Monday, June 29, 2009

part 1 of AKG KAL

I finished part 1 of the Atlanta Knitting Guild's knit-a-long last night. This isn't the best picture shot on the blocking table covered in gingham. I need to take pix with a solid background.

Now I have to find something else to knit on until the next clue comes out on Friday. I'll keep posting my progress until we finish the wrap.
I bought a couple of Herbet Niebling's lace patterns a couple of months ago and I think I'm going to try one of those using worsted weight and make a throw blanket for the bed. A couple of my friends are making the Girasole blanket. I plan on making that too someday. Thanks for the inspiration Jared (BrooklynTweed).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New FO (finished object)

I finished the Double Border scarf from Victorian Lace Today on Monday. It is about 48 inches long and 16 inches wide.

I really enjoyed this pattern and the way it is knit. You only get one border pattern chart and you alternate the pattern so when knitting an even row on one edge, you then knit an odd row on the other with a small reversible pattern in the middle. It's a little tricky getting the hang of it at first, but once you understand the way it's working it becomes very easy to follow.

I knit this using the handspun I made from the Lisa Souza roving I bought at Stitches South in April. I ended up with about 450 yards and used almost all of it on this scarf.

Next on the needles will be the knit-a-long mystery scarf designed by Deborah Fillmer aka the Nautical Knitter for the Atlanta Knitting Guild. It's totally supa-exclusive. We are so ready to get going on this!! I've done one swatch and I'm working on another with different yarn and beads. The first clue will be released this Friday. Here is the first swatch I made.

The first clue was originally slated to be released on the 19th and I was ready. I kept checking and checking and checking and I was about ready to send an email to the group asking what's going on. Then Lou told me, "Don't you remember, she moved it back a week to give everyone time to get their yarn and beads." I had read it and totally forgotten about it. I was just so pumped and ready to get started on it. Just 2 more days.

We had a birthday celebration at Knitch last Friday for our three June honorees Diana, Lou and Brett.

We had ice cream birthday cake and chocolate chip cookies to get our blood sugar going for all the great conversation and knitting. We always have a great time on Friday evenings, but it's always made better with sweets and libations! :) Here is Diana doing the honors and cutting the birthday cake. It was yummy!!

and now, a little rant...

Unfortunately, on the job front I am facing a pay reduction in the form of a one day furlough per pay period which translates to a 10% pay cut. We just got a 10% cost of living raise a couple of years ago because they were discontinuing all merit raises. Now it seems they are taking the cost of living raise back too. Of course they say it will only last as long as the economy is depressed, but I can assure you that will mean the entire 2009-10 fiscal year. At least it didn't come in the form of layoffs and we all still have a job. I was anticipating we would lose one of our part-time positions at our branch. Instead, all the part-time employees are retaining their job and all of their hours. Only the full-time employees are being furloughed. Harumpf. I know it's not the part-timers fault, but I feel like the middle man in this situation is being singled out. The management positions are paid by the State of Georgia, so of course they aren't getting furloughed either and retaining ALL of their hours. The County Commissioner doesn't want to raise property taxes in the county because it would mean a possible $150-$300 per year increase for each household in the county. Um, this is a whole he!! of a lot less of an impact as opposed to giving every full-time county employee a 10% pay cut of about 10 times that value isn't it! Why shouldn't the COUNTY RESIDENTS help to defray the COUNTY COSTS instead of just the employees!?! We are the ones providing the services to THEM! On top of that, our library positions are among the lowest paid in the Atlanta area already. They tell us that our salaries are competitive with other libraries in our area, but I have a feeling they are excluding Atlanta. Consider that our former branch manager at my library left to take a job in Atlanta, Gwinnett County (which is primarily the same job I have now) and got a $16,000 pay raise to boot. She was already making about $5,000 a year more than I was. I know I could probably get another job, but I have 15 years in on this one and I don't want to lose all that time in towards my retirement. I could take the money with me to another job, but I can't take the time and would be basically starting over. There is absolutely no value in job loyalty in this country any more.

Okay, that's my soapbox minute.

Back to the knitting... at least it helps with the anxiety. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

long overdue update post, with lots of pix

Since the last time I blogged, the beginning of May... a lot has been going on. It's been so long, I hope I still have some readers out there.

I've been really busy at work getting ready for our summer reading program for the kids. The theme this year is "Be Creative" and we've been having fun. I had a great time putting up the phrase on the wall in the children's area using whatever I could find in the library.

I used free AOL cd's that we have saved for craft projects for the "B" and post-its for the "E".
The "C" and "R" are origami that I've made over the years and foam flowers from the craft closet.

"E" and "A" are paper towel tubes and rubber bands. The "A" took the longest as there are about 400 rubber bands up there.

The "A" shot from below. I taped the rubber bands on the wall starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top.

The "T" is comprised of paper flowers we made for the spring.

the "I" is made of books cover scraps and the "V" is made from the leftover hair braid from a Rapunzel display I did.

The last "E" is made from the cores of our receipt paper and cellophane tape.

It hasn't been as busy this year which is a little disappointing. It just means less kids reading fewer books.

I started a little garden outside out apartment door. My friend Regan gave me a tomato and basil seedling which are doing great!

We even have blooms on the tomato plant already. I don't know whether I got red cherry or yellow pear tomatoes. It's going to be a surprise.

I also bought some thyme and rosemary to plant with the basil, but I ended up putting the rosemary in a separate pot since it likes sandy soil. The other pot is morning glories. We had them all down the stair railing outside a few years ago and I had saved all the seeds and kept them in the fridge in a ziplock baggie. I wasn't sure they would be viable any more, but I think every seed germinated and I still have a lot of seeds left for later. I won't know what color they will be until they start blooming since I had a mix when I originally planted them.

Now, as far as the knitting goes... I finished a shawl for my sister-in-law a couple of weeks ago. It's the Shetland Garden Shawl by Sivia Harding. (modeled here by my friend Meg)

I used Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks in the color tide pool heather. It's incredibly soft and I have a few more skeins to make something else. It was really nice to knit with.
Here's a picture I took when it was being blocked.. The color in the picture above is a better representation of the color.

I've also been working on a knitted chicken for a contest at Knitch to benefit Egleston Children's Hospital. All the chickens will be donated to the hospital for kids, but the other part of the contest ($25 gift card each month for a year ) is probably more of a selfish motivator than knitting for kids. There, I said it. Win or lose, it's a great contest for a very worthy cause and I've had a blast creating my entry.

Yes, it's Babs from Chicken Run, but I decided to change her name to protect the innocent and call her Dorothy 'Lay'more since it might get me in hot water if I used her 'real' name. I knit most of her with Shepherds Wool and then felted her. The eyes and teeth I needle felted and I also needle felted the flowers on her knitting bag. The nest is also felted, but I used Galway and it doesn't felt as well as the Shepherd's Wool. I left all the loose ends and even added some scraps of the yarn to make it look more like a nest. That's Blanche in the background supervising the photo shoot.

I've started a lace scarf using my hand spun that I made using the roving I bought at Stitches South from Lisa Souza. I haven't taken any pictures yet, but will have some when I get a little further along.

Thanks for reading.