Shawl

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Originally planned for my sister’s wedding (I ran out of time), I’m wearing this today at my cousin’s wedding over two years later. To be fair it’s been done for almost two years, other than blocking it. I was 5/6th done for my sister’s wedding, but it’s hard to craft and also plan something on that scale.

This is my first attempt at lace. I think that I need to try again!

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Breaking In The Boots

I bought new steel toed boots recently (I wear them at work, and I prefer them in the winter anyway as I believe that they’re slightly more durable). At work I was talking with a friend about how this brand is the absolute worst to break in of all the boots that we’ve tried (and we’re talking over 20 years of boot breakings-in between the two of us). Apparently they took her a month! Mine took me three days, which is the longest and most difficult that I’ve ever experienced. It seems that I’ve got my methodology down to a fine art, having been working on it since high school’s exclusive Doc Marten days. So, if you’re trying to break in your boots, here’s my (almost!) painless method of doing it.

First we need to know what it is that makes breaking in boots so incredibly painful. For me it’s the fact that my heel rubs and gets blisters, despite my callouses. And what forces my heels to rub? The fact that I can’t bend my foot at the ball. So this is what I do to remedy this situation as fast as possible:

  1. Put on comfy socks. I like thick ones.
  2. Optional step! Take a pain reliever of your choice. Wait about 20 minutes for it to kick in.
  3. Put on your new boots. If they have laces be sure to tie them as tightly as humanly possible, and then some. It’s a bit like putting on your ice skates for the first time that year.
  4. Get up and walk around! The way that you go about this is specific.
  • Go for a walk. Try to bend your knees and lean forward as you walk. It’s like walking in downhill skiing boots. Or, that’s the goal anyway.
  • Try to encourage the ball of your foot to bend as much as possible. I find it helps to have my knees slightly bent and my weight forward.
  • Once you’ve done that for a while (and hopefully softened up where that crease will be) go and find a flight of stairs.
  • Try going up and down the stairs on your toes. Do this until the pain makes it too difficult.
  • Go for a walk. Again, try to walk as naturally as possible despite the pain, and with emphasizing the bend at the ball of your foot.

Eventually, as you repeat the stairs and the walks, your foot will start to be able to bend naturally again. As that happens your boots will become more comfortable! You may want to not wear them for a few days so that your feet can heal before going for new boots: day two! That said, you will quickly reap the benefits of the dedicated time. Rather than being crippled by your boots for a month, it’s a matter of hours to days. That’s pretty sweet, eh!?

Gracious!

So, that’s what happens when you don’t turn things off and on again: they break down. Now I know. At least my computer is back up to its usual limping along state, rather than still out of commission entirely!

However, the unexpected time off has allowed me to start new projects and investigate old ones more completely. Here’s what’s on the go right now:

  • finishing my pink arm warmers
  • started a blue sweater
  • I figured out how to make fridge preserves!
  • Now I have a lot of soup broth to use up!
  • Time to preserve the corn/potato chowder that I made the other day
  • Must fix my blue winter bicycle!

So those are all the posts to look forward to in the near future as I catch up. There may also be a post about my turtle, Pythagoras. I recently had to fix his filter and I’m still leery about it.

Food in Jars! (part 2)

A mason jar filled 5/6 full of applesauce. A clove sits 3/4 of the way toward the bottom.

Applesauce! If you look closely you can see the whole clove still in it.

I’m still trying to figure out how to make preserves. So, following the half-success (hey, they got into the jar) of the roasted yellow peppers I decided to make applesauce. This is easy for me because I’ve been making it since childhood. I can make it while half-asleep.

The part that I don’t find easy is the ‘preserves’ part. I can sterilize jars, I can sterilize lids, I can add put the hot applesauce into the jar (although I want to get a canning funnel to make this easier and less messy). But somehow I can’t get the jar to seal. I’ll just have to make pancakes for this sauce, and then I’ll bake some things. Applesauce tends to be a good fat substitute in baked goods.

I must go and get more apples! When I buy them especially for this purpose they’re 50% so that’s a pretty good deal. Eventually I’ll get this preserving thing. Right?

Doing Nothing

Sometimes, despite my usual zeal for making stuff and doing things, I get hit by a gigantic bout of demotivation. I can barely be motivated to do anything right now, and it’s all I can do to make some plain pasta to combine with the leftover stew. That’ll be lunch tomorrow.

Which reminded me that I didn’t post about my stew yet! Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow as I eat the last of the leftovers.

Some days are just harder than other days, and that’s okay.

Success and Backtracking

Today I made this roasted pear trifle for my mum. The custard didn’t set very well (perhaps because I added an extra egg) although my expectations may have been high. Is custard supposed to have the consistency of jam, or closer to yoghurt? This one was more akin to buttermilk. It still works for my purposes. It’s more for the flavour, anyway. I’ll finish the trifle tomorrow, because that’s when it’ll be served; whipped cream doesn’t tend to enjoy being left overnight.

I frogged some of my knitting today while I was waiting for my custard. Here’s a tip: read your pattern and then don’t assume that you know it. The key is to keep re-reading your pattern. Apparently I was supposed to set aside 16 stitches, rather than knit them for another five inches. This makes sense when I think about it. But did I do that? No, of course not. So out came those three extra inches.

I’ve almost finished a scarf that I promised a friend of Fuzzy’s. Pictures to come!