Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stalking the Mailman, AKA “79”

A week ago (Nov. 16-22), I was happily stitching away on my last of the M&Ms quilts.

It’s Beth’s. (Here is a link to the quilt pattern) It’s paper pieced. It’s the most labor-intensive and time-heavy of the eight quilts. And all of the fabric was provided. Most importantly, all of the background fabric, 80 triangles worth of the same black batik per person, came along with the quilt.

While watching Sweeney Todd, I diligently counted all of the triangles while “gluing” them to my freezer paper templates in order to use Judy Mathieson’s utterly freakin’ brilliant paper piecing technique. (scroll down if the link doesn't work there)

80 triangles. Brilliant. I was on my way. I laid out my colored fabric strips and was cruising along, no problem (well, brief periods of brain freeze, but nothing major). I get to Friday night, I’m zipping along. I’m ready to add the last layer of triangles to the last 20 sub-blocks. All of a sudden? Ruh-Roh Shaggy!

I’m one short. I only have 79 freakin’ triangles.

I text message Beth, who apologizes and says she’ll mail the much-needed triangle. It got in the mail before Turkey Day, but didn’t arrive over the weekend, so I’ll be stalking the mailman over the next few days. The Big Reveal is at Sandy’s house on December 8, so I need to get it in the mail as soon as I can. It’s as done as it can be until I get that triangle, so I’m hopeful I can get this thing headed west before I get into the busy second half of the week. We have theater tickets on Wednesday after having seen Spamalot last Tuesday, then we’re doing a holiday festivity thing at The Frick on Thursday. It’s a busy week.

I’m cruising on the socks I showed you last week. They’re Sheep Shop Sheep Feet. I really love the yarn. It’s a lot like Socks that Rock Mediumweight, but the company did a stupid thing with the yardage. Too much for one sock/skein. Not enough for a pair from one skein, but I’ll get into all of the details for the FO post, which should be SOON.

Oh, and I still owe you a FO post on Kermit. I’m hoping for a good non-rainy, non-work day so I can get a couple of “on the hoof” shots. Hope all my American readers had a wonderful long weekend. I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday! :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Happy Turkey Day Eve, to all of my American readers. This is my favorite holiday. A full day of hanging out with the family. Great food. Lots of fun without any of the stress of finding presents for those hard-to-buy-for folks on your lists!

It started snowing big-time yesterday, but has now stopped. It was big fat heavy wet flakes and it was sticking to everything. But when I woke up this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my driveway had already melted. Bonus!

But, I know I have many readers who miss winter, so here’s a little photo-mosaic for you. All photos taken around 9 am EST today.

In other news, here’s what I’m working on knitting-wise:

My first Moebius!

I’m into the second skein of Malabrigo silky wool. I’m not quite sure how much more I’ll knit, but I am definitely enjoying this project and will Moebius again!

My first colorwork!

The Postwar Mittens from the new Twist Collective. Loving this project!

And, we got a shiny new sock yarn in at Bloomin Yarns, and I just had to try it out.

My first sock! (of this pair!)

So that’s about it from here. I’m off to run some errands and enjoy the beginnings of a four-day weekend. Hope you can do the same!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Incredible Shrinking Barts

My favorite boss threw me a loop less than an hour before I had to leave for tonight’s game and it threw me off in a bigger way than I expected. Like a big fat idiot, I forgot to bring the power cord for my laptop. So this will be a little shorter than normal, m’kay?

Meet the Incredible Shrinking Bartholomews. A marriage between the Incredible Shrinking Violet Socks that Rock yarn that was the May Rockin’ Sock Club shipment this year, and a rerun of my first-ever New Pathways socks, Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks.

Check out those Turtle Daddy sock blockers!

I did some very small mods from the beginning on these socks. I made the cuffs a little longer, a mod that I would come to regret. Sorry we have no on-the-hoof photos. Time and weather were conspiring against me.

This time around, my increased familiarity with Cat’s socks allowed me to correctly execute the reinforced heel. See all that cushy stuff right under the heel? I’m looking forward to feeling that extra cushion on my feet.

I did the Star Toe as instructed. It’s not my favorite, but it’s perfectly serviceable. I’m quite happy with this finished pair of socks!

Incredible Shrinking Barts

Pattern: Bartholomew’s Tantalizing Socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight
Color: Incredible Shrinking Violet (May 2008 Rockin’ Sock Club)
Needles: US 2/2.75 mm for cuffs. US1/2.5 mm for remainder of sock
Sock Size: US Women’s 8.5 (for me … 8.5” circumference/9.5” length)
Started: 1 October 2008
Finished: 10 November 2008
Mods: Made cuffs a little longer
Special Thanks: Turtlegirl76 totally saved the day on these socks.

