So I returned from my long weekend of tracking at the Oregon Dunes (which was Awesome! stories and pictures to follow soon) to learn that I am unexpectedly unemployed.

*rant* Why is it that employees are expected to give at least 2 weeks notice, while employers think it is totally acceptable to give no notice at all? I would never think of just not showing up and leaving an employer to scramble to cover my position. Why do they think it’s okay to leave me scrambling to figure out how to pay my house payment? */rant*

So, what have I done with the last few days of unexpected free time? If I was a Very Responsible Person I would have spent that time working hard to secure meaningful employment. Those of you who know me, you know where this is going.

That’s right. I started a new knitting project. This is a top-down hat (pattern here), because I’m not sure how much yarn I have left, so I want to be able to adjust the height of the hat to accomodate that. This is the first batch of yarn that I spun myself that I’m using to knit something. It’s just a cool as I hoped it would be, and I love the feel of it. It was one of the very first things that I tried on Kathy’s spinning wheel, so it’s definitely thick/thin and has varying amounts of twist in it, but I think it’s great. I’m going to modify the pattern to incorporate a spiral pattern to match these wristwarmers that I finished on the tracking trip.

The picture doesn’t really capture the spiral pattern, and even in person it’s fairly subtle. It’s just a series of k3 p1 and the purl bump ends up off by one in each subsequent row. There’s no pattern for the gloves because I made it up. I cast on 25 stitches, decided I needed to decrease a little for the wrist, then increased again for the heel of my hand. I knit it in the round using 4 double-pointed #8 needles and for the thumbhole I just turned the work instead of going all the way around for about 8 rows or so.

If you have a ravelry account, you can see more about my Works In Progress and even see all the stuff in my yarn stash under the username deandail. If you do not have a ravelry account, you better sign up for one right away or everyone will know that you are not one of the cool kids. If you do not knit, and don’t understand why you would want a ravelry account, well then, you are definitely not one of the cool kids.

And also, while I’ve been working on knitting, and taking pictures of my stash, and browsing everyone else’s stash and blogs, I felt like I wasn’t really immersed enough in the knitting, so I have found a whole category of knitting podcasts on iTunes! For free! So far, my favorite is “Cast On” by Brenda Dayne. It’s so good, it’s even in the Philosophy category! So now I can knit and listen to other people talk about knitting AT THE SAME TIME!

But then I was feeling sort of guilty for not really Accomplishing Something Productive, and I thought “hey, making curtains is productive right? I mean they help insulate our single-pane windows and save us money, right? This would be a Productive Thing, right? Right?”

So I finished Preston’s curtains. He’s going with a tropical theme in his room. He’s planning to hang a retired surfboard and that Hawaiian shirt (on the left of the window) on one wall, and incorporate various other tropical sort of elements into his room. I saw this fabric at Goodwill for $2 and thought that it might be a little too childish, but we both love them now that they are up. When the light shines through them from the outside, the whole room turns blue and you feel like you are sitting at the bottom of the tropical lagoon. Except that you can breath.

I had also finished the curtains for my room a week or two ago and forgot to post the picture (which is crappy, but you get the idea).

Also, lest some of you worry (hi Mom!) I am also looking for a job. Basically, the last job boiled down to a major misunderstanding where when I said, “I would like to be a wilderness mentor and I’ve never worked with anyone disabled before” they heard me say, “I would like to be a companion for your developmentally disabled daughter and would like nothing better than to sit around and watch movies with her”. I never gave them my Nanny’s Manifesto because shortly after I wrote it, it became clear that it wasn’t relevant to them. They were not looking for a nanny, they were looking to buy a friend for their daughter, a role I might have been willing to play had they let me know that’s what they wanted. So whatever. Let me know if you know of any ways to make money while sitting around listening to knitting podcasts and designing curtains.