Saturday, September 25, 2010

Attention span of a gnat

Over the course of the last few years, my yarn stash has been slowly reproducing in the dark confines of my closet. Not only are the skeins reproducing; the started but not yet completed projects also seem to be multiplying. Until I try to organize my closet, it's easy to forget about them. I tried organizing my closet tonight.

A sampling of a few of the evening's finds:

  • A latch-hook rug that I made... a few years ago. I remember the cat claiming it every time I set it down, leaving me to plan to use it as a rug in one of her favorite spots to curl up in. (Spoiled? Nuh uh...) The only thing left to do? Work the edges under. Of course, while quite simple, that's a very tedious task. I don't do well with boring. So I chucked it in the closet and forgot about it.
  • A started black chenille shawl with my lovely J bamboo hook shoved in it (so that's where it went). It's a simple stitch, fairly mindless once you get into it. Good for spacing out to as I watched something entertaining. In fact, I started it while watching an episode of Dr. Who. For those enquiring minds, it was the episode with the Tenth Doctor and Rose, where they encounter werewolves, monks, and Queen Elizabeth. Since I don't recall watching any other episode whilst working on the poncho, that probably means I put ~ 45-50 minutes into the project before abandoning it.
  • Another started poncho, this one in a black novelty yarn that was soft, fuzzy, and had little tufts of primary colors in it. The yarn was a clearance purchase, rounded out by an ebay purchase to meet the pattern requirements. I started the poncho while on a family vacation, probably about 5 or 6 years ago. That was a wretched summer with wicked heat, not great for working with sweaty hands and a fuzzy yarn, nor was it great for furtive spurts of crocheting in rare moments of uninterrupted quiet. I didn't get very far, and the only time I picked it up since then was when the K hook I needed for another project fell out as I moved something else.
  • A started scarf in red, white, and black novelty yarn, meant to go with my black winter coat. The receipt purchase date is November 2006, but I remember prowling multiple Hobby Lobbys for a few weeks before that to find the exact colors I wanted. I was not so adventurous in my crocheting ~4 years ago, nor did I have much experience in following written instructions or working with novelty yarn, and the scarf gave me fits. Stitch definition was an issue, and that didn't work so well with a pattern that required increases and decreases in certain places to create a ripple effect. I pitched it all in a bag, tossed it in the closet, and moved on to the next shiny thing to catch my eye.
  • A started cotton thread mesh market bag. I tossed this one in the closet while cleaning the clutter from my desk. It'd probably been idling on my desk for a few months, sometime in 2009. (I know this because I got the pattern from my 2009 crochet pattern a day calendar.) I started it in the summer since summer is farmers' market season, and a reusable bag is perfect for such shopping, and we were hitting the farmers' markets fairly regularly.
  • Another started market bag, navy blue, started an abadoned sometime in the last few months. It also fell prey to the "clean one area by cluttering another, i.e. the closet" method. Honestly, I was actually thinking of tearing it out since it wasn't far along, and I wasn't too impressed with the pattern; it's teetering precariously on the edge of either contributing to the unfinished queue problem or the yarn stash problem. I may just toss a coin or something.
  • A colorful shawl in an amazingly soft but obnoxiously colored yarn that I impulse purchased and began work on during another family vacation. I hesitate to include it here since I was beginning the process of frogging it... but in typical Twit fashion, I abandoned that midway, too.
I can remember where I was and what I was doing as I started these projects, which leaves me little excuse for having forgotten them, but there ya go. If it's out of sight, it's out of mind. End of story. However, if I am reminded, I can remember for a little bit at least.

So here's the plan. I'm a little... overcommited with projects right now (two projects for a swap, a tunic, a purse for a friend, a pair of fingerless gloves, and next on the agenda, a baby blanket for a friend who's expecting her first). But when I finish one or before I'm allowed to begin another, I'll finsh one of the above projects, most likely the scarf, which will go with my new red winter coat. That way, at least, I can make a dent in both the yarn stash and the unfinished projects queue.

...that is, assuming I don't abandon another project in the meantime...

Now playing: Deb Talan - My Favorite Coat
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I weeded out some non-active links in the sidebar and added some. If you link to this blog, I'd be happy to link back--just leave me a comment (hint: I love comments). If you have blog reading suggestions, I'd be happy to check those out too.


Back in December, I left teaching. If you've read this blog for a significant portion of the 3+ years I've had it, you'll know that I've done so before. My motivation each time was slightly different, but I will say this: the outcome has been the same. I've come back to teaching. Again.

I gave the job hunt a good 10 months or so. I had few promising leads in that time, a few interviews, and a couple jobs that I would have been really excited to do. Alas, none of them panned out. As it became more and more apparent that the dream job I applied to and interviewed for probably wasn't going to hire me, I intensified my search and began to reconsider teaching. If I didn't have a job by year's end, I finally decided, I'd go back to teaching. Within about a week of getting the rejection from would-be dream job, I sent an e-mail to my department chair and told her I'd be up for teaching in the spring. That afternoon, I got a call--turns out there was a second-eight-week composition class. So here I am. Less than a month from now, I will be back to a familiar grind.

It's a good time to be back too. Enrollment is way the hell up at the community college and sister campuses, so while campus services are being strained to meet the demand, it also means there are lots of classes--and more classes than instructors to fill them. As anyone who's ever adjuncted knows, that's a situation far more rare and favorable than the reverse though not likely to change for a while if the economy doesn't pick up.

I still have mixed feelings about the whole deal, but the mix is... unexpectedly weighted with optimism. While I feel a twinge of regret that I didn't come around to this decision in time to have a full fall course load, I also know that I needed to come around it in my own time. Some people can be told the burner is hot; I've always had to burn myself to figure that out.

The last month or so has been a time of reconsideration on multiple fronts. I have changed my mind on a few important things, but those changes only came about after carefully weighing the risks, the benefits, my options, and the situation at hand. The balance of the scales happened to come up a little differently in the reassessment. So be it. I've learned a few things about myself from the experience, and for that at least, I am grateful.

So here's to a new beginning... and maybe even more blog fodder in the forseeable future!

Now playing: Lucero - On The Way Back Home
via FoxyTunes