Archive for gifts

The making of a sooper-DIY niddy-noddy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 12, 2009 by wickedsharp

I realized a few days ago that I was in desperate need of a niddy-noddy. I have three whiteish sweaters from Goodwill, that I plan on dyeing, in various stages of reclaiming (one 100% wool, one 50% wool/50% acrylic, and one 50% wool/50% nylon — I should really look up the difference between acrylic and nylon…). The other balls of yarn that I have wound into hanks have been done around the back of a chair which, frankly, is a pain in my ass. It’s not terribly portable, I have to stand up to do it, and I’m lazy. The laziness really comes into play in the fact that I didn’t want to have to go to a hardware store to get PVC to make myself a niddy-noddy and I really don’t have the money to buy one. So I googled for DIY/homemade niddy-noddies and came across a blog post where someone had made one with wood from their backyard. “Hey! I’ve got some wood in *my* backyard (and the next-door backyard)”, I thought. And even though I have only the most rudimentary of woodworking skills I figured I’d give it a shot.

In John’s pile of firewood I found a straightish dead branch of a work-with-able width and next door I found another straightish piece of newly cut wood of a slightly thinner work-with-able width. Using a dull hand saw I cut them roughly to size and de-barked them (would that be the correct term? It sounds more like what a terrible person might do to their noisy dog :S ) with our totally awesome Bushman knife. (A little side note about the Bushman: the handle is hollow so you can use a suitably sized branch to make a spear, which we did at a cookout and I had a hilarious time attempting to throw it straight!)

Then came the sandpaper. And more sandpaper. And a little bit of a steel wool scouring thingy. And more sandpaper. And wood splintering. And more sandpaper.

My original plan was to use duct tape to put the pieces together. (Actually, my original original plan was to whittle the ends of the center piece to go into drilled holes in the crossbars, but my wood was just not the right sizes for that.) Sadly, no duct tape was to be found, and going to CVS to buy more would have been too much effort. Luckily, John’s an Eagle Scout and has mad lashing skillz. With said lashing skillz he put the pieces together.

And….. TA-DA! A sooper-DIY niddy-noddy!

The sooper-estimated size is a 60 inch hank (ie once around the thing). And the yarn pictured on it was my birthday gift to Hayley!

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LJ repost from 2/14/09

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 20, 2009 by wickedsharp

And here’s the second LJ repost πŸ™‚

…………………….
I just wrote an incredibly long email to my mom about my knitting projects, so I’m just going to copy it over here, with just a little bit of editing (she hadn’t seen Lumpy before, but you guys have, so I’ll leave that part out).

First, my (a bit uneven) fingerless mitts. I had to play with the colors in The Gimp some because my camera made them look really bright blue and they’re not. These pictures are a fairly close digital approximation of their actual color.

A hat I made actually using one of the patterns that came with the ‘teach yourself to knit’ kit that I started off with. I swear the odd green thing on the side is a piece of celery (a la the Fifth Doctor) not a palm tree. Maybe eventually I’ll make a better one to stick on there.

I’ve made two headbands so far. The one in the following picture, and a black one using the same pattern, but modified to be much skinnier. That one I haven’t photographed yet.

And now, a crystal ball. Yeah….. I needed a small project to keep my hands busy and I stumbled across this pattern on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan site and it seemed a good excuse to use some of the white wool yarn I bought for a project I decided not to make.
It’s also not nearly as big as the picture makes it look. I probably should have had my hand or something in the picture for reference, but oh well.

Last, but certainly not least, a red ‘kitty’ stuffie I made for my friend Heather whose baby is due in about a month. It’s red to make it more ‘evil’ because John insisted anything I made for them had to be evil (he was trying to get me to find a Baphomet knitting pattern. I told him he was insane.) I’m extremely proud of this one, almost, but not quite, moreso than the Dalek. It’s my first circular piece and I think I did pretty damn well (even though none of the pieces that are supposed to match, ie the ears, arms and legs, do).

As I think I mentioned last time, my current big project is a stuffed TARDIS (someone else’s finished one is here: http://images4cf.ravelry.com/uploads/penwiper/629147/2280149531_0a48451111_medium.jpg) and after that my next large project will be the Fourth Doctor’s 12-foot scarf. The yarn (wool this time, unlike most of my other yarn that is mostly acrylic and a few skeins of cotton blend, because what good is a scarf if it’s not wool?) is going to cost about $50, and that’s the absolute cheapest wool yarn available anywhere. Luckily for me, they have all of the colors I need for it. Well, all but one. Their purples were all wrong, so I’m having to get a much more expensive brand for the purple, but at least it’s only 2 balls.

