The Cardigan is Done (And Onward we Run)

Hello, crafty and sundry!

I swear, one day I will stop with the cutesy rhyming titles. That day is obviously not today so… nyah nyah? ūüėÄ

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A woman stands smirking, modelling a freshly knit blue cardigan

Why yes, I *am* making a goofy face. My brain is fried after days of sewing.

But yes, I had the pleasure of finishing my cardigan off Tuesday night, just in time to show off at my Stitch ‘n Bitch group yesterday. I’m always really happy to show off my work and get feedback on it, which is usually positive and friendly. Sometimes I feel like I’m a total show-off because it feels like I’m the main one showing things off. Am I doing more projects faster or something? Maybe. I certainly give accolades where due to anyone else who shows off a project, and take joy in helping people out with things.

Anyways, to the cardigan itself! It’s loose and comfortable, and warm without being too warm (in short, perfect for late summer/autumn/early winter). It’s thinner than the purple cardigan I finished back in February. And while the colour didn’t quite match what I thought it was from the website that I ordered it from (I thought it would be blacker), it grew on me as I was working on it. And I didn’t realise just how oceanic it was going to be in spite of being named Atlantis; that became apparent when I attached the buttons. But yeah, it’s a good colour, and I agree with the assessment that it suits me.

I’m also really happy with my sewing up. Yes, as said, it took something like two and a half days. I had to restart on a few bits because I’d forgotten what to do between projects, and my favourite reference site didn’t seem to be working for me. But on the whole, I think the joins are neater, and certainly on the whole less visible than on the purple cardigan. The only particularly wonky thing was the button spacing. I’d measured on the wrong part of the front panel when I was spacing them out and had to sort of improvise. I don’t mind though — I think it looks really freaking cute. I actually have a button left and I keep thinking about putting it right at the very bottom, which would be a similarly close spacing as the two closest near the top, but… that requires more sewing. And really, I’d rather say ‘yay this is done and done and thrice done.’

 


 

Hobo web cov

Free from knitrowan.com

IMG_3479So then (and groan at the potential so/sew pun), what next? For the second, I’m doing one of the little baby beanies for charity. It’s a quick and mindless knit to clear my palate before my next big project. And what’s that? It’s the Hobo top, which is a free pattern available at knitrowan.com. I managed to score some gorgeous Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Navy from Deramores in the sale (the colour representation is more accurate on Deramores), and I am looking forward to making it.

The problem? I don’t have the right sized needle.

Seriously. Gah.

You see, I preemptively tried to buy any size I could ever need over the past couple of years, so I didn’t expect to see one crop up that I don’t already have. In this case, it’s 2.75mm. It took some fiddling around on Amazon to find a reputable manufacturer that made needles in the right size, which is how I found out about the recently released Knitpro Zing range. Man, I’ve got to say that it gets me unreasonably excited for aluminium. Now, that’s something I never thought I’d say, ha ha, but they’re really pretty and they look fairly quality.

And then a friend pointed out last night that straights are probably going to be too short, and I should borrow a circular off of someone else. Gah. Mild profanity. No problem, Knitpro has a huge range of interchangeable tips! Except… not that small. They only have fixed circular needles in that size. Thankfully, they’re not too expensive, so I have a couple of different ones sitting in my Amazon basket while I think about it. Plus yanno, I love shopping for knitting needles, so it’s a delightful bit of self-soothing.

In the interim, I’ll either make a few hats and use up some scrap wool, or make myself a pair of socks. After all, I have the wool and needles for that!

 


 

 

Past that, my gaming habit has taken me back to one of my cardinal loves — Sims 3. I’ve been addicted to running Legacy games for years, and no matter how many times I’ve done one or tried to do one, I inevitably get back to it a couple of times a year. So far so good on this one — I’m close to starting the 4th generation and haven’t gone off the deep end trying to fill the neighborhood with horses, or using the Master Controller suite to ensure that everyone extending off of my main family has like, 20 children. But anyways, it remains my favourite because it offers the most. Sims 4 is pretty, but it just doesn’t do much for me or anyone I know yet. Maybe it will as more expansions come out, but based on what content there is already, I’m not impressed. Also, my Sims -still- don’t have a dishwasher and what the hell is up with that.

