Illadore's House o Crack — LiveJournal
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Illadore's House o Crack


Tornado Pie Mar. 20th, 2016 @ 07:54 pm
What is it with me and apple pie?

Last week, I went to Gulf Wars 2016 and I cooked dinner almost every night for the Aethelmearc encampment. Monday night was Roman, Tuesday night - Dutch 15th Century, Wednesday night - 15th Century Portuguese, and Thursday night, our last night, I attempted to cook German 16th Century, from Marx Rumpolt's Ein new Kochbuch.

Attempted, I say, because we got struck either by a "super cell" or a small tornado that luckily did not touch down. Dinner was to start at 7PM and we got struck at 6:30. I spent the tornado holding on to the Aethelmearc Royal Pavilion tent, in an effort to keep it from flying away. Yes, I know how crazy that is. Somehow, once the 60 mph winds (I have no idea if that was the actual wind speed but that is what I had heard) and the ice cold side-ways bullet like rain stopped, we found that the meat had somehow been fully cooked, the cucumber salad survived, and pies had survived the tornado. I plopped everything down on the tables that were somehow still standing and started my usual spiel: "Tonight's dinner was inspired by Rumpolt..." and got a huge laugh from the whole camp and a fistbump from one of my friends. The pies were devoured.

Holding down a tent during a tornado - 1 out of 5 stars.
Tornado pie - 5 out of 5 stars.

Let's do the numbers:

Tornado pie ala Marx Rumpolt.

For the translation that I used, please see Apple tart from Rumpolt - birth of an A&S entry by Mistress Catrin von Berlin OL (known as Gwen Cat) at Stefan's Florilegium.

Discussion: My version is, at best, perioid, rather than period. Consider it "inspired by" rather than an actual good translation. I was running out of butter so I made a vegetable oil crust with sugar that turned out pretty well and tasty. I also did not sweat the apples in butter, as we were camping and it was an added step. Also, we had golden raisins, not black raisins, as that was what was available at the grocery store. In a way, this was, somewhat in mindset, a medieval pie - as I had to use what ingredients and what time were available to me, as I had no way to run out the market and just get an ingredient I didn't have at the last minute, just like our medieval cooks.

2.5 cups of flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
enough water - probably 5 to 6 tablespoons

Mix everything all the dry ingredients together and then mix in the liquids until it becomes dough. Work a little bit but not much. Divide in half. Roll out on a pastry mat. Place one in an 9 inch pie pan and hold the other one for the top.

6 good sized pie apples. (For the love of the Spaghetti Monster, just say no to Red Delicious)
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of golden raisins
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Peel and chop the apples then mix with all the other ingredients. Pour into pie shell. Cover with top and pinch close. Put in the over for 375 for about an hour or so. Pull out when it looks done - or when the tornado is over. (Tornado optional.)

Tardpolane Crust testing Aug. 11th, 2013 @ 12:29 pm
I'm cooking a feast in two weeks and decided to make tardpolane - from the British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085, (which can be found in Constance B. Hieatt and Robin F. Jones, "Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections Edited from British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085 and Royal 12.C.xii" Speculum 61/4, 1986.)

Original recipe (in French and Russian)

Hieatt's translation.

The crust for the recipe calls for Almond milk and I was waffling on this. I haven't made a crust with almond milk before so I was leery. So, I decided to make three small tarts, one with water (as a control), one with store bought almond milk and one with homemade.

First, I made almond milk. Super easy. I ground one cup of almonds in my food processor and then added it to two cups of boiling water, letting it seep. After five minutes, I drained the almond milk through a sieve and let it cool.

From there, I made three different crusts, one with water, one with store bought almond milk and one with the homemade.

From left to right - water, store bought almond milk, homemade almond milk.

From there, I made a mixture of pears, spices, eggs, egg yolk, neufchatel cheese and milk (as my liquid) and poured them into the tart shells. Baked them all for about 30 minutes@375F.

Long story short - hands down, the home made almond milk was the winner. I was really hoping to use the store bought, as it's cheaper; however, the taste of the home made was much sweeter and richer and had a crispier crust. I think I would only use the store bought in case of an emergency. It really was not much different than using water. However, using the almond milk (each kind) made the dough much easier to use than plain water.

Lesson learned - no cheating! :)

Hat! Jul. 20th, 2013 @ 09:45 am
Now that I am done with grad school, I've been hitting the knitting pretty hard.


Woo! Hat! I am beyond pleased with myself that I've learned how to knit fair isle or stranded. :) I am beyond excited with this and can't wait to knit more.

Scholarly journals? Really? Oh boy. Sep. 15th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm
This is going to be meta. So, very very meta.

