Friday, June 29, 2012

king's wax review

If you’re unfamiliar with genuine sealing wax, it’s a product used to seal correspondence.  I know there’s a lot of faux and stick on sealing wax for scrap booking, but I’m referring to the kind you use on actual mailed correspondence. Of course you can use it for embellishing gifts and making metal clay jewelry etc. I was given a little brass wax seal and a couple of sticks of sealing wax with a box of stationery as a birthday or Christmas gift when I was about 9.  I have used it on personal correspondence ever since.  Back then, there were only 2 domestic companies that offered sealing wax for sale.  Now, a lot of companies and people make it, but a lot of what is on the market faux sealing wax.  You’d be hard pressed to break the faux wax because it dries almost like plastic or vinyl.

I was dubious when I found Ebay listings for a brand of sealing wax I didn’t already know. The web site, http://www.kingswax.com  seemed legit so I looked around and ordered some wax. The shipping is a bit high because the wax comes from Canada, so I ordered several sticks.  I ordered some breakable and some unbreakable wax.  The owner called me to clarify the order. He was nice enough to tell me that the form in which I ordered my wax was not the most economical so I changed my order for both kinds of wax to glue gun sticks, rather than the traditional shape, since I don’t use wicked wax.   As I recall, 1 color was out of stock, so I selected and alternate.  

I waited a week, then 2 weeks, then  almost 3 weeks.  No wax.   I hadn’t spent a fortune, but I did call to see where my package had gone.  I spoke to the owner who said a woman called him that same day, from Staten Island, NY, saying how she received my package.  Maybe there’s a street in Staten Island that has the same very common name of my street.  There may even be a house or apartment at my street number.  If the zip code was written incorrectly, I guess it could happen.  I know the owner was hand writing the order when we spoke.  I was disappointed, but it wasn’t life and death or anything, so I asked him if he’d send the order out anew.   He did and I received it  about a week later. 

Now, finally, I’m getting to the review.  I liked the wax very much. I think the unbreakable  recipe is comparable to the French J. Herbin wax I favored heretofore. My criticism is only that the nomenclature is off.  Breakable to me, is the hard wax that is used for security, like bankers’ wax.  Since I send my wax through the mail (and do other things with it)  I can’t use that real fragile wax that is made to break upon tampering, which was the purpose of employing the wax, to begin with.  The J. Herbin wax I use is called Souple, or supple.  It holds an impression nicely, but has enough flexibility to withstand the rigors of the postal system.  I assumed that Kings Wax unbreakable was comparable.  So, I only ordered a stick or 2 of breakable and loaded up with unbreakable.  It turns out, that Kings Wax breakable is like J. Herbin's "genuine" sealing wax, feels and behaves like faux sealing wax. There isn't a problem mailing faux sealing wax, but it’s so plastic-y or rubbery that it doesn't "feel" like sealing wax to me.

So, I learned that I like the consistency of Kings Wax breakable for mailing.  I’ll use the unbreakable sticks that I don’t prefer.  I put them in my glue gun and use them for “mass mailings” like the monthly birthday cards I send to students, their families and our friends, on gifts and even on notes I leave for neighbors here in our building.  I’ll use them up but I won’t re-order the unbreakable wax.  As for the breakable, it’s available in a huge array of colors - unlike the former wax I used which was only available in gold, silver, navy, red, green and bronze.  Good colors, but very basic. In Kings Wax, I have pearly sparkly burgundy, Tiffany box blue and others.   I love Kings Wax.

If you use sealing wax for scrap booking, I’m sure the unbreakable will work wonderfully for you.  If you use sealing wax for your correspondence, use the breakable. It  goes through the post perfectly. 

do you have an UFO bin, phds or a hope chest?


Whatever you call it, I have it.  I adopted the UFO terminology many years ago and am content with it, but project half done and hope chest are apropos, too.

I’m about 2/3s of the way through what I call My Own Little Crochet U. I’m crocheting every motif in Edie Eckman’s book Beyond the Square.  I shot her an email or a tweet about it and she sent a very gracious reply.  I will send her the link to my Flickr set when I’m done.  That’s the project that goes on hold the most frequently and I suspended working on it since about November.  I’m hoping to complete that this summer or at least by the end of the year. I will probably also crochet her entire Crochet Borders book too - I want my crochet to be a skill developed equally to my knitting - which I have been doing since the late ’60’s. I don’t have decades to cultivate it, so Edie will be my Elizabeth Zimmerman.  And I will try to digest all I can from her expertise.  These are long term projects - but the feeling of accomplishment after completing an interesting motif and I’m sure a border, are a welcome lift.



I have 2 Lazy Girl  Town Purse cut out and the linings are sewn to the inside pocket pieces.  When I began these bags, I was making one for me and one for a dear friend. She lost her brave fight against  4 kinds of stage 4 cancers in January, and there is a lot of unhappiness attached to this project.  I think this will be retired to UFO land for a while. I just don’t want to pick it back up right now. 

