Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, March 1, 2024

A Sweater, a Quilt, and Several Mugs

I got it into my head that the next time I blogged would be to show off my finished Dziadzi, and then it took me a while to track down buttons, and then it took me a couple weeks to actually find time to take pictures of it, and now here we are, in March. Whoops.

Anyway, Dziadzi (Ravelry project link) is done, and I'm smitten. I really enjoyed knitting this, and I'm very excited to have a neutral wool pullover to add to my wardrobe. This was also a pretty quick knit, once you set aside the month and a half break to work on xmas knits and the days I lost when Coleslaw got her mouth on it and ate the needles, forcing me to wait for new ones to arrive. 

(I have lost count of the number of sets of knitting needles she's eaten. It's at least thirteen. She is a menace. I love her.)

In other news, I finally had the money to order mugs for my beloved mug collection and I got them all unpacked and set out. I love my mug collection, and it's been very difficult to have them packed up and stashed in a closet for the past year. (Since unpacking them, there is now room in said closet for my mops and broom, so they aren't just leaning up against the wall of my living room anymore.)


 

I was afraid that hanging the shelves would be difficult—I really struggle assembling flatpack furniture, so while I do order a lot of things from IKEA, it always fills me with a bit of dread. Fortunately, these went up incredibly easily, and I actually had a lot of fun hanging them. The shelves are the Mosslanda picture ledge, which I chose because of the lip along the front edge. 

Another thing I did this week was pull my current quilting project out! A couple months before I left South Dakota, I tripped over a chair and fell on my quilting frame, breaking it, so for my birthday last September I asked for a new one. The past few months have been crazy, so I only just unpacked and assembled the new frame this week, but it's been so nice having a quilt out to work on. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Xmas Knits, Finally

I finally mailed out my family's xmas presents last week, and everyone has now received and opened their gifts, so I can finally share my two xmas knits with you all! 

Up first are my mother's socks (Ravelry link), which I knit for the GAL on Ravelry. The pattern is Book Stash Socks, by Nailya Plaskey, which was a really enjoyable knit! The colors are brighter than what I tend to use for myself these days, but they sure were fun to knit up (Zwerger Garn Opal Sweet & Spicy in Fruchtgummi). I did modify the pattern so I could knit them top-down, as is my preference, and, as always, I swapped in my favorite heel and usual toe. I definitely plan to knit another pair of these for myself sometime, but I already have at least three socks on the needles for myself, and I am, admittedly, terrible at focusing on knitting socks except for my mother's xmas pair, so who knows when I'll actually get around to them.



Next is my brother's hat (Ravelry link)! I knit him a Musselburgh for xmas a couple years ago, and when I asked him this year what he wanted, he said, "I like that hat you made me," so it went right back into my queue. He gave me three color choices to choose from so I'd be confident he'd get something he liked and so there'd be some element of surprise for him, and I chose my favorite (honestly, I love this green so much that I was tempted to keep the hat for myself—Knit Picks Palette in Larch Heather). 




Since finishing my gift knitting, I've been back to work on my Dziadzi, which I'd started for NaKniSweMo. I only managed to get up to the front and back divide on the body before having to switch over to xmas knits, but since picking it back up I've finished the body and one sleeve, and I'm hoping that I can bang out the rest of the second sleeve this week. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Goodbye 2023

Hello friends! When we last met, I was gearing up for a very busy three weeks, but between work and some things in my personal life, it was nonstop crazy up until Christmas. I'm just finally pulling myself out of the fugue I've been in for the past couple months and trying to find some kind of feeling of balance.

Coleslaw continues to be a perfect puppy, and everyone adores her. She'll be seven months old tomorrow, and I can honestly say the past four and a half months with her have been a nonstop adventure. She continues to be intelligent and curious and excellent at finding and chewing on things she oughtn't. We celebrated her first Chanuka and I managed to get one (1) decent non-blurry picture of us:

Because of the things in my personal life I alluded to above, I was traveling for most of Chanuka. We celebrated Night One on time, but then I decided to pause and we celebrated nights two through eight when I got back home. 

While I was out of town, her groomer/boarder/daycare did Christmas photos as a fundraiser for new playground equipment, and they are the best fifteen dollars I've ever spent:




Probably my favorite one is of her doing a perfect Kubrick stare:


Christmas itself was a little weird. It was the first time that my family hasn't been all together, and I also had to work at my retail job on the 23rd and 24th, which was exhausting. We did family video calls on Christmas Eve (to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol) and on Christmas morning (to open presents), and while it was different than years past, it was good to be together that way. 

Coleslaw got tons of new toys, which she loves, but within an hour of opening them she got very overstimulated and needed a nap, so we napped for most of the rest of the day.


We also managed an obligatory family Christmas selfie, again managing only one (1) decent non-blurry shot:


Because of all the craziness that took over November and December, I have still not managed to send my family their Christmas presents, and, in fact, I am still not finished knitting one of them. Fingers crossed that I can get that done soon. 

