27 November 2011

If I only cleared my desk. . .

A number of people in my life have subscribed to the theory that my abodes do not actually have black holes that things disappear into for a period of time.

The standard refrain of these folk is that if I just kept a clear desk, sewing table, work space etc. that things would not go missing. Well, these people also probably don't believe in quantum theory or alternate universes.

Still, occasionally the desk/work space reaches a point where I can't even find the stuff I know is piled up and the clearing and sorting begins.

That clearing and sorting almost always comes with me thinking that I'd love to be proven wrong and that the items I've come to accept are long languishing in the black hole will have been under those stacks of stuff all along. I've yet to be proven wrong.

Still, it is worthwhile to tackle the stacks, put like things with like things and, if I'm honest (and I am) make room for the next round of stacks of stuff.

And so it was that over this holiday, I tackled the right hand side of my desk.

Sure enough, the stuff in the stacks got sorted, filed, recycled and trotted off to where they belong and not only did the residents of the black hole not reappear, two "I just had them a day ago" stitch treasuries decided to take a field trip to the alternate universe beyond the black hole.

I have a relatively clean desk but the missing stitch treasuries seem a high price to pay. And no, my go-to needle gauge was not hiding in the stacks.

This holiday breather also inspired me to, if not clean, at least shake things up a bit by swapping curtains from bedroom to living room and otherwise making some decisions about rearranging things.

I am not going for the heavy lifting tweak the muscles and bring on the bruises campaign this go round but a more subtle stuff shuffle.

Fortunately, my drill is not in the black hole and alothough my clamps are -- how I do not know -- my neighbour came through and the old oak table's leaf is now repaired until the next time the wood glue bond gives out.

Although I am not a big t-day fan, it was productive. Things that should have been mailed long ago got mailed, laundry got done, designs proposals got submitted on time and even the library gods smiled on me and two books on my want to read list appeared on the new non-fiction shelves just as my reading mode shifted from frivolous fiction.

I will not be posting pictures of the office/desk anytime soon but I can't let a blog entry go out unadorned. So the shots here are snippets of design inspiration from local architecture.

22 November 2011

Slippahs the pocket book edition

Stemware gets socks, people feet get slippahs and @ this time of the year not rubbah ones.

Some years back I went into knitted fingerless mitts mode. Although my original pair was bound for a hothouse flower friend in Ohio and therefore made climate/weather sense to me, the majority of the seven pairs knit that year (everyone seemed to have cold hands that year) ended up living with San Diegans.

Suddenly there's a lot of hinting about shoe sizes in my little corner of the world.

This slippery slope to slippah knitting began with an oops.

A couple of neighbours share a late September birthday and so we all got together for a pot luck to celebrate. Gift for neighbour dude was a no-brainer but neighbour gal was more of a challenge.

Being more rich in yarn than cash, I solved my "oops I don't have a gift for the birthday girl" with the offer of a pair of knitted slippers. I picked the pocket book slippers and knit a (somewhat modified) test pair for her to try.

As luck would have it, the yarn I chose to test the pattern just happened to be her favourite colour and fit both my size 6½ and her really rather larger feet.

Her pair got a button hole and button, another just in case pair got icord that can either be knotted into a button of sorts or looped and snapped to secure depending upon who actually ends up with them.

It looks like this year's slippah surge is going down the same path with lots of cold feet being in line for a little footie love courtesy of my needles, stash, and need to keep hands busy.

More pocket book slippers are in progress. There's a yellow pair that will either have one get frogged, become two pair or go to someone with very fraternal twin feet. Important safety tip, do not sew one slippah up before knitting the second -- folded measurements lie like lumpy rugs.

The yellow ones were originally slated to test the feet eater slippahs from Knitting Mochimochi but the pattern, yarn, needles and I could not come to agreement.

I got gauge but the soles seemed too long and too wide for my feet (the test case) and versions seen on ravelry look overly loose even when that's not included in the comments/notes.

After double checking for corrections (none for the size I was making) and re-verifying gauge, I frogged, regrouped, knit soles to match my rubbah slippahs and will be knitting my own version using a makes more sense to me construction method at some point in the not too.

Another pair in progress is a vision in Wendy/Peter Pan purple/pink and I have plans for some silk with reversible cables just because.

Other than the "do pay attention with measuring" gotcha noted above these are really easy, fit a good range of feet and are fabulous to tuck away for travel.

More on the what I've learned about slippahs from the Mochimochi experiment at another time because I think the slippah surge is just starting since mostly mindless knitting is always welcome for the betwixt and between times and general walkabout.

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04 November 2011

Knitted stem socks or silly wine stuff

The didn't make it in time for Halloween 2011 projects include a partially completed knitted black cat, knitted witch and a spider web.

Two of the three projects are sitting in project bags with needles and instruction notes waiting for me to revisit them. The spiderweb project is sitting near the front door taunting me to test my crochet meets kynar wire skills so we'll see which project queues up first.

If I were a lady who boo bags her friends those projects would be done not waiting to be done but I'm a bag (project) lady not a boo bag lady so cat and witch are on hold until I can cycle back around to them when the "oh I need those needles so I'd better make progress on those projects" situation arises.

But in the proof that I am not so far removed from boo bag ladies, I was in a must knit something mode, I picked up needles, some scrap yarn and found that the same modified recipe for the knitted pumpkins created a kinda kewl stem sock coaster for stemmed glassware.

Unlike the pumpkins, in sewing up you just cinch up the bottom and seam 1/2 way up the side seam leaving a slit for the glassware to slide into.

My neighbour has the defacto wine bar of the court yard so I thought I'd gen some of these up using left over sock weight yarn and combine them with a corkscrew and a couple bottles of wine for holiday cheer.

Wool is a better wicking fabric for this silly hostess gift so digging about for suitable wool/wool blends with an eye for my neighbour's taste/preferences is a bit of a challenge for my mostly warm weather doesn't knit socks stash of yarn but I think I can crank out enough to keep the local wine glasses clothed and classy.

If this sounds like a too much time on my hands thing, please bear in mind that back even before my brief not working except to volunteer and/or support spouse's career days I had a bad habit of cutting out the caterer by doing my own events with full menus so knocking out a few silly stemware socks in my spare time is a no brainer that keeps my hands busy while I'm thinking about other projects/problems.