27 September 2007

I'm so tired...

...but life should be getting better from here. My boss's last day was today. He stormed out at 3pm after the DM informed him that today was his last day. He told my co-manager "I know this screws you guys for tonight, but I don't really care." So much for leaving on good terms, but at least he's gone. The district manager promises us a new general manager in the next three weeks. We'll see. It will do a lot for my faith and loyalty if that happens. In the meantime, it's a survival game. Keep the store running, start the process of improving our situation, and don't burn out or go crazy in the meantime.

Entertaining short story -- went to the doctor last week, asked her about working less. She agrees that I need to work less. I ask for a doctor's note. Nope. There's no medical reason for me to work less. I just need to talk to my boss and "work it out." I say that I'm certain they will make any accommodations they need to...but they need some sort of documentation that says my doctor thinks I should work less. Again, she refuses, saying that I should just cut back my hours. I try to explain why this isn't possible (I'll lose my job, lose my health insurance, and these things are, ya know, bad?), and she says I shouldn't worry about those things. The money stuff, according to her, just "works itself out."

Um. Yeah. Sure it does, if you make a doctor's wage. When you live paycheck to paycheck on a retail job, the money stuff surely does not "work itself out."

But alas and alack, it's all well and good. We shall survive. We see a different doctor next appointment, and Robb will come with me for the next one as a physical presence to keep me from getting all gooshy and crying like I did this last time (anger=tears, when +hormones, it all goes awful)...and then I hope that it will all "work itself out."

Meantime, I've been sleeping a lot again, which seriously affects my knitting. I needed something even less complicated than the Peter Pan lace front cardi to distract me, and when I went to the LYS to get some cashsoft to make teeny weeny hats for my step-sister's twins, likely to appear at any moment, I was...well.

Let me 'splain. I don't knit rectangles. I hate rectangles. Blankets, afghans...they're boring. I love the AbFab kit because the yarn changes so often it keeps me entertained (I'm simple in the brain, I tell you), but regular rectangle things...I hate them. The only thing I dislike more is chevrons. I once saw an entire book of chevron afghans in various colors and patterns and iterations, and it almost made me...well. I just don't like chevrons, okay?

So how the hell did this end up on my needles?

I mean, really.

The yarn is impractical, the colorwork should please the simple mindedest among us...why am I knitting this? We're not even going to DISCUSS the cost of the yarn for this (thank god for the Berocco sale, that's all I'm sayin'), or the fact that technically this blankie should be DRY CLEANED.

I saw it, and I had to have it.

Simple minded. Only excuse I can think of.

And by the way, Alison? Just because I'm breaking my own rules and knitting myself a baby blanket does not in any way mean that you are off the hook. :P

Last but not least, I wanted to say thanks for your prayers...my aunt's platelet count is slowly rising. Up to 4 from 2 (normal is 15-40). It's obviously far too soon to say whether this slow improvement will continue, but for now, it's a step in the right direction. Maybe she will get to hold my little Lucy Joy Diana after all. Or my Charles Sebastian. Whichever way it goes (although the needle on a thread trick invariable says girl) I'll be thrilled.

Two months until there's a tiny new little person in my life. I can't wait!

12 September 2007

Emergency Sock Yarn to the rescue

First off, computer survived the fate of the power supply. Note to all of you out there; if your computer starts randomly rebooting and when you start poking at it, you notice that something feels really warm, don't do what I did the first time this happened a couple of years back; don't restart your system over and over trying to figure out where the harddrive error is occurring. If it's a random reboot, it's almost always a hardware problem; software problems tend to happen when you're doing the same thing.

Anyway, Staples came through for me. I called them Sunday morning to ask what power supplys they stock. The guy who answered the phone says "380, 430, 500." Those are wattages. I said "Antec?" (which is the brand I'm fond of). He says, "Uh- yeah." In his "as if there's another kind." voice. It was fantastic. I bought a bigger power supply than I did the last time I bought a power supply, because I am a novice in this world of computer building, and I consulted several friends who said that, while I don't run a system that technically *needs* 500 watts of power on a regular basis, I do run a system that consistently runs at the top end of it's load (I'm trying to use all the fun computer terms I've been learning with them so that then I hang out with them I fit it, this is like knitters who randomly drop the difference between Fair Isle and Norwegian stranding into conversation, don't mind me), so it's kind of like baking bread in a pan that's only just barely big enough. You're going to get some in the oven eventually. How this is a metaphor for blowing the fan on your power supply, I don't know. Let's just say it works.


New power supply. Computer is working well. Yay!

Now, Friday, before the world got all stupid, I had taken this picture:

This is a picture of every skein of Emergency Sock Yarn that I have gotten with all of my Socks That Rock kits over the past year and a half. It's cool stuff, just as soft and pretty and durable as their big skein cousins, but since I'm obsessive about having short legs on my socks, I never use up my whole skein of yarn, so I've never needed to break into my Emergency Yarn Stash. So they became a kind of artwork, decorating this really cool teapot that I got from a friend in California who I have since lost touch with.

Each little sock yarn came on a little key chain type holder, so that you could clip it wherever you personally might run into a need for Emergency yarn. I used it to hang off the lid of the teapot. I started with just one skein on there, and then hung another one off that same skein, again and again, for a year and a half. These are just dinky little key chain holder mabobs. I don't blame the original one for giving out.

I thought about just clicking a different key chain thingy on the teapot and going from there. But then the one skein where the dodad was shot would keep falling down. I thought of taking just that one teeny skein down, but that felt like cheating.

So I thought, and I thought, and then I thought ah-ha!