Because I am a research nerd, I was playing around with Google Scholar and discovered a number of articles online about this blog. Scholarly articles. That have been peer-reviewed and published in scholarly journals. Errrr....

I would like to, right now, apologize to any and all researchers for the title of my Livejournal! I called this blog/livejournal "House o'Crack" as it was primarily my knitting blog and, as many a knitter knows, yarn is like crack and is utterly addictive. It also turned into my SCA and other research blog and, I assure you, I had no idea that I was going to be written about in scholarly journals one day. So, again, I apologize to all scholars and researchers who have had to write "House o'Crack" in their footnotes and got the "wth" look from their editors. :)

I am now tempted to change it to something more appropriate like "Illadore's House of Yarn and Food and Internet thingies" or "Illadore's House of Copyright Infringement" or "Hi, I'm not a journalism student!" or even just "Illadore's Webpage!" -- however, that cow has already left the barn, and I might as well admit to my folly and leave it as is. Besides, yarn is crack! Especially Malabrigo wool. Just ask a knitter (who is not allergic to wool.) They will understand and nod knowingly.

So, instead, I will leave you with the articles I found.

Tanja Aitamurto,"New ecosystem in journalism: Decentralized newsrooms empowered by self-organized crowds," Centre for Journalism, Communication and Media Research
Tampere University, Finland,

Laurie Cubbison, “A Tale of Two Tarts” and a Case of Copyright Infringement" The CCCC-IP Annual:Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2010, A Publication of The Intellectual Property Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 2011,

Lisa Di Valentino, "Moral Rights and Open Licensing," 2010,


Susanne Behnk and Stefan Lücking. "Union responses to recent transformations and conflicts in the journalistic field" ILERA World Congress 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA,

Project Proposal: Fiduciary Powers and Authority to Access Online Accounts and Digital Property During Incapacity and After Death (I am not sure what this one is, really...)

Meredith G. Lawrence, Edible Plagiarism: Reconsidering Recipe Copyright in the Digital Age, VANDERBILT J. OF ENT. AND TECH. LAW,


PS. Any researcher or journalist who wants to cite what I am, "food blogger" more or less fits (as I do have a blog and I have written about food); however, I think "amateur medieval food enthusiast" works best. Or "Food nerd" or "That weird woman who is nuts about apple pie" but I am not now nor have I ever been a journalism student. :)

And now for something completely different. :) Nov. 12th, 2011 @ 06:53 pm
I've posted this pretty much everywhere else but perhaps I should post it here too:

I was given a writ to sit in contemplation for elevation to the Order of the Laurel. Vigil to happen December 3rd at the Rapier and Costuming Collegium in the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands (or Pittsburgh, PA for those of you not in the SCA.)

Tarts may have been mentioned. :)

There's good in the world, right? Apr. 26th, 2011 @ 04:30 pm
So, Ed Champion, who was the very first person to interview me over the whole Cooks Source "thing" was himself plagiarized, per his blog post:

First, for the love of the Spaghetti Monster, people!! This is the 21st Century! If you plagiarize someone (or ahem ...copyright infringe), you will be found out, eventually! Quit doing it!!!

Second, really, plagiarizing someone who is an investigative journalist? Probably a bad idea.

Ed -- I hope you get resolution. For the record, all he is asking for is:

(a) a public apology, both prominently in print and online, for taking my quotes without asking or attributing;

(b) the issuance of a correction, both prominently in print and online, indicating that the Sunday Times and Jason Allardyce lifted quotes from my radio program, along with a URL directed to my site,

(c) a donation of £500 (as compensation for using my quotes and others without permission or attribution) to Reporters Without Borders.

Sounds vaguely familiar. :)

Good luck, Ed!!!!

I feel I should quote from Godfather III Nov. 17th, 2010 @ 01:15 pm
A number of people (journalists, bloggers, commentators on my Livejournal and friends of mine) have all asked that my own emails be posted to set the record straight. They're included below.

I would like to be clear: I am only providing this text for the record as I feel uncomfortable with some of the things that have been implied in public. I am pleased that Ms. Griggs and Cooks Source has done as I have asked, I am truly grateful for all the support that I received (BIG THANK YOU), and I wish Ms. Griggs no ill will and hope that this matter can be considered closed soon for all of those involved.

My emails:Collapse )

Okay -- I thought I was done. Nov. 16th, 2010 @ 09:01 am
Johnny pointed out to me today the newest update from Cooks Source and from what I've read, I am portrayed as a big meanie. I should, 100x really... just ignore it and move on with my life as arguing with people over the internet -- lame -- and yet I can not seem to help myself.

