Rules for Feeding the Stash

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


Shasta is a pair of lightweight, cabled leg warmers. Knit in the round from the bottom up, the narrow cables and ribbing are reminiscent of tall grasses and flower stems.

Ravelry Link    Payhip Link

I've also transitioned my Ravelry and Payhip shops to tiered pricing. This is something I've been thinking about for a while, especially as we're dealing with runaway inflation and descending into a recession. My new base prices are $9 for accessories and $12 for garments, with discounted tiers at 20% off, 35% off, and 50% off. The discount codes are listed on each pattern page.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Spring Cleaning



This week I've been on a little bit of a tidying spree—turns out that organizing the buffet really kicked me into cleaning and organization mode! Over the weekend I cleaned my bedroom and vacuumed and mopped all my floors, which felt amazing, and Monday after work I tidied my desk. It had gotten a bit overrun with knitting projects and trash, and I had never 100% set up the cubbies, so it feels good to have everything set up and cleaned off.

My current knitting project is a shawl sample, and almost 100 grams into it I decided that I wanted a slightly different shape and ripped it out to start over. I'm now almost halfway through the yarn that I ripped out, and I'm feeling much better about the finished project. 

Hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Buffet Display and Library Books

This past weekend was pretty lazy overall, but I finally motivated myself enough to clear off the top of my buffet so that my vintage pyrex and crystal punch bowl can be displayed nicely! I'm very pleased with how this looks now. The buffet had kind of turned into a doom pile, so it's nice to actually see my things displayed. The dining table is still a mess, but someday I'll work on clearing that pile!

I've also been making regular trips to the public library. I actually read nine comics that I had checked out on Sunday, and immediately brought more books home to make up for it. This trunk is actually meant to be a combination coffee table/ottoman for the couch, but I don't have a better place to keep my mountain of library books right now. Someday! 

 This week I'm hoping to get a new pattern off to my tech editor and finish a couple books I have on Libby before they get slurped back to the digital library. I also need to (finally) get my bike chain back on its gears and fill the tires now that we're firmly out of winter.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Week by Numbers

1. Nothing much has happened since last week. Getting the couch completely wiped me out and so I spent lots of last week and almost the entire weekend napping on said couch. 10/10, I love having a couch.

2. Thanks for the Scrounger Cap love! I know I technically released Bulky A (Ravelry) (Payhip) just in December, but I was kind of in a fugue state from job hunting and moving stress, so I'm really just starting to feel like I'm coming back from my little grad school hiatus. 

3. I have a couple more projects on the needles that I can't wait to show you—some design samples, some other people's patterns. I'm still not knitting quite as much as I did before grad school, but I'm definitely getting back into the swing of it.

4. I did manage to leave my apartment on Saturday just long enough to go to the library, and I maybe went a little crazy. I checked out a bunch of cookbooks to read through, as well as an assortment of other books. My Libby app is also currently full, so I need to get reading!

5. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Drink a fancy beverage! Pet an animal!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Scrounger Cap

I knew when I finished Scrounger that I wasn’t quite done with this little lace pattern. After I moved and was unpacking my stash, I came across this mushroom-colored skein, and immediately thought that the lace pattern from Scrounger would be perfect on a cap.

The Scrounger Cap is perfect for early spring and autumn foraging, for forest trail adventures as the world wakes up from winter and as autumn creeps in after the summer months. Wear it around your neighborhood while you spot the first dandelions creeping up through the cracks in the sidewalk.

The Scrounger Cap is available in seven sizes and includes both charted and written instructions.

Use code FORAGE to get 25% off Scrounger Cap through Monday, May 1.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Enter Couch

On Friday, while scrolling Facebook, I found a couch.

I've been keeping an eye out, despite not really having couch money, and knowing that getting a couch would require renting a van and lining up some lifting assistance. Finding my dresser a couple weeks ago reminded me that you have to keep your eyes open constantly so you don't miss the perfect opportunity when it arises, and when I saw this couch, I knew it was a perfect opportunity. 

I lined up a van and my new Work BFF and I drove down Sunday afternoon to pick it up, and I am so, so pleased with it. It fits in my space perfectly, it's the perfect length for me to lie curled up on, AND it's a sleeper and unfolds to a double bed. It looks incredible with my yellow blanket and elephant pillows, and it's a Lee Lee-approved napping spot. 

