Bertrand Louis likes buns.

I’ve finished my Bertrand Louis just one week after cutting my hair off at chin length again.
Despite this, I am very happy with both the hairs that are cut and the resulting hat/cowl thing.

I did normal brioche instead of half brioche and it is thick and stretchy and cuddly and yum. It’s a great stitch for handspun, and I can totally see using it again for another handspun project.

Wrapping this one up.

I’ve read a thing for someone on the internet.
If you like podcasts and Fantasy Short Stories, check out Podcastle.
In fact, if you like, you can start with the story I read here.

I have photos of the Rainbow Campfire Mitts finally.

I finished the Cat’s Cocoon thing, which he loves and will actually get in and not just lay on, but damned if he’ll stay in it when I am trying to get a photo of him using it.
It’s just not happening. He did make sure to guard it while I took a photo of it however, because he’s most definitely sure that it is HIS and he is NOT going to share it. Shmoo tried to raise it up a bit for me and Bri huffed at him and put his foot down on it so he could not.

I also knit a [Minecraft] slime as a Christmas Gift for a 2 year old, and it was a hit with most everyone but the recipient. This is to be expected of course, he’s 2. :) Even shmoo said he was really impressed at how it turned out, which he rarely says about any of the knitting anymore.

That’s it! Here’s your photos.

Let’s play Catch-up.

Ok, as mentioned in my Thanksgiving Recipe post, I’ve had a perfectly good reason for not posting the majority of this year.
I needed to move web-servers. We kept saying we were going to do it soon and then not doing it, and because it was going to happen “SOON” I didn’t want to add anything that would alter the backups we had already made. Never-mind that of course when we went to move the site, the first step was to take brand new backups.
Regardless, it is done now, so I should be back to posting with semi-regularity, aka, about once a month if prior habit still holds true.
I have broken this post into different sections below so you can just go to the sections you are interested in and skip the part you could care less about.
It’s a long-winded ride, so settle in!


I am no longer with bluehost. That felt so good, let me say it again. I am not longer with bluehost!! I am no longer paying anyone for a shitty shared hosting platform. My site is on my very own server in shmoo’s data center. We have complete and total control.
All back end work is being handled by us with him doing most of the SysAdmin heavy lifting since he got to choose the OS. We bought the server at the beginning of the year, got it up and running early February and have generally only used it as a Minecraft server ever since. Mind you, Minecraft was not the intent for the server, but it has worked out nicely to use it as such. I have migrated my WordPress and Gallery installations over finally this weekend, and made sure that they are up and working correctly.

Part of this migration involved upgrading Gallery2 to Gallery3, and this has killed the plugin that worked for using Gallery photos in my blog, which makes me sad, because I loved it and it’s silly to put the same photos in two places on the server, and now I have to go back to using full links again if I don’t wish to do this. While this doesn’t make me happy, it is liveable. I don’t care for any of the Gallery3 themes, but overall it’s still the best photo gallery software out there, so I’m still using it. What I won’t be doing is going back and fixing any of the links that worked with the WPG2 plugin. I used it for years, and I just don’t care that much about fixing it.

Blog-wise I am using a theme I used several years ago that really isn’t widget compatible. Well it is for the left column, but not the right, and I can’t figure out why, and after a few hour I just gave up and fixed the right column without widgets. I’ll likely be looking into other themes later, but for now, I don’t cringe at the thought of this one and thus it shall remain. I always quite liked this theme, I just moved on because I liked widgets more.


I went to MSW and bought a bunch of stuff.

I did Tour de Fleece this year and spun 40 ozs of fiber, but haven’t done much spinning since. Nothing really of note at any rate.

I did take Felicia Lo’s Craftsy class on Spinning with color, and found it quite useful. I wish I had taken it a month or two before TdF so that I could have planned out some of the techniques to try during that time. Also, Craftsy is pretty awesome. If you like taking classes on your own schedule, at home, in your pajamas, without other people… it’s totally the way to go. Pretty affordable too and they have sales every so often too.


Since the Dim Sum, I have knit a new Nalgene Cosy in broken rib.

