Friday, December 17, 2010

Playing With Toys

I’m in Avoidance Mode. Maybe if I do a whole bunch of other things besides getting ready for the Christmas onslaught next weekend somehow everything will be ready anyhow. Urp. I’ve put up minimal decorations. After all, there’s no room in my little house for 28 guests and a Christmas tree too. Even if some of the guests are very small. Besides, I have my 3D tree picture, made from broken wine bottles and old jewelry bits glued to velvet and complete with lights. This wonderfully tacky item was made by my late birth mom, who kindly made one for all the siblings. I love it, truly.

Maybe I’ll put a few decorations on the Hawaiian schefflera, since it takes up a goodly corner of my dining room and is just about as big as a regular Christmas tree. I’ve had this plant (actually that would be plants, since there’s more than one in the pot) for over 30 years and it’s definitely part of the family. They call them “dwarf scheffs” but mine keeps heading for the ceiling and has to be trimmed back! I can’t put lights on though or anything too heavy because the leaves will fall off. They do that all the time anyway. Luckily it grows back.

So instead of cleaning and decorated and baking I’ve been playing with a new toy I bought yesterday at our guild meeting from Jeff (of Fibres Plus).


There was quite a run on these at the meeting – at least half a dozen people bought one! Personally I’ve been meaning to get one of these little items for awhile and although I’m sure it would have been much cheaper with a half-off coupon at Michaels, it’s nice to support our local suppliers. Otherwise how do they stay in business? Anyhow, this is actually a little 4-needle circular knitting machine and like all knitting machines it has its quirks. There is a definite learning curve and one needs to be a) gentle, b) dextrous and c) google these YouTube videos for help: Part 1 & Part 2. I’ve read some negative reviews of the Embellish-Knit but you know how some people are: dangerous around tools. This thing demands care and attention. A crochet hook and a flexible wire beading needle are also helpful. I believe the manufacturers have shrunk the size of the hole through which you must thread the yarn so as to discourage you from using yarn that’s too thick. It just looks so much easier on the video but it’s impossible to get the darn thing through without some kind of threader.

When I finally learned how to start the i-cord properly (thanks to the videos and the icky pink yarn included in the kit) I cranked out a couple of lengths using the sock yarn scraps that I’ve been using to knit my iTouch cosy. Then I used one of these (mine’s an original Lang double in purpleheart wood) to make a twisted cord out of the two i-cords. This is less stretchy and more substantial than a single i-cord alone. (And also needed another toy to make! Yay!) I plan to stitch it to the cosy so I can wear it either around my neck or slung across me for those times when my clothing lacks pockets. Is it wrong that I now covet a quad fringe-twister? When does one have enough toys? No. Don’t answer that.

And I almost forgot to mention that my Green Eyelet Cowl found a new home with guild member Diana. She was very happy with her score. And in return I got this really sweet little sewing case:

SewingCase1  SewingCase2SewingCase3

Hand-stitched on felt by my dear friend Kirsten. I love it! Though it might end up in my knitting kit instead since I don’t really do a lot of stitching. Hmmmm…maybe I should…

Have I talked about how this is the way I prefer to give and receive gifts? One-on-one. One at a time. To someone who is deserving and appreciative of the craft and effort that it took to make it. I just seriously dislike Excessmas.The whole point is lost in the insanity of it all. It will not kill you to just stop. Of course you’ll probably have to put up with a lot of Scrooge references for awhile. Ask me how I know.

Sorry. I wasn’t supposed to indulge in my Favourite Seasonal Rant. Slipped there for a moment. Where was I? Oh yeah. This:


Isn’t it bee-oo-tee-ful?! Red velvet, faux granite painted frame, holes for lights drilled by my brother, glass snowman lampworked by T-Man, jewelry bits from the family stashes (including some from my late sister whom I never got to meet because she died in a car crash before I met my birth family). Now that’s celebrating! Who needs an old fir tree anyway.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I love your tree. And I share your dislike of too much stuff at Christmas. Haven't even put up decorations yet... maybe today. But I do enjoy the little bit of sparkle once it's up.