Sunday, April 05, 2009

Yarn, cream cheese and doom.

What a week I've had! On Thursday, my printer had a meltdown (as in, one of the print heads failed and I can't print anything until it's fixed). I've been using an off-brand ink (Media Sciences) that has a good reputation for standing behind their product. When my printer failed, I first called my Xerox guy and desperately asked for help. The technician called back and basically said that ordering a replacement print head from Xerox would be more expensive than replacing the whole printer. This of course got me all ticked off about their scam of a "maintenance" plan that makes it impossible to fix your printer if you don't pay their hefty monthly fee.

I then called Media Sciences and was shocked and amazed to talk to someone who was actually friendly, helpful and who gave me hope that maybe my printer could be fixed instead of trashed. After a horrible unrelated service call with the fine people at QuickBooks (fine is used in the most sarcastic sense of the word there), it was so refreshing to talk to someone who wasn't trying to sell me a $79 service plan (and only $39.95 a month thereafter! What a bargain!). We'll see how it all plays out, but if Media Sciences comes through like they say they will, I will be a customer for life. I am so sick of companies making stuff that is designed to break, just so they can sell their profitable (for them) "maintenance or replacement" plans. What a scam. Our disposable society should be so ashamed of itself. But I digress...

After the printer fiasco, I needed some kitchen therapy. So I made 2 dozen snickerdoodles (which the kids sucked down in less than 24 hours), some sweet potato cookies, an apple cake and chocolate chip bread. I also decided to take a chance on cheese again, and whipped up a batch of cream cheese. It was totally fun, and it actually worked (unlike my mozzarella disaster of a few weeks ago)! Here it is hanging out in our kitchen, ridding itself of its whey:

I'm still not sure what happened to the mozzarella (it set up, but then when I tried to mix-and-heat, it just dissolved back into the whey again instead of turning into cheese - I'm suspicious that it might be our water), but the cream cheese was incredibly easy. If you want to learn how to make your own, there's another Lost Arts Kitchen cheese class coming up on April 17!

The book has been coming along nicely. Now that it's with the designer, I'm feeling at loose ends. We still have a few more photographs to do, but the writing, editing and knitting are pretty much done. Now that that's out of the way, I can start to panic about new patterns for Gardiner Yarn Works. I've got a bunch of yarn that is slated for June projects and I'm just starting to realize how freaking close June is to being here. What in the world happened to March? One day it's Sydney's birthday (late Feb), the next it's nearly Owen's (early April)! It's crazy!

Here are a couple of sneak peeks...the first is just yarn, waiting to be knitted:

Yes, that's a big old pile of Buffalo Gold. The socks that I designed for the book out of the Buffalo Gold sock yarn were so incredibly delicious that I can't wait to knit some lace out of these (although, sadly, I don't get to do the knitting - two of my very lucky sample knitters get that privilege!). The green is their Lux, which is bison, cashmere, silk and tencel. Yum! The natural-colored is laceweight 100% bison.

Next is a little project that I whipped up after realizing I needed something new and quick to go in an ad that's due on the 10th. Photography will be imminent (and better than this picture, of course). It's a single-skein neckwarmer made from Lorna's Laces Pearl (silk and bamboo). It is heaven to knit!

And now, it is a beautiful day here so although I have a to-do list that's longer than my arm, I'm going to go enjoy the sun. Don't forget to check back tomorrow when the Fiber Gathering blog book tour is stopping by here, and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book!


Blogger pdxknitterati said...

I thought March lasted forEVER this year! But I wasn't as busy as you are.

I love the April SSC pattern...

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Mickey said...

Sweet potato cookies? Sounds good, but the cheese..... I salute your creativity and bravery.

4:48 PM  

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