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We needed soap chez fibermom, so I made some yesterday. This is melt and pour soap, the soapmaking equivalent of cake mix — all the chemistry is done for you, so you just get to determine the scent, color, shape, and so on. In other words, the fun stuff.

I made wintry jewel tones with warming scents composed of ginger, white tea, sandalwood, oakmoss, and lily in varying quantities and combinations.

Assuming that you have a good collection of tools on hand, this is about $3 worth of first-quality all-vegetable soap. That is, one bar of ordinary store-bought. It is cheaper to make the stuff yourself from lye and oil, but that is a very tedious process, and not easy, either.

I intend to send some of this to my xangaland secret pal.

1224 015 Another thing that I did yesterday was to get my craft cupboard into some semblance of order.

The plastic bins there — green, blue, and clear — hold all my yarn. While this is not the kind of stash that will impress anyone in the knitting blogs, it is enough to cover my knitting needs for the year.

The clear boxes hold Peruvian wool for Erin and there should be enough left over for some good small projects when I finish. One of them also has some lovely laceweight for a shawl.

The green bins hold cotton, enough for the Bijoux Blouse and a red blouse as well. The blue bins have Telemark — the rest of Pipes’s yarn, plus. Actually, Pipes is near enough to completion that I clearly bought too much of that navy yarn for it. Like, enough for another sweater.

I also have half a dozen skeins of sock yarn.

I should get me one of those “Knit From Your Stash 2007” buttons.

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Have I ever shown you how I sort my needles?

I stick them into pencil bags and put them in a binder. I put them in numerical order and write the size on the pocket with a Sharpie. I have been doing this for a decade or two, and haven’t had to replace my pencil bags yet. I got them for a quarter apiece in a back to school sale back in the dim past.

This method works very well, allowing you to keep all the needles of the same size together. So when you need  the sleeve needles for your sweater, you can just pull them out and replace the 32″ needles, and if you need to switch to dpns, you have them handy as well.

I once won a prize for sharing this idea.

The craft cupboard was getting pretty heinous. #2 son had remarked on it, and it takes a lot of mess to get #2 son 1224 016 to remark on it. I did not take any “before” pictures for you, I’m afraid, but here you can see the Heinous Knitting Basket, which gives you an idea.

It is now tamed as well.

#1 son said, “We are just a messy family. We’ve always been a messy family.”

I assured him that I would work on it.

“I’m messy, too,” he said in a forgiving sort of voice. I did not contradict him.

I had to take scissors to this basket, I am sorry to say.

In addition to cleaning things, I worked on Erin and Pipes. Erin has gotten a bit longer, but doesn’t look very different from yesterday. Pipes is really at the point at which I need some decisions on the sleeves. You can see it below, reposing in the now no longer heinous knitting basket.

1224 017 Assuming that there is word from #2 daughter on the length she wants for her sleeves, this sweater could be finished in the next couple of weeks.

Depending, of course, on how much time I spend on Erin.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, of course. An excellent opportunity for knitting. A knitter who does not care at all about football can sit companionably with many shouting and grunting guys, and get her knitting done, and not feel cross that she is having to spend her whole day with football.

Southern Living is showing deviled eggs cunningly decorated to look like footballs. I will not be doing that, as there are no girls coming today. Guys are happy with carryout pizza and hot wings, and that is all they will be getting. 1224 007

Back when there were girls here on Super Bowl Sunday, I used to make cute food. Football-field cakes with little M&M football players. 7-layer dip with nicely-arranged vegetables. This sort of thing is wasted on boys.

Here is what Fiona did yesterday.

Toby, the other dog, joined her in doing this.

1224 010 Here is what the boys did yesterday.

They are playing with their sister and brother-in-law. Son-in-law has a character named Okra, which I find extremely funny.

I did chivvy the boys into helping me tidy the living room.Just enough, I said, that we wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone came over.

They wordlessly surveyed the snowy landscape.

It could happen, said I.

They put in the five minutes needed. And the Schwan’s man surprised us by appearing. I bought ice cream from him, since my husband had been advised to eat it during his last doctor visit. Weren’t they glad we had tidied up? I asked the boys as they put away the ice cream. It had spared us the humiliation of having the Schwan’s man find us with sports equipment all over the floor.

I think the boys grunted a little bit.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday. I am told that we are supporting some bears in this conflict. I hope to make some good progress with my knitting.