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Tag Archives: knitting

Just because it’s June

(Featured clip is from “Carousel”, Rodgers & Hammerstein, one of my favorite musicals!)

Here it is, June 1st, 2010. I can’t believe that it’s already June! I feel tremendously unsuccessful so far this year. Other than a few iterations of 198 Yds of Heaven (Ravelry link), I’ve not completed much this year. I have a second sock in progress, and it’s very nearly completed. I have a lovely lace piece on the needles, Lily of the Valley Scarf from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia book (another Ravelry link). That one is a joy to work, since I’m using some highly addictive Sea Silk from Handmaiden Fine Yarns. But it’s also not as portable as it could be, since it’s charted. Even with my Knit Picks chart keeper (Thanks, Mr. Marlajap for the great gift last December!), it’s a bit much to take to Knit Night! 😛 And, while I did find a job (finally!), it’s rather draining mentally, which is really eating into my knitting time, as is moderating some forums on Ravelry and, well, you know – being a member of a family, for heaven’s sake! I do have to spend a little time with my husband and/or sons once in a while, do the infrequent household task like laundry or dishes (Huh?! What’s that?!), and shop for groceries and such. ::sigh::

I did, however, want to put up a quick (very past-due) post to say, Yes, I did survive the Great Nashville Flood of 2010. We had 15″ of rain in one weekend at the beginning of May, and while it was a close call, there was really no flooding in my neighborhood, other than in some crawl spaces. The city of Nashville, cities north of Nashville, and many other areas, including Franklin, TN (only a few miles north of me, and where my husband works) were heavily, heavily flooded and there was billions of dollars of damage. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center alone will require $15M to repair; the Grand Ole Opry and the Opryland Hotel, and the Opry Mills shopping center were all deeply flooded and will require months of repair before they are back in business. Ugly, ugly. And, of course, as with Hurricane Katrina, the property insurance companies are refusing to cover much – either people weren’t in a flood plain and, therefore, didn’t have flood insurance, or they did and the insurer is denying the claim or pro rating it down to nothing, etc. FEMA is being pretty responsive, but getting the real money from FEMA takes time and patience. The home improvement stores and the clean-up/repair contractors are about the only ones who are benefiting from the whole nasty business. And the media almost completely ignored the entire event, far too absorbed with a terror attack that didn’t happen and the (admittedly horrible) oil spill in Louisiana. 😦 My water-logged crawl space? Well, I’m not on a flood plain, so I don’t have flood insurance, and even though there wasn’t actually any flooding in my neighborhood, the insurance company still calls it flooding (or so says my work colleague who has insurance from the same company and agent). It wasn’t flooding, because water did not overcome my foundation walls, it seeped up from the ground that couldn’t hold it anymore! Grrrr. Still, it could have been so much worse for me and my family, so I’m counting my blessings daily! 🙂 If you have the spare cash, please donate to any of the fine charities helping those who lost all or almost all in the Nashville Floods – you can find links to some of those organizations at this TV station web site. 🙂

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The uncertain glory of an April day!

The quote above is from Shakespeare, because I couldn’t think of a witty title tonight. It fits rather well, because there *is* some glory, but it’s rather uncertain. I know that it’s been Forever and Two Days since my last post, and that’s because I haven’t had much of anything to say – no new knitted FOs, no job on the horizon, and I was getting pretty darned down about it. But lo and behold! I sit before my computer now, an Employed Person who is also knuckle-deep in a new project. 🙂

Last week, I started a contract position as a project manager, working with the systems testing team on an (outsourced) application development project for my State. It’s very interesting, since I’ve never done anything in apps development before, always sticking in my little contact center world when it came to projects. All new people to get to know, lots to learn, and a crazy-messed-up-behind-schedule project to manage. That’s the Glory part, and I should be in heaven, right? Especially since I’m getting paid pretty well, as hourly rates go, to do this. Right?

