The Amazing Adventures of Tom and Bel

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Phlegm Flam

There I was, minding my own beeswax, when out of nowhere it seems, the cooties have given up their residence @ Chez Claudia and come to the Mighty Midwest. Note that I am not blaming the Devine Orange One, but it only takes the mention of illness for my body to think"Hey - what a GREAT idea! I wanna be violently ill too!"
And once the body of the Cher has made up its mind, there's just no stopping it.
So I've got the full complement of aches and pains: a jackhammer-esque throbbing in my sinuses, eyes watering like the mighty Missisip, and my nose is running like the winner of the Boston Marathon. Toss in a throat itching like poison ivy, muscle strain in my right shoulder (sleeping funny) and aches in the back of my thighs (sad, sad attempts at exercise) and you have a recipe for a perfectly miserable day.

The best part? Today, I am to give a tour of my workplace and talk about healthy living.
Ah, the irony.

No knitting to speak of. Can't bear to breathe, and the watery eyes make it impossible to see the stitches. Damn.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the Pink

Oh. My. Goodness.

There are no words which suffice.
(Thanks for the link, T - I think.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

PS(K)A: Woe is Eu

The very kind Paula emailed about some drama she's having with the blocking of a handknit coat.

The short version is that the coat (made with Lopi) was soaked with Eucalan for purposes of blocking, but now has icky white residue and smells, frankly, like a wet and bedraggled sheep. Obviously, a less than desirable state of affairs, unless one's mission is to attact wet and bedraggled sheep (in which case: Hey! party time! I'll just leave y'all alone...).

Ahem. I digress. But in the interest of Public Service, I will share a couple of tidbits that may help:

1) The company recommend 1 tsp/gallon of water. I have seen no reason to change this ratio.
So I think you didn't use enough. This should conquer the smell of hot & nasty sheep.
(Oh, dear - Google's gonna have a field day with that one.)

2) I recommend manual washing where possible. No, no, don't run away! There is a semi-plausible pseudo-scientific reason for this.
You'll note that Eucalan is a lanolin wash with eucalyptus oil. Lanolin and eucalyptus oil are both oily substances, which you are putting into water. As you'll recall from such shining examples of chemistry as this:

(shamlessly snatched from the archives of Wait Wait -- Don't Tell Me!)

water and oil don't mix. The oil tends to rise to the top of the water. Add to this the ability of a wool garment to float and suck up a great deal of water before it sinks (great if you're a clumsy fisherman, not so great if you're actually trying to wash the dang thing), and you have a recipe for icky spots on your sweater.

Thus, in order to spread the Euca-love (hee - I crack myself up) throughout the garment, I believe the manual wash is the best way.

Now, I won't kid you: manual washing? Big pain in the keister.
(Fortunately for me, my personal keister is ample enough that the pain is lessened, somewhat. Baby gots back, and how. But again, I digress.)
However, manual washing ensures that you don't get the icky white spots on your sweater. For bigger pieces, I soak them in the bathtub and enlist this hot guy I know to (gently!) squeeze out the water.
Note: a washing machine where you can select cycles may be substuted for a bathtub and
a hot guy person of your choosing. You are not, however relieved of the responsibility to swish the Eucalan and your garment around in the water.

So, Paula (and world), there you have it. Hopefully, this will get your coat back on track!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Could this be love?

Oh yes, my friends, it can be and it is. Malabrigo is the softest and most lovely yarn to come across my needles in a long, long time.

It's a 'singles' (not being a spinner, I'm unsure of the proper parts of speech here, but what I mean is that it's a single strand of spoftly spun yarn). Thus far I've had no problems with biasing (this often happens with singles), though I am concerned about the possiblity of pilling. The yarn has a bit of a halo even as I knit.

Stayed tuned to this puppy - assuming I've enough yarn and wit, this will become my own version of last fall's Vittadini cover sweater.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Malabrigo Amoroso

I think I'm in love... 'scuse me while I take some time to be alone with my yarn...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

In A Lighter Vein

There is nothing I can say that would be even remotely adequate to express my despair and upset over the devastation of New Orleans. It has always been "on my list" - you know, that list of things you'll do and places you'll go when you have enough time/money/etc.
As a confirmed foodie, NoLa was always, always a Mecca for me. Cafe au lait, proper beignets and a dinner at Commander's Palace or Dookie Chase's were all part of the plan.
So I will donate what I can and encourage y'all to to do the same if you can.
(I can't get through to the Red Cross web site, but we are taking donations at our stores - if you live near one you can donate in increments of $2 and $5).

In a definitely lighter, though somewhat irrelevant vein - or perhaps not; the tales of looting have saddened and shocked me even further - my sister's discovered what may be the perfect punishment.
Hmmph. Bet he won't do it again...