Doll Parts: An Exercise in Knitting Procrastination

Hello, crafty and sundry!

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Almost there…

I have been knitting up a storm here in Ye Olde England, hee hee. I’ve been setting myself row challenges to encourage myself to speed through my cardigan, and I can report that I am so close to finishing it! All that remains is the last arm… which means I’m totally starting another project for a bit, ha ha.

So close...

So close…

Mind you, the last arm shouldn’t be too hard or take me too long to do. All of the hard work was done on the first sleeve; I’ve got my usual extensive notes on where I’m making my increases and decreases. It’s pretty straight forward all told, but eh… I’m probably just trying to put off the pain in the ass known as sewing up, ha ha. That always goes faster than I think it’s going to take. Really, I just wanted to have a secondary project to fiddle with.

IMG_3466And what am I doing as my secondary project? I’m starting on a little outfit for the doll a friend bought Littlerbit for her first birthday. I’ve already completed an undergarment for the doll, so it’s been a matter of completing a not pink outergarment (we’re big into gender neutral parenting, so red is a great colour choice ūüėÄ). I had a hard time finding outfits that looked to be in the right sort of size for this doll, and have had to resort to patterns for preemie babies. This is a simple 2×2 rib worked in the round, which is a nice change from the straight stockinette of my remaining sleeve. Plus, since I’m in need of another set of 4mm circulars for this project, I had to bust out my gorgeous KnitPicks Caspians. They are not to dissimilar to my Knitpro Symfonies (unsurprisingly, considering the relationship of the companies), but I couldn’t really use the blue with the blue wool of the cardigan, so I guess that there was also the excuse to use my newer pretties, hee hee.

It also amuses me that, as far as I can tell, I’m not a ‘typical’ knitter. I seriously avoid having more than two projects on the go at a time. Why? Because well, needles are expensive, and where my best friend Melly is a wool snob (admirably so!), I’m a needle snob. These particular wooden needles are what my hands like to use, and they do not come cheap. Oh sure, I could try to find patterns that don’t use 4mm needles… but everything that I want to do right now is on 4mms. But also, with limited space, that also discourages me from having lots of things on the go that could get lost or broken or whatever (and of course, with my obsession with keeping notes!).

So there’s that. There’s also a budding Instagram addiction. You might’ve spotted the little icon up on the top bar, or you can click here to see what I’m up to. I’ve always liked taking pictures and being snarky, so I finally gave into the inevitable. It’s a good mix of things because I’m pretty candid about my life, so visitor beware? *laughs* There’s nothing bad on there. I think.

Back to a bit of knitting before bed!

<3

It’s a Good Weekend for Gamer Me!

Hello, crafty and sundry! This one is mainly for the gamer sorts, hee hee.

Buy us, buy us with money…

In the past week or so, I have gotten massively hooked on the Tropico franchise. I’ve had 3 and 4 for awhile, but hadn’t really given it a good go. I’d poked at 3 briefly some months back, but the tutorials were a bit vague for my tastes. There are a lot of factors that go into having success in the game, and it didn’t really give me more than a window into that (cue panic). But I had gotten bored with Colonization after a hefty jag, so I booted up Tropico 4 to see if it made a bit more sense.

It did.

It made enough sense that after playing through the tutorials, I popped back to 3 and didn’t do a completely horrible job. I didn’t do a great job either, but that’s okay. Where as my default anxiety state used to be so high that this sort of game would’ve caused me a nervous breakdown. But based on bouncing between 3 and 4, I felt 3 was harder, so defaulted back to 4 for a bit more self-tutelage. I’m managing to play the game without getting destroyed by rebels, the US, or the USSR, and my people are happy, so it’s fun and compelling. Of course, watch I try a free map instead of one of the scenarios and everything goes to crap, ha ha.

So it was VERY pleasing and surprising to log onto Steam yesterday and note that the entire franchise is on sale. I might have flailed and squeaked, because I had just Tropico 5 on my wishlist with the intention to get it for Christmas. But you know how sometimes things line up juuust right for you to jump on an offer when it shows up? Well. *laughs* I’d seen how much the game was going for on Playstation 4, and then saw it for less on Amazon, and then a little bit less on Steam… and then even less. I’ve not checked out 5 yet, but I’ve got the DLC loaded up on 4 and am continuing to have a smashing time.

