Monday, March 30, 2009

I Have a Sick, Sick Woobie

Well, and to top it off, I am also sick myself. I kept this little guy home from school today, of course...he's got a temp of over 102 degrees, and his little cheeks are flaming red. I was proud of Alex today, though. He laid low...just rested and took it easy. What a good boy! I sure love this little guy. I thought he would be fine tomorrow if he went with Ellen, his respite care worker (who loves him like he is her own), but I just found out they are sticking some other guy with Alex. So that's not going to work. I called them up and told them to forget it. At least at Ellen's house, I know he would've laid low and rested. But this other guy they wanted to put him with has a NEWBORN BABY at his house. YEAH. Oh sure, Alex would have been warmly welcomed there. UGH.

So, I told them to forget it. I don't know what I will do about my work schedule. I guess I'll have to hope that Alex is well enough to go back to school on Wednesday, and go to work then.

I've been spinning and knitting while I've been sick. The knitting has not held a lot of charm for me. Don't know why exactly, but I do know that my spinning has been very appealing. The rythmn of the wheel going around, and the wool drafting through my fingers is comforting on so many levels. I was also delighted to find out how much wool my bobbins will hold!

There is NINE FULL OUNCES of wool on this bobbin! I was just astounded. I would like to pick up a couple more bobbins, but can't really part with the $22 a piece right now.

I am also wanting a new camera. It's hard to believe I have had this camera of mine for six years. It is a WHOPPING 4.1 Mexapixels! Ha ha! It has served me well, but I am sure tired of having to borrow my daughter's camera to take pictures. I got her a new Canon for Christmas. So...I'm using my daughter's camera which is way better than mine. And I have a business for which to take photos. What's wrong with this picture? (Every pun is intended!) So, I am saving up for this beauty:

Believe it or not, it isn't that expensive. I've always had FujiFilm cameras, ever since my very first digital camera way back in 1998. I've had three now. Been happy. This one is FAB. You can see the 15X optical zoom, plus it's 10 megapixels. Also has image stableization, which I could really use. There's tons of other stuff it does, too...all conducive to the kinds of photos I take.

Well, it's time to check on little Alex, and maybe write up some color recipes for dyeing. Looks like I will be home tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yarny Surprises

I finally got up the gumption to get out one skein of the many of the handspun ivory punta that I've been spinning. The idea was to buy the punta from Sheep Shed Studio whenever I had the extra money, spin it up, and then hand dye the finished yarn, as opposed to dyeing it as fiber like I usually do. I knew the effect would be different, but I had no idea HOW different! So, I threw it in the roaster, and off I went with the dye:
I also added some brown to temper the wild fuschia and violet. Not only did I get the beautiful color I figured I would get, I got this:
The plys of the yarn took the dye differently!! Look at that! ha! PLUS, the entire texture of the yarn changed. It is springy and bouncy like I've never seen in a handspun! Now, of course, this must've been the nature of the punta wool, but I am astounded. Now I know I can go forward with this whole line of hand-dyed, hand-spun yarns I am going to call "Lady of the Lake" yarns. What a GREAT day!

I also completely finished and blocked the Bird's Nest shawl!

Now, it's on to either more dyeing or more knitting. Do I want to knit another shawl? I think so. This is sitting here, staring me in the face, waiting to be the Sampler Shawl...Iris Heather Palette yarn:
But for now, I have to go to work. I'm gonna sleep for another hour first, though. I'm pooped!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Week-Long Carb Fest & Knitterly Ways

Well, the diet lasted like about ONE week. I shouldn't say that it is over, because it isn't. I am back on again today, probably just to undo all the damage I did last week. I had all the ingrediants (finally) to make my "diet saver" chocolate cheesecake brownies, but was too down in the dumps to actually make them. So, I just went for the gusto, and ate ice cream instead! Ice cream! I don't even CARE for ice cream!! Yeesh! Ah well. Perhaps it is out of my system now, and I can go on to bigger and hehe...!

I finished Cheryl Oberle's Bird's Nest Shawl last night. What a wonderful knit! I will get photos up after it is blocked. I am loving KnitPick's Palette yarn; such an inexpensive, but very yummy yarn. I knit the entire thing for about ten bucks. Boy, I remember back in the eighties when I was learning how to knit; you couldn't knit anything nice without spending at least fifty bucks. As a teenager, I just didn't have that kind of money. Things have sure changed!

