April 27, 2009

Shapely Old Lady Pocketed Cardigan

Filed under: Knitting — maryparadox @ 5:44 pm
2008-04-27 à 15-15-23

Front view. Would be better if my hands weren't in the pockets.

I’ve wanted to create a pattern for a long time, but always felt like it had to be perfect before doing so. Of course, that means I never got around it. Work has been so stressful lately that this weekend I decided to only do things I wanted to do, and forget about all the things that I need to do. That meant that I finally found time to write up a pattern that I made over a year ago — the Shapely Old Lady Pocketed Cardigan! I have big plans about a second revision of this cardigan, but for now here it is, in one size, and mediocre pictures. I can’t wait until the next revision!

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I’m really excited to post this on my blog, where I frequently forget to post about knitting (given then I have ravelry). Now I just need to post it to Ravelry, then field support questions for people trying to knit from the pattern (if I’m every that lucky). I’ll keep my fingers crossed and report back :)

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The crazy collar.


April 16, 2009

Alemany Farmer’s Market

Filed under: san francisco — maryparadox @ 6:21 pm

I am a big Farmer’s Market fan and Peter and I have been alternating between the Alemany and Ferry Building markets since we moved to San Francisco. From our house in the Mission district of San Francisco we can walk over Bernal Heights to the south and get to the Alemany Farmer’s Market, or we can either ride our bikes or take the bus to get to the Ferry Building market (I’ll talk about that in another post). The Alemany market is cheaper, closer, older, and historically the place to go for live chickens and asian vegetables. It isn’t as big as the Ferry Building market though and doesn’t have as many organic foods or prepared goods.


The view when walking from my house towards Bernal Heights.


Me in my dorky "sun wear" and giant market bag.

A 360 degree view from the top of Bernal Heights:

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The street you can see in the top row that has all of the trees is my street! I love that it is so leafy and beautiful.

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I really like the plant on the left — I’ve seen these all over the place in the last couple of weeks. I would like to plant some in the back yard (I’ve seen them thriving places with very little sun) but I don’t know what they are called. If you know please leave a comment! The girl on the right was really darling, and her cardigan was so cute! When she turned around I realized she had just sewed the back darts in a very simple way, but it worked really well.

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Some of the produce offered (I love the grapefruit on a stick, it looks like a rainbow that has been beheaded). There are of course other stalls that sell vegetables, baked goods, flowers, etc. I went to buy plants and came away with grasses, lavender, and a pomegranate bush!


The resident Alemany Farmer's market musician who plays banjo and has a dancing "cat".

April 15, 2009

Backyard Farmers

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 4:16 am
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Our little farm is on its way. So far we’re growing:

  • grapes
  • kumquats
  • pomegranates
  • lemons
  • meyer lemons
  • mystery dwarf citrus
  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • tomatoes
  • bell pepper
  • pumpkins
  • cantelopes
  • strawberries

This plant was brought from our last house, but this is the first time it has produced a flower.

And in the non-food category:

  • nasturtiums
  • morning glories
  • fiber-optic grass
  • lavender
  • succulents
  • roses
  • hydrangeas
  • bulbs
  • ground cover

So far the yard work has had two phases; rip everything out; put everything back in. Now we are in the third phase; wait for everything to grow.


The new tomatoes, already doubled (tripled) in size.

We’re also using some stone, that were in our yard already, to make a small patio in the far-back. I still need to dig the stones in and plant the ground cover in the back, but it’s mostly laid out.


The new patio, the grapes to the left, and the amazing bulbs that come up every year along the fence.

The yard looks really empty right now, but I’m hoping that by my birthday in July it will be all bushy. I go out almost every day to see if any seeds have sprouted; Peter thinks I’m crazy!


Looking good except for that garbage in the foreground.

April 10, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Day 23-24

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 6:35 pm

On Wednesday the contractor came by and installed the grate over the central-heating air-intake. They reused the grate from the floor but turned it sideways. Not sure if it is the best looking, but it amuses me.

The plumber also came by and installed the toilet! Unfortunately I didn’t realize that you have to buy a toilet seat separately, so it still isn’t super useful. It made me remember that I had ordered a toilet paper holder and a towel rack a couple of months ago but had never received a call saying the shipment had come in. I called the plumbing supply store and they claimed they would have them in by Monday.

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On Thursday they came by and installed the backsplash. It looks dark now because the grout is still drying. They are coming back tomorrow to touch up the trim some because they had to mess with it a little to get the marble in. Hopefully they will be installing the mirror too.


April 9, 2009

Can’t We All Just Relax?

Filed under: Kitties — maryparadox @ 11:06 pm
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April 8, 2009

Living Room Strip

Filed under: House — maryparadox @ 10:58 pm

A house project that doesn’t have to do with the mini-bath? Craziness!

Now that the wall in the living room is finished we’ve started thinking about fixing up that room before we put our furniture back in. You’ve seen one wall of this room a lot, but here is the 360 degree view.

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So there you go. If you look closely you will see a few anomalies. First off, the wallpaper does not go all the way around the room. Second off the wall that is shared with the kitchen is painted a different color; it looks like primer.

