In Which the Pirate Illuminates.

I have a good excuse for not finishing the first of the Timey-Wimey socks this weekend. Actually, I have two good excuses and one sorry one! The sorry excuse is that I have been taking Celebrex for my ankle injury, and I feel like a zombie. If I sit down, I have a tendency to fall asleep. I did knit for a while and I’ve started the toe decreases. I think that I might have measured properly so that I’ll be able to have matching socks. It’ll be within a few yards, but I think it’s possible. Fingers crossed!

This is my first good excuse: in my efforts to stay awake, I went down into the garage with Pirate-Husband and worked on the next set of our wine bottle lanterns. We got the idea from Gerardot & Co. via Make.

We’d made one of these lanterns last fall, and had some ideas to improve on them for the next set. Our house is right in the middle of Virginia wine country, so we’re going to collect a variety of our favourites from local wineries. To keep the labels from peeling off, we’ve given the bottles a coating of clear polyurethane from a spray can. I drove some sturdy sticks into the ground, then slid the bottles onto them so that the bottoms could be sprayed as well. They’ll get a second coat some time this week. The humidity caused the spray to give a hazy finish, which I actually like better than if they’d come out clear.

The original instructions suggest using a cap to keep the wick dry when it’s not in use. Our first lantern lost its cap in less than a week, and has acquired a few inches of water underneath the oil in the lantern. To keep the cap from getting lost again, I got out “ye old chainmail kit” and made a chain of ten links. An eleventh link was soldered to the top of the cap, then hooked up to the rest. At the other end, the last link was put around the split ring hanger. The cap may still fall off, but at least now it won’t be lost! I discovered that I really enjoy soldering when I took a stained glass class, and this was a fun opportunity for me to play with molten metal again. Pirate-Husband deserves thanks for letting me do much of the soldering work, because I know he likes it too.

Unfortunately, the shiny copper-plated hardware didn’t weather as well as I would have liked. Real copper turns a beautiful green in the outdoors, but this stuff just sort of looked dirty. Rather than spray it with the polyurethane so that it stays shiny, we hit them with a flat black spray paint. Pirate-Husband is going to teach me dry-brushing techniques to make them look properly weathered, and then the clear polyurethane will seal in that look.

what the deuce And this is my second good excuse: Sunday evening, just as I was settling in to finish the sock toe, we heard a rumbling from outside. Pirate-Husband’s former co-worker had somehow gotten his deuce and a half up into our driveway, and asked us if we wanted to go for a ride. There was really no thinking about it; I dropped the yarn and off we went on the loudest adventure ever! Even though I was wearing ear protection, I still feel slightly deafened. We drove to where the paved roads end and kept going, forded a small creek, saw a small spotted fawn, and had a wonderful time. I hope you don’t hold it against me that as a result I have no knitting to show today – and if you get the chance for an adventure like that, I hope you’ll also drop your yarn and run to meet it!

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