Project Linus Blankets #40 & 41

Project Linus Blanket #40

Project Linus Blanket #40 12-2021 - Minty Goodness

“Minty Goodness”

If you recall, I received the Projet Linus version of Annie’s Caring Crochet kits this past fall, but I wasn’t happy with the blanket pattern they included. It was much too holey for what my local director likes to see. Also, there was only enough yarn to make a baby blanket and I typically like to make them bigger for the older kids.

These were the yarns I had decided to use:

ACC - 09 2021 Yarn Plus

I didn’t have a pattern in mind so I decided to go to Creative Grandma’s website and find one of her Stitch of the Week stitches that I thought would work. I decided to use #210 Tulip Stitch Pattern. It was simple and I thought would work nicely.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Detail

The stitch is the same one that you use when making a corner-to-corner blanket, but instead this one you work in rows. I decided about how wide I wanted to make the blanket, and chained until I got to that approximate width. It ended up being 205 chains. Since this is baby yarn I used a G hook (4.5mm).

I started with the mint green and crocheted until I ran out of yarn. That determined how many rows I would get out of the other Bernat baby yarn skeins that I had on hand. Then I used one of the variegated skeins that been in the crochet kit, and I crocheted until I ran out of yarn.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Stripes

That told me the approximate number of rows I would be able to get out of those three skeins, plus the length that I could expect. Using math I calculated that I would need another skein of white to make sure the blanket was long enough without looking wonky. This was a great project to use up some baby yarn that I had in my stash.

Project Linus Blanket #40 Length

I really like how it turned out.

Project Linus Blanket #41

Project Linus Blanket #41 - 1-1-22 - Striated

“Striated”

I had a few days off of work right around Christmas, and that’s when I finished the last Project Linus blanket. With a few more days off looming ahead of me I decided to make another blanket. Remember a few years ago when I kitted up a bunch of blankets? I had two totes of kits. I decided that I needed to pull another kit out and get it worked up. I was a bit surprised when I pulled this kit out.

Project Linus Blanket #41 Detail

I had forgotten that I’d put together such a neutral-colored blanket. Looking at the colors, though, reminded me of the walls of striated rock that you pass when you travel through the mountains on the east coast. It also kind of reminded me of some of the pictures you see of the canyons out west.

This used Red Heart Super Saver and Michael’s brand CraftSmart. Not very soft yarns at all, at least, not compared to the baby yarn I had just been using. The bad thing about using so many stripes are the many ends you have to weave in. I decided to do that as I went along and it really helped. Usually I leave them all for the end, and then typically I end up having to sit with three or four blankets that need to have their ends woven in before I can wash them and drop them off.

Project Linus Blanket #41 - Length

This kit was the last one in the tote. Of course, I quickly filled the empty tote with other yarn that had been sitting out in the open. I have one more tote of kits to work through before I can start kitting up more. The ripple pattern is nice, but I like experimenting with the Stitches of the Week. I’ve been trying to write down the details as I work through the blankets so that if I want to make another one I will know just how much yarn will be required.

As an aside, I cancelled my membership to the Annie’s Caring Crochet club. Most of what I had received so far were just hats. If I loved making hats then it wouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t. They are a nice pallet cleanser now and again, but I didn’t feel like I was really getting the value out of them. I signed up for another crochet club, though. This time I went with Mary Maxim’s crocheted afghan club. You get a pattern and enough yarn every quarter to make an afghan. It was only about $10 more per kit as compared to the Annie’s kits. I hope the afghans are something that I can use for Project Linus. Even if I don’t like the pattern I might be able to try some yarn that I’ve never touched before. It should be interesting!

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A Miter Gauge for the Disc Sander

If you have a hobby, it doesn’t matter what it is, then you know there are times when you need to do something and a certain tool would come in VERY handy. The problem is that you don’t need it very often, but when you do need it you lament the absence of it in your life.

