Thursday, October 20, 2005

Knit and Run

Well, it's been quite a while since I last posted. Life sort of got away from me, starting with the Steamtown Marathon. Despite the buckets of rain we got on Friday and Saturday (about five gallons leaked through the sunroom roof), the weather on Sunday (the 9th) was perfect marathoning weather--mid-50s, overcast, with the occasional slight drizzle. Tom ran really well (although he would strongly disagree with me), knocking four minutes off his best marathon time and setting another personal record. I met him at all the viewpoints to cheer him on and even ran with him a little bit at the 17-mile point (he was feeling a bit tired at that point). At mile 20, he was hurting pretty bad, but kept plugging along. At mile 26.2, he was definitely ready to be done and fortunately he was. We walked back to the hotel and he had a snack and a nap, then we walked the streets of Scranton in search of a beer. We found this really nice Irish pub called The Banshee. The band "Old Friends" was playing and the Guinness was good. We had dinner at Carmen's. The food was excellent and the portions gigantic, making an expensive dinner a relatively good value. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at what Scranton had to offer. The people are very friendly and the city has beautiful architecture. And the steam train that runs right past the Radisson is very cool.

Here's a picture of my favorite marathoner close to mile 7:

Job Update
Well, my "sabbatical" is about to end. I received, and accepted, an offer from CGI-AMS and I start work on Monday. Yikes! I don't think I'm ready to get back into the work maelstrom. My challenge will be to stay detached and calm and not get sucked into any potential drama on the project I'll be working on. CGI-AMS is a very big corporation and I haven't worked for one of those for five years. This means that I need a new wardrobe, given that I've been accustomed to wearing jeans to work. Plus I've continued to lose weight and the only business clothes I have that fit are my suits. I spent all of Tuesday at Talbot's revamping my fall wardrobe. Let me tell you, I am amazed. I tried on a pair of low rise boot cut slacks and was stunned, literally stunned. I shed another five or ten pounds and grew about five inches! I shunned boot cut and low rise as too trendy and too young, but now I'm sold. I may never go back to high waisted, pleated front slacks. I do not look like a frump in these clothes. If you ignore my face, lack of boobage, and the fact that I'm 5'2", you might take me for a model. Okay, that's a major stretch. But I do look pretty good. I haven't said that in a very long time.

Another Year Goes By
Tossed into the marathon and job mix was a birthday. I celebrated my 47th year last Friday (the 14th, in case anyone is wondering). I received beautiful cards from my parents and mother-in-law. My running partner Lorrie and I went for a 6-mile birthday run, followed by a light "brunch" at South Street Under. I worked on some Christmas knitting. My friend Beth gave me a gift card from Capitol Yarns and Leigh and Tom and I went out for drinks. On Saturday, Tom and I had a very good dinner at Tuscarora Mill, aka Tuskie's. All in all, a very good birthday!

Knitting Progress
The Christmas knitting is progressing. One sock is completed, the School Colors Hat only needs the topper to be finished, and I've purchased the yarn for the Rasta Colors Hat. I think I'm going to purchase this bag as my main purse, primarily so I can get in a little knitting time at lunch at work. Any thoughts on that?

Extreme Knitting
No pictures today, but I've got three entries that I'll post tomorrow. They are good!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Don't Leave Home Without It

Your knitting, that is. You never know when that nice smooth traffic flow is going to come to a screeching halt, leaving you mired in creeping, crawling traffic for hours.

Paranoid? I think not.

That was the scenario on Tuesday as I was heading south to Richmond to meet the client for the current job-on-the-burner. I left at 10:00, with the intent to be in Richmond in plenty of time for a 1:00 meeting. Well, as I hit the outskirts of Falmouth on Rt.17S, traffic slowed. Then it stopped. It inched forward. And stopped again. And inched forward. And stopped. After about an hour, I could see the entrance ramp to I-95S. It was blocked by a sheriff's car. The traffic on I-95 wasn't moving. I whipped out the map, looked for an alternate route, then whipped out my knitting, as it was clear that it was going to take another hour to get through Falmouth proper and Fredericksburg. So I had the experience of knitting while driving, which might qualify for Extreme Knitting, but I didn't have a camera with me. So what was the problem? It turned out that a couple of tractor trailers and some cars had the audacity to get intimate with each other, causing two lanes to be shut down.

