Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What do you serve hungry IT professionals?

OK, I know this is just a bad translation, but… check out the menu at work this week:


I know HR probably wants to find some way to retain employees, but that is a bit extreme… 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Many project with small triumphs

I find that these days I seem to be suffering from a sort of knitting ADHD.  Not to make light of the real illness, but I think my laziness and inability to commit to a project long enough to complete it has made finishing any project requiring thought or time impossible.  I jump projects, I lose interest, I give up. 

However, over the past few weeks I have finished a surprisingly high number of quick satisfaction projects:


1. The Violet Green Sock: I say Sock – singular.  Knitting one sock is exciting and fun.  After you complete the first and have to cast on for the second, the excitement is gone.  On top of that, the I used (drops delight) was a bit of a let down as far as sock yarn is concerend, So we still only have one sock.  The sock is based on Violet Green’s Sock Generator, which punches out a really good pattern.


2. Thumbsuckers: My son has a habit of thumbsucking and won’t sleep unless he has his thumb at the ready.  Unfortunately, we have had temperatures of –10 to –15 during the day and Danish daycares lay their babies out to sleep from time to time, so this makes for super cold fingers.  I made little gloves from my own pattern to help expose this little thumb while keeping his fingers warm.

Coffee Cozy 2

3. A coffee cozy: Another made from my own pattern, but this time I crocheted it.  It’s been years since I have tried to crochet anything and I think this turned out pretty well.

Apple cozy

4. An apple cozy: This one is based on an apple cozy found on Ravelry.  Even though I crocheted this and I am not that fast at crocheting, it took me only 45 minutes to make which was great.  No more bruised apples in my daughter’s back pack!

Maybe some day I will figure out how to keep something larger or that takes more than a day to make on my pins.  Shoot for the stars.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Reviews

Yay, I love sharing my 2 cents with random helpless victims who ultimately don’t care!

I currently have two reads to report on:

Knitting Related:

Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair

Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair: This is Laurie Perry’s (AKA: Crazy Aunt Purl) first endeavor into the literary world and makes for a quick read. I have always felt oddly drawn to her blog, and now I know why. Laurie accounts her life during her divorce and when it seems her whole life was turned upside down. She talks a bit about her new obsession with knitting and there was a particular incident she recalls that happened right after she came home after her first knitting class was all too familiar to me. I remember having a similar experience learning to knit when I had a depression and was a bit batty myself, so this was a page turner for me. Highly recommend reading it if you are looking for a very insightful and reflective read (and it comes with some simple beginners knitting patters in the back, which is an extra lovely bonus when you are not expecting it :-) )

I have already bought Laurie’s second book Home is Where the Wine Is and am really looking forward to starting that.

Not Knitting Related:

Since knitting has become fashionable again, especially among women in IT, I thought this book was would be interesting to report in on.

Lykkelig i Nørdland Lykkelig I Nørdland (in Danish): Dorte Toft has been a prolific blogger for years covering various topics in the IT industry for years.  She is accredited for uncovering the Stein Bagger’s scandal and IT Factory and recently written  this book to highlight the need to encourage girls to take the “hard classes” such as math and science in school.  Denmark has often prided itself on “ligestilling” – the equality between men and women in society and the workplace, but Dorthe uses this book to discuss how girls and themselves pulling out of male oriented roles and only seeking education and employment in traditionally female jobs, making gender equality a myth.  She presents a very strong argument that girls not encouraged to study these disciplines by the 9th grade will not do so later on in life, therefore forfeiting millions in lost pay and placing themselves lower in the hierarchy for promotion to managerial roles.  I am still in the process of reading this book, but as the mother of a girl in this i impressionable age, I can recommend it based on what I have read so far.

(Note: for anyone who is not Danish or involved in IT, IT Factory was a company that seemed to be one of the healthiest and most profitable in the country for many years until it was uncovered by Dorte that the company was riddled with fraud that stretched to various accounting and investment companies. A lot of people lost money due to this company and their CEO Stein Bagger has quickly become known as a kind of “Bernard Madoff of Denmark”. You can read more here.)