This is one of those projects. Jay has had a disc sander for ever. In fact, he might have taken it to Kindergarten as a Show and Tell item. (Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration)

Small Tools Bench

There are times when it would be very handy to have a miter gauge for the disc sander, I guess, so he decided to make one. Why purchase one when you have all kinds of material just laying around your workshop?

First, we need to take some measurements.

DS Miter Gauge 1

As you can see, there isn’t any measurement that we can’t take!

Next, take your metal stock and color a blue line on it.

DS Miter Gauge 2

Gorgeous!

Slide your colored piece of stock into the groove of the sanding table.

DS Miter Gauge 3

Next we need to make the stopping part of the gauge.This is the piece that your material-to-be-sanded will butt up against.

DS Miter Gauge 4

You should also color this blue so that it coordinates with your sliding bit.

Don’t forget to cut the vertical part of the Stopping Butt down so that it only extends to the edge of the sanding platform.

DS Miter Gauge 5

You have really worked hard so it’s time for a well deserved break. How about a game of Tic-Tac-Toe?

DS Miter Gauge 6

Okay, break’s over. We have to start drilling some holes.

DS Miter Gauge 7

In order to get them to stick you will need to use some kind of mechanical fastener. Probably bolts of some sort. It’s time to Tappity-Tap-Tap!

DS Miter Gauge 8

Hmmm… Kind of looks like a guy with creepy eyes.

Let’s make sure that Mr. Creeper is in the right spot on the sliding bit.

DS Miter Gauge 9

“I know what you did last sanding…”

Jay was getting ready to attach Mr. Creeper to the slide and I suggested that he use chewed bubble gum. It always sticks tightly to my show when I step in it. Apparently bubble gum is not the appropriate fastener in this situation. Fine!

DS Miter Gauge 10

Tappity-Tap-Tap-TAP!

At this point in the project I would have thrown it together and called it good enough. Not Jay. Nooo!! He has to get all professional and make sure that it’s actually square.

DS Miter Gauge 11

Now that it’s perfectly aligned and the ‘approved’ sticker has been placed on it, let’s see how it looks.

DS Miter Gauge 12

*Wolf whistles* That is one gorgeous piece of metal.

And now Jay’s life is a little less empty…

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Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits – End of 2021

I’ve had two of the Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits waiting for me to post about them, then my latest one showed up last week. So I’m mashing them all into one post.

Handmade Brigade

ACC Handmade Brigade 11 2021

Here is another charitable group doing their best to show our troops how much we support them. The entire point of the charity is to make winter hats and scarfs for our military members who are spread all over the globe.

The yarn was really nice to work with, but again Annie’s doesn’t tell you what brand it is. My guess is that it’s a Red Heart yarn because one of the caveats for this particular charity is that you HAVE to use Made in the USA materials. If you’ve looked at any yarn labels lately you’ll notice that a LOT of them are not made in the USA. My favorites (Premier and Ice Yarns) are both made in Turkey. I don’t really have a lot of yarn in my stash that I could use for these items.

As soon as I saw the pattern I knew I wasn’t going to make it. It was all I could do to get through the first scarf I crocheted for Annie’s Caring Crochet Kits. Instead, I made some hats.

ACC Handmade Brigade Hats 2021

I still have one full skein plus a partial leftover, so I can probably make two more hats. I just used a very simple beanie pattern that I got from Bag O Day Crochet.

Operation Shower

The next charity is another military charity. This one is to show support for the moms-to-be, whether they are married to a member of the military or are in the military themselves. It’s one way to help alleviate some of the stress of being separated at such a special time in their lives.

ACC Operation Shower 12 2021

Operation Shower accepts donations of handmade baby items for the 30-40 showers that they throw every year. I had never made baby booties or mittens so I decided to use the pattern that came with the kit.

ACC Operation Shower Baby Set 2021

I think they turned out okay. I was not a fan of the yarn, though.

