Friday, June 29

This week's been fun, crazy and exchausting. The new colleagues are fabulous, work is interesting and learning new tools is challenging.

On Monday they greeted me with breakfast. They have a Monday breakfast tradition, but it's supposed to be on summer break so it was extra nice of them to organise it just because it was my first day.

Yesterday we went to Grönalund Tivoli for an evening of fun, the outing was organised and paid for by the company. This is the kind of employer I've been missing — arranging fun company events. The previous employer tried, but there were just too many people to organise. Nobody participated, apart from occasional pub visits, so they stopped trying.

Throughout the week the colleagues been friendly and very nice to me. I am very happy to have found this job. Happy that I'm home, happy that I've a partner like R, happy that I've two wonderful (crazy, but wonderful) cats, happy that I've got family like mine, happy that it's much easier to visit them now, happy that I've got a job I love and happy that I work with people like my colleagues. Happy, happy, happy.

Wednesday, June 27

In Sweden rain takes itself seriously, if it rains, it rains. In Ireland the rain can't quite make up it's mind, it can rain for 15 minutes, take a break for an hour and then rain again.

For example, it rained whole night today in Stockholm and it will continue raining for some time. You can plan for it and you can count on the rain to be raining for a while.

In Ireland, it would have rained some during the night, then a little in the morning, there could have been a downpour during the day and a drizzle in the evening. With Irish rain, you never know what can happen.

Monday, June 25

The first day at work went very well. Everybody were nice, welcoming and friendly. I was able to help a bit (no PC of my own yet) and learned a lot. I had a really good day, the only downside is that I'm totally beat.

To clarify: I cut the thumb on Friday, 15th, not last Friday. It's healing, but still not in knitting condition.

Saturday, June 23

Happy Midsummer!

We clebrated it yesterday, at Midsummer Eve, with a big party at our friends' inner yard. There was lots of traditional "sill och potatis" (pickled herring and new potatoes), strawberry cake and cheese. That was just lunch, in the evening we grilled homemade hamburgers and other meat. It was a good, if tiring party; it lasted well into the night.

I didn't finish the baby blanket because I cut my thumb on Friday. There is a 2 cm gash right across the tip of my thumb, exactly where I hold the knitting needle. There will be no knitting until this heals. Bugger.

Wednesday, June 20

We've arrived!

There have been no posts on Friday and Monday due to the lack of Internet and time. The last day at work was a blur of organising and handing things over. In the evening we went out to say goodbye to some of our friends.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were spent packing, with breaks of saying more goodbyes. Fortunately one of our SCA friends has a car and could take the boxes of books to send by post later. My colleague came for the yarn and fabric on Sunday. Even vacuum packed, there was more than I or her had expected. If she has no space in her car for all her stuff and mine, I'll make a trip to Dublin to pick some up.

At the airport I had a scare, SAS doubled the price of overweight on June 14th. I knew I'd need to pay for some overweight at the airport, but not this much. It was supposed to be 200 EUR, but the guy at the counter took the old price, 100 EUR. Phew!

The flight was uneventful and we took a taxi from the airport. We calculated a bit and decided that we didn't want to manage heavy and bulky luggage from subway to home. We had seven bags, a couple of them quite big and several quite heavy, only three with wheels on them. It would have been quite a project to lug everything uphill to our apartment.

We took it easy last night. Today we are going out to replenish some supplies.

Wednesday, June 13

T minus 6 days.

I'm exited and nervous about the move. I'm also trying very hard not to think of all the packing and re-packing that has to be done over the weekend. It's not too bad because the things got sorted and packed in the recent move, but I still have to make some very hard choices. I'm counting on R to talk me out of keeping some stuff.

b4 is no more, I'd miscalculated the amount of yarn and bought too little. So I ripped what I'd knit and changed tack. The safest way to knit a blanket if you don't know how much yarn one has is to begin in a middle.

