Friday, May 25, 2012

Franken-gyvered Candle Making

I have Franken'd a candle! It took about 10 minutes, a jar, a d6, some string, wax drippings and a pot of boiling water.

To explain a bit more, we like candles. We use candles almost every day, and that leaves us with a lot of candle ends, drippings and similar waxy non-usefuls.

Candle remnants
I recently got a spool of wick from amazon, so I tied one end to a d6 die that was floating around the house (to act as a weight) and then cut the wick to about 1/2" over the top of the jar. I then filled the jar with dead candle bits and put it in a pan of boiling water.


I used a chopstick to poke the wax bits down and added more wax until it seemed full enough. At that point there was a pool of liquid wax and a wax-burg that was attached to the wick about halfway up. If I'd been a little more on top of my game, I would have made the wick long enough to tie around a pencil or some stick-like device  to keep the wick straight. I was not, so instead I brought the jar over to the AC, turned it on high and held the wick straight while it cooled (which took all of a minute).

Ta-da! Practically-instant candle. I'm excited. Now, I just have to wait til tonight to see how well it burns.

I still have designs on making candles and soap from scratch-scratch, but this little project fills my homesteading needs quite nicely for now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring

Not too much has been happening on the knitting front- I've been *almost* disinterested lately, but that's probably just the rain talking. Actually, now that I think about it, I think it's the fact that I looked all my WIP's in the face...and almost passed out.


This was all of my WIP's as of a couple weeks ago, all 25+ of them. I have, of course, started several more since then and finished a couple as well. I didn't include the ones that just needed ends weaving in...that adds more than a few. That's enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, and I'm not helping myself any by completely ignoring them. Someday I'll come up with a plan to deal with them all. Someday.

In the mean time, I'm taking another stab at sock knitting:


I've touched upon my love/hate relationship with socks in the past- I love having knit them, but I hate knitting them. Major sock problems include: casting on, Second Sock Syndrome, grafting, tight cast-ons, a zillion measurements to make them fit right, picking up stitches...the list goes on and on. So this time, I'm changing a few things.

Problem
Casting on. I don't feel like casting on very often because it's fiddly and annoying and casting on a *second* of a thing after I just finished the first is like trying to swim through mud.
Solution
Start both of them when I am in a casting-on-mood. Ta-da!

Problem
SSS. I don't like doing things twice, especially in a row. If I've done 1, then I've done it and it's stored in my experience box and is no longer novel, entertaining or challenging. It's sort of like doing dishes, or laundry- I did that yesterday, or the day before, or earlier today and nobody wants to be doing chores continuously for the rest of forever.
Solution
Two-At-A-Time. If I work on them at the same rate during the same knitting spell, it's more like knitting one very very long sock. 2 rows on sock 1, 2 rows on sock 2, etc. My brain likes this better, and I'm just going to go with it. You might notice that I've got them on dpns. I tried magic loop and 2 circs and I really can not stand it. Dpns are my poison of choice unless I can get a truly circular thing on circs.

I'll let you know how these go. I'm making good progress on them so far, and I don't hate them yet. Wish me luck.

Given the relative lack of knitting, I've gotten lots of stuff done around the house. I feel spiffy and organized. We might have invited people over, which might, *might*, be the only reason the house is clean. Whatever the reason, it still feels good.

-Found, tagged and wove in ends of some samples for work. I've been slacking a bit, so it will be nice to turn these in.

-Between the two of us, Jude and I managed to get the end window wall fully primer'd. Poor wall has been off-white since we moved in. Slowly but surely we will get this whole place painted. Very slowly, it seems.


-I took a full inventory of all spinning materials in my possession and rearranged a few shelves in the process. The interested and brave-hearted can see the full list here.

-2 of 3 awesome glass shelves have been installed in the bathroom. It's a pain to put them up, so we only do 1 every few weeks.

-Lastly, a gratuitous shot of my lovely organized shelves and completely clean floor.

Happy spring!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Photo Update

VT

Vermont knitting buddies

CT

Bunnies Everywhere!!

Friendly sheep is friendly

New sweater, some assembly required

I can fit one of these in my apt, right?

:-D