Sunday, April 24, 2011


The end of my second day without working is coming to a close and I'm so sad. It's amazing how much stuff you can get done without work getting in the way. In short, it was a blissfully productive weekend:

  • I started breathing again
  • And my jaws started to unclench
  • I cleaned the house...all of it
  • The dust buffalo herd is now manageable
  • I vacuumed up enough cat hair to make a litter of kittens
  • I did laundry
  • I even folded it and put it away
  • Not sure that I'll be able to find my clothes now
  • The cats got some good walks this weekend
  • It's amazing how much fun a cat can have with a dead vole
  • Bosco's quite the hunter
  • There was knitting, but not as much as I would have liked

I started the Corinne cardigan from the current issue of Knitty today. I was blithely knitting along, chatting with my mother-in-law, and promptly hit a snag. "Knit to 1st marker; turn. Knit across" I simply turn and knit back and won't that make a wonky stitch? Do I slip the first stitch? Do I wrap and turn and knit back? I'm now in experiment mode. I slipped the stitch for the first pattern repeat. I'm turning and knitting back on the second pattern repeat. If I don't like how either looks, I might add wrap-and-turn to the mix. But I think just turning and knitting back is the way to go. I tend to overthink the knitting a little lot and that never fails to get me in trouble.

I'm on the verge of starting another project, this one being a stealth project. Suffice it to say that come July, working on that project will be miserable. I did not choose wisely for summer knitting.

That's it for now.

Happy knitting!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coming Up For Air

Work has been unbelievably...crazy. For the last several months, I feel like all I've done is work. And my investigations yesterday proved that it's true. It's been nine weeks since I've had an entire weekend off; I worked both days three of those weekends. I've averaged about 52.25 hours per week for the last 11 weeks. Now in the grand scheme of things, that's not too bad. I don't have to work that many hours in order to make a living wage. And there are people who work many more hours than I do. However, I'm at that point in my life where the rewards for working like that just aren't there.

But, I got the biggest part of the project I was working on out the door and am hoping it doesn't come boomeranging back to me for additional revisions. The revisions for the remainder of the design document should be relatively minor, if only because each appendix is well under 100 pages. I have about another week of solid work and everything should be done. It's been a long haul on this...many, many months of writing and revising. The original author did a fantastic job; the bones of the design are solid. It's a shame that the client is extremely particular about language and formatting.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and for once, I don't think it's a train.

As a result of work, I feel like my life is pretty much in a shambles: the dust buffalo herd is totally unmanageable, the cats have scimitars for claws, I've been packing on the pounds because I'm too tired/it's too dark/too cold/too wet to run, and the knitting is languishing. It's hard to believe that just over a year ago, I ran the Boston Marathon. Now I'm lucky if I can eke out an 11-minute mile over six miles. Or that two years ago, I was running ultra marathons. I need to knuckle down and get back to that level of fitness. But I'm tired/it's too dark/too cold/too wet to run. And soon it will be too sunny/too hot/too humid to run.

Another result of work is that I haven't taken any time off and all of my PTO is pretty much at the maximum accrual level (meaning that unless I take time off, I don't accrue any more)(which is so not right...working long hours for the good of the company and I get penalized because I can't take time off?!). But the vacations, they are a-coming (note the use of the plural).

First up is a two-day spinning workshop with Maggie Casey at Maryland Sheep and Wool (MDSW). In my younger days (like about almost 30 years ago(ack!)), I started spinning. I had this sweet little top whorl drop spindle made from a dowel, drawer pull and cup hook, and I spun my little heart out. A year or so later, I saved up my pennies (or most likely went further into debt; this was during those very lean post-college years) and bought an Ashford Traditional. I continued to spin my little heart out. But I was pretty much self-taught and only knew how to produce a rather tightly-spun worsted yarn. And as time passed, the spinning (and weaving; I wasn't knitting then) lapsed.

Over the last couple of years, I've been eyeing Judith MacKenzie-McCuin's class at MDSW, but it always seemed to fall at a bad time. So this year, I jumped at the chance to take the workshop (even though it wasn't Judith's class). It was touch and go for a while because they had too many registrants for the class. But I got in and I'm so excited! I'm hoping to take my spinning to new

A couple of days after Maggie's class, I'll be driving down to North Carolina to spend a week at the beach with Tom's sister-in-law. That little trip will be pure bliss...beach, knitting, spinning, eating, talking. Right after I get back, Tom will run the Massanutten Mountain Trail Run, which is 100 miles of rocky, steep, gnarly trail. I had better be well-rested because I'll be pulling an all-nighter plus to support him during the run.

And if that wasn't enough, right after Memorial Day I'm driving up to New Hampshire to attend the Squam Art Workhops. Two classes by Cat Bordhi should pretty much do me in. In July, we've got a week at the beach with Tom's family. In August we're headed to Seattle for Tom to run another 100-mile race. And then in October we're at the beach again for my nephew's wedding. Whew! It will be busy but so much fun! And best of all, I won't be working.

I'll try to post again this weekend. I've got a couple of knitting projects that are getting started. I'm almost finished with the obligatory swatches (and amazingly enough, seem to have gotten gauge) and hopefully will be able to cast on this weekend.

Hey, I get a weekend...what a novel idea!

Happy knitting!