There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Status Report, Week 3 in New Job

Another Lovely Project

Here is my shrug. It is shiny, made from ribbon, lots and lots and lots of nylon ribbon. I still haven’t worn it to work. I need to get brave. Yes, I know myhair looks like crap. And Icarius the Shawl is rising quickly and will take flight soon. I am on Chart 4 of 4 charts! However, the 4-row border has incredibly complex instructions, so I may not finish this weekend, though that is my hope. Dang it, the next issue of Interweave Knits is here and it has ANOTHER shawl in it I would like to make. I just don't want to have to make it in sage green, too. I wish someone would take pity on me and trade a ball of sage green Zephyr for any other color whatsoever.

What’s Going Well

I am enjoying meeting some new people and seeing what a lovely community the tech writing contractors have formed at ALE. It is so nice that the ones who have left are still connected to the little community, and that the new people (like me) are welcomed. To see how people adapt to the strange surroundings and manage to thrive and feel creative is one of the many things that lately have cheered me up. The people here are so kind and helpful to each other, in an environment that could be cut-throat and competitive! I think we all know how much we each have had to go through to get here, and what a struggle it will be to find something after our time is up here—we can’t help but wish each other well. And it is just nice to make new friends and get to know different people who do not have a lot of baggage attached to them.

(Of course, I still love so many of my “old” people—baggage and all. Especially the old coworkers—but I am seeing that I thrive and do better if I keep out of their work issues, and just interact on family and personal ones!)

Yes, a number of things have served to give me more optimism lately. Some of the stories that are told in Chicks with Sticks on Wednesdays and in the informal gatherings on Saturdays at the yarn store, about how kind people can be to each other, or how tolerant they can be of the foibles of others—those cheer me a lot. I have been in conversations this week that remind me that, perhaps, some of my recent experiences might not be typical—people who act kindly really CAN be kind people, not people trying to get something out of you, use you, or undermine you. Bring on more of those!

And I just had a really nice phone call with my wireless company, which, after I whined about how poorly they treated customers from the company they recently merged with, ended up on me getting three new phones AND a fancy-ass one for me that is pink, plus more than double the minutes. All for an additional ten bucks a month. Dearest Partner and Oldest Boy will be getting camera/video phones that also play the radio—like they will ever use that—which they won’t without headphones, which I did not shell out for. It will be very necessary to explain that it costs me if certain teens send pictures.

What Could Be Improved

Oh boy do I need some help with concentrating in the new environment. I sure hope having music will help. I did crack out my fancy noise reducing headphones, and they do a good job drowning out the air conditioning sound and SOME of the chatter, but I need to totally drown it out. One of my flaws is a low level of patience sometimes. I am more patient than a lot of people, but when it is up, I have a hard time reacting mildly. I am just feeling like my personal space is being assaulted.

I am still looking forward to a week in which I get the income I expect and things are stable. My pay for my first week of work was STILL AWOL when I got paid today, but thank goodness I got a call this afternoon and it will be here next week. Another piece of good customer service directed at me! I sure can use the funds, so I can start my big savings plan. And still no unemployment check. I guess I will write that pittance off. But, even a few hundred would help pay off the Visa bill sooner rather than later. Boy howdy, I just can’t get over the money panic that has held me ever since the ex went away. Even last year, when I had income, I knew it was temporary and was rushing to get all those things done (fixing my teeth and all) before it went away—I guess I knew subconsciously that the project would not last as long as they said it would. Sigh, when I finally DO write about all that, it will sure look different with the benefit of hindsight.

And, I guess I am going to have to keep working to improve how I deal with the partner’s idiosyncratic reactions to things, such as blaming the poor dog for existing and lying on the floor, to be tripped on in the dark because the Big Man will not turn on lights when wandering through the house. I turn on lights. I pay the bills. I’d rather have a live pug than the world’s smallest electricity bill.

translation: Kathy was driving me nuts talking. I had a really nice chat with Lee about how to deal with it, and thought, this guy is sure a good friend. Friend.


