Random Hobbies

Hi, Anita here, I’m 27 years old and I live in Mackay QLD Australia. I’m a full time student paramedic, I volunteer in various and varied not-for-profit organisations, I read an unhealthy (probably) amount of fanfiction every week and am obsessed with truly bad horror films à la sharknado, zombeaver, mega piranha etc. Oh! And I crochet (knitting is the devil), do random crafty things and sew!

Craft:

My love of crafty randomness started at a young age, my family was big on no tv during the day so mum used to keep us occupied on rainy days with a box full of random craft goods; paper doilies, paint, glitter, glue, pipe-cleaners etc.

I learnt to hand sew when I was 4 years old, I was allowed to use the sewing machine at 5 and was FINALLY allowed to use the overlocker at 7. By that point mum must have trusted me not to chop off a finger.

These days I mostly concentrate on crochet, sewing and random props for costume parties.

I mostly do Amigurumi, I also make some accessories like shawls, beanies and some slippers. Actually I won the regional show in the crochet category last year for my giraffe! I brag all the time now that I’m an ‘award winning’ crocheter! I also love to make these dragons, most of my family has one at this point.

I’m probably most proud of a small mouse I made last year that was modelled after the outfit of my favourite cosplayer, Major Sam Cosplay. I had a look at some basic mouse patterns, then ended up doing my own thing.

Some of my other random projects:

I’m currently working on a unicorn for a friend of mine, not finished yet:

29/4/17 UPDATE on my unicorn, he’s looking a bit scruff but I’ll give him a trim!

Here are some of my sewing projects; I needed a bag for my crocheting, I LOVE making quillows for my family (13 so far) and a sensory blanket.

 

Reading (Fanfiction):

I’m currently obsessed with all the Naruto works by blackkat.  Just, wow. Naruto isn’t even more than a passing fancy for me, but I’m addicted, especially to reverse. (Heed the warnings)

I’m also religiously following The Leader by DebsTheSlytherinSnapeFan, though I read all of her Harry Potter works. (Warnings for vampires, violence, sex etc.)

I pop back in occasionally to relive the awesomeness of Seduction by Winglet by flawedamythyst, somehow she makes a crossover between Iron Man and Cabin Pressure and a pairing of Martin Crieff/Tony Stark just work.

Otherwise I’m pretty boring – most days consist of study study study.

You can follow me on Instagram for photos of my projects (just started on there, so not many pictures yet!)

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Unexpected

So we got a new couch about two weeks ago. It brought with it an unexpected… not problem, exactly, but still. When I finally got around to casting my socks on again after frogging them, I encountered an issue: I no longer had my little corner to knit in comfortably. I’m not saying the old couch was comfortable, far from it. Nor am I saying the new one isn’t because it totally is. However, the new one has different dimensions that make how I used to sit no longer an option as the armrest is too high to give the support I used to have.

So now I’m struggling to find a new position that will allow me to knit without causing myself too much pain doing so. Not quite figured that one out yet, but I’ll get there in the end.

Almost done with the toes as you can see. 🙂

Show of hands. Who has tried Rowaine’s Snickerdoodle recipe that she shared on her guest post? *raises hand* I just made another batch and it’s waiting in the fridge for a bit before I put them in the oven (I find it helps to chill the dough for at least half an hour, but that might just be me). Hubby loves them (and so do I) and they are addictive as hell. Just sayin’.

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Guest Post!

Hi all!

Let me start by introducing myself. My name’s Melissa, and I’m a college English instructor, fangirl, yarn person (knitting and crochet), musician, and when I have time, a home cook.

I’m a part time instructor, which sadly doesn’t mean I only work sometimes; I teach or tutor five days a week (with meetings on the sixth) at four different community colleges in Northern California. It’s exhausting, but mostly I love it. Sadly, this leaves me little time for things like my hobbies.

I’m currently working on the Something Gradient This Way Comes Shawl (ravelry link:):

Making some progress on #somethinggradientthiswaycomes while my parents watch baseball. #knitting #wip.jpg

The yarn is by Magpie Fibers; it’s their Swanky Sock in Pinball Wizard and Night Train, which I picked up this year at Stitches West. It was the first time I went when I was able to take classes, and I loved it. I’m looking forward to taking the weekend off against next year and taking more classes and learning more things.

I decided on the sock yarn variant, though since I’m liking how easy it is, that I’ll probably work up the DK version for my mom at some point. It pretty much fits my definition of “mindless knitting.” It’s not a complicated pattern, so it was easy to memorize, and it’s still pretty portable at about half-done.

I’m also working on the Knit Picks Hue Shift Afghan

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It was supposed to be a baby shower gift, but I underestimated how long it was going to take to make all those little squares. At least they’re worked joined, so I don’t have to stitch them together like granny squares! I hate that part.