She generously offered some of her ISV when I got to the heel of my first sock and thought I had a problem. I got to the end of the first sock and had about a 10-gram difference between the finished sock and remaining yarn … in the wrong direction.

So thanks very much, Cristi. I would not have been able to finish these socks without your help!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Franklin,

I really like your little book. I've read about half of it and have been keeping it handy for a nice chuckle when I need it. Which has been often over the last few days and weeks.

But tonight? We had a little accident. You see, I was trying to get a little bit of sewing time in on the last of the M&M quilts and was picking up the day's family/TV room debris to take into the kitchen. A used mug of tea, an empty soft drink cup and my water bottle.

Well, you see, I kind of missed when I went to pick up the water bottle.

And dumped about 18 oz of water all over your cute little book. And the top of the cabinet where it was sitting. I think I might need another copy :-(

Oh, and since the cabinet is built in to my wall, the water snuck down the wall into the cabinet.

Which held (almost) my entire sock yarn stash.

My bears tried to help, but once they started to drip, it all went downhill from there.

For a few seconds, I held my breath, hoping that not very much water had gone down the wall. Then I pulled out the first skein of yarn and knew I had a problem. I started taking out all the yarn and divided into two piles: Wet, which was blotted "dry" and tossed into the path of the heating duct to air-dry, and Dry, which was piled on my seat on the couch.

The "Wet" pile grew when I realized that the water had not only run down the wall, but pooled nicely both on the interior shelf and the bottom of the cabinet. Nice work there!

There will be no photographic evidence of this natural disaster. We'll just say that I probably have too much sock yarn, it all has to be put away tomorrow (Hubster returns from Charlotte tomorrow night and the cleaning crew is here on Thursday), and I'm happier than I should be that he wasn't home to witness the carnage. I'm just a little bit horrified by my stash.

M&M quilt got about 1/8 finished tonight, but it's no longer making my brain bleed, so the rest should go relatively quickly.

Famous last words, right?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Plumb This!

Yes, we had a second visit from my favorite local plumbers. I won’t soon forget our first plumbing adventure (read about it here if you have let it slip your mind).

Two Mondays ago, the Hubster woke me up with a plumbing issue for the second time in as many months. This time it was “Hey, just so you know, the tap for the hot water in the shower is just spinning. It isn’t actually turning on the water.”


So I poked around a little bit, then called SuperNeighbor for help, since I was pretty sure I could fix this bugger myself.

SuperNeighbor came over and said “OK. The first thing we need to do is turn off the water main for the house.

I was pretty certain that it was in the garage (I was right). We went down to the garage and it was pretty obvious that the heavily electrical-taped spigot just to the left of the water meter was the main water shutoff for the house. See?

Electrical tape is our friend!

I cranked that thing shut. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, since as you close the tap, it snugs up to the big ‘ol pipe (gas? I don’t know!) behind it.

But I cranked it shut. As tight as it would go. SuperNeighbor turned on the tap in the slop sink in the laundry room. Still plenty of water. Yeah, the water pressure was lower, but it would have run at a perfectly good volume for quite a while.

Houston, we have a problem. Again.

Fortunately, we do have a THIRD full bathroom in the house. Months ago, I got some ConTact paper “privacy screen” stuff at the hardware store. Since the window in the third full bath faces the front of the house, it’s kind of important to have some sort of covering on that window if you’re gonna shower in there.

Rotary cutters to the rescue!

It was super easy to cut the paper down to size with my quilting tools. A perfect cut every time! :-) I did forget to take a photo of our super-stylish etched glass swan on the shower door. The minute my parents bought this house, my mother swore she'd get rid of the swan. She hates the swan. 37 years later? Still a swan on the shower door in the first-floor bathroom! ;-)

So I called the plumber. Again. They came and did their thing. Again.

See? Shiny new lever-style water main shutoff! Bonus!

Lookin' good, Billy Ray! Feelin' good, Louis!

The plumber said that the old valve was just … gone. Not even a washer inside there. Nothing left at all.

So that means that we would have had to have a plumber come out and do that bit of work regardless. You can’t exactly renovate an entire bathroom without having a way to shut off the water to the house, right?

Speaking of which, we have met with two contractors about doing the work we want done on our master suite. It’s a completely interior job, which means it’s perfect for winter. Here’s hoping we can get moving on it soon!

