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!

https://flic.kr/p/pkBbFH

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.

https://flic.kr/p/peMYQw

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. 

https://flic.kr/p/oPk9TH

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!

https://flic.kr/p/onHDn8

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!
Helen

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.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

DH's Henry VIII with shoulders bound off!

DH's Henry VIII with shoulders bound off! by BlueDragon2
DH's Henry VIII with shoulders bound off!, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.
Steeks were cast off, then shoulder stitches seamed with a three needle bind off on the inside. While the patterns don't match at the shoulders, it's not jarringly obvious to a casual viewer. Tomorrow I will start crocheting the armhole steeks.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

DH's Henry VIII body with neck decreases started.

Cast off front steek and edge stitches this morning. Then I cast on 11 new steek stitches for the neck opening and started doing the shaping decreases. I thought about the stitch count and size I have so far and decided not to cast off multiple body stitches at the beginning. The front opening takes care of that. Instead, I will do the rest of the neck shaping as written, then measure it against DH to see how much more of the body I need to knit before doing the back neck shaping. He asked me last night to have the neck fit closer than his FLAK does, so I'll be checking often now to make sure the neck isn't too low. I showed him the bottom edging and told him that will be the collar pattern as well, so he knows how much to allow for it.

I was pondering whether to do the front bands first or the collar, then studied a project photo on Ravelry and realized I need to do the collar first and then the front bands. Otherwise, the top and bottom bands won't match and it will bug me. Hoping to get a lot of knitting on it done today!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Henry VIII - one round to armhole shaping!

I have one more round to work before starting the armhole shaping. I have gotten almost three inches knit on Henry this weekend! I'm pushing hard to have a chance to finish it in time for DH to show his family in June.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Henry VIII one and a half pattern repeats done

Progress photo just past halfway on second repeat of chart. Armhole shaping starts at end of second repeat. Body has three repeats to shoulders, 64 rounds each.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Snowbird mittens finished, the blue yarn ran a bit on the white. I'm hoping it won't show when they're dry.

These will be a fun addition to my mitten basket for this fall. I've liked this pattern ever since a friend showed them to me in Vogue magazine.

Bigger On The Inside mittens finished!

The blue yarn ran a bit on the white, hopefully it won't show when they are dry. I'm so happy to have these in my mitten basket!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Yarns for Tam #2 from Mary Rowe's new book


Yarns for Tam #2 from Mary Rowe's new book
, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.
Project bag is set up and ready to go when the KAL starts on April 16th in the Stranded group on Ravelry.

Note: I just discovered that my pictures are not uploading here correctly. I need to do some research later to find out what is going on. Apparently, when Flickr updated their software there is now a conflict between them and my blog, so pictures are not linking correctly. Sorry about not catching this sooner.

Helen

Friday, April 11, 2014

First mittens of each pair.

I'm now working on the second Snowbird mitten but thought this photo would be fun since I'm using the same yarns for both pair.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Right Bigger On the Inside mitten all done.

Now to cast on and knit the second Snowbird mitten. Then I'll come back and knit the left mitten for this set. So fun to go back and forth knitting these mittens! Then I'll go back to my usual routine of knitting one pair at a time.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

DH's Henry VIII body one-third done.

Progress photo showing one pattern repeat.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Bigger on the Inside mittens

I've been wanting to knit this pattern for quite a while and finally I'm doing it. Going quick and fun!

Left Snowbird mitten done.

Finished running the ends in on the first Snowbird mitten. Then I cast on the first Bigger on the Inside mitten, because I can't wait any longer to see how it looks, lol! Don't worry, both sets will have complete pairs soon, I just wanted a quick knit for a change.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ye Olde English Tea Cozy

Ye Olde English Tea Cozy by BlueDragon2
Ye Olde English Tea Cozy, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

I found this pattern on the Antique Needlework Patterns website when surfing for a filet crochet pattern to use for a class. I need to figure out what to use for the lining once I have the four panels done.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sirkler cardigan drying on wooly board.

So nice to finally reach this huge milestone on my sweater! Once she's dry, I'll see the buttons on her and hope to wear her next Saturday to my knitting class and then to knitting group. It's definitely been a learning experience in several areas - knitting both sleeves at the same time with steeks, sewing the sleeves in with facings, knitting the front bands and collar at one time to preserve the color change pattern, and using Kauni yarn. Definitely worth it and now I have a little over a ball and a half to still use up, probably in a shawl later. Now to focus on DH's Henry VIII!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sirkler cardigan soaking in the tub!

Finally, she is having her day at the spa!

Had to rip out the sleeves and cut armholes two inches deeper. In my desire to not have oversize armholes, I made them way too small. Sleeves are now sewn in again, facings tacked down, ends run in and she's at the spa!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Beginner's Choice tatted bookmark

From 'Tatted Bookmarks, Needle & Shuttle' pg. 23. DMC Cordonnet size 30 in white. For an upcoming tatting class. I'm beginning to really enjoy tatting, now that I understand a bit more of its structure. Looking forward to my next project - a cross bookmark from the same book.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Finished Celtic Moonrise mittens!

