Pinterest Part 3: DIY yarn swift

•July 13, 2012 • 1 Comment

If you are an avid knitter or crocheter like myself, there are certain tools you covet but learn to live without. A lot of the time the quality of fiber I use comes in skeins and I choose to either hand roll it into a ball, or what I most like to do….stuff my fingers down the center and try to find the inside thread so I can pull the yarn from the middle and then the skein doesn’t roll around, bounce onto the floor, get all hairy or unwind as it rolls under the bed. However, this is a bitch to do…find this center thread. So more often than not I’m spending 2o minutes winding the skein into a ball and placing it in a yarn bowl, hoping it doesnt jump out and do the same thing as pulling from the outside of the skein.

However not all yarn comes in a skein. It comes in a hank.which is basically a big circle all twisted up. If you have seen movies where there are knitters, you’ve seen a hank of yarn. Ususally someone( a man) has their arms stretched out holding the yarn between them while someone(the knitter) else is rolling it into a ball. This is great….if you have someone to hold the hank of yarn.  I have tried to do this as a one man operation. Doesnt really work. I’ve tried holding it with my knees or my feet..but it just doesn’t get the right tension. A chair works sometimes, but it depends on the width of the hank….again it’s about tension.

right: Skein left: Hank

So in order to get the hank into something manageable you really need a yarn swift. But they are expensive.

table top swift $70

Amish swift $40+

Can I afford it, yes. Do I really want to spend my money….sigh.

So I was on pinterest and I found a lot of people who have DIY’ed a swift. It’s a lot of work. And  by the time the have built it, with time and materials, some of them cost as much. Though people never account for their time. But I found one that uses plastic hangers, clothes pins, elastic and a lazy susan. Well I have all these materials except for the lazy susan and I purchased one at Walmart for $6.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves on how this project went.


tying the hangers…I used zippy ties instead of elastic

finished swift with hank

swift to ball winder

So as you can see the DIY swift works. It is a little of balance when it rotates. I tried to put flax seed in the bottom to weigh it down a bit…it sort of worked. So this is a doable solutions…for now. What it ready makes me want is a regular yarn swift…sigh.

Note to family: I like the table top Amish swift better than the knitpicks one…in case you were wondering 🙂


poutice with the mostest

•July 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

So some of you know I’ve been going through a thing, and I have been looking for alternative ways to make it go easier. Basically I am trying to heal large blisters that are so painful t the normal pain I endure on a daily basis has really taken a back seat. My neighbors mom was by last night and she suggested making a compress or a poultice from licorice root.

what the hell. At this point I m ready to try anything. So I spent a couple hours today searching for this licorice root and finally found some at GNC, and it was on sale. The woman working there ask me what I was going to use it for. Now those of you that know me well, and my dealings with people who tell me I cant use products for differnet things, know I should avoid this line of questioning. But today’s mantra What the hell…so I told her my situation and she actually was helpful and told me how to make a poultice. SHOCKER!

So I went about making this muddy looking substance, got everything ready….towels to lay on, remote, water, computer open to facebook. Then I spread the stuff on. The only thing I wasnt ready for was the smell. EWW. My mother said if it didnt smell bad then it couldnt work. Well it smells bad. So it better be working. I also wasnt prepared with how to get it off without distrubing the very sensitive skin that doesnt even like the ceiling fan air blowing across it.

Hopefully this will help….the internet says to apply twice a day. We’ll see.

Next thing to try….lemon balm and tea tree oil. Hey if it helps….what the hell.

Pinterest…an Art Project part 2:Sharpie tye dye

•June 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

 Alright, Pinterest #2….Tye Dye with sharpie.

This one I wasnt sure about, because it is asking you to dye with permanent ink by using rubbing alcohol. Right.

However this one worked really well. You want to put something inbetween the layers of the shirt so the ink doesnt bleed to the other side. So using a solo cup and a rubber band you put the solo cup under the layer of the shirt and rubber band it. Then take your sharpies and draw on the tshirt in a space no bigger the about a 50 cent piece. Then take a dropper of alcohol and put about ten to 12 drops of the alcohol on the marker (the solo cup catches any alcohol to drop through). Slowly the dye spreads. You can use multiple solo cups or just the one to move about the shirt. Let it dry or you’ll stain parts of the shirt you dont want color, something I learned the hard way. Once dry you throw it in the dryer to heat set it…I dried it for about 20mins.

