Friday, February 01, 2008

BTW, There Was no Christmas Miracle

I tried so hard to make my sister an entrelac hat for Christmas. I bought two different yarns, tried different patterns and methods, all to no avail.

*Please excuse the blown out photos*

On the top you will see attempt number one, the over-sized jester hat. She mentioned aways back that she wanted pumpkin orange and this was the best I could find. My second attempt, below, was the yarn I originally wanted to make the hat out of, but JoAnn's was out of it for weeks. On Christmas Eve Eve I was delusionally trying to make the hat, but then decided to make Quant from this winter's Knitty.

The best I got was a stingray.

So dear older younger sister, now you know the saga of your gift. Maybe I'll finally give you one on your birthday, in July. Or you may just be getting a larger stingray.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm So Excited, and I Just Can't Hide It!

Two posts in one day. I'm a maniac. But! I finally finished Tubey! For real this time. There were two sleeve redos. One because the first time, they were ginormus and two, when I fixed them they were about four inches too short.

* I will edit with better pictures once they are taken*

Pattern: Tubey
Size: made up by doing a lot of measuring. XS maybe?
Yarn: Lion Brand Cashmere Blend in navy and Charcoals
Needles: Size 8 bamboo Circs and DPNs
Satisfaction: High
Modifications: waist shaping, sleeves

The only reason this took me so long is that I put it down to do other projects. The yarn is nice, but probably could use a good shave with one of those sweater thingies because I've manhandled it. The subtle raglan effect worked out nicely and I'm pleased with the new sleeves. Inspired by Kate at Zeitgeist, I did some deep ribbing. I think the neck line is flattering. We've had some 70 degree days so I don't know how much I'll get to wear this, but it's 57 right now, so hah Texas weather.

My only real complaint is that it pulls a little under the arms. I'm guessing it's a problem that's combination of construction, too tight seaming, and slightly small top section.

This was a great first sweater. I'm proud of my modifications, even if the waist shaping is a little wonky. I think only I will notice though. This is really the first time I've tried major mods and they have worked. I'm now a level 3 knitter!

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I Try to Take Each Day One at a Time, but Today Had Rats in it.

*Do not read this if you are disturbed buy rats, the capture of them, or poor managers*

Ok, so not today, but Saturday. My last Saturday started at 4 am with the dogs going crazy at the kitchen sink counter. There was not only a good - sized hole next to our pipe, there was also a good sized hole in our plastic dog food container lid.

*Artist sketch of the perpetrator*

So, a horrified me jumps in the car and runs to Walmart. My sleep deprived brain decided that glue traps would be the best way to solve this problem. If you've never dealt with a situation like this, glue traps are the opposite of the best solution.

I have no problem killing anything that invades my home. Would-be robbers, rapists, cockroaches and rodents take note. But, I'm against torture all around and these glue traps seem like more like torture than a quick way to dispatch the intruders.

Anyway, we set both glue traps under the sink and tried to go back to sleep. We caught a rat almost immediately. On the glue trap box, it advertises that it has Eguenol, and natural anesthetic. At 5 in the morning, in a Walmart, it made it seem like the rat would be peacefully euthanasized. In reality, you have a live rat, stuck to glue and the box gives you no advice on how to dispose of it.

I played the "you're a boy, you have to do this" card, which I normally only use when it comes to taking out the trash. So S got some long barbecue tongs and a trash bag. I hid in the bedroom with the dogs. He picked up the rat with the tongs and it screamed. Which made the dogs go crazy and me scream as well. He got it in the trash bag and threw the whole disastrous mess into the dumpster.

Now exhausted and disgusted, we tried to go back to sleep. But then we catch ANOTHER rat. Facing the prospect of dealing with the gruesome screaming, tong and trash bag routine, we decide to let stay stuck in the cabinet, go to sleep for a bit and then go to the office to see if they could patch the hole, call an exterminator, and remove the rat. Besides, S threw away the tongs with the first rat.

After a bit of fitful sleep we head to the management off prepared for battle. (Back story: We have had a horrible time getting anything fixed. it took them 3 weeks to get us a mail key. When our fridge went out, they told us to buy a cooler and some ice.) We walk in with our rat-chewed tupperware as proof. Some other people are there talking to the manager and the other office girl asks how can she help us? We announce that we have a rat problem and we need someone to come take care of it.

The manager immediately starts in on us, telling us if we had a house we would have to deal with this anyway, he accused us of being dirty, and accused us of waiting until a Saturday to report it, since it was inconvenient and "impossible" for them to get a maintenance or pest control person to work on the weekend. (All while about 10 workers are busy painting the buildings various hideous colors of squash)

Then he threatened to evict us. Apparently, we "disrupted business" by telling them we had rats with other people in the office and WE didn't handle the situation correctly.

Finally, after a lot of back and forth, we give up on the condition that they will come patch the hole on Monday and send pest control on Tuesday, since that is their regularly scheduled day. The manager made it clear that while we thought having rats in our apartment was a huge problem, it was neither an emergency or a priority to them and we just need to deal with it.

When we returned home to deal with the rat still under our sink, the dogs had managed to get into the cabinet and take care of it for us. Gag.

Today is Wednesday, and the pest control guy just left. I've had to call daily to make this happen at all.

So now we have ramped up our plan to get a house sooner than later and get out of this slum. We don't quite have a down payment together, so I'm thinking of renting a rat suit, standing on the median of the street that runs in front of the complex, and holding a sign that says "Trying to get out of this rat-infested slum. Anything helps, God Bless".

I'll show you "disrupted business".

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