For the record, I will happily post all the email exchanges between myself and Ms. Griggs if Ms. Griggs gives me permission.

I contacted Cooks Source five times: by voicemail October 28th, by email October 28th, by email again October 28th, by email November 2nd and by voicemail November 2nd. I believe that was giving Ms. Griggs a chance.

Not once did Cooks Source offer to pay me in any of those email exchanges -- or donate to CSJ. The apology Cooks Source gave me in an email was "If you want an apology, So Sorry, Monica!" -- I took that as sarcasm. As for my emails being rude -- I was demanding that "this" be fixed. I had one line of my own email that was borderline - "I am somewhat confused that I have to explain copyright to a magazine editor."

I do not think of myself as a big meanie in all of this -- I think of myself as a woman as mad as hell for having her work stolen and then being talked down to like I was a child. As I said, again, it was the principle of the thing -- my work was republished without my permission, my copyright was violated and I stuck up for myself.

Lessons learned:

Pay the writer.
Be nice to people.
Be mighty.

AND on this, I hope, really really really, -- I'm out.

What a long, strange ride this has been Nov. 14th, 2010 @ 01:44 am
What a long, strange ride this has been. (I have tried to write this three or four times. Writing this as a summary is a bit difficult.)
First, the update:

I have, in fact, confirmed with the Columbia School of Journalism that money was donated in my name by Cooks Source. I have also seen the webpage with the apology. While it is not perhaps the most contrite apology I have seen, it will do and all of my requests regarding the copyright infringement of my article have been met. So, unless something unexpected happens, I would say this is all resolved, at least to my satisfaction.

Now, onto the rest:

Wow. Just. Wow. Thank you. Not only did "The Internets" take up my cause, but, many people donated to CSJ and to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Thank you for doing good and being mighty.

This whole thing has also been a bit of an education -- I have learned a great deal about copyright, or at least, how it relates to my work that is posted online. Copyrighting and defending your work, for the amateur (as the financial hardship to try to copyright and defend your work is large) is difficult to say the least -- and that does not seem right. Not sure what else to say there -- but -- I am sure more eloquent people than myself have something to say. :) I had some amazing help (thank you, Akiva) but I received such help because of what you all did -- getting the word out.

Second -- being a part of the public eye and being a part of the news cycle, becoming "internet famous," has been somewhat overwhelming. Somewhat. When I was visiting friends this past week or so, I would hand over my iPhone and tell them not to let me have it. :) (They obliged. :) I am very glad to be able to going back to being Just Monica or Just Illadore. (However, I don't think I will ever be able to Google my name again without it being linked to this story. :)

One last thing -- crowdsourcing is amazing (but I have mentioned that already :) -- and so is investigative journalism. Kudos to Ed Champion ( for working up this story and doing fact checking and really digging at what was going on. (Much love to other reporters I spoke with this week too, btw. :)

So, thank you all, again, for being interested, caring, and generally making me laugh. The song, the parody, the Downfall video, the haikus, the poetry, all of it -- thank you very much.

And on that note -- I'm out. :)

WOOPS! My apology Nov. 10th, 2010 @ 12:37 pm
From Akiva -- my attorney

Monica, you're officially my favorite client ever. And not just because I'm laughing out loud at the moment (Tehila's my *daughter*, not my *dog*, and you just validated the entire premise of the game "Telephone" :)

(And yes, you have my full permission to reprint this e-mail if you want :P )


Woops! My bad! :)

Pie! Nov. 10th, 2010 @ 07:06 am
Good morning!

I have made pie:

I cheated a bit -- I used regular store-bought crusts rather than make my own. I also used the 16th century pie, which is much more sugary than the 14th century one. (Tho, try that one. You can use regular pie shells for that too.)

I have, in fact, seen the post on the Cooks Source page with the apology. I think that is about the best I am going to get. I am; however, completely unsure whether or not any donations were made either to the Columbia School of Journalism or the Food Bank -- but -- I have made some phone calls to look into it and I shall let you know, one way or another.

And now -- a shout-out to my fantastic attorney who has helped me out through all of this: Akiva Cohen at Foley & Lardner LLP. He has been utterly fantastic, super quick with answering my questions, and I highly recommend him. He also has a dogdaughter named Tehila (not tequila!) -- which means Praise in Hebrew. He totally deserves praise for his work for me. :)

The good news in all of this is that I think I know what my Ice Dragon Entry (which only us medieval food geeks probably know what Ice Dragon is) is going to be this year. Heh. Heh.

Editted slightly to fix the daughter problems. :)
Other entries
» The Sunday Night Update - some questions answered.
Greetings, World!

