Friday, September 28, 2012

Hallowe'en Hot Pockets

I made hot pockets! But pumpkin shaped!

Hot Pockets
-1 pie crust (store bought or homemade)
-Small can tomato sauce
-3 cloves garlic
-Half cup chopped onion
-Italian Seasoning
-Chili powder

If applicable, defrost pie crust.

In small saucepan, saute garlic and onions. Add tomato sauce; season to taste. Let simmer.

Cut pie crust into shapes with a cookie cutter. Be sure to cut an even number.

Place half the shapes on a cookie sheet. In the center, put about a tablespoon of sauce, and spread some cheese. Be careful not to overfill.

Take the second half of the shapes, and roll them so they are slightly bigger than the first half. Don't roll them too thin, however.

Wet edges of sauced shapes, place second half of shapes on top. Press edges together.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until brown.

Calories: About 150 each (yield of 7).

They are really portable! And adorable! But really small. I'm thinking to use a larger cookie cutter next time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Knitting Recap.

I've been doing a lot of knitting.

I made a Totoro!

It was a present for a friend of mine. The pattern came from Ravelry, which is one of the best things I have every discovered. Ever.

I still don't like the tummy, but it was a pain in the ass, and the gauge was wayyyy too tight and it hurt my fingers. I'm not a perfectionist. I'm sure it'll be fine.

I made Socks for Ballet Flats!

I think I'll make them a bit longer next time, but really, not a bad pattern. They knit up pretty quick. I hate the feeling of wearing shoes and no socks, but its a bit awkward to wear full socks with a dress or something. So, found these. They do show a bit on the sides--as you can see in the picture. However, this makes be want to put a cute edging on them! I must look into this.

More projects to come!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ruffled Shirts

I have a new resolution to only keep one project going at a time, so I can hopefully actually finish things.
Unfortunately, I get really excited about things, and when I'm in the middle of a project, thinking about another one, it makes my knitting really boring. Oh well, I'll just have to keep calm, and carry on.

After watching Repo! The Genetic Opera for the 100th time (roughly), I have decided I want that freakin' shirt-vest combination.

 Pain in the ass to find a decent picture. What whatever. The idea is pretty straight-forward: Ruffled top, harness vest, tall collar, etc, etc.

Hancock Fabric was having a  sale on Simplicity Patterns, which made my day. Unfortunately, I got there late, and most the good ones were gone, but I was able to pick up a few. Including some vest patterns! Sweet!

But the top, I feel like I could make myself, sans pattern. Well, more like a combination of patterns and shit that I make up. Either way.

I could probably work a t-shirt into something similar, and knit up some lace for the ruffles. Might not be a bad idea, really. A blouse would work best, but I don't really have any to spare.

The lace would have to be something full, but still delicate. I like this one, personally.

We'll see how it ruffles, though. I'll do some experiments and see what works best. Experiments in lace!

I have to finish those socks first, though... erg...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Knit Cthulhu

I have seen crotchet Cthulhu's everywhere. However, I cannot crotchet to save my life. I'm so terrible at it. So, I made a knit version.

DragonCon 2012!!

Note: There is a small amount of 'crocheting' here. However, I do this with my fingers. I'll post a video or something on how to do this later.

Yarn: Worsted Weight Yarn (any)
Needles : 4mm (Size 6), dpn. Or any dpn, really, the product will just turn out to be a different size.
2 buttons

Ball 1
CO 8 sts, divided onto dpn. Leave a long tail.
k 1 round
Increase every st
k1 round
[k1, inc1] 8 times
k 1 round
[k2, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k3, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k4, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k5, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k6, inc 1] 1 round
k 3 rounds
[k6, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k5, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k4, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k3, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k2, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k1, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
Dec every st
k 1 round
Cut tail long. Thread into a tapestry needle, run yarn through remaining stitches. Pull tight.
Making sure the ball is the right side out, stuff through hole in top. Run cast-on tail through cast on, pull closed.

Ball 2

CO 8 sts, divided onto dpn. Leave a long tail.
k 1 round
Increase every st
k1 round
[k1, inc1] 8 times
k 1 round
[k2, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k3, inc1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k4, inc1] 1 round
k 3 rounds
[k4, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k3, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k2, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
[k1, dec 1] 1 round
k 1 round
Dec every st
k 1 round
Cut tail long. Thread into a tapestry needle, run yarn through remaining stitches. Pull tight.
Making sure the ball is the right side out, stuff through hole in top. Run cast-on tail through cast on, pull closed.

