Thursday, September 27, 2007

1 Down, 1 To Go

I finished my first Monkey Sock last night. It turned out great. I am knitting it out of Panda Cotton by Crystal Palace. I had not used this yarn before and wanted to try it. I love the feel of it. It is heavier/thicker than I imagined, but that just means toasty feet. :o) The only thing I didn't like about it was that it doesn't have a real tight twist and tends to split alot, which made the SSK a real pain, but it is beautiful. I'm not going to give a finished picture yet, not until I get both done. I have sock #2 started. AND I have all my Monkey goodies bought.

I still have to buy the sock yarn and Cookie A pattern though. I was trying to wait for the new LYS, The Red Purl to open up, and buy from them. I just called and she is open starting today. She will actually be open until 9pm tonight, so I'm planning to stop on my way home. Can't wait to check out what she has in stock. Curious, Curious, Curious.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lawn Mower Blues

Well, when I went home last night I decided that I absolutely must, no more procrastinating, mow my lawn . I probably haven't mowed it in a month. I know what your thinking: Slacker. And you would be right. Mowing the law is my least favorite household chore. Well 2nd, because I hate weedeating more. It is the one thing that I miss about renting an apartment. I didn't have to do yard work then, but I do like the privacy now. Anyway, long story short, the lawnmower would not start. So I hooked it up to the battery charger and let it set for 1/2 hour. That's usually all it takes, but even after a full hour it would not start. So I get on the phone to my handy dandy Dad and tell him with the added comment that it won't even turn over. Dad thinks the started has gone bad. Actually his words were "You probably burnt the starter when you connected the battery backwards." Yes I admit it, I hooked up the battery backwards. I didn't even think about it. I just pulled the old one out and set the new one in with the logo facing forward just like the one I took out. Well, because it was manufactured by a different vendor, the posts were on the wrong sides. I tried to start it several times that way and that's when Dad thinks I damaged the starter, because it hasn't acted right since. Well, all I can say is that I'm pretty sure that was a blond day so there!!

When Dad comes over on Friday to show me how to mud drywall, we will look at the mower. Hopefully we can get a new part. Although from looking at that thing I don't know how easy it will be to get the old starter off. Why would they put the starter on the bottom!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

I've Picked Out Colors!

Ok, the mudding isn't done yet, but it never hurts to be prepared right? I've had this idea for a while that I wanted to paint the sewing room Purple. Yes, I said purple. I love the color, so I might as well be happy in my sewing room.

So I stopped at Lowes last night to look at trim and paint chips. And I found 3 shades of purple and 1 of green that I want to use. Then I went on line to see if I could find the colors so I could post to by Blog for everyone to see. I wanted to share my joy. And they had this really neat interactive paint program. You select a room from several pictures (I think you might be able to upload one too , but don't quote me on that). Then you choose your colors and they will change on the walls/trim/curtain/bedspread. It was too cool!! So the wall color I chose was Lovely Lilac, with a cream trim called Lunar Tide (in the picture below, it shows up on the bedspread). Then I can add accents (currents, wall hangings, etc.) in the other colors, which are Thistle (Med Dark Purple), Sumptuous Purple (the curtains in the picture below), Lunar Glow (light green table in the picture below) and Iced Violet (pale purple).

In my current sewing room, I have an Armoire/TV Hutch that I think I want to try painting. It is a pressed wood piece, but I found on the internet where if you ruff sand and use a bonding primer, it will paint up just fine. I'm thinking of the either Thistle or Sumptuous Purple for that.

I'm so excited and really can't wait to get started. I put in a call to my Friends Dad to see if he would be available to help with the mudding next Friday, but I haven't heard back yet. It's only been about an hour since I left the message, so I'm not worried yet. :o) I am going to go to a surplus place near my parents house tomorrow to see about trim and Linoleum. Menards has it on sale this week, and I will stop by there tonight to see what they have. Lowe's didn't have ANY linoleum that I like. It was all brown, bricky looking or looked like a rock floor. I would love to carpet the whole room, but with it being the basement and hearing horror stories from others about pipes breaking and all that jazz, I think I want to go with linoleum and throw rugs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Saga of the Asymmetrical Shrug - Possible Solutions

Well, I talked to the Bella Vita Gals last night about my Evening Star Shrug. I found out something interesting that I didn't know. The right sleeve of the was knit flat, then you seam it up to form the arm tube. With the left sleeve however you pick up stitches and knit in the round. Elizabeth told me last night that most peoples tension is different when they knit in the round than when they knit flat. That does explain why the right side seems more loose and airy. They suggestion was thrown out that since it is an Asymmetrical Shrug that I leave the sleeves the way they are an no one would know the difference. It IS supposed to be asymmetrical right?? But after talking to everyone last night, I think I will just take out the Bindoff (CAREFULLY) and add some more rows until the two match in length.

