Monday, February 27, 2006

The steamer works!

The SteamFast Fabric Steamer I ordered from Amazon.com arrived about five days earlier than estimated. This is why I love Amazon.com! I can rely on them! Not like other stores whom shall remain nameless (coughcoughwalcoughcoughmart).

When the package arrived, I ripped open the package and threw the box to the cats. They approached the box with as much glee as I did the steamer. These days I see myself excelling rapidly towards an Olympic Medal in Nerdom or some sort of Award of Accomplishment, at least. I've stopped trying to pretend I'm cool. I know I'm not. I get excited about steamers with wild abandonment. (If you're still reading, you must be one of my medal competitors.)

Interestingly, there is not a dial or anything that controls the volume of steam that this little guy creates. The water is added through the top...that dial looking thing is actually a screw top lid. The steamer also comes with a detachable brush. I tested it out on several different pieces of clothing, it seems there is no shortage of wrinkled clothing in my house, and found that the brush actually helped a lot.

Without even buying it dinner, this steamer puts out like you wouldn't believe. Within minutes, my bathroom mirror was dripping water. You can see the water boiling away inside through the little "windows" on the side. About five seconds after unplugging it (again, there is not a power button, this thing is operated soley by plugging and unplugging), the steam dissipates and the water stops boiling. I didn't notice the steamer itself getting too warm or hot too handle. The only obvious hot spot was directly in the path of the steam.

I've never blocked anything using steam. In fact, the only items I've blocked were felted items. Of course, they're already wet so I just tugged them into shape and let them sit out in the sun until they dried.

Anyway, I grabbed the back panel of Yaya's sweater and started steaming one half. In my excitement, I didn't get the exact shape it's supposed to be - I was just so amazed that the steaming was actually working! As you can see, the left half is still curling in. But the right half, even if not the correct shape, now lays down calmly like a regular piece of fabric. It's going to be a lot easier to sew this together now.

The only thing I didn't like about blocking it is the ribbing lost its elasticity. But I'm assuming this will reappear when I wash it. If not, I'll have to start knitting with elastic thread in the ribbing portion. I also thought it was interesting how steaming it made the stitches sort of separate. In the photo you can see the pink color behind the steamed side shows much more...I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be or if this too will go away when washed.

One thing I noticed is you really have to be careful with water spurting out inappropriately. I'm not exactly sure how this happens, but I think the steamer occassionally spits out water if you're not handling it smoothly. See, I got some water on the left side of the panel.

I can tell this was a good purchase! I can't wait to block everything in site!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cubicle Cookies

I'm always curious to see what people collect (which for some reason struck me as similar to cookies - tidbits of info stored on your computers hard drive) to decorate their cubicles.

This morning I was talking to an engineer who was called in at 3:00AM by a client when I was suddenly distracted by the following items tacked to and leaning against his cubicle wall:

Yeah, that's right! Jamaican Cock Flavoured Soup Mix! And in case you missed it...it's "Spicy!"

Needless to say, the conversation then took on an unexpected and delightful turn away from the do-I-really-want-to-know question "why am I getting a buffer overflow warning?" No matter how appropriate you try to be, it just sounds bad when you keep talking about Cock Flavouring. Cock Flavouring! Cock Flavouring!! See how that just looks and sounds bad? Anyway...early morning humor is pretty bad. heheeeeehehehehe.

Oh, I just realized I didn't even make a joke. *sigh* Actually, great grandpa "Papa" George had a pretty funny joke about cocks he used to tell over and over and over. I guess I could share that with you. You see, there was this rooster that would crow "Gotacockfortwo, gotacockfortwo" and the hens would say "braaaaag brag braaag braaaaag!"

LOL!!!

OK I guess it's only funny if you can imagine an elderly great grandpa snickering while Grandma B rolled her eyes and swore at him with her bad Irish temper and attitude flairing intermittently, death threats ensuing. (I am not exaggerating) We all knew he did it just to make her mad so we encouraged him by laughing loudly.

Speaking of death threats, there were a lot of "accidents" between my great grandparents. For example, once Papa "accidently" ran over Grandma B with his car. OK, he didn't really run her over, I think he just knocked her down. SHEESH, symantecs! But if you ask Grandma B, he RAN HER OVER! Another time Grandma B "accidently" stuck a needle in Papa's butt cheek. One of my fondest memories of the two of them is of Grandma cornering Papa and trying to shove a sponge down his throat. No, not on accident but *ahhh* those were the good ol' days. But...I digress...

ANYWAY, the person I was talking to was quick to point out the near-by dvd was "not his." *snicker*

Yes that's right, an informative dvd about Cialis. Actually, I'm really curious. I just may have to borrow it. I want to be in on this man-talk.

