Thursday, February 26, 2009

New shawl is finally done!

I have finally finished the last lace point on the shawl and blocked it--woo hoo!! I have a love of deep lace on my shawls, but it takes forever to knit. I love this version of my Red Dog Redux shawl, made of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Blueberry Mix as the main color and Noro Kureyon Sock yarn as the contrast color. The half-circle shape is fun to knit and wraps around me in chilly reception halls like it was tailored for my body.

Both the rose shawl (which is the original version and which won first place in handspun knitted shawl category in 2005 at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival) and the brown shawl are knit with my handspun yarn.

I wish I'd remembered to pack the brown one when we were in LA for BILs wedding last year. The day of the wedding it dipped to 50 degrees--shocking in LA but still manageable for us Pittsburghers. The poor bride was freezing, tho, as she had to stand around outside for 2 hours while the wedding portraits were taken, wearing a sari and little red slippers. I spent over an hour wishing I had the brown shawl to wrap around her--maybe she wouldn't have come down with flu the next day?

ETA: The pattern is available on my Etsy site but is not yet available on Ravelry--has to do with glitches and other stuff that Casey does that I don't even PRETEND to understand.

Friday, February 20, 2009

How does this happen?

Somehow life got away from me again this week. You would think, in this economy, that a young man would be glad to have someone finance his business startup, right? We took the chance because we'd known this fella for 10 years and had watched him mature into a hard worker, and so when he approached us to propose that he do the renovation on my family home we gave him a chance. Last week we had to fire him and hire another more-established contractor to finish his work. Which involves sending carefully worded letters that let him know why he was fired so that we can take him to Small Claims Court to recover the costs incurred in paying for the second contractor. And then cleaning up the mess he left behind because he decided that partying at the house was a priority. How does this happen? Did he not listen when we and the local Small Business Administration told him that construction work is hard and that being the boss involves solving problems? His average work week these past 2 months was 10 hours/week which will not finish the renovation in this decade! This is his little 'Nintendo Nest' in my mom's bedroom.....I spent yesterday morning emptying bottles and tossing his garbage.

The the piles of construction materials which require us to hire a dumpster, fill it ourselves and have it hauled away.

And then we hired a contractor to put down new flooring, so next week there will be TWO table saws and at least 3 guys in the house making noise and sawdust. But at least we can finally see some progress in the renovation and are more confident that we'll be able to move in before June. Yay!!

I'm still plugging away on the Red Dog Redux Shawl.

When it's finished I'll redo the photos on my pattern and post it on my Etsy site and in Ravelry. It's a very easy shawl to knit with two different lace edgings--a shorter one that goes rather quickly and a longer one which I love to death and which takes longer to finish up. I have about 8 repeats to do and then the blocking--should be done this coming week. Then I need the weather to cooperate so I can get decent photos outside.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did you notice I was gone??

Due to a sudden bout of laryngitis followed immediately by a bout of bronchitis, I've been down for the count for 2 weeks. As soon as I got strong again, it was time to hop a plane and head for Charlotte, NC to celebrate my wedding anniversary with DH. I'm back and catching up with work, my Etsy shop, SWA business and COE work. Did you miss me?

Interesting item about the local news media in Charlotte. A snowstorm blew across the entire east coast while I was there and the following morning the local tv station was having a great time scaring the local populace into staying indoors all day. I can understand that the city is not prepared for salting the roads or plowing. But to tell people not to go out because the water dripping off store awnings is refreezing on the sidewalk, and you will probably slip and fall and go to the hospital in an ambulance is not journalism--it's scare tactics calculated to boost ratings. C'mon guys, wouldn't it have been more responsible to simply tell folks to be careful?

I'm also happy to report that the number of spinning students who are signing up for my classes has increased tremendously. I'm so happy that I can pass this skill on to others who are smitten with the magic of making yarn to their own liking. It's just such a kick to see the sparkle in someone's eyes when they 'get it'! That excitement is my drug of choice and much better than any silly street drug I could buy. You guys rock!