Archive for March, 2008
Posted by: Tamara in knitting
Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang
Pattern: Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silk Wool, color 18 While the finished sweater is lovely and I love wearing brown, the yarn was a bit rough on my fingers, a bit tedious in its lack of colorfulness, and not photogenic! Even the finished sweater does not look as good in the photos as it does in real life.
Buttons: Little pearlescence-y (lol, I typed purlescence instead and could not figure out why spell check didn’t like that!) buttons from Joann Fabrics. Since there are nine buttons, I went the least expensive route. Plus, this sweater doesn’t really need fancy buttons as its focal point is the Tangled Cable.
Needles: Size 4 Knitpicks Options. Ouch! I’m not fond of these. Too pointy and irregular for me! This was my first project using Options and I think I will stick to Addi Turbos. For some reason my knitting style causes my fingers to brush the tips of the needles as I knit and they were just too pointy. Plus one tip was sharper than the other and it just bugged me. On a positive note, the cord and the joins on these needles are very nice. I love the purple color of the cord!
Pattern: This pattern is very well written and I think I only went to the internet once or twice for clarification. I also did this as a knit-a-long with Cheryl and Sarah and they were a great resource for talking things out.
Thoughts: I am so glad that I knit this sweater. I found the pattern to be just enough challenging to keep me interested but not so challenging that I could not bear it. I learned quite a bit about fixing mistakes in cable patterns! A couple of times I had to drop a few stitches down a couple of rows to recross my cables in the correct direction. There was one that I missed but it is difficult to find so I don’t think anyone will ever be able to tell that my tangle is really derailed.
Least favorite feature: While I like the finished result, picking up the stitches around the neckband for the 3 needle bind off was a wee bit challenging and I had to do it twice and I’m still not completely happy with it.
Favorite feature: The faux seams! I’m also glad there was only one repeat of the cable pattern. If I had to do that chart twice, I think I would have fallen off the deep end.
The front showing the pearly buttons
Here is the back. I love the way the cable pattern loops through itself and changes directions so it is mirror image.
TYC out in the wild on Easter Day with Llamafarmgirl (who was gracious enough to let me stand on my tippy-toes in the photo so it would look like we are almost the same height.)
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Disclaimer: This post is going to be entirely about laundry. Yes, laundry, not knitting, or spinning, or children, or anything vaguely interesting. So, if the thought of reading so many words just about laundry is starting to make you nod off, I won’t blame you, and please continue on with your other regularly scheduled blog reading. I promise that very soon I will have some more interesting posts possibly about things as exciting as watching the snow melt or sewing on buttons.
Here is a photo of my “old” washer and dryer set:
The washer, a 7 year old Maytag Nepune, we acquired after living here for about a year. Our previous washer had decided to spill its guts all over the floor and leak profusely into the basement below. I did a ton of research on front loaders and it seemed a the time to be the best choice out there. It has been adequately plugging away doing its job daily. The dryer, a large capacity GE, we purchased when we left our house in Sandy Hook 9 years ago because we had to leave behind our gas dryer. A couple of years ago, IHA had to take out its drum and replace its belt and other parts. Recently, small plastic pieces have been coming off and it is making horrendous squealing noises which none of us particularly enjoy.
We decided it was time to replace them and get a matching set. If you remember from a previous post, I had been lusting after the new Wild Cherry Red LG Steam Washer and Dryer. But I was procrastinating going out and ordering them. This weekend, however, we thought the dryer was really going to bite it for good, so we went out with our less than sufficient tax return lodged safely in our checking account and took the plunge We signed our eldest child over to Home Depot and came home with some papers saying that we were the proud new owners of Wild Cherry Red appliances. Then the buyers remorse set in. Guilt, guilt, and more guilt. Why are we replacing a perfectly fine washing machine just to have a matching pair? So what if we have been married 17.5 years and have never ever had a matching washer and dryer. Billions of people live perfectly happy and productive lives without ever having matching washers and dryers right? Guilt, guilt, guilt, and more guilt. To help lighten the guilt load, we decided to keep the washer in case my mom’s washer dies and she needs a new one. She is reluctant though. Even though her own washer is on its last legs, she is not a fan of the electronic front loader. “I don’t go in for those computers, you know.” She says.