The Misogyny Networks Mankini Top

Made with the finest acrylics money can buy!! This fabulous fun fur and fuzzy yarn creation filled me with a dirty shame.
It was so bad that shmoo said my knitting license should be revoked, and he didn’t even have to wear it.
Regardless it was perfect for its intent and I was happy to compromise my knitting standards to help make a point in my industry.
Sometimes you have to take one for team….

A Pair of Campout Mitts for my Nana.

Mod was adding the extra i-cord at the bottom.
The gray is Alpaca and the pink is the same stuff the nalgene cosy and tea pot cosy were made of. I am finally almost out of that yarn. ALMOST!

A Pair of Campfire Mitts for myself.
I still need to take a photo of these, or wrangle shmoo into doing so while I wear them. Maybe next week!
Made these with the two Rainbow yarn bumps I spun up.
I had finished one armwarmer at the end of last year. It got ripped when I changed from the made up as I went along pattern to Campout Mitts.
Made them longer and added a band of garter stitch at the bottom.

I’ve been working on an Entrelac Infinity Scarf for my aunt. She’s been waiting about 3 years for me to make something with this yarn, and I am about half done with it.
Hopefully I’ll wrap it up before 3 more years go by.

I’ve also started a cocoon thing for the cat, but it’s crochet using random scrap yarns. It might end up horribly ugly. It probably will be. If he likes it, he won’t care, and neither will I. If he doesn’t like it, the dog will.


Daisy and Bri are both fine.

Daisy had another spine/neck disc rupture this spring but seems to be ok and able to live with it. She’s old and has a more limited mobility than she used to but over all is still a happy healthy dog. We took her to Florida this year with us, and for a dog who absolutely hates water, she absolutely loves the beach and St. George Island. Even shmoo noticed how much she liked it there. We took her with us on our morning walks, and she wasn’t interested in touching any little bit of the surf AT ALL, but she would every now and then and not totally panic. Mostly she loved the warmth on her old bones, the sand itself, and the interesting smells.
A very content beach going Daisy

Bri is doing well. Evil as always. He’s gone to a meat twice a day diet and I am the one that feeds him. I am less worried he might kill me in my sleep and he has stopped peeing on my things, or rather, only on my things. Now when he gets mad at us, either of us might suffer the wrath. I am OK with this because I no longer feel targeted by him. Shmoo is less pleased, especially when I get to point and laugh at him.


Work is good. Always busy, always a challenge but I am happy.
I have stopped doing Letter Exchanges because I am a bad pen-pal and haven’t written a letter to anyone since I got sick back at the end of January from shmoocon. I was sick for over a month, ended up missing a week of work total, and did 3 different rounds of drugs. It was awesome, if by awesome I mean, totally sucked.
Facebook and G+ still suck.
Twitter is still my social network of choice.
I broke my Kindle3 keyboard and had to get a new one, just in time for the Paperwhite. I love it other than really missing the side keys for advancing the page quickly.
The game FTL is awesome.
We still aren’t playing WoW, though we have started playing GuildWars2 since they came out with a Mac client.
It’s not as fun as WoW but it doesn’t have a monthly sub price so I don’t much care.
Minecraft has replaced WoW for me for the most part. It’s the game I spend the most time in, and I like to see the things others have built.

That’s it, you’re all caught up!

Thanksgiving Recipes Link Listing

Hai webbernets! I’m sorry it’s been so long. There is actually a reason I’ve quit posting besides laziness in general, but I’ll post about it later and for now go back to ignoring you after this post.

This is a list of links for my standard Thanksgiving Day recipes.
I’ve been talking about cooking to a lot of people at work and it’s easier to have it all listed in one place I can point people to easily.

First, the turkey. We brine our turkey.
I use these instructions for brine and cooking:
I don’t use ice for the brine, I just use total amount of water and make it ahead (Sunday or Monday night, allow to cool on stove and refrigerate), then throw the turkey in when we get it on Tuesday.
I will note with brining that you can’t really use the drippings for gravy without being way too salty. You may want to consider this if you don’t care about the turkey as much as you do the gravy.
I use stock for my gravy, no giblets (cause eeeww). I do use some of the drippings and consider that my seasoning, and then throw in some flour and bam! gravy.