 


250px-719Diancie

Diancie is the epitome of cuteness.

But that’s not all folks!

I was checking my Twitter, as you do, when I saw the news I had been waiting for — that the Pok√©mon Diancie was available. Look at this majestic pile of pixels, yo. That’s one adorable Pok√©mon. I’ve also declared it to be the Pok√©form of my soon-to-be sister Shansbat (who loves her rocks), which makes it extra special to me. It’s also one less Mythical Pok√©mon that I don’t have (the ones I’m missing now being Mew, Jirachi, Shaymin, Victini, Manaphy, Meloetta, Genesect, Hoopa, and the not yet released Volcanion). I don’t really have the highest hopes of getting any of these that I don’t have, but who knows. Maybe they’ll come back up. I seem to have a random profusion of Darkrais, for example. Maybe someone would want to trade me for one of those. Or maybe I can ask around my fellow Pok√©Addicts and see if anyone is willing to let me borrow any of those momentarily to get a properly ‘actually’ filled Pok√©dex. We’ll see. I might also have better luck once I get back on the ball about grinding for shinies, hee hee.

 


 

I’ve been a big slugabed about my knitting, but the cardigan is coming along. I finished the first front panel, and am a bit over halfway towards being done with the second. I have to triple check my assorted maths so it comes out approximately right though. I already fubared a bit on the buttonhole spacing, but I think I can get away with it as is (the first three holes are wider apart than the last two). I guess it gets to be one of those little things that makes it custom, hee hee.

I’m not doing any little knits right now, but that might change. That doll still needs clothing. I know that this top is going to be my next big project; I’ve already got the wool purchased and stashed for it. It looks easy enough, but with a little bit of flash in the form of that gorgeous cabled neckline. Knitting is exciting fun, hee hee.

<3

 

‘Toot Toot!’ Said the Flute

Hello, crafty and sundry!

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My precccioussss…

I’m pretty sure I’ve not mentioned it before here, but I am a multi instrumentalist. Oh okay was… a long time ago… when I actually had instruments and could practice them. *giggles*

You see, I attended a prestigious art school for high school — Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. You might have heard of some of the alumni, such as Erykah Badu, Norah Jones, Edie Brickell, and any other number of famous people. I was actually a French Horn major, but considering how expensive one of those is, I’ve not had one of my own… ever. While there, we also were required to take at least one year of piano… which is another instrument I don’t have. We have a full-sized keyboard as of the past year or two, but my brain gets really snotty about those versus real pianos. I need to get over that sometime and actually practice.

I also have dabbled on guitar, but our acoustics are taking up space in the garage. So that leaves my flute. I taught myself how to play it because why not, and this is actually my second. My first was a cheapie off of Ebay, while I picked up this one during exams when I was stationed in Monterey (and got a slight discount for being cute, hee hee). It currently lives under my desk on top of a cabinet, and when the baby was rampaging around pulling things down, I spotted it and pulled it out. She made some very concerned faces at the noises I made, and I ended up putting it away. Then something online reminded me of embouchures; that’s the way one holds their mouth to get noise out of these dratted things.

Now, for all that I was in band for French Horn for 8 years or so, no one had ever given me any real guidance on how to do it. Which means my range was somewhat limited; I naturally seem to perform better for lower ranges rather than the high soaring crap that most people associate a French Horn with. That goes for flute too; I have like, an octave and change that I can perform with any competency (and only just), and would vastly love to have an alto or bass flute to accommodate that.

To my vast bemusement, five minutes reading that wiki article gave me more insight than years and years of noodling. And so I decided to do a bit of practicing. To my pleasure, I managed to get some good sounds out of the noisestick, and finally had to put it away because I had definitely worn out my face. I’m hoping it will encourage me to practice more now that I finally have a really decent idea of what to do with it.

 


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7th row doesn’t exist. But it did. But it didn’t.

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Hooray, the Hellmath‚ĄĘ¬ģ Section is complete!

