Other Crafts

Hey. Know what I’m thankful for? A sweet workstation. You can find a similar item on Pottery Barn’s website for a measly $1000, or you can make it yourself. See, it’s really just two 9-cube bookshelves with a tabletop across them. So if you buy the shelves separately and get a piece of wood cut down to size, you save yourself about $900. Nice!

Mind you, we still need some nice stools and a coat of paint to unify the pieces before it starts to look complete, but at this point it is a fully functional craft station. And given that my life basically revolves around crafts (I make yarn at work, I make yarn into things at home) I kind of need a suitable home office, right?

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


A quick word: the mask is handknit and lots of fun. I didn’t have enough daylight to get decent pictures, so those will be in a later post with a detailed run-down of how it went.

Also, I love carving pumpkins, especially if they are grotesque. So there are a lot more photos of pumpkins than knitting. (Sorry facebook friends, you’re getting a lot of repeat enthusiasm on these things.)

I had a productive day yesterday, but not how you’d think. In fact, my actual knitting was at bare minimum. No, I did something else. I built a yarn swift.

oo, ah

Thanks to this post over at A Book And Some Yarn, I was able to find very straightforward instructions on how to assemble this beast. In the end, the price listed on the PDF was somewhat misleading, but maybe that’s just because I live in Chicago. No matter how you slice it, it was cheaper than a wooden swift, and more fun, since it appealed to my crafty side. Oh, and it beats a wooden yarn swift in another class, too — ugliness. I will not deny that a mess of plastic piping isn’t exactly beautiful, but it’ll be a lot cheaper to replace. I’ll give the results of my efforts in a bit, but why don’t we enjoy some photos of the process first?




Side note: my larger drill bit is MIA, so I had to do the tiny hole and then somehow enlarge it. At first, I was working my way up with larger and larger screws, using them to file the edges of the hole. Then the epiphany hit that another advantage of PVC is that it melts. Light the stovetop! (Note to children: please try this in your own home! You will be amazed at the magic of it! Be sure to ask mummy and pops what else needs melt-holes!)


screw you, missing drill bit! i ain't missing you at all!


As with any project, it has its imperfections, but they are minor ones. The arms spin evenly, and the test worked beautifully, and that’s all that really matters. Replacement parts for potential repairs will be pocket change and found wherever hardware supplies are sold. Nice!

And the test hank? This stuff could be good yarn, it really could. It just feels so dirty! Not after I wash the heck out of it, though, which I can do now that it’s not a hand-wound ball. (Yes, I could (and should) have washed it when it was still a sweater. Oops?) I hope to have many more thrift-hanks wound up all neat and nice like this guy. Now I just need a ball winder…

Yep. Another non-knitting-but-still-craft-related post. It’s short(ish), but I wanted to post for two things.

1) The invites are finished and in the mail! I could describe it, but a photo does a better job.

I will say, though, that I love how they turned out. It was a lot more involved than I think either H or I expected at the outset when we decided to make them ourselves, and we had to re-buy certain materials and make far too many trips to craft/paper stores. It was frustrating at times, but with them behind us we can feel the immense satisfaction of a job well done and self done. And we saved a hella ton of money! And on top of all that, it was a really great learning experience to get so entrenched in a project as a couple. Now I know what to expect when designing something a little bigger, say, a house. (And… yikes? No, it’s gonna be great!)

2) My second package showed up to go with the new calligraphy stuff, and just in time to address some envelopes! INK. (I swear this is not a sponsored post, but I’m gonna make it sound like it!)

And not just any ink, but J. Herbin! I feel so frigging posh using this stuff; thick glass inkwells with labels written only in French. My favorite part? There’s a little lip on the front edge to rest your pen. I guess the company’s been around since 1670. That’s more than a century longer than America.

Writing with dip pens really makes me rethink cursive writing. It felt so frivolous in 6th grade with a ball-point, but nibs don’t last long in printing, and everything looks blotchy. Cursive almost becomes necessary. And it looks nice, to boot.

Anyway, feast your eyes on Vert Empire and Lie de Thé,  the two newest additions to my writing desk. If anyone wants to write me a snail-mail (and I would welcome it!), I can tell you what I’ll be writing back with.

So, it’s back to work today. And back to blogging as well. It starts with a wall of text, but there will be plenty of photos, trust me!

As an update on the teeth: recovery is steady and positive, but I thought after 2.5 days of rest, I’d be free of pain. Not so. In fact, it seems to be more painful today than the day following extraction, but this may be due to the fact that I’m no longer quite as rigorous about getting up in the early AM’s to take my medicine right at the 6-hour mark. I’ve got my icepack here at work, and my supervisor said I don’t have to be taking phone calls today, so I’m happy about that. And really, it’s not so bad. Feels like I knocked my face into something or got punched moderately hard.

And knitting? Sadly, I did not make use of my time off like I thought. I imagined a flurry of needles and fiber, and at least two hats and a scarf to result from my bed rest. Again, not so. I made one hat, tried it on, and then proceeded to frog the whole dang thing, since apparently I forgot how to count. Seven sections of eight, I told myself. And my hands did eight sections of eight, which especially in super bulky yarn results in something way bigger than you intend. That was my yesterday. And Tuesday? Well, that’s actually what I’m sharing with you today.

It’s not knitting, but it’s crafting for sure. Tuesday, my Hannah and I cut, punched, taped and stamped the main portion of our wedding invites. We found an excellent (free!) font and printed them up, two per sheet, then took a paper cutter to them. This was actually the most frustrating portion of the process, as the ruler on the paper cutter was about 1/8 inch off-set from the grid lines. I used a separate ruler to check, and it seemed that the grid itself was another 1/8 inch off! And after everything was cut, I re-measured with another ruler again. Turns out that first separate ruler was off, and the grid had been correct. Can no one agree on what an inch is? I thought this was a standard measurement!

Note about the font: when there are double Os, it links them, and TH combos cross eachother. A lot of the fonts on the linked site do similar things, so consider yourself warned! You’ll never be able to be satisfied with a simple, pre-loaded font ever again.


As I was saying, the paper was cut.

Then the corners were punched.

Then the edges were punched and a window was added.

And, finally, taped onto a green backing and stamped with a bird. It’s gonna be outdoors, so we’re going for a very nature-y theme here.

And the best thing about those paper punches? Thousands of tiny dots of paper. I’m going to be finding these things in every drawer of my desk for the rest of eternity. When I die, my grandchildren will think that there is dandruff in my casket. Except it will be these dots of paper.

And a last fun tidbit. I got my calligraphy stuff in the mail! I’m a sucker for anything old-fashioned, especially hand-written letters. And I decided one day that as long as I’m shooting for old-fashioned, I might as well go overboard and get a dip pen and an inkwell. Via John Neal, Bookseller I got myself some real quality nibs and a mahogany holder, to replace the basic (and admittedly pretty sub-par) pen parts I had previously. I’m waiting for my green and brown inks from another supplier, but I already started having fun with the new nibs. And making a mess.

Actual knitting photos soon to come, I promise!