Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What time is it?

How much do I love long weekends? So much.

In honor of three glorious days off work, I have two projects to tell you about. Although in all fairness, one was almost done prior to the weekend and one isn't even my project. But c'mon - it's football season. A woman cannot live on craftiness alone. She also needs beer and hot wings.

I finished blocking my Branching Out scarf. To recap, I used Rowan Calmer yarn (in calmer) on US7 needles. Thirty-two pattern repeats required one and a bit skeins. It was 45 inches long pre-blocking and 60 inches long post. The blocking definitely seemed to open up the stitches, but blocking still stresses me out - I think with a bit more courage I could have gotten it a bit bigger.

I really enjoyed this pattern, and may knit another one of these for myself. Or I may try my hand at a different lace pattern. Who knows? But I have one full skein and one nearly full skein of the Rowan Calmer left. It's so soft and pretty that I am sure it will be calling out to be made into something soon.

While it was drying, I devoted several more hours of my weekend to trying to find a top to match it. The scarf is for my mom and she is much more matchy matchy than me.

When I picked out the yarn, it seemed like a color that was currently fashionable. Didn't think it would be such a challenge to find a top. Usually, you can walk into the Gap and they have shirts in every color of the rainbow.

Not this weekend, apparently. I went to Kohl's, The Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, Chicos, Banana Republic, J Crew, Meijer, TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Ann Taylor and Eddie Bauer. Struck out absolutely everywhere until I finally found a t-shirt that matched at Eddie Bauer. Only the Eddie Bauer I was at didn't have my mom's size. So now I have to go to a different Eddie Bauer tonight. The "throw in" t-shirt has now taken nearly as long to acquire as the knitted scarf. Man, I hope she likes this.

My other bit of craftiness for the weekend was actually craft repair. My friend Jason made me this chalkboard clock as a housewarming present a year and a half ago. Unfortunately it has never really kept time. But since it was cute and since I hammered nails into my freshly painted kitchen wall, I left it up.

The problem was that the hands were painted and seemed to stick together. Jason was clever enough to realize that you could buy a whole clock for less than the cost of the clock-making kits at the craft store. So he bought a cheap-o clock, broke it apart to get the clock mechanism out and painted the hands white so they would show up over the chalkboard.

Great idea. But if anyone is looking to replicate this, I'll recommend that you rub a little candle wax on top of the hands to keep them moving. It only took me a year and a half to figure that part out.

And if you really want to replicate this, take a square of plywood and finish the edges with a little molding. You'll need the molding to extend backwards past the clock mechanism. (If you don't have a miter box at home, Lowe's and Home Depot let you make cuts like this in the store)

(back view)

Depending on the width of your plywood, you may need to use a router to cut out a space for the clock mechanism. (The advantage of the craft store clock making kits is they come in a variety of widths and you could just buy your plywood accordingly)

Spray the whole thing with chalkboard paint (it may need a couple of coats), screw on the clock mechanism (after you wax the hands) and Voila! chalkboard clock. Thanks Jason.


At 1:24 AM, Anonymous KnitMongrel said...

Hey Sarah - your Branching Out scarf is GORGEOUS! Thanks for stopping by my new blog and leaving a comment... I really appreciate it. Hope to see you around again in the "klogging" world! :)

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Briana said...

That scarf is awesome!! You went shopping to all those places!!!?? You are so crafty with that clock!!


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