Sew balls together, preferably at a hole.

You can either do the tentacles or the eyes first. I prefer to make the tentacles, and then arrange everything on the face at the same time. I sew the the buttons on with red thread, to indicate evil eyes. Its the little things.

Here comes the crotchet. Here is how you do it with your hands; I assume tis similar with a hook, but that's fancy stuff and I don't get it.

Make a chain just longer than you want the tentacle.
Insert 2 links up. Chain one. Repeat until end.

You can kinda twist the tentacle as it happens, to define it.

Add button eyes and sew the tentacles into place!

Happy Knitting!

Edit: I forgot a decrease row! Its in there now.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Plants vs Zombies: Popcap does it again.

PvZ: A game that seems so intriguing. Essentially a tower defense game, it's brightly coloured, plays happy music, and involves a speech impaired fat guy with a kitchen pot for a helmet adviser. According to the website, it was been awarded over 30 Game of the Year titles.

In my own humble opinion, this game is on the same level as, say, Angry Birds. Rather mindless, playable by any age; PvZ just didn't offer any mind-tickling puzzles. I picked it up on the Steam Summer Sale, and I honestly wouldn't have paid more than the few dollars that I had. I was severely disappointed.

However, I must admit the game was very well made. It has a distinctive flavour, easily distinguishable. The plants and zombies became very iconic. You will never forget the music. The game itself was easy, simple to understand, simple to master. I would recommend thins game to anyone who is looking for a simple, mindless game to waste a few hours with. It is definitely time Well Wasted.

And for any knitters: Be sure to check out Ginger Grant and her Botanical Creatures vs the Undead pattern on Ravelry!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Free Lace Beret

I've made two of these now, one for myself and one for my best friend.

That white stuff is snow.
I knit it on 4mm needles, with good ole' Red Heart worsted-weighted yarn. It have the hat a nice bulky feeling, great for winter. In fact, I even took it to the Great White North with me! Its wonderfully warm and I think its pretty cute. And it was cheap to make!

The second iteration was done on Caron Simply Soft yarn, which is a bit more fluid than the Red Heart. It was a much easier knit, and the texture was better. I have yet to test it in cold weather, as September in Georgia still means 85+ weather.

I took between 10-15 hours to knit. Its done flat, so there is a seam, but its not very noticeable.

I would recommend doing this on 14" needles. The stitches get very scrunched up.

This was the first beret I've made, so I can't tell you how it added up to other patterns. I had a bitch of a time with the first one. That may have been the yarn, though.

The band is really nice for sensitive ears. Personally, my ear freeze in anything below 70 with a breeze. The band goes right over them, so that issue was dealt with.

Its a fun pattern, and I definitely recommend it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Knitter's Guide

Knitting isn't very complicated. In fact, the reason I love it so much is its simplicity. Its wonderful to sit and do something without thinking, and just relax and let the world happen. So relaxing.

I've come up with a Knitter's Guide with items you may need.

Set of needles

  • Whatever size suites you. I have several pairs of 4mm, I find them to be very useful.

  • Metal or Plastic, these are far more important than one would think. Trying to weave in ends is terrible.
  • I got a pack of 4 at WalMart for probably $2. So worth it.
Yarn Storage
  • Bag or Box, just somewhere where you can keep it all in one place. Particularly if you have cats.


Row Counter
  • Honestly, I just count. But row counters are really cheap, so if you like to have them, you're not going to get set back more than a dollar or two. Smartphone/tablet users can find all sorts of free apps that do the same thing.
DPN stoppers
  • You can get little rubber stoppers for the end of a dpn, so that you may use it as a straight needle. It keeps the stitches from going off the other end. Personally, if I had anything that large, I'd switch to a straight needle. If this is not an option, just use my grandmother's trick--put a rubber band around the end. Same effect.
Measuring Tape
  • If you have a sewing measuring tape, its a great idea to use it. Personally, I love mine. However, a ruler works just as well. Seriously.
Round Markers
  • These are very useful for marking rounds, or places where you need to do a certain stitch, or any other number of things. A small piece of contracting colour in a loop works just as well. 
  • Obviously, any scissors will work. But you may want to invest in a pair of small knitting scissors. Easier to carry around.

Similarly, you could just buy a Knit Kit, something that has been on my wish-list for a while, but I keep forgetting about it when holidays arrive. Its super awesome and handy and TSA approved. Cause that's important.