Cranberry sauce:
This is close enough to what I do, it’s not rocket surgery. I always throw in some random amounts of cinnamon or nutmeg as well, to taste. We like it pretty tart, and if you cook it ahead by two days it should gel up enough on its own, no pectin or gelatin needed.

The Dressing/Stuffing:
I don’t buy Brioche for this however, I make it using this recipe:
Then I split it into two small bread loaf pans, let it rise 2 hours, and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.
I usually make this on Sunday, so I can cube it on Monday or Tuesday, and if it’s not dried out/stale enough on Wednesday I throw it in the oven on low for a hour or so to finish that up.
The sausage we use is a Country Sausage from our local meat market, ’cause YUM.

Sweet Potato Souffle and Broccoli Casserole:
I’ve posted my family recipes on this ages ago, so here’s that link.
This year I am taking the broccoli and cooking it the oven and using cream of chicken soup instead of cream of celery or brocoli.
The original recipe on this called for cream of mushroom, but I’ve hated mushrooms always, so much so my Mother couldn’t slip this past me.
The sweet potato souffle recipe is perfect and I don’t ever change it.

Key Lime Pie:
I use a spring-form pan for this and make a graham cracker crust using whatever instructions are on the box of crumbs, which are basically, add some melted butter, mix and smoosh around and form it how you want it, throw in oven to harden.
Sometimes, I melt chocolate and cover the bottom of the crust in that and let it harden. Sometimes I don’t. It’s really good without it so it’s not needed for a good pie.
The rest of the pie is according to recipe, and then I generally top with meringue cause I don’t like wasting the egg whites, and if I set them aside to use later I always forget about them.

We don’t do bread/rolls. Not sure why, guess we just haven’t felt a need for it. We won’t be doing them again this year. :)

Beverage wise, I always make sweet tea, this year will probably be Ginger-Peach iced tea, because we both like it. There’s always beer, and sometimes we make Sangria, but usually that’s a Christmas or New Year’s thing.
I’ll probably also make some deviled eggs because shmoo loves them, and maybe some celery, carrots, and ranch dressing to snack on for pre-dinner football.

The Sangria Recipe is here:
It was originally posted on The Elk Run site but it kept getting moved or taken down, and so I duplicated it here a few years back.
You don’t have to use Sweet Katherine for your Sangria but it’s really something special if you do.

And that’s it. Our Thanksgiving (and several days after) eats in a list of links and comments.
If you end up making any of it, do let me know what you thought of it. :)


Adding to make for Thanksgiving 2013:
Rae’s Green Bean Casserole

First FO of the year.

Though the cat is an undeserving bastard, I cranked this out today while watching the Packers and Lions play at the pub.
Pattern is from knitty. ( ) I’ve also taken a bit of leftover white stockinette from where I changed up the Naughty Reindeer hat and used the sewing machine to whip up several more. They aren’t pretty, but the cat was stealing them from me as I made them, so they must be a hit.

FO: Naughty Reindeer Hat

Here’s the photos of the finished hat and the one armwarmer. I am semi-pleased with the hat. It’s awesome, and the concept is great, but I think it might be too small for Todd’s head with the reversible side in, and there’s some pulling on the patterning that I don’t care for, but it’s intarsia in the round, so it is what it is.


I love the armwarmer and can’t wait to wear them one day, but I still need to finish spinning the yarn for the second one…


May Knitting

I started socks, but they were too small so I had to frog and restart. I’ve gotten about 15 rows into the redo so far. I think I am going to rip out my hand-spun arm-warmers and change the pattern I am using and go again. I’ve found one I like better I think.

I’ve also started knitting log cabin squares from my hand-spun with the aim of at some point having enough to make a king sized afghan at some point in the future. I’ll be happy if it’s something I can finish in the next year or two. In the meantime, I’ll just keep knitting squares as I can. Near as I can figure, I’ll need around 48.

But I have finished something! A Snug Habor cat bed for the cat. Though finish is a loose term. The cat took it before I was completely done with it.

It is neither stuffed nor are the ends even woven in, and yet, he doesn’t seem to care. All’s well that ends well!

My First Sweater.

