Saturday, December 29, 2007


It has been a crazy whirl-wind of activities for Mike and I over the holidays, and although there were 3 computers in about 1000 sq feet of space, there was not enough time to blog while keeping up with the Tamburro holiday extravaganza.

I did manage to email myself a few words here and there to recount later, and I'll be posting some of them here and there as I go. The biggest problem with not bringing my own computer with me, was a lack of access to pictures I took before I left, and not being able to upload the ones I took while there. So for now, I'll be blogging sans pictures for a bit.

We started our holiday with a trip from Charleston to Louisville. The drive wasn't bad, and we spend a couple of days in the 'ville. I spent most of the time in my MIL's sewing room finishing up what I called The Gift for most of the vacation.

Right before I left, I tried to post the following post, but didn't have time to pull it all together. Perhaps I should start there:

Dec. 12th:

As the holidays quickly approach, I'm feverishly working on all my handmade gifts. I'm not sure if I'll get them all done in time, but one of them I can't work on in transit, so it gets first priority. I've spent the past 3 days as well as today working on it. Here are a few photos to tease you a bit.

It's not perfect yet, but for a first go at it I'm pretty impressed with myself. Just don't ask me what it took to get to this point! I will say that it's really tedious to sew on a machine when it's sitting on the ground. Not to mention that it's is my mothers machine (making the project all the more nostalgic), a 1930's Singer that only has one direction. Be that as it may, that doesn't mean it can't have it's fair share of tension problems, or bobbin issues or any other quirks that come up when someone with little experience is working on it. But a few short prayers and a bit of a hissy-fit later, and we're getting along just fine now.

I also picked up a few balls of yarn that will hopefully fulfill what was missing from my stash. They'll be my primary travel projects. A ball of this, which is going to be a present for one of my SIL's, and a couple balls of this, which if done in time will be a present for my brother. Plus, I am bringing the sweater to see if I can finish it up while I'm there. We'll see what I get accomplished by the end of the trip. Keep tuned in to see...

~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~

The Debbie Bliss yarn turned into a great pair of fetchings, and my SIL loved the color. They went really quickly (especially since I had already tried to make them twice in different yarns that really didn't work). I finished one on the drive to KY, and the other on the plane to San Francisco. Unfortunately the one made in the car didn't make the flight, soo I have to mail it to her. I might have to add another surprise to make up for it.

The Gift turned out quite well. I finished the last bit of stuffing and stitching and putting it all together the day before the recipient showed up. It was quite a learning experience, and hopefully the next will go smoother. That adventure will be told when I have pictures to accompany it.

Mike and I had planned on spending New years in SC, but have changed our plans due to his mom having her gall bladder out yesterday. It went well, but tomorrow she has to have a ERCP, which means New Years in the hospital for her. No fun. So we're going to stay until she gets home.

On a sadder note, there have been a couple of families that I have know while growing up that have lost loved ones this holiday season. My heart goes out to the Verdi and Hoehler families - you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Cross one off the list

One of the troubles I've been having with finding a job is narrowing down my list - with a whole world of opportunities open to me, it's hard to choose one thing. It's like that book I could do anything if I only knew what it was. That's part of the reason I've signed up with these staffing agencies. It'll give me the opportunity to try out some positions to see how they 'fit' with me. This weekend, I got to 'try out' a new job, and I've found I can definitely cross this one off the list.

I got hired by the temp agency to do a 'cater-waiter' job. You know - you go to a corporate dinner in one of those fancy hotels, or a wedding or fancy party and they have a sit-down dinner served to you at your table. Well, I was one of those people serving you. It opened my eyes to the strength and dexterity this job takes ... both of which I seem to lack. I had two 10-tops, and between the appetizer, salad, entree and dessert, I will say - I didn't drop one dish. .... now silverware, that's another story.

Mike warned me that I probably wouldn't be able to carry a tray with 10 dinners on it, and he was right. I did manage 9 of the salad plates, but only because they weren't double-plated. The hotel matched us up with the regulars, and the woman I was working with set up a system that worked out pretty well. I was in awe watching her. She was small, but strong and so quick! I'd have half of one table cleared, and she'd be half way through her second.
I did alright - no major disasters (except that my lack of speed caused me to get the shaft when they ran out of beef dinners - my table was definitely not happy about that.) We got it all settled, and I made it out of there without too much embarrassment. I just felt weak, and super slow. I was really impressed with the other servers and have a new found respect for the job. But I can also now cross it off my list of employment opportunities to pursue.

On the fiber side, I've finished the 1st fetching and am almost finished with the 2nd. The first one is a bit short around the knuckles, and I'm thinking of lengthening it a few rows. I'm not sure if it's the picot edging that's the problem or what, but I figured I'd deal with that after I finished the second.

Problem is, when I finished the first, I could tell I didn't have enough yarn for a second. I had guessed this might be the case when I started, and I had a backup plan. I had the remainder of a beautiful green hank of Malabrigo that I'd had been thinking of using as an accent, and decided I would just knit one blue out of the Lambs Pride, and one green one from the Malabrigo. Then I could just use what was left over for the picot edging and if I had enough, at the base and around the thumb.

