Monday, March 31, 2008
You know, I always thought that Stephanie liked me, but now I'm beginning to wonder a bit.
I'm sitting here with what I fervently hope is the last of the Revenge whirling about in the microwave and I have to reflect on the last six weeks.
I dyed a colourway for FemiKnit Mafia early this year upon the occasion of the demise of her marriage. I had said something to her about "spinning visions of revenge" and she said "I wonder what that colourway would look like?" and then went on to give me her version of what it would be, along with explanations for every colour (which will be blogged one day, but not while the divorce is still pending). I mixed it up a bit, gave it my own twist and dyed up some Wensleydale roving for her and sent it to her. She loved it and blogged about it. I liked the results so much that I dyed up some sock yarn in that colourway.
It takes forever. For. Freakin. Ever. ForEVER.
This particular base yarn comes to me in balls, not skeins, and I skein it (so about 20 minutes for one pair of socks) and then lay it out and dye it. There are seven colour changes, three of which are blended colours (one of which involves three different colours) and they're all sort of faded into each other. It takes me over an hour to paint two skeins of this (so a pair of socks' worth). Used to take me an hour and a half but I've refined it and I also remember the colour changes now off by heart.
And then there's the wrapping and patching blank spots (three minutes) and the nuking (six minutes) and the rinsing (10-20 minutes) and then two days for them to dry. And then the re-skeining (another 20 minutes) and the labeling and packaging (five minutes) and then the hour's round-trip walk to the post office.
So ... 20 plus 75 plus 3 plus 6 plus 20 plus another 20 plus 60. 204 minutes. Well over an hour and a half for one pair of socks.
That doesn't even account for the amount of time it takes to prepare a jar of dye (about ten minutes) or the time it takes to go buy the dye powder (about three hours). Or to find my stinkin' spoon (about four hours but I don't think that can fairly be factored into the equation.)
But I did it because I wanted to and because, you know, I drinks a bit. I liked the result so much I sent it as a gift to Ms. Harlot, just thinking that she could have some fun with it.
And then I got an email from her saying "I got some sock yarn today that I really like." I said cool, knock yourself out. And then a few days later I got an email saying "you shouldn't be playing Flight of the Hamsters. You should be dyeing Revenge. You're going to need some."
At the time I was working seven days a week. 56 hours plus over 20 hours of commuting. Close to 80 hours. And then there was the 10 hours a week on the bus taking my kid to school and picking her up so, you know, 90 hours a week of my time was spoken for, and there only ARE 168 hours in a week, no matter how you multi-task, so time was at a premium. If I were human, after those 90 hours there would be 56 hours a week scheduled in for sleep, leaving me 22 hours a week of time to cook, clean, buy groceries (another one-hour round trip, as we are without vehicle) play with my kid and take care of personal hygiene.
Fortunately I don't sleep 8 hours a day and I don't care if I smell funny but really, I was living on borrowed time a lot of the time.
I dyed a few skeins and put them in my store, but at the time I was also getting ready to be a vendor at my first ever Fibre Fest and I needed to dye about 200 skeins for that. Few of the skeins were anywhere near that time-intensive but 200 is, after all, 200.
And then she blogged about it. She blogged about the yarn and how much fun it was to knit (and one day soon I hope to have enough time to knit again so that I can find out) and ... the kiss of death ... she told people where she got it.
My little store up until then was getting maybe two to six orders a week. I was trundling happily along; this was something I could handle and it was a nice little sideline that perhaps one day I would expand.
And then I got six weeks worth of orders in two days. No, more than that. Ten or twelve weeks. Four freakin' MONTHS of orders in two days.
So ... I did the fibrefest, I went mental, I stopped sleeping completely and I did what I could.
I failed. There were time-management issues, kid-sick-for-a-week issues, job-related bullshit, problems with orders from my supplier and so on.
I've quit my job to do this full-time now and, like I said, the very last (I hope) of the Revenge is in the nukerator right now. If I wake later today and find out that I need another 20 skeins I think I'm going to puke on my shoes.
And then dye them.
The skeins, not the shoes.
I've had email issues and if you've written and I haven't written back it's not because I'm a twat, it's because I'm overwhelmed (and may also be a twat). I'm going to link to this post and send it in response to all of the unanswered emails and then send personalized responses over the next week or so.
A shitpile of the yarn has gone out. A pile remains here and will go out this week once it's finally dry.
I will be done by Wednesday, which is a good thing as I'm meeting with someone on Friday to discuss an as-of-yet secret project.
I thank everyone for their patience.
And I'm never talking to Stephanie again. I'm not even letting that trollop BUY my yarn, just for this.
(ps, thank you).
