it can't just be easy can it?

For St Patrick’s Day I made Irish Stew and GFCF Soda Bread.  It was yummy and I got to thinking about how I needed to start baking more, GFCF baked goods are quite pricey and not always tasty.  A quick shopping trip at Amazon and a GF baking book was winging it’s way to our home.  The next night the oven died in a arc of electric badness.  Oven . . . dead . . . shit!

A few of months ago, when we were replacing the dishwasher, we gave the replacement of the drop-in range a bit of thought and the plan, at that time, was to pull out the oven, trim the counter, cut out the filler piece under the front of the oven and slide in a freestanding range.  This morning we pulled out the drop-in and ran into a couple of problems.

DSCF4243
(range pulled out and in the middle
of the kitchen, back taken off)

DSCF4241
(Oh, look at the burned insulation!)

1) The drop in is hard-wired, a freestanding range needs an outlet. 

2) The cabinets were custom built and the bottom (shelf) of the cabinets on either side of the range runs all the way under the oven, not just the filler piece on the front of the cabinets. 

3) The cutout for the 30+ year old range is 2+ inches deeper than needed for the new drop-in ranges.

Our options:

1) A new drop in:  Replace the counter-top and install a new drop-in range.  Counter would not match the counter on the other side of the kitchen.

2) Free-standing range:  Trim laminate counter, remove cabinet trim piece from front of cabinet, hopefully be able to cut out the shelf that ran under the old range, wire an outlet for the range and slide in a freestanding range.  A lot of manual labor but least expensive, but if it didn’t work would lead to . . .

3) Free-standing range: Pull out all the bottom cabinets (and counters) on that side of the kitchen and replace them (probably with cabinets from Ikea), wire an outlet for the range and slide in a freestanding range.

4) A gas can and a match . . .

now what?

I’m between projects right now, and am not feeling inspired to start another project.

Okay, I still need to graft the underarms of the Saddle Shoulder Sweater, but, for all intents and purposes, I’m between projects.

Okay, okay, and the February Sweater is still only half finished, but I don’t want/need to work on that right now. 

No, I ripped the Flower Basket Shawl, it isn’t an WIP/UFO any more. =P

Last week I tried to knit a lace scarf. I say tried because I failed miserably. The pattern is the Trellis Scarf by Evelyn Clark from the Spring ‘06 IK. It is a lovely pattern, even with the 7 into 5 clusters, or maybe because of them. I made the mistake of trying to knit it with a hand painted yarn.  Lace = solid yarn.  I tried one yarn, then another, started the cast-on in a different place in the color pattern, changed needle size; nothing helped, it still pooled in an unappealing (to me) way. Shoot. I had imagined random pooling of purple in a sea of green, purple flowers on a vine covered trellis. Instead I ended up with zigzagging pools of purple and green. Yuck. Rip. Rip. Rip.


The picture was taken just after I had finished the edge chart.  I knit a full repeat of the body chart before deciding I didn’t like the pooling.

I think the problem is that I have to many projects I want to start, right now (in no particular order).

  • Millie (Louisa Harding Bk 5) – I had planned on knitting this sweater for Bug from some Maggie’s Merino Aran, in a lovely sky blue, from my stash, but the more I thought about it the more I figured Bug would prefer it in a more ‘girley’ color. So, I picked up some luscious pink Rowan Summer Tweed while at the LYS this week. Summer Tweed?! For a child’s sweater?!! Yes, apparently, I am crazy.
  • Skipper (Louisa Harding Bk 5) for Bubba from the Maggi’s Merino Aran I had originally planned for Millie (above).
  • Swallowtail Shawl — I want need to knit this shawl, but keep changing my mind about what yarn I want to use:  Misty Alpaca called for in the pattern, Sea Silk or something else from stash.
  • Estonian Garden Shawl — the LYS has this one knitted up in Frog Tree Alpaca Sport, it’s lovely. I have some Frog Tree in my stash, but not enough (short one skein), and I bought it long enough ago that they no longer have the same dye lots/colors in stock.  If I wnat to knit this one I’ll have to buy new yarn.  Not what I was planning.
  • Ellen’s Shawl — this is a shop pattern from my LYS, I originally bought the Sea Silk for this pattern, but now I’m not sure if I want to use the Sea Silk for the Swallowtail Shawl.
  • Socks – to much sock yarn, need to knit socks, want to knit socks.
  • Something for Dulaan — I still have quite a bit of the Dulaan Avalanche Yarn in my stash and there are a couple of patterns in The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Knits for Older Kids that I would like to try out. Dulaan knitting has become my fall-back knitting lately. Don’t know what to knit – knit for Dulaan.
  • Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark from Wild Fibers Magazine — just waiting for the charts to be published on the website.

