Colinette “Camping” Sweater

Last summer we went camping at a state park in Ocean City, WA, called Ocean Shores.  Now, it was mid-July.  Mid-July in Seattle is pretty beastly hot.  So we wore shorts, took our bathing suits, and didn’t take sleeping bags.  I know you have already realized what happened…it was windy and cold the whole weekend!  After the first night we went to a Wal-Mart nearby and bought jackets and blankets.  While I was shivering in the tent, I realized that Chris’ alpaca sweater, double-stranded as it is, would be PERFECT to stop the wind on occasions like this.  I made up my mind to knit myself a sweater just for camping trips.
Later that weekend I considered the fact that Colinette was on our upcoming UK trip, and decided to buy yarn at Colinette to make the camping sweater.
During the UK trip I also realized that the visit to Colinette was occurring on our 10th wedding anniversary.  So I, ha ha, decided to buy myself even more yarn.  What a surprise.
Anyway, after Thanksgiving I started this sweater.  It’s a basic boxy shape and was intended to have long, set-in sleeves.  The body of the sweater was quite easy to knit, no problems at all except that I’d expected the hem to roll up, rather than fold up, which is what it does.  I blame the yarn change from Silky Chic to the Cadenza/Jitterbug combo.  But this doesn’t bother me.  I’m going to be camping, right?
Well, the real problem was with the sleeves.  I knit a sleeve in the round, even though the pattern was written to knit flat.  I always do my sleeves in the round.  For some reason I did not get gauge, and ended up with a sleeve that would cover the trunk of an old sequoia!  So I ripped it out and knit a sleeve flat.  This one came out too small!  I was really baffled…wouldn’t you be?  So I set it aside for a while and worked on other things.  In the end (wanting to complete the sweater) I simply picked up stitches around the arm hole and knit down.  This is why the sleeve looks so dorky.  Set-in sleeves don’t really work well when they’re evenly-knit from the top.  But this doesn’t bother me.  I’m going to be camping, right?  Right.
So, here it is in all its goofy-sleeved glory, the Colinette-Anniversary-Camping Sweater.  The color is called Paintbox.  The edges are knit with Silky Chic, and the body is a combo of Cadenza and Jitterbug held together on size 9 (5.5mm) needles.  Inspector Bickie likes the seaming.

Selling Your House

We went to look at a house today.  I was so astonished that I have to blog about it.
This house was described as "French Country" style, and indeed it was.  Non-standard architectural styles are pretty rare on the Eastside, so we felt it was worth going to look at even though it was slightly smaller than our current home, and slightly more expensive than we wanted to pay.  The house went on the market on the 20th of February.
Our agent, Ruth, met us at the house, and the first thing she said was, "That roof is about to go!"  The roof was cedar-shingled, with lichen all over it, and the shingles were warped and cracked and pulling away from the roof.  We discussed how much to knock off the asking price, since this is not something that could be let slide.  It looks like it’s about to go at any minute.
Inside, the style and decor was very harmonious and had an overall French Country flair, similar to the properties Chris and I generally look at on our favorite French real estate site.  The house even had some gargoyle touches (the porch lamps and in the kitchen).  But – ugh!  The kitchen gargoyle was covered in cobwebs.  We weren’t sure whether this was some "authentic" type of touch left on there to give a rustic European look, or if the owners simply hadn’t cleaned the house before listing it.  That was extremely off-putting.
The house was built in 1990, but the kitchen looked like it was from the late 1950s.  The island cooktop (gas rings) was white enamel, very old-fashioned, with rusty sections.  The cabinets had that faded look you get on wood cabinets when they’ve been handled repeatedly for many many years and not refinished.  The countertop was in good condition, but looked pretty bland (plain white porcelain tiles).  The microwave was an old one, too.  Even though the kitchen appeared good, to go with the overall flavor of the house, it really needed major updating.
Upstairs, nothing too scary except a big wolf spider lurking in the hallway.  But the carpeting was very old and the bedrooms were pretty small.
On the positive side, the gardens and landscaping were beautiful, even this close to winter.  You could see there was a very good structure to the garden.  There’s a small building (built in the same style) out back, which could easily be used as a glass studio!  That really intrigued me.  There was also a greenhouse and formal raised bed gardens.  Since the property was on 1.5 acres, it was very good land.  We weren’t familiar with the area, but Ruth said it was a high-demand kind of location.
But in the end all the work and updating scared us away.  The asking price is a whopping $845K.  Privately Chris and I thought it was worth $600K or thereabouts, but then, we were also scared off by the roof situation.  If the owners have let the roof deteriorate so badly, who knows what kind of other structural problems may pop up later – things not visible to the buyer, but rotting away in the infrastructure?
Frankly I’d just like to know about that kitchen cobweb.

Things that really don’t make sense

All right, it’s time for a Diane-style entry today.
Have you ever heard the idea that all good chefs are fat?  Because their own cooking is so good that they eat too much of it, basically.  In fiction this generally means a cook is trustworthy, if he or she is fat.  I don’t really pay too much attention to the size of the cooks at the restaurants we frequent, but then, Bobby Flay is supposedly very good, and he’s not fat.  So I can’t say this is an iron-clad rule about cooks, but the thought is there.
So, by the same token, would you get your hair done by someone with a bad hairdo?  I wouldn’t.  That’s a no-brainer. 
Or would you buy your groceries from a store that was dirty and disorganized?  Again, no.
So, why is it that we trust people in the medical profession who are overweight?  I went to a local doctor’s office this past week.  The doctor was overweight – and I mean, big-time; probably 50-80 lb heavier than I am.  Several of the office workers were seriously overweight…the kind of people who have to turn sideways and suck in the gut, just to get through a standard doorway.  Why is this considered reasonable?  If I can’t trust a doctor to keep him- or herself fit, then why should I trust that doctor to make diagnoses about my health?  If the office workers don’t care about the health risks of being overweight, do they really care about the patient’s well-being?  Who runs the office?  Don’t they make the decisions about whether hiring these people will be bad for the office’s image?  Yes, perhaps it’s a discriminatory thing (avoidance thereof), but it still seems contrary to good business sense.
Normally (being a big girl myself) I don’t make judgments about the weight of others, except privately in my own mind.  But this is a real conundrum!  I’m almost tempted to seek out another doctor’s office.  I wonder how many other people notice this sort of thing, and whether they have chosen doctors on this basis.
I don’t have a catchy Diane-style phrase to end my blog with, but this is something I wanted to talk about, and possibly to hear ideas from you about your opinions.