09 August 2009

A Weird Few Weeks

Dear Mandella,

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride, and not exactly the fun kind. There were a few upsets at my job -- nothing earth-shattering (I'm mindful that I'm lucky to have one in this economy) but my DH and I have had to make a few more cut-backs, and I've not been terribly happy about that. There might be an opportunity on the horizon for me to improve my position, but it would be risky because the position might be funded for only 1 year if that and then there's no guarantee I'd be able to go back to my old job. *sigh* This has been tough.

In other news, I finally got all of the wallpaper scraped off in the small bedroom. I'd done quite a bit of it last weekend but had to take a break in order to preserve my arms and shoulders. I had about 3 - 4 hours left of work and I finished it last night. Here's my tips on wallpaper removal: Don't rent a steamer; use a regular iron and a wet cloth. With a steamer you have to constantly make sure that there is water in the reservoir and you have to unplug it and let it cool down before you move it. With a regular iron (not on the steam setting) and a wet cloth, the iron stays plugged in wherever you need it (I rested my on a wooden board which absorbed the heat) and you just take your cloth and a pail of water around the room. The cloth was soaked in water and the excess wrung out, then the cloth was applied to the wall with the hot iron: steam!!! Plus, when I'd steamed a section of the wall I there was still heat and steam in the cloth so I held it against small and/or sensitive places (such as the tiny space beside the window frame or near an electrical outlet) while I scraped the stuff I'd just steamed. The commercial solvents available are pretty much useless. Steam and a scraper are the most effective. Oh, and I used heavy-duty rubber gloves so that I didn't burn my hands.

In knitting news, I'm making steady progress with the color-on-color scarf. The garter intarsia sections are coming along much better than I had anticipated. I notice that the sections become larger and longer as I go along, so it's slower now. I've been making some lovely I-cord on one of the ends. I do love making the I-cord.

Also in knitting news, I've been working on a pair of socks for a university-bound nephew. I'm knitting them on US 2 or US 3 (I can't remember which, obviously, and they're not at hand to measure) with Lisa Souza's superwash sport merino in the Mars Quake colorway. On my computer screen that one looks like it's deep violet and gold and such. It's more like rust and brown and gold, so it's more ... manly, I guess. The trouble is that I had ordered this same colorway in the same weight of yarn at two different times, and each time when I wound the skein I ended up doing it in two balls. Thus, one sock was all finished and then about Thursday this week I discovered that the second sock (about 3" along) was from a different dye lot because over all it was darker. Well, I'm happy to be able to report that I found the second ball of yarn from the original colorway and I'm about 2" along. I've cast on 64 sts, but the larger needles (and slightly thicker yarn) mean that it will fit this boy's larger leg and foot. I'm using a garter rib along with a regular 2 x 2 rib. I'll post the pattern as soon as I can nail down the particulars of needle size and gauge.

I'm hoping my DH will arise soon from his bed. Today we'll purchase some Spackle to fill in the few holes in the wall as well as a few odd places where I managed to scrape off some paint as well as the wallpaper. We're going to hang the pictures in there first, then take a digital image of them so that we know the placements, and then fill all of the holes in preparation for painting next weekend. I think we'll also get some test samples of paint. This small bedroom will be my DH's study/den. We'll paint the walls white because he has a lot of Central & South American art to go in there that is very colorful, but my DH wants some bright yellow accents. I'll post photos when it's all done.

Hoping you're well. You haven't posted on your blog for a while, so I'm wondering what's going on.



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