Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

New Blog Home:



Come over and let me know what you think.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Changes Keep On Coming...


I'm in the process of improving my tablet weaving skills. And having a grand old time doing it. So far everyone who has seen my first leash have been very complimentary towards it. Unfortunately, leash number two turned out to be a learning lesson. I love the saying I chose, but the initial lettering turned out to be too elaborate (in my opinion) to read. And I also learned that there are no short cuts with tablet weaving. It is essential to chart out your lettering before you begin. I should have known better, but I was in too be a rush to get started. Live and Learn!

I'm also seriously considering moving my blog. For quite a while I have not been happy with how Blogger uploads pictures. And with all the things I hope to be sharing soon, I need a much easier way to share my pics.

When and if I do move, I'll make sure to let you all know.

That's it for now. I'm dying to get back to my loom.

I hope to have pictures of leash #2 to share tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

YOU'D THINK I'D BLOG MORE...


since I am currently unemployed.  But I guess that's not going to be the case.


My parents are in town for a visit for twelve days.  On my dad's birthday we went over to my grand dad's house.  It still amazes me how great he looks, and how energetic he is!  Can't you tell we're related?  


I also finished Harley's first leash.  And it looks great, if I do say so myself!  I'm so proud of it.  Now all I need is the hardware to finish it.
   


A week ago we had a sleepover at a friends, and it was so much fun.  As always is the case when I'm with my friends I got almost nothing done.  But who cares when you're hanging with the girls, right?


For some reason, Harley has started playing hide-n-seek a lot!  I couldn't resist taking this picture to share.  He is just so cute!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WTF happened to June?


I woke up this morning, logged onto my computer, and realized June is almost over.  WTF!  It seems like just yesterday I had a job, and was looking forward to a nice summer.  Now here I am, over one month unemployed.  Not sure what my future will hold.  And not even able to wrap my head around most decisions that I need to make.  I'll get there, hopefully by August.


I've made major progress on the latest "Card/Tablet Woven Band" I was working on.  I'm really proud of my advances.  I've finally figured out the "two pack turning method".  And it's much easier than the way I was doing it before.  I'm hoping to be ready to make an actual leash by the weekend.  I won't to practice/test a few more patterns I found on the net, and I also need to test several alphabets to find one I like.

I wanted to make a short video of myself weaving, but unfortunately I have yet to figure out where to potion the camera so I don't block the view of the process.  I'll keep working at it and I'll post it when I'm done.


The 4th of July is coming up and I have no plans.  I know my aunt will call and invite me over, she always does (and I love her for it).  But I think I'm going to stay home and chill with my little Harley.

Speaking of Harley, I shouldn't really call him little.  Our lack of  exercise over the winter is showing in his fat body.  It's so funny to know that he was the runt of his littler, and now he's the largest of all his brothers and sister.  No matter to me though!  He'll always be my little man.

Have a great safe holiday!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I WENT TO THE ZOO...


and all I can say is, "I had a great time!!!"

My good friend S. got tickets for us through her work union, and we were grateful. 
   (A., her daughter E. and our friend S.)

I hadn't been to the zoo in almost 10 years, so I was definitely looking forward to seeing the changes that had been made since the last time I was there.

I didn't get as many pics as I would have liked, but here are some of my favorites.

    

I think my favorite part of the outing was seeing a polar bear walking over the under water tunnel while we were in it.  It was so cool!  The butterfly house and bird sanctuary housed some gorgeous colorful animals.  And the some of the animals were much more active than I would have thought they would have been.  It was one of the hottest days we've had so far this year. So needless to say, we got in early, enjoyed as much as we could, and left before it got too crowded.  It was a great outing!  Thanks "S." for inviting me!


I haven't been doing anything very productive lately.  I guess I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am un-employed.  I am in the process of trying to narrow down what type of computer classes I want to take.  And decide what school I want to go to.  It has not been easy being un-employed, but thanks to the love and support from my family and friends it hasn't been as hard as it could have been.


I've been practicing my tablet band weaving quite a bit, but I still have yet to feel successful at it.  I'll keep working on it until I figure it out.  And I'll keep you posted.

S.

Monday, June 15, 2009

THOUGHT I'D SHARE...

Story on American Axle.

Check out the video in the upper left corner.  It's funny but sad.
LONG TIME TO SEE...



Seeing as I haven't updated this blog in almost two months, I'm not sure if anyone is still reading it.  Either way I figured it's time to update it, and explain my absence.

I'll start by saying that as of June 1st I am officially unemployed.  I won't go into any of the boring and depressing details.  I'll just say that at the age of 40, I'm preparing to start my life all over again from scratch.  Thank god for all my wonderful friends who have helped me deal with this, and also my fabulous family who have always been in my corner (no matter how much of an ASSHAT I may be or have been!)