Well, not exactly. This is where the Uncertain part comes into play. The job is only for six months right now, but it could be extended longer (the project has an additional 18 months or so to run after my piece is done), or it could possibly work into a regular employment position. Maybe. But that “maybe” part makes me nervous, of course. And the company that is contracting for my services was recently acquired by a large global firm, which also makes me nervous, coming on the heels of my bad experience with being a victim of a merger-related workforce reduction. 😛 And finally, the commute is awful for me, because I’m a spoiled-rotten brat who got awfully used to working either from home or 10 minutes away. Now it’s an hour-plus each way, and I’m exhausted. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually, but man, this working-for-a-living thing is really eating into my Ravelry and Facebook time! (not to mention my knitting time!) LOL

The new knitting project? Well, that’s going swimmingly now that I have my brain screwed on straight about it (I did do quite a bit of frogging in the first couple of repeats). It’s Lily of the Valley Scarf (Ravelry Link) from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia, a beautiful book that is simply chock-full of gorgeous lacy-goodness to knit. Oh, the joy of the nupp! There’s nothing quite like trying to P5 slippery little devils together to make you feel like an Accomplished Knitter. 😉 I’m making mine in a single luscious hank of Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk, a gift from a Ravelry friend. I adore this yarn. It’s pretty much the Holy Grail of Sheepless Knitting, as far as I’m concerned, and I want more of this yummy stuff. NOW! Sadly, none of my LYS carry any Handmaiden yarns. But I will get some, I know that I will! Possibly as soon as I get a real paycheck! 😀

That’s it for now. I will try hard to post more often, but not makin’ any promises – right now, at 7:54 PM on a beautiful Tuesday evening, I’d like nothing more than to just fall into bed and sleep for several days. 😛

 

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Look, ma, I finished something! :)

Ravelympics project #1 (who knows if there will be another!).  It’s198 yds of Heaven (Ravelry link) by Christy Verity. Mine is knitted in Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy, an LYS-quality acrylic yarn that is very nice to work with, but not so nice to frog. And believe me, I frogged it. Several times. LOL! Chart reading FAIL! But I finally got it together, and once I did, the scarf was completed in 1.2 evenings of Olympics and a partial afternoon of car knitting today. 😀

Here it is:

 
 

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Something for everyone (or no one)!

So I have not blogged in a long time.  That’s because I haven’t had anything much to say, since there’s not been much new.  But my dear friend CYR came to visit last weekend, we had a blast, and I really wish I’d been smart enough to take some frickin’ pictures (duuuuh), since white space with black text makes Marla’s blog a dull document.  😉

1/29-30/10 Snowfall, Middle TN

1/29-30/10 Snowfall, Middle TN

I do have some interesting pictures of snowiness, since we’ve had a couple of bouts with it in recent weeks here in Middle TN.  And yet, our snow was very small compared to so many other places in the U.S., so I’m almost embarrassed to post them (but I will show them anyway, LOL!)

These two are “morning after” photos, I think, so January 30, 2010, in front of my house.  That’s about 2″-3″ of snow/ice – a very, very frozen crusty top there, and very slick.  I have some more of the husband shoveling the driveway – all driveway contents were shoveled into the Dodge Dakota pick-up, which has a less-than-happy rear end and needed the weight to prevent fish-tailing.  🙂

Husband shoveling the walk in front of the house, 1/30/10

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I’ll be 51, a venerable age for one who is among the last of those born in the Baby Boom years.  I’m feeling rather introspective and perhaps just a little bit “down” about the whole thing just now, which is probably a product of the much-longer job search duration than I had hoped to incur.  So here I sit in my house each day, scanning the on-line job boards, networking on LinkedIn, trying to make actual human contacts with people.  I’ve been in TN for 5 years now, and most of the people that I know in my field were laid off at the same time as I.  Some are still looking for their Next Big Thing, just as I am.  A few are very recently re-employed and not yet in a position to be helpful to their former colleagues.  I have had some very successful interviews and been passed over anyway.  I had one absolutely fabulous job in the palm of my hand, or so it seemed, and the economy put a stop to it.  Certainly, I’ve seen more jobs coming open recently, it’s just a matter of my being in the right place at the right moment to say the exact right words to impress the right person to get the right offer for the right job – gee, that shouldn’t be to difficult, should it?  Hehehe!  😉

