Sunday, April 22, 2007

The GP Bark Park

Since I'm getting no knitting done, my knitting blog has turned into a regular blog.

baby girl at the bark park

Today I took Baby Girl to the Grand Prairie Bark Park. It's an off-leash dog park that opened yesterday. At least officially opened yesterday. This is a picture of her playing with a new friend. Sunny is 5-months-old and, if it's possible, had more energy than she did.

It is so nice to have a social animal after years of my two completely anti-social cats. BG thinks everyone loves her and usually they do. She ran and ran and just had the best time playing with the other dogs.

The park is very nice. There's gravel and grass. They have water fountains for people and pooches. And shaded benches for the parents. Thankfully they separate the big dogs from the little dogs. There were some really big dogs on the other side of the fence. And they were really playing.

We stayed for about an hour. I will definitely take her back.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

About Ready to Get On With Life

boxes of flooring

I'm about ready to get on with life. Work hopefully won't be so crazy and come Monday they are going to start laying our wood floors - out of the boxes and onto the floor. This is what our house has looked like for the last week. There's another section of boxes of floors behind where I'm standing, but I think you get the picture.

I'm excited to have found all the beads I need for the beaded linen shawl. It may be time to start stringing the beads. I have another trip coming up to Minneapolis. If I haven't by then finished up the second mad cow sock, then I definitely will on that trip. Then I can move on to some lace. Or at least a sock that's a little more of a challenge.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We Bought the Flooring

Marshall and I were able to decide on a flooring. I got real wood and he got rustic and it's in our budget. We still haven't found anyone to put it down for us. We've considered doing it ourselves. However, we figured we are going to live here a long time so we should make sure we love it. And if we mess it up, who do we call to come fix it? This is the kind you either glue down or it's nailed down. Not really the kind of project you want to cut your teeth on.

Our neighbor across the street owns a construction company and he has a "flooring guy." He's going to have him give us an estimate. Here's hoping we're still friends after the transaction. Whatever extent that may be.

Right now the living room is littered with wood "getting acclimated." 40 boxes of wood flooring. If things were bad last week with bare concrete, it's really bad now with a jungle laying on the floor. I'll post a picture later. It's too dark right now.

I need to keep things in perspective. Compared to two months in the Budget Suites this is a walk in the park (or forest.) It can't go on forever. And I do feel better now that we have the flooring purchased. That was a big hurdle.

I was a big crank yesterday. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to stay home, I didn't want to go shopping. I didn't want to get out of bed, but I didn't want to stay in bed. The list of things I didn't want to do just went on and on.

But I needed some black capris, no I really had to have them for a work thing. So I had to go shopping. Something that should have made the day even better was a $100 gift card from Nordstroms. And...a Nordstrom's Rack. After I went to the big store and bought the pants I had to have, I went to "the Rack" and spent the balance of the card. I bought a pair of black capris, some pajama bottoms and a pair of black sandals for $101.61. This should have made me feel good, but I didn't want to be happy.

I'm happy with my purchases today though. I have a feeling I'm going to be pretty cute at work tomorrow. I'm really glad yesterday is over.

Work has blown pretty bad for the last couple of weeks, but I found out Thursday that I was promoted to director. Pretty exciting news. Not that that solves any of the crap, but like the floors and Budget Suites, it can't go on forever. And it kind of makes it worth it to know you are appreciated.

Yeah, I'm feeling much better today. PTL.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We Almost Got Wood Floors

But as for now all we have is exposed concrete.

The long story:

We moved into this house in August and we love it. We've been fortunate not to have to deal with real issues. We did resurface the pool and put in new windows, but overall when we flip the switch, or turn the knob stuff works.

There are lots of nice details that Linda put in that I would have never spent money on like the chandalier in the dining room. It's very sparkly and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Several of the windows have wooden shutters on them and now I "have" to make the rest of the house match. Love the shutters, would probably never have done it on my own. She also put tile in the formal living area and the formal dining area and she has re-done the cabinets. They are white, which I love. At the same time, the carpet in the living room and bed rooms is a bit of a mess.

two kinds of carpet

This section of carpet is in the living room under the window. See the bleached out section and then the section across the top that is just an entirely different kind of carpet. I was afraid there was water damage from the window, but she assured me no. Since we replaced the windows and there was not water damage and since that's Baby Girls favorite pee spot, I figure the owners before Linda must have had a dog. When she replaced that section of carpet, they didn't put a pad down so BGs pee soaked through to the concrete. We are having fun with that.

hallway carpet

Baby Girl and the cats added the stains to the carpet in the hallway, and check out those wrinkles. We had those in the living room as well. I guess the carpet just wasn't laid very well. And I guess Linda lived with it for 6 years. She spent her money on pretty shutters and chandaliers and lived with the yucky carpet.

