Muse: Trials and Tribulations

Over the past six weeks I’ve been through the mill.

Not a woolen mill where I was metaphorically transformed from fluffy fleece to workable yarn. No, a stone-mill where the wheat gets sorted from the chaff.

I learned whether I was wheat or chaff!

Trial By Jury

In non-chronological order I had three trials over the past while, the first being applying for a new position where I work. It was an internal competition for a temporary position that would have taken me out of Architecture and into mainstream Administration and Management. That’s essentially what I’m doing these days anyway, there being very little Architecture in the pipeline these days.

I applied at the end of April and didn’t know if I would even get short-listed. I got word that I made the grade two days before the interview. I did my best to prepare but I remember feeling that I was at the very limit of my own intellect and ability in the process. The interview was so-so. They asked some excellent questions – questions that I really wish I had an answer for, questions that brought it home to me that I wasn’t in the right league at all. My immediate feeling on leaving the room was that I wouldn’t have given me the job.

With the benefit of  hind-sight I realise I should have been preparing mini-essays and reading-up from the moment I submitted the application form five weeks earlier. Hopefully there will be a next time and I can make use of this insight.
The process was useful to help me realise also that I’m being held-back – possibly deliberately – by those in my current workplace. I need to tackle this but as yet I haven’t got my head around how to do so.


While I was disappointed that I hadn’t acquitted myself better in the interview I was sanguine about it given the lack of effort and preparation I had given the opportunity. It’s hard to accept defeat or failure when you have given something your all. Which brings me to the sad tale of my Knitty submission. Unfortunately, I received word – in the form of a very nice email with really positive feedback – that my pattern submission was rejected. Amy Singer said she loved the pattern and gave special mention to the photography (which was pretty awesome, thanks to DH) but because they rarely print kids patterns “so it’s extra hard to get through in this category”.

Dejected doesn’t cover how I felt. In a word, I was devastated, irrational as that may seem. I knew they rarely print kids’ patterns but I was audacious / arrogant enough to think that this pattern had something more that would over-come this hurdle. Plus, I deliberately sized the pattern to cover from toddlers to teens.

For now, I’m still licking my wounds. Amy suggested I submit the pattern to Petite Purls but for now I’m sitting on it and wondering how best to give it a debut.  Once bitten, twice shy and all that; I’m unsure I’ll put myself “out there” as a designer again.

Endurance Test

Since I like to focus on the positive rather than the negative I’ve got to give you my tribulation. As many of you know I’ve been donning running shoes (and questionable outfits) and training for the Women’s Mini-Marathon. This is my third year to take part (fourth to sign-up :-0) and my first year to have trained sufficiently. By Race-Day last year the longest I had run continuously was 20minutes. I decided to do a back-to-back of my longest training run so I walked for five minutes, ran for 20, walked for 10 mins, ran for another 20 then walked the rest of the way. My time was sufficiently good that I was allowed to enter as a fast-jogger this year.

This year I started my training earlier and was more diligent about sticking with it. As I came close to the end of the 9-week “Couch To 5K” training programme (C25k) – where I was running 20 to 25 minutes continuously – I found a training schedule on Action Aid’s website for running 10k and I started to adapt the last few weeks of C25k to suit. It mainly meant adding an extra run on a Friday and lengthening my other runs during the week or doing some speed-training called “Fartleks”.

Before the race this year I got chatting with a fellow fast-jogger who has a few London and Dublin Marathons under her belt. She had a similar target time of 75 minutes. I told her of my plan to walk for the first five minutes, run for 60 then walk for the last five as a five-minute walk was the warm-up in my training sessions. As it turned out, when the race started everyone around me took off at a run. If I had tried to walk, I would have either been trampled or caused an accident. Denise, my new “running-mate” cheered me to go for it, that I would be fine. So I did.

To my amazement, I finished the 10k just (literally) under one hour, clocking-in officially at 59minutes 52 seconds. Elated, thrilled, ecstatic don’t fully cover how gob-smackingly amazed I am at having done this. I even wonder did I really run the whole route. Surely I must have missed a kilometer or two?

