Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Out of My Comfort Zone....

The past few days I've been taken out of my comfort zone -literally and kniterally (which may not be a word but certainly should be).

In the world of knitting I've taken things down a gear as the long hours at work continue. This means that when I do knit I want easy. I want progress. I want to be able to pick it up and put it down mid row. And preferably I want to do all of that while watching Ugly Betty.

The perfect pattern and yarn were sourced - the lovely Muir designed by Romi. I love the movement of the lines around the leaves. The stole is made up of 13 repeats of 32 pretty straightforward rows, particularly once the pattern is established. I am really loving knitting it. It requires just enough of my brain and not one cell more.

I'm knitting it in Kid Silk Night on 4mm (!) needles. That's the first move from the comfort zone. Until now I've done all of my lace knitting on smallish needles (relative to the pattern) preferring (while knitting) the tighter look of the fabric. But when I see the finished objects created by others with looser fabric I really really like it.

So for this project I just picked up the recommended needles, the yarn and started knitting. It was loose. Crazy loose. But I just focused on Ugly Betty being charmed by Gio the sandwich guy and carried on. Now, just about through the 5th repeat I'm loving the looseness! I'm embracing the looseness! Looseness rules!

Sadly, my other 'out of the comfort zone' tale does not (yet) end so happily. On Saturday (possibly Friday) my boiler packed up. No heat. And a dwindling supply of hot water - the last tepid drops of which I used to wash my hair on Sunday.

Yesterday I called the 'emergency installation' line for British Gas. When I said I wanted a new boiler system installed the service agent said they'd send around a sales agent to see what I need. I reiterated that I needed a new boiler system. He booked the sales agent appointment.

Today a very nice man from British Gas dropped by to 'evaluate the situation' and apparently I need a new boiler system. Wow. Didn't see that coming. He then proceeded to recommend a system, give me the (crazy crazy) price. I agreed. (I WANT HOT WATER.)

He called the service centre to book the 'emergency installation' appointment. I tell no lie when I say British Gas are delivering the equipment NEXT Monday, and the earliest actual installation (according to the computer) is - November 8. Yep the 8th of November. Yep, as in 15 days from now. There is some hope (ha) that an earlier date will come up.

Now I could call an independent plumber and get a new boiler that way. But my last experience that way was a real disaster. So I wait. The British Gas man left this folder to mock me. "All the warmth you'll need...."...sometime in 2008.

In the meantime I've found a switch in the closet where my hot water tank is. It was 'off' (as it has been for 5 years) so I've turned it 'on' in the vague hope it's an immersion heater thingy for the hot water tank. (This hope is based solely on the offhand comment from a young colleague who this morning explained she had one of these 'immersion heater' things, and you turned it on with something that looked like a light switch.)

Now turning this switch on could give me hot water. Or it could lead to some sort of electrical explosion. I'll let you know which it is in my next post.

Until then.....Brrrrrrrrrrr..........


clarabelle said...

Blimey, your boiler has chosen a particularly mean time to break down (high pressure anticyclone = clear, cold and frosty). Bah.

But despite that, you have Muir to sit in your lap and keep you cozy. I love it! In fact, I was even looking at the pattern today (great minds think alike, yeah?), wondering which yarn I'll use. And yes, bigger needles really do make for nice lace.

fleegle said...

Time to start knitting a really warm afghan, huh? Or maybe take a vacation to a nice place with hot water.

I dye yarn in my stainless steel sink with an immersion heater so I don't have to lift pots full of yarn (bad for the neck).

I do like your Muir--close-up pix next time? You have to knit mohair loosely or the lovely fuzz is squashed down and can't strut its stuff. Or fuzz.

z's momma said...

Good luck with your heat. Good thing you've got your Orange Thing to keep you warm?!

And your Muir looks lovely.

Jacqui said...

De-lurking to send lots of warm thoughts your way. Loose is good :o)

susubee said...

Oh, Soo! I'm sorry! That sounds terrible. Do you have showers at work? Belong to a gym? I know I spent an entire semester at college getting up super-early in the morning to have a hot shower at the gym before class because our landlord had installed the world's smallest waterheater in our townhouse.

At least your muir is looking lovely ... I love the fact that this is your tv knitting. I would have such a tangled mess if I tried to watch Ugly Betty and knit that at the same time :)

LittleBerry said...

Muir looks nice, lovely soft colour... but as Fleegle says a close up please.... your boiler picked a good week to pack up didn't it with more cold weatehr on the way!!! bit like DH picking the start of summer to felt & re-slate the roof just as we started our wettest summer.... as soon as he'd finished the weather dried up ;o)

Mamma Mia said...

It's some kind of crazy law that boilers only ever break down just as you really need them. Like there is always a power cut just as you put in a casserole for a dinner party, or the tumble dryer breaks when you desperately need some clean school uniform - in the next 10 minutes!

At least you have many beautiful shawls for warmth.

Queen of the froggers said...

What a pain with the boiler situation, I hope the Emmersion works. Muir is lovely. I thought that all lace was knitted on larger needles but I now know it is not!

Kathy said...

I love how Utility companies idea of emergency is always weeks off base. How sweet life would be if we could work to there plot.

Soo, I hope you get hot water soon, while we may be making lovely lace, reminiscent of the "old days" sure as hell doesn't mean we want to try living that way.

I feel for you, and am praying to the Gas gods that you get warm water soon.

As for the switch in your closet, that could just be a mystery switch that you never tie down to anything. I wouldn't bank on it doing anything. although that would be sweet if you got hot water.


The Style PA said...

Must say that i love the brown Swan Lake Stole!

KnittingJenny said...

I too agree that work really interferes with knitting. And so, yes, it's always nice to have something more simple on the needles, for those time you just want to knit relaxingly (without the huge challenge which of course we love at times). Soo, I really love your knitting. It's beautiful. All of it.

Pinneguri said...

Love your choice of yarn for the 'Muir', I think it was a really good choice. If I in the very unlikely event of ever going to make it over again ... ;)
And now you understand why the polar bear Kurt prefers Germany instead of the North Pole :D) Just kidding, hope the warm water soon comes around again!