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I’ve been doing the night shift thing lately because the high temperatures here have been, to coin a phrase, hotter than a $2 pistol firing uphill.  So, after being up all Monday night because Tuesday’s high temperature was predicted to be over 100F/37.7C, Tuesday morning, my toilet ran over.  Again.  Because it was after 8:30 a.m., I called the office manager, and she promised to send Mike (who is the maintenance guy who deals with plumbing issues) over to deal with it.  I’m tired and I want to go to bed and get at least a couple hours of sleep before I go to knitting group Tuesday night, but I’m having to wait for Mike, who is going to need to plug the extension cord to the sewer snake in somewhere — like in my apartment.

For those who are just joining us, the situation is that the four apartments in my “stairwell” — mine, the ground floor one across from me, and the two on the storey above us — are all on the same branch sewer line, and since I’m the last one on the branch, when that branch line stops up, my toilets run over.  Every time it happens, the apartment maintenance guy has to come run the drain snake down the branch line and unclog it.   It happened three times last month, and the third time it happened, I wrote a politely irate letter to the apartment management about it.  Over and above the fact that it’s a pain in the wazoo to have your toilets run over and have to clean up the mess, it’s unsanitary and a health hazard.  Well, this time, I got a fairly prompt response and by 9:30 Tuesday morning, the problem was in the process of getting solved. When Mike came knocking on my door to get me to plug in the drain snake,  he told me that Wednesday morning they were having a plumbing company come out and run a camera down into the line to see if they could figure out what was causing the drain to keep stopping up, so they could deal with the “root” of the problem.

I did finally manage to get a whole five hours’ sleep before I had to get up and get ready for knitting group.  I left early so I could stop by Hancock Fabrics to see if I could find some lavender purple buttons that would match the lavender baby sweater, and did find some.  I also found some yarn to make my cousin in law (the Mrs of the cousin we went to visit over Fourth of July weekend) a scarf.  I had been showing her my blogs and showed her the Horseshoe Cable scarf I knitted for my mom and she really liked it, so I’ve decided to knit her one, as a token of appreciation for their hospitality (. . . and there’s nothing a knitter likes better than a great excuse to knit something!).

The results of the camera down the sewer line was that there was a big glob of tree roots — not surprising.  There’s a line of pine trees parallel to the sidewalk and the nearest one is the one that they have FINALLY cut the lower branches off so it doesn’t 2014_08_05-05hit people in the face when they try to walk down the sidewalk — the one I’ve complained about for over a year now.  Mike the maintenance guy had a sewer snake with a blade on it and he was going to try running it and seeing if he could cut the roots away.  Apparently that didn’t work because Thursday morning, just as I was about to go to bed, the camera guy plonged on the doorbell to ask me to plug the camera equipment in for him, and then after he wanted his cord back, and just when I was ready to go to bed, they cranked up this loud diesel motor and ran the “jet” down the hole.  This went on for a good hour.  Finally after noon, they declared the sewer good and properly snaked and I staggered off to bed.  Slept until almost 11 p.m.  (All this sewer fixing activity went on right outside the black kitty’s favorite window, and kept him entertained for days.)

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Mom’s Horseshoe Cable Scarf

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The version I’m making for my cousin-in-law

The yarn I found that I liked for my cousin-in-law’s scarf is a Premier Yarn brand.  It’s one of their “Deborah Norville” Serenity Chunky collection and the color is called “Dark Forest.” (Evidently, it’s been discontinued, since I don’t see it listed!)  The forests around where my cousin and his wife live are a mixture of cottonwood, spruce, pine and juniper trees.  This yarn has shades of bark brown, and a range of greens from olive through leaf, through spruce, through greenish turquoise, and it’s all flecked and mottled.  (see below right)  It’s a “5” (bulky) weight yarn.  When I originally wrote the pattern and knitted up the scarf for my mom, I used a Hometown USA yarn which is a “6” (super bulky) weight yarn made by Lion Brand, in a color called “El Paso Autumn” (see above left) and I knitted it on a size US13/9.0 mm needle.  (Both yarns are spun from 100% acrylic fiber, which means they are machine washable and dryable with no shrinkage, and they’re hypoallergenic.)  Since this Premier yarn is not as thick as the Lion Brand (a “5” versus a “6”), I tried knitting it on a size US10/6.0 mm needle, which is a smaller diameter needle, but that made the scarf too narrow, and the “weave” too dense, so I went back to a US13/9.0 mm needle and I like the result much better.   It’s a looser “weave” and will be warmer, I think.

2015_01_25-05I still need to finish the baby afghan, the Meadowsweet bonnet, weave in ends on everything and sew buttons on.  I think tomorrow night I might weave in ends and sew buttons on everything I’ve got finished, and get it ready to pack up.  Then I can concentrate on the afghan.  The bonnet won’t take but anIMG_2005 evening to finish. The afghan is going to take several days.

Once I get the baby stuff in the mail, I can work on other things, like the scarf for my cousin in law, and this twisted cable scarf and hat for my friend in MI.

Right now, though, I need to go to bed because I have an appointment at the podiatry clinic at 10 a.m. and I need to shower and wash my hair before I go.

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