Thursday, October 27, 2005

Stitching and bitching

I've always loved craft projects of any kind. Give me some yarn or some felt or some glitter and a glue gun, and I'm a happy camper. A happy sparkly camper. I learned to crochet in college and taught myself to knit shortly thereafter. Although I've never attempted anything that wasn't rectangular (scarves and afghans only), I really love the acts of knitting and crochet. The instant feeling of accomplishment as your piece takes form before your eyes, the soft click of the needles, the wrestling with the cat over that oh-so-tempting flying yarn. Every now and again I remember how much I like yarn-based crafts, haul out my supplies, and make a scarf. This is especially useful now that I live in New England where scarves are actually a useful item of clothing. In Texas, our scarves are more decorative than anything else.

When I started crafting again this time, I resolved to finally conquer knitting. The last time I attempted this, which was last Christmas, I believe, I nearly tore my hair out. There was tangled yarn, phantom increases, and chaos in the streets. This time, I approached the thing carefully and with great determination. Now I have a ribbed scarf. It's a lovely soft grey and it's nearly long enough to finish off. To inspire me to master the fundamentals of the craft, I looked at a number of knitting books. One of my favorites was Stitch n' Bitch. I liked the title, and the fact that it seemed modern and hip, unlike the straight out of the early 80's models who adorned my "Teach Yourself to Knit in Just One Day" pamphlet. I liked the book so much that I resolved to join my local Stitch and Bitch group.

I signed up on their mailing list and proceeded to think of two months' worth of reasons not to go to the meetings. It's too hot, I'm too tired, I have too much work, I don't want to move my car (hey, if you don't have on-street parking, you just don't understand). Last week I finally ran out of excuses and went. I can't believe I was nervous about going. I had a wonderful time and met some very nice people. I went again tonight, and felt great afterwards, and my scarf is nearly done!

I often let my shyness and insecurity stop me from doing things I really want to do. The excuses I created to avoid going to the meetings were all about avoiding doing something I was nervous about. I used to do this all the time when I was a kid. I'd whine and cry about going somewhere strange or new. I'd tell Mom I didn't want to go. She'd bargain with me. If I went and stayed for some pre-set amount of time (say half an hour) then I could go home. I'd grudgingly agree, sure that we'd be heading home as soon as the clock allowed. Needless to say, nine times out of ten, I stayed that half hour, and then some, and didn't want to go home. Mom always says that once you get there, you'll like it. And once again, she's right.

Getting my blog on

I don't know what to say. I really shouldn't feel so badly about this since I'm the only person who knows this blog exists, but I feel terrible about how long it's been since I last posted and how infrequent my postings have been. I love to write, and feel that I'm actually not a half-bad writer, but the fact that I can't even seem to manage a blog entry or two a week really doesn't seem to bode well for that writing career I like to dream about.

There's been so much going on in my life in the past few months, not to mention all the world and national events that have been weighing heavily on my mind, that I really ought to be rolling in material for good posts. But I just can't seem to sit down and type them out. I'd like to blame my schedule, or my computer, or my super-slow internet connection, but they're not really the things responsible for my silence. I'm just lazy, and it's easier to compose blog entries in my head while I'm in the shower, or drifting off to sleep, or spacing out during a meeting.

But lately, these past few weeks, I feel like I'm really on the verge of something. I hope it's a new beginning, for me and the blog, rather than a nervous breakdown. I'm ready to make a number of changes in my life, hopefully I can write about some of them here. I'm trying for a goal of one post a week for now. That doesn't seem too much, and presumably it will be something I can remember to do weekly, like taking out the trash or moving my car for the street sweepers. With that goal in mind, here's a post for this week.