So the other shoe dropped. The layoff is official. You can read all about it here. Husbeast been been laid off from his latest game design job along with six hundred and ninety-nine people. For those of you keeping track that is layoff number four due to project cancellation and corporate reshuffling since 2012. It was hard for me to even remember when the first layoff was because there have been so many of them.
That's four times my family has had health insurance gaps. It's four times that my husband has not had any shipped titles to his name. It's four times that we've had to worry about money. We've gone from beginning to buy a house to moving in with my mother in law. I bet I'm starting to sound like a skipping cd track, but when this happens to you four times you become a little disenchanted with the state of the game industry.
For now we're lucky. Due to the size of the layoff the company is required to provide paid notice and a severance, which is better than the two weeks of severance given to us by another company. We're lucky because there are already other options on the horizon. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
I'm knitting my husband a pair of socks to make him feel better:
For a knitter, knitting a pair of socks can soothe just about any wrong. It's the chicken soup of knitting.
Last week I forgot to include my list of projects. Let's take a look and see what that looks like:
Mitered Block Blanket (100% done.)
Hannah Hat #2 100% done
Christmas Socks #2 (100% done)
Pepperberry Knits Hat (100% done)
Holden Shawlette (100% done)
Christmas Socks #1 (100% done)
What's new with your knitting?
It's Yarn Along again. Time to see what knitters are knitting and reading all around the interwebs. It's a great way to find new knitting blogs and get people to find yours too!! Click here to read all of our old yarn along posts. We've been doing this a while and you can see our progress on our knitting for almost the past year!
It's been a long time since I did Yarn Along. Early November was my last Yarn Along post. It's a measure of just how crazy my life has been the last few months that I haven't been able to join with Ginny regularly for so long. That said, it's also a mark of how my life is returning to a bit of normality that I can sit down and join in for this week.
This week I'm reading Creative Confidence by the Kelley brothers. These guys are masters at innovating and in this book they show you how to tap into your own creative potential. They believe that everyone is creative and that all we need to do is free ourselves from whatever keeps us from having creative confidence. I've been suffering a bit of a crisis of confidence lately. You can get rusty when you stop writing regularly even if just for a few weeks. It was difficult to get my writing routine back into working order, but I'm back.
It's nice to be knitting too. I'm still working on the Dahlia Cardigan.
I think you can tell that I feel so much more at home in our new place than I did before. There's no landlord hovering over us, no bizarre layout to fight with to do laundry or cook food, no more boxes to move, junk to clean up.
In case you're wondering living with my mother in law has been a delight. Everyone is much happier, though my oldest occasionally expresses that he misses his own home, but I think that's because now he has an extra parent to make sure he behaves.
We are home.
Just before the moving craziness began back in December I got a lovely email from someone associated with Eucalan. They wanted to know whether I'd like to sample some of their wool wash and write about it. I've used Eucalan before and I was totally intrigued by their new product offerings. I always adored their Eucalyptus scented wool wash, but was happy to discover new scents added to their product line. It also just so happened that I didn't have any wool wash and two pairs of socks to block. They sent me a sampler of their little Eucalan minis, including their lavender, jasmine wrapture, eucalyptus, grapefruit and natural scents.
I'm very happy that Eucalan sent me this set because wait for it... my local yarn shop does not carry wool wash. Let me tell you a little more about that.
A few years ago I finished a sweater and I had run out of wool wash. I love wool wash. It's like a special treatment for my finished objects to thank them for all of their hard work. I did what any good knitter would do, I went to my local yarn shop, and I asked whether they carried any wool wash and I got a very stern bark back from the LYS owner, as if just asking the question created offense:
"We don't carry any. It's just dish soap."
It's one thing if you don't carry it, but you don't have to be RUDE about it, as if my desire for a washing product especially designed for my hand knits is some consumerist indulgence. The interchange colored my opinion of this yarn shop. After all, here I was looking for a product that most yarn shops should carry, willing to pay the money for some and all I get is negativity and a bad attitude. I'll tell you I have not spent nearly as much money as I could have in that yarn shop. It was extra disappointing that it was walking distance away from my house.
