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New Hook!!!

20160205_144649You may possibly recall my mentioning my tool addiction at least once. You may also recall my desire for a Furl’s hook being mentioned.

Well, I gave in and ordered one yesterday, and it arrived today, thoughtfully packaged with a ball of yarn. And, of course, having read the testimonials and watched the videos, I had to try it out right away.

First of all, it’s an eyecatching eggplant purple, called Blackberry, which is my favorite color. It comes packaged in a pretty little black and white box. It’s the 5.5 mm size. Normally, my go-to hook is a 5.0 mm, but that one is pink, and I am shamed to say that color determined which hook I’d get first (The pink one, called Strawberry, will be joining the family probably tomorrow).

These two are from their Candy Shop line of hooks. I’m not gonna lie, these are some pricey hooks. Candy Shop is their mid-range line, with each hook costing $45, and that was on sale from their normal $50 price tag. That’s for one hook. The least expensive line, Odyssey, runs $30. Their Heirloom wood hooks are $75 per hook. Pricey, as I said. The caddy for the Candy Shop hooks, which is absolutely adorable, comes in at a cool $200. I haven’t ascertained whether that includes hooks or not, but I’m inclined toward not. The hooks are made from Polyresin and covered with auto-quality clearcoat.

But is the hook worth it? I’d have to say, after trying it out, yes. A resounding yes. The handle fits sweetly in my hand, no matter how I hold the hook, and my hand doesn’t get as tired. The yarn slides over it beautifully, not catching at all.

I have tons of hooks. I have bamboo hooks and aluminum hooks and steel hooks and acrylic hooks. Some have ergonomic handles and some don’t. None of them feel like the Furl’s hook.

This is not to say that my other hooks are no good, simply that if I’m going to be crocheting all day, most likely the Furl’s is going to be the one I pick up. However, due to the cost of it, if I’m going out of the house to crochet elsewhere, the Furl’s hook will not be coming out with me. I don’t want to risk losing it; I’m not made of money, and I don’t want to spend money twice for the same thing if I can prevent it.

All this being said, I’ll just add this: I will more than likely eventually buy all of the Candy Shop hooks, one at a time, and if you can afford Furl’s hooks, I’d  say definitely buy them. Even if you really can’t afford them, I’d say to, at the very least, buy the size hook you use most often. They are definitely worth it.

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Bunny adoptions

My children are currently furious with me: their favorite bunny, the black one they were calling Midnight, was adopted today. And the last of the speckled ones, whom they call Flipsie, is leaving for his/her new home tomorrow, or so we hope, leaving only the blue of the five bunny babies here with us.

I didn’t want to let all the babies go either. They were ridiculously adorable and soft, and I’ve got a soft heart for all things furry, especially when they’re babies. But the cost of feeding all of the rabbits is prohibitive. The cost of housing them all as well, not to mention having them all altered so that they could live in harmony. And the smell!!! Ye gods.

So this afternoon, the girls made their tearful goodbyes to Midnight, which broke my heart as well, but it was the best thing I could do for our shy little black furball. They’ll forgive me eventually, I know, but I don’t know when they’ll understand that you can’t keep every furry thing you meet, much as you might want to. I’d love to open my doors to them all as well, but my budget won’t extend quite that far.

We still have Stitch and mama Cynnamon, and maybe we’ll keep the adventurous Blue as well, and of course the dogs are going nowhere, so they’re not petless, but right now that doesn’t help. Aneira, especially, feels betrayed, despite having been told repeatedly that I couldn’t promise that we were going to keep any of them. And even though I did warn them, their tears still make me feel guilty.

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Yorkshire Pudding, Revisited

You may remember, some months back, I was trying to make a decent Yorkshire pudding, which I am assured can really only be done properly by a Brit, which I most assuredly am not. However, I had to try. They cooked up the way the recipe said they should, but they were pretty bland. Never having tasted it before, I don’t know if they tasted the way they should.

Tonight, though, I decided to try again, only I tweaked the recipe a bit this time. I wasn’t going to make a roast tonight, nor was I going to spend money on prime rib–holy cow, that’s an expensive cut of meat!!!–so I put my own spin on things.

I browned some ground beef, and added some brown gravy to it. Then I added both meat and gravy to the muffin tin cups, then poured the batter over it and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Total pooch screw, as far as the recipe was concerned, but a 64% hit with the family. We now have Yorkshire pudding a la Stacy.

First off, I forgot to let the batter rest. Error number one. Secondly, I forgot to heat the pan with the meat and gravy before adding said batter. So what we wound up with were essentially very heavy, dense muffins with meat and gravy cooked into them, and then covered them with the remaining meat and gravy. Basically, biscuits and gravy with a change in gravy. Absolutely not the way it was supposed to turn out.

Still, having already made it and not wanting to waste food, my family was getting it anyway.

I liked it, and, surprisingly, so did Bryony. Aneira was not impressed, but their dad decided it was “Not bad”, which, for him, is tantamount to a gold star. Proof that sometimes, even a mistake isn’t a bad thing.

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An Interesting Day

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Top to bottom: slipper sock, Bryony’s C2C, my C2C

It’s been an interesting day, and an exhausting one. My PIP decided to work on the downstairs bathroom today, which left the girls in my care all day. That’s exhausting, because Bryony was full of questions today. I thought two years of age was the age of constant questions, but the recently-turned-six midget was coming up with as many as she could today, most of them unanswerable by me, and after thirteen hours of that and the two of them fighting, my patience is running a bit thin, in direct proportion to the size of the headache they’ve given me.