Saturday, March 29, 2008
My Heart Hurts
Ever read a post that makes you so sad that you can't even cry because it just brings up this great big shitpile of stuff that you don't even know how to deal with?
If not, and if you'd like to (which probably makes you a little bit of a freak) Ms. Lori's post of last night did that all for me.
I can't help. I'm a "fixer" and I can't help. Sometimes you just have to sit there and take it.
I'm gonna go cast something on for that chick. I can't help, but I can knit.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The Kindness of Stranglers
I've likely used that title before, but as I'm clearly a 12-year-old boy, it amuses me endlessly that "strangers" and "stranglers" are only one letter apart.
Yes, I was a terrible geek in school (and quite likely still am), why do you ask?
I'm still swamped, still like 100 emails behind, still struggling and feeling like a total twat, but the orders are going out, the store software is functioning (although the store itself is nekkid) and life isn't so bad at all.
One of the really good things about life right now is that I've been the "victim" of an RAOK (Random Act of Kindness). One of my readers (who until recently was a stranger, or perhaps even a strangler) wrote to me a few weeks back. She said that I probably didn't know her from a hole in the ground (and as I get about 350 - 400 readers a day on the weekend and 650-850 on a weekday that's a fair assessment) and asked if I was a Springsteen fan. She further went on to say that she had two tickets for his show on this coming Monday and she couldn't use them and would like to offer them to me. For, like, nothing.
Zero. Zip. Nada.
I was all WTF? This woman could have sold them for four times the face price on Craigslist or eBay without a blink.
Her email said "yes, this is serious, I am offering you two tickets to the sold-out show for no other reason than I can't use them and think you'd like them and I don't want them to go to waste." or something along those lines.
I like Springsteen -- a lot. I wouldn't go and eat his sweaty leather jacket for lunch or anything, but the man rocks, bigtime. My husband is an even bigger fan and when I asked him if he'd like to go he said "are you serious? We can hardly afford toilet paper, we can't afford that" or something like that although he likely wasn't responsible enough to mention the toilet paper thing.
(Yes, we have some, I bought 30 rolls two days ago, thank you for being concerned -- have you ever considered that you're perhaps a little freaky for wondering about my toilet paper? I just thought I'd mention it.)
Her rules are: I can blog about the RAOK. I can blog about the concert (although there will be no photos as my phone doesn't take them and I'm sure I'd be frisked for a camera on the way in) but I am NOT allowed to a) say who it is and b) pay for the tickets (although I'm still trying to send her some yarn for them) and c) I have to pay it forward if and when I am able to do so.
Stranglers. I loves them.
You rock, nameless reader-chick. You rock the house.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I'm coming up for breath, but only briefly. I won't be sane again until about Tuesday.
In the meantime, Bea is having a contest on her blog. Go visit with cute dogs for a while until I get my shit together again, k?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Holy shit. I've just logged in to an email account I seldom check and there are over 100 emails there waiting for my response.
I also just checked my business email and apparently my shitty store software was eating contact emails and has just pooped out more than 60 of them.
I have no idea how to even start dealing with this, I am completely overwhelmed and embarrassed. I guess I start at the beginning and move on.
I have to find a way to apologize to everyone who wrote to me a stinking month ago and to reassure everyone that yarn is on its way.
If you're waiting for yarn and you're one of the folks who's written, I'm assuming I now have all of your messages. I'm hoping you've received your yarn by now and that this is a moot point.
If you have NOT received your yarn, plese email me at teh.bunnei at gmail dot com (yes, it's spelled that way, I'm a freak) and if I sent it out more than two weeks ago I'll send another order.
And if you ordered within the last two weeks, it's drying right now and I'm heading to the PO on Thursday.
I'm blaming Stephanie for all of this.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Look Away, If You Can
I was going to post tonight about how delighted I was to be finished with the old job. I'm not actually finished, I've accepted a couple of shifts but they're at my convenience and I'm well-pleased to be doing it that way.
I was going to write about joy and freedom and liberty.
But then I went and read my friend Joy's blog. There's some Joy there, but not so much in the way of joy. No freedom and liberty at all.
This hurts my heart.
If you're not into reading about Tibet and how the people of that country are being systematically slaughtered this might not be such a good link to follow. If you are then this is a good place to read firsthand accounts from people who are living such a life.
I've sent what little I can (and believe me it was very little) to their emergency medical fund. Not sure if there's anyone I can write letters to -- there must be. Must be.
I'm not entirely sure of the power of a single letter, but I'm willing to throw mine into the ring in the tiny, faint hope that a word will make a difference.
I'll research it more tomorrow, and will also get some yarn up this week into the Karma Corner in my store and send the proceeds of that to them.
