Posts Tagged ‘craft & decor’

pop goes the…

July 11, 2013

I was thinking about that song recently.  I always thought that the “weasel” in the song meant another animal, like the monkey.

Well, boy howdy, I was wrong.  I was looking something about yarn and skeins and winders in Wikipedia, as you do, and I came across the entry for spinner’s weasel.  It’s a device that allows you to wind a pre-determined amount onto a wheel (a skein).  The important thing in that entry is the part the says the device goes “pop” after the amount is reached.

Voila! Pop goes the weasel.

I was so excited when I read that.  (I would be leading you on to say that is the agreed definitive meaning of the phrase, as it is under some dispute.  However, it was better than what I thought it meant, which indicated some violence done to a mustela.)


the gift that keeps on giving

February 26, 2013

I think I’m starting to get a reputation.  (Not that I didn’t have one anyway, but it is really notable now.)

Someone W works with dropped by with a bag of yarn (let’s call her A).  She admitted she was going to commission me to make her a hat, but she decided that she should just give me the yarn and maybe I could do something with it – say, something for our kids.  She had bought the yarn years ago, but couldn’t get the project to go.

So I made myself a cowl.  This cowl.  (No individual photos because, well, read on.)

I wore it for a couple of hours and noticed while the yarn was nice, it was starting to make my neck itchy.  I sheepishly offered the cowl back to A, and she was totally happy to get it.  And then, she snatched it away before I could 1)take a photo of it, or 2) take it back.

I had 2 more skeins, so I made a hat.  This hat.  (You can see the really nice cables that pattern creates.  I love those cables.)


Here is the top:


I’m really proud of the top of this hat.  I guesstimated what to do with the decreases based on other hat patterns floating around the internet, and then I added on a last cable row before binding off.  While it did create a series of holes that I’m not super thrilled with, it also did a bit of a raised chrysanthemum looking thing at the very top which I’m really happy with.  (As a note to photographers, the tops of hats should be pictured more.  There’s a lot of interest there. Maybe it’s just me.)

A was really happy with the hat.  (I wasn’t there.)  She might have shrieked with joy.

Oh, the pleasure a little bit of handknit will give.

Edited to add:  Yarn is katia suyana, a bulky yarn that might have been discontinued.


January 15, 2013

I like to listen to podcasts.  Especially comedy podcasts.  They’re great for when I’m knitting or cooking or doing a little housework.  I like the voices, the different viewpoints, the surprise of guests, the whole thing.  I like not being distracted by the picture, like I would be with television.  Plus, I can carry the thing around from room to room if I need to.

And if I like the speaker/guest I will go see if they’ve got stuff on the Internet.  Often, I’m really surprised when I actually see what the speaker looks like.  Just the reality of that person – the individual characteristics of hair and face aren’t usually what I picture.  Because I think the voices give a clue as to what the person looks like, a clue that is often false.   The off-set in my head was a weird thing.

Then I realized what it is that I do.  If I like what the person is saying, and I think it’s funny or deep or interesting, I imagine the speaker is really attractive, man or woman.  (To me.  Other things could vary.)

When I said this to W, he looked at me and just *twinkled* – like I had give him the compliment.

summer crafting

September 4, 2012

So this is what I’ve been doing this summer.  A lot of tie-dying.  While poking around on the Internet, I saw this:  and thought, my kid would love it, and better yet, I could actually do that.   Regardless of me never having done any tie-dye ever.

Captain American Tie-Dye

This is the Captain America tie-dye.  Mine’s a little crooked, but my kid really likes it, so it’s a win. (He painted in the star stencil.)

Kid was so happy about these results, he asked for an Iron Man tie-dye.  So, I cogitated for a while and then decided on a conceptual Iron Man.

Iron Man tie-dye

Conceptual Iron Man tie-dye.

This also made kid happy.  I left the power source “arc reactor” bit white in case Henry wanted to paint it a light blue or something, but he has left it alone.

I ended up buying a big multi-color dye kit to do this and a bunch of fabric paint to do the Cap’n, so I tried some other things out.

