winter

winter

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fiber Fluff

So, I sat down and made a thing a little while back. I took the half of the packaging for a bunch of lollipops and used it to make a tabletop distaff. It had a sphere at the top and then a stick out the bottom of it. The sphere could be opened and the lollipops were inside it. I took the top half of the sphere off and then filled the lower half of the sphere with stones and put the part that the lollipops stuck into and replaced it on there. The stick that was pointing out of the bottom then was the new top and the hemisphere with the stones sat on the table.

It is nice and stable. It also works really well if I am doing supported spinning at the table. I think using the table distaff lead me to having more even yarn. It really did cut down on arm fatigue. And for reasons I can't explain, my hands did get tired quite so quickly either. I'm not sure why it worked out that way, but I am pleased. I filled up the lignim vitae french spindle twice. I was then getting bored with that. So I started spinning the rest of the fiber on my turkish spindle. (I think it is made from maple but I'm not sure.) I filled that up twice. Now I have two full runs of the colorway left. I split it in half and am spinning it up on a light drawer pull drop spindle. I don't think I can get the whole lot on there in two goes. I may have to do four.

My plan is to ply what I have on each spindle with the other stuff that came from the spindle. This way, theoretically, my plies are even. And, hopefully, the amounts on the spindles are the same. I am half tempted to try chain plying this stuff, even though it is super fine. I have decided that I am going to do my plying on my kick wheel. Just because I think it is going to go faster than using a spindle for it.

I have been making baby hats again. I am using a pastel rainbow colorway from Red Heart. The yarn is their sport weight acrylic. It is my plan to wash it with super hot water to soften up the yarn. I used a 'D' hook. I made a magic ring at the top and then did eight double crochet into it. I slip stitched the end of my round to the first stitch before chaining for the first stitch in the row. My first round was eight stitches. My second round was sixteen, with an increase in every stitch as per usual and the final stitch a slip stitch. My third round was twenty four stitches (in the pattern of one increase in the first stitch of the increase and then a single stitch, up to the last three stitches which were an  increase in the first stitch of the increase and a slip stitch into the first stitch of the round).

After my third round, I began working single crochet into every stitch. My final stitch of the round was worked as a single crochet and the remainder of the hat was done in the round in a spiral, if you would. I worked two inches in single crochet. I then slip stitched the final stitch of the final round to the first stitch of that round.  It is a really small hat, but I am making it for really small preemie babies. (The majority of the hats that the spinning guild have been donating are made for the medium sized preemies. I have been focusing on the 'micro' preemies. I am doing so because most people are not making hats that small. I am seriously considering a tiny layette set, all held together with a bit of ribbon and a note telling the recipient that I was once a high risk preemie and that there is hope that their child will grow up healthy and well.)

I am still working on that ducky scarf. It got very exasperating, so I set it aside. Illusion knitting looks cool and all that, but it is a very tedious process. I'll be honest, I am getting bored with this. I did the math, I have about 5 hours of knitting to go and it will be finished. I'm going to try to get it done next week. This way I don't have to look at it anymore. I can just finish it and hand it off to the person I am going to give it to.

I haven't written up the pattern for the sweater or the bonnet I made. It is on the list of stuff to do later. When I get the pile of other things finished but before I send it out in the mail to the recipient.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Behind on EVERYTHING.

Well, I'm not behind on bills. I'm a little behind on dishes. We won't talk about laundry, except to say that 90% of it is clean due to the grace of my husband. But all of that writing stuff I've been trying to do, completely behind on that. To the point of almost a week. I am frustrated.

I finally get to where I actually have stuff organized and then poof, it all goes ass over tea kettle and I am torn between just giving up on a writing schedule and trying to cram all of that stuff in at the same time as I am doing what I had slated for today. It is awful.

I had a migraine this morning. It wasn't to the point of seeing double, but I was hiding in the darker rooms of the apartment until it abated. I think it started last night. I don't know if I am going to have another tonight. The weather conditions are right for it, I guess. I am overheated and I just feel miserable.

I want to just phone it in and hide in a hole somewhere until I feel better. (Mood stuff is still not right. I see the doctor about it in two weeks because that is when my scheduled appointment is and he literally has no openings before then.) I feel stiff and uncomfortable. I did my morning yoga but I didn't get any exercise done. I wound up using my inhaler twice this morning just doing light housework.

On the plus side, however, I think I fixed the vacuum cleaner. And I did get my plants watered this morning. I feel completely burned out right now, though. I was going to water plants before I got ready for bed, but I just don't have the spoons. So, anyone waiting for more story related stuff or witchery related stuff, please bear with me.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Monday Menu

So, I am posting this Sunday night instead of Monday morning. This is partly because it is more convenient for me to do so right now and partly because I suspect that my morning is going to be extra busy for reasons I can't really define. It is just a gut feeling.