ACC Operation Shower Yarn

It is soft and smooth, but it kept splitting on me when I was crocheting. It was also difficult to rip out when you made mistakes (because of how much it kept splitting on me). I’m used to crocheting with a tightly-wound yarn, so this almost-roving style was a bit frustrating.

ACC Operation Shower Yarn Strands

I’ve got a ton of baby patterns that I’ve never used so I might dive into those in order to use up the rest of the yarn.

ACC Operation Shower Model

Hope’s Door New Beginning Center

This charity is located in Texas. They offer intervention and prevention services for people who are being affected by domestic violence. They have shelters that are always in need of product, but it looks like they want the majority of their donations dropped off at one of their retail stores.

ACC Hope's Door 01 2022

When I opened this kit I had to laugh. Why? Do you remember what I made last month?

Dishcloths 12-2021

In fact, the patterns that came with the kit were in one of the Crochet World magazines last year. It’s my set of go-to washcloth patterns. I’m not sure that I’m going to make any of these washcloths soon. What I might do is make a wash cloth here and there, then when I have a big pile I’ll box them up and mail them to the retail store. Annie’s Kits always come with information on where to send your items, so I will do it that way.

I really like this kit club. It gives me a chance to try some different yarns, plus I get to learn about new charities that I didn’t even know existed. I hope you are enjoying this series of posts, too.

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A Portable Band Saw Table

Next week I’ll go back to posting on Mondays, but I wanted to share one of Jay’s latest projects. You see, he was a very good boy during 2021 so he got some nice things for Christmas. One of these was a portable band saw.

Portable Band Saw

Jay had been using a grinder to cut metal that was mounted in such a way he could use it almost as a chop saw. Then he saw Adam Savage’s One Day Build where Adam built a table for a portable band saw. That was it. Jay vowed that he would eventually own a portable band saw so that he, too, could build a little table for it.

First he took it apart a bit so that he could figure out what size he would make the table.

Portable Band Saw Template

When he was satisfied with the template, he traced it onto a piece of aluminum that he had sitting around.

Portable Band Saw Table

Using leftover pieces of a cabinet that he had torn apart, he made a table frame.

Portable Band Saw Table Frame

It doesn’t look like much, but it does the job. Kind of like me.

He then mounted the table top on the frame and drilled holes so that he could screw the two pieces together.

Portable Band Saw Table Blade Relief

Then he had to determine where the blade would be so that he could cut the access slit.

Portable Band Saw Table Mounted

Let’s see how it looks with the blade installed.

Portable Band Saw Table Installed

It’s looking good!

The last thing to figure out was how to run it without cutting the cord and wiring it to a button (like Adam did). Jay came up with a pretty good solution.

Portable Band Saw Table 12 2021

The handle sticking up behind the table is the On/Off switch. When it’s pressed down the lever presses against the button on the band saw. To shut it off, just lift the handle. It uses a friction fit to make it work. The variable speed dial is easily accessed, too.

Do you like the idea of a portable band saw table, but lack the workbench space? Quinn (Blondihacks on YouTube) made one that mounts in her vise so that she can put it away when it’s not in use. Check it out!

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Christmas 2021 – Kerry’s Projects

Now that a new year is upon us I thought that perhaps I should close out the old one by showing you the gifts that I made for Christmas 2021.

But first, I want to actually show you the box that Jay made for my sewing machine (since I had forgotten to download it when I posted about his Christmas projects).

Sewing Machine Boxes

The top box is for my Merritt (shown in this picture), and the other is for my 403A.

Singer 403A Fitted in Box

I really love this machine. We’ve had our disagreements, but we’ve been able to work it out. If you have a vintage Singer sewing machine let me highly recommend AndyTube. This gentleman posts videos on YouTube and shows you how to do all sorts of maintenance, repair and refurbishing of these wonderful machines. I think he has helped me figure out why my stitches were skipping and why the thread would get hung up on the bobbin case.

So what have I sewn after working on those lunch boxes? Well, just a couple items.