Ok, it’s not the first sweater I have knit, it’s true. I’ve done 3 baby sweaters and a kid’s sweater. But this is my first sweater for me! Also, my first adult sized sweater. It’s really quite overdue as a knitterly accomplishment in my opinion, but none of my previous attempts made me happy and so they got ripped or postponed forever.


Radiate, done in Cascade 220 Peach, however has been an easy knit and I am fairly satisfied with how it has turned out. It’s not AMAZING! but it fits like I wanted it to and it is what I was seeking. A comfortable wool sweater. It was a really easy knit too.

I am still not happy with the button bands, but I’ve done them twice now, and I’m just going to live with them a while. I think I’ll try to put in a hidden 2 ended zipper though, because I’d prefer a smooth line anyway than just have the buttons all pulling and gaping. It’s not that it won’t fit around me buttoned, it does, but even having gone down several needle sizes, the bands are still just floppy. So I am thinking ribbon reinforcement and hidden zipper will fix it right up. Regardless, I’ll be waiting on that until I have worn it some and can see what I really think.

Other mods were making the sleeves 3/4 bell type sleeves by knitting longer and leaving out the decreases, making the body longer, and adding a line of crochet along the inside collar to help with keeping the neckline from stretching out.

The color is not really correct in these photos due to crappy lighting, but they are what I have for now. And it’s on to the next project! Hopefully it will be finished and posted about in May, as planned. :)


YPP Octoscarf KAL Contest Entry: Octocowl


I am taking a lot of this directly from my entry on the Puzzle Pirates games forums, cause I am lazy and can’t be bothered to retype repeating myself.

My cowl overall was an interpretation I came up with in my head. I had seen the half-octo coffee cup cosy and faved it on Ravelry a few weeks ago though, so when this came up, I knew I would be using it.
I wanted to create something that both met the guidelines of the contest and would be something personal to me and that I would be happy with and willing to wear when it was all over with. I think I achieved that, and am really happy with the end product.
The link to the Entrelac guide I used as a jumping off point is HERE.
I cast on 120 stitches did a bit of ribbing, and then set up the blocks to be 5 stitches wide. I knit enough rows to fit the Arch into, and then leveled off, did a bit more ribbing, and cast off. This did use more yarn than I originally intended and I ended up combing the stash and even spinning up some yarn of the right shade to be sure I’d have enough.

The link to the octopus pattern is HERE.
And the Ravelry link for it is HERE.
I added two more legs to him though, because I wanted him to have all 8.

The islands are just little crocheted circles, and the league points are just bad attempts at embroidery over knitting. The eyes and “Ruby” french knots are done with embroidery floss, and the whole thing is lined with a piratey map fabric you can see in the bonus photos link in my photo gallery.
Additional Images-
My photo gallery of the project is HERE.
It contains all the images I took of/during the project, some of which have no name tag but I knew I didn’t need them to all be entry photos, so it worked out.

The Ravelry link for this project is HERE.
There’s not really any more details of the project there, but it does list all the yarns I used.

Recipe: Asian Pineapple Mango Salad

(I’ve posted this before, but it’s at the bottom of a long fibery post and I am trying to go back and make sure all my recipes are single posts so that they are easily found and read. So, if you missed it the first time, this is one of my favorite salads!)


You need iceberg lettuce, mango, green seedless grapes, pineapple, and asian sesame/soy/ginger salad dressing, red wine vinegar, and rice vinegar, and chow mien noodles. Optionally, you can add an onion. You’ll need your seasoning of choice as well. Salt/Pepper are probably fine, but I generally use Morton’s Nature’s Seasonings.

Chop up the mango and pineapple. Wash the grapes. If your grapes are huge, you may want to cut them in half. Cut the lettuce (I do it in shreds). Dice up your onion if you are using one. Put it all in a big bowl and toss well. Take the Asian dressing, and put it in a small mixing bowl. Add equal parts rice vinegar and red wine vinegar. Generally the total amount of vinegar should be almost equal to the amount of dressing you started with, but it’s to taste, so play with it. Season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss until very well mixed. Add the chow mien noodles to the top, and enjoy.

Notes: Every once in a while I’ll make this with some cilantro chopped up in the lettuce. Not a bunch, but enough to give a bit of flavor.