When's the last time you got to snuggle up under a handmade blanket just for you (or handed down)? I will absolutely make you one if you don't have one.
this depends entirely on how you define ‘handmade blanket.’ if you mean like, somebody made a quilt or an afghan or something, probably before the war. most of the blankets we had were handmade by various family members.
the stark tower stitch&bitch has yet to produce a blanket. i have no idea how, since theres like six of us all knitting and sewing and crocheting, but somehow it just hasn’t happened yet. too busy making hammer cozies and a pompom hat big enough to fit on the hulk.
however, if you define handmade blanket as a blanket somebody made by hand, then just last week i took a post-battle nap under a table at a press conference and clint made me a ‘blanket’ out of stark industries t-shirts.
Introducing … the cutest, grumpiest, and hungriest Bob-omb ever! Did you know Bob-ombs run on radicchio fuel? I was enjoying a delicious refueling when clumsy Mario almost ran into me with a Koopa Troopa shell! @nintendo
To be continued…
* We are trying something new this year: Check back every day this week for the next part of our Halloween story!
Three and a half years ago, @tort-time made me my very own monogrammed cape. My cape was a little big for me, so with all the growing I have been doing, Mom thought it was high time for me to try on my cape again.
Turns out Mom underestimated how much I’ve grown—big time: My cape is WAY too small for me now! In fact, even Lunchbox’s big cape is too small for me now!
To make a pumpkin pie (at least the one that I make), requires more than a little bit of time. First, there is the filling. This is a bit of a process for me. Simply because I do not use pre-made pumpkin pie filling. Rather, I make my own. So, it is a very calculated blend of the pumpkin, cream, and all of the spices. (Needless to say, I have gone wrong on this process more than once.) Then, once you finish mixing the filling, you make the pie crust, and bake it. Then, after letting the crust cool, for just a bit, you add the filling, and pop that baby in the oven, for about 45-50 minutes. All in all, the whole process takes me about 2 hours to do. And when I am finished, I have a pie that, while delicious, simply does not seem like it should take that long to make. But, alas, it does.
The same, oddly enough, can be said of today’s pumpkin pie granny square. Upon first looking at the picture for this square, I thought it would take me roughly 45 minutes, to an hour to make. Not all that quick a square to work. But, not all that time consuming, either. And, it looked fairly simple.
Yet, I was soon to learn that, no matter what pie I am attempting to make, it will ALWAYS take the same amount of time. And, it will always be the filling that is the most time consuming process. I started with my gold yarn (which, by the way, I thought would be too yellow for the desired “pumpkin pie” look. However, it turns out it was a perfect color to use.) The first two rounds were easy enough to work.
Then, round three came. Round three is written in such a way, that it is literally missing you working a necessary stitch, for each repeat. Had I only checked the notes from others who had worked this square, on Ravelry, I would have quickly been able to find the correction. But, convinced it was something I was doing wrong–and, somehow, convincing myself that at the end of the “filling” part, everything would look fine, even though there was no logical way it would–I kept working. My pie “slice” stitches simply were not lining up. But, still…I kept going on. At the end of round 6, when you switch from the filling the the crust, I looked at what I had created. And, it was not pretty my friends. It was not pretty at all. Instead of neat little pie slice marks, I had little bumps, everywhere in the filling. It was, most definitely, not a pretty pumpkin pie. It was the epitome of a pinterest FAIL!
Still convincing myself that it was my bad (because, you know…It simply MUST BE something I did wrong) I was about to toss it away, and just work another square, when I happened across a note on Ravelry…a note from someone else who had worked the square. A note that said my pie filling did not look like a bubbly mess because of my bad. Rather, it was due to a bad set of instructions in round 3.
Concept here, people. And most definitely a lesson learned…it is ALWAYS wise to check Ravelry notes. I was half-way relieved, but mostly just pissed, as I unwound the six rounds that I had so painstakingly just created, and started to work them all again. This time, the right way.