Tina said...
I will most likely be able to trade a ball of black zephyr for a ball of green. I'd like to finish Icarus (I've been calling it "Icky" for short) just to be SURE I have enough (good god, I SHOULD have enough), but then I'll trade ya.
Friday, July 28, 2006 8:52:00 PM

Barbara said...
Relieved with you at the end of your poverty, and that you're actually enjoying the job. Praise be! Is there any chance we're using the same cell provider and you could coach me on the words to use? We're looking at buying three new phones. Actually, our company has been really nice to deal with, so we'll probably have to pay full price.
Sunday, July 30, 2006 10:06:00 PM

Suna said...
Barbara, I am on Cingular. Tina, you rock.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006 4:03:00 PM

Monday, July 24, 2006

Please Help My Man

I don't know how many folks look at this, but I will give it a shot for the Dear Partner's self esteem. He does a really FINE podcast series featuring live music from some very itneresting Austin artists, along with interviews that I have really been enjoying. I have a link to it in the sidebar, but you can also find it here.

The Partner would like to be able to include bands with more than a couple of people in them, but needs more equipment, and a software upgrade. He'd also really like to take his show on the road and do off-site recording, but all that takes big bucks, and singer songwriter types in Austin don't rake in the dough.

It took me forever to convince him to have a fund drive. Now he is ALL bummed that it hasn't exactly taken off. Well, there are only 30 people on the email list--most subscribe via RSS feeds, and he will not do a fund drive podcast, as he says that would irritate people and turn them off. So, I am asking y'all if you feel like it, to support his actually very good efforts with a couple of bucks, or, to encourage anyone you know who enjoys acoustic Americana stuff to visit the site and maybe make a small contribution. It would help our household, and help build up the self esteem of someone who is really trying hard to find a place in the world where he can thrive and contribute.

So, if you know of any music lovers, please share the URL and I will be forever beholden to you. Really, I will. Like, I'd return the favor somehow.

Back to me, me, me shortly.


Suna said...
Well, in case you were wondering, he got 4 contributions in total. I bought him the digital recorder for his birthday. I am the major funder of the Austin Connection.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006 3:55:00 PM

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Good Stuff!

Lots of good knitting news to report. I finally got the photos of the faroese shawl in finished form, so I can share it! There's a back view as well--maybe for another day.

I also finished the rainbow shrug, which ended up having a yellow trim, since I used up ALL the yarn the store had in that expensive ribbon. It looks pretty good, but is slippery, so it keeps falling off. Look for a photo next post, or in Flikr (link in sidebar), soon as I get that photo and this one in there.

And Icarius is happy--soon as I finish making lots of web pages, I will get to work on it again, and I will finally get to the excitement of Chart 2! I have been on Chart 1 for 7 repeats now, and I am ready to move on to something a little more challenging!

And in good news of the non-knitting kind, my dear chilluns came home last night, and it is so good to see their wiry sunburned selves again! Nice to hear voices, the sounds of World of Warcraft...well, the messes will not be thrilling, but everything else about having them around is swell. I am very pleased that they enjoyed their camp this year, both of them, and that everything seemed to go more smoothly with their other family. The ideal is for them to be happy in both homes--they are what matters most. Which is all good, since I have been peeved at the children's male parent since he accused me of "defaming" him in some bio I wrote on my high school alumni site. I had no clue what he was talking about, but when I finally found it, it was a fairly neutral description. I just removed him. Easiest to just remove any mention of his existence, but I can't completely, since the children need both parents, and there are all these irritating mutual decisions coming up (cars, insurance, colleges, ugh). But, that is for later.

I have been doing well--enjoying the new job a bit more, enjoying the people there a lot, getting interesting tarot insights, and feeling a bit more chipper, like my old self. Glad to see things slowly improving. That's the way I want them to go!

translation: I have met Lee. I thought he was nice. I found out we had a lot of odd things in common. So I liked the people at work. Liked.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bad Dreams, Bad Luck

Last night I had an icky dream. I was out of town, doing something with NJ. Various things happened, including an exercise class. But then we were leaving. She got in a big station wagon to drive off. I got a call from Dear Partner who said to hurry home, the war was worse, really worse. We might not make it. I tried to yell out to NJ, but got all hoarse (ooh, throat chakra issues strike again), just tried to tell her I loved her. Then I got in a long line of cars, trying to get home, but kept sliding off the road. I kept crying for the kids. Yow, that sure shows what I am worried about in a nutshell! The world is going to heck and I can't express to my friends how much I care and what I really feel. Sniffle.

