Friday, February 24, 2017

In A Frenzy

So 2 weeks ago I got a message from an old boss that there were a couple openings with her group in Oregon that she wanted to talk to me about and would follow up on the following Monday.  Granted, we'd already decided that I'd start looking for a job in Oregon, but that kicked us into high gear because of the possible short time frame--hence all the frantic cleaning/sorting.  And then I never heard back from her.  It's kind of weird and disappointing, but I'm more worried that she'll feel bad and potentially draw back as a friend, because she's far more important to me as a person than any job is.  And it DID get some tidying of the sewing room accomplished, so I'm kind of grateful for that with or without a job.


I am still pursuing jobs outside of Idaho, and with that in mind, I decided to cancel
my Vogue Knitting subscription.  I had canceled all knitting magazine subscriptions several years ago, but there was recently a pretty tempting offer for this one, so after looking through the winter issue and finding lots of great patterns, I subscribed.  I'd like to say finding the willpower to cancel the subscription was totally about decluttering, but the fact that I didn't like anything in the entire issue probably didn't hurt.  I also finished the last of the 12-pack of towels,
plus a few I found lurking in the back of the shelf:
Can you tell I'm having a great time with all the new designs?

I've even managed to get some sewing in,
finishing up the flannel shirt for me tonight.  YAY!  We were having some really warm days for a while, but we're back to pretty chilly temperatures, so as soon as I get the buttons attached and wash the whole thing, I'll be ready to try it out.  AND with 18 finished projects, that 100-projects-finished goal for 2017 isn't looking QUITE as frightening.  Know how I'm doing it?  For every wretched, time-consuming and belittling job application I fill out, I get one hour of crafting time.  Really, have you looked for a job recently?  "Please upload your resume, except that now we want you to retype all the information on it into our web form so obviously we don't actually look at it, and please explain in a cover letter why you have every little bit of the experience we're looking for but please keep it to a page because we're really using mostly computer filtering.  And by the way, our website has some bugs that will force you to keep saving and reloading, even though we aren't actually hiring for a new web developer because we really never check to see if these sites actually work.  Oh, and don't expect us to ever notify you that the position has been filled, even though we obviously CAN send you automated emails--we just inconsiderate dolts who don't want to."  Blech!  Some days have required a bit of chocolate to help with the recovery process as well, and there are more towels on order.  On the other hand, if this torture lasts for a few more months, I might free up some serious space in the sewing room.  Win-win.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hoping to Finish on Friday

If you think I've fallen behind on this blog, some of these
are Christmas gifts that hadn't yet been shipped, and this
is the current status of Andy's Valentine's day gift.  Ahem............

There has been crafting.  Remember the stack of new towels to embroider?
9 out of 12 are now embroidered.  These are all new designs, which is really fun.  We give away embroidered towels as host/hostess gifts, and I've been doing it for so long that it's fun to have new designs that I know no one has even seen before.  And I'm NOT just saying that to try to rationalize all the new designs.  I'd need more towels for that.

 I have also finished two of the small University of Idaho table runners,
and I'm ready to bind the next one:
On this one I added a little decorative stitching for quilting, but it isn't really necessary as I used fleece for the backing.  I think I'll do a decorative stitch "tie" with the two larger runners, but I think I'll need to cut some more black cotton strips for binding before I get to those. 

I've also tried some lace designs I hadn't yet tried.  This
is supposed to be a tree to go over a fake tea light.  I'll need to check the instructions on how to join the ends.  I'm thinking hand stitching.  I've seen directions for things like this using a glue gun, but I think we all know how that would turn out, don't we?

These are also designs I haven't tried.  The outline of the gift stayed visible, which I'm not pleased about,
and the red ornament ran out of bobbin thread but didn't stop stitching before finishing, so it's missing the center stitching and may not hold together without glue.  Hey, the back of the tree needs ornaments too, right?

