July 26, 2014

Come and Get It!

Since it’s been a few years, I went on a blogroll-updating binge, removing inactive ones, updating URLs and adding new ones. If you have any other knitting blogs to recommend, I’m always open to suggestion, bonus if they can make me snort coffee out of my nose.


The thing about the moths is there’re still plenty of the li’l fuckers flying around and I have no idea what the grubs are noshing on, since the disemboweled camel has been regretfully round-filed and since, when the first moth flitted through my peripheral vision, I did a panicked inventory of the yarn and knitted items in the house and most things passed muster storage-wise. The one thing that was vulnerable—this sweater which I finished in 2009 and which just hangs out on the sweater shelves with its more plebeian brethren—I immediately and frantically shoved into a zippered bag...


...which, in retrospect, was so overkill because I will never—and I mean never—wear it. I knit it when I weighed what seems like a whole human being less plus, now, thanks to the torture that is chemically induced hot flashes, I’d shoot myself before I wore something that was (a) tightly knit from my friend and yours, 100% wool Cascade 220 and (b) has a turtleneck. Ironically, if I were wearing this when a hot flash rumbled through, I would lie spread-eagle on the floor and beg the moths to chew it off. Or take a shortcut and hack it off with scissors. (You young ‘uns are probably gasping in horror at the thought; you women of a certain age are probably nodding sagely in agreement because You Know How It Is.)

Posted by Ryan at 10:25 PM | Comments (6)

July 24, 2014

Yarn is Cheaper

Threw some money at the lampshade problem because, seriously, life is too damn short.


The drawback (because there always is one): Between the original lamps, hot-glue gun, extra hot-glue sticks, six rolls of sisal and new lampshades (not to mention the agita and fried nose hairs), I coulda bought the original lamps that I wanted. But I’m happy with this. It's sufficiently cozy coastal/nautical/Cape Cod/Nantucket for my needs.

Posted by Ryan at 06:49 PM | Comments (4)

July 19, 2014

Nom nom nom.

Nine comments? For a blog that hadn’t been updated in six months?! You are the best readers a blogess could hope for.

Reflections on questions/suggestions in the comments:

Anj: How are the kittehs doing?

Well-ish. Joon had to have two teeth removed and something funky is going on with one of Benny’s kidneys; will retest in October. For now, Not Thinking About It. That being said, they are sassier and friendlier than ever, certainly poster children for adopting from a shelter. And since comments about the kittehs are often a veiled request for a photo ( :-) ), here they are, staring at a fly on the ceiling:


Diana and kmkat: How about knitting new covers for the lamp shades?

Problem is, either way I have to buy new lampshades because it’s impossible to “un-sisal” the one lampshade I did do. That hot-glue-gun glue is some industrial-strength sh___. What do you think of these? (I don't care what the salespeople think; I'm giving any potential lampshades a good long sniff before I buy them.)

SquareMary: LOVE the story about trying to make lampshades out of slides. I’ve seen that done on a craft show and am intrigued by the result but the effort required—holy Jebus. Dozens of slides, and four hole punches and four jump rings per slide? I could knit a pair of socks in the time that would take! Although I can see it being a fun event for a group, a “lampshade bee,” if you will.

JanzKnitz: Put the lampshades in the sun…

I did this recently with a hand-knit cotton washcloth that had developed a funky, moldy smell. Even better, I completely forgot about it and so it went through days and days of getting fried and sterilized in the sun and, you’re right, it worked remarkably well. But I don't think the smell of the sisal can be "fried" out of it; I think it's too much a part of it.

Kris: Did the sisal block out the light?

Actually, no. It really made a pleasant filtered light through the gaps in the sisal. I was surprised.

Diana: Love the lamps! Would you be insulted or flattered if I copied them?

I copied the idea so knock yerself out! There are lots more examples on Pinterest, or just on the interwebs in general, if you want more inspiration. Despite the end result, it was fun and easy.


I’m only human. Like most people, I think, “[Such-and-such] only happens to other people.” Oopsie—hello, depression; hello, breast cancer. Unfortunately, I've also made the mistake of thinking this: “Moth infestations only happen to other people.” Oopsie—hello, moth infestation. Not only a moth infestation, but an infestation of moth-epicures. Before I realized they were in the house, they had gone on a laser-beam-guided hunt for the best of the best which, by moth definition, is the least processed, closest-to-the-source wool. And what can be less processed and closer to the source than felted Mongolian camel fur which even still smells like camel? Yes, they found the Mongolian camel from Cousin Tom, Mongol LEE. (Dulaaners may remember the name.)





They disemboweled the poor thing. It made me sad for so many reasons. Trouble is, I can’t kill the moths. It’s a Thing with me. So if they want to eat their way through all the wool in the house, they’re welcome to it. That being said, other than the camel, everything was and has been well-protected so I’m hoping this will be the worst of the damage. And that being said, I don’t prevent Benny and Joon from killing the moths but they don’t. I can’t say I blame them. Who wants a mouthful of moth?

[Update: Joon did catch one last night. Caught it near the bed while I was lying in bed and crunched it right in my ear. Euw. So euw.]

Posted by Ryan at 10:42 PM | Comments (5)

July 13, 2014

Going Coastal

I’m not the kind of homeowner who regularly rearranges her furniture. In fact, most of what’s in the house is in exactly the same place it was when the movers plopped it on the floor 20+ years ago. Sometimes, however, I’m come all over with a burning desire to redo my bedroom as I was a while ago when I decided to change my boudoir from cozy earth-tones to lighter, breezier coastal/nautical/Cape Cod/Nantucket. Don’t ask me why; this just…happens.

I also don’t believe in paying more if you can get the same thing for less. For the redesign (way too strong of a word for something that primarily involved buying a new set of bed linens), I desperately wanted these lamps from Pottery Barn but, at $99 a pop, they were too rich for my blood so I opted for some similar but much cheaper lamps at a discount home-decorating store. The only drawback was that they came with severely straight-sided, Puritanically white shades.


No problemo, I thought. I’ve seen what those crafters on Pinterest do; all I need to do is wrap the lampshades with rope/sisal/twine. Easy peasy.

Surprise #1: The glue in hot-glue guns is…hot. Really hot. Who knew? The last of the blisters on my thumb has only just recently healed.

Surprise #2: Who knew that, when buying rope/sisal/twine you have to be as concerned about dye lots as you do when buying yarn? Not that the sisal (which is what I ended up using) is dyed, per se, and not that they even have dye lots but different balls can have different colors. Here is the first shade:


Note the lighter rope at the top, darker rope in the middle, and lighter rope again at the bottom. This is more pronounced in real life and looks truly dorky.

Surprise #3: Sisal—at least this brand—smells somewhere between strong cat pee and a decaying corpse. Add the heat from a light bulb and add to that the fact that the lampshade, being on my nightstand, was no more than a foot or two away from my nose and you can understand why the remaining sisal found a new home through Freecycle, the lampshades are now the property of my local Goodwill, and I have rededicated myself to knitting as my one and only crafting hobby.

Posted by Ryan at 03:24 AM | Comments (9)