Baking, Crafting

Involuntary Thoreau Break

Uh, yeah . . . okay. . . . I really think certain features of my dorm suite need to be altered, for instance, thicker walls would be nice, or even having the gaps between certain “walls” and the ceiling being filled in. Please, I’m begging you! I’ll pay for it to happen, just make it happen! I DON’T need to be hearing these conversations in the middle of my Thoreau reading; it’s hard enough to concentrate in complete silence, so the addition of these “conversations” is just not working for me. I really wish I could find earplugs that actually worked.

Okay, well, on to happier news. I made a really yummy macaroni and cheese tonight. Well, actually, it was rotini and cheese because I don’t have any macaroni at the moment. I like using rotini just fine though, so I might not even bother getting macaroni in the future. I don’t have the slightest clue how much cheese I put in this thing . . . but it was a lot. There was shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, small curd cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, plus some sour cream and a small amount of butter/flour roux with milk. I basically tried to use up all my cheeses from my last mac and cheese attempt, and I mostly did. I also had ground beef defrosted in the fridge that I needed to use, so I browned that up and tossed it in to add something else to the mix. A dash of salt and pepper completed the gooey mix, and a sprinkle of Parmesan completed the pan.

I baked it in the oven at 375 for a little over half an hour, and when I went out to check on it, it was sizzling . . . perhaps I should have drained the ground beef better, since the leftover grease was reacting with the insane amounts of gooey cheese. I took it out and let it rest on top of the stove, where it continued to sizzle. . . .

Since this wasn’t my actual dinner for the night, I only sampled a couple bites, but from what I tasted I’m a fan of this “throw random amounts in a bowl all willy nilly” approach. I don’t think it would always work, but in this instance it was a big success. There is a greater cheese to rotini ratio than my previous attempt, which is very important to me as a mac and cheese fan. I just hope I can replicate this result when I next try my hand at it.

In other baking news, my spooky ghosty cake was a hit at Folk Group on Monday night. We managed to eat most of it, which was good, since I hadn’t even cut into it yet (even though I made it Friday night) and I didn’t want it to just sit and become stale. All that remains of the little ghosty is a small bit of his little ghosty head, which was supposed to be eaten by my roommate and her boyfriend, but for some reason wasn’t.

In crafting news, I NEED to finish knitting up a scarf I started this summer. It’s starting to get really cold here, and this scarf is promising to be super warm and comfy once it’s finished. I just need to dig up that pattern to remember how to do it.

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Crafting

Birthday Presents

A friend of mine’s birthday was in July, meaning I had a legitimate reason to craft and such. There were so many things I wanted to make, but I decided on one big thing and two little things for her that I think she’ll enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed making this particular thing, and I think it’s beyond adorable. Now it just needs a name, and I’m going to let my friend have the honors. 

I’m super sad that I didn’t have any brown yarn to make chocolate cupcakes, but my going out to get some would mean that I would buy a lot more than I planned because once I see a place that sells yarn, I can’t just buy one skein or one color. But I’m going to have to go into P & S Fabrics eventually, and given its extremely close proximity to my dorm, I might as well get it over with.

EDIT: I presented my friend with her presents, and she promptly named the tiger "El Tigre" and commented on the "comb-over effect" of the stripes on his head. I totally didn’t even notice that when I was sewing on the stripes, but it really does look like that, although I have to say it suits him. He and his comb-over are now perched on her windowsill watching over her room when she’s gone. I’m sad to see him go, since he’s the first thing amigurumi that I’ve made and given away, but I know I’ll be seeing him all the time when I’m visiting my friend. 

Crafting

It’s a Robot Invasion!

When I went home, I was able to go to the store and buy stuffing, as well as five skeins of yarn in colors I desperately (in my own opinion) needed. I had been itching to make this girl robot ever since I saw the pattern in a crochet book I bought, but I needed gray yarn, which I didn’t have. Now that I have the colors I need, I can crank out a little (well, rather big) army of boy and girl robots. This first one measures about nine inches tall, which is slightly larger than I anticipated, and as a result, I’ll probably go down a hook size, which will also help to keep the stitches much tighter and with fewer unsightly gaps.

   

Crafting

So Much Free Time and No Idea What to Do With It

The public schools are now on vacation, which means I have nowhere to go for the majority of my days. What am I going to do with all of my free time now? So far I’ve been catching up on sleep and lazing around, but I need more to occupy my time with. Unfortunately, everything costs money, so it’s not like I can be going out and buying books and crafting stuff and such all the time (no matter how tempting this may be).

I’ve finally finished the crocheting part of my big project, and now I’m just waiting for fiberfill so I can stuff and sew the limbs onto the body.

