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. :D

<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. :D

<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

And Suddenly, a Cardigan Appears!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

I fell down the wormhole again… sorry about that. Computer problems tends to make me really bad about blogging ’cause the energy that would have happily gone to nattering about things gets eaten up by fret and stress. And also, it meant that I couldn’t get my gaming on in a meaningful fashion, as the problem was the graphics card overheating over nothing. While I still adore Serf City:Life is Feudal, I *really* wanted to play something more modern (in this case, Anno 2070). While things aren’t fully resolved (I need to send my graphics card to be repaired or replaced), at least I was able to pillage one from an old computer, which seems to be working well enough for my basic gaming needs.

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IMG_2954So really, I guess the main thing I can tell you is that my cardigan is complete… minus one button because I accidentally ordered too few, but close enough. I am very happy with it as a first, proper big ‘for me’ project, though I definitely look forward to it getting squished up and a bit flopper, hee hee. Not that it’s stiff per se, but I feel a good wash and dry will see it fitting me a bit better in places like the arms (which feel very slightly poofy in my head). But really, it’s super comfortable, and the only actual complaint that I can make is that my hands keep reaching for pockets that aren’t there. It’s because of an old cardigan my sister gave me years ago that really needs to get binned. It has pockets at the front, and I guess my brain has decided this makes a suitable replacement, even if it doesn’t have a hood. I think my next one might have to have a hood. I really like hoods, hee hee.

IMG_2931 IMG_2929I also finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for years — I’ve wound all my stash into pretty little cake skeins. I’d picked up a winder in late 2012 or 2013 when someone had brought a bunch of knitting goodies to pick over to Stitch ‘n Bitch one night, and it had been sitting in a drawer doing nothing. One the lasses had shown up with a wound up ball of wool she’d gotten from me at the Christmas party, and I was charmed and decided I needed to do the same to all of mine. I’m glad I did! It gave me a chance to take stock of what I had, to tag it (as you can see), and of course, I made more space. I compressed 5 full drawers into 3 full drawers. That’s right, I have spare room now, ha ha. Having said that, I really don’t feel the need to get more wool right now — I want to work through what I have to hand first. We’ll see how that resolve lasts, but considering I’m the most nascent of wool snobs (which is to say, really not at all)…

For now, I’m taking a break and doing another small project to wash my palate — another pair of socks. This pair is for my bigger girl, and in the wool colour she picked out of my stash. I’m betting she won’t wear them like she won’t wear the shirt I made to her specifications, but ah well. I’m not going to get offended by a kid being a kid. Besides, I’m still having fun, right? :D

<3

Sock It to Me, Blockhead

Hello, crafty and sundry!

I seem to have fallen down the wormhole, dreadfully sorry about that. But while I was there, I received all the pretty needles I ordered, and made my first pair of socks, one sock at a time:

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I looked around for good, friendly learner patterns, and decided on Just Plain Socks by Talena Winters. It requires being able to do basic maths… but I think most knitters would agree that one improves their basic math skills by dint of knitting, thereby making knowing the actual size in inches that you’re working less scary. Which is to say, rather than quoting actual number of stitches for each size, you need to be able to work out basic formulations. Trust me, it sounds scarier than it actually is.

Of course, being my first pair of socks, which made them scary by any stretch, I opted to do them baby-sized for starters:

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I’ll admit that I made a bit of a bodge the entire way through both of them, but as they came out sock-shaped, I wasn’t going to complain overmuch. After all, one has to make mistakes to learn how to not make them later. The mistake I didn’t expect to make was the second one coming out so much smaller than the first one! I guess my tension was tighter? I’m still new to working in the round on DPNs, so it doesn’t come as any real surprise that my tension isn’t even yet. And it gave me the chance to *gulp* wet-block for the first time.

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As you can see, I borrowed one of my daughter’s play tiles. I couldn’t find any that were hole-free off-hand, so thankfully, the 6/9 worked well enough for pinning up the socks after I wet them and pulled them about a bit. The smaller sock is still a smidge smaller, but that’s okay. Shoving them on tiny baby feet will help with any remaining stretching needed, I reckon. The experience was relatively pain-free though, so I’m feeling more optimistic about future blocking efforts.

For the moment, I return to my cardigan. It amuses me how huge the 4mm needles feel after the 3.25mm needles! Even the wool feels like chunky after working with sock wool. Having said that, it feels nice to not have to turn after a handful of stitches, and to be working straight again. I’ll definitely do socks again, and probably this same pattern again — this time, for Lilbit, the 5 year old. But first I need to make some sincere progress on the cardigan again. I’m slightly amused that I went from ‘one project at a time’ to ‘Oh well, I guess I can stop and do a little one’. I understand that this is a common knitter ‘woe’, but still!

 


 

Past that, I’ve been trying to find what games I can manage to play without angering my desktop computer. The graphics card seems to be breaking/broken. Sometimes it works fine all day, other times it freaks out and stops working properly for a few days, complete with crashes. I tried emailing the company I bought it from to get them to take it back and fix it while it’s under warranty, but their email support team seems to be the most freaking incompetent lot of ticklist-following idiots I’ve ever come across. We’re going to call to shake ‘em down… once we manage to work ourselves up to using the phone. The husband’s stutter and my severe phone-based anxiety make phone-based contact less than ideal, to say the least.

