Friday, January 29, 2010

Got Singles

Two single socks equal a pair right? Too bad one fits perfectly and the other is too big since it's not for me.

Over Martin Luther King Holiday weekend I decided I was ready to cast on for another pair of socks. Ever since my sis had started Rick socks last year, I knew I wanted to make them. I couldn't wait to use the STR Rare Gems I purchased at Rhinebeck this year. I love the orange/rust tones in the yarn. Sock #1 knitted up fast and I believe took me four or five days to finish. Sock #2 is currently on the needles.

Last week I decided I wanted to knit DB a pair of socks he could wear to bed. I thought it would be nicer to have a super soft hand-knit pair on your feet than thin sweat socks at night. I went stash diving and found some yarn that has been hibernating since 2003. The yarn is Louet Sales Gems Opal - Sport Weight. I had enough yarn to do the bulk of the sock in black and chose to do the heel and toe in blue. DB tried the sock on the other night and loved it. I see a few more pairs in his future. I'll be casting on for Sock #2 today.

In other news, my sis is back to blogging! Yay!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Take Two

As you can see there has been knitting happening in my home! I currently have three projects on the needles. Two of the three are smaller projects (socks to be exact) and at this time are halfway complete. The question is whether or not I will have another FO by the end of January? If I do, that would be a record for me since in 2008 I had 3 FO's. But we shall see what the end of the month brings me. Right now I will share my update on Gretel.

I believe the last time I mentioned Gretel I was fretting about doing the crochet chains and then picking up stitches within them for the armholes. I let the sweater sit for about a week before I plunged forward with this task. One night I just said, "Oh heck with it!" and gave it a whirl. Success was had...

I am quite proud of myself. I am not quite sure what I feared about doing this, but maybe it was because I had only done picking up stitches in a crochet chain once before and it took two tries to get what I thought was right. We'll see when it comes time to unravel the chains if I did indeed do it correctly.

So now I am working on the yoke. I have about three center cable repeats completed thus far. I have read on Ravelry that some people thought the sweater was too short. I am beginning to think the same thing. I worked the body to 14 inches before I separated for the sleeves as the instructions indicated. I'm thinking I should have gone another inch or so, but again it's gonna be one of those wait and see kind of things.

All in all Gretel is knitting up quite fast. The hardest part was concentrating on my location in the chart for the body. I think if I worked on it, Gretel could be done in a week or two.

I would like to thank everyone for their sweet thoughts and hugs on the news of my not getting the job. I did have another recruiter call me this week and today I went in and met with her in regards to a permanent position working inside a law firms Word Processing Center as a WP Operator/Backup Supervisor. I've passed the agency skills test with flying colors. They are forwarding my resume to the law firm. If they want me, I will then go in and take a 4 hour Skills Test at the firm. If I pass to their standard, then I get the interview for the position.

Something the agency rep told me today was, "This firms skills test is one of the hardest in the state." Can I say that this sounds very familiar in that the last agency I went to told me that the investment banks skills test I took was , "Their excel test is one of the most difficult". I left that test with the completed excel graphs matching the originals exactly and didn't get the job. Oye. I am not going to get my hopes up and will walk into the test knowing that I will do the very best that I can. If I get it, hooray. If I don't, there will be something else for me out there.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Try Again

So guess what? I did NOT get the job.

I found out around 6pm last night. The agency called me with the bad news. We were both surprised. The quick email he received said they felt my excel skills were not where they wanted them to be (no specifics). Uhhhh can I just say that I completed all 6 graphs the way they were suppose to be, even the tricky ones where you had to do some math and add data in that they purposefully left out. I was also told that the other candidate who had stronger skills than me didn't get the job either. WTH? The agency guy told me that this company was extremely tough and has ridiculous expectations. No kidding. Oh can I also say that the person responsible for making the decision I didn't even meet. So that leaves me back to square one. Again.

On a brighter note, I do have another FO to share. That makes a total of 3 for January so far! Crazy, huh?

I finished the cowl I was making to match my Sockhead hat. I lurve it!

Pattern: Inside Out Cowl by cocoknits
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock; Colorway Terracota
Needles: 16" Circs size 6
Started: January 9, 2010
Finished: January 14, 2010

The pattern is created with a twisted knit stitch. It makes for a nice textured pattern and pulls the sock yarn a bit tighter. It fits nicely around the neck without major gaping. The finished height is about 8.25". I thinks it makes a nice little cowl out of sock yarn. Perfect for those milder cool temps.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Got A Sock Head?

I do! I do! I finished up my Sockhead hat a few days ago and even wore it out into a cold chilly night. Was it the best choice for that night? Nope. But I looked fabulous sporting this warm colored cheery hat. The colorway name of Terracota is absolutely perfect. It reminds me of places like Arizona. Much warmer places than what we are experiencing right now.

Pattern: Sockhead Hat
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock; Colorway - Terracota
Needles: Knit Picks Fixed Size 2.5
Started: January 7, 2010
Finished: February 9, 2010
Mods: You are suppose to knit 4" of ribbing and then 9" of stockinette. The completed hat would be 14". I decided I didn't want a ton of excess hat at the top of my head so I did a combined total of 9" for the ribbing and stockinette. After the completed decreases my hat measure 10". I am totally pleased with that.

There was even enough yarn left over that I am in the process of knitting a matching cowl. I love this color of yarn so much that I even want to get more of it in a heavy yarn to make a vest or something. Of course, that will wait until I have a job and have knitted more of my stash. I can't justify the purchase until some of what I already own is out of the bins and on my body.

Job Search Update. I mentioned not too long ago that I had a meeting with a temp agency about a possible long term temp position within an Investment Bank. I had met with the agency and was waiting to hear about the next step of the client wanting to meet with me. On Friday I was told they did and last night I went in to take their skills test. It was basically putting together a presentation.

I was nervous. You know when you haven't used your skills in awhile they tend to go south until called upon again. Then you are a bit rusty because the dust needs to be knocked off. The test involved some tricky excel graphing and fortunately I was able to recognize what needed to be done. The test took 3 hours and I was there from 6p to 9p. I left mentally exhausted but feeling hopeful. I should hopefully find out next week if I got the job. The agency told me the client tends to take their time. I still have unemployment money coming my way so I still have time. I also know that there is another person that is trying to get the same position. The agency told me that his skills were stronger than mine but my personality won hands down and that is something the client takes into consideration as well. So we'll see.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hansel and Gretel

The night before Rhinebeck all were a chattering! "What pattern is that?" "O look at this!" "Hey make a note of that!" There was way too much excitement happening inside that hotel room to get much sleep. Pens were flying across paper trying to make any last minute additions to possible wish list items. Alas, when I added the yarn amounts needed to my list for the Slanting Gretel Tee, I had no intention of knitting it myself. My sis had wanted the little note for herself in case she found yarn for it the next day.

Once back in NYC after the weekend festivities, sis and I were decompressing from all the adventure. I was perusing the Fall '09 Interweave Knits and kept coming back to the Tee. Much discussion followed as to whether or not this Tee would look good on me (ya know sometimes the girls just get in the way). Then I remembered I had some really good craptastic yarn that I had purchased way back in the day when I first started knitting. It's "craptastic" 'cause of the yarn content, but "good" because of the color and it would also allow me to tryout this sweater without a big $$$ investment.

So right before Christmas I casted on with my craptastic yarn. I was hesitant at first because of what everyone was saying on Ravelry about it knitting up really big. After some thought, and a good swatch session, I decided to knit two sizes smaller that I normally would and went down to size 4 needles.

As of yesterday this is where I am at. The "slanting" cables going up the front are complete. I've just started the center cable pattern now.

After reading ahead in the Slanting Gretel Tee pattern yesterday, I came to a part under the "Yoke and Sleeves" section where it says I need to create two crochet chains. As soon as my eyes saw that I let out a huge sigh. I know I can handle it, but gosh dangit, can't I get away from the crochet thingie for now?

So what did I do? I balled some luscious yarn I had treated myself to on a mini Brooklyn yarn crawl with Shameka the weekend before Christmas. It was Brooklyn General that kindly took my money in exchange for the Malabrigo Sock Yarn. Not only was I drawn to the yumminess of this yarn, but the color was calling my name very loudly. It's called Terracota. This just happened to be one of the colors I was drawn to during Rhinebeck also.

Anyway, I told Shameka that this yarn was just too nice to be going on my feet. So instead, it's going on my head. I remembered seeing a finished pic of a hat Kim posted on Flickr and thought it would be perfect. Here is the beginning of my own Sockhead hat.

Don't worry, this is just some instant gratification knitting happening here. Slanting Gretel won't be waiting long for my return.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twenty Ten

A New Year. A New Decade. I truly hope that 2010 is a good year for us all. I am certainly going to try and be positive about everything. It's been tough not having a job for the past 10 months. I've realized just how little I can survive on in the cash department. It's been hard having to say no to lots of things - and have felt a little guilt when I have said yes.

I felt a little hope going into the new year as I had an agency call me on the 28th in regards to a possible job (not permanent but long term temp). I eagerly went into the agency on the 29th. Passed all the little tests with flying colors. Was told they would pass my resume onto the client and would get back to me in regards to going in for the interview and client skills test. It's been a week. We'll see.

I did however finish knitting a pair of socks last night and it's only the 6th day of January! I guess I'm starting off my knitting really well this year. I know I didn't get as much completed last year as I had wanted (and from the looks around blog land, I think I am not alone), but am happy I finished 2009 out strong. Here's to carrying that into the new year!!!

Now my first 2010 FO:

Pattern: Froot Loop (Spring 2008 Knitty)
Yarn: Gypsy Girl Creations (1.5 skeins)
Needles: Knit Picks Circs Size 2 and 1.5
Started: June 29, 2009
Finished: January 5, 2010

As I look at the pictures of these socks I can't help but think that I have another pair of "Zebra with a bad sunburn" socks. My Saucy socks from 2008 were dubbed that by my sis. It's ok though. I still love 'em. I got this yarn from Kim after I spotted it in a picture from her "Flash My Stash" post. Did I pick the right pattern to go with this yarn? Probably not. That's ok too. I still have a 2010 FO!!!!!!

As to what I plan on knitting this year I am not 100% positive. I did go through my queue on Ravelry to see in there what I still wanted to make. I have a nice list of sweaters, hats, socks, shawls, mittens and vests. I will choose items to knit from my master list using the stash yarn I already have set aside for since I don't have extra cash right now. I might even actually already have a project going that I started in December. ;-)