I’ve started picking up the pace on my knitting again. The first side panel had a lot of ‘do this at a centimeter’ and I couldn’t be assed to deal with it for a couple of weeks. For one, because that’s a pain in the ass, and for two? The instructions for the other half of the front are, no shit, ‘Like left front piece, but mirrored, and make BUTTONHOLES.’¬† So that meant having some pretty extensive colour-coded notation for me to reference back to. There’s also a couple of sticky notes floating around my desk with actual row numbers written out if I need further reference. And well, if I make any little mistakes… that just adds to the uniqueness, right? Riiight. *laughs*

I’m also working another tiny charity hat, but left-handed this time. I cast it on when I was at Stitch ‘n Bitch last, because it was ungodly hot and we were out in the beer garden. That meant less table space to go around, so I didn’t want to wrestle with this panel and all the measuring it required.

I also need to get back to making the poor doll a proper outfit. My husband handed me my sheaf of knitting patterns that I printed to go through for her; they had somehow mixed in to my older daughter’s art desk. Whups. I probably should make myself finish the little hat first, if only so I don’t end up with a million projects languishing on the needles.

Languishing. Cheesecake. Really need to make another one and report back on that. Maybe when it’s not stupid hot.

<3

 

Serf City: The Best of 1994

Hello, crafty and sundry!

scNow, I’ve been a gamer my entire life. There are games I still play all the time that are legal to drink in the US now, like my oft-played fave Serf City: Life is Feudal (Also known as The Settlers). I often have it up while I am doing other things because it is a very slow-paced real time strategy, which means that I can game while knitting or writing (or at least, have the sensation of gaming).

I also tend to like it better than later entries in the series because it’s not quite so battle oriented. I enjoy the building and economy aspects more than anything else — having to constantly fight is more stressful than enjoyable to me.

s2Having said that, The Settlers II is probably even more enjoyable mechanically, and I will get into jags of playing that as well. My main complaint is that it is lacking in random map generation like the first one, which is one of the reasons I still play it obsessively — with some millions (or billions) of potential maps, it keeps it an enjoyable challenge. Settlers II had a mod that someone created where you could craft your own maps, but that steals the fun of discovery and planning on the fly.

So with that in mind, I was happy to remember I hadn’t actually installed The Settlers II 10th Anniversary Edition. The changes in graphics took a tiny bit of adjusting to get used to, but the gameplay is mainly the same as the original. As a bonus, there’s a pile of generated maps to play with. There’s not millions or billions, but it makes the game more playable to have the options. The maps are still tiny by my reckoning (I love how big a map you can generate with Serf City), but it’s been fun tinkering around in it again.

c94I’ve also been dabbling again on another 1994 classic — Sid Meier’s¬† Colonization. Even though I also own the remake, I always find myself drifting back to the original. No idea why. I guess I really like 8-bit blockiness? I really have to be in a mood for it because of how different in feel it was to the first three Civilization games. It’s also why, in part, I’ve not really gotten on with IV (though I like V a bit better).

Really though, I have so many freaking name games to check out that it’s hilarious that I’m wallowing in old goodies. The Steam Summer Sale has been and gone, and as usual, I raked in a bunch of inexpensive and steeply discounted goodies — something like 15 games for under ¬£25 total. I don’t even know where to begin if I’m honest, because Steam is really good for collective games to play later. Which means I’ll get around to playing them all. Later.

 


 

IMG_3361Because of Math‚ĄĘ¬ģ, I have been hardcore slacking in my knitting. I’m to a point where I’m doing decreases on both sides of the piece in different ways, and my brain hasn’t gotten around to wanting to deal with it. I’ve got my colour guide scribbled down, so that’s a step closer to getting my butt back into gear.

I’m also avoiding the lure of small projects to avoid math. My littlest had her first birthday this month, and a friend got her a dolly (cheeky cow, ha ha). As the dolly came in a pink outfit, and I am doing my best to raise gender neutral children, I now ‘have’ to make doll clothing. So far, the dolly has a bum covering that I knitted off of a preemie pattern for a soaker. I’ve also got a few outfits that should work, but like… must make myself math first. I need to know the math before I do the other front piece on this cardigan, so it would behoove me to buckle down and get it done. I know that once I actually get going it’ll be fine, but man, inertia.