Again, I would like to thank you all who have shown an interest in what happened to me. It is flabbergasting and overwhelming. Much love to you all -- especially those who have followed the golden rule (please use your powers for good) and have been nice to the advertisers. I would like to point out that 2nd Street Baking Company (one of the advertisers that pulled out of Cooks Source) has asked that if you would like to support those advertisers pulling out of Cooks Source, you can donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts here -

A number of you have also commented that you have donated to the Columbia School of Journalism. Good for you and thank you!

I am trying to read everything but, again, a bit overwhelmed with the amount of comments and information. If you really need to get a hold of me, please contact me at @illadore over at twitter.

Next, you all have been asking me a lot of questions. I have been trying to answer what I can but let's talk about some of the basics (as I understand them):

Plagiarism is when one takes another's work and basically says its theirs. If I were to take say take the beautiful poem "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams and slapped my name on it and called it "The Ice-Box Poem," then that would be plagiarism.

Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works. (From: So, if you were to take my copyrighted work and publish it for profit without my permission, that would be copyright infringement.

Those are the basics. After that, it gets somewhat complicated, which is why you get a lawyer. On that note, I have found a very nice attorney who is working with me. :)

Still no contact from Cooks Source since the Tuesday email.

I have no real plans on writing a cookbook -- there are some amazing ones out there on medieval cookery already, including anything written by Terence Scully (especially The Neapolitan Recipe Collection), as well as books by other authors such as The Medieval Kitchen. They have done some absolutely beautiful scholarly work on the subject -- I am just an amateur that likes to take those recipes and make them into food.

On that note, for everyone who said they were going to make my apple pie recipes -- awwwwww. You know just what to say to make a cook happy.

Peace out. Be Mighty. Follow the Golden Rule.
» (No Subject)
AND someone paid for my Livejournal for a year. THANK YOU, INTERNET PERSON! :)
» Dear Internet -- Be Mighty!
Dear Internet!

So, you kinda broke my email.


I love you all dearly!! I have been trying to read everything that has been posted but, OHBOY, the amount of Livejournal comments have been huge!!

If you are trying to get a hold of me right away for something you need me to see, please go to twitter and mention @illadore -- and I will try to see it there. (Only do that if you're trying to contact me for something you need a response for right away.) Alternatively, try contacting me again via Livejournal.

Many, many, many shout-outs to,,,,, Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, and dozens and hundreds of others. (Neil and Wil and Warren Ellis! My nerd life is complete!)

But the BIG THANK YOUs go first to Jeff Berry, fellow mediveal food nerd. He is the one who originally informed me about the magazine article. His blog is at

Second goes to Nick Mamamtas: -- He is the one who originally picked up the story and from there it went viral. Nick's an amazing author.

I am also AFK for the next day or so (I did not expect to get internet famous today!) but if you are trying to get a hold of me, I will do my best to get back to you.

Last but not least -- I have had no personal contact from Cooks Source. They have my number and my email and as far as I can tell, have not tried to personally contact me. I have had some people report that the editor responded via Facebook but it interesting comment and not the response I was asking for. (Which was -- 1 apology on Facebook, 1 apology in the magazine and $130 to Columbia School of Journalism as a donation.) I am not actually sure it was a "real" response.

More later. Thank you all for your comments. Please be kind and remember the Golden Rule. Please do not harass the advertisers.

PS. And remember -- Be mighty!*

*Tagline from :)
» Quick update!!
First -- I have heard absolutely zero from Cooks Source -- however, HELLO INTERNET!! NICE TO SEE YOU!! Welcome to my blog!!

@neilhimself retweeted this story: !!! -- My nerd life is complete.

(tho it will be more complete is @wilw would comment too... :)

This is now on the front page of reddit: -- HELLO REDDITORS! Nice to see you!!!

And apparently the internet as a whole has decided to take up my case on the Facebook webpage of Cooks Source has informed me that (as of 11:15AM EDT) that there's been 1,300+ trackbacks to my article.

John Scalzi has posted and tweeted:

If it gets posted elsewhere, please feel free to repost it here.

And, first and foremost, I am utterly grateful and thankful for all the lovely and wonderful comments I have gotten so far. Internet -- you rule. Thank you so much.
» Copyright Infringement and Me
The tl;dr version of this post: My 2005 Ice Dragon entry, called "A Tale of Two Tarts" was apparently printed without my knowledge or permission in a magazine and I am apparently the victim of copyright infringement.

The story:
I was contacted early last week by a friend of mine who lives in the Northeast about my "As American as Apple Pie - Isn't!" article that was published in Cooks Source magazine, mostly to inquire how I had gotten published. This was news to me, as I hadn't ever heard of this magazine before.

