Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Charlie McGee

I won!

After I explained to my son how yarn chicken works, he wanted to know if there's a prize for winning. Absolutely -- you get a pair of socks that doesn't have an inappropriate contrast color at the top of one cuff. And a huge sense of relief.

I went into this project fairly sure that I'd be playing yarn chicken by the end, but the colors of the yarn were perfect for the pattern, which called for 350 yards. Hawthorne comes in 357 yard skeins, so I knew I'd be cutting it close but was willing to take the risk. Just before finishing the first sock, I glanced at the yarn requirements again. The large size calls for 375 yards. Oops.

For my non-knitting blog readers, yarn requirements aren't the same as fabric requirements. You know exactly how many 2 1/2" strips or squares you can get out of a yard of fabric. With knitting, it's not that exact. Slight differences in gauge will use up more or less yarn. A skein may have a few more or less yarns than the label says it does. Having big feet doesn't help either.

Knowing all of that, I gambled and I won and I'm happy. I could have left off one repeat of the lace patterns but this is for a knitalong and  I'm pretty sure that would (or should) have disqualified me. My half inch of ribbing along the top edge is definitely a scant half inch, but I finished the pattern as written. And did I mention that I managed it in five days?

These socks were fun.

The pattern is Charlie McGee, inspired by Firestarter. I've seen the movie once or twice, but I really loved the book, which I read shortly after it came out. Another family member had checked it out from the library and I could only read it when she wasn't reading, which stretched out the suspense like you wouldn't believe. We were out on the boat, so it was probably only a couple of days from start to finish, but I was so hooked by the story that it was torture to only be able to read it in chunks.

Monday, September 18, 2017

While I'm Avoiding the Heel on That Other Pair of Socks...

On Wednesday that I was hiding from a new heel technique. It looks like the procrastination is making me more productive. I finished the Great Lakes socks late Wednesday night and immediately cast on the Mesa Socks.

Then on Thursday I cast on Charlie McGee, another pair for the Super Sock Scarefest. This pattern is all techniques I know how to do and I love the yarn and it's really hard to put these down once I pick them up to knit a few rows....

The next pattern comes out in a few days. Maybe it'll give me something else to work on while I avoid that heel.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

It is Officially Late Enough to Start Talking About Halloween!

Do you make things for Halloween? I've got a few tutorials here on the blog -- Halloween Parlor Quilt Haunted House PotholderPotion Bottle Mug RugPumpkin Carving Wall Quilt

This is actually an updated post from a couple of years ago because the list of projects I want to make hasn't dwindled much since I first wrote it. So I'm jarring my own memory and sharing the list with anyone who didn't see it back in 2015. I've also added some things.

Because this is a quilt blog, I'll start out with the ghost mug rugThis spiderweb quilt is actually shaped like a spiderweb. The Three Witches is a wall quilt that combines piecing and embroidery.  These lace doily spiderwebs in embroidery hoops are delicate and airy.

My machine still won't let me do any free motion quilting, so the Graveyard Quilting (no tutorial for that one, but it's amazing and worth a peek) and the Spooky Spider quilting tutorial are off the list for this year.

I'm really liking this full size mummy, and there's probably room in the attic to store one for the eleven months a year that aren't October, but the idea of being that wrapped up in duct tape scares me  These little mummies were more my speed and I wound up making one.

I think we've got everything we'd need to make these DIY bloody hand print clings, except for maybe the nerve. Little child size hands would be super creepy -- and the food coloring will wash off after a while. It's what they get their hands on in the process that worries me.

These altered books with their dimensional covers would be a big hit -- especially if we made them on blank books for the boys to use for writing in. These printable paper covers are clever and would be less bulky to store.

I've been wanting to make some potion and poison bottles. I should still have the send for the Dust of the Dead tutorial.  These are filled with all kinds of neat stuff.   My oldest son needs a thing in a jar. Or maybe a a man eating plant.

We'll see what actually happens between now and Halloween night.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

How do You Make Your Coffee?

The folks at Ultimate Kitchen sent me a French press coffee maker.

We have a traditional electric coffee maker, but I'm not a fan of the thing. It takes up counter space and is hard to keep clean and, since we don't use it on a regular basis, I think I spend more time cleaning the thing than actually using it. Compared to that, the French press is so much easier! My husband has one he keeps in his locker at work. Our oldest son got one for Christmas. And now we've got one in the kitchen that everyone can use.

I'm not a big coffee drinker. Until our Hawaii trip earlier this summer, I wouldn't have described myself as a coffee drinker at all, but the coffee plantation tour ended with samples of all of their flavored coffees. I didn't know it came in banana nut.  That could motivate me to learn how to make my own coffee.

For now, Teenage Son is the one who makes most of the coffee at our house, so he helped me put together a quick video showing how the French press works.

How do you brew your coffee?


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