Friday, March 27, 2009

More fun than should be allowed

I had a great day today at Detta's. Let me tell you, the drive out there was a bit of a mess with construction and not knowing where I was going, but it was worth it. She lives about 40 minutes outside of the city to the west, where there are actual farms. Small, 2 acre farms, but farms none the less. Her house looks small from the outside, but is huge on the inside. I only got to see a small part of the house, but oh my knitting goodness it is packed full to the rafters. Eric would have a heart attack from the amount of stuff! Good fibery spinning knitting stuff to the ceiling! I brought my wheel and we chatted and she outfitted me with everything I will need for plying. Love that woman to pieces. She is perfect for someone that doesn't know much, but has a few ideas of what they are doing. She directs and helps and points out things and just goes with it once she knows what you want. She explains and re-explains for people a little slow on the uptake like me. She had the stuff I needed ordered and then got on the phone with the company and made adjustments to the order to make sure it was right. How is that for customer service in today's economy! I can't imagine money better spent. If I had been left to my own devices, I never would have gotten all the right stuff. Then she showed me her lower level store. I started to sweat when I saw all the merino goodness and colors and yarns and needles and books and dyes...She left me down there to shop and I had visions of her going to bed and realizing my car was still in her driveway. I didn't have a watch, but I'm sure I was in her 4x10 space petting things for at least a half an hour. I settled on some lovely mill ends that she gets from the Brown Sheep company, a bare wool/mohair blend for dying, and the most gorgeous shade of purples/blues called sunset merino that I could have made a bed out of. She even let me weigh out how much I wanted. All told I still spent under $200 for the fiber, jumbo flyer kit, jumbo bobbin, and an extra doodad. She is having all that stuff minus the fiber shipped right to my house!
Let me tell you, owning a station wagon is heaven's answer to knitting/fiber nuts that couldn't carry it all home.
I did have to do some readjusting to the wheel once I got it home. It doesn't like to travel in cars as much as I would like it to. That was a pain. I hate readjusting the wheel. It's a millimeter here or there that makes it act totally different, and it's a pain. But she's back upstairs happy with another half bobbin of merino on her, and she's glad to be out of the car and Detta's, where she felt a bit inferior to all those fancy wheels. Detta had every single wheel there is, and then some in duplicates. She had antiques that were beyond gorgeous and in working condition, she had stools, she had older and newer models, and all were set up. The funniest thing was the treadmill wayyyyyy in the back of the room folded up and looking like there was no way in heck that even if she wanted to she would be able to get it out and use it. And I think it was the only non-wood or fiber piece in the entire room. Really. The only piece of metal in the whole room.
I am off to put jammies on and drink beer now. if you dont' hear from me for a few days, just call Detta and ask if I'm in her basement.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More spinning

I should be knitting. I have 2 blankets yet to finish and one on the way, but instead Friday I am heading out to Detta's Spindle wheel in tow to have her fit me with a jumbo flyer and bobbin. I called earlier today and realized I didn't quite know all that I was going to need, and we both decided it was a better idea for me to bring the wheel out. She isn't a store so much, only meets by appts, but I've heard that she has a menagerie of wheels and supplies and that she is very lovely. Hopefully I won't walk out of there in the poorhouse.
I need the jumbo because I've realized I can only ply about 20 yards at a time, and I want bigger skeins. At least big enough for a hat. My spinning is getting better, and the yarn is getting better, so if I want say a scarf, I need more yarn. 20 yard increments just sucks.
I will let you know how it goes!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm not crazy, it runs in the family

I was talking to my mom today and was reminded of a quality I have that others think is particularly nuts. My mom recently had to go and spend a few nights in a kind of "ronald Mcdonald" house because she was visiting my uncle who is undergoing major surgery. So she had to be there a few days. In the conversation she tells me that she met a new friend at the place she was staying at. Just randomly, out of the blue, she has met someone she will stay in contact with.
I tend to do this, but on a lesser level, and my husband including others think I'm a bit nuts. I talk to everyone. I can relate to everyone in some way. At the pharmacy, a guy was having problems with his copay and I helped him by explaining about how he should contact his insurance company. A couple at the liquor store was loading up some ice into a cooler with some beer, I commented that it was a nice day for a bbq and they commented back friendly. I talk to people everywhere. If I'm not talking to people, I'm talking to myself as if it is another person. This backfires sometimes, men think I'm flirting, I'm not, husband thinks I'm flirting, I'm not, I'm just relating to other people. I work in customer service. I have worked in customer service since the age of 14. I have always always always had to find a way to get thru the day dealing with people in a rational way. this involves talking to and finding a common ground with them, whether it's insurance questions or claims questions, there is a human on the other end of the phone, and establishing a relationship with them is the best way to make everyone happy.
I'm outgoing to the point of talking to strangers in the candle aisle at Target about why the heck they have $14 candles and getting a stranger to show me his kids pictures at a party. After talking to my mom today, I realized that even though husband and other introverted friends think this is crazy action, it's not. It just runs in the family.