However, some basic Google-fu lead me to find them online and on Facebook. In fact, after looking at the Cooks Source Facebook page, I found the article with my name on it on on "Page 10" of the Cooks Source Pumpkin fest issue. (No worries, I have screencaps.) The magazine is published on paper (the website says they have between 17,000 and 28,000 readers) as well as being published on Facebook as well.

So. I first phone the magazine then send a quick note to the "Contact Us" information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article. (I thought it could have been some sort of mix-up or that someone posted it to some sort of free article database.) Apparently, it was just copied straight off the Godecookery webpage. As you can see from the page, it is copyrighted and it is also on a Domain name that I own.

After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted -- I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

What I got instead was this (I am just quoting a piece of it here:)

"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.
But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"

I got nothing.
Scratch that. I sure as heck do. Let's go over the major points:

  • At this point, I am mad as hell. It is now the principle of the thing -- and I also can not quite believe that my copyright was violated -- and then I was informed that I should *pay them* for editing it for me!

  • The web is NOT public domain! Don't believe me? Try the University of Maryland University College -- or just Google it.

  • I should be thankful because I wasn't flat out plagiarized? Don't college students get, oh, I dunno, tossed out for being caught for plagiarism? How is this a valid argument?

    I have some ideas of where to go from here but I am more than willing to listen to other suggestions.

    EDIT: Nick does a better job of telling the story than I do: -- Thanks, Nick!
  • » rainbow mittens

    rainbow mittens
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    Baby mittens! Well, not so much a baby anymore, more like toddler mittens.

    » collin dino hat

    collin dino hat
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    The dino hat I made for Collin, being modeled by the recipient. :)
    (I'm so glad that his mom was able to get it on his head and keep it on. :)

    » A bear for Owen

    bear 034
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    A lovely green bear for Owen. Only a year late. :)

    I used the Bobbie Bear pattern. Honestly not sure what yarn I used, as I lost the label over a year ago.

    » (No Subject)
    I hate provisional cast-on.

    That is all.
    » Undulate Scarf

    Undulate Scarf
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    My other two projects, the Shedir Hat and the Bobby Bear, have been driving me to distraction. Well, let me rephrase that. I've been too distracted to knit them properly as they require concentration and have lots of fiddly bits.

    So, I cast on this Undulate Scarf in this magnificent Malibrigo worsted weight yarn. This stuff is so utterly yummy. And the pattern is so easy you only need to barely pay attention. Perfect. :)

    » shedir hat!

    shedir hat!
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    What I've been up to as of late. :)

    This is the Shedir Hat. I've been knitting it for a friend of mine who is going through chemo. It's 128 stitches per round and full of cables and lovely. It's; however, taking a *loooooong* time!! :) I hope to get it done over the weekend. :)

    » Fuzzy Feet!! :)
    WOO. Knitting!! And Felting!! and Feet! and my couch!!

    Pattern: Fuzzy Feet Pattern at Knitty.
    Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Licorice Yarn, Color: Red (3 balls -- but I have HUGE feet. Size 12W.)

    Followed the instructions, per usual, and tada, fuzzy feet slippers!! :)

    Cross-posted at my own journal and knitting
    » 102

    Originally uploaded by infogirl

    » BBBB

    blankie for Rohan
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    The Big Bad Baby Blanket for Jonah. :)

    8 skeins of Koigu, size 9 needles, two months of knitting.

    » brown socks

    brown socks
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    I love Collinette Jitterbug. I don't love how little yarn is in a skein. So, I used BMFA sock yarn on the cuff, heel and toes. I think it turned out pretty darn spiffy. OK! Off to knit the other one.

    » Photo!
    So, as this is supposed to be my SCA journal as well as my knitting journal, here's a photo from this weekend, in where I am giving a rose to Blayde's most excellent wife, Serita, as he best me during a Rose Challenge at Crown Tourney.

    I loved the photo so I thought I would pass it along. :)
    » Lenore, Lenore, how I love you, Lenore!

    lenore sock 021
    Originally uploaded by rani23
    I finished this sock this evening -- and how I utterly love it. I loved knitting it. Yarn Harlot was the designer -- I got the pattern and the yarn as part of the Rockin' Sock club.

