Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's A.......

The project is in the hands of its new owner so I can post pictures but first I have to say a HUGE Thank You to Deb - LosetheMittens on Ravelry. A couple weeks ago Deb was in town for a class and as it happened my Ravelry knitting group was meeting the one night she had available. I drove past downtown on the way to the group and picked up Deb. We had a quick supper at Culver's cause there aren't any where she's from and everyone has to try Culver's at least once. Then - on to the knitting group. We had a great time. I got her home.

This week I got a surprise in the mail. Deb sent it a new book. I absolutely love reading topical books - knitting mysteries; quilt series; etc. This book is "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club" by Gil McNeil. It's a novel about a lady who is newly widowed and in need of a fresh start. I know I'm going to enjoy it and THANK YOU DEB!!!

It's a....... Afghan

I hang out on the She-Knits Podcast group on Ravelry a lot. Sharon started her podcast a while ago to create a cyber-knitting circle. When Ravelry came along she started a group where we have small talk everyday and -well- we are a chatty group. Over the past year I've come to know several of the ladies and had a chance to meet some, including Sharon, in person. We all care about each other as much as we would if we lived in the same town. When all this latest financial garbage hit Sharon's family I decided she needed a hug from the group. I send messages to several of the ladies and asked for 8" squares out of a cotton blend (wool itches her).

Within a short time I was receiving mail from all over the country as well as Germany, Japan and Puerto Rico. Chief helped sort the mail and he thoroughly enjoyed checking out the packages with plastic or tape.

Num, num num. I can't get enough plastic to chew - This is good stuff. - Chief

Once all the squares arrived, I crocheted around each one to give them a border and make it easier to stitch together. Lorri (LJWT on Ravelry) came over one Sunday afternoon and helped decide where the afghans should be and helped stitch it together.

All the squares have special meaning to the maker - there's a tree of life with 9 leaves- 2 for Sharon and her husband and 7 for their kids. There's a square on the top using the design of one of her bag patterns. There's one with 9 hearts for her family. I made her She-Knits logo.

There's a Queen Owl square because through some silliness on the forum Sharon became our Queen Owl. There's a fish because Sharon tells everyone to -keep on swimming.
Each square - a special meaning.

We needed one more square so Chief got in the act and knit his own square to add to the afghan.

Sharon opened the package Thursday. Part of the instructions were to turn on her podcast equipment before opening the box. If you want to hear her reaction you can listen.
It's amazing how connected we can be to people we don't even know in person. The Internet has created a new version of pen pals. What great is- I get a chance to meet some of these pen pals in person. Stitches Midwest I met some and I'll be seeing them again this year. I'll see Sharon again. In the meantime - she has a hug from the whole group.


The boys have started taking naps together again. This spot is Chief's napping place. I guess Bert decided it was pretty comfortable and Chief is such a loving boy he'll snuggle with anyone.
He'll even give Bert a good bath in the morning. Bert is such a baby!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let Me Rephrase That

There's someone at work who does not knit, does not know I have a knitting blog, will not read this. So, I think I'm pretty safe in writing about this and not embarrassing that person. If not - I don't think he'll understand what I'm saying anyway so I'm safe.

Last week I had a conversation with a person at work, we'll call him Moe (as in moe-ron). It was a typical conversation and probably the reason I prescribe to the theory of "I kill so a do not kill people". He works quite closely with me, actually I'm his boss. In the world of being a boss you're supposed to mentor the team, help all your charges attain their full potential. I tell you, I don't think there's full potential here. I seriously think the little bridges between certain parts of the brain have been washed out and nothing is crossing them. After these conversation my brain hurts!

Me: Hey Moe. Do you remember when B used some of the supplies for a personal project and said she would replace it?
Moe: Yeah.
Me: That was over a month ago. I was wondering if she happened to come in while you were here and return it.
Moe: I don't know. You'll have to ask her.
Me: Moe, what I'm asking is - did she bring happen to bring it back while you were here?
Moe: I don't know. You'll have to ask her.
Me: Moe, let me try again. Was there ever a time in the past month when you were in this room and B came in and personally handed you the supplies and said 'here's the stuff I used. Thank you for letting me borrow them.'?"
Moe: No.
Me: Thank you. That's what I wanted to know.

Conversation #2: after talking about this topic all week with Moe. We have someone printing garbage and wasting reams of paper because they're trying to print using the wrong print driver but - this user name is someone from another state who was terminated in January. I've reported it to the corporate network guys.
Me: I still can't believe they haven't figured out how to stop this yet. It's so frustrating.
Moe: You should report it.
Me: Like I said before, I put in a help desk ticket and talked to someone there. We can't do anything else but keep the paper trays open so "he" can't print and waste paper.
Five minutes later after I get more info for the network guys
Me: This is driving me nuts.
Moe: Can't you report it to someone?
Me: The network guys at corporate have been told - by me - They are the only ones who can do anything. I have told them. They have a report. We can't do anything. The network guys have the information, are looking into it and will do something to fix it. We can't do anything. Do you understand?
Moe: Well, maybe you should tell R. (R is our laptop/computer guy in the office)
Me: Remember the network guys? The people at corporate? The ones I reported this to? The only people that can fix it? R is not one of them. He can't fix it. Trust me. The right people know ...
We went on another 5 minutes on this topic before he mentioned he thought Cliff Richards was about 50 years old. But that's another conversation......