So last night I decide to do one last load of towels with bleach to clean the washer before storage. It is a Neptune, you know, and therefore it has spent its life prone to mildew (And yes, just in the last year, I discovered that the key to preventing the odor is to leave the door open between cycles.) Before the cycle is through, however, I get a strange error code. Lr it says. Lr? I open the file cabinet where we keep all the user manuals and we have about 5 folders full so there is the first project. User Manual is found, but it doesn’t have a section to explain these codes. So next step, the internet (and here you can see that sometimes I give away my true age, because who out there would have gone to the internet first and just skipped the whole file drawer experience?) The internet tells me that Lr is locked rotor error which requires a service call and replacement parts with the cost being around $350.00! “Oh my,” I think, “What a really cool thing I have new washer coming tomorrow.” What good fortune. Buyers remorse is gone! I think my Maytag just loved me too much to let me live with buyers remorse.
So now, I’m trying to decide what is coincidence and what is irony. I’m thinking that it is just sheer coincidence that my washer died the day before getting a new one and that it is ironic that we were replacing the set due to the end of the life of the dryer, but it turned out to be the washer that was unusable. In either case, I feel that having to replace a washer after just 7 years and a dryer after just 9 is appalling. Things should last longer than that, don’t you think? My hope is that my new set will see us through to the end of college – 12 years from now. That is not too much to ask is it?
If you are still with me at this point and you have not yet nodded off, I am going to reward you with photos of my new Wild Cherry Red Washer and Dryer! Yay! Oh, what is that I hear? The twinkling chime of the washer telling me that my first load is complete. I will be right back…
Clothes are now in the dryer and here’s your photo. Thanks so much for sticking with me and have a great day!
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Posted by: Tamara in dyeing, etsy
Hello out there! I can’t believe it has been a whole week since my last post. Nothing much going on here except that I’m still adjusting to the time change and struggling through the 3 to 6’s. (Right now Agent J is in the kitchen with her Easy Bake Oven. It smells, good, but I’m not looking forward to the clean up.)
I’ve been having a lot of fun making ads for my Etsy shop to display on Ravelry. I don’t seem to be fighting as much with Photoshop. I think I still need a class, but I’m starting to get the hang of layers.
After school today we had a cotton candy photo shoot. Here are some of the photos:
Oh yeah and here is the first ad completed with these photos. I have a lot of material to work with so I have a feeling there are going to be more…
Have a great evening everyone!
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Posted by: Tamara in life
Good Morning! I was just sitting here thinking that today is going to be the Monday of all Mondays — Super Monday if you will. The Monday after the weekend that we lose an hour. We have a saying here about this time change and it is “Thanks George Bush!” (Yes, that is dripping with sarcasm and yes, we tend to blame all that we don’t like on him. It works, you should try it.) I do love the light later in the day though, I just wish it could always be like this.
The above mug was a birthday gift from my friend Dara (aka Stitchy). She knows me pretty well!
Well, try to have a Happy Monday. (I’m so encouraging, aren’t I???)
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Posted by: Tamara in life
I can’t believe I went the whole week and I didn’t post about the class I took at New England Scrapbook last weekend. I had originally signed myself and Agent K up to take a class on making a bouquet of paper flowers. Well, then there was snow, and her all day babysitting class was moved from Saturday to Sunday, the day of the scrapbooking class. I really wanted to go to the class so I asked Knitcole if she would like to go and she did. It was a very small class, but it was nice and the teacher was very friendly. I think it was her first time teaching so I feel good that we went and didn’t cancel. I think we were very pleasant students. Can you believe that each of the flowers you see above takes almost an hour to make?
I seem to have a list of things that I would like to blog about today so I think I will go bullet point (well, actually more like dash as I’m not quite sure how to make the bullets).
