Saturday, December 19, 2015

...Star Wars all the way!

Just a quick post today.
We went to see new Star Wars yesterday. My hubby in his All-Terrain Awesome Tank and me holding our very own...


I made this sweetest of droids almost a month ago. It is improvised from top to bottom and I'm not really planning on releasing the pattern.

Antennas are made from pipe cleaners and I trimmed the fluff excess :)

That's all for today because I'm busy with Christmas preparations. Today I'm making pierogi for my family.

Have a nice afternoon!

and (of course)

May the Force be with you!

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Time goes by so quickly when you have an "adult life"! Work-home-work-home... And just like that first part of my internship just comes to an end! I wanted to give my coworkers a nice goodbye present, which happens to also be a Christmas gift.

Since I needed something to work up quickly I thought of...

A Box-o-Gomes!

As you can see I took time to give each gnome an original outfit and different mustache/beard style.

How to make your own Box-o-Gnomes?
You'll need:

  • Yarn: I used Yarnart Etamin (sold in skeins of 30g): red, beige, green and grey - 1 skein of each color should be plenty for at least 12-18 gnomes.
  • Crochet hook: I used a 3mm one, my gnomes are 6cm/2,5inch tall. Use a hook that fits your yarn.
  • Stuffing material: I prefer using polyacrylic filling from pillows.
  • Black acrylic paint/safety eyes/black beads
  • Small scraps of grey felt.
  • ... and a box.

Gauge is not important.
Do not join rounds.
Numbers in brackets () indicate number of stitches after each round.
Abbreviations are in US crochet terms.

sc - single crochet
hdc - half-double crochet
inc - increase = sc2 into next sc
dec - decrease, I strongly recommend using invisible decrease!
BLO - working in back loops only

HAT (with red yarn):
1) sc 6 into magic loop
2) sc 6
3) *inc, sc* around (9)
4-5) sc 9
6) *inc, sc 2* around (12)
7-8) sc 12
9) *inc, sc 2* around (16)
10-11) sc 16

HEAD (beige yarn)
12) sc 16 - back loops only
13) sc 16
14) sc 7, popcorn st* into next sc, sc8
15) sc 16

*popcorn stitch - make 5 hdcs into next stitch, pull hook out, put hook through the first of 5 hdcs and drag the working loop through.

BODY (alternating between green and grey yarn)
16) *inc,sc7* around (18)
17) sc 18
18) *inc, sc2* around (24)
19) sc 24
20) *inc, sc3* around (30)
21-22) sc 30
23) *dec, sc3* around (24)
24) *dec, sc2* around (18)
25) *dec, sc* around (12)
26) *dec* around (6)

Fasten off  and sew remaining hole.

Paint on, embroider or sew on eyes.

Totally professional painter's kit.

Cut out a desired mustache/beard shape from grey felt. Sew on just below the nose.

Hulk Hogan & hipster!

© Copyright M. Machowska - Escherichia,  December 2015 
© Copyright for pattern remains with the designer. Intended for personal use only. Not for commercial use.
Please do not sell items made with this pattern. Unless it's for charity – feel free to do that :)

Pdf available on Ravelry: here.

Have fun creating you own gnome army!
And a nice afternoon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas preparations start... today!

It's December already! Weather resembles early springtime, but you can tell holidays are just around the corner.

Today I promised to help with decorating my workplace for Christmas (isn't paediatrics the best?).
I made one blue owl from pattern by Moji-Moji Design... and I decided it shouldn't be lonely so I made her a little sister based on the same pattern.

Then I wanted to make one of those lovely half-circled birds I saw on Lucy's blog. Being to lazy to check out the exact pattern I decided to improvise. How hard it could be, right?

Well.. instead of an adorable birdie I ended up with a rare specimen known as a Failbird.

What a lovely plumage!

Despite his general quirkiness he seems to get along with my owls very well:

Speaking of preparations for Christmas I decided to clear my conscience.
6 years ago I made I promise I didn't really keep. I was supposed to make a Vault Boy for my classmate. I couldn't find a pattern then and my improvisation skills were far from good.
Last week I started to play Fallout Nev Vegas again and suddenly I remembered!

I found a nice Vault Boy pattern by Bryana Amaro. It's a shame to admit that actually fulfilling my promise took me less than two hours.

But hey, better late than never, right?
I also made some special, VERY SPECIAL preparations for the Star Wars premiere. I'll share them soon!

Have a nice evening!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Blankets & chickadees!

My facebook page informs me how long it is since my last post.
17 days?! How did that happen?
Ever since I finished my courses and frequent train trips days seems to go by three times faster than they used to!

So I made it to the last corner of my Ten Stitch Corner.