Past that, my brain got stuck on something it ‘needed’ to do — get yet another blog set up. I’d bought Raeyn.com for the obvious reason — it’s my name and I ‘needed’ it. But I dislike having domains sitting around doing nothing, so I had to think about what I wanted to do with it. And then I had to think about layout and design. It’ll be snark and opinion if that’s your thing, so feel free to check it out. And in the meantime, I can hope that now that that’s ‘done’, my brain will relent and let me get some other crap done that needs doing, ha ha.

<3

Busy Bess and Nintendo 3DS

Hello, crafty and sundry!

I realised that I have all but fallen off the face of the planet here. Whups. Things have been delightfully busy here though, so let’s see if I can recap!

Christmas Came Early

 

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Why yes, that IS a New Nintendo 3DS XL

I know that I had mentioned in the past that I wanted a New Nintendo 3DS XL for Christmas. I picked it knowing it would wipe out my entire Christmas budget, as well as most of my birthday budget as well. But that was okay because I actually knew what I wanted, and that was awesome.

Now, we do most of our shopping at Tesco. The husband used to work there, and we would have never gotten on the housing ladder if not for the stock he bought while in their employ (which they then matched). We also like shopping there because most summers, they have what they call the Clubcard boost. That’s where they take your earned credit, and then double it on the purchase of certain objects. As electronics regularly come up in the deal, we’d already pencilled in the bulk of ours to get me a new mobile phone, as the one I had was some five years old. What I didn’t expect to see when I looked as a joke was that the 3DS XLs were also in the deal, already slightly discounted, and with another discount that would take a bit more money off the purchase. In short, I got a new phone and my desired Christmas present for ¬£30 in actual money.

 

Still Gotta Catch ‘Em All

 

Suffices to say, I’d doubled down on my Pok√©monning, ha ha. I’m in the last 100 Pok√©mon needed to complete my Pok√©dex (660 down, 61 to go!). This is the closest I’ve been since Generation One, so yanno, since the 90s. It’s a lot easier now that you can trade globally, and indeed, I’ll be taking advantage of a friend in Scotland to fill in a few gaps in the Legendaries, and any Mythicals if he has any he’s willing to let me momentarily borrow. I’ve still got to paw over my used cartridges to see if there are any hidden goodies on them (like the Arceus I JUST noticed!), but I might manage to trade some of the Legendaries that came for others. We’ll see. I’d love to have a legit complete including Mythicals Pok√©dex if I can manage it!

 

In an Octopus’ Garden

 

IMG_3257I have been on a hardcore gardening kick lately. Now, I had hoped at our old house that I could at least get a few bits of produce growing, but alas, the yard was a never-ending vortex and any attempt we made to put anything up got blown away. It was very disheartening, to say the least. So moving to a house with a garden was something that made both of us very happy. Unfortunately, we had the years of not being able to garden to deprogram, so we started getting caught up on making the garden tidy rather late in the year (aka, last month).

Of course, we might have let the entire year pass us by without doing anything if not for a random kickstart. One of our friends in the village has his own allotment, and the subject of gardening had come up upon seeing his mutant rhubarb. He gifted some of the aforementioned to my husband, as well as some seed potatoes.

Now, my mother-in-law is an avid gardener, and that extends to our garden as well. We’d mentioned the seed potatoes, so she showed up rapidly armed with bags to grow them in, and some strawberries because I happen to like strawberries. Fair enough — we had a container to put the strawberries in. That she’d gotten us for something else years previously. Wha, I did say her enthusiasm extends to our garden, ha ha. So we got those two things planted, and I started buckling down on the weeding. And then I thought about seeds. You can’t get yellow crookneck squash as a regular thing in grocery stores here that I’ve seen, and um… that’s like, a mandatory food for someone who was born and bred in the southern United States (unless you happen to avoid vegetables as a matter of course, then more for me). I was excited to note that the seeds were available online, and that we were in the planting window. So the husband suggested I order them. We had to order more seeds to make up a big enough order, so we picked up sweetcorn (because why not), and lemon drop peppers. The seeds are currently germinating in the garage (’cause warmer and a free window).