Although I really like the explanation given by my Secret Monkey Pal: "...My secret theory is that someone breaks into my house in the night, while I'm sleeping, and knits a few extra rows on whatever I'm knitting. Sometimes he takes a couple of rows out, just to mess with my head. I didn't realize he had a regular route, somehow I thought it was just me." I guess you can't call him a knitting fairy or elf, because they are supposed to help you finish stuff like knit your socks, block the shawl, cobble the shoes, fold the laundry, or even mud the drywall. But since this obviously didn't happen, I must have been visited by Stripe the Gremlin.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Saga of the Asymetrical Shrug - Continued

Back in August, I was explaining about the Evening Star shrug that I am making. Well, I finished the knitting on Sunday when I was at work. I was very careful to make sure I had the same number of rows on each sleeve. But they are still not the same length!?!?!? The left one is MUCH shorter. What do I do? The shrug is made out of Acrylic, so I don't know if there is anything I can do. I guess maybe the first sleeve stretched while I was knitting. I don't know. It is looser too, so I must have started knitting tighter when I started knitting it again in August. I just don't know what to do. I think this is why I like knitting socks so much. I am terrible at sewing clothes too! Do you think if I wash it, it will spring back to where it should be? It's probably at least 4-5 inches too short. I thought about taking out the bindoff and adding a couple more inches, but what happens then if that side stretches. It could potentially end up at my knees. Is there anyway to shorten the first sleeve without ripping our the whole sweater? I cast on at the cuff of the right sleeve.

Any ideas will be much appreciated. I forgot to bring it with me today or I would be taking it to Bella Vita tonight to see what the other knit gals think. I will at least bring it up tonight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Basement Revealed

Here's a peek at what I have planned for my basement. I was looking for some old files and found this. I put this together 2+ years ago when my brother and I were getting ready to put up the walls. The storage room is pretty much done and I am currently working on the sewing room now. The future half bath will be out there while. The other side with remain open. I will just finish/insulate the outer walls and put up a ceiling. Then it can be used as a "family room" or whatever

Oodles & Oodles of Pictures

As promised in several earlier posts, I have pictures to show. The first ones are of the toddler quilts I gave to Lucas and Ethan (My BF Debby's sons). Lucas was very excited about his quilt and ran through it yelling 'MINE'. His is made from a very colorful fish fabric with neon yellows and greens. Ethan's was made with a fabric that had all kinds of animals in pairs, like Noahs Arc, but there was no Noah and No Arc. Just animals 2 by 2.

Also, here is a picture of Summer, Lucas, Ethan and Angelica at my Mom's on Labor Day. It was kind of cute, because this tree and swing are out in the middle of my parents 3 acre backyard and all the kids just migrated out there.

And here are my two housemates. The needy and very talkative Java on my bed cuddling with my fleece blanket that I had to drag out of the closet to combat those 38 degree nights that we have been having lately.

And here is shy scaridy cat Jasmine, quietly sitting on the sofa. At the first noise, she will be transformed into a bullet and disappear into the bedroom.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Drywall is up!!!!!!

Well, just to let everyone know, the Drywall is up. It went up with a bit of a fight, but after several days battle, my Dad and I prevailed!!. I forgot how hard it is to put up drywall. When we drywalled the storage room, I had found some pre-wallpapered Drywall and we put it up with a glue type caulking and tack nailed it in. It's the kind they use in Mobile homes and doublewides. But for the storage room, it was just fine. I did try to get some more to use for the sewing room because I didn't want to deal with the taping and mudding, but the surplus place I had previously purchased from, decided to get out of the surplus business and go into the auction business. So if I wanted to buy a whole "lot" of it, I could. But since I only need about 18 sheets and not a "lot" of 50, I decided for the more traditional style drywall.