I am really sad that the TX conference for members of the organization where I used to work is this weekend, and I don't get to go. I could, but no funds, and to be honest, I feel like a disgraced former employee that no one would want to see (other than a few friends, of course--they'd like to see me!). I guess I just don't want to see the Queen of Cups. I sure don't like having to curtail seeing friends because of this situation. But, I am supposed to be moving on anyway.

It is not a "lucky" day. Maybe I should grab a green rock. I spilled coffee all over myself on the way to work, then found out I won't get paid until next week, thanks to no one recording my hours for me, like I had asked everyone I could think of to do. Yeah, none of them are on the brink of no funds, so for them a week's delay is not important. Sigh. It'll get better.


sandy said...
Well, crap. That's all I can say.
Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:32:00 PM

Deb said...
You were very missed at the conf Sue Ann. There were several sessions that I attended that your praises were sang very loudly by several people. I don't think there was a leader there that did not miss you. I know I certainly did.
Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:47:00 PM

Nancy Jo said...
Um. I gotta say that the "war" that is getting worse might be between you and the DP. And even if you never told me you loved me again, I would still know it. I just wouldn't be driving a station wagon. Hmmm.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 8:43:00 AM

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Some People Repeat Patterns a Lot

This is an official whine about the Dear Partner, who has many redeeming qualities beneath a very large and quite crusty exterior. He has been really kind to me while I have been feeling icky, and I do appreciate all that, the lovely meals and the help with toting and fetching kids. I also would like to note that I realize that I, too, repeat destructive patterns on occasion and have had to work on that quite a bit in my day.

STILL. He got fired by what must be at least the sixth band since I have been with him, 3.5 years (also including people he used to, but no longer does, act as a sideman for). And I do believe it happened many times before I showed up. Plus the people who didn't get irritated, just stopped asking.

Every time, things are OK until he doesn't get his way. Until someone else has a standard that is not his. Or does things differently than he would do. When this happens, he will get huffy on stage. Or he will have a tense discussion after the gig. Then, he will get it into his head that is is an excellent idea to send an email enumerating his issues. He always tells me it is a "nice" email. I now know that, once I hear, "I sent them an email," that the next thing I will hear is, "I am no longer with the band." I am then expected to listen to him inform me of what morons those other people are for having x or y belief, for not engaging in practice p or q, or for driving too slowly (really, this is one of the things that killed a lucrative partnership). I know I have to bite my tongue, not mention that perhaps the other people have a point or a perspective, or that compromise is a possibility, even in music...

And I do want to be a supportive partner, but hell, every time he finds something that will actually bring in some vitally needed extra income, he finds a fatal flaw, sends off a flaming email (of course, to his credit, he does his best to tone things down--he simply comes across as harsh), and that's that. He's used to it by now. I'm not really fond of it.

I am the one who loses friends/acquaintances (I miss Danny!) and work (this bunch of people had hired me to do their website and paid a good fee--I had hoped to do that a while). And none of them will talk to ME either, other than a brief hello. I don't even get to say goodbye, it was nice to know you or anything! I just never see or hear from people again--I only knew them through him, ya see.

So, in summary: I am tired of this particular thing repeating. I wish he could find SOMETHING he could do that earned money that involved no one other than himself and that he'd just do that.

OK, end of vent. And it's just a vent. Thank you for reading. Cheri, I know what you would say, so don't say it. (insert smiley)

I have more to do at work, so that is helping a lot. Getting ready to get all geared up for band and other child activities. Whee.

Postscript in April 2007: So, though I didn't mention issues with Jeff a lot back then, I did occasionally burst forth, so maybe you can see why he had to be replaced with someone more compatible?


Deb said...
Sorry you are going though this. I think it is a man thing. I know quite a few people that are this way and they are all male. Hope he finds a job soon. Going to miss you this week end.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:00:00 PM

sandy said...
I don't have any advice, just glad you have a place and people to vent to. I will send vibes for peace and negotiation skills for your partner so you can feel some peace in your life.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 7:34:00 PM

DianeS said...
I think you handle this sort of thing very well. I'm afraid I would be tempted to become temporarily insane and slam a frying pan on his head or something. (There's a reason I'm not known for my patience.)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:17:00 PM

Cheri said...
You have had a tough couple of weeks. It has to get better, right? (I didn't say it ;))
Thursday, July 20, 2006 10:05:00 AM

Suna said...
Thanks, y'all, I agree I handled it pretty well. I am declaring tomorrow starts "better luck week." If you check today's post you will see it ain't better just yet. No I do not blame Cheri.
Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:46:00 AM

Monday, July 17, 2006

Weekends, They Are Good

Translation: I believe Lee was who I met on the 17th.

