Thursday, April 10, 2008


Last night I was thinking about how nearly every minute of my day is filled with some activity or another, how there is rarely an empty moment. As soon as I get up, it's rushrushrush to get out the door on time to make it to the office. As soon as I get home, I spend a few minutes snuggling Mina before I have to clean up the day's messes, make dinner, attend to the house. Bath time, bedtime, finally relax time, but wait - I have photos to edit and upload, things to write, things to read, things to knit. Sometimes this can overwhelm me. Other times, it's nice to feel like everything I do has its purpose, however small. Even though my time is filled, much of it is "want to do" rather than "have to do," and that is nice.

I've been making good progress on Global Warming, attaching the sleeves and beginning the yoke.

I did the first few rounds of puffed sleeve increases and raglan decreases last night, and then realized that I wasn't leaving any plain knit stitches in between the decreases. Technically it would still work, but it looks messy so I think I need to rip out about 10 rounds and start again. So although the sweater is a bit beyond what this picture shows, it will be ripped back to this point again tonight. It also looks like it's coming out shorter than I thought it would. Suvi mentions in the pattern that the sweater is quite short, but I am quite short as well. When I started the waist shaping I held it up to compare and it seemed like it would reach to mid-hip, but now it doesn't appear that it will. I'm going to finish everything, including the pocket, and see how much yarn I have left. I'll probably end up picking out the cast on edge, ripping back the ribbing, and adding length.

Mina and I had a little fun the other day with some of the myriad crayon bits in our house. The girlie loves crayons. What she loves best about them is not coloring, but breaking them in half and peeling off the paper. Once she gets in the crayon peeling zone it's like an obsession, and she MUST break and peel every crayon she can find. She'll get upset if I ask her to stop. I've had to shove aside my own preference for neatly ordered, pristine boxes of crayons to let her do her own thing. I've learned to keep my "good" art supplies hidden, for now, otherwise I'll end up with watercolor crayons in tiny pieces. She broke an entire box of 96 Crayolas into bits, most of them too small to use comfortably. So, we recycled them.

I can't claim credit for this idea. We bought a Martha Stewart "Good Things for Kids" magazine at the supermarket recently, and while I'm not normally a Martha fan, this little one is full of really fun ideas. I couldn't find the cute, heart-shaped candy molds like they used in the magazine photos, but a mini muffin tin was a good substitute. We sorted the crayon bits by color families and filled each cup about 1/3 to 1/2 full, then put it in the oven at the lowest temperature setting.

Once the crayons were completely melted, I let them cool on the counter until hard. The whole thing took a lot less time than I expected, maybe 45 minutes from start to finish. And look what we ended up with - new crayons!

If I do this again I'll watch the crayons more closely when they are in the oven and take them out sooner. Or maybe my oven was too hot, I'm not sure. For one of those reasons (I'm guessing), the clear paraffin separated from the pigment slightly and floated on top, so the crayon discs have a layer of colorless wax on one side that I need to scrape off. Other than that, I'd call this a great success. Mina was excited when she saw me take them out of the tin, immediately claiming them with an adamant "Mimi's! Mimi's!" (She came up with that on her own - she calls herself Mimi, which we think is pretty cute.) They popped out of the muffin tin easily, leaving no residue behind, so cleanup for this project was non-existent. They color just like regular crayons still, other than the shape. Lots of fun!

We had nice weather yesterday and I was able to take quite a few photos around the yard that I'll get uploaded to the Project Spectrum group as I am able. I'm hoping the rain stops today so I can get pictures of the new leaves on the rose bush and the juxtaposition of brand new and year old cones on my mystery tree before everything changes. I love seeing the tiny details of growing things - it moves me much more than views of vast landscapes.


marycatharine said...

Your right as long as it's "want to do" life is good. Sitting perfectly still is an admirable trait but highly unrealistic goal for me at least. Those crayons are a wonderful idea, even if you're not a crayon breaker the ends need a home somewhere.

LizKnits said...

What a great idea for the crayons! The sweater is looking great. Love the color.