12 February 2008


I seem to have come down with my annual late winter illness. It's no surprise really as I'm tired, run down with lingering stress and unable to face the rising piles of snow and ice that continue to block my path to my car and apparently, to energy. Yes, B-Lo, you've worn me down and spit me out. I bow to your winter greatness. Now please, please, please find me a job where the sun shines!

Anyway, cough, cough, I've spent today on the couch under a pile of blankies and most likely will be there tomorrow as well. I even feel too tuckered out to knit tonight, if that's any indication.
But in my recent finish-up-old-projects impulse, I tugged out a baby blanket that was never gifted (oops), ripped out the edge, finished off the rest of the purple yarn to make it bigger (and yes, just to clear it out of the stash) and added a floofier edging fit for a little princess who I hear also could use some snuggling under blankies time. I may not be able to trudge the block and a half to the post office for another few days (months) but at least there's another one ready to wing its way out my door.

Just to pretend this post has a little actual yarnie content, the eyelash yarn is Plymouth Flash and was really nice to work with. Well, aside from a few tangles when it knotted back on itself, it's soft and smooth and feels great paired with a cheap-o white acrylic, probably DK or sport weight. I'm seriously debating actually making a scarf of this combo for myself. Maybe the one skein crochet scarf from Happy Hooker or whatever the Stitch n' Bitch crochet book is called. Think I could get away with saying I'm being retro by bringing back the fun fur craze of yesterday?

09 February 2008

Searching for Simple

Homespun Afghan
Originally uploaded by ldgraffnu

When my mind starts whirling, I feel a choice… go with it and spin wildly out of control with possibilities, questions, ponderings, excitement and daydreams… or block it all out, looking for simple, predictable, easy, steps from here to there. I suppose I run by oscillating a bit between the two, riding the high that comes with big, huge change and chance while searching for the stillness to figure it all out, make sure I’m going about it the right way, think through my thrill. Is it odd to accept that manic is part of my nature? I do sometimes wish it was a little more even keel around chez Leslie, a little more routine and consistent but that’s just not in the cards right now. No, it’s all jokers and aces around here, no stable 8s or anything of the sort.

The past few months have been all about this oscillation. I’m either running like the wind on adrenaline, stress and caffeine or lying on the couch, regretting that I ever discovered coffee. Well, actually, that lying on the couch… um, not so much. Not nearly enough, that’s for sure. I guess my polar opposites are more like freaking out about all the stuff there is to do and just buckling down and working through one step at a time into the wee hours of the morning. Let’s just say I know the exact hours that the local Kinko’s and Office Depot open and close.

There’s a significant chance that this whirlwind will die down in a few days, something I’m hoping and praying for, honestly, but until then, the winds of chaos stream ahead, disturbing everything they touch.

After I finished Lady Eleanor, I had to do some searching for a new project. I’ve got some simple ribbed socks on the needles as my travel project but here at home, I’ve had a strong desire to tackle big projects, not complicated, just big in terms of yarn used, space they’re taking up in the stash. Part of it is a desire to be free of this stuff, clean out just in case I might actually get to move in the coming months, have fewer obligations on my needles.

Odd how hobbies can start to feel like obligations. How we turn things into projects that we work on with deadlines and goals despite the fact that for most of us, knitting is a way to relax and forget deadlines and goals. I know that having goals is a kind of motivating strategy so we finish things rather than dallying around or picking up new yarn to start something else. But how often do we substitute our yarn projects for our “real” work as a way to legitimize our procrastination?

Well, I suppose I don’t want to really answer that because I’m afraid I too often use my hobbies and the demand to finish a project as a reason to avoid work I should be doing.

Much better to just keep to my procrastination strategies in ignorant bliss…

But I have been feeling an overwhelming desire to finish things lately, have them out of my possession. I’ve been looking for gift projects to work on because then I can have the release that comes with dropping off a package at the post office. Probably doesn’t take too much to figure out that I’m searching for a sense of “done-ness” in all areas of life, from the diss to the job search to my stashed projects. I’m also being practical in wanting to have fewer things to pack and haul across the country. But it’s become a kind of strange obsession that I haven’t quite figured out, the urge to pull out projects and be done with them right now…

Anyway, the first “big” project that I grabbed was this crochet afghan, a simple zigzag pattern out of Lion Brand Homespun, a little cheesy, a little tacky, a little cozy. I started this years ago with the intention of giving it to one of my male friends so I kept it color neutral so it could be gifted multiple directions depending on who needed to receive a present. Of course, I never managed to finish it on time so it’s been in storage, waiting on the impulse to do crochet with acrylic yarn. Can’t exactly say that the impulse was particularly for the crappy yarn, but it has been a pretty pleasant, mindless project.

And in this whirlwind of stress and anxiety, mindless is nice. I have a list of things that I’d like to be working on, some lace, a new hat or two, but for now, I’m looking forward to finally gifting this to someone and having it out of my house, out of my stash, and off my mind.

02 February 2008


So, yeah, um, there's been stress. Big events... big decisions... nothing terribly exciting to report, unfortunately, just lots o' work. But, there's a light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel and I'm hoping to be back to posting and maybe even try some of those things normal humans are supposed to do on a regular basis like laundry and dishes and sleeping without grinding their teeth and waking up in sheer panic at 3.30 a.m.

But until that illusive full night of sleep with happy dreams comes my way, I'll be reciting this, one of my favorite poems and one I'd like to share for the Blogger's Silent Poetry reading.

The Lake Isle
by Ezra Pound

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Give me in due time, I beseech you, a little tobacco shop,
With the little bright boxes
piled up neatly upon the shelves
And the loose fragrant cavendish
and the shag
And the bright Virginia
loose under the bright glass cases,
And a pair of scales not too greasy,
And the whores dropping in for a word or two in passing,
For a flip word, and to tidy their hair a bit.

O God, O Venus, O Mercury, patron of thieves,
Lend me a little tobacco shop,
or install me in any profession
Save this damn'd profession of writing,
where one needs one's brains all the time.

May you all find your version of the little tobacco shop, perhaps filled with bright shelves of yummy cashmere piled up neatly upon the shelves.