Grrr. I arrived at the meeting around 2:45. My body felt like it was tied in knots, I was hungry (no time to eat), and jazzed from a trip that took twice as long as it should. What was supposed to be a "meet-and-greet" turned into an interview and I don't think I answered their questions very well. The people from the company looking to hire me did an excellent job of supporting me. But I'm not optimistic. The recruiter called on Wednesday to my impression of how it went. I haven't heard anything since then.

In knitting news, I came close to finishing one of Mom's socks while sitting in traffic. My main focus has been on the baby blanket. The yellow yarn finally came in, so I decided to see how it all goes together. I've almost completed the first kitten panel. It's looking pretty good, although the tension on the left side of each kitten is wonky. The stitches seem loose, even though I'm trying to get the tension as tight as I can. I'm hoping (Ha! Hope springs eternal!) that everything will even out in the washing and blocking.

What's that you say? The baby isn't due until March? What about all the Christmas knitting? Not to worry! After I complete the first kitten panel, I'll set the blanket aside and start working on the Christmas knitting. I've done some swatching and wrote out the pattern for one hat. The gauge for that hat will serve at the gauge for the mittens, so I'm almost done, right? And if this job doesn't come through, I'll have plenty of time!

This weekend will also afford some good, enforced knitting time. Tom is running in the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Sunday. The sock will go with me and so will the hat. Who knows? Maybe I'll have some FOs by Monday!

Time to check the bucket in sunroom. It's raining like there's no tomorrow and the roof is leaking. So is the basement. What's with the rain this year? It's either non-existent or else when it rains, it's a veritable deluge. Why can't we get a nice, gentle rain that lasts all day?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Lives of the Cowboys

As I was driving back from Y2Knit this evening, I happened to catch A Prairie Home Companion and the episode of The Lives of the Cowboys on the local public radio station. And guess what? Those cowboys were knittin'. You could even hear the clack of the needles in the background. From the sound of it, they weren't very good knitters because the sound wasn't very rythmic. But the dialogue was spot on for a group of people knitting. I thought about reaching for my knitting needles and settling in for a knit and chat session, but then I remembered that I was driving. Bad idea. If you can, try to catch the repeat on your public radio station on Sunday. If not, you can listen to tonight's show after Monday here.

So, I spent the last five days in a yarn shop! It was a great experience! I got to help people choose yarn, I had some time to knit, and I got to open shipments that came in. Thursday was help day. At least four people came in wanting help with their projects. Unfortunately, I couldn't help all of them and had to ask them to come back when Susan was there. One was a lace project and I'm terrible at reading lace and fixing problems (hence the lifeline every other row in Fern Leaf) and the other was a sleeve that had been set aside for too long. I was embarrassed that I couldn't help the woman figure out where she was in the pattern and in the increases. The lesson that I learned was that I need to become more proficient with knitting before opening my own shop.

I did enjoy the work and it was fun to meet all the different people. It wasn't difficult to remain patient with those folks who just weren't getting what I was saying; the problem was most likely in how I was communicating. However, I was totally exhausted by the time the shop closed on Thursday. That surprised me, because I didn't feel that the work was that hard.

In other job news, it appears that I'm again a top candidate for a position in Fairfax. I need to meet the client on Tuesday and if they like me, I might get an offer letter. Apparently, meeting the client is a formality. The other position that was looking good fell through; that company imposed a hiring freeze the day I was supposed to interview, so the interview was canceled. And the Red Cross called this week, too. They wanted me to deploy today, which I couldn't because I was working at the shop.

Extreme Knitting
Carla H. (who I think is blogless) sent in this photo for the Extreme Knitting Challenge. All I can say is "Poor sock!"

Has anyone else taken their sock to get a mammogram?