You’ve seen them in hotels. That little strip of cloth across the foot of the hotel bed. The ones I’ve seen in Indonesia were gorgeous — beautiful handwoven pieces that were woven for that purpose. The ones in the US? Not so much. They are woven on giant commercial looms and cut up and sized for the hotel bed.

For years, even before they first showed up in the hotels across the US, I used a strip of linen across the bottom of the bed. It’s light and it doesn’t add weight on my feet. My intent was an attempt to keep cat hair off the bed. That didn’t work out so well — My cats refused to sleep where I designate as their sleeping spot.

You know what else? That strip of cloth doesn’t do much when you just want to pull something over you when you go down for a nap. I don’t want to go under the covers because I don’t want to get too cozy and sleep longer than intended.

BedRunner

This weekend, I made a bed runner / nap blanket with a piece of quilting cotton and a piece of coordinating cotton flannel, 2 yards each. Folded in half lengthwise, it looks like a bed runner. Spread out, it’s the perfect size as a cover during a light nap. Since it is just quilting cotton/flannel, it’s easy to toss in the washer/dryer to get rid of cat hair. (Yes, I know it clashes with the duvet cover.)

StormRunner

It’s even Stormy’s approved. She’s a bit grumpy because I woke her up to take the picture. Best of all? It’s still light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my feet. That is, if you discount the 10 pound fur ball on top of it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been riding my bicycle for my work commute. I don’t use bike gloves since the ones I have used before didn’t really do much in terms of keeping my hands warm. They were more for padding than anything else. But that was over 10 years ago. I don’t know how things have changed since then.

BikeMittHowever, I have been using my handspun fingerless gloves. They work well unless it is really cold or windy. Sometime in December, I lost them. I have no idea where they are. I guess I should check lost and found at work.

In the meantime, the other pair that I had made had also gone MIA. I have absolutely no idea how I could have lost 2 pairs of fingerless mitts when I need them the most.

For now, I am wearing a pair of wind block fleece gloves. They are actually working quite well, but there are times when it’s too mild for them. Besides, I miss my fingertips. I use my fingertips to adjust zippers, hats/ear warmers, earbuds and control my phone (volume and playback). To do that with the fleece gloves, I have to pull over to the side, take the glove off, do what needs to be done, and pull it back on before continuing on my merry way. The gloves are just too bulky.

BikeMittNotesSo, I decided to knit another pair for bicycling. These will be dedicated biking mitts so I took a hard look at what worked well and what could be improved with the pair I lost. Then I winged the rest, designing as I went.

This time around, I didn’t assume that I will remember from one mitt to the other and took copious notes. Not only that, I took notes on something other than the back of an envelope that might accidentally be tossed into the recycling bin.

Wish me luck on the second mitt!

I know, 2 posts in a row. Please pull yourself off the floor. I have some backlog waiting for photo editing and text. We will resume to normal non-posting schedule shortly.

Hummingbird_2Our felting group worked on needle felting small birds this month. We all decided to work on hummingbirds, because they were small. Ha! Small doesn’t mean a light on details! I think an owl would have been faster.

No in progress photos, unfortunately. What you see is 100% wool.

The inner core was some unknown wool batt that Ginger had on hand. I rolled that into a cylinder and started to prick the heck out of it to make a very small dense core in the rough shape of a hummingbird body.

Hummingbird_3I took a small amount of black wool and wrapped that around a toothpick to make the beak. I then gently pulled it off the toothpick and wet felted it into shape. I was too worried about my fingers to try needle felting something that small.

Then, I covered the body with scrap wool from my various spinning classes. Most of it were from Ashland Bay, I believe. The throat was a mix of black, pink and purple blended with my fingers.

The wings were roughly shaped separately before felting into the body. It still need a bit of trimming to shape. I also need to decide on what type of feet to attach and how to perch the bird.

Believe it or not, the hummingbird is fairly true to size (length) and weight of an Anna. So happy with this.

Unfortunately, I found the little bird next to Stormy’s food bowl yesterday. I am not sure how she got it off of the high shelf it was on but she thinks its a cat toy. I need to clean it off a bit — get rid of the cat hair. Sigh.

MuslinBags

A handful of muslin bags for holding bulk food items. It should be more sturdy than those thin plastic bags as well as more environmentally friendly. You only need a bag full of flour fail once to be convinced that there has got to be a better way.

Unbleached muslin and seine twine.

PurpleThing

Lots and lots of stockinette stitch on itty bitty needles. Zephyr with US #0 (2mm).

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