It appears that I prefer rectangular shawls much more than triangle ones. Now, I know that my Stora Dimun came out a little on the small side, since I didn't pay strict attention to gauge and all that. I like to cuddle up in shawls. Stora just isn't a cuddly shawl, and it's okay. Bird's Nest is closer. I am going to cast on Cheryl's Sampler shawl next, in Iris Heather Palette (of course!). It's supposed to be done in a fingering weight, and Palette is, but just to be sure, I am going to go up a needle size from the suggested. I've been using a size seven for the other two, so I already know it will be fine.

Today is also dye day! I've decided that I am going to be doing more kettle dyeing, too. It is much more relaxing a method than hand painting, and the results are so pretty. I'm also finally going to be dyeing my handspun yarn, which I have been spinning and seemingly hoarding here for so long. It's going to be kettle dyed...I just don't care for the look of hand-painted yarns unless the repeat is really short. The randomness of kettle-dyeing is much prettier in yarn. Just my opinion, but I don't like to see "stripey" hand-painted yarns. You never know how the heck they will look when knit up. If you do a large project, you get long, thin stripey. If you do a small project, you get big, chunky blobs of stripey. Ugh.

So, I'm off. Rehanna is sick today...she has been all weekend, with a fever that doesn't seem to want to break. I give her Tylenol, fever goes down (but not all the way!). Tylenol wears off, fever goes right back up. I give that scenario three chances, and then it's off to the doc. That's been my rule with all the kids. As she is almost 15, I worry about mono. I had it when I was 15. I doubt this is the case, but since I was mis-diagnosed when I had it, I am not taking any chances.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Those Poor, Poor Ducks...

The school social worker came out to the house the other day to get a social history on Conner. This is a story he told me.

A few weeks ago, several of the fourth grade boys were having fun in the bathroom. Apparently, they were being goofballs and urinating on the walls and everywhere they shouldn't. The one male teacher in the school, and Mr. Lidel the school social worker, decided to call an assembly of all the fourth grade boys to discuss the matter, as no one really knew who exactly was the culprit.

The two told the boys about respect...about not doing things at school that they wouldn't do at home. They were told about "aiming"...and how important it was to aim right when using the toilet. The one male teacher gave an example: " Now, Mr. Lidel is a hunter, and he hunts ducks. He wouldn't just point his rifle into the sky and shoot all over the place! He has to AIM, so that he will get a duck!"

After the assembly, Conner's aide, Mrs. Windels came down to get him and take him back to class. She asked him, "So, Conner, how was the assembly? Did you like it? Did you learn anything new?"

Conner nodded happily and vigorously. "OH yes!", he said. "You're shupposed to PEE on the DUCKS!!"

Never say that an autistic child doesn't listen attentively...!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Holy Crap! It's Stora Dimun!

I am bad when it comes to taking photos of my stuff. I know there are so many people out there who are very content to stand in front of a mirror, wear their new creation, and snap away. Not me. I guess I'm too much of a perfectionist. In any's Stora!! This is the most complex thing I've ever knitted, and I'm really proud of it. It's a stepping stone to feeling like I can knit almost anything I want.

I got more fiber dyed yesterday, FINALLY. It was tough, in between dealing with my computer breakdown. (See previous post!!) So, hanging to dry, waiting to get their pictures taken, here they are. Well, you can't see all of them, but here are some:

These will all be in my store by this evening, if everything goes as planned. Oh heavens, please let there be no more drama!!

Now it's off to the shower, and to get the house in some sort of order. I have a meeting with the school social worker at the house about Alex this afternoon. Would like to show him that we really don't live in a cesspool of fiber and toys....

Well, yeah. Okay, so...we do. But he doesn't have to really know that.

Up To Snuff

My computer died on Saturday. Well, not really died...just sort of said "no way, this ain't gonna work." Period.

What happened was that I was trying to show my mom how to work her new digital camera that she got for Christmas. I installed the driver on my computer for transferring the files from her camera to my computer. CRASH. Apparently, the driver gave my USB ports some instructions to follow that were just too much to handle! The computer continually looped...would not start up to save it's life. was as good of a time as any to wipe it all out. (I know, I know....AAAHHHHHHHH!!!) But was a great learning experience for me. Steve helped me over the phone...first we tried to fix the problem without having to wipe out the machine. But I was just as happy to really do it. And so I did. WOW does it run better!!! Backing up my data was not easy. I was able to get the computer back up and running, just as long as nothing came anywhere near the USB ports! So, this meant no external drives, no wireless network on which to transfer files to other computers in the house...blah blah.

So, I connected myself via a good ole fashioned wire to the router, and transferred away. Then I transferred all the data from the other computer onto the external drive. Then, reinstalled windows. Ta-daaahh!! USB ports now work! COnnected external drive to computer. Tranferred all data BACK to computer. THEN...installed all software that I use...more blah blah!

