Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sick Day

One of the "joys" of your child starting school, is the myriad colds they bring home. I don't think that's what we mean when we say kids should learn to share, but it's one of the few things four-year-olds have no problem sharing.
Poor kid. Last night, late last night, when I had already turned off the TV, Tim comes into the bedroom carrying a madly coughing Clinton. I think he'd just worked himself into a frenzy, because he could certainly breathe, but it was still a bit nerve-wracking to hear.
Into the bath he went, with a few drops of Eucalyptus oil. Out of the bath he came, and got some Zarbee's cough syrup. And then I spent the next ten minutes reading to him, which is something I love to do (and I admit that the one nice thing about him being sick, is that he's unlikely to stop a story so he can run around and do something else). He was probably asleep the moment his head hit the pillow, but I liked the story we were reading, so I kept on anyway.

Guess what my alarm clock was this morning? Yep, more hacking cough. I knew by the time I'd started the coffeemaker, that we'd be home from school today.

It's too bad, really. The sun is shining, the temperature has been rising, it's a perfect day to go to the park - but I'm not going to be that mom, the one who brings her sick child to the playground and infects all the other kids.
Nor am I going to be the mom who drags a sick child into Target to buy cat food, which we also need. (At least we live in a big city in the 21st century, I was able to order the cat food and some ginger ale from Amazon and have it delivered around lunch time.)(I might have ordered myself some Ben & Jerry's, too.)

On the upside, we're entering a long weekend, so my little dragon child should be fully recovered by the next school day.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekend Wind-Up

On Saturday, I finally made it to an event at my local yarn store (LYS), Mirage Fiber Arts. It was Brunch Knitting, and if you imagine that means people knitting and crocheting while eating french toast and drinking coffee and mimosas - you're absolutely right.
I made a lot of progress on my Onodrim shawl. I'm about halfway through it, now, and I might even finish it before my birthday...oh, wait, that's next weekend. Probably not going to happen. But I might finish by the end of the month. That's a more realistic goal. Did I mention I'm using madelinetosh Tosh Sock to make this? The colorway is "leopard".

I'm also working on a giant cowl, which is also crocheted lace. This is made from Blue Sky Fibers Metalico, which is 50% alpaca/50% silk and really soft to work with. I've caught myself snuggling with it already, and I need to just finish it so I can wear it. What's that? I live in Las Vegas, and the temperature has been creeping up towards the 70's already? Yes, I know. I also know that the movie theatres and restaurants like to keep their air conditioning set at "arctic". I'll still get plenty of use out of a cowl, even in the spring and summer (and fall).

My other big accomplishments from this weekend involved laundry and vacuuming, which are not nearly as fun as crocheting and knitting...but that doesn't stop me from feeling accomplished about them. Especially as I rescued a couple of stitch markers from the vacuum (after they'd been eaten by the couch).

There's also the part where I picked up my order of Girl Scout cookies, and didn't immediately consume an entire box. Instead, I hid them from the family stored them carefully in the freezer. This time next week, we'll see how many are left...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

We all know I love crochet, right?

Just a round-up of some recent projects that I've made. Why? Because I like to share, of course!

Iris Mitts

I made these because I wanted some lacy-but-warm fingerless mitts (there's no point to full mittens or gloves in Las Vegas, it just doesn't get that cold here). And I wanted to make them now. I made the pair during a single episode of Dr. Who.




Ballet Slippers

Ok, to be fair these are missing a button flap. But I finished the slippers, I added some puffy paint to the soles so I wouldn't go sliding all over the tile floors, and then I started wearing them. And I only wear them in the house, I don't actually care about them being "complete" or not when they do the job of keeping my toes warm.


Onodrim Shawl

This is actually a work-in-progress. I have a skein of sockweight, and I wanted to make it into a pretty, lacy shawl. And I didn't feel like winging it, and this pattern was just so pretty...so I decided that's what the yarn needed to become.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dining Chair refit

When my parents retired, they downsized. They sent a lot of furniture my way - which is awesome, since we have this nice big house that is twice as large as any home we've lived in before. Quite a bit of it is antique. This is really more because my family never gets rid of furniture, than anything else. (Seriously. When my mom cleaned out a secretary desk that her mother had given her, she found keepsakes and cards from World War II.)
Anyway, we wound up with a gorgeous dining table (that Tim hates, because the feet are uneven and he thinks the disks I put underneath to level it are "garbage", and he won't approve any of the rugs I've shown him that would help stabilize it) and 11 dining chairs (that Tim hates even more, because they were built in the mid-19th century when people weren't as big, and they are admittedly narrow).
But the table and chairs that we both liked and would have purchased, costs about $5000 for the set, so we're going to stick with my gorgeous table and chairs.

Oh, did I mention the chairs came to us with horsehair cushions and webbing supports?
And a mixture of fabric covers? 

