Friday, February 24, 2012

Lucky Me!


Look what Lunaticraft (link to the right) sent me!!! I can't believe how sweet she is. She had 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon Sock in her stash and mailed them to me after reading about my hexagon blanket and how I wasn't sure how to handle it since this yarn is discontinued in the US and we are on such a tight budget that I can't really afford to shop for it from Rav destashes. I am so touched by her act of kindness. I am about to start crocheting now...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tulips


I ended up frogging the Mist Stole nursing cover. I just wasn't in love with it. I have started over using my go-to crochet scarf pattern, Tulips scarf. I made 3 of these for the neighbor girls a few years ago and one for myself in handspun last year. I am using the same yarn, Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Kindling, so made it 4 times wider than the pattern calls for. I am doing my usual mod of adding a row of dc, followed by a row of sc, between rows 1 and 2, every other repeat. I like this so much more and it won't require blocking at all. I hope to have enough yarn to add a dc border to the whole thing to make the edges nice and pretty.

It was Charlie's 23rd birthday yesterday and we didn't do much for it. I wanted to go do something, but he chose to stay home and play Fallen Earth instead. We did go out with family for dinner and that was fun. Tomorrow we are going to a gun show and then to Ikea with his stepmom to get the baby crib! I'm very excited to have the crib up and the bedding in. My mom made the cutest crib set for us and I can't wait to show it off.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yet Another


I'm about through the second skein of Noro, so I started another hexagon blanket with other fingering weight scraps to get me through until I can get more of the Kureyon Sock for the first blanket. This time I'm joining as I go and I like how it's coming together. I'm using leftovers and single skeins. I was going to just do superwash, but I have a lot of non-superwash scraps I wanted to use, so this will be a handwash-only blanket.

I'm still trucking along on my other WIPs. I had project loyalty, but that's pretty much gone out the window! I am pretty good about devoting a large amount of time per project, then rotating them out, but I'm not making the huge progress on any one thing though.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crochet

 Seems I've been turning to crochet more lately. I think I just needed something quick, easy, rhythmic, and mindless to work on. I only have one active knitting project on the needles (and one hibernating) while I have 3 active crochet projects. I actually quit being a bum and found some decent light to take pictures with and these do a great job of showing of actual color.









I also took the decent lighting opportunity to take new pictures of the baby rats we have right now for my rattery website. We have 2 litters, 14 babies total, and all but 3 are spoken for. I don't make good money raising animals, but I do break even with a little left over. I just had to show off this cutie girl...


Her name is Smarty Pants and she's staying with me :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Please Pray/Wish/Send Vibes/Etc!

I called about a job tonight and it looks promising! I really don't want to get my hopes up, but this would be the perfect job for me. An organization that deals with helping people with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) is looking for a new director for their service/companion animal service. This person would work directly with injured people and service animals/groups to help in any way possible with training, matches, etc. I called about it and the man was very excited about my background with law enforcement k9 and training service dogs (I trained my father's mobility dog and have trained dogs for the deaf and general therapy dogs for nursing homes and hospitals), as well as my experience with TBI patients in the military. They have a client needing assistance with training a companion dog and I really think that I'd be able to help him out. He just needs help with housebreaking and general manners and it's to the point that he's having to consider getting rid of the dog because he just doesn't know what to do. I would love to do this and I think it would be a great match for me. The man is supposed to call me back tomorrow afternoon to set up an interview. Please think good thoughts, send prayers up, whatever you do as my family really needs this!

On to knitting...



The top picture shows color better, the bottom shows the pretty cables. The Twisted Tulip socks are coming along and, though every row has cables and I can't memorize the pattern, it's pretty quick and very rewarding. This is 1.5 repeats done so far.


My MIL is finding some yarn-related "work" for me to do at home to make a little extra money. This is 2 wire coat hangers held together and covered with acrylic yarn. It's kinda slow-going since the yarn has to be knotted the entire way around, but it's easy and rhythmic work. I've done 6 so far and have a bunch more hangers to do, so that's good. It's actually a really good idea... wire hangers can be too flimsy for heavy clothes and this makes them sturdier and non-slip. Also a way to use up some ancient acrylic stash. She is also having me wind all her yarn on my winder.


What I've done so far on the second skein of Noro. I love the colors! They change so drastically from one hexagon to the next... these were crocheted in order (the first on the bottom, the last on the top) and are so different!


My progress so far on the nursing cover (Mist Stole pattern, Knit Picks Stroll Tonals yarn). I like it well enough, but it's going to need serious blocking to look good. The colors are more subtle in real life... darn lighting and camera flash.