Thanks to you all!!!


Now onto the much more fun things that have been going on the last few months.

I finally broke down and started weaving.  Weaving is something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember.  But never thought I could afford it.  So to my surprise, while on a fiber shopping trip to The Spinning Loft with my good friend Amy.  I talked myself, with Amy's help, into purchasing a Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom.  And boy am I glad I did.

My first few attempts were less than passable.  So I won't even bother to share them here.  But after a little bit more research, and several conversations with the fabulous weavers on "Ravelry", here is my first successfully woven scarf.

   This was an excellent learning experience for me.  One of the most important things I learned is;  never try to weave with SWS wool yarn, at least not until you are a more proficient weaver.  The yarn was way too sticky, and that made it very difficult to get and maintain a cleared shed.

My next two woven projects were inspired by the wonderful works of several weavers in the Rigid Heddle group on Ravelry.  
    I did two of these scarfs, one in black and gray (pictured here), and one in blue and white.  I don't have any pictures of the blue and white one at the moment.  I'm also proud to say that this scarf led to a friends obsession with rigid heddle weaving.  And within a week or so she had her own loom and has become an excellent weaver.  I love being an inspiration to my friends.

While doing research on rigid heddle weaving I came across this YouTube video: Dream Ribbon
Thanks "WormSpit" for the inspiration.  Go and check out his work.  (He is a fabulous weaver who produces gorgeous silk bands from raising the silk worms, to processing and dyeing the silk, to weaving the bands.)  

After his and the few other videos I found, let's just say a new obsession began!  I said; "I'm going to learn card/tablet weaving!"  And I did.

I started out with basics:  C-Clamps and an unused shelf as a board.

But quickly moved onto wanting to make my own copper loom.  Which I did.

From that I was able to move onto my true reason for the obsession.  I wanted to make Harley a personalized dog collar and leash.  So I started practicing, and this was the result of my first practice band.
  
  You may notice that a couple of the letters are duplicated.  Don't be fooled by that.  I do know my alphabet, sometimes.  lol   I just wanted to keep making the letters until I was satisfied with them.  And I'm still not totally satisfied with how wide the "W" and "Y" come out.  But I'll keep trying.

And here is a cute picture of Harley checking the band out while I was trying to take pictures.  (Don't you just love that little knuckle head.  I surely do!)

I quickly realized that the copper loom would not allow me to make bands long enough for a dog leash, so on a trip out to Herritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion, (thanks Joan and Becca and all the other lovely ladies who made me feel so welcome), I purchased an Inkle Loom and started practicing.  And I'm loving how it's working.
    

Who knows, maybe making bands will be a way to supplement my income in the near future. Stranger things have happened.


Now that I have updated you on what I've been up to, I'm off to get some things done.  Or at least try to.

I'll try to update more regularly to let anyone who's interested know what I'm up to.

Bye for now!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

PROBABLY NOT THE BEST IDEA...


to blog right now.  But I'm going to do it anyway.

Life has been slowly but surely beating me down the last few months.  And though I've tried to put on a happy face and deal with it, I've reached the point where I need to break down so I can try to let it all go.

(forewarning:  this is going to be an extreme pity post.  stop reading now if you don't want to hear it.  I completely understand!)

A very good friend is in the midst of a health crisis.  And I've been thinking about her a lot lately.  I hope to be able to be there for her in any and every way I possibly can.

I have also been sick more than I have been well this year.  I've had cold, after cold, after cold.  Some were worse than others.  Several episodes laid me out completely for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, more often than not, I had to suffer through these colds at work because I couldn't afford not to go to work and risk loosing my job.  As has been the case with a lot of people I work with, which is probably why I kept getting sick in the first place.

Speaking of work:  the news there has gone from bad to worse really fast.  We started the year with my job being downsized and I got bumped to a new position.  I was glad to be able to stay on day shift, but had a really hard time getting used to doing a more physical job.  I did pretty good at getting used to it, and was even beginning to enjoy it, then BAM!  The announcement that our whole plant is being shut down permanently, and our jobs are being shipped to Mexico and the companies other plant here in MI.

The really confusing, sucky thing about this to me is, my new job had been created to supplement the fact that our Mexico facility couldn't keep up with their production requirements.  I wish someone could explain that mentality to me.  If they couldn't keep up with the partial workload they had, why would you give them all the work.  I'll tell you why, at least in my opinion, because you could pay them (Mexican work force) a third of what you pay us.  Money is always the bottom line isn't it!

