Thursday, February 26, 2009

I just want one peaceful night

The last couple days, I have good intentions of a happy, chatty blogpost. But by the time I get on the computer, the evening has gone downhill and I just can't be bothered.

DD seems to be reaching the end of her patience with Daddy's absence - another endless bedtime ending in tears. Need to go shopping, but when? Such a pain to go after work, pushes dinner too late, risk of preschool breakdown. Will do it tomorrow; we'll go out to dinner, then the grocery store. If I'm smart I'll write a list.

Then today, a letter from my credit card - they are raising my rate from 9.9% to 17.9%. Ummm, why? "Due to extraordinary changes in the economic environment, we're reviewing our existing credit card accounts" (makes sense. Dump the bad customers. Okay, I'm with you.) "Having considered these economic conditions, your account's current purchase rate (9.9%), and the length of time you have had this rate and account (over 10 years, if I remember correctly), we will be increasing [all your rates]" Huh? I've never had a late payment, and pay in full always. Maybe once a year, I let a couple hundred slide over to the next month, then pay it all in full, plus extra so I don't have rolling finance fees. So the best I can figure is I'm not creating enough revenue for them, so they better raise my rates. Or maybe I'll just cancel your card, idiots.

What a hassle.

Breathe in breathe out. Think calming thoughts. Fiber

With the spinning I was doing this week, I had a flash of insight. Ravelry! I could use advanced search to find out what other people do small amounts of handspun. I knew I had ~230 yds of the Watercolors merino I spun up in 2007, enough for a nice scarf. Search scarf, handspun.....voila! Morning Surf scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. Perfect!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hey - where's the...sump pump?

Oops! He did it again! No, not recorded bad pop songs.

DH left again for Singapore on Friday morning. Saturday morning I wake up to...nope, not more snow. The ear-splitting shriek of the sump pump alarm. I ran down to the basement and try to make the noise go away by treating the first (and most usual) cause of said alarm - the high water level meter. This is a simple two electrode chip that, when both electrodes get wet (from say, the water level in the sump well threatening to overflow), causes a really loud alarm to sound. No good. Electrodes dry, noise still there. It's the other alarm, attached to the backup pump. We installed a backup pump that runs off a deep cycle marine battery. It provides a day's worth of intermittent pumping in the event of a) power failure to the house or b) failure of the main pump. Since we have electricity today, it couldn't be (a). I could probably fix this problem if I could just focus on it and the electrical cords and battery and stuff, but with the noise, I can't THINK! I tried to unplug a few things, but no good.

Finally, I shut the door to the sump room and go upstairs, shutting the door behind me.

I take Audrey to dance and start chatting with one of the other parents there. I tell her how my morning is go far and ask if they (she and her DH are both there) know a good handyman. Her DH raises his hand. Really? He hands me a business card. Yup. He's a professional, insured handyman. His part time job when he isn't working his day job. Is 8 a.m. tomorrow too early in the morning for him to come over? No problem! Heck, I'll even have coffee ready.

So, two hours and $300 later, I have a brand new sump pump installed. The alarm is still going off though - says the battery is discharged (to be expected), but charging. He says if it's still not charged by Monday morning, I need a new one.

Monday night - $150 later at Lowe's and I've got a new battery and 6 qts. of sulfuric acid.

Ahhhh, home ownership. Love it. Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Keeping myself sane - well, yarn of course!
The Braided Pullover? Frogged. I just liked it less and less each time I tried it on (sans sleeves). It just looked so big and sloppy. Next up with the purple Ultra Alpaca? Well, cables, duh. And long sleeves. But I'm going for a more fitted look - 0" ease and some nice side shaping. Here's the back completed on the Dovetail Pullover by Kathy Zimmerman.

Dovetail pullover

After finishing the back, I got the yarn for Audrey's hat and scarf (the pink was backordered). Yeah, it's a little late in the year to be starting winter wear, but I'm sure she'll pick a coat in either pink or purple next year too. It's my first experiment in double-knitting. Cool technique! This is the ultimate in reversible patterning.
Snowflake hat and scarf

So what now? I've still got the front and two sleeves left on the pullover. I've also got the new Spring Interweave Knits. Hmmm....tempting. Should I just launch into a warm weather knit, knowing that I won't be able to wear the Dovetail this winter anyhow? Or should I finish the Dovetail now, while I'm still enthusiatic about it? I've also got the yarn and pattern for Eastlake, and I've got a bunch of stranded mittens and things queued up in Rav. The double knitting, while a little tedious (K1, p1. Repeat until your hands fall off), was a great practice in managing two strands of yarn simultaeously. I held both strands in my left hand, and ultimately felt it easier than one in each hand, as I did for my Northern Lights mitts.

Tonight I think though, I'll just do a little spinning and let me hands rest.