Friday, March 20, 2009

No more spinning yet

I didn't get to spin today, and I might not tomorrow. I did run across an estate sale that had a traditional looking wheel for sale, but a lot of the parts looked broken and it did not look remotely close to functional.. and they wanted $185 for it. If it had been maintained or looked even clean, no, never mind. Still too much.
I did make one of my favorite meals today. It is enough for about 4 meals for 1 person. Just brown up some meat, I use ground lamb, but use beef or whatever, about 2 pounds, pick your favorite 4 soups, it works best if you pick at least 1 cream soup, I use 2 chicken rice, 1 cream of chicken and 1 cream of mushroom, but this is the cool part.... if you have 4 other soups in your cupboard, use them! brown up the meat, and throw all of it in a pot. Don't add water, just the meat and the soups, and heat to hot. Eat! It's a nice fill me up and make me warm kinda meal. Depending on your taste, some add chow mien noodles to give it a crunchy salty taste. I like it just the way it is. Not spicy, just a good hot hearty meal. I could eat this stuff every day.
But here's the thing. I don't cook. So, I wonder, is this really good stuff or am I the only one that likes it? I got the recipe from a coworker, she used beef and other soup and the chow mien noodles. So, is my version actually good, or is it just good to me? Eric doesn't care for the lamb, but he said he might like it with beef. I like the lamb. Not a lot of greasy fat to strain. I guess it doesn't matter, it sure is yummy goodness to me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Itchy strikes again

The toilet paper is an entire roll that Itchy destroyed because I wouldn't let him in the shower with me this morning. He doesn't really get IN the shower, he just gets between the curtains and FEROCIOUSLY needs to be petted. In a way that will scare the daylights out of you if you aren't prepared. And seriously, I would like to take a shower by myself sometimes. So this morning I shut the door so he couldn't get in. And he found the toilet paper from UNDER the door, and dragged it all off the roll, into the hallway. It really would've been hysterical if I wasn't running late like every day. At least he had fun.

the second pic is the merino top from last post, a full bobbin of it. When I was done with that bobbin yesterday, I realized I didn't have time to spin. I have 2 blankets and 2 on the way to me that have to get worked on. That's 4 blankets, and that's an awful lot. Not more than I can handle, but more blankets that I should be knitting on and not spinning. Which is a shame, because that merino is spinning up especially lovely. You certainly can't get the full effect of the colors from the pic, but it is just about every nice rich shade of color, and then fades to a lighter shade of that color.

Maybe tomorrow more spinning. Must knit blankets now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Can't talk, gotta spin

The Lake Elmo Shepherd's Harvest festival is coming up again this May, and last year I bought a buttload of stuff. I was just getting my spinning wheel, so I bought a buttload of fiber. Uh oh. I can't buy more fiber if I don't use at least some of the stuff I bought. So I spun this Sunday. the pic is of some lovely Merino from Copper Moose. It looks kinda uneven because I inadvertenly plied the wrong way and had to unply and reply. I hope it sets a bit on the winder. We'll see. I bought a ton of merino from them because I love merino wool. It is so soft and lovely, and has a nice amount of "sticky" so that it doesn't break too much. The next pic is of the merino top that I bought at the festival, and is my next tackle. It is nice varigated fiber, and since I've only been working with solids, I want to see how this comes out.

The last pic is of the scarf I whipped out this weekend. It's austermann Murano wool and acrylic, and I love the yarn. Sadly, the yarn was a gift from a fellow snuggle knitter, and she hasn't seen the yarn in a few years.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Well, another day at work. I decided this morning that instead of charging for the materials, I was just going to refund the total amount. I did this for one main reason, it is not worth any amount of money to me to continue to have a reason to have to deal with this woman. If I had tried to take some of the money, likely I would have had to have had a conversation with her, and I don't have anything nice to say to her. So I refunded her, put the check on her desk when she wasn't there, and got an EMAIL from her later saying she was sorry, and that she knew I had spent a lot of time on the items. Ugh. I couldn't respond. Everything I had to say to that was not going to get thru to her. If she knew how much time I had spent, she wouldn't have returned everything and acted like it was no big deal. She would have apologized in person. Etc. But she wouldn't get that, and it wasn't worth my time to try to tell her that. So as far as I am concerned, we are done. She's just another coworker that will come and go.

On the positive side, I finished a pair of I love them so much I am going to make 1000 of them slippers. They are for my uncle George who is having surgery, and I wasn't sure how long they would take to make or how they would turn out. Turns out they rock. They are a perfect size medium in mens, made with 2 strands of worsted yarn, and take a total of about 4 hours for a pair. The pattern is only in the one size, but easily adaptable to other smaller or larger sizes. From now on, this is your gift. Tough if you don't like slippers. (leave me a note if you want the link to the pattern in Ravelry)

They are not my Grandma's slipper pattern. She has sent me her slippers and her pattern, but I kinda feel like those slippers are hers. These are mine. We are both knitters, and we both knit slippers, but we each have our own pattern. So I'm carrying on the tradition in my own way. These are better for me because I like them to cover above the ankle, and these can easily become longer if you want them to be mini leg warmers.

