Sunday, October 05, 2014

Well, I finally had some time to sit at my computer and figure out why my blog posts haven't been showing up from my cell phone for a while. Flickr not only changed their software in a major way, they also no longer directly post here for me. So I had to set up a bogus email address to send my photos to so they can be posted here. I'm in the process of testing and tweaking it to make sure everything is set up properly (AGAIN!) and then hopefully we'll be on the road. 

Since I've taken the new job at work my life has gotten really hectic and I feel as though my brain is scrambled a good deal of the time. Folks interrupt me constantly and I'm at the point where I'm going to start simply ignoring them because of the bad manners. I can't concentrate when I get interrupted every 15 seconds. Simply can't, and my work is suffering badly because of it. Friday I pretty much had a minor melt down in front of the customers because a clerk new to being back on the windowline after working in Portland for several years took it upon herself to rearrange a station, without asking anyone. I agree that cleaning needs to be done, but tossing out boxes that we use to hold items for sale because we are out of that item is not cool. I cringe to think of what my station will look like when I come back from vacation in two weeks - I'm stopping by the office today to lock up all my good tools and supplies, that no one else seems able to keep at their stations, so I can work when I get back. Too many times I've had to spend 20 minutes setting my station up again so I can simply find what I need to wait on customers. I've learned to lock everything up in my drawer so it's there when I return. 

Friday I resigned as an OJI (On the Job Instructor) because the last three times I have had a trainee they have mandated no overtime, then expect me to spend 8 hours on the line with the trainee yet still somehow get my back office work done as well. A Lead Clerk at the Main Office simply can't do both jobs well in an 8 hour shift. This leaves them with just one OJI for the whole city. Oh, well.

One serious problem that all the stress is causing is memory issues for me. Part of it was the benedryl I was taking for my allergies and I've changed to a non anticholinergic one and I've seen some improvement. But I'm drawing more boundaries around what is and what is not my job. It's not my decision to close the Plant, force into retirement the senior employees who have all the knowledge and experience, then fail to train the replacements so lots and lots of mistakes are made every day. Since I'm senior and know how things should be done and where stuff is, I get called on to fix these mistakes a lot of the time. It takes me away from doing my proper job and this is a boundary that I'm working to enforce. 

Another senior employee is retiring the end of the month, along with our supervisor, and they are putting a brand new supervisor, who has never worked the windowline or in the Plant, in her spot. The person replacing the senior employee will be in charge of the Passport Office and that is giving me nightmares as well. That's a boundary I'm drawing very firmly, because I have deliberately never taken the Passport training, the duties are outside my job description and I don't have time to do that job as well. December 31, 2019, that's the date I've set for my retirement, God willing, and folks keep telling me the time will go by so fast. I'd love to retire now, could have done the early out last year, but DH and I have financial plans in place so I need to work five more years if possible. Buying my pretty new truck last October when my Dad's truck died was a year earlier than we had planned, but we are handling it well. Fortunately, I made a rule years and years ago never to treat overtime pay as a regular part of the budget, so with the no-OT mandate we're not hurting. When I do get OT we use it for something special like vacation or to pay ahead on a bill. After a little over 2 years, DH's minimum payment on his car is $0.00! 

So, I'm really thankful I'm a knitter, crocheter, tatter (seriously now!), cross stitcher, quilter - needleworker! It gives me something happy and healthy to keep in the back of my mind when things go bad or the line at work is out the door. And I have pretty things to use and wear when I'm done! 

Today is sunny and DH has left for fishing at the lake so it's just the dogs and I at home. We're going to veg on the couch this morning - I'm catching up on posts on Ravelry and emails (and fixing the blog issue) - and they are napping next to me. Oscar gave me a bit of a scare yesterday. He and I were sitting on the couch when he suddenly jumped up and starting licking his bottom really hard. I thought he needed his anal gland expressed so grabbed a napkin and took him outside. When I tried to do it, I got some nasty looking stuff out along with some blood. I put him on the table and discovered a hole on his bottom about a half inch from his anus. A deep hole, with more blood and ick coming out of it. I expressed it carefully, because it was red and swollen, but I knew that nasty stuff had to come out. Then I called the vet and they worked him in. Turns out that sometimes a dog's anal gland will get a solid plug and the body will create an alternate pathway to the outside. Vet checked and said I had done a good job of expressing it, put some softener inside the hole to help the plug soften and slide out, put him on antibiotics (it is damage to his body), and said to call if something happens. It should be healed in about two weeks and I need to try to express it again in 3-4 days to see if I can get any remaining plug out. 

