Sunday, July 19, 2009

Huh? What Just Happened?

Holy Cow has it been a week. I always anticipate that the first week at any new job is going to be more tough than fun, and I was right. I spent the week absorbing all sorts of new information, meeting new people and getting my bearings in general. I'm so freakin' impatient that I expect myself to be the 'go-to' person within about 3 days and of course that's never the case. Everything I'm doing right now takes research - to whom should I talk about this, where do I go for that, where's the coffee again, etc. It'll all be second nature soon, but naturally in my opinion, never soon enough. So first weeks are always hard and good.god.tiring. I've been beat at the end of every day, and have ended up falling asleep on the couch early in the evening more than once.

Even though I'm still plowing through work stuff more slowly than I'd like, there are already some immediate plusses (in addition to just freakin' having a job, which is a giant bonus) to my particular workplace. First, the Bay area is known for having some pretty sucky commutes. It's not the worst I've ever heard of (I'm under the impression that LA holds that honor) but it can seriously eat up time and cause major stress. My new commute is 7 miles more than the one I had to Netflix, but it's a reverse commute - so it takes me half the time of my last one. The longest it has taken so far is about 20 minutes in the middle of rush hour. Sweet! And if something happens that causes problems on 101, I have 2 alternate routes, so I'll be able to avoid major issues most of the time.

Second, rather than claiming there's a lunch hour but constantly booking meetings at the time, this company actually encourages everyone to get away from their desks mid-day for a bike ride, work out, or whatever. I know! I don't have a bike yet (waiting to be eligible for their generous employee discount) but I'm sure I'll be able to find a way to borrow something soon. In the meantime, they have a very large and very well equipped gym right in the building, which I've used a couple of times. Yay for encouraging physical fitness. It's nice to have it not only right there, but also to have the time to do it, rather than trying to fit in a quick work-out between work obligations.

Just so I don't get too fit though, plus #3 is there's a great Mexican market about half a mile from the office, right on my way home. They not only carry nice produce, they have a deli with made-on-the-premises food (tamales!) and I've heard that the burritos are to die for. Or maybe their fat/calorie count brings on an early (but worth-it) demise. I don't care. I love markets like that and while I prefer to eat stuff we've made that's more healthful, well some days it's just nice to let someone else do the work, calories be damned.

Anyway - my impatient self-imposed pressures aside, work is going well. I'm sure it'll become easier and I'll actually be able to stay up past 8:30 again some evening which will be good. The early crashing has seriously hampered my efforts to get any fibery stuff done (don't even talk about house cleaning).

Tour de...What?

I have let my Team Crankypants teammates down terribly with respect to the Tour de Fleece (but I'm really cranky about it - does that help?). Instead of finishing 3 out of 4 projects I'll be lucky if I can complete two. But between that silly falling-asleep thing and nursing a tight neck/shoulder issue, it just hasn't been happening. But the news isn't all bad - I did manage to turn this:

(that's the Corriedale batt from Grafton Fibers)

Into this:

And eventually into this (embiggen to see the pretty):

It's a couple of hundred yards of DK weight 3-ply. I started out spinning it using a long-draw (a la Yarn Harlot - she blogged about it quite a while back, though I didn't Navajo ply), but it really did a number on my back and shoulders, so I switched to spinning from the fold, which worked fine. I'm not sure yet what it'll become. It's a little rough for my delicate lady-like (snork!) skin so I'm considering a felted project; a bag perhaps?

I resumed spinning on the Quiviut, but haven't gotten much done so it still looks almost like this:

I might have 3-4 times as much as this on the bobbin now, but dryer lint just looks like dryer lint, so I didn't think it was worth it to update the picture. It's spinning up nicely though - and as with the first ounce that I spun for myself last year, the product is much prettier than the fiber and it should turn out to be very nice.


I meant to post about this last week and totally forgot. Look what I bought from Sandi!