I found a pattern on Etsy for a zippered pouch pattern in the shape of a cat’s head. At the time I didn’t know what I would do with it, but I had to have it. As Christmas was approaching I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make for my best friend’s little girl. She will be 2 at the end of February and she’s a little cutie. That’s when I thought of the cat pattern and decided that I would turn it into a little purse. What little girl doesn’t love carrying around a purse her size? I know that I had several when I was her age.

Indah's Cat Purse 12-2021

I chose some fun material with cats on it (of course) and added a second tab on the other side of the head. The pattern only has one tab for a wristlet, but I decided to give it a try. I think it turned out rather cute! My friend’s daughter loved it, at least she had a big smile on her face in the picture I was sent.

Indah's Purse 2021

It’s not very big since it’s meant to be a zippered pouch that is carried in another bag, but it’s about right for a 2 year old.

Indah's Purse Back

The other thing I worked on was a zippered bag that when it is unzipped it opens up into almost a bowl. It’s called The Luttel Bag by The Eli Monster. I thought this might make a good reusable snack bag. I had some special liner that is food safe and BPA free, so I made up a couple of these for one of my friends.

Reusable Snack Bag

Yes, more cat fabric. Look how cute it is! Wouldn’t you be happy opening a bag like that at snack time?

Reusable Snack Bag filled 12 2021

I believe I made the large size. See how it kind of opens into a bowl shape?

Reusable Snack Bag Interior

This is the inside. I was trying to sew the bottom onto it when Judy (my 403A) and I had our last disagreement, so the sewing doesn’t look very nice. But it works. I have to admit I didn’t follow this pattern exactly. You were supposed to cut out two circles for the bottom, fold them in half and sew each half onto the bottom so that when it was turned right-side-out you would then hand stitch the two circles together to close the opening. Well, I didn’t want to use that much of my liner fabric (it’s rather expensive) and also I didn’t want to do any hand sewing. Instead I sewed the circle onto the entire bottom and then just used some scrap pieces to bind the seam (similar to what is done on the lunch bags). I don’t think it looks too bad.

That’s it for the sewing portion of today’s blog. Now onto the crocheting.

I purchased a cute kitchen towel for the friend, who also received the resuable snack bags. I thought about crocheting a top to it so that she can hang it in her kitchen, but the towel wasn’t big enough to cut into two decent-sized towels. Instead I looked up the No Button, No Sew Towel Holder. Last year my sister was looking for a pattern like this and I found it for her, so I decided it was my turn to try it.

Towel Holders for Sarah 12 2021

They turned out okay. Nothing fancy. I think it took maybe 15 minutes each to make these. Very easy and they work great.

I really like crocheting things for my friend’s daughter (the one who also received the purse), but I never know what she’ll wear or what size she will fit since she’s growing like a weed! My friend’s family loves to be outside so I decided that I would make a poncho. It’s easy enough to put on the little darling and shouldn’t be too constrictive as she grows.

The first pattern I found was the Scalloped Edge Poncho by MSL Beanies. I know I purchased it off of Etsy, but I can’t seem to find it there any more. I’ve added the link to her ravelry store.

Scalloped Edge Poncho - Indah 2021

I used the mix lot yarn I’d purchased from Ice Yarns two years ago. I decided on this color because I thought it would pair well with jeans. The pattern was okay, but after I finished it I thought that it might be too small. To be fair, I haven’t seen the little one since she was about six months old, and I’m not very good at judging sizes in pictures. To be safe I decided to make a second poncho. This pattern was also purchased on Etsy and is the Queens Poncho by Bag O Day crochet.

The Queens Poncho - Indah 2021

I had leftover pink and green ombre yarn from the Tulip Afghan I made last summer, which would make an adorable little slice of watermelon. I think it turned out really cute. I’m hoping it fits by the time poncho weather comes back around.

Ponchos for Indah 12-2021

Last, but not least, I decided to crochet up a bunch of dishcloths in between all these projects.