I wasn’t sure about the pastel color scheme, but as the first of the four blocks comes together, it’s starting to make a bit more sense.

I’ve also recently been into making summer drink sets:

Student was teasing me about my crocheted coffee cup sleeve and coaster. But my desk doesn't have wet rings all over it and my hands aren't cold. #coffee #dutchbros #crochet #handmade.jpg

These are a crocheted coffee cup jacket that fits grande through trenta size cups at Starbucks, and Dutch Bros medium and large iced cups. The cotton granny square coaster keeps condensation rings off surfaces, and the cup jacket keeps your hands from freezing on your cool beverage. You can find other examples in my etsy shop. My shop does need to be updated, so if you’re interested in what I’ve got that’s not there, just contact me.

Because I’m busy with school (the semester is almost over!) I haven’t been reading much. I’m following the graphic novel Check Please! This means I’ve also somehow gotten sucked into the world of hockey. I’ve been watching “my” two teams in the Playoffs, The San Jose Sharks (“home town” team) and the Washington Capitals (the first team I saw on TV and I liked them). I went to my first live game with my best friend from college a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. I wish I lived closer to San Jose and/or that I didn’t teach evening classes so I could go to games more often next season.

I do have a great summer reading list planned, though. After my community concert band gets back from playing at Carnegie Hall this summer (!), I have a stack of reading I want to do in between teaching my two summer classes. At the top of the list is PK Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, because I binge watched the series on Amazon and loved it. I’m also scheduled to teach another introduction to critical thinking through literature class next semester, and I’ve been on a bit of a dystopian literature kick; I’ve got a few other things to explore to add to my syllabus, like The British Lion, and The Parable of the Sower. I just taught The Handmaid’s Tale this semester, so I’m looking forward to binge watching the series on Hulu when the semester is over.

That’s really all there is. I’m pretty boring, but feel free to stalk me around the web. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr as knitwritezombie, and I mostly ramble about yarn, cooking (when I have a chance), and how much I wish the semester was over despite really loving being a teacher.

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Stitching Away

I had another sewing lesson on Friday. It mostly consisted of ironing yards of fabric, as well as cutting said fabric. My back is still not thanking me for the effort. One of these days when I have my own craft room I’ll have an ergonomically correct sewing table and ironing board and all the other fun stuff.

I did get a little actual sewing done, though. My M.I.L. helped a little bit because some of it was too finicky for me to manage on her machine (it’s ancient and has its quirks).

Seeing clothes laid out like this always makes me cringe a bit, to be honest, because to me tops always look more like tents *glares down at boobs* (Grammarly, go home, you’re drunk. It is telling me to remove the comma after honest, but then when I do it tells me to put it right back… only to have me remove it again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat).

Close up of the collar bit. It isn’t quite sewn on properly yet, but hey.

Someone asked me the other day whether I’m enjoying sewing. I told them that they would need to ask again once I actually had a finished product. Right now, I still find the whole process very confusing, and my body’s making me pay for the effort as well, so I can’t really say for sure as yet. I’m hopeful, though, because I really would like to be able to sew my own things.

So what about you? What new things have you picked up so far this year?

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Best job ever!

shopTo begin, my name is Karen, and I own Cozy, in Eugene, Oregon.

Who wouldn’t want to own a yarn shop, right? I can think of few other things so enticing and engaging as yarn… made of color, texture and artistic potential. The hardest thing about having a yarn shop is having to share.

I opened a shop for reasons as selfish as it seems; I wanted to surround myself with that which I love (family and friends, of course, make poor inventory, so that which I love third). There wasn’t yet a yarn shop in my new city that fit my tastes, and so I, along with my partner-husband, opened my own. And it’s FUN. I get to talk yarn, touch yarn, admire yarn, and play with yarn all day. Seriously. And I get to share that with people who appreciate yarn just as much as I do. Maybe sharing isn’t so bad, after all?

Continue reading

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It Figures

That my week of misery (thank you, Auntie Flo) was rounded up by having to frog my socks. Yep, I thought I had measured correctly but it turns out that they were too wide for my feet and, well, I really do not like my socks to not fit so into the frog pond they went. I have yet to find the energy to cast on again, however.

In fact, I haven’t managed to get a whole lot of anything done this week that didn’t involve reading. And maybe a little writing (no, not part of Rough Trade this time, but I am posting this WIP on The Wild Hare Project. It will be the only place aside from RT where you can find any WIPs. They will be unbeta’d, but will eventually be moved to my own site as well as Ao3).

We got a new (to us) couch yesterday, another reason why I haven’t mustered the energy to do anything. My arms still feel like they’re about to fall off but it was worth the effort of hauling the old beast out and getting the new one in. Much more comfy, this one. The old one was falling to pieces and had us basically sitting on a plank with very thin pillows. Yeah, not the best but what can you do. Thankfully, now we have a cushy couch which I fully plan to utilize for the rest of my day while I watch something on TV. Like, right now. Have a great rest of your weekend!

