Apr 03

Bug Warmer Handspun Project

Crafting 2

I’ve been holding onto this project to share for awhile now, as I wanted the recipient to have it in hand before posting here. So without further ado…

I started with this fiber, 80/20  superwash merino sparkly nylon blend from Ginny at Fat Cat Knits in the gradient colorway Mon Ami.


It spun up beautifully, the smoothest merino I’ve ever spun. Usually merino doesn’t behave well for me, it clumps and sticks together horribly. But this was an absolute dream and I spun the entire braid in 3 days. I can’t say enough good things about Ginny’s fiber prep and her color sense.


I’m still not quite back in my grove with spinning. I was aiming for a worsted/aran weight yarn and ended up with DK. Oops. If the fiber hadn’t fluffed up a TON it would’ve been sport weight. I got 330 yards of 2-ply. I tried to keep the colors together as much as possible but of course there was some areas where, as I was plying, I could see there was just way too much mismatching of the sections, so I broke the ply. It killed me to throw away what probably ended up as about 30 yards, but I was a lot happier with the finished yarn. I could have split the top in half exactly in the middle and had a one-way gradient, but I split it lengthwise and so had a purple-blue-yellow/orange-pink-yellow/orange-blue-purple yarn.

yarma_medium21 yarma_medium22

While I was overall very happy with the yarn, I still see a lot of inconsistencies in my singles and my plying is too loose. In my opinion.

Regardless, I picked the Bug Warmer baby sweater pattern (free on Ravelry) and away we went! It was a quick, easy knit and made my happy with every single stitch. I finished it in a couple more days and then after blocking it to even it all out – something I’ve found almost entirely necessary with handspun…it helps even with the more evenly spun yarn, but especially with my slightly uneven handspun – got it off in the mail to my lovely, adorable little goddaughter who looks like she will absolutely ROCK it.


None of the pictures show the sparkle very well…it just looks like little bits sticking out but it’s really quite sparkly.


I love how the colors blended right here.


Ta-da! Oh, I did add a little leftover commercial yarn on the edges. AND, since I ended up with so much yardage I only used about half of the skein (hence the one-way gradient in the sweater). So now I’m trying to find something to make with the other half for either myself or Baby Girl’s mama.



Feb 22

Good Monday

Animals, Books/Writing, Cats, Crafting, Pets 2

Normally, this is me on a Monday.

from http://funnyand.tumblr.com

But I had a truly lovely weekend, just hanging out with my husband. We didn’t really do anything (does laundry count?), but I got to work on a lot of projects and we watched some movies.

I wrote a few letters, and practiced making wax seals.

I worked on the never-ending quilt, and determined I’m 90% sure I’m going to run out of red thread. Ugh.

I finally picked up my Tree People socks again, and am almost to the heel now.

I spun two plies of this lovely Fat Cat Knits gradient (superwash merino/sparkle), and am with  difficulty waiting about 24 hours before plying because my singles don’t seem to be as twisty then. Ideally, I’d wait about 3 days but I just don’t have the patience. At all.

I finished “The Likeness,” by Tana French. Also my 15th book for this year, whoohoo! I am absolutely in love with this series and if you like mystery/police procedural books at all you really really MUST go start it. First one is “In the Woods.” Now go. Get it. Read it. Then come back and tell me thank you.

And of course, lots of snuggles with this little guy. The big guy too, but no pics of him.

All ready for St. Patrick’s Day!



Jan 04

Reading Life

Books/Writing, Life, Musings, Uncategorized 1

2015 December 161.JPG

New year, new goals! I knocked my 2015 reading goal out of the park, the first year I’ve ever actually reached my number goal, which was 25. I read 69. Sure, the goal was low for the speed at which I normally read, but considering that in 2013 I only read 13 books (for real), and 2015 was going to entail some MAJOR life changes like moving to the other side of the world, I thought it was reasonable. Then I had more free time on my hands then I anticipated, and wham. Almost triple. Whoohoo!

