22 October 2006

Stepping back from the ledge

It's been a while. A week ago, I left the mountains to go to my parents house for what was supposed to be a short trip to use the library. The short trip has been extended to a trip of indefinite length because I forgot how useful it is to have a library in the same place you are when you're writing a chapter. I've been going a little crazy -- I leave for Philadelphia (where I will go before I leave for Hawaii) in two and a half weeks. Between now and then I have to write my paper for the Hawaii conference AND I have grant applications due right before I get on the plane, one of which requires part of a finished chapter. I was not ready to write a chapter quite so soon and this has caused several anxiety-induced panic attacks in the last few days because now I'm getting down to the wire. While I generally work well under pressure, and while I have no doubt that somehow I will get all the work done, I think I don't need to explain how un-fun all this has been.

Anway... all that is to explain why I haven't written, although I have been knitting. Stress knitting is an amazing thing. Last night, I hit the breaking point with my draft. Everything I wrote seemed like utter crap, even the stuff I thought was good two days ago. I couldn't figure out how to make my point, and the whole thing seemed like chaos. I called my friend Jennifer, freaked out a little, e-mailed her the draft, and then decided that what I needed was a break. So turned off the computer screen, poured myself a glass of wine, and watched "A Few Good Men" on Bravo while knitting a sock. Nothing like knitting in a circle to calm the wild beast of my mind. By the time Jennifer called me back with comments on my draft (surprise, surprise -- it was no where near as bad as I thought it was), I was relaxed and ready to work again.

I've done no yarn shopping here in Charlottesville, but I have acquired a lot of new yarn. I went through some old trunks with my mom, looking for a good dress to wear to the Masquerade Ball at the Appalshop next weekend. What I found instead was my mom's old yarn stash. Some of the yarn was acrylic, which we're gifting away (I'm a yarn snob... no 100% acrylic yarn for me!), but some of it was some really nice wool, and some of it might make some warm socks this winter. I know that I have spoken about the skill of my grandmother's knitting, but I didn't know until this week how gifted my mom was as a knitter. She doesn't knit anymore, but there were pieces of sweaters and half finished projects in the trunk that were beautiful. I've inherited them all (some without patterns!) and intend to finish them (have you seen my list of WIPs? At this rate, I'll finish them when I'm sixty!). I'll try and post pictures later today.

And hopefully, I'll have several FOs to show you by the time I get back to the mountains. Fingers crossed that I make no more mistakes on the Swallowtail! In the meantime, I leave you with a picture of the fingerless gloves that Jennifer made one evening last week (she's writing her dissertation, too. Can you tell? We both take pictures of our knitting with our computers). I keep telling her she needs to get her own blog, but she resists. I think these are awesome. I'll get some info from her on yarn/needles/etc.


Laura said...

good luck with all your researching and writing...i'm sure it will all get done, and be terrific!

stress knitting is amazing. i've done quite a bit of it lately myself! :)

looking forward to seeing what you got from your mom...

Meg said...

Probably not a huge help but my dad mailed the spindle on Friday! (But not to your parents' house!) Something awaiting you when you get back to the mountains.
Good luck with all the work, I know how it feels!

Theresa said...

Good luck, good luck! And think of all the knitting time on that plane ride to Hawaii!