Friday, September 30, 2005

Porch progress

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Here is today's photo of the porch progress. We are getting very excited as it gets closer to completion.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The knitty submission is giving me headaches. I need to take the neck off and redo that. Plus darn in ends and some other finishing work. Not even thinking about finishing the writing right now. And some of the numbers turned out wonky, which I think I understand. Part of me wants to bag it, but it really is pretty close. Maybe tomorrow evening I can rethink the troublesome neck and everything will work out. Today, while avoiding thinking about that project, I worked on my boring socks. Nice to have something that works out well to fall back on.

Much rearranging going on here Chez SABLE. The porch project is coming right along: the roof structure is all in place and now all the finishing details are going on. This is kind of slow work, because we didn't choose to have a bare-bones porch. This week the french door for the living room will be installed, so we had to do a little clearing to get ready for that. Of course, everything in our house is so over-capacity that it's like a complicated puzzle to move some stuff out of the living room. It may seem like the basement project and the porch project have nothing to do with one another, but they are very much connected. I needed to get all my stuff (sewing and knitting) consolidated in the terminus of the finished half of the basement so that space could be made in the bedroom we call the Toy Room for all the toys from the living room. I would like the living room to become a mostly toy-free zone, if possible. To get my stuff all in the basement, Scott had to move out all his model RR stuff and other misc. junk. I'm mostly arranged down there now. Scott has kindly built me a bookshelf so I can finish that move soon. The shelf functions as a barricade to help kid-proof my space. We also hope to move the tv down to the basement, but I think that plan is still several weeks from fruition. Today, Scott took the boys to one of their favorite train haunts, Mid-Continent Railway in North Freedom WI. That gave me a few hours to work on de-cluttering the living room a little. I wouldn't call it clean, but it's closer than it has been in months. I boxed up a lot toys I hope will not be missed and we can stick them in storage for a while. Also threw away a lot of crap. At least now the door can be installed this week and we will have direct access to the porch from the living room.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A day late...

My pirate name is:
Black Ethel Kidd
Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not my knitty submission

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From Knit King magazine, c. 1972

I debated long and hard about posting these next two images. Maybe I'll just not add captions, and people can imagine what I would have these models saying...
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What do you think these people are saying?

Still busy, but end in sight

Update on the knitty submission: I am now on the raglan area above the armpit joins and making pretty good progress. I have been having shooting pains coming from my elbow, which worries me, but nothing to do but soldier on. I live on ibuprofen anyway, so what's a few more. I'm pretty confident I can get the last stretch done and a reasonably accurate pattern written by the deadline.

The porch guys took Wed-Fri off to go to a trade convention in Chicago. The decking is mostly done and the posts are up, awaiting the beams and roof structure. Pretty exciting. The kids have been using it as a stage and putting on impromptu plays. I bought a small round wooden table at a yard sale yesterday. It's in terrible shape, but I'll paint it glossy white and it'll be fine for holding an ice tea or cup of coffee out on the porch. Some neighbors threw out a chair that will make a good porch chair. It had a padded seat and back, with exposed wood legs, arms, and frame. Kind of a "waiting room" chair. Scott's painting the wood parts glossy white (I stripped off all the upholstery a couple weekends ago) and I've got everything I need to recover the seat and back pad. It should be a rewarding project. If I keep amassing odd pieces of furniture and painting them all white, they should look like they go well enough.

Must go cook a vegetable for dinner.

Monday, September 12, 2005


I'm now on the third sleeve of the Knitty submission, deadline looming. What's that you say? Third sleeve? Well, I told you the first effort was not working out. The second attempt was a great success. Frogged the first down to the cuff and am making good progress on the reknitting. But damn, I have a thing with sleeves. They are the part of the project where I am most apt to get hung up and get a bad attitude. Only I don't have time for a bad attitude on this one. 17 days to finish the knitting, finish the writing, do the math for the other four sizes, guesstimate the yardage for the other sizes, make the schematic and graphs, block, take the photos...

So, if you all don't see a new post until Oct 1, you'll know why.

And my volunteer non-profit is having its big annual event Oct 8. And though I thought I was getting out of that commitment, they keep flattering me and making it hard to say no.

OK, nine 2.5 hour preschool sessions, less transportation time, less organizing my thoughts time, equals about 17 hours of working time, in less than 2 hour chunks, between now and Oct 1.