Gorgeous, huh? It's a Pat Green drum carder - I believe this model is 'Deb's Delicate Deluxe'. It's beautifully crafted, has an additional drum for super-fine fibers (cashmere, anyone?) and it's a much nicer quality carder than I'd ever hoped or expected to own. In just two passes through the carder, I turned this:

(some washed but not-yet-processed sheep's wool)

into this:

Soft, fluffy, and it still contains a touch of lanolin. Yum. I have no idea what it'll be. Sandi gave me some extra fiber to play with and this was part of that collection. I have about 6 ounces of it and have carded about half of it. I'm in fiber-carding heaven and am so enamored of this thing I haven't put it away once. It has lived on the dining room table ever since it followed me home. This may be a long honeymoon. Thanks Sandi!

Just To Prove I Haven't Forgotten How...

I've been knitting a little and have managed to finish a project.

These are plain vanilla socks that I started in March, and promptly tossed aside when life got a little crazy. They're made from Socks that Rock lightweight (a mill end so there's no colorway name). It's my first pair knit from that brand, and I definitely like it. It has a nice sproing factor and knits up really nicely. I've heard that fading can be an issue with that yarn, but I haven't washed them yet so that remains to be seen. It may be a while before I can report back on that though - it's pretty freakin' hot here these days so wool sock weather is a bit far out into the future.

I'm in a quandary about what to knit next. I'm all excited about lace, but I'm having a hard time deciding what to make. I could go for one of the patterns in my new book on Estonian Lace, or follow through on one of two long-queued projects; either the Print o' the Wave Stole or Juno Regina. Then of course I have various yarn options for each project already in stash, but listing those out would just make my head explode.

Or, I could hold off on lace for now and continue work on Lady Eleanor:

It's pretty warm these days for knitting this, but I know when the weather finally does cool down it would be really nice to have this draped over the sofa, ready to throw over my freezing little cold-blooded self.

Decisions, decisions.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch...

The garden continues to produce. Can you guess what's in season now?


bean said...

you know...sounds like a great job/place to work. it will all pass - the newby stress - and soon you'll be training someone else who is new.
and stay away from too many burritos!!!!

AlisonH said...

I aspired to owning a Pat Green for years, but bought a used Louet instead. Someday...

Beautiful handspun! And have fun settling into the new job. Now, where's that burrito place?...

Kathy in San Jose said...

Hey, want some zucchini!?

~Donna~ said...

Holy moley woman. Even with all this falling asleep early you still get a whole shitload of stuff done. I'm basically doing nothing all day and don't get 1/10 of anything done.

You must tell me where you got your army of clones. I need some.

Oh, and the one that does your spinning? She's good...don't let her get away.

Walden said...

The red handspun is just beautiful! I can understand the appreciation of good mexican food, I am envious.

The Knifty Knitter said...

Sounds like your new job is going to be great! I'm glad that there are some really nice perks, especially the Mexican market, I love Mexican!

The handspun looks great as do the socks. I really like STR, they have really great colors.

Big Alice said...

Oh man, I know what you mean about first weeks. It drives me NUTS not to know about most everything around.

Still, you get a whole lot of stuff done even falling asleep on the couch at 8. Nice socks! And that is some gorgeous yarn!

Cookie said...

I'm so glad that you've landed at a good company that encourages an active lifestyle and has a good Mexican market up the street. Everything in balance, right? :D

Team CrankyPants is proud of you! You're doing great over there and I'm not just saying that because I wanna play with your drum carder.

Oh, and I started knitting that thing with that stuff you spun for you know who and I love that yarn! It's amazing and totally not fingering weight. It's lace weight!


Northside Knitter said...

Glad you are enjoying life in my hometown. For lunch you might want to try Super Taqueria. Another great place to try for dinner is Sinaloa's Cafe; they are known for their killer Margarita's.


Angie said...

What a nice place to work! And a Mexican market nearby?.....that's heaven. Jealous. :D

Lovely spinning and you contributed lots to Team Crankypants!