Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to make a PVC niddy noddy

A skein of yarn wound on a 2 yard PVC Niddy noddy. 

I used a homemade pvc pipe niddy noddy at a recent fair and had to make one.  They are SO simple.  The parts cost $5.09 at my local hardware store, and the employee cut the parts to my specifications, so I didn't even have to get out a hacksaw.  In case you don't know, a niddy noddy is a device used to make yarn into a hank.  Instead of having someone hold out their hands or wrapping the yarn from your spinning wheel bobbin around the legs of a chair, you wrap the yarn in a certain way on the niddy noddy.  You end up with a continuous loop of yarn. You can see how I used to make a hank here.  This niddy noddy is sized for measuring 2 yards of yarn per loop.  When you have finished winding your yarn on it, you count the loops over one arm of the niddy noddy, then double it to get the amount of yards you have.  It's very handy if you're a handspinner and have no clue how much yarn you made and want to give it to a friend.

You will need:
*40 inches of 1/2 inch PVC pipe, cut with a pipe cutter or hacksaw into 5 lengths.  Four lengths will be 6 inches.  One will be 16 inches.
*Two 1/2 inch PVC T-couplers
*Four 1/2 inch PVC end caps

Put the 6 inch pieces into the T couplers.  Put the end caps on the end of each 6 inch piece.  

Attach the T couplers at right angles to one another at each end of the 16 inch piece

Winding a skein on a pvc niddy noddy is easy.  You grasp the niddy noddy at the center,with the bottom part of the T parallel with your body and the top T perpendicular to your body.  You tie the first strand of yarn to the center post at the top, then wind so that when you slip the two loops off the bottom T, you have one countinuous loop of yarn.  To calculate how much yarn you have with a 2 yard PVC niddy noddy, count how many times the yarn goes around one of the arms of the T, then multiply by two.  You may then wind the skein into a hank for storage until you are ready to wind into a ball for knitting and spinning.  
Congratulations!  You now have a very affordable niddy noddy and an easy way to make a hank of yarn!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The babygirl is 4!

Today Maia, my youngest daughter, turned four.  It's hard to believe that it's been so long since I've had a baby.   In the time since she was born we've entered preteen and teen years with her older siblings and our family has matured as a group.  The older kids have become ever so much more responsible, having had the privilege of helping to look out for her as she has grown.  She has her big brothers at her beck and call and is buddies with each of her siblings.  Her name means mother, which seems like it doesn't fit until you realize that she's brought out the caring mama or papa in everyone around her.  

 I'm so thankful for her cheery smile and the way she sticks out her pointer finger and pokes at the people she loves.   She's a stubborn girl who knows precisely how she thinks things should be, but is also very logical...if you can calm her down enough to explain things to her.  She is sensitive and notices when people aren't getting along and she loves animals.  Her favorite creatures of the moment are horses and goats.  

We love to joke that her hair doesn't grow long because she's the baby of the family: that way she gets to look like a baby for just that much longer.  She is a snuggler and a sweetie pie, and I am so grateful we have her.  I am thankful for the joy she brings into our lives and for the way she has reminded us to remember to look at the world like a preschooler does: with awe and slow and deliberate attention.  

Happy birthday, Maia Jo!

Princess for the day

That blue cup of weirdness is a smoothie her brother made for her birthday present
We let the kids decorate.  They achieved a very modern look.

The leavings of a fun party

One of the gifts: playdough that made cupcakes.
One of the actual cupcakes
Maia's fancy chair
Best thing about Cinderella was her shoes.

Playmobil baby goats from Grandma Marcia and Grandpa Steve
Horses from grandma and grandpa.  She has named them after Grandma Diane and Grandpa Rod's horses: Faith and Boogie

We wore Koa out, with the eleven kids at the party, but later on in the evening he was ready for more. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm thinkin' of somethin' orange...

Hawai'is dirt is reddish orange because of the high iron content...the iron has oxidized, making it orange instead of your typical brown dirt. 

 I am participating in a photography challenge this month in which we were to select 4 images that say "orange" to me.  Happily, the assignment was given while we were in Hawai'i, so I had many "orange" moments.  The first four are the ones I submitted, but I had to share the rest too.

Hedychium. A type of ginger flower.

Papaya for breakfast with the sky reflected on the plate.  

Blossom from the "flamboyant" tree: Royal Poinciana
Ixora, a tropical shrub 
Angel's trumpet blossom.  Highly toxic.

Sunset at Waikiki