Stripes! Colors! and Scarves, oh my!

I am SO CLOSE to being done with finals, which is a relief, because I’m also really tired. My brain needs a break. Hopefully I can fit that break into the two weeks before summer classes begin, because this June I get to take Chemistry for Liberal Arts Majors. Whoohooo!

With all the finals stress, I did manage to complete one knitting project to show you. So meet my most recent FO, the classic Noro scarf :Image

As you can see, while I have had the time to finish it, I haven’t had the time to take proper pictures of it. So you get the awkward-arm-selfies (Look at it! It’s so wonky…).

While I refer to this scarf as the Noro scarf, that’s really more of an homage to the pattern that I think every knitter has used. It’s not made of Noro. Noro and I have met several times in yarn stores, and I’ll admit the colors are enticing, but every time I actually touch Noro I am severely disappointed. If I can spin softer yarn than that there is a problem. Plus, it’s got little pieces of like grass and hay in it. Sorry, you’re going to have to be cheaper for me to put up with that. So this scarf is made out of Noro’s softer cheaper cousin, Lion Brand Amazing Yarn.

I had actually used Lion Brand Amazing to make Wingspan, which was great fun. I loved watching the color changes with that pattern, but when I put it on, It was so not me. Nor was it any member of my family (We like neutrals. We like muted colors. Olive drab: good. Bright pink: Bad.). So I did the next logical thing. I threw it on the FO pile for about a year to mellow before ripping it out to make the Noro scarf. I am much happier with it this way.

This is the face I make when patrons look at me too long in the library.

I’ve also made the Noro scarf before, in my early knitting years with Mini Mochi Yarn (which was beautiful). However, in those days, I liked my scarves really long and super skinny. Now I like a little more substance. So this scarf is really wide. I think about 40 stitches (I don’t remember how many I cast on.). It’s also really long, because I just kinda shoved it into my backpack and worked on it at school and didn’t realize how bit it was getting. It’s like Tom Baker’s Doctor status. (Even though I’ve never actually seen his Who stuff, apologies to all hardcore Whovians.)


As for the stripes, I paired 4 different colorways, because they were what I happened to have at the time/ they were on clearance when I went to Michael’s. I paired the Wildflowers colorway with Glacier Bay, and the Aurora colorway with Ruby. I don’t know that I would pair Aurora and Ruby again, they were very similar in some spots and I had to cut some sections out so the stripes didn’t match.

I’m really pleased with how this scarf turned out. I have a feeling that it will be a favorite come Winter. However, these days it’s getting to about 80 degrees in the afternoon. Boo. But once it gets chilly again, I’m going to wear the heck out of this scarf!

I have survived the week! Due to circumstances like ALL THE LIVING PRESIDENTS being on campus this week, I have been forced to partake in public transportation. I got to ride the train to school. And when I say “got to” I mean “had to” because I was not allowed to park anywhere remotely near campus. *gripe gripe..* Complaining aside, I kind of enjoyed taking the train. I didn’t have to worry about other cars on the road because I wasn’t on the road..technically. So that was nice. And I could knit. Except not when the train is going backwards. That means major motion sickness (hey, you learn something new every day). Still, it wasn’t a scary stressful experience like I was expecting.

My knitting progress has been moving at a snails pace lately. I don’t have much to show you, so I won’t. What I will show you are some of the beautiful flowers on campus. The ones by the chapel were particularly pretty. I was really happy with how the pictures of them came out too. I think I’m getting better at manipulating my camera.







Handmade With Love


Why hello.

It’s been a while.

It’s been two weeks and I think I’ve finally conquered this cold. So not fun.  The semester is also hurtling to a close. This is going to be an interesting week, as I’ve got a lot of work to finish and my powers of concentration are just about shot. This is also, funnily enough, why I am sitting here blogging instead of doing the reading that I have to do. I am a case.

I just wanted to share these adorable tags I got in the mail. I came home from school all sniffly and sick one day and found a package for me. But here’s the thing; it was from one on my mom’s best friends. So I was confused. I opened the package and inside were these little tags for my knits. They say “handmade with love” on them.

ImageAren’t they just the cutest things?

Agree with me. They’re the cutest things.

It turns out, she had made these for me a long time ago, and meant to give them to me when she came to Texas to visit my mom, (She lives in California.) but she forgot to bring them. So she just now sent them to me. I think they’re adorable. Course, I can’t use them until I actually knit something for someone, but my uncle’s birthday is coming and up and I just found out that my old youth pastor and his wife (the two people beside my parents who probably had the biggest impact on my faith) are pregnant! For the first time! Can you say, baby knits?? Ah! I’m so excited. I already know I want to make a little bear sweater and every baby needs an Elijah and hallelujah both those things are gender neutral so I don’t even have to worry about that! So it looks like this selfish knitter will have plenty of uses for these “handmade with love” tags.