These will go in the gift basket as the thumbs are short for me but just right for nieces.

Celtic Moonrise first mitten done.

These mittens are turning out wonderful using my handspun yarn. Now to decide if I keep them after the class or put them in the gift basket.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

My loot from the Rose City Yarn Crawl 2014!

Besides buying the knitting bag, I scored these lovelies -
Opal Schlange sock yarn in color 1610 to knit socks for DH

Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn in bright blue for textured socks for me

Boye size B crochet hook in case to carry with my tatting

Black Trillium Merilon Sock in Bifrost colorway

Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca lace yarn to knit linings for DH's fishing mitts (I know, extravagant, but he's definitely worth it!)

And Dicentra Designs 75%/25% BFL/silk roving

Sweet additions to my stash and a fun day with my knit buds. We had lunch at Sweet Tomatoes for a break halfway through the day. I even managed to come home with cash left in my wallet (more than just a dollar, lol)!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Body of first Celtic Moonrise mitten knit, hope to Kitchener the top tonight after work.

I really love the way this hand spun yarn is knitting up into these mittens. Tonight I hope to finish the top and cast on the second mitten. They knit really fast and easy and the fiber is so cosy feeling on my hands.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Celtic Moonrise Mittens

Celtic Moonrise Mittens by BlueDragon2
Celtic Moonrise Mittens, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

I'm knitting these with handspun yarn using Frabjous Fibers Hand Dyed Blue Faced Leicester fiber. So much fun to use my own handspun in a project!

Progress photo at end of Olys.

I met my goal of starting the first mitten and getting into the body of the first mitten, so even though I didn't finish them during the Olys, I'm a winner in my own book! Now they're sitting in their project bag on the coffee table where I can knit a few rounds in the morning and evening. They are started and, God willing, they will be finished this spring so I can mark another pattern off my wish list.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

King Edward's Knot scarf finished!

Finished the scarf in time to qualify for the finish line in the Ravellenic Games in the Scarf Super-G!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowbird mitten first cuff knit.

This is my second Ravellenics project. I wanted to have both cast on so I can switch back and forth when my hands need a change in tension. One is a scarf in Aran weight with cables and the other is stranded sock yarns.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Second repeat of main chart finished!

I'm working a lot of OT so my knitting time is very limited. But I have a three day weekend coming up and hope to knit through at least one skein of yarn. I may also cast on my Ravellenic mittens to see how the needle size works with the yarns I've chosen.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2-ply handspun BFL?

2-ply handspun BFL? by BlueDragon2
2-ply handspun BFL?, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

Small skein is 8 yards, large skein is 290 yards. I haven't found the label yet but it feels like either BFL or Merino wool. It will go into stash until I choose a project for it.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

RCYC shawl 3

RCYC shawl 3 by BlueDragon2
RCYC shawl 3, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

RCYC shawl 2

RCYC shawl 2 by BlueDragon2
RCYC shawl 2, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

RCYC MJAL shawl

RCYC MJAL shawl by BlueDragon2
RCYC MJAL shawl, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

Finished and now blocking, love how the two colors look together.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Finishing first main chart repeat.

Cast on King Edward's Knot scarf

This is my project for the Team Starmore on Ravelry.com. I'm using some Alice Starmore Bainin yarn in Ruby that I got at a stash sale Labor Day 2012 at Pearl Fiber Arts in Portland, OR. I'm using size 8 needles which are a lot bigger than my usual 2's and 3's. I got 2-1/2 skeins so I'll knit until I run out of yarn and then call it good.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

RCYC MKAL clue 2 finished.

Finished Clue 2 tonight and can now set this aside until the next clue comes out. I'm really happy the way the gold I picked is working with the Three Irish Girls yarn. I think I'm going to enjoy wearing this shawl when it's finished.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Vidzeme p 73 mittens

Vidzeme p 73 mittens by BlueDragon2
Vidzeme p 73 mittens, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

Sample for Latvian mittens class March 2014 at Tangled Purls shop in Salem, OR.

Kissa Ikkunassa mittens

Kissa Ikkunassa mittens by BlueDragon2
Kissa Ikkunassa mittens, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

These are my late Christmas 2013 gift to my BFF, Betsy. I had to finish a pair of mittens for a class sample because I needed the yellow yarn for them. Now I'm casting them on and looking forward to finally gifting them to her.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

RCYC Mystery KAL

RCYC Mystery KAL by BlueDragon2
RCYC Mystery KAL, a photo by BlueDragon2 on Flickr.

Spoiler picture for project page on Ravelry.

King Edward's Knot scarf yarn ready

Starmore Bainin yarn wound and ready for Ravellenics to start! Bought the yarn at Pearl Fiber Arts' annual stash sale in 2012.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

My Xylitol mittens with flap - 3

My Xylitol mittens with flap - 2

My Xylitol mittens with flap

Finished them today, second pair of mittens finished in 2014. These are my class sample for my February Fair Isle mitten class I will also be teaching my students Outi's double long tail cast on and how to make their own mitten blockers.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

DH's new wheel - all set up for spinning!

Can we say happy DH!?!? Lol!