Monday, August 25, 2008

some updates

Thanks to some inspiration from a comment by Bay Home Stager, I worked my butt off this weekend and got a lot of stuff stowed. I don't know why it never occurred to me before that it's not cheating to get the stuff out of sight by packing it, and then you have a head start on moving! Duh! So that's what I did. The house looks a lot better, and it didn't feel pointless like just redecorating for hypothetical people with no imagination. Also, I took the time to organize stuff as I was sifting through it, so now my life will actually be easier, too. (During the first pass I just kind of madly stashed stuff, which made it really hard to remember where anything was.)
Phyllis asked a question, and I thought others might also be interested in the answer, so I'll address it here. How did I hang the yarn? I went to Lowe's and got some decorative chain that's normally used to hang plants or lights, and I hung that up with a picture hanger--just put the top loop over the hook and let the chain hang down. Then I wanted a whole raft of S-hooks, but I couldn't find any that were cheap enough, so I went to Walmart and got a package of wire from the hardware section. The stuff I got was about $3, it has a galvanized coating, and it's stiff but you can bend it with your fingers. To make each hook, I bent the wire around the round handle of my file, bent it again the other way to form the S, cut it off the spool, and filed the ends. It sounds crazy, but each hook probably took about a minute to make. Then I took the ball band off the yarn, punched a hole in it and hung it on the hook, put the hook through the yarn, and hung it on the chain. I didn't want to see the ball bands, but I also didn't want to forget what yarn was what. For the long stuff, I hung the chain horizontally from three picture hooks and put the yarn so the hanks just hung down next to each other. (The nice thing about making your own hooks is that you can customize them: I made really big ones to hold a whole bunch of my handspun yarn or big things like Cherry Tree Hill stuff.)
It was a very satisfying project, and even including the cost of some really good wire cutters, I think the whole thing was maybe $30. I totally loved being able to see all the yarn at any given time--I knew where everything was, and when I was working on mixed-yarn projects, I could just walk around holding the project up to the yarn until I picked what should go next. I'm definitely doing it again in my next house. The only drawbacks are that the yarn would get dusty eventually, although in the year that mine was up, there was no noticeable accumulation of dust, and that it could fade from the sun. The room where I had mine has only a north-facing window--there's never any direct sunlight in there--so I wasn't too worried about that. In a west-facing room, you might have a problem.
In other news, I took the pretty colors mohair yarn off the bobbin.

The colors are great, but holy crap is that nasty yarn. It feels like rope with little fiberglass shards sticking out everywhere. I have no idea what I'll do with it--even to make a purse or something out of it, you might want to wear gloves while knitting or crocheting. Yikes! That kind of took the thrill off of spinning more of it, but I will eventually. I'll certainly think twice before buying any more mohair, though.
Also, I'm making a lot of progress on the cozy for my EEE PC. I love this project because it's totally mindless, but every row is interesting as the color changes through the yarn. What else can I make out of plain old rectangles?! I did buy Crochet Squared a while back, which is all about making stuff out of only squares and rectangles--I'll have revisit it if I didn't pack it. You have to watch out for this book, though--if you look closely at the garments in the pictures, some of them clearly had some cheating going on. You can see shaping, not a simple rectangle, on a lot of the ones that look good. Yeah, I know shaping makes stuff fit better, that's why people do it. But don't write your whole book around making garments out of squares and rectangles, and then cheat for the pictures! Totally not cool. The people who are likely to buy this book are beginning crocheters, myself included when I bought it, and it's not fair for them to follow the patterns, come out with something much crappier than what you see in the picture, and think it's their fault for being a bad crocheter. I was filled with righteous indignation when I made this discovery, but the book still has use to me as inspiration.
Anyway, as much as I'm enjoying making the cozy, there is one slight problem with it.

It's way too big. The rectangle is actually a slight trapezoid because the later yarn is thicker than the yarn at the beginning, which doesn't help. I think I can work that out with blocking, though, and the whole thing will fit pretty well if I turn it sideways. The stripes won't go the way I wanted them to, but it will still be plenty cool. It's a good thing I checked the fit this morning--suddenly I'm much closer to being done than I thought!

1 comment:

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Thanks for all that good info on yarn hanging. What a good idea. I already have a few s hooks and some wire. I just need to be on the lookout for the chain.