Saturday, January 26, 2008

Swapping stuff...

I'm bringing approximately 2.5 miles of yarn to Purlescence for a yarn swap tomorrow. I am positive that I will not come home with that much to replace it! Much of it is yarn that I acquired at least 8-10 years ago. Since I no longer have a desire to use it - out it goes!

I'm having a mixed-luck-with-shoes day. Dog got to my slippers this evening and I didn't give her the "Chew" command (see yesterday's post)! The thing that bugs me about it is that I've worn these slippers for the last 2 winters, and she's shown no interest in them during that time. Why tonight? Argh!

On the other foot, I did score a great set of super-comfy clogs today. They're pure Joy to wear! I haven't taken them off since I got them.

Okay, I really need to get off the computer and get spinning, otherwise I won't meet my weekend goals.

Another rainy Friday!

This is how mine started out -- only I didn't discover it until I was already at school. [Okay, quit laughing!] Luckily, it was Pajama Day, to celebrate the donation of pjs and books to The Pajama Project, and I got to wear my slippers most of the day. Actually, no one noticed until I pointed it out - then they all fell over laughing...

Once again, it rained all day, but luckily, not as much water and without the vicious winds of a few weeks ago. But when I left school this afternoon, water was backing up in the parking lot again. I'm glad if I had to be at school, I could at least be comfy in my pjs!

Three goals for this weekend:

1) Finish spinning & ply up the Tobacco Road roving

2) Tear out the neckline shaping on the right front of Twist and redo it. I had decided to make a larger size for the front than for the back, and need to make the appropriate adjustments to eventually match the back at the shoulders. It's only a couple inches, and shouldn't take very long.

3) Finish grading 3 sets of papers that I need to hand back to my students. Hmmm, I think I'll go spin first...

This is a friend's dog, a chihuahua mix, who loves to carry shoes around. The command is "Chew!" and she runs for the indicated object and hauls it around. She made me laugh, so I had to share!

Anyway, I hope your weekend is full of laughter and snuggly stuff!

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm still here...

Well, where have I been since I last wrote --

* Still coughing, but at least I don't feel like my lungs will explode. It's getting better slowly. Love the codeine cough syrup for nighttime and the regular stuff for day, and my inhalers every 4 hours...

* Knitting

Really, Twist is coming along - this is the right front; you just can't tell it's
growing because I'm not getting much time on it. Other things keep getting in the way.

Such as:

* Spinning

This is the Tobacco Road superwash fiber for a handknit scarf for The Hubby to take to Winter Camp in Minnesota - in mid-February! I'm over 2/3 done with the spinning.

* Crocheting

A ripple baby afghan for an upcoming baby shower. I thought I had another week. Last Friday, I got word that the shower will be this coming Thursday. This is Bernat Denimstyle that was in the stash. This yarn is not quite discontinued; however, no one in the area carries it any longer, so I have to use what I have available.

I wasn't sure whether or not I'd make it in time, but went ahead and started Saturday evening (tried one other pattern on Saturday AM and ripped it back). Some time put in on Sunday and lots of time spent at Purlescence today, and I'm about 2 rounds short of being done. It's about 45" across from point to point.

* Home stuff

Removed and capped off the sprayer hose on our sink, which didn't play well with the new portable dishwasher. The dishwasher gets hooked up to the sink faucet, and the back pressure split the seam on the sprayer attachment, with the result being at least 5 gallons of water on our kitchen floor and more on the counters and windows. At least the kitchen floors are clean! I guess I need to get a shop vac. The job would have been much quicker and a lot easier on my back than using the mop! The toaster was also a casualty as it no longer pops up! We've had a couple of charred pieces of toast until we realized what happened.

Imagine me contorted under the sink, trying not to smash my nose against the pipes, working with a pipe wrench in a space that is not conducive to raising my arm very high. Better yet, don't imagine it - it's not a pretty sight! The little brass cap between the two copper pipes is what I was trying to put in and torque down enough so that we had no further water issues.

Removed and replaced both the deadbolt and door lock on the front door. When your key won't easily go into the lock, nor does it want to come out when you do get it in, that's a sign that a new one is necesary. It was all easy to replace, considering that I didn't have to start from scratch, drilling holes into a new door! (Yes, I know the door jamb needs painting...)

And in my many trips to the hardware store, I've acquired another great blocking tool! These foam flooring squares were under $10 for 12 square feet! You can see them in use in my Twist picture above. (Orchard Supply Hardware, if anyone is interested) I may have to go back for a 2nd package!

I'm all about items that can be inexpensively repurposed into knitters' tools.

