Friday, 31 July 2009
It's official: redundant in five months
I've just been watching the first episode of the new online quilting tv show: "Quilt Out Loud" with Jody Davis and Mark Lipinski, available on QNNTV.com (paid subscription). I had let my subscription lapse last year because there didn't seem to be many new videos, and I didn't like their little player and the way they broke the shows up into segments. I know you can make the player full screen, but then you seem to lose resolution. And the segment thing is just irritating because they don't automatically provide a link to the next segment, you have to go back to the episode list and find the next segment. But I was interested when I read that they were producing this new program, I've enjoyed 'Quilter's Home magazine' by Mark Lipinski. We have no quilting tv here in the UK (no craft tv at all, unbelievably, Americans are so lucky with all their quilting, sewing, knitting etc. programmes). Anyway, I enjoyed the first episode, it had a lot of energy, lots of different topics, and they get out and about so it isn't just people sitting on a sofa. And no live audience which is wonderful. A minor irritation is that several times there were several people talking at once so I couldn't hear any of them, but you did feel like you were sitting in on a bunch of good friends having an energetic chat. I'll be interested to see future episodes.
I received my formal notice of redundancy at work, so the clock is now ticking on my final five months. If no job comes up internally, then I will be out the door on 31 December. There aren't any jobs being advertised internally as my company is undergoing a lot of restructuring and I think quite a few people will be following me out the door before long. On Wednesday I was finally given the details of my severance package, which was a gobsmackingly large number that has certainly gone a long way to reconciling my husband to the whole idea. I am impressed but also keeping in mind that the package is compensation for the almost certain 50% salary cut I will take when I have to move outside (I work for a big company with artificially inflated salaries). So it sounds like a lot of money but in the long term we will be worse off financially. I will also receive outplacement support, and my first appointment for that is next week. I think I need to take some interview skills training, I completely suck at the new way of interviewing here in the UK, which is all behavioural questions like: "Tell us about a time when you resolved a conflict with a line manager", or "Tell us about a time when you had to overcome blockages to meet a tight deadline". I just don't think like that, and I don't keep a mental log of the times I have overcome stuff, I just overcome it and get on with things. What happened to the good old days when it was enough to be doing a good job....
Anyway, enough moaning. What have I been up to this week?
Progress continues on my Noro Matsuri cardigan. I finished the moss stitch lower band, and am now knitting up the body, keeping a moss stitch band at either edge of the fronts. I cast on enough stitches for the large size and am now decreasing on alternate right side rounds to take it down to the medium size (I am pear-shaped) by the time it hits my waist. Hopefully that is going to make a good fit. I love the colours in this yarn, and the Russian Join works really well for joining in the new ball. I did find several knots in the first few balls, which is a bit annoying, but I just cut them all out and Russian Joined the splice.
I am knitting the toe on my Scandinavian pattern sock from "Little Box of Sock Patterns". This is going to be a really warm sock because the stranding makes a double layer of yarn.
I finished stitching down the binding on my vintage Crossed Canoes top, so this is finally done. It only took me eight years... It actually hangs quite flat, which is something of a triumph considering what I started with. I put a label on the back with the details of the auction in Paducah where I bought it (donated by Bettina Havig).
I machine knit the front of the Kauni v-neck sweater. Although I made a point of starting the front with the same two colours that I started the back with, they weren't in exactly the same point of their run so the front has come out somewhat different from the back. But not so different that they are going to look odd, I don't think. Due to the colour runs in this yarn, I couldn't break and do the two sides of the v-neck separately, so I just took needles out of work and let the strands run across as I decreased. I will use cut-and-sew techniques to finish off the ends. DH still really likes it. I just hope it is going to fit him. I'm still following the instructions for a woman's medium, it is only the tension that is making it come out in his size.
No photo on this one because it doesn't look like anything yet, but I finally got started on the next block in my 25-block applique quilt which I have been slowly producing over the last three years or so using patterns from 'Grandmother's last quilt' and the 'Rose Sampler' book. The next block is block 6 from the Rose Sampler book, a Rose of Sharon variation. I procrastinate about applique because I find preparing the templates, block, stems etc. takes almost longer than the actual stitching. This will be my 14th block so I am finally past the halfway mark, but it is still going to be a long time before this is on the bed.
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