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Monday, January 31, 2005

Have finished the kitchen trim painting today, except for one door frame which hubby is still working on, and am just about to start on the 5 door frames and 1 window frame that is *just* in the family room!

I am also swatching yet another yarn for consideration as an alternate in the cashmere kits.

I am having SUCH a time trying to find the right yarn! The merino/silk yarn I thought would be lovely, came in. I swatched and washed it and it is too thin - it doesn't get gauge and give a good fabric, so another yarn bites the dust! I'm beginning to stockpile single skeins and hanks of yarns that I just can't use.

BUT, I just called Chester Farms again and they are finally able to get a skein of their Fine Merino into tomorrow's UPS to me! So, once again, hope springs up! They've got the lovely clear springtime, floral colors I want, as well as brights and darks. I've had their color cards since November, so this has been a long wait. I need to remind myself that patience is a virtue, except when after all that patience the end result is still not what one needs - then patience doesn't seem to be so virtuous!

Well, back to painting while there's still daylight!

Friday, January 28, 2005

New yarns are swatched

OK - I swatched and washed those yarns.

The Classic Elite Renaissance is a nice worsted wt wool yarn. Ball band gives a gauge range of 4.5-5 sts/1", but the loosest I would go is 4.75 sts/1", not 4.5. Feels nicer than the Peruvian wool in the Knit Picks yarn I swatched a few days ago, but then the Renaissance *does* cost more, and you do get what you pay for.

The Classic Elite Two.Two is a really nice bulky wool yarn! It is from Peruvian Highland wool, like Elann's, like Knit Pick's yarns, but is definitely far softer and nicer than KP's. I haven't tried Elann's yet. It is also very strong - I had to cut the yarn, it wouldn't break in my hands. Soft yet strong - a nice mixture.

The Frog Tree sport weight alpaca felt heavenly in the skein. Not all alpacas do feel this nice. I am always concerned with shedding in an alpaca yarn. The Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK did like to shed, even though I knit is snugger than the given gauge. This yarn, is a sport weight, and is comprised of 2 fine strands plied together, and I doubled it, giving 4.5 sts/1" with a size 7 (4.5 mm) ndl. This was easy to knit, even doubled, with the 7's, and didn't shed SO FAR. Only a larger garment will tell, but I'm hopeful, as this yarn is spun and plied more snugly than the baby alpaca dk. That had a softer spin and twist, which made the yarn feel even more heavenly, but I am thinking that alpaca needs the firm spin to better lock those slippery fibers in place. But, I won't really know until I do a garment and see how it behaves in use.

Still moving things about, so we can get to do more painting this weekend. Saw the ophthalmologist a few days ago and still haven't got a lens for the retina-surgery eye. The astigmatism correction in the lens is still off - so much so that I can read my computer screen better without the lens than with it. So, he's ordering YET another one - this time, I suggested we go for an over-correction of astigmatism in the lens, as the 8.0 diopters it is *supposed* to be correcting (which is what the eye needs) just isn't enough. We agreed it couldn't hurt to try. So, as these are samples, he can order another, no biggee, but I gotta wait another 2 weeks before it comes in. *Eventually* I'll get to see out of this eye!

Well, back to work for me - I'll see how soon I can get those new patterns up....

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I haven't posted in 4 days - terrible! But I've been busy with Gazette subscription balance fulfillments. Have also been moving stuff elsewhere, so we can get started on painting the family room and my office. And had to continue working on the taxes, so we can get this huge box off to the accountant. Also finished a beautiful beaded cashmere scarf design and am working on a matching hat.

I had to order more Mill Hill beads at retail, so I can do more samples. I emailed Wichelt Imports to see if they wholesale the beads, now that they have taken over the business, but, am waiting 4 days (and counting) for a response.

I do not think that *any* business that is online and offers email as a method of communication should be so lax in responding. Heck, I'd have to be on my death bed before I'd make anyone wait that long for customer service. I'm going to give them another shout, using my other email address and see if I don't get a reply. Then I'll have to call, but by then I'll be agitated! If they were at a show, like TNNA, they could have their email prog send auto-replies so customers aren't left in the lurch.

