Thursday, July 27, 2006

K is for Knocked Over

...I'm simply reeling from the faaaaabulous prizes my KSKS partner Sharon has sent me! Let's dive in:

This is what I had waiting for me when I got home. Super Sock Suprises! I was so excited that I could barely contain myself. I ran right inside, put the box down, quickly put my shopping things away and cleared out space around the box, so I could take pictures of what was inside. That's right, my excitement about knitting has spurred me to clean spontaneously. Yeah, I think that's a miracle of some sort. Moving on:

This is what I found inside. All this. The champagne flute is for celebration, because this yarn needs a fine wine to pair with. It's that good. Look at the goodies! Candle, soap, gummies, sheepie note cards (love, love love it!), two sock patterns, a needle case, a knitting notebook, saltwater taffy, the most gorgeous bag I've ever seen (so impressed am I!) with clover bamboo needles (my fave!) and a very sweet note card. Now let's see the good stuff up front:

Mmm, yarn. This is Fleece Artist 100% Merino sock yarn. This yarn is what God himself would wear on his feet. I don't know who this fleece artist is, but he had better be heeding himself to Oregon very, very soon. Look at the colors! Blues, purples, gold and green... Funny story, I had considered a very similar colorway of Socks that Rock earlier this year at the Black Sheep fest, but opted for the Project Spectrum blue instead. Colorway dreams do come true!

Speaking of colorway dreams, look at this bag. It's perfect. It's stiff enough to stand up on its own, big enough to shove whatever project of the moment is into it, but still small enough that I can tote it around in planes, trains and automobiles. Or, what I will definitely use it for, work knitting! No more yarn breaking in the zipper of my work bag! *happy dance*

Sharon, I'm so impressed and cannot thank you enough! THANK YOU!!

This is what is my saturday's sky, for Sandy. Isn't it pretty? Finally, there's proof of knitting:

These are the Trekking XXL socks in progress. They're for the Trek Along With Me challenge. I love these socks. It's the Rib and Cable pattern from Interweave Fall '05. I've always wanted to make it in socks (I've used the pattern for a couple scarves), and I'm just too delighted that it's worked out so far. I'm doing them toe-up, with a short-row heel. It's going swell, and I'm just darn proud of myself for it. Here's a close up of the cable:

The cable is pretty short, which means lots and lots of cabling. However, I've learned how to cable without a cable needle, which has sped me up considerably. I suggest that you learn this skill forthwith, as I think it's something every knitter should know. Go to it!

And, finally, I'm taking a bow and raising my glass of champagne here, as I passed my test Wednesday and am officially promoted to dispatch! I kicked some serious ass on my test- who's too smart now, wise guy? This also means I can sign up for the good overtime, now that I'm a dispatcher. No more 16-hour days if I can help it!

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm Mad as Hell...

...and I'm not going to take it anymore!

This is the most famous part of the movie Network, which I have seen only in pop culture references on VH1. However, it proves to be a great line for me this week, as well as several other knitbloggers.

So, I'm learning a new skill at work. We use this program that rates you, on a scale of 1 (utterly incompetent) to 7 (you are God himself). The number 4 is used as the minimum acceptable level. There are 18 different skills to rate me on a daily basis. (The old tv show The Prisoner comes to mind here- I am not a number!) When I have 4 days of all 4's, I can pass my test and do my new skill alone. (And get a pay raise, woot!). You can imagine how nerve-racking that last week is- will I get a 4? Does that last mistake count? It was an accident. Shoot.... now I have to start over!

This frustration is compounded by the "coach" who guides you through and rates you daily. My last coach decided it would be a good idea to mark me down for following known policy, because he didn't think the particular job "called for it". Take a minute to soak that in. Go on, I'll wait. Getting marked down in the catergory "decison making" for following policy correctly. Say it with me: WTF?

So, naturally, this led to some "complications". Okay, so I had a world-class freak out. I mean, I don't think I have ever been this upset in my life. Seriously. To sit there and be told that you are not following your coach's orders (that go against the rules set for this very reason) and that you need to just "get over it" when you protest the issue. This is simply Not Okay in my universe. I will be damned if I am going to be punished for following policy. In my career, I could be fired, sued or kill someone by not following policy (or heck, all three). Frankly, it was my integrity that was hurt the most. The idea that either I could sit there and take it (and be marked down every day for it), or I could stand up and say NO MORE! (Now the Simpsons line, "stand up for yourself, poindexter!" comes to mind). So I did just that. I stood up for myself, my job and my integrity. I did it with as much class (and lack of tears) that I could muster. It was hard; fighting for something that you know is right and then having to prove it to someone who's above you and has been doing it a lot longer. In the end, I won a couple of battles and what I consider what was going to be a war. Take it from me- there is no one who is more capable of standing up for themselves than you are. Even if it doesn't go your way, stand up for yourself. At least you'll be able to sleep at night.

So what else has been going on in the knitblogging world? There's some scary stuff out there. It seems everyone's been hitting the Dr's office lately. Scout's hubby just went through knee surgery. Lee Ann is going through brain surgery this week. Scary! The Keyboard Biologist's hubby is recovering from open-eye surgery ickiness. At least Mr. Etherknitter is doing well! My KSKS partner's mom is also in the hospital with chemo; I'd link you, but then I'd be giving her up. Think good thoughts for her- in the meantime, I'm sending good yarn her way! The Yarn Harlot has graciously accepted any bad universal mojo on Lee Ann's behalf. Go pay her a visit, because it would seem the Universe has taken her up on her offer. Also scary are the spider stories that are cropping up. A nest of spiders erupting inside your house? NOT OKAY!

Hopefully, we can all get through the month of July. Lord only knows what's in store for August!

And, yes, there has been knitting this week. However, the Trekking sock heel isn't working out and will need to be reknit. No, there aren't pictures. Cozy is getting pretty stagnant, so I hope to work on her some as well. Also, I finished my KSKS partner's package, now I just need to mail it out. Hooray for a weekend to finish projects!

Monday, July 03, 2006

J is for jonesing...

Well, what a day I had! We went and saw the new Superman movie. It was good. I like my superheroes clean cut, polite and a little hunky, so it was definitely my kind of movie. What wasn't my kind of movie was the ten thousand children who saw it with us. Now, Superman does appeal to all children, I must admit. However, your average four year old isn't going to enjoy all the talking and the "grown up" things that go on. Superman doesn't have any explosions, cartoon characters or hilarious bodily noises- all things kids go to movies for. Instead, there's talking, prolonged silences and long, overly sequenced CG animation of him in space- things adults want to see in a movie. Therefore, every child has to squeal, yell loudly at their parent "what's that?" "who's he?" "why is he doing that" every ten minutes. A couple behind us had two chairs between them with two infant carriers. Tell me, why do people take less-than-one -year-olds to movies? Babies don't care. And it's way too loud for them in there, anyway. Arr.

I needed something to take the edge off of my anger. As it happened, Casey was looking for a new book, so I went and spent a little money at the bookstore. The new Simply Knitting! was out, and I got a new stitchionary. I almost splurged on the Mason Dixon book, but all I really want is the log cabin pattern and I found that online.

However, when I got home, there was an unexpected surprise in the mailbox for me:

What's this? It looks suspiciously secret-pal-ey. Let's take a closer look.

What a cute sticker! I love the Uncle Sam!

oOOH! Prizes! It appears to be...a dishcloth pattern, yarn and something that smells fruity and tasty...

Hooray! Haribo Bears! The smell has seeped into the Peaches and Cream yarn and made it smell just delightful! I can't wait to try the pattern out. Thanks Knit Sock Kit Swap pal!