Posts Tagged With: crafts

Cosy…or Crazy?

I have a lovely little 4-cup tea pot, cobalt blue with a gilt pattern. I have no idea where I got it, but I love it. On the days that I work in my home office, it sits next to me, attempting to keep me both warm and awake.

But the tea often goes cold before I can drink it all, so I thought I’d try my hand at whipping up a tea cosy. This knitted insulation wraps the pot and keeps the tea hot longer. It’s a low-tech solution that nevertheless works well.

After searching around, I found this very cool pattern on (where else?) Pinterest.

Photo from pattern designer Elizabeth Klevin.

Photo from pattern designer Elizabeth Klevin.

So cute, right? It’s called the Tea Mitten Tea Cosy.

Now, I’m certainly not a master knitter, but I have made scarves, hats, sweaters, and cat toys. With Stitch and Bitch at my side (in case I can’t remember what a pattern abbreviation means), I’m willing to try just about anything.

First effort on the tea cosy? Total failure. By the time I got to row 13, the tea cosy was looking either like a lace experiment gone wrong or a moth hotel. I clearly need to work on my make 1 increases.

Plus I’m doing this on a set of double-point needles. There are five needles, which is tricky, as I only have two hands. For the uninitiated, this is the old-fashioned way to knit a circle. Because there’s no knob on the end of the needle, you can knit with one end of the needle while sliding finished stitches off the opposite end onto another needle. You can also drop and twist stitches at an alarming rate.

I counted at least three instances of my reading the pattern incorrectly, so that might also explain why I kept stitching right through the slit that’s supposed to slide over the handle.

Also, knitting is difficult when one cat sits on your lap attempting to floss his teeth with the yarn while another cat occasionally snatches the yarn ball and tries to take off with it.

My only recourse was to rip it all out and start over. But it’s past midnight, and that way lies madness. I’ve unraveled and wound up the yarn (a mossy green DK wool, for those who are burning to know) and dropped it back in the knitting bag.

I’ll try again tomorrow after I brew a pot of tea.

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Categories: Crafty, In the house | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Decorating Delirium

I can tell it’s winter. Well, of course, just stepping outside would confirm that, but I mean I can tell it’s winter based on my mood. I’m veering between a desire to crawl into bed and not emerge until April and a need to clean out every closet in the house and repaint half the rooms.

Yep, must be winter.
In an update to the curtain catastrophe, I am happy to report I was able to find just enough of the curtain material at the other Joann’s store to finish the second curtain. Too bad I didn’t find it before I bought enough of a completely different fabric to make another set of curtains, but you can’t have everything.
I last painted my bedroom about eight years ago. It’s a wonderful purple-blue color, and I’ve been very happy with it. But now you can see where pictures have hung (side note–why should there be dark rings around the pictures if I don’t smoke and I’ve cleaned the walls? Anyone?) and more than a few random nails. I think it’s time to repaint.
This time, I’m leaning toward one of my favorite blue-green colors. (Blue-green is my signature color. I haven’t decided on a good name. Teal? Sea glass? Bermuda blue?). The recently finished curtains would look great with it, and so would the blue bedspread. I’ll need to make a new duvet cover; white this time, I think, which would at least simplify fabric choice, since I could use sheets. I’d probably want to make lightweight white curtains for summer, too. The color would be much lighter than what I have now and lighter than the Tiffany box blue that’s in the office (which is likely to be next on my decorating hit list).
By the way, the first estimate came in for redoing the basement bathroom. It’s about five times what I had initially planned to spend. Note to self–see if bank will increase limit on home equity line. Still, it absolutely has to be done. Gin is moving in this spring, and no way am I inflicting the current bath on her. Plus one of the contractors who came out pointed to a clump of wires and said, “See that? That’s both dangerous and illegal.” Let’s hear it for the handyman from hell and the do-it-yourself projects I’m still unravelling nine years after moving in.
Updates as they occur!

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Categories: In the house | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Curtain Catastrophe

Lest you think I only talk about gardening and chickens, I want you to know that the Fraudulent Farmgirl embraces many, many subjects, among which interior decoration ranks pretty highly. Those who have seen my house will inform  you that I am allergic to beige, I get bored easily, and I do not believe in buying what I can make more cheaply.

All of these are true.
So it seemed like a good time to make some new bedroom curtains. I love the ones I currently have, which I made from white fabric embroidered with bright pink and blue flowers. They are fun and girly and quite cool. But I thought for winter I'd try long curtains, with the hope that they might block a little more of the cold. I perused two different Joann's fabric stores before settling on a pretty, quite subdued and country-vintage pattern of blue and green (bouquets of flowers? blueberry shrubs?) on a very light yellow. I planned to back them with flannel to improve their possible insulation value. The fabric was marked down to $3 a yard, and I bought all they had. (The flannel was about $5 a yard. As a side note, full-length curtains require at least an extra yard or two per window over the curtain length I tend to make. I've made A LOT of roman shades.)
I spent today watching the inaugural proceedings (so amazing–insert your own hyperbole here) while cutting and pinning. It's a long process, you know. You have to wash and dry the fabric, iron it, cut it out, pin it, sew it, spend two hours figuring out how long the tabs should be and how many of them you should use. Note: when you cut out the tabs, make sure you're cutting them from the scrap fabric and not one of the panels you were planning to use for the curtain.
Oh yes. I got one curtain finished, only to realize I had destroyed the other curtain panel by cutting the tabs from it. I ran to the fabric store hoping they had more, only to remember once there that I had purchased all they had. And as this was not a fabric I had seen at the other Joann's, I was screwed.
Oh, well. I have a very nice curtain for the remodeled bathroom. Or if Ginny hates it, I'll hang it in the laundry room.
But as I was feeling a strong need to have new curtains, and that right quick, I bought more fabric (brown toile on cream this time). It is currently in the dryer. Tomorrow, I will get these curtains done, and then I will post pictures. When I cut out the pieces, I will ensure that the cut pieces are placed somewhere far away from the work area. 
Measure twice, cut once. But make sure you're cutting the right fabric. 

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Categories: In the house | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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