Friday, July 10, 2009

More knitting time

Work last night was so strange. We are done receiving dairy and will be shipping all of the dairy inventory over to the other warehouse tonight. So, with the meat department heading into its last week and frozen slowing down drastically we had almost nothing to do. In the past an easy night was 900 pallets received. I've seen us do as many as 1900. Last night we had 392. And it's only going to get worse. Half of the guys were in the dairy cooler breaking down skids of product so that they would be the right height for the new warehouse (their slots are shorter than ours). Those kinds of out-of-the-ordinary odd jobs kept everyone from going crazy. Tonight the entire department is in on overtime along with an odd mix of about 20 people from all over the warehouse to move out almost 2 million dollars worth of inventory and send it 55 miles up the road.

The only good thing about being dead like this is that I have a lot more knitting time and no one gives me a hard time about it. Of course, they all know that knitting is a stress reliever for me and I'm pretty sure they are afraid that if I have nothing to do and they tell me not to knit that I'll kill someone. They probably figure whomever is the one to say something will most likely be my victim.

Last night I finished a pair of socks that are for my friend Heather's birthday. They have a 5 x 1 rib down the leg that continues down the foot and stops at the toe. The yarn is a wool-bamboo blend called Lolita from The Great Aderondack Yarn Company. The colorway is Cancun. The skein is a whopping 560 yards! This is the second pair of socks I have made from it and there is enough leftover for a third pair!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fearless Knitter coming to a computer/Blackberry/smartphone near you Aug 15th

I have only been knitting for 4 1/2 years now. Every thing I know is self taught either from books, a few videos I found on-line, magazines, from watching "Knitty Gritty", or from Sephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot).

My first project was a baby blanket with a simple lace design. My second project was a sweater for myself knit out of Lion Brand Thick n Quick. It is so warm I can't wear it indoors. After that, I designed and knit sweaters for my 3 sons and my husband. The sweater for the youngest, Jake, was a little bit of stranded color work and the other 3 were striped. These were all before I had been knitting for 10 months.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Moore College of Art and Design. A college friend of mine graduated with a degree in fashion design. Except for criticism or suggestions for her, I never had any interest in fashion design. I still don't. Except for knitwear.

I don't really get it. I have no idea what possessed me to want to learn to knit in the first place. It was completely out of the blue. Once I got the hang of it I was completely hooked. After that first sweater I have not knit anything exactly as the pattern was written. I have made modifications. In fact, I have only used 3 or 4 patterns at all.

Recently I have begun making my own designs. There are so many challenges to this that I can't believe I'm actually doing it! It takes a lot longer when you end up knitting something 4 times because you just couldn't get it the way you wanted (as if fitting were important)the first 3 times you tried it. But who's counting?

All I know is that it is all I think about and all I want to do and I can't wait until I don't have to work nights anymore and the kids go back to school and I can do this full time. The thought of not having a job should terrify me. But it doesn't. When it comes to my knitting I am not afraid to try anything and I'm not afraid to rip out a row or a whole garment if it isn't working. This is the only thing in my life that I have ever been fearless about. So, that is why I decided to start a new blog. It is going to be about just my knitting and designing. I am going to keep this one for everything else. I still have to set up the layout of the new one and I don't plan to make the first post until I am done at the warehouse on Aug 14th. Wow! I can't wait!!

Monday, July 06, 2009


For the past 11+ years I have been working at a wholesale food distribution warehouse.

The first 9 years I was a clerk in the Outbound Office getting the invoices ready to send with the truck to the stores we service and verifying the load through our internal paperwork/computer system.

For the last 2 1/2 years I have been in the Perishable Receiving Department as the Receiving Clerk. In this job I basically run our shift. I have a supervisor who handles all of us to some extent and the more sensative co-workers when it comes to reallocating staff ro a colder part of the warehouse than they normally work in but for the most part he is the one truly unneccessary individual.I monitor our schedule of incoming loads, tweak it when possible (we are at the mercy of our idiot buyers), check drivers in, process the bills-of-lading through our computer system, assign dock doors, get the paperwork whereever it needs to go, verify that everything has been received properly, and check the drivers out. I also am the chief trouble-shooter, problem-solver, question-answerer,keeper of all records, nanny, mother, sister, babysitter, friend, therapist,and flirt to the 10 guys I work with (receivers and highlift operators)and the 4 man crew from an outside contractor who unloads the trucks. Nothing I do is rocket science. Nothing I do is particularly difficult in any way. At all. For anyone. A chimp. However, it does take a degree of talent (and patience) to do all the things I do simultaneously. While smiling. Ok so sometimes it's through gritted teeth but you get the idea.

I love my job. I love this goofy group of guys I work with. I love the guys who unload the trucks. I even love some of the truck drivers. I didn't say all or a lot, I said some (I'm not THAT crazy-I detest the idiot, non-english-speaking, IQ below 60 drivers just like the rest of the world).

The company I work for is nation wide from New England to Callifornia. I don't know how many DC's (distribution centers) or store we have but it is a lot. Of all of the DC's the one I work in has the highest productivity rating in the country. The US of A. Really! How cool is that? The guys I work with have all been at this warehouse for at least 24 years. Years. Not months.

They're closing our warehouse!

We've known of the impending doom for a little over 2 years now. The company has been very good about the whole thing. They told us as soon as the decission had been made. They have offered jobs at the newer warehouse they aquired through a merger (55 miles away and a union shop). And, they are giving us a generous severence package and we will be able to collect unemployement benefits.

But it still sucks!

As of today, I have 29 more days to work (minus 8 hrs of personal time and ~12 hrs of sick time). I had to start saying goodbye to some of the drivers last week. The ones I have to say goodbye to are the people who have been coming to our warehouse practically every week. Some are there 2 days a week. Some 3 days. Mike from Hatfield Meats is in my office every day except Thursday.

The purpose of this entry is twofold. First to just kick and scream at the whole unfairness of it all (yes, I know life's not fair). To say the pain I am feeling as the reality sets in is excruciating. But also secondly, to acknowledge the potential. The possabilities of a fresh start. The chance to say, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And actually be able to give it some thought. It's not too late to change the answer to that question, in fact it's the perfect time for a do-over! So, with that in mind I will be starting over. I have just set up a new blog (drumroll please) Fearless-Knitter.