Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Done. No tears were shed; no walls crumbled. It was a great final day. Lots of my favorite students dropped by to sit and chat. And then out to dinner with one of them. Ann Mary wished me well and encouraged me to come back if I get bored with all the extra time on my hands.

All that extra time is quickly being turned into more knitting exploits and other venues. Private knitting lessons and additional knitting nights are being proposed. We'll have to see how that goes. Probably nothing will happen until after the holidays.

So, on to something else. I finally got my copy of Victorian Lace Today. I'm looking forward to spending some time with that. And working my way through a stack of unfinished projects. Clearing up the living room. And getting ready for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It is awkward, to say the least, at Skein. Ann Mary, understandably, doesn't want me to say anything to anyone about my leaving. I, on the other hand, feel that I need to let people know that I won't be there when they come in for lessons. I have tried during the past month to be as low key as possible. Other than what I've written here and the few close friends I have made while I worked at Skein I have not said anything. Today Ann Mary finally began mentioning that there would be a different teacher later in the week. She hasn't been able to tell anyone that I'm leaving. I'll be glad when it's over.

Not much to report on the knitting front. Just working as fast as I can to finish the current sock which should happen tonight or sometime tomorrow. I need to check my completed projects drawer and make a list so I know how much more I have to do to be ready for Christmas. I'm afraid to find out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

One final reprise of Thanksgiving dinner, sans les pommes, and now I'm done. And I'm feeling just as uncomfortable now as I did last week. But I couldn't stand to throw anything away and there wasn't really enough to save. Now I just need a nap and the repeat will be complete.

But I can't take a nap. I'm running too far behind on my holiday gifts for that. But I'll be having more time starting this week. Two more days at Skein and then I'm back to two days a week. My schedule at Stitch in Time has been changed. I'll be working Monday and Friday from 10 to 5, and that's it. I'm looking forward to the extra time off.

I'm not as busy at Stitch in Time as I was at Skein but we're expecting that to change now that the schedule has been finalized. And there's a big sale on yarn and needlepoint canvases starting this coming Friday. 30% off all knitting yarns and canvases. So come on by.

I've finished one pair of socks so I have a set of needles available. Just have to decide whether to start another pair or to finish some of the ones that were started for Christmas last year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The street in front of my condo is empty today. There are no classes at the community college so no vans or SUVs are blocking the view as I try to exit my driveway. I think everyone is at the mall already. When I went for my morning walk the parking lot at Michael's was full. It wasn't even seven o'clock yet. I don't get it. What's so great about going out before daylight to spend money on stuff you could get anytime? Are the deals really that good? Or is it just part of the holiday hype that makes everyone think they need to do this?

I used to work for a major retail store. Back in the day, we didn't open early the day after Thanksgiving but shoppers still got everything bought. I wonder if it really makes that much difference in the day's take. I'd much rather shop on-line.

So. How was your Thanksgiving? I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I didn't overdo it this year, except for the second dessert. And there's a surfeit of leftovers in my fridge including some delicious pumpkin soup. So tonight, when I get home from my last Friday at Skein, I'll be able to just heat up a few things and relive yesterday's gourmand experience.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy (foggy) Thanksgiving!

Happy (foggy) Thanksgiving!

This morning we've got fog. It's lovely. Especially since we've been having really warm weather lately. It appears that things will cool off for the next few days. For which I'm thankful.

Not much for me to do today in the way of Thanksgiving preparations. I bought the wine a week ago. That's my contribution to the event. Robert insists on doing all the cooking. Another thing for which I'm grateful. I can cook but I don't enjoy it anymore. I plan to spend some time going through stash and trying to restore some kind of order. At least to the stuff that's on shelves in my living room. I was going to try to get my laundry done but someone else beat me to the machines. I think it's the people that are moving out today. What a way to spend the holiday! But they've managed to buy a house after the husband won a bunch of money on a TV game show. Anyway, since I can't do laundry, I'll just relax until it's time for me to head over to Santa Monica for dinner.

Why is it than when you're knitting lace the yarn over you forgot is almost always at the beginning of the previous row? I'm knitting a lace shawl, not from the new Victorian Knitting Today but from Nancie Wiseman's Knitted Shawls, Stoves and Scarves. I do have the VKT on order (from it hasn't arrived as yet. Maybe tomorrow. I'm hoping to have the shawl done before Christmas but at the rate I'm going it may not be this particular Christmas.