Of course, our renewed enthusiasm gave my mother-in-law renewed enthusiasm, so she brought over more tubs, two butternut squashes, and some herbs. I’m going to be sick of squash by the end of the year, aren’t I? xD

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Holidays

 

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Don’t let the cute fool you, they’re full of mischief

And to top it off, it was half-term last week. I do love spending time with both of my girls, but it’s very wearying for my chronically fatigued self. They’re actually really good at playing with each other and giving me some reprieve, but it’s still another person in my space for the week, which also distracts negatively when the baby, oh teething baby, needs to sleep, and… well. I knew the mom gig wouldn’t be a walk in the park, hee hee.

Wait, where was I going with that?

So yes, Lilbit was at home with me and Littlerbit, which means that I couldn’t brain much. I just sort of curled up with my Pok√©mons¬† and called that my sanity covered. I got to the weekend and about had a panic attack to realise how long ago I’d last posted — sorry about that for the handful of y’all who follow along. The fact that so much was going on at once just sort of let it all build up into this oversized heap, because of silly things like needing to take pictures and not wanting to disturbing children, and so on. Or something.

Still don’t know where I’m going with that, ha ha.

Anyways, that’s sort of what’s been going on. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more on the ball in future again. Oh yeah and knitting is going fine as well. *nodnods*

<3

Left, Right, Knit, Purl!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

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Red hat to the right, blue cardi to the left

While most of my attention continues to be eaten up by Pok√©mon (I’m currently working on filling up the entire National Pok√©dex for once), I have been trying to make some sincere effort on my knitting as well. And not just normal, left-handed knitting — I’m also working on my right-handed (wrong-handed) knitting as well. Why am I bothering to learn how to do it right-handed? Honestly, sheer stubbornness. I have no desire to become a right-handed knitter, but it seemed like learning the basics would be a worthwhile challenge. I am currently working on a baby hat for charity right-handed. My friend Emma decided to take her new-found knitting skills to knit baby hats because of an experience in her life, and I thought something that size would be good practice in that regard. The charity is Baby Beanies, and I found a copy of the pattern I’m doing from them here on this site. Or you can email them and get both of the patterns and all the other information; I’m working off of what Emma received, ’cause that was easiest for me.

I will say one thing for trying to knit cack-handed versus crocheting with my right hand — it mirrors better. I can’t do things exactly-exactly the same, but I can do it a lot more similarly than I can in crochet. The way I hold my wool in crochet is that it’s balanced between my first and index finger, and I’ve yet to be able to get that to mirror for the purposes of right-handed crochet. I also move the hook rather than the wool, and I’ve not managed to find that equivalency either. I wish I could, because even just learning the rudiments of knitting right-handed helps me a lot in understanding things that one has to do backwards to get the knitting to look the same. While I’m not super-fussed by getting it to look exactly like it does in the pattern for personal use, I wouldn’t mind getting good enough to potentially test knit for friends. In my head, being able to do that would be a levelling up of sorts, hee hee. I think that also might require me to buckle down and get the couple of little patterns I’ve scribbled out turned into actual patterns too, because that should help give me further insight into the planning stages of such.

tl;dr — I still love some knitting.

 


 

And now, circling shortly back around to Pok√©mon! Out of some 721 possible Pok√©mon, I have 520 and have seen 556. That’s not too bad. I completed the Hoenn Pok√©dex, barring only the Mythical Pok√©mon Jirachi. I’m always sad that I’ve missed out on so many event-only Pok√©mon, but ah well. It’s not like they’ll never-never-never come back around, you know? I also have the Kanto/original Pok√©dex completed barring two of the Legendary birds, and Mew. The former I’ll be able to get via my assorted cartridges, the latter… hrmph. I think I might have a Mew on one of my Generation I cartridges, but as you can’t trade I and II up to III and later generations, it doesn’t do much for me.

I’ve also stopped my relentless grind of trading back and forth from my own cartridges to engage in some more Wonder Trading. Sure, one has to go through a lot of chaff to get any wheat, but sometimes it’s worth it. I’ve gotten two shinies in the past 24 hours, and I even received a starter Pok√©mon with Pok√©rus! I laughed at how slow I am, though — I hadn’t caught that shinies had a red star marking on their summary… makes me wonder how many shinies I missed because I couldn’t squint out colour differences, and didn’t know about that marking.