For this sample I used three different kinds of permanent markers. The top row was Sharpie, the second Bic, and the third SRC. All three worked fine, but the sharpie spread better I thought , but the Bic colors stayed more vibrant.

So many possiblities.


Pinterest…an Art Project: cutting bottles

•June 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I am in love with Pinterest as many of you are. Some of us have even tried some of the food an recipes to be found there. I however being the art teacher wanted to see how well some of the craftier projects were work. Though I am skeptic about some of the outcomes, I figured I would put some of them to the test.

The first project I tried was cutting glass bottles by lighting I string on fire. Literally. I thought well this could work, and I like fire so why not give it a go.

The directions were simple: wrap cotton yarn around the bottle and tie off. Take off the cotton thread and soak it in nail polish remover, slide it back onto the bottle. Set the string on fire, and rotate for 20-40 secs. Submerge the entire bottle into a cold water bath.

The reality of this project is a little harder than the directions. Some bottles are thicker than others, some are more brittle at the neck. Also the amount of soaking the yarn in the nail polish remover is a little vague. I found that you must leave the yarn dripping and not to ring it out.

Sometimes the bottle starts cracking on its own under the heat…this is bad.

Sometimes the bottle even after the flame goes out and has been submerged into cold water doesn’t break at all…a complete bummer.

Of the eight bottles I tried, I would say one came out satisfactory and three cracked a little more than I would have liked, two broke completely apart and three didn’t break at all. All the bottles but two were from the same brewery.South Hill Pale Ale

Last Day of School/First Day of Summer

•June 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Today was the last day of school, a half day. I always tell kids  not to come since they get cleared the day before and they really don’t have to be there. But inevitably, students show up, and usually the ones I don’t want to see. They didn’t come during the regular semester, but the make it to the last day. They really just get in the way. I’m too busy cleaning and getting paper work cleared, and they want to be my new best friend. Go Away!


So when I got home today I made a list of things I want to accomplish this summer.

1. Finish clearing the garden

2.Emily’s wood people for christmas


4.revamp my curriculum/power points/rubrics

5.Walk 250 miles

6. Buy a new bed

Wish me luck

Every Summer…try try again

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

School is almost out and I felt the need to document what happens. I usually only make it the July 4th or day 12 of summer break. So this summer I am going to try and go farther. I have a lot to document this summer. I couple of art projects that I have taken on, possibly a public mural and another book of drawings.

Right now though, it doesnt look like summer. According to the news we have the coldest temps in the world other than Siberia and the two Poles. I really dont mind it since I’m not a hot weather girl…plus it keeps the skin quotient down at school and the students in the seats.

So the goal: write longer then July 4…something interesting has to happen after the fourth, right?

62 days: A teacher on summer break….Day 10, 11 and 12

•July 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Day 10, 11 and 12: Sat-Mon July 2-4

So for Saturday, it was my job to make Man cookies. It is a favorite recipe….an easy recipe and a cookie that every one seems to love. However in order to make them, you have to make double the amount of cookies you want because they are sandwich cookies.

so this is the 34 dz cookies that I made, knowing that they would really make only 17 dz sandwiches. Some of these were chocolate cookies, red velvet/white/blue cookies, and devils food and cream cheese. After two days of people eating the cookies, there are only 14 left….not 14dz…14.

On Sunday a friend of mine had a 4th of July party on the 3rd, which makes total sense since most people have to work on Tuesday. I had good beer…like Black Butte XXII reserve and Dogfish Head 90min IPA. I love beer and I will try just about anything. I might not love it, but I definitely like to great my taste buds involved.

The other thing I love about this get together is that they all make me feel like I am part of the family…..that and watching my friend get into a day glow onesy. His outfit of choice to light fire works, sing the national anthem and let us know the warnings on the boxes of fireworks….you really cant beat it.

On the actual 4th…I laid low. Slept in because I got home so late from the night before….but I did manage to mow the lawn before it got too hot. Yes 80* is too hot for Dorrie. At least there has been a good breeze all day. And since I really dont like fireworks because they are too loud for me ears, I really am not missing anything.

I am proud to be American.