Friday, September 22, 2006

Dragonflies in my belly

Actually written at ~1:30 pm

My hands are figuratively (spiritually?) twitching and my insides are doing flip-flops. Why? I have a creative burst just BEGGING to pop out of me like...a really gross analogy I just decided not to make. How spring snakes out of a tennis ball can?

Seriously, I have dragonflies in my belly (like butterflies, but more fiery and much more original, don't you think?). I have started listing. I have been shooting around on crafty blogs looking for ideas. It is all I can do to not grab my purse and my portable Ballband-in-a-bag (don't you love it when you find the perfect shoulder bag?) and haul ass to any of 85 creative stores I can think of right now. I even feel sure that the Sucky Jo-Ann on Weslayan* could yield magnificent possibilities.

So why haven't I? What is holding me back? Why am I writing a blog entry when I could be:

a) finishing the Ballband
b) stopping by my mom's to pick up the supplies I left there Christmas before last
c) meandering through Michaels or hopping through Hobby Lobby to get more supplies I don't really need
d) fast-forwarding to tomorrow, when I get to go to High Fashion Fabrics† on a mission with Holly
e) at least sitting in front of Mom K's sewing machine and pretending to start on my Easy Cotton Tiered Skirt**
f) starting my first Curve of Pursuit†

Because, my dears, I couldn't be. Because I Am At Work.

The beauty part of my job is that I write and edit for a if I handle my Windoze just right, I can look for all the world as if I am Working Hard instead of Hardly Working.*** This is one of those cases. I dared the Fates and surfed for a bit, but at the moment, I am creating this very entry in Word.

I think it's a serious case of autumn fever...those couple of days of cool breezes (even if they were only in the evenings) have me itching for more. And it's making me nuttier, as evidenced. There are pumpkins to carve, scoop out, mash, and bake into goodies. Skirts to sew. Objects to knit. Paper to cut and fold. And it's at least another three and a half hours before I can get anywhere close. I could pull something out of my hat on the lunch hour I still have coming – but then I wouldn't want to come back, and I already don't want to be here.

Suddenly, I find myself also feeling sympathy for those of you who are reading this right now. Creative schizophrenia and being antsy for autumn do not good writing make. Would it help you all to know that this is making me feel better?

No? Okay then.

One actual creative update. I took the time last night to plot out the squares for Curve of Pursuit in Illustrator, so once I get the whole thing properly set up, I can easily switch in and out to create color arrangements. Sure, I understand that the concept of Log Cabining is to wing it...but I just couldn't bear it if Curve of Pursuit looked too...well...wung. So this solution is effing genius, if you ask me. Short rows, here I come.

The Ballband will be finished this weekend – this I decree. Beyond that, there will probably be baking and possibly sewing and origami. There will definitely be shopping.

And now, there will be lunch...though I can't promise that I won't do a few rows of Ballband, too. I'll take what I can get at this point.

Update, 8:30 pm: Haven't touched the Ballband yet. Have, however, just polished off a lovely bar of hazelnut chocolate. I am all about the diligence.

* I must ask that you all forgive the Rampant Use of Unnecessary Capitals.**** It's just the Mood I'm In.*****
† These two are not my fault; the titles really look like that.
** But you were warned.
*** Thoroughly warned.
**** I can't stop myself.
***** Somebody help me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Curvy pursuits

I've been neck-deep in goings-on - haven't even made it to Stitch 'n' Bitch in a couple of weeks - but things on the creative front are going pretty well. I'm making very nice progress on my first Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon, though not on much else project-wise.

On the other hand, this...

...arrived in the mail today. This is the pattern for the lovely purple swirly afghan thing - aka Curve of Pursuit, by Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer at Woolly Thoughts - in M-DK, which a great many folk have been going ape over. It was, in fact, that photo of Ann Buechner's interpretation of the LPSAT that convinced me to buy the booklet.

For obvious reasons, it's become very popular...and I'm way jazzed about getting my very own. The pattern looks quite easy - Log Cabining with short rows and more reserve stitches. Chances are that I'll do mine in purple too - but especially since I've read more about the premise now, I'm going to do it with a different color arrangement, and probably with more than two.

And finally, I broke down and bought my first Euroflax at Twisted Yarns on Saturday. For reasons I cannot explain, three hanks of the Emerald colorway jumped into my hands. I swear: I was reaching for the red...I tried to pick up the brown...but I was inexorably drawn to the green. I *like* green, but there is very little of it in my home; I don't know anybody else who's a big fan, either, so I'm at a loss as to why I had to bring it home with me. My dear girly friend Holly thinks it's probably because the red was going to bleed. I wonder if it's because my life needs more color variety.

In any case, I've just tied it into a pillowcase and washed it, in hopes that my hands will not go raw working with it. I hear the washing works well; guess I'll see when it comes out of the dryer. I think it wants to be a shawl. Unless I can think of someone who has a bathroom color scheme that hand-knitted emerald green linen hand towels would fit into. And for whom I would not flinch to give $60 worth of yarn and several days of effort.

If I think of anybody...I probably won't let you know. :) And in the meantime, I'm about to finish the Ballband, start planning some sewing, and get the party started on the Neutral Log Cabin.

Nefarious plans enter my head even as I speak. *evil eyebrow*

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The sharpest tack...the tallest tree

"A tall tree fell in Texas today." - State Comptroller John Sharp

I have been an ardent admirer of Ann Richards since high school, when she ran her first campaign for governor. She was, quite simply, someone who made me prouder to be a Texan - and a woman. And I am still thrilled to say that I once had the distinct privilege of meeting the lady herself.

I had just transferred to TCU at the beginning of my junior year. The governor was scheduled to speak at Convocation (lots of professors walking down in robes, much boring talk, one keynote speaker), and I just happened to have a class break in the time period. No. way. I was missing it.

The lady spoke, and was as fantastic as you might expect. Just unbelievably brilliant and a tongue like an adamantine sword. When it was all over, the auditorium cleared out rather quickly...except for about 10 of us who sort of hung back to see what her "people" were going to do with her. Within a minute or two, we'd all clumped up at the edge of the stage, a diverse little clump of eager faces peering up towards her.

Her handlers started to walk her toward the back, but a few brave souls shouted out "Governor!" She stopped, turned and saw us waving. One guy took her elbow and tried to push her on.

Let me tell you: if looks could kill, that guy would have been nail-gunned to the back of the auditorium. She gracefully retrieved her elbow, strode purposefully toward the edge of the stage, and extended her hand to the first person on her left.

Who managed to say, in utter awe and amazement under her steely, amused gaze: "Hello, Governor, I'm Susan Hopper."

Our Lady moved all the way down the line, shaking every hand and posing for several photos. She was regal and gorgeous and such a very, very strong presence. And we were all as giddy as if we'd met a rock star.

I cried this morning when I saw old video of her - but I do sense it was her time to go, for some reason - a lady always knows when to take her leave. I will sorely, sorely miss her - and we will never see her equal. There is just so much that I want to say, so much I will miss about her being on the planet. And I just don't feel that anything I *could* say would be sufficient.

So I'll close with this:

All hail Our Lady of the Lone Star State. May I ever display a fraction of her steel, charm, wit, and wisdom.

Rest in peace, Governor.

P.S. This is a good place to start if you don't know much about her career. I also recommend checking out Google News for great stories from the NYT, Time, and numerous other venerable pubs.