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Archive for the ‘Irritations’ Category

Momentary progress and a new snag

Friday, July 26th, 2013

The new dining room carpet went in last week. The installers arrived 1 1/2 hours early, which meant we were finished that much earlier. When Dave came home, we shifted furniture back into the dining room. Oh, the space! Just the dining room set, the china and curio cabinets, and some plants. In other words, it actually looked like a dining room and not a disaster area. Then we started unpacking the contents of the curio cabinet and bringing the china back down for the china cabinet.

It was during that transfer process that I realized the upstairs thermostat was making a clicking sound, and the temperature reading was higher than the thermostat setting. Time to call the ac people again, about the new just-installed-last-month thermostat.

They were out on Thursday, reworking some of the installation settings, and headed out again. Three hours later, when I was back upstairs, I realized I was hearing the same clicking sound, and once again, the temperature wasn’t right.

Friday afternoon he pulled the entire unit off the wall and re-installed, per the manufacturer’s instructions. Three hours later, there were still no clicking sounds, but the upstairs temperature hadn’t budged down from 86 degrees.

As of now, we’re still on hold waiting for a new replacement thermostat to come in from the manufacturer’s. I hope it comes in this afternoon, as I really don’t want to go another weekend without any ac upstairs, but at this point I’m not holding my breath.

In the meantime, progress on putting the sewing room back together has stalled out, since the boys are currently sleeping in there. All of the boxes that were in storage for the last round of work in the sewing room came back home, as we had given our move out notice. Since the sewing room isn’t available, everything is stacked in the dining room once again.

On the plus side, last Friday we thoroughly cleaned the aquarium, which was decommissioned over a year ago in advance of the new floor tile installation, and set it back up in the house over the weekend. No fish yet, but we had already decided not to get the actual fish until a couple of other household commitments were finished.

We also picked out a new kitchen light over the weekend (which wasn’t in stock, of course.) It’s here now and installing that will probably be a project for this weekend. After nearly a year, we also selected new lights for the boys’ bathroom. Those are also not in stock, but we haven’t ordered them yet. We’re still trying to finalize the decision on updated lights for the downstairs bathroom so we can order all of those at the same time.

Painting-yes, Carpet-no

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The paint crew is here working on the kitchen even as I write this. It’s looking very nice but I’m not certain if it will be finished today or not. We’ll just see.

The carpet installation, which was scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed yet again, as they still do not have it in stock from the mill. I believe they next projected possible date is going to be mid-August. I’m trying to decide whether or not to check out options at another carpet place (we looked at four different places and both agreed that what we chose was the only thing close to what we wanted) or just settle down to having things on hold again.

In the meantime, I may see if I can get someone out to at least re-tack down the carpet in the sewing room so I can start putting at least one area back together!

Progress…and not so much progress

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

The prep work for the church’s first ever craft show is going well. We are basically at our pre-set limit of 50 booths, give or take a couple. It was interesting to see what sorts of vendors we did/didn’t actually have apply to the show.

In the meantime, the work on the boys’ bathroom is essentially complete. The one item that’s left is replacing the light fixtures in the bath, but we’re doing it ourselves so there’s a little less pressure timewise on that aspect. We’re still attempting to find the fixtures we want. In the meantime, the work grew from just replacing the bathroom floor to replacing the floor, removing all the wallpaper, retexturing the walls, painting the bathroom, two bedrooms, and down the hallway upstairs.

All of that additional work required pulling all the toys/clothes/stuff off the furniture and either jamming it in the closets or stuffing it in boxes. The boxes are currently residing on the floor in the living room downstairs, in our bedroom, and out in the garage. The extra furniture is still sitting in the walk up portion of the attic upstairs.

I’m personally counting it as a victory that the nine foot long pinewood derby track case was finally removed from the floor in the dining room where it’s been sitting for the past three years. The track is is its new slightly shorter, slightly lighter (but still heavy) eight foot long case, which was taken to the Cub Scout Pack storage unit after the district pinewood derby last weekend.

Next on the agenda(s) are making and painting plywood signs for the craft show to put in people’s yards for advertising, moving the furniture back out of the attic, unpacking all the boxes of boys toys and books, and making paint/floor/tile selections for the downstairs bathroom, which is currently next on the repair list.

