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Archive for December, 2009

RIP, Dryer

So it looks like my dryer is dying, and needs to be replaced. Problem is that I have a stacked combo washer/dryer unit, so the washer, which is just fine, gets replaced too.

I am not looking forward to shopping for replacements. Nothing makes me cringe more than dealing with sales people — past experience has not been good for this single woman when shopping for big ticket items such as appliances and cars. I do a lot of research beforehand, online and in person — hey, I am a librarian, research things to death is what I do — and I go in with certain expectations and knowledge levels. I’ve had salesmen ask if my husband and/or dad have approved my purchase, and that’s not even the worst that I’ve encountered.

Yeah, not looking forward to shopping for a new washer and dryer. I am looking forward to having a new set though. Hopefully I’ll find something on sale or clearance!

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Felted Hat

I’ve been on a hat kick lately with my knitting. I made my dad and brother hats for Christmas (even remade my brother’s hat, since I didn’t make it big enough the first time), and thought I should do something for myself.

Way back when, I knitted the nomad hat and scarf for myself, but it didn’t feel right for me. Nothing wrong with the hat or pattern — I liked the scarf combo, actually — but a factor of having short hair that is fine and easy to get hat head. I think it’s because most knitted hats are fitted, and that doesn’t work well for my head. Add to that I wear glasses, and would appreciate something to keep the rain off them.

I looked at a bunch of patterns for felted hats with brims, and finally settled on the Felted Bucket Hat from Chic Knits.

The result of all my hard knitting and felting:

Sorry for the bad quality of the picture — taken with my iphone, obviously. The digital camera that I got from my brother to replace the stolen one, while perfectly functional, is abysmal at keeping a battery charge. With power, it’s great at taking blurry photos! Yay, digital cameras that were free!

I’d love to have a digital SLR….

Anywho. Back to the hat.

I used Cascade 220 (cheap, felts well, and in my stash!) Heathers — #9338 for the main color (not quite 1 skein) and #9407 for the stripe (probably less than 5 yards of it). I had a little bit left of the main color, and barely used any of the skein for the stripe, so I may make another but reverse the colors, to use it all up, unless I come up with another project for it.

Speaking of the pattern, it was pretty easy, and I followed it except for the stripe, which was 5 rounds wide, inserted 5 rounds above the brim. (That would make sense if you had the pattern, promise.)

Felting was easy as well, and took about 15 minutes in my washer, with me checking more often than necessary. I shaped it (on my head at first — fun, and wet!) and left it to dry on the upturned trash liner from the small trash can in my bathroom (just the right size for my head — ha!).

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This year, for various reasons, I decided to go simple and homemade. For my family, I did a few knitted items: my dad and brother got hats, and my mom got felted slippers.

The hats were knit using Kim’s Hat pattern for a basic roll brim hat from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, out of worsted weight Malabrigo Yarn. Dad’s hat was in Tortuga (118) and Simply Beige (601), my brother’s hat was Tortuga and um… a nice red shade that I lost the tag to and apparently forgot to write down as well. ETA: Found the tag! The red shade is Pagoda (23) from Malabrigo.

The slippers were knit using the Felted Slippers pattern (purchased on Etsy) from French Press Knits. I used Araucania Nature Wool in a lovely red/magenta shade (color code 34).

I discussed my first felting adventure in a previous post. I probably could have let them felt up a little more, but I erred on the side of caution. I’m sure my next pair will be better. I told my mom I would make another pair if they didn’t work, and I’m considering making a pair for myself with some other yarn.

I hope everyone likes what I made them.

(And before you worry that I’ve given away the surprise before Christmas, know that they all got their presents already.)

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So my friend Mr. Catastrophe gave me the most awesome thing: A Winnie the Pooh egg mold!

See, you put in a still warm hard boiled egg into the mold, and it turns into WInnie the Pooh! I cannot wait to try this out.

He got the mold from Happy Japan, a new store here in Nashville that I must visit very soon, as I am fascinated by Japanese things.

Which reminds me… I should ask Zoetrope to guest post and explain her theory of Japan-as-figment-of-our-collective-imagination.

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Aw, and Yay!

First, the bad news…

Trader Joe’s has discontinued their raspberry-filled donuts! It is a sad day, folks. They were yummy — raspberry! surely the bestest flavor outside of chocolate — and just the right size — a little bigger than donut holes, but smaller than a full size donut so no guilt — and now they are gone. Gone! To be no more. I’ve no idea where I will find a reasonable alternative.

But there is some good news out of Trader Joe’s…

White Cheddar Corn Puffs are back! Woohoo! Oh, how I’ve missed them!

I’ve already tested half of the first bag, and it meets with my approval. 😉

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Realizations

I’m sitting here on a Monday night watching “I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown” and have come to realize something I never considered before.

I don’t like Peanuts.

Oh, I like peanuts, the food — love them, actually — but apparently not Peanuts the cartoon.

Heresy, I know.

I’ve watched the other Charlie Brown specials — everything from the Great Pumpkin to the sad little Christmas tree one — for years, but I guess I’ve never realized how much I didn’t enjoy them.

This one about Rerun (little brother of Lucy and Linus) wanting a dog. You’d think considering my dog-less state at the moment (dog sitting excluded), I’d be all about a “get a dog” show. Yet I find myself just getting annoyed, and just when I think I’m over it, something occurs that aggravates me all over again.

Perhaps I’m just not in the right mood, but good grief (ha!), those kids are annoying.

The whole thing just seems… stupid.

Not just this special, but all the Charlie Brown thing — the characters just aren’t doing it for me, except for Snoopy, maybe.

I mean, Charlie Brown is in serious need for some antidepressants. Lucy is a little bitch to everyone. Linus has his attachment issues. Schroeder has delusions. Pig-Pen would be under the care of social services in no time. And don’t forget lesbian Peppermint Patty and Marcie with her “sir”ing her.

Meanwhile, I see a commercial about the Island of Misfit Toys and how the iphone belongs there (ha!) and I’m reminded that however odd Rudolph is, that tv special is awesome.

So I don’t think it’s the whole Christmas special thing, it’s the characters.

Yep, I guess I’m not a Peanuts fan.

And now, to cleanse the palate:

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Fun Facts: Furry Companions Edition

It can be extremely difficult to sleep with 3 animals in the bed with you. Oh, they get plenty of sleep, but the human gets sleep deprived from not being able to find a comfortable spot (they are all taken) or move in any way.

Beau prefers to sleep on my goose down pillow, and doesn’t appreciate my head on him. I was forced to use a corner of my comforter as a pillow.

Kenai thinks Mac’s litter box is a buffet of goodness. The dogs are now sequestered behind gates to keep him away from temptation.

Mac likes dog food, and is willing to sneak up on the dogs and intimidate them into letting him eat it.

My presence in the kitchen is the most efficient way to get 2 dogs and 1 cat to congregate without drama.

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