Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Moving Along

We all survived the power outage without too much incident.

Our phone is still screwed up. It rings funky when it decides to ring. Then it will some times connect then some times not. If you are lucky enough to get through to the voice mail you might, just might be able to leave a message. The phone company is working on it, but I don't know when it will be fixed. It is quite annoying.

Last Monday was the day from hell. If it could go wrong it did. The top 2 things on my list that went wrong was 1) the computer and 2) the vehicle.

First was the computer. I got up that morning and went to check my email. It came up to a black screen with something claiming a disk error. I freaked. I shut down the computer and tried again. Nothing changed. I freaked again. Kevin told me that it was fine when he was on it that morning. Ok so this is the 2nd computer that has worked fine the last time he was on it. What the man does to computers I have no idea, but they just don't seem to like him. I call a local computer repair and they tell me to bring it in. It doesn't look good they tell me. It seems to be the hard drive! Ummmm it CAN'T!!! I still have loads of James' pictures that I haven't gotten off of it!! That was one of my goals that morning. Computer guy tries a few things and shakes his head. I am then told that it doesn't look good and I probably have lost ALL data! Not an option in my mind. James' 2nd birthday, Christmas, etc, etc are all on it. That is something that I can't get back. So I leave and cry all the way home. I cry for the rest of the night at the thought of not having any of those pictures. I am a horrid mother for loosing them!

We will move on to the 2nd thing. The Yukon. This happened before I took the computer down to the repair store. I used the remote starter to start and warm it up before I left to drop off the computer and head out for an evening of knitting. The remote start failed to start it. It tried multiple times and nothing. I went out to try and it would just go urururur. So it wasn't the battery and it was trying to start. So I waited until Kevin got home. He got it started and took it down into town to have it hooked to a code reader. It said that there was a misfire in the #2 cylinder. So when he gets back I grab my knitting and the computer and head into town.

By the time I got finished at the computer repair shop I had no nerves left. It was an hour drive to my NSLYS and by the time I would have got there it would have been time to head back home. So I decided that I would just go home. I don't think I would have made good company anyway and I know that I wouldn't have been able to hold back my tears.

So not only did I have a broken computer I also had a broken vehicle. I was afraid to drive it anywhere in fear that it might not start back up. So I stayed home and tried not to think about the computer. That was a hard task. Then on top it it the phone was and is still on the fritz. I swear that I was having some sort of nervous break down. I was mentally and physically exhausted.

I guess you all have figured out that the computer is back now. Since I am blogging and all. If you made it this far I am sure that you are wondering what happened with the hard drive. The wonderful guys at Aurora Computer Center replaced my hard drive then took the bad one put it into an enclosure and ran a program on it through another computer. They recovered ALL the pictures and from what I can see all my documents, spread sheets etc. I am amazed! The price was more than reasonable as well. If you have a computer problem and are in the area I would highly recommend them. Not only do they have good prices, but they are very nice and seem to really care about their customers. They go above and beyond to make you happy and to do whatever that they can to get you back up and running.

The car is fixed as well. It needed a new distributor and rotor button, but the main problem was a vacuum line had cracked and was leaking. Kevin fixed it and it is up and running again. Granted it needs plugs, but he cleaned and re-gaped them and it is doing fine.

Time to look on the sunnier side of things and hope that things get better from here on out.

If you got this far I have to share a few pictures with you of James at his Grandma's and Grandpa's. He had a great time with all the balloons.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

When Without Power....

As some of you know if we didn't have bad luck we would have no luck at all.

It all started with the lovely ice storm that we had then the snow on top of that. We had trees down that fell across some power lines up the street and they had to cut the electricity our direction to fix it. So at 7 pm we had no power.

Kevin and I took shifts staying up to make sure that things were ok, the house wasn't getting too cold and that the candles didn't start some sort of fire. I took the first shift of staying up while he went in and slept. By 3 am I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer and went in to tag out. The electric came on at about 4:30 just to go out again. It came back on again about 8 am and we ran around doing as much as we could before it decided to go back out, which it did at about 11 am. We then had no phone either and the cell phones didn't want to work. So we were without all technology for a while.

