Friday, 29 May 2009

More Crochet Terrariums

Not the best photos, I'm afraid. The corner of the room that they're in never gets much sunlight. You can see a stand-alone one here too. I made that one about 3 weeks before these ones.

This is how I've arranged them so far, there should be a bunch of others going up in the next few weeks. The idea is to make a huge arrangement of them up on the walls so it feels like I'm living in a weird fungi-ifed cave-room.

More close-ups can be seen on my Flickr page. Anyone feel like getting me a pro account as a belated birthday gift?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Get Yo' Geek On

The thing about living with a computer geek is that you tend to end up with a lot of spare computer innards.Sure, you could just throw them into the bin, but then you'd be contributing to landfill and making Mother Nature cry. And Al Gore will tell you that bad things always happen when you make Mum Nature cry. So whaddaya do when you're trying to be a good lil' kid and you have money on your mind?

Well, make those innards into geek-tastic necklaces, of course!They're up for sale now at my Etsy store. Go on and buy them - or Darth Vader says he'll be your Daddy.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Peter Pan

I have a new baby.
Over there, on the left.

Fairly androgynous, although I've been referring to it as 'him'. Isn't he beautiful? He came to me from the car boot sale in Battersea. The nice old lady selling him asked me how much I was offering and then gave it to me for the little money I had left. She kept insisting it was a 'late 18th century' photograph...even though Nicephore Niepce didn't produce what is generally regarded as the first photograph till at least 1820. She was so nice and excitable that I didn't have the heart to correct her and give her a short history lesson on photography, though.

Plus, I was much too excited about my new baby to quibble.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Powermetal Gauntlets

...are the secret name for the pair of armwarmers I just finished for Ari. Why? Because I was listening to these guys -

over and over again, while knitting the armwarmers/gauntlets. (I can't be sure, but it looks like the dude on the end has fake blood on his keytar?)

I think power metal may just be the most effective music for knitting...well, for me at least. It just makes me knit so much faster. I'm a knitting machine when Dragonforce are playing. Sweatshop owners should play them constantly to ensure higher productivity.

Oh, for those interesting in the actual knitting deets - the pattern is based on a wave stitch that I modified occasionally*.

Wave stitch goes like this: Cast on multiples of 12 plus 1
Row 1 - *k1, (k2tog) twice, (yfwd, k1) three times, yfwd, (slip 1, k1, psso) twice, rep from * to last stitch, k1

Row 2 - p

Row 3 - k

Row 4 - p

The way I did it on my armwarmers - start with an inch of 2x2 ribbing, and then *follow the whole pattern once through, then do four repeats of rows 1 and 2 alternately (cutting out rows 3 and 4 - the knit and purl rows), then do another repeat of all four rows after that.

Do that till you're at your desired length (I ended by doing 2 repeats of rows 1 -4) then cast on an extra 6 stitches and finished with an inch of garter stitch. The extra 6 stitches form a tab so you can add a button and close it.

If you like, you can do the whole thing on double-points or just omit the extra 6 stitches altogether. I did it because I like buttons. And dpns make me nervous so I knit it flat then seamed it to just under the garter stitch edge.

Oh, these ones are made to be fitted on the arm - I started with 3mm needles, did a third of the thing, then swapped to 4mm needles, did another third, then finished off the rest with 5mm needles. You can always make them on different sized needles for a bagger/tighter fit, or even just use one size of needles for the whole thing.

I might do another pair on dpns just to get over my fear of them. While listening to Dragonforce, of course. Or maybe even Manowar.


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Rhonda's Recycled Craft Challenge

Etsy seller junkstop is holding the first ever 'Rhonda's Recycled Craft Challenge' and I'll be taking part in it.

It sounds pretty interesting - you register by purchasing a challenge packet from her Etsy shop, she mails out the packages on June 2nd, you get it, make something, put it up in the Flickr group that she's set up, and twiddle your thumbs till she announces a winner on July 31st! If you win (ahem, I mean, when I win), you'll get a US$20 voucher to her shop.

It's only US$0.20 to enter, and you get a to make a bunch of items from stuff that would otherwise have gone into landfill. And if you win, you get to buy stuff like this from her shop:
and also these:
Have a look at her blog for more details and crafty ideas.

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Had to trudge all the way to the Post Office and walk home with this HUGE parcel under my arm the other day, but it was worth it when I finally got to open it. Even if my arm hurt after that. It was frakkin' heavy! Like, over a kilo of yarn heavy!

I think I actually looked a little surprised when the postie gave me the parcel, coz he grinned at me before hefting it over the counter to me. But it's worth the achy arm coz look what I got!

Ari spent over $40 in postage alone. I think it cost her more to post the damnned thing than to actually buy the wool.

And look what else was in the package? Glittery knitting needles! Look at them there glinting in the sunlight!
So many exclamation marks! Because I'm so excited!

But these ain't all just for me. Ari actually bought these so I could make her two beanies and a pair of armwarmers. Which is totally fine by me, coz I hardly ever wear anything I make anyway, and it's all just taking up space, so this gives me an excuse to knit more coz they'll actually be going to someone else.

Well, time to get to work, I guess...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Feaster's 100% Beef Quarter Pounder With Cheese


Ever had a 79p microwave burger?

Up until last Saturday, I hadn't, either. I think I know now why.

Actually, it was down from £1.69, which was one of the reasons I was tempted to get it. I think I get a little excited whenever I see things that cost less than they should.

It looked safe enough, in a generic burger way, like one you'd order from a greasy spoon. Except it was in a coffin (sorry, I meant box) with microwave instructions on it.

Getting undressed

It's a UFO! Someone call the UFO Hunters!

