Category Archives: Artsy Fartsy

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I’m so fed up with searching for knitting things only to find someone tagged something that was crocheted as knitting. LEARN THE DIFFERENCE, people.

Baked Beans & Irish Coffee

Once again proving the reason why I call this little place “Fail Better Farm” – I completely effed up some baked beans last night. Of all the things to screw up, baked beans isn’t something I’ve had trouble with before.

I was on it last night. I was feeling so productive. I had a plan. I had a recipe. And I was on a mission.  And to top it all of, I even came up with a plan to make dinner at the same time. I was going to be SuperCook, queen of the kitchen!

But… it failed. I did everything right in the beginning. I fried the bacon. I measured and mixed the BBQ sauce and mustard and sugar and vinegar. The smell wafting through the house as the mix baked was ahhhhhmazing. Drool-worthy, even. But that’s where the deliciousness stopped. I baked the beans as I was directed. But what should have been the best beans to hit my taste buds ended up a dry disaster. I don’t know if it was the oven temperature (our oven is finicky and sometimes runs too hot, and sometimes runs too cool, and we could really use a new one. Santa, consider this my request for this year’s Christmas gift!) or if I just baked them too long, or a combination of both. But they were… bad. I don’t mind them being a little dry on the sauce. But the beans themselves had dried out, too, and were just… weird.

So… yeah. I’ll fail better next time I guess.  Onto something I haven’t failed on: knitting!

I actually gauge swatched for my Irish Coffee sweater.  (Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I’d be talking about something to drink? Yeah… sorry. Kinda.) And, further proving why I keep blowing off gauge swatches, I got near perfect gauge. But I know the second I decide to forego the swatch process on anything where fit actually matters I’ll be totally screwed. So I’ll swatch and swatch and swatch some more. This may be Fail Better Farm, but its certainly not Fail Better Knitting.

The picture is pretty crappy (damn phone cameras… no matter how hard they try they still just don’t match up to a regular camera), but the yarn is Valley Yarns Northampton in the color Fawn. It knit up nicely for the swatch. The yarn has a nice quality about it. And its a pretty, neutral color. I’m a little worried it’ll look awful against my skin tone (certain light colored neutrals make me look pale and sickly), but it’s not that bad. And worst case I can find a friend to dye it a darker shade of brown, or even maybe a wine color, once knit.

I got nothing. Except this quilt.

I was a huge slacker this weekend around the house. Sure, there was garden work to do. And there might have been winter prep to get started. But did I do any of that? Nope. Instead, I worked on finishing this. A baby quilt for someone (not me). It’s really imperfect. The corners don’t match up perfectly in the center. And the bandannas weren’t even close to being perfectly square after I washed them. But I had already bought them and washed them and was determined to just make do and use them anyway, crappy sewing skills and bad fabric choices be damned. Because babies don’t care about any of that, right?

This quilt is 4 bandanna squares for the top, a layer of white flannel for whats supposed to be the batting and a layer of the crosshatch flannel for the back. There’s no binding around the edge, I just sewed it all up and turned it right-side-out and then tied yarn all over it to hold the layers in place. I have no idea how to properly quilt – the few attempts I’ve made have turned out pretty bad. Warm, but bad. And binding? How the hell does that work without looking wonky?

Woolly Heaven

198 Yards of Heaven, to be exact!

This is such a pretty shawl. It doesn’t use a ton of yarn, and since its worsted weight yarn it comes out nice and warm. I knit an extra repeat of the first chart and cut the edging short. This one goes in a swap I’m doing so I don’t get to keep it. But I’m pretty positive I’ll be knitting myself one later this fall/winter. A lot of the shawls I’ve knit have been a sport weight or lighter, so it’ll be nice to have something warmer to wrap myself with in this drafty old house come winter!