Plus, sitting and watching trades go through gives me more time to knit, which of course, is excellent.

<3

A Glorious Pokémon Failure

Hello, crafty and sundry!

apcI’ve had my head down most of the weekend trying to make a decent showing in the Pok√©mon International Challenge. Suffices to say, I’m 99.9% sure that I will not be competing past this initial stage. Out of the 28 battles I completed, I won six. That’s about a fifth of my battles won, which would certainly not be good enough to get me into any further rounds of this particular contest. But you know what? I signed up. I took part. I gave the best showing I could, so I can’t actually complain.

The battle format was also a bit of a problem for me — it was double battles. I vastly prefer single battles, and while I feel that I put together a good team for the competition, it was a team that would have been 500% better for single, one-on-one rather than two-on-two. Double battles require a completely different approach, to include moves that affect more than one Pok√©mon, building a team with pairings in mind, and in general, the inclusion of strategies that one might not apply their precious four move slots to in other circumstances. But I guess that’s part of the the appeal of Pok√©mon through the generations — you have a variety of things you can do within the same basic structure, whether it be prepping for a style of battles, shiny hunting, specialist breeding, or doing Pok√©mon Contests! While my main focus right now is filling up my Pok√©dex by hook or crook, I think I am going to have fun in future going back and doing a bit of all of the aforementioned.

 


 

IMG_3120IMG_3116I finished the cabled hat I was making for the baby. I have to say, as said before, that cabling is fairly easy and a lot of fun. I also tried out both of the types of the cabling needles I purchased. The straight ones have notches on them to hold the stitches, while the kinky ones are the classic non-straight approach to holding onto those few stitches until you pick them back up and work them. With the bog-standard acrylic I was using for the hat, I definitely preferred the kinky ones. They both held the stitches well and permitted easy movement. On the other hand, the ridged ones held a bit too securely, making it difficult to move the stitches along and back into being worked. I am thinking that they will be best to use if I’m working with an especially slippery wool, but I guess I will see when that occurs. In the interim, I’m just happy to have both to experiment with!

IMG_3122IMG_3125Of course, now that I’ve finished a small project, I’m diving headfirst back into my cardigan! Oh, except not, ha ha. I have in mind that I should try my luck at doing a small project right-handed for practice instead. One of my dear friends is intending to do hates for Baby Beanies, a charity here in the UK that makes hats for preemie babies. Her son was very premature, and so they had nothing that fit a baby that small. The hat donated is something she’s kept and treasured, and now that she can knit, she wants to pay it forward. I figured that doing a little hat for charity would rock, and would be the perfect size to practice my right-handed knitting. I cast on and started to do rib, but that’s way too freaking awkward right-handed at this stage, as I’ve not mastered the best way to purl OR knit yet. So instead I’m casting on for one without ribbing, and we’ll see how it goes. At the worst, it’s made me work on my cardigan to vent frustration, so that’s good and productive too. ūüėÄ

<3

 

My Little Knitty: Cables Are Magic

Hello, crafty and sundry!

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Pretty pretty cables <3

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See, kinky — rawr!

While I continue to slack on my knitting because of Pok√©mon (more on that in a minute), I am enjoying the ever-loving crap out of the little bit that I am currently working on. It’s a hat for my youngest, a pattern specifically picked out because I wanted to play with cables for the first time. Now, I’d done a random cable in isolation some months back off of a Wikihow article, which assured me that it wasn’t a scary thing. But as I was working on other things like my cardigan and working on learning socks, I didn’t want to add that to the rest. Like, my approach to learning knitting has been to learn one thing at a time, one new thing per piece I’m doing, which is a less scary way to pick up the assorted skills. I can thank the book I used to get my start for getting that idea into my head. Even if it couldn’t teach me 100% due to my left-handedness, it gave me a good place to build a foundation on. Well yanno, that and getting my anxiety levels to something a bit more manageable, enabling me to learn something new without shutting down beforehand (thereby preventing learning anything — broken brains are great ><).