I'm off to sleep. Tomorrow afternoon is a preschool time. Yay!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

Designing news
Last night I realized that indeed, this is September! and the deadline for winter Knitty submissions is Oct. 1. I have a torso up to the armpits done, and had done one sleeve that was giving me pause. After sleeping on it, I knew I had to redo that sleeve. One issue is that it was too tight around. It fits on my bare arm, but this is supposed to be a winter sweater and I need ease for a turtleneck. Also, some of the patternwork was vexing me around the increases for a while. About 10 inches up, I had my "AHA!" moment and have produced a far more elegant sleeve the second time around. I'm about eight inches up the second attempt. I still need to rip out the first effort: I like to leave than until I have a better replacement in the bag. It seems less painful that way.

Last night I spent a little time on the writing up phase, too. I tend to underestimate how much time that will take since I try to include at least 5 sizes, from 36"-56", and especially if I need to write it for the lowest common denominator knitter. I read these posts in the knittyboard forum and am constantly surprised! "It says 'reverse shaping.' How do I do that?" "It says increase IN PATTERN STITCH. How do I do that?" You get the idea. If I only had to write a pattern for the quickest minds, it would be a breeze. Cast on X st. Work until the armpits. Do the sleeves, cast off some stitches for the underarm seams. Put both sleeves and the body on the long circular. Make sure you put one sleeve on EACH side of the body. Work in rounds to neck, decreasing as appropriate. Cast off. Anyhow, I'm happy to have made a start on the writing part, because it's easier to come back and do a little here and there once it is started.

Other news
Both boys will have normal school weeks this week. I'm a little anxious about Colin's reaction. I know he will settle in quickly after the first week or two, but it could be a bumpy ride until then. I still need to take care of a few back-to-school details, but most of that is DONE. Thank goodness I don't buy Back To School clothes. (Am I the world's worst mother?) That's right. I do not go out and buy a bunch of new clothes just because the calendar says Sept. Further, I wonder why everyone else does. It's the most painful time to be shopping. The stores are full of bickering parents and kids. The weather is still summertime hot, so all you need are the shorts, t shirts, and sandals you've been wearing all summer. Life is hectic enough with amassing the stuff the school requires. I do stock up on this stuff in late summer because the savings are remarkable. Spiral notebooks for a dime each, instead of $1.89, markers for $1 a box, instead of $3. But the clothes? I let that slide until it seems necessary. Anyhow, I am really looking forward to having a few afternoons of peace and solitude.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Porch design

Here's the rendering of our porch design. You can imagine how excited we are.
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Not talking about current events

I'm consciously not commenting on Hurricane Katrina, as so many others have covered that and I don't have anything to add. What words of mine can mean anything in the face of that devastation?

Owen and I spent the evening looking through some of my old (60s and 70s) knitting pattern booklets and choosing ones to scan for the EW! project. We plan to give them EW! ratings of 1 to 4 and make a little gallery. Also, of course, current and new releases are fair game. Owen has been working on a little hurling emoticon, which will function like the stars in movie ratings, only a 4-Ew rating will be one that few would ever wish to knit. Sometimes it's hard to separate the actual design from the stylistic choices involved in the photo-shoot: the props and hair styles and even the color choices of the sample sweaters. I hope to get a little gallery started over the holiday weekend.

In other news
The workers poured the concrete footings for our porch today. The work will take about 5 weeks to complete, so we should have a little porch sitting time still before the winter winds blow in.

Owen had his first day back at school and it seemed to go well. He stayed after to set up computers for the music teacher: she loves him. Colin had an open house day at his preschool. This was a little more tumultuous. Tantrum before and tantrums after. I know these teachers and I'm sure it will be fine once he gets into his routine. But neither of my guys handles big emotion very well. Neither does their dad, for that matter.

At dinner, Owen was trying to discuss something and Colin wanted the floor. Colin started screaming and did the prolonged high-pitch ear-piercing shriek. I decided to to take a walk and stalked off without saying goodbye. Just needed some time ALONE. Both boys started following me, one at a time. First I repelled Colin and about a block and a half away, Owen came scootering up. He turned out to be pretty good company after I got over being grumpy. We took a brisk half hour walk and felt better after. I should try to do that every evening while the weather is nice.

I just realized that fall knitty is about to come out, so I need to get my butt in gear for my winter submission. It's coming along pretty quickly, but the writing up is always more time consuming than I anticipate. Last week, for the hell of it, I googled "rejected by knitty" (but without the quotes). Interesting to see what came up. I shouldn't be surprised at the hard feelings, but it was pretty easy to see where several items went wrong: color choice, photo-quality, too much like somthing else. I don't know that I would handle it better, but I hope so. If I'm going to make a go of this biz, I'm going to get rejected. Better to accept it early on.