Sadly, this type conversation happens at least on an hourly basis. It gets to the point where I can't even come up with another way to ask the same question. He is not going anywhere, anytime time soon. I am the supervisor who gets the "special employees". These are not people with mental handicaps as defined by the state but rather behavioral issues. I once had someone with vision problems I had to evaluate to see if she could do her job with helps we could provide but mostly it's short-term behavior things. Moe is different. He's been here for almost a year and my coping skills are wearing thin.

Monday I get a new person for a bit. I need to observe his people skills and coach him on customer interaction by how he deals with people in the office. At least I know the new guy has great print/computer skills so I can tell him to work on projects and know they'll get done right.

With all these people coming and going Moe thinks they have the issues. He doesn't realize he is an issue. I truly believe there were serious drugs in the past that have damaged normal thought process- it's the only theory I have for this. In the meantime - I knit so I do not kill!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lots of Knitting - No pictures

Interesting that it would take me 11 days after a post on procrastination to post again. Told you I put things off...

I spent the past week finishing up a secret project. Don't you just love it when people talk about secret projects they can't show you. After a while you start things maybe they're just making it up to hide the fact that they aren't doing anything. Well - there really is a project. It's done and heading to its new home tomorrow. Once I know its been opened I'll post pictures and the story behind it.

Beside the secret project I've had a pretty busy knitting week. Tuesday was MN Knitters Guild meeting. The topic was Aran knitting and there were many beautiful items to enjoy. I haven't joined the guild but only because I used my last check and keep forgetting to put a new bunch in my purse. Next month....

Thursday was my regular knit group - NW Twin Cities Suburb Knit Group. We started through Raverly and our group just keeps growing. We started once a month and now meet twice a month. It's amazing how many stories you hear about groups starting up because of Ravelry. I brought the project to work on and others brought socks, afghans, sweaters and all sorts of fun projects.

Since spring is officially here I've been looking at the yard (minus snow) and realized how little I did last fall before the snow fell. I put off racking because we have some late leaf droppers in the area and I didn't want to have to rake twice. OOPS! Now I have a really icky looking yard and a lot of work ahead of me in a week or so when the yard dries out enough to be able to handle a raking.

The next month will also be busy knitting wise. Knit Out, my knitting group, MKG, and we'll see what else comes up. Next post will have pictures - I promise!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To put off doing something

Procrastinate: To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.

I just saw how many days its been since I last posted. I've been doing things - knitting group, work, lots of TV watching, some knitting, very little house cleaning, obviously no posting.

I ended up in one of those time warp things the past couple weekends. I'd wake up, get breakfast, plop down in my chair and turn on the TV for a few minutes. Pick up the knitting and suddenly notice it was 2pm and I hadn't done anything. The worst weekend time warp device TV marathons. If there's an NCIS marathon or another show I like, I watch one episode then before there's a commercial they start the next episode so you get sucked into watching "just one more". Multiple that by the entire day and WHOOSH! it's 7pm and you've done nothing but knit and watch Mark Harmon. This past weekend was catching up on my Netflix DVDs. Some British TV shows so each DVD was 4 hours and I had 3 of them to watch.

So what did I knit? Some of my knitting is - sorry can't show you stuff. But I do have a few things I can show you.

Wednesday I bought the latest Knit Today Magazine. Issue 29- Jan 2009. Inside was a cute little teddy bear. I have a family member expecting a baby in July so the teddy spoke to me. It had to be knit. It turned out to be very quick and very cute. I made it out of Woolease so it will be washable- babies need things washable!

What's this? Another critter waiting to be born. Bert is gonna love playing with this one! - Chief

I decided to make the little "ruffle" down the front white and a little different from the original. Mine's more fluffy. Once this little guy is put together it will also have a white collar. Because I don't need it to be finished until summer I'm waiting to stuff it. It will be easier to store if it isn't stuffed. Plus - It will be less interesting to Bert. Must protect the little guy from Bert's fun and games!

I also have been playing with hairpin lace crochet. I was going to submit this scarf to a crochet magazine but the deadlines for next winter snuck up on me and went so- no submission. I'll probably finish it and write it up anyway. The picture below is 1 strip from being done. I ran out of yarn and got sucked into the TV Zone so didn't make it over to get more yarn.
As you can see, one edge has a green strip with a nice edge, the other lots of brown loops. If you've never worked hairpin lace- it's a fork (2 wire bars held apart by top and bottom spacers).
Making strips consists of working single crochets in between the wires and flipping the fork around to create loops around it. I'll write up a better description later.
Once you have several strips of the length you need, the strips are put together by crocheting or working the loops together. This scarf works 3 loops together at time. I thought the finished joined loops a bit like cables.
So- what do you think? Once its done you think this will be a nice scarf?
Oh- the best part? I made this scarf in a couple short evenings. Hairpin lace can be very fast and use up the stash very quickly!

Thanks for bringing this box home, Mom . I haven't had something good to squish into for a while. - Chief
Ah, Chief..... those boxes are for sorting paperwork. Sorry big boy. Mom needs them tomorrow. - Mom