Dial S for Skyrim

Hello, Crafty and Sundry!

Sorry y’all, I went quiet for a bit there. I was tinkering with the meds I take to keep my Bipolar Disorder in order (insert rimshot here), and I sort of lost a month of being able to word or do much. Whups.


That Knitter LifeSettings

However, I was totally productive in the knitting sense! I finished off my top:

IMG_20151110_212655 IMG_20151113_220521 IMG_20151127_144204 IMG_20151127_192646409

Which, all told, knitted up fairly quickly. Was it something like two months? I know it wasn’t an extensive or complicated bit of knitting; the hardest part of it was the cabling for the shoulder straps. And that really… that was easy and fun. I hadn’t done any cabling before on a piece, so I wanted something simple to ease me into ‘harder’ pieces, hee hee.

So of course, my current knit is dead easy — that pair of socks for Smallhausen:

IMG_20151205_131511 IMG_20151205_175157 IMG_20151212_150717 IMG_20151213_162133

Which, as you might surmise, is heavily paired with gaming lately. This is such a boring, run of the mill pair of socks that I’ll work like, a row, and then go back to noodling around in whatever game is taking my fancy.

IMG_3532Well that, and I don’t know what else I want to make yet exactly. But I know that whatever I do make, I want to use my newest needle set. Yes, I have the KnitPro Royale collection. I’ve been ogling it since it came out because oh hey, pretty, and I insist you can’t have too many needles. My husband had spotted that they were on sale for a good price in the Amazon Black Friday sale, and asked if I wanted them for Christmas. I smiled and said no, but that we could take it out of my post-Christmas pot — his parents usually give us both a generous wodge to spend on fun things, and we do. And while yes, this makes my third set of circulars (the other two I own being this set and that set), I argue that they’ll be the foundation of my knitting hardware for years to come. Plus you know, pretty. *whistles*

Now, I’ve had in my head that I want to do myself another pair of socks, which limits what I can do with this set (seeing how the sizes are the standard range of sizes). And then I thought about doing some thicker socks, but I don’t have any chunky wool to hand. So it’ll probably just be me thinking about it for a month or two while I dabble through these orange socks. I’ll eventually think up something to make!


That Gamer Life

I had asked for Skyrim for Christmas a few years back because it looked really good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ever get the hang of the controls. I tried a few different times using a keyboard (I do 99% of my gaming on pc ’cause personal preference), and then my husband suggested trying to do it with an Xbox controller. That felt a little less Blair Witch-y, but I wasn’t quite sold on it. So I thought about it for a bit and dawled around in similar games (the keen-eyed will have spotted Diablo III in the screencaps above), and then decided to suck it up and try Skyrim for like, the fifth or sixth time. I don’t know what stuck this time, but it sort of has. And what’s better, it’s one of my BFFFFF‘s favourite games, so we’ve been having fun trading silly comments back and forth on messenger and then posting them to Tumblr.

So yes, I’m very happy to finally be getting into it properly, and there is just so freaking much to do that it even makes Dragon Age:Inquisition feel shallow by comparison (though I should add I’ve not bought the DLC for DA:I yet, so I don’t have the full picture). There’s also having to learn that like, you can’t pick up every little thing you find. Between encumbrance and people who will attack you for stealing their things, there’s a bit of a learning curve. It annoyed me the few attempts to give it a go, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now. And the timing is perfect, as the Christmas holiday is a perfect time to develop/redevelop a gaming addiction.


Better to Go With Two Knit Pro… jects

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_20151025_195103I have been a bit quiet around here lately. I’ve been working on my Rowan Hobo top exclusively, and I have to admit — it wasn’t really inspiring me to make any effort on it, or to blog about it. It’s coming along well, a few rows a day here and there. I’ve finished the back and am somewhere between a quarter and halfway done with the front (though probably much closer to the former than the latter).