My living room is now so close to complete. I want another bookcase and a bar cart, and maybe an ottoman, and then it's just finishing setting up my tchotchkes. The couch fits in perfectly with my chairs and divides the sitting area from the dining nook really nicely. 

The couch was also the last really big piece of furniture I needed. I do need another tall bookcase for the craft room, and I'll need a cutting table in there eventually as well, but those won't require quite as much coordination as getting the couch in here did.

(I actually had to empty and move the bookcase closest to the door to make the entryway wide enough for the couch to fit in, which was inconvenient, to say the least, but ultimately worth it.)

I have been very much enjoying having a couch to sit and lie down on this week, and it's nice knowing that I have additional space for guests beyond my air mattress if I need it—also, it'll be nice to be able to open the sofa bed to block large shawls on the next time I make one! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

And There Was Water

I *was* planning to tell you all about my fun weekend running little errands around town and making chicken broth (I am becoming very evangelical about boiled broths vs. simmered broths), but then on Sunday evening I had some dirty water come up through my kitchen drain. This has happened with some regularity since I moved in—a combination of being in the basement and having old pipes is what it sounds like. I also noticed a puddle on the floor in front of the dishwasher, which was new. I took some pictures, threw a towel down on the puddle, and went to bed with the assumption that it'd either clear out overnight or I'd call maintenance in the morning.

Well, come Monday morning there were puddles all over my apartment. My entire kitchen, most of my living room, my dining nook, and the hallway back towards the bedrooms. Everything smelled like sitting water, and after an incredulous text to my coworker, I submitted a maintenance ticket. 


Fortunately, Monday is one of my wfh days, so I was able to close myself and Lee Lee in the craft room/home office/guest room so she wouldn't wander around getting all wet and gross. Maintenance came and cleaned up all the water and drained the dishwasher, which had a couple inches of dirty water sitting in it, and they helped me move some of the furniture that had gotten a bit damp and hang my rug over the shower curtain. Hopefully they'll put a bug in the landlord's ear about the pipes, because they've been coming out at least once a month to deal with my kitchen since I moved in.

As you can guess, Monday was a very long day. I had to run out and pick up a box fan to speed up drying and get the old water smell out of my apartment, and I had to bring a bucket of wet towels down to the complex laundromat. The box that held my antique doll collection got damp, so I had to unpack all of those girls, which meant I needed to put up the curtain rod in my bedroom so they could go on top of the clothes shelves (and not stay piled on my bed). My apartment is still pretty chaotic, but nothing got damaged, and this morning it looked like the rug was finally dry, so I'll be able to put the dining nook back together.

(Up until all this happened I had an absolutely lovely weekend. Saturday I went to a yard sale, poked around the craft store, picked up some new books at the library book sale, took a leisurely stroll through a couple different grocery stores, and finally moved my giant philodendron to a larger pot. On Sunday I made broth and roasted an entire bunch of asparagus for dinner, and I finished a hat sample and got the pattern over to my TE—a pretty perfect weekend!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

A Seder, a Fire, and a Visit

It has been such a busy week! Last Wednesday night I was invited to a seder by one of the ladies I've met at the synagogue, and it was a lot of fun—and I got to meet some more people from the area. I took Thursday off work because my mother visited Friday through Sunday and my apartment desperately needed cleaning. Somehow, I managed to get everything done, and then about an hour before my mum actually arrived, the dryer in my building caught fire. Everyone is okay, we didn't need to evacuate, and the firefighters got it put out and carried the dryer out to the lawn. The laundry room is right across the hall from my apartment, and the bottom floor at least smelled pretty smoky for a couple hours. 

The visit with my mum was great. We poked around some thrift stores and I got some new books (surprise) and, in an incredible stroke of luck, a 100% Shetland wool knit waistcoat. We also visited two of the bookstores in town, and we had lunch at a Thai restaurant with an incredible gluten free selection (it might be my new favorite restaurant!). We also checked out a forest preserve about twenty minutes from me—there's a botanical garden and museum there that we didn't look at, but once more things start growing I'll definitely head back out there to explore more. 

