Archive for April, 2008

Handy Garden Tools

April 20, 2008


I know at least one gardener who would appreciate a weedball.  It is sort of like a magic marker of death.









April 19, 2008

Javi and his Christmas Sweater

Originally uploaded by fairgirl

Javi was the oldest and sickest dog at the shelter when my friend rescued him. She rescued him because that is the kind of heart she has.

With lots of love and attention and medical care he became a loving companion who expressed everything through the wag of his tail. And he looked good in the sweater knit especially for him. The people at the shelter would have never recognized him.

After years of living in a loving home, Javi passed away on Friday. Many tears have been shed over his passing. He will be missed.

Fixing the Toilet and Spit Splicing Yarn, But Not at the Same Time

April 16, 2008

One morning last week my Dad called to tell me that his toilet “kept running.”  It was noisy and wasting water – things my Dad cannot stand.  He is a crusty blue-collar kind of guy and I know sometimes he wonders what I learned during all those years of college and law school.  Secretly he hopes I took classes with titles like “Introduction to Plumbing,” “How to Fix Small Appliances” and “The Meaning of All Those Fees on Your Telephone Bill.”  Unfortunately,  while such classes would have been useful, they were not offered. 

In the past Dad has been known to tell me, “you’re good at fixing things,”  usually after he has lost patience with something and right before he throws it out a window.  Actually, I am decent at reading directions and trying to understand them.  Dad has no time for directions.  I don’t mind him passing the buck to me sometimes because he always helps us out when he can. 

Fortunately, Hub had recently fixed the same problem with our  toilet.  The packaging of the parts was still around so I pulled that out and told Dad what Hub had bought.  Then I did the sensible thing and called Hub as he knows about these things.  Hub and Dad talked and it was arranged that we would go over to their house that evening to take care of the toilet.  Dad walked over to get the needed parts from the local plumbing supply place [no big box home improvement store for Dad as he prefers to support his local merchants -go Dad!].   

That evening we got a good steak dinner and the toilet was fixed.  And yes, in that order.  Hub likes to work alone but at one point I was jammed in the small bathroom with my parents as Hub found himself giving a brief seminar on the care and repair of toilets.  I love that he knows this stuff. 

During the evening, when I wasn’t eating steak or admiring the quiet newly repaired toilet, I was working on the second Fuzzy Feet (foot?) slipper.  I finished the cuff, worked on the heel and stopped when I was about to start to turn the heel.  Later that night an unsettling thought hit me.  I had forgotten to change colors!!!  Considering that I had both skeins with me and my Mom looked at them, this was quite a goof. 

 My Fuzzy Feet Kit

When I was deciding whether to knit Fuzzy Feet I, of course, looked at all the completed pairs on Ravelry.  Such an excellent resource!  I was particularly attracted to pairs in which the cuff was done in one color and then the foot in another.  This is how I had done the first slipper and it is cute.  So now I had to rip back.  When I showed it to Hub he was sympathetic.  He also makes stuff so he knows what it is like when things do not go the way they are supposed to.  Actually, I was not too upset about having to redo the heel and then a good thing came out of it.  I realized that when changing colors I should spit splice the two yarns to avoid weaving in ends.  The podcast, Stash and Burn introduced me to the idea of spit splicing and it is one of my favorite techniques.   

The next day while speeding down a highway I spliced the yarn [no I was not driving but if I could do both at the same time successfully that would be impressive].  I used my little snips that Hub gave me and cut the yarns.  Then I wet the ends in water I had poured into the lid of a small water bottle and rubbed the pieces against my denim skirt [when dressing it can be helpful to dress in such a way that is useful for that day’s knitting].  I have only used spit once when splicing and it did not work out very well.  At home I prefer to use the hottest water I can get from my tap. 

Excellent Little Snips

Once the splice was completed I briefly admired it and then started work again.  I hope to finish the slipper tomorrow.

April is my Favorite Month

April 12, 2008

Crazy Whiskers
Originally uploaded by fairgirl


I love April. It is a month filled with celebrations as it is the month of both my marriage and my birth. It is also the month when generally the hope of spring is finally felt. Well, at least some of the time.

Work continues on the second Fuzzy Feet slipper. The first one was knit in secret because it was funny looking and I was not sure if I was doing it right. Good thing I kept it at home because I am knitting much of the second one in public and it is getting a lot of scrutiny. I am going to have to start carrying the first one around with me because I am tired of the whole “it is going to get smaller when I felt it” spiel and I know the non-knitters are just not getting it.

Felting Madness

April 8, 2008

I finally finished the first Fuzzy Feet (Foot?) slipper in a frenzy.  It did look like a sock for Paul Bunyan. 

 Fuzzy Feet before felting

Once I was done with the knitting I decided to felt it to see how it would turn out if the felting process would adequately hide my mistakes.  I had done a swatch to experiment with felting before knitting up the first slipper.  However, the slipper felted in unexpected ways.  First, it felted much faster than the swatch did.  Second,  the cuff did not shrink as much as I expected but the foot shrunk more than I expected.  Nonetheless, it looks very cute and I have my fingers crossed that it will comfortably fit my MIL. 

  Fuzzy Feet

So now I have finally unveiled photos of the before and after.  Yeah, I guess I am finally proud of what was once the Frankenstein of my UFOs.  I cast on for the second slipper – now let’s hope it will somewhat match the first!

Yarn Harlot and Conquering the Fear of Fuzzy Feet

April 7, 2008

Yarn Harlot book signing
Originally uploaded by fairgirl


The day of the Yarn Harlot book signing did not begin well for me. I thought I lost my cell phone. It had actually fallen under my car seat but it was on vibrate and it took awhile for me to hear the low hum. Some things that put a pit in your stomach are amusing a few days later. Well, not this.

The day turned around once my friend and I headed off to the book signing. He is not a knitter but we both enjoyed Stephanie’s talk. She really connects with the audience. I hope that one day she begins publishing fiction.

Being surrounded by lots of sock knitters energized me. I went home and picked up the fuzzy feet again. That first slipper is looking good. My desire to knit socks has been reignited. Suddenly visions of knitting socks are dancing in my head and sock patterns are powerfully attractive.