Saturday, 23 January 2010

Missing my structure

Week 3 of unemployment drags to a close. The number of email job alerts coming through is on the increase, the market seems to be picking up after being very quiet over Christmas. I am gradually putting in place a routine for my days: spending the morning on the computer looking at job ads (and hopefully submitting applications if I see something), errands at lunchtime, crafts in the afternoon. But some days I have really felt at a loose end, like I am in limbo, which makes me feel unsettled and a bit stressed. I am definitely missing the structure of going out to work.

And that makes me feel quite cross because I am sure there must have been a zillion occasions when I was working, and wished that I could be at home with more time to do things. Now, even when I am doing crafts, I am finding it hard to relax because I feel guilty that I am not at work, or not trying harder to find a job.

Despite the self-inflicted guilt trips, I am progressing various crafts.

The lighthouse socks are coming on much better now after the arrival of my reference book: "Intarsia: a workshop for hand and machine knitting", by Sherry Stuever and Keely Stuever (ISBN 0-9749475-0-4). This little booklet is a comprehensive reference to intarsia, starting with the interlock between two colours, how to treat the interlock in a variety of situations (left leaning, right leaning etc.), how to start and finish ends of yarn, how to achieve even tension, how to weave in ends etc. It isn't always the easiest book to understand, I've had to read some explanations several times before I can see what they are getting at. I found this book recommended on Ravelry and it is really helping me with the socks.

I've started a sleeveless slipover vest in Freedom Spirit 100% wool yarn, using a pattern from a Freedom booklet. Although so far I've been ignoring the pattern because the clinging band of ribbing wasn't going to do my pear shaped figure any favours. Instead I have started with a loose rib from a Harmony Guide, and am knitting in the round rather than in two pieces.

I have finished one fingerless glove and have started casting on for the second one. I finished the first one at an enjoyable meeting of my local knitting group this week. We meet in a pub so there is always the risk of drunken knitting. So far I've been ok.

I spent part of the week sewing the next two blocks for my Saturday group BOM: a butterfly and some waterlilies. I don't seem to have taken a picture of them - probably because I was so shell shocked after about 15 false starts on the water lilies. Ever have one of those evenings where you seem to have completely lost the ability to piece two fabrics together in the right order, much less get the right colours on the right area of a foundation pattern? Instead of giving up, I stupidly persevered, and probably wasted about a quarter yard of two different fabrics just to finish up with one 8-inch block which isn't even that well done. Luckily I just held the sample up at a distance and none of the group members got closer than five feet so they didn't notice.

We had our quilt group meeting today. The heating was broken in the church hall where we meet so it was pretty cold. I'd warned everyone so we all came bundled up with legwarmers and thick sweaters, but it was still a bit fierce. We must be truly dedicated. I did a lot of sewing while wearing my knitted wrist-warmers, my Poems hat, a scarf and a fleecy blanket wrapped around my legs. I had brought along a Makower panel of Goldlilocks and the Three Bears, and made that up. It was so cute: there is a little stuffed cottage which has pockets for the four dolls of bears and a little girl, and a little rag book telling the story which fits into another pocket. It was really nice to just make something for fun, not for a deadline or a xmas present or to stashbust. After I photographed it,
I gave it to one of the members for her

one-year-old granddaughter - she was thrilled (the member, not the granddaughter, although I expect the granddaughter will like it as well).


Liz said...

That's such a sweet little quilted house! Sometimes the traditional toys are so lovely; my nephew got a Noah's Ark for Christmas and plays with it all the time...

Quilter Kathy said...

Hope you get some good news soon. Until then, enjoy your crafting!

Daisy said...

I've noticed a massive increase in the number of jobs advertised in the stuff I get (OK, I know you don't want to be a librarian or a vicar!) so it does look like there's more vacancies out there now.

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