Sunday, February 28, 2010

Aint bad

Two out of three medals aint bad, I think.

Though ravelympics isn't technically over, there's no way J's gloves will get done.

My wrist started hurting late Friday night, so I threw in the towel, but not literally, because that would hurt my wrist. I don't have carpal tunnel, and I'd like it to stay that way.

So I took Saturday off of crafting, and this evening I made my first wet felting. I had checked out Felt by India Flint and Toyko Sugiwaka a few weeks ago from the library, but had been so devoted to knitting that I hadn't tried anything up until now.


iFelt back

The book had instructions for the flower, and for a gadget cozy, the holes for the screen and sensor were my modification. Not bad, I think.

I also made scones.

Scones are this week's bake-along over on the Let's Cook group on ravelry (cookies were last week). One of the members suggested this recipe. I was a little afraid that it wouldn't turn out since I don't own American measuring cups, and several websites had different conversions for cups to grams, but it turned out really good.

Anyone else do ravelympics this year? How did your projects turn out?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Can I make it?

The nice ravelympics volunteers have processed my Owl Cowl, so now I have another medal. Horah!

Two days ago I was certain that I wouldn't finish J's gloves in time, but I was able to more or less successfully withstand the call of social networks and the internet yesterday, and the prospects are looking a lot better now.Even more so because the rain and snow has come back to Scotland, so I might not want to go on my errands this weekend (art supplies, cheese, cabbage, you know the basics).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Owl cowl has eyes

I got my first ravelympics medal for the mittens today. Woohooo.

I ended up choosing a blue button for it, but decided to only put a the button on the right hand for a fully functional mitten, and keep the left hand button free because I think it looks prettier that way. So the best of both worlds, I think.
knitted mitten hello

For a cookie bake along this weekend I made fortune cookies.Fortune Cookie
Yumm. The first batch didn't work out so great, most of them cracked and crumbled as I was folding them, but the second day's batch turned out much better, I think it's because the batter thickened overnight.

Next week's bakealong is scones. If you're on ravelry feel free to join in, you are on ravelry, aren't you?

M cowl owl is finished. The knitting was finished a few days ago, but and it was a very quick knit, but it was also in dire need of blocking. I put the eyes on just an hour ago.
knitted Owl Cowl

My third and last ravelympics project is to finish a WIP, gloves for Jessamy. I've never made gloves before, and this is going sooo slow. The cable pattern is from Cookie A's book, Sock Innovation.
Glove in progress
I hope I can finish them in time!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just call me destructo

I used to think that invisibility (being able to walk in and out of rooms without anyone noticing) was my superpower, but now I'm thinking I have a knack for breaking knitting tools. Late last night, as I was completing the EZ sewn bind off for convertible Bella's Mittens (just found out that they aren't technically "glittens" because they don't have mitten-like fingers) I did this:

broken knitting instruments*

Broke a tapestry needle.

This is the third time in as many months that I broke a knitting instrument.

On Christmas day I broke my first 2.0 mm needle, but I was determined to continue knitting and succeeded in gluing it in such a way that it wouldn't catch on the yarn. Perhaps I was overly tense that day and knit tighter than normal, who knows. Last month though I broke my second 2.0 mm bamboo by accidentally leaning on it with my knuckle. I took the hint and bought another set of needles.

*I didn't actually realize until I took this picture that perhaps I don't have to save those broken needles.

Thankfully I have some metal tapestry needles, and was able to finish weaving in the ends. It's not completely done, I still need to add the buttons, which I'll probably do this weekend, but I'm glad to be moving on to my next ravelympics project, The Owl Cowl.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Different cities

My main reservations when I arrived in Edinburgh were
1. it was cold
2. i didn't know my way around
3. i couldn't find one of those stores that sells cheaply made things for cheap prices.

But now that I've been here for over a month I've realized ...
1. ya, it is cold, so I better just get used to it and buy better gloves (and knit some mittens)
2. finding my way around has a nice way of sorting itself out over time, with a fair amount of wondering around
3. it might just be a wonderful thing that those cheap stuff stores are a bit out of the way.

Edinburgh has a lot of neat, independent stores, and I'm wondering if it's partially to do with reason #3.

In Newcastle there was no place in the centre of town to buy fresh bread from an independent baker.