Tonight's dinner was semi-homemade pizza. I pick up the pizza shells at Aldi's (we used the Mama Cozzi original style ones). We used some of the Prego pizza sauce that I got at Walmart last week. I honestly think it is better than what we can get at Aldi's, but I may be biased because I grew up eating Prego pasta sauce. We did use the mozzarella blend from Aldi's. It seems to melt better than what I can get at just about anywhere else. The only thing that I have found that is better is the mozzarella blend with some of the Philidelpia cream cheese shredded and added to it. (I'm planning on getting some of this cheese blend next week to see if I can make a decent artichoke dip with it.)

Tomorrow's breakfast is going to be waffles. It was going to be today's breakfast, but I decided to try to make french toast casserole. It didn't come out quite right. But, it was edible and my youngest decided that he liked it. My eldest chose to eat a banana for breakfast after trying some of what was on his plate. Lunch for myself tomorrow is going to be my leftover slices of pizza and some salad. Beloved is going to have a salami sandwich with provalone cheese, some crackers, and some cheese. I also am going to put a couple of hard boiled eggs in with it. I'm debating blending some yogurt with some fruit and adding that, but he is very particular about his yogurt, so I may just do that for myself. Dinner is going to be hamburgers, apple salad, and tater-tots. I had written down fries, but then I bought tater-tots out of habit.

Tuesday is going to be pop-tarts for breakfast. Beloved's lunch is going to be the same as it was Monday (as he did specifically request that). I and my eldest will be having lunch out. He has a dentist appointment in the morning and after that we're going to have lunch. I'm leaning towards packing something for him and I so that we can do something like stop at a park for lunch. I am anticipating Tuesday to be a challenging day because of the dentist appointment. Dinner is going to be pulled pork (cooked in the crockpot), coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese (for the kids).

Wednesday is going to be a day where we have cereal for breakfast. Lunch is going to be a sandwich with chips and stuff for Beloved. I'm leaning strongly towards making tuna salad for him and I. This way I can have it on my salad. I am going to be making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I'm going to make some garlic bread and a tossed salad to go with it. If I'm organized enough, maybe I can bake something like a pie too. I'm not decided, partly because I'm not sure how warm it is going to be and partly because I am pretty bad at making pie crusts.

Thursday is going to be a day where we have waffles. If I don't have enough waffles, it will be pancakes. I have a BIG package of pancakes in the freezer. (I can not make pancakes to save my life.) Lunch is going to be the sandwich stuff that Beloved told me he wanted. I am going to have leftovers for lunch. (I have stuff like macaroni and cheese sitting in the fridge to eat up. I'm considering doing something like frying it inside a sandwich because carbs.) Dinner is going to be tacos cooked in the crockpot and another salad. We're having these salads because they're inexpensive to make, cool, and I get most of my lunch for the next day done with out having to do any work.

Friday is going to be a cereal day for breakfast. I'm going to be out of the apartment most of the day. I will be packing Beloved's lunch as per usual. Then I'm going to go visit my Auntie Adrian before I go to a doctor's appointment. Dinner is going to be prepped in the crockpot and made with stuff that I have to cook. It is going to be teriyaki meatballs (in the crockpot) and pasta salad with fresh vegetables. If I can manage it, I am going to try to come up with some kind of sweet or other treat to have with the kids for the Full Moon.

Saturday is going to be a pancakes day for breakfast. We are going to be having leftovers for lunch. Dinner is going to be pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas. If I can get the kids to help me, it will be the shake-n-bake style pork chops using a homemade recipe. If not, I may just fry them in the skillet. I'm not decided yet.

My grocery total for this weekend was a little over $200, but I also had to do things like pick up more vitamins and prescriptions. Take that out of the total and it drops down to around $150. I made a point of getting most of my groceries at Aldi's, where my total was $75. At Wegmans, I spent about $40, with a third of that being the cost of vitamins. It was Walmart where I really go dinged on the cost of vitamins. I thought it was kinda weird, because previously, Wegmans was more expensive. Maybe they're engaging in some competition? I don't know. It could also just be a fluke.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Fiber Fluff & Current Project.

Hey there,

I'm almost finished spinning the Frabjous Fibers braid of 'hand dyed opulence blend' in colorway #4 Chromatophobia Pink. It is 30% superfine merino, 30% tussah silk, 20% baby camel down, and 20% royal baby alpaca. It is super super soft and lovely to handle. It also does not like humidity that much, so it is a good thing I'm almost finished spinning this thing up. I've reached the point where I have one full pass of the colorway left to spin.

I've been using a Turkish spindle that I believe is .5 oz. I have also been using my lignum vitae wood French spindle (as a supported spindle). I'm debating plying it all together. I'm not decided on the matter. I have decided, however, the my plying will be done using that kick wheel that Jim (at True Creations ) made and my MiL bought me for Yule a few years back. I've mostly been using the thing for plying.

I have a goal this year, however, that for Tour de Fleece, I am going to spin strictly on the kick spindle. It is my hope that I will have something finished (plied and set) by the end of it all. I've been trying to decide what fiber to use. It's been a hard pick because my MiL has so generously given me a great deal of wonderful fiber over the last little while. And I still have stuff from the sheep study that the guild is doing to process and spin up. Final decision on what I'm spinning is going to be made in a little bit, though, this way what ever work to process it can be done well before I have to be spinning.