(Before moving on, let me just say that I really think that, if you are posting a pattern on Ravelry, you should try your best to make sure the pattern is correct. You should work it, and have someone else attempt it, as well. Otherwise, it falls into the hands of some poor schmuck like me, who thinks it is my problem, when the piece does not come out right.)
When I started my morning, I had every intention of working two squares. But, after making a majority of the pumpkin pie square, only to find out(thanks to the pattern maker NOT testing the pattern adequately) that I had been making it wrong, and therefore had to undo most and start again, I felt like I had, indeed, done all of the work of two squares, only to wind up with one. Granted, it is by far one of the coolest squares I have worked. I am, every time I look at it, completely impressed with myself. But still. After the unnecessary work on it, I felt like, when I had FINALLY finished it, I had had enough with granny squares for the day. NO MORE GRANNIES!!!
So…only one square yesterday.
Rather than work another square–which, technically, is okay, as I am still ahead of the curve here–I decided to simply max this one out. I decided to take it a step further than what the pattern called for, by adding one little addition. After I was finished with what the pattern called for, I went ahead and added some “whipped cream” to the top of the pie. Because, really, what is pumpkin pie without whipped cream?
Now then…on to other news. (Or, mostly just me complaining about and contemplating on non-yarn things.)
Last night, I had a dream, that I was running, and dancing with my husband. In it, we were walking along the beach…me without any assistance at all. There was no walker…no cane. It was just me, walking in complete perfection, with my foot doing the very movements that it should, so gracefully, do.
It was such a vivid dream, so realistic. I woke up this morning, happy. For a moment, everything seemed reverse. It seemed like the dream was reality, and my disability–the thing that has me using the walker, and that still (in my mind) stands as the first thing seen, when people are looking at me–was nothing more than a very long, bad nightmare. Then, reality set in. And, it was (as it always is) emotionally brutal. Like a sucker-punch to the stomach. I climbed out of bed, and (in an effort to be as quiet as possible, to not wake my husband), I abandoned using my cane (which would, surely, clink on the ground), and I crawled across the floor, to the door. This, of course, made the reality of my disability even that much more upsetting for me today. (The funny part is that I crawl out of the room every morning. And normally, I think nothing of it. I mean, it is what it is. But, yesterday morning, after waking from that wonderful dream, it made me want to actually cry.)
Doing my morning rituals (starting the coffee pot, taking dogs out, yadda yadda), I thought about something. Something that may seem rather stupid to say. But, here it is. I KNOW how to walk. By that, I mean, I know the movements that my body should make, to allow me to walk perfectly normal. I know that I should be able to lift my leg, and let my foot glide back down to the floor, in a heel-to-toe motion. I can perfectly see every little segment of how I should be able to walk, in my head. And yet, even knowing the dynamics of how walking works, I still cannot. (I know this may make absolutely no sense at all…but it pisses me off, knowing the dynamics of walking, but not able to act on them…like my own body is constantly betraying me.)
All my life, I have wanted to be just like everyone else…walk like everyone else. Be able to buy designer shoes, without worrying about ruining them. (When I was 8, I stopped believing in Santa, after asking him for a pair of shoes that would let me walk normally…I was so sure I would get them for Christmas, and so crushed when I did not.) The dream I had last night was cruel. Because it was such a great dream…one that brought me such joy. But then, I have to wake up, and know that it was just fiction. I have to go back to my reality. One that is not fair, at all.
I will move on, before going too far off the deep end here. I just wanted to share that dream with all of you.
Before concluding this post, I would like to take the chance to admit something…something about myself that, until now, I had not really even considered. And now, it hits me like a ton of bricks. I, my dear readers, am a brat! I am a big spoiled brat! The realization came yesterday, when I looked at my beat up blue Coach wallet. It still does the trick just fine. But, at that moment, I announced that I simply must get another one…a new one. (Feel free to gag here.)
