365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 48/365: Back to The Sock That’s Going to Make the 4th Pair This Year

Remember how I started this sock, and then this unfortunate thing happened?

That night (the 12th), I ordered new circulars from KnitPicks.  (It was a completely different brand of needles that broke, by the way.)  Kudos to the fine folks at KnitPicks, because they shipped my order promptly and the new needles arrived yesterday (the 16th).

I got to work putting the stitches back on the needles and managed to get as far as knitting the gusset and turning the heel.  I’d like to try the Fish Lips Kiss heel at some point down the road, but for now I’m using a basic pattern from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson (of Wendy Knits).


This sock will look better on a foot, once it’s done. But the colors are pretty, aren’t they?

This is Patons Kroy Socks FX, which is one of my favorite brands of sock yarn.  It’s a tactile pleasure to knit.  It is also reasonably priced and generally available at most craft stores that sell yarn, which is why I have an abundance of them in different colors in the yarn stash.  If you haven’t already, give this brand of yarn a try.  I’ll be interested to know what you think.



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Day 47/365: A Sneak Peek at My Drawers


Some days I have a really hard time coming up with a good title for the daily blog post.  Today was not one of them.

So, as you recall, on Saturday I went trash picking and on Sunday I got to upcycling.  I forgot to mention yesterday that part of the day’s activities included going to Ace Hardware for paint and Home Depot for replacement knobs for the dresser drawers.


They were stripped of their knobs when I rescued them from the trash.

You can click on the photo for an enlarged view, but you can see where the holes were drilled for the drawer knobs.  Apparently, the top drawer had two knobs, while the second drawer probably had two handle-type pulls.

I didn’t like the placement of holes in the top drawer.  So I used some of Sean’s wood putty and filled the extra holes that I planned to paint over.  Then Sean took his drill, measured the spots for the new holes, and drilled them in for me.

I knew I wanted glass knobs for that vintage shabby-chic look, and I found exactly the perfect ones.  They’re faceted crystal, and they remind me of disco balls, the way the light bounces off into rainbows.  At six dollars a knob, these were the most expensive purchase for this makeover.


Costly, but oh so pretty!

I gave each dresser drawer two coats of paint, and that seemed like enough.  When the paint dried, I had the pleasure of installing my new glass knobs.


So, to recap, from this:


To this:


Sean is back down in Ventura now, and I’ll be headed down there for this weekend.  It’s still foggy in Morro Bay, so I’m going to wait until we’re both up here on a sunny day to take more photos of the completed project.  Stay tuned for the Big Reveal in probably two weeks!



Day 46/365: One Person’s Trash…

Remember this old bureau that I rescued from the landfill yesterday?

I spent most of today fixing it up, with Sean’s help.


Click for a closer look of the dirty, dusty details.

First, I pulled out the two remaining drawers and discovered dust and a spider and a few other tiny bugs and crawlies.  So Sean and I carried the empty dresser out to the driveway, where I gave it a major powerwash with the garden hose.


See? Much cleaner.

Sean got started measuring the space where I wanted a shelf, since one of the three drawers had been missing its front panel and was beyond repair.


Measure twice, cut once.

In the meantime, I started painting.  I went with two coats and thought that was a good place to stop.


Wet paint!

It was foggy in Morro Bay today, so it wasn’t the best day to be taking photos in natural sunlight.  But I think you can get a pretty good idea of where this project is heading.

What do you think so far?


P.S. The name of this paint is Good Life.

Which is kinda appropriate, ’cause that’s what we’re living, baby.


Day 45/365: Happy Valentine’s Day to Me

Sean and I were taking a shortcut to the Embarcadero by way of a side street off Main.  We were passing a parking lot of a commercial building when I noticed some furniture that had been put out near the dumpster.

“Hang on,” I said to Sean and ran across the parking lot to check out the furniture—or more specifically, a bureau that caught my eye.  It had exactly the kind of curves that I like.  At the same time, the front panel of the bottom drawer was missing, along with every single drawer knob.  Still, it had potential.  I could remove the broken bottom drawer and rearrange the remaining two drawers so that the top section could be an open shelf.

I ran back to where Sean was waiting on the sidewalk.  “Can we go home and get the car and come back and take that dresser home?”

“What do you want that old dresser for?” Sean asked.  “It’s all jacked up.”

“Please,” I said.  “Humor me.”

So Sean, being The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World, went along with my plan and we walked back up the hill to our house.  Then we got in The Rental and drove a half mile back to the dumpster in the parking lot, only to discover (when I went to lift one side) that the bureau was coated in grime and filth, and there was no way that The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World was going to agree to slide that dirty old bureau onto the clean carpeted trunk of his car.

So we got back in The Rental and drove the half mile back up the hill to our house, where I ran into the garage and grabbed a bunch of rags and an old bedsheet, and then we drove back down the hill to the commercial building’s parking lot, and this time we successfully loaded the bureau into the back of the car.

The Most Patient and Best Husband in The World drove us back home and unloaded the bureau into the garage.

“This is your project,” he said.  “It’s all you.”

“Okay,” I said, already thinking about my paint color choices and whether I should go for Shabby Chic off-white or Beach Cottage aqua/turquoise.  I also thought it best not to say any more, because I was still going to need his help to get the job done.  Someone’s going to have to build a shelf in that space where the missing drawer should be.


Click on the image to get a better look!


