About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for February 24th, 2010

Let it Snow?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010



I live in Lansing, Michigan, USA. I love the community. I don’t love the snow. The longer I stay here, the longer I think I’ll stay. However, in February/March I always consider changing my mind, at least for a fleeting moment or two.

Kid Adventure

Tuesday night Isabel (5 years old) and I tried to make a snowman. It had been warm enough during midday to have sticky snowman-making snow. By the time we got outside, it was too cold for such ideas. I chased her in circles in 6″ (15cm) of snow in her backyard until my legs were tired and my hands cold.

She played with some molds she has that make snow bricks. It was not fully successful, but she enjoyed quantity over quality and was content.

Luckily for me, we went out at twilight. We could not stay out too long, because we just could not see much after a little while. (Photo below is her on the swingset in full snow gear, in near darkness. Love this child!)

isabelsnowswingI wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Except maybe sticky snow and a snowman on top of the rest.

More Adventure

Wednesday it was another melty-sticky day. My friend Barbara said she made a snowman during the day, I was happy for her.

The roads were worse, it seems, Wednesday than even Monday (when so many schools were out for snow days). One of the main highways on the way out of town, was closed up tight at 3pm… just as state workers started to trickle out of town. It took me 30 minutes to go about 4 miles, normally a 6-7 minute drive. Crazy.

1-2-3 Rescue

I started my day stuck in my own driveway. My bug is usually better at snow than you might imagine.

I am a skilled and experienced driver. I have decent tires, and as long as the snow is not taller than the underbelly of my car, I can get around if I am cautious.

Here is a photo of my car/driveway on Tuesday morning. I got out just fine after taking this photo. We got a few more inches by Wednesday noon, when I attempted to go pick up a friend.


Wednesday morning somehow there was sheet ice under my wheels in the driveway. It does not help that our drive is made of earth rather than pavement, so there are little dents where the tires rest in the driveway (it’s a very short drive, there is little wiggle room).

Plan A: I tried to back out, with the reasonable assumption that I could do it just as I had Tuesday. I could not edge half an inch out of that icy low spot. I’m pretty darned good at winter driving, but I could only spin my wheels.

Plan B: I shoveled a lot of snow from anywhere near the car, and then got two thick pieces of dry cardboard from the house (thank goodness I had not taken out the recycling yet). I put the cardboard behind the front tires, as close to the tires as possible. Still, I could not get a half inch of traction to get on the cardboard so I could move.

Plan C: The big guns, so to speak. We have “salt” which is the kind which supposedly does less damage to soil and cement than regular salt. It’s also grainy like colored fish gravel. We do not use salt unless things are desperate. I was desperate.

I tossed a handful of salt in front of/in back of my tires. Fortunately, since the weather was a little warmer than freezing, the salt could take hold rather quickly. I was able to back out. Whew!

My Own Princess Charming, Today

I love being able to say “I rescued myself.” It is a powerful phrase. However, don’t think for a minute that the part where I figure out how do do the rescue is much fun. Today, no fun at all.

But I did it. I rescued myself. Score 1 for Lynn!

Olympic Setback

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Friend Cynthia and Friend/Shop Owner Rae checked over my Olympic-Season sweater project Tuesday. We all 3 see the same thing. The fabric of one piece is different, in texture and gauge, from the other. Both are the same yarn and the same exact needles used. One is smoother, with a smaller gauge. One is fuzzier and gives larger stitches on the same needles.

Rae says there was more than one shipment of that yarn to her shop over the years she carried it. Clearly the reason my swatch was a smaller gauge than the sweater, is that I used an old lot for the swatch and for the second piece of the sweater. Here is how much I’ve completed thus far (before stopping on a dime, yesterday, when I saw the mismatch):


The newer yarn (for which I have two extra 100gm balls, no shortage) is fuzzier and fluffier. It’s the same number of yards per pound but it is knitting at a fatter gauge than the one “oddball” from which the swatch came. Sigh.

Thank goodness the colors match almost exactly. I have made the decision to make the tighter-gauge piece be the back of the sweater. If I sit on it a lot, maybe it won’t stretch out as much being the firmer gauge, I can only hope.

What I will do is what others sometimes do when they have color mismatches in dye lots. Starting now, I will alternate two rows of one ball, then 2 rows of another, until I run out of the oddball. Then I will continue with the new ball, which will match the front and sleeves.

It just does not look different enough to rip and restart. I guess it’s like an ice skater who falls and continues their program. It is not 100% but continuing is part of being an Olympian. Or that’s how I’m justifying it today, anyway.

Here is a comparison shot. The top piece is what I have 7 balls of. It’s fluffier and fuzzier, and the gauge ended up bigger. The bottom piece, can you see that it’s just plain smoother? The stitches are definitely smaller, though for some reason the “garter rib/pearl rib” makes the gauge over the stitch pattern less different than knit stitch compared to knit stitch.


For the record, if this were a sample that the public would see, especially if I designed it? I’d rip and re-do. However, this is something for me to put in my closet and wear. Someone else designed it. You might say my “name” is not on it. Compromise is in order.


Here is a photo of the two yarn balls next to one another. Can you see that the top one is less fuzzy, more shiny? I think the colors are very, very close, but the textures are quite different.

Live and learn. Back to the needles…