Ah, weekends. They actually do allow you to catch up on sleep, see friends, and remember you have a family. I am all for them.

This one was pretty good, though Friday was spent recovering from the week and vegging. That is also a good thing, of course.

The nice thing about teaching knitting is that, while it is work, it doesn't feel like a burden--and I enjoyed this weekend's class a whole lot. It was so fun to see everyone's projects taking shape and everyone learning new things! Plus I got to do tarot readings AND a trip to the conveniently located Goodwill store, where both Jody and I found excellent brown pants. Hers were extremely excellent.

I started to try to make knitted round coasters but it was too much effort on double pointed needles and I gave up. The ribbon shrug I am working on (cannot believe I am making a trendy ole shrug, but I am) is what I worked on instead. I am now on sleeve #2 but need more yarn to finish. Luckily I reserved it, but unluckily I forgot to buy it on Saturday. So, I'll go as far as I can, then continue on Icarius, who is on the final repeat of the less than fascinating base section. I also finally got past all the yarn I rewound from when I was making Diana's shawl out of the Zephyr.

Sunday was fun--we went to the NAMM show. That is the North American Music Merchandising or Merchandisers or something like that. It is a trade show for people who sell music stuff. Mr. Dear Partner got us press passes, because he plans to do a podcast about what he found new and interesting there. And there was plenty of that! There was so much that was breathtakingly beautiful there that my heart kept leaping. Those handmade guitars are just amazing. The wood is so incredibly lovely, and the inlay so precise, and it is so obvious how much time goes into making a guitar, mandolin, etc. I loved listening to the people who made guitars explaining how they did it, why they made certain decisions, and how choices they made affect the sound in various ways. Very educational, even for someone who doesn't play. There were also beautiful drums, Eastern instruments and accordions. Some VERY festive accordions. The brass instrument section also had wonderful instruments--tens of thousands of dollars for silver flutes and such. And interesting finishes.

After that we ate at Chuy's. This socked me--it is a REAL restaurant. The Dear Partner discovered the food was good, plentiful and not all that expensive, so maybe we can go again. I had not been there since I was divorced. There are a LOT of restaurants I miss. Once finances are all together, I am going to eat some good food!

And, since I have been writing this off and on for hours, I can now report that ALE work today was a bit better. I got to do some useful things, meet a couple of additional folks who were quite nice, and teach/remind a coworker how to knit. All in all, good. I am taking a break from stressful stuff, as my tarot journal is telling me to do, and that is fine.


Jody said...
Ohhh, Chuy's. Two words...Mexican Martini. Those are good. Very.
Monday, July 17, 2006 10:29:00 PM

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Week in Corporate America

I now remind myself why I was so glad, all those years, to be a telecommuter and working for a nonprofit. Whatever bureaucracy all those Former Employer volunteers used to complain about is NOTHING compared to ALE (remember, that's Austin's Largest Employer). I did finally get a logon so perhaps on Monday I can get on the computer as me, fill out my timesheet and do other required work tasks. I think there are a lot of weekly reports and stuff I didn't get done this week. That would be because there is no work to report. I just read, read, and read some more. But I sure am up on this company, its philosophy, its internal workings and all that, so when I DO get to work, I will have more of a clue. So it was probably worth it. I am happy to say I made it through my first week! And am just amused, not disgusted. I even wore red shoes one day (this is a mess of Elvis Costello lyrics; don't mind me).

I am enjoying meeting people at ALE, and that is a bonus. And I think once I get a big ole MP3 player, I will be fine with all the noise. I am enjoying all the knitting and tarot friends I am making, too. It is about time I branched out a bit.

But I can't help missing some aspects of the past. Thus it was still SO good to get a phone call from the wonderful and kind NJ last night. It's just good to hear her voice. It is nice to have some reminders of the departed life. It is also good to hear from the dear children every night. Just a week and they will be back. That is good. Of course, the start of 7 am band practices is less than ideal. Well, I'll be avoiding morning and afternoon traffic, that is fer sure.