(The tags are also handmade..with love…Craftception!)


She liiiives!

Hey guys.

I’m back.

From outer space! ♫ ♪

Just kidding.

But, I really am back. Sorry for disappearing for a week there. Right after Fiber Fest I came down with the nastiest cold. Like I had all the seven dwarves of sickness. Sneezy, Sniffly, Stuffy, Achey, Drippy, Sleepy and maybe even a little bit Queasy (also Sore-Throat-ey. But that doesn’t make a good dwarf name.) It took a toll of my energy levels in the big way, and was just generally unpleasant. I’m still not entirely over it, but I’m getting better.

How can you tell I’m sick? Mugs! Tea mugs everywhere!

Obviously, I’m not planning on keeping to my regular blogging goal of 20 days this month. Between getting sick and the enormous amount of homework that I have to do, I think It’s just better if I cut myself some slack this month. I have so many assignments due at the end of the month that it’s terrifying. It’s like that kind of stress where there’s so much to do that you get overwhelmed and decide to take a nap instead of working on it. Then you wake up consume with guilt. Except I don’t nap…. sooooo Tumblr instead!

I think my goals for April are going to mostly consist of:

1. Not dying. and 

2. Not breaking down and crying in public.

We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted, but bear with me if my posts have the air of a slightly crazed woman until the end of the semester (which is only like 3 weeks away!! AAAH!)

Fiber Fest

I hope ya’ll are ready for some yarn porn, ’cause it was Fiber Fest today!


And oh was there fiber. I wish I had longer to look around the vendor hall, but between church and getting dinner in the crock pot (and getting directions mixed up), we only had about 2 hours to look around. 

The convention hall was a lot smaller than I expected. I think I’m used to Market Hall, where they hold the Dallas Quilt Show, because this convention center was tiny in comparison. Still, it had more yarn than I’d seen in one place, so that was lovely.

I had been saving up my money all last month so I could really splurge today. Boy, did I splurge! Well, at least by my standards. Would you like to see what I got?

Of course you would.

Here we go!



My first purchase was some Sweet Georgia Yarn from the Madtosh booth (which smelled distinctly of vinegar.). I’d never met and Sweet Georgia in the flesh, but have always been curious about it, so I snapped this skein up pretty quickly. The actual color is nothing like the picture. I am convinced that the true color will never show in a photo. It’s just too much for the camera. The yarn is this impossibly vivid, saturated, bright Caribbean blue. It’s absolutely fabulous. I was trying to buy more bright yarn and this fit the bill perfectly!


My next yarn was this bright pink stuff. I’ve been looking for a color like this for at least a month.It is Aspen Sock by Western Sky Knits in the color dianthe. My mom was like, “are you sure that’s the color you want?” Yes. That’s the color I want. It’s very fun. It’ll match the tulips at the Arboretum next Spring.


Next was this beautiful worsted (excuse me, DK. I can never tell the difference.) by A Thing for String in the colorway Heart of Darkness. Yeah…you know I’m going to change that name. It is way to pretty to be connected with that dismal book. I was torn between this one and a purple one of the same yarn, so I asked my mom. She said they both looked good with my skin, but that the purple one was more “me”. So she told me to get this color! That’s my mommy! Challenging me with my yarn purchases.


I did branch away from yarn a little bit and bought some silk hankies. I’ve never worked with them before and I’m curious about them. I’ve always loved the vibrant color of silk, and I think I’m going to work with these straight from the hankie (hanky?) rather than spinning it, just to see what the texture is like. I loved the color, too. I had a hard time picking one color so I went with blue…like the TARDIS.


We’re winding down on my purchases now. Whew! Can you feel the spending? I totally can. These needles are the new square kind and I bought them because:

1. I needed size 6’s

2. The salesgirl was nice. 


3. I wanted to try something new.

I haven’t knit with them yet, but I’ll give a full review later!


All right! Last item. I bought some “vegan lip balm” from one of the booths because I can always use more lip balm. Always. Plus is was affordable and they had a honey flavor. Honey lip balms are my favorite. I don’t know why but they just do something for me.  I’ve been using it tonight and so far it seems like a good lip balm. We’ll see how it holds up the rest of the week. 

So there you have it! All my major splurging from today. I’m trying to not feel guilty about spending so much. Now I’m really eager to finish the project on my needles so i can start on some with my new yarns and needles! Looks like I’ll be spending some times on Ravelry trying to find the perfect pattern for each…






What I’m Into This Week

Here’s a roundup of some things that have been exciting me lately.

  •  Fiber Fest! The Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Fest is this weekend and I’m so excited to go. I’ve never been to a knitterly event like this, and I’m very curious to see what it is like. I’ve been saving my pennies so I could buy some pretty yarn while I’m there. It’s going to be so much fun!
  • I found this video when I was working on a lesson plan on women’s suffrage for my education class. I cant stop watching it! Seriously, when I’m a Real Teacher, my students are going to see this video. It sums up a lot of great information, from the hunger strikes to the final vote on the 19th amendment in Tennessee(It gets me choked up, but that’s okay. My Women in American History teacher cries when she talks about women’s suffrage too.).  Besides being a great teaching resource, it’s just a darn cool video.
  • The Norwegian Purl:
    I’ve been practicing knitting continental, just ’cause I can. When I read about the Norwegian Purl on Miso Crafty Knits, I was immediately curious. It’s a method of purling that doesn’t require you to switch your yarn from front to back to front to back…to front…you get the picture. I’ve still pretty awkward with it, but I’m getting better. I think I’m going to make it a goal to master this method.
  • This blog by a professional party princess is one of the most interesting, witty, amusing things I’ve read in a while. “Princess Marty” recalls her adventures as a princess entertainer for children’s parties (meaning she is a princess, not that she’s entertaining princesses…though she might, depending on how you look at it…). The writing is wonderful. She is funny, compelling, and clever about her stories.  If you need some fun, easy reading, this is it.

So there you go. These are the things that have been particularly cool to me this week. Now I’m off to go watch that women’s suffrage video again…

Crunch Time

ImageWe have entered crunch time. What is crunch time, you ask? Crunch time is when Tori has too much to do and panics all the way until the semester ends. 

I have all sorts of papers to write (all sorts), research to do, books to read, sleep to ignore. You get the picture. 

Fortunately, I think that everyone else at school is in the same boat. The panic boat. Since we’re all in this state of panic we have this sense of solidarity. At least, it makes me feel better to think of it that way. 

Amid all of this busyness, I did manage to achieve one of my March goals (three days late, give me a break). This week I went to an art museum. I managed to work it in so it counted for one of my projects, so I don’t even have to feel guilty about it. I went to the Meadows Museum on campus (I mean, how easy is that?), which I had surprisingly never been to. It’s a pretty cool little museum. I’d like to go back with my Dad sometimes, and maybe spend more time there, since I only had an hour. I particularly liked the early Renaissance paintings. There were also some great altarpieces that were beautifully detailed (though sometimes in the most morbid ways). Unfortunately, I didn’t get an pictures, as photography was not allowed inside (and it was raining outside).

Have a picture of a tulip instead.

ImageI’ve been playing around a bit more than usual in Photoshop. I’ve recently become interested in the HDR effect, which I haven’t actually achieved yet…

But imitation HDR I can do. I’ve got that one down…sorta. 

One of the things that I always tell myself is that when I’m a Grown Up and have a steady teaching job, I’m going to take a photography course. Photography has always been a love of mine and it’s something I’ve always wanted to formally know how to do, but have never had the extra time to take a class. For now, I guess I’ll have to stick to watching Youtube videos. 

You have any hidden artistic aspirations? Tell me about them.



Mohair Bias Loop


So here is the FO I wanted to show you before I got all wigged out by the gecko. It’s the Mohair Bias Loop by Churchmouse Yarns. It’s basically a wide, bias knit scarf with the ends kitchenered together. And it’s made of mohair. That’s important. That’s what makes it so light and airy. (That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets.)


The yarn is Knit Picks Aloft in Oat. I only used about one and a half balls of it. I knit until the fabric was about 45 inches long before joining and that seemed to be the perfect amount for me.mohairbiasloop2

I was worried about the Kitchener stitch part of the project, because that seemed to be where the most people struggled. I ended up putting the stitches on two reaaaaally long straight needles from my early days of knitting (when I thought it was okay to knit with needles longer than my forearms (plus hands!). While this was a little awkward, I think it was better than circs would have been. I didn’t have too much trouble with the actual Kitchener part. I had the right number of stitches and my yarn only got tangled once, and then it was minor. I did most of it while waiting for the new Doctor Who episode to come on. (Did anyone else see it? It was very Ten and Rose, don’t you think? I enjoyed it.)