On a final note, I'd like to share the message of the fortune cookie (hey, another kind of cookie that also stores tidbits of information!) which accompanied these items (I think most of us can relate):

"Avoid unchallenging occupations - they waste your talents." - Panda Express

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The post with no name


This is as far as I've gotten on the back of Yaya's baby sweater. It doesn't seem like much but when you consider I used sz 1 needles for the ribbing and size 3 for the body and am squeezing in a row here and there on my lunch break, I'm not doing bad at all.

I included a few items in the photo to gauge my progress so far. I pretty much live off of coffee and various self-packaged foods right now.

I call this "Still Life with Knit." hehe I guess I could call it "Still Life with No Life" since with this work schedule I currently have no life.

Aimee, note how the circular shapes balance each other in a non-symmetrical design and how the orange repeats as well within the circular shapes. hehehe (we always make stupid comments about art, I guess you had to be there...)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Christmas in February (two months early for Faythe)


Now that Aimee and Faythe have received their gifts, it's safe to post photos. The fabric under the stocking is what I used for the liner.

Here's Aimee's stocking. I used a white yarn that has a sparkly look that you can't see here. It looks great for snow type designs and also reflects the colors around it so it looks especially nice with the blue. I thought the snowflake would be a lot harder to make but it's not that bad at all. I definitely want to try more designs that are similar to this one.

I didn't realize there was a difference between Fair Isle and Intarsia until I started these projects. In the past I had used the words interchangeably. I was wrong! Apparently, Aimee's snowflake is Fair Isle, or stranded knitting. Faythe's is intarsia.



Faythe, your stocking was a little bit of a challenge. First, I had to squeeze your name into the pattern. Even though it's a bit tight, it's a lot better than the other options I was given. *shudder* You just don't want to know.

The colors in this photo aren't realistic at all. Father Christmas has a burgundy coat with blue bag, two toned Christmas tree, cane, gloves, etc. His beard is made from a furry yarn. Oh yeah, and the toe and heel are green. Hopefully Faythe will capture a much better photo.

From the first moment I saw this pattern, I knew I was going to make it. I was pretty sure that Faythe would appreciate the fact that it was a bit of a challenge so I decided that she was worthy of such a gift. The ladies at the yarn shop tried to steer me away from it but I'm pretty stubborn. True, it was a little more of a challenge due to my lack of knowledge with intarsia, but I didn't mind ripping it out and doing it over. I love the old fashioned look and I hope Faythe does too.

Thanks for your patience guys!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Baby got back?

Here's the beginning of the baby sweater I'm trying to work on. This is my first object that isn't worn on the head, around the neck or foot.

Of course I've already ripped out both panels and knit them again. There was something extremely wrong and I wasn't sure which panel it was, so I frogged 'em both. Then I knit them a few rows at a time so my stress knitting would be in the same areas on both.

You can see the neck forming at the top...the space down the middle is where the buttons will be eventually. The raglan sleeves are supposed to make it a more comfy fit on the shoulders.

Anyway, I'm happily working on the back right now and am hoping to have this simple cardigan done soon. After all, Jen is having her baby in about a month. Good thing this is made from a 12-month-old. That should buy me some time!

I thought this was kinda funny

I asked Apollo to make a grocery list of everything he could think of that we'd need for a week or two of survival. This is what he gave me:

Chicken, tuna, hamburger, vegetables - carrots, whatever.

That's it!! For a whole week! Note the Playstation controller and remote nearby. I'm sure if I'd asked him to make a list of electronic items we needed, the page would be full.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Chewbacca

Chewy's blog

LOL!!

Been busy!

Yep, been working long hours, etc. Good news for Faythe and Aimee. I have finally put your gifts in their boxes complete with your addresses. I'll ship them out tomorrow. Yay!

I haven't knit anything in the past week due to work. Damn this whole responsibility and job thing!

Meanwhile, after today, I'm about ready to settle down with my bowl of ice cream and some wine. I'm hoping it's not a bad combo.


And because I firmly believe nobody would visit this site if it wasn't for the photos, I'm including this one of the coast near the Cabrillo Monument in San Diego. I'm sure the area has a name. But, I've never been accused of providing a wealth of information. Anyway, it's cool how the boulders delicately balance on the edge of the cliff. Neato, Mother Nature.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yet another notch in my belt towards yarn-crack nerdom

Only I can get so excited about something like a fabric steamer. I've been wanting one for quite a while, do you realize how hard they are to find? I ended up getting one at Wal Mart of all places.

(Oh by the way, thank you "Luce," for not taking the steamer to the customer service desk like you said you would over the phone.)

Since I was feeling a little hostile after my trip to Michaels where screaming children mocked their parents and a grandma who was practically hysterical about the lack of her TLC yarn (I had a brief glimpse into my future) snapped at the manager ("Yes, I can see with my own eyes that you're out, I do not need you to tell me that."), I was pretty edgey about my steamer. Fortunately, I found it sitting by itself on a shelf near some irons. It was out of my reach (damn tall people anyway!!) but Apollo managed to grab it for me. *phew* Disaster averted.

