Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well, now that all of that is done!

It's been one rough ride the last couple of weeks. Let me preface all this by backing up a month to the black Thursday in my office where in one foul swoop, 40 employees were laid off (approx 25-30% of the division's workforce). With hubby being presently unemployed, I spent that entire day with a pained, barfy expression on my face because I couldn't even imagine what the hell I'd do if both of us were unemployed. When I didn't get the dreaded "come to M's office" phone call that day, I mourned the loss of my friends and dealt a little bit with "survivor guilt" before breathing a sigh of relief and thanking whomever it was that saved my job.

So, scooting forward to a week ago, my boss walks into my office and sits down. This in itself starts ringing the alarm bells because he just never comes into my office. Then he says "I'm just going to say everything so let me finish before you respond". (Which is one of those strange relationship break-up phrases that I somehow associate with "It's not you, it's me..."We've grown apart..."Stop cyber stalking me or I have to get a restraining order...") He then proceeds to inform me that my position has been eliminated, but they have found me a job at one of the other divisions of the company - effective immediately but with a short period for transition. He then suggests that I go speak with HR and all I can think to say to him is "OK, when I'm done eating my sandwich". Ok. Yeah.

Anyway, I am now the proud holder of some kind of world record for getting laid off and rehired again. I'm contemplating writing a little letter to Mr. Guinness to ask him if that world record has already been set and whether my time is competitive.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back on the design train!

I've been itching to design my first non-accessory knit wearable for a while and life just hasn't given me much of a chance recently. This week, I was wandering around the shops looking for a birthday gift for my mother - a notoriously impossible feat - and noticed that there were some super cute knitwear cardis out there this season. So, there's me standing in the middle of the store rifling through racks of awesome knits and next thing you know I'm completely distracted and instead of shopping for my mom, I'm standing there with my camera phone taking photographs of the sweaters. Talk about a sudden rush of inspiration!

So, yesterday on my lunch break, I sat here and thought about what yarn I have that I can get started with and drawing out potential cable designs, checking sizing and writing down notes for construction. It was irritating me that I'd actually have to wait and get home to cast on my design. I know there are some designers that can sketch a design and write out full instructions without knitting the item itself, but I'm not one of them. I have to knit it up myself - which means I'm simultaneously test knitting, sample knitting, tweaking and get something to wear at the end of it!

Well, the project is well underway and all I can tell you is that it's a cardi...with a cable design. You'll have to wait and see for the rest!

Monday, October 5, 2009

My first woven

Finally, I am proud to present my very first woven! I haven't had as much time to play with my new craft as I'd like, but I've got one scarf-type-thing done and another warp on the loom ready to go.

The hardest part of weaving for me so far has definitely been warping the loom. I chose to use some recycled yarn that I dyed with Kool Aid for both the warp and the weft. I decided to try the direct warping method and, seeing as I don't yet have a warping clamp, I used my husband's gargoyle piggy bank (named Leroy) to wind the yarn around. I will say that it was hard work and I broke out in a nice sweat from crawling around on the floor! I've concluded that some clamps from Home Depot will make the entire process much easier - including the fact that the heddle has a habit of falling off the heddle block when I move the yarn through it too quickly.

The actual weaving itself went pretty smoothly, outside of the handful of tension issues and having slightly messy selvedges. I'm very proud of my first attempt though. The end result is a little stiff for a scarf but I'm thinking that it can be made into a nice bag instead.
I should note that for the second attempt at warping, I got smart and brought the loom downstairs to the kitchen where I used the kitchen table and a chair to wind the yarn around. Having it all at a regular height and not having to wrangle yarn to stay behind the ears of a gargoyle definitely helped! I also scored a cone of fingering weight yarn at the local thrift store for $1 to use. I haven't decided what to use for the weft that, but that will be shared later.