Author: katie

So there was a girl who once wanted to handsew but got sidetracked by yarn instead...

Powdered Coffee Creamer

It’s been one of those years where I look up and it’s early May. It’s not inherently a problem. However it is reminding me of that folk statement about time moving faster as you age.

I’m 32. I don’t want to think I’m at that point where I’m losing months.

I’ve been fighting this monster and am too stubborn to give up.

Dyngus Day has come and gone.

It’s iced coffee season again and I keep throwing money away on liquid creamer I forget to put back in the fridge. Powdered doesn’t need to be cold.

This is basically flavored powdered milk. I do use S.wagbucks to food prep via Amazon and order full fat powder. I don’t know where I grabbed this from, I did drop the added fat.

Powdered Creamer

1 cup dry milk

Spices- favored, I used pumpkin spice and turmeric

2 or 3 packets stevia
I put everything  [a tablespoon or so or spice and maybe half a teaspoon of turmeric] in a jar and shake hard. I reshape before use. I don’t miss the mouth feel of the extra fat, but I also use the full fat powder.

Advertisements

Paramilitary S******** Knitter Army- A Conspiracy Theory

If you go to Google and type in ‘knitters are’ and let it autofill there are probably some things that would come to mind, based on stereotype.

Old, boring, naive, cute, etc.

Something to that effect.

But if you go and type in ‘knitters are’ and let it autofill now, you get something a little bit weird.

16179389_10101391462200675_5876459854474201384_o

A couple of things leading into this post: this conspiracy theory (referred to as CT from here on out) is new. It’s about 5 days old as far as I can tell. It heavily involves fiber culture, so if you’re the type to be into CT only you may have missed a lot of the back story so I’m going to be including part of that background for clarity’s sake, not as a political statement. And that leads into the third point, this is a heavily political CT so there’s really no escaping at least an overview of the politics and is not necessarily an endorsement by the blogger.

The basic theory goes something like this: there is effectively what could be referred to as a paramilitary syle socialist leaning knitting (and crocheting) army made up of primarily liberal leaning women spurring on a great deal of the protest movements including the women’s marches, especially the march in Washington DC, surrounding the current political administration.

The CT seems to center around an actually heavily gender biased assumption about the nature of crafting: it’s about those pink hats that are exploding everywhere. Pull up a photo of the already mentioned march and you’ll see a sea of pink hats.

I found the theory via this tweet thread:

c2xxnowxaaa7dkn

 

The rest of the thread, needed for context, is here.

Basically through the discussion this original poster (op) doesn’t understand a few pivotal things about the nature of crafting-that crafters use social media, that women can actually get together to craft when they care to, that knitting doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and that pink yarn is a pretty common thing in the world. [No one tell this kid about truck days at the grocery store or how stuff is shipped en masse around the world either.]

The thing is, if you dig through the thread it’s heavily implied that this tweet isn’t an isolated thing. There was actually some sort of weird thought process surrounding how the hats showed up and why, and there was apparently some sort of theory around that all these women knew to show up with the hats all at once with no prior knowledge. It’s…also sort of implied that we can’t, like as women or knitters or both we just don’t have these thought patterns. It’s very odd.

Some of this I can get. If you were on the fiber culture related parts of Instagram or Facebook the hats were impossible to avoid. They were everywhere. I won’t use the word bullied, but there was definitely this sort of social pressure to make hats (I actually didn’t make any, for reasons that aren’t political in nature). But it does need a certain level of exposure to this subculture-I mean, I don’t follow NASCAR media and therefore have no idea what’s going on over there. It’s understandable.

This CT, or mini-CT sort of became a joke, especially some of the stuff quoted in the tweet thread, around my FB. I think as a group we sort of figured it was an isolated oddity and it would die out.

Then came the Joy of Knitting Facebook fiasco. A yarn shop came out and said that the owner would rather have feminists not purchase at her store because they’re vile, nasty people (that’s a paraphrase but not by much). I won’t link to that page but the statement and the surrounding firestorm of attention has gone national so googling it will bring you up to date. In other words, the US suddenly was introduced to what used to be called radical crafting.

So now we’re coming up on the Google thing: the search recommendations are based on part on how many people have searched for those terms. In other words, people honestly think we’re ruining the country. People honestly seem to think that we’re some sort of major political leftist leaning network (trust me, that’s deeply untrue). Just in the name of science, I actually let Google take me to the suggested results for that tag, and they’re weirdly all over the place. One of the results is about the Koch brothers so I think that’s just similar letters, and there’s a couple of things on the everlasting fight between crocheters and knitters (who’s more rude, who’s more snobby, etc). Oddly, there’s nothing in there about us ruining anything, really. Which makes me think that people are Googling and Google’s not finding anything. However…and this is important because CT doesn’t necessarily take care of tying up loose ends in terms of factuality (don’t look at me, they don’t) it’s hard to tell how long that this has been the ‘normal’ response from Google. It could have been like that forever and we’re just looking for stuff like this now because of our sudden paramilitary status.

