Monday, May 29, 2017

Photo Finish

Yes, I have been away from the blog for two weeks. No this was not what I had planned on doing.

BUT, it's been time well spent.

I've been writing. In fact, there's a good chance that by the end of the week, I will have not one, but two articles submitted to a couple of journals. This would be beyond good. Especially since one of them--on the French writer Zola--has been the bane of my existence for a very, very long time now.

I'm sticking with the concept of "deep work" and positive writing sessions, and so far, it seems to be going fairly well. If I stay on track tomorrow and Wednesday, I will be able to say that, for the month of May, I had 14 "deep work" writing sessions--and I think the results speak for themselves, insofar as I'm poised to submit two essays for consideration.

I'd like to increase the number of sessions to at least 20 for the month of June. I think that's do-able, given that I managed to have 14 in May, in spite of having a week of classes, a week of grading, and a conference to attend this past weekend.

I also committed to finishing up a bunch of projects that have been waiting in the wings for a while now. That's a story best told through photos.

First, there was this summer sweater. (Pay no attention to the blocking pins along the bottom edge.)

I'm actually no longer even sure when I started this, but given that it's lightweight and made of flax, I suspect it was when weather was warmer, so ... probably at least six months ago.

It knitted up very quickly, obviously. I know the armholes look a little funky, but trust me, they're just fine--once you put arms into them, it all looks very normal.

I'm embarrassed to say that the only thing that needed to be done one it was to knit what's called an "i-cord edging" around the armholes and the bottom. (I'd already done it around the neckline.)

And yet, there it sat, for months on end, and on an almost daily basis, I would mentally remind myself that I needed to finish it up.

Kind of like with these socks over here.

In this case, I succumbed to a pretty typical case of "Second Sock Syndrome."

I went great-guns on the first, and then slowed to a crawl complete halt when it came to the second one.

I finally took it with me to a movie, and got several inches of it knitted up there, and then chose my subsequent reading material for the next few days rather carefully, with an eye to being able to finish a sock while reading.

The sad irony in all of this is, it actually only took a few hours to finish both of these projects. One wonders why I spent so much time delaying the inevitable, since there was nothing un-enjoyable about finishing them up.

I actually also (nearly) finished a second mitten. As you can probably imagine, mittens, like socks, are prone to the Second Syndrome: you make one, then you get bored with working on it and don't bother working on the second one.

Yesterday, I picked up the second mitten and realized that, once again, I really only had a couple of hours left of work to do on it, so I did it. All except sewing it together, which I postponed doing because by the time I'd finished it was getting dark, and the yarn is a dark yarn, and sewing seams with dark colored yarn is just a lot faster and easier by daylight.

So I set it aside.  I meant to get to it today, but instead, I did a batch of writing, made a small cake (which tastes good, but doesn't look so hot, which is why there's no photo of it), and worked on clearing more weeds out of the various garden beds in the yard.

While I know a lot of people on the East Coast are probably bummed because they're barbecues were rained out this year, I have to say, I was kind of happy we had a rainy Memorial Day.

It's been good for the garden, and a good way to get all of the small tasks done, in anticipation of a busy summer.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."