Since I had to do something to keep myself awake I knit by candle light. It wasn't as bad as I thought that it would be. The candles threw quite a bit of light and I used a light colored yarn against dark needles for contrast. Where are the lighted needles when I needed them?.

This is a dark picture of my knitting. I decided to knit a wash cloth. I figured that it was easy and if it went horribly wrong I wouldn't be weeping while ripping it back out.

We got power back on around 3 pm and of course, then we went through the taunting of the power coming on and off. Poor James was so confused by the entire thing.

All in all we were without power for over 20 hours. It sounds like quite a bit especially having a 2 year old and trying to figure out what to fix him to eat when we had no power. I can't complain too much about it though. There were people who were without power for 5 days or more.

I have much more to tell you all about what has gone on since last week. I will tell you more in posts to come.

Hope everyone is staying warm and Have a Great Weekend!

I will leave you with a pretty picture of a tree in our front yard.
(click for larger picture - there is a pretty bright red male cardinal in the tree)

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Yarn Stash Mess

Our poor extra bedroom. It has been designated for all the yarn and it currently is a complete mess. Yarn is all over on the floor, on top of dressers, in boxes, in bags and piled in the closet. This is not going to be fun to organize. Where do I even start? The room is going to have a single bed, a dresser, a corner shelf and a cedar chest so I have to get it organized enough to get all that in there too.

Ok so I never realized how much yarn that I have. WOW I have a lot. Granted I do have quite a bit of sock yarn and that is always ok, right? Then there is at least 3 sweaters that I haven't gotten a chance to make for myself, so once I get busting on that the stash should go down quite a bit.

Ok so this picture doesn't look too bad, but just wait it gets worse, much worse.

This is 1 corner of the room. See the basket? Yes it is over flowing with yarn and there is even more behind it that you can't see.

Here we have one of the longer walls in the room. There is yarn crammed in everything except for the Central box (that has computer wires and other computer related stuff in it). As you can see I couldn't get it all in. The yarn is spilling over to the left of the picture.

Here we have more on the floor. There are many layers to this, so it isn't just one layer on the floor. There are probably 3 layers of bags toward the back. Is it bad to have this much yarn? But wait there is more!

See the white boxes on the left and right? Yep you guessed it, all full of yet even more yarn. Do you see a pattern here? LOL

I think this is the saddest picture ever. It is even more yarn in the bottom of the closet. All just thrown there until I can get to it. It looks so unloved, but believe me I love each and every skein, hank, ball, cake or what ever form it might be in. Since this truly doesn't show how much is here I will tell you that the top bag is at least at the 4 ft high level! Yes that is all yarn in there. Some is in bags, some in totes, some in baskets while others are free ranging and roaming on their own.

As I said before where do I start? Well here of course. My dear friend Sara left this shelving when she moved. So I now have a place to put the yarn. Thank You Sara.

Now comes the fun part of taking all the yarn our of the closet, all of the bags, baskets, containers etc. and figuring out where I want it all to go on the shelving. I foresee this being a long, long, long project.

I will take some after pictures once I get it some what arranged. I hope that it will all fit. LOL

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Time Has Come

The time has come that I need to release some of my stash. It has taken over an entire closet plus. I have listed a few things on the Destash blog. Come over and take a look. I will be listing more soon. Click on the picture on my side bar or the one below to get you there. My items are the ones "Posted by: Tonia". There are many other good deals there as well. So stop by and take a look around. Hope that you find something that you can't live without.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lookie what I Got!!

I would like to introduce to you Fumeé.

She is an 8 month old French Angora. She reminded me of the color of smoke and I wanted her to have a french name so Fumeé is what I came up with. I think it is fitting with her grey coloring.