According to the Dear Partner, I keep getting odd phone calls from people who hang up if he says I am not home. Did I forget to pay a bill? Are criminals casing the joint? What's up with that? I will attempt to not get all worried, and just be sure the doors are locked.

Sigh, wish I didn't type so fast--I'd have made more time pass while working on this.


sandy said...
I'm glad you are able to have a good sense of humor about the work and you are meeting cool new people.Sounds like you have a case of telemarketers. Jeremy gets those kinds of calls also.
Friday, July 14, 2006 6:27:00 PM

Jennifer said...
We get a lot of weird-ass calls. I look their numbers up on and sometimes that's illuminating. Apparently my husband (whose middle initial is D) somehow got confused with someone else who has his name (but whose middle initial is E) and who has a small but very overdue debt. Good times.
Sunday, July 16, 2006 10:05:00 AM

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Icarius Reborn!

In knitting news, I have re-started my Icarus shawl (affectionately known as Icarius). I am making it on needles one size larger than the originals, and using ebony needles. They are a little sharper than the Addi Turbos, and are making it easier to achieve the K2tog that is above a YO, which happens over and over in that pattern. That stitch is always at an awkward angle and tight, thus hard to get the needle into. I am now past the point I was on the first iteration of the shawl, and I think I'll actually finish it. Yee haw. That's good, because I can't order the yarn for my own faroese shawl until payday (a week from tomorrow).

I am in the nether period of no income from previous job and no income from new job, with no unemployment compensation to mitigate it. Yeesh.

Yesterday was the least fun day so far at New Job. I spent ALL day reading technical documents and was so, so cold. A coworker suggested that I tuck my legs under to get warm, and I did it. And I had an allergic reaction to the chair! My leg, from where my cropped pants ended to where my sandal started, turned bright red and my ankle began to swell! It looked really odd. Another coworker rushed me to the convenient HEB on the other side of the New Toll Road from Austin's Largest Employer (I think I will call my employer "ALE" from now on). I got benadryl, and by the time I left, I was no longer swelling or very pink, but I was sleepy. Then I had to go to the yarn shop and teach a class, so wiped out I could barely put together sentences. By the time I got home, I was a total zombie. I just lay in my bed and felt sorry for myself in a weepy fashion for an hour or so. The Dear Partner kindly listened as I described how my self worth was in the toilet, which was what I needed.

I am fine today, and made it through the day, where I got a new desk and a computer, but still no logon. I am finding all the noise rather distracting, and feeling a bit claustrophobic, but I figure I will adjust, and once I have a project or something, I'll zone out and be OK. Everyone at ALE is really nice, especially the other contractors. I think I will learn a lot in Ye Olde Corporate environment. It is strange being a non decision maker. But in some ways good. I did ask for an ergonomic keyboard and a footstool and was told "yes." That pleased me. So, things may be looking up even if I DID choose the Tower today in tarot.

Take care, readers! I think of you all day!


Bev said...
I TOLD you to be careful about the chairs at ALE!!! :-)Here's the story -- a friend of mine who has worked there for a LONG time and is in management, left her cube to go to the restroom and when she came back, not only was her chair GONE but there was an evil sticky note saying that she had been sitting in a VP-level chair and since she wasn't a VP she couldn't have it. So how long had it been hers? 1998! She's got a peon-level chair now and is counting the days til retirement!Best wishes to you, hang in there and keep a blanket in your cube. Most of us over at Austin's Possibly-Largest Non-Profit keep a blankie and a sweater at hand -- we share the same AC unit as the servers, so it's often in the low 60's in my cube.:-)
Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:16:00 PM

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Only 1447 Hours Left to Go

I got through the first 8 hours at the new job. Setting was as expected--pretty dismal--worst possible cubicle, broken chair, no computer, dingy cube farm. But, the other contract workers are nice (as well as the rest of the folks). It is definitely a two-tiered society there--everyone I was introduced to I was informed whether they are contract workers or "real" employees. The revered ones are the former contract workers who are NOW real employees.

Other than having to figure out a better way to get home, I am doing OK. More later.


Anonymous said...
Glad you got though it. Hope it gets better for you.Deb
Wednesday, July 12, 2006 1:18:00 PM

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Green Means Go!