But I’m still managing to get my gaming on, for great justice. I’m running one of my old favourites right now — Serf City: Life is Feudal (aka Settlers 1). I’ve also been on an Anno kick, specifically 2070 and 1404 Venice. I’ve also had a bit of Caesar III and Caesar IV. What can I say —  I love city-building games. And because they’re slower real time strategy games, they go together quite well with knitting. I also acquired Final Fantasy Tactics Advance with my birthday-Christmas money, so I’ve got that loaded into my DS to give a spin to. I loved the original so much (and do have an emulator version thereof), but I do like a bit of hand-held fun still. I need to get the sequel as well eventually, yanno, for the principle of the thing.

So yes, busy days indeed.

<3

Around in a Circular… Double Pointed… Thing

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_2846I have to say, I’ve been having way too much fun lately. IMG_2845Of course, a part of that has been knitting up a storm. I finished my scarf in that really fun pattern, and suffices to say, I am well pleased with it. Of course, watch the winter continue to stay too mild to really need it… but we’ll see. At least it’s made, and teasing me that I should buy more of the wool and make matching accessories… hrm… I think it’s fair to say that practice made perfect in working the pattern though, and here in the second (and a half iteration), I did a better job of keeping my barely functioning brain following along the pattern. Mind, it hides mistakes well enough by dint of being fanceh-frilly, but still. Better to be able to do it right!

IMG_2848IMG_2849Now, I can knit circular, and I can knit magic loop, but I have not had a lot of luck figuring out double point… until now. I’d flipped through assorted tutorials off and on over the past year, slowly absorbing how-to knowledge. I found this one from The Purl Bee to be of the most use, for one silly reason — because she put her needles down on a desk, which somehow made it easier for my brain to process how to hold the working needle while letting the other two rest. As you can see from the picture to the left, I managed a few rows! I need to practice, maybe do a pair of socks or something that’s a simple tube, but I think the idea of what to do is finally in my head. It also helps that my brain has quit being a whiny baby about knitting a row before joining. It’s not like it’s hard to leave a little tail and use that to close up the tiny little gap formed by not joining in the foundation row, yanno? Really on the whole, it amuses me how daunting every little thing in knitting is… until you do it. And then, really, it’s not so bad!


IMG_2861IMG_2865I ended up going to Hobbycraft with the childlings and the husband the other day. While there, my big girl declared that I needed to buy wool to make myself a hat or a scarf (apparently also, in lime green). I talked her around to me making a hat for her, and into the Sirdar Snuggly Crofter DK wool. The colour here is 0174, Skye, and the wool is one I’ve wanted to use because it claims to have a ‘Fair Isle effect’. Which means that it sort of knits up a pattern. Sort of. I wanted a simple pattern to show off the patterning, so I went with the Yellow Child’s Hat by Erin Douglas. I didn’t do a gauge at first, or else I’d’ve realised that the circumference claimed by the pattern bore no relationship to what I actually knitted up… and, I think, I tend to still knit too tightly when I’m working in the round. It pulls over the kiddo’s head though, and she rather likes it.

IMG_2855Which circulars… circles… me back to the double pointed needles. The pattern calls for it to be done on DPNs, but I did it on circulars. One of my best friends said she’s had no problems finishing off hats with only circulars, but I wanted to make sure I understood the rudiments of DPNs before I got to the last couple of rows. And yes, I did manage to finish it off just fine on circulars! But I still ordered myself a couple of sets of DPNs because yanno… I had Christmas and birthday money to spend, so might as well splash out for something I’d not normally buy, right? Well okay, maybe I would have bought them eventually, but anyways. Now I just get to go hog wild buying myself knitting shinies, which I will show off at a future date. For now, y’all can cast envious glances at my cupcake carrier, and extra Kenwood spatulas, hee hee.

<3

 

 

All the Things!

Hello, crafty and sundry!

Christmas Shinies

Christmas Shinies

My, I have been quiet over this holiday season, hee hee. I’ve been busy, let’s be fair. Besides spending time with my lovely family, I’ve been knitting up a storm, and gaming like mad. You know, what I do with all my free time any ways, but yanno, with having even more time to spend doing things.

In that regard, my cardigan is coming along lovely. I’ve finished the back, one of the fronts, and one of the sleeves. I’ve made any number of errors on the latter two especially, but I have faith that I can mask most of it in the sewing up phase. It’s not like I’m going to rip back to fix it when I’m so far along, and really… mistakes happen. It’s just going to make this cardigan more ‘me’, I guess? It’s coming along a lot happier now that I’ve got my new circulars, though! It was a choice between those, and a Knit Picks set of mermaid needles (as I’ve been calling them). The Caspians were not available when ‘Santa’ finally hit Amazon, so that made the picking easier. I’m still probably going to get them though with my eventual possible pocket change, hee hee. For one, the Knit Picks set covers some sizes that crop up in American patterns (like 3.75mm needles). And for two, well… they’re pretty and I want them. And really, having extra knitting needles is pragmatic anyways!

