Ah, Knitting.

win_20161211_14_56_53_proA few weeks ago, the day before Thanksgiving, I bought a pair of circular knitting needles on Amazon. They finally arrived on Sunday (love you, special USPS Christmas holiday extended package delivery services!). They are size 15US (10mm) and 47″ long tip to tip (120cm). I needed a set that big and so long because I am knitting a blanket for my bed, which is a full-size. I have only made one this size once before, and i was a gift for a friend. Based on how long it took me last time, I’m expecting to work on this for approximately 3 months. This is if I spend 2-4 hours a day on it. Because some days I’ve got a lot to do, I’m trying to put in as much time as I can on it from the start. So far I’ve got about 12 hours pushed into this project already. It’s about 7-8 inches long and is approximately 410 stitches per row.

win_20161214_12_53_43_proI’m sticking with my method of using only scrap yarn from my mom’s old projects, that way again I’m helping her make room for new yarns and colors, and am recycling every scrap possible. Some scraps only last a single row, while others have gone to make 2 inch long stripes.

To practice knitting for this big project, I’d made a few smaller items on a smaller set of circular needles I got from my mom. One of them is multi colored just so I could get used to joining yarns again (it’s been years since my last large scale project with my Doctor Who scarves!).

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Things to do (outside of yelling at people online)

Of late I’ve been doing as some other friends have been doing and just avoiding social media. I’ve been on Facebook long enough to communicate with a family friend who wanted to buy a hat from me. And a few others who FB is the only way I have to talk to them. Other than that, I’ve no use for it at the moment. Not until the crazy dies down at least. Same with Tumblr. There is so much more that can be done, and things in life that need tending to in the here and now rather than the hypothetical future. and with my health, I ain’t got time or energy to waste on drama.

So I’ve been spending this time watching some of my favorite Youtube channels (Comics Explained and Comicstorian mostly, with a bit of Thoughty2 mixed in) and knitting up hats to both donate for the holidays (there’s never enough children’s and baby stuff in charity drives locally) and to help build up stock for the craft fair next year.

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Lots and LOTS of hats. All of them are toddler/infant hats because that’s the only sized loom I have. Though I plan to save up some money to stock up on an adult sized loom, and some ribbon yarn and cotton to start making some Tarot/Oracle card bags as well.

win_20161117_18_29_29_proI’ve also made a scarf on the knitting loom that I have. It made it first as a flat panel, but it came out far more wide than I had expected, so I folded it in half, sewed up the side turned it inside out and added tassels. I gave it to my husband since the weather’s turning nippy and he doesn’t do well in the cold these days.

For the hats (and the one scarf) that I make, I use scraps left over from my mom’s projects. In this way there is very little waste and it helps make room in her supply for new colors and types of yarn. If the scraps left over after my hats are long enough, I tuck them aside in a baggie for use in other art projects or for more tassels later on.win_20161114_21_41_39_pro

So far in the time I have not been wasting on social media, I have made 9 or so hats and the scarf (which took me 2 days overall, but cutting out time doing other things a grand total of 5 hours or so). And when I finish writing this post, I’ll be loading up a DVD and knitting up one more hat before bed.

To Make Old New

So I’m really big on trying to recycle household items for other uses. Recently we’ve had a lamp stop working entirely, but the lampshade was still in really good condition, if not a little dusty. I took it off the lamp, and we got rid of the lamp itself. I just couldn’t figure out what to do with the shade though. We don’t have any other lamps just lying around to put it on.IMG_1181

Yesterday, husband took our son to the library, then out to the nearby park for a few hours before lunch. Giving me time to tend to some housework and anything else I wanted. So I looked at the lamp shade and decided to do something about it. I sat down with a paint brush, a wee little cup of water, and some acrylic paints and set to work.

First I used the paint brush to wet down a few of the plaits, soaking them through completely. Then I just barely touched the brush to a color (I mean just feather light) and applied it to one of the wet plaits. When the color was too thick, I simply added more water to thin it back out even more. I wanted it to soak into the fabric, and look a bit like watercolor. This is the effect it gave.

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So then I went all the way around, alternating the three colors I’d picked. I noticed as I went around, the bit at the bottom was soaking up the excess water and color. When I finished, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then turned it upside down to have it soak into the band at the top as well. It turned out very lovely indeed.

The only downside is that the inside of the lampshade now has stripes of color, which I was not intending to happen but it was kinda cool. You can see how I applied the color, but also the directions I tended to use the brush in on each plait. Depending on how bright or large the color is, you can see when I had to apply more water to thin it out, or more color to give it a better stain.