Well, here ya go, a picture of the completed green shawl, as it lies on the green carpet, blocking (because the shawl has rounded shoulders, they recommended blocking it folded as in the photo. I feel relieved that it actually blocked out to the right dimensions. The color is a bit "funky" due to lighting oddities, but that's the way it looks, anyway. It is still damp in the photo, so there are darker areas that will be gone by tomorrow, I hope! I sure hope the recipient likes it!

I soaked the shawl for quite a while with a bit of shampoo, then rinsed it with violet scented conditioner (because that was the cheapest I had, and the lovely gay couple who raise sheep that I met last week told me that's the best thing to do to soften the wool). Those guys felt it is a combination of the yarn being from shetland sheep and the chemical dyes that made the wool less than incredibly soft, but said a lot of soaking and conditioner would help--"after all, wool is hair." So, thanks, kind yarn men. Photo of finished project will come when it's dry!

And speaking of green stuff, light me a green candle of luck/prosperity for tomorrow, as I head out into the world of being a very, very small transitory fish in the biggest pond in Austin tomorrow. I know I will have a lot to deal with, coming from an environment of working at home as a big fish in a small nonprofit where everyone knew who I was. I think it will be good experience, though, and perhaps a NICE change to be an anonymous corporate cog for a while. I hope I learn new, useful stuff, and meet interesting people. I have what I hope is an OK outfit picked out (the email I received said to "dress professionally" but I don't know if I need to wear a suit or not). I have some simple food I can take, small photos of the kids, and a couple of rocks. Once I knew the environment, I will bring along other stuff--I have no idea how they handle email, IMs and all that stuff. I'll file my unemployment stuff one last time in the morning before I leave!

Think of me tomorrow as I show up promptly at 9 am, if the traffic allows! Go me!


Jennifer said...
Ahhh, anonymous corporate cog. You've described my dream job. (Seriously!) :)I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. :)
Sunday, July 09, 2006 5:19:00 PM

Tina said...
Aw, good luck! I don't know if I told you or not, but I'm doing the retail thing again (which I tried to avoid). I'm working at Home Depot (not the one by Bluebonnet - that was too much to hope for). They're a wonderful company, I've worked for them before. AND I might get to dye my hair pink again! There's no specific dress code against it, it's up to each store manager, so let's hope I have a cool one!Good luck tomorrow! I'll be at Chicks Wednesday if I don't have to work (I can't remember if I do or not at this point).
Sunday, July 09, 2006 9:00:00 PM

sandy said...
Good luck today, hope it goes well and that cool job is just around the corner waiting for you.
Monday, July 10, 2006 10:35:00 AM

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Had a Lovely Vacation

Well, my time between jobs is finally drawing to a close. But I did fun activities yesterday, after applying diligently for a variety of other jobs.

The partner and I headed out to Volente to meet Scott, Karen and two children (one not theirs) for an afternoon on a pontoon boat on Lake Travis. Other than none of us actually knowing where to go once we got there, so we started late, it all went really well (even if the partner said HE would be planning ALL outings henceforth, grumble grumble). Scott couldn't drive the boat too fast, because it wouldn't go fast at all (speedometer didn't work, either, so how would we know if we were going fast?). But we had the lake mostly to ourselves, because we brilliantly went on a Friday rather than the weekend (boating on that lake on weekends is NOT very relaxing). We found a cove to go swimming in and watched the boat float randomly due to an anchor that did not "anchor." Sure is nice water in that lake. We later went to a park and beached the boat and did more swimming. Mostly we looked at fancy houses and tried to figure out where we were. Snaky lake (former river).

After the boat time expired, we went to the lovely Iguana Grill and watched the sunset over the very lake we were just boating on. I really enjoyed my margarita.

All in all, relaxing, fun and no sunburn. This is one of those "we ought to do this someday" things that Karen and I decided we would do NOW. Yay for us. Yay for her for calling and reserving the boat--if only she'd asked WHERE the place was, hee hee.

In knitting news, I am on the garter stitch border of the shawl, so it will end soon. I sent Astrid the Dutch yarn vendor a photo of my bamboo socks and she put them on her website! Whee!

Thursday, July 6, 2006

One last thing

You might enjoy looking at the sidebar of my blog--which you won't see on bloglines. I put in a link to a Flikr photo collection of things I knitted. I will be adding more to it. I figure since I put way too much of "me" in here to share publicly, I can just put photos in Flikr and share those with non-friends. And it is decorative on the side of the blog. This also proves I DID pay attention to what former coworker Andrew told me to do--I just adapt slowly. (Stop laughing, former coworkers). The URL for my Flikr site is

Two knitting books

I got in two knitting books recently, so I thought I'd write about them. The only other excitement of today was that we went to see Superman Returns. I liked it, even if it WAS sorta chick-flik-y. I have always felt sorry for Kal-El. He has so much of a burden. What a lonely life for someone who thinks and feels so deeply (long time fan, here, since I learned to read).

So, Vogue Knitting on the Go: Shawls: Another of that series of teeny books with not too complex patterns in them. I do have quite a few. The image at left is of a baby blanket (still not blocked) I made from an early baby volume. Anywho, this book has some of those blobby things made with blobby yarn or endless drop stitch ribbon yarn ones that don't impress me much, but I like the cover shawl, which is a Silk Garden shawl made of wedges that are crocheted together. Very rainbow. And there's one shawl with very thin yarn and an occasional single row of ribbon that I think would look pretty in that Sari ribbon yarn and something shell pink. I guess there are at least two things I might knit in it, so it is worth owning. There are so many different tastes in wraps and so many different skill levels that this has something for everyone except the super lace knitters--but then the Gathering of Lace book has that covered (more to my taste in shawls, too)

As for the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 2: Cables, this one is more up my alley. I just can't get enough of books that are collections of stitch patterns, and since my Barbara G. Walker books are HIDING somewhere, this one will come in handy. There are lots and lots of cable patterns in this book, many of which I am sure would look good marching down the side or back of a sock (what I'd like to knit next). And there ARE charts for each of the patterns, which comes as good news to those of us who can visualize what we are supposed to be doing better with a graph. The word descriptions are very clear, as well. I appreciate having both. That said, I thought the book's organization was a bit quirky. Why are diamonds and pretzels grouped? What's a combination? I would probably group patterns by how many stitches they cover, which would make it oh-so-handy for sock and Aran planners. Then, they could have rated each pattern within any number of stitches by difficulty. Oh, if only I were a knitting book editor (dream job, mmm). Also, while it is very tasteful and "mod" to knit all the samples in the same drab colors, the book was rather boring to me, visually, because of that. Still I am sure I will browse through this one many times, just as I have done with Volume 1 of the series.

Now I will go enjoy a margarita and finish the last of the lace patterning in the shawl. Don't worry, I am at the simpler part.


DianeS said...
I remember you knitting that baby blanket. I can't tell you how much better I feel about myself that it is still unblocked. I've got three sitting on the floor by me that just need a bit of finishing. And blocking. Which I really need to do, since the babies they were made for have arrived and could presumably be using them.
Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:40:00 PM

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Love My Blue Hair

Been doing all sorts of extra goof-off things as I revel in a few last days of no work, no kids, no nothing.

Yesterday I celebrated the 230th birthday of the USA by doing a tarot reading with good ole Jody, who did not have a ball of yarn in her hand to throw (yes, I KNOW she was kidding--I was kidding when I mentioned it in the last entry). When we were done, we indulged in our inner Diva or something, and spent time battling the wind while putting lovely blue stripes in our hair. You see, on Saturday two teens with beautiful colored pieces in their hair showed up to the yarn shop, so we asked them how they got those stripes. The mother (who regretted NOT buying hair stripe remover) told us where, and Jody knew of the place. I oohed and aahed about it so much that Jody went out and got some hair, in purple and blue. A LOT of it. And the all-important remover. It's natural human hair! We did not put in lots (I still have interviews to do), but it was a real adventure, neither of us being exactly the "hair-do" types. For example, a gust of wind splatted hair glue all over the top of Jody's head, and with her short hair, it could not exactly be hidden. But, I got it out (mostly), so she won't look like a bird pooped on her head for the next couple of months or anything. The stuff's pretty cool, actually. I washed it, and it is still in there! We have LOTS of hair left. What fun.

Other than that and watching a lot of very wet televised fireworks, not much has been happening. Just making the green shawl longer and longer (each row has over 400 stitches now). I did get to eat a longhorn burger (moo) on Monday, when we took a "let's drive around Austin" trip. I felt like I did the Omnivore's Dilemma guy proud by eating a grass-fed cow.