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Day 44/365: That Same Darn Sweater


I’ve gotten this far down on the body of the sweater, and I’ve got that much yarn left.  Unfortunately, this particular yarn was purchased several years ago and I’m pretty sure that it’s been discontinued.  I’m at that point in the sweater-knitting process where I usually give up and move on to another project (as my two other very similar half-finished sweaters will tell you).  But part of the reason I started this blog was to give me a reason to complete all of my unfinished projects.  So I will persevere and maybe just switch to crocheting the rest of the damn thing, as we all know that in the time it takes to knit the bottom half of a sweater, you could crochet an entire bedspread.  Luckily, it’s the start of another three-day weekend.

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Day 43/365: You Should See The Other Guy

Given my unfortunate skateboarding incident four days ago, along with the recent unfortunate incident with my size 3 circulars, I haven’t made any significant progress with my current projects.

At the same time, I do have to tell you that I’ve enjoyed walking around the prison with bruised knuckles and a wrist brace all week.  Because when any of the inmates asks, it gives me the opportunity to say (as I hold up my hand in a fist), “This is what happened when that last guy disrespected me.”


Ah, my lovely. We will ride again.



Day 42/365: Every Cloud…

Remember the sock that I started knitting yesterday?

So this happened today:



Yup.  The needle came off the cable on the circulars that I’d been using.  If you look closely, you can see that it’s beyond repair:  the thin end of the cable broke off, so even if I inserted it back into the hollow end of the needle and tried to glue it together, it would still come off.

(Plus, I already know from experience.  This happened before with a different set of circulars/same brand of needles, and I quickly learned that gluing doesn’t work.  It was a particularly unpleasant learning experience, too, when the needle and cable broke apart in the middle of a row.)

When I knit in the round, I use the Magic Loop method with one long circular needle.  I got rid of all my DPNs a few years ago, and I don’t have any more long circulars in that size.  So it looks like that sock will have to wait until the new needles arrive in the mail.

In the meantime, this just means that I’ll have to cast on a new sock with a different set of needles and a new color yarn.  So at least there’s that silver lining.

Anyone else have this happen to them before?  Or any other knitting/craft-related disasters?


Day 41/365: The Day I Started A New Sock Anyway


Remember when I had to attend an in-service training just a few weeks ago?  We had another one today.  And even though I injured myself only two days ago and this morning I woke up with a sore left hand, I just couldn’t sit through seven hours of Powerpoint slides today without knitting.  I tried not to, but after the first fifteen minutes of the morning’s presentation, I was reaching for the needles and yarn and casting on stitches.

I knitted slowly and carefully and took breaks when my hand started to hurt.  I know it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but it was the only way I could stay awake through the training and not silently go out of my mind from the sheer tedium of those slides.  As you can see from the photo, I actually completed most of the foot portion, which is not a bad accomplishment for someone who was operating with the use of one good right hand and one bruised, swollen, and probably sprained left hand.

I guess that, friends, is the mark of a true knitter.

Or else someone who is just really stubborn.

P.S. I just read over this entry and it occurred to me how much Sean and I are cut from the very same cloth.  It explains so much.


The fat swollen hand of a stubborn knitter.



Day 40/365: Broken Wing’s Wife Feels the Pain

Okay, so remember the story of how Broken Wing broke his wing riding his skateboard?

Well, I guess it would be hypocritical of me to tell that story and then not share mine, which I’m embarrassed to say happened for pretty much the same reason:  yesterday afternoon I tried to ride a board that was faster than I expected.

Anyway, it’s not much of a story.  We took the skateboards out and went riding with some friends, and I was cruising on my longboard and having a pretty good time.  One of our friends had a shorter board that wasn’t really suitable for his build, so he was having to work harder to make it go.  I offered him the use of my longboard, and then Sean suggested I try his other board, which seemed like a perfectly good idea until I stepped on it and the thing quickly slid out from under me.  I tried to break the fall with my left hand and landed on my palm with the full force of my body weight.

Luckily I didn’t break anything, but goddamn, it hurt like a sonofabitch.  But you know what?  I got back on my board as soon as the pain subsided a little, because you can’t let shit like that stop you.  No point in sitting around, crying or sulking or blaming the board or your husband for suggesting you try something new.  When you fall down, you got to dust yourself off and get yourself back up.

And anyway, I still had to roll my sorry ass home, because sure as shit wasn’t nobody gonna be carrying me.



See? Nothing broken. Maybe a little bruised and swollen.  That hand will be punching again in no time.


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Day 39/365: More for the Stash

Remember when I got called to jury duty and then was ordered by the judge to return the following week?

So, even though the case ended up being dismissed, I guess that extra day that I showed up was considered jury service.  I didn’t get the $15 a day that the county pays for compensation, because I’m a state employee (and well, because state employees receive paid Jury Leave).  I did, however, receive reimbursement for mileage.  I was pleasantly surprised to open the envelope from the county Superior Court to find money and not a subpoena.  It was a nice fat check payable to me for the amount of a whopping two dollars and thirty-eight cents.  Whoopee!  It was burning such a hole in my pocket that naturally I had to go out and spend it all.

I went to one of my favorite local independent fabric and yarn shops, where they were having a big sale on yarn.  It wasn’t until I got my haul home that I noticed my chosen fibers all had something in common.  Today, for some reason, I guess I must have been drawn to the color green.