Thursday, February 15, 2007

Almost Floating

It’s been raining so hard around here that we’re almost floating. It slowed down a wee bit today but it’s dark enough to need lights on all over the house. I’ve been feeling poorly for the last two days with a tummy bug of some sort. Today it’s a bit better but I’ve got a migraine as well. Yuck. Not recommended on a weavers’ guild meeting night, but I’m going anyway. I have rides both ways so I won’t drown.

Apart from stomach cramps, I had a lovely Valentine surprise from T-Man yesterday. He bought me some yummy dark chocolate truffles. Unfortunately there was some kind of mix-up and instead of getting the mint and Amaretto ones he wanted, they are Bailey’s and some kind of orange liqueur. Perhaps they got switched with someone else’s order when they were being gift wrapped? I’m sure it was insane in the chocolate shop when he bought them the day before Valentine’s Day. As coffee is not one of my favourite flavours I’m a bit disappointed, but I intend to share them with him anyway and he definitely likes coffee. The chocolate is super yummy so even the Bailey’s ones don’t taste that bad! Of course I ate one. You didn’t think a mere tummy ache would keep me from chocolate, did you?

So what’s happening in Damselfly’s pond? The stacks of disks mentioned in the last post are still all over the floor but the piles are neater. Sorta. I found out the Zip drive is SCSI so you probably don’t want it anyway, especially if you don’t have a SCSI card (which I do anyhow for my ancient but still serviceable scanner). Can you say "sssslllllooooowwww"?

In crafty news, the MIL Birthday Socks are almost done. One toe’s decreases to go and then the grafting and blocking. They’ll be ready for T-Man’s weekly visit with his mom next Tuesday. There are obviously lots of other things in the queue so I’m not sure what’s going on the sock needles next. Gotta have my TV/bus/meeting knitting. Oops, that reminds me. I’d better figure it out asap so I have something to knit on this evening.

A headache didn’t stop me from making one of those nifty row-counter bracelets to keep track of my knitting. Using the basic instructions here, I raided the bead stash for components. Some of the things that I thought would work near the ends needed rejecting when I found out how thick the black SoftFlex bead wire was when doubled. Four times through demanded a large hole. It just barely fit in the #2 sterling silver crimp beads as it was. I got to use my agate teddy bear that has been in the stash for years, some of my round stone (jasper?) beads and some stone-like (but glass, painted?) cubes. And some silver-coloured (but not sterling beads) plus a little dragonfly to keep teddy company. I also decided that this project was worthy of the nifty ss clasp I got at Shipwreck last time I was there. One end has a ball that goes in the cage on the other side and then the bail clamps down over it. It’s easy to do up with one hand — always a consideration with a bracelet. I did have one bit of trouble with the stopper bead circle. It uses stretchy cord so the beads will pop through it. Thinking that 5 beads wasn’t big enough around, I did it with 6. Unfortunately, the cube beads slipped right through it too easily so I had to cut it apart and do it again with 5 beads. I wasted a ss crimp tube too which aren’t exactly a dime-a-dozen. At least it works properly now. Took me about an hour to make, but that includes screw-ups. (Migraine, ok?) My modification was in step 7 where she says to put the third crimp bead 5.5” from the second one. I put it only 4.75” along both for my small wrists and also because my ending beads plus clasp came out longer. I also wrapped the stretchy cord and extra twice around the circle for security. It’s not necessary to use such expensive components as I did but I had ’em so I used ’em. You could quickly make many of these assembly-line-fashion for all your knitting buddies. Make matching stitch markers for a really useful but pretty gift. My bracelet just happens to match my favourite stitch markers without conscious planning on my part.

To use the bracelet, it’s kind of like an abacus. For each count you slide a small bead through the stopper toward the charm/big bead/fancy end. They go up to 9 and when you get to 10, you slide the small beads back and bring up a large bead. This counter goes to 100 (all beads back) which should be enough for most things. In the photo, it’s set for row 1.

Yes, I know the teddy looks like he’s wearing earmuffs. Unfortunately the crimp beads were small enough that the teddy slid over them without those beads there. They also had to have large-enough holes to accommodate the 4 thicknesses of wire. Maybe they’re earphones and he’s listening to some great music? Here’s a close-up of the cool clasp:

Now I have to knit something bracelet-worthy. And the sun is coming out! If I could get rid of the headache/stomachache thing, life would be perfect. Almost.

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