Rebuilding

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

We’ve been undergoing massive house repairs for the past nearly two months, with more still to come. At the moment, the first round of interior work is done, and the next round (probably next month) will be exterior. The next round of interior work will probably be based mostly upstairs and I don’t expect that to start until the end of summer at best.

In the meantime, the first round of foundation work and subsequent plumbing repairs involved jackhammering holes in both of my main work areas….sewing room and dining room, which is where my cutting table is set up. A hole in the sewing room, one in the hallway directly in front of the sewing room, the front foyer, two in the dining room, and one in the aisle separating the kitchen and family eating area. Initially the foundation company said they were going through the hallway rather than the rooms so we shouldn’t have to worry about moving things out of the way. Of course, the morning they were supposed to start going through the slab they decided they’d be going through the rooms after all, which left Dave to try to get all the china out of the china cabinet with 30 minutes notice, and I shoved everything slightly portable out of the sewing room once I got back home later that morning. Sewing stuff is currently stacked in the living room and garage, while the yarn went upstairs in the boys’ toyroom. We were finally able to get the carpet back down about a week ago, and managed to get the furniture shifted in the sewing room Thursday morning (because we had company sleeping there Thursday night.)

I’m planning to take slight advantage of the fact that I don’t have stuff piled everywhere in the sewing room (yet) to get a couple of projects finished. I need to block a sweater before I can seam it together, and I actually have space on the bed at this point to do it. I hope to get to that one morning this week while the boys are at flag football camp.

Lots going on here

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Very little on the sewing/knitting front, but we’re finally underway on a number of needed house repairs and other projects.

Since my last post:
1. Went from working 2 1/2 days a week to basically full time from early March through the end of April. Two different speech paths covering three different schools were out on maternity leave and I was filling in with all the testing, ARD meetings, and report writing. The extra work is contract based on the hours worked to the point that my “contract” pay for April (when I was working extra for the entire month) actually topped my regular base pay.

2. Found a foundation company who was willing to tackle the necessary interior piers recommended by the structural engineer’s report that the previous foundation company requested. Once the first company saw the report, they “declined to do the work.” Our new company has done the interior piers and is re-doing the exterior piers now so that hopefully we’ll finally be structurally sound once this is done.

3. Went through a hailstorm that is going to require replacement of the roof. Shingles are ordered, we’re tentatively on the work schedule for mid-June. They’re waiting for the foundation work to be finished before starting the roof.

4. Two of the vehicles were outside during the storm and suffered damage. Those have both been repaired already.

5. Discovered that there was a bee’s nest in the siding of the house as part of the foundation repairs. The bees have mostly been dealt with, but the same company that’s going to be doing the roof is coming back out on Monday to give us an estimate on replacing the siding on the house. That’s been on the to do list as well, but it’s become more of a priority and probably needs to be done prior to/in conjunction with the roof replacement.

6. Holding pattern on replacing the flooring in the boys’ bathroom. We’re going to put down ceramic tile there and we’re waiting until both the foundation and roof repairs are done to start that.

7. All sewing/most knitting has come to a screeching halt. Interior foundation work called for 6 interior piers to be drilled. The company initially said that they were going to go through the floor in the hallway so we woudn’t need to pull things out of the sewing room and dining room. Of course, the day they were supposed to start jackhammering, they made the decision to go through the floors on the other side of the walls instead. This means that 90% of the fabrics in the sewing room were unceremoniously hauled out into the garage with about a half hour’s notice. I shoved the yarn up in the boys’ toy room instead so it wouldn’t be exposed to the dust in the garage. The remaining items, including the bed, dresser, and sewing cabinet have been shoved to one side of the room and the carpet has been pulled up and pushed against the furniture. Ditto with the dining room work area. We opted to have the company NOT fill in the holes with concrete initially. Instead, we’re going to wait on that until the exterior jacking is done in case any adjustments need to be made.

8. Exterior jacking is currently scheduled for Monday/Tuesday. Plumbers are scheduled to come out Wednesday to do another plumbing test at that point. We’ve asked the foundation people to wait on actually filling in the concrete until the plumbing test is complete, with the idea that the plumbers might be able to in through already drilled holes if they do have to some repairs. After all that, we can get someone out to reset the carpet in the sewing room and the dining room and then I can get started on the hats I need to make for Cub Camp…THEN I can get started on sewing for the fall craft show season.