I cast on 4 stitches on dpns, increased to 8 the next round, then to 16 on round 3 and knit a round. Thereafter I've increased 8 stitches every other round. When the circumference became too much for dpns, I continued with circulars using Magic Loop technique until it grew big enough to fill the whole length.

I'll continue until I'm about to run out of yarn and then I'll knit a few rounds of seed stitch to ease the curling of stockinette. I'm still hoping I can finish this before Tuesday.

Monday, June 11

T minus 8 days.

It just registered on me on Friday that one of my closest friends is pregnant. Naturally, I went shopping for baby yarns and patterns. I didn't have much luck finding any baby yarns that were not 100% acrylic, but I picked up Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss. I liked the simple look and the neutrality of the garments, but I'm having problems finding yarn for them. The yarn stores I know in Dublin, didn't have Debbie Bliss yarns at all and nothing to substitute. Acrylic in garish colours and equally garish novelty yarns are prevalent.

I did pick up enough boucle yarn for the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller. The yarn fades from green to yellow and back. I was afraid that the stockinette and reverse stockinette would not have enough contrast because of the boucle texture, but I was wrong. The pattern is doing exactly what it's supposed to and the texture of the yarn does not distract from it at all.

The Sidewinders have been put aside until b4 is finished. My friend is allergic to cats and I'd like to finish the blanket here, before moving back to Stockholm (we have two cats). If I can't make it, I'll have to think of a way to prevent cats teleporting their hair on the knitting or how to get rid of it later.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, June 8

T minus 11 days.

Sidewinders proceed nicely. I chose some sock yarn from stash, called Match. With this pattern I like that I get to knit only one part of the sock at a time. It's refreshing to not to know what happens next.

I'm letting go of all my knitwear-designing experience, following the pattern exactly as written and not substituting design elements. Well, with an exception. I have a high instep and have to compensate for the increased circumference somehow. I used to not like short row heels until Julie posted about gussets on Socknitters.

These gussets are small triangular inserts on either side of the ankle. On an ordinary sock I just increase and decrease at appropriate place. Sidewinders got a short row gusset.

If you want to see how the gusset looks, check my June 2004 archive. Unfortunately permalink has proved not to be permanent and You need to scroll to the bottom of the page for the first post of the month.

Wednesday, June 6

T minus 13 days.

I have been worried how do I get my last salary. I don't want to have it paid to the Irish account because we leave before payday, but payroll doesn't do international bank transfers so I really have no choice. I've asked for help and will get my last pay without having to fly back here just for that purpose.

Yesterday Grumperina posted about Nona's Sidewinders. I've decided that that's exactly what I need to do at this moment to take my mind off the moving/money worries. I have so much sock yarn that it's very difficult to choose one, I want to knit them all. I'm debating between Opal and Regia, but I might find something long forgotten in the stash.

Monday, June 4

T minus 15 days.

Slowly trying to sort my stuff into three piles: essential, non-essential and leave behind. The essential things I will try to bring with us on the flight home. The non-essential stuff I will give to a colleague to bring in October. Things in leave behind pile will have to be left behind.

Books are somewhere between essential and non-essential. Research books I definitely don't want to leave for four months, fiction is something I can live without for a while. They are also too heavy and bulky to fly with and the space is at premium in the car. There will be a book or two that I won't trust to postal services, the rest will be sent by post.

This actually makes four piles, but most of the books were already packed in boxes for the previous move, that makes things easier. I do have to repack some — I've bought more books to make the time pass easier. I know it's not wise to increase the luggage at this moment, but there's no Internet at the house, no TV in my room and I've listened to all my audiobooks. That leaves very limited options for self entertainment. Books fit my current need nicely.

Friday, June 1

T minus 18 days.

The plane tickets have been bought, I have cancelled all services/loyalty cards that I could think of and began organising a going-away-party.

I've already bid farewell to people I know I will not meet again before I leave and to Dublin SCA group in general.