Lacy Daisy Doily

Christmas time is here again, a time of thought and reflection… like “I have a blog that I haven’t updated in forever.”

What have I been up to while I was truant here in blogland? Well, I made more doilies! Shocking, I know. It seems like lots of things have happened, but suddenly none of them seem worth mentioning. Suffice to say, this happened, that happened, I messed up a bunch of cookies, and we got a new fridge. And clothes dryer. But those had nothing to do with the cookies. Really.

*ahem* Back to today’s doily. I got some size 40 crochet cotton from my tatting supplies and bought my first size 0 needles. It all became this:


It’s a little over a foot across. Never mind the tail hanging off the end; I’ll snip it when the starch dries. The pattern came from an old Workbasket (1956, I believe), so I cannot share a link with you, unfortunately. ūüė¶

What are you working on these days? Any Christmas things?


Pinking Sheers

My latest project (cast on yesterday at about 5am. And 5:30am. And then again at 6, the rotten pattern-hating thread…) is very pink. I tried three patterns before I found something that worked with the bamboo thread. It has some nerve, that stuff. Here it is this morning after a Doctor Who marathon yesterday:


Well, that’s it without pins. Here it is WITH pins. ūüôā


Very pink and more-or-less sheer. I used size 10 needles and size 10 thread (not so that they’d match, but that’s cool, too!), so it’s very open lace. The dragon scarf is done and pinned to Mum’s carpet. The Zelda gloves have already been delivered, and I’ll post a picture next time. The prototype for my dear husband’s gauntlets (he requested green dragon scales) are halfway there. And that brings us up to date with my projects (Sweater project? What sweater project? I’m sure I don’t know what you mean). What is on your list for October projects?

The Sky is Autumning

I would have said “The Sky is Falling,” but I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea about either the weather or my sanity. This is the first year to my memory where the leaves turned autumnish colors and fluttered crispily to the ground. Every other year (to my memory, of course) the rainy season started early enough that they glomped off the trees and smushed all over the place. This year I am enjoying them¬†fluttering through the air and skittering on the roads. Very lovely. Perhaps this year we will have one of those mythical white Christmases, too!

The dragon scarf has been coming along well (with a bit of distraction by way of a request from one of my partners in crime coworkers for gauntlets based on ones worn by Link), and I think eventually it will be done! The gauntlets are almost done, and thus I almost have a picture to show you of them. Until then, here is the scarf:


In other news, we have a new pickup. Her name is Clara, and she is an¬†’85 Ford. The ’65¬†giant monster flatbed will be bidding adieu to our farm now that we have a working pickup. The old beast was a good truck as long as one let her run for a half hour before driving, never tried to push her faster than 5 mph, and didn’t speak of pavement in her presence. She has character. A bit too much of it, really. I’d always imagined my husband teaching our future¬†children to drive in it, but, really, if it takes¬†my entire person tackling the stick football-style to shift gears, methinks it would not bode well for munchkins.

Did you ever have an old truck to drive? Or some other story to tell involving a vehicle? Or just something with wheels?

Tomato Soup, The Hard Way

Yesterday I made tomato soup. But I didn’t open a can, pour it into a sauce pan with whatever else you add that that stuff. Nope. This started with two giant boxes of tomatoes that I didn’t think to photograph, failure of a blogger that I am. Oops!

Wait. I lied. It started with me getting the recipe from the Ball Blue Book. I also called my mom a few times for help.

Then the tomatoes. And we added some veggies. About 19 cups worth.


The object in the photograph is bigger than it appears. That’s a HUGE skillet. Honest. I caramelized them while the tomatoes cooked in a crock pot and two stock pots.

In the evening, the kitchen counter looked like this:



That’s a juicer. Please note the high-tech C-clamps holding the board to the counter and strategic use of the refrigerator as a table. We juiced all the tomato and veggie goodness. And then we put them in jars. And we put the jars in this device:


It’s called a pressure canner.

When we were all done (in the wee hours of this morning when the lids finally all sealed. I’m certain whenever my mum did this, it was all done before dinner time.), our tomato soup looked like this!



Disregard the settled contents. When it’s added to butter, flour, and garlic to eat, the solids will not fall to the bottom. ūüôā

Now I’m going to wash pans and pots and the canner and the table and the floor… and the walls… and everything else, but before I go, I’d like to wish you to live long and prosper with this ornamental vegetable.