    Ah. I love this yarn. I love this pattern. I am now, by the way, completely enamored with pattern knitting and have been spending hours looking for my next sock pattern. :)

    Whee! :)

    » Flickr
    This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.
    » *clears off the dust*
    Wow. So, it's been a while since I posted. Sorry about that! I have been knitting a good bit, just access to uploading has been spotty. Currently, I am working on knitting another Bunny Hat for my baby nephew Collin (since his mom, my twin sister, apparently lost said hat. Woops), baby mittens to match said hat, and working on the "Lenore" socks from the Rockin' Sock Club. :)

    I have a lot of other stuff planned for the needles, including knitting the stuff for the Doctor's Without Borders promise I made a year ago. I suck. I also moved across country, had a newborn baby in the family to knit for and got a new job. SO. SOON. Promise!!

    On that note, here's the wee bit of Christmas knitting I did this year:

    Mom bought the yarn to match the sweaters she bought them -- so it's sort of a joint gift. :) The Blue and Green were made out of "Bazic Wool" by Classic Elite Yarns and the brown and white was made out of "Rowan Calmer". MAN, I loved these yarns. Both were utter dreams to work with, especially the Calmer. Mmm, Rowan.

    Happy Holidays! I promise to post more of what I am knitting soon.

    And oh yeah, I'm rani23 @ Ravelry. Feel free to friend me!
    » I love socks!!
    I've been knitting but haven't been posting -- mostly due to being away at training for a while.

    However, here's some sock pictures!!!


    Garter Ridge Socks (pattern from Sensation Socks!)
    Jitterbug Yarn, 2 skeins of Lapis colorway
    Size 2 needles
    » Bunny Hat!!
    The only thing I love more than knitting is seeing my knitting being used -- especially by adorable nephews.

    THE BUNNY HAT!!! :)

    I'll also point out the sweater is also one that I made. Unfortunately, he's growing like a WEED and I'll need to make another one for him soon. :)
    » Socks and things!
    Lantern Moon.

    So, they cost 5x as much as cheap metal needles but -- woah. I love them. The way that they feel in my hands is just amazing. I only have one set of size twos but they've already become my favorite needles ever.

    Good thing I love knitting socks. :)

    Actually, the hardest thing about knitting socks is that I have soo much awesome sock yarn!! It's hard to choose.

    First recently finished pair -- from my Socks that Rock club:

    Now, here's my current pair I'm working on -- finally with a pattern, not just plain ss.

    I also finished another Jayne hat for a friend. I'll try to harass him into modeling it for me. :)
    » socks on feet!!


    Tho, I think they're a bit small!! I shall have to knit new ones! Maybe these. :)
    » Yet another hat!!

    Woot! Yet another hat! Actually, I've changed the pom-pom on the hat to make it a bit fluffier but it's done. This one goes to Baby Nephew Collin. :) The pattern is from the "Simply Baby" book by Debbie Bliss.

    » Hats!!
    Right. So. Last time I posted was back in May. What can I say -- I went through something of a slump. I was working on a sock for a while (MMMM, sock...MMMM) and then I decided to do a bit of hat knitting. :)

    Boy Bunny Hat! Boy Bunny Hat!
    From "Itsy Bitsy Hats" -- a boy bunny hat! Made out of Cotton Ease
    Girl Flower Hat Girl Flower Hat
    Again, from Itsy Bitsy. I loved this one but man, putting the petals on was a bit of a pain!

    » Yeah I know, bad blogger. :)
    SO, I have been knitting. Doing lots and lots and lots of knitting. :)

    You'll forgive me for not posting because it was secret knitting. Muahaha. I flew home this weekend to my sister's baby shower and she did not know I was coming. Needless to say, that was a surprise. :) The new baby got the bunny hat, the booties, and the bear, which you all have seen. What you haven't seen is the sweaters.

    First up, yet another Trellis. :)

    Perfectionist weenie that I am, I'm not 100 percent happy with the button placement. :) Marca still squealed when I gave it to her tho. :)

    Up next, the Kimono sweater:

    I was seriously unhappy with this sweater; however, I've been informed that I am way too picky. Basically, I did not think the pattern had you pick up enough stitches around the neck and I think it looked "holey." It could be that the original pattern calls for wool and I used a mostly cotton blend.

    Whew!! Nothing quite like a deadline to get you moving with your knitting!! As of now, tho, I am back to knitting some socks for me with the new Blue Moon Yarn, walking on the Wild Tide. :) You know, when I originally got this yarn, I was Now, tho, I love it. :) I'm trying to make a modified pair of Jaywalkers on them, modified since I'm using size 2 needles. :) Yummy stuff.
    » Baby socks!
    So, I knitted a pair of baby socks. What do you think?

    They don't match exactly -- they're more fraternal than identical. Think I should knit a third sock that matches a bit better or do you like the lack of exact symmetry?
    » bunnies!
    So, I made a hat:

    And Buster the Bear decided that he had to model it:

    Why yes, even more clothing for the soon-to-be baby nephew. :)
    And yes, more is on the way. :)
    » The Reveal!
    So, were you wondering just what that thing was that I took pictures of last week?