The wallpaper is pretty hilarious, or awesome, depending on how you look at it. It is silver foil with black velvet stripes!! It would be cool except for the aforementioned incompleteness, and the fact that it is really delicate and therefore torn in many places.

This last Sunday I decided it was time to get rid of the wallpaper and prep for painting. My mom sent me these instructions for removing wallpaper, and it was way easier than I thought.

First you strip off the outer decorative layer, which is also the part that is water repellent.


Then you apply a solution of one part vinegar to two parts hot water to the remaining paper and glue. Soak the wall, let it site for a couple minutes, then scrape off the paper.


Unfortunately, after removing the outer layer of wallpaper from the wall behind the couch we found mold! Ewwwww!


Luckily I was able to find instructions for removing mold from lathe and plaster on the internet (how do I love thee). So we used a solution of water and bleach to clean that part of the wall.

Voilà (Peter teaches me french) no more mold! Now we just let it dry, sand, and paint! Oh yeah, and the important step of picking colors.


A gratuitous artsy shot of the wallpaper, because it was sort of beautiful.

Work Frenzy

Filed under: Work — maryparadox @ 5:18 pm

Life is kind of crazy right now. I became a “Technical Program Manager” about seven months ago, but it has only been in the last couple of months that things have ramped up to a frenzy.

All of our projects have code names, so that we can talk about them in public without people knowing what we’re talking about. My project are:

Tiber: Six engineers and one project manager. This was my first project, and the one I would be working on if I was still an engineer. My old team, and friends, work on this project.
Dnieper: Three sub-components, each with 2-3 engineers.
Dnieper 2.0: I was able to get my boss to reassign this to someone else
Liquid: This is a huge project and my boss manages it. I’m assigned several sub-components.
Granada: This will be a rather large project with sub-components, at least three engineers.

It’s too much. My boss reassigned Dnieper 2.0, and Dnieper 1.0 will be completed by the end of the month. That still leaves me with three rather large projects.

I’m stressed out, I don’t sleep well (I never did, but now it’s worse), I have to travel, and I don’t feel like I ever have time to enjoy myself. Part of the problem is owning a home now, so instead of doing fun things on the weekend I strip wallpaper and landscape the yard. Some part of me realizes that I must think those things are fun, or I would do them, but I also miss hanging out with friends and mountain biking.

I have to go to Hsinchu the third week of this month for Granada. I really want a vacation, but this is the kind of job where things don’t stop when you go out of town, they just pile-up until you get back. I also don’t really want to go anywhere, since I have to travel for work now, but also because I don’t have anyone to go with.

Maybe I should just take a week off and stay home. I could try going mountain biking, do some house stuff, hang out with friends. The question is when?

April 7, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Day 22

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 11:06 pm

The electrician came and install the switches and lights. Since we hadn’t picked out any light fixtures yet they just installed cheap basic sockets and we’ll have to install the lights later (the punishment for slacking).


Such a complicated panel!

Apparently code now dictates that you have a motion sensor on your bathroom light that will automatically turn it off after a motionless 5-15 minutes (it’s configurable). So the bottom right thingy is the light sensor and the on off switch. The two top switches dictate what will go on when you hit the sensor (this way you can have a sort of pre-set program to dictate what goes on). There is a switch for the light over the mirror, which will have make-up globes, and one for the chandelier. To complicate things further they each have dimmers. The last switch on the bottom left is for the fan. It was supposed to be on a timer so you could leave it running and walk away, but they forgot.


I don't know why, but I really like this sideways.

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Bathroom Remodel: Day 21

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 10:59 pm

More paint! Now with two colors of pink!!

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A picture without flash; the real color is somewhere in between this and the other photos.

April 3, 2009

Bathroom Remodel: Day 20

Filed under: Mini Bath — maryparadox @ 6:23 pm

Paint! We got to see the bathroom with the pink paint for the first time yesterday. The pink looks great, unfortunately the white looked like a sickly graying green. This is the same color used in the upstairs bathroom, but a new can, so either they mixed it wrong or it is just the way it looks next to pink. We decided to rectify by painting the lower panel pink as well (but a different shade), so the white will only be on the trim. Peter went and bought the new pink for the bottom panel today, so I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

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They still need to install the marble backsplash, and Ed says he will pick up the mirror from the shop today. The picture on the right shows that they painted the inside of the door cream (like the hallway trim) instead of white (like the bathroom trim). I’m not sure I really care, since I don’t love the white paint we chose for the bathroom anyway.


The back wall, where the toilet will be.

As you can see from the photo (or perhaps you can’t, if you’re like Peter and everything looks white), the lower portion of the wall looks slightly greenish-gray. Hopefully the all-pink bathroom will be better.


The ceiling.

We had some small confusion about how to paint above the picture rail. I had planned on the bit of wall above the picture rail being white, like the ceiling, but Peter thought it should be pink, since it was wall. Well, he was the one there to talk to the contractor, so pink it is. I figure I can live with it for a while and see if I learn to like it. Part of me wants to paint the rest of the ceiling pink, except for the cornice.


The dining/living room.

We told Ed not to paint the dining room because we were going to paint the whole room ourselves, but then they went and did it anyway. It looks pretty nice. Now we just need to remove all that bloody wallpaper and paint the rest of the room.

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