She is soooooo soft. Can you believe I got her for free?! She needed a good home and I have been wanting to get some angora rabbits, so the timing was perfect. I was even given a nice large cage and some food for her as well. She was originally purchased by a school teacher who wanted her for the class room. The kids mad her nervous and she would nip at them. So she was given to a friend who had 3 males. She didn't want to breed them and just couldn't keep her so I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and now she is mine.

I really love the varrigated greys in her coat. The softness is unreal. I just want to hold and cuddle her all day. I can't wait to get the first round of wool from her. Is it worng of me to be excited about this? I am sure thouse of you who have fiber bunnies can relate to this feeling.

We currently have her in our garage. Kevin has built a shelter around her cage with wooden skids, tarps, a king sized comforter and card board. He has made a larger box around the cage with the skids then added the tarps to the top and three sides of the cage with the comforter on top. The cardboard is under her cage and covers up the front so that we can regulate the temperature. Inside the box is her cage and an oil filled heater (it looks like an old home style radiator). So she can huddle close to the heater or go to the other side of the cage where it is cooler. So far so good, her water hasn't froze so that is good. I just hope that it continues to work. She seems happy with the set up, so that is what matters.

I do bring her in the house. I am working on socializing her with the other animals and James. I have been keeping her in the bathroom with a baby gate blocking the door so that she can get some exercise without being too scared of the dog.

We have a small litter box in the bathroom for the cats, just in case they decide that they can't make it to the basement. I make sure that it is completely cleaned before I let her in the bathroom. In two days she had trained herself to use the litter box! The first day she was using it, but I thought it was just a fluke, but she has been using it ever since. I am so happy, now I need to get her a litter box for her cage. I would much rather clean out a litter box than the nasty news paper at the bottom of her cage all the time.

So any of you out there that know anything about Angora rabbits I am all ears. This is my first and I am doing what I can to make sure that she is happy and healthy. Any and all advice would be much appreciated.

* She has a tendancy when she gets nervous to dig at you with her front paws then chew your clothes. Is there any way to help her relax or stop the behavior?

* What method do you prefer to harvest the wool? (plucking, brushing, other)

* Is there a certain diet that you think is better? (only pellets, pellets and grains, other)

* Any foods that I should avoid giving her?

That is all that I can think of at the moment. Any info that you might have I would appreciate. If you don't want to leave a comment you can Email me. Thanks for your help and info.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Can I Get a Drum Roll Please?

It is FINISHED!!! The wee fair isle for James is done.

Before I show you the finished product I want to show you what the neck and shoulders are supposed too look like.

Here I have it laying out on our extra bed. I am still working on the collar ribbing. Our kitten had to get in the picture too. She is so funny.

Oh for those of you who keep asking me if we have given her a name yet.... the answer is Yes. I have been wanting something that went along with the fact that she loves to cut/chew my knitting yarn all the time. Does anyone know why a cat will do this? It gets rather annoying. Anyway back to the name thing. I found a name that means to snip. It is German. So her name is now Schnitzel. Kind of fitting don't you think?

Here is a close up of the collar ribbing. Still needing 2/3ds knit. I was so close that I could taste it and it just wasn't knitting up fast. I kept measuring and measuring and I swear I was knitting into that black hole of knitting. I don't care how many rounds that I knit the measurements never changed.

And now the moment some of you have been waiting for...........

The FINISHED fair isle!

These pictures are fairly true to color. They were taken with a flash at night in the house so they are a bit washed out. Also it applies to this months colors in Project Spectrum.

It still needs a good blocking. The fair isle patterns are tighter than the rest of the sweater. So I am hoping that it will block out . I guess we shall see.

I socked it over James' head at my In-Laws after I had finished it. Doesn't look too happy does he? He didn't get much of a nap and the collar is a little tight going over his big melon.

He got over his torment when he heard the clock go "Kee Koo" as he says. The In-Laws have an old coo coo clock that he loves. That would be what he is pointing to.

