Squids prefer blondes? I hope not…

Even though Gentleman Prefer Blondes, and Blondes prefer diamond tiaras, I, Jenna Ruth Wolf, “always say a kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a giant squid lasts forever.”

And so true it is, which is why I’ve always been fascinated by the cephalopods–whether my intrigue be whetted by films documenting famous Japanese scientists in search of the mighty beast or even a tea kettle of scalding water, a ream or two of fiber, and my hands agitating wool to boot.

There’s nothing better than what I call a felted squiddle, the above Mr. Herman Squiddle drying out after one too many dunks in the moonshine barrel (translation: felting process) ages ago. And as most of my friends who have been gifted similar squiddles know, they absolutely melt your heart–and last forever.

Herman Squiddle was knitted up in the round using somewhat of an adaptation of this Naughty Squiddy pattern, which is available courtesy of Island of Misfit Patterns. I decided to felt it up quite tightly, molding the yarn for hours in order to get a distinctly smooth, round body. What’s more–instead of knitting every tiny leg in the round (which I certainly did on several trys and found it tedious), I found creating an i-cord was more preferable. Of course, as always, instead of embroidering eyes I used my favorite teddy ones, which give it an added oomf, me thinks.

And it’s all about the touches–its bottom knitted up in a moss stitch of sorts, so as to look like little “suckers”…the only thing I’ve never resolved is that weird “beak” the squid has…but then again, I’d like to think my Herman Cephalopod doesn’t have anything sharp hiding about its tummy. What do you think?

If you want to make your own squiddle, certainly follow the above pattern–which calls for size 7 dpns, feltable yarn (that means a natural fiber wool, nothing acrylic!), and of course a tea kettle of hot water and some dishwashing soap. Agitating the wool allows you to really manipulate how you want the squid to look–and you may add the teddy eyes before or after, either one has various issues (before means you have to be careful not to pull them out as you agitate the wool and after means its harder to push them through the felted body and apply the fasteners).

Once you’ve felted it up, it will need a couple of days to fully dry out before you stuff it with fiber fill. I suggest stuffing the squiddles empty innards with plastic shopping baggies and some paper towels, but make sure not to overstuff or understuff. I always like to use the plastic baggies to mold the squid into the perfect shape that will stick when dry. Of course, when it seems no longer water logged, just add the stuffing and sew up the bottom–I just eyeballed a standard moss stich swatch which would cover the underside and easily be darned into place…its that simple, so fear not!

Not the crafty kind but sensing you can’t live without one of these? Place your order for a felted squiddle now…I’ll send you one, price negotiable.

If Macgyver made martinis…

This is how he’d do it.

When my friend arrived home with two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka, vermouth and olives, it was clear what needed to be done. (As this is not my Kraftworkin’ compatriot, but my roommate, we have simultaneous postings of these instructions, as they are important to share and inspire.) Her blog is here. It’s kinda different and not for the faint of heart. Yeah.


Step 1: Use the internets to find dirty martini recipe, since you usually only order, you don’t cook. Or mix, as it were.

Step 2: Assemble utensils and ingredients. Note: When one lacks proper acoutrements, such as martini glasses, cocktail shaker, and umm, ice, certain provisions must be made. Like Macgyver, you use what you have. In this case, we used plastic cups and shooters from our own New England Aquarium, along with the wine glasses gifted by my mother.

Step 3: Choose your vodka carefully. We like the russian “blend” known as Hammer & Sickle while listening to “Rasputin” by Boney M.

Some lyrics:

Lover of the Russian queen
They put some poison into his wine
Russia’s greatest love machine
He drank it all and he said “I feel fine””

Step 4: Combine 3 parts vodka to one part vermouth and one part olive brine. Perchaps add more vodka if you are so inclined.

Step 5: When you realize you have no ice, do what Macgyver would do, and put it in a plastic cup in your freezer.

INTERLUDE: Moment of genius. You realize you have a pre-iced Red Sox freezie mug. Transfer contents of cup to mug without spilling. Replace in freezer. Wait.

Step 5: I mean, step 6.

Step 6: Place olives in wine glasses. We like 5, but you can add as as many as you desire. Let your creativity flow.

Step 7: When properly chilled, tranfer dirty martini mix to ziplock tupperware. As it has a screw top, it is optimal for the “shaking” aspect. Of course, if truly desparate, we envision one could even use a ziploc bag. If you prefer stirred martinis, your task is much simpler. But we don’t skimp. Every step is needed.

