Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fixing a Cuddlefish (cutting in)

Okay, people. It's go time on the Cuddlefish rehabilitation project. The top two tentacles (which were the wrong sizes) have been ripped back, and 0000 needles have been slipped into the stitches above and below where we are going to make our first incision. Let us first take stock of the patient.





So now let us begin.

We have placed the needles three rows apart, so there is room for the new mantle ridge in the overall patterning. Begin by making two incisions in the middle of each row, to cut both yarns, and unravel each of the 3 rows to the ends. To make things easier on yourself, braid those loose ends.

You should now have a good-sized opening in the middle of your Cuddlefish. This is terrifying. You may wish to lay down. The wrong side of the mouth-pocket and beak are clearly visible.

This, right here where we are? This is an okay place to be. Unravelling 3 rows of fingering-weight stranded colorwork is no mean feat. Plus, it's late, and you're tired, so make a quick blog post and then go to bed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Well what do you know?

By the time I called the apartment people at exactly 8:30 this morning (got to give them some time to settle in, after all), the lock on our door was fixed. As was the window, the mold, and the leaky faucet. Plus? They cleaned our kitchen.

"Catch more flies with honey" my ass.

In other news, the Cuddlefish, after languishing in sad obscurity for months, is being revived! I wasn't really pleased with his head shaping (i.e. he has none), but one of my students pointed out that hey, I can just go in and fix the areas that bug me, then graft it together again. Damn, why didn't I think of that one sooner? At any rate, we're moving this weekend, but I'm going to try a photo-heavy post of exactly how you insert head shaping into a currently flat cuddlefish, as soon as I have the time and a nice flat surface to work on. Bwahahaha!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pretty Ticked

So, we got the keys to the new place a little over a week ago, and it was dirty, and there was no hot water, and a few things needed fixing, like for example, the back door doesn't lock. So we put in the "shit that's broke that we didn't do" form that friday, and mentioned that the back door doesn't lock, and went about our cleaning business. Come monday, we go back up to the apartment people and say, hey, the back door doesn't lock, we need to have that fixed before we can move in, and while you're at it you can clean our place as you are contractually obligated to do, and fix these other few things on this list here. And by the way, please call me when you send the maintenance person by, so I know when we can start moving things in, which we can't do with a broke-ass door.

So last tuesday (i.e. a week from when we started paying rent), they call me up and tell me they're sending maintenance over. Great! I start planning all the moving in that we're totally going to start doing - we're behind schedule by a week at this point, but with hard work we'll make it.

Then we go there after work, and nothing is fixed, and nothing is clean. The back door still does not lock.

So I call on wednesday, and am told that golly gosh, they don't know why maintenance didn't get to it that day, but they're going to send them right back out, you betcha!

Wednesday night, new home still broken and dirty.

So today I tried a slightly different tactic. I called. And I called. And I called again. Every two hours, I called to check on the status of our work order, explaining that people were coming up from Houston to help us move in, that we couldn't move in if the door doesn't lock, that we have so far lived through one week at the new place in which we paid rent and were not able to move in because of the unlocked door; and the secretary told me that yes, definitely today someone would be by, she would watch for the maintenance person, she would make sure of it. I told her I would continue to call.

So it's 4 p.m., and I make my call, and it's a different person at the desk (which happens). Now I'm told that not only did maintenance never make it to my place today, being very busy, which I can understand, but they should maybe, probably, will try to be there tomorrow. I told the secretary as calmly as I could manage that people were coming from out of town to help us move, that we HAVE to be out of our old place, that we can't move in if the place is not secure, that we are paying rent on a place we can't move in to, and summed it all up with the fact that I would be calling more tomorrow, much much more, to keep track of progress on our maintenance request, and that if it was not finished by the time we got out of work on friday we were going to lodge a complaint, because we can't move in even though we paid lots of money for the exact privilege of doing so.

I told the secretary that I was not mad at her, that I knew this is not her fault, and that I do understand that the maintenance people have a lot that they're doing, but if we can't move in by the end of the month, I'm going to expect that two weeks of rent refunded, and could she please pass that message along. Yar. I hate making people who are not at fault pass along messages like that, since they're, you know, not at fault, but I also know it's the fastest way to get the job done. I mean, if they give us even half the prorated rent back, we can afford to rent a storage thing for a month, and move all our stuff in there until the new place is ready. That would at least be something.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Progressing Nicely

So, I had told myself, at the beginning of April, that I was not going to buy either yarn or roving until the end of May. I was very good about this, and turned away from many temptations. I did pick up three small patterns (in my continuing theme of sea creatures kick ass), but otherwise I was pristine.

Then we went to Austin and visited K-the-Knitter, MissKate on Ravelry. She's working on her first lace project, and I am so happy for her! It's Wisp, from last summer's Knitty, and she's knitting it on beautiful Malabrigo laceweight.