Anyway, this is a lovely new design, and I'm making the hat in 2 sizes, as one size doesn't fit all!

I have 1 sweater to get photographed for a new pattern. Another pattern is all ready to go. I'm just waiting until I have a moment, nay, a few *hours* to code them, get them into the shopping cart and onto the Cardigans page, upload all the jpegs and pages, then email the knitters in my website updates database, then the shops, add the new designs to both my wholesale and retail catalogs and price sheets and reprint them.

This is why I hate doing it for just 1 or 2 designs - it's SO much work to launch a new design, I might as well do a bunch at the same time.

It's been SO cold outside, though for taking the cardigan photos - we haven't EVEN seen 20 degrees in - I can't remember. The photos take a while to do and in this cold and wind, it's just too crazy to do. And indoor photos are just more work to get a good shot - outdoors is always best, so I gotta wait 'til we get a 20 degree heatwave with no wind!

The yarns I ordered from Wool Connection came via UPS today - Classic Elite's Two.Two, Renaissance and the Frog Tree sport weight alpaca. I've just begun winding the hanks into balls and will swatch them all tonight and report tomorrow how they do.

I've also got a wonderful 50% silk/50% merino wool yarn sample skein coming. I had a wee snippet to knit up and it's luscious. It would make the *perfect* less-costly option for my cashmere yarn kits, and still feel absolutely luxurious. But, until I can knit a larger swatch and wash it, I won't know for sure. The gauge needs to be spot on or it won't do.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Beaverslide Dry Goods Yarn!

I received another of the yarns I've ordered recently, on Saturday - this was from Beaverslide Dry Goods in Montana.

On Beaverslide's website, Leanne states that her worsted wt line (with the 10% kid mohair) is processed in Canada, but the fisherman line (no pun intended!) (all wool) is processed in Maine. As she references an 1821 mule spinner, my guess is it's Bartlettyarns mill.

The worsted line is smooth with no surface loose fibers, but the all wool line does have surface bits of fibers. Now, merino will pill, but with all those surface bits of fiber just sitting there to be knit up into the fabric, you'd need to de-pill after knitting it. I did 2 small swatches and the blended yarn didn't need anything plucked off it, but the all wool swatch did, which was too bad, because the all wool yarn makes an even more doughy and huggable fabric!

Another vote for the Beaverslide worsted line with the kid mohair is the yardage. Though recommended gauge is 5-6 sts/1". I knit a fabric at 4.5 sts/1", which bloomed beautifully. It's perfect at 4.5 sts/1". But with 240 or so yards to the 4 oz hank, that gives the knitter 60 yds to the oz! That's far more yards than most heavy worsted-gauged yarns give (which is usually in the 45-50 yds range).

So, what this means - the design I was considering using either this yarn or the Bendigo 12 ply to make up definitely is leaning towards the Beaverslide as it will only weigh about 24 ozs, whereas the Bendigo version would weigh in at nearly 34 ozs, as their yards/oz for the 12-ply is just 41.7. Even though Bendigo's yarns are very reasonable in price - about wholesale - I figured I'd need 1 less hank of the Beaverslide worsted wt, thanks to its excellent yardage, which makes the design in the size I'll be knitting, about the same in cost, made in either yarn - $45-$48. Very good indeed.

Given the choice for a heavy worsted garment, I think most knitters would prefer it to be lighter weight - as it won't then feel too heavy to wear indoors, and yet still be quick to knit, and be wearable without a shirt - her yarns are SOFT, thanks to the Rambouillet Merino sheep stock!

The 10% kid mohair just adds a bit of silkiness to the doughy, plushness of the wool. And as kid mohair is the first and softest mohair clipping, one doesn't feel any prickle at all. And her colors far outweigh Bendigo's, though I like the oatmeal tweed in Bendigo's "Rustic" line, so I'm sure I'll be using it for something.

