Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Happy Memorial Day

Posted by notthatkat on May 28, 2007

For those of you in the US, Happy Memorial Day. For those in the rest of the world, Happy Monday. I worked today, but we were pretty slow, so it wasn’t too bad.

Curtain Report
I made much progress this weekend on the curtain and am down to my last dozen rows on the last lace repeat. The stokinette part should whiz right by, assuming I do not do stupid things like drop a stitch and not notice for 4 inches, like I did on the first one. Unfortunately, these curtains do not make for very interesting blogging as they aren’t photogenic in progress. I will post photos when they’re done and blocking, as well as installation shots, but until then, you’ll just have to take my word on it.

Gimlet Socks
The Gimlet socks are past the toes and all on two circs now:

Gimlet socks

This is my first time making thong toe socks, and I chose to do them toe up because their intended recipient has much larger feet than I and I don’t want to run out of yarn. They look a bit like Franken-socks, but they fit well, and she is happy:

Gimlet Socks

Soap!
The soap is cut into bars and curing:

Cut Soap

On the lower right is the hot processed soap while the cold processed bars are the lighter ones to the left and on top. The cold processed soap will need a good 4 weeks to finish becoming soap. It was maybe 70% done when we unmolded and cut, but it’s still pretty harsh and I wouldn’t recommend using it right now, unless you like burning skin. But once it’s done, there is nothing like it.

The hot processed soap can theoretically be used at any time, but I like to let it cure about a week to let it dry and give any unreacted areas a chance to do their thing.  It looks rougher because it was semi-solid when it went into the mold (about the consistency of Vaseline) and was cooling/solidifying as we were putting it in the mold.  I could trim off the rough edges, but after a couple uses, it’ll smooth itself out, and that’s all good soap there.

I used sheets of plastic canvas to allow air circulation and turn the bars every day or two for the first week or so, then a couple times a week for the remaining cure period.

Customer Service
To my way of thinking, what separates a great yarn enabler retailer from a merely good one often comes down to customer service. It’s (relatively) easy to take and fill orders. It’s what happens when there’s a problem that really shows what a company is made of.

A while back, I showed you the yarn I got for my Sockapalooza pal. I had settled on the Cherry Tree Hill solid yarn and a pattern and started winding the skein. As I wound I found a splice in the yarn:

CHH splice

Not great, but close enough to one end that I can probably just start after that. Then I felt another. And another. And several more. I was less than half way through winding when I had decided that I could not use this yarn for socks intended for a gift for someone else. By the time I was done, I knew that I didn’t want to use it at all, and emailed Allison at Simply Socks Yarn Company and told her about the problem.  She contacted me within the hour to let me know that she would, of course, replace the skein.  Furthermore, she had contacted Cherry Tree Hill and they wanted the skein back to determine the source of the problem.  The yarn is on its way back to Vermont, and a replacement skein should come my way shortly.  Allison’s quick response and clear desire to fix the problem turned a disappointing experience into one of the more pleasant customer service experiences I’ve had in a long time.  I will certainly do business with her again.

Since I had already shifted mental gears to the Fleece Artist yarn and a different pattern that works better with a variegated yarn, I will probably go forward with that once the Gimlet socks are done, and make myself a pair of Embossed Leaves from the CTH yarn.

Kittens
Unfortunately, we lost 2 of the 4 kittens.  They were the smallest, weakest two, and they just faded over the first few days.  Mama Cat didn’t seem to have a lot of milk, and even though we were supplementing with bottle feedings, I’m not sure if they were just not getting enough nutrition, or if the time Mama Cat was in labor/placental separation/lack of oxygen was a factor.  The other two were doing well when they left our hospital on Friday, and we did send milk home.

Anita asked why she was in labor so long.  Frankly, I don’t know.  This is not a problem I see very often in cats, and most cases of dystocia (difficulty/inability to give birth)  I see are in cats that have a prior history of pelvic fractures or traumatic injury.  This cat was semi-feral, so I had very little history on her, but her pelvis did not appear narrowed at the time of surgery.  I am assuming that it was an issue of inadequate contractions, as she had not moved any of the kittens down into the birth canal.  The question is somewhat moot, as I spayed her while I had her in surgery.

 Digit

Digit

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