Sunday, April 08, 2018

More found things

So, I found my abandoned-for-nearly-15-years Furby, and new batteries and punching the reset button means I have a virtually-new Furby. And yes, its touch sensors do work. I can't tell if the servo motors that move the ears and make it "dance" are slower and creakier when they were new; I presume these things were an early version of the technology in the interactive toys - like the little "Fingerlings" unicorn I have. (I think I paid more for the Furby new than I did for the little unicorn, or certainly, I paid more if you took inflation into account - 1999 dollars (or whenever I bought it) bought more than the same amount of dollars now).

I found a couple other things. Not things I had forgotten about so much but things I knew I had, but had tucked away.

First of all: my potholder loom. About five years ago I bought a nice metal (Harrisville Designs, I think they make the best ones) potholder loom (It is the standard size - 7" square, but they also make a "deluxe" that is 10" square). For a while I had great fun making these; I even made a set of Mane Six themed (based on their colors) potholders. I still have them and I still use them (Cotton loops are the best of the ones I've seen, and the Harrisville ones are especially nice and heavy - and are made in the US, if that is important to you). The kit also comes with a hook to help you pull the loops through and a crochet hook for finishing off the edges.

Well, I found it in my cleaning yesterday and I thought "Hey, why don't I make a couple for my mom for Mother's Day" and the more I thought about it the more it amused me, because I remember making these (with a cheap plastic loom that the pegs broke off on after a while, and some kind of synthetic-fabric loop - which isn't as good, because if it gets too hot it will melt) when I was 7 or 8 and in Brownie Scouts or the first-level Girl Scouts. (And maybe symbolically, there's something sort of sweet about it: I may be 49, but I'm still her daughter, just as much as when I was 7).

And potholders are fun and satisfying to make. Because they are fast. (I can turn one out in about a half-hour or so). And they ARE useful - I like having as many as I do because I keep a couple on my dining room table in case I heat something up in a bowl in the stove and just want to set it down and eat from that bowl without shifting the food to a cool bowl, and I keep a stack on the counter to grab when I need one...And these cotton ones last really well because they are thick.

And I know my mom needs some new ones - she had repaired some old cloth ones she had because they wore through.

So, voilĂ :


Three of the different designs. (When I was a kid, I just used random arrangements of color, because you could never count on having enough of any one color, but the Harrisville sets are a smaller color palette but more of each color. And really, at least as an adult, the fun of these is planning out the different designs).

Also, you can see the loom in that photo - again, I think the Harrisville Designs kit is the nicest I've seen. (You can buy directly from them, and also Amazon has them).

I will make more of these...I ordered some pastel loops after seeing Harrisville is now offering them. I might make for my mom, or just make more for myself, or make some to have on hand for gifts. Or maybe I offer up to "commission" a potholder (in design and colors) in return for....I don't know, evidence of someone donating to Mercy Corps or some other charity I support? I don't know.

I also found TONS of yarn. I may be sorting my stash this summer and either giving some of it away or selling some of it/swapping some of it. (I'm already mentally earmarking some leftover acrylic that was either overbuys (extra skeins) or partial skeins left over for a friend who makes scrap afghans. She and I will be meeting up in May so I can take the yarn to her. (My one hesitation about just straight giving away yarn to Internet friends is the cost of shipping. I'd be more prone to either donate it somewhere locally where they could use it, or give it to someone I could meet in person)

Then again, I may remember projects I want to do and just start a ton of projects. Here are a couple of near-future projects:

yarn pile

Back in the back is some worsted-weight for the Saami socks in a back issue of "Piecework" - rarely for me, I bought the exact yarn in the exact colors that was called for, but a big part of the charm of the socks was the color combination. (Saami is what used to be called Laplander; like a lot of Native groups they pointed out - and got recognition for, in recent years - "Hey, that name you used to call us? You might not know this, but it's an insult, we really call ourselves this other name...." which also some Native groups have done here)

The other yarn is a sock-weight for a lacy scoop necked cardigan from a back issue of Simply Knitting - I bought this back in January or thereabouts and tucked it away, but I might start the sweater soon. (I ordered a different yarn and a different color....for one thing, it was a British yarn and I didn't know about Deramore's then, and for another - sockweight is kinda sockweight, and so I just hunted around for one I liked. This is a Cascade superwash wool.

And my guest room is clean now. And hopefully, by tomorrow evening, I will have hot water again...


And added: I hope I don't have any weird dreams tonight. I can tell having workmen in the house and especially the precise dance of "when do they get here and when do I have to be on campus and when can I come home to see if they're done" stresses me out.

The first night's dream (Friday) was not so bad; a group of people I knew (including a couple of Internet friends) had got together with me to help me sort my yarn and books and move stuff around and clean stuff up. It was actually pleasant to me because I was being paid attention to (how sad is that?) that when my brain went "wait this particular person can't be here and they can't be doing what they are actually doing" which normally would wake me up, another part of my brain HEADCANONED a reason why yes, in fact, they CAN be here and they CAN be doing those things...except I did eventually wake up, and realized that yes, I had a whole entire room to clear out and all that stuff to deal with and I had to do it on my own.

Then last night - ugh. This was after having cleaned and especially having looked up with apprehension at the attic hole (and yes, I am using the term "hole" on purpose - that is what I think of it, I do not go up into the attic; I tried, once, and I just sort of shuddered when I got my head and shoulders through the hole because I have a horror of what feels like a confined space with only one small exit) and wondered "could I still have mice or other critters up there even though I don't *hear* anything running around in the walls?" and of course that plus the cleaning plus the stress over how everything has to go *just so* tomorrow gave me bad dreams - in this one, I was renovating a house (this time, mostly on my own and wow was I not equal to the task) and it was a totally trashed house - holes in the walls, wallpaper peeling off walls, bad wiring, and it had mice everywhere - I'd walk out of a room, walk back in, and there'd be bits of food the mice had brought in and dropped.

It was actually bad enough that when I woke up from it - around 1:30 am - I just got up and watched tv for a while to clear my head. (There's nothing on at 1:30 on a Sunday morning - nothing on The Weather Channel, none of the animal shows I like, violent incomprehensible anime on Cartoon Network). And one thing I miss about The Weather Channel of old? They used to be my go-to insomnia viewing - because it was JUST weather, nothing else, just someone standing in front of a map and slowly describing the inexorable progress of fronts or reading off the temperatures. And it was kind of soporific provided there was no really threatening weather anywhere. But now, they show stressful reality shows.....and I do think there needs to be a cable channel of just something slow and soothing, something you can put on easily (no having to boot up the computer and connect to the internet and find YouTube or Netflix or whatever - so, a cable channel) that is stuff that's boring enough to make you forget a nightmare or to help put you back to sleep when you need it.

I'm hoping that (a) I have no bad dreams tonight and (b) that this time tomorrow I have hot water again.


purlewe said...

I love potholders. I am so glad you found that. And I am excited to hear there is a place to buy loops. Thanks.

I wish you the best luck with the new water heater. I am keeping fingers crossed for you.

Lynn said...

Another strange thing about me: I never made a potholder nor even had one of those woven potholders made by someone else. Maybe I will get one of the large looms. 7" seems too small to be useful.