Archive for April, 2009

I seem to have forgotten my lines.

The shawl is done, blocked, and off the pins, but I don’t have pictures to show you.

I’m in the middle of three big projects both at home and at work and damn if my brain hasn’t gone all asplodey. I just finished teaching my last knitting class (basics) of the season and I am both glad and sad and have reached the “fire bad… tree pretty” stage. I don’t want to teach knitting for a while; I want to do knitting.

I have been taking pictures of the past two weeks, but I haven’t had time to put them on my computer, much less upload them to Flickr (one by one, because my home internet connection is painfully slow — but affordable!) and get them here. Very much less with captions.

The cat continues to be cute, the kitchen continues to have wildly obnoxious wallpaper, and the basement continues (thank god) to remain dry after the flooding. What will not continue is the Giant Work Project of Abject Terror, at least not after tomorrow at 5pm. And on Thursday morning at 9:30 I disrupt the continuity of my life and head for New Jersey, Femiknitter, and the most glorious vegetarian philly cheesesteak (plus Belgian ale) ever in the history of the world, here. And then we will descend upon Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival and the world will not be the same.

I think I’m starting to remember my lines.
(“Hamlet, cast off thy colored nighty!”)

Read Full Post »

Green is my color

I didn’t get last week’s pictures up last night because I was busy finishing this:

Tuscany cast off

Excuse me while I go block it.


Read Full Post »

Project 365: 96-102

My eyes are all grumbly because they need new lenses (which will happen tomorrow), so I’ll keep my descriptions short in the interest of my head not exploding all over my living room.

April 6, 2009

Snow. On April 6th. Bastardous northern Illinois climate. Morning, Third Street in DeKalb, on my walk to work.

April 7, 2009

Beginning the first baby blanket, for the first of about a million babies I know will be born this year. It’s the Ribbons Baby Blanket by Evelyn A. Clark (Ravelry link) in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. Delicious, but the Russian join for the color change is making me crazy.

April 8, 2009

Detail of a painting by a friend of mine on my living room wall. I think all of the pieces on our walls are from friends, which is how I like my art.

April 9, 2009

The moon was almost full on Thursday night when we got home from a friend’s house. It’s not a very good picture, but it captured the evening pretty well.

April 10, 2009

We visited friends in Madison this weekend. These are walking sticks carved by our friend, most of them on camping trips. They made interesting shadows in the candlelight.

April 11th, 2009

One of their basil plants. We went for a really great walk down by the lake and saw some beautiful houses, a tree with easter eggs on it, and cute dogs. Did I have my camera with me at the time? Of course not.

April 12th, 2009

Wee Maggie, who is now three years old and about to be a big sister. She’s Ninja Husband’s cousin’s daughter (1st cousin once removed?) and was such a trip on Easter. So sweet and bossy and bubbly.

Read Full Post »

Sunday Top Ten again

When I was a kid we used to sing this song:

There was an old man called Michael Finnegan
He grew whiskers on his chin again
He cut ’em off but they grew in again
Poor old Michael Finnegan!
Begin again!

Fortunately my iPod does not contain that song.

This week’s soundtrack:
1. Toccata & Fugue in D Minor by Bach
2. The Look of Love by Billy May and his Orchestra
3. My Three Sons by Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra
4. Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55 3. Scherzo Allegro Vivace by Beethoven
5. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
6. Last Train to Clarksville by The Monkees
7. Know Your Role by Method Man
8. Simple Gifts by Allison Krauss & Yo-Yo Ma (one of my most favorite songs ever)
9. Black and Blue by Tilly and the Wall
10. Feeling Neglected? by Rainer Maria

What’s in your ears?

Read Full Post »


How to turn an old sort-of swivel/rocking chair into a (more-or-less) stable chair with four feet. Because I know you’re just dying to know.

The chair, purchased for $5.00 at a co-worker’s garage sale 8 years ago
Power drill
4 Wooden bun feet, pre-drilled with double-ended screws
4 Brackets with accompanying screws of their own
(feet and brackets and hardware found at my local Lowe’s)

Step 1. Turn chair on its head

In this picture you can see that I’ve already removed the original base. I did this many years ago because the damn thing was loose, unwieldy and generally annoying as hell. The white fabric under the chair is a fitted twin sheet used as a makeshift slipcover because I really dislike the chair’s upholstery and it kind of clashes hard with that room’s color scheme. If your chair still has its base, take it off with the power drill (set it to reverse to pull those screws out).

Step 2. Place Brackets
Bottom of Chair

Place your brackets on bottom of the chair, making sure they’re located on solid parts of the chair frame. You can see here that the brackets toward the back (curved part) of the chair aren’t all the way in the back. This is because that part of the frame is pretty narrow and wouldn’t hold the whole bracket. Boo hiss, but it’s fine. Placing the brackets on the middle part of the frame turned out fine.

(Oh, make sure you have your power drill all charged and with the right bit)
Important Tool

Step 3. Attach Brackets
attaching bracket

Before this project I had never used a power drill and I was a little nervous. NinjaHusband showed me how to use the drill, what to do to make sure the screws were secure, and then he left. It’s no big — just hold the bracket down on the chair frame with your non-dominant hand and use your dominant hand to drive the screw in with the drill. The bracket may want to move a bit as the screw gets tighter, but you can hold it still.

