Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh what a day...

Ok, so, I want to start and end this particular post with happy, positive news. I'm going to start with an update on my Hot Pink and Vintage cardigan.

That's three whole pieces, the entire body of the cardigan. YAYYYY!!!! And, just today I finished the first sleeve and cast on the second sleeve. It took about a week for the first sleeve, so I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is this cardigan. I should get it done just in time to be stored away for the summer.

My next sweater is going to be knit on at least size 7 US needles. I will knit sweaters on 2s and 3s in the future. Just not the immediate future.

Now on to the saga that prompted the title of this post. This particular day was primarily yesterday, but it's bleeding over into today and tomorrow.

This all started weeks ago when I got tired of my leaky shower and emailed my landlord. He contacted a plumber, and after a couple of false starts he finally got here yesterday. In a normal situation, this would have been fairly simple. Take the faucet apart, replace the gasket or equivalent, put the faucet back together, done.

*Sigh* Things just can't be simple around here. I'll let the pictures tell the story (for the most part).

What you're not seeing in these pictures is the three times the pipe joins failed when the water got turned back on. You're not seeing the water inside the wall. You're not seeing the muddy drywall dust tracked through my apartment. You're not seeing the continuing leak. You're not seeing the rotten water pressure. So the plumber is coming back out tomorrow.

Oh, and the hole (which is about 13"x13") won't be fixed for a while because Jesse wants to get home and have his buddy do the drywall work.

So, I want to end this post on an up note. Today I went to Portland with a friend of mine. We went to the Yarn Garden first. I ended up with a skein of yarn:

It's 100% mercerized cotton fingering weight, and will be a lovely summer shawl.

I also got a Norah Gaughan pattern booklet (vol. 2 from spring/summer 2008) and a package of coil-less safety pins.

Then we meandered our way over to the Fabric Depot. I was going to be strong and not buy fabric, but totally caved.

This is a lovely summer weight cotton blend knit, and I got 1.75 yards at 50% off (end price was $6.56). It's also 60 inches wide. This is going to be a lovely, simple summer dress. And possibly a skirt, since I seem to have quite a bit.

I also got some brown bias tape to finish my modified sweatshirt. It's on the list for this week, since my May ASG meeting is coming up and I want to show it off.

Finally, at the register I picked up two fat quarters for a small take-along knitting bag.

The light blue will be the lining. I love batiks.

Well, that's all I have to report for today. I'm pretty tired from the exciting day and my hour walk I took this evening, so I think I'm going to crawl in bed and read for a little while.

Talk to you all again soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Today's Post Brought To You By...


Not the University of Oregon, perish the thought. No, I mean actual ducks. A mated pair of mallards has discovered the absolute glut of food available in the backyard pond. They first showed up on the 10th of this month, and I snapped these pictures in case they disappeared and never came back.

If the formatting seems a little wonky, it's because blogger is being silly with the pictures, and is only offering me the little screen for creating my post, so I can't see the final formatting.

The ducks hung around for about half of the day, then went away. I was a little sad, since they are funny to watch and I like having backyard wildlife. BUT, they've now been back several times, and I've seen the male flying in the neighborhood. Also, the female now feels secure enough to come on her own for a bite to eat.

In addition to being brought to you by ducks, this post also has funding!! The follow portion of this post is brought to you in part by Melissa and my grandmother. It was really nice this year to not have to use my birthday money for groceries or other bills.

This past Saturday, I traveled to Woodland Woolworks in Carlton OR with three of my good knitting buddies and the main instigator's mother in law. Despite living within a two hour radius of this marvelous yarn resource, I'd never been before. Why would I have been? I've either been poor or broke, it would have been cruel to take me to a house of wonders when I couldn't partake of them. Now I have the ability to enjoy this resource, and I'm spinning, too, so I could appreciate (and raid) the extensive spinning fiber stock.

The first stop we made in the shop was to the clearance room. There we were greeted by extraordinary news. Every ball of yarn in the room, regardless of what it was marked, was on sale for $3 each. If it was a ball of yarn, it was $3. We all went a little crazy at first. And it wasn't just the crap that no one else wanted. There was lots of Rowan, Jager, Jo Sharp, just to name a few.

I finally settled on 7 skeins of Miracle by Classic Elite Yarns. It is 50/50 alpaca/tencel, with a put up of 108 yards and is DK weight. I snagged the last 7 in a lovely denim blue. This yarn has a lovely sheen, and the hand is excellent even in hank form. This will be an open front, half sleeve cardigan.