So, enough of the nasty stuff, now to see if I can post some pretty pictures!

Giraffe Mitten pattern by Erica Mount that I am test knitting. The mittens will be MIL's Christmas present this year. I'm on the body of the second mitten, about an inch above the thumb gusset.

This is my Blackberry Cabled Cardigan that I'm knitting in Black Water Abbey worsted in Old Purple. I'm about 5 inches from the underarm at this point. I've left off the waist shaping, since I have plenty of yarn on hand, and I'm knitting the body in one piece up to the underarms. At that point, I'll divide the work and continue knitting the fronts and the back at one time, using three balls of yarn, so the decreases will match correctly. I'm really enjoying how fast this is knitting up - I do so much knitting on size 0-1-2-3 needles with fine yarn that using size 7 needles and worsted weight yarn is a treat. The only thing giving me problems is the Trinity stitch on the center back - it's really hard on my arthritic thumbs. I skipped it on the fronts and will skip it on the sleeves as well. I think I will put some sand stitch in its place on the sleeves on either side of the center cable. I'll pick up and knit the sleeves down, in the round.

Isn't this roving luscious? My friend, Steph, who owns Three Fates Yarns dyed this for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Show this summer and this is the last hank of the roving. I'm going to really enjoy spinning this up a lot!

I know some who read my blog like to see how I do various techniques. This is the thumb stitches on the lining for my Latvian Mittens pattern. Some folks put the wrist side stitches on a holder, then cast on with a backward loop for the rest of the body. They come back and pick up stitches for the thumb in those backward loops, which for me always looks a bit messy. So I knit in a contrasting strand, then went back and knit with the regular yarn and finished the body. I pick up the stitches with a size smaller needle on the top and bottom, then pull out the contrasting yarn. I think the base of the thumb looks so much better this way and there is no question as to which strand of yarn is the actual stitch. And keep in mind that this lining was knit on the mitten, so since the top was already closed there is no way to deal with yarn ends on the inside of the lining except blind. Doing the pickup this way allowed me to run the ends in neatly without having access to the inside of the lining. 

Okay, time to get off here and see how this post uploads - hopefully the pretty pictures will show here and the trial one I emailed to the blog. Sorry for the rant at the top, sometimes I need to let it out in a place where it won't hurt my employment. I want to get back to posting more often here, I really enjoy sharing with folks.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My haul from Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene, OR.

Two tatting shuttles from Carolina Homespun, a used Russian support spindle from Wooly Warren, and six bars of soap from Fogwash Soaps. Yumm! Instead of madly shopping, we spent quality time visiting with friends. I even got to teach Morgaine from Carolina Homespun to tat!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Back of DH's Henry VIII

Back of DH's Henry VIII by BlueDragon2
Back of DH's Henry VIII, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

Cast off left front at coffee this morning.

Side view of DH's Henry VIII

Finished today.

Very happy DH wearing his freshly finished Henry VIII!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Henry VIII sleeves done, front steeks done.

I've been working hard to finish this sweater this week while I'm on vacation. DH will be able to show it off to his family. I just have the collar and the front bands to knit, then tie the yarn ends to cut off. I'll run the ends close to the edges in so they are secure and won't pop out in use. I'm very pleased with my progress on this sweater!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Left sleeve finished!

Left sleeve finished! by BlueDragon2
Left sleeve finished!, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

I was in such a hurry to get the cuff done it took me three tries to get the pattern set right, lol. Tonight I picked up stitches and started knitting the right sleeve.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Second repeat of chart on DH's Henry VIII first sleeve

Taking the rest of the night off, will start half of third repeat tomorrow.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

First repeat on left sleeve of DH's Henry VIII.

Will do one and a half more repeats to get the sleeve length DH wants on his modified cardigan version.