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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Frida Kahlo Hat (mostly knitted) on: May 29, 2014 09:28:40 AM
I have good news and better news. First I finished grad school, thats right I'm a licensed therapist (insert applause here). And that means I can re-enter the land of the living. While I haven't been positing I have been crafting and taking pictures.

I made this for my mom for Christmas. We have a tradition of making each other gifts and she requested a Frida
Kahlo (or as she says it Frida Carlo  Tongue ) hat.

I knitted he main body form a Princess Leia wig  pattern on Ravelry. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/princess-leia-wig and I just kind of fudged the rest. I chain crocheted the black and purpley red yarn together and braided that. Then I used the same color to crochet flowers. I kind of wish I used a redder color, or maybe made different colored flowers. Other than that I am pretty darn pleased with myself, and my mom loved it. She wore it for a month straight.

And this awesome lady is my mama!
2  COOKING / Dessert / Cheater Carrot Cake with Candied Carrots and Greek Yogurt Icing on: February 14, 2014 11:08:48 PM

It was my dads birthday on Sunday and I asked him what he wants. He said he wanted a carrot cake. ARE YOU S#%^ING ME?!?!? I am in my last 4 weeks of graduate school and this man wants me to bake him a carrot cake. Every recipe I looked at required more time and effort than I had to spare. And truth be told I dont like to bake. Its all so precise. I like to let Betty Crocker do the heavy lifting.

Imagine this picture with apple juice, a can of crushed pineapple, and greek yogurt instead of butter.


Cake Mix

1 cup shredded carrots

1 small can crushed pineapple drained

A bag of chopped pecans (or nut of your choice.)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

Cream Cheese Icing:

2 boxes of cream cheese

1 medium size container of plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup powdered sugar


2 Carrots

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Crushed pecans (or nut of your choice)

Sugar for dusting

1. Chop up the shredded carrots by going over them twice with a butcher knife (I was worried the carrot pieces were too big. )

2. Prepare the cake following the directions- substituting apple juice for water (that I happened to have in the fridge) and adding the chopped carrots, pecans, pineapple, cinnamon and ginger.

3. Pour the batter into two well greased and floured 8″ cake pans and bake according to directions until a fork poked in the center comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven lets work on the garnish.

1. Slice the carrots thinly using your mandolin. Dont have one? Get one, its worth it.

2. In a medium size saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water. Boil the slices over a medium heat forsay20 minutes.  

3. Dust the slices in sugar and lay on parchment to dry. (This was the most tedious part.)

Now for the icing.

I googled recipes for cream cheese icing and the general consensus is  1 part cream cheese to 1 part butter. But this is my dad we are taking about. I want him to have many more birthdays. So instead of butter I mixed the cream cheese, greek yogurt and powdered sugar to make a perfect just-barely-sweet icing. Just mix until well blended. Then put in a frosting bag for ease of icing.

4. Once the cakes are cool stack and ice like so. I used the ring of a large mason jar to get a perfect circle of nuts. Then I places candied carrot slices around like petals.

I had to make the cake the day before (because I had class) and the sugar on the carrots dissolved. This made them look even better.

The cake tasted great. It wasn't brown at all, but it tasted like carrot cake. It was moist, but crumbly. Maybe an extra egg would have helped.

Here is good old patronis major making his wish.

3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Annies mitts with pattern on: February 05, 2014 02:28:21 PM

I know I know I have been MIA again, but I have a good excuse. I am 5 weeks and 20 contact hours from finishing grad school.

And I have had the best clinical supervisor. She has been amazing to me, and she is also resigning this week. She is an avid mountain climber so I wanted to make her some mitts to keep her wrists warm. To be honest I bought a pattern and I hated it. So I made up my own. And I am going to share it with you.

Now its my first pattern, and here might be (probably are) mistakes. If you have questions or suggestions let me know. And have fun.

Sock weight yarn I used a 240 yard skein and had plenty left over
Size B hook
1 Stitch marker (or a paperclip)

Slip stitch
Dc2tog, double crochet 2 together         
Dc3tog, double crochet 3 together

Chain 40 and join being careful not to turn

Left mitt
Row 1: Ch3, Dc2tog in 3rd chain from hook, *chain 1, skip 1 chain, Dc3tog in next chain *, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Row 2: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3

Row 3-6: repeat row 2

Row 7: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, chain 6, skip 2 chain 1 spaces, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, *chain 1, Dc3tog*, repeat * to end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3. This is the thumb hole.

Row 8: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1,  Dc3tog in first chain, chain 1, Dc3tog in third chain, chain 1, Dc3tog in sixth chain, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Rows 9-11: Repeat row 2

Row 12: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, (chain 1,  skip 1 chain 1 space, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space), repeat ( ) 1 more time,*chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3.