I think these slippers are crack.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another lesson learned

I swear to goodness that I will eventually see the positive in this situation, but right now I'm so steaming mad, angry, hurt, pissed, and all those other emotions that I just have to be those emotions for a while.
The "person" (because a not nice name was going to go there and it was not very clean at all)gave all of it back. The whole damn baby set and wants a refund. After everything, she gave it all back. I could go on and on and on and on and on about why this pisses me off so damn much, but the main point is that she came to me and wanted it, and now she doesn't and I can't get that damn time back. I lost all that time. I have things I want to do with that time that I lost that I spent on her and her damn ungrateful not even saying sorry ass that I wish I could take that time out of her ass right now.
Instead for now, I am going to take the cost of the materials out of her refund, and hope that I don't implode from anger. It's not enough, and it never will be, but it is all I can do.
Except think hate thoughts, which are abundant.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly: 100th post

I've come up with a lot of titles for this post today. All of them snarky, because, really, today sucked. there really are no 2 ways around it.
But first, the good.
Last night I was asked my a fellow charity knitter to take over not only the acrylic side of the pet blankets, but also the cotton side. This is good because it means I get to do more with more people for the pets for charity. I'm not sure where the time is going to come from, but I'm not caring about that right now. Mission #1 was to get her spreadsheet info on the current status, which I have done. She did a great job keeping track, so there are just some minor follow up's to do. Mission #2 is to get a complete blog up and running for the pet snuggles. I thought about doing that tonight, but I'll do it this weekend instead. Not sure what mission #3 is, I'm taking this one mission at a time.
The bad, well, there is no bad. There is just the ugly. And it is 17 kinds of UGLY. Fellow knitters, look away!
So the baby set I made for the coworker, well, she came back from medical leave on Monday. Maybe a bit of a preface: I had told her when I was asked to start the project that it would be done at the end of January, in time for a baby shower or whatnot. Well, I had it done. But she went on medical leave. I can empathize, she had a medical thingy that had her out of work. But she had only paid me part of what she owed me, and the entire time she was gone there was no contact regarding the status of the project from her. Before she left, she was given frequent updates by me and frequent hands on to check the status. (refer to when she told me she needed green instead of pink). The girl held the stuff in her HANDS.
Monday she gets back and I give her the stuff and she says she'll pay me the rest in a week or 2. Well, ok. You were supposed to pay me the end of January, but I'll give you a break. Today, she says nonchalantly that the blanket isn't big enough. Now people, she held the blanket. This is a duplicate of the blanket I made for another coworker in the SAME SIZE. She said she wanted that blanket. I told her before I even started that it would be small, it would be for covering in a stroller or something. But no, she said she couldn't wrap it around a freaking TEDDY bear and that it was too small. I just told her to give it back and I would figure something out.
So for the rest of the day I thought about starting that blanket over, because really, at this point and the stitch pattern of the blanket, I am not going to spend another 2 hrs ripping off the pretty border and picking up the stitches to make it longer, it would have to be a new blanket. And even after she pays me the rest, with the time involved including the making of the pink sweater and then the green sweater, I have made about 4$ an hour. I am sick thinking about doing anything more for this woman. This is a woman that when she had her accident and lost all of her hair, I brought her some nice fabric for a head wrap and she just said "could you bring some black tomorrow?".
I can't do it. I just can't do it. When she gives it back she will get 3 options. Take the blanket as is and pay me the rest, keep the stuff she has and she owes me nothing, or give it all back and I will refund her. Because I am not knitting another blanket. I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT KNIT ANOTHER BLANKET

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I finished the capelet I was making last week, and decided it looked nice with a bit of light pink for the trims. It will need a button or some sort of closure, but I haven't decided yet. The trim is Cashcotton, and is a nice yarn. I would even make a full tank out of that yarn.

Today I'm staying in my jammies (I did take a shower)because it's daylight savings and I just don't know what to do with myself on these days. It always screws up my sleep, and I hate that.

Monday, March 2, 2009

2 projects

I worked on 2 projects this weekend, and both involve using yarn that I have (destashing)

The first is a cat bed from "wendy knits" called the kitty pi. the bed is meant to be knit and then felted. I have some yarn I got about a year ago that is some really coarse wool, so I thought to use that. I'm glad I did. I used a lot of the yarn, about half of what I had, and it felted really nicely. Of course, I had to wait to felt it because as soon as it was off the needles, it was itchy's bed, felted or not. The pic is of him in the bed pre-felting. I have since felted it, but the cats didn't want to wait for it to dry and while it was blocking Mulder got in it, and then Itchy went and stared him down until Mulder got sick of it and gave it up. Mulder was sleeping in the wet felted bed. I certainly hope they like it this much when it's done. Doubtful.

The second project is a nice little capelet knit in worsted/aran weight wool/angora blend yarn that I have had for almost 2 years I think. Kept waiting for something "good" to come along. The pic is of the start of it, it's knit from the top down, so the ribbing is the neckline. I'm thoroughly enjoying this project, because that wool I used for the kitty bed gave my hands a workout and they were very sore yesterday. Knitting should not be that hard!