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We had a good Halloween. My kids told me some time ago that they wanted to be a witch , a black cat and a broom, the witch and the black cat were easy, generic costume for the witch, ears and tail kit with black sweats and a little bit of face paint for the cat, but a broom.. now that was kind of tricky. I thought about it some… I could have gone to the home improvement store and gotten  the round tubing that is used for pouring cement pylons, but that was expensive, and for what I had in mind, heavy.

In my garage, I still had the box for the hot water heater that we replaced when we moved in (we switched from gas to electric) so I went out and cut out two sides from it.. brought it in and worked the long sides so that it would curl. Wrapped it around the child who would be wearing it ,and cut it so there was only about 3 inches of overlap, not 12. Once I got that cut, I wrapped it around her again, and measured so that if the edge of the cardboard were to sit at her hips, so that she can still walk, where her face would be,  and cut a hole out for her face. after that I cut hole on either side for her arms to stick out, this also means that the weight of the cardboard rests on her shoulders.

Once all the holes were cut, I wrapped it around her again, and taped it, using clear packing tape, into the tube that would be the broom handle. and then we pulled it off over her head. Just before we went trick or treating last night I helped her put the handle back on, over her head and then I took a generic faux grass hula skirt and wrapped around the cardboard at about her waist, making sure that it didn’t quite drag the ground, so she could still walk. taping it in several places around her body. on top of the grass skirt I wrapped two circles of silver ribbon, so that it looked like the wires that generally bind that style of broom. After much discussion the kids had decided that they wanted her to be a Firebolt, like one of Harry Potter’s brooms so I took a magic marker and wrote Firebolt near the top. I think it turned out cute. It won’t win any design or construction contests but it lasted the evening and all the neighbors loved it.


They were adorable, if I do say so myself.

Dear Michael’s and Joann’s stores

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I regularly browse through your yarn sections, and continually end up disappointed. I do appreciate the new trend towards natural fibers, I love that paton’s classic wool comes in fifty billion colors and between the two stores, you have them all. And Wool-ease is great for a lot of things, the warmth of wool, the washablity of acrylic… Beautiful!

But can we please, Please, PLEASE get some decent sock yarns? The quality of the yarns you carry now (with the exception of the Bernat Sock, who wants plastic socks?) is not a problem.. the color selection however leaves much to be desired. I have no desire to knit socks that are mottled with hot pink and baby shit yellow, and honestly, no one I know wants to wear them either. What colors would I like to see? Hmm… Solids. Tonal variations, like kettle dye. Stripes, in none clashing colors, are ok too. White.. Black..

I really want to be able to knit socks for members of my family who are not into the whole world has gone psychedelic thing. My 80 year old grandfather has no desire to wear hand knit socks that look like a hot pink and purple cat puked on them . My husband, who is only 35, has strict limitations… No ‘Foofy’ colors… this means he will wear black, blue and white. solid only, no stripes, no variegated.

Please realize that in some places (like my backwater, wannabe city)  you two mega mart stores are the only walk-in yarn source some of us have.  We are your customers, listen to us.

I finished!!

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The custom knitting order that I started the week of Halloween, it is done, and in the mail to the purchaser, I am so glad! Now I can continue working on the blanket I started in September, I had intended to drop stitches, and have a waterfall afghan, but it is just the right size to be a blanket on my 2yo’s new car bed (that he will be getting for Christmas) so I think I will leave it without the dropped stitches and do that with it…

At the same time I am considering what I want to make next. I have, for some time, wanted a log cabin pattern, but I don’t want to sew one, it occurred to me recently I could knit one, so I think that may be my next big project, I will knit a log cabin afghan… probably out of the several pounds of cotton yarn i have stashed. perfect, soft, washable, cozy!

oops, I did it again.

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I went by Jo-Ann’s to get some more cotton yarn for dishcloths, because I was down to just one  ball left. I get inside and discover that Sugar and Cream is on sale, so I end up getting more than I had intended when I walked in.

I have discovered that I can get 5 cloths out of 2 balls of yarn, so every colorway that I bought I bought in pairs of skeins. I got 5 sets, hopefully these will last me longer than the last 10 skeins I bought…

Hey! at least Christmas gifts will be ready early this year!

Cleaning out

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my knitters box, yes, I actually have a tool box that I keep all my knitters ‘tools’ in… my (large) collection of needles. stitch markers, holders, counters, needle sizers, measuring tapes. The list goes on.  I have decided to try to consolidate… get rid of the ones I don’t like, or just never use.

Ok, so I admit that I have an ulterior motive. I want new and the need money from these to get those. But the new I want are interchangeable, and will out date a lot of what I already have. Plus, they are MUCH better needles anyway.

And I NEVER use straight needles.. so why should I have 6-8 sets of them?? and I never use anything over an 8, so why keep the 13’s and 15’s around? see. I am sharing the knitting love here.

I am sure my husband wishes I would carry this theory over to a lot of other areas of our life, and do a lot of cleaning things out. I am just not ready yet, I have to work up to it.

yarn is an addiction.

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and it is amazing to what lengths we will go to for it.

I recently bought a ball winder for my yarn, which is a great improvement, but only half of the problem, you also have to figure out how to hold the hank, so that the yarn can be wound from it, while keeping it from tangling. The solution to this problem is a Swift. it holds the yarn and spins freely for the string to be fed off of it onto the ball winder. Problem is, swifts run from $60 up, and tightwad that I am, can’t bring myself to pay that. My solution… Build one. So, for $10 in materials, and an hours work. I have this.

Homemade yarn swift I used 2 8′ 1×2’s, a 4′ dowel, a bolt, a wing nut, a couple washers and a couple nails. It took about an hour, and it works well, but I have a couple small modifications to make.

I need to pick up a wood chisel and deepen the grooves that make the top cross pieces nest together and stay in position. all I had was a screwdriver, so they are rough and not deep enough. other than that, it works excellent. And was SO much cheaper. Now I have much more $$ to spend on yarn!! LOL, like I need that!!

yarngasam, table for one!

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last week I ordered a ball winder for my yarn. I have wanted one for a long time so balling wool would no longer take hours. but they are expensive. usually running around $60. and all i have been able to think is how much yarn I could get for that much money!! Well, last week I found it on sale at Joann.com for $30 and free shipping for orders over $35… and then there was the reason I was at the site to begin with, I needed to order some charms for making stitch markers. So I got the winder, and the charms and didn’t have to pay the outrageous shipping fees either!

Since it has gotten here this afternoon, I have been winding yarn. Any and all bits and balls that are worth winding have found their way to my winder… It is not great for larger quantitys (over one skein) or a thick yarn, more than worsted weight.  But since my preferences lean towards fingering, and lace weights it is great. Especially since the last skein of lace weight that I wound by hand took me almost 4 hours!! now they take like 5 minutes!

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