For example, piano wire from the hobby store has become my blocking wires (0.048 to 0.040 [1.2-1.0 mm] 4 or 5 pieces, 36" long for $2-3.00). I cleaned them with a little WD-40 to take off the slightly greasy finish, and they're fabulous for lace blocking! Contrast that with the Lace blocking wires at (nothing against them, mind you), that are 12 straight wires, 2 flexible wires, plus T-pins and a yardstick for $30, or the 51"x33" Space Board for blocking at $90. I don't have that kind of money - actually, I'd rather spend it on yarn, rather than expensive versions of something I can find at a much lower price.

The crocheting and the house stuff got done over the 3-day weekend. I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Well, there WAS forward Twist progress...until I realized that I had mucked up the left front by one stitch when I had done the set-up row after the ribbing. You'll have to imagine that you can see it, because the left front is frogged back to the ribbing. No wonder the shoulder looked a bit wonky in the decreases! The awful realization hit when I started the cable pattern on the right front and realized that the cables lined up very nicely with the ribbing, unlike on the previous try.

That's okay though, I realized it before I bound off! I wasn't happy with those decreases, and wanted a 2nd opinion on it, so I left the remaining stitches on a holder until I could show someone, then started the other front.

At least the knitting and reknitting has kept me sane this week. Besides a wild work week trying to shepherd 3rd graders through their first big research project (note-taking, paraphrasing, bibliography), all 3 of us are doing the asthmatic cough thing. [Yep, it's bad when a storyteller can't tell stories...]

I took The Hubby over to the health clinic Monday night after he complained of light-headedness and tingly fingers after a hard coughing fit. We now own a nebulizer for breathing treatments, but he's also dealing with another sinus infection. I've not paid attention to my breathing because I was trying to deal with his, and it spiraled out of control. Yes, I went to the doctor today! Love the codeine cough syrup for night, and my Robitussin for daytime! Then The Dork decided to skip fencing this weekend because he's got a headache and cough...

Not sure whether I'll end up knitting at Purlescence this weekend. I don't want you all to hear the cough, and I can't talk very long without coughing, so typing may have to do. Sleep would be nice too...

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Be a good Beast* car for someone else!

The paperwork was easy, the transfer of liability already filed with the DMV online, and hopefully Cars4Causes can fix it up and sell it for a few hundred dollars. 50% minus towing fees goes to the organization of my choice (RAFT) and the rest goes to Cars4Causes.

*Her name is The Beast so if I got mad and yelled at her, I was just calling her by her given name, so she wouldn't get mad at me.

How was your weather day?

Just so wrong to look out of the windows yesterday at work and watch trees swaying way past where they usually sway and rain blowing sideways for hours. If you opened the door, you found yourself with a face full of rain, which at one point blew about 3 feet inside.

Enough rain came down that this was the view of part of the parking lot:
Don’t know if you can tell, but the water is at the sidewalk level. Basically, the concern was about the amount of water and how fast it arrived. And that was just one of the flooded parts. Include 2 other drains not draining and a couple areas of the streets around campus.

I watched 3 kids following their parents through the parking lot make detours right into the water (and none of them were younger than 8).

Soaked kids (but so far, no soaked books), flooded parking lots, one tree down, two short power outages, early dismissals, all after-school activities cancelled — oh, and 6 classes of wet third graders beginning a biography research project, plus the regularly scheduled 1st grade classes.

The decision was made to hold the 1st grade classes in their homerooms so the kids didn’t blow away on the trek down here. Good thing, because at one point, one of the more diminutive faculty members was almost blown off her feet.

Yes, I know that Californians can be wimpy about the weather, and that those of you who live elsewhere with "real weather" scoff at us, but this was a pretty extreme storm. The last storm that I can remember of this magnitude was when I was a kid visiting relatives in Houston and catching the edge of a hurricane. My one memory of that storm was literally hiding under a couch and hearing the wind pick up the potted plants and blowing them across the patio.

There is knitting involved in this tale!
After carefully driving to the fencing club with the Dork last evening, and seeing the southbound freeway traffic backed up during rush hour (3 lanes closed for emergency freeway sinkhole repair), I elected to just stay at the club. After finishing some grading, watching a few teenage boys try to play ping-pong with hard candy (the last ball was broken), I knit for about 2 hours on the left front of my Twist. I'm almost to the bind-off for the underarm. It's still a very addicting project! Hopefully, I'll finish the front by the end of the weekend.

Today - blood donation (finally, I've had to postpone 3 times), tow truck is picking up my old car (I'll miss it, but moving it out to the street last night made me realize how bad the engine had gotten), and go to the hardware store for fencing blade covers (3/4" PVC pipe).