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And then, here’s the finished product! I’ll add another picture later once we have a new lamp to put it on.

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Holiday Decorating Part 2 – The Living-room

So in my previous 2 posts, I talked about rearranging my living-room before decorating for the holidays. Well, that was done and now the tree is up! After hunting down my box of ornaments, and digging out the rest of our decorations, I came to the realization that we don’t have enough decorations. So, I’m going to be getting more today. Some for the outside as well. I’m also going to make a wreath using some bendable greenery from Dollar Tree. I’ll post pictures when it’s done. Here’s my living-room so far today!

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Christmas Cards from over the years. We hope to add more this year!

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We haven’t got a chimney, so the TV where we’ll play the Yule Log DVD will have to do!

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Christmas Cards from over the years. We hope to add more this year!

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Last year I decided to do a painting for Christmas every year. This is the one I did last night for this year. I want to do one every year so that when my son is older, he can help me make one each year for a fun family tradition.

I finished the bag!

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Going to use this pic in the eBay listing for the deck.

I finished the bag! Yay! I ran out of the blue denim cotton I was using, so I substituted a slightly different shade of blue about halfway through. Then I ran out of THAT and ended up having to go with ANOTHER slightly different shade of blue from THAT one to finish the last few rows. I’m very happy with the end result though. And it fits the cards I made it for beautifully.

I’m considering taking some of the money I’m going to be getting from eBay and buying a small long loom to make little tarot bags with. Because this was quite fun, but I prefer the long looms as it’s easier to make flat bags with than the round looms.

Also will use this pic in the eBay listing.

Also will use this pic in the eBay listing.

Making the Bag

So this is my SECOND attempt at loom knitting a bag for the cards that need a bag. Check this post to see what I’m even talking about here. Anyway, what I learned last night was don’t take 50mg tramadol and then expect to do a decreasing cast off on a round loom. It’s just not going to work. Especially when you’re doing double yarn knitting and can’t even remember where you set your glasses that are on your face.

WIN_20151017_12_57_52_ProSo that’s always fun. Anyway, this is what I’ve got on the second bag so far. I’m basically doing a hat pattern thing, with ribbon in the “brim” for the opening. I’m still using the crayon yarn, but since it didn’t do well with me and the needles (for some reason I am incapable of properly casting onto the damned needles in the first place! I must be hella outta practice) so I switched to the loom. Unfortunately the loom makes such wide gaps in the project, so I paired it with some denim blue cotton yarn. Soft, but durable.

Crafty Mom: Yarn Disc Thingies

So today I found myself in quite a bit of pain from my hip and my knees. And my big toe. Seriously, my damned arthritic toe decided to get in on the action today. Anyway, so I was bored. I needed something to help me relax because due to the side effects of my pain meds, I can’t take them during the day and expect top watch my son at the same time. So they’re generally reserved for the late evening and night time. As I said, I was bored and needed something to distract me from the pain. BUT it had to be something not super involved, and something I could set down and walk away from for long periods of time, AND something that didn’t require a lot of prep, cleanup, or sharp objects.

WIN_20150915_10_43_24_ProSo… I had a stack of old scratched up, unfixable, and disc-rotted DVDs sitting around that I keep hoarding “for art projects someday”. I had a bag of scrap yarn that I forgot to give to my mum when I purged the yarn collection that was taking up too much space.

So what’s a crafty mom to do?

Well, something obviously. I grabbed some yarn, I grabbed a disc, and I started wrapping that stuff up! Ended up taking it with me to my doctor’s appointment today, where I got 2 more discs finished.

WIN_20150915_16_58_22_ProI haven’t a clue what I’m going to do with them. I tried out a few ideas like turning one into a pentacle, another into a moon thing. Those didn’t work out so well. I suppose I could get some thin cork sheets and mount them. Make coaster sets or something.

I’m working on the seventh one, as I sit and write this post. It’s very soothing and relaxing work, wrapping these discs and creating these striped designs and stuff. I have nothing but solid colored yarn right now, but I wonder how it would look with verigated and self-striping. I’ll have to ask mum if she’s got any scraps I can grab. I’m running low on my color variety. At any rate, I might mount these to a canvas or something. I honestly don’t know what to do with ’em. But it’s fun, and relaxing. And easy to do with a toddler running around.

I’ll post about this again when I figure out what’s next for these yarn disc things!

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