For years we produced and recorded record profits for our company, but that wasn't enough.  They (company executives) wanted more, under the guise of what was constantly called being competitive in the "Global Market".  So a year ago we went on strike for 89 days to try to maintain some form of fair wage and got shafted.  Not only by our company, but also by our union representatives.  And now they are doing it to us one last time.  Our company has been fighting to re-open the contract they agreed to last year to get more concessions from us.  And without the workers ever being able to speak on the issue, our union representatives decided to fight to the death.  And the announcement of that death came two days ago.  It is over and we are done!  As of May 8th over 500 more workers will be out of work.  Needless to say we lost everything!

I am much more fortunate than most of the people I work with.  As a single woman with no children, my survival will be easier than most.  It's going to be hard, but not impossible.  This companies shifting it's business to Mexico is a major loss for the workers here, for the city the plant was located in (especially the businesses that relied on us as their customer base), for the state that already has documented the highest rate of un-employment in the US, and for the country as a whole.

I would never have thought that after fourteen years I would be over forty and out of work.  But here I am.  Some people think things may still change, but I'm not holding out any false hope.  This has been our CEO's agenda for quite some time, and I don't think he is going to change it now that it's actually become a probability.

Since I'm sure I have bored/ranted/and whined long enough for most of you to tolerate.  I'm going to shut up now, take some meds for my pounding headache, and go back to bed.

Pray for the future of us all!  We are all going to need it!


Monday, April 27, 2009

The Leyburn #1 is finally done. Here it is on the sock blocker my good friend Sara had mad for me. Yes that is Harley painted on it.

My friends ROCK!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

FO'S AND FIBER AND YARN ACQUISITIONS



Since the last time I posted there has been loads of knitting and stash acquisition.

I'll start with a book purchase.
  This book has some of the most gorgeous double knit coats I have ever seen.  I will probably never make one, but I had to have this book.



Because of the economy, I decided to cancel all of my sock club memberships.  These are the last three I will be receiving.  Yarn Pirate, Plucky Classics, and Three Irish Girls Knits.

Then there has been major fiber purchases.  I shouldn't have purchased, but I couldn't resist.
(click on the image to see details)

Friday, February 27, 2009

NON KNITTING POST



We finally got confirmation yesterday, I am laid off for two weeks.  I know I shouldn't be happy about this fact, with the state of the economy and my industry especially, but I am glad.  The stress level has been almost unbearable, and the break will do me good.  I hope.

This lay-off also means another really important thing to me.  More knitting time with my friends.  When my schedule was changed to 10hrs/4days I had a really hard time finding the time and energy to get together with my friends.  So I've got loads of catching up to do.

I was also told that the changes they were going to be making will start when we get back.  I had been really worried about that too.  I was afraid I was going to be bumped out of my current group and/or shift.  Both would not have been good things.  Luckily, not only do I get to stay on my shift, but I also get to stay in my group.  Unfortunately not on my job, but I'll still be with the people I have been working with for over 10 years.  The one down side was my best work friend did get bumped to second shift.  And I will miss her terribly.

All this being said, I'm doing my best to stay positive about everything that is happening or will happen in the future.  I keep telling myself, "AT LEAST I STILL HAVE A JOB!!!"  No matter how much it drives me crazy most of the time.

There will hopefully be loads of posts during the next two weeks.  So bye for now...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

IT'S FINALLY DONE...


When I first decided to make a Baby Surprise Jacket, thanks to the inspiration of a knitting friend.  I had no idea it would take three attempts before I finally completed one.  Or that it would end up being larger than I anticipated.  Even though I think that's going to be a good thing.

Here she is, BSJ #2!  I only hope my co-worker, whose daughter I made it for, likes it.

    


Sorry the pictures aren't better.  It's definitely time for a new camera.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

PRODUCTIVE WEEKEND...


I'll start off this post sharing a couple of pictures from our annual "Knitting Bowl"!  We had a great time as always.  And luckily Frottez's husband "J" made us a great brownie for our event.  If you're reading this J., sorry it took me so long to post about it.  He actually made one to represent each team and we got this one!


Our great friend, and first time "Knitting Bowl" knitter, Sara, made this great vegan cake.  And all I can say is it was excellent.  And I raved about it all week.


Here are the early bird's, minus me (I'm taking the picture).  Tina, Amy, Sara and our wonderful hostess Angela.


I spent this weekend photographing and posting the pics of my sock yarn stash.  Which is ridiculously large by the way.  And took two days to do.  Saturday's post and Sunday's post.

After some searching for a new project I decided to knit "The Baby Surprise Jacket".  There were a couple of false starts, but after a Friday afternoon SnB with Sara, and her expert advice on the project, I finally got it up and going.



Here's Harley sitting on it as I was trying to photograph it.  At this point I had finally gotten to the increase rows.  Which I thought I'd never get to.

I can't wait to see how this is going to turn out.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.