If you haven’t made a Lazy Girl bag and you like to sew bags, you may want to try one.  I have made the Gracie bag and it was an excellent experience. Directions were great, and that’s coming from an experienced machine sewer who sews like a beginner because I, heretofore, have not had enough continuous sewing time to feel really comfortable at my machine as soon as I sit down. It’s getting much better, but these long breaks from machine sewing don’t help at all.

I’m nearly finished with a small wall hanging made from a panel called Chapel in the Pines by Moda.  It needs a little more quilting and binding.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY  want that done for hanging in our apartment the day after Thanksgiving.

a rose by any other name


I  knit a swatch for my first every Ravellenic Games project. [Of course, it's the first ever because this extravaganza used to be called the Ravelympics. Okay, Committee, I wrote it, come and arrest me.  What a joke that whole brouhaha was. Now,  we have been bulllied into calling it the Ravellenic Games.]

I’m making the Classic Elite Appalachian Shawl with Araucania Quillay  in color 2 and some Lion Brand LB Collection Superwash Merino in black. The swatch went well.  The shawl uses a lot of yardage but the pattern isn’t very fiddly.  There’s just 1 row of a knit, put back and reknit kind of wrapped stitch and there are only 2 purl rows  in each 12 row stripe sequence, of which you knit just less than 8 repeats.  I should be okay with it - even though our church has scheduled VBS during the first week of the Ravellenic Games, and whatever that sporting event they’re having over in London is.

I had to compromise my 'Knit, Crochet and Sew Down the Stash' rule. When I swatched I had a nagging doubt that my 3 skeins of Quillay (which I purchased on clearance at my LYS) might  not be enough because the yardage calculation didn't leave much room .  The thought of being unable to complete the project on time for this even made me crazy.  It's a discontinued yarn so I had a little hunting to do.  Coveted Yarn had it in my color.  I knew it was likely that the dye lot would be off, but I was delighted that the skein I received was the same dye lot as the other 3 I had. Yay!! Now, if I want to do an extra sequence row, I can do so (if time permits).



swatching for the Ravelympics

Thursday, June 28, 2012

wwkip


Because I couldn't find a local WWKIPD or WWKIPW event, I had hopes of KIP-ing with a friend, Susan, and even offering learn to knit in  15 minutes classes on the spot.  I even knitted some little samples of garter, stockinette and ribbing. Susan had other life necessities intervene, and great life necessities they were! She went with her son’s family to a golden retriever  breeder, where the son’s family selected a puppy. As it turned out, Susan picked a puppy too, so that’s going to be a terrific addition to her and her husband’s empty nest. I don’t blame her for skipping out on me for that.  I’d have done the same for her & in fact I did back out on an appointment with the Material Girls to drive down to a breeder to choose and bring home a hand fed baby parakeet, in February. 

 So when E-Rex went to his beloved Panera  on June  9th, WWKIPD I joined him & KIP-ed there for a while.  I worked on a pair of wild socks I’m knitting in a Cat Bordhi Sidestream pattern. I’m just using Red Heart,  Heart and Sole, in a colorway called Mellow Stripes (which harken back to the druggy song Mellow Yellow.  The colors are anything but mellow, in my opinion.)These socks were originally knitted a few  years ago, but since then some things have changed.  I lost a lot of weight a while ago and when I was bigger, I wore stretch legging type jeans, which were snug at the ankle, therefore,  I only wore short short socks.  But in the past year or so, I have resumed wearing regular jeans (and I DO love them) and my lower calves were getting so cold in the winter!  So one of my projects is to lengthen my too short socks.  It’s a real pain, but I won’t wear them that short when it’s cold outside anymore, and it gets cold in the winter here -- except for this past one. So I KIP-ed the ribbing on the socks.  I have one more pair left to unravel the bind off of and lengthen, then all my hand knit socks will the right length except for  1 pair that were experimental. I wear those to bed and never out, so those will remain short.

Since WWKIPD has evolved into WWKIPW, I set a goal of KIPing every day of that week and succeeded.  A couple of times, it was at Panera, sometimes it was on a bench at a park before a guitar student's lesson and then there were the doctor appointments.

I have said this so many times:  "Next year, I will have a better plan."  

man!!

June is drawing to a close and although I have a lovely podcast recorded and mixed, it's not going to be posted this month - and in fact, when I finally do post my premiere Sealed 4 Ever podcast, I will have to re-record because a lot of the segments will be outdated.  Man!!!

Profuse apologies for putting out bad info, but my reason for postponing is an unplanned and completely unexpected business opportunity to which I need to devote my time and attention. I'll blog about that after my web pages etc. are functioning.

I most especially have to apologize to Material Girl, Donna.  We sat in my van and recorded as segment in which I wanted to introduce you to her and have her tell you about her crafting exploits - which are interesting and funny. She wasn't completely at ease, but our session turned out very well.  The good thing is that she can relax when we re-record, because she realized it wasn't as bad she thought it would be.  She's willing to record again, and I hope she would consider being a regular on the show.

So, the Sealed 4 Ever podcast IS coming.  I just can't say when.  I'm hoping before the summer concludes.
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