Step 8: Final assembly. Try not to spill.

Enjoy responsibly.

That means no drunk dialing or texting.

When life gives you corgis…

I love all things that dangle–especially delicate earrings like the above pictured, which my mum’s corgi Sir Winston Churchill gifted me today via his owner as a thank you present for a day of puppy-sitting, but sitting we did not do.

I have to say, I may babysit more often. There’s nothing better than an unexpected gift–particularly these gold and quartz stone dangleys with little crystal teardrops. Drools!

What’s more, they came in this adorable little pouch, which can be used for safekeeping when not wearing, or a little hideaway for other random items, like mints or gum or heck, coins. Uber drools!

And of course, I haven’t taken them off since I received them while knitting in a backyard adirondack…

Curry up and eat this!

Reality is sandwiches, famed beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg once so brilliantly noted.

And as those closest to me know, I stick wholeheartedly to that mantra–declaring myself sandwiching queen, or, er, freak?

I love all things sandwich. I could eat them at every meal; I used to painstakingly build up sandwiches for my pa’s lunches, toasting breads and spreading emulsions about as I stacked up perfect slices of meat. Since those days, I’ve been known in the Wolf Clan house to be the “lunch maker”–every time the entire family is together, I’m the one in the kitchen at noontime, building up bite sized turkey on toast or blt’s done up special–under the broiler with melted cheese on top.

And I quite enjoy making up new concoctions–salty meats with sweet treats, like melon or peach, and fresh soft cheese and spinach–not your standard ham and cheese luncheon fare, though that suits just fine most days.

Today, while babysitting my mum’s newest addition to the family, an adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgi (the fluffy kind!) named Sir Winston Churchill, I noticed some chicken laying in the fridge dormant from a few nights ago’s dinner. The chicken, marinated Indian style with curry and garlic and ginger, had been grilled as part of an experiment for chicken lollipops my mum intends to bring to a pot luck wedding as hors d’oeuvres next weekend.

Thinking they needed to be eaten up but not desiring a cold slab of chicken alone or even with a bit of salad to accompany, I decided to build up a new sandwiching recipe–a curry chicken salad with a celery and pickle relish instead of the standard lettuce topping for crunch.

The result? Delish.

If you like curried chicken, or sandwiches, or both, then this is certainly something to try out. Particularly if you want to have curry grilled kebabs the night before. And now, I will share it with you.

-Leftover curried grilled chicken (marinated in curry powder, fresh ginger, garlic, and a dash of soy sauce if you pleasure or olive oil), cubed into bite size pieces.

-Celery, diced extra small.

-Dill pickle (or cucumber if you don’t like the vinegared variety), sliced for topping and diced extra small for chicken salad mix. Depends on how much you like pickle, really, because I’m an addict.

-mayo and/or reduced fat sour cream

-kosher salt and pepper, to taste.


Toast crunchy wheat bread.

Mix diced pickle, diced celery and chunks of chicken (portion depends on how many sandwiches you want to make or how many leftovers you want laying in the fridge for spoon dipping snacks later), and 1 tablespoon of mayo. I like to cut it a bit with low fat sour cream to make it a bit lighter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top chicken salad on toasted bread and add remainng pickle slices.

Eat. Eat. Eat.

Side note: goes great with a nice cup o’ coffee.

Let me know if you try it and if you come up with any delicious new hybrids. Enjoy!

“Newman, with his clipped mustache and his whiskey-coated growl and his steely self-assurance, is an aristocrat of sleaze.”

La Moustache, the film. The Mustache, by Guy de Maupassant. Moustache Me, the upper lip underground, for all your fake moustaching needs. The greatest of all bearding and moustaching, in one neat package.

Call thy i-pod case? Apparently.

As most of my readers over at Pulp and Circumstance already know, I have a sick love-hate relationship with my various i-poding devices, of which I’ve named them all–my original 20giger: Bitch; my 160giger video i-pod: Silver Bullet; and my new, green 8giger video nano: Mr. Mint and the Pea.

And after stumbling upon my latest addiction, the yummy treats at Adorkable Crafts, I wish for one of my above apple babies to one day own one of these uber-drool worthy moustache i-pod cases (pictured above; $18). Yes, please?