For tonight, I'm going to reflect on how very fortunate I am to be living indoors without fear of being beaten and tortured. I may not be living in the country of my birth; however, I am here by choice and could return home freely at any time of my choosing.
I have not been forced to relinquish my religion, my language or my nationality, nor yet my life.
My mother-in-law is visiting and I think she's agreed to move in with us once she retires (I hear the collective groans however it was at my request; we would be fortunate to have her here). I've rid myself of the job that was making me break out head to toe, I slept ten hours today while my family went to the farm and then went shopping and I woke, rested for once, to the smell of one of my favourite meals on the stove.
Freedom, safety and joy indeed. I has it.
I wish everyone did.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
DO Look Now ...
Honestly, you people. No, the baby sweater isn't for me. It's cute as hell and I just want to make it and have some relatively-instant gratification. If it works out, it's for a co-worker's sister.
Seriously -- unless there's a star in the east and three wiseguys coming up the stairs with presents, there are likely to be no more little additions to Chez Lapin (not for lack of wishing, but I'm 46 and apparently relatively infertile and you just deal with what life hands you, no?)
While you are all recovering from your grief at the knowledge that there will be no pitter-patter of little paws (and no angelic tiny voices muttering "assbeagle" at the folks in the delivery room -- as we know I am so gifted that my child, were there one, would likely be born already speaking) why don't you toddle over to visit the blog of the deliciously-talented Sivia Harding?
Sivia's father has recently passed away and in loving memory of him she is having an auction, the entire proceeds of which will go directly to Doctors Without Borders.
There are many wonderful things up for grabs. I have bid on some. Go outbid me so I spend my money on sensible things like food (and the loom I bought this week -- yes, another. Shut up.) rather than on Kid Silk Haze and the like.
Man cannot live by the hair of the mo, alone, apparently.
Even if it's green.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Don't Look Now, But ...
Due to regular (and slightly irregular) taunting from two people who really should have better things to do with their time (quick, someone send them some yarn), I am knitting.
Not lace, but I have cast on a square for a blanket thingie Pam is doing on Ravelry and I have also cast on for The World's Cutest Baby Sweater.
Alert the authorities -- surely no good can come of this.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Dear gas company ... oh dear, dear gas company -- how I love thee.
This has been a really bad no good terrible week. Through massive mismanagement (mostly mine but I have faith in my ability to cast about frantically until I seize upon someone else to take the blame) and A Series of Unfortunate (and stupid) Events, we have been living with neither heat nor hot water for most of this week.
Now, although I just heard a collective gasp from everyone in California and other places that don't do The Cold (tm) it really hasn't been that bad. I'm not as crazy as The Yarn Harlot, who seems to think that it's some sort of fun (or even marginally sane) to hike 2km with a 50-gallon wine cask on her back so that she can sit in a deserted cabin and be taunted by deer for six days but I'm not really a delicate little flower. A little of The Chilly has caused me little distress.
It's been above freezing outside all week; the temperature in the house has gotten below 16C (60F) a few times and I must say that it hasn't been a great deal of fun (I get very cold when I'm tired) but hardly "breaking the ice to haul water from the well" kind of cold.
Washing hair in ice cold water, or boiling water for 2 hours for a bath? Also not fun. Dishes? Remained undone until the smell started bothering me (everyone say "ew" and just get it out of your systems and we'll move on, all right? Honestly, some people.)
Today I spoke to the people at our gas company. I've heard a few tales of woe from some folks regarding service from this company, but I must say that apart from one young lady who was slightly (only very slightly) abrupt on the phone with me today, I have never had one moment of trouble with them. They're good about payment plans, delayed and partial payments (we've had issues); everyone on the phone has been exceptionally pleasant and they've always done what they've said they're going to do, often exceeding expectations.
Based on empirical evidence, I expected that when the lady on the phone told me that I would have restored heat and hot water services "today", that it would happen ... you know ... today.
She said I could have an appointment for either the 8-12 slot, the 12-4 slot or the 8-4 slot. I wasn't quite sure how this worked but I said I'd like someone to come after 9:30 and I'd just wait until they got there.
I waited. Noon came and went. I phoned (and got the slightly-abrupt lady who informed me that reconnecting and relighting appliances wasn't a priority). I waited. 2pm came and went. I waited. 3:30pm came and with it my daughter's return from school. By this time I had boiled many big vats of water, as I had realised that no matter when (or if) the gas was hooked up, the water would take an hour or more to reach "bath" temperature and there was no way I could wait that long and still work tonight.
I had a quick bath and hit the hay.
Sleep came and went and it was all of a sudden 8:30pm and time for me to get ready to go to work. And to wash my hair.
