Archive for June, 2006

when you’re fantasizing about marathons

June 29, 2006

Something’s not quite right.

I used to run a lot–30-35 miles a week in my heyday. And never once did I think to myself, “If only the six miles ahead of me was a six-page paper to write, then I could do it, no problem.”

Yesterday, while staring at a blank page of legal paper, I thought: “If this dissertation was a marathon, then I could do it, no problem.”

So, it’s like that…



June 27, 2006

Of all of the romantic notions about writers, the one that I can’t seem to purge from my mind/psyche is the “writers carry beautiful journals and write in them whenever they have a beautiful thought.” Never mind the inherent perspicuity and splendor of the prose, the real draw is the automatic, habitual, impulse to write the thought down. That one’s inclination to get the words on paper should overpower everything else—that’s what makes a writer, right?

I can’t recall exactly when I obtained my first journal (perhaps the diary I had in sixth grade should count?) but I do know that they’ve appeared about one-per-year since that point. I welcome each one with fresh enthusiasm and verve, promising myself that this time, this journal, will be the One that will solidify my status as “writer.”

My journals are lined up nice and tidy on one of my bookshelves. Each one has about two weeks worth of entries, followed by a billion blank pages.

I started this blog in part to cure me of this problem. I figured the possibility of an audience might encourage me to put my thoughts down, invoking the idealized writer I (apparently) so desperately want to be.

And, judging by the length of time between this post and the previous post, I’ve all but shelved this blog. I hate myself a little bit for that. I also hate the fact that my friend the disciplinarian might be right. Perhaps it is a matter of sitting down to write, even when I don’t really have much going.

I’m going to keep trying. Practice makes perfect.

Or better yet, “After the final no there comes a yes…”

knitted, felted laptop bag

June 5, 2006

I might as well title this post “Thankfully, off needles” because I didn’t really enjoy my last project at all. Ordinarily I love knitting, but this laptop bag about ruined me.

I got the idea for this bag because two friends of mine are using the Interweave Knits pattern. I didn’t want to shell out for the pattern (sorry, Interweave) so I searched online for other knitter’s ideas. I found this entry in a blog and I used her specs to create my bag.

Her bag was 25″ by 22″ when folded, and after felting it turned out to be 17″ by 13.5″, a loss of about 8″ during felting. I measured my laptop (a 14″ by 10.5″ by 1.5″ Dell) and decided I would want a post-felting size of 17″ by 11.5″ to ensure enough room for the thickness and for some handles. That meant that I would need to have a 25″ by 19.5″, and because I wanted to make my stripes go up and down rather than across, the pre-folded, pre-felted piece would have to be 50″ by 19.5″. That, my friends, is a lot of knit, knit, knit; purl, purl, purl.

You bet your sweet ass I knit a swatch first. I always knit a swatch. Anyone who doesn’t is a fool.

So here’s a picture of the finished piece pinned to my rug:
pinned down

When I tell you that this thing took forever, I mean it. I had to take breaks to knit a couple of baby hats and to begin a sweater while I worked on this thing. It was mind-numbingly boring. I’m sorry, but it was.

But, this afternoon, all the work suddenly became “worth it” when I felted the bag. It took me two cycles to get it to the right size (I thought it might take three!) And here is a picture of the bag next to my laptop. I stuffed it with newspaper to shape it for the laptop. Now I just have to wait until it dries…