Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Years! AND Slipper Socks!

Woohoo! Happy New Years everyone! I hope everyone had a great New Years and spent it exactly how they wanted to. I spent mine with good people AND I got some crocheting done earlier in the evening. So basically it was pretty perfect. Also my New Years dress was pretty and comfy and that was pretty perfect too.

As for the crocheting... WELL. Basically my mom keeps bugging me to wear slippers around the house, which is hard because I'm not used to that and I keep losing them. Also they are annoying. Unfortunately my feet tend to get absolutely freezing ALL the time. No no, its not because I walk around bare foot, I deny this. It must be some weird unexplained medical phenomenon that causes the temperature of my feet to fall below freezing. That must be it. Maybe I'll be in the New England Medical Journal soon and will get all famous and then you can brag to your friends about how you actually KNOW me. Or read my blog. Same diff.

So I crocheted myself up some slipper socks. They were amazingly easy to make once I stopped looking at "How to crochet a sock" websites and decided to wing it. Amazingly easy. Like no counting stitches, no memorizing what to do next kind of easy. They came out big and bulky and silly and warm -> which was exactly what I wanted. I also sort of mucked up the heels a bit and made them a tiny bit bigger then they should be, but its ok, they don't look too weird and I'm thinking about lining them with my leftover black fleece so they will be even MORE warm. Amazing. I know.

Best part is, I used mainly the leftover yarn from all my hat projects. I had several little balls of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn left over, and they weren't long enough to make any hats, or be the trimming for any hats... yet they were too long and pretty to throw away so I decided to use them. Well I guess I could have made a funky scarf but my feet were cold and thats often when inspiration strikes.

If you want the tutorial it can be very simply added, its just late so I am not going to do it right now. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Black Curacao Shawl -> New Photos!

So for my grandma this Christmas I decided to crochet the "Blue Curacao Shawl" from the "Amazing Crochet Lace" book by Doris Chan. I bought the book several months ago and had not done a single project in it, mainly because at the time of the purchase I had not yet discovered my aversion to unoriginal projects. Don't get me wrong, the shawl is beautiful, the pattern was easy to read and I whipped it up in two days. My grandmother loves it. It's just the only thing that's different between my shawl and the shawl in the book.... is the color. I don't mind using other peoples patterns as long as I switch up the color, or use a different yarn... something to make the pattern more tailored to my tastes.... and not just another cookie cutter copy (I'm not even sure if that last cookie part makes sense but it sounds so great!). I have no photos of my grandmother modeling it yet, mainly because I finished the project about an hour after we exchanged presents and then I had to wet block it.

Don't mind the two tone background behind the shawl, I just needed two towels to stretch it out on. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finals Over = Giraffe Hat MANIA!!!

Finally finals are over. Ugh. This week was one of the most intense weeks of my college career both mentally and physically. I can't even count how many allnighters I pulled, but currently I have no voice, a runny nose and I have been nauseous all day. The worst part is (yeah there is a worst part, I know, right... what am I going to pull out of my hat now? Kitten in a coma?) that I am hungry but am nauseous at the same time. Ok sort of anticlimactic, I know. But I haven't eaten since I ate fries with Rose yesterday at like 5. That's it, that was the last thing I ate. Ridiculous, I know. But you know, you have to look at the bright side of things. I'll be REALLY skinny if this keeps up. Or dead. You know one of the two.

So for I finished the Giraffe Hat I was making for Rose for Christmas and I think it came out pretty good. I'm currently working on finishing lining her matching scarf and then she will surely be the coolest kid at the playground. Or the Zoo. But at one of those locations she will win the prize for sure. Here she is doing her mad sexy 80s Giraffe mating dance:

Nice moves. Real nice. I know what your thinking. Well no I mean I know what you will be thinking after you stop thinking all those pervy things about Rose. The horns are too long. I keep thinking that too. Well actually I don't think that until I see them in photos and then I think it. Oh well, check out the sweet pompoms!

I will post photos of actual finished scarf later. I won't bore you with photos of like a corner of an unfinished scarf anymore. No, from now on... I'm a professional. Ok I gtg watch 30 Rock and try to eat something

Monday, December 10, 2007

So I am being quite crafty lately

Unfortunately a part of my craftiness I cannot share with you because it is part of a Secret Santa Exchange. Also its not completely done. But I wish I could share it because I am soooo excited about it. Have you ever had that feeling of realizing you are good at something? Like you didn't know you were good at it, and you try it, and maybe you aren't the most amazing at it, but you are just really really really NOT bad at it? Well its a pretty good feeling. Feels nice. Sort of balances out that bad feeling I have about not knowing fractions.

Another part of my craftiness has to do with cooking because basically now I cook like woah. Ever since I realized cooking from scratch is cheaper and better tasting than buying prepackaged foods. Like the mushrooms I bought. I bought 2 boxes of white mushrooms for like less than 5 bucks (they were on sale), and a little bag of shitake mushrooms for like 2 bucks and have been making mushroom soups and mushroom sauces like I am the mushroom queen of Amherst. The Queen of Edible Non-Hallucinogenic Mushrooms of Amherst. No other variation of that title can I claim. Unfortunately.

