It has been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog. During that time I’ve been busy working on the most complicated and tiring crafting project I’ve ever undertaken. And any day now I’ll finally get to meet the result.
(Photo credit to Natasha McCarthy of McCarthy Photography and Design)
Finally, after many months of having no urge to craft I’ve been struck by the crafting bug, and now I have the best possible reason to create.
There are lots of projects to come, but the very first thing I made is this pair of crocheted shark booties. I bought the pattern from Janine Tsakisiris on Ravelry.
These are insanely adorable and were quick and easy to make. My husband used these to announce to his co-workers that we were expecting by placing them on his desk at work and waiting for people to notice.
I hope you like them too!
I bought a sewing machine. I’m not sure this will turn out to be a good life decision. I’m completely obsessed.
I now start every day by groggily rolling out of bed due to staying up too late sewing the night before. I curse the fact that I have to go to work because my job is seriously cutting into my precious sewing time. I spend all day at work desperately trying to focus on the tasks in front of me and not my next sewing project.
I rush home after work and immediately dive into a sewing project.
Dinner? No problem, I’ll send the husband out for subs, scarf one down, and keep on sewing.
Housework? Okay, so I didn’t do much of that before. No real change there.
Video games? Yes, even the time suck that previously ate the most hours of my life has almost completely disappeared from my world.
My iron has never seen so much use, there are thread pieces all over my floor, and my back may be permanently curved from hunching over my sewing table all day, but I’m in love. And true love sometimes requires sacrifice.
Here’s my new baby. She’s one of the Janome school model machines. There’s nothing fancy about her, but she does everything I need and more. I’ve named her Suki which is the Japanese verb for “to like” or “to love”.1
I really will try to start posting some of the items I’m making. But let’s be honest, that’s just more time I’m not sewing 🙂
1 According to the Internet, which is always correct, right?
I’m finally caught up!
Wouldn’t you love a camel ride past a pyramid? I’m sure in reality it’s hot and smelly, but in my mind it seems like the greatest adventure ever!
Now to get caught up on some geek-a-long knitting. If only I can pull myself away from Pokémon Go long enough…
I’m working hard to get caught up on the Pumpkin Passport stitch-a-long by Frosted Pumpkin. I’ve fallen a few months behind but am almost back on track.
Here are May and June’s installments – Greece and Russia:
That means I’m half way there! I’m almost finished July and if I can get a bit of stitching time in today I’ll be fully caught up!
Frosted Pumpkin recently released two new stitch-a-longs, one is Halloween themed and the other is a trip through six national parks. I’ll admit I’m rather tempted by the Halloween one, but between this project and the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long I think my craft-a-long quota is maxed out. But it’s always so hard to pass up these adorable designs, so I may end up caving after all.
Here are two more squares for my Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long blanket.
These squares have a few things in common:
They are both from game franchises I have never played. (I did recently install Half Life 2, although I haven’t made it to playing it yet. But that must count for something!)
They are both knit with orange yarn. (Obviously)
And most importantly….
They are my first attempts at extreme double-knitting! And what is extreme double-knitting you might ask? Check out the backs of these squares:
That’s right, no backward symbols here! Instead of being a mirror image on the back like the rest of the squares so far, these look “proper” from either side.
The basic concept of double-knitting is to always carry two colours of yarn and knit with the colour that should show on the facing side and purl with the other colour. In extreme double-knitting this rule of making sure you work a stitch in each colour is thrown out the window, and each stitch is made in whatever colour is needed to make the pattern work on both sides. This means you could have many stitches of one colour on your needle while the other colour of yarn is simply carried along between the two layers of fabric.
Which for me, really means having to pay way too much attention to chart reading, and a slew of tension issues. But I think they were worth it in the end.
I learned how to extreme double-knit, and more importantly, how to create patterns for extreme double-knitting, from Alasdair Post-Quinn’s Adventures in Double-Knitting class on Craftsy. I absolutely loved this class and highly recommend it if you have any interest in learning the double-knitting technique.
When I first sat down to start writing a blog post about Portal I could not figure out what to say about this quirky, strange puzzle game. So, of course, I immediately abandoned the blog post and went and played through all of Portal and half of Portal 2. How could I not?
For those unfamiliar with the game the premise is incredibly simple. It’s actually a first person shooter style game but the gun you are given does only one thing – place portals. One blue portal and one orange portal to be exact, and when you step into one of your portals you come out the other. Equipped with nothing but this gun you work your way through increasingly difficult, obstacle course style game levels.
Portal is a great game and one I think everyone should play. It’s unique, dark, funny, and yes, at times exceptionally frustrating. but that just makes it more satisfying when you finally make it past a tough spot. To me it feels more like a proof of concept than a fully developed game, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, it just means that even if you’re as bad at puzzle games as I am you can likely play through the whole game in an afternoon.
Portal 2, however, is absolutely phenomenal. With more way more puzzles including many new and intriguing components, hilarious dialog, and a variety of settings, this game provides many more hours of entertainment. It also has some of the most fun co-op gaming the husband and I have ever played. And, once you’ve finished all of the Valve created content there’s a full level editor for creating your own puzzles, and hundreds of thousands of fan created levels to play. Oh, and the best part is that you can often pick up both games on a Steam sale for less than $5. So really, why are you still reading this instead of playing Portal?
Time to start posting some Geek-a-Long squares! I have been spending almost every spare moment double-knitting to try to keep up with the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long. I’m a fairly novice knitter, new to double-knitting, and have done very little colour work, so these squares are taking roughly 15 hours a piece. Yes, I’m that slow. Yes, I have to frog my work that often. But it’s completely worth it in the end, so on to the squares…
Here are two game series I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never played. First up is Rayman.
I’m going to give myself a bit of a pass on this one. The Rayman series didn’t hit popularity until after my childhood video game stage and before my adult video game stage (there was about a 10 year gap in there where I actually did proper human things like go outside… gasp!). Since Rayman really wasn’t on my radar, of course I haven’t played any of the games. Rayman Legends is on my Steam wishlist if that counts for anything, but even during the last couple of Steam sales it didn’t make it to the top of the buy list.
Mario Kart, I sadly have no excuse.
There is no logical reason for why I’ve never played a Mario Kart game. As a kid I must have played every other Mario game for the Super Nintendo. I also spent many hours playing F-Zero, so the issue clearly isn’t an aversion to racing games. As an adult I’ve logged quite a few hours on the Wii and DS and Mario Kart appears on many “best games ever” lists for both of these systems. I know multiple people who when asked what their all-time favourite game is will reply with Mario Kart without even a moment of hesitation. I’m really feeling like I should immediately run out and pop my Mario Kart cherry. But alas, there’s just too much knitting to do!