I finished the third one on November 18th but I had problems with pictures. It turned out sunlight no longer lights my room's floor. Sun is too low in the sky and shines only on my walls. Without it colors look unnatural.
See for yourselves:

I had to go outside today and borrow my dog's seat car cover (as a background) to get a decent photo.
While I was taking picture I noticed that chickadees got really daring this year! Usually they are shy, but today they ignored me and kept feasting.

My dad made them yet another kind of feeder:

Although it's more for blackbirds, because I haven't seen a vegan chickadee yet :)

I already have another blankie on my mind... but I need to wait a little more. I need to be sure if I can use shades of pink or should go for "safer" palette.

Have a nice day!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Busy week.

Last week I didn't have much time to progress on my Ten Stitch Corner. I attended my graduation ceremony and a ball afterwards, which prevented me from getting much sleep last weekend.
Today it's our National Independence Day so I'm celebrating, and enjoying a day off.

I did travel over 800km back and forth since my last update. This equals 20 hours sitting on a train, but sometimes I was just too tired to knit.
Nevertheless on November 2nd I passed the 50% mark!

Since then I slowed a bit, and currently my blankie looks like this:

Colors look much better in nature! We had gorgeous weather last week, but since Saturday we're back to more traditional autumn. It's a bit gloomy outside, so my camera goes crazy.

It is still surprisingly warm for November. Few days ago I spotted a ladybug convent of some sort. There were dozens of them, maybe plotting something:

Korek also enjoyed last week's sunny weather, trying to charge his inner batteries for upcoming winter.

I offered to prepare my all-time favourite meatballs in tomato sauce for today's dinner, so I need to get myself to kitchen,

Have I nice afternoon!


Friday, October 30, 2015

World's Best Dachshund!

Exactly eight years ago we said goodbye to our family dachshund - Dino.

Just let me tell you: he was an exceptional dog! Smart, independent, always hungry and even more independent. Despite being pretty much earthbound, Dino had no problems with getting on a table top and eating WHOLE cup of sugar. Or levitating to get some leftovers:

Some say that dog lovers can be divided into two groups: dachshund fans and others.
That's probably the main reason why dachsie patterns are so popular on Ravelry.
I run into several, but none of them included any chest-shaping and they reminded me of walking sausages :)

This particular plushie was designed for my flatmate, to resemble her neurotic dachshund "Claw".

Dachshund "Claw"

Gauge: is not important.
Size: using 3,25mm hook gave me about 4inch long dachshund
Abbreviations (in US crochet terms):
sc - single crochet
hdc - half-double crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
Numbers in  brackets () indicate the number of stitches you should have after finishing each round.


Rnd1: sc 6 into a Magic Loop, (6)
Rnd2: 2sc in each sc, (12)
Rnd3:  hdc, 2hdc in next 2sc, hdc, sc till end (14)
Rnd4-5: sc even (14)
Rnd6: sc, sc2tog, sc2tog, sc till end (12)
Rnd7-13: work sc  (12)          you can adjust your dog length by adding or subtracting rows
Rnd14: *sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc* repeat 3 times (15)
Rnd15: sc even
Rnd16: *sc in next sc, sc2tog* repeat 5 times (10)
Rnd17: sc even (10) Stuff your toy:)
Rnd18: sc2tog around (5)
Rnd19: fold and sc 2 across remaining sts to close the hole (2)


continue work ch9, slst into every ch. and into sts from Rnd19, fasten off,


*Rnd1: sc 6 into a Magic Loop, (6)
Rnd2: *sc in next 2 sc, 2sc in next sc* repeat twice (8)
Rnd3-4: sc even (8) -  if you want a longer snout, add rows here:)
Rnd5: sc and hdc into next sc, hdc and dc into next sc, dc and hdc into next sc, hdc and sc into next sc, sc into last 4 sc (12)
Rnd6-7: sc even (12)
Rnd8: *sc, sc2tog* repeat four times (8)
Stuff now!
Rnd9: sc2tog around (4) Fasten off, sew remaining hole.

Ears - make 2: 

Rnd1: sc4 into Magic Loop
Rnd2: 2sc in each sc (8)
Rnd3: sc even (8)
Rnd4: *sc into next 2 sc, sc2tog* twice (6)
Rnd5: sc even (6) Slst into first st. Fasten off.
Do not stuff, just flatten and sew them on.

Legs - make 4: 

*Rnd1: sc6 into Magic Loop
Rnd2-3: sc even (6) - again length adjustment can be made here:)
Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Sew parts together, make sure that the chest part (shaped with hdcs ind rnd 3 of body) is facing down! Unless you wish to have a hump-backed dachshund:)

If you wish to make a "black-and-tan" version of a dog you should make those rounds with tan yarn. You can also embroider eyebrows, chest-markings and ear edges:) Enjoy!

