boring manly scarf

this is the most boring pattern ever.

easy peasy (that looks misspelled no matter how i type it), but very tedious. so tedious, it took me two years to complete, because i was just so bored. in fact the person it was going to be given to is no longer part of our family. i really like the look of it - very tailored, almost like a heavy woven herringbone - so after all my bored suffering, i am going to keep it for my manly self!

the main thing is that it's done. finishing what i started is my new year's resolution for 2013.

and now the pattern is yours, free! if you're on ravelry, you'll find it here.

yarn: 2 skeins briggs & little heritage
needles: 5mm straights (n.b. i used 4mm because i always go down a size)
crochet hook
finished measurements: 6" wide by 6' long (not counting fringe)
cut 56 lengths of yarn, each about 9" long. i did this by folding a magazine (i used the guardian weekly) in half lengthwise, wrapping yarn around 28 times, and then cutting along one side. set these aside for later.
co 28 sts
rows 1 & 2: *k3, p1, repeat from * to end of row
rows 3 & 4: k1, p1, *k3, p1, repeat from * to end of row
continue working in pattern until you run out of yarn, or the scarf is as long as you are tall, or you can't stand the boredom. bo.
use the remaining 9" pieces of yarn to create a fringe at each end. easiest way is to fold a piece in half, use a crochet hook to pull a little loop through the end of the scarf, then pull the ends through.
obviously this is very easy to make longer or wider should you choose to. if widening, cast on extra sts in multiples of 4, and cut two extra lengths of fringe for every stitch you add.


sally stupid

p>another birthday survived! less effort put into this one; last year i near killed myself with painting decor, and games, cooking for 15 kids + assorted parents, and the whole nine yards. this time, i limited the list to 6 kids, and made it a 2-hour event at a distinctly non-meal time of day. cake recipe was the same as last year's lion (louise's party cake, plus a triple recipe of salted caramel frosting), and the cake was in the shape of two lego bricks.

but the real hit of the party was something called "sally stupid," a rich sweet yummy square that melts in your mouth. easy and kinda trashy but so yum. we call it "sally stupid" because the woman (sally) who gave the recipe to my mum forgot to write down the name.

sally stupid

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
350g butterscotch chips
roughly half a bag of mini marshmallows

melt together the peanut butter, butter, and butterscotch chips. pour in a greased 8"x8" pan.

when somewhat cool but still soft, arrange marshmallows in a single layer on top. chill in fridge.

when good and solid, heat the broiler, and brown the tops of the marshmallows. watch them like a hawk, you don't want to overdo it.


a word of advice on bay window seats

ever since i posted about building my bay window seat, it's been a popular search term here. more specifically, people have been searching for "bay window seat dimensions."

you can't search for bay window seat dimensions.

unless, of course, you are building a house from scratch, and wondering how big to make your bay window so that it will be right-sized for a comfy seat.

if however you already have a bay window, and want to build a seat in it, you need to measure what you've got. they're all different, every last one. and if you have an older home - the kind more likely to have a big ol' bay window just crying out for a bay window seat - your bay window is likely to be just a little bit wonky, due to the settling of the house over time and whatnot.

you cannot look this stuff up!

that said, if anyone is building a house from scratch and does want to know the particular dimensions of my particular window seat, it's 90" wide, 22" inches deep, and the seat is 22" off the ground. each triangly bit is 30" wide, and the middle rectangly bit is 30" wide as well. if someone would care to drop off some high-density foam that fits these dimensions so i can finally make the cushion to go on the top, i'd be most grateful.


busy day!

after spending the holiday going back and forth between running around and sick in bed, this new year is going to be all about finishing what i've started, and putting the past - including past projects - behind me.

we'd given the kiddo a challenge: finish 200 chapter books by the end of the year. he did it! his reward, was to get lights back in his room (we'd taken his lightbulbs out of the ceiling fixture, as he kept turning it on and staying up late to read), and a new ceiling fixture to boot - one we'd bought a good year ago, actually, which had languished since then in the downstairs closet.

which meant digging in that closet, which got me in the closet mood, and taking on another half-started project: the kid's closet. used to be, we could put stuff in there, and it would have effectively disappeared from his life. now, he crawls through there, and because the curtain road was grownup height, he'd make a mess anytime he wanted a proper shirt. i'd measured, and tg had cut a couple of shelves down to size, but that's as far as we got. today: done!

here's his reading corner (i do need to cover that chair, i have the fabric and all, another project to finish this year):

his bed:

homework station:

and dresser with photos of friends & family:

the downstairs closet, meanwhile, got a bit of a re-org:

and most importantly, a new set of cupboard doors (built from some of the same leftover lumber from my old work bench that i used to build my bay window seat):

it used to be a real quagmire in here. coats would fall off of hangers and the kiddo would decide to "play" in there, and it would turn into a jumbly mess and you couldn't find anything. i'm hoping this will keep some of that at bay. i want to put a lock on it too to keep the beenster from getting back there!

and speaking of, i've put a new set of hooks at his height - no more excuse for not hanging up his coat and snow pants!

this was all done with stuff that we had on hand - lumber, hinges, knobs, the works. i do want to add extra hooks and a lock though, those will need purchasing. but i think the fact that this stuff could be built without having to leave the house for any supplies at all shows that i am too much of a packrat!