Monday, March 31, 2008

Progress and playing

Today has actually had a few highlights/items of note......

I finished the Redwood Memories socks last night. Well, ok, fine, if you want to be picky, I finished weaving in the ends today ;-). I have not, however, taken final pictures. I'll get 'em up, really!

Today was also the day I caved and simply had to start a swatch of one of my new Colourmart yarns. That's almost done, too and once I note all my measurements I'll wash it appropriately and probably have an even harder time leaving it alone! C'mon, someone like me with a thing for textures?? And a 100% cashmere swatch? Need I say more?

Sakari finally managed to convince Keisha (the Chihuahua) that they should be friends and play. It was pretty funny to watch them together. And impressive - Sakari was amazingly gentle.

I also joined a Mystery Lace group/knit-along today. My first. I enjoy lace knitting a great deal. I have an adequate (cough, laugh - try not to fall out of your chair, Mom!) amount of lace yarn available in my stash. No need to buy or spin more for the project, only choose. I've never done one of these mystery projects. So why not? It's worth checking out - many/most of the ones I've seen the results from are quite nice. I'm going to have to go through my stash a bit and decide which yarn I want to use......although I already have some ideas about that.

If you are not familiar with the concept, a mystery knit along basically starts with telling you bare minimum details about the project like what kind and amount of yarn you need, appropriate colors (if relevant) and estimated needle size.....instructions for a sample, that sort of thing. Then, on a certain date (April 18th in this case) you get the first in a series of "clues" - aka the first portion of the pattern - and then, usually on a regular schedule, you get the rest. This one is scheduled for every Friday, running for about 6 weeks. Finishing around Memorial Day. At the end of the knit-along, the pattern will be offered for sale to the general public. The only thing you are supposed to agree to is not to violate the copyright on the pattern. So far this is a HUGE group - at least from my view! There are already nearly 900 members.

Maybe I'll finish that Aran Sweater before the Mystery Lace begins?........

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The consolidation of storage - a project of a different sort

The trouble with living in a small house and having the kind of hobbies I do? Storage. Where do I put the various and sundry stashes? Why do you have one, you ask? Ha, if you have to ask, I'm not sure you would understand. It's a "thing" hehehe. Besides, I have squirrel tendencies. It's true, I'm afraid. Fiber, food or space, it doesn't matter, I have to be well supplied. I'm more than happy to share things (at least some things!) but run out? Horrible thought. So what to do? Well, if you're me, you get storage since that's considerably easier and less costly than a new house. Great. You are tempted but refrain from investigating warehouses and aircraft hangars since those REALLY have space....and power.....and you, no, no, you don't need to go that far!

And then you tell people you have this new storage. Suddenly they have things, too and do you mind? No, of course not, I have space. Or someone dies.....and you aren't allowed to do anything with of the majority of their things (literally true here). Oops. What was true.....multiplies. Note the past tense here? Things stay crowded at home and you get another storage space so you can clean out and breathe again before you go bonkers. They're like rabbits :-). Ok, maybe not really but you're getting the idea here. I have lately had three storage spaces, two large and one small. Last fall I did some major reorganizing and cleaning up of these spaces. In part because I couldn't understand how I, having just gotten the third so I could finally PLEASE reorganize at home (it's temporary, right?), didn't seem to have much space in either storage or STILL at home. Good deal, more space again. I start to think about consolidating. (Except I still hadn't cleared things out at home!) Well it was still a good thought and one that grew. One thing led to another......and then, just a couple weeks ago, I found a storage space that is slightly larger than all three COMBINED. One location to keep up with. A single bill to pay. And it will save me money (compared to what I'm paying now). It's convenient as in close AND I can get to it 24x7. This is important. Why? Ah, it seems you may be one one of those that have no stash :-). It's important because it means when I have a brilliant, creative brainstorm at some strange, non-business hour of the day, I do not need to wait for "business hours" and therefore I have no excuse not to allow the stash to live in storage instead of in the house. This may be incomprehensible to some people. That's ok - you do your thing, I'll do mine. It's also important because it might be that I'm cleaning out a room at some other odd hour of the day and I need to add stuff to storage. Now I have a warm fuzzy because I CAN. Whether I want to or not is another matter, lol.

So.....having run the numbers and realizing this is the best option for the time being.....I rented said large storage space. The project here? To move all the contents from the other three into the one. Sorting, organizing, etc as I go. Sooner rather than later, of course, otherwise what was the point?

And there you have the history of the storage consolidation project.

The status? As of today, the first large (nearly full) space is entirely empty, swept out and done! The second large (slightly less full) space is close to 50% empty. And I still have space. I have added a couple of things from home.....and still, plenty of space. I was also rather surprised to realize that at this moment, the contents of that giant storage space are less than 50% mine. I feel considerably less guilty about having sooooo much stuff. Both remaining storage spaces still have things of mine, it's true. But they also still have things belonging to other people. Kind of interesting. I hadn't quite realized....although after the fall re-org I had been starting to suspect.

For those of you reading this that I'm storing things for....PLEASE, don't feel bad or guilty. I said yes. Most of you have asked sometime since the first yes if it was still ok. I said yes again. And today, I still say YES. It's ok, time though, I will have the sense to have YOU help me move it, hehehe.

Before the end of April, I will have consolidated all three, while organizing more as I go. I may or may not also have time to build the platform units that I want to help make better use of the space by putting the odd-shaped things like chairs, Christmas decorations, etc up high where they don't take something silly like 3 sq ft of floor x 10ft of height. That part remains to be seen. It could become the storage enhancement project?

