Monday, July 24, 2006

New job

I mentioned earlier in a post on my blog that I had been promoted.

After several delays, the last being a week, I started my training today. I woke up excited to be going to work for the first time in at least a year. Granted, I had to wait near 3 months to actually start the job, but that's ok. There was one training class ahead of mine. Then my class was delayed a week to meet with pay periods.

Or so I thought.

There were 4 people coming from my department into this class. There were others in the class, coming form other departments or hired off the street into the position (which is another rant entirely, and one I will not pursue here). The 4 of us had been informed of the final weeks delay and we were informed that the whole class was delayed. We arrived to work to find that the rest of the class had started last week and we were already that week behind in our coursework. Apparently my previous manager just couldn't give up the warm bodies in his department and decided to hold us back. He had tried to keep us back for 2 weeks when my trainer finally put his foot down and said no. This is the same manager who turned me down for another promotion because he asked me in the interview what hours I "preferred" to work. When I explained my preference I was turned down. Apparently the correct answer waste swear in blood on the spot that you pledged every single moment to the company and didn't want to breathe unless it was on work hours. Remember the boss from Office Space? Yeah. Imagine him shorter, fatter and Italian with fake blue contacts.

This might not seem like a big deal to the rest of the world, but when you consider that the training class requires state licensing and is taught in a 6 week college style course with bi-weekly quizzes, a final exam, licensing tests and a required grade at the end, you realize that one weeks lost work is a big deal. I spent every ounce of study time today trying to digest 6 chapters of study and catch up in a workbook that is completely self study. Thankfully my NEW manager approved us 5 hours of overtime and home study this week to let us catch up.

I was hoping to post knitting and spinning content today, for instance the angora/silk I just spun up, or the new sock yarn I just dyed, or the progress on my lace project, but instead I'm off to study.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Loooong weekend

I took a long weekend this week so I could get the house back into some semblance of order. With Hubby's work hours being so long and so many, things have fallen by the wayside. I'm pleased to report though, that I can now walk into every room in the main floor without stepping on something or feeling queasy. Truly an accomplishment. Next weekend is also a long weekend as I start training for my new job the following week. We'll be tackling the basement of DOOM! Next will be the re-do on the boys room.

I did take a break yesterday to take the girl to a mountain bike race at the local YMCA. Hubby is a biking nut. He has taken this child on all sorts of rides and loves his bike like I love yarn. Back home he would take her to races in southern Utah. She's been out of the "off-road" saddle for a while, but I'm pleased to report that she won 2nd place in her age group. (the boy who won first REALLY should have raced in the next age group. The kid was BIG and at least 14, racing against the 9-12 year olds. The YMCA staff, though in their effort to make no child feel inferior and therefore lowering the bars for excellence in children yet again, let him race in that group anyways. But enough social commentary.) She stuck it out though and raced in the Advanced group too, she came in third (and last) but in her defense the other boys she raced against were 15 and 16 and she had just finished the intermediate race. A 9 minute mile after all that and in Virginia's lovely trademark "choke a water buffalo" humidity, I'd say she did an excellent job.

The boy amused himself on the playground and picking blackberries for me to eat in the woods. I sat, sweated, and tried desperately to work on clapotis, but the humidity made knitting miserable. How can anyone knit with WET yarn?????

I received a package this week from my One Skein Secret pal. The lovely girl sent not one, but TWO!!! skeins of Noro Silk Garden. I have been dying to try this stuff, but I could never justify it to myself when at the yarn shop. One Skein SP, I could just kiss you. I think I already have plans for it, but it depends on the outcome of a certain personal challenge that I'll tell you about in a minute.

In sad One Skein SP news though, I also received my pals package back in the mail. I have written to her and she did confirm her address, but I feel so terrible that not only did I send late, but that it ended up back here. I'll be trying to resend it this week with her July skein and an extra treat for being so patient.

ooooo! Remember the handspun that I dyed for a swap in my previous post?? The Delightful Purrl from Knittyboard has already woven it up into the prettiest scarf! Check out the results at her blog!

Now the personal challenge I was telling you about. I am going to learn lace if it kills me. (and it probably will.) I have started the Lace Leaf Pullover for Loop-d-Loop as a beginning. So far, I've only had to frog back to the ribbing on the first leaf twice. Sigh. I love lace SOOO much, why, oh why do I have to suck at it????