I'm not discounting use of the all-wool line, just from the surface pills. I think it would felt fabulously, and a thick, felted wool blanket immediately comes to my mind. Especially with all these 0-10 degrees days and nights.

I'm *still* waiting, though on an order for the Wool Connection, and one from Canada - 13-15 days and counting.....Glad I wasn't in a rush.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I said I'll post about the new Knit Picks yarns when they came. I was hopeful, but my hopes were dashed.

First off, the 4.5 to 5 st/1" range given as recommended gauge is too generous. The Wool of the Andes should be knit at 5 sts/1", no looser, unless you're doing lace or an intensely slip stitched fabric, where the take up will make up for the looseness. Of course, I should have guessed this from the yardage - 62+ yds/oz = a worsted wt heading towards DK wt.

And I had to use 6's to get the 5 sts/1". 8's got me 4.5 sts/1". I never have to use 6's unless I'm knitting very unstretchy yarn.

It *is* however, a decent 4-ply plain wool yarn at an excellent price. It's just not what I wanted. I wanted a yarn that does 4.5 sts/1" WELL!

The Andean Silk also gives a 4.5 to 5 st/1" range. With 8's I got 5 sts/1", but it was still way too loose and stretchy, I'd go tighter and knit it as a DK at 5.5 sts/1". The alpaca content surely needs it anyway. Feels nice.

The Merino Style is a DK and I was hoping to double it and get a chunky gauge, which, indeed, I got.

With 8's, I got 4.25 sts/1" with it doubled. I'd go to 4 sts/1" - a 9 would probably do that and I'd still like the fabric.

The merino, though soft, isn't as bouncy as I expect a merino wool yarn to be. Merino fleece is very tightly crimped - lots of waves in the fiber means lots of bounce in the yarn. This wasn't bouncy, but still a good bargain for a merino yarn.

All, in all, nothing I can use for my designing. And a caveat *always* to knitters: Don't take ball band gauges as gospel. Swatch. And I usually add "wash your swatch", as well, but these are smooth yarns, not fluffy or fuzzy, so I'm not expecting any great "blooming" to occur, but if I was to use them for a project, indeed, I'd swatch and wash.

None of the other ordered yarns have come in - I will post as they do.

I have, though, finally been able to return to a long-waiting project now that the 16 CIC vests have been knit and sent - a slip stitched and beaded! design in my cashmere. Nice! and enjoyable, too - the beading isn't as slow as I thought it might be. I'm using the "hook on bead" method - HOB - kinda gives a new meaning to making old hob of something! Now, where have I heard or read that phrase - must have been Elizabeth Zimmermann - sounds like something she would have said!

This design will need more support photos to guide knitters in the beading. I'm rather happy with how I figured out where to put the beads. Took me awhile and lots of ripping, but almost anything is do-able with enough persistence! It'll be a lovely design.

Enough for now - more work to do.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

CIC vests are done!

Here's photos of the current batch of 8 vests for CIC.They are going into tomorrow's mail to Kathy.

I got a good amount of painting done yesterday - the rest of the pantry baseboards, the bead board wall and 1 baseboard and door trim in the kitchen and 2 coats on the legs and apron of an old '30's enamel-topped kitchen table that was in the house when we moved in. That's going into the pantry to hold the fax machine I need to get and the answering machine. I have some 30's printed cotton tablecloths that will add some color to the table. I also scrubbed the wool floor.

And I'll be shopping for some flat-bottomed baskets to line the shelves of a metal rack that's in that room. The baskets will add warmth and texture and hold all the bits and bobs that were in the dresser we moved into the library - light bulbs, extension cords, all those things one needs to have handy.

I have a CompUSA gift card, but CompUSA has no stores near us - it's either all the way down to White Plains, yeah right, or an hour north to Albany, so Albany it is, but not until this coming weekend. It'll pay for most of the fax machine.

So, hubby is putting up the new ceiling fixture we bought at Home Depot on Saturday and, except for putting up a few repro crate label signs, the pantry is done and what an improvement over that horrid green-ish blue wallpaper that was in there.

Next, he has to work on the dining room and parlor ceilings. Old plaster ceilings do get cracks in them, from time to time, but their are plaster washers that one uses to secure the plaster. Then you spackle over it, sand, spackle again, sand, then paint.

While he's doing that, I need to start removing things from the family room and my office/shipping rooms, so we can tackle cleaning the carpets, and painting the walls and ceilings. I need to see how I'm going to do this with the least interruption to my business, though - she said, laughing nervously......

Monday, January 17, 2005

Am almost done with the last CIC vest. The others have been washed and laid flat to dry.
Should be able to get this box out in a couple days.

Then I need to get back to work - I have tons to do before June, when shops buy for the Fall season.

I have another booklet idea I need to work up as well as the 2-3 design collections I'm working on. All the while we're getting the house ready for sale!

So, today, I need to finish painting the trim in the pantry and start on ALL the trim in the Kitchen - 3 doorways, 4 windows, crown mouldings, baseboards, and a 3/4 wall covered in the original bead board (not the new stuff that's around), that hubby found when he gutted the kitchen ceiling. Underneath the wallboard was the bead board! As the kitchen had been extended off the back porch, incorporating it, yearssss ago, they used the back porch's bead board that was on the walls, to do the ceiling. Then later covered it all up. So, it was a nice find.

Not that we've had many nice finds. Most of our finds in this house have been of the "oh, no!" variety! The surprise, surprise, look what we gotta restore *now*, variety!

Maybe later, if my headache abates, I'll dye those 9 cashmere hanks in the lavender I've run out of, to make 3 more scarf kits.

The pinks aren't selling as well as the natural and lavender. I just love pinks, but I guess I'm the only one?! So, I'm considering using one of the pink yarns to do a sample for another design.

I also have a beaded design I need to work on. Best get back to work!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I have 6 more CIC vests done so far and have been working on all the edgings - only 2 more vest edgings to do. This time I'm not crocheting them, I just used a 16" ckn and picked up and knit sts around (2 sts/3 rows, except along the v-neck shaping, where 1 st/1 row gets picked up and knit). Then I knit 1 rnd, then BO in knit on the next rnd - for a curled edge.

Balled up more yarn to start another vest, and I still have enough red yarn from that skirt I ripped out to do another vest, the last one - #8. I've been washing them and laying them flat to dry. So, I should have them all mailed out in a week or so - am trying hard to get them out before the end of January. If I can do this 8, that'll be 16 vests, 2 sweaters and 1 pair socks for CIC so far this year! And a nearly total clearing out of all my yarn! 16 vests x about 8 ozs each = 8 lbs of yarn used up!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

If anyone's looking for the superwash wool post, it was posted Dec. 20th - so go to the December archive link at the right.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By 6:30 last night, I was pooped! I balanced 2 checkbooks, then vacuumed, bathed and dried the dog, took down and scrubbed the shower liner and rehung it, did laundry, did more printing, stapling, folding, mail merging and more printing! I also did more surfing, searching for any other bluefaced leicester wool yarn producers and emailed one more I found.

The one I've been trying to get a hold of called me yesterday and it seems the future of the aran wt yarn is questionable as it's not selling! Well, I really don't know why not. They don't have a wide range of colors, but they do have about 6-9 that are nice, and the yarn is heavenly, so why aren't more US shops and catalogs buying the British Breeds yarns??? It's certainly not because the yarn is a bit pricey, as there's tons of wool and not-wool yarns that cost far more.

It may well be that their site doesn't list all the info almost anyone needs - like yardage, prices, patterns available in each line, etc.

I did some more knitting on the CIC vests, then folded the rest of the laundry and remade the bed. Have 4 more vest bodies done so far for CIC. Still need to do the edgings, but I'll do them last.

