Archive for Crafts

Apparently I have become a housewife.

Still unemployed, my days have come down to a short list of activities.

1. Knitting

2. Writing fic or editing my book

3. Cleaning ALL THE THINGS at the slightest provocation (a trait I inherited from my mother – thanks, Mum)

4. Baking.

Yesterday I made a quiche. I’ve made mini-quiches before, but this was my first full-sized one. Full-sized quiche is actually a little trickier, because it’s harder to tell when the filling is fully cooked. Seems the experiment was a success, though. Today there is only one piece left, and I’m going to eat it as soon as I’ve finished this post.

My first (regular-sized) quiche.

Today I was inspired (randomly) to make Oreo cookies. Or rather, Oreo-esque chocolate sandwich cookies. I was a little worried about them, for surely Oreo cookies must be at least a little tricky to make, but I was actually totally wrong. They were super-easy. At least they were with the help of my electric hand mixer. I wouldn’t have wanted to make either the wafers or the filling without one.


Anyway. I have managed to restrain myself and have only eaten two. There should still be plenty left tonight when Corene and Pekoe arrive. Tomorrow will be spent on the couch, watching all the TV Corene has been missing, sending out more job applications, and knitting some more.

This sounds like fun vacation time, but really? I want to be working already.

Ah, well. Soon. I hope.

It’s about bloody time!

Finally slogged out to the garden today after this morning’s rather surprising torrential downpour to make sure nobody had been battered to death. Found several latecomers finally poking their heads up!

The spinach, after I pulled a couple of handfuls of the biggest leaves.

The carrots, finally.
Look who finally showed up!


The broccoli, which didn’t mind getting rained on at all.
Perfectly happy broccoli.

I’ve got about a dozen little potato-hillocks, this is just one.
Potatoes peeking their heads up!

The first rhubarb harvest, destined to become pie.
First crop of rhubarb!

The garlic. When will it be time to eat it? I want to eat it NOW.

Also in evidence was one wee pumpkin sprout, which I did not photograph.

After picking rhubarb and spinach I hacked down a metric tonne of dandelions, alien grass and some kind of purply mint relative invasive weed that grows about a foot a week. The pathways between my plot and my neighbours’ are now extremely tidy. (Someone else’s turn next time – my shoulders are all sore!)

An extremely tardy New Year’s resolution

I keep meaning to blog better about knitting, and I keep utterly failing at it. Strangely I have no trouble Tweeting or blogging in fandom. Anyway. KNITTING.

I’ve actually been pretty damned productive since January.

In February, I finished Mum’s Particular Cardigan, based on the Bergen Street Cardigan:
Mum's Cardigan - done!

This was actually the first sweater or actual garment I’ve ever made – and of course I made it for somebody else. But Mum was quite pleased. Pictured above are Mum and Robbie. Pictured below are the super-cool buttons I got for the cardigan at Button Button in Gastown:
Mum's Cardigan - done!

I had planned to start my own cardigan right after, but in the interests of procrastination I instead finished a handful of smaller projects. First my Hedera socks, which I’ve been working on for about two years without actually finishing:
Hedera socks!

Around the same time I finished my first cabled item, a Palindrome Reversible Scarf. Naturally I finished it right as it became too warm to wear thick scarves.
Reversible cable scarf: done!

I also whipped up a pair of rainbow socks from a ball of yarn I’ve had sitting in the to-use basket for about three years, simply because I don’t have any rainbow socks.
Rainbow socks!

I actually started the Arghigan somewhere in the midst of all of that, but I kept getting frustrated and putting it down. This is only partly the Arghigan’s fault – I’ve never made a cabled garment before and this is a pretty tricky one – not because of any one technique involved but because (for me) of the shaping of the front pieces. I kept dropping stitches or losing count or mucking up cables (which was why I did the Palindrome scarf first – I imagine it would have been even worse otherwise). Anyway, I’ve finally finished the Arghigan’s back piece, which barring screw-ups actually didn’t take me nearly as long as I expected. Unemployment does have its benefits, I suppose.
Arghigan back

I call it the Arghigan because I have found it a little aggravating – the pattern is actually based on the Blackberry Cabled Cardigan, and is a lovely, lovely piece. I am, however, making some slight alterations, mostly to the shaping on the front pieces. My poor brain was having enough trouble doing the curved front hems that I decided to knit them at a normal, straight right-angle. That way I don’t have to work out increasing within a cabled panel, and it will give the two front pieces a more traditional look (also, not leave my tummy hanging out when I wear the sweater). I think I will also make the ribbed band in two pieces – one for the neck and front sides and one for the bottom hem – and make the hem an inch or two longer to lengthen the whole sweater… though I’ll figure that out when I get to it, I suppose.

Bog knows I have plenty of time to knit for now, since the only other thing demanding my time is job applications and (hopefully) interviews. *crosses fingers*

Lotusland Smart Gloves

I designed this pattern for my friend Kim, who coveted a pair of gloves I bought from a shop a couple of years ago. Alas, they stopped making that particular pair, so I had to improvise.
Kim with fabulous Ari-made Smart Gloves
These are DK weight, and if I made them again I would probably use something lighter, closer to sock-weight. For a lighter yarn the pattern should be adjusted accordingly. You can download the pattern here.

This pattern is also available on Ravelry.

Inopportune knitting projects.

I’m not sure why exactly, but I always manage to start knitting projects at the best times and then finish them when they are completely and utterly useless. Case in point:

Third attempt from the beginning. Pattern hates me.

I started this back in March. Y’know. When it was cold and people were still wearing wool scarves?

I finished it a week ago, on a day with a high of 20 degrees Celsius.

Yeah. Exactly.

One of these days I will begin and end a knitting project and then not have to wait six months to wear them.

Of course, thanks to Iceland, our weather’s been so screwed up that it may be winter again next week. It’s certainly too cold to plant my eggplant seedlings, which is extremely irritating.

On the upside, it came out looking pretty awesome.

As I take this picture, it is 17 degrees out.

Anyway, it’ll probably be months before I can wear it regardless, since it’s 60 inches long and needs to be blocked to 70 inches, and I’m not sure there is a space in my apartment big enough to do that.