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 Pokémon Diancie was available. Look at this majestic pile of pixels, yo. That’s one adorable Pokémon. I’ve also declared it to be the Pokéform of my soon-to-be sister Shansbat (who loves her rocks), which makes it extra special to me. It’s also one less Mythical Pokémon 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 PokéAddicts and see if anyone is willing to let me borrow any of those momentarily to get a properly ‘actually’ filled Pokédex. 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™® 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™®, 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 Pokémonning, ha ha. I’m in the last 100 Pokémon needed to complete my Pokédex (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 Pokédex 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 Pokémons  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 Pokémon (I’m currently working on filling up the entire National Pokédex 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 Pokémon! Out of some 721 possible Pokémon, I have 520 and have seen 556. That’s not too bad. I completed the Hoenn Pokédex, barring only the Mythical Pokémon Jirachi. I’m always sad that I’ve missed out on so many event-only Pokémon, but ah well. It’s not like they’ll never-never-never come back around, you know? I also have the Kanto/original Pokédex 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 Pokémon with Pokérus! 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon, 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon Contests! While my main focus right now is filling up my Pokédex 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. 😀

<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 Pokémon (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, Pokémon. 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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. 😀

<3

Oooh, Shiny — Shiny Pokémon!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_3065fYes, my Pokémon 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 Pokémon, to include some Legendaries. All of those got scooped up into my Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémonning. 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. Pokémon 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

Can’t Knit, Too Many Pokémon

Hello, Crafty and Sundry!

IMG_3018One thing that is a constant source of amusement to me is the misconception that Pokémon is a game for children only. Yes, it’s cartoonish and cute, and nobody actually dies… but the first game came out in the late 1990s. Which means some of us have been playing the franchise for um… yeah… coming up on 20 years.

Now, I’d clocked the cartoon first, which would have been in 1998 or 1999. I thought it was a cute little adventure… and then I found out there was a game. Now, I’ve had a Game Boy since my 10th birthday in 1992, and since being an adult, more than one. I have at current 2 Game Boy Colours, 2 Game Boy Advances, one first-gen DS compliments of a friend, and a pair of 2DSes because they came bundled with Pokémon games and I had Christmas-birthday money to spend. Heck, I’ve already decided that I want one of the new generation 3DS XLS for Christmas this year (which is also a sort of relief ’cause I’d ran out of things to want, ha ha). In short, I have a pretty fully-fledged PokéAddiction, and I’m not ashamed or quiet about it.

So of course, part of my Christmas money rather belatedly went to get myself a copy of Omega Ruby; I’ll pick up Alpha Sapphire later in the year. It’s a remake of Ruby and Sapphire, which I already have (and Emerald as well). I love the remakes though because they add new and interesting features which certainly enhance gameplay. Not that I need enhanced gameplay to feed my addiction either, ha ha. Just because I’m in the mood for Pokémon and it’s a ‘new’ game, I’ve already put in 129 hours in like… well, a couple of weeks. It keeps my hands busy when they have a free moment.

IMG_3026IMG_3032Unfortunately, that means I’m slacking on my knitting. I can’t be too mad at myself about it — I finished my cardigan (which is getting rave reviews), and those socks, and a pair of armwarmers for myself. That’s some pretty good productivity, and seeing how my next big project is another cardigan? Taking a sort of break isn’t a bad deal. Having said that, I have totally tried to make myself stop and do a few rows a day on the cardigan so it gets somewhere. I’ve got the first three and a half inches of the back completed and started into the shaping, so that’s a good feeling. I’m trying to nudge myself along a few stitches at a time — do a Pokémon battle, do a few stitches, and things start growing properly, hee hee.