Well, it was definitely time to update them. 

So the first thing I had to do, was cut new bases out of 1/2" plywood. Luckily, my dad also sent a bunch of tools with all the furniture, so I used my new (to me) portable jigsaw. 
Next step, was replacing the cushions. I first tried cutting pieces from a memory foam mattress topper - this actually did not work very well. The foam is not firm enough, so when you sit on the cushion your butt immediately sinks to the plywood. Oh, well. Then I bought some 4" thick high-density foam, and that worked out much better. (These photos, though, are of the memory foam - the process is exactly the same, just the end result is different.)
I used a spray adhesive to stick the foam to the plywood.
See how those edges are little jagged? That's because I used scissors to cut the foam. It happened on both the memory foam and the high-density foam. But that's ok, because the next step was to cover the foam with some cotton quilt batting (I had a bunch of scraps, and managed to use almost all of them on this project).
And then I stapled this to the underside. This helped smooth out the sides. 
And then, the fabric. Remember that rocking chair I did a rehab project on last fall? Well, this is the same design, but on a smaller scale.
My mom went nuts over these. She didn't even realize I used Dr. Who fabric, she thought it was just a pretty blue damask. My sister said the same. Tim keeps calling me a geek for it...but he likes it, too. He hasn't mentioned getting new chairs in a while.

Oh yeah - I've only managed to re-fit six of these so far. Some of the chairs needed a bit more TLC, and I'm still getting comfortable with working on them. But they're coming along. Maybe next year, when we host Thanksgiving again, we'll have them all complete. I'm not in a rush. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Wintersong is LIVE!



Hello all! Just a quick post to announce that the pattern for my Wintersong Headband is now live, and available in both my Ravelry and Craftsy stores!

This is a quick-to-make, one-skein project using bulky weight yarn. The original sample (pictured above) uses about half a skein of Berocco Vintage Chunky yarn, which is an acrylic/wool blend - but you can use whichever bulky-weight yarn you wish!

Like all of my paid patterns, this one includes both full written instructions and a chart. You don't have to know how to read a crochet chart to make this pattern, but if your preference is to work from a chart instead of written directions, you'll be able to make this, too!

Here's the Ravelry listing: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wintersong-headband
And the Craftsy listing: https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/patterns/wintersong-headband/476552

Autumn Cowl

Hey look at this...another free pattern! Really. Why? Because I designed it at the same time as the Autumn Beanie, and since I made that one available for free, I figured I could share this one, too.
Also, both the cowl and the hat together use less than a skein of Dream in Color Classy, so you get two projects from one skein. Pretty nice, don't you think?



Autumn Cowl
by Katherine Larson

Finished size: 20.5 in / 52 cm circumference, 3 in / 7.5 cm tall
Skills needed: Foundation single crochet, chain, single crochet, double crochet

Materials:
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy (4oz/113g, 250yds/229m, 100% superwash merino wool), 1 skein or
50g, 100yds/92m worsted weight yarn 
Tools: H/5mm crochet hook or size needed to meet gauge
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 14 sts and 8 rows = 4”/10mm in body pattern

Notes: The cowl is worked continuously in the round. 

Abbreviations:
Fsc – Foundation single crochet
Ch – Chain
Sc – Single crochet
Dc – Double crochet

Sl st – slip stitch
V-st – Dc, ch 1, dc in same st.

Cowl

Fsc 72. Join with sl st to work in round.

Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1 here and throughout), dc in same st, skip 2 sts, 3 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, *V-st in next st, skip 2 sts, 3 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Rnd 2: Sl st to ch-1 sp, ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout), 2 dc in same sp, skip 2 sts, V-st in next st, skip 2 sts, *3 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, V-st in next st, skip 2 sts, repeat from * around, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Repeat rnd 1 and 2 once, then repeat rnd 1.

Rnd 6: Ch1, sc in same st, sc in each st around, join with sl st to beginning sc.


Fasten off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Blues and a Pattern Tease

Well, I didn't think it was possible, but I've managed to ruin a batch of Rice Krispy Treats. Apparently, if you melt the butter and marshmallows at too high heat, they caramelize a bit and you wind up with rock-hard treats that do not want to be cut into smaller bars. It was my first time making these on our new range, and I guess the front burners really do burn hotter than the back ones. Whoops.
The good news is, 4-year-olds don't mind the giant-crisped-rice-marshmallow-brick, they just see an excuse to gnaw on a massive block of sugary goodness.

So it's mid-January, the holidays are behind us, the rest of winter still to come...so I decided it's time to roll out another pattern.


Is my nose really that long?  Maybe it's the angle. Tim was my photographer - he grouses about it, but he does a pretty decent job.

I'm calling this one Wintersong. It's in testing, right now. And it will be released before the end of the month, if all goes according to plan!