Thursday, July 30, 2009

The night (or day) the lights went out in Georgia (or my house).

On Monday morning I had full power in the house, and apparently, was taking that for granted. After returning from a quick dash to the grocery store, I found 1/2 the house just.... off. This plug worked, but not that one over there. No fridge, no stove, no washing machine... but the lights in the laundry room worked. Short story, one of the 'live' wires coming into the house was, for lack of a better term, dead. They would need to re-run the wiring from the pole to the house (everything was fine at 'the pole' according to the power company).
In May, the same thing had happened. The power company said 'there is a pole down' and that it would be fixed by 10:30pm. Magically, at 10:30pm, everything came back on just fine.
This time, after making a call and getting the same exact answer except the fix time was now 2:30pm.... there was no magic. This has brought me to the conclusion that no mysterious poles are down. Ever. I mean think about it: How many times a day do you see poles randomly strewn about the city with black-outs in random sections of suburbia? Do you discuss this at work over the morning coffee? "Hey Bob, any poles down affecting you folks this weekend? We had 3!" "Lucky us not this time, but last weekend was a whopper!" "Poles falling all over the city and power on & off like a strobe light!"
What I would really like to know, is if one of the power lines running into the house is 'dead', then why is it that every once in a while I get power back on those circuits? Not enough to turn on the burner, but enough to turn on the lights. Sometimes, they are very dim, and other times the lights are normal but it only lasts for a couple of minutes. And the OTHER power, the one that's working just fine... keeps tripping. And no, it's not because they're 'sharing'. According to the electric dude, each power line literally powers every other circuit on the board. So why is it that my microwave only runs on about 1/2 power?

Anyways, It is now Thursday night. Here's what we've done to deal with the problem until the Powers That Be can fix it.
We have rearranged the required electrical appliances that can be moved to working outlets (phone, internet, tv).
We have placed flashlights in the bathroom (and remind the 6yo that we don't play with the flashlight - we save the batteries). We have a couple of hurricane lamps - showers by hurricane lamp as there are no windows in the bathroom.
We have an extension cord (the big pretty 50ft orange one) sitting in the middle of the living room, that powers the tv OR the microwave. It snakes back & forth depending on what's going on at the moment.
Another one goes to the fridge.
There are 2 more orange extension cords, one for each of the freezers in the garage. One works via an outlet in the garage (ironic, no?), and the other goes into the basement to find a working outlet.
One more extension cord, this one green, goes from that same outlet to the laundry room so I can spin out yarn in the washer... but you have to unplug the extension cord if you want to plug in the light for the basement.

The joy of all this? Besides tripping over extension cords? Neither stove works in either kitchen (yes, there are 2 kitchens in this house). This means I can't cook, and I can't use a pot to dye yarn. I can paint yarn, but can't have my 'good' lights plugged in if the steamer is on, and I've had to snake more smaller and cheaper extension cords across the room to get my Ott light plugged in. I can't dye yarn if I can't turn on the lights. Needless to say, this has slowed me down a little in my last minute prep for Sock Summit 09.
We leave for Portland on Monday. I'm afraid to do laundry here (see question above regarding microwave & low power). The digging commences on the new conduit & electric lines on Tuesday. I have 2 freezers, 24cubic feet each in my garage with tenuous connections to power. So, we get to move everything into one freezer, move the empty one 2 doors down to a neighbor's garage, move all the frozen stuff from the full freezer to the empty one... clean a 1/2 lit house and pack to go on a 3 week 'vacation' while someone fixes my electric problems.
Oh, and the spouse would like to pack everything in carry-on luggage so we don't have to worry about checked baggage.

I don't know who's going to tell the 6yo she has to 'pack light'.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I dyed some yarn.

UPDATE July 23rd : Go Vote! Vote early, vote often ;-)

Big surprise there, eh? Well actually, if I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm a vendor at the upcoming Sock Summit 09 and have been dyeing quite a bit of yarn to get ready.
Part of that 'to do' list, were some new colorways to enter in the 'Dye for Glory' contest going on - started about 10 minutes ago I think. Anyways, here are my entries:
Dreams - self-striping and based on the colors of the Sock Summit website & general imagery.

Sky's the Limit - Similar colorway to Dreams but different striping length and pattern, dyed 2 strands of 200yds together for matching socks '2 at a time', in a center-pull ball.

Juana-Lei? Reminded me of Hibiscus flowers, and vivid Hawaiian flowers which ended up on a discussion about traditional Hawaiian Lei...

Last but not least,
Gecko - small repeats of shades of olive and gold that knits up in a mosaic patchwork.

These won't be available for a few days, they will be at the booth at Sock Summit! Booth Number 125, see you there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dream: 0 Reality: 1

But in a good way... and then, Dream: 1

Once upon a time (about 7 years ago), we had a dream to open a fiber studio/store. It was a good dream, but we didn't find the right location, and began looking instead at farms to continue raising sheep but on a larger scale. Bought farm, bought sheep, life changed. you know how it goes.
After several years, we realized the farm did not quite meet our needs and we began looking for a new one. Something important happened on the farm though, and I began dyeing yarn in a more serious manner. It worked well with the farm dream, and so those dreams - farm & dyeing, became our reality. Then, I met Lisa, life changed, you know how it goes.
So, we hadn't found the farm we wanted, but sold ours and so we moved to Syracuse where hubby worked and the dyeing continued. You know how it goes.
Then, a supposed miracle. Remember 7 years ago when we'd been looking at storefront space? Well, early in the spring, it popped up in front of us. And so, life changed. You know how it goes.
So... we opened the Fiber Studio, our supposed dream. After several weeks, something amazing began to clarify for us. This didn't seem to be the dream we had any longer. Not only that, but the location and advertising plans both had 'issues' and the prospects were looking... dull.
I love teaching and I love dyeing. I was getting to teach a few classes here & there, but not much dyeing was happening at the store and I was finding myself still up until 1 am at home to dye yarn & fiber. This was not good. Basically, the time taken to keep the store open, was not paying off. Not to mention the toll on family & sanity.
Having reached this conclusion, decisions needed to be made. I want to be able to do everything, but as I get older I guess I've actually accumulated some wisdom (finally) and know that I cannot. The store is closing this month. I am vending at Sock Summit in Portland Oregon Aug. 6-9th, and then.... I'm taking something called a 'vacation'.
Supposedly, people stop working and do leisure things for several days in a different location, and spend money on things like restaurants and movies in real-life theaters. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm already planning on the yarn & dye to take with me because my dream? My dream is to dye yarn & fibers, folks. This is what I do for fun AND for a living.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

...and then it blew up.

Acid trip gone bad.
This is my 2nd favorite dye pot, just after it's last acid trip. It was it's last, because as you'll note... it now has a hole in the bottom (...earworm - there's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza...) where it sort of 'blew up'. Scared the crap out of me. Poured the contents into a different pot (don't want to lose the angora that wasn't quite done dyeing there) and assessed the damage. The hole is about equal to a size 1 needle, and quite jagged. I couldn't figure out quite why it was so loud and rattling when it exploded until I looked at the burner. The force of the exploding small hole in the pan, went downward into the burner, giving it a matching crater. sniff. My favorite burner as well.

I have replaced the burner, but the dye pot! That dye pot survived the Kitri rush of '06, and was a solid support for me during the Great Vintage Crush of '08. If you would all give a moment of silence for my comrade in arms, I would appreciate it.
Please note I am also very pissed off because this happens less than a MONTH from shipping inventory to the Great Sock Summit '09 where I will be vending.