Thursday, October 11, 2007

My first Spinning Class

Wow, was my first spinning class fun! I had the best time. The venue was great too. The class was at The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock, GA. My lys closed and so I had to travel to Woodstock, but it was so worth it. It turns out that I was the only one in the class which actually worked in my favor. I love private tutoring. I learned how to use a drop spindle and I learned how to card wool (this was kind of a bonus.) Fun! I plan on spending my whole weekend spinning yarn. Or, at least some of the weekend. I do have to be a responsible Mom at least some of the time.

I have to pics to share today. The camera is already packed up with the Boy Scout equipment. As I am leaving for the lake tomorrow around mid-day, this will be the last post of the week. Have a great weekend! I'll have a report for you on Monday on how the spinning went and whether I was able to accomplish much while trying to keep a 22 month old precocious boy and a hyper puppy out of the wool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Productivity! Knitting and Otherwise

It's amazing how much more productive I am when I'm home by myself (Hubby usually works from home, but not on Wednesdays.) I got so much done today, both knitting and otherwise. I did have the Youngest, but he took a three and a half hour nap, so I'm counting that as being by myself. Hmmm, I could kick them all out on the street, or I could just pack up and move to Tahiti by myself. Either choice sounds delicious, without the three guys there'd be a lot less testosterone poisoning in my life!

The Eldest is going on a camping trip this weekend with the Boy Scouts and his Dad is going along (Um, Mom doesn't do camping, recreational vehicle-ing, or any sort of roughing it - just in case you didn't know.) I got all their supplies and the Eldest's clothing packed. I did about five loads of laundry (yes, welcome to clothes mountain) and did the regular chores too.

And if you think that I'm going to stay home by myself couped up with a 22 month old without anyone to buffer the two of us for two and a half days, you've got another think coming! The two of us are heading for my parents' place at the lake. That way I can hand him off any time he gets on my nerves (wow that would mean, like, two and a half days practically baby free!) I'm sure my parents will be so thrilled. really.

As for knitting productivity:

1. I've started on the second part of the Clementine Shawlette and it's flying now that I've gotten the main lace repeat memorized. I'm still on the increases right now, but I'm not too far away from the repeats.
Meet Shawlette and Mini-me Shawlette

I'm also getting fairly good at frogging lace. The stupid mistakes that I have made have done wonders for my ripping skills and for my confidence.

It takes a load of confidence to pull your needles out of the project and start tugging on the lace. Well, not the tugging part, that part's easy. The hard part is the part where you hold your breath, and before you turn this horrid shade of magenta/purple/blue then pass out, you get the needle back through all the loops and yarn overs without losing any. Then you fall over and exhale/inhale at the same time. Whew!

2. I also finally began the boot socks for my Dad. This one is not an enjoyable project for the following reasons:

  • I hate the feel of the tweed yarn. Way too rough and stiff. Will be super warm in his boots, but yuck! on my hands.
  • I tried the two socks on two circs thing. Didn't work out for me. Way too confusing, too many dangly things at once. So, back to one sock on two circs. much better.
  • And last, working with this yarn really makes my hands ACHE! It doesn't glide well. I'm also using worsted weight yarn on size 2 needles and it's tighter than I am used to. ouch.
Toe pocket!
Anyway, hopefully this project will go much faster than normal since this is bulkier yarn than I normally work with on socks. My reward for all this suffering will be starting on the Minimalist Cardigan with that incredibly soft Colrain yarn. I can't wait. Major incentive to knit really fast!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stuff on my Cat

My cat made it into! How cool! Check it out HERE!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Halloween Crafts

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, but I got so depressed on Saturday. I was digging through the meager Halloween decorations and had to throw some of them out. Too much wear and tear on the homemade stuff. So, I grabbed my purse and headed out to replenish the decorations. I got a ton of stuff at Joann's (40% everything Halloween) and at the Dollar Tree (surprisingly good stuff.)

But the best part of Saturday afternoon and evening was spent making Halloween Clay Pot people! These are so freakin' easy and fun to make. More time consuming than anything. You can google for directions on how to make them. There is a ton of how-tos on the internet for making clay pot people for all seasons.

Here's how I did it:

I used 1.5" clay pots for the bodies and 1 1/4" wooden beads for the heads. Before painting, wipe your pots down with a damp cloth to remove any dust that will keep the paint from sticking. Next, choose what characters you will be making so that you can get your colors ready. I chose Dracula, a cat, a spider, a ghost, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

Before Painting

Paint your pots and beads the appropriate colors. I used acrylic paint, but any craft paint will do. Use what you have.
After Painting.

Next, glue the beads to the pots. I used a hot glue gun, but something like E6000 would work fine.
Heads attached

Now, I painted on the faces. Using a sharpie marker on the faces is also allowed. I used mine to sharpen up the edges around the eyes and for making dracula's teeth. Basically, anywhere where you need fine detail. I don't have a paint brush that is fine enough for this, therefore, the sharpie. Next, seal your paint with an acrylic sealer.

Every one of these guys has either fun foam or chenille pipe cleaners hot glued on for accessories.

Frankie's Bride - had some hair issues, but I got through those after making a prototype. I used 4 black pipe cleaners and one white. I coiled the black ones and hot glued them together and then made a zigzag out of the white and then glued it in place with the end going into the top of the black coils. She also has pipe cleaner arms. I also added a purse, because every styling bride needs a fashionable purse.

The spider - I took four pipe cleaners and cut them in half then glued four legs onto both sides.

Frankie - pipe cleaner arms glued on. The color is a bit off in the photos of him, his body is a dark purple, not blue.

Dracula - fun foam bat wings hot glued onto both sides. Again, color is a bit off, his face is a pale purple.

Ghost - fun foam arms in white glued onto both sides.

Cat - Fun foam black ears (the pink was painted on) and part of a black pipe cleaner glued to the inside and brought up and curved slightly for the tail.

The Halloween Gang

The Bride's closeup.

All set up for Halloween!