Friday, September 30, 2011

A Conversation via Text Message #2

August 28, 2011 - Operation: Absent Accountant Boy, day 5 -

Me: Deadbolt done, but the door’s giving me a little trouble.

Doc: Good news on the deadbolt! Which door – garage to outside world, or laundry to garage??

Me: Laundry to garage. The mechanism is too long, so the latch is sticking out. Wonder if it’s adjustable. Reading directions now.

Me: “Enlarge hole with file if necessary”? You f&$kers! F&$kity f&$k f&$k f&$k your f&$king file! I should probably stop and get a bite to eat, huh?

Doc: Which hole do you have to enlarge, btw?

Me: The round one. I think it has to be slightly more oblong so that the knob and the latch will fit.

Doc: That’s a big hole to make bigger. Does it have to be lots bigger?

Me: Figuring that out now. Weird how it doesn’t just work. The old and new are both Weslock.

Me: Ah! There is an adjustment. Yay!

Doc: Phew!!! That’s good news.

Me: Well, don’t get too excited, because I can’t figure it out. :-(

Me: Except that I just did. What is it with doorknobs and bad instructions???

Doc: Kind of like IKEA instructions. :-) Glad you got it, tho.

Me: I just pierced my own nose with a screwdriver. No kidding. Please come over.

Doc: O jesus.

You might be wondering how I managed to pierce my own nose, from the inside out, with a screwdriver while installing a doorknob. Here's the deal. I was trying to lever the mounting plate loose with a pair of slotted screwdrivers, because I didn’t realize that I could take the handle and the rose off after I’d snapped them into place - not having tried on the old knobs, because it was easier to cut the roses off with tin snips than to read the directions - and the smaller screwdriver snapped back and…you know what? It doesn’t make much sense when I try to explain it. The important part was that I pierced my nose from the inside out with a screwdriver, staunched the copious bleeding with a shop towel full of ice, then went looking for a bigger screwdriver so that I could exact my revenge on the doorknob. And by "copious bleeding" I mean "it won't stop long enough for me to tell if I've torn my whole nostril away from my face, so I guess we just keep going about our business and apply pressure". Which is what I did. Hardcore.

I was victorious, by the way. The new knob looks and works great, and my nose healed without too much trouble. I thought about popping a stud through there while it was open, a sort of jaunty reminder of my accomplishments, but the hole closed up too quicky.

When Accountant Boy saw the post on Facebook, he commented "Please for the love of God STOP! Somebody go over to our house and lock the tool chest!" I could almost hear him screaming from Australia. Sensitive to the fact that he might worry, being all the way on the other side of the world while I did God-knows-what to myself and the house, I managed to stay injury-free for the remainder of his trip. I got a lot of nagging projects tackled so that we wouldn't have to think about them every weekend.

I think he liked all of the work I did during Operation: AAA. I hope he did. It's hard to tell. Things have gone a little strange. But that's not today's story.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Return of the Ding

Odd summer. I don’t know where to start, so maybe I just won’t pick a starting point. We’ll jump in right here, right now, and we’ll catch up as we go along.

First things first, I won another contest! This lovely yarn, being modeled appropriately enough by our new friend Stone Turtle, came from Turtlegirl76. I was one of the many winners in her Heart Walk Donors’ Drawing. She did all of the hard work, and I got this gorgeous yarn. Not a bad trade-off. I think it’s going to become the center panel of Tenney Park.

“Wait, what? You mean you still knit? It’s not just a yarn collection out in the garage?”

Yes, as it usually does, knitting production slowed over the summer this year. It wasn’t for lack of trying; I did knit. I worked on Papeline for several weeks, stretching into months. When I finally got the body seamed together and worked the neckline, it was too small. This might have been casually related to me being too big. The jury’s still out on that one. Not debatable, the neckline was much too dinky. I think this was due to my gauge changing drastically between flat and circular knitting. I need to yank out that section and do something else, but I haven’t decided on the course of action yet. Finally, the arms are tight, really tight, because I have muscular arms for my size and…look, maybe it’s time to concede that I knit the wrong size, but I’m not ready to give up on it entirely just yet.

Thinking that knitting a great big tube sounded pretty good after the Papeline disappointment, I cast on for the Summertime Tunic. Back in July. Yeah, this is how far I’ve made it. It turns out that silk sort of tightens around Addi needles and cables in a particularly stubborn way, so it’s not easy to get into a grove and knit round after round. There’s a lot of shoving of stitches. I refuse, however, to stop knitting it, because I’m afraid that my gauge will change if I put it aside until next spring. I’m also a tad worried that I’ve knit the wrong size again, but I’m telling myself that this is not important right now.

Doc and I talked about “need-to” knitting versus “love-to” knitting a couple of weeks ago, as we both have a collection of each type, and the obvious point hit me like a screwdriver to the face. (That story’s coming soon.) I’m only going to get slower on the “need-to” projects, because my “love-to” itch isn’t being scratched. I have to have both, even if it seems like the “love-to” project is going to take time away from the “need-to” project.

Feeling good about this new direction, I went out to the garage and stuck my hand in a basket, drawing out a ball of this camel-blend yarn that I impulse-grabbed at Tuesday Morning last year. I saw a scarf at Forever 21 last weekend that looked lovely, cost about ten bucks. “I could make that scarf, and it’d be even better. Sure, it’ll cost more than ten bucks, and it’ll take me more than an hour to make it, but it’ll be camel instead of acrylic. Plus, it’s guaranteed to not be too small, because it’s a goddamn scarf. Confidence booster. I can’t lose, Doc.” We studied the stitches, which turned out to be simple K3,P1 across on all rows. I don’t know what it’s called, but it makes a neat rib. I’m now alternating between this and the Summertime Tunic, with no guesses about which I’m going to finish first. Probably this one. It feels good, and I’m having a good time knitting it. I sometimes forget that those are two important things.