What I Didn’t Know…

I’m sitting here shaking my head and laughing. I just read a workout article Sparkpeople sent out today, and it told me that swimming is an excellent workout, especially for the lower back. That part I believe. What really made me laugh is that it also said that another good thing about swimming is that it requires no special equipment, so you can do it anywhere.

And here I always used a pool and wore a swimsuit. Silly me! 😉

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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No Requiem for the Beast!

I said yesterday that it’s been an eventful week, and yes, getting two great new looms would qualify a week as eventful, but that’s not the whole of it. Working toward another of my 2011 goals, though I’d have done this goal or not, I have another wonderful, new treasure in my life – the first thing I bought with my Christmas money. Are you sitting down?

If I’d bought only one item this year with Christmas dollars, it would have been…

Yes – a new toilet!!! And after battling to get a plumber here to install it, firing the first and hiring a second, it was finally installed yesterday. I’m SOOOOOO happy! This toilet actually does what a toilet is supposed to do – flushes and takes what is in it away when it does! 😀 I bought a Toto Dartmouth, which flushes with less than 1.5 gallons of water, has a higher rim height, which means it’s easier on my long legs and bad knees, and is styled in the way I want for my future fantasy bathroom remodel. (Think I could use a new floor for starters?) I also opted for the Sanigloss finish and the Toto soft close seat. The seat is actually the only thing I don’t particularly like. The soft close feature is nice, but the seat itself is sort of funnel shaped, sloping down into the bowl from the high outer edge, and I don’t find that to be especially comfortable. I’m also used to being able to sit on the closed lid, and this isn’t as solid as the wood I’m used to having. Toto has a wooden soft close seat, but it cost half again as much as I paid for the toilet, which I found for the best price online at http://www.nationalbuildersupply.com. BTW, my purchase arrived very promptly and extremely well packed, and the service rep I spoke with was friendly and well informed. I’m definitely planning to deal with them again.

Do I feel any remorse in seeing this go?

Not a single tear shed! This Eljer has been hateful from the moment it was installed. It could barely swallow paper on a good day, and non-liquid flushes have required 3.2 gallons of water from the tank, and auxiliary bucket, perfect timing, and a bit of luck. To say I’m currently fascinated to have a toilet that works perfectly every time and with virtually no water is an understatement. Quality of life just went up dramatically here! Am I weird for loving my new toilet???

And in case you are keeping score, yes, I got a Dorothy loom and a Toto toilet this week. Gotta wonder what’s next… and I’m hoping there isn’t a wicked witch involved!

A Riddle

Okay, so what has 5 reeds,

6 treadles,

8 harnesses,

a zillion heddles,

and no floor space???

How many of you guessed me? Yeh, I know… Wasn’t too much of a stretch, was it? 😉 Let’s just say I’ve had a very eventful week, and part of the eventfulness involved not one, but TWO looms. Having wanted something beyond a rigid heddle loom for years (which I just found out during the last couple weeks is a tool I’ve apparently grossly underestimated), I’d actually relegated that dream to totally fantasy. After all, how long can you wish for something before the thought of having it becomes more fairy tale than possibility? But reality happened for me, and when it did, it happened in mind boggling proportions…

A few weeks back, one of the women on a fiber groups I enjoy on Yahoo posted that she had a LeClerc Dorothy table loom and folding table for sale. Wow! A 4-harness loom at a price I could handle – and with Christmas money in my pocket! No, I simply couldn’t resist. 🙂 I fired a check off to her and settled in to wait impatiently for my new toy. Noodling around online looking for info, one evening I found myself on Craig’s list. I got to wondering if there was any chance I could find the big triloom I’ve been wanting, but instead of that, I discovered a 36″ Harrisville Designs floor loom for sale in the next town north. Dare I? I mean, how crazy would it be to get both? I don’t have room for either at the moment, but… well… I went with a friend to look at the floor loom Wednesday, and it sort of followed me home. It was a great deal, as she sent along the warping mill, a bobbin winder, and two tubs full of warp thread, mop yarn, and fabric strips for rug weaving, too. We spent the rest of the afternoon rearranging things just so I could have it in the house, and thankfully I figured out at last how to fold it. 🙂 Of course, what I want to do is figure out how to weave on it!

Meanwhile, FedEx showed up at my door a day earlier than they’d predicted – late Wednesday afternoon while we were still untangling rag rug fabric strips – with a 41 pound package. Yes, I ended up getting both looms the same day! It’s a bit mind boggling, to be quite honest, and my choice would have been to spread out the excitement over a bit longer time. Little Dorothy folds up ever so much smaller, even with her table, and she’s going to be my first playmate for sure. I’ve got some big work to do before I can work on something as large as a floor loom, but the Dorothy sets up in a space smaller than a card table. That I should be able to manage fairly soon. She brought some lovely yarn along with her, so my biggest challenge at the moment is to arrange space and decide exactly what I want to weave. I’ve been busily ordering books and DVDs to help me get started, so I know what I’m going to be watching during knitting time this coming week.

I do wonder if I’m ever going to get my triloom. I guess it really wasn’t a good idea to buy the yarn 2 years ago for the project I designed to do on a loom I didn’t even own, but… 😉

The Year of the Cable?

I suddenly realized that I have FOUR fairly big knitting projects planned for this year that have cables as the main feature. What is happening? My first love is lace… I think! I may be so sick of cables by the end of the year that I don’t knit another one for a decade! 😉

Or… perhaps there will be a new addiction? Sigh…

Anyway, on my Goals 2011 list, I have “Knit Burridge Lake Afghan,” and when I started doing some math the other day, I realized it was an excellent idea to cast on for it right away. I want to pace it throughout the year – maybe… if I don’t totally obsess over it, which is a definite danger. It divides neatly into 4 sections – the three main panels each being one, and the two end panels and sewing up being the fourth. Currently, my “plan” is to finish one section each quarter of the year, with this being primarily a Sunday knitting project for me. With that in mind, this past weekend I cast on for Panel A, and Monday (yes, already cheating!) I finished the second of this week’s two repeats. I’m madly in love! I love the pattern; I love the yarn; I love the way it looks!