Here's the thing. Eucalan in particular contains lanolin, which impregnates every animal based fiber, the eucalyptus and lavender scents deter moths and can be used to clean all of your other clothes in the laundry (even front-loading washing machines). Unfortunately I was too flabbergasted to even respond with anything beyond an openly disenchanted "Thanks" before walking out the door. Luckily for me a friend of mine had a bunch of Eucalan and decanted enough to wash a single project into a little bottle. I've been enchanted ever since.
Of course I was excited to try the new Eucalan scents. Grapefruit has been a favorite scent of mine since the dear dim days of middle school stalking the Body Shop catalog for grapefruit scented body wash, which was like one step away from strawberry shortcake bubble bath so of course I picked that scent to block my holiday socks.
These are the socks I knit for some friends last year. They were finished and needed a bath :)
Here I'm getting the bath ready. One of these packets is enough for two pairs of socks. I had a little extra left, which I would have liked to have save, but eh that's ok. It means that one block a sweater with one of these.
Here are the socks in their bath. Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles.
I was pretty happy with the finished results, unfortunately it being Christmas and these being last minute holiday gifts I forgot to take a picture of them when they were dry. As soon as they finished drying these puppies were wrapped and ready to give. Maybe I can beg my friends to take pictures of the socks on their feet.
These are very light scents as soon as your knitting hits the water whatever perfume may be in the soap is quickly replaced by the smell of wet wool. After all these years of knitting, I love that smell. It's the smell of accomplishment of a project well on its way to completion. I don't have to rinse the project, the soap is biodegradable, it has natural lanolin (which was in your wool to begin with) and comes in a variety of sizes. The next time I go on a trip I'm bringing one of these little guys with me to clean up after any stains, especially if I get them on one of my favorite sweaters.
Have you used Eucalan? Tell me about it in the comments.
Note: I have not been paid for this review, however I did receive a free sample.
Back for year of projects. I've been overwhelmed with life stuff and there hasn't been a ton of progress on my knitting lately and I didn't feel like showing photos of my projects stuck at a random row. Now that we've finally moved house, a lot of stress has been lifted and we're in a better place.
I have more room for cooking, a more stylish bedroom with a balcony and the boys have a bedroom that is two and a half times larger than their old one. It's an improvement and we're very grateful to my mother in law for the hard work she has done to get the house ready for us to occupy.
We are more comfortable than we've been in years. I'm still adjusting. The stress has kept me from being creative and I feel lost trying to wade back into it. I don't know what to write, which project to work on and I'm not sure how to get the clarity to figure it out. I figured dipping my toe back into year of projects might be a good start. I've missed all of you :)
I've taken the Dahlia back out from hiding.
I'm knitting the bottom back of the cardigan to match the lace panel. Just a few more inches and I'll be able to start the left side. Motivation is seeping back in. I want to see this sweater finished. I have a feeling that the floppy fronts might not work for me, but they might work out for my mother in law, who has often admired the Dahlia as I knit. I would be happy to see her wear it.
I'm not just knitting. I've finally found inspiration to do some new cooking, especially since we have a much more functional kitchen:
What's in the bowl?
Pizza dough. Feeling a little freedom since being done with moving I felt the urge to buy a new cooking magazine and try something out. I found Martha's cover this month irresistible:
and I was rewarded with a great pizza crust recipe:
The recipe says to let is rest for 24-48 hours, but that you can let it rise for 3 hours if you need to use it same day. That's what I'm doing. Hope it turns out well.
I think things are looking up around here. (if you're wondering husbeast is still employed, but still looking for a project within his company -I'm just glad we have a warm, secure place to live, I mean thrive.
How about you?
OK, two things.
1) Husband is still technically employed.
2) We've moved, but still need to do the last bit of cleaning to finish out the old apartment.
OK one more thing:
Stitches West is next week. I might be there. Whatabout you?