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Fantastic Breakfast Buns

Hello, my name is Tia, and I’m definitely not a baker. Or a chef, but hey, still alive and I cook my own food most days, so I guess I’m not doing too bad?

I’m not a baker or a chef, but I am an author. I’m published by Dreamspinner Press, for almost six years now. My latest releases are my novel One Step Forward and a novella called Where We Belong. They’re both sort of family stories, which I suppose goes well with the whole figuring out a recipe thing.

See, when Karin, who I’ve known for years now, asked me if I did anything crafty or baked, I had to basically tell her that no. And no. So much no. But then I realized I had this one thing I could share with you all.

Couple of years back I went online looking for a recipe or some breakfast buns. I’d made flatbread sometimes in the past, but I wanted something different. I also wanted something easy, and I figured I couldn’t get different, easy, and tasty at the same time but hey, at least two of those would be possible…?

I stumbled upon this recipe by accident. It was called “fantastic bread” despite being actually breakfast buns, which already made me skeptical. But the buns looked so very good and I couldn’t help but to be intrigued. When it became obvious that the recipe was very simple and I had all the ingredients, I decided to give it a go.

And boy did I fall in love with these buns! They’re so easy to make, they’re extremely tasty, and I can honestly say I prefer them over anything I could get from the store. If you follow the recipe and don’t overwork the dough, you should be fine.

The point is to have the dough maintain the air bubbles which makes all the difference. The honey is a nice touch, gives the buns some flavor, too. I’m pretty sure you could change the recipe a bit here and there. Maybe make the buns healthier or use different flavors like herbs and stuff. I just haven’t had the need to do that, because I just love them too much as they are!

Sadly I only have the recipe in metric and converting is so hard I gave up and so did Karin (due to some issues with her kitchen scales, mostly.) If you manage to convert this, let Karin know? I promise you, figuring the right amounts out whether it’s in metric or not will definitely pay off.

Karin asked me to write something about what I’ve been reading and/or writing lately. To be honest, I’ve mostly been on a fan fiction kick in the past month or two. My main fandoms are Teen Wolf and Marvel. Now, I haven’t watched Teen Wolf in a long time, but the fic can be just so good I can’t help it. Nor do I really want to, either.

On actual published books front, the latest one I read was by me “fellow Fielding” Kim (not related, hah!) whose Love Is Heartless I just read a few days ago and loved. Then I randomly re-read her novel Brute and loved it just as much as I did the first time I read it few years ago. If you need something to read, please check those out!

I haven’t been writing much, because I’ve tried to concentrate on getting better. I’ve struggled with depression a lot in my life, and recently I’ve acquired some new tools to help me deal with it. I’m trying not to stress over writing because it won’t help the big picture. I have so many WIPs I could work on, but I’m writing a few words here and there to whatever calls my muse at any given time. For a writer it’s super hard not to be able to write, so I’m hoping that this year will be better and I’ll get back to the swing of things soon enough!

Below is a photo of one patch of the breakfast buns I’ve made. They tasted lovely, with or without the added color on the other plate. So, from a non-baker to all of you reading this, I hope you manage to give the recipe a try!

2017-02-03-2

 

General notes about the recipe:

If you’re using dry yeast like I normally do myself, follow the directions on the package instead of the recipe. You can also change the amount of honey, depending on your taste, but try it with the recipe’s amount first.

 

Fantastic Breakfast Buns:

5 dl warm water

1 dl milk

25 grams yeast

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp honey

12 ½ dl of wheat flour

and some extra flour for baking

 

Measure the water and the milk into a bowl. Crumble the yeast into another bowl and add the salt and honey to it. Pour a little bit of the milk/water mixture in. Stir together, then pour the rest of the mixture in and start adding the flour gradually.

Work the dough until it almost detaches from the bowl and your hands but not quite. Sprinkle some flour on top of the dough and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 1-1.5 hours.

Heat up your oven from 464F to 482F [or 240-250 Celsius] (depends on your oven. If you don’t know yours that well, use the lower temperature.) Take out two baking trays and cover them with wax paper.

Sprinkle less than half a cup of flour on the table and carefully pour the dough on top. You do NOT mix the dough at all at this point. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour on top of the dough and gently pat it. Do not mix.

Cut the dough with a metal spatula or something similar into 6-7 strips, then cut the strips into 2-3 parts. The buns don’t have to be the same shape, but try to make them the same size. Lift them carefully onto the baking sheets.

Bake the buns in the oven one tray at a time for about twenty minutes. Remember that the first tray usually needs a longer time than the second one, so keep an eye on them!

When you cool them, don’t cover the buns so that they stay crispy!

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