Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm a winner

Not everyone loves a winner, but a strange lot do, as I found when I won the Princely Prince Charles contest.

A few years back, after puffing up my forty-three front steps carrying the groceries, and grabbing for the phone, I was told by a very London-y voice that I'd won an internet contest I hadn't recalled entering:

Trip for two to London, 4- or 5- star hotel in Mayfair (the boutique Hotel Chesterfield), dinner here, The Lion King there, an Elvis Costello concert , a Driver (not as in golf but as in an ubiquitous automobile and very-impressed-with-my-winner-status chauffeur), a 50th anniversary celebration concert at Royal Festival Hall, AND a pre-concert champagne reception with Prince Charles.

I'm not kidding.

And cousin Carol and I made the most of it, laughing all the way. Another cousin sent me a kid's princess tiara, which I wore on the flight over. In the airport that tiara helped me get front seats in Economy, those ones reserved for babies and me, with extra leg room. Part way through the flight, the stewardess, emboldened after conversing with her colleagues, asked, "We were all wondering. What's with the tiara? Having tea with the Queen?"

("Thanks, my dear , for the set-up question:") " No, I'm having champagne with the Prince.")

They loved a winner and gave us a magnum of champagne and moved us into First Class.

And so it went, on and on, people rubbing up against me to catch the winningness of it all.

I win lots of things; winning begets winning. That little snow gal, with the Latvian braided scarf, was a winner at Knitting Etc.'s First Annual Tree Ornament contest.

Winners irk lots of people. How obnoxious is this blog!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Where do you get the time to knit all of those amazing pieces???

Title: such is the question from my cousin in last night's email, and the string of answers, none of them inclusive, leads me about by the nose today. I'm going to jot and peck away at answers.

How much that TAM looks like a clock-face.

Knowing my cousin and/or knowing my own powers of projection onto my cousin, I sense aggressiveness and accusation; and since I'm quite out of touch with my cousin, I'll absorb and erase her aggressiveness and take it into my own super-ego: why do you knit so much? Don't you have better things to do (or as my mother answered when someone asked her if she knit: "Only if I can't find a book or a piano or anything else to do").

Some people would not even consider wanting or needing to "justify" why they spend their "time" knitting. Lucky ole them.

I've got a family history so encasing, boxes of duty, professionalism, purpose, community values, and other "shoulds," that I like to poke holes (with needles?) into it, to breathe with more room.

Every week I assure (someone/self) that I've done my work, been accountable for all my responsibilities; that the rest of the "time" is mine.

Two questions perhaps: why is time something I might be stealing? Why knitting ? (instead of writing? gardening? other things more or less purposive?)

The "form" that "content" takes is knitting these last sixteen months. The "content" is desire, delight, pleasure, self-soothing, experimentation, amazement, amusement, solitude, space to mull.

Then there's that pesky bit about the cost of knitting--but now I get to teach knitting and gain store/yarn credit in repayment, so money, that horrible necessity, almost gets ex-ed out as a concern.

Where do I get the time? What else have we but time? I'm sixty-two, my children are launched, my profession secure and oh-so-well-known, so lovely and so manageable. I'm in the world's luxurious position of being able to CHOOSE for many of my hours. This year I choose knitting.

And am drolly entranced that knitting chose me. My daughter-in-law reminds me that when I started knitting--on the beach of a family vacation in August 2006, with two wondrous new-knitting cousins ("what fun to share this vacation craft with Ellin and Chris!"), a way to parse the "time," to visit, to focus our sandy moments together)--I insisted somewhat dismissively that this was "just a vacation" interlude....

A month and eighteen hats and six scarves and the originary felted bag later, I was knotted in the knitting life.

How to mark time? Thirty-six sweaters is what kind of measure or equivalence for sixteen months? Tams, scarves, slippers, socks, mittens, xmas stockings? instead of days, weeks, hours?

--There is no clock when I'm knitting (or in the Forest of Arden). I live much in a world of marked time, to knit is to enjoy a different world.

--I knit to find out why I knit.

"Dog, you want to go out? Let me finish this row--aka, just a minute"

My only reluctance to drive 4 hours to see my granddaughters? That's a goodly part of a sleeve I can't be knitting.

I teach film studies, but haven't gone to an out-of-school movie since July (because I can't well knit in the total darkness). So, I have all that previous-movie-going "time."

A lot of chitter-chatter about time and knitting. But I'm going to continue it another "time," as it's interesting and somehow important to me, but now I must knit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pausing after Christmas

I'm joining the online world of knitting reflections, reflectors, not knowing what shape this journal will take, but, having valued connecting with others through their blogs and having just posted a couple dozen "projects" onto my community ("lyndabogel"), I'm using these subdued post-Christmas days to egg myself on to greater technological literacy. (I'm still battling this blog's desire to translate everything I type into question marks (???), as though this virtual alter-ego questions whether I have anything to say: "Just keep knitting, Nemo, keep on knitting. The over-examined life is not worth living." But am perhaps on a winning track this second day of trying.)

My second pre-Christmas season of knitting had as many exacting deadlines as the first, particularly the pressures to knit three Judy's Colors' Xmas stockings as well as the Braided Blues sweater for my son in a two-week space, punctuated as well with entrelac scarf, Kid Silk Night scarf, Dragon Skin sweater for one of my granddaughters, a "warm Rauma hat" for my daughter, Elizabeth, a few extra moebious (pronounced "muhrbious," folks) baskets, and a few pairs of mittens. Yikes, no wonder I can hardly stay awake sitting here at the computer. That million-stitch marathon culminated in four days of family Christmas visiting. Now all have departed, all needles lie silent, I have read a book (Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia (which I can't figure out how to italicize)), and slept many hours.

Instead of looking back or inward at finished knittings, I'm thinking that I'll tumble forward into knitting socks, socks (or at least socks). A year ago, still quite a novice, I tried Magic Loop socks, knit one sock, semi colon or full stop. What's the attraction when it's so awkward for a beginner? Now, having knit the Christmas stockings and one pair of socks on double points, I'm ready for the more minute scale of socks. Will start with some green colorway self-striping Collinette Jitterbug, that I won at a KnittingEtc. open house, and have just found already wound into a ball. Off I go--oops, I have to find a pattern.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TRULY satisfactory "Braided Blues" sweater for my son's Xmas yesterday, done in Ultra Alpaca (Berroco), under the gun, alternating with my knitting three xmas stockings at the last minute. My blog "compose" doesn't work, without I translate every letter I write from a question mark back to a letter। I must find help, for in the quiet of post-Christmas I'd indeed like to try blogging about the knitting life.

Get gauge and maybe I'll be able to write a post: aaaargghhhh