I then moved over to the regular priced yarns, and the roving. I browsed the roving extensively. I petted, touched, considered, petted more, and browsed everything at least 4 times. There were so many to choose from, I wanted to make sure that I got what I wanted. I ended up with the following:

That's 8 ounces of natural creme colored blue faced leicester. It's deliriously soft.

I loved the color of this merino, and I think that it would make a lovely lace shawl once it's spun up.

This was a total impulse, and 80/20 mix of alpaca and cultivated silk. It's a little lighter than this in person, but I was having trouble with the lighting when trying to get the correct color. It has an unbelievable luster.

On my way to the check-out, when I was nearing total mental fiber overload, I passed the display of sock yarn. Sitting on top was Panda Soy by Crystal Palace. It's 60/22/18 bamboo/soy/elastic, and I thought that it would make nice summer socks. I chose the one that is primarily purple with shots of teal, lime green and violet running through it.

I didn't realize until I looked at my receipt later that the color is called "Positive Purple." That tickles me for some reason, and I can't wait to get knitting on my positive purple socks. Maybe I'll wear them for my thesis defense.

Now, you may be thinking that I must be done. I've talked about the ducks, buried you in fiber photographs, and chatted on like a ninny. Well, you're wrong. In addition the the fiber goodness that I purchased through birthday funds, there were also people who supplied me directly with fibery goodness.

Amy (the instigator of the WW trip) gave me an art batt that she carded up herself with fiber that she's also washed and prepared herself. It's primarily alpaca (which is softer than kittens).

I also got a hand carded art batt from April.

Kelli gave me a beautiful Dicentra Designs roving. It's blue faced leicester, and the colorway name is Bouquet 2.

And finally, Michele got a shipment of roving in from Ashland Bay Company, and I bought myself a little birthday present. I got 4 ounces of white merino roving that I'm going to have fun dyeing.

That's it, I'm done, there's noting else to post. Ooh, there's a woman on antique roadshow with a fancy old swift. I'm going to put my attention on that.

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Breaking Rules

Generally, I have a strict rule against doing schoolwork in bed. It dates from my time in the dorms during my undergraduate. The desk was for homework, the bed was for relaxing. This rule has served me well as a graduate student, too, since my apartment is smaller than my old dorm room and my bed more appealing than what I slept on in those days. I can read at my desk, in my "living room" chair, or at my office on campus. The bed is off limits.

Turns out that rule becomes void after about 11pm. Here I am, on Wednesday at 12:19am (Happy Birthday to me) with my netbook and my scribbled field notes from yesterday's trip to the coast.

I've been ill since last Thursday (there was a memo). By Saturday I almost felt like a real person again. It all went south on Sunday, when I napped for 2 hours and watched TV from my bed for most of the rest of it. Yesterday I was wiped by the time I got home from the coast (though to be fair I'd been gone from 9:30-5:00) and spent the evening watching TV in bed. Today I had trouble getting up. I managed a few errands, a grand total of 2 hours where I traveled a mile from home and back. That did me in, and I ended up napping again for 2 hours. Even after that I was groggy and fuzzy headed. I figured I'd sleep like a rock tonight.

Wrong. I'm so freaking wide awake I'm considering getting dressed and going to the 24 hour diner. Ok, not really, cause pajamas are too comfortable, but I'm much to awake to sleep. Trust me, I tried. So I'm up, and I've got my field notes and my netbook, and I'm going to try to make some headway in my homework. All of my napping has me behind, so I guess I have to do this when I'm awake, regardless of what the sun (or common sense) would usually dictate.

So, sorry if that seems a little rambly, but I don't do my best thinking at 12:25 in the morning (Happy Birthday to me). Next time I promise to blog about something fun. No really, there's going to be ducks.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I hate being sick. I managed to go all of last year as a healthy individual. Now twice in 2010 I've been struck low by a sub-microscopic invader.

This time I have a Horrible Virus that has attacked my throat. I thought it was strep throat it hurts so bad. But the doctor reports that there are no strep organisms in my throat, but there is a virus running around causing these symptoms.

I'm not sapped of strength, but I do have a serious lack of will to do anything besides just laying here. Everything I do hurts, even moving my head around, and it stays nice and still while I'm propped here in bed.

I'm going to continue to lie here, watching the last three episodes of The West Wing: Season 3, and indulge in a small little pitty party about being sick. I'm feeling especially isolated because I can't talk. That means no talks on the phone. No chats with friends. It's lonely here in Whale Daughter country.