Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Look how pretty!

My Leyburn socks, which I'm knitting from the same yarn as the emergency wedding shawl (and the socks I made for my sister-in-law). Look how pretty!

And the scarf I made for Lazy Kid, which was a really fun short-row knitting project that used Soy Wool Stripes from Paton.
She wears it tied around her waist like a cummerbund. At least that way the static electricity it generates doesn't mess up her hair :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last-minute greeting cards

Okay, so the package to the Lazy Grandparents needed to be in the mail today, and Lazy Kid wanted to make a Valentine's day card to go with it. Glitter glue wouldn't dry in time, so I hauled out Plan B: punching designs in cardstock with a hammer and nail.

1. Put a piece of corrugated cardboard on a solid surface (one you don't mind nicking up a bit if someone gets a little too excited with the hammer), then put the paper to be punched on top. I used regular cheapo cardstock for Lazy Kid's card, and some commercial blank greeting cards for my versions. Make sure you're looking at the inside of the card, poking the holes toward the outside of the card.

2. Use a lightweight hammer to force a thin nail through the cardstock into the cardboard (but hopefully not into the table under it), punching a small hole in the card. Repeat the process, placing holes no closer than about 1/4" apart (much closer together and the paper will tear, and then the kid will cry, and that's not the point of this, now is it?). You can lightly trace a design for the child to follow, or tape a pattern to the paper and remove it when all the holes are punched, or just let them wing it. Or, if you're really dumb, you can hold the nail while the kid hammers, which lets you control where the holes will end up, and also really, really hurts. Don't ask how I know this.

Lazy Kid's card, made with me aiming the nail (ow)
The bumps made by the nail pushing through will be different sizes depending on what size nail you use and how deep it penetrates, so if there's a specific look you're going for, play around with it on a piece of scrap paper before you let the kid go to it.

One of my cards - the outer heart followed a pattern, the inner one was done freehand

If you use a fairly large nail, you could even glue or tape a piece of colored paper behind the holes so the color would show through (and your traced pattern would be covered up), but it's really the texture of the holes that makes this so fun. I've made a bunch more this morning, whenever I could wrest the hammer away from my daughter. I love that our craft session included the sentence, "I want to make another card - where's the hammer?"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The last of the cotton market bags

The construction on this is really nice - there's a double bottom that isn't joined all the way around, so you can flip the whole thing inside out and stuff the bag into the bottom to keep it tidy when it's not in use.

I think I've got one more market bag left in me before I'm done with this for a while, and I think I'm going to combine the bottom of this bag with the sides of the sea shell tote, just to see how they work together. Wish me luck!

Looky what I made

Lazy Kid likes her Rapunzel braid so much, she wore it to the mall on Sunday, and she would have worn it to school today if I hadn't tackled her on her way out the door. It's on a ponytail elastic, and the boucle yarn is lightweight enough that it doesn't pull out immediately, even on her straight hair. I may have to invest in some extra colors of yarn and see if these will sell in the etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What I've been up to

Well, first of all, I've been dealing with the near-record January snowfall (around 40" ... just in January) here outside of Cleveland. The snow has come regularly in large quantities with no thaws in between, which is why both sides of my driveway look like this:

The snow is so deep that Lazy Kid hasn't been able to get out to play, since every time she tries she either gets stuck in a waist-deep drift or loses one of her boots somewhere in the side yard. This means we're all going stir-crazy, which may be why these have been so much fun:

I went stash-diving and came up with a whole bunch of kitchen cotton and leftover Paton's Grace mercerized cotton, most of which has been crocheted into reusable shopping bags. I made these two ... on Sunday. God, I love crochet. It's fast and uses lots of yarn, which is a good combination when trying to clear out stash.
The first bag is cuter, but smaller, while the second bag holds a lot more but looks more utilitarian. The load in the second one during the photo shoot: fourteen library books and seven CDs. The librarians were impressed when I got there - it was like one of those clown cars where more and more people keep getting out, only in my case it was almost-overdue library materials.

I have a third bag in process that should be finished tonight or tomorrow, and it's both gigantic and a HUGE suck on my yarn supply, so this may be my last one for a while. Unless I can make shopping bags out of leftover sock yarn ... hmm ...

Monday, February 02, 2009


Anyone participated in this program before? I know some of the crafty bloggers I read are teaching this year, and it looks like an excellent vacation idea ... but I'd like some feedback from people who have actually gone before. So pipe up if you're a Squammer!