    Well, here's the finished product:

    THE WINNER: jillz!!! :)

    Likely, the first of many things for the new soon-to-be baby in the family. :)
    » Guess!!
    Guess what this is!!

    First person to guess correctly gets a prize. :)
    » Finished: Trellis
    I found some buttons and was able to take pictures of it in good lighting:

    If I want to be completely fussy, there's some spots where I messed up:

  • I missed a stitch in the cable. Barely noticeable but I know it's there.
  • Seaming the back of the neck could have been done better.
  • I am not sure I should have put in that 6th button.
  • The M1 isssue made some uneven bits but they're hidden under the arms.

    But who am I kidding?!?! I am proud of this thing!! :) It's so cute. I'm so tempted to go back on my word and make this sweater again. :)

    Pattern: Knitty's Trellis
    Yarn: Rowan's All Season Cotton, color: Organic (4 balls)
    Needles: Size 7
    WHOO HOO! I win!!!!

    I have finished my first sweater. :) Well, almost finished. I need to find some buttons. :)

    You know, I hear a lot of people complain about seaming but it was no where near as bad as I have previously heard. Actually, it was pretty darn enjoyable, much like hand-sewing. Yes, I know, I'm a bit nuts -- I like hand sewing (well, mending, as I've yet to hand sew anything substantial) to using a sewing machine.

    But enough of that! SWEATER!! Baby sweater!! Now I need to find some very cute buttons for it and then send it off to the new recipient. :)
    » m1

    I will never make Trellis again. Ever. Yes, the pictures of the finished object d'art are just down right amazing and I've learned a lot from knitting it -- but MAN it's a PITA -- and I haven't even gotten to finishing it yet.

    My current dilemma is "m1" on the reverse ss side. That's Make 1, by the way. Here's the problem -- all the knitting advice that I've seen says that you do m1 on the right ss side, NOT reverse ss! So. La. Something that would be normally easy to do has become something of a nightmare. I've re-knit this stupid sleeve about 5 times and tried a number of different m1 techniques to see which one makes the smallest hole or looks the least stupid.

    I got nothing.
    » Hat!!!
    Whee! A HAT!!


    I still have enough yarn left over to make a headband too, I think. :) Sweeet.
    » SO
    So, I make this HUGE list of all the knitting things I need to get busy on, and what do I do?

    Cast on something completely new, of course!

    I got a skein of this gorgeous hand-dyed hand-spun bulky yarn for Christmas from amergina that she got her on trip to the Isle of Skye (where there's more sheep than people! Heaven!!) and it was callllllllling to me, "Mooooooooonica -- make me into a hat...come on, you know you want to..."

    And I, of course, caved. I'm a slave to wool, what can I say.I decided to make this :

    Hee. It's bulky yarn and I'm using size 11 needles and I'm about half-way done already, in just a couple of hours. :) So, I'm not really cheating on my other projects...this is just a quickie. :)
    » Ah, crafty goodness! How I have missed you!!
    As a good chunk of you know, I'll be moving soon. Almost ALL of my knitting/craft/beading time has been taken up with packing and cleaning the house which has made me entirely grumpy. However, thankfully, most of it is done! So, back to crafty goodness!!

    I spent the holidays doing *some* stuff tho. I suddenly got the urge to bead. :) Don't ask me why I decided I needed yet another crafty thing to do but apparently I did. I made my mom a *bunch* of necklaces (using a bunch of different beading techniques) for Christmas, I made Jenn beaded magnetic bracelet and Lake got this cute white and pink bead necklace. I love beading. It's quick, it's creative and you can get as elaborate or as simple as you want -- and it still looks beautiful. It's also not terribly expensive either. :)

    Let's see -- what else. For 12th Night presents, I also knit Ann a Mason-Dixon wash cloth. (Those are just terribly fun to make) and I knit Liam a black k2p2 scarf out of Encore Chunky. Two balls turned into a scarf that was almost 7 feet long -- which was great since I think he's 6'6". :)

    I'm now working on another embroidered escarbuncle. This one's for a gift tho. Details and photos later. I think it's a bit lumpy but it's a gift and the recipient will hopefully enjoy it.

    Once that's done, tho, I am itching to get back to knitting. Here's the current plans:

  • Finish the Trellis baby sweater for a friend of mine. That project has languaged for months and I need to get back and finish it ASAP since I think the wee one's due date is right around the corner.