When I was in grade school, we weren't allowed to have needles--they thought we'd stab each other or something. But my friends still wanted to learn how to knit. I taught them using pencils. Made the yarn all grey.

However, if you are a crafty person, and I assume you are, you can even go so far as to make your own needles. There are some really cool How-To's on how to do these. I think I might do a post about that, its a good excuse to make my own.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


One would think that with a title including the word, I'd have talked about it by now. Honestly, I haven't had much time to knit. Normally, I'd knit during class, but seeing as I'm working this semester, it really cuts back on my yarn time.

Knitting is one of my Time Wasters. Those wonderful little things you do that make life worth living. Time Wasters are some of the most important things in life--without them, where would we be? Not all of us are blessed with a job that we love--I'm certainly not. But knitting--and really, creating things in general--makes it all worth it.

I've been knitting on some level for about 15 years. I started by knitting tiny little scarves for my dolls when I was 5--must have drove my mother mad, all these little rectangles everywhere--and over the years, got better at it. It probably wasn't until high school that I actually realized what someone could do with the skill of knitting. By that time I'd perfected the technique, but had no idea what to do with it. It was over those four years that I came to develop and research patterns, and started to make things I could use.

Now, the only thing that really stops me from knitting whatever I want is willpower. Its tough to do big projects! Lots of work! Not to mention, I have a strange stiffness in my left index finger that flares up when I knit big projects. Well, if I do them quickly. Know your limits! Don't push yourself too much, or you'll never finish anything.

I would advise new knitters to pick a project that isn't too outrageous. Most people I've met start with the old standby scarf--a great start! Its not complicated, only has one type of stitch; you can use big needles to make it go faster, and its functioning! It also fixes the knit into your muscle memory, which to me is very important. It lets you watch how tension affects your knitting. Overall, the ubiquitous scarf is a fantastic first project.

For medium knitters, I suggest socks. Socks open up the world of double-pointed needles, which once I mastered, let me do almost anything. Socks are great projects because they are very easy to customize and there is a multitude of websites with advice, how-to's, general patterns... Youtube is a great place for that. And I will probably mention this again at some point, but I love this website. Probably one of the most useful things ever. 

Expert knitters... I couldn't advise you on that. I wouldn't call myself an expert knitter in the least bit. The only advice I could give is to make things that you like, or that challenge you. Otherwise, you'll get bored and stop knitting!

There are all sorts of knitting clubs and things, although I've never been in one. This is the best way I can share my knitting. However, knitting with people is a great way to bond--and if you have questions, you can ask each other! Friends make everything better.

There are thousands of free patterns online. You can join Ravelry and get even more.. I'll post patterns/where I get my patterns from whenever I post a project. Always give credit where credit is due! And at the same time, always feel free to eyeball something and make it on the fly. The great thing about knitting is that you can always unravel and start over. Be creative! You can make almost anything by knitting.

I'll post small Knitter's Guide in a separate post later. 

Happy Knitting!

Con Food

DragonCon was this weekend!!

We're going a bit on the flip side as we normally do here--trying to pack as many calories into an easy-to-carry, non-perishable food. At a convention, one can expect to burn an extra 500-1000 calories a day. Which is great for someone who is trying to loose some weight, but terrible for people such as Boyfriend, who are underweight and mostly muscle.

So, I've devised a good way to make sure he keeps his energy up after all the running around we shall be doing.

Energy Bars

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Honey
1.5 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup chopped almonds (or other chopped nuts)

Preheat oven to 450.

Melt the peanut butter and honey over a low heat in a medium saucepan. Stir often, if not continuously (I used a rubber spatula). Remove from heat.

Stir the oats and the nuts into the peanut butter mixture, slowly. Be sure to coat everything!

You can add more oats if it seems too thin.

Grease a small glass pan. Pour mixture into pan, and spread with spatula evenly.
I threw a few more nuts on top.

Bake for about 10 minutes, just to help it set. Freeze.

There are quite a few things wrong with these--they fell apart rather easily. However, I was in a rather warm environment--90+ degrees--so that is a variable that could contribute. I kept them in the freezer overnight, and that helped a little.

These also made us VERY thirsty. It wasn't much of an issue, as we had access to lots of water, but I would definitely warn people about that.

The biggest battle here was a picky eater. I would have liked to put some craisins or some other dried fruit into this, but Boyfriend isn't a big fan of that. Alas.

Dragon*Con costuming stuff and such will be going up soon!