Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Adventures in Allergies

For the past two years, we've been battling Olive's increasing attempts to scratch off her lip. The vet has come to the conclusion that it's allergy-related but we couldn't find enough of a pattern to make any specific connections. So last week, we took her to a specialist to get allergy tested.

Turns out, she is allergic to many things. Specially, grasses (june, timothy and bahia), molds (penicillin and aspergillus), weeds (marshelder, careless, sage, Russian thistle, English plantain), trees (elm, oak and boxelder), as well as staph, fleas, and house dust mites.

Whee!

So yesterday, we started a new thing. Allergy shots.

Adventures in Allergies

The dermatologist says that it will take anywhere from three months to a year for the results to show, but from now until forever Dan and I will be giving Olive allergy shots every other week (though the first eight weeks she gets weekly shots). Hopefully this will allow Olive to retain her lip!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's That Time of Year...

DFW FiberFest!

Dan and I went last weekend and yes, we got yarn.

Must Stash Modern Tumbleweed Yarn Passion Fruit
Tumbleweed Yarn Candy Necklace Must Stash Polka Dot Afro Circus
Must Stash Wish You were Here Tumbleweed Yarn Kermit Lazy Cat Endurance

We were much better behaved than in past years, which is good because there are no unused shelves in my yarn cabinet that my yarn can expand to anymore. I still have room, but really, I gotta knit faster!

By the way, the bottom row is Dan's part of the haul. I think he's as addicted to me knitting socks as I am!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

That's Right

I made more socks!

Stripes

I still have to work on my placemats (I have two done and about a quarter done with the third) and my Flying Geese socks (which are stuck just before the heel). Maybe I can get some good work on those done before I have to have some easy knitting and wind up casting on for another pair of vanilla socks.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pictures!

Here's our shiny new thing!

Shiny New Shiny New

Little bit of a learning curve, as with all new things. Used to our old fridge, we cranked the cold up on this one and ended up freezing some produce. Oops. (It didn't help that our fridge thermometers are apparently shot.) But after having it for a week, I think we are getting to know the new refrigerator pretty well. So far, we both are really happy with it!

Also, I picked out my birthday present while were refrigerator shopped: a new stove. It's awesome in that it can be used as either a big oven or two smaller ovens (I want a double oven so badly) but yeah, it's $1500. So maybe I'll get it for my 40th birthday! After buying a whole cow and a new refrigerator, I'm not sure if we will forget the financial pain of February by the time July rolls around.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust

Keeping with the general theme of Dan and I being too cheap to actually buy new appliances until one dies, we are getting a new refrigerator tomorrow!

Our current one has been making a lovely grinding noise for the past couple of weeks and last night it stopped maintaining temperature in the freezer. Basically, we have two decently cold refrigerator sides and no freezer side. So our new fridge will be delivered tomorrow and in the mean time, we know the closest place to get dry ice. Rock on!

Friday, February 19, 2016

More Kniting

This year I've challenged myself to knit some actual sock patterns instead of making mostly plain socks. Which is why I have yet to make a vanilla pair of socks this year. Pair four is no exception.

Zigzagular Socks

My mom mentioned needing another pair of socks so she gets these, putting her in a tie with my aunt for the most socks made for people that don't actually live with me. (That required number? Two (and a pair of slippers). Yeah, most of the socks I make are MINE! A few are Dan's.)

Next up, I'm working on (shockingly) two projects at once.

Mitered Square Placemats Flying Geese Socks

On the left, a set of placemats. The in process one pictured is actually completed now and looks lovely. I'm almost half way through a second one but since I want to do six, I've got a ways to go. (Sadly, I've already figured out the time each placemat takes to make. Ten hours. Gah.)

With the inevitable length of that project, I decided to see if I couldn't throw some socks in there too, so a couple of days ago I started the project on the right, which are going to be Flying Geese socks. (As in the quilt pattern, not the animal.) Dude, it's hard. So hard. I think I have it figured out but only maybe. I'm pretty sure that this pattern is going to drive me straight into the arms of a plain stockinette socks. But hopefully they'll look really cool!