We got 2.5 walls done on Thursday, with some grouching from my Dad that the walls my brother and I put up weren't square. For example: One end of the room is 11.5 feet wide and the other end is 12 feet wide :o) But since the room is 15 feet long, it isn't noticable. In my defense, when my Brother came to put up the walls, I had my square all ready. But he said we didn't need a square and when I started to ask to many questions about how to do this and why we do that I was told "I'm here to put up walls, not answer your questions. Questions take too much time, so let's get to work." Since he had worked construction for quite a few years in the modular home industry I figured he knew what he was doing and shut up. {{Big Brothers always get the blame}} There was really only one thing that had to be fixed before we could put up some drywall and that was the wall that contained the cutout for the closet doors; the 2 sides of the closet an inch off, so that the doors would not have hung square. Dad fixed that on Friday, while I through up some more insulation. By Friday night, we only had 1.5 pieces to go up plus a smaller filler piece. After Dad left, I swept up and while I was standing there I thought "Hey, I can put up the smaller piece by myself". So I did and went on to put up the half piece too. When Dad got there on Saturday, he was really surprised and happy too. By this time we were both really really tired of Drywall.

If anyone out there is going to be doing a lot of drywalling, I suggest you invest in a Drywall Screw Gun. The screws come in pre-loaded strips of about 20, which are inserted into the gun. It automatically advances to the next screw when you are done. AND it a preset depth for countersinking the screw into the drywall without going through it. It was GREAT!! I don't think we would have gotten as much done without it. Here is a link for the screw gun, so you can see what I'm talking about. It is not the exact one my Dad has but you get the picture.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Working Vacation

I will have the next 2 days off from work. But I will still be working. In fact, I will be doing more work the next 2-3 days than I do most weeks. That's because my Dad and I will be putting up drywall in the basement. YEAH!!! I have been waiting for a long time to get this done. When I bought my house (6.5 years ago), it had an unfinished basement.

About 2 years ago my brother and I sectioned off half of the basement with walls to create 2 rooms; one for storage and one for my sewing room(14ft x 11ft). Then my Dad, his friend Ray and I drywalled the storage room last year. Things aren't completed in there, but I got the closet organizer done and the store room is pretty full. Still need to finish the trim and a drop ceiling, but I'm waiting on the ceiling to do it all at one time. Then there was a delay getting the drywall purchased for the sewing room. I have had to do this a little at a time as money and my Dad's health has allowed. So for the next 3 days, I will be working on Drywall. I don't look forward to the mudding and sanding, but the father of one of my friends is going to come and help with that. He was a professional Drywall Finisher, before he had an accident and lost one leg. He gets around very well on his new prosthetic and offered to help if we needed. And since I know NOTHING about drywall except hanging, I took him up on his offer.

I will take more photos this weekend to let everyone know how things are going.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monkey Swap Progress

So here is the progress on my first sock. I have a total of 3 repeats completed. It is moving along very well. The label is a bit blurry, but I am using Panda Cotton by Crystal Palace it is a mix of Cotton, Bamboo, and Elastic Nylon. It feels real nice. The color scheme, which is Picnic (pink, purple, lime and really light orange), is a bit more vibrant than what you see in the picture. I really like the way this is turning out and will have to get some more of this to make myself a pair. I can't wait to get them done, so I can send them off to my Monkey Pal. I already have one of her gifts and have plans for several more. You know how it is when your looking for 'just' the right thing. Still looking, but I have ideas.

PS: I took the picture using the Polaroid Digital camera that my friend Vicki from Simply Knits gave me. The battery door is broke, so she bought a new one and I got this one for the economical price of 1 heart-shaped quilted wallhanging. Anyway, it's great to use for taking pictures of my WIP or UFO's to put on the blog because I just have to plug it into the wall socket and I can take photos. I tried Duct Tape to keep the door shut, but it stretches and so didn't work. Now I am trying reinforced packaging tape. At work, they call it glass tape. It has the strings into, so it has to be cut instead of torn. So far it is holding and not stretching. Will see how it goes. Thank you Vicki!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Monkey Pal's

Yippee! I not only got my Monkey Pal, I have been contacted by my Monkey Pal. When I first signed up, I wasn't quite sure how this worked. I thought I would be paired up with someone and we would make each other a pair of socks. After swapping emails with the person I am making the Monkey socks for, I now know that it doesn't. I make socks for someone, and she makes socks for someone else and someone else makes socks for me. Kind of a neat concept. That way, I get to meet 2 new people.