Dishcloths 12-2021

I have a LOT of cotton on hand (and actually just found a box of Dishie that I’d completely forgotten about), so I just started cranking them out. They are nice projects to work on during my lunch break, or if I just have a few minutes in the morning. I always forget, though, that crocheting with cotton is harder on my wrist because it doesn’t slide like acrylic when you are crocheting.

That’s all I made to be given as Christmas gifts. During my time off of work I managed to make another Project Linus blanket (a future post will be coming) and I’ve started to make a few things from the recent Annie’s Caring Crochet packages I’ve received (those will also be in future posts). As for my sewing room, I’m going to finish off the last four lunch bags. I already have everything cut out and partially assembled, so I’m going to get those done and out of the sewing room. I have plans for a few birthday gifts, plus the possible gifts of back packs for the guys next Christmas. I can never say that I don’t have anything to work on!

I hope that everybody enjoyed a blessed Christmas and that you are looking forward to a promising New Year!

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Christmas 2021 – Jay’s Projects

Now that all the presents have been handed out, I can post the pictures. One of the first projects I want to share with you is something that Jay has actually been working on for a few months. His mom wanted a nice wine rack and gave him a picture to show him what she wanted.

Wine Rack Picture

“Save $201!”

I’m not sure if he used the dimensions on this paper or if he discussed with his mom how big she wanted it. He drew it up in SketchUp and used some oak pieces that we had brought home from his mom’s camp (before she sold it). After a few cuts, some gluing, and then finishing this is what he made:

Wine Rack 12-2021

I think this one is a bit deeper than the rack in the picture. It was also supposed to be as tall as his mom’s kitchen counter, but I made him add felt to the feet so they wouldn’t scratch up her newly finished floor. That raised it about 1/4″ above the counter. Oops.

Wine Rack 3 12-2021

He did a beautiful job on it.

We took it over to her house the other night when she was gone so that we could surprise her.

Wine Rack 2 12-2021

The next woodworking project Jay completed was a gift for me. I had asked for a box that would allow my 403A to sit in my main sewing table. I took pictures, but somehow I didn’t download them to the computer and I want to get this post published tonight. It looks very similar to this one:

Sewing Cabinet 6 4-17-20

But it fits my 403A, which I used to sew the lunch bags and really like using now.

Singer 403A

It is currently in its place and I’m so happy! I have a list of sewing projects a mile long and I can’t wait to get started on them.

Another Christmas gift Jay made for me were some little shelves.

3D Puzzle Shelves 2021

They are on my finishing table for staining and poly-ing.

You may be wondering why I asked for a bunch of little shelves. What could I possibly want to put on them?

3D Wooden Puzzles on Entertainment Center 2021

3D wooden puzzles!

I would like to reclaim the top of my entertainment center. They are neat to look at, and Jay spent a lot of time assembling them, so I told him we can put shelves up in the family room to display the collection. After all, this just scratches the surface. There are about a dozen in the basement.

Cannon

One last set of items Jay worked on for Christmas gifts isn’t exactly woodworking, but they were made on a lathe (does that count?).

Turned Seam Ripper 12-2021

This was the one he made for me. The pictures do NOT do this justice. It’s gorgeous in person.

Have you guessed what it is?

Turned Seam Ripper

It’s a seam ripper (which will get a LOT of use in my sewing room!) with a small and large end. I also asked him to put a bit of a flat on one side so that when I set it down on my table it doesn’t roll away. He made one for his mom, my sister and my mom. I didn’t take pictures of those ones, though. Just imagine them as purple, pink and really shiny.

I guess that’s about it for Jay’s Christmas projects. He’s currently working on a project that involves something he received for Christmas, so I’ll post about that when he gives me the pictures.

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Lunch Bags – Finished!