Here's to everyone, celebrants or not. Have a happy Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh my sock! My beautiful sock! Fated to live alone. Incomplete and unmated. Off to join all the other projects that never lived to see their full potential.

People love this sock. They cheer when they see it. It's my first sock done with non-sock yarn. Art Yarns Supermerino 8. I've worked on it for several months. It was nearly done at one point but then I discovered a hole that couldn't be denied. So I ripped it back to before the heel flap and reworked it to where you see it now.

I was just thinking about how I would be able to finish this pair in plenty of time for a Christmas gift. The second ball of yarn is no where to be found. I've looked in all my project bags. I've checked all the stuff stacked on the dining table. It's just not here. Upset doesn't begin to cover how I feel.

I'm going to give it a few more days, hoping the other skein will turn up. If not I'll just have to make something else. But these socks were what I wanted. If anyone knows where that other skein is just let me know. No questions asked.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Yesterday we went on a field trip. Our friend Lulu put together a trek, via the Metro Gold Line and Red Line, to Hollywood to visit Black Sheep Knittery. Knitting on the train was fun but not all that comfortable. Not enough space between the seats for me.

It's a cute shop with lots of yarns, many of which I had never seen before, only heard about. Alchemy. Peace Fleece. Fleece Artist. It was definitely worth the trip. This blurry photo is just a hint of what is inside.

I hadn't intended to buy anything. I always say that. But I ended up with this.
A hank of Fleece Artist Kid Aran. I got some sock yarn too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've got almost nothing. Except this knitted handbag that I finished last week as a shop sample. I finally remembered to not only take my camera but also to use it.

I forget the exact name of the two yarns. One of them, the light color, is Ziggy from Filatura di Crosa. The black, furry yarn is something by S.R. Kertzer. Two skeins of each. The handle, murano glass bead and bangles, is from Trendsetter as is the plastic mesh frame on the inside of the bag. The pattern is our variation on a Trendsetter pattern. Ann Mary is supposed to be getting a fancy button so I can make some kind of closure thingy but so far she hasn't looked.

Another busy day yesterday even though it started off pretty quiet. I finished the mismatched socks and notified the customer. They haven't been picked up yet. I'm curious to hear how the socks were received.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's still summer here. Temps in the mid 80s although it's pretty cool at night. I took that picture a few years ago when Lisa and I went to Oak Glen, a touristy apple-growing area just east of Los Angeles, up in the mountains. It's about as autumny as it gets around here.

The warm weather generally affects the yarn business but yesterday was definitely an exception. There were already three people waiting to be let in when I got to Skein yesterday. Ann Mary was a few minutes late which doesn't usually matter. Anyway, the shop was busy all day and I had more students than usual for a Tuesday. I did, however, manage to get most of the second mismatched sock done. I should finish that today and then get back to one of the other pairs I'm making for Christmas gifts.

Wanna work in a yarn shop? Skein is looking for someone to teach on Saturdays. Ann Mary asked if I'd be interested in holding special classes on Saturday, like sock knitting. No way. I'm looking forward to having my weekends free again, after seven years, and to having a couple of days in the middle of the week that I don't have to be somewhere. Not having to contend with the other residents in my building for time in the laundry room. Maybe I'll even have time to go through my stash and organize and edit. One thing's for sure. I don't plan on being guilted into filling in at Skein.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I didn't know until just yesterday that mismatched socks are a fashion trend. Lisa tells me that packages are available that include three socks, two that match plus a third one that doesn't. Who knew?

The sock on the right was knit by one of my students, except for the toe which I did for her. The one one the left is the one I'm knitting to go with the one she knit. She started her sock last year with the intention of giving them to her one year old daughter. She's going to give them this year instead.

Because she's pregnant and her hands are too swollen for her to knit she asked her husband to see if I would finish them. She's from Taiwan and speaks no English beyond hi, goodbye and thank you. Her husband sits with us when she takes a class and translates. He's actually pretty good at it. I think he knit himself when he was younger. Anyway. I asked him why she was making mismatched socks and he just shrugged. "It's just something she wants to do."

The socks have a longer than usual leg because they're supposed to be slouchy. Another fashion note of which I was unaware.

Friday, November 10, 2006

alea iacta est or in some versions alea est jacta. Take your pick. Either way I have made a decision and implemented it. I will be leaving Skein at the end of November. My last day will be the 29th.

I told Ann Mary this morning. I know she was disappointed but at the same time not too surprised. And she did say that she had concluded that she would not be able to honor her initial committment to match the offer I had from the new shop.