I recently heard Dorthe Toft speak at IT Mega Corp at one of our woman’s network session, which led me to read the book.  Occasionally, the company plans an event to talk about woman’s issues, points of interest or networking during company hours.  When this initiative first started, I remember thinking that this was an overreaction to critique the company must have gotten at some point.  When I was hired here, half of the managers were woman as was half of my department. 

One day recently, I was called into a meeting to review technology concepts and the results of several discussions that had been had with HQ in the US.  The meeting room was fitted with one long table, which was surrounded by black padded chairs which were all occupied by managers, team leads and directors.  The meeting started and I began to look around the room a bit.  I quickly realized that we were only two women in the room….2 out of 34!  After counting the number of bodies in the room, I realized that not only were we only 2 women, we were the only people there that were not managers.  So in a room of 34 participants, there were 32 Caucasian male managers and 2 female employees.  Since that day, I have suddenly been able to see the importance of having these discussions and women’s events.

The discussion in itself was interesting for the simple fact that yet again the point was brought up that it was women and girls limiting their own factors.  Of course there were a lot of factors that went into this – educational system, parents (in particularly fathers), etc. – but ultimately, in rich industrialized countries, we are getting worse at picking science and math in school.  Boys are moving away from these areas too, but the trend is much more dramatic with girls.  It’s getting so bad now that schools that teach teachers in Denmark called seminariums have actually had to drop natural sciences and math as a major because no one would take it.  I guess it’s up to us to make sure our own daughter gets the education she deserves.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It’s taken me a while to write this post because I wasn’t quite sure how to go about attacking the dreaded new year’s post. I say dreaded because I am a cynic. I always have been and always will be, but that doesn’t stop me from trying my hardest to look at the brighter side and make plans for the eventuality that I will by some miracle follow through with something that will surprise myself and all of those around me by the shear positivity of the endeavor. Has this happen yet? No. Do I usually tell others about these plans? No – I know that they won’t happen, so what’s the point? This is why I didn’t make a new year’s blog post like so many other bloggers do. I read quite a few that were hopefully optimistic and full of new year’s resolutions, forward looking or just happy that the past year was over and I marvel at their honesty. I have new year’s resolutions too, but I know they won’t be met so I don’t want to publically broadcast my good intentions but lesser motivation to the world.

The last year has been a journey. I had my son right around the new year, so the majority of my year was spent on maternity leave. Outside of the practicalities of how your live can change when you suddenly introduce a 3.5 kg lump of screaming fuzzy flesh into a family of two frantically busy IT project managers and a 6 year old is always an interesting experiment and the maternity leave was definitely needed. Some other good things have happened in that time:

1. I started knitting for real: this was always something I wanted to be good at but couldn’t quite figure it out.

2. I started blogging: I have ran out of steam lately, but am getting back into the swing of things.

3. I came to peace with the fact that I need to leave my job because there is no future for me here and that will never change: Wise words of advice from me to you – never love your company, job, or role more than you love yourself because it will never love you back.

So if I stop looking backwards for a minute and refuse to share my meaningless resolutions, then what is there to talk about 3 weeks after the fireworks have gone off and the champagne has been drank? There is a limit as to what we can control and what expectations we can reasonably put on ourselves. It’s only for your own good to admit that you have reached the end of a path and that you have no idea as to what you should do next. It’s OK to say “no” if you reason for doing so it to say “yes” to something else you want or need. It’s absolutely necessary to know what your priorities are. And finally, you must remember these points and act on them if you want to preserve any shred of sanity you may have left when times get tough (and times have been tough). Maybe this is the one resolution I can broadcast to the world. Forget losing 5 kg or any of the other cliché resolutions we all hear too often, I am going to spend the next year doing what I want to and following my own rules. I know that is something any of us can do with success if we really want to be happy.