Thursday, April 30, 2009

from the desk of katkoe / Squeaking one in

Squeaking one in before the end of April, wow the end of April already.

There were several deadlines today both actual and motivational and luckly all were meet :)

Donations to Arts Place, Random Mailing Wednesday surprises, sock club, PnY orders and the long awaited HAP afghan all went for delivery today *woot* Granted part of me is still very paranoid that I missed something or that May will simply devour me with other craziness, though things *should* be okay.

A quick garden update too. I started another round of plants on the 28th, went to check on the little guys today and happy to report the radishes and lettuce are already showing tiny green leaves. *fingers crossed* these sproutlings will survive being transplanted into bigger accommodations similar to photo two. Those are green and sweet red pepper, cauliflower in the purple bin and some poor little tomato plants still hanging on.

We are planning on creating a square foot garden this year. The lumber is bought and assembled with only some more soil being needed in order to get things rolling, well and a moderately dry day here and there... but who's complaining.

Anywho, it's a smidge past midnight and I'm off to sleep. Happy trails everyone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Getting Crafty With It - Drop Spindle and Knit Needles from Flag Post

Cheap Spinners Kits

One quick trip to the dollar store or some stash/trash diving and you'll have yourself a spinners kit in just a few simple steps. (ie. drop spindle and knitting needles)

  • 11 mm reclaimed flag pole or dowel rod
    (one of those personal sized flags, available during 4th of July)
  • Old CD (use two for heavier spindle)
  • Band Aid
  • Eye Hook/Cup Hook
    (available in $1 Picture Hanging Kit from Dollar Store, lots of goodies in this kit)
  • Cutting Implement
  • Sand Paper or Nail File
  • Rubber Grommet (available at hardware or on Etsy)
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Screwdriver or Pliers for opening Hook a bit

Knit Needle Sections

Begin by visually dividing/marking the stick for two knit needles with the remaining finial end (decorative end) left to be the bottom of your drop spindle.

In my example I ended up with two 7" Knit Needles.

Next carefully cut the pieces apart and sand the ends. ** Be sure to leave the finial attached.

Using one of the knit needle sized pieces, place an end of the dowel rod into the pencil sharpener and firmly hold it in place while sharpening the stick until your knit needle is to the desired point.

Repeat with second stick, being sure to check frequently that the needles are still the same size and end up the same sharpness.

Smooth out any rough spots with sandpaper or nail file.

Drop Spindle Section

There are tons of tutorials all over the Internet on the finer points of spindle making, I'll basically include just a brief detail with some of the MacGyvering that I used to make this thing work with what I had on hand.

Begin by sanding smooth the cut end of your flag stick.

Screw in the eye hook on this end and slightly expand the loop of the eye hook so that fiber will squeeze through.

Next wrap a band aid around the part where your CD will rest. This will help snug up the fit if it's a little sloppy.

Slip rubber grommet over the band aid area.

Now slip the CD to the grommet and gently line up the inner grove of the grommet with the inside hole of the CD. Snap into place. Repeat this step if using two CD's.

That's it. Pretty quick hey?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

a case of time travel - from the desk of katkoe

So I complained a week or so ago about time just flying on by... well since about February of this year it really seems to have picked up the pace and is increasing the acceleration spreed with each passing month.

It's almost May! Like where did April go? Seriously, who punched my ticket to ride on the time machine without telling me?

Just nuts, crazy. That is all.

{random oogling photo}

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

getting all crafty with it / planning for farmers market/

Wow it's been a busy week in the crafty department at PnY.

With the Farmer's market season fast approaching I'm starting to explore my dumpster chic style of life.

It's also the 'year of the simplify' so anything not moving is getting turned into something cute and/or useful before it leaves the house. (See Above).

That is indeed a leftover Raisin Bread plastic bag reliving life in a fused plastic envelope/wallet form. Part of a Home and Garden Party bag provided the clear overlay plastic and the super thick bread bag was 'sandwiched' inside and stitched up. The best part is that the bag still smells like cinnamon mmmmm :)

Another simplify rule is evolving too: all personal stash spinning fiber must fit within one of my IKEA cd/office organizer boxes. This means before more fiber comes into the stash the other stuff must make it's way into yarn.

