Monday, December 31, 2007

We Made It To Oregon...

Here we are in a town called Newberg, Oregon.  It is about 20 miles south of Portland.  We arrived at about 6:30 tonight, and I'm looking forward to seeing Oregon in the daylight.  

We stopped at a few places along the I-5 in Washington on the way here, including Seattle Premium Outlets, Village Yarn & Tea in Shoreline, Washington, the Sunlight Cafe in Seattle and Weaving Works. 

So far my yarn experiences have rated a "meh".  I did get to see the Noro Kureon sock yarn and I absolutely hate to say it, but it was really disappointing.  It doesn't feel all that great and it seems a little thick and thin in places.  I may yet buy some though, just to try it.  The sample I saw at Village Yarn & Tea looked surprisingly good.  

We just finished one of the best Mexican meals we have ever had.   We tried a small restaurant called Cancun Mexican Restaurant, and we both ate until we were stuffed and had leftovers and had our salsa bowl refilled and the bill was $10.95!!  Very yummy!  I'd highly recommend giving this place a try if you are ever near Newberg, Oregon.

I am so glad I've got my laptop and wireless internet, so I can jot everything down from this trip before I forget.  The hardest thing about being away is missing the kitties.     

Well, I'm exhausted and I think we'll be having an early morning tomorrow.  We're going to try to go to a couple of yarn stores and a couple of outlet malls tomorrow morning, and after that we'll be heading south.  We're not sure how far we'll go --- Maybe all the way to California!  

More tomorrow.  I'll actually get my camera out tomorrow.  

P.S.  The reason we're staying in Newberg is that the room with a jacuzzi in it was $30 cheaper here than in Portland.  There.  Now everyone knows I'm jacuzzi tub obsessed.  

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finished Diagonal Cross Rib Socks

I managed to finish the pair of Diagonal Cross Rib Socks for my Apres Christmas Sock Swap Pal (it's a secret so I can't tell you who she is).  I was actually surprised how quickly these knit up, but I'm glad they did because I can get them mailed before Stu and I go away.  

Here are the specs:

Yarn:  Dream In Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon (I have about 1/3rd + of the ball left).
Needles: 1 32" 2.5mm Addi Turbo for doing the magic loop.
Pattern:  Diagonal Cross Rib Socks from Favorite Socks.

Notes:  I enjoyed the right cross more than the left cross, and if I was to do it again, I think I'd use the right cross for both socks.  I also think the pattern stands out better with the right cross.

We're heading out for a little post-Christmas getaway.  We're going to head down to Oregon (perhaps farther to Idaho or so) and do lots of shopping along the way.   I feel like I really need to get away from the phone constantly ringing, the cats creating messes all over the place and all of the other crap that is driving me crazy.  I need a vacation!

Any recommendations of places to stop in Washington, Oregon, or Idaho?  How about recommendations of what to do on New Years Eve in Oregon?  I think we'll be in Portland. 
I'm hoping to post from the road, since I'm taking my computer and camera with me.  

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Mom Jokes That I Married Santa...

As many of you know, I have a very generous husband. Here's proof ---

Technically, this isn't even a Christmas present.  It's more of a "we made it to the end of the year" gift. 

Did you know that you can use a Mac on a network full of PC's? How 'bout that you can upload Flickr photos right from your desktop? The only downside is that it doesn't work with my old multifunction printer (it's on its last leg anyway so no biggie)

I'm off to count my blessings (and figure out how to use a Mac!)...

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Edited to add:  It's snowing!  Christmas Day and snowing!!  It's very wet and there isn't going to be any accumulation, but it's exciting none the less.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I finally tried it.

Does anyone else have a problem using their yarn that they anticipate will be amazing to work with? I always have to make a second trip to the LYS to pick up the same brand in a different color specifically to use.

For example, I went to the LYS a few weeks ago and bought 2 skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy, but I couldn't bring myself to use either of them I had to return last week to buy more to use! Hey, if crazy means buying 4 skeins of Smooshy, I'm in!
I am currently using the Blue Lagoon colorway (my teal obsession continues). The pattern is the Diagonal Cross-Rib Sock from Favorite Socks. I've used this book more than any other knitting book I own.

At first the pattern confused me a little bit. I was knitting into the back of the second stitch on the left needle by placing my needle between the first and second stitches. I realized that my pattern wasn't looking quite right, so I tried not going between the two stitches and just going in from the back, and that worked.

On my sock, the first two pattern repeats are screwed up and don't stand out like they are supposed to, but I'm using it as part of the design, because it just looks I like I've eased into the pattern and not just screwed it up.

**Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me through this unpleasantness with the old job. If I didn't respond to your comment it's because you're email is not set to show to me when you leave a comment. I really wanted to be able to respond to everyone individually. I really am blessed to have all of you.**

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

One Year Ago Today....

...My life was forever changed, and I wouldn't have it any other way...