Hey guys! It’s been a while. I apologize, but there wasn’t much that I could do. Jay’s work schedule was crazy and he didn’t have a lot of time in the workshop. Then mid-November my coworker quit, so my boss and I put in a lot of extra hours and increased our stress levels to complete some year-end work that had to be done by Dec 8th. On top of all this Jay and I managed to get Covid (luckily a mild version) around Thanksgiving, but I still worked from home. Then it was onto the Christmas gift-making rush.

I did manage to finish 20 of the 24 lunch bags that I had been making for my small faith group to give as gifts to men in a local faith-based program that helps guys suffering from alcohol/drug addiction, incarceration, gambling, homelessness, and/or mental issues. It’s a great program and the guys are wonderful (many of them attend our church). If you remember, I decided to make them lunch bags using iThinksew’s Dillan Lunch Bag pattern.

Lunch Bag with Gray Interior

These were the first 12 that I finished in October. I was on a good roll until November hit and everything came to a screeching halt.

I did manage to finish 8 of the remaining 12. The last ones had a camel-colored interior.

Lunch Bag Camel and Gray Interiors

Here is a really bad picture of all 20 sitting on my couch.

Lunch Bag 20 Finished 12-7-21

It was the only place I had to store them until I took them to my group’s meeting to stuff them.

Our plan was to fill them with snacks and goodies. Who doesn’t like to get a bag of fun things to eat??

Everybody brought different things. There was a good variety. We lined them up on the table and started filling them.

Lunch Bags Filled

I hope these guys were happy with the variety of things we included. There were chips, cookies, granola bars, crackers, and candy.

Lunch Bag Filling

At the bottom was a can of Mountain Dew and a bag of peanuts in the shell. Don’t worry! I had contacted a member of the program’s administration and asked if there were any food allergies or dietary restrictions we needed to know about. Luckily there were none.

Final Review of the Pattern

Overall, I really liked this pattern. I ended up leaving off the front pocket because it was tricky and I didn’t really have the time to mess with 24 front pockets. I knew the guys would be happy with the bags without them. Also, I HIGHLY recommend watching the YouTube video where Jess from OklaRoots makes this bag. The instructions with the pattern are great, and I kept them at my side as I sewed these bags, but sometimes you just need to see another person making it so that you can understand what the directions and pictures are telling you. Jess made some modifications to how she sewed the bags, versus what the directions told you to do, and those were helpful as well.

A lot of the difficulties that I experienced were due to changes that I had made to the materials used in the bags. The big change that I made was using the closed-cell foam as my insulating material. The pattern called for an open-celled foam that would be squishier and easier to manage when sewing.

Basted Insulation Pieces

Another modification that I made to the bags was I sewed the top handle to just the waterproof canvas exterior piece. In order to beef it up a bit so that the handle could support the weight of the bag without tearing I used a piece of stiff interfacing on each end of the handle. I used this same stiff interfacing on the bottom of the bag to help it not bottom out when full (Jess mentions this tip in her tutorial).

I spent a lot of time looking around for lunch bag patterns and I’m really glad that I found this one. It seems a little intimidating, but you just have to take it one step at a time. And don’t quit! Maybe take a break and put the bag in time-out, but don’t give up. The Mona Lisa wasn’t the first painting that Davinici ever painted. You can only get better by practicing. I made three practice lunch bags before I started on these and each one taught me something different. I ended up giving those bags away, but the people who took them were happy. In fact, it’s a bit odd when the best compliment you can receive is that the person thought you bought the bag at the store. My small faith group was blown away by the bags, and honestly I thought I could have done better if I’d had more time.

So, what do we do next year? Well, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have to jump into another challenge, right? I want to make something that is useful and utilitarian for these guys. Next year I think we are going to give them backpacks. Yep… I’m crazy. I’m going with another iThinksew pattern. I found three possibilities and had Jay pick out which one he thought was best. The winner was the Byron School Backpack pattern. Unfortunately, Jess doesn’t have a tutorial for this one, but that’s okay. It uses a lot of the same techniques as the lunch bag so I should be able to figure this out. Wish me luck!