Step 4. Install Bun Feet
Bun foot with screw, bracket

Bun foot and bracket

attaching bun foot to bracket

This is pretty self-explanatory. The bun feet already have the screw attached; all you need to do is screw the foot into the bracket, which has a convenient central hole expressly for this purpose.

Repeat for all brackets and feet, then stand your chair back up and rejoice!

my chair's new feet

The chair has feet now, instead of sitting directly on the floor! Now all I have to do to mine is get it recovered.

You may remember that the chair’s back feet aren’t all the way to the back of the frame — yes, this does allow for some rocking back, but only if I really throw my weight to the back. I have to really want it to move, otherwise it’s totally fine.

(I’m looking forward to the wacky google hits I’m sure this post will generate.)

Read Full Post »

Things I do not have to do

I’ve been really tense lately, worrying about things I have to do or things I want to do but can’t, or things that are completely out of my control.

It’s oh so very much fun.

What I’m doing to combat that is to list the things that I really don’t have to do at all.

1. I do not have to shoe a horse. It’s true. There is very little blacksmithing that I am called upon to perform in my life. This is pretty good news, overall.

2. I do not have to reupholster a couch.

3. I do not have to forage for my food. Well done there.

4. I don’t have to realphabetize my books.

5. It is not necessary that I bench press a refrigerator.

6. I don’t have to stop drinking beer.

7. Learning a new language is not required.

8. I don’t have to worry about a flock of starlings taking up residence in my home.

9. There is no reason for me to calculate algebraic equations. Specifically matrices. I could never understand those goddamn things.

10. I don’t have to conjugate Latin verbs.

So I’ve got that going for me.

Read Full Post »

Project 365: 89-95

I think I start every week with some kind of theme in mind. I expect to take pictures along one set of lines: only outdoor pictures, or only buildings, or something. It has never stuck. Here are this week’s pictures. Themeless.

March 30, 2009

Vegan banana chocolate-chip muffins. I made them on Sunday and on Monday evening I brought a few to a friend’s house for dessert. I’ve made this recipe several times now, and I really love the feeling that I know what I’m doing. Baking is so much fun and is more part of my life now that I own The Joy of Vegan Baking. I’m really looking forward to blueberry season when I can make Blueberry Lemon muffins. Delish.

March 31, 2009

The library hosted a local artist’s demonstration of pysanky, traditional Ukranian egg decorating. I worked with her to set up the program, learning a lot about the craft in the process. I took photos of the presentation and this was one of my favorites. She had brought maybe 10 eggs that she had decorated and several eggs that she used to demonstrate the processes of design, application, and finishing. After the program ended, she unexpectedly gave me the choice of any egg to take as a gift (I chose the mostly black one to the left of the foreground). I was so moved. I probably won’t pick up this craft to practice, but I love the artistry and symbolism that go into these pieces.

April 1, 2009

The Lutheran Church on the corner of Third and Pine. Wednesday was a gorgeous day, and I played around with the light settings on my camera until I got the image to match the blue of the sky. The strong lines of the church + the delicate and wandering branches = pretty much my favorite juxtaposition ever.

April 2, 2009

Miyagi’s charming muzzlepowshe. I was knitting on the couch and she cuddled up to me, and I couldn’t resist putting the camera in her face. She’s so cuddlesome lately. Could be that she notices when I have cramps, or it could be the hot pad I use when I have cramps. Last night I went to bed with the hot pad (actually a pillowcase with jasmine rice in it — I’m going to make actual rice bags when I get the chance) on my belly. Miyagi usuall sleeps at my feet, but she cuddled right down next to the hot pad.

April 3, 2009

On Friday we went out to dinner with a friend in Sycamore, and I snapped this on the way back to the car. I took this later in the evening, probably after 7:30pm, and the sky was definitely not this bright; I changed the light balance to brighten up the shot. I had been thinking about HDR images all day after another friend sent me a link to the HDR Wikipedia page, and to this image set on Flickr. Amazing stuff. I’m so excited to learn more about digital image processing. You know, in my spare time.

April 4, 2009

On Saturday I upgraded my phone to a Blackberry. By 6pm that night I understood why they’re called Crackberries. Good lord, this thing is full of amazingness. I now have my Google calendar on my phone and easily updatable either on my laptop or on my phone — which is why I wanted the Blackberry in the first place. I am crap at writing down appointments in a calendar and need to be reminded of things immediately. And now I can. The phone is sitting on some paint chips I got from Lowe’s as possibilities for kitchen walls. The light in this picture is pretty bad, so the colors don’t come out as they are (my countertops are not grey), and NinjaHusband and I aren’t really sold on them. Lilac was suggested on Friday night. The search continues.

April 5, 2009

Yarn for the first of five baby blankets I’ll be making this year, for my five pregnant friends. I’ll show the pattern when it gets here, along with the other colors. I think it’ll be a really pretty blanket. I just hope I can get it done by May 14th.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »