Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sailing sailing over the bounding waves

Our fabulous gutter crew has been at Chez Unreserved this week. It's refreshing to look at the house and not see ragged rotted wood hanging from the eaves.
It's refreshing not to be doing the heavy lifting ourselves.
I'm doing my damnedest not to think about the heavy paying that will be going on. It's been a pricey month, but every project puts us one step closer to no more projects. In the year 2028.

I've been on a domestic kick in the kitchen. (also known as "I can't eat Mr. Unreserved's cooking one more day this month") Saturday I made double batches of both turkey and rice soup and chili. And corn bread muffins. And I attempted the "no knead" bread that the internet raves about. That recipe that supposedly a five year old could manage. And I screwed it up for the second time.
The first time, it was rising too slowly so I tried our usual bread trick of popping it in an oven that's been turned on for only a minute. Unfortunately in that minute I ducked outside to collect Claire who was tired of playing. So I burned the bread dough.
The second time, I honestly don't know what went wrong, but instead of a rounded, crispy loaf, I ended up with a shiny flat gummy amoeba.
The third time it worked. We had the bread tonight with the turkey rice soup. It wasn't bad, but I'm missing what all the fuss is about. Maybe the beer laced version is better. I find frozen bread dough just as easy (the trickiest part of bread baking to me is remembering to start it far enough in advance - thawing frozen dough vs. starting no knead dough 12-18hrs early is a wash) and just as tasty.

Yesterday I spent my day "off" shuttling Anna around, shopping fruitlessly for quilts for the girls' room, buying groceries, and making cabbage and noodles. Mmm, comfort food. I reveled in knowing I didn't have to be at work yesterday, or today if I felt like it. It turns out I felt like it. On a crappy day outside one might as well be chained to the benchtop.

I'm making slow but steady progress on Autumn Rose. Mr. Unreserved says it will be done by 2010, but he doesn't realize what great progress I've made considering it's stranded knitting. Stranded knitting that I had to start four times. And I'm still sweating the gauge. It doesn't help that I have to stop and admire the work so far and squee about the color combination every three rows.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why all things knitting should be metric

I am knitting Autumn Rose. Rather, I am attempting to knit Autumn Rose. I thought I had all the required needles - size 2 29" circulars, size 2 16" circulars, size 2 dpns, etc. The problem is, not all size 2s are created equal. Size 2s come in two sizes, 2.75mm and 3.0mm.
The pattern specifies size 3.0mm size 2s. I knit ahead heedless of the fact that my needles were 0.25mm smaller than specified. I ended up with a gauge of 36sts/4" instead of the required 30sts/4". My row gauge was 40rows/4" instead of 30. I frogged. Again.
This is not the first time this sweater has been ripped back. This is not the second time this sweater has been ripped back. The first time I joined to work in the round, I twisted it. This was my first twist, and I will have the universe know that I was careful! Honest! I checked and double checked, and the only thing I can figure is that the slippery 296 stitches worked their way around sneakily when I was checking. And that's my story for why it was twisted the second time, too. Yes, my first twist and I did it twice in a row. But the third time worked, that is until I got up to the circular patterning and realize the pattern was all messed up.
I spent Wednesday's presidential debate ripping and fixing only to find out my gauge was off.
So last night I picked up the size 3 (3.25mm) needles I have. Having discussed it with my knitting group of one (Hi Mom!), we figured that my gauge was so tight that going to 3.0mm needles probably wouldn't be enough increase anyway. So I've started again (I think this makes my 4th start) on 3.25mms. If the gauge is too big, I'll know exactly what needle size I need. I still refuse to work a swatch. I'd rather take my chances and wind up back in the frog pond.
I briefly considered putting the yarn away and starting a different sweater, but I'm determined now. I want this sweater, and I want it this winter. It will not beat me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deer trap

The hole from the original sewage clean-out is gone. I'm only slightly disappointed, as I was speculating how we could use it to trap deer.
Instead, we have the Marianas trench through our yard. And our driveway.