Plain stockinette socks for car & knit-night knitting! 😉

I finished a pair of hand-knitted socks recently, see photo at the right.  These are made from Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton, using US Size 1.5 Knit Picks Harmony DPNs.  I gave them to CYR, because they were perfect for her.  Gave her another pair I had knitted last year, as well, and also gave her a lovely re-knit of my new Cowl Me Sheepless in Spring Hill design, this time in a thinner yarn (Berroco Pure Pima in a lovely royal purple that has been discontinued), to make a smaller, more snug-fitting cowl.  Silly me, I failed to get photos of it before handing it off to the recipient, so now I don’t have it preserved for posterity here.  Oh, well, that’s how the yarn knots, right?  😛

I guess that’s about all I have for now.  As usual, I will close with a video, one which suits my current situation!  😛

 

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Feeling kind of folksy

Still don’t have a lot to say – no new job yet, although I’ve had some nibbles.  I’m doing all of the things I should be doing, with the exception of accosting every person I know and many that I don’t, looking for new contacts who might, by chance, be able to help me find a job.  Most of the people I know are either unemployed from the same company that laid *me* off, or new to job, or otherwise not in a position to assist me.  OK, ’nuff whining about the job hunt.

On the knitting front, I did finish Take II of the Cowl Me Sheepless in Spring Hill pattern I designed, but I haven’t blocked it or photographed it yet.  That needs to be done this week, since the recipient is flying in to Nashville on Friday for a long-awaited weekend visit (yay!).  😛

 

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Finally, an FO pic and some words…

copyright Denise Lew, used with permission

copyright Denise Lew, used with permission

My latest FO, of which I am inordinately proud, despite the fact that it has an ugly blemish in the back neck, where I suffered a massive failure to properly join yarn.  🙂  This is my rendition of Baby Picchu from the Berroco Design Team. I used Berroco Comfort yarn, instead of the called-for wooliness, for the obvious reason that I’m allergic to wool, but also because I think that new Moms should not have to even think about how they need to wash baby things. And babies are very messy creatures, so even an outerwear sweater is going to need frequent washing. Anyway, it was a quick and relatively easy knit, and I’m happy with every single stitch except that ugly spot. Hehehe!

Nothing much new on the job front, just plugging away at submitting resumes to both the advertised and unadvertised job market. A random resume submittal to a well-known company in the computer industry resulted in a request for a phone interview this week, and I am currently awaiting scheduling of a 2nd interview (or some other next-step) from another company with whom I interviewed by phone last week. I have been trying to be really persistent and productive on the hunt, making sure that no single day goes by that I don’t submit at least one resume somewhere, either to a position being advertised on one of the job boards or corporate web sites, or just an unsolicited submittal somewhere. Also have been working on expanding my network of contacts on LinkedIn, which is social networking gone professional. What else, what else? Oh, I think I’ve re-written or at least “touched up” my resume at least 4 times in the last month (hehehe!). And I’m slowly acquiring Project Management coursework via the online training available from the outplacement company retained by my soon-to-be-former employer. So I keep busy, yet am fidgety, bored, have no attention span and am having trouble sleeping. All of which sort of digs into the knitting progress, if you know what I mean.

More when I have it! 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Knitting and maybe some Crocheting, too

 

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Ramblings of a stressed-out knitter

So. I haven’t actually had anything much to say here in quite some time. I thought I had better do some talking. 😉 What have I been up to? Well, not much, really, just work/family/knitting, etc. So this post will probably be a jumble of all that stuff.

On the knitting front, I have my Party Sunny tank (ravelry link) blocking on the ironing board since last night. This is my attempt at the Alexandra Virgeil’s beautiful Soleil pattern from Spring 2005 knitty. As I was prepping it for blocking, my clown cat, Bobo, decided it looked like a comfy place to sleep…or, he just wanted to make sure I knew he loved me by gifting the tank with some nice cat hair! 😉 It came out very nicely, as far as I can tell. I think it’s a big bigger than intended, which makes no sense, since I knitted it exactly as written (no modifications at all), got perfect gauge in my chosen yarn (of the correct weight, and checked it three times during garment-knitting), etc. So, if after blocking, it doesn’t look good, I’ll probably wash it by hand, press it partly dry in a towel and toss it in the dryer for a while to see if I can shrink it up a bit. It is, after all, 100% cotton – delicious Sublime Organic Cotton DK in the #92 colorway (Borage), a lovely shade of soft gray – hence, the project name, Partly Cloudy, alluding to the fact that this is not a sunny, bright colored garment. Pics when it’s finished blocking. 😀

Also on the knitting front, I’m stalled on slogging through my Hey Me project, using Helene Rush’s lovely Hey, Teach! pattern from Summer 2008 knitty – yes, apparently, I have a “thing” for knitty patterns this summer. Hehehe. 😉 Anyway, this one has really got me down and frustrated. I got the back done lickety-split, but the left front is killing me. I cannot seem to get the lace stitched up correctly once I start the armhole decreases. Most distressing. I’ll probably give it another go soon.