Kitchener stitching was the only time I really notice the yarn shedding. This may be due to the black pants, but it might also have something to do with the stitch. I don’t know, but my pants looked comical.

I wore my loop to church on Easter Sunday and it worked like a dream. I love that it can switch between cowl and…shoulder cover? (Don’t you dare say poncho. Don’t even go there.) It was just enough to keep warm. Though beware, nothing wigs out an eyeball like getting a bit of mohair stuck in it. Still not sure how I managed that, but it was uncomfortable.


I’m totally sold on mohair as a yarn. It’s so interesting to work with and the final product is so delicate, yet useful. I will definitely be knitting with more mohair in the future, and maybe even knitting this pattern again.



So I was all set to write this nice post about a new FO and I’ll probably get to that, but first I need to vent, because I am traumatized.

There was a gecko in my bathroom.

A big one.

Not the cute friendly kind of gecko that blinks and walks on it’s hind legs and tries to sell car insurance with an engaging accent. This was one of those gross, bumpy, see-through geckos that liked to hide in cracks and crevices.

These geckos are my kryptonite. I know they’re not dangerous, not even a little bit, but they give me the major creeps. They can make me go from Strong Independent Women Who Don’t Need No Man to Little Girl Screaming for Daddy in about three seconds flat. And it was in my bathroom! That place where you are most vulnerable. Just creepin’.

So of course, being the Strong Independent Woman that I am, I sent my Dad in there armed with a flashlight, a styrofoam cup, and a knitting needle(for nudging, not stabbing. I will have no gecko guts, thankyouverymuch!).

And he couldn’t find the gecko.

He accused me of overreacting. pshhh…What is that?

He couldn’t find it, so he just left, leaving me to frantically scan the bathroom, knowing that if I didn’t find it, I’d never bathe again (or sleep!). That little bugger was hiding in the hardest spot, on the very top of the underside of the counter, all the way back close to the wall. But I found it. Then promptly ran screaming for Daddy again. As far as I know, he caught it and released it back into the wild. I did not stay for the action, because what if it runs my direction? No thank youuuuu.

So that is the story of why I am flustered. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

*I tried to add a picture of one of these geckos to the post, but I couldn’t find one without shuddering. Just google House Gecko. Bleuugh!*

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a happy Easter. Whether you celebrate it or not, I hope it was happy. As you can imagine, Easter had added an extra bit of hectic to my weekend (hence, the lack of posts.) I’ve been using up any spare time getting my homework done. Okay, maybe there were a few times I got distracted by the internet, but still..

I just did typical family stuff for Easter. You know, Church, family gets together, everyone brings food, you invariably get a headache…

The usual.

But I wanted to talk about something my mom and I did for her Sunday school class. We made “resurrection rolls”. They are made by dipping a marshmallow in butter, rolling it in cinnamon sugar, wrapping it in a crescent roll, and baking it. However, they are also very involved metaphors for Jesus.

See, Jesus is the marshmallow.


Yeaaaaah…..about that? Not buying it.

But the marshmallow is supposed to represent Jesus, all white and pure, and then you anoint Jesus with oils (butter) and spices(cinnamon), and I guess we’re not telling the kids that this is his dead body we’re anointing, but it must be because the next step is putting Jesus in his “tomb”. His buttery, flaky tomb.


When you bake the rolls, the marshmallow is supposed to magically melt away, leaving a hole in the middle of the roll, to represent the empty tomb. To me, that’s actually a pretty cool was of making an interactive instruction for kids about the Resurrection(though I’m not sure if the whole “Jesus is a marshmallow” spiel is working for me.).

Theeeere’s just one problem…

ImageSometimes Marshmallow-Metaphor-Jesus doesn’t always make it all the way out of the tomb . It kinda kills the metaphor in a major way. It also makes you need to clean your oven.

My mom and I found that these rolls work correctly approximately…50% of the time, and that’s a generous estimate. They worked a lot better when only used half a marshmallow for each, but they still got a little ghostbusters on us. However, they were pretty tasty, so I didn’t mind putting the rejects out of their misery. Mom said some of her Sunday school kids didn’t like them, though. What’s up with that? All that work and they weren’t even that into them?? Yeah.. I’m not going to tell you never to make these. They’re an engaging lesson certainly, but make them at your own risk, and know that there might be some strange child who doesn’t like sugary, buttery goodness.

March 2013 894


Perhaps they’d like to clean your muffin pan instead…