Now, see, I have never seen Malabrigo laceweight, and only seen the worsted weight once or twice. But lo! she tells me. There's a new knitting place in austin, and we must go! And so we go. And Mr Sweetie gives me some money and tells me to have fun. And you know what? I do.

The afore-mentioned Malabrigo laceweight

Some Baby Ull, because it is the exact shade of the Malabrigo. Seriously, how often does that happen?

Some Cascade 220 Superwash, with which to make a hat

And of course, I worked on my Irish Miss scarf. For something knit on 0s, it's going pretty fast.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grar, Housecleaning

Okay, so we got the keys to the new place, and I went in to give it a good once-over. Now, we'd seen it once before already, but briefly, and I'd kinda forgotten how small some of the rooms were, but that's okay.

I had assumed, though, that the general musty-dustiness around the place was going to be, say, cleaned up before we got in. Like, the million years of dust on the light fixtures, and the mold that I specifically pointed out to the agent while we were on our tour. I get in today, though, and guess what? Not fixed.

We got permission to take down the 12 square feet of ugly-ass green wallpaper from the top of the cabinets (there is no wallpaper anywhere else in the house) and paint over that area, but when we (and by 'we' I mean Mr. Hastur, who had come by to see the new place) took down the wallpaper we discovered not only more mold, but that the wallpaper had been - get this - taped to the walls. Seriously.

So, tomorrow I'm calling in a work order. Two mold spots in two different rooms (in Texas, where mold is a Big Fucking Deal) means we aren't moving our stuff in until it's taken care of. So I'm going to ask the agents to arrange a professional carpet cleaning with Microban, and a mold investigation besides. Grah. It makes me wonder if we picked the wrong place.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


It's official - we're getting Maggie!

The current foster-mom is fine with holding her for us until the end of the month (so we can get the place and the cat settled in first), and she's also fine with letting us have playdates with Maggie, or even just taking her for the day :) I'm really excited.

We get the keys to the new place on Tuesday, and by then I should have the kitchen boxed up so we can move that in first thing. I figure our order of operations is going to be Kitchen - Bedroom - Bathroom - Living Room - Hobby Room. By starting in the kitchen we'll have the opportunity to measure the other rooms (there was no floor plan that came with the place, so we're making our own) while still making a good amount of headway. There is SO MUCH counter space at the new place, we might even be able to fit all of our appliances! Also, Mr Sweetie's sister and her husband may have found us a table and some chairs, so we might have something approaching an actual dining area soon! I'm charging up the camera batteries tonight, so I can take everyone on a proper photo-tour next week. This is so exciting.


So, I started a scarf. This, in and of itself, is not too surprising, because hey, I start a lot of things.

This scarf, however, is based off photos of Alice Starmore's Irish Moss sweater, and written using my handy-dandy Barbara Walker stitch treasuries. Seriously, a good 15 minutes of flipping pages, scribbling on graph paper, and I had me a scarf pattern.


Pattern: Irish Miss Scarf ;)
Needles: size 0 DPNs
Yarn: Handspun, 1700 ypp merino/silk "Sandstone"

This is the roving I got from Smoky Mountain Spinnery in Tennessee. I spun this as a heavy lace weight, two ply, not nearly as even as I would like but much better than I had any right to expect. I have 8 oz total, about 6 of that spun up, and 3 oz in this batch. I'm worried that I underplied the second 3oz batch, and it'll be more a really fluffy fingering weight than a heavy lace, but we'll see how it turns out after I wash and set it. If it doesn't work, hey, I'll have two scarves out of this stuff instead of one larger one (and I may have to do it that way regardless).

In animal-related news, we will not in fact be getting a corgi at this time. Mr Sweetie took me by PetCo last saturday and we both fell in love with a 5 year old beagle named Maggie. She's completely the opposite of what I had been looking for: An older dog, female, has not lived with cats, and is a beagle. And yet! We love her. She's not been cat-tested, but her current foster mom has bunnies, and Maggie is fine around them. She's also mellow enough to snuggle with us as we play WoW, and playful enough to go to the dog park. We filled out the adoption application the day we met her, and prorated the new place an extra two weeks early, in case needing to have a home now is an issue with her.

In preparation for the new dog, and because it just needed doing, Heed went to the vet today. He got his rabies and RCP vaccines, annual checkup (paying special attention to his kidneys, which are FINE now! Yay!), and while he was there, we did his dental cleaning. For this, they do bloodwork (which is how we checked the kidneys), and while he was out, it seemed like a good time to microchip him. Honestly, the needles they use for that are pretty sizable, so we were looking to do that at a time when he wouldn't be awake to feel it.