  • Knit my soon-to-be niece or nephew something. Marca (the pregnant sister) let me know she was pregnant by getting me the cutest baby knitting book, and I *have* to knit something very cool out of that book. Definitely the teddy bear and probably the elf hat. :)

  • Some more baby items! Two more friends of mine are due any day now and I need to get on the ball!!!

  • Knit Marca her shawl. I have the yarn for this -- now I just need to find the time.

  • Finish those multicolored socks. Those may end up being a present for a friend. :)

  • Work on knitted gifts for the people on my friendslist who donated to Doctors Without Borders. I have a bunch of ideas. :) I'd really like to do Magknits Party Lace Scarf. :) I'm also leaning towards making Knucks too -- but I am not sure for whom. Basically, if any pattern reaches up and grabs me in the near future, I'm going to make it for the Doctors Without Borders crew. :)

  • Socks! SOOOOOOOOCKS! I so want to make socks!! My mom got me Colinette Jitterbug for Christmas and it's begging to be turned into socks! Sooooocks!!! It's calls to me, every time I look at it. :)

  • I also promised 5 people Art of some sort a few months back. I may decide to do some more beading (like I need an excuse) or I may knit up these really cute knitted sachets that I saw in Interweave Holiday knits. They are very cute and looked like they'd knit up fast.

    You know, I've got a lot to do -- and I'm really looking forward to it. :)
  • » Knitting books
    Okay, I just spent a couple of hours in my all-time favorite bookstore here in Columbus (I'm here visiting my sister) -- it's this huge bookstore called The Book Loft and they had a pretty decent Knitting Book section, lots of the newer knitting books were out. And you know, I was pretty disappointed.

    It seemed to me that all of these books were meant to be coffee-table books with lots of upclose shots of yarn. Yes, yarn is pretty. So very very pretty. MMMM, yarn. Glorious, glorious yarn. However, honestly, show the entire garment if you want to interest me in trying to knit it.

    I also saw lots and lots of basic sweaters but done in very expensive yarn. *siiigh* Yeah, just what beginning knitters want -- a sweater that's going to cost them $200 to knit.

    I did see a really cool book on knitting gifts for men, Never Knit Your Man a Sweater -- a book that totally plays into the whole "Boyfriend Sweater Curse" but also has some really nice patterns. It starts off simple, "Here, knit him an iPod cover" and then a scarf and on and on, all the way to showing you how to knit a gansey sweater (when the engagement is announced of course). I thought it was a cute and nifty concept and it was totally tongue-in-cheek too.

    I think, tho, that I'll stick to knitting magazines and online sources like Knitty for my knitting resources.
    » I hate all my yarn.
    Okay, that's not quite true but I was going through my stash and going, "WHY did I buy this?? WHY?" -- well, actually, I know why I bought it. Heck, I remember each and every purchase I made and why I made it. Unfortunately, each ball of yarn that I have is essentially a project that did not work out. Oooh, Trellis Ribbon yarn will make a great scarf, right??

    No. No it won't. Or at least, it won't on my needles.

    I have a bunch of yarn that's gross, disgusting, just bits of some color, acryllic stuff that I won't knit anymore, 1/2 a skein of sock yarn, etc. I look at all of this and I go, "ARGH what was I thinking?!?" However, the minute I think about destashing in some form or another, my brain starts to seize up, "What? Get rid of my yarn?!? Never!! It's mine! It could be useful someday!!"

    Which, of course, is not a particularly healthy way to think about yarn. Especially since I'll have to be lugging it across country with me. Especially since some of it is Fun Fur. What's wrong with me that I can't part with FUN FUR?!?!

    You know, the whole "It could be useful someday!" thing -- that's never happened. I've never once looked at a pattern and gone, "Oooh, I have the perfect yarn for that." Oooh no. No no no no no. Not once. Every time I decide to try a new pattern, I wander through my stash, get somewhat disgruntled (especially at the Fun Fur) and then make a mad-dash to the yarn store.

    The only thing that helps me through this is the knowledge is that pretty much every knitter I know is just like me. :) It's an addiction, you know. Mmmm, sweet sweet addiction. Sweet yarn, how I love you so. Just not my yarn. I don't want my yarn. Oooh no. I want the yarn that's not yet my yarn.

    I'm so fickle. :)
    » I WIN!!!!
    The stupid fracking mittens are DONE!!! :)


    And with a week to spare. :)

    Honestly, I was an idiot for trying to do them in seed stitch and with a cable. As several people said, my brother wouldn't really care whether or not they had a cable or not -- he just wanted them for warmth. Personally, I think they look darn snazzy without the cable.

    Okay, now the hard part -- what to knit next? :)
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