Friday, May 8, 2009


I have multi-crafter distractitis. I'm sure there's a help group out there somewhere, but that would add another distraction, thus compounding the problem. This is almost as crippling a condition as startitis, or second sock syndrome, but takes you out of the realm of only knitting.

A partial list of things which are currently cluttering up my project table and room -

• Wall hanging from my mother for which I need to make rod finials out of napkin rings
• Knotwork books for figuring out design for celtic appliqué
• Stack of washed fat quarters for a panel skirt for my daughter
• Stack of washed fabric for apron for myself (yes it will be a thing of beauty)
• Bag of yarn in the process of being turned into a blanket for an imminent nephew
• Box of yarn for a sweater for myself
• Two large pieces of fabric for clothing for myself - one just because and the other for a wedding in July
• A costume vest pattern I've been thinking of modifying for a long time - to be combined with the appliqué noted above
• Two daughter projects for amusing her while I work on other things
• A swatching attempt for a sleeveless sweater for that wedding

Since today is filled with housework, grocery shopping, and errand running, I'm not seeing the potential for much progress on any of these today. Yesterday was all housework, all the time, with only 30 minutes spent on the blanket while at Little Rogue's dance class.

Adding to the distraction is the other stuff that I'd like to be doing, like playing World of Warcraft again. I finally respecced my rogue after the latest patch, and it would please me to run about with her. Or to play my new death knight. Or to find out when it is that my WoW friends are playing and hook up with them for a bit.

I'd also like to be out gardening - fixing the fence that the wind knocked down back in November so I can plant sugar snap peas, planting seeds in the front garden, getting the back lawn to not look like a dying pile of weeds. Ok, so dying pile of weeds might be overkill (heh) but it needs some serious TLC. What it really needs is to be completely redone, including the sprinkler system, but that's not in the budget any time soon.

Time to get moving and get done the "have to" for today, and then possibly I'll work on the blanket the wall hanging finials, so that can get off the table. I almost said blanket, because there's a pretty short timeline on that, but it needs a block of real sitting down time which I doubt I'll get today. See! Even in blogging about what I need to do and which should get worked on first I can't decide which comes first!

As was said so aptly in Bull Durham: "We're dealing with a lot of shit."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chocolate for Mother's Day

I like making both simple and complicated things. Since I made a complicated thing for my mother for Christmas (a cardigan), I decided to make her something small, pretty, and useful for Mother's Day.

These are made from the Ball Band Dishcloth pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting, a wonderful book full of beautiful and useful projects. I used 6 colors of Lily Sugar'n Cream, mixed and matched.

Mom's kitchen is warm brown with cream countertops, but she's really a pink person. So I decided to go for a chocolate and strawberry theme for these cloths. What could be better for Mother's Day than chocolate, strawberry, and cream?

I was pleased to find the perfect wrapping ribbon at Joann's, and found some simple cream kitchen towels. One towel bundled with 2 cloths and they were good to go in a box and send off.

I hope she likes them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

When the week starts.

Monday's are not likely to be heavily recorded days. Monday is the day I attempt to embrace my inner housewife and give her reign. I'm not claiming this is successful, but at least laundry gets done. When energy and ambition coincide I can sometimes even get bathrooms cleaned and floors vacuumed.

Perhaps I need a talisman to encourage the expression of the inner housewife. I know she's there, very strongly, I just need to make her welcome and appreciated at the start of the week.

I need an apron. An apron of such usefulness and style that the inner housewife will be proud to sail about the house, making all things right and be happy to lie dormant the rest of the week, resting from a job well done, and allow other activities to take precedence.

I may even need one for the inner gardener. Or she'll get jealous of the housewife, and cause untold problems relating to tomatoes. The cook already has an apron, so I don't need to be concerned about her.

What?! Doesn't every stay-at-home mom have multiple persona? How else does anything get done?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Leprechauns would be jealous.

I've had a couple of random clothing items around for a while. Two old shirts with unknown but unremoveable stains. A very silly panel skirt, based generally on the Wheel of the Year pattern in Anticraft, but made in black and white print fabrics with a "P" theme for a party. None were wearable as-is, and each time laundry day rolls around I'm reminded that that I needed to try dying them to another color someday.

Today was that day.

I'll get better at this documentation thing, I'm sure. Since I realized once the shirts were in the Color Remover bath that I really should have taken a before picture. Ah well - blog and learn.

The t-shirt on the left was originally a more olive green, the remover seems to have taken out the blue. The linen shirt on the right was a very pale sage. I should have taken it out of the color remover wash earlier - it somehow turned the most amazing blue for a while.

I used powdered Rit Dye, one package of golden yellow and one package of royal blue, adding salt and detergent as directed, since everything was cotton or linen. Yes, I could have just bought green. This was more fun.

Plonked the wet shirts into the bath first, and got way too much amusement out of watching the linen shirt disappear beneath the green water, slowly changing color as it went. I used the Official Sacrificial Spoon™ to stir the shirts in the bucket for, oh, probably 10 minutes and then transferred them to a bucket of warm clear water.

Since there was so much dye remaining, the skirt needed to be green. I was originally thinking it should be purple or red, and maybe in the future it'll go a darker blue-green with another over-dye.

Rinsing in the sink, everyone seemed a happy green, nice and even.

After a couple of times through the washing machine on a normal cycle I've got 3 new items of clothing.

The linen shirt - a nice medium green with no mysterious pink spots. I think this was the most successful of the group.

The green t-shirt pretty much restored to it's original color, though a bit darker. The only problem is that there are some flecks of undissolved dye in places and that the armpits of the shirt dyed bluer than the rest of the shirt. May need to dye something darker.

The skirt is black and green rather than black and white, you can see a little bit of it in the bottom corner of the t-shirt picture. Again, will probably need an over-dye of dark blue.

While those were in the washer, Little Rogue and I reevaluated her formerly white leotard.
It had gotten inadvertently pink, and then made white again, but had a blue stain on the sleeve that just would not come out. I'd cleaned up from the green dye at this point, so I needed to make another batch of something. Luckily, she thought blue was good.

A quick batch of royal blue, and off we went. Little Rogue did a great job of stirring and decided when it was just the right pretty blue. I was expecting this to be a disaster of pink girl turning into a member of Blue Man Group, but she even remembered to hold the Official Sacrificial Spoon™ by the undyed part of the handle.

I got some specks of blue on my white shirt, but hey, that's what bleach is for.

All in all, quite the successful first dying attempt, and I think there needs to be much more of this type of thing this summer.

Though I think we may need another Spoon™....

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I've got a room full of crafts, a garden needing planting, and business ideas running around in my head without a leash. Somewhere in between housekeeping, mothering, and cooking a plan will come together and a balance will be found.

New skills will be learned and practiced.
Experiments will happen.
Failure and success are equally possible.

If I'm lucky, it might even be funny.