Sorry I've been awol for so long. Things have been very stressful at work and I haven't felt like being in front of the computer to blog or even update Ravelry much (gasp!). I guess I'll start with a brief recap of what has been happening at work and then move on to the knitting and spinning.
I work at a public library. We have been cutting back for a long time: not filling open positions, not ordering office supplies, not ordering new books, taking one of the lightbulbs out of the staff area lights, etc. etc. In the middle of November, there was a library board meeting. We all thought that board meeting wouldn't bring anything good. That weekend, I took Friday off to visit a friend in Pittsburgh. While I was driving there, the assistant director called my cell phone (ominous, huh?) and said that I should check my work email and that there were many changes afoot but I wasn't being fired. I decided that I would have a good weekend with my friend and the only way to do that was to not check my email until Sunday evening when I got home. When I finally did check it, things were definitely disrupted.
That Friday, 8 people were laid off immediately with more layoffs in the future. Those included ALL of the part-timers by the middle of December. My library system has 5 branches, the main library, and a bookmobile. All of those places had part-timers. Main had the most. If that didn't balance the budget/lessen the deficit, 5 more people who had been hired after July 07 would be laid off, too, by the end of December. Needless to say, things are now like a tomb in the library. I also can't see how the branches can function with only 3 people at each branch.
One of the first 8 people to be laid off was my absolutely fabulous boss. I can't tell you how much I miss working for her. My other coworker in my department has been transferred out to a branch (ironically my former one) and I've been transferred into the reference department. I like the people there but I hardly get a chance to do what I love. Reader's advisory is my first love and reference definitely comes in second.
All of this made me not want to knit for a very long time. Everything made me sick at heart and so very depressed when I got home. For the first week, I didn't even do anything except discuss the situation with my parents. For the weeks after, I finally started knitting simple projects because that was all that I could concentrate on. Even though the situation still sucks, I've finally started knitting more complicated projects.
NaKniSweMo back in November went well for me. I probably could have gotten more done if the work news wasn't so devastating. I finished my feminized Cobblestone and absolutely love it. I finished it in plenty of time even without knitting for a week. Apparently I thought my arms were extremely long, though, because they ended up being 4 inches too long. I ended up snipping one stitch 4 inches up from the cuff, unraveling, and reknitting the garter stitch cuff again. I think I might need to do this on the neck opening because the opening is very wide. But I'll do that later.
I still am knitting on my Hey, Teach! in a natural O-Wool Balance. This sweater, however, has been pushed to the side thanks to Christmas knitting. I've finished the front and the back pieces and just started on the sleeves. I'm modifying mine to have 3/4 length sleeves (my favorite length) rather than having cap sleeves. My arms are always cold so cap sleeves just don't make sense for me. Hmmm, this makes me want to start working on this sweater again and get it finished.
Christmas knitting: Wow, there was a lot though there wasn't really a lot. I didn't blog about any of those projects a) because I wasn't blogging for a while and b) because some of the recipients read this blog. I'll post pictures in the next post. (I was going to be all picture efficient and have everything in one place but then I forgot the camera cable. Oops.) I really tried to stay with the homemade pledge this year. Most of the gifts were either made by me or made by someone else, not bought at big stores. I didn't finish one present for mom because the pattern for it sucks and I have to rewrite it all . She doesn't know about that one, though.
In non-Christmas knitting, I made up a cowl using some laceweight alpaca from Earthly Hues. I've been borrowing a cowl from mom for riding for the last year or so and it was more than past time for me to make one myself. This cowl is fantastically soft but I really thought I was going to scream every time I picked it up on the last 4 inches. Don't get me wrong, the pattern is well written. It was just the same thing over and over and over. I was really ready for something else by the time I was almost finished. I refused to let myself stop early because I wouldn't have been happy with the finished product.
I'm also working on a pair of plain vanilla socks in Austermann Step. The color of the yarn is Gras (grass in German). Amazingly, even though green is my favorite color, I don't have any purely green socks. This pair will fix that problem. They are my go-to simple project for when I'm not in the mood to work on any thing complicated. That means it will probably take a while to finish them because there isn't a push to finish them.
Well, that's all for right now! Hope everyone has been well.