So much yarn, so little time.

is it spring?

A week or so ago I was knitting with Amy and the conversation turned to home.  She had bought a condo and decorated it and loved how it felt like home.  My house, not so much. 

I went to the libray and picked up a few books, do you see a theme?

Hubby and I bought our house almost seven years ago, the house is small (1085sqft) but we have a large lot (½ acre) with the idea that you can always add onto the house, but you can’t add onto the lot. We spent all our money on the house and had very little nothing left to decorate it. Having been together for almost 18 years and living together (married or not) for most of that time, we rented apartments, houses, we even lived with my parents for a period of time while we were finishing school and house hunting. Our decorating style could be called . . . oh, hell, who am I kidding, what style? We have several hand-me-down pieces, and a collection of items that just don’t really go together. We also have two young children and the idea of buying new furniture makes me nervous; hand prints, spills, bodily fluids *shudder*, but I am tired of feeling like a renter in my own home. 

This spring/summer I going to construct some built-in bookshelves, a whole wall of them.  I’m painting and putting up some real art on the walls.  We are getting new curtains, the ones we have currently are horrible.  A slipcover for the loveseat and a cushion for the wicker chair.  

I have been on a cleaning and organizing kick this last week. For the last couple of years I have been yapping on about how deep our coat closet is and how we should put shelves in the back of the closet for our DVD/VHS collection. Well, I finally pulled my head out, took some measurements and headed off to the Big Box Home Improvement Center.  I had the wood cut (actually didn’t have to wait forever), came home, moved the hanging bar forward and whacked this together. (mouseover)

The next day I completely cleaned out the closet in Hubby’s and my bedroom.   Hubby is a clothes horse, and there is a lot he doesn’t wear.  There is now a large bag of clothes for the thrift shop, a couple of things to sell on e-bay and a whole lot of stuff that is just being thrown away.  I need to get some plastic shoe boxes for my side of the closet but aside from that it is completely cleaned out. 

The next thing to tackle is the under bed.  I want to get some underbed boxes and store my yarn there.  Right now the stash is in a large steamer trunk sitting in the hallway.  It’s in the way, but there is nowhere else to put the trunk, I want to empty it and get rid of it, it’s just too big for this little house. 

The biggest thing I need to do is just de-clutter.  We have boxes in the garage that have not be opened since we moved in . . . almost seven years ago!  Holey Carp!

october

October is Socktoberfest, a time for celebrating socks. I have many socks to knit for the holidays and they will be my primary focus this month. 

Last night I was working on a pair of holiday socks and Hubby started in, again, about how he would like a pair of handknit socks.  No way! After the whole hat fiasco, I think not.

WIPs/UFOs:

Other projects in the queue:

  • Holiday knitting
    socks
    socks
    socks
    Lace Leaf or Spinner’s Shawl (small)
    Shetland Triangle Shawl (small)
    Cigar
  • sew up a bag for Bug’s lunch kit
  • sew some napkins for Bug’s lunch kit
  • Baudelaire
  • RPM
  • cotton vest for Bubba
  • Trellis for Cousin’s baby, due this month
  • Cable Rib Cardigan
  • Chunky Girls Sweater – Family Circle Easy Knitting – Fall 2001 - #5  
  • Hat to match Bug’s Einstein Coat
  • Tomten for Dulaan and Zimmermania!