I’m also still a bit off-kilter because my desktop computer is still not back in full operations. We finally sent the broken graphics card back for repair/replacement, and in the interim I have a really old card from my oldest computer subbing in. It’s good ’cause it proves definitively it was the outgoing card; this one is eight years old and can even grudgingly run the newest Dragon Age title without getting more than slightly warm. It’s too choppy to be legit playable, but anyways. It’ll be nice to be able to make use of my bigger screen for games again once the replacement shows up. If they don’t try to dick me out of it; I’ve not been happy dealing with Palicomp and will definitely move all my future business over to PC Specialist because their customer service is awesome and they do great rigs. Seriously y’all, if you’re in the UK and want a custom built laptop, they’re amazing.

That’s about it right now. Hope everyone has a great Easter!

<3

Impromptu Card-Making for the Win!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_2978Well, I have been keeping rather busy lately. First, we had visitors from abroad; I’d not seen my sister and her husband in years, so it was great to have them around. Of course, I was doing my bit to spread the knit-love too, naturally. My sister had learned before me (I think), but she’d never taken to it. So I switched to right-handed (wrong-handed, blargh!), and showed her the rudiments of knitting rib. It turns out part of her problem was reading the wrong side of her work as she went, so she made some lovely seed stitch before we got her pointed in the right direction. She was feeling very enthusiastic after our sessions, so that pleases me. She can knit or not knit as she sees fit, but it pleases me when I can make knitting make more sense for someone.

IMG_2982I, of course, continued work on my actual project as well. I was doing another pair of Talena Winters’ Just Plain Socks, which is a pattern I rather adore. In spite of her mock-cranky face, my big girl is extremely fond of her new socks, and it was very difficult to get the first one off of her so I could finish the pair. I’m thinking I should probably make IMG_2984a pair for myself as well — after all, who doesn’t like custom-made socks?! Plus also, quite happy to keep pimping for Talena Winters, because she is a total sweetheart.

But before I get there, I’m trying to do a bit of stash-busting. The wool in question is Jenny Watson Pure Merino DK in WM10 (Denim), and I had two 50g skeins to use up. I poked around Ravelry until something that looked appealing for me popped up, and settled on a set of armwarmers. I’ve got to say, I’m sort of skeptical. 30 stitches around in DK isn’t that many. But it goes over my hand, so I’m just going to knit on for now and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, I pick it back and add a few more stitches to the pattern. We’ll see once I get the first one done and tried on properly.

 


IMG_2988Tomorrow is Mother’s Day here in the United Kingdom, and of course, that means cards. Apparently, none of the cards have ‘Nanny’ on them this year (our preferred method of addressing my mother-in-law in her grandmother duties), so my husband bought some crafting stuff so we could make cards. Now, I’m not into card-making per se, but I like to think that I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. He’d said something about a vase and flowers for our big girl’s card, so that’s what I whipped up. Our little one sort of ended up with a sheep-esque theme from the womb, so I figured that would work in a pinch. We’ll worry about doing any lettering and signing tomorrow after the glue dries… glue and felt… I don’t think they’re particularly good friends, considering the quantities we had to goop on to get things to stick. I’m happy that we managed to cobble something cute together though… even if at the last possible minute, ha ha.


Past that, I’ve been trying to poke at my Steam library a little bit. I’m limited in what I can play based on the age of the graphics card I’m using until the other one is repaired… but you know what? It might be ancient, but it actually runs Dragon Age: Inquisition. In a tiny window. On low settings. I moved to playing it over on my laptop to get a proper fix now that I want one, but it was of amusement to me that I can clearly demonstrate over and over again that the card I took out is defective. I still need to mail that back, but that should happen next week.

As for games played, I knocked out Hero of the Kingdom over the course of a couple of days. It’s a cute little point and click, and I’m probably going to pick up the sequel at some point. And then I got grumpy ’cause I wanted to play things in windows and most weren’t in windows, so I dabbled in Sims 4 for a bit instead. My broken brain tends to get fixated on weird things like that in spells. It’s also wanting to find games that are knit-friendly, so things like Sims are great ’cause they just sort of putter along slowly while your hands and brain are elsewhere.

For now, it’s time to join my husband in watching part two of The Hogfather in remembrance of Terry Prachett and all the joy he brought into our lives.

<3

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