So this year, my number goal is 50. I don’t anticipate moving this year, but we do plan on doing as much traveling as possible, and I have all these other hobbies that intrude on my reading time. My other goal is to finish every book I’ve bought and not read. Towards that end I’ve created a new page with that list. Enjoy my extremely random library (the whole thing is cataloged here…still working on the audiobooks and ebooks). This goal was inspired by my husband wincing over a new box of books arriving in the mail not too long ago, and the reminder that when we DO move back to the States they are the biggest contributor to our moving weight limit. Eeep. So I either read them, or give them away. And, I am going to attempt – key word – to go on a book-buying diet until I have finished the ones I have. All 45 of them (since I already went through and cleared out the 10 or so that I decided I didn’t want to read anymore). I am allowing myself a subscription to OwlCrate…I’ve enjoyed quite a few YA reads in the last year, and I am in absolute love with the literary goodies I’ve seen in pictures of boxes. And I’m just a sucker for subscription boxes in general.


I’m really kind of bummed I missed out on the Poe zipper pouch.

My last reading goal is a challenge I’m doing with a bunch of pen-pal friends. I’m choosing 12 challenges out of a list to stretch my reading horizons. Books a little out of my comfort zone.

Will I go over 50? I sure hope so! But I wanted to set myself up for success. What are your reading goals for 2016?


Dec 31

Meow, Meow, Meow

Animals, Cats 2

2015 December 036

First, hope everyone had a very merry Christmas filled with light and love and laughter! I really missed being at home for all the usual family Christmas stuffs, but we had a great, hilarious, inebriated time with our family here. Haha. In other news…

I am in love. Head over heels hopelessly in love, with a beautiful little ginger kitty. I think he’s in love with us too.

2015 December 085

He certainly has a lot to say. As soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, it starts. Goes something like this.

Meow. Meow. Shhh. *fumbles for alarm* Meow! MEOW! SHHHH!! Meow. *dives out of bed for clothes and bathroom, trying to keep quiet so as not to wake the husband* Meow. Meow. Meow. Sssshhhhhhhh! *kitty flops onto back at my feet and squirms around on bathroom tile* Meow! *gives belly scratches* *kitty squeaks happily and loudly* *tries to get dressed* Meow. Meow. Meow. *husband throws pillows towards bathroom*

I’m really not sure how to cure him of the constant meowing. I keep thinking he needs something, so I go check food, water, litter box…all clean and full. I pick him up, he gets slightly lower in volume but continues meowing. The only thing that stops him so far is getting out toys and playing with him. After about 20 minutes of that he’s usually ready for a nap, but basically if I’m up and moving around he is following me and talking.

Can this be normal? And if so there must be a way to modify the behavior so it’s not CONSTANT. It’s kind of driving us crazy. Oh, and apparently when it is just DH at home, he’s quiet as a little mouse. What did I do??

2015 December 114

The little tongue just kills me.

Good thing he’s so cute.


Dec 13

Welcome Home

Animals, Cats, Uncategorized 7

Introducing (after much discussion and many name suggestions)…TRISTAN!! He’s here!! I made him a knitted catnip mouse, and he immediately won my heart by loving it.


Last night was rather…unrestful, as he meowed and  climbed all over us most of the night. At 5 a.m., he woke me up to hand-wrestle me…rolling over on his back and playfully batting at my hand resting on his belly. It was dark, and all I could see were the white tips of his paws. He then proceeded to lick my fingers, then my chin. Consider me completely slain.

When it finally was time to get up (i.e., 6:30 a.m.,) he was very happy to play with me and explore, all while still meowing every 2 seconds.

Tyrion 4I can see right now we’re going to be very good friends…his next stop was the bookstack!

Tyrion3Then he must’ve been tired, because he just lay down and snuggled with me while I wrote a letter.

Tyrion 5Tyrion2And then he claimed our bed.

Tyrion7I think he likes us. I’m in love. He’s one of the sweetest, cuddliest, most easy-going felines I’ve ever met. I’m a little bit in awe. Still wish Alfie-boy was here and they could play together, but I think when we come back to the States they will be great friends.


Dec 07

Giving Forever Homes

Dogs, Giving Back, Life, Pets 1

When you’re trying to adopt an animal from a rescue, you hear a lot about “forever homes.” It’s a pretty self-explanatory term – meaning you’re in it for the long haul, for the duration of that animal’s life, even when it’s inconvenient.


I think I have a pretty good grasp on the idea. When I had Timmy (my golden retriever), I lived in a 450 square foot apartment with him and and another person. An 80 lb dog in a tiny apartment. He was older, so not as much energy as a younger retriever, but he still needed lots of walks and bouncing balls off the walls. Some people told me I was cruel for NOT giving him away, but I had been with him so long I felt breaking that bond would have been more cruel. A couple years later, I was eating rice so he could eat his normal food. It was only for a little while, but again, someone told me I should just get rid of him. I saw the point. He did eat quite a bit, and he had food allergies so his food was NOT cheap. I chose to eat my rice and ramen noodles with him rather than steak without him. And to this day, I know his trust in me never wavered, not even when I took him to the vet’s office for the last time and he lay his sweet head in my lap and crossed the Rainbow Bridge.


