Monday, August 27, 2012

High Fiber--Dogs and Demos

It has been a busy week. So busy, in fact, that I forgot to put my knitting up and left it in a chair. DH put it on the floor. 
Sunny decided she could improve on my version of the Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan, so she had a go at it. Yum! I'm not sure which was more delicious: the metal stitch markers or my wooden Harmony needles! 
Much as I love my st markers and my needles, I was more concerned first about Sunny. I found the missing needle tips and most of the parts of the st markers. One bead is missing, but it was round and probably wouldn't cause any problems. My second concern was for my knitting. After putting so much time into it, I didn't want to lose any of it.
Good news! I was able to get the sts onto a new needle and discovered the only place the yarn was damaged was about six sts from the steek. I was able to take it out back to the middle of the steek and start with new yarn. I'm back on track, good as new, with plastic st markers and metal needles!
The main reason I've been so busy has been because we're finally starting on our bathroom remodel. Here is what we have now. First the hall bath:
In this photo, you can see the bathtub enclosure in the mirror. Everything is original equipment from 1977, when the house was built. What doesn't show in the photo: pits in the mirrors, bleached-out discolorations on the countertops, curled up edges of the vinyl flooring, irregularities in the walls and ceilings.
Then there's the "master bath." I put it in quotes, because if you follow the road to Narnia through everything hanging in our closet, you will arrive in a tiny space with a shower too small to use even as a phone booth. The bathroom might be big enough for the "Master of the House" if the "Mistress of the House" doesn't try to squeeze in there, too. It has one sink, enclosed on three sides, so sharing that is impossible. 
When we moved in, we converted the bedroom next to the living room to a dining room, so we have no need for a full bath on the main floor. Since the "master bath" is too tiny to be of much use, we're going to expand into the current full bath, turning both into a powder room and a larger master bath. Below is a copy of the plan. (The blue lines represent current walls, some of which will be removed. The shaded lines will be new walls.)
There is a broom closet is going to be torn out and incorporated into the powder room. It is currently located in front of where the new powder room toilet will go. The door to the broom closet will become a wall. There will be a new broom closet in the powder room.
The "Road to Narnia" will be resolved by making one side of the current closet larger and installing sliding doors, then making the other side smaller and filling it with cabinets and drawers. Presto! A hallway! The new closet will have two rods for hanging shorter clothes. Then a new closet will be built in the bathroom for longer clothes, with a laundry chute in the floor leading to the utility room below.
The tile we have picked for the floor of the bathroom will be the same as in the new shower stall, which will also feature three decorative tiles representing Kokopelli with a flock of hummingbirds. The pebbles will go on the base of the shower stall.
The demolition has begun. DH is doing as much of it as he can, saving money. A plumber will remove the tub, though. 
All this talk about work has worn me out. Time for a nice nap.... 
As you can see, Soren has just about grown out of his BSJ. Good thing I made him a bigger one! I will have to get busy and make him one that's bigger yet. But that will be fun! 
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan, moving along.
What's on my iPad: Just downloaded Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz from Audible. Hope to start it soon!
What's on my Wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pidgeon." It's spinning up nicely. I'm on the second bobbin.
What's in my wine glass: Foxhorn Merlot. In the big bottle. Nice choice if you don't mind having the same thing two evenings in a row. I never mind, as long as the wine is this good.
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, August 20, 2012

High Fiber—Life Gets Peachy.

This week brought another trip to Colorado, which meant...more knitting time!
I had volunteered to drive, but we had plenty of other volunteers, so I got to be a passenger, allowing me to finish 1.5" on the body of my Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan. Will I have it done in time to wear this winter?
There were four of us ladies in the car. We stayed in Palisade, CO, with a local lady. Here's the lovely Victorian house she lives in:
With five ladies and a couple of bottles of wine, it was like a slumber party! Palisade is a lovely old small town near Grand Junction. Walking around town was fun. We found this old church, which is still in use:
We were there during the Peach Festival. We missed the parade on Saturday, but were able to hit the Farmer's Market on Sunday morning. I bought some of these:
When we were about to leave to return home, DH called and told us about this fire near Park City across the Jordanelle Reservoir:
It started on Saturday. We haven't heard what caused it yet. It's a long way from our house, fortunately (about 10 miles), but close to DBIL's new home. He's out of town, but a friend is monitoring the situation for him. Onslow is boarded at a doggie kennel. We decided to drive back through Salt Lake, which avoided the area.
After I got home, I went on Facebook to see what was up with family. I found these photos of the DGSs. Here's Zachary, wearing the Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) I made just for him:
As you can see, he won't be wearing it much longer! However, the BSJs I made for Daphne were all in unisex colors, and a couple of them should be large enough for him for a while yet.
Soren is also growing like a weed. He's already editing music! (Actually, I assume the headphones are to protect his ears during a concert. Good idea!)
As I mentioned last week, we're changing a full bath and a 3/4 master bath into a small powder room and a nice-size master bath on our main level. The master is the only bedroom on the main floor, so the tub is unnecessary. They are both original from the '70s, lacking charm and totally beaten up. The Formica countertops have discolorations in them and the mirrors are pitted, making me wonder if someone played with a BB gun in there. There's a lot of wasted space and things that don't function.