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."
Author Unknown

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Best of Intentions...

I'm out. I gave my notice and my bosses pretty much both had temper tantrums and and told me that two weeks wasn't enough notice and that they'd need at least a month to a month and a half of notice. I've worked there for less than three months (by 5 days) and by law I don't have to give them any notice (and the person who did the job before me for 20 years only gave them 5 days notice).

One of my bosses had the nerve to say that she didn't realize there was a problem (even after several formal meetings about the problem). I think someones head has been up her butt!

Anyway, I don't want to get into all the gritty details, but with the unprofessional way they treated me today, I say screw the notice. I'm not going back.

I even have a new job already! I'm going back to my former company, but in a much different role. I will be taking care of all of their HR and payroll. I'm glad to be going back.

Now, I know I promised knitting today, but I've had a really draining day, and I didn't get the pictures I wanted, so could you wait until tomorrow?

I want to give a heartfelt thank you to every person who commented and/or contacted me regarding my last post. Your support gives me a lot of strength and it means a lot to me to know that I am not alone and have such great people in my corner.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This is Why I Don't Talk About Work..

I am taking the day off today. It's Wednesday, but I have a migraine and have been under enough stress over the last few months that I'm surprised that I have not been permanently medicated.

This stress may come as a surprise to some people, since I haven't really blogged about it. You likely did notice that I have basically fallen off of the face of the earth when it comes to blogging.

Will you listen to my story if I promise to tell you about knitting tomorrow?

A few months ago I started a new job. The old job wasn't unbearable or anything, other than ticking me off once in a while, but the new job was so full of promise and more money.

Even on the first day at the new job I had a bad feeling. Everything was a mess, the person training me had never actually done my job before, and there was not one second to breathe.

I told myself it had to get better. It hasn't gotten better. Only worse.

My position is actually two positions (when I applied they were hiring for two positions, but when I got the job it was clear that they were not going to be hiring anyone else).

I have been talking to my bosses and telling them quite seriously that this is more work than one person can do (I am the master of prioritizing, but when two to four huge projects have the same due date and time, there are just not enough hours in the day).

I have been telling them that I can't continue to work like this and that I would be leaving if the workload could not be remedied for 3 months! 3 months!!

We have even had a few meetings that confirmed the problems. The meeting about two months ago showed my amount of work per week at 52 hours (not including any organizational projects, which are numerous and required). They kept saying that they would get someone in to help, but had not done one thing to start the process of hiring someone. All the while the bosses were getting more and more demanding of my time.

Finally, by the end of last week I was at the end of my rope and had come to the realization that help was not on the way. Things were not getting better (even with constant reminders to the bosses), and I could not take it anymore. So Monday morning I turned in my resignation letter saying that for the sake of my health I could not work there anymore.

Well, now they were taking it a little more seriously. (that was not my intention, by the way). My boss asked me to give him until Tuesday to see if he could figure out a way to remedy the situation, and I agreed to give him that time.

We were supposed to meet at 3pm (I leave at 4), but we didn't meet until 4:05 and I was in there until 5:30. Guess how much time my duties should take in one week? 63 hours! I'm supposed to work 37.5 hours. No wonder I'm totally stressed!!

Apparently I'll be getting an assistant. I'll believe it when I see it. They had several months to remedy the situation and it took a resignation letter to have them appear to do anything; this makes my angry and the amount of time that has passed has made me bitter. Not to mention that they have already been promising someone to help for months and have not gotten anyone.

They say I'm a really good fit, so they want to keep me (I'm not easily offended and people can be themselves around me and I'm nice and cheerful, and I quote "not a bitch" (I love that one!), and people feel comfortable around me), but I have a feeling that they want to keep me as much because it would make them look bad to the owners if they couldn't retain staff that they hired (a lot of people who have been there for a few decades are jumping ship).

So, the jury is still out. I may stay, I may go.

I know my husband would be more than happy if I quit right now and never ever went back. Actually, I probably would be too.

Thank you for listening to me. I try to keep the work stuff out of here as much as possible, but it's been overtaking my life lately, and I just needed to get it out.

I'll give you a hint about tomorrow's knitting content --- It's a pattern from a sock book that starts with an "F" and the yarn starts with an "S" and ends with a "Y".

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's a Hat! With Cables!

Apparently, even with all of the crazy going on, I still knit.

I don't know why, but I've been in the mood for cables lately. I think it may be the time of year and the coziness of cables.

The Pattern:

This hat is from a pattern I found on Ravelry. I was looking for a good men's hat. It's called the Caramel Cable Hat and is designed by Iris Wilde.

The Yarn:

I used 2 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 Wool, which is 100% merino superwash.

This is my first time using this yarn, and I love it. I just wish the yardage was better. It's so soft and squishy. At some point I will definitely knit myself a sweater with this luxurious yarn.

