Category Archives: anticraft

diy – dry erase grocery list


So, it’s been awhile since I’ve done anything crafty.

You know, other than CREATE LIFE.

I got back into the groove for a couple of seconds today, however.

It felt good to make something for the fun of it.

My house is a disaster, so I’m still failing at the whole Happy Homemaker bit, but if you’ve got something negative to say, please refer to my new motto:


[A motto I would be more than happy to staple to your forehead…if I could find my stapler.]

Anyhow, le craft:

First off, I’ve discovered Pinterest.  Disastrous for someone with so little time to begin with, but fascinating, regardless.  Who knew there were other people out there wanting to make their own VapoRubChildren’s clothesButter?

I get aroused just thinking about it all.

I came across a similar idea for a paint chip calendar and thought the same picture-frame-cum-dry-erase-grocery-list-board would be a useful addition to my crazy kitchen.

I used some heavy-duty double sided tape to mount it onto the inside of a cabinet door.  Very handy.

Cheap picture frame + pretty paper + dry erase marker = Cool, hey?


$10 quilt – april block


So, I’m getting a little bored with my $10 quilt.

Not only are the colours less than inspiring (the rumour is, they ran out of fabric, so the choices have been whittled down to three), but the squares are SUPER EASY.

Sounds arrogant, I know,  but when a virtual beginner finds them simple, there’s something amiss.  I expected to be learning new techniques every month.

Anyhow, here’s Block #8




So, Washington requested another shawl, once again sending her own yarn for me to use.

This one was in a gorgeous 50/50 Merino/Cashmere, so I was happy to oblige.

The first shawl was in gun-metal grey (classic but uninspiring) so this shawl’s creamsicle orange was a welcome change.

It took me two tries to get the fabric right (the first time was way too loose) but I’m super-pleased with the results.

Fingers crossed, Washington will be too.



So, I got this random message on Etsy.

She’s from Washington, loves my stuff, la la la, would I knit her a shawl with this yarn she’s had for ages?

I generally don’t knit with other people’s yarn as my motto is “Life is too short to knit with shitty yarn.”

Why everyone thinks the $2 balls of yarn from Michael’s is anything but disaster is beyond me.

Anyhow, I was half right.  The yarn was a really interesting, quality blend of cotton and rayon from Blue Heron, but not so fun with which to knit lace.

It was really nubbly and getting a stitch pattern to show up at all, let alone look fabulous, was a sisyphean task.

She originally wanted me to knit my Triple Crown Shawl for her, but I convinced her that I could come up with something that would suit the yarn better.

I think I’m going to call it Undulate as the stitch has more to do with movement than form.

The pictures are of less than high quality, but Husband’s iPhone was all that was available at the time.  It did the job.

The pattern will be made available as soon as I knit it out of some fingering weight yarn.

$10 Quilt – March Block


So, I got my next $10 Quilt Block done in the nick of time.



What with all the hormones and the nausea and the holy-crap-I’m-tired, I haven’t really been interested in anything but not puking.


It was my first time sewing curves, so that’s cool.  You never know when you’ll need to pull that skill out of your bat tool belt.

Much like my ability to plot the perfect sine wave.


I changed it a little from the original (below) for no other reason other than I could.  I don’t know that I like it any better, but as I’m praying tulips will soon show their pretty faces, I’m happy with the result.

I don’t know that I really consider appliqué  ‘real quilting’, however, and as we’ve already use that technique twice, I’m pretty much over it.


the spleen – it vents


This post won’t make much sense to a non-knitting, non-Ravelry user.   Apologies in advance.


So, I write knitting patterns.   I’ve started charging for some of them, but before I got greedy wise, I gave them away for free.

As you can see by the links list on the left, my free patterns out number my not-so-free patterns by more than double.

It didn’t occur to me to charge for patterns, regardless of how many hours I’d spent knitting the samples and writing down the instructions.

Pretty stupid nice of me, hmm?

Now, let me ask you, when someone does something nice for you – even if it isn’t specifically for you but for the knitting community at large – how do you respond?


I’m a bit of a voyeur when it comes to my patterns.  That is, I love going on to my Ravelry site and seeing what people are doing with them.  Are they knitting them as-is, or are they being creative and adapting them to their own needs?

One of my favourites is the Tongues of Fire Wrap.  I love the stitch pattern.  I love the size.  I love the yarn.  Yum.  So, when I saw that some intrepid knitter had started it with some very pretty Yarn Pirate yarn, I was pleased.

I noticed, however, that while she’s stated she only had one skein of fingering weight yarn (~400 meters) but was knitting it the same number of pattern repeats as the original that used 2 skeins of fingering weight yarn (~800 meters) I was concerned.

After some consideration, I decided to message said knitter to inquire.  After all, I’d want someone to point out possible problems to me so as to not waste my precious time.

Said knitter was less than thrilled with me, saying she’d picked the pattern specifically because it said that the yarn requirements were stated at 400-800 meters.

True, I responded, but that was to include knitters who wanted to scale down the wrap into scarf-form.  I also pointed out that the printable pattern clearly stated that 2 skeins of HandMaiden’s Sea Silk were needed.

Her last message griped about how that didn’t help as she had no idea how many meters a skein of Sea Silk used and how she was immediately frogging the project because of my incompetence (implied).

Her last dig was on her Project Page where she commented “gotta love the clarity (or lack there of) of this pattern”.




Now, she may have had a point.  If I were to write this pattern today (this pattern was originally posted in 2009), I would not only name the  yarn and the number of skeins needed but also the yardage of said skeins.

However, since we seem to be all about diving straight into the defensive position and refusing to take any responsibility for our own (in)actions, let’s talk about why she’s 100% totally and completely in the wrong.


1.) The pattern is free.  You want me to take responsibility for a possible oversight?  Either pay for one or treat me with some common courteous.

2.) You’re on Ravelry.  You have a huge database of information at your fingertips – INCLUDING the ability to easily ascertain the yardage of two skeins of Sea Silk.

3.)  You’re on Ravelry.  You have a huge database of information at your fingertips – INCLUDING the ability to see more than 80 other ToF projects, several of which show GORGEOUS single skein versions and talk about how they made the pattern work for them.

4.)  You seriously thought you could get a 14″x85″ fairly densely knit shawl out of one skein of sock weight yarn?   Really?

5.) I came to you.  I could have just let you continue to knit in ignorance.  Thanks for making me think twice about advising the next person.

6.)  Knitters are supposed to be NICE.  Set down your needles and take up a hobby that doesn’t require a pleasant personality.  Like boxing.