Here's the progress so far. Sad. I've subbed Berocco Xpress in red for the called-for yarn. The gauge is perfect and this stuff is way soft. It's discontinued, but I got just enough for this sweater in a swap.

Next up will be Branching Out. Everyone says this is the easiest intro to lace EVER. So I picked up some very soft generic luxury yarn from AC Moore to try it out with. I don't know who distributes this stuff but it's a merino/silk/alpaca blend, and it's inexpensive enough that I won't feel bad ruining it by continuous frogging if the experiment fails. It's also soft and fluffy enough to make a beautiful scarf for the Mother in Law if it all works out.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it, and blog posts will be much less interesting when I pluck out my eyeballs in frustration.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Progress made

Funny how it works out, isn't it, that the one thing you have NO plans for is what you start with first? Consider for a moment my previous post where I discussed the 4 balls of trendsetter Taos that were just in a pretty colorway and I had to have them for that reason if no other. I'll be damned if they weren't the first 4 balls yanked out of the stash to be played with. Please witness the progress of my mini clapotis. I figure by this time it's a requirement for all knitters to make at least one of these babies, and the lovely variegated colors of this yarn with it's hint of sparkle needed to be showcased in some manner. That, and this is remarkably EASY. Even I can do it easy. This is my progress since the 3rd of July when I found the pattern printed out and wrapped up with a ball of recycled silk that I started the pattern on once and screwed the set-up rows utterly because I was trying to knit it at work in between calls. Hubby says he thinks I've just gotten faster at knitting. I say it's just because I only did half the increase rows (only 4 balls of this stuff requires the sizing to be altered). I also love the idea of it being worked up in a drapey cotton blend. When I saw this scarf it cried, cool spring days to me. Too warm for wool, but just right for cotton or silk.

Here is a close-up shot so you can see the lovely sparkley bits that are plied with the cotton blend that will make this clappy so light and shimmery. Thankfully, the sparkly bits appear to be non-itchy. Now, to find something to wear it with once completed.

In other news, the girls room has been painted, re-carpeted and light fixtures installed. The room hasn't been completely decorated, but it's in progress. I'm going to start a new duvet cover for her bed today and when mom gets back from Florida I can dig out all the little things we purchased for her room. In the mean time, please enjoy this lovely photo of the girl passed out in her new bed.

Initially she had been sleeping in this monstrosity of a hand-me-down Loft bed. It was tall, it was blue, it was ugly. We LIED (yes, we lie to our children, we like to think of it as a good foundation for dealing with dating later in life) to her and told her we were trashing the loft bed and she would have to wait a month for us to get the money together to buy her a regular bed, she'd just have to sleep on the floor. The odd bit, was that she was ok with it. She did seem please though to find out that we were kidding and Has been happily sleeping with the mutts in her new bed ever since. Her biggest complaint about the loft bed was her inability to have the mutts sleep with her. Why a person would want a large hairy bed hog asleep with them is beyond me, but she was never the most logical child on earth.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I think the mailman thinks I've lost it.

There were 5. Yes, 5 packages in the mail for me today. All but one of them was yarn. Now, my regular mail person is also a knitter, and a complete delight. She is always excited to talk to me about new yarns or magazines, and Is very excited to learn to knit socks, but at the beginning of the summer, we found that she was going to be out for personal reasons for several months. Bummer. The new mail guy, I'm sure thinks I have a problem. Puh-lease. Yarn is NEVER a problem.

This is what was in the packages today. We'll start with yarn. Mmmmm yummy. Clockwise from the top. 15 Balls Trendsetter Oceano in the Fire Fantasy colorway. I'm envisioning a lovely cardigan or drapey top. Perhaps I can lay my hands on a copy of IK from spring 2004 I love the Mandarin Faux Cardigan.

Next are 4 balls of Trendsetter Taos in Desert Garden. This is the one yarn I have no plans for, but come on? Desert Garden? I NEED the desert. Therefore, the yarn purchase is justified.

Next are 7 balls of Adriafil Chic in Deep olive. This is for a Safari Cardigan for the girl from Knitters Magazine. It's acrylic, and was cheap, but perfect, shiny, and machine washable.

Next is a skein of Lornas Laces Shepherd Worsted in what other colorway than IRVING PARK!!!!!!!! I screamed when I opened this package. There were also 2 skeins of KPPPM. This is from the Lovely and generous and incredibly sweet Glindensmith from the knittyboard. I made her one little needle case, and she sent me lovliness I have been dying for, but have never bought. Oddly, I've purchase Koigu for 2 people, but never myself. I can't wait ti start playing wth this stuff. The LL is going to become the Cable Footies from One Skein.

