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We’ve Moved!

Hello world. We’ve moved to another site. To keep up with all the craftiness, update your bookmarks to www.fanofstuff.com where there will be food, crafts, and more.

So The Hobbit’s out. Yep.

Can I just start by saying I love dwarves. I don’t mean to get all too hip to live, but I’m going to put on my thick rims and just say that I was into dwarves before they were cool. And young and hot. The Hobbit was always my favorite Tolkien work and I grew up reading and watching the cartoons. Lord of the Rings is something I appreciated when I got older, but you really can’t compare the two. You can’t win against 13 dwarves – in your face elf lovers! Seriously, let me rub your face in 13 dwarves. It will change your life. They are everything I like. Short, thick, hairy, love food, wear lots of knitting. IN ONE PACKAGE. You can keep your willowy immortals, I’ll take a slab of dwarf. (Except Elrond. Love you BB.) (And alright the rest of them are fine, but dwarves are still better.)

(I’d also like to make a side note that WordPress really wants to auto-correct ‘dwarves’ into ‘wharves’. Did it auto-correct elves? No. Racist.)

As much as I hate the 3D make your eyes explode experience, I’ve managed to see it twice in 2D. And okay, yeah, also in 3D (with my thick rims). I’ve planned on seeing it 4 additional times, but was dwarf blocked by extenuating circumstances I generally call life. I’m the ideal audience for this because I will pay 15 times what the movie will cost seeing it in a theater because I just CAN’T STOP MYSELF. Plus, you tack on popcorn and a drink for 120% the ticket cost and you’ve hit a home run.

And now you realize that this is a three part series. I’d like to think that in the end I will have three times the awesomeness, but in reality I’m having flashbacks to a decade ago. It was glorious then. The Rings Trilogy, Pirates Trilogy, Harry Potter going strong. SO MUCH GOODNESS. But thinking back on it, it was kind of hell. The waiting, the obsessing, the loss once it was gone. I won’t be able to really sleep for the next two years. The DVD doesn’t even come out until at least April (I know this because I’ve already put my deposit down) and this is SO MUCH of my life that I will not get back.

Of course, I’ve also discovered Tumblr. I’ve discovered it so much that I’ve exceeded my data usage by, oh, about $60 two months in a row and finally caved into paying triple digits to cancel my data plan and get regular old internet again. I’m excited. I can tumble until I die of exhaustion. Live long, my fandoms. I know your hearts, and you are in mine.

Originally, I was going to make a list of all Hobbit related craft goodies, but I can’t even wrangle them all. Also, I’m afraid that if I keep typing I will only expound on all the ways that I love dwarves. But hey, I’ve got another two years to give you all the details right? I know you’ll look forward to that.

So let me see if I can sum up all my feels.

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That’ll do for now.

Lilac Lion’s Cowl

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I started this cowl WAY back when. Like, when I lived in a different state and was engaged back when. I always loved the way the two yarns worked together. They create this beautiful halo of pink, lilac, and orange that was a little dreamy. One of the carried yarns is a mohair mix which also adds to that halo. This was an experiment with drop stitches to see if my idea would work out. It did, I’m happy to report. Drops are fun.

I worked on a few stitches here and there for years, but couldn’t manage to buck up and finish the beast. I am proud to report that my de-stashing efforts are paying off. In this case, with a new soft squidgy cowl. I’m playing around with the idea of trying to open my Etsy shop again, so I’ve kept it packed safely away in a box. But yay! FO!

My knitting for this year seems like it has decreased, but I keep seeing things laying around that I’ve knit. I discovered that part of this is because I hardly ever use my camera anymore. If it’s not on my computer when I try to post something, I start to think that maybe I never finished it afterall. Or maybe I’ve already posted it. It’s amazing what one thing can do. I’m trying to separate out all my FOs that don’t have pictures and round up the pictures already taken so I can see what the hell I’ve done.┬áThis one is hell to capture on camera. I have always wanted a dress model, so that may be the only way to look at this with any kind of context. Maybe I’ll treat myself at some point…

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2012 In Review

My year in review. I love reading these year end reviews. I wait for the day that they show up in my inbox ready and waiting for me to delve into. Only this year I really didn’t want to see it. I knew, KNEW, it was not going to make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, I still love having a blog and a forum to chat aimlessly about anything that catches my eye. But there’s that thing that’s been nagging me. That little insidious demon on my shoulder as it were.

