The Home Stretch

It's really getting close now – only 4 more working days until retirement.  There were a few days this past week when I wasn't so sure it was going to happen, though.  We promoted from within to fill my position and then hired a new person.  This past week she was admitted to the hospital with suspected appendicitis.  She is still in the hospital, though, while the doctors try to figure out exactly what is going on.  As she said, "They've ruled a lot of things out, but nothing in."  This created a real dilemma for me.  Our front office is basically a two-woman operation.  Could I really go off and leave the other one in the lurch?  Thankfully, my problem solving skills kicked into overdrive.  We are entering a very slow season and the schedule is pretty empty, necessitating having dental assistants take unscheduled time off.  This next week I will pull one of the assistants up front and do a crash course on front office skills.  Everyone is happy.  The dental assistant is happy because she doesn't have to take time off, the other lady is happy at not having to run the office by herself, the new girl is happy because her job is being held for her and I'm downright giddy that I get to retire in 4 (count 'em!) days!!

A really bright spot in the past week has been some intense fiber enhancement.  The Friday after Thanksgiving saw the arrival of two packages.  The first contained my new Embrace the Lace shipment.  It has the softest camel colored wool along with a cute pattern for a matching cowl and fingerless mitts.  

Embrace

I had momentary thoughts of diving in and knitting these for a Christmas present, but therein lies madness.  I squelched that thought pretty quickly and will address that pattern when I have more time.

The other package was a beginning spindling kit.  Hmmm – was it just a few months ago that I said I wasn't going to take up spinning?  As Lorette says, "Never say never!"  I seem to have become slightly obsessed with the idea of spinning.  I started with the spindle and have managed to spin some incredibly crappy yarn:

CrappyYarn

I will still keep playing around with it, but this has convinced me that I want a wheel.  I've spent hours poring over the internet, reading Ravelry groups and different articles.  Double drive vs. single drive, single treadle, double treadle, finished or unfinished, Lendrum, Kromski or Ashford?  It seems the more I read, the more confused I get.  However, our LYS sells Ashfords and I stopped in yesterday to talk to the owner.  I have an appointment today to go and try out a Traveller.  I think I'm leaning in that direction simply because she's local and will give free lessons.  She's also available for advice and coaching.  Living in a slightly remote area as we do I'm thinking that is a clear advantage.  In addition, I've been invited to join a spinning group that meets here locally every week, even if I do not yet have a wheel.  Regardless, the actually purchase will have to wait until after Christmas.  I don't need any distractions between now and then.  However, I have already begun buying fiber!  This lovely roving from Corgi Hills Farm just arrived on my doorstop:

Fiber1

This had to be the best customer service ever.  I ordered it and seriously – within 10 minutes I had notice that it had shipped.  Was the postman waiting on her doorstep?  I had it within just a few days and she included some beautiful samples as well.   This is so beautiful that it is going to have to wait until I hone my skills a little bit.

Another package arrived a few days after the first two.  I was a little puzzled because I didn't remember ordering anything else.  Turns out this is a Mystery Shawl group I had joined several months ago.  The mystery begins in January and they were holding off on shipping the yarn until November.  I had completely forgotten about it!  This is the Enchanted Wood Lace Shawl Knitalong.  The yarn comes in gradations and you use them in order (forward or backward doesn't matter as long as you use them in order).  I've never done a mystery shawl and I think it will be great fun.

LaceYarn

Oh, and knitting peace?  I think I may have somewhat achieved it.  I am down to three projects, as long as you don't count the Dale sweater that has been hibernating for several years.  I have one lace shawl, a pair of socks and a scarf:

RedScarf

The scarf is for the Red Scarf project.  Not sure if I'll finish it before the deadline of December 15th, but if not I'll save it for next year.  Of course, knitting on it is such a pleasure since hubby gave me my Christmas present early:

Lamp 

Dog added for scale. It's a Varilux light and I love it!  No eye strain and it has a perfect little shelf for all of my knitting doo-dads. 

