Work


I have been so busy between working two jobs and taking German class. Labor Day gave me an extra day off, but now it’s going to be one day weekends for awhile. The thing that sucks is that the paychecks haven’t quite started piling up yet, so I’m working all the time, but I still feel broke.

But, it’s not really so bad, and I have a goal in mind. James and I want to go to Japan and Thailand sometime next spring, so I want to be able to save as much money as possible for that. It would be nice to go for 3 weeks, or even a month.

My work schedule has also reduced my knitting time somewhat, especially since neither job allows me to knit while getting paid. I have been working on the second 9 to 5 sock during my breaks from the coffee shop. At home, I have been plugging away at the Mrs. Darcy cardigan. The body pieces are finished and seamed, and I’m happy with the fit. I knit the first sleeve last week and tweaked it a little, and yesterday I started the second. I’m on the home stretch and I’m really excited about it! I haven’t decided if I like knitting sweaters in pieces better, per say, but it makes the milestones a little more concrete.

My lack of time has made photographs difficult, but I do have one. Over the holiday, I caught up on the first few weeks of the Crafty Daisies Embroidery Lessons, and completed the second homework assignment. I haven’t done embroidery since 6th grade, but this has been really fun so far.

Right after I did this cupcake pattern, I realized it was the perfect birthday present for my friend who loves cupcakes! It’s still just a loose piece of fabric, but I took the picture and posted it on Flickr for a nice morning surprise. I think her comment on the picture demonstrates her excitement well enough. I will probably turn it into a little pillow or something. Or just give it to her as is and she can make it into something if she wants.

I also just got my Virtual Vacation from my KVVS pal! She took me to Mississippi, which was entirely appropriate given my odd fascination with the South. I’ll do a proper post on it later.

Life has been busy since I started my new job.  I like it so far; it’s not the most thrilling work in the world (lots of menial clerk-type tasks…I am an inventory clerk after all), but it’s nice to be doing something other than answering phones at a front desk.  It’s also nice to know I won’t be leaving in a few weeks.  I’m working there just 4 days a week right now, so I have still been trying to figure out ways to make enough money without killing myself.  A coffee shop/roaster in Oakland, who first called me over 3 weeks ago, is still pursuing me even after we failed to have an interview and we end up playing phone tag most of the time.  I finally have an interview set up for this Saturday, so I’m pretty excited about that.  My German class also started last night.  I’m going to have a lot going on this fall.

I don’t mind, though.  I’ve still had time for knitting!  I haven’t really had time for taking pictures, though.  The other day I finally got around to briefly photographing my mom’s Wyvern socks, since she was in town and they were leaving my house.

Wyvern Socks
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Cotton, 2 skeins
Color: Laquer Red
Needles: 2.5mm KP dpns

I discussed earlier my issues with the short rows and the sherman heel solution.  The second sock went pretty quickly after I sorted all that out and decided how I wanted to do the cuff.  I didn’t like the look of simple 2×2 ribbing flowing up from the back, so I switched to plain stockinette for 12 rows and did an EZ sewn bind off.  The cuff rolls down if you like, and it stretches enough when worn that the cuff can be unrolled and stay flat, if desired.  I like it better.  My mom was thrilled with them.

Also, for the record, Panda Cotton stands up beautifully to machine washing and drying.  The failed sock got thrown in with my boyfriend’s laundry, so I don’t know if it was washed on hot or cold, but it came out looking perfect (aside from the ugly knitting).  The yarn is very splitty, but I would definitely make socks with it again.

I have since finished one 9 to 5 sock in Knit Picks Essential, but the pictures I took came out blurry.  I also felt motivated enough to start a new sweater.  It’s Mrs. Darcy, and I’m *this close* to finishing the back.  I’m using my Beaverslide Fisherman’s Weight wool in Mountain Mahogany that I initially bought for a second Ester.  This is my first seamed sweater, and I’m pretty excited about it.  This is a quick knit because of the larger gauge, and I sort of like the idea of “finishing” a piece; smaller accomplishments on the way to the final one.  Hopefully I can keep motivated on this cardigan because it will be just perfect for fall.  Maybe next time I’ll have some pictures.