During all of THIS, I was installing the fabulous Windows updates. All 12 million of them. Think: the Windows CD that I have is Windows XP service pack 1a. Yes. You read it right...1a. So, just think of how many updates there were out there for me?? 12 million.

I decided I would like to have the latest and greatest of everything. Well, that works in theory. But Microsoft, as we all know, likes to throw crap out there for everyone to agonize over, and for everyone to ask the proverbial question "WHY oh WHY did I have to have this???" So, after installing Internet Explorer 8 beta, I had the fun experience of seeing just what it did to my beloved Ravelry when I tried to reply to a post or a thread. Let's just say it was a REALLY BAD BUG. does one uninstall IE 8? Well, it ain't easy. Microsoft doesn't make getting rid of their software easy, EVER. They WANT you to agonize, apparently. After much searching on the web (with a crippled browser, I might add), I finally found this little teeny place on the microsoft website that explained how to do it. Of course, the first way did NOT work, so I had to use the "alternate" way. Which is to say, I had to use the "forget-the-pretty-interface, put-on-the-scuba-gear-and-dive-into-the-black-screen-of-DOS" way. In any case, this brought me back to a version 6 of IE, which I then updated to version 7. WHEW. Whatta mess that was.

And how long did all this take? Well, at least a full, solid 24 hours. Of course, I did other stuff that I didn't even mention here. ((sigh)). It's done!

So far, so good. Of course, Mom feels all bad, blaming herself. Of course it isn't her fault at all! Those drivers that came with her camera are dangerous. That's all there is to it! So that leaves mom with a nice camera with crappy drivers. Now we'll have to go online and see if we can find updated drivers for it.

On to more fun stuff!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally on Blogger!

Well, it's been a long haul here. I finally got my Blogger set up, after having this account for quite a while. However:

I couldn't get my Multiply blog imported over here.
I couldn't get my Flickr slideshow on here.
I couldn't get my Etsy slideshow on here.

Sigh. Ah well. heehee! If you want to know more about what's been going on with me lately, please, please just click onthe link to the right and head over to Multiple and read away! I can't seem to get it over here. I'll keep trying, though!

I finally got my Clematic Bird's Nest Shawl up in my projects on Rav. I never even got Stora Dimun up there, but I am going to take pics after it is blocked and all beautiful. That is, if my blocking wires ever get here from Knit Picks! (I am horribly impatient!)

Photo storage has become an issue. I really have to bite the bullet and buy a Flickr subscription. PhotoBucket just doesn't seem to work, and I really need it to. Flickr just seems darned expensive to me, although I know I will feel that it is worth it. Twenty Five bucks a year. Man! Okay, so call me cheap...but when you have three kids and not much money to work with, every penny gets scrutinized. ((grin))

I got four ounces of yummy BFL fiber spun up. I am going to ply it with white Sheep Shed punta singles. It'll be interesting to see how much yardage I get from it. It's a great color...really unusual, too bad the photo sux:

It's hard to believe that Steve's been gone over a week and a half. We talk every night on the phone, and a couple nights ago, it was a little difficult. I don't honestly know how the heck we will survive this. But time will tell.

I started the low-carb diet (again). Seems I do this every February. But now is a great time. Steve isn't here to cook his delicious, horribly fattening food for me. I will have no guilt about turning him down after he has slaved away in the kitchen. Food isn't a big deal to me. I eat to stop hunger. And now, with him gone, it's even more so that way.

We have a new guest in our house...! Steve and I bought this little guy for Conner for his birthday:

Yes, this is a rat. I had severe reservations about RATS. YECH. Well, that was...UNTIL we brought little baby Remy home. This little guy is just WONDERFUL. He's like a little dog!! He has NEVER bitten us, he gives us kisses (well, he's cleaning us, actually), his cage does NOT stink, he LOVES to be picked up, held and short, he is a FAB little guy! Remy will come running to the edge of his cage when I come home, just like a pup. He's just adorable. He will grab hold of my finger with his tiny hands, lay his head on my hand, and let me rub his tummy. It's the goll-darned cutest thing ever!

Okay, time to get ready for work. There's a new manager there now, and she's brought in a new system for the tailoring department. Aparently, she's not used to seeing so much work to be done, so I'm going in an extra day to get it, ahem, "caught up". Hmmm....well, I wonder what she will say when it goes right back to "not caught up" next week?? That's what happens when you have a store with GOOD SALES honey. Obviously not like the store you came from!