April 2012

Slate Is Wrong About The World's Best Sock

And wrong about the most expensive socks, to boot!


Slate's Seth Stevenson has a delightful fashion article about super ritzy socks. Socks that cost upwards of $50 or $60 a pair. But even after trying them, he was dissatisfied with many of the world's best socks. They didn't fit quite right, or weren't opaque (no one wants to see your leg hair in a $60 sock), or weren't made of wool (which Stevenson prides for its wicking quality). 
Out of the batch that he tries, Stevenson concludes that a $200 pair of cashmere socks is the best in the world. Down side: they kind of dissolve when you wash them, so you can only wear them six times before they disintegrate.
Can you hear all the knitters snort derisively?

When You Lose The Knitting Love

How to get your knitting mojo back!


I think every knitter goes through a spell of "knitting doldrums" once in a while. It's hard to say how it happens: maybe you get burned out by a deadline, or by knitting too many similar objects in a row, or by forcing yourself to finish a project you hate. Maybe it's just seasonal, or you're too stressed out at work, or it's the barometric pressure. (You can blame just about anything on barometric pressure.)
Look at your current projects and ask yourself, "Is there something else I would really rather be knitting?" Sometimes we fall into a rut, either out of habit or because of demand. Sometimes the knitting doldrums are just a case of having fallen out of love with whatever you have been knitting lately.

Mother's Day Magnet Craft for Kids

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. Most children have a desire to show their mothers just how much they love them. Of course, they are too young to go out and purchase a gift. Fortunately, magnets are easy enough to create that even the smaller children can get in on it. As a mom, I know that we appreciate homemade gifts even more than store-bought ones.

You will need the following items to make your Mother's Day magnet craft:

  • Modeling clay
  • A picture
  • Paints
  • Glue gun
  • Hot glue
  • Magnet strip

Homemade Chia Pet Craft

Every time my kids see a Chia Pet in a grocery or department store, they declare their desire for one. Personally, I can't see spending $20 for one, so I decided to see if we could make our very own Chia Pets. Honestly, I think my kids like making their own crafts anyway.

You will need the following items to make your Chia Pet:

  • A nylon stocking
  • Potting soil
  • Grass or herb seeds
  • Scissors
  • Paints

Coloring Sand

Ever since my kids were little, they have had a love of sand art. The trouble was that the sand art booths at our local carnivals and 4th of July festivals charged an arm and a leg to make just a small bottle of sand art. That's when I got the idea to make my own colored sand so that the girls could create endless sand art crafts.

First, you'll need to determine how many different colors of sand you need for your project. For example, if your child is designing a rainbow, he would need seven different colors. Take out one disposable bowl for each color. I use the small dessert bowls instead of the larger styrofoam bowls.

Ocean scene centerpiece

Crafts for kids

One year we had to create an ocean centerpiece for a church function. My daughter was excellent at helping me put a centerpiece together for each table. With spring already in session and summer on the way, parents may want to spruce up their dining room table with an ocean scene lovingly made by their child.

You will need the following items to make your ocean centerpiece:

  • A medium glass jar
  • Beach sand
  • Seashells
  • Stones
  • Cardstock
  • Markers
  • A candle

Defending the Drop Spindle

It's not just a "training wheel" for newbie spinners!
I attended my first official spinning event over the weekend. Even though I had been told that "most people use a spinning wheel," I was still surprised at how few drop spindles were in attendance. 
A lot of wheel spinners never learn how to use a drop spindle - they learn how to spin on a wheel, and that's the end of it. Others start on a drop spindle, but switch to a wheel when they get frustrated. Therefore, the drop spindle is seen as a newbie toy, like training wheels on a bicycle.

How to turn an egg into a chicken

My girls and I wanted to get a bit crafty with our eggs this Easter and decided to try and turn them into chickens. That’s what they would be after all, if they had been allowed to hatch.

The first thing we did was hard-boil the eggs. Kids are often not very delicate, and I didn’t want to risk having to clean up raw egg should one of them break open. Once the water in your pot begins to boil, it takes about 12 to 15 minutes to harden.

Next, we dyed the hardboiled eggs yellow. You can add a bit of yellow food coloring to some water, but we used the dye that comes in the $.99 Easter kits. Make sure you give your dyed egg time to dry before decorating it to look like a chick.