Not sure if you can see how big the sweater actually is on him, but if you look closely at the bottom of the sweater the bottom fair isle section is missing. So it is plenty long on him. Also the shoulders look like he has football padding on. I am hoping that he will be able to wear it again next year. That is if his head doesn't grow much more. :)

You can see the shoulders better in this picture. Kind of reminds me of the shoulder pads in the 80's. After a good soak/wash and block it might soften up. Don't look at the mess behind him.

James wanted to go out and play in the snow so I put his sweater on to keep him warm. I know really it was just because I wanted him to wear it and keeping him warm is just a good reason to get him to wear it.

Where do I go from here? Well I have a few UFOs that I really would like to get finished so that they are no longer haunting my dreams. I could really use my gloves right now if they were finished.

Stay tuned to see what is next.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Ahhh CRAP!!!

I have been cooking along on James' sweater. I have been having so much fun knitting this. I think I am going to miss it when it is actually done.

The sleeves have knit up nicely. I don't know what force was in effect when I was knitting the second sleeve, but I had to rip it out at least 4 times. It was completely crazy. I couldn't seem to follow simple k2, p2 for one round then k next round and repeat. Sounds easy eh? Yeah it is, but my mind refused to function for it so the cuff was ripped 4 times then the fair isle sections were ripped at least 2 times. The first sleeve went so smoothly, I just have no clue what happened with the second. It was so aggravating. I pushed on and made it through finally.

How cute is this going to be when it is done?! Should I be this excited about it?

So now that both sleeves are done and the arm holes in the sweater are large enough to fit the sleeves I joined the sweater back into the round. I knit a few inches then did the decreases for the neck. I picked up the stitches for the neck and it just wasn't working for me. It looked puckered and huge. So I decide to sew on the sleeves. I have done sleeves and sewn my knitting together before, so not a problem right? WRONG! No matter how hard I tried you could see the sewing thread on the outside. RIP, RIP, RIP, RIP....... Out came the sleeves, more times than I can count. OK fine, I will sew in the ends that are in my way and will need to be done anyway. That part went ok. Whew at least one thing went right.

After many tears of frustration I headed off to my FNSLYS to get some much needed help on Thursday. The pattern calls for you to whip stitch the sleeves in and I was instructed to use the mattress stitch instead after a few failed attempts at the whip stitch still showing the yarn on the outside. The mattress stitch worked so much better. So I had the first sleeve on and something just didn't look right.

Can you guess where I am going here?????

Remember I rejoined the sweater in the round after the sleeve holes?.

That is where I went horribly wrong. Instead of making shoulders I was making one HUGE neck hole. I tried to convince Christina that James has a huge head and shoulders in a sweater were over-rated, but she just wasn't buying it.

So I am sure you know what happens here right?. *SIGH*

One sleeve was sewn in so it had to partially come out. We were going to just cut out the top part, but the piece of yarn that was cut wasn't the seaming yarn. AHHHHHH!!! I felt the urge to pass out. I tried to convince myself that it was all ok, but my mind kept screaming NOOOOOOO. "People do things like this all the time and can fix them without a problem." Still feeling faint. "Don't worry you are going to have to rip back past the cut point anyway, it will all be ok." Faintness still hanging around. "Just be thankful that it wasn't the fair isle part" Ok now I am coming around. I know that Christina was talking to me in there somewhere too, but my mind was screaming at me so much that I couldn't tell you her exact words, but I know she kept reassuring me that it would all be ok. After a few deep breaths, Christina's reassurance and me knowing deep down that it was ok, I was able to get past it and rip it back to where it needed to be.

Before I left that evening I had the front knit back up to where it needed to be and the neck shaping done. I also only had a few more rows to go on the back to do before I could do a three needle bind off for the shoulders that are "supposed" to be there.

I am really close to being done. Maybe in the next few days I will have pictures to show you of a finished sweater.

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