Posts for : August 2017

Under a Purple Sun* 16

I’ve never said much about my work life here on the blog, probably because while I felt well-suited to my job, it wasn’t something I cared to think about when I didn’t have to. My intention, many years ago, was to become an academic. I got an MA in English literature and began work on a PhD, and I loved it. I loved the learning and teaching and writing. I loved the mix of people. I was grateful every single day for the opportunity to be part of a community that encouraged me to use my brain in vigorous ways. I can remember walking to class marveling at how I’d gotten so lucky.

But that crazy life. . . While I was working on my dissertation, the world as I knew it changed, and it became clear that the future wasn’t gong to unfold as neatly as I’d imagined. When the dust of the unforeseen finally settled, I went to work in the publishing industry, and that’s where I’ve been for the last 18 years. Until now.

Starting on Monday I am going back to teaching English full time.

I am thrilled.

It’s not just that I’m happy to get back to teaching. I am. But I am also looking forward to walking into the classroom and meeting students as I am now. The first time around, I had rigid ideas about where I should teach and whom I should teach, and also about whose opinions about my teaching and writing and research mattered. The years have given me a broader view. I can see now that all of that certainty got in the way.

My fifty-one-year-old self has found the freedom to not know, to celebrate the gray areas, to search without having a death grip on the outcome. I can now say “both/and” where in the past I’d have felt compelled to choose “either/or.” My hope is that this will make me a better teacher.

For nearly two decades, I tried to do a good job at my work because I believe that’s what a person should do. Come Monday, I will have the honor of trying to do a good job because it just might change someone’s life if I can. I know it’s going to change mine.

Thank you, blog friends, for listening and for being part of my world for the last four years. Knitting goes on. Thank goodness. However, it will probably look a lot more like this in the days to come.

*The title of this post comes from Langhorne Slim & The Law’s “Changes.” Earlier today, we watched a total eclipse of the sun, so it seemed especially appropriate.

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More Rain Outside 15

So I’ve said this before, but The Rain Outside shawl has to be one of the most satisfying patterns I’ve ever knit. The long sections of garter stitch are perfect for finding that zoned out knitting groove, that “haven of refuge and sanity,” that knitting provides, and the lace short row panels act like little landmarks that keep things interesting and let you measure your progress.*

Plus, this time I was knitting with Hedgehog Fibres yarn, and the colors reach right down into my soul. “Poison” and “Ruin.” Lordy.

And look at the wrap and the drape. Every way I fling this shawl around myself it stays put. Some of the commenters on Ravelry mention that they don’t like the drawn-in top edge, but I think that’s one of the things that makes it so wearable. It gives it just enough structure to help it hold on around your neck and shoulders.

I’m not planning to knit a third The Rain Outside right away, but I’ve got it in my mental inventory now, and some day, it will be just the thing.

I’m thinking my next shawl might have to be a Find Your Fade. By the time I get around to it, I’ll be the last person on the planet to knit one, but oh well . . . It’s not a race, right? I still haven’t knit a pair of Hermione’s Everyday socks, and that hasn’t killed me. Yet!

On an entirely different note, I’m thinking about a redesign for the blog. What do you think? Do you like it when a blog you’ve gotten used to changes its look, or do you prefer for things to stay like they are? I’d be interested in feedback if you have it.

 

*This wonderful description of knitting is from Susan Gordon Lydon’s Knitting Heaven and Earth: “When I am knitting, I can withstand boredom, inactivity, even conversations that would normally make me squirm with restlessness. It is as though I have a little portable world of my own wherever I go, a haven of refuge and sanity.”

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Django 10

One of the only circumstances under which I can imagine posting here without a single fiber-related photo is the one in which I currently find myself, that of having a new puppy in the house! Blog friends, meet Django. He came home with us on Tuesday, his seven-week birthday.

Lola instantly adopted him as her own and began telling him how things are.

Frankie, on the other hand, isn’t impressed.

I’m not sure whether or not I’ve ever mentioned it here, but my husband spent many years working with police and military dogs and still does some training in those areas. At nearly thirteen and fourteen, our two Belgian Malinois dogs, who’ve been his sidekicks since they were puppies, are getting up in years and prefer lounging to running around training all day. The plan is for Django to gradually become the new working dog in the house. He’ll learn all sorts of advanced obedience, tracking, and protection work, and he’ll be Paul’s companion when he does training with other dogs and their people. Primarily, though, he’ll be our sweet, silly lover boy.

We’ve been absolutely absorbed with him since he arrived. Hence, no pictures of the newly finished The Rain Outside shawl. I’m making slow progress on my Hitchhiker, though, so I’ll try to at least have a few pics of that to share with you soon.

Be well, my friends. And happy knitting!

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