© Copyright remains with the designer. All rights reserved. Intended for personal use only. Not for commercial use. Selling items made from this pattern is not permitted.
© Copyright M. Machowska - Escherichia, October 2012

PDF for the pattern is available here. Check out other ravelers creations - they are so cute!
I hope you'll enjoy it! 

Have a nice afternoon!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

5:38 AM train.

Two weeks ago I needed to attend a course outside my home town. Lectures started at 8AM so I had to hop out of my bed at 4:45 and catch the 5:38 train.
Since I am unable to sleep while traveling I geared up and was ready for my new project!
The Ten Stitch Corner Blanket by Frankie Brown.

In 2014 I made a classic Ten Stitch Blanket (from Frankie Brown as well).

I loved working 10 stitch rounds! But to be honest, long knitting needles were hard to handle with constant turning and turning... so I decided to make myself a set of short knitting needles.   I didn't want to ruin my only set of 4mm DPNs by gluing beads to one end permanently, so I listened to my Mom's advice and.. tadaaaah:

It says "Prestige"!

Yarn I used is called Merino Gold Batik by Madame Tricote, colorway 802. Package arrived just in time for me to start the first corner during weekend. I got through the hardest part of my work and got to a point where I could safely work without making intellectual effort.

I had troubles with joining rounds and decided to go for a different join. I found it in one of original Ten Stitch projects: this one. It goes like this: slip, pick up, knit picked up and slipped st together. I also slipped 1st stitch knitwise after turning.
It produces a bit bumpy, but nice enough edge:

After a week of traveling back and forth I have one complete corner, and started another:

It turned out to be very autumnal! :)
Speaking of autumn, sadly season for garden-grown tomatoes has come to an end.

But we can enjoy our own quince! Nothing tastes quite like a big cup of tea with quince marmalade.

Now I'm off to enjoy my weekend, and my one extra hour of sleep tonight (we're having daylight saving time). 

Have a nice afternoon!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


And now for something completely different...

I never planned writing food-related posts. But then I thought... cooking is a craft. And it is a vital part of any culture!
I shared my idea with my Sockalong friend - Betina from Tina's Crochet and she got really enthusiastic about it.

Recipe for Polish Pierogi (cheese&potato):

It's a traditional recipe for cheese-potato filled dumplings or as we call it "pierogi ruskie". It can be translated as Russian pierogi.. but it's a bit complicated, since they are not common in Russia. 

NOTE: I did my best to convert it to imperial measures, however remember that proportions are more important than getting the exact weight.
Here's how I do it - this amount was enough to get 72 pierogies:
(and how my Grandma taught me to)


1kg  (2.2lb) of peeled and cooked potatoes, mashed.
500g (1,1lb) of curd cheese (it's also called quark), the one I use looks like this:

2-3 onions chopped and fried on a
~1,5 tablespoon of butter - seriously, use butter, if you don't want to use 100% of it just add a little. It changes the taste entirely!
slat and pepper - don't be afraid of using a bit more slat than usual. It tends to be lost during cooking

Mix ingredients to form a homogeneous mass, I recommend using your own hands to do this.


750g (1,6lb) of flour
~1cup of warm water (I add just a little milk to it) - if dough is too hard add more.
1 egg
salt - just a pinch

Knead until you get a soft, not sticky dough. 
If you're not in a rush, leave it for a couple of minutes wrapped in plastic - it will rest and be easier to handle later. Also keep the part of dough you're not currently using wrapped! 

Now it's time to make yourself some nice pierogies!

Roll the dough - the thinner the better, but bare in mind it has to hold the filling inside, so don't take it too far. It's not worth breaking your rolling pin over it - trust me:

When you're happy with thickness it's time to cut out the sachets. Most people use a glass, and cut out circles. That's the traditional way to do it. But I prefer cutting my pastry into squares - I have less leftovers and my pierogies are triangle :)

If you're using a silicone mat - careful with knives, you might ruin it (like I did a couple years ago)
You can re-knead the leftovers and roll it again!

Then you do this:

Put a piece of filling in the center, fold in half, secure edges by squeezing them together, and add a little frill by pinching edge with your thumb and index finger. 
Be careful not to make holes in your dough. It is also important that edges are not contaminated with filling! This may cause your pierogies to open.

THIS IS CRUCIAL! Always put your finished pierogies on a tray that has a layer of flour on it! Otherwise they will stick and all your hard work will go to waste.

When your done put your pierogies in a boiling slated water. You want to do it carefully! You can also add few drops of oil to the water - so they won't stick. 
When they start floating cook them for about 3-5 minutes,  stirring gently from time to time. Don't let the water boil too hard! 
Try one, and if the edge is good (doesn't taste like raw flour) - you are done! 

You can serve pierogies with sour creme, fried onion, bacon bits and fried onion - pick your favourite. You can also place a tray with pierogies in a freezer, and when they are well frozen, store them in a bag. You then cook them a bit longer!

