Saturday, November 26, 2011

Good Tools, Tiny Garments

I'm in the throes of a Tiny Garment Problem. This happens to me now and then, the strange compulsion to create little tiny things. It would make more sense if I happened to have a tiny person to make them for, but I don't. I tell myself that by the time I have a tiny person, I will be way too busy/tired to make Tiny Garments, so I'm really planning for the future. It's probably bullcrap, but at least I can console myself that Future Tiny Person will be fabulously dressed until they outgrow the Tiny Wardrobe. It will be a fun three months.

Anyway...lately it's been all about the tiny crochet sweaters, and I blame this crochet hook.
I bought it at an antique fair in Santa Cruz, out of a whole box full of these gorgeous polished bone hooks marked $3 each. This was the biggest of the lot - some were so tiny the hook was barely visible. It is perfect for fingering weight yarn, which I just so happen to like very much. It is so smooth and nice from so many decades of use that making things with it is a tactile pleasure. I'm on my third tiny crochet sweater of this weekend's crafting bender.

My other favorite hook is a hand-carved wooden one, very plain, but also smooth and well-worn and good for worsted weight. My grandmother picked it up in a box of things at an estate sale when I was in junior high, and gave it to me. I learned to crochet using that hook, and if I ever lost it, I would be so sad.

I can't stand the feel of plastic or metal knitting needles or crochet hooks. Occasionally I try to make something using them, because I don't have tools I like in that size, and pretty much always end up frogging the project in frustration. If I'm not enjoying the process, and I don't desperately need the object I'm making, what's the point?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Red Sweater

Every once in a while I actually finish something!

All the details are on Ravelry.

Last week I had two births, both rather difficult, one lasting 48 I worked 30 hours straight one day. By the time I got home, I was so incredibly tired that I couldn't go to sleep. Does that ever happen to you? Plus, hospitals are gross and birth can be messy, so after each one I need a bath and some whiskey. For an easy birth, a little bit of something lovely. For a hard birth, a finger or two of some stiff bourbon. Drinking whiskey in the bathtub is one of the greatest small pleasures in life.

Now that those two are done, I'm not on call until after Christmas, and this weekend I have the house to myself. I'm planning to spend as much time as possible in my pajamas, with some good knitting and some bad television. Vampire Diaries, anyone?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rain outdoors good, rain indoors bad.

This morning I went into the basement to grab a flathead shovel for chicken coop cleanout, and it was raining in there. Some critical plumbing failure in the bathroom shower above was sending water leaking everywhere and the plaster was buckling and crumbling. Sigh. There's always something new with an old house.

I've pulled out all the bad plaster and garbage (according the the newspapers stuffed in there as insulation, this bathroom was last worked on when Mondale was running for president) and now I'm procrastinating on finishing the job. Plumbing is such a gross messy job, but I'm the plumber of the house so I get to do it. Time to pour another cup of coffee and gird my proverbial loins.

Since pictures of my bathroom's undercarriage aren't going to be pretty, I'll spare you the gory details. Come back soon and I'll show you all the pretties I've been knitting instead.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It Rains, It Pours

It is so wet out that I've been putting off chicken rounds all morning, hoping for a few dry minutes to grab eggs and throw out some scratch. On the plus side, the new chicken coop is staying dry inside, the girls seem happy, and I no longer have to slog through muck and chicken poop to gather eggs. We also haven't had any predator attacks since the Heneplex was built, and the peace of mind is fantastic.
The Heneplex holds my 16 (16! How do these things happen?) chickens very comfortably, and has all sorts of special opening doors to help me clean it and take care of them from all sides. It is really nice to not have to worry about locking them up at night when I'm out at a birth, though they do miss terrorizing the whole backyard.

I also have one bonus chicken in the house in I guess you could say I have really have 17 hens, but I'm not sure if she will make it. She's a stray rescue hen found in a Burbank backyard, and she seems to have a nasty respiratory thing going on. We're keeping her warm and well fed with some antibiotics, but other than that, we can just wish her luck and hope she can get better and enjoy the good life with all my other spoiled chickens.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hungry like a Wolf

We've been saving up our pennies and waiting for the day we could return our cheap gas stove to Craigslist and get a real stove. I wanted more burners and a bigger oven, and so we ended up with this ridiculous commercial-style beast. It's used, of course - we hardly ever buy new things, and why would you when well made things with no electronic parts last forever? I'm in love.

We're still ironing out some details - for one, the stove didn't fit through the door into the kitchen, so I had to knock down some trim to make it go. I haven't put that back together yet and it reminds me of those old commercials where the Kool Aid Man breaks through the wall. I'm still adjusting my cookwares and cooking times to compensate for the firepower, and I still need to get some oven racks so I can start baking...but it feels really satisfying to have something I use so much really, really work.