Plus, Adorkable also has brilliant cassette tape makeup cases, horse necklaces, and a whole bunch of bags, wallets, clothing, and even paper goods. What’s more, you can keep up to date with what Bumble & Lu are adding to their wares by tracking their brilliant blog–which had me at “herrrooooow” with their newly sewn up plushy elephants.

I’m getting even more thick…and certainly not coming up with a solution right quick.

Today I bought this most delicious green apple extra chunky loop yarn. It makes me drool like nothing else, save for maybe one of those coffee fribbles or of course an ice cold pint of i.p.a.

Any ideas for what I should knit up with this thick and quick? I’m contemplating using size 35 or 50 needles, which I also scooped up today (…my mum has often told me how she once knit up an afghan in two shakes of a lambstail on these gigantic babies, so I couldn’t resist the temptation).

Perhaps an extra thick and quick oversized winter beanie of sorts would be good, like the one featured in a pattern from CraftyCrafty I stashed away more than a year ago. While this snappy neon green yarn may be a little too “hand in light socket” for a project like this, I definitely want to knit up this brilliant cowl courtesy CopyCat.

Maybe I’ll end up a crazy crafting lady, an offshoot of the crazy cat lady of sorts, just saving and stashing away my new yarn buys never to be cast on…my crafting cohort will have to visit my abode and dig me out amidst the bags and boxes o’ woolie. Paging Horders Anonymous, methinks I don’t want to end up the star of the crafter’s version of Gray Gardens.

“The Secret Ingredient is Resentment”

Actually, it’s genius.

I can’t take credit for these remarkable images, but as they frown upon crafting at work, you will have to bear with me until I am able to post about an actual project.

I’m sure many of you out there are familiar with the genius of Anne Taintor. A Harvard grad with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, Taintor juxtaposes retro images from the 1950s with witticisms that are entirely her own.

Among my recent acquisitions in P-Town was a remarkable Taintor coffee mug which fully endorses those martini breakfasts. I also felt the need to gift a Taintor pin to my cohort here at Kraftworkin’. I’ll let you guess which one.

You can view/buy/worship Taintor’s goodies here. Her products include cards, notepads, pins, flasks, bags, books, aprons, and I do believe there’s currently a sale in progress.

Do take a look. There’s always time for the inappropriate.

Inking From His Invisible Mouth? Yes. Please.

While perusing all the squiddish-octopi items over at Etsy, I stumbled upon this amazing tshirt from the BoyGirlParty shop. The “olive inky octopus” shirts are $20 and I wish I could justify an expenditure of this kind, but alas, I will have to just sit and drool instead.

What’s more, BoyGirlParty has a whole host of equally delicious tees–like the yarn kitty (uber drools!), the acrorn squirrel, and the zebra keyboard. Yum.

With my lack of expendible on random tees fund, perchaps I should take up screenprinting. Oh no, I fear a new crafting addiction coming on…

Wide Scrap Yarn Meets Yummy Wool Silk Blend…

On a recent ferry trip to Provincetown for a day of beaching and carousing, I decided to cast-on a 4by2 ribbed scrap scarf while Miss Cutter was compartmentalizing and developing a chi to balance her sickness on the high seas.

Originally, I was just going to keep it one color, but found inspiration in several skeins of random pink and multi pink colored yarns laying about in my shelf and decided to knit it up scrap style. Extra thick–and eventually extra long–I’ve been looking for the perfect excuse to use my Moda Dea Silk n’ Wool Blend in Sangria. I’ve knitted up a chevron style scarf with this stuff before–it was gray and green apple and gifted to someone lest I’d post a picture–and it feels amazing and knits up beautifully.

I think it’s a great addition to the above scarf as the next scrap stage. What do you think?

Have a hankering to knit up one of your own? It’s easy. Gather up scrap yarns you’ve got laying about–I stuck to the same color theme, but you could use absolutely anything you fancy. I cast-on using size 8 needles, but there are absolutely no gauge requirements so pick your sticks depending on how skinny or wide you want it. Mine is a simple Knit 4 Purl 2 every even row, and a Purl 4, Knit 2 every odd.

Happy scrapping! I’ll post a final photo when I complete it. Can’t wait for chunky knitwear in fall.

My weakness always involves eyes…

For some reason, I’ve always loved crafting kitsch. It’s the one thing my crafting friends have come to rely on in me…

“Jenna, you can take care of the kitsch. Everything else will settle itself out.”

It’s so true. I have a weakness for all cute little items with eyes I knit up and declare “my babies”. The latest? The brilliant MochiMochiLand blog has all things ridiculously drool worthy to knit up–with eyes, to boot. I covet the patterns and have worked my way through most of their offerings.