I’m sure part of it stems from the fact that two of the bunnies left today for new homes. One went to a friend of mine, the other to a friend of hers who works for a nursing home. That one is going to become the residence pet. I’m glad we handled them as much as we did; the babies are tolerant of being held and cuddled. It broke my heart a little to see them go, but six rabbits in one cage is far too many.

Fiber arts-wise, I’ve been crocheting like mad, and playing with new stitches at the same

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Moss stitch blanket, Celtic weave, lattice blanket, Celtic weave belt

time. I’ve got a number of projects in progress, so when I get bored with one, I can move to another for awhile. Presently, we have the two Night Furies still going, two corner-to-corner blankets (one for me, one for Bryony), a moss stitch blanket for Aneira, the beginning of a Celtic weave blanket whose ownership is still up in the air, a baby blanket for one of my best friends who’s due on February 25, a Celtic weave belt for Bryony, a blanket that looks like lattice for the PIP, and a pair of slipper socks for me. The first C2C afghan is finished, except for washing and blocking, and that one will be going out next month to someone special to us. Which reminds me, I should probably take a picture of it when it’s completely done, because where it’s going, more than likely I will never see it again.

I know, that’s a ton of projects all still in progress, but what the hey, they keep me from boredom!

I’m using a pair of really chunky yarns for Bryony’s blanket, for two reasons. One: it works up really quickly, because this kid has no patience whatsoever. Two: it works up really quickly, because I can only stand to hear “Is it done yet????!” so many times before I finally lose my patience!

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The outgoing C2C afghan

I’m really enjoying Aneira’s blanket, because I’m enjoying the moss stitch, which is new for me. So are the lattice and the Celtic weave, honestly, but the moss stitch is the least complicated with a texture and look I really like. Celtic weave is the most complex of the three stitches I picked up from Pinterest and YouTube, and the lattice is in second place for complexity. Moss stitch is simply alternating half double crochet and slip stitch, and it looks beautiful. Aneira is really enthusiastic about it, and she was kind of “meh” about it when I first started, but as it’s worked up, she is really liking the texture as well.

Of course, it’s going to take me forever to finish any of these projects.

I’m really missing spinning and weaving right now, but I have to find a new chair before I can return to either of them. With a hip replacement, I have restrictions on so many things now, and one of them is that when I’m sitting, my knees have to be level with or below my hips, and the hydraulics of my current chair have broken. When anyone sits in it, it slowly sinks down to its lowest level. I’d like to find a comfortable chair that doesn’t employ hydraulics for the height adjustment. Guess I’ll be researching that for a bit!!!

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A Very Dangerous Site: Pinterest!

I’ve known about Pinterest for quite some time. I’ve been a member since its early days. I’ve dabbled in it here and there. But never have I actually used it to its full potential…until now.

Sweet baby cheeses, this site is the New York City of search engines, and coming from me, that is the highest honor I could give it! Like New York, if you can’t find it here, it ain’t worth finding! I have deliberately sought some obscure (to my mind, at least) things on Pinterest, and have found them, usually several versions of whatever I was looking for. Nirvana!!!!

This wouldn’t have happened without the hip surgery. I know it seems odd to say that, but it really wouldn’t have. I am awakened every night around three or four am by pain. It’s not excruciating anymore, but it’s that deep, unremitting ache that isn’t relieved by a simple change in position. This is when I allow myself one Percocet, with the hope that it will relieve the pain and send me back to sleep. It works on the pain, but inevitably,  I am not going to view the insides of my eyelids again for hours. What to do, what to do?

Well, my crafty pursuits aren’t an option here. I can’t turn on a light without waking up one of my “nurses”, and sitting up on a couch in the living room is still a touch uncomfortable for more than a few minutes at a stretch. But my iPad is available, charged, and on silent! Huzzah!

My newest addiction started simply, with an email telling me that someone had saved one of my pins from several months ago. Meh. Mildly interesting. I’ve got nothing better to do at four am, so might as well go look at the pin.

That was it. As I backed out of the pin, a new page came up. This page included the pins of friends, and pins selected for me based upon my pinning history. Well, it’s still four am, I’m still awake, and I still have nothing better to do. And I was off.

I have now spent hours on Pinterest. Gleeful, happy hours pinning crochet and amigurumi patterns, knitting patterns, weaving patterns, recipes from around the world, pictures of fiber arts tools that intrigue me, and the list goes on.

How did I miss this?! How did I not get here sooner? Even my brother had stated his addiction to Pinterest some months ago…I laughed and continued blithely on my way,

No longer. Pinterest has become as much a part of my life as Facebook and crafting. I may not ever get around to half the things I’ve pinned, but at least I know where they are so when I do want them, I can find them!

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A Little Overboard

As i’ve said before, I have a thing for fiber arts tools, and I recently realized that nowhere is that more evident than in my crochet hooks. I have thirteen full sets of crochet hooks, and across those thirteen sets, I own 134 hooks. Holy cow.

I discovered this as I was drooling over Furls Candy Shop crochet hooks. As if I need any more. Some of the hooks I own haven’t even arrived in my house yet…they’re still in transit. But I saw these hooks on another blog and wanted them soon badly…well, until I saw that the price of one hook was $45. That, I can’t justify. Especially with the number of hooks I already have. Okay, to be fair, 33 of those hooks are Tunisian, which is something else I’ve been playing with this week. I’m still on the walker, which I loathe, so I don’t do a whole lot of unnecessary moving around, which means I have plenty of time to crochet. I haven’t had access to my weaving things, since the rabbit cages were moved into my studio for the first two weeks after surgery, and there was no room for me! So plenty of crochet time!

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Bunny babies!

As promised, here are the pictures of all the bunny babies!! They are awfully cute, and we’re having a hard time with the fact that some of them, at least, will have to go to new homes!

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