Shortly after saying this, I took a moment to reflect. And, I really did not like what I have seen.
I spend so much time thinking about designer bags (Coach, Dooney, LV) and I always take a trip to the jewelry stores, when at the mall. (Always wanting to get that glitzy brown diamond ring…brown diamonds really are so pretty.) But, really…do I need any of it? I already have multiple bags (Coach, Dooney, and an LV). I have a perfectly good, albeit slightly old, Coach wallet. And, I have a TON of jewelry. No brown diamond ring. But still…a ton. Sure, I may want all this stuff. I may want the brown diamond, and the wallet. But I don’t NEED any of it?
So, I have promised my husband that, from now on, I will pass by jewelry stores. I won’t even go in and look. I will pass by the designer labels. I will NEVER again say I need a wallet, when I do not. “I think that, from now on,” I said, while in the car, “that I am just going to stop asking for anything. I don’t want to be THAT person.”
Money does not buy happiness. Designers do not buy happiness. And, even though it breaks my heart to say this, that brown diamond that I so long for, will not make my life any better. They are all just…things.
And, it is time for me to grow up. Realize that I do not need any of it…
Finished the front (or back) panel today. The gauge is right on, which I’m really happy about. This yarn is super soft and not scratchy like I thought it might be. I’ll start another sleeve today, since I frogged the last.
Hi! I got a request for the pattern to my hummingbird, and I definitely think the world needs more hummingbirds in it, so I’m going to give it a go! Unfortunately, I did a lot of guesstimating as I went, so this is not the best pattern I’ve ever written up :-/. As usual, if anyone uses this pattern, please link back to my page, and also send me a picture! I’d love to see what people make!
I used a 3mm hook, and the pink and white were just scrap yarns I had lying around (probably Red Heart Super Saver). Frustratingly, I can’t find the green yarn that I used! I think maybe… when I bought it the lady kept the label when she wound it? (I am definitely outing myself as a yarn noob, I mostly buy the cheap stuff and getting it wound up like that was a new experience for me!)
If anyone recognizes it, help me out because I’d like to know too! It’s a very pretty green/brown that looks a bit glossy, frays easily, and is a little thinner than Red Heart Super Saver yarns…
Okay on to the pattern!
The idea behind the body is that I made a small dome for the head, then unevenly added increases to the back and decreases to the front to make the body arch backwards, then decrease so that it came back down to a point. For the color changes, I didn’t end up having it look perfectly smooth, but I just made the change each time as I saw it lining up. Also, I made mine a key chain, which is totally optional, the only thing I did was after starting the magic circle, I used the excess yarn to tie through the metal loop.
green yarn: 6 sc in a magic circle
green yarn: (1 sc, 1 inc) x 6 to make 12 stitches
green yarn: (2 sc, 1 inc) x 6 to make 18 stitches
green yarn: (3 scs, 1 inc) x 6 to make 24 stitches
green yarn: 24 sc
From here on out, almost all the rows have a color change in them - I just picked one side to be the front and always aligned the colors to each other, to me it didn’t matter if it was at the start of a row or in the middle, as long as the changes match up.
green: 13 sc, pink 11 sc (24 stitches)
green: 13 sc, pink 11 sc (24 stitches)
After these rows, it starts to feel a bit complicated, but again it was just increasing on the back and decreasing on the front to make the back sweep away from the head - I know that seems counterintuitive, but it’s just the way crochet works, it basically makes the tube shear instead of curve, if that makes sense. - I usually spaced each increase and decrease out with one sc in between.
