Monday, April 20, 2015

A new crafty project!

Happy Monday! If you're in Massachusetts, Happy Patriot's Day! Jeff and I spent the weekend in Vermont visiting my mom and brother -- we finally got to have our long-delayed Christmas visit with them. (We'd planned to go up in January, but the weather was awful and Jeff had to have a tooth pulled, so we stayed home. Then we tried to go in February, but... it snowed a ton. Then we planned to go in March, but, well, remember this?

Yeah, we didn't go then either. But the snow has finally melted, so we made the trip up on Friday, and had a nice, relaxing weekend of knitting and talking and playing board games (I rule at Bananagrams, as it turns out). We exchanged presents -- Mom loves Trader Joe's, and there isn't ojne anywhere near her, so we brought a huge bag of various cookies and candy and body washes and whatnot for them to share. My brother really wanted a tiny ear of corn, so I knitted one up for him. Mom gave us some kitchen gadgets, some snacky treats, some lovely scented body washes and lotions (for me), some fancy seasonings and whatnot for cooking (for Jeff, he's the chef in this house) and this cute little guy for tea-making!

There was also yarn, of course -- since Mom knows my love of purple well, she'd picked up a couple of skeins of lovely sock yarn for me a few months back:

(Cascade sock yarn, very squishy!)

(More Cascade, this one with silk. Mmmm...)

My knitting was plagued by gremlins on Saturday -- first, the cable part of the circular needle I'm knitting my sweater with pulled out from the connector that joins it to the needle tip, and I couldn't get it back in, so we dashed out to Michael's so I could get a cheap replacement needle to use until I got home. Then, later that night, I pulled the sock-in-progress out of my purse to work on, and found that two -- TWO! -- of the double-pointed needles had snapped in half! I don't know what happened -- the project back was tucked into my purse, just like always, and I'm not in the habit of flinging my purse around or stomping on it or anything, That set of needles did feel flimsy, though -- they were Knitpicks wooden DPNs, and were very, very bendy -- more flexible even than some much thinner bamboo needles I've used. So I guess I wasn't that surprised that they broke, I'm just flummoxed by how two of them broke while in my purse. 

I borrowed a set of aluminum DPNs from Mom to keep the sock from becoming an unraveled mess until I could get home and swap to an unbroken set. Good thing Mom and I share the same craft interests! (The circular needle that broke was also a Knitpicks one. I'm becoming less and less impressed with their needles over time -- I know that, when they first introduced their interchangeable sets, they had a big problem with the cables coming apart. I had several cables replaced because of that. But they've been making these sets for quite a while now, you'd think they could figure out a more durable way to put the needles and cables together. And of all the different wooden DPNs, I've used, their are the only ones that have ever broken on me -- I had three break while I was knitting the various tiny things, a couple have had the tips splinter while knitting socks, and now these two breaking... I love Knitpicks' yarns, but I think I'll be buying needles elsewhere from now on.)

And now the new crafty project! The backstory: I have a couple of bottles of perfume oils that I love the scent of, but very rarely wear. I don't like dealing with the oils -- they feel messy, like I'm going to get stains on my clothes or something, and it's hard to control how much comes out of the bottle, so I always end up wearing too much. About three weeks ago, I decided to wear one of them, and when I opened the bottle, the plastic cap fell apart in my hand! So, I couldn't close the bottle securely, and I didn't really have anything else to put the oil in... and it occurred to me that I could probably make it into a solid perfume fairly easily. A little poking around online, a quick order from Mountain Rose Herbs, and voila, a few nice little tubes of solid perfume! 

(Exciting, huh? Looks like lip balm! But you probably wouldn't want to use it that way, I bet it doesn't taste good...)

I used equal parts beeswax and sweet almond oil, melted in a makeshift double-boiler, and poured into lip-balm tubes (with Jeff's help, otherwise I'd have spilled it everywhere). I got three full tubes out of my first trial run, and am already obsessed with getting more supplies and essential oils to make different blends. (The perfume oil I used this time was from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, the "Embalming Fluid" scent. It does not smell like dead people. It smells lovely, in fact. And now I'll wear it a lot more often! I have another of their perfume oils that I plan to turn into solid perfume, too, later on.) So now I have a new idea for handmade gifts! Which is always good! 


  1. Ooh, pretty yarns! Such fun, all that potential in the skein. And solid perfume, wow! Look at you go.

  2. The solid perfume was fun. Messy, but fun!