The spider (can you see it in the center of the shirt?  It looks more like a squashed bug, but it is a neat effect) and the spiral.  Not professional, but I’m pretty happy with the results.  Tie-dye was really interesting to do, but the washing out is kind of time consuming.  Then I have to remember to be careful not to wash with other things because of the terrible amount of dye bleeding.

reading, obvious fan is obvious

January 20, 2010

Guess what I just got in the mail?

Peter S. Beagle’s collections of two short stories – “We never talk about my brother” and “The Line between.”

Excitement.  These were the first books I think I’ve purchased for myself in the past twelve months – because I knew I had to have them – and I would read them.  I just about busted into a book at work.  Yay!

Also received: the Naruto Shippuden 2010 calendar, but we shan’t speak of that, even though that too is happy-making (half-off, after Christmas sales, because I can’t justify paying full price for a calendar when I get so many for free).   I’ve just got to figure out where to hang the thing.  Because if I hang it at work – I’m afraid it’ll point out how big a fangirl I am, and I just can’t hang it at home, because it’ll point out how big a fangirl I am.  So, the question is do I let people at work know or the people at home know.  It might have to be at work – where I put every questionable piece of decor.  It keeps ’em guessing.

kitchen before

December 11, 2009

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while – the pictures of my old kitchen and renovation.

old kitchen

Nothing is square, cabinets were 30-60 years old, countertops were that glitter lamination but the glitter had worn off in places.  Floor was nice – wide faux-aged bare white pine, but they were warping and required a lot of maintenance.  Plus, previous owners had a lot of animals and they had done some damage.

old plumbing

Plumbing was ancient, and sort of wacky.  Pipes coming through walls and cabinets to get to sink.  You got all your materials – lead, pvc, copper, brass – anything that had been used to make pipes was right here at this junction (never mind the whole house).

demolished kitchen

attached garage

Attached garage to kitchen – we expanded into this space.  It was pretty much as you see it (minus big hole in wall);  concrete floors, bare joists, junk everywhere.  The window to the right is the window in the center of the other photos.

side/back of house

This is the wall they ripped out because they realized all the wood was rotted  because the deck hadn’t been properly flashed, and the wood siding was already in pretty poor shape (they took it out on around the corner as well).  The hole you see is the same in both photos, just different perspectives.

gifts? not so much.

July 27, 2009

I like hand-me-downs.  Something about reusing, and the absolute minimum obligation involved.  Somebody is giving you something that maybe you’ll make use of, but it’s not really that important to them, because if it were, they’d have kept it themselves.

I’m less hot on gifts.  Somebody actually went out and bought something they think I’d like.  (I’m not saying I’m picky, because I’ll take hand-me-downs without a second thought….but when W went to buy my engagement ring, he took me along because he didn’t want me unpleasantly surprised.)  This is a strange area – because this makes me wonder what the other person thinks of me, especially if the gift is nothing I would like.  I do not want to point fingers, but a lot of gifts from In-Laws falls into this category.

Maybe there is also the effect of societal pressure on the gift.  I’m against giving stuff just because it’s X day.  I’ll do it, but I prefer giving stuff when I find something good, which generally turns out to be more positive than giving some piece of junk, in my humble opinion.

Plus, art is so personal.  In-Laws might be art historians, but it doesn’t mean they know what kind of art I like.  And it’s hard to re-gift art.  (Yes, I like to regift as well – it makes so much sense, monetarily, ecologically, spatially, and temporally).  Most of the time, I will indicate that item is regifted, so receiver will not feel pressure to thank me profusely for something I would have never purchased in a million years.)  I’m just going to say it.  I dislike In-Laws taste in art.  And frames (nicely done, just all metallics – you know, distressed golds and silvers – yuck).  I just do.