- A very disturbing thing happened this week. My little scale stopped working! Yes, my very cute little Fusion Xtreme XTR-550 recommended by the Yarn Harlot herself! I was using it and all was fine. The next thing you know, it just doesn’t weigh anymore. All is says is zero. It has a lifetime warranty so I would like to send it back to get it repaired. I want to contact the company first before mailing it, and yesterday no one was answering the phone, so I may try writing an e-mail to verify that they will fix it before spending the money on postage. I picked up a replacement scale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but it just doesn’t have the accuracy and precision needed to make a former Med Tech happy.
- Guess what I did yesterday? I bought ad space on Ravelry for my Etsy shop!!! I am so excited. I fought with Photoshop and came up with a very simple ad. I have submitted it for approval, so I’m crossing my fingers that it is good enough. I bought a group ad that will start soon and a notebook ad for April. So far, from reading the Ad Forum, I have learned the difference between impressions and clicks. Impressions are how many times an ad comes up for viewing, and clicks are (obviously) when someone clicks on your ad. I think the billing works by impressions. Group ads are targeted, meaning that I can choose which groups will see my ad. Since I sell mostly roving, I have started by choosing spinning groups. I think I will get back some nifty statistics so I can see how well the ad works also.
- My clothes dryer is on its last legs and IHA told me this morning that when our tax refund arrives, I have to go out and get a new washer and dryer. I told him that I don’t think it will be enough money as this is the washer and dryer set that I covet:
And yes, I want them in Wild Cherry Red too. My laundry room is light green with a wall paper border. One of the items hanging on the clothes line on my wallpaper border is a red and white checked tablecloth. I made a curtain out of a red and white checked table cloth so the red will go quite nicely I think. Plus, I just WANT them and I WANT red. I think it will make me happy. Plus, they are energy efficient. I know they come in different price ranges so we may have to concentrate on the lower end, so I hope we can still get red and energy efficient.
- I’m still knitting on TYC. I’m up to the neckband. I’m actually in the middle of the 3 needle bind-off. I’m so close to being done! I’m not so sure why I am typing and not knitting.
- Hey guess what else??? I finally got Jenny from Crops a Lot to read Twilight!!! Yes, and she loves it and you should read it too!!!! Really!
Have a great weekend (even though it is minus an hour)!
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A little fiber p0rn for the start of your weekend:
So really my intent with this post is to apologize for yesterday’s post. I have a little pet peeve about cryptic blog entries and then I went and wrote a cryptic blog entry myself. Oh, the guilt!
Basically, the reason I was so unsettled yesterday was due to rushing at work on Wednesday evening. I felt rushed and when I feel rushed I make mistakes. As any stay at home parent can attest, sometimes you just feel like you spend your day rushing around. You rush to one place just so you can rush to the next. I currently work part time. My work hours are composed of 3 four hour shifts which are each like an oasis of stay-put, no-rush-around time. Also, when I work Wednesday evenings, I do not work again until Monday morning. That means that I have to really stop and think and make sure all my stuff is done, cleaned up, and put away before I leave. I just want a minute or 2 for composure before the alarm is set and we rush out the door. Let’s just say, my heart was still thumping when I got home on Wednesday evening. I just didn’t get good closure.
It is a very small problem in the scheme of life and I’m sure it will work itself out. I think. ETA: OK, I think this actually is working itself out. I still think I need that brain transplant, however. My next problem I have to work out is that my little Fusion Xtreme scale has stopped working!!! I love that little thing!
Agent B just arrived home and said “Happy, happy, joy, joy, it is Friday!”
So Happy, happy, joy, joy to you all!!!
I must now super-quick dry my hair and rush to the post office before it closes at 5!