It’s also been the Steam Winter Sale, which of course, requires close monitoring. I ended up picking up a small handful of games, like I do most every time it rolls around. This seasons’ acquisitions include Talisman: Digital Edition (plus season pass; my husband insisted), Airline Tycoon 2, Bully: Scholarship Edition, Castle Crashers, City Life 2008, Don’t Starve, Driftmoon, Etherlords II, Euro Truck Simulator 1 and 2, Faery – Legends of Avalon, Sacred 2 Gold, Terraria… oh okay, maybe I ended up getting more games than I realised. I’ll just… yanno… avoid looking at the bank account. >__>

But yes, games. Lots of games. Playing lots of games too! I had some computer overheating drama going on that made me think I was going to have to send my desktop in for repairs, but it sorted itself out. Right now, I’ve got Simcity offline on the go, and Final Fantasy VIII. I’ve also been playing a lot of Sid Meier’s Railroads!, and have gotten back into Minecraft a bit as well. To build railroads. Yeah okay, I might have a thing for railroads right now, ha ha. But really, it’s been great to have a bit of time and brain space to play other games besides my usual stopovers. I tend to stick to the same couple of games because they’re easy to play between pauses, or leaving running autonomously around children and things.

I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday period.

<3

Knitting Up the Loose Ends

Hello, crafty and sundry!

My, it’s been busy around here lately, and I’ve apparently fallen off the blogging bandwagon. It, in part, started because I was having computer troubles. My desktop’s GPU (graphics processing unit, or graphics card) was overheating for some reason, and I’ve spent some time troubleshooting it. That included taking things apart in the computer, putting them back together, cleaning them, cleaning them again, and then cleaning them again and again just to make sure. It’s all happy now, but I’m bemused about it. Old games like Sid Meier’s Railroads! should not cause a fairly up-to-date computer to freak out and overheat. Nor should Simcity, but anyways. It’s happy and sitting at a good temperature now, and I’m enjoying playing a region in Simcity offline… aka, where it doesn’t eat my saves and make my games unplayable (true story, repeatedly).

IMG_2767I’ve also been knitting, which probably comes to no surprise to anyone hereIMG_2755. I finally sewed up the second pair of arm warmers, though I’ve not sat down and turned it into a proper pattern. I also finished the scarf I’d started on… but it’s not for me now. I realised as I was working it that my mother-in-law would way love it, so it’s going to be a Christmas gift for her now! I bought some wool in a different colour to make myself one as well, so we’ll all sort of have matching scarves. And by all, I mean myself, my mother-in-law, and my eldest daughter. I’d taken what little was left over of the red wool, and cobbled together a complimentary pattern that was only 16 stitches across rather than 28, but that had the same basic elements as the original pattern.

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All my pattern-writing seems to happen on tiny bits of paper…

IMG_2787Unsurprisingly, I plan on taking that bit of cobbling and turning it into a free pattern as well. I’m excited that I’m starting to understand the elements of knitting well enough to be able to create things as such! I mean, okay, adapting a scarf pattern for another scarf pattern isn’t really that hard, nor is telling someone how to knit something that is essentially a tube with a bit of ribbing… but it’s still sort of encouraging and exciting.

I’m also apparently now hooked on doing more than one project at once… oh well. I’ve now finished the back and the first front of my cardigan, and am casting on to start the first sleeve today. While working on my scarf. Yeeep. I have to say though, the cardigan seems to be knitting up encouragingly quickly! I might even finish it while it’s still cold, ha ha. And then I’ve already got the wool and buttons purchased for the next one I’m thinking of doing, so yeah. I’m also thinking (always thinking!) that I’m going to make blanket squares to keep myself from burning out on one project too quickly, and to help use up wool that is otherwise just chilling in my drawers. Plus really, can’t have too many blankets, and it would be a chance to do some texturework practice — I have a Debbie Bliss book a friend let me borrow that has some great ideas for that in it.

For now, I’m just counting down the days to Christmas. If I’ve been a good girl, Santa is likely to get me some nice new circular needles. I was tempted by those, and this gorgeous Caspian set (mermaid needles!), but the latter was out of stock by the time ‘Santa’ was looking to do the shopping. And then they came back into stock. I said that there’s every chance I’d buy the one I didn’t get for Christmas with any gift cards or cash I got, earning me a flat look. What? Beautiful knitting needles are a practical and pragmatic thing to collect!

Past that, the Steam Winter Sale is on. Which means me pouring through games on sale and adding them to my wishlist to maybe buy later. And by that, I mean my husband convinced me I needed the Talisman Season Pass, and then I bought a couple of games that were less than a pound, and then a dear friend and her boyfriend gifted me some shinies off of my wishlist. So yanno, all sorts of goodie game build up for me to get around to, hee hee. I guess that will also require me to want to put down my knitting needles more; Simcity works well ’cause I can just watch it do its thing while I knit.

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season!

<3

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