All the pipe has been laid and connected. Unfortunately the plumbing in the basement bathroom has been discovered to be not actual plumbing, but 3" electrical conduit. So that's going to be dug up, too. Or rather busted out of the concrete. Which will be an additional expense. I'm going to have to hock a kidney or something.

My mantra has been "God willing, we will never have to have this done ever again." Mr. Unreserved has suggested that we consider paying the gas company's $3/month gas line insurance. Not a bad idea.

It would likely be less expensive than buying that pretty blue excavator.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Friends of ours invited us to join them at Idlewild's Hallowboo on Saturday. After the week we had, we were grateful for a little escape. We all had a great time. We weren't the only ones with this great idea. Hi, Bob and Julie! The girls are rewarding us by driving us bonkers today, but now they are in bed and looking as sweet and angelic as Anna's costume. (Don't be fooled)
Our gutter guy called us back today to schedule the gutter work. I laughed bitterly. Mr. Unreserved went ahead and scheduled it. Might as well go whole hog. *sigh*

Friday, October 10, 2008

A pick-me-up

My house may be sending me to the poorhouse and/or driving me to drink, but I still have the two cutest kids ever. When they're not wrestling and squeeling like puppies in a cage death match.
Today at school Anna made a scarecrow. (Anna is the one on the right)

For extra irony, the scarecrow is wearing the overalls Anna wore two years ago for her scarecrow costume.

Claire likes pudding. Claire really likes chocolate pudding.


Good news: I found someone on Ravelry who is willing to sell or trade me a ball or two of Tidepool Heather Palette.

Bad news: It's BACKHOE SEASON again!
Remember way back to when we had backhoes digging up our front yard at the last house?
Do you know that it costs a lot of money to have the nice men bring the backhoes?
It does, boys and girls. This is why we do not have the nice backhoe men come over for fun and giggles. In this case, we have the nice backhoe men are trying to figure out the best way to completely redo our sewage pipes. Why are they redoing our sewage pipes? Because the basement is no place for sewage.

Do you know what will happen if I get one more phone call from Mr. Unreserved that starts with, "I've got bad news. . . " (which would bring the tally up to four)? I will crawl off into the corner and cry. That is what I will do.

Editing to add: Well, that's exactly what happened. Mr. Unreserved just called with the news that things are screwed up worse than we thought, and instead of costing almost one month's wages, the fix will cost two. Eating up all the money we had set aside to do the gutters and several thousand more on top of that. And I did cry. And do you know what good that did me? It screwed up my eye makeup. That's all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Whereforartthou Tidepool Heather?

It was cheesecake weekend at the Unreserved household. This is an annual October 5th tradition, that date being the anniversary of Mr. Unreserved's birth, and himself having a great fondness for cheesecake.
The verdict: pumpkin mousse cheesecake - a hit. Easy to make as well as delicious.
Fudge caramel cheesecake - also delicious, a pain in the neck to make, and even messier to cut what with the caramel and the incompletely baked brownie bottom.
Also featured this weekend - a trip to the zoo, two fall festivals, assorted shopping, Halloween decorating, and sock finishing. They fit! Finally a pair of socks I knit for the man in my life fit him instead of me!
Oof! Cheesecake caveat - the pumpkin cheesecake just featured a tiny fragment of egg shell. I attribute this to the fact that cracking eggs is the girls' favorite kitchen activity. If I crack eggs myself there are tears of jealousy. Sometimes the eggs get really extremely cracked.

So tonight after all the business and the day job and whatnot, I sat down to start on Autumn Rose. My KnitPicks order had arrived Thursday and I was looking longingly at it all weekend. Only I was missing three colors. I searched the house high and low because I have cats, and cats steal yarn. In this case they were innocent. I checked the details of the order online and learned that the automated "order the yarn for this sweater in the colorway shown" failed to include two of the colors. A third is on back order until next month. The nice woman in customer service is shipping me the other two with no additional shipping charge, and I'm debating subbing out the unavailable yarn and soldiering on. I could wait and knit any one of the other projects I have going, but the antsy three year old in me really really wants to start this sweater nooOOOooow.
Ugh. Have been hanging around preschoolers too much.

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  • I'm Sarah
  • From Pittsburgh, United States
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