But because they are art historians, they think they know what I would like and might be offended if I actually voiced this.  But SIL let me in on one of their thought processes – they’ve got plans for putting all sorts of art on our walls.  I’m against these plans.  I mean, it’s my house!  I’ll decorate it (or not, as the case may be) the way I want.  Also,  I like a bare/nearly bare wall, especially if there’s a window near it.  I dislike visual clutter (these are the people who have the small pages of a book , like 16 of them, all clustered on one small wall, or a piece of art so big, the wall behind it is the thickness of the frame around the art in the first place).  I’d rather look out a window at a nice tree or something than art.  I only figured this out recently, when I was trying to explain something to SIL about why I don’t want to receive any more art from In-Laws.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful.  I like In-Laws – this has nothing to do with them as people.  I’m just not interested in their art and taste.  I’d be happier receiving nothing than receiving more art.  Especially art I don’t like.  W likes the art, sometimes.  And sometimes, he’ll indicate that we can hang it somewhere we won’t see it often.  Sigh.  What do to?

Entry for May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

Today is the day I figured out what to do what the random little bits of knitting project I’ve got all over the place. You see, maybe 4-5 years ago, I was bound and determined to do something good. I was going to knit a blanket for America. (Well, some persons in America, anyway.)  But I just had to make it difficult. Not only was I going to knit this blanket, I was going to throw in a bunch of different patterns and colors.  And I was going to make panels, just in case I didn’t finish, I could send it to a charity (can’t remember which one – edited: the charity is called Warm-up America, or something like that.) who would make the blankets with my panels.

Well, after so many patterns, I determined something. Different patterns make different sized panels, how matter how hard I tried to make the panels uniform. So I gave up. I had gathered up all my yarn (which, even though I didn’t buy some of it – it’s a combination of yarn from my sister’s college crochet days and stuff I don’t know where) and panels, even though I loved some of the patterns, and stuffed it away, with the intent of making that blanket someday.

Well, today is the someday. I’d been held back by a couple of things. Inertia. That’s a big one. The other is that I was bound and determined to figure out how to put the panels together, myself. And I’ve downsized my ambition. I’m making a long scarf. The panels are still too different in size, but if you just put together the sides, the overlong bits aren’t such a big deal. And now, I’ve got internet at home, so I can look things up.

The edges are put together by a slip stitch, essentially. I think. I don’t actually know how to crochet – I just somehow have some hooks. Like I don’t know how to knit, really. I just happen to have some needles. Nor do I actually know the right terminology, but the internet knows. But it’ll help me use up these panels for something useful and then I can feel like I’m starting fresh should the project urge ever strike again. Then I’ll have to learn how to do it, all over again.

Entry for May 08, 2009

May 8, 2009

Am thinking about buying new covers for the couch. Note: not new couch – new couch covers. We had some for a year or so – and then a mouse chewed on a corner, rather obviously. I’m glad we had the covers to begin with, otherwise mouse might have chewed the couch. I like the current couch covers, but am concerned, because they are very, very red. The concern (it just occurred to me the other day why I only put covers on one of the couches) is that our couches will look like enormous bloodclots. There I said it. It’s awful really. I don’t have any training in decoration, don’t care about it particularly, but once the idea is on my head, I don’t know where to put it. I obsess about it a bit.

I do like that color, though. Hm. It’s just a very dark red, but not a rusty red, if you know what I mean. Gah. I know why people buy dull neutral colors now – like sage green, or tan. There’s little association there with bodily fluids. Yuck. Sorry I mentioned it.

We probably should get new new covers – or at the very least, patch the old ones and some how make the damage less conspicuous. But if I patch it, I imagine it might be more conspicuous than not.

Maybe I should see if there are any new patterns available.

Entry for May 07, 2009 – random

May 6, 2009

If you’re wondering why my blog has a) gotten so many updates recently, and b) changed tone, I refer you to the livejournal of dansemacabre (I don’t know who they are, but here’s the link to the entry: But they wrote something that really got to me. I was trying to be funny and interesting with every entry – but they wrote that if somebody is coming to a blog expecting a rollicking experience each time, they deserve to read about my dull stuff as well (paraphrasing).

Also, I am avoiding doing any fiction writing – all that energy is being channeled into this blog. And my pillowcase project. Like I have time for that sh*t, being the mother of a young child, wife of a slightly dotty husband, and all around efficiency expert at work.

I also am just figuring out how to use this site – duh. Just noticed the previous tags button so I could repeat tags – what a concept!