9. About the only thing going on regarding crafts involves the triangle loom I ordered with my birthday money. I’ve started weaving one shawl. This is definitely going to be a learning process. I started out with the lighter of the two recommended yarn weights and decided that I didn’t like how much spacing was showing up. I pulled it all out and started over with two strands of yarn instead. I’m using a variegated yarn and didn’t worry about matching the colors so this one is coming out slightly muted. I have plenty of this particular yarn, so I think if I do another one with the same yarns, I’ll make sure I start both strands at the same point in terms of color. That should give it a different look from the first one. I’m going to be interested to see how much this all pulls in on itself once I take it off the loom as well.

Another foot update

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

The latest MRI results did not show a stress fracture, only more edema of “non-specified origin”. In other words, I have a bruised, swollen foot, but they’re not sure why. The good news is I’ve been taken out of the plastic boot. The orthopedist suggested shoes with non-flexible soles….the tennis shoes with the orthotics appear to work, but he also suggested something along the lines of mules, clogs, or thick stiff soled sandals. I bought a couple of pairs of shoes on the way home, and we’ll see how they work out. At the very least, I had to buy new shoes for work, since apparently all my old dressy shoes are actually too small. I’m supposed to go back in two weeks if I’m not seeing any improvement.

Same Song, Different Verse

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

After doing all the tests back in June to discover that I had arthritis, and not a stress fracture in my foot, the next step was being fitted for orthotics. That went well, although not without its hitches….I was informed that I was currently wearing shoes that were too small, so I had to exchange my fairly new shoes for a different size. I was also told to avoid wearing the orthotics for extended periods of time initially, and then I was supposed to go back in two weeks later for another checkup.

Everything was going fairly well, although apparently my feet are structured slightly differently. In spite of the fact that the orthotics were fitted almost exactly the same, the raised prosthetic in one foot fit differently than the other, and it made walking somewhat uncomfortable at first. I knew I was going back in a couple of weeks, so I didn’t worry about it too much.

Then came Monday last week. We were having Fine Arts Week at church, and I had been drafted to help. Mindful of the strictures of how long to be on my feet, I had committed to helping out one day only. That put me on my feet for most of the entire period of 9-12:30, and then the boys and I headed out for errands, including Daniel’s annual checkup. (Another 2 1/2 inches and 9 pounds this past year.) We returned some CD’s to the store, and I had intended to run by the yarn shop on the way home. It was raining by the time we left the pediatrician’s office. That wasn’t enough to deter me from the last stop, but the traffic notice about the accident further ahead blocking three lanes of traffic did. We peeled off on another highway and headed home instead.

My feet were fairly achy by the time we got home at 3:30, and I shortly discovered the reason why. I had a bruise extending across the base of the middle three toes that looked as if I’d popped several blood vessels. There was some swelling as well. Not good obviously, but I was heading back for the second visit with the orthotist on Wednesday morning already. He took a look and told me I needed to go back and get it x-rayed again.

So, Friday was X-rays. Nothing significant showing up there, but the orthopedist said that stress fractures don’t always show up on x-rays for a couple of weeks. I’m in a plastic boot now, had another MRI done this morning, and will be heading back to get the results on Friday.

Short Lived Glory

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

After spending so long on my first socks, I wanted to be sure I got the most mileage out of their first public appearance. I wanted to be sure Dave was available to get pictures, and I wanted to be able to show them off, so I waited until the Pinewood Derby to wear them. Several friends who had seen me working on them would be in attendance and the derby workshops that had occupied Dave’s time for the past three weeks were now finished.

Dave was flying out for Atlanta later that afternoon as well, so I made certain he understood I wanted some pictures taken of the socks before he left.

So, off to the pinewood derby, complete with showing off of the socks, then home again. About an hour before Dave was supposed to leave, I reminded him about the pictures. Off came the shoes and he took some pictures (which we discovered last night were nowhere on the camera anymore, so we’re not certain where the files wound up.)

But as Dave finished up, I turned my foot to one side and noticed something on the bottom of one of the feet:

Picture of sock with hole in it

Picture of sock with hole in it

There it was…I couldn’t figure out how I’d managed to drop a stitch without noticing it. I quickly took the sock off to try to minimize the damage, and headed upstairs to get some “regular” socks on, since it was somewhat chilly in the office. On the way upstairs, I kept puzzling over how I’d managed to drop a stitch without noticing it previously. Chillingly, I remembered this incident and wondered if this was the sock in question.