Next up (when I eventually finish these): busy purple socks and some obnoxious pants. Oh yeah.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

They're In Space!

I didn't post about it, but last year I read Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series (2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001: The Final Odyssey). I didn't love them (though they were interesting enough for me to read the whole series) so I didn't mention them. Plus, if I had said anything, it likely would have been weird quotations from the book, possibly with some irritated commentary added.
Space pods were not the most elegant means of transport devised by man, but they were absolutely essential for construction and maintenance work in vacuum. They were usually christened with feminine names, perhaps in recognition of the fact that their personalities were sometimes slightly unpredictable. Discovery's trio were Anna, Betty, and Clara.
Yeah, I could say a few things about that.

A post devoted to those books would have ending up being rather long. And, while I didn't hate the books, reading them just left me with a sense of lost potential and, well, irritation.
Just as 2010: Odyssey Two was not a direct sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, so this book is not a linear sequel to 2010. They must all be considered as variations on the same theme, involving many of the same characters and situations, but not necessarily happening in the same universe.
Yes, the books weren't "linear sequels". A nice way of saying that the books contradicted each other.

But as awesome as contradictions in cannon is, there were bits that were even better!
[The students] had been helped - or hindered - by a team of four kongs, who Del Marco considered more trouble than they were worth. However, the students adored the genetically-enhanced gorillas, whom they treated like retarded but much-loved children. It was rumoured that the relationships were not always completely Platonic.
I... I just don't know what to say. I'm just going to leave that one there and slowly back away.

Anyway, while I did not love the books (and would be hard-pressed to say I even liked them) I did want to watch the movie version. Some movies are just classics, you know? So that's what I did yesterday.

Oh, I didn't watch the movie alone. I had company.

Movie Watching

Cocoa and I were equally unimpressed with the ten minute acid trip at the end of the film, but she really enjoyed the monkey-things at the beginning of the movie. I don't think either of us really needs to watch it again though.

Friday, February 5, 2016

One Day Late (But It Counts!)

It was slightly late (by a day) but Dan got his birthday socks!

Escalator Socks

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Official Socks!

Surprise! I've made socks!

Ennui Socks

Okay, in no way is this an actual surprise to anyone that has had even marginal contact with me or my blog. But still, it's exciting! More socks!

The colorway of the yarn is called Like, Totally Rad. That amuses me more than it probably should. Less amusing was the difference in the beginning and end of the skein. One end had lots of pink and on the other, that pink was significantly less intense. I'm sure you can tell which sock came from which end. But oh well, whatcha gonna do? I'm still going to wear the heck out of them.

Once these were done, naturally I cast on for more socks. But this time I'm actually knitting for someone not me. That's right - it's time for Dan to get more socks!

Escalator Socks

I might even try to finish them in time to call them a birthday present.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm Still High From the Fumes

I finished my bunny slippers!

Thrummed Bunny Slippers

They've been mostly finished for a handful of days now, but I was waiting for the weekend so I could spray the bottom with Plasti-Dip. I managed to not get a picture of it, but the soles are bright pink.

Even with the Plasti-Dip soles, I am a little concerned with their longevity. They are just so soft and squishy! My felted slippers are about to hit two years old (next month) and between holes and patching, I think they are about done. Of course, they didn't have any type of added wear resistance to their soles, but still. I'm not easy on my slippers. So I'm not sure how long the bunnies will last. We shall see!

In other news, I forgot to share a few things I knit last year for other people.

Mitts for Mom Claudia's Socks
Grace's Socks Bill's Socks

So that brings my sock total to just 14 - much smaller than last year's 30 - but I also did three pairs of fingerless mittens, a pair of gloves, a pair of shorts, four sweaters, a shrug, nine donuts, and a handful of other random little things. All totaled, I ended up in the same ballpark yardage-wise as last year so I'm pleased.

Not sure what my knitting plans are this year. I might end up splitting my focus a bit because I want to learn to sew and how to make sauerkraut. In the mean time, I'm knitting some socks.

