Rules for Feeding the Stash

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.