Nov 28, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 47 Check-In and Roundup (November 21-27)

Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was lovely (assuming that you celebrate it, and if you don't, I hope your Thursday was lovely). I think I might do a Craft or Bust Redemption Round right at the end of the year for people who are feeling behind on their CoBing duties — as a reminder that CoB is about doing what you can, and being positive, and enjoying yourself. Any crafting is better than no crafting.

Roundup of Week 46: What We Crafted From November 14-20

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica cast on some self-striping socks for her friend Leah and knit about two inches, made it halfway through Markell's snake hat, and finished the toy elephant she started earlier this month. Woohoo!

Check-in for Week 47: What Have You Done Lately? (November 21-27)

What I did this week:

Homemade pie crustOn Sunday, I finally finished knitting the first Lightjouse Gansey sock, cast on the second one, and knit some of the original scarf pattern I've been working on. Monday, I made lemon poppy seed muffins (from a mix, boo ;)), finished the scarf (yay!), and knit a swatch to test edgings out on. Tuesday, I knit test edgings on the swatch, blocked the scarf, and knit more of the Lighthouse Gansey sock. Wednesday, I baked two loaves of white bread, made some whole wheat noodles from scratch, made two sweet potato pies, and made fried rice. (Guess it was food day...) Thursday, I scheduled an Etsy shop sale and had Thanksgiving. Isn't that enough? ;) Oh, I wrote for NaNoWriMo super-belatedly, too. Friday, I wove on the tails on the scarf and photographed it. Saturday, I wrote a cleaned-up draft of the scarf pattern and wrote for NaNoWriMo.

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Nov 25, 2010

A holiday gift for you! And happy Thanksgiving. :D

Happy Thanksgiving to my American brethren (and to anyone else who happens to be celebrating today ;)) — and happy Thursday to everyone else! Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, here's a gift to start them off right: Get 20% off all handwovens in my Etsy shop through the end of November!

On this day of gratitude and appreciation and yummy yummy noms, I wish you a crafty one. ;D Most of my crafting lately seems to have been food-related, but I guess it is that time of year.

Happy happy!

Thanksgiving baking
My Thanksgiving baking: Two sweet potato pies and two loaves of bread. 'Twas an epic baking day.

Nov 23, 2010

Will you help me do the impossible?

This month is National Novel Writing Month. If by chance the rumor-mill of the Internet hasn't bludgeoned you with that idea till you're sick, and if by chance you don't know what that means, it means this: Those of us who are crazy enough are trying to write 50,000 words of novelish fiction in the 30 days of November.

I've written 3,354. That leaves 46,646 words to go ... in seven days.

Sound crazy? It absolutely is.

But I have another goal — a less crazy one. And you can help me with this one AND with the crazy one at the same time.

This is how: My NaNoWriMo fundraising team needs $65 to reach our fundraising goal for the month. The money we raise goes toward free creative writing programs held all over the world by the people who run NaNoWriMo.

For every dollar donated through my page before December 1, I will absolutely commit to writing 100 more words before the end of the month. The more you donate, the more I write. And the more you donate, the more creative writing gets done out there somewhere in the world.

Your donation will be tax-deductible, because the Office of Letters and Light, NaNoWriMo's parent organization, is a registered nonprofit.

How about it? You can help me, my team, and other people all over the world who dream of being great writers — just make a donation, however small. To donate, go to my page and click the "Sponsor me!" button near the top right.

As a bonus, if you forward me a copy of your donation confirmation e-mail, I will send you a coupon code good toward anything in my Etsy shop. Send your donation confirmation e-mails to crystal at (replacing the "at" with the @ sign in your e-mail).

If we reach our fundraising goal — and we can raise $65 in a week, right? ;D That's just 13 people donating $5 each! — before December 1, I'll send an extra surprise to anyone who forwards me their donation confirmation.

So if you're a supporter of creative dreams, of great writing, of having fun, and of challenging limitations — please make a donation, even just a tiny one. Every dollar counts — for 100 words and quite a bit more. ;)

Thank you muchly! ;D

Nov 21, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 46 Check-In and Roundup (November 14-20)

Less than 10 weeks to go till the end of the year. Wow. What do you think — should we do CoB again next year? ;D

Roundup of Week 45: What We Crafted From November 7-13

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica got a box of yarn in the mail and started a hat with snakey cables for her friend Markell. She also worked on her Mom's socks all week and finished them on Saturday. Ooh, and she made bread! What kind of bread? Any recipes to share? ;)

Check-in for Week 46: What Have You Done Lately? (November 14-20)

Me? Well...

