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Monday, June 25, 2007

Coffee press cozy

I know this sounds weird with the 92 degree weather and all, but my coffee press cozy rocks. It works _really_ well. I am quite pleased with its performance. Before I had the cozy, I frequently would forget my coffee on the counter, or table, or stove top, then find it twelve minutes later and needing to pour it into a cup and re-heated it. I still forget my coffee, but don't need to re-heat. It's heavenly.


Friday, June 22, 2007


* * this post is also at my geocaching blog * *

Today, I conducted a trade. Unschooling friend Heather has been bartering a toy bus for various items, always bigger and better. This will continue until she can barter for a real bus. That's right, her family would like to live on the road all the time!

Inspired by a cool Canadian named Kyle MacDonald, (did I ever mention here that Heather and I met Kyle's brother Scotty and his friend Fiddy?) she has worked her way from a toy bus to my set of hina dolls. They are usually set out only around Japan's Girls Day, but we have always had these dolls on display year round. They are just too cool to leave in a box most of the year. I thought I would like Heather's tent, so I decided to trade her. I really would love to see her family trade up to a bus. Hopefully a serious doll collector, nipponophile, or a Japanese family out there will have something to trade, getting Heather closer to her bus/rv.

Click on the photo so you can see everything well. If you would like to trade with Heather for this set of dolls, visit her bartering blog. I wish her and husband Cliff the BEST in everything!

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Monday, June 18, 2007


This video link was sent today by a friend and I have to share with everyone. Be ready to laugh --

Friday, June 15, 2007

More from the CSA

I drove out to Turtle Farm to pick up our box this afternoon. I was very pleased to see peas. They were gone within minutes. In addition to the peas, we also got lettuces, garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and green onions.

The children said they were scared of the kohlrabi. They didn't elaborate on how the kohlrabi scares them. We'll see if they eat it. The photo here shows the entire share. My family will get half of this; my friend has the other half.

In other news, I went to the Waukee YMCA this week. With my children at Vacation Bible School, going to the Waukee Y made sense to me. I liked the group exercise schedule and the classes were all right. I attended a TurboKick class and a yoga class. I also used the cardio equipment and mats in the "big room." Not really sure if the rooms have names. Many high school kids were in the free weight area. I didn't even venture to the weight machine side of the room. I hadn't been to this branch Y for about three years. I tried once or twice after that, but didn't get there because of construction. I just didn't go anymore once the road opened again. I am glad I finally went. It gives me more options for exercise. I like having options.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wearing the knitted skirt

I found some crazy yarn called Smania at Jo-Ann Fabric. I say crazy because it is multicolored and covered with netting. I can't explain it better than that. Anyway, I thought that the multicolor would be great for me -- the hot pink would go great with my swimsuit and the netting would disguise any evidence that I had been sitting in a wet tankini swimsuit. I bought all the skeins in the bargain bin for 75 cents each. After sifting through many skirt patterns, I found one in Vogue Knitting Magazine.

I started and finished the skirt quickly. And it was my first venture in lace. Then it sat in my drawer for a long time because it was winter. Now with the hot weather, we've been visiting the pool, and I wore it today for the first time. It works just as I imagined. Love when that happens. After putting it on and taking it off a few times in one afternoon, I think it is harder to tell that there are wet and dry areas on it than if I wore a solid colored skirt. I love success.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Coffee Press Cozy Finished!

It is done. I made a rectangle a la "asymmetrical cable hat" by Leigh Radford, author of _one skein_. But how to make it wrap around the coffee press and stay in place? I chose buttons.

I chose three navy blue buttons that were left over from a scrapbook project and sewed them on top of a rib. Next, I had to remember how to make button holes. I did an internet search and found directions that I understood. Then I picked up stitches along the side of the rectangle, added some vertical stripes for fun and added width, then made three straps for my three navy blue buttons. I haven't blocked the piece, you might be able to tell from the photo. I really don't intend to block it, either.

My husband said that it was almost wrong to have this finished object (FO). He thinks that I may be going to extremes. Well, I don't feel compulsed to cover everything in our house with handknitwear. But I have dreamed about it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I knitted a few rows of the fabric scrap rectangle. But it's sooo big. I can't even tell if I made any length.

So I checked out a "one skein" book from the library by Leigh Radford. The premise of all the patterns is to make something using only one skein of yarn. None of the projects shouted to me. However, I have wanted to make a coffee press cozy. My kids find that thought very entertaining. Anyway, that would be a fairly quick knit since it is small.

I started using a ball of Lion Brand Magic Stripes (Jelly Bean, at deep clearance at the local Hancock Fabrics) because wool will never be used for a human garment at my house. I didn't use much of it for the "tiny" jumper. I really like lopsided cables and ribs -- think slippery bark from loop-d-loop (by Teva Dawson), or the asymmetrical cable hat in _one skein_. So far, everything looks good. I started reading the chart backward, but that is not hard to deal with. I just reverse the position of the cable needle, holding it behind instead of in front, and purling instead of knitting. The stripes make it hard to see the cabling and ribs, but I am consoled by the fact that the coffee press cozy will not be plain. I am pretty sure that I will use a similar uneven ribbing and cabling in the future since I like the look so much.

I just checked out a new book with patterns for non-wool knitting. More on that after I start reading.

For exercise news, my latest discovery is that low rise cargo pants make bad running gear. And the more you load the pockets, the harder it is get your pants to stay up. I tried to do this on Sat. at a conference I attended in St. Paul, MN. I quit after 0.7 miles and turned back. At least I got to see the Mississippi River.