A body, two arms, a tail, and two ears. I can’t wait until I can finish it. The body is so cuddly, and with everything assembled, I think it will at least come slightly close to doing justice to the original pattern, even if the eyes and face are slightly wonky.

In other news, my kidney bean plant is starting to grow actual beans!!

I’m so proud of little Catherine (yes, that’s her name, because her boyfriend is Heathcliff, who resides on the outside balcony of the other bedroom in the suite). She’s grown so much in the little over a month since I planted the seeds.

Crafting

Productivity Abounds!

The past 24 hours have been filled with completing projects that have been hanging around for a while. I first decided I wanted to finally finish the second hat I had been paid months ago to make for the teacher with whom I work. Seeing as how this is the last full week of NYC’s public school, it was now or the fall, and I just wanted to get it over with. My original concept for it was completely dreadful, so I cast that pathetic excuse for a hat aside and started again. This time I didn’t try to over-complicate it, and I am MUCH happier with the final product.


It’s not perfect, and it’s not "exactly" what she wanted, but it’s what I was able to do with my skill-level and quantity of dark brown yarn. I was not going to spend $4 on another skein just for 4 or 5 more rows, partially because she wasn’t going to pay me anymore money.

Next on my list of completions was a pink knitted square for another bunny. The most I could do was finish knitting/purling it because I STILL don’t have fiberfill. . . .

I then finished this "Love Bunny" I had crocheted a few days ago but hadn’t yet stuffed it because there was nothing to stuff it with. I ended up using the yarn from the first hat I started because I wasn’t going to be using it for anything else, and the bunny was crying to be finished.

And finally, earlier today one of my suitemates had said that my other suitemate was super stressed about a final project for her class that’s ending this week, so I thought I would make a little flower for her since she thought the other one I made was cute. It just so happens that the yarn I have almost perfectly matches the color scheme of all of her personal belongings.

I think I might next tackle finishing the remaining pieces for my big surprise project; it seems the most logical option. Although, I don’t know when I’ll be able to do that because the next couple of days are going to be super busy for me. . . .
  

Crafting

Not A Lot of Finishing Going On

Thanks to my current lack of fiberfill, I haven’t had the urge to actually finish much of what I’ve started in the past couple of days. My big surprise is still sitting in unfinished pieces, as are a crochet bunny, a knitted bunny, and a crochet bear. The closest I’ve come to completing anything is putting the hot air balloon together, but minus stuffing the balloon part and stitching it all closed. I think I need to take one of the yarn strands off too, because it’s shorter than the other two, which bugs my perfectionist self.

I keep saying I’m going to go down to P & S Fabrics and search for fiberfill (in addition to more yarn!), but I just can’t seem to motivate myself to walk that far down Broadway and to spend the money. Now I can’t go until Sunday morning at the earliest because it closes super early on Fridays and is closed on Saturdays. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on stuffing, but I might just do that and order some online, even though shipping is insane and it won’t be delivered for a few days. I don’t know. I just know that if I go into P & S, no matter how inexpensive it is, I’m going to spend so much money and have so much new stuff for my already large stash. Since I don’t have any suitable finished object photos, here’s my yarn stash to prove that, in reality, I really don’t need anymore yarn, even though I still don’t quite have all the colors I desire.

This is my all-purpose yarn. I use it for all my knitting and crocheting.

And this is my crochet thread and all of my fuzzy winter yarns. They’re pretty much just an assortment of Lion Brand Homespun, which I absolutely love for scarves and wintery things. I think I might have 12 or 13 skeins in there at the moment.  I also have two skeins of a Lion Brand thick navy blue wool yarn, but they just don’t fit in the container with the rest of my stash, so they remain in a bag with knitting needles, unfinished cross-stitches, and other things. I’ll definitely spring them once summer is over and I can comfortably commence with knitting up bunches and bunches of warm scarves/hats/etc.

Crafting

Critters, Critters, Critters!

Last spring/summer when I first began knitting, I wanted to make these cute little bunnies out of a knitted square, but the link to the instructions was broken. I thought I could just figure out how to do it myself, but that never happened because I wanted to use a really thin, soft yarn and smaller knitting needles, which I never went out to get, even though I went to the craft stores countless times while I was at home. However, all has finally changed because I stumbled upon the directions a couple days ago and became a happy happy knitter. I don’t think I ever would have figured out how they got all folded and formed without this website, even though it’s extremely simple and I’m now saying to myself “You couldn’t figure out how to do THIS?” Oh well, I now know, and I’m not going to be forgetting anytime soon. But now I think I want to actually go find some luxurious yarn and make more super soft ones because I finally have some smaller needles.