Happy New Year to one and all. Hope everyone had happy holidays.
What a year 2011 turned out to be for the Knitter family. First was my mother's passing, when the year was barely a week old. My year of mourning according to Jewish law is now at an end; in so many ways it whizzed by and yet in others it feels as if my mother died just yesterday.
Next came the double loss of jobs for DH and me. I'm so lucky I found work relatively quickly. Not just that, but it's work I enjoy, work I'm good at, and work that should be going into the future. Word from The Firm is that since the IRS frowns on contract employees (like me!) being contract employees indefinitely (if the work's time frame is indefinite, the work is therefore permanent; so should the employees be), The Firm will have to change my status to permanent full-time fairly soon. Which is good news for me, since I will then have paid vacation and sick time, paid unemployment and health insurance, and a retirement plan once again. DH is still looking for work every blessed day. We were paid too much (sounds funny, right?) in 2011 to open IRA to supplement retirement savings when our jobs ended on June 30. Now going forward in 2012, I can max out IRA savings for both of us.
Truly, I'd been too depressed to knit for most of 2011. Once the job hunt and new career started I found myself immersed in figuring out things I thought I had figured out long ago, like how to find a job and how to work in a company environment. The learning curve was steep but rewarding.
DD#2 will begin her final semester of college in a few short weeks. She worked to support herself this past semester as a medical archivist; truly a relief for DH and me not to have to send her living money in addition to paying her tuition. She has been a named scholar at college since her sophomore year, earning herself merit scholarships that covered 25% to 75% of her tuition. Besides working, she's editor of her college's literary magazine, concert mistress of the wind ensemble, and an outstanding scholar in her field, earning a straight A average last semester, which places her GPA firmly in the realm of graduating with honors in her field come May. DD#2's most exciting news is that she's already accepted to 2 MPH programs, out of the 7 she applied to.
And for my little future epidemiologist, there's a brand-spanking new Estonian lace scarf ready for her to take back to school on Sunday (she'll be working full-time until classes begin). From Nancy Bush's fabulous book on knitting Estonian lace, this is the Peacock Tail and Leaf scarf started just about a year ago. DD#2 is modeling it (I think she must like it because she's wearing it as she zips around the house doing her laundry and such).
The luscious yarn is Dream in Color Starry, color Lucky Jade.
2011 was also the year I wore a hole through a pair of socks I made, the very first time a pair of my socks wore through. These are the socks, pre-hole: I did not use reinforcing yarn at heels and toes; I should have known better. Bleah!! The yarn is Freshisle Fiber's hand-dyed Suffolk wool in self-striping watermelon. I could darn them; instead, since they felted a bit over the years, I'll make them into a silly snake toy for Rocky. Besides, I have more yarn from Freshisle Fibers in self-striping watermelon-dyed Louet merino. I'll be casting on for new watermelon socks as soon as I finish the pair of Lupine lace socks, the ones that ran away last year and hid for months. Those socks are now on their way to completion (I need them! it was cooold this week): one done, about to start the heel flap on the other.
I'm getting back into jewelry-making mode too in the new year. I had this set of tourmaline crystals lying around forever (well, years; seems like forever). I whipped them up into a bracelet one evening this week: