Monday, October 29, 2012


Ah, remember when the biggest concerns at this time of year were buying the right amount of candy and what costume to wear? Last year we had Snowmageddon. This year it's Frankenstorm. Hurricane Sandy is rolling into town and ruining our holidays. We packed up everything in the yard that could fly away. We cleaned up as much of the basement as we could, especially in the known water paths. Buckets are on standby near the sump hole. Candles and flashlights are at the ready. Grocery shopping was very light on the perishables. I've got my medication all filled and at hand. The tub is full of water. And now we wait.

In the meantime I am continuing to work on Halloween costumes, though the likelihood of it being cancelled again this year looks rather high. The dinosaur is all but done. I just need to add closures on the hood, tighten the wrist elastics, stitch close a few areas and clean up the thread ends. Little Dude loves it. I have pieces cut out for the mittens, but he's unlikely to wear them. I said we'd paint his nails purple so it matches the toe claws. He liked that. He's been practicing his roar for a while.

Little Miss's costume is a far greater challenge. Being trapped in the house (the roads are now closed) I'm having to punt in regards of pattern, material...basically everything. I do have some black material to work with, but no yellow. I'm wanting some yellow duct tape for the utility belt as well. She has pants that will work and I know where to get her some boots. It's really just the top and the cape. I'm even searching through our stuff to see what I can deconstruct. Why not just buy one, you say? Well, I looked into that. She's in that weird size between sizes. I ran into this with Little Dude a few years ago. The infant stuff is just too small and the 2T stuff is just too big. Don't worry. I'm sure inspiration will hit just as the power goes out.

I have been knitting a fair amount lately. I'm knitting Anouk for Little Miss in black and yellow Tahki Cotton Classic I had in my stash. Yes, she's getting a Batman jumper. It was her third word and probably the one she says the most after "No". The knitting is going well. There is some unpublished errata in regards to the 18month size. After doing a bunch of math and double checking the Knitty pattern (I had printed this up ages ago) I took to Ravelry. Apparently in the comments of the pattern there is a lot of errata that other knitters have found and corrected. It just hasn't been applied to the directions on Knitty yet. I don't know if the designer has just abandoned the pattern or what, but I find it more than a little frustrating. Other than that, it is going rather well. I'm nearly finished with the back.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

update and Rhinebeck

Well. It's been interesting. I've had a few more laptop issues as well as work going from whirlwind to absolute cluster-fuck. There are big things going down at work, and that would be bad enough if we weren't trying to open a three shows a week apart. I've been dealing with more medical issues as well. This just isn't my year and the last month or so really highlights that.

But there are some good things going on. Good crafty things.

First of all, on Sunday I went to Rhinebeck with my girls. As per our usual routine, we were up well before the ass-crack of dawn and meeting at my house at 5 am. It's amazing I can get up and be somewhat together at that hour for a fiber festival, but still can't seem to be up and functional by 6am on work days. Go figure. About halfway into our road trip we stop at a Dunkin Donuts for bathroom and refreshments. I have issue with this particular DnD, in that they brazenly advertise hot apple cider on their door, yet never have any.

On the way up I finished my Tilted Duster. Well, it is nearly finished. The knitting is done and I wove in the ends in the car. All that is missing is the buttons. My fabulous, perfect buttons. I have no clue where they are. I tore apart the house looking for them. I half expected walk in the door and see them sitting there after the festival but no such luck.

First stop when we reach our destination is Pete's Famous Restaurant for breakfast. The food is great. The staff is wonderful. It is the perfect way to start our day. This year I went for the French Toast deluxe which include French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. It's enough to keep you satiated and energized well into the afternoon.

Then it is off the the fairgrounds. This year they changed some things regarding the parking and the entrances. They switched the entrance and the exit, and I'm not sure it helped the situation. The parking volunteers this year were horrible. They didn't direct us at all. I think we ended up in vendor parking, but it worked out well for us. Apparently the day before everything was still a mudpit and lots of cars were getting stuck. I have to commend the fairgrounds for having a tow truck available to pull the festival goers out at no cost to them. Having been very close to being stuck last year, I think it was a good thing on their part. One hitch in the plans this year is that we went on Sunday. And while this meant we didn't have to fight the crowds and the grounds were a bit dryer, it also meant that the fairgrounds weren't open to us until 10am. A fact that we had over looked. We are still unsure if this is a change or we just spaced on this face. We have gone on Sunday in the past and from what we can remember we got in at 9 then. So we sat in the car and knit for an hour and in we went.

First stop was the Journey Wheel booth. These are the only spindles I own. I have three of them (maybe four?) I have a purple heart Midi, a cocobolo Mini and I picked up my Moosie last year. I love these spindles. I've not spun on the Moosie yet because I insist on picking up some beautiful fiber for it. I just haven't found what I'm looking for yet. I wasn't in the market for a spindle this year, but some of the girls were considering. From there we went to Little Barn. I was highly disappointed this year. I'm not sure if they were just depleted from the crowds the day before or they just didn't have much. I left without buying. From there we did our circuit of all the barns. There were a lot of lovely things to see, and touch, and smell. I had a list of several things that I was on the lookout for...many of which I didn't find. I had hoped to pick up some silk hankies to try my hand at spinning silk. Nothing really grabbed me. I was on the look out for yarn to knit up a Citron. I don't have a specific color in mind for this one, which is odd for me. I found one potential yarn at Cephalopod Yarns; I fell in love with the colorway but it was 70 yards short of what I needed. And it just wasn't worth buying two balls. However, I did not leave the Cephalopod booth unscathed. I trapsed away with two balls of Skinny Bugga, in Nebraska Conehead and Purple Soldier Fly, for my redo of the Double Heelix socks. (I have a fun plan for these. But that's a future post). Other than that, I didn't see anything that made my heart sing. I'm trying to only buy for specific projects. And I'm not really drawn to fiber since I still don't have a place to set up my spinning wheel yet. Being on severe budget doesn't help either.

There is one issue I do have to mention. Why. Why are there dyers who can't seem to get the vinegar smell out of their wares. There is one company in particular while I love their colorways, I can smell the vinegar before I even get into the booth. This year, it was like a punch in the face. It makes me hesitate a little to purchase from them. If they are skimping on the rinsing, what else are they skimping on? Does that make sense? And besides, if I'm going to be smelling that much vinegar it should be in the form of pickles.

The big difference for me this year is that I brought my cane. The MS has broken my internal gyroscope and the uneven ground really throws me off balance. I use the cane less to facilitate in walking and more to keep me from tipping over.  I managed not to fall, but my cane warranted me some odd looks. Most of them were questioning looks but some were outright hostile. Some of the joys of having an 'invisible' disability. Yeah I'm young and I look fine, but you have no idea what is going on with me. (enough rant. I could really get worked up on this one. another time.)

 In other crafty news I've been sewing. Halloween is nearly upon us and I am in full costume production. What has really helped is that I rearranged some furniture and set up my sewing machine in my bedroom. It's not ideal, but I can leave it out and set up without anyone 'helping' with things. This makes all the difference when it comes to finding time to sew. Little Dude had said all summer that he was going to be Darth Vader. Then about a month ago he decided he wanted to be a T-rex. My mom came to visit for a MS Symposium and we used the opportunity to get going on his costume. Little Dude picked out the main fabric, a lovely orange with a black batik effect. The rest we've been supplementing from stash. The spots, stripes and claws are from a purple satin I had on hand. Mom started the project and cut the pattern and fabric, and began sewing. Thankfully she did the zipper. I hate zippers. After she returned home the rest of the project fell to me. More details and pics to follow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

10 Favorite Candies in Your Trick or Treat Bag

Oh, how I love Halloween!! I find that I can't buy our handing out candy until just before because someone *cough*myhusband*cough* starts eating it almost right away. I may or may not be guilty of removing our favorites from the candy cauldron for distribution.
I'm also starting to discover that Little Dude doesn't like a lot of candy. He's starting to like chocolate more, but wants nothing to do with anything mint.  Oh well, more for us.
  1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups- What's not to love. Bonus points for the dark chocolate ones. Really any form of peanut butter and chocolate are acceptable. Last year someone gave out these round ones with eyeball wrappers. They were amazing.
  2. Hershey's Special Dark- or any dark chocolate. Love the dark chocolate.
  3. Sweet Tarts- I prefer sour over sweet and these are the perfect blend. 
  4. 1000 Grand bars- I only seem to remember these at Halloween. They are one of the first to disappear from our stash to distribute.
  5. Skor Bars- Yeah these get pilfered and hidden right away, in a location known only by me.
  6. Twix- either the caramel or peanut butter ones.Those seem to disappear from the cauldron too. Hrmmmm
  7. Milkyway Dark
  8. Snickers
  9. Starburst- I am addicted to these. I actually have to ration these to myself.
  10. York Peppermint Patties- Another that instantly disappears. I love mint and chocolate and I love it done well. These are done well.

When we were kids returning from trick-or-treating, we would dump out our pillowcases on the table and the trading would start. Here is a list of my top trade aways
  1. Mallow cups - ugh
  2. Whoppers- I don't like malted anything
  3. The fruity tootsie rolls- there is just something wrong about those
  4. Almond joy/Mounds- I only eat coconut right from the coconut
  5. Any black licorice
  6. Dots
  7. Anything white chocolate- its not chocolate and is just nasty.