I’ve started the work on the final M&Ms quilt and have promised myself that I’m quitting work at 5 sharp on Tuesday and heading into the dungeon to sew. May as well take advantage of the Hubster being out of town!

Fiber-ey content to resume soon. I hope!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tiger Pride, Baby!

First and foremost, big kudos to DPUTiger’s alma mater … the DePauw University Tigers! In the Most Important Game of the Year, my Tigers beat the Wabash College Little Giants 36-14 yesterday to keep the Monon Bell and tie the all-time series 53-53-9. The Cavemen (yes, they really do refer to themselves as the Cavemen) were undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the national polls, and the game was at Little Giants Stadium (yes, really) in Crawfordsville. Tiger Pride, Baby!

In other news, the evil work project from hell that has consumed my life over the last two weeks was finished at 1 a.m. Friday night and was FedExed to the printer on Saturday morning before my day’s work at Bloomin Yarns. I can’t quite find the proper words to describe my relief, but my body is kind of telling me in its own way. My scalp and face are freaking the frak out (quietly and relatively unobtrusively, for which I’m grateful, but it’s still annoying) and my first coherent thought this morning was “my throat hurts.”

Since I’ve been blog-quiet for far too long, I figured I’d pound out an update during my watching-paint-dry 10-12 Sundays/Month job, so here I am.

I’m also going to be home alone for essentially the next week. The Hubster left this morning for Charlotte, returns late Wednesday night (I’ll probably beat him home on my way back from Hurricane Knitters), leaves Thursday morning for NYC but is back that night, then leaves Friday morning for Chicago and returns Sunday. I need to make good use of this time home alone, which will hopefully entail a great deal of time in the basement. Lisa? Expect a phone call at some point on Monday. I’m going to do my best to go to town on Beth’s quilt.

If you haven’t been down to check it out yet, the new Bloomin Yarns is fabulous. It’s utterly amazing and a testament to her exceptional abilities that the store looked as perfect as it did the day Michelle re-opened. She moved an entire LYS, soup to nuts in three days. THREE DAYS, people! I walked into the new location on Thursday at about 6 pm, and you would have thought Bloomin had always been in that spot.

I’ve finished two pairs of un-blogged socks -- the Incredible Shrinking Barts and Koigu Kermit socks, and am cranking along on a Moebius. It’s my first and I’m quite pleased with it so far.

So that’s pretty much what’s happening in my world. I’m still crawling out from underneath a much-neglected bloglines, so if I usually read/comment on your blog I’ve either been reading and brain-dead or I’ll be catching up in short order.

I have plenty of blogworthy stuff stored up and should have a pretty low-key week. Here’ hoping I can get all caught up in blogland!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Hurrier I go …

... The Behinder I get!

Yeah. My life is spinning. Knitting last Wednesday. Working at Bloomin on Thursday. Very full day of work on Friday after doing what I needed to do for my K.A.Y.E. entry (it’s done for another year. Yay!).

Saturday, I was at the big ketchup bottle all day for the Pitt-Louisville game. The best part about watching bad football is getting a check from the Mouse.

Sunday, it was back to the ketchup bottle for a 4:15 NFL kickoff. Again. And we have another one this Sunday. Yuck. It feels like I’m there for-ev-er when we have 4:15 kickoffs.

Today was a very busy work day. I’m trying to get this 300-page directory finished and it’s not going well. I did as much as I could stand today and gave up at about 9 pm. Now I’m walking off the job for 48 hours. If it’s late, it’s not my fault. I’ve had the next two days scheduled off (well, Tuesday is a Holiday, so it doesn’t really count) for six weeks. The boss knew that and she still couldn’t get her act together, so screw it. I don’t care.

(well, I will care again. On Thursday. Not before then, though)

The next two days will be all Cat Bordhi, all the time. I have some serious thoughts on where I’m taking this class, but I want to try really hard to walk in tomorrow with an open mind so I’ll blog about all of that after the classes. Intro to New Pathways tomorrow (with my mom!) and an advanced class on Wednesday. I can’t wait!

The rest of the week is equally busy, but right now I gotta go to sleep.

Pictures from last week’s plumbing adventures to come. Yep. Two plumber visits in two months. Big fun around chez DPUTiger. But now? Sleep so I’m ready to absorb as much as I can from Cat!

Sorry for the picture-free post. Just. Too. Tired.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

WiP Wednesday: Bits and Pieces

It has been a crazy busy week at chez DPUTiger. And it's not going to get any better. I’ll get to the “other” stuff tomorrow, but here’s what we’ve got knitting-wise

First Koigu Kermit sock is done. Second is on the arch increases.