decrease 2x on pink, 2x on sides, increase 3x on green, and have one more pink on each side (23 stitches total - 13 pink, 10 green)
decrease 2x on pink, 2x on sides, increase 3x on green, and have one more pink on each side (22 stitches total - 15 pink, 7 green)
white yarn same as pink row, increase 2x on green (24 stitches total - 15 white, 9 green)
at this point, i inserted two 6 mm safety eyes between the row of green and the first row of pink, about one stitch in from the start of the pink. I also just used a black sharpie marker to draw the black line at the green and pink division between the eyes. Here’s the head so far compared to a Google image search picture - the beak is just a toothpick that I’m using as a placeholder, I’ll put the stuff for the beak under the rest of the body pattern, but importantly, DON’T COMPLETE THE BODY BEFORE ADDING THE BEAK - Continuing with the body:
white same, increase 3x in green (27 stitches total - 15 white, 12 green)
white same, increase 3x in green (30 stitches total - 15 white, 15 green)
decrease 1 in white at the front (29 stitches total - 14 white, 15 green)
decrease 1 on each the side to make it more symmetric (i needed on in green, on in white (27 stitches total, 13 white, 14 green)
decrease 1 w on each side, (25 stitches total, 11 white, 14 green)
decrease 1 w on each side, (23 stitches total, 9 white, 14 green)
decrease 1 w on each side, inc 1 in green (22 stitches total, 7 white, 15 green)
decrease 1 white on each side (20 stitches total, 5 white, 15 green)
decrease 1 white on each side (18 stitches total, 3 white, 15 green)
decrease 3 green, crochet completely in green (12 stitches)
(1 sc, 1 dec) x6 to make 6 stitches
end in a point by skipping stitches until closed.
Okay, you should probably add the beak in around row 10ish, but I just kept all the body together for continuity. I experimented a bit with the beak, trying for different looks. Eventually I used a ~ 2in scrap of black yarn and painted 1 inch of it with clear nail polish so that it became stiff - I’m pretty sure there are better methods for stiffening yarn, but this worked ok for me. I then threaded the unstiffened bit into the piece and tied it tightly before stuffing.
^Wings (make two!):
These were tough, I will definitely admit that I didn’t get them to look quite even, and took terrible notes on how I managed it. One piece of advice is to make both before attaching, so that if they end up way too different, you can make a third and choose which it matches the most closely to!
6 foundation sc (foundation single crochets are great and look up a tutorial if you don’t know them, they changed my life!)
This got a bit weird: I turned the piece and then did 5 foundation sc perpendicular to the first 6 - basically instead of going back across the fsc’s after turning, I pulled a loop through the first stitch, then foundation sc’d and continued outward as if that was my first stitch…
This made that wide angled underside of the wings. Now each time I crocheted a row, I sort of messily hooked in the first row of fsc (the one that is perpendicular to the row you just made) until I couldn’t any longer… I’m sorry this isn’t the best explanation, but crochet is a magical wonderful art that is very lenient to fudging, so please go at it bravely!
turn, sc 6 (leave one off at the end)
turn, sc 5 (leave one off at the end)
turn, sc 4 (leave one off at the end)
turn, sc 3 (leave one off at the end)
turn, sc 2 (leave one off at the end)
I sewed the wings on at where the white met the green, attaching it at least several stitches so they weren’t too flimsy - for me the wings curl a bit but I suspect with different yarn or with some blocking they’d stand out straighter.
Similar deal with the tail as the wings I’m afraid - I fudged this a lot, and it isn’t symmetric, but when I sewed in onto the body I curved it around so that any asymmetry was basically hidden.
foundation sc 5
turn the piece and foundation sc 8 perpendicular to the first 5
10 rows of 8 hdc - the half double crochets make the more undulating shape, and each time I came to the other row of 5 I messily hooked them in, which is why the shape turned out slightly narrower at the top than at the bottom. The narrower top is what I wrapped around the point of the hummingbird body and sewed it on, again it was a bit curled but I think it looked better that way.
And that is it! I think the biggest thing is that with each part I didn’t aim too much for perfection, the body can be squished and the wings and tail aren’t perfect, but I think overall it gives it some character! Good luck, and please feel free to message me if you have questions on the pattern, I know this one is not the most straightforward…