The results so far are turning out pretty awesome. Picture above is 2.8 ounces of Ashland Bay Colonial Red Blended Roving in a heavy worsted to super bulky two ply (69-ish yards) So smooshy soft too :)

and besides... that rule only applies to the personal stash... it does not include the PnY goodies that are springing out of the dye pot.

100% Merino Wool Rovings in Mother of Pearl Swirl and Wowzy

because fiber is love :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

holy crap tomorrow is wednesday or from the desk of katkoe

Make List/Make it Stop

Seriously, tomorrow is already another Wednesday (yes, I just double check the calendar to be sure). I've scribble out a few list to try and calm my nerves to no avail. Nothing life shattering, more like bunches of little things all coming to a head at once. wooh boy. By the end of the week the pipeline will be cleaned out; the rest of the tax paperwork mailed, faces painted and friends geekified. life is good and scary and odd all in one.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

random mailing wednesdays - the frooest of them all or monday/thursday

This week's package motivation:
a "happy birthday to ewe" gift

The package, and it's 72 layers of pink, went out on Monday and will hopefully hit her door in the next day or so.

Included inside the cupcakes and stripes are 4 tiny pink butterfly markers modified to be used by a crocheter. The other photo of markers is to show the cuteness that are the pink beads.

random wednesday what?
because I'm a bit odd and fun loving each Wednesday-ish will feature a random package, sent to a random person, for a random reason. The little lovely will contain random stuffs sometimes small some times big... usually odd.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

from the desk of katkoe: if at first...

Howdy again. I've come to the realization that my weeks begin on Tuesdays. The weekends are just so busy they fly right by with this/that errand so by Monday I'm pooped. Which leaves Tuesday for getting things caught up.

The wheel has seen some love this week with my first 3 ply coming off the bobbin a few days ago.

Included in the 2 oz.ish skein are chocolate brown corriedale, some of the first hand dyed roving I ever bought (a beautiful pastel merino roving from and mercerized cotton mint green crochet thread.

The end result was slightly over plyed (my main spinning issue) so I misted the skein with water and hung it to dry with the spray bottle as a weight. This seems to have fixed it a bit and take some of the back spin out of the skein too. Really happy with the finished skein regardless.


The "year of the simplify" is also rolling right along. As the PnY shop shows I've been raiding my vintage ribbon/notions stash lately. There are new gift tags with ribbons/fabric scraps accents and stitch markers made using cute acrylic buttons.

All the scrap raiding has also helped the long planned knitting accessories line for PnY to start cracking through it's egg.

My first attempt at a dpn case ended up with a few misplaced seams and some wayward sheering of the edging to fix said seams. The little guinea pig dpn roll has a dumpster chic look with a bit of wonky construction to it. I do really like the 3 slot size it's nice and small (perfect for throwing in the sock bag) with cute character provided by the faded pink flannel and natural hued board cloth.

The second dpn roll fared much better. It has 5 pockets and is also sized to be used with 5"-ish midsize dpn's. The flannel and board cloth are also reclaimed scrap. I used pretty vintage bias ribbon as a sewn in place roll tie making for one very charming package.

Tomorrow will be more planning and sewing and possibly some chicken knitting ... we'll have to wait and see :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

some form of growth - how to grow things on top of your refrigerator instead of in it...

My little seedlets began their journey parked on top of the fridge where it is nice and cozy. Then after few day where migrated to atop a wooden chair located in front of the big bay window. A little warm air provided by a small electric heater and bam!

baby tomato plants... aren't they just the cutest :)

The whole clan checks up on them everyday (sometimes several times a day) just to see what new sprouts have emerged. Some of the plants have already hit 2" tall.

It's so nutty to watch the toilet paper rolls going from just dirt to being filled with little plants in a matter of a day or two. Sometimes the little buggers have popped up with a few minutes of checking on there siblings. Their so tiny and delicate that it's hard to believe we may actually get full size tomatoes out of them. Isn't nature just the coolest?

Here's hoping to a bountiful and fun gardening season.