That's it! 

I hope you enjoyed it. If I managed to spread knowledge about this incredible dish to even one person - I'll be sooo glad!

Have a nice afternoon! 


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cream Cardi Struggle.

Now I know... I hate knitting garments in pieces. To be more precise: I hate knitting garments that have more than 2 pieces. 
Like my Cream Cardi:

I like where this is going but I will have to frog the top of the left front AGAIN, so that length matches. I am too close to completing the project to just give up, but I lost most of my enthusiasm.
Maybe I need to take a break? I just hope it won't turn into one of my eternal WIPs

My neighborhood got overrun by hedgehogs lately. Since my dog hates them, we often have to evict them from our premises. Last Tuesday I stopped on my way to work and helped one spiky kiddo get across our street, Young hedgehogs are not as half smart as they are cute!

Next week I will have to travel to Katowice by train every day... which raised a need for a new traveler-friendly project!
I'm still waiting for yarn delivery. What worries me a bit is the fact that my parcel got labeled as XXL by the courier. Huh, maybe they sent 40 instead of 4 skeins? I wouldn't mind, really.

I will share with you my traveler friendly project as soon as I lay my hands on those squishy skeins! :3
Until then, here, feast your eyes on my gorgeous sunflower! Yes, that is a single plant. With over 30 flowers.

Have a nice evening! 


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Parasite plushies #1

Few days ago I got an uncommon request. To be honest, it was the most bizzare request ever.
"Can you crochet a medicinal leech for me?"
I felt flattered! It feels good to be the person to turn to when you need a weird plushie! :)

I got down to designing said leech. I was wondering how to create a nice little sucker... and an old design popped into my head. Let's spend a nice Throwback Thursday, shall we? With a Tapeworm Bookmark!

I never shared it on the blog before. It was a gift for one of my classmates (and friends). He asked for a bookmark. And since we shared a table during our parasitology classes, and worked together on unforgettable drawings depicting countless  tapeworms, pinworms and fleas ... choice was obvious!

Here it is:

Tapeworm Bookmark

Bored? Make yourself a useful toy! Show your kids why should they wash their hands before each meal, and never eat raw meat of unknown origin!

Gauge: is not important.
Abbreviations (in US crochet terms):
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
FLO - front loops only
BLO - back loops only
Numbers in brackets () indicate the number of stitches you should have after finishing each round. If you wish, you can join rounds but it's not necessary (I didn't do it:))

Head (scolex): 
Rnd1: 6sc into Magic Loop
Rnd2: 6 sc in FLO
Rnd3: 2sc in each sc across (12)
Rnd4: sc even in BLO (12)
Rnd5: *sc in next sc, sc2tog* repeat 4 times (8)
Rnd6: sc even (8)
Rnd7: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc* 4 times (12) in FLO!
Rnd8: *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (18)
Rnds 9-10: sc even (18)
Rnd11: *sc in next sc, sc2tog* 6 times (12)
Rnd12: sc2tog across (6) Stuff head, make sure you do it lightly so the sucker stays concave in the middle!
Rnd13: Fold and sc 3 across remaining st (3)

Suckers (make 4)*: sc 6 into magic loop, sl st into 1st sc. fasten off, sew on sides of head,

*version for ultra-lazy people: sew on 4 buttons:)

Now you will continue work flat. From this point length, shape, anything is entirely up to you. You decide how many segments do you want to make. Here are some general instructions:

ch1(counts as sc)  sc 2, turn
ch1,  sc 2, turn
ch1, 2 sc in next sc, sc, turn (4)
ch1, sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc, turn (5)
sc even 3-4 rows

Small segment (I made about 4 of those in the beginning and 3 near end)
ch3 (counts as dc) dc in each sc, turn (5)
ch1, sc in each dc (5)

Big segment:
ch3,  *2dc in next sc, dc* twice (7) turn
ch3, *dc2tog, dc* twice (5)
ch1 sc in each dc

Green - big segment
Red - small segment

Just to be clear: a tapeworm shouldn't narrow towards the end!
But to make it look nicer... just reverse the neck instructions:) and sc2tog in the end to get a nice pointy ending.


Feel free to experiment with colours, I would love to see this multicoloured!

© Copyright remains with the designer. All rights reserved. Intended for personal use only. Not for commercial use.  © Copyright M. Machowska - Escherichia, January 2013

PDF available on Ravelry (also in Polish!): here

Crocheting your own tapeworm shouldn't take you more than one afternoon, unless of course you are going for a life-sized Taenia solium... 2 - 3 meters can be more challenging.

Hope you liked it!
Next time I will be sharing with you my cuddly leeches. I'm in the middle of the third draft version.

Have a nice afternoon!