Today, I need to paint the pantry door and window, stuff and seal the subscribers' mailings, and just knit on the CIC vests some more. I'm at the low-energy ebb of the month - no use pushing it too hard, or getting tense or agitated, or the headaches get worse.

I'm eagerly awaiting several yarn orders to come in - all yarns to consider for my new designs and booklets - just last night I ordered sample cards and a hank of each of the
Beaverslide Dry Goods yarns. They have a plain wool in the right weight, but one can hardly call Rambouillet and Merino *plain*! So, I'm eager to see it, knit it up, and wash it to see how it behaves.

I also got their 90% wool/10% mohair yarn, which is supposed to be thinner, more a true worsted at 5 sts/1", but I still want to see/feel/knit it up. This yarn, with the mohair, was reviewed by Knitters Review. it got a good review and the yarn is very reasonably priced for a fine wool yarn. I don't know yet if they wholesale. I'll inquire after trying it.

I have some aran wt. yarn from Canada coming, which, if it's nice, will be perfect for my dyeing, and, from The Wool Connection a skein each of Classic Elite's Renaissance, Two.Two and Frog Tree Alpaca Sport. I still haven't given up on using the Peace Fleece or the new Chester Farms Fine Merino, but have to wait yet another month, at least, to get any of the Merino. It will be interesting to compare the Chester Farms Fine Merino with the Beaverslide Rambouillet/Merino yarn. Totally different colors from each company to start with.

Frog Tree has great colors and it's very soft (soma alpaca yarns aren't this soft), and is repped by the same nice lady who reps the cashmere yarn I get. I just didn't want to get bags of it, to meet their minimums, before swatching to see if I can get the gauge I need by doubling the sport wt. yarn. So, 1 ball will show me if its do-able or not.

The Renaissance is a heavy worsted wt yarn, 2-ply if I remember correctly and is reasonably priced for a high-end yarn companies' yarn at $5/50 gr ball. I found a website that described this yarn as a *long wool* yarn. Now, I know what a long wool is, so I'm eager to see if, indeed, this yarn has some character, as long wool yarns tend to have, and I'll be pulling the ends apart and seeing if the fibers are, indeed, long.

The Two.Two is a bulky yarn, but it's a *highland* wool and is supposed to be soft, so I'm curious.

Now the term *highland* has been sprouting up in many places lately. They usually don't mean the highlands of Scotland, though. They mean the highlands of Peru. Now Peru is known for alpacas, llamas, etc, but only recently have we seen wool.
Cascade Yarns has it as their Eco Wool, so does Elann, with their own line - Peruvian Collection or Connection, I forget, and so does KnitPicks, I think. Yes, their "Wool of the Andes", is Peruvian wool, but is only in natural, no colors.

8:30 pm Correction!
KnitPicks *does* have colors in their peruvian wool yarn line AND they have a merino wool and a merino/silk/alpaca yarn and others - all brand new and VERY inexpensive - much too inexpensive compared to other yarns of similar fibers. I'm going to have to try one of each. I find it interesting that 2 online shops now have their own lines of yarns - Elann and KnitPicks. Not that I'm complaining! More yarn choices is always better than less yarn choices - I just find it interesting. I wonder why. Aren't all the larger companies' yarns selling? It's not unusual for a designer to need her own line of yarns so that her design visions can be fleshed out. It *is* unusual for a yarn shop to need their own lines of yarns. Has anyone tried them yet?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

I spent yesterday plugging along at reformatting my 60+ patterns. I had changed my signature font and color in my logo awhile back, and changed the website and any new patterns published since then, but haven't had time to redo all the older patterns.

Also, since having changed the line spacing to 1.5 in the most recent Gazette issues, I really like it - the text is far less crowded and is easier to follow. So, I'm redoing ALL my patterns in the 1.5 line spacing. Ufda. Worked at it all day yesterday and I only got 6 or 7 patterns done - as there's several text pages, a cover page and usually, separate chart pages for each design. I've got 50+ patterns to go, though!.....

