Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the edge

In the best possible way, of course. That is to say, I'm finished with the body of Lacewing, and am on the edging. Now, don't get too excited; the edge motif is eight rows, and I need to do sixty repeats on one side of the shawl, plus another sixty on the other side, so there's still some serious knitting to go, but I'm feeling that pull of the downhill roll to the end of the shawl.

I know I'm going to miss it when it's off the needles, but the gravity well at the end of this knit, the one that's pulling me along, is the thought of having this baby pinned out on the blocking wires. I adore the shape of faroese shawls when they're all laid out like wings waiting for flight, and I covet and lust for such a shawl to be spread out on my blocking bed, instead of in pictures on someone else's. Mine mine mine. (I know, it's not pretty, but that's how I feel.)

What this means, though, is that I've spent every spare knitting moment on the shawl. I'm behind on reading blogs, I haven't responded to all of the comments on my blog, and I'm behind in email. I have managed to put together the syllabi and reading lists for my classes, so the absolute critical work is still getting done, but other than that, it's been kids and knitting all week.

Younger Daughter had soccer camp this week, which was at a somewhat awkward time, in that we had to drop Older Daughter off at school at 7:45 (which entails leaving the house at 7:15, thanks to drop-off traffic; I'm working on that), but Younger Daughter's camp started at 9:00. It felt silly to go home for 45 minutes, only to load up again and drive back out in that direction, but it also felt silly to plan to just hang out at the park for an hour until camp started. However, Younger Daughter begged me to do just that, so she could play on the playground and (as she said) "warm up for camp". I kept thinking, but this means I have to hang out in the park for three hours instead of two hours (long story; suffice it to say that hanging out makes more sense than driving back and forth to the house), until it occurred to me that we were talking about Knitting Time. I mean serious, in-depth, can't-do-anything-else, so-why-not-knit time (yes, I could do something else, but allow me my delusions). Three hours of it. So I graciously told Younger Daughter that I was willing to sacrifice myself for her happiness, brought my coffee and my beach chair and my iPod, and knit each morning this week. Heh.

I don't think I could possibly have gotten this far without that extra time, but I'm glad of it, as classes start for me in a week, and I'd like to have this shawl completed before that (it turns out I'm a serial concentrator, what can I say?).

Older Daughter survived her first week at school with flying colors. It was, I think, tremendously overwhelming, especially given that she's been going to a small Montessori classroom, where her class of 25 students included all of the 3rd through 5th graders. And now there are 100 6th graders, and eight classes in different classrooms. And she really didn't know anybody; two boys from her school also decided to go to this new school, but oddly, the boy/girl no-hang-out rule suddenly appeared out of nowhere, after they've been spending virtually every single weekday together for four years. Things are different at a bigger school, I think. All of that said, she was content with her week, which makes me content. We took her out to dinner on Friday to celebrate and make a deal of it, which I think she appreciated (for years, we've had a tradition of toasting successes at dinner together, as a way of celebrating the small things in life, and she got a big toast on Friday). In some ways, I think that week two will be more telling, as it is a complete week instead of a short one, and she'll be less shell-shocked, and more able to figure out how she's actually feeling about each day rather than being in touch only with that overwhelming sense of relief to have survived another day.

Yesterday, Rick and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Stone Brewery's BrewFest (he's been going the past five years, I've been going for the past four). It was on my campus this year, instead of at Stone, which caused a certain degree of cognitive dissonance (drinking beer in front of the library; weird). Luckily, I only saw a couple of colleagues, who didn't seem to notice me in the general mayhem, and one student, and the President didn't appear to have decided to attend (whew!). We had a great time, and Rick got to try beer to his heart's content, as I was not about to drink all of my tickets' worth of beer (I was designated, which I take very very seriously). The sheer range of humanity at this event never ceases to amaze and amuse me. Talk about spectacle. And, as usual, while I'm not sure I'd necessarily like many or most of the people I watched yesterday in a deep one-on-one conversation, I was reminded of how much I like people in the aggregate. Get a bunch of us humans together, and the things that we will do to self-identify and stand out, or alternatively, to hide and blend in, always amaze me. It's the online creation of culture, and it enchants the anthropologist in me.

Today is devoted to laundry and getting school shoes for Younger Daughter. And, of course, edges. I'll post when I can, and I'll try to bring pictures next time.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the knitting time! It's amazing how much can get done that way.

I love the anthropologist idea--I was nodding my head going, yes, that's it exactly! People watching is great fun.

Anonymous said...

Hello from Jerusalem!
I like people watching too, sometimes I loose control and make faces at them and things like this,,, it always make me think: what will they think about me if they will notice,,, funny!

Nana Sadie said...

WHOOHOO!! I envy all that time to knit!!! Cannot wait to see your first Faroese!
They're such fun.
And it sounds as if you're enjoying your last few days of freedom before the onslaught of a new school year commences for MOM!

Anonymous said...

One of our older daughter's first assignments in a college class was to study high school students at a football game with an anthropologist's lens on things. We were very amused - just 12 months earlier she was one of those about whom she had such insightful comments. Amazing what taking that step back can do.

Congratulations to all of you for a successful first week back - I hope you and YD get a dinner out for your first weeks, too!

Bea said...

I'm glad school went well. And I totally think your "knitting time" is completely justified.

Jane said...

My mum and I used to sit and watch people, it was very amusing! Glad the first few days of school have gone well. Hope you get your shawl finished by the time you want

Anonymous said...

Once she settles in with the rest of the students, it should be easier. New school! Yikes.

Lacewing! So pretty. So close to being done. And that enforced knitting time! Clearly you could do nothing else in those 3 hours. Why would you think otherwise? ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh, you poor thing! An extra hour of knitting time, for a week! How did you manage?

Surviving the first week is an accomplishment. So is surviving getting a new pair of school shoes (mom's survival).

Does this mean summer is over and work is real again?

hopalong682003 said...

Beerfest...I'll have to watch for it next year. We just went over to Stone last Wednesday. First time that I'd been there. Good beer...but potent! I'd have to be careful of using the tickets, too. Yeah for you on being a DD.

Stell said...

wow! 3 hours knitting a day - I am impressed no wonder you have made such serious progress. I'm so pleased that other than a little shell shocked T had a good week. the other stuff will fall in to place, it happens, keep knitting - some times a Knitter just has to knit.