Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ups and Downs

Here in Land of the Lost: The Polka Years, life continues with its ups and downs. 

Up: Not taking any classes this fall = saving money and more time to knit!

Up: Wrapping up work in the psychology research lab = more time to knit!

Down: No school = once again looking for a full-time job, without much success yet.  (If you happen to know of any market research firms in the San Diego area who are hiring right now, let me know, will ya?)

Up: More free time = more shifts at the yarn shop during the week. 

Up: More free time = going to the gym more.

Down: Going to the gym more = plantar fasciitis developing in both feet.

Up: Taking the (free!) sewing class this semester through the adult continuing ed program at the local community college. 

Up: Flexible schedule = tagging along with The Brain as he travels to conferences during the year.  Reno, Miami...I forget where else.  But it will be fun.  Plus, there is always more time for KNITTING!!! 

Up: Actual proof of knitting!  Here is the very end of a sample project (green) and the beginnings of a requested sweater for my brother (purple). 

Up: I am also putting together a magic loop class to teach at the yarn shop, so I'm working on writing up a simple hat pattern to use as a sample.

Up: New yarn!  Gorgeous merino/silk laceweight from The Woolen Rabbit yarn club.  I love the deep, rich blend of black and blue in the "Ink" colorway.  This is the second shipment of this new club and I have been 100% pleased so far.  I have been in a few other yarn clubs before and was supremely disappointed by them, but I love The Woolen Rabbit and the Shakespeare in Lace clubs.  I have to save up my sample knitting money to join them, but they are well worth it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

24 Hour Polka People

Yesterday was a looooong day at the shop. Saturdays are normally pretty busy, but this one was unusually so. During the past couple of weeks we have been flooded with people who need help with their projects, but yesterday we were flooded with people who wanted their yarn wound. I was cranking away at that ball winder for HOURS. People were waiting in a line three deep to have their yarn wound, rather than go home and do it themselves or bring the yarn back on a slower day. It was a little ridiculous.

I like winding yarn. Truly, I do. And I'm happy to do it for you if you come into the shop. It's part of the job but it can also be meditative and sometimes it's fun to watch the colors stream off the swift and onto the ball winder. But here's a tip from the friendly girl at your local yarn shop, who is always happy to see you (really!) and help you choose yarn or fix your project:

Please, for the love of god, when the store is packed with people and several of them are waiting to get their yarn wound, and I have just finished winding your four skeins of Malabrigo Lace, do not say: "Thanks! I have a ball winder and swift at home but it's just so much easier when someone else does it for me!"

I would rather not know. I would rather think that I just saved you hours of tangled agony as you tried to wind the yarn yourself by hand. Really and truly, keep your mouth shut. It would be a mercy.

Speaking of mercy, the asshats across the canyon have finally turned off their polka music after 17 straight hours of hell. What started as a seemingly innocent party yesterday evening morphed into an increasingly humorous few hours of drunk Mexican polka karaoke. (I kid you not. Polkaoke, anyone?) But as it stretched well into the wee hours, I was starting to get angry. Party central is two blocks over and that damn tuba could reach me through our closed windows and doors and my high-tech hot pink earplugs. I finally called the cops at 9:30 this morning. They said they had already received noise complaints about that location but no one had been able to get out there yet. Seriously? The music plays for SEVENTEEN HOURS and the cops, who are 6 blocks away, btw, cannot get over there to tell them to shut it?

I don't know what's worse: the fact that I was kept awake all night by polka music, or the fact that I have morphed into the kind of person who calls the cops at 9:30 in the morning (!!!) when the music is too loud. In my defense, I was already exhausted by winding all that yarn yesterday so the sleepless night didn't help.

Also: I'm still knitting. I'm just really bad at taking photos of it in a timely manner. Plus some of it is top-secret so I can't show you anyway. (Do I sound like a badass secret knitting agent yet?) But here are photos of some socks I completed recently:

Purple socks: Twisted Flower Socks, by Cookie A
Yarn: The Woolen Rabbit Pandora, part of the 2011 yarn club

Orange Socks: Vilai, by Cookie A
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Terracota

OK, I know it looks like I have cankles but I DO NOT. It's just the angle of the camera. Or something. Use your imagination.