We also checked out a couple grocery stores in the area—one I'd popped into a couple times real quick, but hadn't really explored, and the other is a food co-op that has a ton of cool stuff. My mum loaded me up on fresh fruit and veggies, which I am very grateful for, and we also got kale and mushrooms for scrambled eggs on Sunday morning! 

I'm so glad she was able to make it out here for a long weekend. I know I just saw her in February, but that was just for a day, and I was mostly focused on getting and moving the rest of my stuff. So far this week I've been catching up on rest—usually my weekends are very laid back—but I'm starting to get back into my regular rhythm. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

In the Kitchen: Ramen Edition

So, I love cooking. I don't do it every day (or even every week) because I don't have the energy for that, but I love it. Because moving is super stressful I haven't really cooked in months, but this weekend I finally got back into it, with some delicious results.

A couple weeks ago I was stressed, and as a coping mechanism I started looking up information on making tonkotsu ramen at home. I didn't end up making it that weekend, and it got sort of shuffled to the back of my head as a fun future project. Last week while I was doing my grocery run, I planned to get stuff to make chicken broth, but didn't have any luck. What the market did have, though, was pork bones and pork belly, so Operation Homemade Tonkotsu Ramen was a go.

The broth spent all day Friday boiling—a full, rolling boil for twelve hours—and it made my apartment smell so good. The resulting broth is such a beautiful color, and it's so smooth. It's certainly the prettiest broth I've ever made.

The pork belly needed to cure for twelve hours, so I put it together at about 8pm on Friday so I could cook it late Saturday morning. It's a 50/50 salt and sugar cure, and then I cooked it at a low temperature for a couple hours. Again, my apartment smelled incredible, and the pork belly came out beautiful.

The finished ramen was such a treat—I normally just make my ramen with some homemade vegetable bouillon and a spoonful of miso, so this was a nice change, and the broth and pork belly both came out so good. I had two bowls over the weekend, and I have about six bowls' worth left of the broth and four servings of pork belly in the freezer for the future. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

In Which We Find a Dresser

Happy Wednesday, friends. I know I missed last week, but Wednesday came and I realized I didn't have anything to share with you all, but THIS week I have another apartment update!

One of the things that's been on hold has been my bedroom—I needed a dresser, and I didn't want to get my television all set up until I had one. Since moving is expensive and I have to get used to getting paid fortnightly instead of monthly, I haven't had furniture money on hand since my big Ikea order, and I was afraid that I'd have to keep waiting for a dresser. However, thanks to some dedicated Facebook checking, I found this guy just eighteen hours after he'd been put on the curb. 

It was a little bit of an adventure getting this thing back to my place. It's about half solid wood and half high-density composite, so it's definitely sturdy. I stacked the drawers in the back seat of my car and managed to walk the body of the dresser around to the trunk—it stuck out, but I didn't have too far to drive. Once I got it home, I gave it a wipe down with a microfiber rag and some cleaner, and now it's sitting nicely in its new home. 

I'd been debating where to put the bulk of my unicorn collection, but I think they look so good here! Once I was finished setting them up I realized it might have been smarter to wait until I'd found all the cords for the television, but here we are anyway. 

With the dresser acquired, my bedroom is just about done. I still need to clean up and organize some stuff and get my doll collection unpacked, but all the furniture is in place, and that's huge. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

And There Was Art

Hanging up my little raccoon and owl friends last week seems to have done the trick, and I've made a lot of progress with my wall art over the past week! This is my dining nook, and I'm so pleased with how everything looks now. There will eventually be more on the left wall, but right now I'm waiting to get a frame for my Kate Bush poster so I can see how much space that leaves. I haven't started hanging art in my bedroom or craft room yet (the craft room especially has to wait until I get the rest of my furniture in so I can see what I'm working with for wall space), but it's so nice to have some gallery walls in progress.

