Thursday, March 26, 2009

What was I thinking? Renovation of a money pit

Yeah, it's the family house that we've owned since 1943. Built in 1911. We were doing the last bit (we thought) on the diningroom, then finish the flooring installation in the diningroom and kitchen, and have Sears install the oven/cooktop. Then we could move in and enjoy the acre of trees and the garden. It. Ain't. Happenin.

The second floor of the house has not had the wiring replaced since 1911, and we thought we'd do that in the future. However, we discovered an exposed junction box in the diningroom ceiling that had to be rewired so thought we should have the second floor rewired while everything was exposed anyway. Unfortunately, the electrician and I discovered this week that the rooms that had been rewired in 1968-70 were done in the 4 years that electrical wiring had to be made of aluminum because the copper mines were on strike. The 1911 wiring is very dangerous to say the least. The aluminium wiring is only marginally less dangerous. sigh.......

The diningroom ceiling--junction box in question is at the point where the two heat ducts meet.

However, I DID manage to get lots of skeins of yarn finished and put into the Etsy shop this week. There's 6 skeins of a pastel beaded yarn called Hibiscus Patch (so-named because the deer have eaten all the ones that popped up at the house, and I just needed some hibiscus somewhere!)

And a skein of DK/Sport weight sock yarn in my Posy Toes Bamboo, Sunflower colorway.

The Hibiscus Patch is tempting me to knit a spring shawl. But I already have at least a dozen shawls and 35-40 WIPs sitting around. Do not need another shawl/project. If I say it enough, perhaps I'll convince myself.....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I learned something new today......

I often tell my students that although spinning is relaxing, there are just some times that you shouldn't spin. For me, I can't spin during Steeler football games because I've been known to jump up and knock the wheel over! You have to know yourself and learn when you just can't manage to spin a decent yarn. Today that lesson was brought home to me yet again.

I had some minor surgery this morning, the second of two that were scheduled, and it's always traumatic for me to undergo ANY medical procedure. I'm the woman who gave birth twice with Lamaze because I can't stand the thought of them sticking a needle in my spine, that's how bad I am. So, last time they gave me post-surgery painkillers based on acetominophen which does me NO good whatsoever. This time I requested an aspirin-based painkiller.

Once the anesthesia wore off this afternoon, I took the first one. Felt pretty good so went into the studio and carded sock batts for a couple of hours. When it came time to take the next one, I sat down at my wheel to spin the snowy white sparkly sock batt. And at one point the yarn drifted apart because I'd treadled in the wrong direction for one or two revolutions, I thought. Fixed the problem and soldiered on, although the pill was making me drowsy enough to almost fall off the chair.

This evening I went to ply the bobbins on the wheel and discovered that, at the point where the yarn drifted apart, I'd somehow reversed my spinning direction and spun the last THIRD of the bobbin in the wrong direction! If I'd tried to do this intentionally, I'd have had to rig the yarn somehow on the bobbin so it would work. But being 'under the influence' meant I just did it without thinking and almost botched up several hundred yarns of fingering-weight yarn. Problem is fixed, taking me an hour to respin the incorrect yards and the lesson is learned:

Do not spin during Steelers football games, nor when taking really really good painkillers. Sheesh, y'think I'd be old enough to know those things already? Maybe I can blame it on the stress of surgery.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New stuff happenin--I'm excited!

I'm re-energized this week, coming off the "Cabin Fever" months of January and February and having lots of good things happen in my life. Last weekend during a nasty windstorm/cold spell that kept me inside hibernating, I finally came up with a solution to an art project I've been wanting to do for years. Back then I thought I had to draw or paint the idea, but realized that it would work best in cross stitch. It's about my family and is very internal and private, but cross stitch is a medium Grandma and Mom would have used and understood perfectly. I really don't want to go into the entire backstory or show the finished project, but I can say that it's been incredibly cathartic to finally get this thing out of my system. I'm sure some family members will not appreciate it, but hey! it's not always about YOU, folks!

And, most exciting of all, there were 3 fiber art connections this week. First, KnitDance on Etsy had purchased a skein of my Jordan Almonds yarn to make fingerless mitts for HER shop. Here they are, and didn't she do a wonderful job?

I was also invited into the Fiber Friday Carnival over on Alpaca Girl's website. I consider it an honor to be included with lots of great textile creations and creators.

Lastly, I've decided to become a sponsor of the Makin' Cookie's forum over on Ravelry. They've formed to knit socks from Cookie A's upcoming book and are soliciting prizes. I'm donating a bag of my sock batts (enough to spin yarn for a pair of socks) which will be included in a gift basket with other items to enable (my favorite word, 'enable') you to make a pair of Cookie A socks from scratch. I think it's a lovely idea and would like to thank Theresa for initiating and running the forum. If you're not on Ravelry, you should be! Go there now and request an invitation!

I must be off to get some work done today. Am having minor surgery Thursday morning and so won't be able to attend the Spinner Central gathering at the shop that evening. I do hope to make the Ewe Guys spin-in on Friday though--I miss Ewe Guys (pun intended)!