Anyway, I now have my Conair Fabric Steamer (which looks rather alien) and I can start blocking things. I can't wait. Yes, yet another notch in my belt and one more item to help me with my obsession. Speaking of obsession, lately I've been thinking about getting furniture that will "work" with my yarn-crack. I've actually been planning out furniture in my head that I can store the yarn in! Most people pick a theme, scheme, or color. Me? I have yarn-crack and yarn-crack devises.

Peeved update: I just opened the box. Surprise! It's already been used and apparently long term!! There's a nasty lime or fungus build up inside the cannister and water stains all over the outside too! I'm pissed!

THIS JUST IN!


If you're not sitting down (as if people stand while at their computer), you might want to take a seat.

I have just completed my last two Christmas 2005 gifts! THAT'S RIGHT! I can't say what they are but I'll be sure to post photos when the recipients have seen them first. I am so proud! I decided to add a finishing touch, which was the reason their finish was delayed, but I'm so glad I did. I gues they call it "finishing touch" for a reason!

Now I can work without guilt on projects that have nothing to do with '05. Yes!!

In an effort to quel Faythe's remarks about the tardiness of these '05 presents (ok, to be fair, one of them is hers) I have posted these knit cow items."MOOOOOO" WAHA HA HA HA HAAAAHAHAAAA!

I'd like to add that I don't have anything against cows, personally, but I know that Faythe hates them with a passion. So any cow related black humor is always directed towards Faythe. hehehehe

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Wine, not whine!

I'm trying to broaden my horizons a little. Maybe become a bit more sophisticated, you could say.

So today, I bought some wine. Robert Mondavi 2003 Chardonnay, at approximately $11.00, seemed like a good place to star for someone who knows pretty much nothing about wine. The only other wine I've spent a lot of time with was Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. I first tried it in a restaurant and then became obsessed with getting my own bottle. It was hard to track down but I eventually found it at Cost Plus World Market. Today saw some at Vons. VONS!

Oh yeah, I've also had some red carbonated stuff that came out of a jug. I think it was called "Rose" something. And Boones. Is Boones a wine? LOL I'm sure this will horrify wine connoisseurs the world over but hey, it was college. (funny reviews on epinions.com here) We also ate Gummy Bears for all our meals for days at a time. *sigh* It's amazing I even graduated.

Anyway, the Robert Mondavi wasn't on the bottom row where the cheap stuff was nor was it on the top row with the expensive stuff. (I can't get expensive until I figure out exactly what kind of wine I like.) There was also a lot of it available - I figured that was a good sign.

On the label it says, "...Our Chardonnay displays crips apple, melon, tropical fruit and spice notes, with soft oak nuances from barrel aging." I'm sure this means something to someone out there, just not me. I can't taste oak, melon, spice, tropical fruit, etc. What I can taste is a light, refreshing warmth. It does have a bit of a fruity taste with *smack smack* some crisp and tart after-taste.

I like it, I'll definitely buy this again. I think it will go well with pasta or fish. Or with blogging.

PS: I wasn't carded today for my purchase. *sigh*

Saturday, February 04, 2006

GAH!!

I've been swearing a lot lately. Yes, That Customer came back. We refunded all her "accidental" and purposeful purchases and sent her packing. As soon as I saw her name, I started to cough a lot, I got a little dizzy and I felt a twitch in my eye. After she left I kept ranting. The poor New Guy didn't react to my "Are you on crack?" when he asked me a question. Sorry New Guy.

Meanwhile, I feel good that The Customer has decided that our site is 'too hard' to use. I started to feel bad that I wasn't able to provide her with "excellent customer service," but then my eye started to twitch and I forgot. Seriously....nobody has ever made me feel like this. Even ex-boyfriends!

Obviously I have some sort of mental condition.

And now, I post a picture of Simba sleeping on me in my fleece pj's...ahh, a soothing and calm memory.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

People

I know this sounds bad. But...I never realized how rude and dumb people could be. Sure, you may be thinking, "She's the one that's rude and dumb!" But...well, my faith in humanity has been shaken. I guess I lost my "I Care" vibe today.

True, people come to tech support because they have issues. So yeah, I talk to people who have issues all day long, yes this is true. Still - how can society have gotten this bad?

Please people, have some manners, read a book. Do something to better yourself.

Oh and by the way...the customer is not always right. This is a misnomer of sorts. Please don't try to use this catch phrase on me. It's a bunch of crap and we all know it.

*SIGH*

Today...today I have the customer from hell. I am not sure if I want to cry, scream or have an anxiety attack. Meanwhile, I've developed a twitch under my right eye.

Only 25 minutes until I go home.