Year 15, Week 37, Day One (week 733)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
90 degrees, high humidity, lots of puffs moving across the sky. A few surprise showers late in the day. A good breeze, though coming just right for under the awning. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
Still feeling the effects of the illness from last week. Also feeling the muscle pain from the wrong turn I did last Sunday. That muscle has gotten just a little better over the week.
My thumb that I nicked last week has almost healed. You can see where I did it, but it is just a bother because of the hard skin around it.
I figured out what I was doing wrong with my carving. There is a very simple rule that you teach new carvers and I had forgotten all about it. That simple rule is that you always keep wood between a sharp blade and skin. If you do that, you will never get cut.
We hit a couple yard sales but they did not have anything I really needed. There were some decorating things but I did not need any of them. The big problem is that I have no place for a lot of things.
I got out back and settled at the table with knife in hand. I carved on the last five blanks of mittens I had cut. I now have 12 mittens and 11 socks. I had one blank for socks I had messed up on when I cut them and tossed it. These are all rough carved. I removed the excess wood and gave them the proper shapes and motion. I now have to carve in details and get the final shape as I have edges and rough areas yet. I am glad I am this far ahead already. I am usually half way to having ornaments near the end of November.
I am having second thoughts about the mice I started. The ones I used the band saw to rough out has the problem that I went too deep with the bandsaw. I will have to make them a little smaller to make them look right. That is not a problem but it is a bit of extra work. When I started the mice, I was sure they were going to be a key ornament while the mittens and socks were in question as to whether they would be worthy of doing. The mice are now the ones I am in question about. I still need at least one more ornament and maybe two. I have had many times where I tried an ornament and never cared for them. Last hear I was making leaping fish and decided they were too much work and stopped after four. I have five mice started this year.
I had decided to make dish cloths this year as presents. Early in the week, I finished my first dish cloth. The yarn is called Ombre and is where the yarn changes color over the length. It creates an interesting effect. The first dishcloth was crocheted in a POST STITCH. Most crochet grabs the horizontal bar between the posts. The post stitch grabs the post. How you grab it will cause a pattern. If you grab the post in front all the way across, then when you flip it you do the front again, you get horizontal ribs. If you grab the posts in an alternating fashion, front, back front back, and continue that on the next row, you get vertical ribs. What I did was to do the alternating ribs, but grabbed them the opposite on the next row so I ended up with a woven look. I did what is called a crab-stitch around the outside, that is where you do a single crochet but you do it backwards. It makes for a nice edge.
First finished dishcloth.
Today, I finished my second dish cloth. This one was in a Tunisian crochet or an Afghan stitch. One loops the yarn onto the hook as you work across, but leave the loops on the hook. Then when you get to the end, you finish the loops as you draw the hook out of the loops. The front and back of the cloth looks totally different. It is a nice tight stitch. It looks really good if you change yarn colors in each row. I might do that some time later, but starting fairly simple for now. On this one, I did half crochet all the way around. I have enough yarn to do another dishcloth exactly the same. I might do that but for now I am going to go to a new yarn with a different look.
front of the Tunisian crochet dish cloth
back side of the Tunisian crochet dish cloth.
I have time to create a number of dishcloths and I can choose who is going to get them too. I was told tonight that one woman still has the one I gave her two years ago. I also know that a couple women put theirs on display rather than use them. They seem to be good gifts. I just wish I had started a lot sooner.
I have no idea what I will do tomorrow. I do know the weather is going to be really nice.
I will have to see what I do tomorrow.
Year 15, Week 37, Day Two (week 733)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
78 degrees before noon, 85 after Noon. We are expecting a serious chill tonight of 70 degrees. Have to dig out the parkas. We had mostly blue sky with lots of puffs around the horizon. Sunny, strong breeze. This weather report is brought to you by the City Of Pompano Beach Department of Tourism.