IMG_20151102_203052I had hoped that with it being my only project on the go that I would be more inclined to focus on it… I was wrong. I think. I finally broke down and cast on the socks that Smallhausen wanted me to make her. I used Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On, which, if you are not familiar with, makes for amazingly stretchy and comfortable cuffs on top-down socks, or wrist-up sleeves. I had forgotten how tight the first row of knitting was going to be though; the combined effort of casting on and doing the first row probably took me an hour or more. I doubt it will take me as long on the second sock, but we’ll see what happens when I get there. I’ve got to get through the first sock too, and as Smallhausen wants them to be knee-length, that’s going to be a bit longer than not.



What is of amusement to me though is now that I’ve got two projects on the go again, I feel more inclined to knit altogether. That’s surprised and amused me, but this evening has seem me diving headfirst into trying to make some sincere effort. Maybe the bright bright orange that Smallhausen is perking me up and sending me knit rays, ha ha — she said orange for her socks, and hooboy, did we get her orange. But really, I guess that being able to do a row of one thing, and then a row of another, and to alternate as such makes it a bit more interesting and a bit less same old same old ‘knit in pattern for 10,000 rows’ sort of thing (even if both are totally exactly that in different ways).

That’s about it for me right now. I’ve not really been gaming outside of comfort zones, I’ve not the spoons to make with baking, and NaNoWriMo? Maybe next year or the year after, but I knew I was going to skip this year no matter what. Good luck to anyone reading who is giving it a go though!


Slower Than Expected Socks

Hello, crafty and sundry!

IMG_3488 IMG_3491 IMG_3492 IMG_3493

I don’t know why I thought a pair of socks would be a quick knit. I mean, it was in the scheme of things; it took me less than a month (or just over a month?) to crank them out. That’s pretty quick all told, especially considering that my focus has been terrible, and I keep getting back and shoulder injuries. Oh yes, balla knitter rocking her repetitive strain injuries, ha ha. Honestly though, I’m just relieved that I made it through without snapping one of the needles, especially considering how many times I dropped them under my rolly chair. And remember me mentioning feeling cursed in my last post? I ripped out so many stitches on accident so many times, often when picking up a needle and then watching them slide off. Whups. Looking on the bright side, at least that was some quality practice on picking up stitches and not twisting them overmuch. Oh sure, I made plenty of mistakes, like forgetting where I was in the pattern, and at one point on the second sock, I completely forgot how to read my stitches. Yeah, that was… special. *laughs*

IMG_3504IMG_20151006_203248 IMG_20151006_203322 IMG_20151001_190609

I also learned one of the basics of sock knitting — how to slip stitches on the heel. It’s one of those things that ‘everybody knows’, so of course, it doesn’t really filter down to newbies. Now, the heel flaps on the socks that I did for the girls had a super-weird tension, and the only thing I could think of in the why department was in the slipping of the stitches. Because it didn’t say how to do it, I was slipping knitwise on the knit rows, and slipping purlwise on the like, one stitch on the purl row. It turns out that you should slip all stitches purlwise, which makes for a happy flappy flap (as pictured above). Suffices to say, it was much easier this time around to pick up and work the gusset.

IMG_20151011_155714 IMG_20151011_204645 12070676_1480099972293388_849425785_n IMG_3505

If I’m honest, I’m ready for a break from socks. But also, socks are a lot of fun… and Smallhausen complained that she didn’t have an orange pair to go with her blue pair (those being her favourite colours of the moment). I’m slowly pawing through Ravelry to see if anything interesting stands out, but hopefully she’ll forget long enough to let me work on my top. She probably won’t, but I can dream!

There’s nothing else to report in particular right now, craft or game wise. I’ve been wallowing in old favourites to get me through a period of fairly crap mood. I’ve not really been up for baking either, though the family has gotten into geocaching this year. There are pictures on my Instagram account as well as generic life things if any of y’all are interested. It’s been good for getting us out of the house, which considering my hermit tendencies, is a very good thing indeed.


Socks and Tops and Things

Hello, crafty and sundry!

I have been having a lovely time of knitting-not-knitting. Which is to say, I -am- knitting, but it took a lot of not-knitting to get to that point.


IMG_20150828_171454 IMG_20150828_200209 IMG_20150828_193948

Even though I had i mind to do start my next big project in the form of my Hobo top, I also had a hankering to make myself a pair of socks. One of my dear friends had sent me some alpaca wool from her neighboring alpaca, and I’ve been itching to do something with it since I got it last year. I presumed it was 4-ply since it seemed too thin for DK, and proceeded to cast on… only to realise that it was definitely not 4-ply and that I really needed to do a wraps per inch (WPI) test (pictured center). I’ve got a couple of bits of cardboard floating around my desk where I cut an inch wide gap to wrap around, and that seems to work best for me. And yeah, once I did it, it was obviously DK, so I set it aside as the pattern I wanted to do was a 4-ply pattern.

IMG_20150828_215347 IMG_20150902_220510IMG_20150906_214541

Now, I have loads of randomly acquired 4-ply filling up a drawer, to include some that I bought way too much of for other projects. From that pile, I immediately dived for my King Cole Zig Zag, which I hadn’t actually realised zigged or zagged until last night (picture above right). Oh yes, and what was the pattern that called to me? It was Petty Harbour by First Light Handcrafts. Having said that, I’m a total masochist for doing it, as this go at sock-making seems to be cursed from the first. I somehow had an extra stitch for a few of the first rows, I dropped stitches any time I tried to do the ‘right’ thing and shift them between needles to prevent runs, which in turn caused issues that don’t seem to actually exist if I leave my stitches be. Thankfully, between the pattern being busy, and the wool being busy, it’ll probably be okay. *chuckles* And by ‘busy’, I mean that I’ve had to pick back about half a dozen rows a row at a time because I made a mistake in the pattern rows and didn’t realise until the end of the row. Triple sigh! I’m enjoying it though, even if it feels like I’m knitting with toothpicks (though the socks are on 2.5mm needles, while toothpicks are all of 2.0mm in diameter).



IMG_20150829_114416 IMG_20150906_115222 IMG_20150906_135125

Now, the top was causing a lot of not-knitting in advance of doing it. Why? Because I bought the wrong sort of wool. I could have sworn up and down that I had found a reasonable yarn substitute for the Rowan Cotton Glacé the pattern called for in the form of Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, which I believe was on sale on Deramores when I was hunting for a reasonably priced wool substitution. Of course, if I had double-checked the tension of the Rowan and the Debbie Bliss, I would have seen they were miles apart. Whups. Thankfully, I had some mystery wool in my stash that I was pretty sure was a good match, and as you can see from the tension square, it was! And to make things even nicer, I think it’s real animal fiber. I did a burn test, and it seems to tick the box for wool/mohair/alpaca/etc. I’m tempted to burn a little bit more to double-check, but really. I like the way it feels, I’m using it to make something for me, and that’s that.



I’m in that annoying spot of not knowing quite what I want to play, so I’m cycling through a different couple of games. I started a new Sims 3 legacy game, but got bored about four generations in. I rolled up a new Minecraft map to play with my husband if we ever get a child-free chance, which was fun. I only played enough to get basic supplies available, and to locate a likely cave to explore, and then switched to another map and doddered around a bit. But Minecraft and knitting don’t blend that well since they both take hand activity, so I’ve got up Serf City for the moment. Because my brain apparently must have a game up at all times to be happy. I’ve also been playing a touch of Dragon Quest IX, but got bored while doing a quest and put it aside too. I laugh — I’m spoiled for choice, and yet none of the choices have lasting appeal of the moment. So it sometimes goes.


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? 😀

IMG_3478 IMG_3474 IMG_3475 IMG_3476 IMG_3477


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!


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 😀). 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!


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.



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.



‘Toot Toot!’ Said the Flute

Hello, crafty and sundry!


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.



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


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.



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.


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



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

IMG_3261IMG_3260 IMG_3258





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*