Socks for Euni

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Almost 20 Years Later

I managed to finish my sweater just before ringing in the new year. And now it's all blocked and lovely and I've been wearing it today and I love it so much!

The Sweater Formerly Known as Shokei

It's hard to believe, but this sweater is made from the yarn of my old school uniform the year I was in Japan. Almost twenty years later and I'm wearing it again - in a cuter incarnation - and that makes me so happy!

(Significantly less happy was the task of actually knitting the sweater. There were lots of weak spots in the yarn which resulted in a lot of ends to weave in (you can see some on the back of the sweater above). I had to redo the bottom a couple of times and there were lots of issues that popped up through the process. I thought a couple of times I would have to rip back and start all over, but everything end up okay in the end and the sweater is awesome! Yay!)

Cidering, Part Six

Angry Orchard Hop'n Mad Apple

Angry Orchard Hop'n Mad Apple
5 out of 5

The smell is really nice - light, refreshing, sweet and crisp - with both apple and grape notes. The taste is more grape than apple - a crisp white grape. It's got some strong dessert wine notes to it along with a tartness at the end. You can totally taste the hops in the middle - some nice citrus sweet notes as well as something that, when strong in hops reminds me of dill pickle. It's not dill pickle here though, just "flavorful, smooth hop". This one isn't super sweet - it's more of a dry sweet than a syrupy sweet, but it's nicely balanced on the refreshing side of things. And I think, while not very beer like, would be a great by-the-pool refreshment.
Square Mile Cider Co Spur & Vine Hopped Apple Cider

Square Mile Cider Co Spur & Vine Hopped Apple Cider
2 out of 5

Okay, the smell is definitely hoppy. A pungent, almost-pickle-like level of hops. I'm not a huge hoppy beer girl, so I was concerned, but the taste is a lot milder than the smell. There is a short note of fruity apple on the end, but the majority of the taste is very beer-like though without the typical strong bitterness. Dan said it is very much lager-like and I completely agree.

For those looking for a replacement for a kind of regular beer (Coors, etc), I think this would be a good GF replacement. I've never cared much for American lagers though so this one isn't for me. Woodchuck Hopsation


Woodchuck Hopsation
3 out of 5

The smell is tart and grape-y with a note of not-quite-pickle hops. The hops make it slightly bitter, but it pairs nicely with the tartness of the apples. There are some dry champagne notes to it and a nice aftertaste with some good hop/citrus notes that aren't bitter.

Overall this just falls flat for me. It's not offensive, just sadly boring. It gives hints of greatness but just doesn't deliver. Dan, however, says it tastes a bit of sour, a bit of funk and nothing really worth anything. He hated it.

Virtue Percheron

Virtue Percheron
4 out of 5

The taste is different than I expected - it's wet and sweet with a little pucker at end but it blends with the front sweetness so it is very well balanced.It makes me think of white wine and grape juice. I can taste the funk from the yeast on my tongue after a sip and it reminds me of El Gobernador but this funk does not taste of bandaids; this has nice levels of funk.

This one is probably not my favorite cider, but it is really well done. Dan and I both think it might be a bit sophisticated tasting for our general style but we do quite like it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Texting Gloves

My recently completed gloves are all done and dry. It's very exciting!

Gloves

And something even more exciting, I added in some conductive thread in the index fingertips and thumbs so that I can operate my phone with them. And it works! The thread is really hard to see, too, so the gloves look completely normal.

Gloves

The two fingertips on the left have the thread sewn into them (using duplicate stitch) compared to the right-most fingertip, which has none. You can kind of see the difference - the thread is a dark gray - but it's pretty hard to spot. But it works beautifully and makes me want to make more gloves so I can use the conductive thread for them!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nummies

I made creme brûlée yesterday. It wasn't perfect but it was definitely tasty!

Coconut Creme Brûlée

I have figured out a thing or two I want to tweak for next time, and there definitely will be a next time! This experiment could be very dangerous for our waistlines.