But yes, cabling is super-simple and fun, and it helps that I invested in the ‘right’ sort of needles for it (kinky, aww yiss). I also have some notched ones to try, but I haven’t fished those out yet. The kinky pack was the one that I found first when looking for my cable needles, so that science will have to wait until later. The straight ones sort of make me nervous, if only ’cause it seems too easy to lose the stitches, unless you like, put end protectors on both ends… which seems a bit too much effort for 2 or 3 stitches to me. Better to have something that will hold the stitches in place.

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Serious contest preparation

But yes, the main preoccupation has been, and will continue to be for a bit, Pok√©mon. I decided to enter the April competition, you see. I have never before entered a contest, or heck, even battled against a friend. The chances of me winning are pretty much completely non-existent, and I’m okay with that. I think. It’s hard to be completely sure of that with my rampant perfectionism (even if it is mainly dormant these days). But I busted out Excel to make with the spreadsheet action, started throwing assorted Pok√©mon at it, and put together a team. And then I took advantage of the DexNav in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to find the same Pok√©mon again, but with better stats. I don’t know if I’ve done a good enough job of it, but at least I can feel like I’ve made a real effort for this attempt. Maybe in future I’ll join in with the serious breeding, and knowing all the fancy stats in the world. Maybe sometime that will be the fun part. I HAVE grown fonder of spreadsheets as I’ve gotten older, after all…

Other than that, I’m trying to make myself learn to use my camera a tiny bit better. For instance, macro mode… never used it before today. Good thing I’ve never considered myself an actual photographer, ha ha. I like to think I can take a passable picture, but as much as I post pictures on this blog, being able to take even better ones sounds a keen idea. ūüėÄ

<3

Oooh, Shiny — Shiny Pok√©mon!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_3065fYes, my Pok√©mon addiction continues to run amok. We even walked into town over the weekend so that I could pick up some codes for Shiny Charizards and Darkrais from our local Game store. I also found Black and Black 2 for a price comparable to what I would have paid on Amazon, which is excellent. And, bonus — the Black cartridge had a nice nest of Pok√©mon, to include some Legendaries. All of those got scooped up into my Pok√©mon Bank, and I guess I’ll refrain from restarting it for the time being. Anyways, I have to finish my play-through of White and White 2, or I can do Black 2 instead of White 2… or both eventually, hee hee.

I also need to acquire Alpha Sapphire before the end of the month, because otherwise one of the remaining Pok√©mon codes expires; you can apparently only use one of each per game. So I’ve got three in the three I had (X, Y, and Omega Ruby), and that one remains. Oh teh noes, needing to buy a game… tragic! *giggles*

IMG_3065Mind you, I *am* trying to work on my knitting as well. A little bit. Amongst bouts of Pok√©monning. Have I mentioned how much I love this game? Oh right, several times… doot doot doot. I do still love knitting as well, but until I find a way to grow another set of arms to match my desire to do all the things against the reality of being able to do some of the things at a time, it’s slightly to the backseat. Pok√©mon is a bit more effective at helping me ride out this patch of anxiety.

But still, I am enthused enough to have two projects on the go. The cardigan continues at a decent enough pace, and I’ve just started on a hat for the baby. It’s a simple enough pattern, worked flat… but most importantly, is my first piece of knitting with actual cables! I’d done a practice of a cable on a bit of scrap some time ago, enough to assure me that I -can- do it. I also had confirmation from a fellow left-handed knitter that for the cables to go the right direction, I need to work it opposite a right-handed person would (being that if it’s say, C4B, I work it C4F). I figure this is a nice little ratcheting up of the difficulty level; I already know I can make big pieces, but maybe now I can make *fancy* pieces. It’s exciting to progress, and one of the nice things about progressing in a crafting medium is you can legit see how you’ve progressed, which is super-edifying.

I’ve been remiss in my baking lately; I really should try to make another cheesecake sometime. My husband has filling in the gap with cookies and a carrot cake (as requested by our eldest), but with my health kicking my ass so hard, I’ve not even been able to think about it. Which is sad, especially since some of the baking I wanted to do was bread. We received a new microwave for Christmas that proofs bread, and I’ve yet to put it through its paces in that sense… most sad. Eventually though!

<3

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