I did get sleeves of several sweaters measured and I think I'll edit the pink sweater sleeves to 17 or 17.5 inches rather than 18.5.  It's a set-in sleeve, but unless it was tight enough to cut of circulation, 18.5 inches would fall well past my wrists.  So I'm ready to move forward on that, but in the meantime
 I have been working on the Begonia Swirl scarf.  It's at an easy point where I can just pick up and knit when I'm tired, so it's been a good project.  I've been polishing up some of my software skills for the job hunt, and the threat of even possibly moving motivated me to start cleaning the sewing room AND I even went so far as to sort out some knitting patterns that I was truly never going to use again.  I KNOW!  I was shocked as well.  On Valentine's Day we went through our movie collection and selected over 50 dvds/tapes to donate to a charity shop, plus some puzzles and games and books and an old doll crib that I brought back from my parents' house.  It always feels good to declutter, doesn't it?  The sewing room is hardly any less frightening, but I did at least start.  Now if I could just learn to knit in my sleep.......... 

We've had some rapid warming, which is unfortunate for large parts of the state which are experiencing avalanches, rock slides, and flooding, but as we live on a hill, we've been kind of enjoying it.  Our snow is gone, the hyacinths are coming up, and even the sidewalks that have never been shoveled are iceless. I've even thought about trying more primroses, though I'm happy to say the urge passed.  I think exactly one of the rotten little flowers has ever come back.  I think it's time to put up the spring decorations instead.  Even I can't kill silk flowers.............

Friday, February 10, 2017

Can You Blame Me?

Since the wonderful Larry was able to fix my embroidery machine, I have been so excited that I've gone a bit overboard with buying embroidery designs--I admit it.  However, I have this whole new stack of towels to embroider, and today my favorite site had this design for $1.39:
Can you blame me?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Whew!

Here it is, February 8, and I'm just now finding time to sit down and upload some pictures.

Last week I went up to visit my parents for a few days.  They're having an even worse winter at the ranch than we are,
and these were taken 2 snowstorms ago.  I actually came back early to beat one of them.

We've also been dealing with this:
Thanks to the snow load, our back porch roof is pulling away from the house now, and dealing with contractors in Idaho is a tricky thing as they don't have to be licensed or have any sort of qualifications, so you have to find one via referral if you don't want a disaster.  I'm beginning to really hate snow, and was really hoping that yesterday's snow would melt off by itself.
 Instead, I got to shovel a bunch of really heavy and wet slush-snow late in the afternoon, as well as clearing the gutter because our next door neighbor--even though she's actually helped CLEAR them of snow--continues to shovel the snow off her sidewalks straight INTO the gutter, which had created a nice ice dam and flooding of our driveway by the time I was out there.  We're going cross-country skiing or snowshoeing this weekend, but honestly I'd be a lot more excited if there were somewhere we could go visit green grass right now.  :)

We've also had some disturbing news.  Boise is now one of the 5 finalists for the horrible F35 jets training ground, and if selected, 105 homeowners will be forced to sell their homes because the noise level will essentially condemn the area, and our house will be in a loud enough area to be completely and utterly miserable--not to mention the impact on our already problematic air quality issues.  We'll find out within 2-3 months if Boise is one of the 2 preferred sites or one of the 2 "acceptable" sites, but we've been talking a lot about this anyway, and we've decided to expand my job search to Oregon as a step to moving.  We love our friends here and the house, but the job market is sad at best and the only reason we've been able to stay this long is because Andy is telecommuting, and if we have to move anyway, we won't stay in Idaho.  So, it is entirely possible that I'll be having to pack up and move the stash!  THAT is a sobering thought.  Needless to say, I've been knitting MUCH faster,
and I think the sleeves are getting close to the cap shaping.  The pattern says to make the sleeves 18.5 inches before shaping the sleeve cap and armhole, but I have really long arms and from the highest point in my armpit to my wrist is 18 inches, so I'm thinking something more along the lines of 16 inches.  Guess a day of measuring sleeve lengths for my best-fitting sweaters is in order. 