Row 13: Repeat row 2

Row 14: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, chain 3, Dc2tog in same space, chain 1,  skip 1 chain 1 space, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space, ,*chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * till end, join with a slip stitch in chain 3. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Lay mitt flat with thumb hole to the right. Find and mark the center cluster.

Row 15: Beginning on the chain 1 space on either side of the marker- slip stitch to attach yarn, (chain 3, Dc2tog, chain 1, Dc3tog  in same space), *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to last chain 1 space, in last chain 1 space (Dc3tog chain 1, Dc3tog), do not join.

Row 16: Slip stitch to first chain 1 space, (chain3, dc2tog, chain 1, Dc3tog) in first chain 1 space, *chain 1, Dc3tog in next chain 1 space*, repeat * to last chain 1 space, in last chain 1 space (Dc3tog chain 1, Dc3tog), do not join, fasten off.

Weave in ends to finish.

Right Mitt
 Follow pattern rows 1-14. Lay mitt flat with thumb to left. Continue rows 15-16.

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Elven? crazy fingerless gloves on: August 31, 2013 07:17:21 PM

To start off I once saw a pattern that listed the experience level as advanced-beginner and I think that perfectly describes me. I can kind of do stuff but I'm still a beginner and if I can't finish a project in a weekend I'm probably not going to.
Secondly, I'm the last person you would guess to make or wear elven gloves. No judgment just not my style.

But I was looking for a pattern to practice Undecided lace and I found this Vogue http://store.vogueknitting.com/p-1902-fingerless-gloves.aspx one and talked myself into buying it. It's was awesome! I did it in two weekends, one for each glove, and it was fun.

I had the skien of Souk which I don't like because it breaks so easily but I loved the color. I bought it with fantasies of making a leafy something or other. The pattern wanted 2 200 yard skeins but I did it with just one.

The construction is what I love most. Basically you make two stars, stitch them together, then fold in half and stitch at the points.

There are a couple mistakes but hey for a first try I am proud, I love them, I think they are badass, and I would never wear them. So my favorite part of this whole story is that I wrapped them up pretty and left them at my friends door. She would totally sport them and I got to do a random good deed.

5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Yarn ball jar on: July 23, 2013 12:09:52 PM
Just a quickie.
I am having a bum day and want to my moms house for some pity and a hug. She said "when you can't solve a major problem solve a minor one." So I made a yarn ball holder for the knitting project in my purse. I found the pretty pasta sauce jar in her cubbies and all the thing I needed in her junk drawer. Hammer, nail, bigger nail, super glue, and the plastic casing to a drywall screw. And I hAve to admit it felt good to acomplish something.
Oh and I'm fond of using clip one earrings as stitch markers.
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Stash Buster Art Yarn on: July 11, 2013 08:05:13 AM

I made a mess. My yarn was a tangled jumbled mess. I saved most of it but this portion was unsavable.

But it seemed a shame to throw away such good yarn. There is some Noro in there and some Malbrigo. Most of it was wool, but there was cotton and some silk ribbon and a bit of acrylic too. I had that tangle for about a year now stubbornly refusing to throw it away. Then last weekend I got an Indian Head spinning wheel. Here I'll show you that too:

So I went through my tangle and cut of 1'-2' pieces and put them in no particular order in a container.

Then using the wheel I plied it with this yarn (originally because it was the finest wool I had but I love how the rainbow effect lent to the eclectic quality of the yarn)

I would show you the in process pictures but I'm still very new to spinning and it takes all the concentration I've got (plus some). But I ended up with this.

It's 199.75 yards by my measure. Now to think of a project to use it on.
7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / My new little lady <3 on: July 07, 2013 07:32:34 PM
So I have fiddled with drop spindle spinning which I love (and wrote my psychology research final paper on as mindfulness practice) and then this weekend I stumbled on this gem for just $200. I guess its an indian head. I gave the wood some oil love but other than that it was ready to go.
No reason for this post other than I'm giddy and have to share with people who will get it.
After some youtube-ing I am already off. I have to admit there is a learning curve but I just love it. So ingenious.

And it has a cast iron wheel.
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Rolled paper chess set on: April 06, 2013 11:56:30 PM

First things first I got the idea from this site http://paperplateandplane.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/rolled-paper-chess-set/ but the post isn't a tutorial really, just specs for the one she made. I tried it but found the pieces were too small and I just knew there is a world of color/texture possibilities to explore.

Its actually quite simple, thats probably why I love it. You can probably get the gist by just looking at the pictures.

You will need:
Pretty paper- I used a block of scrapbook paper that had coordinating colors
Xacto knife
glue stick (The magnum sized glue stick is worth every penny)

The chess pieces are made up of strips of paper rolled onto each other. There are three widths of paper strip for each piece. For simplicity sake lets call them a small (1/4") a medium (1/2") and the shaft (varies). The paper I used was 12" by 12" so each strip was 12" long.

