Sunday, July 22, 2012

A failure to Communicate

I am so bewildered by younger people and their obsession with smart phones.  They prefer to communicate by texts and email or a phone call rather than talking face to face.  I do appreciate the convenience but I do not feel I have to be available to the world 24/7.  I see people in bathroom stalls still yakking away on their phones.  That is way too intrusive for me.  What is so important that you can't end a call, do what you have to do and then call back?  From the conversations I overhear, none of them were vitally important unless spreading gossip is now vitally important.  I see more people at baseball games with their faces turned down towards their phone than out to the field.  The one that got me was the one watching the game while at the game.  Said he needed the play by play to know what was going on.  Huh? I had a case at work where the person in the next cubicle sent me an email rather than turn around and ask me the question. 

So if they would do that, why am I surprised that he wouldn't tell me that he was going back home to India for three weeks?  I guess I expect common courtesy from people. But I should know by his actions he isn't courteous.  He is rude most of the time.  I will probably have to pick up his work during his vacation because he hasn't done very much  work at all.  I also know that when I go on vacation, he will not be taking up the slack.  After all when I was sick and there was a rush project, he waited until I came back to do anything.  He said he had been working on it, but when I asked what he had started writing so I could take it out of the plan, he said he hadn't started writing.  The rush project was to write about 35 documents.  So he was working on it but hadn't written a word.  All the source documents were provided so that wasn't an issue.  Could someone explain how you could be working  on a writing project without writing something?  Perhaps he needed three days to figure that out, that there were 35 documents that needed to be written.  Personally, I think he is very lazy and incompetent.  He got a PhD from a school that needed the money, on someone else's dime and with others help, as he once admitted to me.

I did start the last sock for the Tour de Sock, the cabled brioche stitch one.  I did some of one sock but I think I am going to take it out and perhaps do one for charity later. They will be a very warm sock and thick.  I don't even know if they would fit under my hiking boots.  I need some mindless knitting, so I started a plain stockinette sweater.  I just want a little rest before I start the Ravellenic Games.  I have plans to do three shawls during the games.  Plus I do have a Kal going on with the Unique Sheep.  I've done the first two clues so far. 

The color  of the shawl will go from the darkest color, a mix of a dark blue and black through a medium blue with some green notes to a green with some blue.  The color is called Aurora Borealis and I am using a 70/30 merino silk blend.  So far it's been an easy knit, maybe about 9 hours in it so far.  The Kal is called the Spirit of Guernsey designed by Janine Le Cras. I expect the pattern will become available after the Kal, either from the Unique Sheep or Janine.  It's on a 24 inch circular right now and I think there are 3 or maybe 4 more clues.  It's a Pi shawl so, you basically double the number of stitches at each increase row.  And there's an increase row as you knit double the rows, so there's one at row 2, row 5, row 10, row 22 etc.  Elizabeth Zimmerman has several Pi shawls in her books and there are a few available on Ravelry in honor of her 100th birthday.  Janine is doing this to honor her hoe the Isle of Guernsey in the Channel Islands. 

I am going to sign off now, get knitting and preparing for the Games.  After all there is a mass cast on Friday night.  Bye. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sock Fatigue

I am suffering from Sock Fatigue.  I have one more pair in the Tour de Sock and then I am finished.  I believe the cause of it is the two Ravelry contest that I have done back to back.  I think there was perhaps two weeks between each contest for some down time knitting.  That wasn’t enough time of down time.  Another mitigating factor was the year of socks I signed up for last November that started in January.  Let’s just say, I will have knitted a minimum of 14 pairs of socks since the beginning of this year after this last one.  They were not plain Jane vanilla socks.  Oh no, these were socks with ribbles (that’s ribbed cables that are reversible), stranded colorwork, mosaic knitting. lace, beads, regular cables, cables made because of a throw of a dice, alternate construction with strips of knitting joined together with k2tog or ssk, toe, cuff down, and/or short row heels.  Thank goodness there is only one more to go that will start later today.   And it's a cabled brioche stitch sock!  Oh My! Are They Out Of Their Minds!?!?!  I think I will either take a long break from socks or drive myself crazier and start designing them.  I have seen almost every design element and construction that has ever been invented for socks in these contests during the last two years.   

I did drop out of the Tour De Fleece.  In that contest, you needed to spin and photo your spinning for each day the Tour de France competitors ride.  I started but didn’t make a week.  One reason for that is the other contest I was doing at the same time (see above).  The other reason is I’m a rank beginner spinner.  I had a half day class on spinning two years ago and then nothing.  I got carried away to try this because I found the box of hand spun I had a friend spin for me.  It is awful.  I remember the fiber I sent was nice and soft and fluffy.  I got back some hard and scratchy art yarn that was worse than my first spinning attempt.  I thought I would try to make this stuff into something usable.  I undid the one ball of this handspun so I would get to the single strand that was spun.  I then tried to re-spin it, stretching out the large lumpy almost un-spun spots to a thinner strand.  I think I only managed to over-spin the single.  It’s still hard and scratchy though.  I’m thinking about taking the other single from the ball I separated, skeining it and soaking it in Eucalan or maybe crème rinse to see if it softens.  I went into it with unusable yarn and I’m not sure I did anything to improve it.  More experiments are needed.  Perhaps I need to get all the original spin out first and then re-spin it.  Oh that will be painful.  I’m not even sure I can do that.  I don’t know if she set the spin or not.  I’m not even sure what to do to set the spin.  I need to do some research.  I do know I like spinning on the drop spindle.  I’m still a bit uncoordinated and have dropped my drop spindle but the twirling of the fibers into a strand of yarn is mesmerizing.  There is a rhythm and flow to the act.  I still have to learn how to draft the fiber better but may this is something to get my fiber fix and not knit so many socks. 

I am hoping I have not overcommitted myself for the Ravellenic games.  That’s the new name for the Ravelympics after the USOC threatened to sue Ravlery because of the misuse of their trademarked name, Olympics.  This is the same USOC  that has deals with Ralph Lauren (for clothes made in China and other sweat shops in third world countries), McDonalds (where I doubt you would see an Olympic athlete)  Coke (I doubt an Olympic athlete drinks much Coke, even Diet Coke) etc.  They are there to raise money to support the athletes but also to line their pockets, I think.  I’m sure no one working at the USOC is doing it for free.  I’m sure Mitt Romney got a nice salary from the USOC for working on the Salt Lake games in the 90’s.   Back to the subject, Gail.  I will not be making socks for any of my challenges.  No, siree-bob.   Silly me has internally committed to doing 3 shawls in the 17 (?) day the Olympics take place. 

1.       Finish the Poinsettia shawl that I ripped back due to a dropped stitch only found during blocking.

2.       Make the new Stephen West Mystery Shawl in two Wollmeise yarns colors to be determined.

3.       Make the Morgana shawl.  It only starts with like 300 stitches or something like that.

I really need to have my head examined.