I came back downstairs, and started examining the hole once more. It really didn’t look like a dropped stitch, it looked more as if the yarn had snapped. Suddenly I realized that I was looking through the hole in the bottom of the sock, and I could see clear through the front of the sock as well. There was another hole on the top, in roughly the same place:

Front to Back Holes

Front to Back Holes

I’m assuming at this point that I will have to cut the entire end of the sock off and re-knit it, but that’s definitely going to be for another day.

In the meantime, I spent nearly two years off and on working on those socks…and I was able to wear them for about 7 hours all told.

Time Out

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

The socks were finished on Tuesday, although I don’t have pictures yet. I had to take the van into the shop Thursday morning so I went stashdiving Wednesday night to figure out what project I was going to take with me. The winner was:

http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/h45.shtm

I actually had the yarn called for on hand already, so I pulled out the instructions to see if there was anything I needed to do ahead of time before Thursday morning. The first discovery was that it called for a crochet cast on, which was new for me. I did a quick search on the internet, found some instructions, and did the entire 300 stitch cast on Wednesday night. Then I confused myself as to whether or not a ROUND was the same as a ROW in the instructions. I finally decided they had to be the same based on how the instructions worked…or at least I decided that was how I was going to start it off anyway. I was good to go for Thursday.

Thursday morning at the dealership (where I expected to be until noon, and I didn’t bother to bring anything else to work on with me) started with problems almost immediately. It was a new set of circular needles, and they wanted to coil so much I was never certain that I hadn’t twisted the stitches when I did the initial join. I tried checking it a half dozen time, resorted to asking the gentleman next to me to hold one end of the needle while I attempted to straighten everything, and still wasn’t certain it was right by the time I had made the first round. I continued gamely on and started the second row.

That’s when I was informed that the van was going to be staying in the shop overnight, so they were getting me a rental car (thankfully covered under our service agreement.) This meant I had a couple of hours to run errands that I hadn’t planned on being able to do.

I headed a couple of miles down the road and made my first stop…and stayed there, because I couldn’t get the key out of the ignition. I felt rather stupid calling the rental car company five minutes after I left asking for help, but I didn’t really have another option. Forty minutes later, they finally arrived, and immediately popped the key out of the ignition. Turns out you had to push the key inward to get it turned that last little bit to disengage. In the meantime, I had managed to *almost* finish the second row…and discovered that my stitch count was apparently off by one.

I frogged the entire thing the next day.

This time I was smarter about it all. I straightened the cables before I ever started casting on. Once I had the cast on completed again, I had Dave hold one end while I straighted all the stitches before joining the round. This was much easier, as the cables weren’t coiling around themselves while I was trying to do it.

I started knitting again this morning. I got to the end of the first row, and discovered that I’d apparently joined the round much more loosely than I’d realized or intended. I convinced myself that a) it was going to tighten up as I continued with the rows, or b) I was going to be able to live with it anyway.

Five rows later, the join wasn’t tightening up, and I apparently dropped a stitch in the pattern repeat immediately before the join. I attempted lace surgery to fix the dropped the stitch. I managed to wind up with the requisite number of stitches back on the needles, sans the gaping hole from the dropped stitch, although I’m certain it’s not exactly the correct pattern through that portion.

This still left me with the even larger gap from my inadequate join. I’d been watching that gap each row, loudly telling myself I could live with it in an attempt to drown out the voice in my head that said I really couldn’t live with it.

I have finally admitted defeat. I’m not going to be happy with that gap (it’s almost as large as an entire pattern section), and the portion directly in front it probably isn’t right anyway. I even asked Dave for his opinion and he immediately commented that it wasn’t something I’d be happy with.

I’ll be frogging it all again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll work on something else for a bit.

Knitting Rules

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Rule 1: Never forget/ignore Rule 2.
Rule 2: Do not attempt to work on something that requires concentration (such as gusset decreases in socks) while also trying to watch TV or (and) visiting with friends and family.

This can result in ripping out the eight rows of gusset decreases as you try to figure out why one needle of gusset stitches has more stitches than the other, while simultaneously realizing that you actually started the pattern stitch across the top on Row 2 rather than Row 1, because you consistently view Row 2 as the start of the pattern.

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