I've been working on more CIC vests, as well. Have one almost done using 3 strands of Bartlettyarns 2-ply on the same 13's I've been doing all the vests. Haven't done the edging yet, but I think, for this batch of vests, I'll do all the bodies first, then crochet all the edgings later.

I had some superwash wool sport and DK yarns I bought for yarn reviews for the Gazette. They've been sitting here doing nothing, as I don't use superwash personally. So, I wound up balls using 4 strands of each and started another vest. I should have enough for 2 superwash vests. Superwash wool yarn isn't at all a requirement for the washing environment these vests will be going to, but the yarn is better used and worn by someone than just sitting here forever.

The only Lamb's Pride I have left after doing that first batch of 8 vests is beigey, browney, murky colors. But maybe I can find a fun way to use them so the vests don't look boring and dull. I do have some Top of The Lamb Sport in some colors that I could triple or quadruple and insert brighter stripes in with the beiges and browns. Yeah, sounds OK. I'm not likely to use the sport wt yarn any time soon, anyway. Every designer has a yarn wt. which they find to be perfectly comfortable to knit. For me, it's aran or heavy worsted wt. 4.5 sts/1" is what my hands like and I usually get that with US 8's.

This is the basis for much of the work I'll be doing this year, both in finding yarns to dye, which will be used in the kits I'll be making up and for the new design collections I'll be doing.

I know which yarns I want (though am having some difficulty in attaining them just yet!) and have another 2 yarns I am considering - am just waiting on samples to come in. My plan is to have designs which can be worked equally well in any of the yarns I'll have, so no matter the fiber softness preferred, there'll be a yarn option available for knitters in a range of prices.

I think this should take care of the problem some of my older designs have had in that, if they were sampled in too rustic a wool yarn, the design just wouldn't sell well, even if it was a nice design. It's certainly more work to make up more samples for each design, and I'm certainly not crazy enough to knit up 5 or 6 samples per pattern, especially sweater samples! But large swatches in the alternate yarns will do just fine.

It's an ambitious plan, I know, but every designer needs to find a niche, and a marketing method for their work. What works for one designer won't necessarily work for another designer.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Well, I finally did it. It's taken me over a year to make the hard decision to close down the Heels and Toes Gazette, but it's done. And now I can go forward.

Today I've been slogging away at a ton of stuff - mostly printing - retail and wholesale catalogs, redoing pdf files, patterns for a shop order. Got in the 10 reams of paper and 6x9" envelopes that I ordered just yesterday! from Staples. Of course I forgot to reorder more sheet protectors. And today I had to order a new maintenance kit and red solid ink for the Phaser. I'm down to the last few hundred pages that this kit will allow me to print, so that new one better be here Monday or Tuesday, as I have a ton of printing to get done and mailed off to the current Gazette subscribers.

I'm disgruntled over the yarn situation. Yarn manufacturers are so overwhelmed with accounts and orders that I can't get an account right now with Peace Fleece. Have to wait til spring and try back again.

And the merino I wanted to use is still another month away from being ready, as one of their dyeing machines is broken. Beans.

And more beans - I've tried 3x again to contact the UK BFL yarn distributor and can't seem to get a reply. All I want to know is if they have the natural color on cones or in hanks, in addition to the pull skeins. I can't dye from pull skeins and rewinding them back into hanks just adds more time and hence added price to the yarn, which I don't want to have to do. BFL is expensive enough - comparable to good merino.

I did, however, get the cashmere in that I ordered, so I can get around to dyeing more lavender for the scarf kits and can work on the beaded hat and scarf idea I swatched. This came in yesterday but I've been so busy. I'll try and get to the dyeing next week. I'd do it over the weekend, but I can't do it with hubby around - he makes me nervous! Or he'll need to interrupt me and I can't have that either. Dyeing is something you do when you don't have people around and can ignore the phone!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

CIC vest pattern, such that it is!

