Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Look Ma, I'm Legit!

I have the essential laptop, and a Mac even, to round out my literary appearance...
Now all I need is a cord blazer with suede patches on the elbows and a pipe. OK, maybe not so much. There must be a feminine equivalent. That I will probably refuse to adopt. Because it will mean wearing a skirt, or un-sensible shoes, or something other than denim.
And, as if that is not enough, official contracts, two of them, with an author questionaire. I must say, every time I read the words "Melissa Morgan-Oakes (herinafter known as Author)..." I get a tad weepy.
Eventually the tears will fade and I will be able to actually read the contract in some clinical manner. Or maybe I'll just sign it and send it back. Lawyers are over-rated, right?
Knitting? Umm...shortly, I promise! Malea will rejoice to hear that we are in the finishing stages of the RockStar. I am hopeful. It looks like evrything will fit together and become something resembling a sweater. Wouldn't that be novel?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Time to take stock. I have so many things to be thankful for, it's hard to know where to begin. First, I am thankful that I get up every morning under my own steam, and walk to the coffee maker which I can see with my eyes and hear with my ears.

I am thankful for babies who grow up into children who then become adults even if at times it appears that they are trying to drive me into an institution.

I am thankful for a man in my life who supports me and loves me no matter what, even when at times I appear to have Career A.D.D. (Nurse? seamstress? crafter? knitting teacher? author?? what next???). I am thankful for my father who never forgets to say "What are you going to be when you grow up??" and shakes his head wryfully.

I am thankful for food in my fridge and a roof over my head, for a warm bed at night. I am thankful for my life.

I am thankful for America which I often bash but truly love. I am thankful that I can be at liberty to complain about America. It's easy to gripe when you have freedom. I am thankful that tomorrow when I wake up there will not be the threat of bombs and guns blasting me out of my senses. I am thankful for relative peace around me, even if the rest of the world appears to be going to heck in a handbasket.

At this precise moment I am mostly thankful for my job. I send out letters, and yarn comes to my house, for free. Yes it needs to be swatched and designed into socks. Yes, it needs to be knitted and photographed. But it just appears here, as if by magic. And I love it all so very much! If I had to choose a favorite so far I'd have to say one particular skein of Scheafer Anne is calling out to me. I love that yarn. But then the Cherry Tree Hill, my first, is decidedly edible. The Louet yearns to be knitted - and then machine washed and dried. Where do I begin??

Maybe I am thankful that I can just stare at it for a few more days...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Been a While

I've been teaching a lot and doing a lot of mental stuff in between times. It's mostly intellectual work I've been up to, and I find it gets in the way of my knitting. But - I have finished a couple of things. First, my tank, shown here under Mr. Wonderful's jacket because I was too lazy to move it. This was a lot of fun to knit and I love it on. It's not blocked yet, but has been tried on and was, if I do say, adorable. I need to finish the capelet, which is totally stalled. Before that I need to finish the rock star, but my graph got messed up and every time I look toward it I feel kind of queasy. I need to go back, figure out where I am, replace the magnet and hope no one bumps into it again. Really it should be a one afternoon gig. One good solid day at home and it'll all be over. And be over it must, both because it was promised ages and ages ago, and because I have other fish to fry. And by the way, Malea, your vest - which I bet you think I've forgotten?? That IS a no-brainer, and will be done before Christmas. And I did get a zipper for Mr. Wonderful's jacket, but that'll take me forever to commit to. I don't love zippers. Never have, never will.

Then there are the modular scarves for class this weekend. Samples. Scarves in the Mist. It's very misty here today. It's 52 degrees, and it's rained a lot and the brook is going all out behind me. I had the slider doors open so the dogs could play on the deck. Really it was so I could listen to the brook. The one on the left is Artyarns Supermerino (109 and 125, two skeins of each) and the right is Noro Silk Garden closeout, which makes the project a fun and affordable $13.50 or so. I get so busy with other things that I forget often how much satisfaction I get out of Modular stuff, or lace, or cables or what have you. Someday I am going to make a ton of items just for me, and they're going to be all the disciplines I love but never have time to master fully, like twisted Austrian stitches and so forth.

For now my mind revolves around the intellectual labor of this, the Two-Socks technique. From here this looks like a pile of unfinished baby socks. What it really represents is hours of trial and error, and learning to teach a thing I do mechanically. It also represents the brave efforts of a gallant few (Katy, Kristen and Mary Alice) who were willing to go a very long extra mile for me and try out this technique in spite of my obvious brain cramps in explaining it. They've been incredibly helpful in pointing out potential pitfalls and helping me to define how this technique works. I seriously could not do this without you guys. Seriously. Now, why, one might ask, am I putting so much effort into deconstructing a technique I do without thinking? Because it will be the focus of my book. My book. I love how that sounds! My book (I can't stop saying it) if all goes according to plan will be released next fall by Storey Publishing and will include the two-socks on one circular technique, and also a collection of 15-20 sock patterns in all weights and sizes and types. What this means is that most of my blogging from now till March will be about socks. There may not be a lot of pictures. And there may not even be a lot of words. "Be careful what you wish for...". I begin to see with full clarity what I suspected all along. Writing a book is a vast amount of labor for not very much financial compensation. You really have to love what you're doing. It's like parenthood.

And I also work on this. Because I have dial-up, I can keep a project at the computer. This is the official dial-up project of the week, a mitten from measurements in a simple stripe of Valley Yarns Amherst charcoal and Classic Elite Waterlilly 1947. I am currently teaching a mitten from measure class, and this mitten and its future partner will hopefully be used this weekend to demonstrate alternative decrease options and what they look like when completed. Today we're downloading Microsoft Windows updates and trying to upload pics for the blog. Perfect for Dial-Up Knitting! (GRR!)

I leave you with this:
This is a Boo-Boo going full-bore straight for my knees. He's got a big grin, which may or may not be evident to the casual observer (trust me, it's a grin). He's so incredibly happy, all the time, unless he's scared, but then he sits on momma's foot and he's happy again. He's not a baby any more, but carries in his spirit a sense of undying puppyhood. His entire person exudes puppy in spite of his heft. He's just utterly unaware, but in a comforting way. I think we all need moments like this in our lives, moments where the grown-up life of bills and mortgages and car problem simply don't exist, and we're totally and wholly in the moment of frolic and joy and life.
I am so jealous.