The master shower is the size of a phone booth. You bang your head trying to pick up the soap! The new bathrooms should be very nice, though.

Another issue with the master bath is, you have to go through the closet to get to it. There isn't enough room for doors to cover the clothes, so it's a little like pawing your way through the wardrobe to get to Narnia. We're going to enlarge one side, put in two poles, so two layers of clothes can be hung in it, and then install sliding doors to hide the clothes and keep them free of dust. The other side will be made smaller and filled with cabinets and drawers for storage. It should look more like walking down a hall to get to the bathroom.

I'll let you know how it goes. Photos coming next week.

What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan, my style.
What's on my iPad: Still The Political Brain by Drew Westen from Audible. I'm hoping I'll have more time to listen this week. Life has been busy!
What's my app of the week: Flipboard kept me in touch with the world over the weekend, at least when I had Internet.
What's in my wine glass: Rivarey Crianza 2009 Tempranillo from Rioja. One I've never tried before.
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, August 13, 2012

High Fiber—Of Mice and Mitts

The Ravellenic Games are over, along with the London Olympics. (Do I need permission to mention the "Games?" If so, I ask for forgiveness.)

In spite of being incredibly busy with other things and sick for one day last week, I managed to finish three pairs of fingerless mitts for Mitts of Steal. I used the Midnight Sky Mitts pattern by Becky Bair, which I have memorized. It calls for two strands of sport-weight yarn, but one strand of worsted works great. It makes a great project for taking in the car or knitting while watching the Olympics. (Oops! Mentioned the "Games" again! Sorry!)
I missed Vintage Stitchers this week because I came down with a 24-hr. bug on Wednesday. It was over quickly, but I was still sick Thursday morning. I'll spare you my symptoms, other than to say it involved a fever, exhaustion and many trips to the bathroom. My friend Ellen told me that her grandson and all his friends have had it recently. Lucky me!
The upshot is, having missed my quilting group, I have no quilting photos to show off. My only quilting news is, I spent half a day on Friday cleaning my fiber studio. It will take several more days, according to estimations, before it will be tidy enough to take a photo, but I have more fabric and yarn than I can ever use, and I still lust after more. What can I say? It's my drug of choice. At least it's high-fiber.
I try to keep my needles and stash out of sight if anyone comes to visit. To say nothing about keeping it free of dust, moths and...mice.
Every summer since our dear-departed feline, Kasih, retired from mousing, we have had a few of the little beasties move in and plan on staying all winter. We can't use poison because of the pups and are reluctant to use spring-traps. (Guess we're too kind-hearted.) We use live traps instead.
I must add here that we have had wily mice escape from the live traps, taking the bait, usually dry dog food. It helps if you weight the trap down with something heavy. (One time I moved the fridge out to clean behind it and found a nice row of kibble lined up there next to the wall.)
We catch two or three mice each night and deport them (they won't self-deport, for some reason) to rural areas far from other houses. They are field mice, after all; they belong out in the fields. We wait until we are sure they have raised their families in the spring. Yes, DH and I are soft touches. 
Sunny, however, is not. I don't know whether she studied under Kasih, when she was with us, or if she just comes by it naturally. The first time she caught a mouse we had to pry her mouth open. It was already dead, so we gave it a suitable burial. However, that experience taught Sunny that mice were not to eat. It didn't teach her not to catch and kill them, however. Every once in a while we find one lying belly-up on the floor.
By the time the weather turns cold, we are always mouse-free. Looks like this year will be no exception, and maybe sooner, with Sunny's help.
With no quilts to look at, the quilters will have to be content with baby photos. this first one has a treat for the knitters: DGS2 Soren in a sleep sack knitted by Mommy:

All together now..."Awwwwww!"
Someone on Facebook asked if DDIL2 made this, and DS2 said, "She made both of them!" Hee-hee! That's my boy!
Zachary has learned to sit, and Daphne is enjoying growing up with her little brother:

We're wondering if his eyes will stay that blue. It's genetically possible.
Oh, look! A quilt! That's the "Floral Bouquet" quilt I made for DD and DSIL. I'm glad the kids are enjoying it! We got a quilt in after all!
One thing that has kept me busy this week is the planning for our bathroom remodel. We had to postpone it last year because the value of our house had sunk below what we needed to get in a refinance. With the economy in our area improving, our house is back up in value, while interest rates are still lower than in a long time. So we refinanced, and DH is now starting the demo (demolition, not demonstration). We have hired the contractor who did our wonderful kitchen to do the bathrooms, changing one full bath off the main hall and one tiny master bath, with its phone-booth shower, into one powder room off the main hall and one very nice-sized master bath. We have to "unload" both bathrooms and our closets next week, and then we will have to move our bed against the outer wall and move into the guest room downstairs. It will be mostly done before the kids come for Christmas, with only the wall of cabinets left to do in January or February.
I should explain that going into the master bath is currently like going to Narnia: You have to go through open closets with racks of clothes, coats, etc., on each side, to get there. We're adjusting the walls to make one deep closet with two rods, suitable for all but very long clothes, enclosed with nice-looking doors, and the other side shallower, filled with cabinets and drawers. We're hoping that this will give the impression of going down a short hall to get to the master bath, rather than pawing your way through a "wardrobe." We'll make up for it by having another closet in the new master bath, with—wait for it—a LAUNDRY CHUTE in the floor! It helps that our bathroom remodel will be directly over the laundry room. Oh, and did I mention the heat tiles? Stay tuned. I will take photos and document our progress!
What's on my needles: Back to Dogwood Blossoms until I figure out which Christmas project to work on first. This is my totally gratuitous project, yummy and for me!
What's on my iPad: Still Drew Westen's The Political Brain. Very interesting and enlightening. (Just downloaded Dean Koontz's Odd Appocolypse, though. Just published. Looking forward to it!)
What's my app of the week: I've mentioned Zinio before, but I'm loving the new "Knitter's" magazine on it, especially after putting away all my paper copies of magazines in my fiber studio, not easy, I can tell you! I just got my latest issue of "Vegetarian Times," too. Beautiful on my Original iPad!
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw Shiraz 2010 (Two-buck or Three-buck Chuck, depending on whether you buy it in CA or elsewhere) picked up in Oregon at Trader Joe's. One of our favorites. Wish we could buy it in the SLC Trader Joe's when it opens, but they won't be allowed to sell liquor.
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, August 6, 2012

High Fiber--Out of Town, Out of This World

Common Threads met at Ellen's last week. Janet showed off her finished quilt top to commemorate her wedding anniversary:

A new participant, Margareth, brought some of the towels she has been weaving. Some of the designs are woven in, and some are done with cross stitch. They will be Christmas presents.

I returned yesterday afternoon from a trip to Colorado to help register voters. I got some knitting done on the way there and back. I took my Mitts of Steal project and more yarn. Here's the finished burgundy pair:

They should be big enough to fit a man. I started two more pairs, but stopped with the thumb set-up for each one. I thought it would be easier to talk with my traveling companions if I was just knitting the part I had memorized.
After I get the second pastel multi mitt to that point, I will make all four thumbs.
For the blue multi pair I used two different colors of waste yarn for the thumb set-up. You can really tell where it is on the mitt on the left because the waste yarn is contrasting. I've decided to use contrasting yarn from now on.

For those of you who enjoy seeing photos of grandchildren, here's a new one of Soren, who is now one month old. They grow up so fast!

The pups missed me. Rocky jumped up and down when he saw me return, and I was licked and nibbled by Sunny.
It was great to watch Curiosity land on Mars! Go, NASA!
What's on my needles: Mitts of Steal, pair 3.
What's on my iPad: The Political Brain by Drew Westen.
What's my app of the week: NASA. Congrats, Curiosity!
What's in my wine glass: Panilonco Merlot Malbec 2011.
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.