In a terrible turn of events, last night the battery cap on my insulin pump broke. It's a known manufacturing issue, though up until now I thought mine was safe, and I called the 24-hour tech support at eleven last night to request a replacement. It should get here sometime tomorrow, and I have permission to work from home while I'm dealing with the grind of regular blood sugar testing and frequent injections. It's certainly a pain, and I hate thinking what this is doing to my blood sugars right before I meet my new endocrinologist next week, but things happen. Lee Lee was very snuggly this morning, which is very good for morale, so hopefully she keeps pulling her weight.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


I finally started unpacking some of my craft supplies this week—specifically, I've been working on my yarn stash. Usually my yarn lives in a series of clear plastic bins, but to move I ended up dumping a bunch of it into giant space bags so I could use the bins as packing boxes. Going through and reorganizing the yarn has been a task, but it's coming together. There's a limit to how much of my craft room I can unpack until I get another big bookcase, but it feels good to be making some progress.

One of my biggest hangups right now is getting my art put up. I have a large collection of wall art, and I love having my walls covered, but for some reason I'm stuck and can't quite decide where to start right now. I did take a plunge and hang up these two little wall friends next to the kitchen island this weekend, and I'm pleased with how they look. I've also (mostly) decided on locations for one of my big prints and one of my mirrors, so hopefully I'll get those hung up soon and with any luck that will kick start me into getting the rest of my art set up. 

I also had a major success this week—longtime readers of the blog might remember this sock, which I initially cast on in March of 2012(!!!!). To be fair, I did have some false starts, and I did have to ultimately rework the pattern so it would fit me comfortably, but the sock is DONE, and I am so pleased. Hopefully the second sock won't take as long. I struggle with socks—when I first started knitting I knit socks constantly, but over time I've had more and more trouble with my hands, and socks and other small-gauge projects really do a number on them, so I have to limit myself to short knitting sessions.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Books (upon books)

 I'm still catching up on rest from moving weekend, but my bookcases are finally coming together! I unpacked most of my books before going back to South Dakota so I'd have room in the craft room (Box Land) for the rest of my stuff, but only over the weekend have my shelves started to feel organized. There's still some work to do—I need some more shelves, but I don't know what form they'll take, and I'm working on figuring out how all my tchotchkes and collectibles will fit in, but having the Book Wall set up and taking shape really makes the place feel homey.

My craft room/home office is still a disaster, of course, and hopefully in a couple weeks I can source some more storage for in there. My bedroom is also a bit of a tip, but my plan for this weekend is to putter around in there and make it feel more settled.

I'm getting the itch to pick up a knitting project—it's been a while, between moving stress and an accident with a can lid that left my left hand pretty much unusable for several weeks (it's healed now, and I just have a gnarly scar and some minor nerve damage that hopefully will keep clearing up)—so I'll probably need to brave the craft boxes at some point to pull out a project.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Moving Weekend, Part 2

On Friday afternoon I dropped Lee Lee at the kennel, packed up my backpack, grabbed my trusty unicorn, and boarded a train to Chicago. My flight to South Dakota was at 9:15 on Saturday morning, so I planned to spend the night at the airport hotel, which was great planning on my part. Due to a couple of train delays and some less-than-clear directions, I didn't make it to my hotel room until almost one in the morning, and I only just managed to wake up in time to leave for my terminal as planned. 

Fortunately, my flight went much more smoothly, and we landed earlier than expected. I got to spend Saturday with my mum, and it was so nice to see her again. We ended up going to two different locations to pick up my U-Haul—the website wasn't entirely clear on which location my truck was at—but that was ultimately a very small hiccup. 

Sunday morning I got up early again to drive the truck down to my old town and load up everything from my storage unit as well as a few things I'd left with my brother. My mum and I grabbed lunch together at the cafe, and then I hit the road. The drive was less stressful than the first time I made it, but it was still a long day, and I didn't make it back to my new apartment until about 8:30. 

I'm tired and sore, and Lee Lee isn't pleased with having been left all weekend, and there are boxes everywhere and I hardly know where to start with unpacking, but the move itself is finally done. All my things are back in one place, and I can get back to settling in (as soon as I've caught up on rest).

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Making a Home

I got a call two and a half hours into my Ikea delivery window on Friday letting me know that my order was delayed and would be delivered on Monday instead. Instead of spending the weekend building shelves and unpacking books, I watched some YouTube, watched a movie, and read a lot. It was a nice little rest, and when my Ikea order finally did come on Monday afternoon, I was raring to go. I built the two Kallax units that I got for my bedroom and two of the Billys for the living room on Monday, and then I built the last two living room Billys last night.

