Monday, October 24, 2005

¬°Adios Audrey! 

On Saturday I put the little red wheel in my little red wagon and drove Audrey up to meet her new owner Susan.
We met up at NobleKnits. It's a shop that seemed to be doing great business and had the largest stock of Colinette or Prism I've seen. And Classic Elite's cashmere-silk blend, which I didn't even know they had. All in all, a nice selection of luxury yarns. It was nice to meet you Susan!

Looks like honey, smells like sheep

Before I left Oceanside I stopped at the Boney's market there. Wow. Their Boney's is nice! The Boney's in La Mesa seems more like a depository for rotting produce. Anyway, they had gigantic figs and a huge floofy stuff (body products) section, where I bought some liquid lanolin and cedarwood oil for making an emulsion for oiling my fleece before I comb it. And the lanolin's pretty good for the skin, yep.

Artsy-Fartsy Dabblers

Nick and I have been taking a ceramics class Monday nights at Plum Pottery in South Park. We've been having a blast and I love the shapes Nick has been making. I'm not so impressed with my own stuff, but I'm having a good time getting covered in clay, so I figure that's what counts. We just got some bowls back after glazing, these first four pics are of Nick's beautiful bawls, er, bowls:

I called "dibs" on this bowl from the moment I saw it after he trimmed it. And it's glazed in my favourite colors, with all blue inside.

This one looked kind of like a flowerpot, but with the glaze on, I'm not sure. I think we'll be chugging coffee from it. I love the streaky red inside.

My bowls are both blue and green. I tried to make fun shapes. This one is about the size of my palm and trimmed to be kind of beveled all around (I used some sort of a grater, like a large bore lemon zester) but I didn't get it very even. But I like it anyway. No idea what I'll do with it. Sauce bowl?

This one's larger, like a curvy cereal bowl.

I like what we've made, but more than that I'm really enjoying the process. I love learning something new with Nick.

Knitting Stuff

The Noro Butterfly from handspun has been relegated to take-along/idiot knitting status. I've got all done but the left front, collar and finishing, so not really in the home stretch yet, but I saw Ellie's new sweater and was really motivated to start the sweater out of green superwash for Tahoe. I'm making it up as I go, but taking detailed notes, so I hope to be able to recreate it (or change what didn't work) in later versions. I'm trying to do it in the round, and working a bit like a giant sock, but we'll see. There's a part of me that is thinking that all the trouble of trying to figure out the odd angles of dog chest and legs fit in the round isn't worth the trouble it is to seam something knit in the flat. But I really don't like seaming, so we'll see how it ends up.

Working at a Local Yarn Store no more

I quit today. Actually, I quit about three weeks ago, if you count giving notice as quitting.
I hate quitting, but it boiled down to me feeling like I was putting in a hell of a lot more effort and care into her shop than she was, with none of the actual control over what I was becoming so closely associated with. And since it's a little late to get dooced, I might as well record a teensy bit of my reasons.

I felt bad, because I know people depend on having a knowledgeable person at their LYS they can get help from but, geez. I just got a little tired of coming in early to make sure the place was clean by opening time (picking up crayons, bits of yarn, candy wrappers, putting stuff back to where it was supposed to be, vacuuming and dusting, essentially, cleaning up after the owner and her kids as well as the basic shop cleaning) and staying late for people and end-of-day tidying and not being paid for the extra time I spent.

I'm not one of those, "huh, it's my scheduled time to go, drop what I'm doing and leave" kind of employees even for crap-paying retail jobs, and I kept getting this weird "you are taking advantage of me, you are so lucky I am paying you to do something you love, you aren't working" vibe from the owner, as if all I did was sit on my ass all day and knit. I love to knit, it's true. But I love to knit stuff for myself or my family that isn't terribly trendy, that won't melt, that isn't made in China.

When the owner's surprised to feel wool that "isn't scratchy," or is surprised that her stockinette stitch scarf curled, I start to feel like I'm part of a sham shop.

And other stuff, as if all this stuff doesn't already sound so petty. I think it may have been my conversation with the new employee and teacher on Friday which was the last straw that finally made me grow a spine and tell the LYSO "I think you should consider...I don't work for you anymore." I mean, three weeks ago I gave my two weeks notice and told the LYSO she should hire someone else, and told her that I had to leave but she still kept trying to schedule me, I'm such a doormat. She set off hinky alarm bells during the interview, but I'd thought, "cool! Work in a LYS, get to know the real market!"

Anyway. The encounter with the new teacher/LYSE:
I am "all about" embracing the different kinds of knitters out there; if all you ever want to knit your whole life is fuzzy novelty scarves, good for you.

But if someone comes to the shop and plunks down $55 for four hours of beginning knitting instruction, you'd better not be casting on for them, you'd better teach them more than the knit stitch and come up with a better answer for a student's request for help in identifying mistakes and correcting them than "oh, well, your first scarf's just a practice piece anyway" or "you totally won't be able to tell." By the end of four hours, 80% of my students were able to cast on, knit, purl, rib, identify a twisted stitch, pick up a dropped stitch, decrease two ways (k/p2tog, ssk), increase three ways (yo, bar increase, and the one where you knit the front and back of the stitch) cast off, weave in the ends and make goddamn fringe for fuck's sake. I just think taking people's money to teach them nearly nothing is wrong.

Anyway, I taught the LYSO how to do short rows to finish the corkscrew scarf, gave her the shop keys, argued with her about her attempt to short me on last week's pay, and skedaddled.


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