I've also, under close supervision,
 made progress on the flannel shirt,
 embroidered several towels with some of my new embroidery designs:
 and I'm trying a new brand of towels I found on Amazon that received high marks as embroidery blanks. 
And if I embroider really quickly, I don't have to find room for the remains of the 12-pack.  Plus that pesky 100-projects goal thing.  

I've also completed 2 new table runner tops,
and I think I'm going to use the remaining triangles for two small runners like this:
and 2 trivets/whatever.   That would use all the triangles without requiring any more, which quite honestly NEVER happens.  Did I mention it's my year to make gifts?

 I've also cast on for a new Begonia Swirl scarf/shawl.
The swirl makes them really great to wear, and I do have a rather large amount of lace yarn, so anything that makes a good portable project is good.  I have a LOT of yarn to get through........

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Oh Heavens.

I am crafting today: working on the flannel shirt,
then maybe the pink sweater which is now all the way to the sleeves,
and enjoying the sunshine,
and not have to shovel today.  And I'm spending time with all you wonderful crafters who visit each other's blogs and say nice things and make lovely craft items.  This is a nice world.

And then there's the not-so-nice one.  A friend of mine is running for DNC chair, and while anyone who steps up to run for office should be applauded because it's a lot of work and there's often no reward and no thanks, I was kind of trying to lay low and not have anything to do with it.  Kudos to her for running, but a DNC chair from Idaho would be like and RNC chair from Hawaii or whatever other state hasn't elected a statewide Republican in 20 years--maybe NOT your expert on building a successful organization.  However, when I logged on to social media this morning, I had a message that Breitbart had done a story attacking her and their readers were harassing her via her personal page on Facebook (when did we become this?).  So, I read what they said she had said, then went looking for the actual clip as Breitbart is not an actual news agency and can say whatever they want.  And then decided that, not only can I not help, I think her statement was in poor judgment, even in context.

When you work on political campaigns, no matter how hard you prep and coach and polish and draft speeches, everyone has experienced that moment when your candidate goes "off the cuff," and you hear words you never even thought you'd hear and you spend the evening consuming copious of adult beverages and swearing that the next candidate you work for will be a mute with no personal life.  It happens.  In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan perfected the use of sound-bites.  He really changed the game at that point, and from then on, everything was about the Sound Bite ("Read my lips: no new taxes," "You, sir, are no JFK," "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall," ), then with social media came memes, but the one thing that stays constant: only a snippet of what you say will ever be seen or heard by most, and this is both a tool (sort of) and a really big danger. So while I understand that she was trying to address the racism in the democratic party itself, because of the words she chose as of 5:00 PM our time, she has over 650 messages of hate on her Facebook page, has already been trashed by Rush Limbaugh, and if I were better at Twitter, I'd know how bad that was as well.  I know this isn't limited to one side--this is just the only time I've seen this behavior up close, and if it weren't for crafting blogs and Ravelry, I would honestly say that I think social media is the worst thing that ever happened to humanity.  What have we become?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday

I had actually forgotten about Me Made Mondays, but later I'll be donning this
 to go out and deal with this:
Yes, it's snowing again.  And had I checked the weather forecast, I might not have done a second set of arm exercises at the gym last night, but sometimes you just don't want to know.  They stopped discussing record snowfall about 3 or 4 storms ago.  I wish people would stop calling each other "snowflakes" to imply fragility.  They've obviously ticked off Snow Miser,
who is taking it out on the northwest.  There is NOTHING fragile about snowflakes when they unite.  More than 50 buildings in the town closest to where I grew up have collapsed under the weight of snow, including the grocery store.  And it's only January.

I am crafting today.  I've made progress on the new flannel shirt,
and am trying out some of the new embroidery designs, starting with towels

followed by a new icicles design,
 and hopefully building up to more towels: 
Did I mention there were SEVERAL new embroidery sets?  Ahem........