Well, off for a busy day.  I seem to have done something to my serger so I have to run it down to the south of the island for repair.  It will be a nice road trip for me and Maggie. 

Late breaking news – I came home from our road trip to find this in my mailbox:

Fiber2
I'm pretty sure I have The Knitting Doctor to thank.  Thanks Lorette!

13 thoughts on “The Home Stretch

  1. Oh, wow! I love the Viralux light. Just what a knitter needs. Congratulations on your retirement. Four days will go by in a heartbeat. Just as I suspected, you are going to be busier than ever. Have fun, have the time of your life!

  2. You definitely have all your ducks in a row for spinning 🙂
    Pre-ordering fiber is the best! The LYS Ashford sounds wonderful and lessons too – you are SET!!!
    I just bought 1 3/4 lbs of that oatmeal BFL that Lorette gave you – eventually will be a handspun sweater….someday WAY down the road.

  3. You must be feeling like a kid in the candy shop – so many goodies it’s hard to know where to start. Each one looks better than the last. Then there’s Christmas to work into the mix.

    A new retirement is a bit like Christmas, only you don’t have to go back to work when it’s over. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  4. Nice loot! I love the lamp. I have an Ott light that is an eye saver, but it is not nearly that pretty.

    I hope you enjoy the fiber! It was a “welcome to the spinning club” gift. I think your decision to buy a wheel locally is a good one. You’ll have help close by if you run into problems. And I wish I knew of a spinning group here. I might just have to take my wheel to the local knit group and start a trend.

  5. Oh, and your first yarn doesn’t look that bad. Do you remember that wild rainbow colored crap that I did on my first “boat anchor” spindle? You’ll be spinning laceweight in no time. Now you need a really pretty, special spindle. Spindles are cheaper than wheels, and don’t take up much space. 😉

  6. I’ve still got a few years before retirement so am vicariously enjoying your countdown. If ever I take up spinning it would also have to be after retirement.
    What a lot of fun goodies. I especially like the colors of the yarns for the shawl.

  7. Dorothy, I am so excited for you. My retirement looms closer and closer. It may come earlier than I want because of layoffs. Our biggest question is health insurance. I do love working, and I take everything a day at a time – kind of like you have been. So many blessings for you this year with Ben, Abby and the girls moving so close and a planned for retirement with so many healthy, constructive activities for you to work on – kind of like Uncle Claude and Aunt Doris. Happy Holiday Season – as well as Happy Retirement at the end of this week.

  8. Hugs for retirement!
    I spun with a spindle for a year, before getting a wheel. Spindling is an excellent way to get the hang of drafting, since you can “park and draft” with a spindle. Then you’ll be ready for the speed of the wheel.

  9. I’m behind on my blog reading, but this gives me the chance to congratulate you on your actual retirement.

    I love the colors of the yarn for the mystery shawl–and I’ll look forward to all that spun up yarn.

  10. Today’s THE DAY, right? I’m sure that you won’t be bored, once you get used to a different time schedule, going from someone else’s to your own. Congratulations!!

    Susan

  11. Yeah! You’re going to learn spinning. I learned on a Louet. Bought my first wheel – an Ashford Traditional. It spins well, but not a good fit for me in the long run. Ended up with a Lendrum on my 40th birthday! 🙂 I know a lot of extremely accomplished spinners who use Ashford Travelers. The one thing I learned when I bought my Lendrum, is that what you thought you might want isn’t necessarily what works, so it’s good to try out. Local and having a helper is really good. I think your yarn looks pretty good for just starting with a spindle. I started spindling after I learned with a wheel so it wasn’t so hard, the first yarn is always like that, then you learn how to spin more finely, then you wish you could go back to the thick yarn you did in the beginning and can’t! LOL. I have a spindle made from a CD (spins surprisingly well!), a Bosworth Purpleheart midi and a Cascade Pilchuck. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Pilchuck, spins like a dream. The Bosworth is good too. If you continue with spindles, I’d try out some other ones because there really is a difference. Wish I was there to join in the fun with you! Now you have me thinking… I need to get my Lendrum out, haven’t spun for about a year!

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