So I tried my hand at making mushroom sauce today because I was finally getting low on mushrooms (after a week and a half and two batches of mushroom soup). I sort of winged it a bit from the recipe. Mainly because I wanted it to be creamy enough to pour over the Fettucini I was making, but yet more gravy-ish then the Mushroom soup I had previously made.

I chopped up half an onion, two cloves of garlic, and fried them together with 3 tablespoons of butter. It looked so pretty and yellow in the saucepan.

Then I added the chopped up mushrooms, fried that all up together. Then I added two tablespoons of flour, and some half and half (though the original recipe I was trying to base my creation on called for milk. But I didn't have any milk which I thought was really stupid of the recipe not to know). Seasoned it, added some sweet basil (probably the only part of my whole concoction that followed the original recipe) and Viola!

Mushroom sauce!


Yummy Spaghetti!



Well dinner plus apple juice. Yummmmmmmm. I'm pretty proud of this. This took less than half an hour and I only used like the bare minimum of utensils and pots, so cooking time combined with cleaning up time was under an hour. Go me!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Dad's famous!

Well sort of. He has his own billboard and is on a bank atm ad in Perm, Russia. I don't have my own billboard nor do I advertise for any bank so I think this is pretty cool. Also I wish I had a wish I had a white chefs hat like the one he is wearing. By the way he is the chef. Don't know if I made that clear.

Here is another one of the billboard. Cool, huh. On the ATM photo, it says "Your business, Your bank" in Russian.

Gusteau: You know what I say. Anyone can cook.

Remy: Yeah, anyone can cook. That doesn't mean anyone should. ~ Ratatouille (2007)

What a great movie. My father the chef adores it. As does my little brother, the six year old. But this post doesn't have anything to do with them really. It has to do with the amazing dinner that Sarah, Jessie and I made this Thursday. It might actually not be that amazing or fancy to other people, but in College, when you are basically surviving on anything that has "easy to make" and "microwaveable" on the box, it was pretty special. It started off with a light salad made by Jessie, and then this amazing Tortellini pasta with green beans made by Sarah and accompanied by this made from scratch mushroom soup that I whipped up and then dessert was Creme Brulee that I have recently learned how to make. Since I made only the Mushroom Soup and the Creme Brulee I can only post the recipes for those dishes.

Masha's Creamy Mushroom Soup


Mushrooms (the more the better)
Half an Onion

Some Garlic
Cup of Chicken Stock
Cup of Half and Half
1/4 Cup of Butter

2 Tablespoons of Flour
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Chop up the mushrooms (I used White and Shitake mushrooms), as well as th
e Onion and the Garlic ( the garlic is to taste, I for one LOVE garlic, so I used one large slice).

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the mushrooms, onion and garlic and saute until tender and smells great. Add the chicken stock and cook till its basically

3. In another smaller saucepan, melt some more butter and stir in the flour till smooth and then add the half and half until its creamy (though when I made it, it looked quite doughy and I was quite concerned).

4. Mix in the mushroom/chicken stock mixture into the half and half and flour mixture, and cook/mix until it becomes creamy and amazing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I really like this recipe, and its pretty hard to fail at it. After you saute the mushrooms, all the other ingredients can be added in different ways (there are a bunch of different versions of this on It's pretty filling and really good to dip crackers in I think. I can't tell if the second photo makes it look gross or not. Hmmm. No I really can't tell. I think maybe gross. Oh well. It was delicious.

I already mentioned Sarahs amazing Tortellini Pasta concoction, but really it was quite amazing. I heard this rumor, that Sarah cooks like this all the time. Which makes me very jealous of her roommates, and a bit like a poser, because I might love to cook but I honestly
don't very often. I mostly cook a whole box of pasta, dump cheese over it and then stick it in the fridge, taking it out, putting some of it in a bowl. Microwaving it, and then grating some fresh tomatoes over it. Thats it. I don't make masterpieces like this:

I wish I did though. But I do make Creme Brulee. So I am pretty proud of that. I got obsessed with it over the summer, mostly because I don't like many desserts. I hate chocolate, I don't really have a sweet tooth, and my favorite dessert to date has been cheesecake. Plain cheesecake. Though I did go through a strawberries with whipped cream phase. Point is, sweets are the enemy. Yet I do get these cravings for them once in a while, which are very annoying because I tend never to have anything sweet on me. I do like skittles, but I never crave them so I never buy them.

This summer I tried Creme Brulee at this fancy dessert place called Finale that just opened in Coolidge Corner. Or maybe they had been open for a
while, but I only discovered it in the summer, so thats when it began existing. I SAID THATS WHEN IT BEGAN EXISTING. Do not argue with me. Anyways their menu was very uninteresting to me because everything seemed to contain chocolate, or came with a side that was chocolate, and so on and so forth. So I ordered Creme Brulee because it was Vanilla and came with fresh fruit and nothing chocolate. It was amazing. It was the best dessert I had ever tasted and suddenly could understand how women could compare chocolate to sex. I mentioned this to my father and he bought me my very on Creme Brulee making kit a few months later. With a torch and everything. So this is what I made for dessert.