This is easily the strangest thing to come out of an already bizarre month.

The Sound of Needles Clicking

It’s not that I’ve been silent…I’ve been silent here.

Because I’m busy…very, very busy.

Be very careful if you wake up one day and decide, gee, wouldn’t it be great if I had a reason to be knitting, and a way to keep that knitting self propelling and funding itself?

I have 15 orders in queue right now and people who are ordering multiple pieces. The Universe is good, you just wouldn’t think the irony of being so busy knitting you can’t update a knitting blog would be this surreal.

15036306_10101297309448545_6915383004303546153_n

One of my current orders is a scarf I drafted to go with another project so I hope to post that afterwards. And I am knitting multiples of my Barleycorn scarf.

*Any of my patterns can be knitted for commercial use. I would like a credit but it’s not necessary.

1111

For up to date photos, follow me on Instagram

American Horror Story and Universe Building

We’ve been talking about the boundaries of Murphy’s metaverse in relation to AHS. What we know exists: aliens, ghosts, Satan/demonology, witchcraft, voodoo, psychics [a la Cricket, who I have to tell you I adore], there’s hints that Cricket practices hoodoo what with the saint work, or a type of voodoo, the afterlife in a variety of forms, angels, vampires of a type, zombies both voodoo and Romero style, and apparently curses of a type.

What we haven’t really seen: cryptids, Big Foot, the fae, the Wild Hunt [which has been established in American horror-lore and folklore at this point], shapeshifters, Poltergeist-style cemetery desecration and after effects, Egyptology a la old school Universal mummy stuff, Baba Yaga [though he has established at least the loa which opens up the suggestion of deities and/or cultural spirits].

I wonder where his line for ‘this is too much, everything but that’ is.

Personally I would love to see him get his claws into the Wild Hunt and I think that the way that it’s been used by modern American horror writers makes it a really solid option for this season. I don’t think it’s going to happen [I have my own theories about this season including unreliable narrators and other such themes], but I would love to see it.

There’s also a whole range of subgenres that he seems to be ignoring, either deliberately or just due to stylistic oversight or blindness-now that we’re multiple weeks in I feel safe to say that I was actually really hoping he was going with a good Southern psych/gothic horror and wouldn’t be centering so much on supernatural methods. I love supernatural horror, but I would love to see what he could do with just people messing with other people.

I feel that Murphy is also going with a lot of old school horror tropes this season, which has me torn. On one hand I can’t necessarily get upset with him for using traditional horror structures when, you know, the point of the series, but I’m a little…disappointed? when I can tell you with some certainty who’s going to die first, have them actually die, and hope to hell that the reasoning isn’t what I fear it is. However while Murphy does tend to come in like a sledge hammer he does tend to have slightly more subtlety than that-and before anyone goes too flailing on me, he really is. I’ve written over the past few seasons about his work with the mother and the oddities (the beautiful, beautiful, necessary oddities) of his women. There’s generally more going on in AHS than a lot of people seem to be willing to give him credit for-I am not going to go so far as to say that his work is feminist [it’s not. Period.] or not flawed [in a lot of ways it is. Deeply] but he honestly lets his characters have a much deeper range of expression than a lot of series would otherwise allow them. Seriously, the sheer presence of fully developed female villains who aren’t necessarily being driven by being scorned by love interests or coming out at the end as just being ‘misunderstood’ is actually a positive development in on-screen gender expression. You mean women have the same range of motives as men do?

While I’m hoping that this season holds up to the same pattern and he’s actually going somewhere with these tropes, at the same time, he’s actually sort of due a surface level season that plays the tropes straight-this is after all a series created to do just that.

22. Hold Mabon

tree

I have no idea how to even go about describing what happened for Mabon this year.

At least, not in a way that the majority of my readers would understand and I’m not even sure that the people who have experience in the situation/skill set would get it either. But it involves a drum circle, an oak tree, and Baba Yaga’s hut.

I normally start to work with Baba in fall and winter, so her reappearance nearish the first day of fall isn’t terribly uncommon. One of her motifs is spinning [think the spinning that a person would do during ecstatic dance], and she has the infamous chicken legged hut. I have never however experienced the spinning hut myself prior to tonight and it will be interesting to see how this plays out-I don’t know what this means. It didn’t run away or get aggressive so I suppose I have that in my favor. Listen, we’re talking about a folkloric symbol that can carry itself around on chicken legs, I don’t think the fact that a house can get defensive is truly the oddest aspect of this story.

