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1  UNITED STATES / Massachusetts / Knitting Group for Boys (the KGB) on: May 03, 2006 07:22:23 PM
There's a new knitting group for men who live in the Boston area.  We've been meeting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, from 7-9 pm at Dado Tea in Harvard Square. Good times!

Send me a private message for directions, and to be added to the email list. The next meeting is May 15th at 7.
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted Pig (lots of photos) on: July 31, 2005 11:40:19 AM

It's a knitted pig!  This is my first big project.

The pattern is from Knitted Toys by Fiona McTague.

The hardest part was finishing; I had no idea how to seam some of the parts together!

Not the most flattering angle.

Now I might know enough to make my own pattern for other animals.

A friend has requested an opossum for her birthday.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Cross-stitch pattern needs "improving" on: January 22, 2005 10:02:39 AM
I received a needlepoint kit from my boyfriend's mother for the holidays.  She knows I do needlepoint and thought I would like to take up cross-stitch.  It was a super-sweet gift and I was touched and I want to do it, but there's a slight problem: the pattern.  Here's the picture that was printed with the kit:

My question: Can this be rescued?  Can this be used in a kitschy way, or is it beyond hope? 

My ideas so far: 
  • The pattern has an option for doing the text in French.  That's a start.
  • Also, I could make it, take a photo to send to the mother-in-law, then add something to it, like fire, or some other imminent doom for the kitten. 
  • Would it work on a t-shirt?

Other ideas?

Did anyone else get gifts that need, um,  modification?

(I should say, she it not without taste--I also received a kick-a** hat and mittens that she knitted!)
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / DIY meets gardening! on: May 07, 2004 11:01:06 AM
I thought this article in yesterday's (May 6, 2004) New York Times was interesting:


It's about crafty artists and gardening.

I love to garden, and in my old neighborhood I participated in a huge communal vegetable garden.  Now I've just got a few square feet to work with--and I'm excited to start thinking about it in a new light.  Like, how could I use various stuff I collect in the garden?  What could be recycled by plopping it among the tomatoes?  What's the perfect garden art object that would tick off my landlord just so?

(About nytimes.com:  it requires registering to read the articles.  The registration is free.  Also, after a few weeks, the article won't be free to read anymore.  Ick!)
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Where to find big wooden boxes? (storage ottoman) on: August 20, 2003 04:19:00 AM
I want to upholster a wood box and use it as a storage ottoman.  You can see the general idea here:

http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?&sto reId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&categoryId=34685&sc1=Search&feat=sr

If that link doesn't work, go to http://www.llbean.com and search for storage ottoman.  

I've found some instructions online for building my own box, but I'd rather recycle something.  Antique stores have such boxes, but they're incredibly expensive, and look just fine unupholstered.  Any ideas on where to fine a nice used pine box?  Do any sorts of stores throw this stuff away?  I saw a steamer trunk in the trash today but it was musty and way too big for an ottoman....
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / "Catheteresque" Coffee Urn Lamp on: August 03, 2003 10:32:34 PM

This lamp will add a nice institutional feel to any room of your home. ­Alternately, you can keep it at work like I do. ­Imagining myself an artist, I expected my coworkers to thrill at its irony, to participate in its anger, and to walk away mournful of the human condition and subconsciously scarred. ­Instead, most coworkers think it's cute. ­You decide.

Here's what you'll need:
  • An old coffee urn.
  • A light kit, or a fixture, cord, and all the other stuff salvaged from another lamp.
  • A shade

There are only two tricks to making a lamp out of just about anything. ­First, you have to find a way to mount the light fixture. ­Here, just drill a hole in the top of the lid. ­And second, you have to find a discreet (or indiscreet!) place for the cord to exit. ­I was going to drill another hole at the bottom, in the back, but the spout just seemed better.

  • Take it apart.
    Use a screw driver to remove the handle from the lid. ­Remove everything from the inside of the urn. ­Mine had a strainer and other stuff in there. (Anyone have any ideas for what to do with it?) ­Remove the spout at the bottom. ­This may require a socket wrench.

  • Clean it.
    It's easier now than later.

  • Start at the bottom.

    Take apart the spout. ­Run the cord through and reattach to the urn. ­ I had to use pliers to pull out a rubber stopper so the cord could fit through.

  • Drill
    Light fixtures are standardly mounted on something called a threaded nipple. ­There should be one of these in your light kit, or you can get one at a hardware store. ­Drill a hole through the lid just wide enough or slightly wider than the threaded nipple. ­I had the guy at the hardware store do this for me because I couldn't find my 3/8 drill bit. ­Secure the threaded nipple to the lid with threaded nuts (find them in the same part of the store). ­

  • Attach the fixture
    Attach the harp (the thing that hold the lampshade), then the fixture, drawing the cord through. ­Wire the socket. ­You can find helpful instructions at


    If that link dies, do a web search for "wire lamp socket," or check the back of the light kit, or study another lamp. ­Basically, you want to split the end of the cord, strip the wires, wrap them around the screws, and tighten the screws. ­Use an underwriter's knot to keep the cord from getting pulled out from below. ­There's a picture at the link above.

Add a compact flourescent bulb and an ulgy blue shade and you're done. ­If anyone can figure out how to make the spout lever a switch, let me know!

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