Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A home for our Kobo

A couple of weeks ago we bought ourself a Kobo Mini. It's a very small e-reader. It was on sale. It's cute. It's perfect. Most of the time, we don't get too worked up about possessions. We like to think we're not that shallow. However, every so often we acquire a 'thing' that we develop an unusual attachment for ..... something we value because it's either extremely useful or extremely clever. Our Kobo Mini has quickly become of those things. We can access books from the public library and read them on it. No more getting the car out to drive to the library. What luxury!

We decided the only thing our Kobo Mini needed was a case to keep its screen from getting scratched. So, this morning, first thing, we set about making him a case. We used 2 rectangles of Dollar Store felt, and in less than a morning, we had this:

We made cut-outs for the top where you turn it on and for the bottom where you insert the cord to sync it to the laptop. We used one of our own polymer buttons and a bright hair elastic. It is perfect.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dear Little Renn

We are very glad to see you're back, Little Renn. We know you've been busy, but we've missed you.

You know how much Grandma CoCo loves a challenge. When she saw your pretty stuffed hearts, she was smitten. When she saw that you'd asked for suggestions about how to create the perfect 'V' at the top of the stuffed heart, she was intrigued.

Very early this morning, she got us up and forced us to stitch stuffed hearts. She was sure it was just a matter of clipping. Unfortunately, she was wrong. Well then, she thought, if not clipping, then pressing would be the answer.

Our first effort (where it's so, so, so painfully obvious to anybody (with a brain and a pinch of foresight) that the ribbon's not going to be on the outside of the stuffed heart and therefore not functional in the least....but, hey! It was early. She hadn't even had her coffee yet):

Massive failure!
Attempt number 2 (where at least she got the ribbon to stick out of the finished stuffed heart . . . albeit not in a pretty way):

Abject failure
OK. That's what you were talking about. Right, Little Renn? That point at the top of the heart where the ribbon sticks out is all smooshy and not sharply pointed at all.


Well, let's try for a nice heart shape without the complication of that stooopid ribbon ("Easy, now, Grandma CoCo! Calm down.") :

We pressed the seam allowance back from the seam before cutting it out AND we clipped the V deeply . . . right up to within a thread of the seam line . . . the way you'd clip an appliqué shape.

There. That's not bad. But how to get that shape with the hanging ribbon in place? Well, you know, Grandma CoCo's not above cheating. She snipped a thread or 2 and slipped the ends of the ribbon inside (where they belong) and then hand-stitched the heart closed. It was just a few stitches after all.

Then she stuffed it and closed the opening. Ta-Da!!

There, Little Renn, what do you think? Cheryl thinks the V is very hard to notice. She thinks the extra work isn't really worth the effort. And she definitely thinks the toddlers at the Valentine's party will be too busy to notice anyway. If there are any other stitchers out there who have ideas or helpful hints, please leave a comment. (But you might want to try it out in fabric before you opine, because we're here to tell ya, it's harder than it looks.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bold as brass

At the risk of showing our age, we remember when the worst thing your mother could accuse you of was being 'bold'. "Don't be bold!" Mostly, that meant, "Stop being a jerk!" It meant you shouldn't be disrespectful or (worst of all) a show-off. It didn't have anything to do with courage. However, the bold we're talking about today is just that  . . . we're feeling 'brave'.

A week or so ago we chopped up our pink socks to replace the ribbed cuff. It turned out OK. Since then, we've been taking a course through Craftsy on lace shawl designing (with Miriam Felton). It's an excellent course. We highly recommend it, if anyone is interested in such things. One component of the course is how to fix mistakes. We think the main tool required to fix mistakes in lace is bravery.

Last night, we were knitting away on our first self-designed lace shawl while watching TV. Now, we were pretty sure this wasn't a good idea, but we were in the final innings of a repeat we thought we knew well. What could go wrong?

Yup. We're one stitch short. See that wonky business that we circled?

It appears it's a missed yarn over from several rows down. We put the whole business away in an overnight time-out. (At least we've finally figured out that we always do better if we sleep on it.)

This morning we decided to implement what we had learned in the course. Well, what could go wrong? When we were new knitters, we remember that horrible feeling of the whole business raveling away, but now, we know the worst thing that could happen is we'd have to rip it back stitch by stitch.

So, we pinned it to a cork board (to minimize disaster) and dropped one stitch back several rows.

We picked up 2 stitches with a crochet hook, 'knit' them back up, and slipped them back on the needle. Bold as brass! (but in a good way).

Monday, February 4, 2013

All, hail!

We saw something funny this weekend. Someone mused that Facebook is like ancient Egypt where people wrote on walls and worshipped cats. Too true! So in that spirit, here are a couple of shots of our Cassie on her throne doing, we guess, what monarchs do.

Notice the blue, blue sky. It's very bright but cold out there this morning.

"I didn't sleep through lunch, did I?"