Monday, November 03, 2008


I hate time changes! Even this one, which is supposed to be the "easy" one. Yeah, I guess so .... if you can sleep in. But my body wakes up at the same time every day, so now I'm awake, but I can't get my day started because we have arbitrarily declared that no, it's not the same time anymore. And of course I'm extra tired because I forced myself to stay up late last night so I would be tired so I'd sleep in ....

... but I didn't. And for the next week I'll be hungry at the wrong time and tired at all times and have cranky kids who are going through the same thing, and an overtired husband who could sleep an hour (or two) later any day you mention and in about four months we'll do it all over again, in reverse.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween madness

This is our house on Halloween. It's modestly decorated, because I don't want to scare away small children. (Also, I'm lazy.) We have a slew of pumpkins, the strings of ghost lights, one tombstone, a couple of bat & skeleton yard stakes in a purposely disheveled front garden, and a few odds and ends like the skull you may or may not be able to see near the tree stake. I had intended to make giant cheesecloth ghosts with the kids this year but couldn't really figure out how to hang them, plus I still think they might spook the teeny ones.

But we did make one major addition this year. Can you see the spider web in front of the window?

Last year I bought a package of "cobwebs" with which we decorated the yard. It's just some synthetic fiber that you can pull out into filmy shreds. I've seen it around forever but never used it before. As a spinner I should have realized that this fiber would be incredibly strong; when I went to remove it I had a hard time getting it off the bushes, and I realized that a bird could be in real trouble if it got tangled up in the fiber. I just don't feel right about using it. But my kids really enjoyed the idea of webs.

So this year I bought one made of clothesline. It's not very well made but I think it will last for quite a few years if we are careful. But a web needs a spider, right? And I just didn't like any of the ones I saw at stores ....

so I made one:
dorsal surface

ventral surface
(string is for tying her to the web)

Here is Charlotte to give you the scale
(gloves for spider handling safety? I didn't ask)

I wish this had audio; she was advancing upon
me and saying "Aaaahhhhgggghhh"

The pattern is this one from Caron but made out of Red Heart supersaver acrylic (used double) for durability exposed to the weather. It's stuffed with gray wool to avoid show-through, and I didn't use the crocheted eyes. There are two 6mm pipecleaners twisted together inside each leg but the wire really isn't sturdy enough. Next year I might do something about that ... or I might not.

I chose the pattern because it seemed to be a much more realistic shape than most of the patterns I found on the web -- the ventral surface is flat, all increasing occurs on the dorsal surface. However, I didn't really notice until I had finished the body that it was more of a garden spider shape than a black widow shape. My husband convinced me that I shouldn't remake it and really I'm glad he did. My kids loved this, most trick or treaters did, too, and it was finished in time. What more could you ask for a holiday project?