My sister and my neice (her daughter) were also running and we all finished within 90 seconds of each other. My neice passed me just after 9km and called out to me. I called back (we were both wearing head-phones so we’re pretty sure we were absolutely roaring at each other!) that she shouldn’t wait for me, I’d slow her down. However, I tried to keep her in my sights for the last kilometer. That was the push I needed to get me over the line under 60 minutes.

That the three of us will managed to complete the race in less than 60 minutes this year means we will all be in the “Runners” enclosure at the start of the race next year. Then the *real* competition will start!

So in one case I was found to be chaff, in another I was whole-wheat goodness while the Knitty trial still chaffs (see what I did there?!?)

In all cases, I guess, it’s all grist to my mill.


9 Responses to “Muse: Trials and Tribulations”

  1. Bridget Says:

    Wow. There’s a lot here. But, as long as you survive it, you’ll live to fight another day. 🙂

  2. sheknitupthat Says:

    Just take a deep breath, shut your eyes, and self publish the pattern on rav. You can do it!

  3. Sara Rourke Says:

    Well I think it takes a lot of courage to apply for and interview for a job that is outside your normal work experience, and to realise that you want to leave the safehaven of what you know. It can be done, Ive done it, though I think I was totally blind at the time as to what I was going into (and did a rotten interview, I can only think that they mustened have gotten many other applicants as I got the post). i subsequently went back briefly to my original post and realised Id made the right decision. As for the pattern, well done on getting such a positive response from Amy Singer, I agree with sheknitupthat but also think that you should try petite purls first, as a Mum I like looking at their site,I think its quite special.
    I admire your running efforts, Im always talking about doing the cto5k but never getting my a*se in gear….

  4. Alifeofherown Says:

    I can see thelast couple of weeks have been a roller coaster for you. But at least you can say you got positive feedback from the job interview and from Amy in Knitty and your running time was really good. Keep thinking positively and as Sheknitupthat said, why don’t you self publish?

  5. Sinéad Says:

    What a lot of ups and downs! You must be dizzy. Sorry to hear the job interview didn’t go well, but I think when you’ve been out of the “market” (interview wise) for a while, it can be a real shock to the system. You know what’s involved now, so you should do much better at the next one. 🙂
    As for the Knitty submission, I’m sorry to hear it was rejected, but wasn’t it rejected in a lovely way? I agree with Amy to submit it to Petite Purls, but also with sheknitupthat to self publish. Either one is a great idea. I know I was really pleased with myself when I self published. The feedback I got was great.
    And wow. Under an hour is a fantastic time in the marathon! Well done, you should be really proud of yourself.

  6. Bionic Laura Says:

    What a lot of ups and downs in the last while. The job interview sounded like it was tough but many people wouldn’t even move outside their comfort zone so at least you gave it a go and it might help you decide on your next plan of action. That’s a pity about Knitty but I’m really impressed that you got such nice feedback on the project and you should definitely submit it elsewhere. Sure it’s probably like being an author with a book, you have to send it to a few publishers to get a yes! And well done on the mini marathon, that’s a fabulous time. Definitely one to be proud of!

  7. Claire Bradley Says:

    Kind of just echoing what everyone else said – hugs. Won’t be at knitting tomorrow; I have my UCD grad. I return next week.

  8. Crafty Blog Update 22nd May – 11th June « Irish Knitting & Crochet Says:

    […] does a May Round-up; adds to her stash; has some trials and tribulations; gets working on […]

  9. Potential | Under Me Oxter - coz that's how I knit Says:

    […] Today, that same notebook, which I always keep in my wallet, is so tattered and worn that I have decided it needs to be retired. I went through it and marked all the design ideas. I was surprised to discover how far back they all date from – 2008 to 2010. And absolutely nothing in it after my failed Knitty submission (read it and weep!). […]

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