As for the mundane side of Mabon we went to the park for drum circle. Mid is trying hard to make sure I have down time that doesn’t involve looking for roaches, packing, unpacking, cleaning, and wondering if the movement I’m catching out of the corner of my eye is a roach [I have come to realize that I am getting a lot of allergy related floaters, which are slowly driving me insane, like something out of a Poe story]. I did do better with the drum circle than I did with the concert last month. I sat under an oak tree and just was for awhile.

I will do my traditional bread later this week, or next weekend, schedule permitting. Same with applesauce and my normal Mabon/fall foods, it will have to be fit in with the rest of my tight schedule. Everything has to be done by the 30th so while I’m a little frightened that I’m running out of time I also know there’s a definitive end point.

Saving Versus Hoarding: Too Much of a Good Thing

juicebottle

I have been planning on writing this post for a few weeks, but I have things in my draft folder I intended on posting prior to this one.

Then I started thinking about this orange juice container.

I buy orange juice maybe 3 times a year. If that. I am really picky about my juice and I really can’t justify the price for the quality I want more than that. I’m not at the point where I think about the reusability of the packaging I buy [yet] [though I also admit that I am annoyed that Wegmans swapped out their pasta sauce bottles for plastic, at least in the bulk pack]. However, the quality of juice I buy normally comes in a bottle more often than a carton.

So I rinsed out the bottle and set it aside for the tea that Mid brings to work. We don’t know what happened to his normal Stanley thermos at this stage of the move, though I’m sure it’ll come up again at some point.

It did however get me thinking about this subject again, so I’ll touch on it tonight.

Saving Versus Hoarding

There is a certain frugality to getting as much use out of what you own as you can, instead of buying a separate product for that purpose. That’s why I use canning jars in my kitchen for storage instead of dedicated kitchen storage pieces, unless they go on deep sale.  During my research for the money saving posts, one of the consistent tips was to never throw out anything that can be used for something else.

I’m going to tell you there comes a point where you need to let things go and throw them away.

Again, I do agree with the idea-and use it-but as with the majority of things in life, it’s a matoter of degrees. You can tip from ‘frugal, green reuse’ into ‘kind of scary stockpile of old stir fry bottles.’

My system for avoiding a hoarding situation and maintaining a useful stash:

[This system takes into account seasonal use items like Christmas decorations or winter gear, but the idea is still the same. Even if the item is only used once a year, it should be getting used during that point of the year. If you have 1000 Christmas ornaments and only really use 50, it’s time to purge.]

  1. Figure out when you use the items you already own-if you already have a stash of 50 bottles and only use 10, it’s not time to start hanging on to more bottles. It’s time to purge at least some of those overflow bottles.
  2. Determine how much storage space you actually have to put towards saving-not what you -think- you have, not what you -might- have if you were to clean things out, what you have right now.
  3. Occasionally deep clean-go through and clean out cupboards and closets and drawers. Get rid of things you haven’t used in an allotted amount of time. For example, if you haven’t used something in a year, at the very least put it into more remote storage like an attic or store room, or purge it.
  4. Forget how much you paid for it-with some exceptions. If the item was truly expensive, try to sell or trade it to recoup some of the costs. But if it was a normal sized purchase, the money is already gone regardless of whether or not you keep it.
  5. Once you have an idea of actual space, have cleared out your stashes, and know what you have-only keep things that you can name a use for. Try to avoid ‘but I might need it some day’ if you don’t have any idea what you’ll be using it for on that random future day.,
  6. Don’t keep items that need more than light repairs. A box that can be taped is one thing, an engine that needs to be completely overhauled is another.
  7. Stop saving when you stop using-every so often I have to go through and purge small bits of yarn. I do a lot of scrap knitting, but there comes a point where my small bit collection outsizes the amount of time that I spend scrap knitting. Don’t save more glass jars than you will ever feasibly use.
  8. Only keep things to ‘upcycle’ if you actually intend on upcycling them. I feel like upcycling is my generation’s answer to the Depression’s keep it because you may need it and not have resources to get it. Upcycling is awesome, but if you don’t know how to sew, now is not the time to start holding onto piles of old blown out jeans. You can certainly try to trade or barter them to someone who can upcycle them for you, and you can definitely work on learning to sew so you can eventually upcycle old denim-but there will be plenty of old denim available to play with when you get to that point. Basically, don’t start holding onto items for skills that you don’t actually have yet.