Saturday, May 14, 2011

Deadlines ... looming

Yes, nothing like a deadline or three looming above one to spark action. I seem to be springing from deadline to deadline right now, something my students would probably find quite amusing as they have just handed in a significant part of their years work to me. One of the looming deadlines is marking that very same work, our institution has a two week turn around policy which is a challenge. One deadline has past, I submitted an article to Entangled, as well as all the accompanying details about myself. That was a lot of fun, I was even asked to answer this question "When I rule the world ......". What would you answer to that one? I was asked to commit to a series of articles/columns and I chose to focus the series on current thinking on craft and design. Over the past 150 years there has been a significant body of thinking published theorizing design, much much less on craft. But occasionally there are some clever people who articulate where craft might sit in relation to the ideas about design and designing. I thought there might be enough in that area to fill a few columns over the next few months. I also submitted an review to Dave's Mechanical Pencils .... of the Worther Slight Pencil. That body of writing headed off yesterday with all the accompanying photos .... with instructions for Dave to do with it what he saw fit.

There are two more deadlines looming, and both should be fun. I am booked to teach two classes at TePapa's Handmade. I'm teaching Get ready Winter is just around the corner, twice, and a Master class on Darning - called Darn is not a Rude Word. Both classes should be a lot of fun, and I'm traveling up with Morag of Vintage Purls, which will be even better. What I need to do between now and then is put my notes and thoughts and plans and samples and images and all that I have collected together so far into a cohesive class plan. That will happen, it has to happen, and I'm looking forward to it .. but there is always that delaying period of almost procrastination before really beginning. In Get Ready for Winter I have plans to lead my students into the world of knitting to fit. They will all be making seamless covers for hot water bottles ... cute we mini ones. By the time they leave they should be well on the way to finishing a one of a kind cover and have mastered a seamless cast on, increasing and decreasing to shape, handling stripes and patterns in the round ...... and designing a workable closure. All those techniques will then be able to be used to knit anything they want to .. most garments anyway and a lot of other stuff. The other class is more of a lecture and show and tell on mending and darning knitwear - moving from historical instructions on how to darn to more up to date techniques suitable for contemporary garments. Right now my hot-water bottles are naked, but by class time I promise they will be warmly covered with knitted loveliness.

And yes, I did really frog the second double knit mitten right back to the thumb. Frogging double knitting is not a thing that I would recommend ... as 20 minutes frogging resulted in 3 hours of yarn untangling. Bear even had to come to my aid with passing yarn balls around yarn strands and by knitting to get to a point where I could rewind the yarn onto the balls ready to knit again. After that I left the work sitting for a few days - the project and I needed a wee bit of distance, but now we are back and working well together. I still don't know what happened but somehow I had far more stitches than I should have. This time I am counting every few rounds - just in case I slip in a few extra stitches without noticing.

With all that going on ... some how I found myself back knitting fish. They are easy, brainless almost, and as last night Bear and I watched The White Ribbon, in German we relied on the English subtitles. Subtitles and knitting from charts are incompatible, all my projects seem to involve charts right now, the fish however are compatible with subtitles. Both Bear and I would say this is one of the better movies we have seen, but it is harrowing and leaves one with no real conclusion let alone a resolution. Unusually there is absolutely no sound music as part of the sound track at all, with the exception of the choir singing and when the cast are playing instruments as part of the storyline. That only made the movie darker and more intense. If you feel like you are in the mood for a particular disturbing Gothic movie without any actual blood and guts horror .. perhaps try this one, I'm not sure if I should recommend it or not.

Well the afternoon draws to a close and I have two cubs standing by to cook their very first made-on-their-own-without-out-an adult-in-the-room pikelet batter. Like pancakes they are better if the batter has rested for 20 minutes ... so I'm off to supervise the hotplate part of the cooking and then a yummy afternoon tea. We plan to serve these with home made quince jelly ... double yum!

tTake care
na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

Responding to that last bit first - isn't it fun when they start being able to fulfill their own kitchen desires? Congratulations on making those writing deadlines, I know how stressful it can be to have a lot of writing backed up and needing to be done! I'm impressed you managed to handle the mitten with such grace with other deadlines looming over you :) Enjoy teaching those classes - they sound like a blast (and you sound very close to ready)!

Vanda Symon said...

Gawd, can't remember the last time I darned. I think it was for a girl guide badge!