1 shaft piece 1"x12"
2 small pieces 1/4"x12"
1 medium piece 1/2"x12"
x 8 pawns

Coat the shaft piece generously on the wrong side with the glue stick.

Roll the paper around the toothpick keeping top and bottom as flat as possible.

Coat a medium piece in glue and roll around shaft at the bottom.

Coat 1st small piece in glue and roll around medium at bottom.

Coat 2nd small piece and roll around shaft at top.

Repeat 7 more times.

1 shaft piece 2"x12"
2 small pieces 1/4"x12"
2 medium pieces 1/2"x12"
x 2 rooks

Create a shaft as you did witht he pawn. Wrap medium piece around top and bottom.

Wrap small pieces around medium pieces at top and bottom.


1 shaft piece 2"x12"
2 small pieces 1/4"x12"
2 medium pieces 1/2"x12"
2 little pieces 1/4"x6" (I took a small piece and tore it in half)
x 2 knights

First roll your small pieces and set aside.

Roll shaft and add medium and small to bottom to make base.

Wrap medium piece once around shaft just below the top.

Put little rolled piece against shaft and continue to roll medium piece around it.

Wrap final small piece around upper middle piece.


1 shaft piece 2"x12"
2 small pieces 1/4"x12"
2 medium pieces 1/2"x12"
x 2 bishops

Create shaft and add mediums pieces at bottom and just below top.

Add small pieces to mediums like so.


1 shaft piece 2 1/4"x12"
3 small pieces 1/4"x12"
2 medium pieces 1/2"x12"

Create shaft and add mediums pieces at top and bottom.

Add smalls to mediums pieces at to bottom and middle of shaft.

1 shaft piece 2 1/4"x12"
3 small pieces 1/4"x12"
2 medium pieces 1/2"x12"

Create shaft and add medium pieces at bottom and just below top.

Add small pieces to bottom medium piece, upper medium piece and just below that.

Repeat entire process in a different color scheme.

Here are some additional pics of the set I made.
Hope you enjoy and feel free to offer suggestions for improvement.
Now I have to make a board.  Undecided

9  COOKING / Dessert / Rosette apple pie on: November 14, 2012 04:58:27 PM
amy friend asked me for this recipe so here goes...snarky comments and all.

First things first the ingredients: when making fruit pies my nan said it best "Don't f#@& around with what God already made delicious." Oh and I use ready made pie crust, I don't do my own dental work either.

We are making a rosette pie today. I wanted to keep the color on the peel (you'll see why) so to keep the "filling" from getting tough I'm slicing the apples as thin as possible, then putting them in a bit of water with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

Pause to administer first aid. There is no blood in the pie I promise.

Since I cut myself I was done cutting apples but I think there is plenty. So the idea is simple arrange the slices around from the outside in. Oh now is a good time to preheat the oven at 400.

Almost ready to bake.

1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, zest of half a lemon, and several good shakes of cinnamon. Cook till syrupy but don't touch it's the temp of the center of the sun.

I used a pastry brush to glaze the apples cuz I didn't want any on the crust. Now off to the oven.

Now isn't that nice. 35 minutes in the oven. Slicing the apples is the hardest part and I'm not going to lie I lost a pint of blood, but I think in the end it was worth it.

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Fire Lizard a la Ann McCaffreys Dragon Riders of Pern on: September 21, 2012 03:00:01 PM

A new coworker asked me if I had ever read the Dragonriders series and it made me remember my mom reading them to me as a little girl.

In the books there are big ride-able dragons but there are also small "firelizards" which are like pets. I wanted a fire lizard so bad. Well I got to reminiscing and now that I (kind of) know how to knit I decided to try my hand at making one.

I used a lot of other patterns as a reference point but mostly "sculpted" as I went along.
I used this frog pattern but made the neck longer and once I got to the body I abandoned it all together. http://www.frogvsfungus.com/2012/04/08/knitted-frog-pattern-for-save-the-frogs-day/
And I used this edging pattern for the fins but the yarn I used didn't come out so "finny". http://feraljane.blogspot.com/2011/06/its-only-been-10-months.html
And I used this pattern for the wings. http://tashyys.blogspot.se/2012/06/vingar-till-flynn-swamp-dragon-wings.html
All knitted in a scrap of bamboo/wool I got a year ago in a bargain bin.

 I decided to give him to my coworker as a thank you because she reminded me of some of my fvorite books, but this was the only box I could find at work.

So I made my own labels. I am now a fire lizard breeder  Cheesy

I can't wait to make my next one. You know how it goes, you try something and by the end you have ten ways to improve on it.

Oh and p.s. LOVE the new photo uploading!
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