Actually I had sort of over baked this batch so the consistency was more whipped than custard-y. Also it was sort of stress-full because it turns out Sarah and my friend Suma had never even tried Creme Brulee before so then I got all paranoid thinking that I could ruin the experience for them. Thankfully they loved it. Though I really think it was the whole melting of the sugar with my torch thing that sold it to them. Sorry for the blurry image, its the best photo of it. Clearly I need a new camera or to somehow develop the skills to master my very old one. I found the recipe on so I wont bother writing it out since it isn't my own. Horray for the best dinner ever! Hooray!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ugh Drunk College Boys

... being loud and drunk under my window certainly destroy my calm and pleasant mood. I feel like I might have even had the possibility of being quaint and precious and sweet without being annoying or fake. Sort of like Posie. In fact I am so absorbed in her pretty, joyful and colorful world that mine is beginning to be quite gray. And lacking any adorable puppies. Well now that you know my obsession you are probably going to mock me for any changes I make to the format of my blog. Just like when my roomie Suzie totally called me out for dyeing my hair brown to look like Rorie Gilmore. I was quite ashamed, but now feel even more foolish for not trying to lie and say it was to color my fading purple hair. Because I did have fading purple hair. Because I was Leela from Futurama that Halloween. Because I am bad ass. Here is me when I just sprayed it with temporary purple hair spray.Unfortunately it rained on Hampshire Halloween that year (just like this year) and it sort of looked horrid. Also quite old lady looking. Well maybe not in this photo. But in the photo where it does very white and purple and scary.... well I look all scary and white and not good and purple.

So instead lets look at this photo where I look all bad ass. Or this one where I look EVEN MORE bad ass. Its true. Look. I look positively Gangsta.

Ugh my bf just looked over my shoulder and started getting up all in my grill in the annoying way. Meh meh bleh what does all this have to do with crafts. Meh bleh bleh... it isn't THEMED. GOD. Totally has to ruin my mood. He is sort of right. I mean I meant to write about the soup and dessert I made tonight. Because thats crafty. I can write the recipes and they are sort of like patterns. Ok But one last photo because it shows me after I dyed my hair a more semi-permanent shade. Ok now this isn't just some totally random ADD blog, now it totally has a flow. A cohesion. Its basically a haiku. Tmrw I will post the food photos and recipes.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lining Hats

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, exams got hectic and also lately I haven't been really designing anything new crochet-wise. Mainly just crocheting up promised hats to friends based on the hat pattern I had previously posted here. I tweak them to make them more individual, like making the front flap more rounded, or the ear flaps larger/smaller, switching up colors, making them without stripes.... so on and so forth. But it's still basically the same hat. I am pretty sick of hats actually. The only thing that makes making them fun is lining them, which I have just started doing.
It's all because my little brother had been complaining that his Dragon hat is itchy, which surprised me because I never really found the Wool-Ease Thick and Quick that itchy for acrylic yarn. In fact I was a tad insulted and began to doubt my crocheting skills. Thoughts like "He was lying to me, he hates my hat!" and "I am a horrible horrible crocheter if I can't even crochet a hat for a five year old" invaded my mind and caused much torment and undoing of hats. Then after hanging around him for a few days during Thanksgiving I began to doubt my logic of "Saying it doesn't feel nice equals he hates it". Mainly because that would mean he hated his coat. He hated is shoes. His sweater, his mittens and even his underwear were offensive to him. The book called "A porcupine named fluffy" aroused the deepest sentiments of loathing in him for the pages were much MUCH too stiff. So that's when I decided to learn how to line hats. I don't think I could have done it without Norma and her easy online tutorial.
My first attempt was with my friend Sarah's Hat, but the lining wasn't fleece, it was actually jersey so it was a little difficult at first to size it correctly. I used light pink embroidery floss and a reverse backstitch (which I had to learn but am now obsessed with). I don't think it came out too bad. What do you think?

Hmmm in second thought that's not exactly the world's greatest photo of it. It looks sort of bunchy and not good. But look at the front of the hat that has that beautiful display of reverse back stitch seaming and not the back of the hat which displays what happens when I realize that width-wise I have some extra fabric but length wise its a bit short. Important thing is, is it fits well, its not baggy or too tight when on, and you can't see the lining from the outside except hopefully a hint of it when I finish the ear flaps. Also my second task is to figure out how to cut fabric in a trapezoid but with ear flaps shape. This is a bit complicated as it involved buying whole yards of fabric and not 1/4 yards like I do (I am an extremely broke college student! Don't judge me!).

This is how my little brother's hat is looking. Except a tad less orange. I see this is my slightly artistic shot in where I don't use flash. Nice. Wow its fuzzy too. For those people whose vitamin C daily intake I have just upped by 40%, you are welcome and also, do not worry this is the inside of the hat. THE HAT IS TURNED INSIDE OUT! Let me try to find a less fuzzy better close up of the seams I suspect I have. No No I do not. Never mind. Just imagine the most beautiful stitches you have ever seen, and I assure you, they are in/on that hat. Poetry in motion. Yay!