Noodles in progress, take 2On Sunday, I knit on the original-pattern scarf I've been working on. Monday, I worked on spinning a custom art yarn order, knit more of the scarf, and played with my slightly-abandoned Drupal test site. Tuesday, yet more scarf, and I also attempted to start a wild yeast sourdough culture, and baked two loaves of whole wheat bread. (Practicing for Thanksgiving, for which I have volunteered to contribute bread...) Wednesday, I made soup. Thursday, I spun some more of the custom yarn order and made ramen noodles from scratch. :D Friday, I knit a tiny bit on the scarf. Saturday, I finished the art yarn and knit more on the scarf. (End already, scarf!)

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Nov 18, 2010

Gratuitious noodle photography!

I admit it. I've been feeling down in the dumps lately, which is why I've been so quiet. But today I cheered myself up by making my very own ramen noodles, from scratch!

Some of you may be aware that this is my second attempt at homemade noodles. My first attempt was made of pie crust that had been sitting in the fridge for a while. I figured that it was dough, and noodles are made from dough — so I could probably turn it into some form of edible noodle, right? And if a little half-Asian girl is desperate enough for a noodle bowl that she turns to pie crust, who's to point fingers? This is what I made the first time:

Desperation noodles

...before I ruined them, or maybe they were born ruined, their tempting noodley appearance just a falsehood to lure me into trusting them. They tasted like soggy, sweet glue. (That's about on par with what happened when I tried to use nori sheets as a ramen additive. Yeah. Um. Unless you really like the taste of oceany oceany seaweed — like REALLY — I don't recommend doing that.) I have a suspicion that I may have neglected to actually get the water all the way to boiling before I threw them in ... or maybe there's just something in pie crust that makes it not work as pasta.

Anyway, I tried again from actual scratch tonight. You know. Like, I mixed flour and egg and water and salt, and kneaded it until I was sure I was going to pound it into mush. Then I flattened it out with a rolling pin, cut it up, and boiled it — harsh, I know, but it turned this:

Noodles in progress, take 2

...into this:

Noodles in progress, take 2

Which obviously has a couple of extra things in it. ;) And it was very nom.

I basically used these directions on Instructables, although my measurements weren't very precise. The only thing I bothered measuring was the flour; everything else, I just guessed at. Which meant I had kind of soggy dough to start with and I'm not sure if that's what supposed to happen, but I kept throwing flour at everything that wanted to stick, and kneaded and kneaded and kneaded, and eventually the dough looked kind of like a very small lump of rather elastic bread dough.

And while I did attempt to use parchment paper at first, it didn't get along well with the initially-super-sticky dough ... so suffice to say the kitchen counter now basically has swathes of dried glue on it.

But hey, it'll come off. And hey! I made pasta! Noodles. Same thing. Next time I need to figure out a way to boil the noodles IN the broth with the vegetables and tofu, because I miss the broth flavor being in the noodles. That might just amount to using an obscene amount of broth (so there's room for the noodles to move around in the pot AND room to fit the other ingredients), but someone who can make noodles from scratch should be able to find a use for some extra broth, right? ;D

I know what I want my next noodley leap forward to be ... but I'm not telling until I'm more certain I can actually do it. Wahahaha! The noodle-maker has a noodle mystery. ;)

Nov 14, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 45 Check-In and Roundup (November 7-13)

Oops. I had another quiet blog week, didn't I? Get on the ball, me!

Roundup of Week 44: What We Crafted From October 31-November 6

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica started to lose track of her days, and so did I ... Are we syncing our craft cycles? ;) She thinks, though that she knit the heels and started the gusset decreases of her Mom's socks; cast on a pink elephant toy for a friend's daughter; finished Karl's gloves, wrote up the pattern, and put it in her Ravelry store, and bought beads for a headband and wrote a pattern draft for it.

Check-in for Week 45: What Have You Done Lately? (November 7-13)

Last week...