I dug out a bunch of battery powered stuff from storage. I have a bunch of MAKITA batteries and equipment. I was able to charge every battery and they ran the drill at least for a moment. Two chargers might not have worked as I concentrated on a speed charger as I could charge several batteries in the time it took to charge one. I have a battery powered circular saw and could not get it to run with any of the. batteries.
My intention of pulling these out was with the idea of seeing what could be sold at yard sales. I have more stuff to look at to decide what can be gotten rid of. These are all nice, but I am not using them. It would be better to pass them on and be able to use the space for more yard sale finds.
I first went to Home Depot with an idea for something to design around. They did not have effective replacements for what I was using, so I explored a re-design. The options were just not working so I ended up leaving without any purchases. It was frustrating as I even walked through the toy, I mean tool section and did not find anything that leaped into my hands.
I got to Mom’s and decided I was not in any mood to work on the ornaments today. I dragged the lathe out. It took to moving a lot of stuff out of the way first. I then looked at the various pieces of wood I could work on. Many were for different projects or for special projects I had not decided on yet.
I looked at an Oak branch my brother had given me. I had seen a wood working show where they split a branch at a bend to create a naturally curved Ladle. I was looking at the oak with that idea and even walked to the bandsaw. I decided I would have to adjust the bandsaw blade space to cut the wood and decided against it today.
I returned to the lathe and found a piece of wood that was cut off another project. Either than or I had rounded it and decided to work on something else. Because of the shape of the wood I needed to put a tenon on the smaller end so I could flip it around and turn it from that end. I started working to make it into a goblet. I made a tenon and then flipped it around. I started removing the old tenon and the wood shifted in the jaws of the chuck. I decided that was enough for one day. I have lost a lot of skills and muscle memory of wood turning. I am going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the lathe to recover those skills.
The piece of wood I was going to work on.
It had been a while since I used the lathe, and it has been over a year since I did real maintenance on the lathe. The ways have light surface rusting. Bugs are dining wonderfully on the wood of the frame of the base.
Of course all the tools need sharpening and cleaning. None, except one or two new tools are in any condition to turn wood. I really need to spend several days just getting the lathe and tools back into shape. I put everything back and called it a day for that lathe.
It was cool out so I decided to set up the table, for carving, then dragged out the machine lathe. For a simple project, I grabbed some chop sticks from a batch I got from a yard sale early this year. I got them to make crochet hooks. They are bamboo.
These chop sticks are longer than the lathe can handle. The head of the lathe is hollow so I stuck the chop sticks through the head and worked the exposed end. I used my knife to knock off the square sides of the handle part of the chop sticks, located the approximate centers of each end and indented it. With most of the stick inside the head of the lathe, I put the point of the tail stock into the indentation, set the cutting tool to remove the deepest flat and rounded as far as I could with my settings. I likely could have gotten all the rod rather than leaving the center square, if I moved the tool after I made my first cuts, but was lazy.
While talking to my brother, I machined four rods, I would machine one end, then flip it and machine the other end, leaving the middle rough. I might cut these for shorter crochet hooks or use the big lathe to finish the center.
One rod cracked so I cut off the crack end, and then was able to machine it except for a quarter inch bit in the center. I used my knife to remove the high spots, spun it and used a file then emery cloth to hide the center.
First dish cloth of the year.
I did make one mistake my brother pointed out. There are three pulleys. One is on the motor. The second is an idler pulley. The third is on the head. They each have several sizes of pulleys built into them so you have a lot of different speeds you can have. One thing you can do is to go directly from the motor to the head for direct power if stepping up or down is unimportant. My mistake was to put the belt on the idler pulley but then put the belt from the motor directly to the head. I never noticed this. My brother pointed it out. I removed the idler belt and the lathe ran a little faster as there was less resistance.
I like telling about my mistakes so you know I am not absolutely perfect. It also reminds you of things to watch for.
mice on top, socks on the side with almost finished ones on the bottom, mittens in the middle, rods I machined today on the bottom.
I have no idea what next week will offer. It is totally up in the air. I do hope to finish another dish cloth by next week.
I will see what I will do next week.