So he's been pretty pathetic since he came home. His tiny voice is all soft, like he's not sure if he wants to cry or not, but he knows he wants to do it standing next to you. His pupils are dilated and he's vaguely confused. My poor kitty is tripping balls.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Fuck?

So, as y'all are aware, I live in College Station, Texas. Tonight at around 8:30 in the evening, I got a sudden pasta craving and decided to walk to the store - it's literally just around the corner from my place, and I've walked it a thousand times in the three years I've lived at my current apartment.

So I go to the store and I get my pasta, and I'm walking home and I see this guy in his 50s walking towards me on the sidewalk. We are not 20 feet from a well-lit highly-visible intersection, so I'm not too worried, and then I see his hand is in his pocket and he's wanking it and staring right at me! He had this creepy glazed look in his eyes and was breathing through his mouth, it made him look like not all the lights were on upstairs. I tried not to look at him, but as we were passing he turned his head and just kept staring at me, and it really pissed me off. I tried to catch him on my cameraphone, but I was so angry that my hands were shaking, so I only got a blurry photo of some car lights. I decided not to follow him to get a better shot, and plan to invest in some pepper spray instead.

Fucking assholes.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Puppy Troubles

Mr. Sweetie and I are moving in about a month, and we keep getting shot down on what kind of dog we can get. First, no rental agency in town will accept staffordshire/pit bulls, dobermans, or rottweilers. Annoying, but understandable, considering the unfair rep these breeds have. This means, Kaylee's puppies are going to have to find a different home than us - I cried for days about this, since I love Kaylee, and I love pits, and you bet your ass I tried to find a place that was in our space/financial range that accepted pits, but to no avail.

So we went on to other dogs, and other breeds. As it turns out, for insurance purposes "pit bull" is defined to mean "any stocky dog with a square-ish head", cutting out most bully breeds, boxers, and a whole lot else. Son of a bitch! We had been looking at American Bulldogs on at that point, and had found a few that we wanted to meet, and there goes that idea. So, no bulls at all. Okay.

Our next idea was catahoulas. They're hounds, but still have a lot of the things that I love about pits - intelligence, eager to please, and that wonderful smile. We start looking through Petfinder again, and happen to come across some catahoula/aussie mixes - score! Mr. Sweetie loves aussies, so this was a great compromise, a dog that would appeal to both of us. (to be fair, he wanted a beagle mix, but I've had too many bad beagle experiences to feel entirely comfortable around them, which is why I jumped at the aussie mix. That mean dog that chased me every day for over a year? Beagle. Just sayin'.)

Finally, we found a place we love, love, LOVE! It's a duplex with a yard, only a tiny bit smaller than the place we have now (and we got a really awesome deal on the place we have now, so it's not like we expected to get that luck again), but they nixed (by name) most popular large dog breeds ESPECIALLY "aggressive" and "shephard" dogs. Grah! Now neither pits nor aussies! I can dig the whole "not a big duplex" thing, and the "high energy and/or giant dogs = more damage" thing, but it's damned inconvenient.

I asked if they had any other requirements we should know about. What do you know, they do! They prefer the dogs to be over 2 years old, and under 30 lbs. I'm not sure how strong this "preference" is, whether it's honestly just a preference that could be set aside for the case of a specific dog, or whether it's another ironclad rule, just worded differently. Still waiting to hear back on that, should know by tomorrow. We did put a deposit on the house, so we ARE going to be living there, whatever kind of dog we get

So, it was back to petfinder for us. This time, I'm thinking small, I'm thinking smart, I'm thinking active, and not a dachshund or chihuahua. They're great dogs I'm sure, just not my cup of tea. Hastur's dachshund is the only dachshund I have met who is a really great dog, didn't pee everywhere or hate everyone. Chihuahas, I'm always afraid I'm going to accidentally pet their buggy eyes and get eye-goo all over me and maybe hurt them. Also, no dogs that are smaller than Heed.

So I started thinking... corgi?

A friend of mine has a corgi/aussie mix, and we just love him. He's my favorite of her two dogs, even over the full aussie, so I plug it into Petfinder. And guess who I found? A corgi/catahoula mix! While catahoulas were not on the restricted breed list, they are big dogs, and this one has the short stubby body of the corgi, and the coloring and much of the face of the catahoula. Want to see her? I know that you do.

Click me!

What's great, she's in Katy, which is where my parents live, so I'd be able to go down there and pick her up and immediately show her off!

I filled out the pre-adoption thing just in case, and am waiting to hear back from the folks we're renting from. I figure a dog that will stay small, but is young, would be more acceptable than one of the larger dogs they didn't restrict who was over 2 years old. It still makes me sad that we can't get Grue-the-pit-bull, but Grue-the-corgi is still pretty awesome.