she cocks her head to the side and is happy to see me. This dog likes me more than my own dogs do. Jerks.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

You can't eat merino. (I mean you can but I don't think your gastroenterologist would like that very much)

Happy Easter blog friends. Business has been booming, and I have been a busy bee. I have been working on a huge order for Gate City Yarns for some weeks now. I realize more and more that the difference between a real life full size business and my home industry is a lot of extra hands and way more equipment than I can fit into our unventilated kitchen. I found myself motivated to purchase BRAND NEW 12 quart dye pots, and I mean really brand new not just brand new to me. I have been working with them for a few weeks now but I am not sure if they are working out for me. I am developing blotching issues with some of the merino I have been dyeing. I have been working my way through a whole list of possible causes: ph balance, too small of pots, restricted water movement, and foaming among other things. Every time I think I have it figured out and fixed, the next batch will look like I space dyed it. When you make food for a living, if you mess a dish up you just eat it, put what do you do with a bunch of busted wool?

I have also been doing a lot of sewing recently too. I tried to make a super cute box bag like the one I saw on the Cast On blog, but I cut the corners the wrong direction. So now I have a super cute bag that is just strangely shaped. I also made a cozy for my iPad.

While I have been working on one knitting pattern only for the last few months (this is not my style, normally I have three or four patterns I am working on at the same time) I decided to start a pair of boot socks out of some Liberty Wool I have been hiding in the back of the yarn store closet. Liberty Wool is really popular right now, so much so that we have trouble keeping it in the shop. I love the greens in this yarn and have been using guilt to keep myself from knitting it before now. But life is all about moments of weakness and learning to embrace them. I live without a single yarn regret.

Here is a bonus photo of our sad puppy after a bath:

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yarn Porn

Today I bring you a collection of photos of my purchases from the yarn sale on Saturday.

This is all the yarn I added to the stash for under twenty bucks.

Lots of sock yarn for U-Socks.

This is my favorite buy, it is a tiny Opal sample ball with tiny matching ball band.

Did I mention the eight skeins of 100% silk La Luz by Fiesta Yarns? 880 yards of silk for $8.00. I can not wait to knit a summer shell or sleeveless top out of this stuff.


And the bonus picture... Little Liza our puppy was clothed by a four year old. I find this hysterical, not to mention the image on the front of the tiny shirt is a kitten wearing bunny ears. Liza is not a fan of graphic T's.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yarn sale day = stash blowout

Yesterday at my local yarn haunt they had a yard sale type yarn sale. People brought their yarn that they could part with and marked it with prices they would sell it for. They Tina opened the flood gates and let the yarn crazed masses in. Anything you sold of your yarn stash was then given back to you in a gift certificate to the store. What a a genius idea. I unfortunately had to work my other job yesterday, but I did get first crack at all the lovely discount yarns. I have been working slowly over the past year to trim the fat from my yarn stash. I have donated and chosen projects based on what I have on hand. Yes I am am still tempted by yarns here and there and a few of them had filled the spaces I created. All of this aside, it only took $13.75 to reinflate my stash once again to an almost disgraceful level. At least some of it is business yarn. Still no comments on my raccoon problem. I need solutions people, please help.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Dear John Letter

As with every post that occurs more than a few days after my last one, so much has happened. Our chickens are having ups and downs. Last week they went out into the rolling pen in our yard. This pen is just a fenced in court with a nest box that sits on top for the birds to roost in at night. Then I put wheels on the rear of the thing so that when you want to move it you just lift the front end and roll it to a new spot. I built it for under $50, and yes it is a rickety ass P.O.S. but it gets the job done. Well this week we had a visit from the boogyman himself. Turns out we have a raccoon problem. This is not like the raccoon problem that one of our friends has, where the bastard keeps crapping on his roof (this same friend likens his raccoon to a huge pooping dog with wings). No, our raccoon came by and ate three of my chicken friends, halving our populous in a single night. Bastard. B saw it at some point slinking through our neighborhood looking sketchy. So I am publicly announcing it now,

Dear Mister Raccoon,
Do not fuck with me.


P.S. Do not force me to wear you as a hat.

I think enough said there. Anyway, as the three remaining chickens are back out in the coop after some serious storms and lots of therapy. They are eating bugs and grass and enjoy clucking in the sun. I think they think that the risk is worth it.


I wrote the first part of this blog and then went outside to take a photo of my happy chickens, only to find one dead and two missing. It seems that I wrote my dear raccoon letter to late. This causes so many problems, besides the very sad passing of my flock. Raccoons are persistent, and once they decide they want something they do not stop. Nothing caged will be safe in our yard. Also we have three (now) dogs, and they sleep inside but what if this jerk raccoon decided to get himself all rabied up and take a stroll through our yard in the middle of the afternoon? The raccoon must go. I will admit I am having fantasies of hunting down that little masked rat, but I do not think I could kill something with thumbs. I also am not sure if it is right to kill something to pay for the lives it has taken. Racky is just being a raccoon, doing hood rat things with his friends. Some man who was visiting work instructed me on how to catch Racky, and by catch he meant use a trap and they set the trap in a river to drown him. Then this man and I discussed if Racky had a soul, which I found myself surprised by since I do not think of myself as a religious person but I was adamant that Racky had rights and a soul. What do you think I should do readers? Should I avenge the loss of my chicks or do I attempt to relocate the bastard? Do I protect my home or do I protect Racky's rights?

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

So much time, so little time...

I can not believe that the last time I blogs the puppies were little wiggly worms, and now they are tiny dogs. When did this happen?

In the weeks since they have joined us, B and I have been very busy creating. We had a table at the first ever Hand-to-Hand Market in Greensboro NC. We had a very successful day, and by we I mean I was at work and B was manning the table. Take a look at some of the things we had on the table.

I also have come in possession of an old school knitting machine. I am a little bit in love. It slices, it dices, it knits stuff really, really fast. So I have been coming up with new products I can make on it. The new big thing for me is the U-Sock. I want to make 100 of them to protect the paint jobs of every bike in town.

I Built That got a big shout out here. Congrats baby, do it big!

We have been adding to the family. If you live within a 5 mile radius of me, I may be forcing eggs on you real soon.