We decided to get wood floors. We had a company come out and give us as estimate. They said they could lay real wood floors (that's the subfloor, the wood, the sanding and the finishing) for about $7/square ft. Now I've dreamed of wood floots for a long time and I should have known that price was too good to be true. We sent an installation date of 4/9. Knowing that BG had pee'd in a corner (although at that point I didn't know how bad it was) I 'd left a message and sent an email asking if sealing the concrete was part of the estimate. I didn't hear back. I didn't think much of it and we proceeded on Saturday to pull up the carpet.

ripping up old carpet

Oh it was stinky. That darn BG had made a mess of it.

just concrete

Within a couple of hours we were to bare concrete in the living room and the hall. This is what the house looks like right now. The boys ran off to go play and I went to Home Depot to check out stain options that would match the tile in the living room. When I got home, CD called. There was a mistake with the estimate. The guy at the supply house had mis-estimated by half. So the cost was going to double. As I was looking across my barren living room, I couldn't say anything. You know how you usually say, "That's OK." I couldn't even begin to form those words on my lips. Because it wasn't OK. She said they'd been looking for something that would work in our budget and she gave me an item number and said it was available at Home Depot.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that this is why she hadn't called me back or answered my emails. She had a problem and wanted to figure out what to do before she called me. But...couldn't she have at least let me know not to pull up the carpet.

Well, I'm not that keen on what she found. So I'm on the hunt for the right wood floor to fit in our budget. Marshall is being good. We've decided not to rush into anything. We want to make sure we both love what we put down. That's good.

In the meantime, we are looking forward to a tad warmer weather. The bare concrete is chilly on the toes. We are looking for a new resource to lay the floor. And we are living in the formal living room with no TV.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

I can't believe how cold it is this Easter morning. Life has been so hectic it never occurred to me to buy an Easter dress, so I will be wearing pants to church this morning as a result of the cold. I guess in this case this works out in my favor.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

It's Been a Busy Day

Mostly it was busy because we were ripping up carpet so we can put down wood floors, but that story is for another day.

it's snowing 002

First, it's the day before Easter and it was snowing this morning in TX. It's kind of hard to tell, but it's there.

It's snowing 001

Those white streaks are flakes.

boys clogs

Next, I felted the boys clogs (finally because it got cold again and we have exposed concrete in the living room and hall.) I really like how the colors turned out. We were so busy I didn't do a lot of checking and D's (the green pair) for whatever reason felted more than J's. The same yarn, the same size, the same wash cycle. Just different colors.

It wasn't until I pulled them out of the wash that I realized I dropped stitch on the cuff of the blue clogs. So there is an interesting vented design element on the right blue clog. I'm not sure what I will do to fix it or even if I will worry about it.

baby girl in bed

Here's Baby Girl in the cat's bed. I think they've decided she can have it.

beads for shawl

I got a bargin on these beads at a Hancock Fabric store that's going out of business. There are three different selections here. On the left is what I would call silver lined root beer. On the right is a silver lined medium topaz. The middle box is a mix of the root beer, black and light topaz.

I have two tubes of beads that sort of go. Most of them are matte, pearle or iridiscent. I have seven boxes of the boxed beads and only two tubes of the others. But I can always add to the matte collection when Hobby Lobby has a sale. This is all to go on my linen beaded scarf. I'm very excited.

Friday, April 06, 2007

This is Only a Test

golfclub cover test

Apparently Jan Craig has been knitting golfclub covers since the 60's. And I guess they are still popular with all the major golfers. I decided to give the headcovers a try. The SOWs pointed out that they are basically just socks with no heels. That should be easy enough.

There are several patterns available, but alot of them don't have pictures. So I decided to make a sock without a heel and see what I could come up with on my own. I did this in two evenings. A total of about 4 hours knitting, which I didn't think was too bad. This is not however the full size, this was only a test. The leg of the sock has to be much longer.

This is a prototype. I was testing several different things. First, I tested it "toe up", The goal - to ensure I have enough yarn or even better to make sure I use up all the yarn so I don't end up with stash. Learning - my increases look a little too much like the real toe of a sock. Not exactly the look I'm going for. I need to flatten that out.

I also tested out the size of the stripes and the spacing between the stripes. I like the 3 row stripe. And I like two rows between stripes rather than three. There are three rows between the top and the middle and 2 rows between the middle and the bottom.

I was also playing with options for the ribbing. There's a 2x2 rib. Those never really seem to work for me. They don't pull in like I think they should. I'll probably do what I do on my socks, a 4x2 rib. The other rib was a spiraling 4x2. What's interesting about that is the purls pop out instead of pulling in. I like the pattern, but it doesn't pull in the way I want it to.

A friend of a friend has a Jan Craig cover so the friend is going to bring one so I can see it. I think the genius of her covers is the pom pon. Why grown men want head covers with pom pons in beyond me, but that's what struck the person that brought them up to me. I'm interested to see what weight of yarn she uses. I used worsted weight and as I said it knit up pretty fast. However, most of the patterns I've seen call for sport weight yarn. So I'm curious. I tested worsted weight because I plenty of stash in the weight.

The other interesting thing is the headcovers are wool. Don't they know that (1) you can't machine wash those and (2) when they get wet they smell like wet dog. That's going to make your car smell good when you get caught in a rain shower or in the sprinkler on the golf course. But I would much rather knit in wool than acrylic anyway, so I'm happy.