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Posted by: Tamara in life
Who me??? No, not me!!!! I’m having one of those days where I just feel antsy and annoyed at everything. It started with having a bit of conflict (minor and work related) and that always sets me off. Maybe it was not so much a real conflict as much as a perceived conflict on my part but I’m just so freaking unsettled today. It is just one of those things that is stuck in head and I can’t get it out!!!! Does that ever happen to you? I guess I’m just the type of person who is easily fixated. Maybe I just need some brain cell therapy. Clarity for the brain, is does anyone sell that? Can you get it on Etsy?
I’m even looking at this fiber and what could be more calming????
Everything is pretty good right now so why do I have to be fixated on one little problem??? My choice would have been to just drop it and forget about it. As if I will ever be the person that can do that, lol!!!
Maybe I should not have had so much coffee this morning.
Darn that IHA for making such wicked good coffee this morning.
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Last week when I was busy cleaning and preparing for my birthday, I didn’t get to do much dyeing or other crafty stuff so I spent quite a bit of time clicking the Add to Cart and Checkout buttons on Etsy. Some of the shops that I hit up include Terra Bella Spun, Loop, Twisted, and Enchanted Knoll — so far, great experiences with them all. I started with spinning the fibers that I received from Terra Bella Spun.
I ordered a Spinning Batt in the color Galactic Invasion. I chose it because it was composed of colors and textures that I would not have thought to put together myself. I find them to be rather stunning. What do you think? The fiber arrived neatly packaged in 2 equal size batts wrapped in tissue paper and sealed in a plastic bag. This is what it looked like after I unwrapped it:
I spun each batt onto its own bobbin. Here are spun singles from this batt:
Spinning this fiber batt was different than spinning from a single fiber type roving. Since the batt was composed of merino, bamboo, corriedale, and glitz, the fibers all had different staple lengths and textures and they drafted differently. What I did was to strip the batts to try to retain as many of the different fibers types as I could in each strip, and then I did quite a bit of predrafting especially trying to even out the bamboo fibers (purple) so they didn’t clump.
After I spun both batts, I plied the fiber, as Spinning Spider Jenny would say, plain vanilla. I just gave it a bath to set the twist, and it is now drying. I did shoot a quick photo, while it was on the Niddy Noddy, in the brief time the sun was out today:
Just in case you were wondering, my plan is to list this in my Etsy shop tomorrow.
I can’t wait to write about my other purchases, but they are going to have to wait for another day.
In closing, I have a couple more photos for you.
Agent B is becoming quite a reader. She pretty much reads everything that crosses her path. On the way to bed the other night, IHA’s reading must have been really interesting because it just sucked her in and she hovered behind his shoulder and read for quite a while:
Budding lawyer, do you think?
This is a photo out our front door from last Saturday (March 1).
If you remember, we had a ton of trees cut down in our front yarn last fall. You are probably going to be hearing about this forever, but I LOVE ALL OUR NEW LIGHT!!!! I have sun in my house in the afternoon!!!! It is so exciting! And we can see much more of the sunset. In the photo above, I have circled the area that used to be blocked out because it was filled with dense hemlock foliage. It is so nice to not be so tightly enclosed!
Well, I better go run and get ready for work! Have a great afternoon everyone!
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Today is basically recovery day. There is so much I want to do (now that I don’t have to clean like a maniac), but have I done anything all day today? Sadly? No. Took a little nap. Attempted to keep Jr. Agents from bickering. Printed some photos, too, I guess. I appear to be having birthday withdrawal. Yesterday was so fantastically wonderful (except for the snow), that withdrawal is inevitable.
This is what I woke up to yesterday morning — can you think of anything better to look at while you sip your morning coffee?
The sun was coming straight in through our windows casting this lovely shadow on our wall.
Other hightlights? Friends, shopping, sushi, pedicure, surprises, chatting, sister, seafood, candles, parents, old friends, wonderful husband, catering, Nigel, chocolate, music, yarn, new friends, phone calls, more chocolate, funny cards, presents, and more friends.
And some people get to do this every year, can you imagine????
Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful Happy Birthday wishes — whether by card, phone, blog, e-mail, or in person — I enjoyed and appreciated them all. 40 may not be so bad after all…
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