Really, it's not primarily about the money except indirectly. I will be able to work far fewer hours and earn more. And I'm tired of the strain of the daily routine. It will take a while for me to reestablish myself at the new shop. I've promised not to make a big deal about leaving so I'm sure some people, those who don't come in very often, will be surprised. Ann Mary did refer one person to me yesterday while I was working at the new shop. So maybe she'll continue to do that once I've left.

So now it's on to the holiday knitting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What day is it anyway? Must be Thursday since it's my half-day off. This working six days a week is already becoming more than I think I want to handle. So what I'm going to do is still up in the air. I'm waiting for Ann Mary to make a final decision as to whether she can really afford what she offered me to get me to stay. I'm more inclined to just let it go and cut back to a couple of days a week at the new shop. I'm pretty much over feeling bad/guilty about leaving Skein. I've been told by a number of people that they only come there because I'm there and that they would follow me to the new shop. I hope to have some resolution to this by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, back to the knitting. I finished, finally, the purse I've been making for Skein. Of course there's no picture. You expected maybe I'd remember to take my camera? I'll try again tomorrow. Whatever happens I won't be making any more samples for the shop until at least after the holidays. I'm so far behind right now that I'm already considering alternatives.

I should be doing some chores right now but I'm just going to go knit for a while and probably take a nap. Patrick continues to wake me up at 4:30 so he can eat and get a good brushing before he goes off to sleep some more. I actually like getting up that early. I can read my blogs and get my morning walk in before the traffic gets too busy. I even stop at the market once in a while to pick up stuff that I forgot to get the last time I was there. But after a few nights of four to six hours of sleep I need to catch up a bit. And I need to leave for my afternoon gig early enough to stop at Kaiser to pick up some prescriptions and get a flu shot.

I did start another multi-directional scarf and I have some socks (three pair) that need some attention. And the cat wants some more brushing.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"How many of those things have you made, anyway?" Slightly sneering tone. That's what she said as I pulled this scarf out to work on it yesterday. This is at least the twelfth multi-directional scarf I've made. I like making them. And for me, it's all about the knitting, not the finished piece. So what if I make the same thing over and over. I do the same thing with socks. I'm a bit over half way through the yarn supply and will probably finish this one over the weekend. I have the same yarn in another colorway so there'll be another one coming soon to needles near you.

The first day at the new gig was great. Everyone was very welcoming and made me feel good. And three students during the four hours I was there. The shop has such a totally different personality from Skein. Boisterous comes to mind. About half the store is taken up by needlepoint and needlepointers. Noisy group. But lots of fun. I'm sure I'll get used to the noise level after a couple of weeks. I haven't run a cash register since the late 70s. So that's new. And trying to remember where everything is stored will take a while. I really appreciate how helpful and supportive everyone is being.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I know. I know. That is so two days ago! Technical difficulties. And I still think it's great. I think Halloween is Lisa's favorite holiday.

So. I start my new job today. I'm excited and maybe a bit nervous. I know the people who already work at A Stitch in Time. Well, I know them from the outside, as a customer. That's about like saying I know Opr*h because I've seen her on television. Everyone seems nice and I really like the owner. But what will it be like to be on the other side of the register?

I do have a student already lined up so that should break the proverbial ice. My friend Mendy is coming in to get some help on her sock knitting. And if I know Mendy, which I do, she'll probably also load up on yarn. We're meeting for lunch before. Going to Islands where we can blow all the calories we've been saving for the last week.

It's still slow for me at Skein. Only two students on Wednesday. That's not a lot when I have to spend ten hours there. I started a knitted bag. It's one of Trendsetter's patterns but we're changing it and using a different yarn. It'll probably take me another couple of days to knit the cover and then I'll attach it to the plastic mesh frame and add one of Trendsetter's very expensive glass bead handles.

Meanwhile I'm still working on the MD scarf and the socks. Tonight is Thursday Night Knitting so I should make some progress on those.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I have a great picture of Lisa's jack-o-lantern. I can't post it though because Blogger isn't cooperating at the moment. Maybe later.

Skein will be open on Sundays starting this week. I won't be there though. I need that day off. I'll be working two days a week at another yarn shop* starting tomorrow and will still be at Skein for four. Enough!

It's going to be tough getting my own projects done. Maybe I'll be more focused. Maybe there will be more small projccts. Or maybe it won't make any difference.

*A Stitch in Time
2465 Huntington Dr.
San Marino, CA 91108