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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

drinking the dregs of my fifth semester

"I might say, that I had as much talent for Leavis-style dismantling of texts as anyone else, I even had a special bent for it, nearly a sadistic streak there, but it seemed to me not only a foolish game, but deeply destructive of myself." 
- Ted Hughes

Thursday, November 22, 2012

quagmire mittens

I've entered the quagmire of the semester--I hope to emerge alive in two weeks' time. Today I wrote an imitation of JFK's inaugural address for rhetoric class. Around the 500 word mark it came to me that I would like to start running again, and paint my nails. I feel lethargic and dowdy already, and I fear it is only going to get worse. I have plenty to say on the subject of why it is ridiculous to base 50% of a student's GPA on work accomplished mid-panic attack and on three hours of sleep, and how no one in their right mind could call my generation lazy (though they often do).

I've been procrastinating by finishing these mittens.




The wool is from a Canadian company called Briggs and Little. It's wiry and sheepy, and apparently will last forever. 

I had to do surgery on the cuff of the first mitt I knit. I had to unpick two rows after the second cuff turned out to be shorter. Did you realize that knitting only unravels one way? I feel that I am learning a lot on this knitting-front lately. 





Sunday, November 11, 2012

view from indoors

When it's this snowy outside, and the internet says -20 degrees, what do you do? 
Well, you buckle down and do homework--you write 1200 words of the progymnasmata for rhetoric class. 
You drink coffee with milk, listen to Ella and Louis Armstrong.
You shovel yourself and the cat out of your basement cave, and carve a path to the garage.
 You knit mittens, socks, and cocoons.


Cat! The cocoons are finally, nearly finished. Expect some mail soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

stash


On Ravelry, one's 'stash' of yarn is a major fixture. It can be photographed, catalogued, looked up, and organized by weight, colour, fibre content. Some members have thousands of skeins ready and waiting. These are pictures from my own little 'stash'. For the first time, I have yarn for more than two prospective projects.


And it is beautiful yarn. Some of it was hand-dyed in France. The green skeins above are from an Irish spinning company; I'm going to knit Tim a cabled sweater out of them. Once I learn how to work cables, that is.



I have yarn for Christmas presents, for mittens for myself, for my first attempt at fair isle knitting. But this wool-hoard--with a wee bit of silk and alpaca and nylon thrown in--makes me uncomfortable. 


Buying this yarn, which I've done in a frenzy, all since August, has been as easy and pleasurable as sharpening my pencils or buying new notebooks. Or, for that matter, buying interesting ingredients from Superstore. Is there anything more appealing than provisions and supplies? It's easy to forget that the point is the writing and knitting and cooking, and afterwards, the reading and wearing and eating. 



And it's easy to get caught up in "learning", too. It's easy to spend hours reading forum posts, self-help books, lovely blogs. But it can be an ordeal to practice a new technique, to scribble shitty first drafts, to try to live some kind of good life. 

Mostly, I want to spend more time doing than preparing. It's quite hard.