When I was a teenager suffering from the Humiliation of the Week, Most Moisturized Mom would console me by saying that “this is really building your character.” (Translation: being a big geek/loser now is going to make you a much better person later.) Needless to say, I found this infuriating at the time, but like many things mothers say, it has stuck with me and actually proved to be a useful mantra.
I’m currently in a character-building phase (mellow-harshing moments, nothing dire or drastic, it’s all good, etc etc.). To my great shock, one of the things that I’m losing my grip on is (please sit down, or stand on a padded surface in case you plotz): knitting. Don’t get me wrong; I still love the knitting with an intense passion. Nothing centers the chi like knitting. But I flit from project to project and can’t get enthused about any of them long enough to make any headway. I await the return of the sweet knitting mojo, that great compulsive/impulsive love affair with a project or a technique, be it the urge to knit 900 dishcloths by Tuesday, 16 hats in 16 days, or the overbleached denim sweater of my dreams. I have cast on and tossed aside 5 projects in the last 2 weeks.
Which is why I’m really glad to have these little squares to knit for Oliver’s American blanket. A 4-inch square, repeated endlessly, can get a really good buzz going. I’m currently at 24 squares, and since the family is heading into the countryside for a Hebrew School retreat this weekend, I think I’ll easily get to 36 by Thanksgiving. Ain’t no stopping me now!
More great distraction has arrived in the mail: the First Squares!
These are from Kelly (your college pal), Margot, Jen W, and from someone I really understand, on a very deep level, because she knit 8 squares in a couple of days and probably alarmed her family members by not answering when spoken to: Melissa.
While I hate to keep changing the rules on y’all, I’ve had a change of heart on my stated preference for solids or near solids. Since answering that question, I’ve had a brainstorm about a cool way to incorporate the crazy striping or patterning yarns, so BRING ‘EM ON. (The answer came from the Gee’s Bend quilters. Images of the Gee’s Bend quilts sometimes float into my brain, unbidden. I cannot remember, clearly, most of the paintings I really love, but I could sketch favorite GB quilts from memory.)
More wholesome entertainment: watching Merle Hazard’s new video several times daily and waiting for the end to see MY SONGWRITING CREDIT. Can I just say that working with Merle was an absolute RIOT? The guy cracks me up (mostly intentionally). I was pleased and proud to make my humble contribution to the songwriting team. Next time I’m in Nashville I hope you will work your connections to get me an autograph or something. I would add, in passing, that I’ve been keeping up my sight-singing skillz and I’m available to fill in for any back-up singer who calls in sick while I’m in town. (I can sing ALMOST as high as Merle’s boys.)
Another great diversion/blood sport I’ve been meaning to share: cancelling catalogs. If cancelling catalogs is your hobby, then Catalog Choice is your Ravelry. So fun to add catalogs to my list. It takes 10 weeks to work, so I’m grimly recycling bushels of holiday catalogs, but with hope in my heart that the stream of wasted paper will dwindle to nothing before too long. Catalog Choice currently has over 100,000 people signed up, but they’re aiming for a million and beyond. This could really green up the way mail order businesses operate. I love Garnet Hill, but I don’t replace my sheets 3 times a month, and when I do, I know how to find them on the Web. People: Go forth and cancel ye catalogs while ye may. You did not come down the Clyde on a biscuit! Red up your mailbox!
Happy weekend everybody!