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Archive for October, 2011

For Happy Feet

Friday, October 14th, 2011
By Twistie

As the weather grows cooler, I find myself thinking more and more about socks. I know, I know, my sock fetish is sad and I need to do something about it. Well, that’s what I’m doing. I’m telling you all about a great book that can teach those of you who knit to make better, stronger, and more gloriously spectacular socks.

The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes starts at the beginning. And for socks, in the beginning was the fiber. Yes, she breaks down the features, advantages, and disadvantages of various commonly-used fibers for socks, discusses various stitches commonly used, and finishes up with a collection of twenty patterns by some of the best designers in the business, including: Cookie A, Ann Budd, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

This would be a steal at the list price of $30.00, but it’s available from Amazon for just $18.19! Now that’s a good deal, whether you’re looking for inspiration to knit Christmas (or Hanukkah) socks for friends and family, or a good gift for the knitter in your family.

Inspiration Gallery: Jack O Lanterns

Thursday, October 13th, 2011
By Twistie

As the witching hour approaches for Halloween, I find my mind meandering into the fun I had as a child carving jack o lanterns… and I wonder what people are up to in the art form. Let’s take a look, shall we?

I’ve seen a lot of amazing pumpkin carvings in my day, but never before have I seen an animated one! Head on over to this thread on Instructables to learn how it’s done.


That Dweam Wifin a Dweam

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
By Twistie

Is this not one of the most wonderful wedding gifts of all time?

How did I not find these people before?

Seriously, whether or not you do counted cross stitch (and they do have links to their patterns for sale on Etsy, for those who want to recreate some of their masterpieces), this is a site well worth checking out if you’ve got a sense of humor.

Here’s an amazing historical tidbit I learned about George Washington in the explanation of this portrait:

 He presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787 on a horse made of crystal. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States (1789–1797), he developed the forms and rituals of government that have been used ever since, such as using a cabinet system, copulation with bears and delivering an inaugural address.

Wow! Educational, too!

Fit For a Fairy Princess… Or a Pirate One

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
By Twistie

I vividly remember Christmas day when I was nine. My great aunt gave me a fabulous salmon pink evening gown from the fifties with acres of rainbow tulle petticoats attached. Once I got it on, I never wanted to take it off again.

Sometimes a girl just needs a tutu more than she can possibly say.

I got that same giddy feeling of delight when I looked at the works of Etsy artist SewLovedBoutique. Just look at this adorable fairy princess costume! The wings aren’t actually included, but chances are the small child in your life will adore it as much as I do, wings or no. Oh, and it’s on sale! Regularly priced at $60.00, it’s marked down to $54.00 right now.

Contact the artist to learn about a custom tutu for your favorite baby, toddler, or child for this Halloween… but you’d better hurry. The witching hour is almost here!

Quickie Question: Best Crafting Bargain?

Monday, October 10th, 2011
By Twistie

It’s a great feeling, that moment when you find just the thing you wanted and it’s an incredible deal. I get especially giddy when that thing is something crafty.

Recently I attended an estate sale. A local woman had, sadly, passed on, and those left behind were selling what they weren’t keeping from her life. When I go to these sales, I always think of my great aunt. She used to tell us with a sweeping gesture of her arms: “Everything in this house is a priceless treasure… and someone’s going to have a hell of a job cleaning up all this junk when  I’m gone!”

Yeah, she seriously rocked.


I find that what ends up in these sales is most often the ‘junk’ that nobody in the family recognizes or understands how to use. And sometimes the most mystifying items to the family are the things that herald the fact that I missed knowing a kindred spirit.

In this case, what did I find? Oh, my dears, BOBBINS! Several dozen wooden lace bobbins in the Midlands style, which is just what I use. Some of the spangles were broken, but the bobbins themselves were all in good shape. There were also a couple dog-eared books of instruction and patterns. I’m guessing someone else nabbed any pillows or antique bobbins, but that’s okay. I still found good, useful, attractive tools that I can use.

And since a couple things in the box showed wear and tear? I was told I could have the whole shooting match for five bucks. You can’t buy a dozen bobbins for five bucks, anymore, let alone three and a half dozen! Plus books!

So that’s my bargain so far this century. What about you? Have you made any really amazing finds on crafting supplies or tools of late?

Quoth the Raven: One More Down

Friday, October 7th, 2011
By Twistie

You will note that instead of a photograph of a Project Runway designer today, there’s instead, a picture of a raven. Yeah, I didn’t want to spoil anyone so you’ll have to follow the cut to find out what it all means… unless you were watching the fun last night, in which case, you already know.


Throw a Towel Over It

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
By Twistie

I woke this morning to a torrential downpour. Thank goodness Mr. Twistie took out the window fans the day before! Our bed didn’t get drenched. Neither did his home recording studio. Whew! Dodged a bullet there!


All that rain got me thinking about ways of sopping up moisture, and then I began to wonder why we so rarely think to make our own towels. I actually do have one handmade towel. A friend of mine made me a nifty hand towel for the bathroom in navy terry cloth with a fab strip of tiger stripe for decoration. Awesome and practical.


Crafter Review: Wick’dCreation

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
By Twistie

Some of you may recall that back in late July, I wrote about a generous crafter in need of assistance, Mary Thomas of Wick’dCreation on Etsy. She makes handmade soaps and earrings, and was going through some wicked hard times.

I ordered some soaps to help her out. It wasn’t much, but I could do that much.

Believe it or not, this was the first time I’d ordered anything from an Etsy seller. While we aren’t in dire straights, money is not often flowing wildly at Casa Twistie, so we don’t splash out on fun things like handmade soaps that often. Instead, we save up for Taylor guitars and Le Creuset cookware. It takes a while, but those are our priorities.

Anyway. All that aside, I thought I’d give you all a write up on how the transaction went and my thoughts on the products received.


Quickie Question: What are You Making Right Now?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011
By Twistie

What are you working on right now? Are you knitting something for that special someone for Christmas? Creating ghoulish goodies for Halloween? Playing with some long abandoned quilt squares before the weather gets cold enough that you need a new spread on the bed? Drying the last of the summer herbs and flowers for decorative or fragrant purposes? Hauling out the fiddly bits now that the kids are back in school?

I’m in an odd place for me, just now. Every single one of my lace pillows is empty. I haven’t chosen the next project, either. I am, however, just waiting for the weather around here to cool down a tiny tidge so that I can try my next kitchen project: puff pastry. Heat is the enemy with that, and my kitchen has virtually no air  circulation, so I have to wait a bit longer. In the meantime, I’m kind of twiddling my thumbs and torturing my Sims.

What about you? Do you have a great project you’d like to tell us about, or are you, too, having a temporary lull?

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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