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Archive for May, 2011

One of the things I like about knitting is that it doesn’t require a lot of extra “stuff” in the bag. There’s no need for a Batman Utility Belt to organize all of your crap. In my knitting bag I keep the needles that current projects on, a pair of scissors, a tape measure, and a little Altoid can containing stitch markers, a darning needle, and an old cable needle that I never use (learn how to cable without one…it’s so worth it!). Oh, and there’s also a massive bag of gummi bears. Very important.

I don’t go around looking for new tools, not even needles (I have an interchangeable set), but I have recently been given one that has made a world of difference in increasing my knitting time…a bluetooth ear thingy.

I know what the reaction’s going to be from some of you: “Oh, you’re THAT guy. You know, that obnoxious cyborg who wears the ear extension everywhere…to the mall, the grocery store, to church (ugh).” Well, no. I’m not. My mom gave me this thing for my birthday because she knows that the times I’m most likely to call her are either when I’m on the road after dropping my kids off to spend a weekend with their mother or while I’m cooking dinner. Both work better with both hands free.

But recently I’ve been on the phone for long periods of time during what has normally been a “knitting block” in my schedule: the time after my girls go to bed. A good friend of mine has been going through some serious stuff and has called me a bit to talk through things. It’s really hard to talk on a handheld while knitting (believe me, I’ve tried) but thanks to the wonders of bluetooth technology I can knit while talking. My friend’s a knitter and fully understands.

So I’m now in love with my little bluetooth ear thingy. Anything that can help me to maximize knitting time while still being there for a friend in need is okay in my book. Just please slap me if you ever see me wearing it at church.

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The only thing doesn’t change is change itself.

I’ve heard variations on this statement several different times during my life and I’m really seeing a lot of it in my own life lately. As I wrote in my last post, I’m working on a job change. Must get back to elementary. Somebody at work asked me today, “Is it really that horrible here?” and the answer is a resounding “NO!” It’s not horrible, it’s just not who I am. Simple as that.

But I’m finding myself changing direction in my knitting as well. First off, I’m taking May off from my self-imposed sock club, so that Megan can see her sweater taking priority. Hopefully she’ll have a nice, warm, cozy wool sweater, nice and thick from the cables, in JUNE. Damn, I hope she doesn’t grow during the summer.

A tight pain in my left shoulder induced (I think) by totally stressed-out knitting has left me questioning the validity of the self-imposed sock club anyway. I knit because I love it, and deadlines make it less fun and more stressful. My massage therapist was all like “Damn, boy! What you been doing to yourself?”

What would really make me hate it is deadlines AND getting paid for it. This is why when people ask me if I’ve ever considered knitting for money I’ve said no. Actually it’s more like “Hell no.” Maybe something even stronger. Besides, if I knit for profit, who would buy it? I’d have to either use obnoxiously squeaky, not soft or warm, but cheap, acrylic yarn, or use real yarn and charge more than any human in his right mind would pay for a sock or sweater. And if I did sell my knitted apparel my hourly pay would be less than that of a Nicaraguan sweatshop worker.

Let’s face it, we knit because we enjoy it, and probably because we’re at least a little bit nuts. It’s not a cheap hobby, and it’s not one that should have deadlines.

I’m currently reading Drive–The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. This book talks a lot about how extrinsic motivation is the enemy of innovative thinking and creativity and even progress on a larger scale. He even goes so far as to say that goal-setting, while often good, can sometimes cramp our creativity and make us less productive.

I’ve written at least once in the past about the value of slowing down, and I think it’s important to take my own advice. The self-imposed sock club may work for some people, but I am finding that it’s taking some of the fun out of the process for me. I am already stressed out enough…why make it worse?

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So Bad It’s Funny

My afternoon/evening hours today were less than stellar. From 3:30-8:30 were a such sucktastic crapfest of bubbling yuck that I can’t help looking back and laughing.

It all started with the walk home. My younger daughter was brought to my school by a friend’s mom where we proceeded to rehearse our song for the talent show at our church’s annual retreat. My older one, a student at my school, started singing harmony parts, and life was good. We started the 3-block walk home in good spirits, despite my little one saying that her legs hurt and whining a bit about not being able to drive home. I told her that we couldn’t drive, since the car was in our driveway at home.

Or was it?

We arrived at the driveway to see our car gone and at that point it hit me…WE DROVE TO SCHOOL TODAY!! So while the girls got their afternoon snack I went and picked up the stupid car.

But wait…there’s more!

This evening I had a job interview as part of my insidious plot to teach elementary school music again (gotta warp the young ones…by middle school they’re already warped in all the wrong ways if left to their own devices). Knowing that traffic coming out of Boston would be crazy, I built in about a 30-minute cushion in my timing. Apparently 30 minutes extra isn’t enough. I didn’t foresee that it would be an extra 10 minutes of traffic, PLUS the added set of steak-knives: I got lost. Took a wrong turn and arrived, breathless, flustered, and pissed at myself. I think I recovered well, but we’ll see….

After arriving home to two tired, cranky girls who had just had a blow-up, we had a strangely peaceful dinner. As we finished our episode of Phineas and Ferb (LOVE that show!)  the little one was knitting with cheap, crappy, ancient needles and one of them broke. In three pieces. So after transferring the needle to one METAL needle of the same size she promptly lost the second metal needle. Lifting the cushion of the poofy chair to see if the big ugly chair monster ate it, she didn’t realize that she was bumping the table beside it with the cushion. Yes, she dumped all of the contents of that table (a wii remote, knitting needle pieces, her ball of weirdass orange ribbony yarn, and unidentifiable bits of her sister’s school project) all over the floor.

I think I’d better go to bed because I am so done with today.

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