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Advent Wreath Stand Repairs

Five years ago Jay and I created an Advent wreath stand for our church.

wreath-stand-close-up

It was a labor of love and it turned out really beautiful. We used wood from the pews of the old church (our church was rebuilt in 2000-ish).

A few weeks ago Jay received a phone call from our priest. It seems that a group of boy scouts who use the church for their meeting had done some damage to the stand. He hoped we would be able to fix it.

From the sounds of it the stand was still assembled (the arms were on it) and it was standing out on a ‘stage’. The boys had been climbing on it or something. I didn’t get pictures of the damage before it was repaired, but a foot was completely broken off, the top of it was gouged and one of the arms had a gouge in it, too.

Why haven’t these kids been taught that you don’t touch things that aren’t yours? And that if you’re using somebody else’s space you don’t mess around with their stuff??? Also, why were the arms still on it? We used the same hardware that is used to assemble bed stands so that they could easily be removed. I even sewed padded sleeves for the arms to be stored in so they wouldn’t get dinged up. Where are they???

Luckily Jay was able to work some magic and put it back together.

Wreath Stand Repair - Arm

This is the bottom of the arm that was gouged. You can see where Jay filled in the area with another piece of oak and then sanded it smooth. I touched it up with a bit of stain and some poly.

Wreath Stand Repair - Finger

While we have the stand at our house he also upgraded the ring holders. Before they were just some screws that he had soldered metal holders onto so that they could be adjusted in and out. This time he put some threaded inserts in the arms and made some threaded rods that can easily be adjusted and shouldn’t break.

Wreath Stand Repair - Armpits

We didn’t repair this one, but you can see that it got dinged, too.

Wreath Stand Repair - Foot

The poor foot! The slice that took it off matched up so well that you can’t tell it was apart. To strengthen this, and the other three feet, Jay added some screws at angles to hold them a little better. Then he wallowed out the gouge on top and filled it with another piece of oak. He then sanded and contoured it after the glue was dry. It doesn’t look perfect, but it will be in the back where it won’t be easily seen.

Finally, as I was taking these pictures, I found a spot on the leg that was scratched up, too.

Wreath Stand Repair - Leg

Not too bad, but it’s there.

Jay will take it back to the church sometime this week so that it will be ready for Advent. Hopefully those children have learned to keep their hands to themselves! Stinkin’ kids…

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ACC: Operation Gratitude

When my October shipment of Annie’s Caring Crochet Club arrived I was happy to see that it was for a charity that supports our military.

ACC - Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude

This organization coordinates all different volunteer opportunities that help our service members. They have three ways that you can virtually volunteer: you can write letters to a service member, make a paracord bracelet, or handmake an item that will be included in a care package. This kit from Annie’s is for the handmade item that will be included in a care package. If you can’t crochet, don’t worry! They have options for knitting, sewing and even making greeting cards. If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing, please make sure to click on one of the links that I’ve provided.

They ask that you crochet (or knit) a scarf or a hat in the recommended colors that the military personnel are allowed to wear with their uniforms. Thus the dark green yarn that came with the kit. I’ve looked at this yarn for a while, but I have no idea who makes it. To be completely honest, my first thought was Red Heart because I don’t like how it feels in my hands. lol

My Operation Gratitude Scarf

The yarn is 100% acrylic and is supposed to be a #4 worsted weight. I’m not convinced.

ACC Operation Gratitude Yarn

You can see that I started the scarf. As I’ve spent time with this yarn I’ve discovered that I really don’t like it. It’s a 2 ply yarn that feels more like the twine that I use on my cucumber trellis in the summer. It likes to split and I just don’t like it. To be fair, when it’s crocheted in the stitch pattern provided it doesn’t feel as bad. It definitely shouldn’t be horrible to wear around your neck. It’s just that I don’t like it as compared to other softer acrylics. For instance, Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn!

