Friday, April 10, 2015

Christmas sock yarn

For Christmas this year, my sister got me two skeins of sock yarn (Berrocco Sox).  They're both really pretty.  I got the first sock of the first skein done.

Lots of short attention span issues with the knitting lately.


 Soon: I finished a sweater for El and started a new project for my India trip.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Finished knitting (from Stash!)

I've been swamped with regular stuff - Girl Scouts, soccer, work, etc.  Here are a few of the things that I finished recently.

1.  Haven't woven in the ends for this yet.  It is Favorite Scarf Ever.It's all with stash.  DSC00716

I started it with Socks That Rock in Thistle. Finished "Eleanor" socks

My original plan was to make large stripes and use up a bunch of sock yarns.  But I decided to do two row stripes a la the knitting trend from a few years ago, where people were using two contrasting shades of Sock that Rock and working up this magic scarf in a feather and fan pattern.

So, I switched to my leftover Zaurball stargazer lily socksand a leftover purple Crock O Dyebaby sweater - detailand let he magic ensue.   It bothered me that the one end was the thistle, so I when I couldn't take it anymore, I used up the rest of the thistle and finished both the scarf and the ball of yarn.

2.  It got pretty cold here in February.  I may have been in a situation where it made sense to give my warm, knit from handspun mittens away.  I have to say that I really had to think twice about it - they're so soft and warm and they go with my hat.  But then I remembered a skein of Noro that I had been saving specifically for mittens for myself.  This is what I did with them - kind of basic long fingerless mitts.  They may be slightly asymetrical in real life too - I was having trouble counting the rows with this yarn.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fire Starters

I got to make some stuff with my mom over the break -- we made fire starters for an upcoming older girl camp out.

Here's the result:

Here's what one looks like before testing it.

It is:

  • Take a toilet paper tube, cut in half, then cut fringes into it.   Press the fringes back to make it look like a flower.
  • Crumple up a 1/4 sheet of newspaper (we stayed away from the glossier circulars and stuck with newsprint-y ads.)
  • Melt a block of parrafin wax in a double boiler (that is OK to not use again!).  We used a stainless steel bowl over a regular pot.  
  • The foil trays were lined with newspaper and the tubes with newspaper were arranged loosely on the paper.  
  • Once the parrafin was starting to melt, I used a plastic serving spoon that I don't feel strongly about to ladle the melted wax into/onto the newspaper, getting it pretty thoroughly, but leaving the fringes cardboard. 
  • I set the trays outside to cool/dry and then cut apart the starters that were stuck to the newspaper - the wax runs through somewhat.  
  • Once you're done with the project, either let the leftover wax cool where it is, if the pan is now dedicated to parafin OR move the leftover wax someplace like a foil pie pan so you can reheat it from there.  

Here's the collection.  The large one is the bottom of a half-and-half carton.  Mom says they used to use the orange juice cartons from our elementary school to make these.

When I tested it, I got a pretty hot and tall flame and it burned for 12 minutes.

foil pan or cardboard/newspaper lined old cookie sheet
old newspapers
TP tubes, small milk cartons, small paper cups, etc.
double boiler that is OK to not use for cooking anymore
ladle that is OK to not use for cooking anymore
parrafin wax
someplace to put leftover parrafin wax.  We used a foil pie pan.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Handmade Gifts

Now that everyone is back into the swing of real life....let me show you the Christmas presents I made.  Actually, I was really just the editor/art directory.  The real credit goes to my daughters.  At least one of them is still at a point where she's bringing home a lot of art work from school, some of it seasonal.

I've been scanning them into a PDF at the best resolution I could find.  Then around Thanksgiving, I opened them in GIMP (other photo software that can go between PDF and bitmap formats would work) and saved them out as JPG files.

From there, I uploaded them to one of the many photo printing/photo gift sites and made them into a calendar, using one of their templates.

We sent these to people who did not already have a supply of youthful art coming directly in to the house (e.g. grandparents, great aunts/uncles, etc.)  along with a gift to their local food bank.

The girls enjoyed looking through the finished product and I had them review the work before I sent it to print - after all, the work is their intellectual property, and at ages 7 and 12, they are old enough to have an opinion about what work they're proud of and what they want to see in the world representing them.  We had to switch out October - the artist wasn't happy with it.  We found another suitable October piece that was by the same person and had been shown in an area art show and was hanging on my bedroom door.

Handmade Gifts

I've set aside some December papers to scan and start the project over again for next year.