It has been a while, I know. Since last writing (blogging?) many things have been afoot, including starting my new job. I have been there now for 5 weeks, and absolutely loving it. I knew when I applied for the position that there was absolutely no question that I desperately wanted it. The last 5 weeks have flown by, and I am starting to hit my stride in terms of what I have to do in the job. It is a huge workload (for some reason, I almost always get jobs where there is a huge workload - there has only ever been one exception to this), but it is immensely enjoyable. My manager is an absolute delight to work with and, as always happens when I get along well with a manager, I can anticipate her needs, so often when she asks for something, I already have it in hand (I should mention that there are a lot of other things piling up, but when I am in a job that is a good fit, I usually find that synchronicity comes into play. Rather than going around chasing things and wasting my time, the solution/right piece of paper/phone call finds its way to me - I love it when this happens!). The department where I work is also one of my all time favourite subject areas, so it is also interesting. And even though it is big department, everyone is being really great (I actually knew about two thirds of the permanent staff before I started, so I knew how great they all were - some of them are also on my list of all time favourite people). So, as you have probably guessed, this whole 'new job' thing is working out just fine. As for my old job, ran into my previous manager the other week, and she totally blanked me twice (like, whatever!). And I have since found out that there will be redundancies, so I got out just in time.
Other stuff I have been doing is knitting furiously. I have about 13 or so projects on the go now, having just started knitting the Lilac Leaf shawl from 'Knitted Lace of Estonia'. I have only done about 50 rows so far, so I am still on the edging, and I have substituted a different motif for the second border, but otherwise it is going well (it has taken a while to get a motif I like that works - I went through about a dozen different ones, including starting to actually knit a couple of them before deciding they didn't work as well as I would have liked. The one I am doing now is not perfect, as it doesn't line up exactly with the first border, but I am probably going to be the only person who notices this, and sometimes too much symmetry can make it look too stiff). The yarn I am using is from The Gossamer Web on Etsy - it is Phoenix in the Peacock colourway, and it is seriously beautiful - not only to look at but to knit with. It is not my first gossamer weight that I have knit with (I am also working on the Unst stole from Heirloom Knitting in CashSilk), but as much as I like CashSilk, Phoenix is simply divine (and very forgiving. Some of this has been knitted and tinked 3 or 4 times, and you simply can't tell! And it is about 1000% times easier to tink - with CashSilk I have to use a pin, whereas with the Phoenix I can use the 2.50mm Symfonie (KnitPro) without almost no recourse to the crochet hook). I am also putting beads on this. By one of those happy accidents, I ordered a bunch of 11/0 Miyuki beads over the net, and when they arrived, one tube was a bright cerulean blue (totally not my colour - on the web they looked green - with an aurora borealis finish, to which I am hopelessly addicted). As it turns out, of all the beads I have, they work perfectly with the Peacock, even though they are blue and it is a green-blue. Weather permitting, I will eventually get photos up, but at the moment have to confess to preferring to knit over writing about knitting or taking photos
Part II (about one week later)
Well, the weather once again this Sunday is overcast, so no photos of new yarns. I did, through the week however, take some photos of the first edging and border of the Lilac Leaf stole (aka and heretofor thereafter to be referred to as Phoenix Rose). The photos are pretty terrible, but you can get an idea. I have started the leaf bit, and have done one pattern repeat.
It has also inspired me to pick up the Unst Stole again. Now that I have more familiarity with working with gossamer weight, Cashsilk is not so painful (tempted to say difficult, but that would be asking for trouble...) and am whipping along at the rate of knots (for me that is, probably excrutiatingly slow for others) (When I picked it up yesterday I had done 4 rows of the first pattern repeat of the centre - out of 380 rows, so about 1%. I am now up to row 16, which is 3.9%). It is starting to look like lace knitting. I also have the added incentive of the patterns for the Princess Shawl and the Queen Ring Shawl (both from Heirloom Knitting) sitting within my grasp just waiting... Not to mention the Queen Susan, which I hope to start next (but which I refuse to start until I finish something - I have so many things on the go), but also hope to knit in Phoenix, and it will take a while before I can afford it, as I have car rego due shortly.
I have also recently purchased two spindles, a top and a bottom, with a view to learning how to spin. I have a fantastic pattern from Vogue Knitting (Fall 2008, I think) for a cable cardigan, which woud be the perfect project to do with handspun. I have had a couple of goes myself, with the aid of youtube instruction, and sucked, so plan to go along to a session next weekend at the local spinners guild to learn properly (and suck in public). Eventually I hope to be able to spin fibre for lace knitting (a la missalicefaye) but am not sufficiently optimistic this will be any time soon...
(with apologies for all the long breaks between paras - blogger seems to have a bit of a mind of its own when it comes to formatting...)