Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Cautionary Word

After I posted the picture of my stash in its new home in my cedar chest, I received a cautionary comment from Elizabeth H from Culpeper, VA, who wrote:

I, too, put my stash in a cedar chest, only to discover several years later, that cedar oil from the chest itself had seeped into and DISCOLORED the yarn touching the sides and bottom of the chest. Be warned - you really need to put something between the chest and your yarn ASAP. The stain from the cedar WILL NOT WASH OUT!

I thought this was a great warning, and I figured I shouldn't keep it to myself lest anybody else had the idea to store their stash in a cedar chest. I don't know if this is a problem with all cedar chests, but it's worth being aware of. I've never had a problem with discoloration of the clothing that I've stored in the chest in the past, but I'm not going to take any chances, so I will be lining the chest with wax paper or something as soon as I feel motivated enough to hobble down to the basement to do so. (I can actually go up and down the stairs just fine on my crutches, but haven't yet felt like dragging a chair from one room to another to the chest to deal with it. Activities certainly become re-prioritized when one's leg is immobilized and unable to bear weight, and both hands are busy while "walking".)

In addition, the little bit of research that I did on my cedar chest as a result of Elizabeth's comment turned up some more useful information. It seems that all Lane cedar chests manufactured before 1994, or something like that, have a recall on them beceause of their locks. Apparently the chests click shut even when you aren't actually locking them, and can't be opened from the inside when they're not locked, so children have become stuck in them and died. If you have a Lane cedar chest, do a Google search on them, and you can find a phone number to get a replacement lock.

By the way, Elizabeth is also a brand new blogger -- she's just getting her site started over at She has a free pattern for a baby bib on there, so go check it out if you get a chance.

Lately Haloscan hasn't been very good about e-mailing me all of my comments. I usually like to just reply by e-mail to those who comment, but if they aren't e-mailed to me, this is pretty hard - sometimes I don't even find them for a few days. Anybody else ever had this problem with Haloscan? I think it might be related to the e-mail address I'm using for the comments, which is on my Sidekick (handheld cell phone/e-mail/internet/planner/device/thingy), but I'm not sure. Any advice would be appreciated.

In light of that, I thought I'd just reply to a few comments on here:

Susan wrote:

When are you grrls going to Knit Craft? I'm sure the SLC gang would love to head north to meet you.

I apologize for not hooking you up with Miriam, Kim, and Kim in time for their KnitCraft trip. I didn't discover your comment until it was too late, and unfortunately had to miss the trip myself, as I spent that Saturday at home in a dim haze of pain and Percoset. :) Hopefully we can all get together another time. In fact, maybe a Utah knitblogger meet-up is in order? "Heck", at this rate, we're going to need a Utah Knit Blog Ring! Also, Susan, do keep me posted on whether there is an IKEA opening in Utah!

Michele remarked:

I'm really wanting some KOIGU, just not sure which color since the only place I'm going to be able to buy it is online.

I would totally recommend ordering Koigu from Matt and Rob at Threadbear. They carry a great selection of Koigu, and more importantly, they will no doubt be happy to give you color recommendations based on your general tastes. Matt is the color-meister in my opinion - he's the one who put together the kit for my Charlotte's Web shawl, and I love the result. And Matt and Rob are really so nice -- as I mentioned before, it was a delight to meet them in person, and made me feel even better about buying yarn from them. I tell ya, good, friendly customer service and an inviting atmosphere will get my loyalty every time. Actually, you live in Ohio, right? I think you'd just better take a road trip to Lansing!

Finally, to everyone who commented to wish me luck and to wish me a speedy recovery from my surgery, thank you so much for your kind words! Things are going well enough with my recovery -- it's going to take longer than I expected, but then it always does, right? I haven't had too many problems since those first few days, with the exception of a little scare on Friday that resulted in an impromptu trip to the emergency room. I was having symptoms of a blood clot in my calf, but lucky for me, it was a false alarm.

Amazingly, with my strangely busy schedule of exercises, physical therapy appointments, doctor's appointments, and four hours a day on the "Legasus CPM" (that's the leg-bendy machine's actual name), not to mention my various pain-medicine-induced naps and the ridiculous amount of time it takes me to complete mundane tasks such as carry a glass of water from the sink to the couch (it's all about having intermediate surfaces on which to sit the glass at regular intervals), I have had remarkably little time to knit in the past week.

Happily, this has remedied itself in the past couple days, and I have started making good headway on Rogue once again, especially after I discovered that I can quite easily knit while lying on my back having my leg repeatedly bent to a 105 degree angle. Yesterday I finished up the back, and switched over to finishing the remainder of the front. I'm a few rows into the chart for the cabling around the neck, and I'm definitely feeling the Rogue love again.

I am a little bit nervous about the sweater in general, because my gauge is a bit off. I'm getting 4.5 stitches to the inch, as I should, but instead of 6 rows/inch, I've been getting more like 7. I have made some design changes on the fly to compensate for this, so I hope that it will all work out. There is a simple cable repeat in the body that called for three repeats, and I repeated it six times instead to make up for some of the difference. I'm also a bit nervous because, in my zeal to start knitting, though I did knit a gauge swatch in the flat (and not one in the round, which is how I ended up off on the row gauge, I guess), I did not wash and block my swatch, so now I'm a bit worried that the sweater will grow unacceptably when it gets blocked. Hopefully it will all work out. The sleeves, which have been done for some time, seem to be about the right length for now, and I tried on the body when I switched from circular to flat knitting. It fit over a shirt, but it wasn't very loose, which I think is a good thing -- hopefully if it does grow in blocking, it won't grow too much, and it will still fit alright.

Though this is not my very first sweater, it is actually the first one I've made with sleeves. Since there is actual knitting progress to show, naturally I do not have my digital camera available. It's currently on a canoe trip, floating somewhere on the San Rafael River. This qualifies me as a pretty good girlfriend, eh? So, progress photos will appear after the camera gets home Monday.

Oh, and to those who inquired, luckily my knitting gauge doesn't seem to be much affected by Percoset. This was a huge relief to me, as I had a bad gauge experience when I was still on Valium immediately after my laser eye surgery last December. I even took the time to swatch before casting on a for a sock, but a couple days later, after doing some additional non-Valium knitting on the same sock, I realized it was going to be waaay too small and had to rip the whole thing out. It took me a while to realize, hello, you were on a muscle relaxant, what did you expect?

Which brings us to the end of yet another verbose post. Another thank you and a shoutout to Kim, who just stopped by to visit me for a while, and who brought me the most wonderfully soft Color Your Own sock yarn from Knit Picks, along with some directions for Kool-Aid dying. I can't wait to try it out! We're sure gonna be sad to have to tell you "Aloha" when you move to Denver next month, Kim! But, hey, I need more excuses for road trips, and I've never been to any yarn stores in Colorado....