The beef was precooked, and looked very upset that it had been confined to a tiny box like it was being punished. The box also came with a pre-wrapped slice of plastic cheese, and a little sachet of tomato sauce. You put the cheese into the burger, then pop the burger into the microwave and nuke it for a couple of minutes.
Plastic cheese

Sachet o' sauciness

I tried to take a shot of the burger spinning in the microwave, bathing in irradiation, but it's surprisingly tough to do that with a point-and-shoot digital camera. I really wanted to show you my microwave coz it's called a Cockworks. It's right there on the front window, so I assume that's the brand. I'll put a photo of it up another time.

Naked meat

Saucy naked meat

Once the microwave goes 'ping', you're supposed to pour the tomato sauce over the burger, and then start feasting! If your idea of feasting is to snack on an irradiated quarter-pounder, I guess. The Manfriend and I split our burger into half, because sharing is caring. And because that way, we'd only get half as sick.

The money shot - Check out that sexy grey meat!


Lovin' it

Verdict: Can't you tell how much we're enjoying it just by looking at our expressions?

Actually, it wasn't horrible - but then, I was preparing myself for chewy, grisly grossness, which it wasn't. It was just very, very...average. Which is sometimes a lot worse than being gross. I haven't had a Macca's burger for at least 10 years, but that's kind of what it reminded me of. The meat tasted as grey as it looked. The whole thing tasted like microwave. Just...depressingly average. At least if it was horrible, I could've got excited about it. But it wasn't. It just tasted beige and made me want to eat something else after that.

The Manfriend claims that the burger was 'delish'. But he was playing Spore on his iPhone at the time and didn't want to concern himself with something as trivial as talking about food.

I reckon if you were starving and needed to eat something RIGHT NOW or pass out/ throw a tantrum, it's much better to make a slice of toast or even have some ice cream, than to have this. It's not even like it's truly a lazy person's meal, coz you have to actually OPEN the box, PEEL the slice of cheese, NUKE it, and then sauce it. To many steps. With ice cream, all you have to do it open the freezer, then open the tub. Ice cream usually wins.

Friday, 8 May 2009

New Work

More to come...

Indecision Strikes

I'm horrible at deciding on what to give people.
Some of you may remember this scarf that I finished a few weeks back. It was meant for my friend Haz...or so I thought. Her birthday's not till later this month so I kept it aside, to be posted closer to the actual date.

In the meantime, I started on another scarf, using the bamboo/cotton yarn my sister sent me. I finished it yesterday, set it aside, and looked at it again this morning. And then changed my mind about the scarf I was going to send Haz. And I keep calling it a scarf even though it's actually more of a cowl. What a retard.
I dunno, I think it just suits her more. You don't care coz you don't know her. Or you've just stumbled across this blog randomly and you don't know me.

Anyway, I'm afraid I'll keep changing my mind everytime I knit a new scarf, so I've packaged the latest one into an envelope and sealed it tight with sticky tape. So I can't undo it. I guess this is the one she'll be getting then.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Glow In The Dark Cakeage

I'm ready for my close-up

We had an extra bag of frozen cherries left over from the city-sized cake that the Man Creature made for my birthday, so I decided that the recent long weekend was a good time to bake another cake. Well, I decided, and then pestered Man Creature to make it. He's spent the at least 8 hours in two days playing Knights of The Old Republic anyway, so making a cake would've been a good break for him. I was simply looking out for him.

The plan was to make a sponge cake, filled with cherries and cream-type stuff in the middle, then topped with more cherries and a jelly glaze. The cream-type stuff in the middle would be made from a Polish pudding that's pronounced something like 'budin', then mixed with butter and cherries(it's a Polish recipe so please do not ask me for a translated version, I'm sure any sponge cake recipe would do). I chose a bright green, lime-flavoured jelly for the glaze. That might've been where things started to go wrong.

I was expecting something like this -

This is what it looked like when we finished with it -
Frankenstein's cake

Glowing like a...glowy thing

All the components were made and put together perfectly - sponge cake rose beautifully in the over, creamy middle part came together beautifully, cherries were tasty...

Then came time to add the jelly. Or rather, the bright green liquid that was supposed to be jelly. I mixed it up, it didn't set fast enough (apparently Polish jelly sets in half an hour) so the Man Creature decided it would be a good idea to simply poor the liquid over the cake. Which he did.

The liquid-jelly than soaked into the whole top layer of the cake and disappeared. We put it into the fridge to set anyway, because I'll be damned, I want a cake and I won't be denied a cake!
By the time we took the cake out later in the evening, the jelly had set and transformed the top layer into a UV active gelatinous goop...which was surprisingly tasty. I think the liquid jelly actually added moisture to the cake, and the whole project ended up being very squishy and soft and creamy. Maybe I just like soft foods...

Friday, 1 May 2009

Sherlock's Slippers


A couple of months ago, the Man-creature's house slippers finally breathed their last breath and gave up. He buried them in the rubbish bin. (Well, they were actually my slippers that he had 'borrowed' and they smelled like mouse-piss by the time he threw them away.)
So being the nice, angelic being that I am, I promised to make him a new pair.
And I did. It took me an evening of frustrated yelling and foot stomping, and a little fight with my sewing machine (it's ok, we've made up now) and then not touching it for at least a whole week. But he did eventually get a new pair of slippers.
Excuse my gross legs - they got into a fight with the road a few months back. The road won...this time.

Here they are, I should have taken some photos of them as soon as they were finished, but I was too lazy. Erm, I mean, I had no time. And I would have taken photos as I was making them up so I could post a tutorial...but of course, that would require some foresight. Which I rarely, if ever, have.
So all I have are some photos of them looking fairly ratty. At least I thought of making the base out of fused plastic bags that they're a little waterproof. Not much though.