What was it I was saying about an addiction? 😉

The yarn is the Green Line Worsted (organic merino) from Lorna’s Laces that I bought last fall from Jimmy Beans. It’s incredibly soft, and people are giving me a disbelieving look when I tell them it’s 100% wool.  The photo is just the center cable with a hint of the Trinity Stitch panels. There is a Basketweave on each side of this as well, and when the piece gets big enough that I can fill the frame with the entire width of the panel, I’ll post it for the full effect.

The pattern is by Anna Dalvi, and it’s available for free HERE or on Ravelry. Anyone else up for a 2011 Burridge Challenge? This is going to be so much fun – and I’d love to have some company and see your project updates if you do!

One Down

Just a quick celebratory post. No matter what 2011 brings, one of my goals will be accomplished. 🙂 I’ve sent in the paperwork to set up an automatic investment deposit. It’s not much, mind you, as paying off debts has a higher priority for me, but I did the math and discovered that if I’d done this back when I opened the account in the first place, it would be thousands by now. Oh, the joys of procrastination. 😦 However, I don’t have a time machine, so I will just have to relish the fact that this little need that I’ve put off for over a decade took me about an hour of effort in the end. One goal down; 39 to go!

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 2:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Better Late

So the fact that I’m not even doing this until the 5th of January speaks volumes, I suppose. For that matter, I don’t think it’s going to be such a long post, either. 😉 What does one say about a goals list which, though utterly enchanting to me when I wrote it, was quickly lost in the shuffle of a year spun out of control? It’s not that I didn’t do ANYthing from my list, but most of what I did happened either in the first two months of the year or by total accident later. I do rejoice that I completed my 3 UFO’s and my socks, finally stitched the miniature sampler, learned to spin and use my CSM, published 4 knitting patterns, reached my reading goal and then some – and enjoyed my “visit someplace new” in a trip to Alaska that far exceeded all expectations. I also didn’t quite get a weekly post onto my blog, but had more than 52 total for the year, so that’s iffy territory. However, the rest of the list pretty much languished along with all the rest of my normal life in what was undoubtedly the craziest year I’ve ever survived. And that’s the keyword, too… “survived.” 🙂 And I really did survive it – 6 trips, a fall resulting in 2 months of bed rest, mostly sans computer, laptop out of commission, furnace fright now resolved with the new one having been installed last week, working with a heel-dragging window contractor, 3 immediate family members with life-threatening emergencies in the space of 2 weeks, the ongoing process of clearing out my father-in-law’s home after moving him to a retirement village… I’m way over 500 points on the Holmes & Rahe stress test for the last year, and that’s just nuts! I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to starting a new calendar as I did 2011! So no, everything didn’t just automatically go away just because it’s a new year, but there is definitely something that feels different about January 1 and starting anew. I’m still crazy busy, but the weight of 2010 seems to have lifted a bit, leaving me with occasional moments of feeling lighter. I rather like that!

I did make time during our traditional New Year’s Eve movie fest to write a new goals list for 2011. There’s a lot of it that looks terribly familiar. Even many of the goals I marked off last year have come back, as they tend to be annual goals. I organized things differently this year, choosing 4 main categories and 10 goals in each of them. You can see my 2011 goals by following the link in the sidebar here on my blog. Do I think I will accomplish them all. NO WAY! I was laughing about it with my daughter, and she commented that even if I got half of them off the list this year, I could well feel proud of my accomplishment, and she’s right in that. For the past 5 years of annual goal setting, my goals have simply been my steering committee – something to remind me of what feels important to me from a neutral perspective. My list helps me focus (when I have time) and has aided me in getting many things done that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Once in a while, they even keep me from chasing a particularly naughty rabbit that crosses my path. 😉

I encourage you to set some goals for yourself. Drop the resolution bit. That’s a recipe for failure! The first time you mess up, you’re done for the year! With goals, you can keep pressing forward and count every step of the way as being part of the success. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t make it all the way, especially if in the trying, you’ve done more than you would have if you never set some goals in the first place. Anything more than nothing is better than not trying at all! Post a comment to share your own goals!

And Happy 2011!!!

 

Published in: on January 5, 2011 at 5:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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2010 in Review

WordPress sent me this summary a little bit ago, offering to share it as a blog post. I’m rather fascinated by stats, so I enjoyed seeing it. Thought maybe I had some curious readers as well. :o) I’m really happy with how active my blog is over all, and I continue to smile, knowing I have some how-to pages that have helped a lot of people out. My fantasy for this coming year would be to post more often. It continues to bother me that when the most interesting things are happening, I also have the least amount of time to actually post. I’d also love to see more comments, but my guess is that is also rooted in my shortage of time…

**********

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 188 posts. There were 286 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 741mb. That’s about 6 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 30th with 200 views. The most popular post that day was This Feels GOOD!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were knittingpatterncentral.com, ravelry.com, mail.yahoo.com, minitreasures.pbworks.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for candle salad, salad decorations, picot bind off, candlestick salad, and bunny salad.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

This Feels GOOD! August 2010
1 comment

2

Just For You Mitts Tutorial Pattern May 2009

3

Kiddie Gourmet April 2008
2 comments

4

Picot Bind Off March 2008
1 comment

5

How to Attach a Bisque Doll Head to a Composition Body March 2008
5 comments

Published in: on January 1, 2011 at 6:53 am  Comments (2)  
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