I got a couple days off from my library job for Christmas and New Year's, which I mostly spent sleeping, since the past few months have been exhausting and draining. I'm glad I had those days, and I'm hopeful that I'm starting to feel like a human person again.

On Monday I noticed that the bag of veggie scraps in my freezer was full, so I made broth in the 1970s CrockPot I found at the thrift store several weeks ago:


 

For many years I said I didn't need a full-sized CrockPot since I am only one person, and I have a little Crock-ette that works for most things, but when I saw this one at the thrift store, I just knew I needed it. Antique appliances for the win.

Yesterday was my fifteenth Diaversary (anniversary of being diagnosed with diabetes), so, as always, I made a cake: 

 

It's a very good cake, and I'm very glad that diabetes hasn't taken me out yet, and I'm very grateful for my incredible care team and my insulin pump and glucose sensor (even though the alerts sometimes piss me off). 

Best wishes for 2024, friends. 2023 was hard in many ways, and the last couple months really kicked my ass. I'm proud of myself for handling the challenges that 2023 sent my way, even though they were hard and dealing with them really sucked. I'm hoping that this year I can feel more balanced and get back to doing more of the things that I love that I didn't really have time or energy for in 2023.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Post-Covid Catching Up

Oh, we have quite a bit to catch up on! I finally tested negative on Day 14, which was just in time for me to go to a conference for work last week. The next three weeks are pretty busy for me work-wise, but I'm giving myself a five day break over Thanksgiving to just read books and play with Coleslaw and knit, and it is the perfect light at the end of the tunnel for me. 

As I mentioned way back on Day 13, I managed to finish two knitting projects while I was sick! Up first is a (Ravelry Link) My Little Secret Crop Top out of leftover Cotton Fleece from my Rhys sample. This is my second My Little Secret, and it was just as enjoyable the second time. 



I started this way back in summer of 2022 and it languished over the course of moving and getting settled in Illinois, but I really wanted to get it off the needles and having lots of time to sit in front of Star Wars cartoons gave me the chance to do so.   

The second project (Ravelry link) Stormborn, which I started back in November because I thought it would be a quick knit. I was right, but again, this got set aside almost immediately as I started packing up my old apartment. I also don't usually use needles this big for large projects, so it took a while for me to find my rhythm with them. I fell in love with this sweater back in 2018 when it was first published, and the finished thing is just as cozy as I hoped. 



After taking several years off from NaNoWriMo and NaKniSweMo, because of grad school and moving, I've decided to try jumping back into both this year. Over the past few weeks I've been really craving a henley for my wardrobe, and I remembered some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Dove Heather in my stash that I think would look great knit up as a (Ravelry link) Dziadzi, which has been in my library for a while.    

I had to order new needles for it—Coleslaw is obsessed with yarn and needles, and she's eaten four sets of circular needles so far. I'm getting better at keeping things out of reach, but she is very smart and very crafty, and I've only managed to find a few spots that remain puppy-proof for longer than a couple of days. The needle I need should be here Wednesday, which is just in time to cast on for the month, so I'm crossing my fingers to avoid any shipping delays. 








Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Day 13

Yes, it's Day 13 since I tested positive, and yes, I'm still positive. My symptoms haven't been terrible, but I do have a sore throat and a cough still, although the fatigue seems to have passed. I've been hoping I'd be negative by now, but ALAS that wasn't in the cards for me. 

I have been reading a lot, and watching lots of tv. I've been on a Star Wars kick for several months now, and am watching through The Clone Wars and reading a bunch of Star Wars Novels. I also finally watched Cunk on Earth, after seeing clips of it shared on Instagram for ages. 

I've also finally gotten back into knitting regularly, and finished two projects that had been on the needles for a while. No photos yet, because my tripod is broken and I need to figure out how to fix it.

Coleslaw is loving having me home full-time—it's going to be a rough adjustment for us both when I'm (finally) recovered and can go back to the office! 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Covid

Well friends, it finally got me.

I felt like I was getting a cold on Thursday, and on Friday afternoon I thought, "I should test before going to my retail job this weekend, just to be sure," and sure enough, it wasn't a cold.

Fortunately my symptoms have been mild—a sore throat, a cough, some additional fatigue. I spent the weekend sleeping and reading, and this week I'll work partial days remotely. I've been drinking lots of hot water with lemon and honey and eating lots of breakfast sandwiches (this is the greatest thing I have ever bought for my kitchen).

Coleslaw is having trouble conceptualizing "being sick," and she is Very Begrudgingly giving up some playtime so I can get enough rest (read: she is finding New and Exciting Ways to Get in Trouble in the hopes that it'll make me play "run around the apartment" with her). Fortunately, between bouts of energy, she is still very cuddly, although we are both disappointed that play time is strictly limited to "fetch," "tug," and "tappy paws." 