So, as I said, I'm almost done with the 2nd, and although I thought they were a pretty similar weight, but the Malabrigo is bigger than the lambs pride! Not like, 'I knit these with a bigger size needle', but a little thicker and just ... I don't know - longer. I actually like how the Malabrigo fits better, it comes up further on my hand. But I don't have enough of it to make a second either. This is what I get from trying to be thrifty. I may have to visit Knit K before I go. They knit up pretty quickly, and I can probably get a pair done on the 10 hr. ride to KY or the flight to CA but I was hoping to have them done before I left. Not to mention that my left wrist is starting to hurt a bit. I don't know if it's from the cables, or the DPNs or all the work I've been doing on small needles. But perhaps it has nothing to do with knitting at all. Perhaps it's from trying to lift too many dishes on one tray. Perhaps. No matter, I've at least learned on thing I don't want to do - and isn't that one step closer to what I do want to do?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pictures, tid-bits and Charleston Sn'B

I just realized that I forgot to put up pictures of the beautiful scarf that my Home-town Sn'B made me - details here. I've been wearing it about the house to keep the chill off. It's not actually cold-cold here, but in the mornings and in the evenings it can get a bit chilly and the scarf does the trick perfectly.
Let me know if you want to know who made each square. I made some feeble attempts at guessing when they gave it to me, and got about half of them right.

Last night I went to the Sn'B closest to me in Charleston at a store called Knit. They had tons and tons of beautiful yarn and great books. I wondered around for a bit, but then had to sit down before I let temptation run away with me. I'm trying to do stash-project knitting only right now. And/or buy project-induced stash only. Meaning I have to have a project for which I need the yarn, and I can't already have something close in my stash. I feel like I have so much yarn I'm not using as is. It makes me feel more accomplished when I know I've used a bit of what I have. It's like clearing up your email list. I hate having unread messages staring at me. If I can take care of them one by one I feel better. Same with the yarn, I use up what I have for a particular project, it's nice to 'cross it off the list'. We talked a bit last night about stash size and sash envy. I think for me it's people who have a project in mind for all the yarn they have. Or only have a small stash that they've acquired from projects they've worked on. Then again.... it is nice to have yarn in your stash already when you see a project you want to work on and a lot of the yarn I have and am using comes from great buys... *shrug*

The people there were very nice, a couple recognized me from ravelry. They actually gave me a great idea for what to do with my foliage hat that was way off gauge - I'm going to try it first, and then I'll post about how it went. It was a little weird to sit down where I knew no one, and I know that'll change as I go more often, but it made me miss my Chicago groups, and more aware of how a newbie feels walking in the door.

I started a pair of fetchings, but I don't think I'll have the yarn to finish them (see, this is where using from your stash doesn't work!). Maybe I'll make each pair in a different color... with same color accents...hmm... I'll let you know. I'm using Lambs Pride in aztec - I just love this color.

bragging about nothing

While I'm job searching, I have signed up with a few 'staffing agencies' here in Charleston. I figure it's a good way to get to know some of the companies out there, and perhaps do some work in a position I might not have otherwise considered.

So yesterday, I went to one of these agencies and took their assessment test on a number of their programs - you know, QuickBooks, PowerPoint, Word etc. etc. I am proud to say I am in the 90% ranking on them! whoo-hooo. I'm special. I also noticed my typing skills have greatly improved since the last time I took one of these tests. Yeah for me! I know this is not that big of a deal, but it makes me feel more confident in my skill level. Some of these programs I haven't worked with in years - but I've still got it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


One UFO down! I finally finished my Wyvern socks that I was working on. When I decided to put away the hat (still not sure what's going to happen with it) I was going to cast on something new, but while i was looking through all my yarn, it occurred to me that I had some unfinished projects that would be easy to work on while I watched TV with Mike or did whatever. So I pulled out these socks which have been hibernating for months and I finished them off - TA DA!

I know. For all you non-knitters out there, this is really no big deal, but it makes me happy. At least I've accomplished something this week. :) Now, its to work on the Christmas projects, I only have 2 weeks! YIKES!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

to knit or knit again

I've been in Charleston for a week now, and I've been much busier than expected - in a good way.

Last Thursday I went with Mike to a fundraiser for his school and it was really great fun and very neat. All the different trades had set up areas where you could see examples of their work and talk to the different students and professors about their trade. They had music and food and dancing, all with a French theme. Everyone was dressed up and I got to meet a lot of Mike's classmates, which was fun. I even made a couple of contacts too!

There is an area around the schools workshop area that has some artists studios and shops. While at the event I met one of the owners of a jewelry store called Terra Bijoux. Kelly was wearing this delicate necklace from her shop made of 3 leaves in 3 different metals that was just beautiful. The shops were all closed, but I did get a sneak peak and noted all the great pieces that I liked.

I've also been working on my job search and getting signed up with various agencies. It's amazing how much you forget you did when you look back on a resume. I'm really excited about all the possibility that lies ahead with this job search.

Knitting wise, I've been working on the Foliage hat from knitty. It was not starting well, but I finally got the lace under control, and only worked on it when I could really concentrate. I guess I was concentrating so hard I forgot to check my gage, and now I think the hat is just waay too big. I'm trying to decide - rip it out entirely or just add some ribbing and hope it'll fit someone with a bigger head than mine, and the lace will just be a bit.. baggy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but for now, I'm going to put it down and work on something else. Sometimes you just need to step back from a project.

I really need to finish working on the ******* project for Christmas. I'm not going to talk a lot about how it's going on here, because I think the recipient might have gotten wind of my blog from another family member, and although I'm not sure how often they read it.. I don't want to spoil any more of the surprise. Let's just say it's harder to work on without any table space...or a table. I'll be happy when we finally get our furniture up here, not only to have the hassle of selling the house over with, but to have a place for all my things and to actually do work - both job hunting and crafty stuff.