It seems there are some CIC knitters wanting the pattern for the vests I posted. Well, there is no real *pattern*! I just winged each one, but here's what I did:

I used super bulky yarn (or yarns held together to give a super bulky wt), about 6-10 ozs for each vest, at 2.25 sts/1" in stockinette.

I used US size 13 ckns. I only had the 29" length, so after I split the front and back, I just used another ckn to hold the sts, so I could use the size 13 and work back and forth.

For size 2 and 4, cast on 58/62 sts, so that there is an odd # for front and back to set up a v-neck. (Join, being careful not to twist sts.) Work a few rnds k1, p1 ribbing, then St st until the body is 6.5/8" long.

Split evenly for front and back, BO 2 sts each side on the back, then dec 1 / 2 sts each side on next row, work St st until the back measures 5.5/6" then BO.

The front gets split for the v-neck with the center front st put onto a holder. Each side gets the same underarm shaping as the back and 3/4 sts decreased on each front for the v-neck. Work even until same length as the back then BO. Seam the shoulders, then do 2 rows sc edging around the armholes and v-neck edges.

I used a size N crochet hook and worked 2 sc for each 3 rows and 1 sc for each st around the edges. On the 2nd row, I'd either skip over the "inside corner" sc or I'd work a HDC over the 2 sc so to curve the edging.

I also skipped over the center top shoulder sc on the 2nd row - again to curve the edges more anatomically.

I also skipped over the center v-neck sc on the 2nd row, so it wouldn't pucker.

In preparation, *all* I did was group together leftover yarns in coordinating colors, until I had about 10 ozs worth. If I only had a little of some colors, then I made the vest with striping in a small area, or I did just 1 row of striping between 3 or 4 rows background color. If you have a scale, you can weigh up your yarns and be able to figure out, more or less, how much of each color to use.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Well, the holidays are over, so it's back to prepping the house for sale.

Hubby and I began taking apart the pantry - moving the odd things that are in there into other rooms, so we can paint the walls and woodwork. It has rather unappealing wallpaper, and though I've stripped the 8 layers of paper in the other rooms, there is neither the time nor need to go to that much trouble for the pantry. Stripping paper is only step one, then hubby gets to use plaster washers and spackle to smooth out the old plaster walls, *then* the walls need to be repapered. So, we're not going down that lengthy road for an unimportant room. Off white paint will do just fine.

I've also rearranged the parlor furniture this morning and set up the library - as an old dresser and the filing cabinet had to go in there from the pantry.

I figure we've only got until March to get the pantry, my 2 office/studio rooms, the secondary front hallway, and the family room repainted, rugs cleaned, furniture rearranged, downstairs full bath redone enough to be more presentable and the kitchen walls and trim finished being painted then the new closet doors in our bedroom painted. Most of the other rooms are done and are staged properly enough for showing. Well, except the plaster ceiling in the parlor which needs a smidge of work and repainting as does the ceiling in the dining room. Then, just a desk that needs to be moved from one bedroom into another, where it will be less noticeable.

Working on my office though means disconnecting and moving all my computers, printer, work lifelines! So, it can't take more than a couple days.

Then there's the 6 pairs of new toile curtains to get for the kitchen and adjoining hall, new curtains for our bedroom as what's there doesn't go, and curtains for the 2 office rooms and family room, as what's there also isn't right - it's just all I had available. Hopefully 2 months will be enough time!

I really think we should try and get someone to finish the outside house prep and do the priming and painting, just to expedite the whole matter, so we can get the house listed and sold as soon as possible. The only other thing is to get all new plants for the 90' of beds flanking the front bluestone walk, as I had to take out the heirloom roses last year.

I've seen houses listed for far too many months, which means they're not priced right or they're not showing well, because of too much clutter or *personality*, so that prospective buyers can't imagine themselves living in the house. Staging a house for sale takes time, but is an important step.

I also need to finish going through the small attic - had to stop with all the retina biz I've been going through since last September, but a new contact is coming and I can get back to it. The big attic is done, but tons of nonsense needs to be thrown out and stuff we're keeping needs to be finished being repacked.

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