The Needles:

I also used a 16" 3.75mm circular Addi Turbo needle and once the decreasing got to be too much, I switched to a 3.75mm set of Crystal Palace double pointed needles.

The Mods:

I only did 3 repeats of Chart B because I was worried about having a hat that was too gnome like. Then after I moved onto Chart C - I spent the rest of the time second guessing myself and thinking the hat would be too short. I decided to go forward and trust my judgment, and I'm glad I did, because the hat is the perfect length.

I also repeated the very last row one extra time, because there was something off with the stitch count for this row (even though I followed the pattern exactly), so even with this extra row of decreasing, I was still left with 15 stitches, when it should have been 13. I don't know if it was me or the pattern, but as far as problems go, this was about as minimal as it gets.

The coolest part?

Call me a geek, but I think that the coolest part of this hat is that there are decreases in the cables, but you can't see them because they are done in the center of the cable on the row before the cable cross. By decreasing this way, the cable at the base of the hat is actually larger than the cable at the top. This blew my mind!

I can't believe how on top of my knitting I am this year (the secret is to start in the summer). This hat was the last thing I had to knit for Christmas.

I love this hat, and I love that the pattern is so unisex. I'm seriously considering making one for myself in the new year.

How is your Christmas knitting going?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Where Have I Been?

I was going to start out be apologizing for being absent for so long, but I'm really trying to blog for myself, so I'm not going to apologize. I will say that I'm sorry if you missed me. I missed you too!

I've been busy doing this new thing...I think they call it exercising....

For the last two weeks I've been doing a ton of walking. I decided that it was a little silly to not exercise because it cut into my knitting time. So, everyday at lunch I've been walking as fast as I can for 15 minutes one way then turning around and walking 15 minutes back (although some days I come close to skipping the "back" part :p

Stu and I have also been walking in the evenings (last night we did a 25k walk, which was very hilly and damn cold!).

I've also made some major changes in how I've been eating. My diet is now about 98% vegan. And seriously, I feel great! I have more energy than I've had in years, or possibly ever!

How did this all start?

Well, it was a culmination of things. First, I've gained "a few" pounds, and have been becoming more and more miserable about my physical state, and of course, the more miserable I was, the more crap I ate, etc, etc, etc.

Second, the right book landed in my lap at the right time. It was the stern talking too/dose of reality I needed. The book is called Skinny Bitch and it changed my life. Seriously.

Aside from cutting out nearly all meat, I have also cut out white flour, white sugar, and white rice. Instead, I'm using things like dehydrated cane juice and agave nectar (super yummy and doesn't f*ck with your blood sugar), and whole wheat flour, and brown rice. Don't worry, I'm getting lots of protein too. Mostly from beans and some tofu (I'm one of those strange people who actually likes tofu).

I have also cut out cheese. I figure that if I can't use it responsibly, I can't have it at all. So far, this has been the most difficult thing to eliminate, but it is getting easier. And if absolutely necessary, I allow myself a very small amount no more than once a week.
One of the best things about eating this way is that I HAVE to cook. It is a lot harder to go out and pig out or get take out, because I'm not eating most ingredients the restaurants use. This is making me have to cook and pay attention to what I am eating. So far I've made up some really awesome things. In fact, I'm finding this type of food actually tastes better than the over-processed crap I normally eat.
I also found an awesome website called The Post Punk Kitchen. I made their vegan pumpkin muffin recipe (with a few alterations) and it was awesome. I even got the muffins to rise! I took them over to my parents' last weekend and they were a hit. Although, things that taste remarkably similar to pumpkin pie are usually a hit. They were so good, I made them again this morning.

The results so far?

I have a ton of energy, my skin looks better, and the best part? I can pull my old jeans on again. I tried to put them on before all this stuff, and I couldn't get them over my hips, not a chance. Now I can get them on. Not done up. But on. And that's good progress.

Honestly, the real best part is that this is sustainable and I am seeing results.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My So Called Scarf #3

Okay, this is a plan b post. I had intended to upload a tutorial I put together on how to knit the right and wrong sides of My So Called Scarf, but I made it too big, so I can't upload it anywhere for now.

I spent the entire day today working on the scarf for my brother's b-day on December 6th, and I finished it early in the evening. Woot!

Since it looks basically the same as it did in my last post, so I won't repost the picture until I have one of him wearing it. I will say that I'm very happy with it.

There has been a ton of snow here this weekend, but right now the rain is in the process of washing it all away. We're in for very heavy rain for the next few days. I mention this, because I have been making a point to get out and power walk at lunch everyday, so tomorrow I already know I will get soaked. Actually, the walking is why there has been less knitting around here. That's half an hour less knitting everyday!

Here's Redd partaking in his favorite weekend activity --

I did venture out yesterday evening to go to the LYS. I picked up some yarn for a Christmas present hat for someone and 2 skeins of Smooshy. Will share pics very soon. I was hoping to get to these yarns today, but that didn't happen. Hopefully tomorrow.