When I started knitting, I of course wanted to make that scarf, but couldn’t justify spending the $100 it looked like it was going to cost. Most wool yarns start at $5/ball, and it takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 to make the scarf. But, after discovering Wool of the Andes brand, it started looking possible at $50. And then between Sandy’s husband being in the hospital (long story short — other receptionist took off about 2 weeks for her husband’s surgery. While I understand her needing some time off, from what I’ve heard it seems to me she was out of work for a lot longer/more than she really needed to be…. but the whole thing left me too tired to care anymore) and the snow storm we had, I worked 98 hours in two weeks and we agreed I deserved to spend a chunk of money on something I wanted, so that scarf it is. I’ll be ordering the yarn in a few days, since I have to wait for that damn purple to be in stock.

I don’t normally write quite so much to my mother at once, but as I was typing it up, I decided I was going to be lazy and just copy parts of it over to here, and I think after I decided that I started writing in ‘blogging’ style, rather than my ’email to mom’ style, and it got a bit wordy XD (the distinct difference that can still be seen between the ‘blog’ and ’email to mom’ styles is that I rarely, if ever, use smilies with my mom. Because frankly, I don’t know if she’d know what they meant XD
……………..

And I promise to make a real, current post soon. Just need to take some pictures, which have been put off between my laziness and all the rain we’ve had recently.

As promised, pictures!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 5, 2009 by wickedsharp

Found the batteries! πŸ™‚Β  Here are some pictures of the recent projects.

First, the yarn I dyed.

The color in the pictures is pretty accurate. I wish now that I had taken a couple of pics of when it was actually in the pot dying… oh well. If I get my hands on some more yarn to dye, I’ll take pictures of all of the steps πŸ™‚

I made two small projects recently that I hadn’t mentioned before, a pair of baby booties and a roll of sushi XD

The color is closer to the first picture.

The sushi is also for my mom. I made it more like a sushi roll than a cut piece of sushi so that it could be a cat toy. Only problem is that now I’m going to be sending her a scarf, the cats a couple of toys (I’ve also made them catnip ball w/tail which isn’t worth taking a picture of), but I don’t have anything for her dog 😦 I’m thinking a little doggy bandana, maybe?

And that reminds me of the kitty pirate eyepatch pattern I found the other day! I wish I had found it (and, you know, had started knitting) before my mom’s last cat died. He had to have one of his eyes removed due to cancer, and I think she would have found the humor in an eyepatch for him…

Anyways, now a couple of pictures of the big scarf. These were taken a week or two ago, and it’s probably twice this length now. I’ll need to get John to help me get more current pics of it.

Current projects

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 3, 2009 by wickedsharp

Been meaning to post here for a few days, but apparently never got around to it. Now there’s a surprise [/sarcasm]

But… I finished my practice scarf, which really ended up being a short practice tie-around-my-neck thing. The purpose of it was to make sure I liked the pattern I picked out for my mom’s scarf and to use of the last little bit of blue Ella Rae yarn I had. I had no idea how much I had left, except that it wasn’t enough to really do anything with, andΒ  it was the same brand as I was knitting in for my mom, so it was really good for testing the pattern. I think if I bother to block it I could get just a little more length out of it, and it would look a little less silly tied around my neck.

I also started the scarf for my mom yesterday. So far it’s looking great and I’ve only had to rip out a couple of rows! (I don’t know how many times I messed up on the practice one… for some reason, yarn over, knit two together, knit two over and over just falls out of my brain every once in awhile and I suddenly find myself with not enough stitches, then do something wrong ripping it out and have to go back a few rows. :/

I must talk a minute about the yarn I’m using too! (Pictures will come later, I can’t be bothered to find batteries for my camera atm). I bought a 100g ball of Ella Rae Classics in white for a project that just never happened (the project also involved the blue ball I bought, which ended up being my mitts and the neck-thing). After the white sat around for awhile, it dawned on me that I would never ever ever wear anything that was solid white (and I had to make something wearable with it… it’s 100% wool!), so I should dye it. Now, I’d never dyed anything before, but that’s what the internet is for right?

I had a few things in my house that could be used as natural dyes, mostly in the tan-brown family, which worked out well, since I had already decided I needed to make something for my mom and she wears mostly earth-toney colors. I decided to go with coffee.

It came out a really pretty goldeny light brown/tannish, with just a tiny bit of just barely darker areas (I was attempting to go for more obvious darker areas, but failed at that). I love it and I think my mom will too.

The scarf of doom is coming along well. I’m just almost halfway done and it’s about as tall as I am. The being-knitted section of the blue box has been put mostly on hold because intarsia is annoying. I’m not really sure how I’m going to get through this one and two more side panels, but god damn it, I will have my own cuddly police box! I did start on the duplicate stitching part of the first panel and it looks pretty good. Windows are in place and it says “PO” XD

And I am now in the process of getting ready to begin to learn to spin.