I have been feeling better since Saturday, so hopefully I'm well on my way to being recovered and will test negative after my five-day quarantine, though I do have Sarah's fourteen-day saga haunting the back of my mind—fingers crossed that I don't have such a stubborn strain! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Teething and Mending

It has been a busy couple of weeks! Coleslaw is settling in great, but I perhaps underestimated just a little bit how much time puppies take up. Right now we're in a routine of three walks per day, plus indoor playtime (and lots of cuddles!). She is definitely feeling comfortable and at home, and she has taught herself how to climb on almost every surface in my apartment. My floor is absolutely littered with her toys, and it's incredible how much life she brings to my home.

(Teething is going about as well as can be expected.)


Over the past couple weeks I've managed to blow out the inner thighs of three pairs of jeans that I wear to my retail job, so this week I started tackling the mending pile. I have the first thigh of the first pair done, and I'm hoping that now that I've figured out my plan of attack the rest will go smoothly. I cut out a large patch from a dollar store fat quarter of quilting cotton and pinned it to the inside of the thigh. I then went in with dark blue sashiko thread (so it would blend in with the denim on the outside) and did a very quick and messy running stitch along the grain and both biases (I didn't go along the cross grain because I didn't want to compromise the stretch in that direction more than necessary). 

It's a thick patch, but quite comfortable, and hopefully it will hold up for a while before it needs reinforcement again. Coleslaw kept trying to get a hold of the thread while I was working on these (she is obsessed with string, and she's constantly tracking down yarn that isn't quite out of her reach) but hopefully I can tire her out enough that she'll just lie down and let me get the other thigh done before I work on Saturday!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Meeting Coleslaw

I got a puppy!

Meet Coleslaw! She's a two and a half month old terrier mix, and currently about four pounds. So far her favorite things appear to be climbing and chewing, although "jumping in the grass" seems to be moving up the ranks. She is so small—her entire head is smaller than my fist—and endlessly curious.

I sent an application in to the shelter last week, and on Friday her foster mom contacted me to set up a meeting, so yesterday I took a personal day to drive out, and she wriggled into my heart pretty quickly. (She actually wriggles a lot. It's the puppy energy.) (Yes, she picked out her own stuffed toy, and yes, she chose the octopus that's as big as she is.)


I wasn't really planning on a puppy—my mum had brought it up as a possibility, and I was initially hesitant about taking on all the work of training and socializing a puppy, but Coleslaw seemed like such a good fit. It's been so fun watching her explore so far, and I can't wait to see how she grows up. I'm already planning on enrolling us in puppy classes once she's gotten all her shots, and in the meantime we're working on name recognition (the shelter named her, so her foster mom has already been working on that with her) and getting used to the leash right now, as well as "come here." 


Coleslaw is such a tiny joy, and I'm so excited that we found each other. We got Mystic as a puppy when I was a teenager, and I'm really looking forward to sharing that lifelong relationship with Coleslaw as well.



Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Sweater and Organization

I hinted at this sweater last week, and here's proof of life. I love these colors, and I'm really hoping I did the stripe math correctly—I have five skeins of the gold, two of the orange, and just one of the darker mustard-ish color. My plan is a very basic drop-shoulder crew neck. It's not going super quickly, but I am enjoying the process. I've been doing a few rows in the evenings while watching tv—I'm on a Star Wars kick right now—and it's been a nice routine to get back into.

I've also been working on some organization in my apartment. My front closet has been a disaster since I moved in, with things just thrown in there. I got some storage bins to hold old knitting samples, so those are put away nicely, and I got my Christmas and Hanukkah decorations put away in there as well. The closet shelf was missing, so I had Lowe's cut down some six inch planks for me to replace it, which makes the closet so much more functional. There's still plenty of room for other things that I'll need to store in there, so I'm taking my time to make sure I'm making the most effective use of the space. So far I've freed up some space in my bedroom closet, which was very cramped, and I'm glad my clothes have some breathing room now! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Lake Time

Well, it has been a few weeks, hasn't it? I spent most of last week at a lake cottage with my family—I read five books, did a puzzle, and watched lots of waterfowl! 

It was a great getaway, and I was able to unplug and leave my phone in the other room a lot of the time, which was really nice. The cottage was perfect, and the lake was beautiful. It was a no-wake lake, so it stayed nice and quiet, and I saw lots of geese and ducks and even a few blue herons. 

I also started a new sweater with some vintage wool I picked up at a church bazaar (maybe last year??). I'm really loving it so far, but I don't have any proper pictures of it yet. I was hoping that starting something brand new and low-key would help me get my knitting mojo back, and I think it's helping. I'm certainly not knitting as much as I did three and four years ago, and I don't know if I'll get back to that level, but I'd like to knit a few times a week, at least. 

Hope August is treating you all well!