The Legend of the Toaster Spider

T’was yesterday or a hundred years ago… It was a dark and stormy night (or, perhaps, a sunny afternoon, but who wants to read about THAT?) when I was at my place of employment. It was near Halloween on this particular year, and decorations were scattered all over the place. Including little plastic spiders. As I picked up the oddments and put them away, I came upon a big spider. You might not have called it a big spider (I would call it one [obviously, because I just did]) but it was just nasty enough and just big enough that I figured it wasn’t real. It was a plastic Halloween decoration, right?

My hand was thisclose to the little beastie when I thought better of it and touched it with my shoe. It skittered away at a speed faster than I’d ever seen mere mortal spiders move. Well. I ran after it, jumped on it, and skooshed it. And had the creeps for the rest of the day.

Later I went to the internet in search of identification for the creature. We have things shipped from out of the country, so there’s always the possibility of an ugly stow-away from far away lands. The internet consulted its sources and informed me that the critter I’d skooshed was a hobo spider, a brown recluse, a huntsman spider, Michael Jackson, or a pop-up toaster. The toaster idea seemed most likely, so I have since referred to similar creatures as “toaster spiders.” Basically they’re incredibly poisonous and we’re all going to die (according to one source), or everything is fine (according to another), or everything in the world is misunderstood and we should invite these spiders to tea.

Fast forward to this summer. I found a toaster spider in my house. It tried to take a bath with me, but I am too accomplished a ninja for such mad ideas. It got a posthumous ride down the amusement-park quality ride called “The Drain.” Since then, I’ve found toaster spiders on a daily basis, and I’ve waged war against them. In the kitchen, in the bathroom, beside the couch (!) under the bed (!!), climbing on my husband (!!!).

By the way, if you’re curious, they look kind of like this: Toaster Spider.

Sorry about that. They¬†actually¬†have more legs than that. I can’t take a picture of our dear, beloved toaster spiders myself, because, like I said, they are faster than weeping angels.

My dear aunt has lent me her vacuum cleaner, and I will add that to my array of weapons. A variety of other things certainly didn’t work.

And so the summer turns into fall, and I hope for cold weather and death to the spiders.

In the meantime, the dragon scarf proceeds, but there is not much to report on it except, “Well, it’s longer…”

How are things at your place these days? Have any spider stories that put mine to shame?

“Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!”

Shhh! Did you hear that? It was the frog stitch croaking away in my project bag. At least, it was until five days ago when my project finally met its demise. I shall elaborate.

This was my project last week. A pretty, lacy shawl of the most delicious red. “But you don’t wear red, Jen…” you might say. True, but¬†that’s hardly common knowledge.


It isn’t a hard pattern. In fact, it’s one of the most simple I’ve done. But somehow I just can’t “get” it (especially sitting in a dark hospital room with a very sick¬†sibling). I frogged¬†and reknit 20¬†rows (maybe more) in three days, never getting past row 38 in the pattern. And then, finally, at 5:30 am (that was my first mistake, being awake at that hour), I pitched a fit, and this happened:



M-hm. So long, fare well, auf wiedersehen, good-bye. It went up in flames (not a blaze of glory… more like a torch of dismay). Immediately following the pitching of the fit, I realized I was projectless. Can’t have THAT, can we? Be bored? Never! (I must be in a Princess Bride mood, because I wanted to shout Westley’s: “Death first!”) So I rummaged through every paper in the house and discovered the very easy and incredibly awesome dragon scales scarf pattern. I multiplied it out to make three repeats and changed the number of edge stitches. Thus my dragonesque project was born of fire, and continues on to the present time, where it looks like this:


I think it looks nice, but I’m going to redo the pattern entirely next time I make it. It just needs a certain… special… something. Also I can’t leave well enough alone so something is going to have to change next time.

In case you wondered, my¬†brother has now been released from the hospital, about which we are all most glad. Yes, that is “all most” glad, not “almost” glad.

Have you frogged anything lately?


Hush, Little Baby, Don’t Say a Word


Auntie Jen’s gonna knit you… well, not a mockingbird. Nope, a car seat blanket.

It measures 28″x36″* all pinned out. Who knows what dimension it will be when I pull the pins out and the acrylic goes “Thbbbbt!” and scrunches up again. I tried pinning it mercilessly to break its resolve, but acrylic yarn is more stubborn than me.

*71×91 cm,¬†711200×914400 microns, and¬†3.840172786177106e-4×4.937365010799136e-4 nautical miles, in case you were desperate to know.

This marks the end of my first (and, unless I’m badly mistaken, last) cabling project.

My next project will be something lace made out of this: Woolike¬†in red. Don’t ask what, ’cause I don’t know yet. ūüôā