Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wedding band

Originally uploaded by Wordpurler
So...the lovely and talented and also full of self control Toni has requested I post the cable chart for my wedding band celtic cable. (Seriously--check out her amazingness as she stashbusts and doesn't-buy-stuff her way across southern Idaho. Being an Idaho native myself...well, ok, I was BORN there at least...I am proud of my sistah.)

Right now the cable chart is a Word file, so I need to do a little PDF magic and will post it ASAP.

The project has taken on added urgency, since I am developing a new and alarmingly emotional attachment to my husband. (Wait, you say. Isn't one supposed to feel that way for one's spouse? Allow me to explain.)

M and I have been together for 13 years, since I was but a lass of 19 and he a much maturer older dude of...20. We'd both ended somewhat disastrous relationships and in the course of being really good friends discovered that we were actually madly in love with each other, a fact everyone but us seemed to realize much earlier. We married just 17 months later, the summer before my senior year of college, and celebrated our tenth anniversary last summer.

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, he's been having some health problems of late. Nothing urgent, nothing dangerous, just something that feels really chronic, ominously hanging on the horizon of our lives like a shadow across the sun. It's affected his energy, his patience, his spirits, and of course mine as well; the normal stress of the school year plus added responsibilities at home plus general worry equals me on the edge. Normally even-keeled, on a daily basis I am finding myself choking back tears, short-tempered with my students and my children, ducking into hallways to surreptitiously wipe my eyes, sobbing in the car. Today I burst into tears during my pre-observation meeting with my supervisor, the nicest man in the whole world. He thought I was worried about him watching me teach, which is the lowest of the worries on my ladder o' anxiety right now.

Anyway, I think I get the whole prayer shawl thing now. I've worked my way down the yoke of M's sweater and have divided for the body and sleeves. (The photo above is actually of one of the cable swatches I worked during the planning stages, not the sweater itself.) Since the body is vanilla stockinette, it's been great movie and blog-reading knitting, but I find myself just sitting and meditating--on him, on life, on what I hope and what I fear, on what I can do to be a better wife/mother/teacher/person, on how I will survive this, which is, we hope, just that shadow soon to blow away with the next wind, not the night coming early.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sentence Fluency!

Originally uploaded by Wordpurler
OK. Big duh.

I realized that one of the big reasons I haven't been posting...or was getting frustrated when I DID that when I type in the Blogger post window on my vintage 1998 iMac (with its little weenie processor) I get this weird bounce-back echo effect and it takes FOREVAH for my letters to appear on the screen after being typed. (Sorry, bad sentence.) And so I would often get about 1/4 of the way into a post and then just think: screw it. You can imagine the angst this has caused. I just looked back at my post manager and found that I was leaving over 33% of my posts as drafts, never finishing them.

Although Dr. Freud might make all sorts of speculations about my inability to finish off (ahem)...and other knitters might categorize me as a startitis sort of person, I really was just plain frustrated by my technology's inability to meet my needs. I literally could not post what I wanted to--the words in my head did not translate quickly or easily to the electronic page, and not just in the normal composition/editing sort of cycle. (This must be what people with learning disabilities feel like all the time. Should probably note this feeling for future reference with students.)

Then, today, I'm sitting shuffling through Ravelry and spinning through my favorite blogs and all of "the sudden" (as my students would say) I have a little mini-epiphany. Text Edit is my friend.

I can WRITE in TextEdit, then CUT, then PASTE into blogger.

Why oh why did I not realize this before? How dense am I?

Anyway, here I am, typing with fluency and a little behind-the-scenes magic and, voila! I'm a blog-o-matic. A blog-machine. A whizblogger.

I've been doing a bunch of knitting lately (insomnia having its silver lining) and here are a few of the projects in the hopper:

1. I finished charting the cable from our wedding rings, and have started a top-down raglan for my husband. {ravelry link} Dear readers, if any, do you think I should post the cable chart? I'm really proud of figuring it out on my own, with a little inspiration from Alice Starmore and The Girl From Auntie.

2. I finished the body of my Stefanie japel top-down raglan {ravelry link} and am on the arms.
It is a bit big, I fear. I'm going to finish the arms and neckband, and I reserve the right to rip back part of the bottom ribbing after I block it. Right now there's a weird sort of blousing effect between the stockinette and the ribbing, and I hope that will calm down after I block it. I had a lot of trouble getting gauge on this one--the pattern calls for size 9s and I had to go up to 10.5, but now I'm worried that my gauge ended up relaxing as I worked more on it. It's supposed to be just about my bust size and it feels really big. (No, I haven't measured it. Yes, I'm in denial.) May end up being a gift or a sweatshirt-type sweater instead, which is disappointing, because I love this pattern.

3. I've made bunches of hats lately. Been on a hat tear. Soon I will assemble them in one location and have a hat fair.

So that's the knitting of note.