Now, I know that there's no such thing as a level floor or a straight wall. However, I didn't realize exactly how uneven my floors and walls are here until I tried lining my Billys up along the wall. I'd initially planned for them to all be flush against each other, but that wasn't going to happen. I'm okay with the placement now (I don't love having little gaps in between them, but there's no other safe option), and I think they'll look fine once they're filled with books and treasures. I'm hoping to get a bunch of books unpacked this week and start organizing the shelves, because I need to make space in the craft room (where all the full boxes live) for the rest of my stuff that's coming from South Dakota this weekend.

I didn't really bring much furniture with me from South Dakota—most of what I had was cheap, or had been picked up for free, so aside from my armchair and my papasan and a few small pieces with sentimental value, I've been looking for and picking up all new furniture. A couple weeks ago I found this adorable little dining set on Facebook Marketplace—I knew I wanted a small dining set, and I really wanted something with a drop leaf that could seat at least four people (I dream of making friends here and hosting brunch). This little table is perfect. I love the formica top, and the chairs it came with are great. My plan is to get a couple of folding chairs from Ikea to have enough seating for my future brunch parties, but that can wait. 

The rug is a vintage wool rug from Turkey, and I adore it. I really wanted a rug to define the dining nook, and I'm so pleased with how it ties the space together. Eventually there will be another little buffet for more storage along that back wall (currently it's acting as my dresser, but eventually I'll get a proper, larger dresser for my clothes) and I'll be able to properly display my vintage pyrex and my antique punch bowl. (The bike is also not living in the dining nook full-time; there will eventually be a rack to stand it up in the craft room, once everything is unpacked and there's room for me to get/set up a rack for it.)

This weekend is going to be busy—I fly out to South Dakota early Saturday morning, and on Sunday we'll start early getting the Uhaul loaded so I can make the drive back. Back when I made my initial drive out here, it took me almost exactly eleven hours from getting in the car to parking at my new apartment, but that was just with my (very full) car, so I'm anticipating the drive on Sunday to take a little bit longer. It will be so nice to have the rest of my stuff here, though. Most of my craft supplies are still in South Dakota, as well as my entire liquor collection and my tv, and it will feel really good to have everything moved.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

It's Really Been a Year

Hi, friends. It's been a while, hasn't it? 

The past year was a bit of a doozy. Since we've last visited, I finished library school, spent many months trying to recover from working and going to grad school at the same time, and spent almost a year to the day applying for jobs. 

2022 was rough, y'all. It was all I could do to just keep going. I didn't write much, I didn't knit much, and since we last met I managed to release just one pattern (Ravelry Link) (Payhip Link). At the beginning of last year, I had big aspirations: I was going to recover from grad school quickly, dive back into writing and designing and making full-throttle, I was going to get a fantastic new job and move to Minnesota to be near my bestie. And then none of that really happened.

In November I applied for a job on a whim. I was burnt out on job hunting, and this job was outside of my search parameters, and I was so tired and frustrated that I decided to just send in my resume. And then six days later I was offered the job. 

Almost one month ago to the day I packed up my car and drove myself, Lee Lee, the goldfish, and all 57 of my plants to Illinois to start this new adventure. It's been a wild couple of months, and it's still really stressful—I'm surrounded by boxes and piles of stuff, I need to make one more trip back to South Dakota to get the rest of my stuff, I'm learning a brand-new job and a brand-new city and getting used to living in a new apartment that feels so very different from anywhere I've lived before. 

It's been an adventure (and will continue to be one as I continue settling in!) and sometimes I still can't quite believe that I did it. Bit by bit, my new apartment is starting to feel like home—I have a bed, finally, and this week I'll get the first batch of bookcases so I can start unpacking some of the book and tchotchke boxes, and I'm slowly getting used to navigating the new kitchen. I've gone on little adventures to the winter farmer's market, the public library, and some thrift stores to start learning the area, and I'm starting to get a feel for my job. 

It's good to be back, friends, and I hope that in 2023 we'll have lots to share with each other here.