Finally, this is my latest belly shot, at 28 weeks. I can't believe how quickly it's going by... less than 12 weeks to go until our baby boy is due! He's moving around so much! Sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's annoying, but it's always nice to know he's ok and active. My SILs are planning my shower for April 7. That should be fun and it'll be nice getting some baby presents :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Tulips, Hexagons, and Problems


This is the start of the Twisted Tulip socks. The color is a little washed out by the flash, but is pretty close to real life.



More hexagons. I'm more than halfway through the first skein and it's surprising how quickly I'm using up this yarn. It kind of brings me to a dilemma... obviously, 2 skeins are not going to cut it for a blanket. My plan was to get more yarn slowly. However, the fact that Noro Kureyon Sock has apparently been discontinued in the US and that we have no money is kind of limiting that plan. I've found many people destashing on Rav, but the money is still an issue (most seem to be 15.00+shipping per skein). Should I set this aside after I finish my 2 skeins and wait until our situation is better for yarn purchases? Or should I just use up other fingering weight yarns to make it really scrappy? I really wanted to keep it pure Noro because I love the rustic texture and colors, but I also don't want to set this aside for 2 years and lose interest, potentially never picking it back up, ultimately wasting the Noro I have now. Would an ultra scrappy blanket look ok with these Noro hexagons mixed in? I'm sure it would look decent regardless, but I don't want to be regretful I didn't hold out either.These hexes are therapy to crochet; the perfect thing during breaks from larger more complicated knitting and I'd hate to give them up. Hmmm... maybe I can just make hexes with the scraps and decide later if they should be included in this blankie or used in another one.

On to the sad and stressful stuff...

Michigan economy sucks. I know the economy everywhere sucks, but Michigan (the Detroit metro area especially) really sucks. We've been here since September and have actively searched for jobs ever since. Charlie and I have both applied, several times, to all the different hospitals and clinics, Walmart, Home Depot, Michael's, Subway, restaurants, receptionist positions, daycares, car dealerships, Walgreens (Yes, I even went there. No, they aren't hiring), etc. EVERYWHERE we can find that's close enough to make the drive worth the pay (there were some minimum wage opportunities available, but it was an hour+ drive oneway... not worth the gas we'd spend). The results? We don't hear back at all or are told that we're over-qualified for the job or they take a look at my belly and all the interview is focused on is the pregnancy.

Ok, let's tackle the over-qualified part first. They claim that they want someone who plans on sticking around and they know that we'll leave soon because of other opportunities. Um, if I had other jobs wanting me, I wouldn't be here asking for a job! I have my bachelors and a lot of management experience in retail and pharmacy. I also have 7 years experience as a vet tech, am an EMT, in the military, and a medic. Charlie is in the military, is an LPN (nurse), a medic, and EMT, and has several years experience in IT management for a hospital, not to mention a background in other industires like food and security. I thought that these things were supposed to HELP people get jobs. All they've done is hurt us. The open positions in this area are for either the highly trained professional (doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, etc) or the general worker (experienced car mechanics, experienced maids, etc). No one wants the people with the experience and education that we have, even though we have a lot more than many.

Now for the prego part. I know that there are laws against it, but what can you do? I've been in for several interviews at different places... they call and are excited about my resume and all that, then I go in and I can literally see their face drop. Eyes are glued to the belly and the entire interview, if you can call it that, is focused on the pregnancy. When are you due? Any problems? Do you plan on breastfeeding? (Seriously, been asked that one a few times. Guess they are wanting to see how much time the baby will take from me.) Do you have a daycare lined up? Etc. Most things that are too personal to really be asking in a job interview. Don't get me wrong... I can totally see it from the employer's side; they are looking out for the best interest of their company and a pregnant new-hire is risky. I will have to take a maternity leave, which takes me from the job for at least 4-6 weeks if there's no problems. They take the risk of training someone and have them decide to be a stay-at-home mom after the baby is born. There are a lot of risks involved. However, c'mon people! I need a job. Even more desperately because I'm pregnant!  Please focus on me as an applicant and my qualifications for the job. Stop looking at me and my unborn child like we're liabilities.

We're still trying and looking for work, but it's getting very depressing. We're behind on bills and have relied heavily this past month on Charlie's mom and stepdad. It's really stressful and hard knowing deadlines are coming up and we just can't make it without help. We've already cut back on luxuries like eating out, going places (no unnecessary driving/spending at all), we cut off the cable tv and netflix, cancelled game subscriptions, etc. I placed some stash for sale/trade on Ravelry today. It breaks my heart to do it as it's really my main entertainment right now, but you gotta do what you gotta do I guess. I keep eyeing my spinning wheel but Charlie is absolutely against selling it, so much so that if I did we'd have a huge fight for sure.

Ok, enough of my pity party and cry session. I know this is all very depressing and slightly personal stuff to talk about, but this is my little space online and I just needed to vent.