Presently, I am working on a heavy crochet blanket for C. It is in all of her favorite colors and I'm working it up with 3 strands of yarn and a 'Q' hook, as a granny square. I am about a third of the way done. I have hit the point where I am somewhat bored with the project now. So, I am alternating between that and finishing the duckie scarf that I've been knitting for R. (Life got crazy, knitting that required thought got put aside, and now his Yule gift is *very* late. But I have about 3 hours of work left to finish that, so I think I can get it done next week.)

I've been contemplating how I'm going to be making the bag that J. requested. I'm leaning towards something featuring Tunisian crochet, this way I don't have to worry too much about lining the bag. I still have to put the lining in the bag I made for Beloved and take care of resolving that problem with the buzzy bee bag I made a while back. Which I really want to turn into something more funcitonal. It's not working out too great right now with out any lining.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Monday Menu.

No picture this week because I'm just tired of trying to find good lighting for pictures and stuff. It's a bit frustrating and I have been having enough stuff making me annoyed and frustrated. I have been having a difficult couple of weeks. So, I'm just going to make this post completely simple.

Sunday was scheduled to be pizza night, but the weather was too humid and warm. I just picked up some pre-cooked pulled pork and made Cuban sandwiches for lunch. I am probably going to be using the leftover pulled pork in Beloved's lunches this week.

Monday morning is going to be French toast with fruit. Lunch is going to be sandwiches for the guys and a salad for myself. My goals is to get back into the habit of eating salads for lunch. Dinner is going to be hot dogs with potato salad and fresh veggies. I'm tempted to cook them in the crockpot with some chili sauce. I'm not decided on the matter.

Tuesday is going to be a cereal day for breakfast. Beloved is going to be having sandwiches for his lunch (he requested turkey). I am going to be having some leftovers (if there is any) and a salad. If there are no leftovers from Monday's dinner, it will just be a salad. I may possibly do the spiced eggs on a bed of kale. It depends on how motivated I feel to be cooking tomorrow afternoon. Dinner is going to be hamburgers with tater-tots and a tossed salad.

Wednesday is going to be the leftovers from the french toast or I'm going to do something with eggs and toast. Beloved is going to be having another sandwich for lunch. It may be ham or it may be turkey, it depends on what he is in the mood for. I'm out of the sandwich style cut dill pickles but I don't think he'll mind much.  I am more of a fan of pickles than he is. I will be having a salad. I am going to try to make that thai chopped salad that I have on my cooking page on pinterest. I keep meaning to make it, I think this week is going to be the time I finally make it. Dinner is going to be chicken curry with rice, naan, and saag paneer.

Thursday is going to be waffles for breakfast. I have some fruit filled ones that I'm looking forward to. Apart of me says I should have whipped cream, but I think I'll be just fine with out it. My lunch is going to be a salad, or curry leftovers. Beloved is definitely getting curry leftovers. I'm going to do my best to make sure he has an extra portion of saag paneer. Dinner tonight is going to be crockpot tacos with fresh salsa an guacamole.

Friday's breakfast is going to be pop tarts. Lunch is going to be a taco salad for myself and sandwiches for Beloved. I'd try giving him something like taco salad but I know that's not exactly his thing. I may throw some corn chips and guacamole into his lunch though. Dinner is going to be pasta salad with teriyaki meatballs. I found a recipe for how to do it in the crockpot. Though calling it a recipe may be a bit much. It's premade meatballs and teriyaki sauce cooked on low for 6-8 hours. I'm also going to have fresh veggies out to round out the meal.

Saturday is going to be another morning of scrambled eggs. The kids apparently seem to love them. Cuddle Bear was six different kinds of proud of himself for helping me cook them for breakfast yesterday. I think he's going to be real happy to help out next Saturday too. Lunch is going to be something take out when I am out doing grocery shopping. I have a feeling that there are not going to be any leftovers from dinner Friday night. Whenever I make meatball anything, it goes really fast because the guys love 'em. Dinner is going to be macaroni and cheese. I'm going to give the kids apple slices to go with it. Beloved is going to be out doing social things that evening, so I won't be worrying about dinner for him. And the kids don't get to pick out dinner things that often, so this is kinda a special little 'mom and me' kind of thing.

One thing I have to add, menu planning has cut about $50 out of my grocery bill when I first started out doing it. As I have refined it over the last several months, it has lead to the bill going down to about $100 less than what it was towards the beginning of the year. Making Beloved's lunches for work has cut down a whole lot on food waste, which made me pretty happy. It has also helped cut down on how much money gets dropped into buying lunches and food from restaurants.

My goal is to get my total food budget down to $200 for the month, on average. This requires making some changes to how I am handling somethings. I have discovered, however, that packing lunch for Beloved is not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I am cautiously optimistic that I can apply that type of preparedness to summer meals when the boys are home from school. I also want to do some food preservation this year. While the initial investment may be requiring some planning, I think if I do it right, I can cut down on some of our winter food budget and maybe even limit how much off-season produce I buy. And, when it is winter, off-season produce is kinda expensive even at stores like Aldi's.