Now that I know what pal likes, I can go home and search my stash. If I don't find just the thing, I will start browsing the web. Can't wait to get started!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day Cookout

The cookout at my Mom's on Labor Day was lots of fun. It was hot and muggy, but we still had fun. Once you got out into the yard under the shade trees and away from the house, which was blocking the breeze, it was fine. But the real reason I had more fun at this party than at others was because of the number of kids. We had 10 kids under the age of 10, with at least 7 of them being under the age of 5. They were so much fun. My BF Debby was there with her DH and 5 kids (Zach, Kiersten, Stephanie, Lucas & Ethan). My cousin Michelle was there with her 2 kids (Angelica and Summer) , my cousin Kylee was there with her 3 kids (Mike, Mikayla, and Harley), and Luci was there with her DH and 2 kids (Alex and Celestina). It was so cute, Lucas (3) and Angelica (4) who had never met before were walking around holding hands. Angelica kept saying "he's my friend". It was adorable.

I hadn't realized how long it was since I had seen Debby and the kids, until I realized that I needed to bring their 2006 Christmas presents to the party with me. I know: Bad Sandy, Bad Sandy. So I guess I can also admit that I just gave the boys their baby quilts that I made them. My normal deadline is to have their quilts to them by their 1st birthday. So I was 2 years overdue for Lucas, but only 1 year for Ethan. Ethan wasn't too impressed with his, he's only 2 and was more interested in the Hotwheels I got him for Christmas. But Lucas really liked his quilt. Now he doesn't have to sleep under Steph's baby quilt which is pink and white. Just so you know, I make all the baby quilts oversized, so they can be used for much longer.

I took pictures with the camera I borrowed from my Dad, but I didn't think to get the downloading software, so I will have to post the pictures later.

PS: I still have 1 baby quilt at home to be delivered. I have the binding cut, just not sewed on. It is for Landon, my other BF's (McKelle) son.

Monkey Swap

I joined the Monkey Swap, but am getting a bit of a late start due to my SPAM folder. I never even thought to check it, after I sent an email to get signed up for the Monkey Swap. I just assumed that if I sent an email to the Moderator, Rebecca, that my email would accept one back from her. And we all knows what happens when you 'assume' anything right. So, this whole time I have been wondering about a response, when I actually had it. Well chalk up another one to Operator Error.

The basics:
Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep? I think I am more of a beginner than intermediate. I have only completed 2 pairs of socks and am working on my 3rd pair now. I have caught the sock addiction though. And I try to pick the next pair a little harder than the last, so I can learn something new. I already have a couple more pairs planned. I have not done any cabling or Toe-up socks yet, but would like to do both.

The measurements:
Shoe Size: 8 1/2
Foot circumference: 8" at the ball of my foot, but 9 ½” at the ankle

Foot length: 9"

Yarn Preferences:
What colors do you love? Mostly bright colors or jewel tone. I love blue, purple, green and pink especially.

Do you prefer solids or variegated? I’ve only every knitted variegated socks, but I have seen intricate patterns that I like that I think would be better with a solid to show off the pattern.

Do you prefer wool, cotton or acrylic yarn? Wool or Cotton. I use some acrylic, but wouldn’t want that for socks.

What colors would you never wear? I don’t really like dark “muddy” colors (brown, black, grey) or white/cream.

What are your favorite brands of yarn? I don't really have a favorite brand. I’ve been trying different ones.

Are there any new brands you would like to try? I'd love to try Koigu or Lorna's Laces. But really, I’m not picky.

Cookie A. Patterns:
Which of her patterns have you already knit? None, but Pomatomus is on my list of "Must Do's"

Which pattern(s) would you like to knit and don’t already own? Flicker, Mona, Thelonious, or Twisted Flower

Other pertinent information:
Would you be willing to have an international Monkey Pal or do you prefer one in the US? Either would be fine, but I would be interested in an international one if possible.

Do you have any allergies? Not that I know of, although I can't stand the smell of smoke.

Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? No smoke, but I do have 2 cats.

Are you on Ravelry yet? If you don’t mind having new friends, what is your Ravelry name? Not on it yet. I am signed up, but haven’t received an invitation yet.