Monday, August 31, 2009

regaining sanity

As you can see, the kitchen is freshly painted and put back together. I am glad. There aren't heaps of stuff on every available surface in the house any more and I can do things (like cook). Life is good. However, one thing leads to another and I think Geoff will paint the living and dining/computer room and hallways for us soon. It needs to be done and I'm thankful that he is available to do the actual painting but I'm not looking forward to having the house all rearranged to do it. After that, we will be saving to replace the carpets. The carpet is toast and I haven't been in a hurry to replace it what with having multiple dogs. But the state of the carpet is even starting to get to me so I guess it's time.

Our weather turned summery just in time for back to school. I enjoyed the cool summer but most folks are complaining about it bitterly. The forecasters tell us that there is an El Nino developing in the Pacific which would warm up our winter this year. I sure hope they're right!

In other news, I have a few spinning and knitting things to share with you.

This beautiful little spindle was brought back from the Isle of Wight by my spinning friend Carol. It's a light spindle at only 17 g but it spins forever! It rivals the Moosie for my affection. It's Tulipwood on Sycamore with a Walnut shaft. The fiber is Beach Day, the Spunky Eclectic July fiber of the month, a merino/bamboo blend.

I ordered the new Knit Picks Zephyr acrylic Options needles. I really like them! They're very light and a little flexible, and they have the nice points that the Options are known for. They have just the right amount of 'grab' to them, not as much as wood but less than metal.

I finished up the Spring Forward socks that I've had on the go for a while. I used Dream In Color Smooshy in the Some Summer Sky colorway. The yarn is lovely to work with and to wear. 'Smooshy' is right.

And finally, I pulled out the carder and experimented with some fiber to produce this batt. It's a blend of Optim, superwash merino, angora, and a touch of Angelina. It glints in the sunlight and reminds me of new-fallen snow.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

thank you!

Mathilde in Norway left a comment for me today that she had awarded a blog award to my blog as being one of three that she enjoys! Thank you Mathilde!

Although the blog is written in Norwegian, I discovered that this site did a pretty good job of translating it into English. Will the wonders of the internet never cease?

a total mess

Well, everyone in this house is healthy this week so the kitchen is getting painted. Dan steamed off the old 80's wallpaper and Geoff applied the primer today. I also have decided to toss the curtains on the windows in the dining room (that has never served as a dining room and should more accurately be called a computer room) and the living room, and paint the window walls the same Aztec gold color as the kitchen. There is a mess everywhere now that all the pictures have been taken down, the bookshelves emptied and moved out of the way, and appliances etc. shoved aside.

See?

Notice the tired husband crashed in front of the TV.

I don't function well in a total mess and will be very glad when all is put straight again. I don't know how people survive major home renos.

In other news, between a complete physical exam and eye exam on Tuesday, I have been thoroughly examined inside and out, if you get my drift. Did you know that the new medical exam tables don't have stirrups? As someone who went through infertility tests in the '80s, it seemed very strange to get an internal exam without one. I feel like I spent a good deal of my earlier life with my feet in the air.

In addition to the blood and urine work at the lab I had the dubious pleasure of being handed the take home slides for a fecal occult test. Whoa. For those of you who have not had to do this test and might face it in the future, I have advice for you that will make it much easier (courtesy of google): put plastic food wrap between you and toilet bowl. Eww.

Both Dan and I had good news at the optometrist's office. His eyes lost their astigmatism, a lot, which is so rare that they repeated the test three times to be sure. That explains why he couldn't read anything for a while. And I have somehow managed to lose a cataract in the last two years. Good. We both have new glasses in the works so we will look much more trendy when they're ready.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

happy dance!

Happy dance, oh happy dance!

Elizabeth is now on her way to her new home and I am so happy that it's such a good one! Monika and I have been internet friends for a while and Elizabeth is joining her family. Monika is an amazing spinner and knitter (and dog lover) and you can see her delightful blog here. I'm happy dancing because Elizabeth will be loved by someone who will be able to spend more quality time with her than my body was allowing me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

just call me gimpy

It's Elizabeth's fault. My sister Darcie decided that she would rather save up to buy herself a Majacraft Rose than buy my Ashford Elizabeth**. She already has the Maja Pioneer and she likes the idea of the accessories being interchangeable between her wheels. So the Elizabeth came home after a long sleepover.