This is more-or-less the LisaKnits pattern for Baby's First Hat that was in the collection that Karin sent me last January when I had my wisdom teeth pulled. If I thought hard, i could probably tell you the progression of socks that rock colors, but I don't want to. I like the watercolor progression of the hat. I like that I have something to put on my little baby's head that was dyed with love and caring by some of the nicest women I've heard about.


Now, on the subject of nicest women I've heard about, I am still working away at the sweater from the Lisa Souza Sock! in Mulberry. This is the pattern I've been working on -- the small raglan cardigan at the bottom of the photo. I'm not showing you pictures because it still looks stupid due to the fact that the pattern wants me to knit each piece separately and then seam them all together, and I'm being stubborn. I hate seaming raglans. It could just be me, but it seems like it never ever works out right. The seams look messy and unpleasant, and I get all huffy, and that is not the experience I want with this sweater. So I'm knitting each piece up to where it says to start doing armhole shaping, and then I'm going to knit them all together in the round and work up to the neck. If it weren't for the lace pattern, I would be really obnoxious and reverse engineer the whole thing so that I was also knitting it from the neck down. So I'm not going to show this to you until I have gotten to the "in the round" part.

If you see a problem with this, please alert me quickly. I've thought that I should probably decrease an extra stitch on each front and two each on the sleeves and back to eliminate seaming stitches...anything else?

And finally, some of you have been diligently and desperately asking me for belly pictures as you've heard that there is a belly worth seeing now. There is, and I will, I promise. I'm not being self-conscious about my size (yet) but Robb is too busy with his digital life tonight to take a picture. Don't blame him, blame me, I didn't think of asking him until he was wrapped up in Heroic Shattered Halls. If you don't know what that means, thank your lucky stars. :)

Two last quick notes...one day back from vacation and I want to quit my job, plus I got word that my aunt is back in the hospital with pneumonia and a high fever that they just can't kick. They're not allowing visitors at this point, because she needs to rest too much. Prayers appreciated.

Much love.

08 September 2007

update, and not about knitting

got home tonight and discovered that the fan in my computer's power supply has bricked. Thankfully, as far as I can tell, this *fantastic* event occurred without damaging anything else in the computer; when this thing goes fooey, it can blow your motherboard, processor, hard drive...it's not really an unexpected thing to have happen to my computers, I push them hard, but it's still frustrating to find out that your computer is unusable half an hour before Best Buy closes.

with luck, tomorrow, I will get a new power supply, and all will be beautiful and gorgeous in the world.

If luck is not with me, I'll be ordering one to arrive sometime next week.

Either way, I'll be fairly quiet until then, as I'll only get computer time when I can pry Robb free. hahahaha.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my vacation. I'll try and sneak on in the morning and at least give you a pic free update.

Much love.

01 September 2007

Because every newborn needs a sweater that looks like my parents' retro 70s kitchen all knitted up.

So let's just get that out of the way right now, shall we?

I used up my skein of Rare Gems from the BMFA ladies to make a Babies and Bears sweaters for the new arrival in December. It's almost done; I think it needs rhinestone buttons, but i'm not quite sure where to acquire such things on the cheap, so it may have to wait a few weeks. Which is fine, because this is where my superstition exercises itself slightly; I won't really really really really finish any of the things that I'm making until Thanksgiving or so. I'll have a button sewing-on party.

It's a great way to procrastinate, don't you think?

The sweater came out a titch small, I think, but first babies run smallish in both my families and Robb's, so I'm hoping for the best.

I'm also starting in on what I hope will be the sweater to bring my little baby home in; I got seriously stressed about this for awhile -- it'll be December, this was an important decision! -- but I think I've made the right choice. The sweater itself will be a Peter Pan & Wendy design -- I'll scan the pattern in some day when there isn't crap on my scanner -- but what makes it really important is the yarn. I tore my house apart this past week trying to figure this one out, ten different kinds of strung out because I wanted something perfect for my wee one, but yarn buying is completely out of the question under the current budget restraints. I kept tearing apart the yarn shelves, and then putting them back together, and I kept moving the same skein over and over again, while lamenting the lack of a perfectly colored yarn, crafted with love and sincerity by a wonderful person.

And then I realized that the yarn in my hand was Mulberry colored Sock! by Lisa Souza.

And I felt something of an idiot.

The pattern calls for a DK weight yarn, and it took me a full four hours to get the gauge right. Sock! is a fairly, well, sockish yarn, and I thought I remembered hearing that if you doubled a fingering weight yarn, you get a Dk weight yarn. Apparently, I miss remembered, because I was getting a gauge I associate with worsted weights -- 5 stitches to the inch, when the pattern wanted 6. Single stranded, the gauge was perfect, but too loose and lacy for a winter sweater. Eventually, I doubled the yarn and went from the suggested 4mm needles down to 2.5mms. The yarn isn't quite as drapey as it might be, but it has a denseness and solidness that makes me happy. It feels like Lisa's caring made solid and put close to the skin of someone who'll feel it, if she doesn't mind me saying so. I'll post a picture when there's more to show than just an inch of garter and an inch of stockinette.

And then, finally, I have to brag. I'm having one of those "I have this and you don't" moments, even though it isn't charitable, but look look look what Ranee sent me for my little one-on-the-way!

Angora and cashmere, she said, just perfect for a baby born in the dead of winter.

Thank you thank you thank you, Ranee!

In other news, my aunt has relapsed again; bone marrow tests haven't come back yet, so we're not sure how bad it is this time, but with this particular disease, it just kinda keeps getting worse every time. More chemo, for sure. So far, she's staying just ahead of the science curve, though; each time they battle her back into remission, they say "if it comes back, there's nothing more we can do," but by the time it does, they've come up with something.

Here's hoping for another something.

Much love.