I've had a lot of bad dreams the past few days. Floods of all sorts, mainly. I will be glad for that, and the rain, to end, but we've had a drought, so the rain is really good.


Deb said...
Ahhh no pictures of the Blue hair? If you really want to do wild color let me know. I used to be a hair stylist in another life. (before kids)Deb
Thursday, July 06, 2006 2:19:00 AM

Jody said...
oh, my. A hair stylist volunteer! The blue is fantastic. I love it so. Did the chicks with sticks love it, too?
Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:57:00 AM

Suna said...
The chicks all thought it was "too subtle" so I guess I will bring the hair (like it's a living entity or something) on Saturday. And I added two strands, too!
Thursday, July 06, 2006 10:06:00 AM

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Passing Time Productively

How nice--it's been a busy couple of days so time is passing quickly and productively.

I thought I'd share the progress on the green shawl. It is lumpy and unblocked, but you can see that it is looking shawl-esque. The neckline is what is at the top, and the bottom is the curved stuff on the needles. It's a simple garter stitch Faroese shawl--it wraps around the shoulders and should stay on well. That's the plan, anyway. Yesterday I got to look at the color card for this Shetland Jumper Weight yarn, so I picked out a color for MY shawl, which will be next. With each row approaching 400 stitches, though, it may be a while! I am almost to the border, though!

Friday I had my official "vacation" day, in which (after the requisite job applying) I went to my friend Karen's house in Lakeway, and we ate delicious vegan food and then went swimming in what is left of Lake Travis. It is 55 feet under "full," so the beach area was many, many yards from where the water actually was. Karen't daughter took some underwater photos of fishies, which looked fun, while Karen and I took a well earned rest and just floated in inner tubes. We earned the rest after blowing the tubes up! Neither she nor I are good at doing nothing, so it was probably a rare site to see BOTH of us just floating and talking about how we wished we could live somewhere that the neighbors would not judge our lawns. But we came to the conclusion that no place would be perfect--sticking us out in the sticks would sure make getting to food a pain.

I spent Friday night blissfully at home, doing nothing other than knitting, reading, and talking to the kids on the phone for a while. I skipped out on the Dear Partner's gig, which was good, as it turned out to be the smokiest one they ever played, in which even the smokers in the band had to go outside to smoke in "fresh" air. Turned out no one had turned on the smoke eliminator thingies. Next time, they'll know. That band is doing great, though, and I think they may start getting more regular work--people like them.

Yesterday was a fairly standard Saturday in which I headed out to Knitting World and taught someone some stuff and chatted with the usual gathering of friends. It's always nice to catch up on people, support them, and be distracted by what's going on in the lives of others. It's really a nice bunch of folks there. I spent most of the day crocheting this Java Jammie thing that appeared in the Berocco email newsletter. Both the yarn shop owner and I had printed it out! I made mine "Venti" sized. I sure enjoyed it, though the shiny section of that Boho yarn is really hard to crochet with. Now my drinks will look "classy." The rest of the day, I tried to avoid having yarn thrown at me, but at some point, I realized I was feeling pretty down and not being a good contributor to the atmosphere, so I went on home and fell asleep.

But, I rallied and headed out to the next band gig, which was also smoky, but I survived. I wore one of my new shirts, and was informed I was "hot" by the drummer's girlfriend. It actually IS a flattering shirt, but GEEZ I have to do something with my hair. That will be next. It was nice that quite a few of our friends came out to hear the rock band. Unfortunately, one group brought five children, and they weren't allowed in the room where the band was, which led to some hard feelings. I guess the venue was "family" oriented, but not totally. I did enjoy the variety of people to talk to, though--and there was a lot of applause and stuff, which must have made the band dudes feel good. And the dancing couples lent interesting "scenery" to all. It was quite amusing that my friend Scott kept complaining that they blocked his view of the guitarists' hands--first time I ever saw a man complain about women flaunting their artificially enlarged chest areas and gyrating. It was "hat night" and most of the guys had on hats, in honor of the Dear Partner wearing his ancient jeans cap. Need to figure out a way to wash that thing...

Today is rest, laundry and work on the shawl day. It's all rainy, which is nice in a lot of ways. Cozy. Makes for good nesting.