I sat down to do some plying on her last weekend. When my right knee started to complain about the single treadle I just put both of my feet on the treadle to finish. So not a good idea. I woke up the next morning with tender butt muscles. Then I leaned over to pick up the Ladybug and something snapped. I seriously pulled my left butt muscle (I think the real name for it is the gluteous maximus). Whatever it is called, it hurts! I had no idea how much that muscle is used in everyday life until I hurt it.

At first, I thought it was kind of funny that I pulled my butt and figured a couple of days of going easy on it would do the trick. I am now at the seriously grumpy stage of this injury. It is showing no sign of healing and has developed this spasm issue that is going to drive me to drink. Meanwhile, Dan got sick, really sick for him, and went to the doctor yesterday to learn that he now has a sinus infection as a result of whatever virus he had (not H1N1, thank goodness). We have been a fine pair.

Then Geoff came home from work on Monday with a swollen ankle. He was coming down off of a ladder and didn't see a clear light bulb that someone had carelessly left on the floor, stepped on it, and rolled his ankle. The light bulb remained unharmed though which is weird. He was quite ticked that the light bulb didn't break because then his ankle wouldn't have rolled. His painting partner heard a pop and thought it was the light bulb but it was Geoff's ankle.

The original plan for this week was to strip the '80s wallpaper off of my kitchen and give it fresh coat of paint. Needless to say, none of us has been up to doing this so I don't think it's going to get done this summer. Oh well. My garden is also ridiculously over-run with weeds and perfectly good vegetables are getting old without being picked and there's nothing any of us can do about it.

Here is where I've been stationed for most of the week.
The seat cushion is memory foam and is the most comfortable place for my injured tush. Bentley is unimpressed that I haven't been able to lift the foot rest of the lazyboy chair so there hasn't been room on my lap for him.

To occupy my mind while dealing with a spasming butt muscle, I started to make the Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm using handspun superwash merino.
It is a very interesting little project. I have the how-to video to follow because EZ's instructions assume knitting knowledge that I don't have. I have been tempted to fast forward to where Meg Swanson shows how to fold it to make a cardigan but I've resisted so that I can try to figure out the puzzle myself as I go along. I think I can see how all this is to happen but I won't know if I'm right until the end. The handspun merino is lovely for this project - soft and squishy in garter stitch.

**Elizabeth is for sale again. $700 takes the whole shebang.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

just hanging around

Our weather has been decidedly unsummery. It's been much cooler than normal. Most people are upset by this fact but I like it. I'm not a heat person so the temps. suit me very well. We've only had the air conditioner running 3 or 4 days so far. Usually it runs most of July.

Aside from some minor home renovations, we've been pretty boring people lately. I've had trouble finding anything blog-worthy. So I took the camera to the sunroom to show you how the dogs pass their time.

Austin

Bentley

Pocus, posing for the camera as usual. He turned 12 a few days ago. He looks pretty good for an old dog, doesn't he?

I'm not sure where Robbie was when I had the camera out. He must have been snoozing in the house.

Monday, August 03, 2009

'all growed up'

I love to see what my hand-dyed yarn looks like when it's 'all growed up' so I was delighted to get an email from Ruth (ruthieknits on Ravelry) today. She sent me a picture of her recently completed River Rapids socks that she made using the Aubergine yarn that she bought from me before I closed the Dog Lover's Yarn Etsy shop.
I think she did a beautiful job on these socks! Her niece will be the lucky recipient. There are more pictures of these socks in Ruth's Ravelry projects.

And here's a pic of the Aubergine yarn in the skein. It was one of my favorites.

While we're on the subject of newly finished socks, here are the Van Dyke socks fresh off the needles. I liked this pattern a lot and will try making a toe-up pair from Wendy's book, Socks From The Toe Up, for myself with this gusset heel.