Saturday, February 09, 2013

On crafty things

I'm still knitting and doing some sewing. The big project recently was something called a "vertical yarn swift." A lot of times, yarn comes in big long looped hanks (like an electric extension cord) rather than prewound into a ball. It keeps the yarn orderly without stretching it out (which can mess up your sizing when you knit it up), but it's not convenient to knit from--too easily tangled. So when you're ready to use it, you loop the hanks around a couple of chair backs, or your knees if you're up for an ab workout, or the hands of an obliging lover.

If none of those things are convenient, there are tools out there that will hold the hanks for you and spin. The most common ones look like the frame of an umbrella, or two cross-bars with vertical pegs sticking up at each end of the bars. They take up a lot of room, or they have to be set up and put away. That's where the vertical swift comes in. The yarn loops around vertically, rather than spinning around horizontally, and so I don't have to clear a space on the table for a swift to clamp.


It's not perfect--I kind of winged the design and I'm no IKEA designer so the pieces aren't cut and the holes aren't drilled exactly. It wobbles a little. But it does what it's supposed to do, and I'm pretty pleased with it.

A few other things I've done lately:
My fantastic Aunt Carrie, a quilter, finished a quilt for me in exchange for a pair of knitted socks. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I picked out the colors in the center and did some of the sewing of the blocks, and she added the borders and backing and quilting. It's the perfect size to snuggle under when I'm sitting on the couch.

A few months ago, some random person in England sent me a message on Ravelry saying that she had bought me a pattern from my wish list. She said that once a month she picks a random person and buys them something just for the fun of it. I used it to make mittens for my friend Ashley.

A train hat and a bunny for two kids from church. Their mom is my best friend, and for Christmas last year I gave her kids gift certificates for "something wooly". Their mom lets one person cash in their ticket at a time. The next one wants a Santa hat with an attached beard. LOL.

Finally, I painted the bathroom a fun shade of Tiffany Blue a couple of months ago. Eventually, I plan to put up a chair rail and bead board (or more likely, bead board wallpaper) on the bottom half of the walls.

I really need to post more often--these get waaay too long! :)

On animals

It's been a long time again! I'm still up to the same old tricks: work, fostering, church, and making stuff.

First of all, fostering.

I've had three dogs and another cat since I last posted. Bandit and Kiwi and Ella were/have been here for months. Bandit had a close scrape. He's an eleven year old dog whose joints hurt and he escaped a couple of times and bit me once when I tried to catch him to bring him back it. Dogs that bite are really hard to adopt out and we were afraid we'd have to put him down. Fortunately, though, he was accepted into a senior dog rescue, was adopted, and now lives somewhere in Georgia. And all very happy, I'm told.

Kiwi you met last time. She's still a pile of "adorbs" but I left her today at the cat room in PetSmart where she'll get a lot more exposure and is more likely to be adopted. It's kind of weird not having her nosing around for love or at least something to eat, since I'd had her since sometime this summer.

I got Ella as a teeny-tiny scared kitten back at the beginning of November. She's very cute and loves to be snuggled--once she's caught. Normally, she'll sit in the same room I'm in, but if I stand or make a move toward her, she'll bolt. It's literally only been in the past two or three days that she's stayed put and let me come up to her. I think she'll be ready to be put up for adoption very soon--yay, Ella!

Chloe was my shortest-term foster, ever. I picked her up at the shelter a week ago, and today she was adopted at PetSmart. She was shy but loved to be cuddled. I like the shy ones, I guess. It's rewarding to see them come out of their shell and learn to be friendly.

So right now, I just have my Zen and Jamison and Daisy, and fostering Ella. I'm also technically fostering a puppy named Lance, but he was adopted today and I'm only hosting him until Thursday. He's a surprise Valentine's Day gift.

Lance the Valentine

So come Thursday, I'll be down to one foster animal. I'm okay with that--things were getting kind of crazy around here. :)