Since I’ve moved to Pennsylvania, my life has done a 180. There have been a lot of good things to come out of this experience. I’ve gotten a job I enjoy most days. I live in a state that has people, granted not too close to where I live, but more people than Georgia. I live in a quaint downtown above a coffeeshop in a cute apartment. It’s not a hard life.

But I’m starting to feel like it’s not my life anymore. My health has been declining. I don’t do a lot of the things I used to love. I’ve been desperately grasping at straws for how to set my goals for the next few years. I feel like a ghost in my own life. I’m not angry or upset or even too sad about it, but it’s STRANGE to feel like this when I used to be so passionate about things. Including my blogs. My review showed a whopping 6 posts last year. In the whole of 2012, I posted 6 times. That is a sad state of affairs, my friends.

My goal for this year was to start reclaiming bits of my life. I have a few ideas on how to do that and I’m hoping it will be enough to break me out of this Family Guy style purgatory vacation I’ve been in for the last two years. Some of these things revolve around the blog, so hopefully we’ll start to see some activity around here. Wish me luck.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tidal Pool Cowl

I keep using these yarns in combination because I keep loving them! Of course, I’m nearing the end of my stash so I’ll just have to enjoy what I’ve made of them so far. I wanted even more texture than the yarn provided, so I went ahead and knit in garter stitch. Then I carried either a yarn of green or blue to create subtle bands of color with a little halo of yarn fluff. It’s weighty, but not too heavy and soft. It feels satisfying. That’s a good word. Satisfying.

This was really easy. I wanted to make a mobius, but didn’t have long enough needles handy, so I cheated and made a full twist cowl. I can live with that. I followed the instructions for the twisted cowl pattern on Ravelry to make sure I didn’t completely screw it up, but what’s hard about knitting something that everyone has screwed up before. The big secret? You know when you first learn how to knit in the round on circular needles and people tell you not to twist your stitches or you’ll die? Just twist them already. One twist is one full revolution and that’s all we did here folks!

I’m wondering what a much longer version would look like with multiple twists and whether that would be wearable. Has anyone tried it or seen one somewhere?

This past 4th of July holiday had less to do with hot dogs and fireworks and more to do with me sweating in my own apartment moving around everything I own like Tetris. I managed to get a good idea with a measuring tape of how large everything is. I think my apartment is about 450 square feet with limited storage. The basket I keep my scarves and shawls in is very pretty, if overflowing. However, it’s impractical and takes up floor space that I don’t really have. I wanted something vertical and free. Enter spare fabric, spare curtain rod, and sewing machine.

I’ve been promising myself forever now that I’d sew an over the door shoe rack. Well, I’ve finally done it. Except of course that I intended it to hold my scarf collection. And I didn’t have a pattern to go by. And I only made some vague measurements on graph paper. And I used checkerboard fabric so I wouldn’t have to actually measure or cut anything precisely. But whatever, right?

Right. I’m amazed at how well this came together. So amazed in fact that I’m pretty sure it had more to do with the checkerboard cheat-enhancing fabric than me. With a little troubleshooting from my mom (thanks, mom!), I even managed not to break my sewing machine! I also added little knit endcaps to the curtain rod, so it wouldn’t fall off and would hang properly. I’m all over it. Not only did it come out like I expected, it’s held together, and holds my scarf collection. I’m in serious need of editing as far as they go, but can’t seem to part with any yet. Now if only I could find a way to store my shawls.

This is also the first step in the right direction for de-stashing my fabric collection like a madwoman. I barely have room for tampons, let alone two giant bins of fabric. Woe is me. Wish me luck.

Calico Scarf

I have been on a destashing run for Xmas 2012 gifts. There are so many pretty yarns that I just can’t figure out how to use that I’ve got a use it or lose it basket. This pretty fall-colored eyelash yarn has been languishing in the back of my stash for so long that I can’t stand it. I finally decided to pair it with an orange eyelash – also languishing – knit it up and call it a day. I think the colors are perfect for my sister, so another one down!

This was a quick simple garter scarf. Adding the tapered ends just gives it a little more flair and a tad more length. I’m happy with the way it turned out and I hope my sis will like it.