Saturday, August 19, 2006

1st Week of Work (warning, long post)

Well, I made it though my first week of training at my new job. While I wasn't a big fan of getting up to be at work at 6:35 (my normal work hours will be 9-6) to catch a bus to the main corprate office and not getting back to my normal work area until after 6pm every day, I learned a lot in the week of classes. The classes weren't the most exciting thing ever, but they did provide a lot of info. (Though, I have to study this weekend since I'm being tested monday on what was taught all week.

Next week will be much better, I train from 8-5 in my office. (ya, sleeping in!) I will get to find out what group I'll be working with, and will be trained on the systems that I will actually work with and not just general info.. Plus, we won't have to ride the bus for an hour each way to go to training. And, my office is supposed to be a lot more relaxed and laid back than the corporate offices are downtown. Though the company seems really good. Yes, I know that this week all the info on them was "company approved." But, part of the company mind-set is that if the employees are happy, they will do better at work so keeping the employees happy helps the co make more moeny. It showed in many small ways like free coffee in the break rooms (and a hot water spout for hot tea !!!! ya, I don't have to bring in something to heat up water... they remember that some of us don't do coffee but do tea), and in some of the bigger ways like low turnover rate and a good benfits package.

I was really upset with the timing of this week's training. My high school's best friend's (Esther) father passed away last week. I really wanted to be there for her and to be able to attend the memorial service. However, if I went to VA this week to go to the services, I would lose my job (the training was manditory and there was no way they would let me off). I spent months looking for one, and this was one of the better ones in the area. I know that her father wouldn't have wanted me to quit my job just to be there at the service. I feel guilty for putting my job first, but I know that I had to do it and it was what he would have wanted. It's still hard to think about him not being around. He was such a wonderful man. He bought such love and happyness everywhere he went. I
used to call this man dad while I was in HS. Yes, over the past few years Esther and I have grown apart due to living in differnt areas and the demands on our lives. But, I still consider her a close friend. And, her father's passing really effected me. Somehow sending cards just didn't seem like enough. I'm still trying to figure out what else I can do for her and her whole family.

. . .

Now, I have to move onto something less emotional before I completely lose it. Not much news on the knitting front. (Not as much time for knitting when working all day. ) However, I used that bus time to work on socks. I got the first of the wonderful Regia silk socks done for matt... Blogger isn't letting me inport his flickr immage so you will have to go and check it out here. He was so happy when he tired on teh first sock, that he took a picture and uploaded it to his flickr account. Matt was so nice and bought me the sensational knitted socks book. Which was perfect timeing since I just got my knit picks order in with serval pairs of size 0 needles so now I have new patterns and new needles. I'm tring to decided what stitch pattern to do first.

I not only knit durring the bus ride but also durring the lunch breaks at work this week. (We ususally had over an hour break so .... ) Most of the poeple were very intrested in what I was doing. However, one person said, "Oh, it's just like those old-ladies and thier sewing bags." Now, from the tone she said it in, it sounded like she ment it nicely. However, telling a 25 year old that she's acting like an old lady just doesn't seem nice to me. I didn't know how to react. She ment in nicely, but it wasn't. And, this was the first time i had ever had any form of negative comment. I just let it pass off. Mainly becuase I think she ment it nicely.

Oh, I also discovered Chai tea this week. I had never tired it before becuase I didn't know what it was, and I wnated to know before I ordered it. Well, one of the girls had some that she wante to try and brough enough in for everyone to try. Yummy ! Why hadn't anyone told me that it's like a spice tea latte !

If you made it this far and have read all of this, I am impressed. I don't know if I could have done it. I should end this before it gets any longer.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Snaped a DPN

So I'm a tight knitter. I've tried to loosen my gague, but it just doesn't work so well. I can adjust some based on the which needle I use. Sometimes going for lighter and more drap (looser knitting) is good, and sometimes going for a warmer denser fabric (tighter knitting ) is good. So, I have learned how to take advantage of both. Socks are one of those things that need the denser fabric more than they need drap. So, I knit my socks like I naturally knit. Tight. I normally knit at about 10 sts/in on size 0 for socks. This might explain why I bent my old Clover bamboo needles. (Darn blogger for not letting me link to such an old post. ) After that, I went back to metal DPNs/circulars.