In ice cold water.
There was much cussing ... nobody had come to hook up our all-important heatythings and we had visions of spending the weekend with no heat. I had visions of trying to finish the massive dyejob I have planned for this weekend with no warm water (and with three children in the house as I'm taking care of my friend's two on Saturday night).
There was more cussing. I told my husband that they're a good company but you know if someone's furnace is blowing up or there's a broken gas main then yes, that's likely more important than whether or not I can spend an hour or two communing comfortably with my rubber duckie.
He remained unconvinced, as he is apparently less willing than I am to wash his hair in icy water straight off the mains.
And then when I got to work there was an email from him. A blessed, lovely email, saying that the dude had shown up (they're doing reconnects at 9pm on a Friday night -- where else are you going to get that kind of service?) and that all of the heatythings were a) making noises and b) making heat and that my faith in the company was in fact well-founded.
I am indeed a happy rabbit.
If you're looking for me this weekend, I'll either be in the bath, or covered in dye. I don't intend to spend a dry moment before Monday.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Hrm, Not Quite
Then again I'm pretty sure that the name "Janice" isn't the one I should have had stuck on me. I don't know what it should have been, but not this.
Maybe one day when I thaw out (explanation to follow tomorrow) we can have a "Rename the Rabbitch" contest.
Or maybe I'll just stick to "Rabbitch". That seems to work.
What Janice Means
You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.
You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.
You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.
You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
No Longer a Virgin
Seems I'm no longer a Fibrefest virgin.
The 'fest was a lot of work and also the most fun I've had with my clothes on in quite some time.
In fact it was a lot more fun than many times I've had with my clothes off.
Saturday's booth setup was way more impressive but apparently we were too busy vending to be photographing.
Oh, and that Job That Blows Goats that I keep whining about?
Um, I just quit it. I'm not completely insane, I'm going to "casual" status, however I'm not killing myself for those people any more.
Gonna be a fibre maven, I am.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Roving ... check.
Yarn ... check.
Soap ... check.
Mitten and glove kits ... check.
Business cards, bags, labels, stands, a calculator, paper, pen, sammidges ... check.
Underpants on my head and a palpable sense of fear? ... check.
There will be no returned emails, written blogs or posted pictures until Sunday.
Apparently it's showtime.
If anyone's wondering about their Revenge yarn I'm close to being done. If you've written I'll write back Monday.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl
I think she did pretty well.
At least she's not wearing her underpants on her head. (These are kitty ears, if you can't tell).
And now the latest from "The Department of Blowing Your Own Horn", we have some of The Dreaded Russet Yarn, half of which has been overdyed with black (thanks, Ann!)
I don't think it looks so bad, for something that almost made me cry.
I will overdye a fair bit of it, and there are Mysterious Plans for the rest.
Stay tuned for further episodes of "As The Swift Turns".
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Thanks to a handy little program called Statcounter, I am able to check out a "keyword analysis" on this blog and find out what search terms people have used to land here.
Today's offerings (comments in brackets added later):
9.38% donkeydick (this is not the first time this has shown up)
6.25% a duck walks into a pharmacy
6.25% telus sucks
3.13% things that sound like i love you
3.13% wooly bondage
3.13% bondage mummy
3.13% telus credit card top up
3.13% asscakes (nom nom nom)
3.13% sew on google eyes
3.13% rabbitch boiled ass
3.13% john rabbitch
3.13% jesus christ on a piece of toast (y'all want fries with that?)
3.13% rabbitch blog
3.13% bad rabitt off-road park
3.13% how to transfer cell phone number from telus mike to telus pay and talk
3.13% how not to be a complete asshole (I know a few folks who could use this)
3.13% goat scrotum (this one disturbs me)
3.13% housekeeping important
OK, so this is almost as much of a throw-away post as posting a quiz, but I'm seriously overwhelmed here. Trying to finish up sending out the Revenge yarn while also skeining like a madwoman in preparation for this Friday's FibreFest. I expect that regular posting (please note this is "regular", not "normal") will resume early next week. Until then there will be radio silence, broken occasionally by random weirdness.
Skeining is, apparently, hard work and that, combined with all of the lifting of pots full of water into and out of the bathtub and up and down onto the stove has taken its toll, in that my shoulders and upper arms could now give a longshoreman a run for his money. If it weren't for Mrs. Quimby and Jelaina who have been skeining faithfully all weekend, I'd probably look like that green guy who busts out of his clothing when he gets mad. The Incredible Hulk? The Fantastic Ferret? The Moist Marmoset? (You can see why they don't let me name superhero-type people.)
Now if I could only find something that worked on my ass ...