Saturday, 19 July 2014

In praise of things.

In our current quest to Sort Out All The Things, we discovered a week or so ago that the reason the drain outside the kitchen was chronically overflowing was not a break in the pipe, or any kind of strange system whereby rocks were being pulled into the tubes, but a very hard to shift blockage.  We had some help in this realisation - the father-in-law of a friend who does general garden odd-jobbing had a look at it for us, and perservered past the point where several times in the past we thought it had been sorted.

Rods went up and down, the hose was shoved in from several directions, and maybe an hour and a half after it had first appeared to run clear, a semi-solid plug the diameter of the pipe edged its way out.  I would never have guessed that undissolved dishwasher tablets were the problem, but it seems that the powdery mass plugging the pipe was just that.  Huh.

So, you know where this is going, right?  Yep.  Today was dishwasher shopping day.  To be fair, the old one had lasted maybe 8 years, and it was some random non-brand machine which the kitchen company installed for us.  It had recently stopped washing well, and spares weren't going to be a straightforward purchase, so knowing it was causing this problem as well pushed us over the edge.

I never realised there would be such a range of decisions to be made though!  We needed a built-in model, which narrowed our selection to begin with, and we didn't want to spend in excess of £700 which took a couple of the flashier models out of the picture (though the one which projected little icons on the floor when it was washing was pretty cool) but I did want to find one with a cutlery tray rather than a big basket that takes up a wodge of space on the bottom rack . . . not slimline . . . not too concerned about running a half-load . . . auto-dirt-detector (really?  Who puts clean dishes in the dishwasher?) . . . fancy extra jets, foldable racks, adjustable-whilst-filled top basket, blue interior lights, silent-running nighttime mode, teacup shelves . . . you can imagine my spinning eyes, and the little tweeting birds circling my head.  But we managed a decision!  We've gone for a Maytag which isn't a company we were particularly aware of, but it's owned by Whirlpool, and whilst I quite liked the Whirlpool model next to it in the shop, the Maytag is virtually the same but with a cutlery tray.

So I'm just waiting for a phone call from the installation guy in Monday, and in a week or so I'll have my new machine.

Which is all great, but as with the new car and the roof repairs, more money is going out for things which won't bring me closer to getting my studio.  There are things in the pipeline though (no, not the blocked one) and I'm hoping to have better news in time for the next blog post.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Fallllink in lof again, never vanted tooo . . .

We met 2 summers ago, and you know, he wasn't what I expected.  Strong but slow, big, dependable.  Steady.  I felt like he lifted me up, and kept me safe.  I thought we would be together for the long haul, but it wasn't to be.

A month or so ago the grumbling started, and when I tried to put the brakes on a little it only got worse.  If I could have ignored the grumbling, perhaps we would have had a little longer together, but I had to find out what was wrong - he just wasn't making me feel safe anymore, so I checked . . . and things were worse than I thought.  The grumbling was just the tip of the iceberg, and underneath things had corroded beyond repair.  I guess I could have tried harder, but sometimes you've got to know when it's time to cut your losses.

I was devastated.

And then I met Holly, and she's everything The Beast was not - smaller, faster, definitely prettier, a little younger, and she just smells good, you know?  She makes me feel safe again - and I feel like I can trust her around my kids, which is always a good sign, isn't it?  We just fit, and it's easy and fun, and she's not going to cost me so much in the long run . . . and I hope it really is a long run this time, because I've fallen in love again.  What can I say?  I can't help it.

Farewell Mazda Tribute, it was good while it lasted.  Hello Citroen C3 Picasso, I can't wait to have fun with you.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Not a dress!

I wrote this blog post maybe 2 weeks ago, today is the first day I've had time to upload photos to the computer.  Apologies for the delay!

We visited with some good friends in Cornwall back at Easter of this year, and whilst there I found some Sirdar Smiley Stripes yarn in a sale bag at Cornish Market World.  There were 6 balls in a purple/pink/blue/red colourway and I decided that this was meant to be something for me to wear.  A proper garment!  Not just a scarf, mind!

After a little searching, I found Splash, a lacy swimsuit-cover-up dress.  It's designed to be knit from a slightly finer and more drapey yarn than the Smiley Stripes, and I suspected I didn't have the yardage for a full dress, but I fell for the off-the-shouldereyness and the rippley feather and fan stitch, so I thought it had to be worth a try.

It was.

As I suspected, 6 balls wasn't enough to get it past my butt, and having made the mistake often in the past, I decided to knit the large rather than the small-medium size (even though I am medium.  Definitely medium.  No sniggering!).

It's knit from the top down, and after the bulk of the yoke shaping, the yarn started to pool a little, so I added a second ball of yarn and knit alternate rows from each ball.  As you can see, it's pooled at the bottom too, but by then I was on my last ball and couldn't do anything to avoid it.  I don't think it looks too bad . . . certainly not bad enough that I'm about to rip anything out to try to fix it!

The armholes are a little gapey for my liking, probably just because of my body-shape, and the extra depth of the yoke (for the larger size) makes it feel a little restrictive around the upper arms when it falls off the shoulders, but I will forgive it these small faults!  I'm so pleased with my slinky new top!