But this morning, I walked three blocks from my house and bought this:
Bread from The Manna House. I've already been there a few times for sweet treats.

In Newcastle, if you wanted non-acrylic yarn you had to go to a department store, or get on the metro and leave the city centre.

But today I bought these needles at a yarn store 5 minutes walk from town.
And this
is from a neat little store called The Treasure Trove. A charity shop that sells hand-made items. Tablet is a traditional Scottish sweet made from butter, milk, and sugar. I haven't yet eaten one, so I was very happy to see it at the store.

And now I should go back to ravelympics and knitting my warm glittens.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 3 of Ravelympics

Valentines Day 2010 has come and gone. And my lemon cake was baked ...
Lemon Cake

but is not yet entirely gone. But we did manage to eat about half of it last night, and I managed to not eat any of it today until the late afternoon. I'm sure we'll manage to eat the rest of it tonight. It was a simple recipe pattern, requiring mixing a bunch of ingredients then baking for an hour. It may not have tasted as superb as an expensive, pre-made one at a bakery, but it tasted sweet and was still warm, right out of the oven.

I'm into my third day of ravelympics. I finished one glitten around 1pm. Also known as a convertible mitten.

bella glitten mittens for ravelympicsIt's now 6 and I haven't started on the second glitten! I blame social networks and almost by extension random and interesting links (like this one about saving the gansey). I'm afraid that the wondrous thing that is the internet, without which there would be no ravelympics, will lead to my poor ravelympic scores.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 1 of Ravelympics

It's 10:30, nearing the end (at least for this time zone) of day one of the 2010 Ravelympics. This is my first year doing it, and I've had fun. Lots more projects and pictures and knitting in general to see on ravelry and twitter.

The first project I'm doing is the Bella Glittens, taken from Mariamaria's modification of Bella's Mittens.
Not bad progress I think considering I did some errands in the morning (so I could stay inside and knit all day tomorrow - woohoo), didn't start until noon, and spent a lot of the day tending to Jessamy, who has a cold.

I'm hoping to have this one finished by tomorrow, and the project done by the end of Monday.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

From pieces into a whole

My latest sewing project started off life as
The interfacing (my first time using it) and the fabric became this
The embroidery thread, with the help of the bobbins, became
burgandy bobbin lace

A little bit of thread became this strange embroidery
embroidered apron

Then I combined them together to make a very amusing project.
liquid apron

I've already washed some dishes with the now clothed (and I'm sure much warmer now as well) dishwashing liquid. And it really did make washing dishes a lot more amusing. I used these instructions for making the apron.

Friday, February 05, 2010

In Tune

I finally bought a tuner for the ukulele! I am very happy about my purchase because I was having to tune the uke using a YouTube tuning video about once a week, really annoying and time consuming and probably not very accurate. I've been trying to learn my first non-folk song, the ukelized version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, though I think I'm several weeks away from a sharable video.

Only one finished project this week - a lunch box for J. I still can't sew straight, but it didn't really matter for this project.

Almost finished that sock I started last month, in fact I would have finished it at the time of this writing, had I not realized sooner that I went about an inch and a half past the point where I needed to do the toe decreases.

And the last bit of news, twice this week I made baked tortilla samosas.
The original idea for tortilla samosas came from a guest on a fun British cooking show called Hairy Bikers. I made these using a combination of these two recipes.

Monday, February 01, 2010


We had beautiful weather this weekend. Cold, of course, but sharp and clear and lovely.

Perfect weather to finally visit the Edinburgh Farmers Market. It was actually bigger than I thought it would be, though different from outdoor markets that I'm used too - a large portion of stalls being meat-related. Game, venison, boar. And although I'm cooking meat in my new cooking class (today's meat was bacon), I'm still not ready to buy from a specialist meat monger.

For the complete opposite reason (knowing I'd go buying crazy) I also wouldn't let myself get close to the cheese stall. We did however buy a few veggies.

I love photographs of plants.

I like photographs of architecture too, but even the interestingly-shaped, non boxy type of building and monuments don't look as ...

organic as a cabbage.

Plus, you could spend a long time taking pictures of a Gothic Revival church, but you can't take it home and cook it. And I'm a fan of practicalities.