Learning curve?

Last night I learned a few things about blogging - at least with this particular system. Like that it doesn't just notify people that there's an sends the whole text. Well......that's sort of interesting and all - maybe even supposed to be helpful but I'm not so sure, I'll have to think about that one. Not everyone would want all that extra in their mail, would they? Seems to kind of defeat the purpose in any case.....why have a blog if it's going to email it? Sure, it's a limited list but even so. And if there's a paragraph you *thought* you edited? One that definitely says things you'd just as soon fix? least it wasn't anything really horrible :-). But for the moment.....well, I think I might turn that notify "feature" off.......

Friday, March 28, 2008


Well a bit of an update......

Today was definitely a day where knitting was therapy. Good thing I have plenty of it, eh? At least I can make something and that usually helps in a variety of ways. It's productive, isn't it? Constructive? Something. Yarn I can usually manage to deal ok with....people? I guess it depends. But enough blah! on with the real stuff here :-).

Definitely not blah......I received an order in today's mail. One of THE most wonderful "presents" ever. I tried some yarns from Colourmart and this was actually a follow on order from them (after an initial "test" order). I can be awfully picky about customer service, yes, I know this. Call me crazy but I still expect it from companies I want to spend my money with :-). Colourmart exceeds every dreamed of expectation and boy do I mean exceeds. The yarn is fabulous, truly top of the line premium cashmere and silk, etc and yet at "seconds" prices. I can't even buy the unspun fiber for these prices - not premium stuff like this. And the customer service? Incomparable. Not good, well beyond great. How often these days do you get MORE than you pay for? (yes, I mean that VERY literally!) With friendly input from the owner of the business? With delivery from the UK to the states at my door in less time than it takes SOME businesses to even tell me they've shipped my order? From all I've learned so far, from reviews from others and now my own experience, this is very much the norm for this company. Refreshing, pure pleasure and yes, super smart business, as well. Because, yep, I can't WAIT to buy more from him :-).

But until then I shall be very grateful I finally DID order and thoroughly enjoy playing with the yarns I now have :-).

I've actually managed to take some project pictures although I haven't moved them to the computer yet so I'm not entirely sure how they came out. The lighting wasn't the best.....and the camera operator needs help :-). I've added a variety of links and am adding more as they occur to me. One point, if it's a business link for ordering's one I have bought from and been happy with.

I think when I add the pictures, just to start things off I'll add each of the projects with a blurb about it as it's own post. I've really liked being able to see/sort all the posts on a project on other people's blogs so I'll give it a whirl and we'll just see how it goes. And yes, I know the labels are what make that work but sometimes I've seen ones that pull up soooo much extra with the project updates it gets hard to find the actual project details. Projects are, after all, my primary focus here :-).

In the mean time, I've added progress bars on several of the things I'm currently working on. I could not honestly say that those are ALL the things I have in the unfinished/in progress pile (for those of you that know....try not laugh too hysterically, will ya, hey progress, remember?) but I've gotta start somewhere, right? And I actually AM moving these along a little more than most of the others in said pile. As of today, I've made it through row 92 on the Peacock Feathers Shawl. When I post the full details you'll understand more about why it still only says 10% completed :-). I also have made it through row 70 on my Faroese Shawl. I may well work on that one more tonight. Or maybe those socks? They, by rights, should have been done long since but.....stuff happens (Peacock Feathers?) and I have no particular deadline for those anyway.

Oh yes, an update on Sakari. My "little" girl turned 16 weeks today. As of Wednesday she weighed in at 42 lbs and counting. Pretty amazing. I think she'll keep growing like a bit of a weed here for another couple of weeks and then, perhaps, start to slow down just a bit. Good thing, eh? Feeding her might (big maybe) rival feeding my teenagers. She's pretty cuddly, too, when she's not chewing on Lump or Kaiya. Or playing in the mud, lol.

Anywho......just a bit of progress here and there. I'll count all I can ;-).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maybe I'll get this thing going at last?

Ok, so here we go......months and months ago I finally setup a blog account. Great, good, necessary to get things going here, right? Sure......but then you actually are supposed to DO something with the blog. Oh. Right.....ah, let's put that on hold, eh? Christmas projects are a priority, dogs keep needing special vet trips and work is busier than ever. I'll get to it "later." Well, it seems later has finally arrived!

I wanted to be able to have an easy way to keep in touch with my growing number of friends, family and even strangers who are curious about what sort of projects I have going on and how they are progressing. Sidebars optional, after all, it's my blog, right? Of course you should know that there are generally going to be multiple projects going on at once. And in multiple fields. What can I say? I have varied interests although a definite affinity for most things fiber!

It will take me a little more organizing - mostly taking pictures - to really get this thing rolling on what I'm actually doing and how it's coming along. But we'll start off with a picture of the latest addition to my family.....Sakari along with "big brother" Lump. Lump is my daughter's black & white Siberian Husky. He's a sweet boy.

This picture was taken 10 days ago but Sakari is now just over 15 weeks old. I need a newer picture considering how fast she grows! As of Saturday, she weighed just under 40 lbs. She's a Giant Alaskan Malamute and I've waited for her a long time :-). She takes up lots of my time these days but she's worth it.

Coming up next? Projects......probably knitting projects since I have several of those in progress but it could be the weaving ones......or household? Time will tell......but for now my lunch break's over and I need to get back to work.