A full bobbinSunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I suffered from slackerdom. Uh-oh! But Wednesday, I jumped back on the ball and answered a Craigslist post about spinning some alpaca fleeces and bought wool yarn for a scarf pattern I'm writing. Thursday, I cast on the aforementioned scarf and knit about eight inches of it. Friday, I skeined two bobbins of singles and knit another eight inches or so of the scarf. Saturday, I acquired a new-to-me vintage sewing book from my friend Debby's estate sale, and bought some more baking yeast. ;D

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Nov 10, 2010

Semi-wordless Wednesday: two loaves and three knits

A pictorial tour of what I've been up to lately:

The swatch!
Swatched for a new knitting pattern. Can you guess what it'll be when it's done?

Lighthouse Gansey sock
Almost finished this Lighthouse Gansey sock. Must ... keep ... knitting...

UFO vest
Finally wove in the tails on this long-unfinished vest. Yayyy for finishing five-year-old projects!

Super-flat bread
Baked a super-flat but tasty loaf of bread. Note to self: Use fresh yeast.

English muffin bread
And then baked a less-flat but also slightly less tasty (though still good) loaf of bread. Fresh yeast = taller bread. Who'd've thought?

English muffin bread (the crumb)
Here's the inside. Nom nom nom.

I also read a book and went to a birthday party (thing), but those aren't crafty ... they're just things crafters do sometimes to be able to say they don't always have their heads in a pile of yarn or a box of beads. ;)

Nov 7, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 44 Check-In and Roundup (October 31-November 6)

Almost to the end of the year! How many days left till Christmas? ;)

Roundup of Week 43: What We Crafted From October 24-30

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • My stalwart CoB companion Jessica sewed together the pieces of her Fair Isle pillow, finished the soakers for Courtney's baby and knit a matching hat — this is a DUCK outfit! ;D — and retook the GRE with greater success. Yay!

Check-in for Week 42: What Have You Done Lately? (October 31-November 6)

And last week?

English muffin bread (the crumb)Well ... On Sunday, I knit on the Lighthouse Gansey sock. Monday, I listed some items in a new shop that maybe I'll unveil later. ;) Tuesday, I wrote for NaNoWriMo and finally registered for Vogue Knitting Live! Yay! Wednesday, I made some bread, swatched for and cast on a new pattern, and knit some more of the Lighthouse Gansey sock. Thursday's notes appear to have disappeared into oblivion. Friday, I knit some more on the new pattern, made English muffin bread, and made hot and sour soup with our new CSA veggies! Saturday, I knit some more of that darn sock.

Guess it's been a somewhat laid back week in the aftermath of the Hallogreen, huh?

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Nov 3, 2010

Are you one of October's giveaway winners?

Wristwarmers pattern sneak peek

In October, there was indeed a giveaway.

And yesterday, I did indeed generate random numbers using the ever-reliable generator at

So here, indeed, are the results:


But wait! If you didn't win the wish list giveaway, the crafty pirates still love you! Here's my gift to you: If you buy something from the Star and Crossbones Etsy shop before November 11, and include the message "I wish you would give me free shipping!" in the "message to seller" area when you check out, I'll refund your shipping cost. Or if you like, you can send me a convo with which item(s) you're going to buy and I'll take the shipping cost off the listing(s) for you.


What do you guys want to see in the next giveaway? ;D

Nov 1, 2010

Live at the Hallogreen

So this past weekend we did the Hallogreen in Daytona Beach, a Green Halloween event. It was a nice day, bright and sunny without being sweat-inducing, even if we didn't sell much. One of the hazards of doing craft shows is ending up in an odd place on the site, which we did this year, through the wonder of last-minute changes. Eh. It happens.

The event is done in the same location as the Saturday farmer's market — nom nom nom veggies. I didn't get a chance to wander around much, though. I was too busy spinning two whole bobbins of yarn. All in all, it's a fun event, even when I don't sell too much. (Le sigh.) I'll give it another year and we'll see what happens — the third time might just be the charm.

Here's the photo tour of the Hallogreen this year.

Handspun yarn on the table in the booth.

Another angle on the yarniness.

Shawl pins, up close
Shawl pins! On my first handwoven triloom shawl.

Handwoven stuffs
Handwoven thingies.

Glowy chain mail bracelets
The first mate's lovely chain mail glow bracelets.

Knit bracelets
And my knit bracelets.

Drop spindles
Drop spindles for spinning yarn...

A full bobbin
Or you could just watch me spin on my wheel instead. ;)

The booth
The booth, with the first mate in residence.

Tampa skyline on the drive home
And here's Tampa on the drive home. Nearly back!

It's always nice to get out of the house and meet new people, anyway.

Now ... to schedule the shows for November!
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