Or maybe I will finish the my Tuscany on $50 shawl (ravelry link) from Amy Singer’s ‘bible of knitting’ for the sheepless set, “No Sheep for You” – I have actually completed the entire written pattern plus at least one additional full repeat, but it looks really small. I don’t have enough experience/skill/knowledge with lace knitting or with the yarn I chose, Ella Rae Silkience, which is now (sadly) discontinued ::pout::, to understand whether it will block out a good deal larger and actually look like a shawl, rather than an overgrown scarf! It’s beautiful (and heavy, due to my yarn choice, which probably wasn’t the best), but a bit on the short/narrow side for a full shawl.

Work? Well, yes, I am still employed – I think. We’ve been having some workforce reductions (aka layoffs) for several months. Heck, what company hasn’t been doing this? After losing my manager (of whom I was fond) back in November, we were finally moved to a new organization and provided a new manager in early May. And now, that manager has also been laid off, along with some people upon whom some of my work depended and of whom I was fond. And now, I’m hearing some fuzzy, indefinite rumblings that perhaps I or my whole group may be on the chopping block. So, terror reigns supreme in my mind. As with just about anyone else, I really cannot afford to be laid off. I’m of an age where finding a new position could be even more difficult than it would be for someone quite a bit younger. Other than that, it’s been a bit slow for me at work – which is another reason for my terror: it’s easier to feel invulnerable when you are swamped with work – it makes you feel important, or maybe it just means you don’t have time to worry! 😛

Home? All is well here, all things considered. Husband has finally given in and signed up for real, live guitar lessons, with a real, live guitar teacher at our local Best Buy. I know, that sounds potentially lame, doesn’t it? But it’s not – husband is actually really learning enough that I can really hear a difference in his technique, and is very happy and comfortable with his teacher. Despite an age difference that is 15+ years and very different professions (my husband is a mechanic!!), they are genuinely friendly with one another, and have some common ground, only discovered after the first full month of lessons. What is that, you ask? Semper Fi, people, semper fi! Yes, indeed, each of them is a former member of The Few, The Proud, The Marines. (and yes, they are very proud of that!)

Older son is unfortunately unemployed for about 2 months now, I believe. Sadly, he committed a very grave error in judgment (actually, used no judgment whatsoever, just spoke off the top of his head), said something terribly inappropriate for the workplace, and very much deserved to be fired. And so, he was fired. He says he is not the first or only person to speak that way in this particular workplace and that he was being made an example or that, perhaps, it was because he was asking to be promoted. Regardless of that, he’s now hunting for something new and has had exactly one interview so far, but potentially has a 2nd interview sometime later this week or early next…I hope! Unfortunately, I suspect that a lot of personnel screeners are looking at his applications with a dim view, considering that this job he lost was his first and only in his life. So, even though he hung in at a fast food restaurant for over two years, he’s perhaps not looking like a great employee.

Younger son. Well, he’s grown. A lot. He is now taller than Mom (me), and only half-a-head shorter than his 6’ tall father (husband). His feet are huge. His voice is changing. Video games are still his passion, though, no sign of that whole boy/girl thing happening yet (for now, I consider this a good thing, since he’s not quite 14!). And a bit bored with summer vacation already – not yet complaining that he’s ready to go back to school, but pretty bored. He’s also very, very ready to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince soon, since it will be opening in theatres this week. I’m excited about that, too, actually! Hehehe…

Have nothing funny to say today, just these bits and pieces of stuff. Since it is Monday, though, I will close with a song. This is one that my husband and I danced to so often when we were dating, it was pretty much “our song”:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

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