Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, March 29, 2024

Coleslaw Strikes Again

While I am fortunate enough to work from home about half the week, I do have to go into the office a few days, and my office is, frankly, freezing. I've been re-evaluating my sweater collection lately, and I decided I could use a big, chunky, cable and moss stitch cardigan, and I figured that it wouldn't actually take me too long to knit. So I picked up some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Oatmeal and cast on in mid-February, thinking I'd be just a week or two away from a new layer in my office arsenal against the cold.

Enter Coleslaw.

She is the light of my heart and an absolute menace.

This was the third set of needles she's eaten from this sweater, so it's on hold AGAIN while I wait for a new set to arrive.

She's lucky she's cute.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Tale of a Sweater, or, Kat Can't Count

Last summer I started knitting a pullover out of some vintage wool I'd picked up at a church bazaar a couple of years ago, and back in October I finally finished the back and almost immediately realized...I hadn't counted the stripes correctly. 

I have one skein of the brass, two skeins of the orange, and five skeins of the yellow, which means I need to use twice as much orange as brass and twice as much yellow as orange, and then use the rest of the yellow for the ribbing and collar. Pretty straightforward. So I thought and thought and thought and decided that I could do two rows of the brass on either side of four rows of orange, because four is twice two, and then twice four is eight rows of yellow (except for some reason I decided to do twelve rows of yellow?? I don't know what Past Kat was thinking).

Except if I'm doing two rows of brass on *either side* of an orange stripe, then that's actually four rows, and the orange stripe needs to be eight rows. Which means the yellow stripes need to be sixteen rows. 

(I am famously bad at arithmetic. One of my sister's favorite things is asking me things like "what's eight plus five" and watching me get more and more flustered.)

The good news is, I am much happier with how the new back looks. I love the wider stripes, and it's really matching the vision that I had in my head when I first came up with this sweater. 

In non-knitting news, I finally got a spot in the Rancho Gordo Bean Club after about two years on the waitlist, and I am thrilled. I eat a lot of beans, and while I've ordered Rancho Gordo beans in the past, they've always been treated like a special treat instead of a pantry staple, because I absolutely cannot be counted on to remember to place a regular order. 

Upon securing my spot I immediately dove into my remaining stash of beans to make a batch of red beans and rice and a batch of white beans with diced tomatoes, roasted garlic, and Italian spices. Truly, I have been eating like a king for the past week and a half, and earlier this week I got my first Bean Club shipment. I am so excited to try some new beans and explore some new recipes!

Monday, March 4, 2024

Antiquing and Heirlooms

Last week my dad came for a brief visit. It was good to see him (and great to see him give Coleslaw lots of loving). As it was a short visit, we didn't do a lot, but we did make it out to an antiques mall that a former coworker had recommended to me, and we had a blast looking through all of the treasures there. I am, of course, powerless in the face of antiques, so of course I brought some things home.

My first find was this dimetrodon figure. I love dimetrodon, and I have a small herd of them on the kitchen counter in my beverage corner. 


My second find was this raccoon hand puppet. I have a fondness for puppets, and I think this guy has a lot of personality!

I also found two new dolls for my doll collection. They are porcelain, which I usually don't collect, but they really called to me, and I'm excited to add them to the family.

Aren't they just darling? I hope they'll be happy here. 

My final find was this beautiful antique crazy quilt. I love crazy quilts, and I was so pleased to find this one in my budget. It's certainly seen better days, and I've found a couple spots where it's already been repaired at least once. I really love repairing old quilts and extending their lives, so I'm excited to get this once cleaned up and back in snuggling condition. 

You can see one of the old repairs here, though this patch clearly needs more love. A lot of the big holes I've found so far are in this blue fabric, which appears to just be weaker than the other fabrics—most of the other patches are in great condition and I haven't seen any major weak spots yet. I'm also obsessed with the fabric used for the back of the quilt, and I'm thrilled to report that so far the backing appears to be in excellent condition! Of course, knowing more will have to wait until I can get this thing in the tub and cleaned and spread out for closer examination. It'll certainly be a big project, and I hope that I'll be able to find the time to start before too long!


My dad also brough me several boxes of things from his side of the family, including a baby quilt that had belonged to his sister and several figurines, but the main thing he brough was an incredible collection of glass that had been displayed in his house growing up.

Yes, that's Federal Glass. Yes, I cried when he first told me about it. 

The purple/mauve glass pieces are Fenton, which I have a small collection of. I normally focus my Fenton collection on amber hobnail pieces, but I did love these pieces when I first saw them, and as they're family pieces, I'm glad to give them a home. The crystal jar in the front of that bottom photo is actual crystal, and it has my aunt's initials etched on it. 

I've known this Federal Glass collection was coming to me for a couple months, so I ordered a shelf from IKEA a few weeks ago to display it in a manner worthy of its status. 

I mean, just look at how beautiful it is! Look at how the light passes through them!

I'm so pleased with them. Someday I'll have space for a proper display cabinet, but for now I'm thrilled to have them out and able to be enjoyed, and I think having them on display here really ties that corner together!

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.