Now. . . all that remains is the collar (I have some modifications in mind; wish me luck), a good blocking, and the zipper. If the collar works out, and the sweater dries fast, and the zipper goes in right the first time . . . I'll be GOLD. If not? Meh. Not a big deal.
The funny thing about my Olympic knitting? I've had to stop watching the Olympics while I knit! I get too distracted. I slow down and make errors and lose interest. So, I've now joined "Team Karenina" -- and I spend my knitting time with Anna, Oblonsky, Kitty, Levin and the gang!
I read all the time. Usually with my eyes. . . but more and more frequently, I "read" with my ears. It took me a while to get used to listening to books. . . but now that I've made the adjustment, I can't imagine what I would do without my iPod - Audible pairing.
I just finished "reading" Elegance of the Hedgehog (which I actually happen to have on my bookshelves in book form, too) by Muriel Barbery. Excellent book. One of those books that you have to chew on for a few days after you finish. . .
Now I'm ready to start my next book. If you've already read Elegance of the Hedgehog, you probably know where this is going. . .
Yep. The Olympics are speeding rapidly to a close. . . and I'm knitting at a frenzied pace. Will I make it? Will I finish by Sunday? Am I feeling . . . under pressure?
Nah. No pressure. I'm making good progress, but I might not finish in time.
Maybe I'll finish. Maybe I won't. I'm not worried about it.
I haven't dropped everything to knit constantly. I haven't lugged this project to a hockey game or packed it in my car when I've gone visiting. I haven't skipped any workouts or meetings or sleep. (In full disclosure, though, I did put off cleaning my bathrooms. But I probably would have done that anyway.)
I used the whole Olympic-knitting challenge to get myself moving on a project I've "meant to" start for a long time. I chose this project, with all of its tedious moss stitch, as my Olympic knitting intentionally. You see, I can easily put off knitting a project like this; something I really do want to knit; something I know Tom will really like. But. . . a project that might be easy to set aside . . . to try something else. Something that doesn't have so much moss stitch; something that isn't brown; something that doesn't have a big, fat zipper waiting for me at the end.
So, whether I actually finish by Sunday or not, it doesn't matter. I feel really good about this project. It's almost done, and I've made great progress in a short period of time.
I've made some goofs. I've ripped. I've had some do-overs. I even had to do some maths! (More on that in a later post.)
But now, I'm in the groove. Almost finished. I can see the finish line. But. . . I'm NOT feeling. . . under pressure!
Check out this amazing birthday card Brian got from some good friends:
copyright AGC, Inc.
Apparently, this card was just there. . . on the card rack of the grocery store! It wasn't a special order or personalized card or anything. Without a doubt, this is Brian's favorite card ever -- and he will probably keep it forever.
Briantology. Going out on his own. I love it. Because Brian is definitely an individual; doing things his own way. Briantology. I think it must be what makes him. . .
spend hours designing and building bridges for the Science Olympiad. . .
work diligently to perfect his creme brulee skills. . .
choose this shower curtain as the "best birthday gift ever". . .
A month or so ago, I noticed I had a "blog milestone" approaching, so I had a little contest. I offered to make a minion for the 1,000th commenter on my blog. After a flurry of comments, Sharon was declared . . . The Winner!
I love reading all of your comments, and I'm so happy to have made so many new friends through my blog. I was really excited to send this little minion off to Sharon -- and so pleased to learn that the little round gal (this minion is a girl. . .) makes Sharon smile!
But, you know, even though Sharon won my contest, I realized that I'm the REAL winner here. Not only do I get all of my new blog friendships, but today . . . I got a really cool prize of my own! Sharon sent me this gorgeous handmade totebag to carry my gardening books and magazines.
Her timing couldn't be better! It's snowing again. It's cold and grey and dark. If feels like spring will never, ever arrive. And I really have the itch to garden. So, this bright, lovely garden bag just made my day!
I put it right to work, hauling my new magazines and catalogs. The size is perfect.
And look -- Sharon has personalized tags! So cute.
Thanks so much for brightening my day -- with your comments, and your friendships, and (Wow!) with surprises!
Every four years, the Olympics bring us sports that no one has ever heard of -- or, at least, sports that we don't really think about except during the Olympic competition. Snowboard cross. Nordic combined. Two-man luge. Skeleton. And, for a lot of people, curling.
But not in our house.
My mom is Canadian. (Tom likes to call her "Alberta" -- because that's where she's from.) When my mom was a school girl, she used to curl. So I grew up sort of thinking that curling was. . . normal. A bit obscure, sure. But normal. My mom used to explain the basics of the sport, and share The Lingo: skip, rock, house, sweep.
I wish I had a photo of my mom curling. Back when she was young, though, parents didn't snap photos of every little thing their kid did, and there apparently weren't any "team photo days." But, here's a photo of my mom in high school anyway. Just so you can imagine her throwing her rocks and sweeping her little heart out there on the cold Canadian ice!
(Her dapper date is none other than my dad. He isn't Canadian, and he's never curled. She overlooked that -- probably because he was such a keen dresser, and had a hot car.)
All that curling knowledge has come in handy for me. I don't curl. . . but Tom does!!!
He curls on a league with the Kalamazoo Curling Club. You can find him and his buddies on Friday nights at the ice rink. Throwing rocks. Sweeping. Drinking beer. (Me? I watch from time to time, but mostly I stay home and take advantage of uninterrupted knitting time.)
So, for me, curling seems more "normal" than some of the other Olympic events. Fun to watch. And, apparently, fun to do, too!
The Olympics. So many stories. Who can forget this one?
Redemption stories. Gritty stories. Rising-above-it stories. Against-all-odds stories. Really, that's probably one of the things I like best about the Olympics. Personal stories of sacrifice, effort, and pure grit. Because what often separates the medal winners from the rest of the pack is that willingness to dig a little deeper; to reach a little farther; to get back up and try it again.
Which brings me to my Olympic knitting project.
Oh, I was cruising right along. Sure, there are a LOT of stitches on the needle. The rows are r-e-a-l-l-y looooooooong. Moss stitch is tedious. But there's a pattern there to break things up a bit. And it's not the kind of project that requires total concentration and a lot of counting -- I can talk on the phone or watch tv while knitting.
Or, so I thought.
Jenny says. . . I know that problem spot is in here somewhere. I can smell the irritation. . .
Last night, I realized that I had gotten distracted somehow -- right in the middle of a pattern segment -- and I had messed up a small portion of the moss stitch (unfortunately, right in the middle of the piece). Of course, being moss stitch, it took me a while to notice. Like. . . rows and rows. Long. Long. Rows.
I considered my options. I tried some things. I got grumpy. I wanted to throw the piece in a dark corner.
But, this is my Olympics. What would Apollo do? Why, he'd get back up, smile that dazzling smile, and keep going. What would Lindsey do? Why, she'd get back up, smile that dazzling smile, and keep going. What would Sean do? Why he'd get back up, smile that dazzling smile, and keep going.
Eventually, I decided to live with a minor imperfection. I knit backwards
for several rows. I patched things up as best I could without a major
rip-back. I ended up knitting for hours last night . . . with no
So. I hit some adversity. I got back up and I kept going.