Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PPP - Portable Phone Pocket

Remember Carol Burnett?  If you're a generation younger than me, you would know her as Miss Hannigan from the movie version of "Annie." If you are my age or older, you would just know her.  She had one of those stage variety shows that were so popular in the '70's. One of the things I remember most about her is that she had the man who designed her dresses to put pockets in all of them.  Not the clothes she wore everyday, but the gowns she wore on stage.

I understand completely.  Not all women's clothing has pockets, or even a single pocket.  I hate that. I don't particularly like purses and I certainly don't want to carry one every waking moment. But since I have a family and they expect me to be reachable at all times, I needed a phone pocket.  It seemed like a great idea for a new knitting project.

I knew that it would be something that got a lot of use, so I didn't really want a fuzzy yarn.  Mr. H had a spool of twisted nylon twine in his shop.  It seemed like the perfect thing to use. I measured my phone and got my knitting needles out.

It turned out just like I had envisioned! It's not often that one can say that about a project.

It's been about a year since I made the phone pocket.  The nylon twine has held up beautifully: no holes, no worn places. Perfect service. I realized that the cord was a bit too long, so I just knotted it to take up some slack.

Recently, I decided I needed something to hold my iPod Touch.  When I exercise, I like to listen to something. We have a rowing machine in our bathroom, but there is no view to distract my mind.  There is a radio in there, but the machine generates so much noise that I can't hear it.  The seating position of the rowing machine makes using regular pants pockets an if-fy proposition.  The iPod kept inching out and falling onto the floor, causing the earbuds to pull out of my ears. I needed another PPP - a Portable iPod Pocket.

I got it cast on Friday night. Then Saturday, while we were on the way to the family reunion, I got it almost finished.  Only one end of the strap was left to attach. I had planned it out on a 3" x 3.5" piece of graph paper in the back seat of the car.  That plan included grafting one end of the strap to some open stitches with Kitchner stitch, which meant I needed my cheat sheet and some undistracted time :)

I got it finished Sunday night and tested it Monday morning.  I like it!

Click HERE if you'd like a PDF of the pattern.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Treasure from my Grandmother

In the process of remodeling our bedroom, I have discovered treasure.  I was cleaning out the cabinets that were formerly part of the office, but are now the other end of our bedroom.  Over the years since we built the house, those cabinets have become overstuffed with little bits and pieces of every crafting project we've attempted.  It was really like a walk down memory lane:  fabrics I used to make little toddler dresses for the girls, church and school assembly program costumes for the entire family, and little crafting supplies accumulated over the years.  

Buried in the back of the least accessible cabinet was a big shopping bag.  I remembered it as a bag of silky fabric, cut into pieces that my grandmother intended for a quilt.  I pulled the bag out and opened it.  The fragrance of my grandmother's house escaped into the room, overpowering the new carpet scent.  It seemed like a magic moment.  Then I discovered the buried treasure.  I didn't realize that she had been well on her way to achieving the actual quilt.

As I was looking to see if there were enough pieces for me to try to finish her work, I noticed that some were attached to each other.  As I tried to pull a square out of the bag, it reminded me of the old magician's trick of the long, long scarf coming from his sleeve.  It was a quilt topper, mostly hand basted, but a few pieces were just pinned together.  It was exactly what I was picturing in my head as a bed covering for the new room.  There are Van Gogh prints hanging on our new gray walls, mostly in hues of blue and green and violet. This would be perfect.  I couldn't resist spreading it over the old comforter to see what it would look like.

This photograph doesn't really do it justice.  The colors are more mellow, not nearly as harsh as they look here.  It hangs almost to the floor on both sides of our queen size bed.

When I dug deeper in the bag, I found another one!

It isn't quite as big as the first.  It hangs down one square's length on both sides.  The pieces on this one are machine sewn.  It looks as if there are enough triangles in the bag to make at least one more row.  I hope so.

Now the question is whether I've got what it takes to finish the job or if I need to get someone else, more experienced, to make these treasures functional.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Science Gone Wrong

After VBS this past summer, I bought a big plastic tote to keep all the supplies together:  batteries, magnets, test tubes, vortex generators, you know...cool science stuff.  This morning I went into the room where the tote is stored.  I noticed that there appeared to be condensation on the inside of the tote.  My first thought was that it was hurricane related.  We did have a leak in the building, but it didn't effect that room.  There is enough paper stored in that room to assure me that there had to be another explanation.

I took the lid off the tote and knew there was trouble.  Two white lab coats were packed at the top.  Well, I should say, formerly white lab coats.  They were speckled with black mildew.  Ewww!  The folder of notes was warped and soggy.  The box containing the magnets and eddy current tube was saturated.  I don't even know what condition the 6 volt batteries are in.  They are in the very bottom, so I suspect they are toast.

When I picked up the gallon jug of bubble solution, it dripped on the floor.  I don't know if it was smashed by the lid of the tote.  I don't think the pressure from Hurricane Isaac was low enough to burst the jug.  If anything, it would have just popped the top off.

So now my task for Monday Tuesday afternoon is laid out.  I need to see what is salvageable and what is a lost cause. I suppose if the lab coats don't come clean, I can always tie-dye them.  Now there's an idea...