Then my father bought me a set of birtch DPNs. They were the shorter socks sized ones. And, birtch is a stronger wood than bamboo. So I set off. I made my first pair of socks just fine on the size 1 britches. In fact, they are the only socks not made on size 0s that I've made. So I decided to try socks on size 0 britches. After all, I had made a whole pair on the size 1s and not had the slightest problem. Well, you know that old engineering principle that says while lower strength matierals have a lower threshold for plastic deformation, they will often plasticly deforme before a catastorphic failure. Whereas higher strength materials will often has less plastic deformation, and just fail..... Well, it applies to knitting needles. I bent the crap out of my lower strength bamboo needles, but I snaped in half my birtch needles. Yup, snaped right in half. I tried takeing pictures, but none of them looked good. (If you want to see what it looks like, snap a tooth-pick in half. It should look the same. ) So no more birtch needles in socks sizes for me.

This does lead to an intresting problem for me. I just won a wonderful set of bamboo needles from the Simiply Sock Yarn Company. Do I use them, and risk breaking such wonderful needles. Or do I be a good and loveing daughter and pass on the wonderful needles to my amazing mother who taught me how to knit, and has learned to knit socks at a much more "normal" gague. ... My mom can use any of the wooden needles without fear of breaking them. I think I just answered my own qustion. Needles so nice deserve to be used and loved. Not, put away for fear of breaking them. I can't think of a better person to give them to than my mother. She is such an amazing person. And an amazing knitter. Check out some of the projects she's done. And those are only a few of her projects. She deserves something really nice. And, now I can give her something nice.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lace Shawl Pictures

This week I blocked the lace shawl I made. I finished the shawl last sunday( 30 july), but I didn't block it until Thursday becuase I was so nervous about screwing things up. After searching on line, and knowing I would screw things up, I decided to just get over it and block the thing. After all, I made it to wear to a wedding on Saterday (Aug5). And, how stupid would that be to have it made a week early and just not block it.

So, here is a picture of the Shawl pre-blocking. I just layed it out on the coffee table (well on a blanket on the coffee table for contrast).

I took some "durring blocking" shots, but they don't show much. It's a white shawl that was blocked on my bed that had yellow sheets. You can just see the outline from the pins. Blocking wasn't to bad. I tried the string trick that is supposed to keep the top even. However, I couldn't figure out how to make it work. So I just pretneded I hadn't put the string in there. I found that I coudln't block it to the full lenght needed becuase the top of the shawl is wider than my bed is long. And, I didn't have enough pins to block it really nice and tight without getting scalloped edges. So, it's not "full" blocked. But, good enough.

And, here are some close up shots of the stitch pattern:

I was able to wear the shawl to the wedding. It was an outdoor wedding in this heat. So I didn't want anything really warm. But, even though it was a casual wedding, I fet a little odd wearing a strappy tank top to a wedding. As an added bonus, the shawl helped keep the bugs for biting me (I think) durring the evening outdoor recpetion. See, bugs always find me to bite. I must attrack bugs somehow. I got a few bits on my ankels, but nothing on my arms. It could be that there wern't many bugs. But, I will have to try wearing the shawl again to see if it really did help.

All and all I am happy with how it turned out. Not bad for my first lace project. Yes, there are some mistakes in it. And, the blocking job isn't great. But, I am looking at it is a learning project. Now, my next lace project will be even easier since my wonderful husband got me a set of the knit picks needles. With thier nice points, I won't have as many issues with the pssos and the k2togs. I am working on my first project with the needles, and I just love them ! I can't wait to get some size 0s for socks.