Hey, hello, how are ya? It's the end of the second week of the strike, and so far there's been very little movement towards a resolution by either side. In some ways, I don't mind - I'll take the two week vacation. Money hasn't hit the crunch point yet - it's coming, but not yet - and I've had lots of time to relax, go to the gym, knit, and try to recover from the cold that hit the middle of the first week. (I was nice, I shared it with my guy :P )
In other ways, I'd rather be working. I'm starting to dread going back to work because I can just see the passengers bitching like mad once they get over being happy that the buses are running again. What they don't understand is that we are paid anywhere from 25-40% less than other drivers in public transit in the province, and we have no pension to speak of (the company will match up to $25 when contributing to the company pension fund where others match dollar for dollar) so we have to plan for our own retirement *cough* and just hope we can actually retire and be able to afford groceries. One of our drivers is 77, and he can't afford to retire. The company has proposed raising the premiums for our long-term disability benefits, based on a 40-hour work week, but most of us don't work that much unless we have signed up for overtime. I don't mind the sliding scale so much, which is what they have now - if you work 40 hours a week (or more) then you pay the premium for the 40 hours, but if your crew is only 37 hours and you don't work overtime then you should only pay the premium for 37 hours, but I don't think everyone should have to pay the 40-hour premium. Besides, we pay a lot for our benefits and the premiums always go up every year, a cost which is always passed along to the drivers.
Enough of the boring stuff, what have I been up to? Well, I've done three classes at the gym last week - BodyFlow (yoga and Pilates based) on Monday and found that I was not as stiff and inflexible as I had thought, BodyPump on Tuesday which I took very slowly and carefully for two reasons - I wanted to be able to walk for the rest of the week and I didn't want to completely wreck my neck. Wednesday was the previously mentioned BodyCombat class - karate/muay thai fusion of moves that is an insane cardio workout if you put your all into it. I had a tough time moving the next day, but it wasn't the usual low back pain that you would think of, but the muscles down the sides of the spine that don't usually get too much work that were complaining mightily. That and my arms. Ow. But a good ow, so I look forward to going back again this week :D I've also been "running" on the elliptical, getting back into that, and I'm up to about 25 minutes and 2+ miles on it. It's nice to be trying to get my wind back. I don't run out in the real world, or even on the treadmill, but the elliptical puts almost no stress on my knees and ankles, and I just don't bounce the way I would if I were really running and that's a good thing.
I've also been working on my Strike Hoodie which is coming along pretty well. I'm at the point of having separated for the fronts and back. I ran into an issue last night on the right front with 10 orphaned stitches and now am trying to figure out how to solve that. This time I read through the pattern, thinking I'd just missed the instructions on what to do with the stitches, but no, there's an errata on the publisher's website about those stitches and I didn't like their solution. So I've ripped out and redone it about 6 times today trying to get it to look right and work properly.
Good thing that Cascade 220 is such a sturdy yarn. Speaking of yarn, some of my latest acquisitions:
Molly Brown, dyed by Fresh From the Cauldron for the first round of the Every Decade Has A Diva club
Fright Night, dyed by Maylin of Tri'Coterie, a three colour self striping yarn
Halloween, also by Maylin, a two colour self striping yarn
Don't Stray From the Path, again by Maylin, a graduated yarn in merino/cashmere/nylon that is going to make a gorgeous small shawl.
This is Sunshine Tangerine, a self striping yarn I dyed myself with my friend in mind. She loves orange, and I thought the yellow was a good complement, and I've started a pair of socks for her with this. It's a 75/25 blend of BFL/nylon, so it should make very nice toasty socks for her. She loves the colour :D
This is Lime-Aid - ten packets of lime koolaid and one skein of 75/25 merino/nylon yarn from Knit Picks. My guy has spoken for this yarn, wanting a pair of lime green socks.
This is Stuffy Blue Tweed, a three-ply tweed yarn from Wool2Dye4, with two plies of non-superwash merino and one ply of superwash. The superwash merino takes the dye differently than the non-superwash, giving the tweedy look to the yarn.
This last one is Autumn Day - a handpainted skein I did with yellow-orange-terracotta-green-brown sections. The terracotta bled out more than I thought it would, as did the brown in places, but it still should look pretty neat. My guy has also called dibs on this skein. Lucky guy.
I finished his Seen From The Moon socks and he's been wearing them proudly since I sewed in the last end.
The shifting rib goes in opposite directions, so the socks are mirrors of each other, not matching.
That's it for now, I suppose, so I'm going to go swear at my hoodie for a while :)