Sunday, January 31, 2010

I love the Newport KY Firestone Store

Well, my 2004 PT Cruiser finally needed more TLC than I could give it at the local quick oil change place.  The brake light came on and there was a vibration in the front end.  We called our favorite Firestone Auto Care location in Newport KY and made an appointment for the blue baby to see a specialist.  I needed 4 new tires, brakes and rotors.  Bummer...I heard cha ching!  Not what I wanted for Valentines day, but it was what I was getting.

The reason we always use this location is the excellent customer service we receive.  The guys at the desk don't make fun of me because I don't know what the heck that thingy on the car that needs fixed is.  They always seem able to get our cars in and out in a day.  We call them to tell them when we are coming, drop off the car, and tell them when we need it back.  We dropped off my car on Saturday at 4:00 PM and at 10:30 AM on Sunday they called and it was ready.

When we got there they accepted all the discount coupons we had printed off the web and suggested we add the lifetime alignment.  Since we were already paying for one alignment it worked out to paying for one more and then never again! (and we had a coupon)  I promise to take the car there at least once a year for this service and get my tires rotated more often.  Cross my heart!

When I fired her up and drove out of the parking lot I was thrilled!  It was like she was brand new again...I even bought some rim cleaner to shine her back up!  I will be interested to see what my gas mileage goes up to.  Yes there is still that nasty bill to pay next month, but I can't complain.  In the 6 years I've owned this car this is the first big work that needed done!  We figured out my maintenance runs about $150 - $200 per year (including this). 

So I figure..I didn't have a tire blow out and cause and accident, the brakes didn't fail (and cause an accident) and now I have a smooth ride again.  I'll take it.

So if you live in Northern Kentucky try the

Firestone Complete Auto Care at 61 Carothers Rd, Newport, KY 41071(859) 491-1400

Monday, January 25, 2010

So Many Bad Hair Cuts...So Little Time

So, by day I am a hairstylist and I always find it funny how many people think I am judging their hair all the time.  I honestly don't look at your hair and think "OH MY GOD!  Does she even own a mirror!"  Not that I don't notice truly horrific hair, but I am trained to look at a person as a whole, and so often hair is a reflection of the persons general attitude about life.  Easy hair - easy going, complicated style - complicated life.

People who spend hours fussing about their hair are often not very fun to be around and they are always late and fishing for compliments.  I mean is JUST hair.  It won't make you a better person, smarter, loved more and if you aren't pretty on the will only help for so long.

Your hair needs to be a reflection of you, but you should not live for your hair.  I know, you can't believe a hairstylist would say this.  I try to talk with you about your limits. Do you own a curling iron and if so can you use one without burning yourself or your hair to a crisp?  In  your dream world I know you want to get out of bed with your hair looking perfect, but that ain't happening.  My job is to take the raw materials that grow out of your head and make them look as good as possible using only the tools you really can use.  This usually means a blow dryer and your hand and if I am lucky a brush.

If you have curly hair, quit beating it to a pulp and wear your curls with pride.  Use products to help with the fuzzies and keep it moisturized.  Straight hair, talk to the curly haired people, they would kill for your hair.  Remember, it is way easier to add the curls than to straighten curly hair.  But you both have nothing to complain about, as long as you have "good" hair.  You know those people.  Not too thick, not too thin, does what they want (within reason) nice color.

For those of you with "bad" hair.  Your hair doesn't want to be bad, it was just born that way!  You need to find a stylist like me that will work with you to maximize your hair potential and teach you how to optimize what you have.  If all else fails, there are alternatives to consider and I know about those too.  My favorite clients are the ones who never thought their hair would look good too, and somehow I wave my magic comb and help them.

And yes, we know most of you cut on your hair at some point in time.  You really can't hide it from us, but we understand.  What you need to understand is that you usually make it worse not better.  So hug your hairdresser today.  She or he must love what they do to put up with all of you (and you know who you are).  I have only fired 2 clients in 20 years.

And for a commentary from your side, check out this funny blog post from the Yarn Harlot.  She was lucky her stylist didn't know how to knit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Double Pointed Needle Roll

So in my last post I had purchased a set of 15 pairs of double pointed needles.  So I don't lose track of them I made a needle case for them.  I had already made one for my other needles, but I went searching on the internet for some guidelines.

I found this blog by One Potato.   She inspired me to make this one. I made a few changes so I thought I'd write down what I did.

Here is the outside of my needle roll.  I got this great embroidered silk fabric remnant at my local fabric store.  It was on the marked down - marked down table.  It was such a small piece of decorator fabric it would only be good for a pillow...or lucky for me a knitting needle roll.

So here is my inside.  This is a piece of quilting fabric.  I bought 1/2 of a yard and have enough to make another needle roll.  It had an interesting repeat so I made sure to cut the inside lining and the pocket to line up with each other.  It would have been pretty either way, it  was just fun to match it up.

So here is what I did...

I cut the outer fabric into a piece that measures 12 X 18 (inches)
I cut one lining piece 12X18 (inches)
I cut another piece out of the lining fabric 6 X18 (for the pocket) (inches)
I cut two pieces of coordinating ribbon 40 inches long

Now let me start by saying, I wish I had used One Potatoes suggestion to add an iron on interfacing to the inside lining fabric.  It is ok, but I wish it was a little sturdier.  Because my outer fabric is light weight it needs it!  I usually use upholstery fabric and don't need the lining.

I folded and pressed a 1/2 inch on the top edge of the pocket fabric, then I folded it again and stitched it down.  I used a coordinating thread from my embroidery thread stash (over 300 colors).  I then lined up the design and pinned to keep it in place.  This is a miracle!  I used pins!  I worked in a garment factory when I was in my late teens and learned to sew stuff together without ever pinning.  I rarely pin things together prior to sewing.  I stitched the sides and bottom of the pocket piece and the lining piece.

I used a straight edge and pencil and because I just got my needles and they were all in their packages, I measured them and marked my fabric so the pockets would fit them snugly, I then used my straight edge to lightly mark my stitching lines on the pocket.  I left about a 1/2 inch sewing margin around the edge, but I think next time I would leave 3/4 to 1 inch.  I then used my coordinating thread to stitch the pockets.

I folded my ribbon in half and stitched it to the edge of my pocket on the side of the biggest needles. I put my lining with pocket right sides together with the outer fabric.  I stitched the top edge and the sides.  I then stitched the bottom leaving about a 4 inch opening.  I used a 1/2 seam on the sides, but I felt like the pocket was deeper than I wanted it to be so I made that seam about 1 inch.   This worked out nicely with the pattern across the bottom of the pocket.

On my other needle roll, I felt like the top flap needed to be more tapered in, so I tapered this one by restitching the top/sides.  I moved the side seam over on both sides about 1 inch and angled it out to meet the original seam about 3 to 4 inches down from the top.  I trimmed the seams and corners on all sides, but left some on either side of the bottom opening.  I turned the fabric and pressed the whole thing.
 Reminder....your ribbon will be sandwiched between the lining and outer fabric, make sure you don't accidentally sew it into a seam!

To close the opening I top stitched the entire bottom with matching thread on both sides.

I put in all my new needles and  yipee!  They fit

And here it is all rolled up..

 My knitting buddies are loving these and I found a forgotten stash so I guess I need to make some more and put them in my Artfire Store!

Monday, January 11, 2010 review

Well,  I didn't get around to ordering my new knitting needles yet, but several of my friends have.  The shipping was very fast and the needles arrived as described by

My friend Mary Lou got the 6 inch dpns and 9 inch straight needles and loves them.  My friend Holly ordered a set of dpns, straights, and circulars.  She ordered them Friday morning and by Friday night they were shipped.  I expect she will receive them any day now and will post her review ASAP.  My friend Susan ordered the 6 inch dpns and just decided they weren't exactly what she likes.  There was nothing wrong with the needles she just prefers the Clover Takumi needles.  I own some of these and they are lovely needles, but I have a lot of projects going at once and often need multiples of a size and that gets expensive.  So I offered to take her dpns off her hands.

I went to Mary Lou's house to help her with a thrummed mitten project  she is working on.  As a new knitter I applaud her for jumping into this project.  Knitting in the round and adding the fibers and following a pattern.  Way to go Mary Lou!  After inspecting her dpns and 9 inch straight needles, and comparing the straight needles side by side with the Clover needles, I can't wait to get my own set! 

I paid Susan for her set of dpns and need to make a needle case for them now.  The needles seem well made and sturdy.  I compared the size 1's I just bought with the pair I am knitting with and the differences are minimal.  The ones I already had were 7 inches long, they are the Clover Takumi needles.  They are bending just a bit as I knit with them, but that doesn't bother me.  I can't accurately review the new needles until I use them, but the size is etched on to the needles and they feel smooth.  The may be slightly less pointy, but it is a barely noticeable difference.  Having knit with metal, plastic and wood dpns, I like the feel of the wooden ones and the slight give.  If I am knitting with a tight tension the metal ones allow for more slip, but for a small circumference project like socks the wooden ones seem to help me not drop stitches.  So I would recommend you try these needles for the price!

Here are picture of the dpns.  They are individually packaged and shipped in a padded envelope:

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Knitting Time

So, as soon as it gets cold I start knitting.  I already have made 2 scarves and have 3 different pairs of socks on the sticks.

Here is a scarf I just finished.  I bought a pom pom maker, but decided that it was easier to just do it the old fashioned way and wrap the yarn around my fingers.  This is one of the new styles that is short and is more of a neck warmer, it tucks just inside your coat.

One of the problems with being a cold weather knitter is that I always lose track of my knitting needles.  So today I made myself a needle case.  I found a page with a lot of variables on a theme here is the link to the instructions.

Lucky for me, I have a large fabric stash, so I went to the basement and picked out three fabrics.  I used an upholstery fabric for the outside and two different cottons for the interior, a solid and a print.  I made my fabric roll 17"X20" and have 3 layers of interior slots for needles and notions.  I have pockets for rulers, small scissors, stitch holders etc.  The only problem is I will probably fill it and need to make a second one.  Here are pictures of my creation, I just had to machine embroider my motto " Knit Happens" on it.

 I am ordering new needles from this site
They have full sets of bamboo needles for $25 with free shipping.  I am ordering the dpns and the straight needles.  I bought a pair of size 1's at my LYS yesterday for $12!  Yikes!  I know they are Takumi needles, but they were as much as the yarn for the socks I am knitting.  After reading a review on these needles I figure they are worth the price.

I have been doing a lot of looking around on Ravelry (Facebook for Knitters).  It is a great site with lots of free patterns and I like that I can store them on my profile page as favorites and in my library.  If you knit, you should join this site, it's free and inspiring.

Well, I need to get back to knitting or the yarn will overtake the house along with the beads and fabric.  Stay warm!