I was taking this with me to work so that I could use it as a lunch project. I decided that once I’m done with this one I will pull one of my better acrylic yarns and use that instead. I’m not sure if I’ll use the same pattern, or try to find a different one.

Operation Gratitude Scarf

The pattern is very easy. It’s just the yarn that I don’t care for when using it. I think I’ll have at least one skein of this left when I’m done. I will probably save it for use on my cucumber trellis next year. 😉

In the meantime, I’ve received notification that my next kit is on its way. I will definitely finish this scarf before I start on the new kit. I do have plans to start my next Project Linus blanket that will use the yarn that I received in September. However, I’ll have to see what this month’s charity project is before I decide which one to start next.

Posted in Charity, Crafting, Crochet, Garment, Military, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Bullet Mold

I told Jay that I needed pictures from him so that I wouldn’t upset my followers. After all, if I posted another crochet project there might be a riot. Luckily, Jay had a project waiting in the wings. Apparently somebody where Jay works reloads his own ammunition, but was having a hard time finding bullets. Attempting to make a bullet mold was a challenge that Jay was willing to accept.

Jay has downloaded the pictures to my computer and left them for me to post here. I have not discussed any of these with him, so let’s see what he left sitting on the desktop.

Bullet Mold 1

Make sure that you have enough energy to get through the mold-making process; eat your aluminum popsicle first. It will give you strength and fortitude.

Bullet Mold 2

At first I didn’t know what I was supposed to be looking at in the picture. Then I saw them peeking up over the vise. It’s difficult to determine what’s what in the picture when everything is the same color.

Bullet Mold 3

Quick as a wink you have two metal blocks and some pins. Don’t drop the pins, though, because you’ll never find them.

Bullet Mold 4

Okay, I see a piece of round stock in the lathe…

Bullet Mold 5

The round stock is now wearing a turtleneck…

Bullet Mold 6

<Insert dirty joke referring to ‘just the tip’ here>

Bullet Mold 7

Today’s PSA: Don’t drink and lathe…

Bullet Mold 8

And just like that you have the perfect shade of lipstick for that special tin woman in your life.

Bullet Mold 9

All that work and you cut it in half? Why didn’t you only turn half of it if that’s all you wanted?

Bullet Mold 10

Add a couple drops of water and watch it grow before your eyes! Oh, nevermind, it was just turned around.

Bullet Mold 11

Two Sil-ver Rings….

Bullet Mold 12

That is a very tiny bayonet. It needs to be pointier if you want it to actually work.

Bullet Mold 13

Oh, I see! It’s actually a cutter to make the mold indent for the bullet. That makes a lot more sense.

Bullet Mold 14

“Open wide…”

Bullet Mold 15

Actually, the cutter is reminding me of the wooden paddles you would get with the cups of ice cream when you were in school. Man, I could really go for a vanilla ice cream cup right about now.

Bullet Mold 16

Once the bullet is poured you have to be able to get it out easily while keeping the re-alignment of the mold quick and easy. Mold Hinge.

Bullet Mold 17

I suggested that Jay use Elmer’s glue. He went with bolts instead. I thought he wanted a challenge…

Bullet Mold 18

And just like that you, too, can have your own personal bullet mold!

Bullet Mold 19

Unless you have a very small funnel, you’re going to need to add one more thing to this mold.

Bullet Mold 20

Not only is it a funnel, but it also slices and dices! The next time you need to cut up carrots for a salad reach for your trusty bullet mold!

Bullet Mold 21

Don’t forget to add insulated handles. Otherwise things are going to get a little hot. Let’s see if it works…

Bullet Mold 26

We’ll drizzle a little of this into the mold…

Bullet Mold 23

Voila! A bullet! Let’s see if we can do that again.

Bullet Mold 26

A little more of this…

Bullet Mold 25

Ta-Da!!

Bullet Mold 27

I could do this all day.

Bullet Mold 28

But I’ll stop here.

And that’s how you make a bullet mold!

Next week we’ll attempt a jello mold. Stay tuned.

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