Finally, there is a bag of Debbie Bliss Aram Tweed for the mission falls Kitt Shrug. I love Mission Falls patterns, and the yarn is nice, but I'm not thrilled with the price. Perhaps if they upped the yardage per skein it would be worth the purchase. Until then, it's sub city, and I love the yellow and blue flecks in this stuff.

The last Package Was a total surprise. I was actually picked TWICE for the June buirthday swap on craftster, and I didn't even realize. batfishgurl sent me a gorgeous apron and lots of yummy chocolate to munch on. Thanks so much!

Looks like I'll be spreading some crafty karma for next months birthday swap!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mmm hand dyed handspun

Gratuitous fiber shot. This yarn was spun then dyed for Purrl on for a swap. I hope she likes it! This was my first dying experience with "real" dyes. I had bought procion at AC Moore before I realized that it was for cellulose fibers. A litte research told me that it could be used on wool, but I was really disappointed with the exhaust on these dyes when using wool. Essentially, it didn't exhaust. At all. I think I rinsed for a solid hour last night. We'll be sticking to acid dyes from now on I think!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Goodies, secret pal update, and what we've been up to this week

I moved the girl out of her room last week and we began updating it. This picture may not look like much, but it is SUCH an improvement over what it was. The paint must have been original to the house, and was in that awful "swiss coffee" shade that just ends up looking like tar-stained walls in a heavy smokers house. Then my mother moved in, and though I love her dearly, she has a really thing for hanging shelves on every available wall to hold her oft-overflowing antique and everything else stash. We chose a soft peachy pink color. It's a split level and the girls windows are the smallest in the house so her room tends to be dark. We wanted to make it look warm and bright. Besides they use pink in mental institutions to impart a sense of well-being to the patients. I'm hoping it will work to stave off the oncoming teenage angst too. Next week, Carpet installation. woo hoo!

Hubby has also started work on a new coop for the girls. We got washed out so badly with all the rain last week, that the girl actually called me at work afraid the chickens were going to drown! Perhaps ducks would have been a better choice after all. Either way, this made it clear to us we had to get moving on a better shelter for them. I'll get some pics of it closer to completion. I think he'd feel self concious with his half completed project on the net for a bunch of "knitting women" to see.

Cotneyroo from Crafster chose me as a recipient for the june Birthday swap and sent me an awesome set of sushi potholders and the cuteest beaded stitch markers. I've been eyeing these on blogs all over the place and my wire twisting skills rank with my lace knitting skills. Somewhere in the neighborhood of "a blind quadraplegic could do a better job". I'll be sending her a little something from the stash as a thank you!

I have a serious confession to make, I went yarn crazy this week. I have been on a yarn diet for a couple months now and I went nutty. I have an order of debbie bliss aran tweed coming in from and an order of Debbie Bliss alpaca silk coming in from I also ordered some trendsetter yarns from a shop in arkansas that is clearing out their stock at 70% off, and an order of fiber and undyed sock yarn from Jean is a really sweet lady and totally worked with me when my original choice of yarns was not available. I guess on the upside. I have plans for all of the yarn that I purchased.

Well then I realized that my one sein secret pal needed a little something-something, so off to the yarn shop I went. I found her a lovely skein of Koigu Kersti. I hope she likes it. she seems really difficult to buy for. I also picked up a ball of Opal Rainforest in Ladybug. A lot of the yarn websites have ben selling out it seems, and I figured I would snap it up while I could. I also got the new knit scene magazine. The central park cabled hoodie = love.

Then, just when I think I'm finally getting my yarn binge under control, what appears on my doorstep but a package from the lovliest secret pal in the world. I was nearly jumping out of my skin with excitement when I peeled back the many layers of tissue to find 2 skeins of handdyed sock yarn from Yarn monster in awesome colors and yummy japanese treats. Now I have to get this whole lace thing figured out, this yarn is tooooo special for plain old socks. If anyone has some suggestions let me know! It requires something really fancy. and the japanse treats were truly the best! I spent my formative years in South Korea, so those lovely funky packages of candy made me feel like a kid again. Thank you sooo much secret pal. Your packages have been such a special treat for me!