It’s been rainy through and through in our parts, so the other night, as the rain battered the roof above, I feverishly knit up these adorable hearts with eyes. You can get the pattern for free here if you want, they take all of 10 mintes to make. Just a few bits of scrap yarn, a darning needle, and some fiber stuffing is all you need. While the pattern calls for embroidery eyes (which I did try on one of the hearts), I decided to add a bit of my favorite flair instead–with plastic teddy eyes you can buy up a handful of for a mere buck.

Because I was in bed and wanted instant gratification of sleeping amidst a whole handful of hearts, I didn’t felt them up like the pattern noted. They’re still adorable–but expect me to update you when I agitate that wool with tea kettle and soap and work these hearts a’feltin. Perhaps today…it is raining again.

To Read the MochiMochiLand blog, click this. To try some of the free patterns, check here. And to buy up the adorable pattern offerings like stackable cats and raincloud, go here.

Thank you MochiMochi, I bow to you.

When I am an old woman…

I will sit on my front porch and scare the neighborhood children.

‘tis I, Laura, the other half of the KraftworKin’ duo. Many thanks to my compatriot, Jenna R. Wolf for her introduction on this blog just a few short days ago. Perhaps later in the day, when my coffee quota has been consumed and knitting has been momentarily set aside, I will update the “about me” section with information that is, well, about me. Until then, I leave you to surmise.

Onward. I must, I feel, provide some explanation as to the photograph that precedes this post right here. Most knitters, crafters, and other textile aficionados understand the future risks their particular avocation holds. A future, perhaps, of cats, mismatched flannels, cooking, unkempt hair and the possibility of spending one’s declining years on one’s front porch with a shotgun.

As for myself, I say we must embrace such possibilities with the addition, perchaps, of a still of moonshine or beer brewing in the closet. For what crafting session is truly complete without libations? Cue the Foreigner tunes and the unsolicited drum solos.

As my cohort has already revealed, we plan to share our adventures in crafting, reading, cooking, and other such ladylike pursuits. Since crafting occupies the hands, as it were, we take the time, with our fellow enthusiasts, to discuss the state of the world, scientific advances, and the rising cost of yarn. You better get ready.

If this blog doesn’t set crafting on its ear, I don’t know what will.

Where’s the yarn balls, Miss?

Ere quite ago, two young ladies decided to take a trip on a sweet, old, ass…

“It seems as though it’s a calm day,” Miss Laura, daughter of Sir Kermit Cutter, noted. “But if we meet danger and are eaten by a wild boar, shark, or preying mantis, I have thy knife about a sheath affixed to my thigh. Like a garter…only dangerous.”

While the two moseyed along and met no wild boar, shark, or preying mantis that day–their ridiculous (insipid, vapid? perchance) imaginations led them to this here space, in which they would use Laura’s thigh knife as their first cutting instrument to a life of creating things, putting that aforementioned wild minding to good use.

A young girl is meant to master the arts of ladyhood–cooking, painting, letters, and needlework.

The only thing you won’t find here is singing. Oh wait, cue the pitchers of beer. There may be a bit of singing.

In all seriousness, this here blog is the newest endeavor for I, your humbly dedicated music blogger over at Pulp and Circumstance, Juiced., and most likely if you’ve already reached this space, you are a reader over there. So thank you muchly.

At Kraftworkin’ Everything Kitsch and the Kitchen Sink, me (that’s Jenna! to you) and my good friend Laura (a Smith graduate who enjoys uncommon arrangements, beef brisket, paper goods, and archiving stuff) will finally show off the work we create at weekly craft ups, where the two of us and various other crafting friends work on whatever projects we’ve got going on, and of course, blab about all the projects we have planned. We’ll share those ideas with you (the results, and maybe even some free patterns and how to’s)–and of course what comes of it; the chatter sometimes involves books, recipes, kitsch, clothes we scooped up on the cheap and other trinket trinket.

My brilliant artist sister, a one Miss Nicole C. Wolf, must get a serious thanks in this area. Not only did she draw and design our lovely banner above because she’s an artist and that means luck if you’re her sister, she also taught me how to cast on my first scarf and crochet up my first blanket. So thanks, sister Cha! You must check out her artwork at her website, it’s amazing.

So please, tell us what you think, try our recipes, beg us to make you something. We’re generous.