Due to Chair’s being absent, Folding Stepstool will be taking you on a quick tour of the new house. Since that’s a bit of a mouthful, however, we will continue to refer to our guide as Chair.

Chair believes that the logical place to start a tour is at the beginning, so here is the front of the house. Please ignore the man playing with the lamppos; we believe he is pretending to be in Narnia. Also please ignore Car, who is just taking advantage of the nice day to get some sun.

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in progress: moving

This was our living room as of a week or so ago. It looks pretty much the same now, minus the computers.

Hopefully by this time next week, all those boxes and bibbles and some of the computers will be taking up space in a new, much larger living room. (Except the tower, that’ll be at my parents’ running my father’s loom.)

Whether or not I survive moving them all is a different story.

forgotten yarn

So I’ve been packing stuff up so we can move. Don’t have the new house yet, and it’s always possible that this one could fall through like the last one did, but I chose to do it in the expectation that we will be leaving to somewhere.

Tip: Many recycling centers don’t take wrapping paper. It’s a good substitute for newspaper as a packing material, though.

Tip: Yarn also makes good packing material. I have a lot. So do unfinished projects, of which I have several. I will note that when you’re using yarn or unfinished projects as packing material, it really helps later if you keep all the pieces together so that when you want to finish those projects, or start a new one with the yarn, you’re not left wondering which of the many unpacked boxes still in the basement has the other pieces in it.


I found this while moving yarn-objects from their basket to a box of ceramic pieces. I got it from a swap partner ages ago, and obviously forgot about it. I still haven’t figured out yet what to do with it.


I also found a stack of granny squares and a pile of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick labels, along with another full skein of the same. Unfortunately, I’d already sewn them all together so I couldn’t use them as packing material as I could for the strips of the scrapghan that I found. Fortunately, this was almost finished; I’d apparently run out of yarn on the border and had to get another. So I dug the hook out and finished it, and now I no longer need to keep the ball bands anymore, but I don’t need to worry about the afghan and yarn getting separated.


I still need to weave in all the ends, but that can wait until later. Now I can use it to wrap something large and breakable in.

finished: 2010

And maybe too soon. I’m not sure.

The tablecloth is still in progress. With some of our nice plates:

I added a few more squares, but then I decided that I’d better weave in the ends before it got too intimidating of a task. It’s still kind of intimidating, and holding on to the needle makes my hand hurt so I can’t do it for too long, but I know that if I leave it until the very end it’ll never get done.

I know this because I have several other pieces that are in the stage of done-except-for-the-trailing-ends and have been for quite some time. Years, in fact. I really, really dislike weaving in ends.

The rabbit restoration proceeds, if slowly. I’ve gotten the pieces scanned in and new lines drawn in along the edges, and most of the text that’s written on the pattern pieces. I seem to have lost the pink paper, though; fortunately, I got those directions typed in before I did so. I’ll take the whole set down to my parents’ over the weekend and see if my mother can figure out what the stuff I can’t read says.

For everything else . . . nothing’s really changed. It’s either unfinished or unstarted, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’d like to do more spinning next year, and there’s likely to be a good amount of general house-related things to do given that we’re buying a house. But right now, I’m finishing off a bowl of ice cream and watching Dirty Jobs on the tivo. So it’s pretty good, all told.

where I’ve been

In the past . . . month, it looks like, I did finish a few things; mainly the semester, and deliveries from the CSA. Which just means that now I have no excuse not to start other things, like cleaning up our house so we can move.

I’ll spare you the horror of providing a picture of the mess.

Of course, we don’t have a new place to go yet– that’s the other work-in-progress. We found one and put in an offer, but it seems like anything less than their asking price is a grievious insult so they didn’t even bother to respond. We just don’t value the house they grew up in as much as they do, I guess. (No one else does, either. It’s been on the market for seven months at a price that’s unreasonably high for the neighborhood and size.)

No skin off my back, though. I hope they find someone crazy enough to pay their asking price, though I really doubt it. If we had that much money to drop on a house, we’d be looking at much bigger houses. Like, at least half again as large.

But I figure it can’t hurt to start cleaning up anyway, because it’ll make the actual packing and moving easier, and it needs to be done.

Of course, I’ve also got the tablecloth to distract me, as well as several gallons of stock from the carcasses of the Thanksgiving turkeys. I have no lack of things to do.


in progress: . . . something

Front and side views of what was supposed to be a miniature octopus. He’s about four inches tall, and a little under two wide. Kind of looks like an evil sperm right now.