Please pardon the harsh-morning-light-on-the-TV-room-floor photos. I knew if I didn't take them first thing this morning, it wasn't going to happen.

If you are familiar with the New Pathways socks and remember what I was saying a week ago, you will notice something.

I said it was a Master Ridgeline. But that would put the arch increases on the sole and this sock has arch increases on the top of the instep. Well, I turned the heel at a special Fifth Wednesday Hurricane Knitters gathering last Wednesday. At the Bloomin Yarns stitch & bitch the following day, I was knitting away on my sock while helping a knitter with starting a sleeve when it “clicked” in my brain.

I put the heel on the wrong half of the sock. There was swearing and throwing of knitting when I discovered this fact.

Now it’s an Upstream, not a Ridgeline.

One would think that this is a potentially fatal flaw in a sock. Not so much when you’re dealing with the genius that is Cat Bordhi. I guess this is proof positive that arch increases really can go anywhere!

My only other knitting news came from Dave-The-Chatty-Mailman (serioiusly. the whole neighborhood hides when they see this guy coming) in yesterday’s USPS delivery.

Yay! ... Return address labels removed to protect the innocent ;-)

Yarn to finish my Incredible Shrinking Barts. I’d say I’d tackle that at knit night tonight, but my brain is shot to hell, so this may be the right week to knit brainless. Hopefully I’ll even be able to screw up the second Kermit sock in the same manner?

So not all that much knitting but LOTS of quilting. I’d take pictures, but it’s all M&Ms quilts, so I can’t show you now. I’m hoping Lisa will be kind enough to take pictures of all eight quilts at the Big Reveal on December 8 so I can show you all of these quilts. They’re gonna be awesome.

I have photos of all of “my” rows on everyone’s quilts and am planning a bunch of posts after the big reveal.

But basically, a week ago today, I had three of the eight group quilts in my house. After a quick stop at the post office on my way to Hurricane Knitters, I’ll have just one. HOORAY!

So that’s about it around here. I’ve been trying to stay out of the Pit of Despair, but I think the ROUS’s just might get me this time around. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday: Fail!

It wasn’t a good Monday.

I stayed up way too late, but there was a reason for that. It allowed me to finish one of the M&M quilts I had in my house so I could mail it back to Cali today.

You see, there are eight people in my M&Ms (Melrose Mondays) quilting mini-group. These are my dearest friends and they have been angels for putting up with me and my tardiness this whole year. This whole weekend, I had three of the eight M&Ms quilts in my house. This is not OK.

So I got one of them finished over the weekend and mailed to Lisa today. HOORAY! I finally got the guts to open the next box today (this particular quilt top has been a little scary in my head. Not sure why.) and will hopefully get most of that row done tomorrow so I can get IT mailed off to Lisa.

Then I’ll just have Beth’s quilt. The one I’m supposed to have right now that’s due back in California by December 8 for the big reveal. The sewing area is all set up and going gangbusters. And maybe getting Beth’s quilt done will inspire me to get back to work on my Starr Designs quilt!

Anyhoo, I was up too late last night. But I got up on time and got going pretty well on my morning.

The first half hour or so, I was floating along doing my regular morning web surfing since I didn’t actually have any work I could do. Then I got a few files to chew on from my boss, so I got down to work.

About halfway through cleaning up the first file, I realized that I made a potentially fatal mistake on the file I tackled last week. The biggest one in the whole book. Half of our membership. 70+ pages of the 220 pages of directory. I forgot to put in the email addresses. Crap.

So I spent pretty much the rest of the day fixing that mistake. But I did it! 100% of the stuff I’ve been given has been returned to my boss in PDF format for proofing. Yay!

Of course, halfway through this afternoon’s marathon formatting session, I realized that there was a column I was supposed to edit and get passed along to the person who does our newspaper. Fortunately, she was really cool about the fact that I flat-out forgot about proofing the thing and sending it off to her.

I finished working at about 9:15 pm, during the first quarter of the Steelers game. Yay Steelers! Yay "Redskins Effect!" :)

No pictures tonight. Sorry ‘bout that, but most of the last three days have been quilting stuff that I can’t show you because it’s for the M&Ms stuff and the quilt-owner reads the blog. Oh, and I have a great “fail” post for the Kermit socks, but I’ll hold that for WiP Wedensday

So instead, I’ll just end this blog post by saying that if you are reading this, an American citizen and able to vote, please make time to vote on Tuesday. It’s important.