I have a permanent job!  Last Monday, one of my interviews called me back and offered me the job as wine inventory clerk.  Of the two interviews I had, this is the one I was feeling better about and hoping I would get.  I won’t be starting until the 13th so I can finish out my Berkeley job.  It’s only 30 hours/week, and the pay is nothing spectacular, so as soon as I have my schedule set I’m going to be finding something else part time.  I’m really excited though; I’ll be getting paid to become a wine expert.  It’s definitely the kind of thing that could develop into a career, or at least help me down the road to do something else.

MS3: I took a little break after finishing Clue 3 (completed above), but I finally got myself going on Clue 4 on Thursday.  I was nowhere near to finishing before Clue 5 (and the theme!) were released, but that’s ok.  Clue 4 is long, but repetitive, so it should go quickly as long as I keep at it.  I’m not really concerned about “catching up” before the end, but the releasing of the clues does keep me motivated to keep plugging away at it.  I’ve loving the purple I picked and the pattern is so beautiful.  Melanie also designed the Hanami Stole which has been in my queue for awhile, and I think that will be my next big lace project.

I also took a break on the Wyvern socks after I completed the good one, but on Thursday I cast on for the second (aka third).  The first (failed) one is being used as a machine-washing test sock.  I don’t even want to bother trying to unweave the ends and all that to use the yarn for something else.   I have enough for a complete pair anyway.  I’m anxious to get these done so I can start a new pair.  Next up is probably the 9 to 5 socks with some KP Essential. And for the record, I like heel flaps WAY better than short row heels.  A big thanks to JessaLu, however.  She pointed me to the Sherman technique for short rows, which worked better than anything else I tried for that ribbed short row heel.  It looks pretty good on the heel, and absolutely fabulous on the toe.  It’s amazingly simple and makes wrapped short rows seem ridiculous.  Maybe I will even created a photo tutorial at some point.  I like it THAT much.

The past week was full of ups and downs.  These were mostly related to my job/financial situation.  I didn’t work all last week, and all my calls with the temp agency were disappointing.  So I took matters into my own hands and slogged through Craigslist job postings.  I didn’t have must hope of hearing back, but I felt a little productive anyway.  I guess I must have become good at writing cover letters at some point in the past few months, because I got not one, but two responses!  I set both interviews for Monday.  They went fairly well, but I won’t hear about them until next week.

So I was feeling heartened, but still extremely stressed out about my financial situation, and not knowing when I would next have money coming in.   On Tuesday, though, my temp agency called me with a job at UC Berkeley…starting Wednesday!  I’m working in the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research.  Sounds fancy, huh?  It’s only for 13 days, but it’s money.  And if I do happen to get one of the jobs I interviewed for, I can start right after this one ends.

It’s fun being here at UCB.  It’s making me think seriously again about Grad school and what I should study.  Lots of interesting things here, especially if I want to go on the Ph.D track.  In leiu of my renewed enthusiasm in academia, I’ve finally started reading Edward Said’s Orientalism.  It’s pretty much required reading for myself, and I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to get around to it.  And, in my extreme nerd-dom, I’m planning on writing it up on a sister blog.  We’ll see if that actually happens.

Well, you’d think with a whole week of not working that I might have time to blog.   I guess I’ve been distracted though, consumed with searching out some form of employment.  No good news from the temp agency, but I’ve been combing craigslist for options and I actually managed to land an interview for Monday!  I also have visited my preferred Alameda coffee spots and today I talked with the managers at my favorite one.  I feel that things went well, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.  That would only be a few hours a week, but some cash flow is better than none.  And it’s clearly the best coffee place in Alameda, so it would be a dream come true.

I’ve also been lazy about blogging because I’ve been lazy about taking pictures.  But I got my act together, so let’s talk about socks.

I finished my Charades!  They were done on Saturday, so they took just over three weeks.  I’m happy they are done and they are very comfortable!  Officially my first pair of socks just for me.

Pattern: Charade
Yarn: Hello Yarn Tough Sock, in Swiftly
Needles: 2.5mm KP dpns
Mods: minor sizing changes, like lengthening the heel flap and foot.