He’s much cuter with BIG HUGE ANIME KITTY eyes. Really, really cute.

But suddenly, once he has eye capsules he’s not so cute anymore. Kind of menacing, actually. He’s like a spawn of Cthulhu, or a fetal Mon Calamari.

But to be fair, I think that most things with tentacles look like Cthulhu, and most things with bulging eyes look like Admiral Ackbar. I’m not strong enough to repel pop-culture references of that magnitude.

The size for this one is limited, so there’s not really much more I can do to make it look less Ackbarithulian. I tried putting a crest on but then he looked like Zoidberg, and I’m afraid that side fins would be too fragile. I just can’t win.

So I think I’ll just roll with it. I wonder if I can give him a beak.

finished: octopus

As I hoped, the low-fire glazes got brighter after being fired. And darker. Whatever they were to start with, they just got more. I was hoping the blue would turn out brighter, but this is okay. I just hope he looks as good on my sister-in-law’s wall.

Not bad for something that was actually supposed to be raku. I think there will have to be another raku octopus in the future, though.

Octopus’ spots let him hide in plain sight.

For more finished objects of a softer nature, head over to FO Friday at Tami’s Amis.

in progress: pattern restoration

Octopus is on the firing rack, other ceramics pieces aren’t in photographable condition (and it’s late anyway), and even though I took a picture of the table cloth earlier, I got distracted by dinner and the mouse and didn’t get it off the camera. But I do have this:

These scraps of paper are a sewing pattern.

Well, the newspaper pieces are. The pink piece with the very faded writing is the directions. (Did you know pencil could fade? I didn’t.) The date on the large piece is June 13, 1981, and Ronald and Nancy Reagan are in the picture. Some other people too, but I don’t know who they are– at least I remember the Reagans. Barely.

These, and a set of smaller pieces not photographed, are for anthro bunnies made from socks. They don’t look like sock monkeys with long ears, though– they’re columnar, legless, and they wear clothes. I can’t really describe it better than that. I think there may be some bunnypeople at my parents’ house; next time I go down I’ll try and find one to photograph.

I have no idea where this pattern is originally from. The pink is in my mother’s handwriting, as are the directions on the newspaper pieces, and it seems copied from somewhere else. I assume from my grandmother, since I remember her making sock bunnies when I was a kid. But where she got the pattern from, I have no idea. The newspaper? A magazine? The brain of one of the Venerable Aunties of Grantsville? I suspect that not even the Shadow knows.

Anyway. I want to make a sock bunny. But I don’t really want to use these pieces because they’re old and I don’t want to destroy them, and after looking at both the large and small sets I suspect that some pieces may be missing.

Fortunately, I have a scanner. It’s old and clunky, but this doesn’t exactly require hi-res images. And I have my mother, who can hopefully remember it well enough to tell me what “(illegible) the (illegible) tog w/ (illegible)” means. It’s her handwriting, after all.

So, project: after I finish everything for class and probably after finals, but hopefully before the year ends (or the next one gets too far along) I’ll have figured it out and made a sock bunny.

I know I’m getting in a little late here, but it’s still Wednesday. To check up on others’ works-in-progress, head on over to WIP Wednesday at Tami’s Amis

in progess: more octopus

Well, we’re back from Texas. It was 80F and sticky there, and up here it’s 50ish and windy. I hear there was even snow in the mountains, although I didn’t see any down here.

Octopus sat on the table the whole time we were gone, but I put the finishing touches on him a few days ago. He still counts as “in progress,” though, because he needs to go back in the kiln. He should turn out a little brighter and shinier after he’s fired.

Should. I’m not really sure, since this is an Experiment. I’ve never used low-fire glazes before, so I’m just muddling along based on info from the labels on the bottles. Info like, “Shake well. Apply 1 coat for translucent color or 2 or more for solid coverage,” which is not terribly helpful for someone like me, who’s never taken any sort of painting class and so doesn’t have any skills beyond “dip brush into paint and poke it at things.” The last thing I painted was the calacas, which I admit are kind of crude.

So we’ll see how this comes out. If it looks really awful and the intended doesn’t want it, I’ll make another one.

Blue-ringed octopus. I stole this pic from the Beeb.

I really doubt my Octopus will look as cool this one. But we can hope!

I don’t have any yarn progress to show, since I’ve been working on school stuff almost exclusively. I did a little bit on the lace tablecloth while I was in Texas, but as it’s not substantially larger than it was before, I didn’t think it needed a new picture taken. :)

To see what other crafting crewmates are up to, visit the WIP Wednesday page over at Tami’s Amis.