So why do I struggle with this term? Mainly because due to my current job (which could, however unlikely, send me places for extended periods of time and not allow me to bring a pet). Also because my sweet Alfie boy is still in the States. Is he in a good, safe home? Yes. Is he adjusting? Yes. When I can am I still going to bring him home with me? Absolutely. My friends understand this. They understand why I couldn’t fly him with me originally. But I still feel horribly, horribly guilty. Will he hate me when he sees me again? Does he think I’ve abandoned him? Yes, I’m still caring for him, but not in the sense an animal will understand.

That said, I applied to an animal rescue here in Korea, for a cat. I was honest about the whole job thing. They asked me a lot of questions. I answered all of them as honestly as  I could. I told them about Timmy, and Alfie. And they decided I was still worthy of being a pet parent. Because I will, to the absolute best of my ability, give a permanent, safe home to any animal I ever call my own. I’m not perfect and don’t expect things to always work out ideally, but I will try and do the absolute best I can for them.


This is Tyrion (name probably changing). I go to pick him up this weekend. I am so excited…I’ve missed animals so very much. Many more posts forthcoming, I’m sure.


Oct 30

The Wheel Turns

Crafting, Gardening/Herbalism/Nature, Life 2

I love this time of year. This time and spring makes me feel the most connected with history, both my own personal history and the history of the world. I like the old traditions of Halloween, or Samhain as my Irish and Scottish ancestors probably would have called it. All the modern day gore and zombies aren’t what I love about the season. It’s the idea of the thinning of the veil, of our loved ones perhaps being able to see us or maaaaaybe even communicate with us that pulls me. My dear grandfather passed near this time, on October 6, 12 years ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Every October, I miss him and wish I could talk to him, even once more.

Samhain also seems to be my time to finish things. Around this time I feel a huge push to get things done, largely because I want to start new ones. But I really think there’s a desire for closure that pushes me too. Anyway, here is my large finish for this year’s Halloween season.

Halloween Sampler 2015

I’ll get some better pictures once it’s framed, but I’m so damn proud of it. It won’t hang on the wall this year, but definitely next. My husband even likes it and kept asking me if it was going to be done on time. I’d pick up another project and he would ask if it was finished. All kinds of motivation there!

Hope you all have a very happy, blessed Samhain.


Sep 01

Guess What Time It Is?

Crafting, Life 0

I woke up this morning to a torrential downpour. However, for once it didn’t actually start my Monday (Tuesday) off on a wrong note. This weekend, I was finally – FINALLY – able to obtain possession of a car. So therefore I’m not going to be soaked walking to work. There is coffee also currently in my possession, in my new favorite Outlander mug. I woke up to my husband’s arm around me. And with the rain has come a much welcome drop in temperature.

2015 August 234

Obsessed? No. Not with coffee. Not with Outlander. Not me.


This was the view this morning. I loved the wispy little cloud over there between the hills.

The temperature drop has been much anticipated. Not only because it’s been so freaking hot, but because my fingers have been itching. We STILL don’t have all our household stuff, which means all my fabric/yarn/what have you is still somewhere in transit, but I have bought a few things to hold me over, and there’s this pair of socks that’s been on my needles for almost two years now.

Ladies and gentlemen…it’s time again for…wait while I put on my little nerd hat because that’s kind of how it makes me feel…

Yep. And yours truly is a…

I haven’t even read all the books.

But this is my 3rd “term” playing along in this genius knitting/crafting game, because I love a little friendly competition, all the BADGES, the people who don’t think knitting is just for old ladies, and the motivation to actually finish projects. It’s just fun. Also if you’re a knitter/crocheter and not on Ravelry yet…what are you waiting for? Ravelry is the best thing for fiber arts since sheep.

So…that pair of socks? I’ve been knitting madly. The first one is done, the second one about half. But they must. get. done. ASAP. Because I want to turn them in for Detention. Because I started them before term, so they can’t be turned in for a Class.

Think I’m crazy yet? Yes? It’s ok, I promise. I’m just over here knitting so I don’t kill people. Really.

2015 August 281

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock, colorway Skyline Parkway (limited run color)