 After completing the Charades, I started my mom’s Wyverns.  Since I took this picture, I’ve actually finished the first sock.  It wasn’t easy, though.  The toe and the foot were easy enough.  It was my first time doing a short row toe, which turned out ok after a few tries.  I want my joins where the wraps were to look really neat.  However, this came to be a problem when I got to the heel.  The bottom of the foot and the heel are in ribbing.  I could have changed it to stockinette, but I really liked the look of the ribbing.  The wrapping method linked to from the article didn’t really do it for me on the ribbing.  So I looked up some others, and ripped out at least 3 or 4 times before I finally settled on this one.  The result isn’t perfect, but it’s ok for now.  I finished up the ankle-length cuff and bound off.  The bind off looks really nice, but I’m concerned it could be slightly too tight.  But these socks are a little small for me, cuz they’re for my mom.  Maybe I will use the sewn bind off on the next one, and if it’s world’s better, I’ll redo the first one.

After this one-sock experience, though, I’ve gotta say, I don’t think short-row toes and heels are for me.  Well, the toe is ok, and I might use that again, but I’m not that thrilled with the heel, and for reasons beyond the ribbing and wrap problem.  But I’m trying something new.  For now, I still prefer cuff-down, heel flap socks.

I also joined Mystery Stole 3, but I’ll talk more about than when I’m a bit more caught up.  I’ve only finished Clue 1 (I did start late), and Clue 4 was released today.  Good thing we have two weeks for this one!  Hopefully I can get on track.

i have officially ended my life (for now) as a barista, and entered the professional world. i was fortunate enough to start my first temp job a mere 3 days after my last day at starbucks. today was my first day. it went well!

as a receptionist at a software company with no foot traffic and very few phone calls, i have a lot of downtime. and i can do whatever i want at my desk for much of the day: like knitting! after busting ass for so much time for cranky people, this is a welcome change.

i have had a few rounds of startitis lately…i’m halfway through a net shopping bag and last night i purchased and cast on for wicked. i’m using the debbie bliss cotton dk i have laying around. since it’s a neutral color, and i’m going to omit the front pocket, i’m hoping it will be something suitable for work when i’m done.

i also cast on for the ene shawl from scarf style, after ripping out what little i had done of the victoria shawl (from VLT). i saw ene, and i loved it, and i wanted to make it for myself, and then i decided a triangular shawl would better suit my grandmother anyway. it also has the benefit of getting ever smaller, so the slowest progress is at the beginning. i’m only halfway through chart one (and i haven’t touched it in a week) but i’m feeling much better about it than victoria.

with this additional knitting time everyday, i’m hoping to at least finish my smaller projects. i have one that is taking priority right now, and maybe i’ll actually finish my feather & fan scarf sometime soon (not that i’ll be able to wear it). i’m not too far off on that one. right now i’m not worrying too much about the number of projects i have going, but just about how much i am enjoying knitting. and i am trying to get more satisfaction out of a project for a longer period of time. so ultimately, it should all come out for the better.

yarn owl

i found a new friend at work yesterday. i get the best toys when little kids leave their shit laying around. he is modeling here with my current portable WIP. the yarn is mountain colors bearfoot. the colors looked ok in the ball, but knitted up in this textured rib they are coming out so lovely.

my birthday was pretty awesome, i got lots of calls and text messages. i had to go to a meeting in walnut creek for starbucks with some of the other supervisors at my work. while the meeting itself was lame, we made the rest of the day awesome. i wish i had pictures, but i didn’t bring my camera. which was a real shame when we decided to drive up mt. diablo.

i ended up getting carsick and puking on the way down the extremely winding road, but that didn’t put a damper on my day. we ate hawaiian bbq (i could eat it everyday), and spend a relaxing night in with james. last night i went out with him and some of his work friends and did japantown kareoke. nothing too crazy this year, but lots of fun.

i got a few more presents in the mail. one of them was the offhand designs circular needle case i asked for! i got the cappuccino bloom and last night i put all my circs inside. it’s awesome! now all my needles have a home.

i’m currently having a bad bout of startitis, and i’m finding myself craving yarn for which i have no immediate or set purpose. usually i am pretty good about only thinking about buying things when i have an actual project in mind. right now, i want to go crazy on sock yarn, since i found out some members of my family really appreciate hand knit socks, and after completing my first sweater, i suddenly have this urge to be prepared for all the others i might knit in the next year. considering i still don’t have a definite use for all that debbie bliss cotton i just got (after shunning the dollar and a half cardi), i really need to exercise some control. but paired with the influx of $$ this month from tax returns and some decent paychecks…well, it’s going to be tough.

i’m just going to try and focus on making with what i already have (no shortage there) instead of lusting after what i don’t need. it will still be there when i’m ready to buy it.