Thursday, March 6, 2008


...some nights it's just hard to pick a title for a post, eh? But "well" seemed to fit, because things are going that way, for at least a little while.

I have a lovely pile of computer parts on the kitchen table that should, gods willing, turn into a lovely computer in about two weeks, if I order what Jim tells me to and leave him alone in a room with lots of snacks and tools and the said computer bits. That makes me smile, because I will be able to use my computer to play my favorite game ever again. Not that I'm not thrilled Jim's been letting me take up space on his machine, but it will be good to have a machine on my terms again. Ultimately, I'd like another laptop, but I think that will wait until I go back to school (the goal is fall of '09, and I may or may not need some nagging to remind me of that. love school, hate change. and student loans. those people are the devil's people, i swear.) and have a reason to spend lots and lots of money on a small computer.

Work has been oddly quiet. My manager has been out for the better part of a week with a family-type crisis. Now, I'm not glad that he's having family problems, and I hope everything is resolved well. But I have to say, I don't miss him. And if he spends more time not at work, I will not be sad.

I have some beautiful white roving to spin and play with, which I obtained on a trip to Woolbearer's this past weekend with Momolla and Kate. Man, that's a cool store. And I only managed to spend twelve dollars on two bumps (a bag was donated to Momolla, to help satisfy her urge to try spinning), rather than three or four times that amount for some of the beautiful full-sized fleeces they had. If I am ever wealthy, once I have bought my old college (or at least made a sizeable donation, so they can't ignore me) and fired the financial aid office, I will buy a spinning wheel. They look like they're fun. And they also remind me of Sleeping Beauty (who must not have been particularly bright to prick her finger on the spindle, unless someone in her castle had an evil spinning wheel), but in a good way, not in a "you will touch this thing and die" kind of way. At least Disney didn't ruin that for me.

I have a Grandmother's favorite dishcloth done, and am working on a rectangular version of my own devising now. Man, I love knitting these things. Socks are great, and I will forever knit them because I am a sucker for the feeling of handmade socks on my feet. But there is something to be said for instant gratification. And besides, I finally have something I can clean my stove off really well with without scratching it. We have one of those flat-top glass surface electric ranges, and they're apparently pretty fragile, so you can't scrape or scrub them with a sponge without damaging the cooking surface. My little cotton square can, though. Jim and Colleen thinks I'm crazy to spend time knitting something I will use to wash dishes with. I think they're crazy for continuing to use and throw out sponges.

The previous owner of the house we're living in was really terribly paranoid that her mail would not be delivered, or that calamity would strike her mailbox. At least, that's my theory as to why she had not one, nor even yet two, but three different mailboxes attached to the house. Colleen and I took two down today, after we wrestled with some two-inch screws. The woman who lived here before was apparently also greatly afraid of mailbox theft. My goal for my next day off with good weather is to do a little spring cleaning in the yard. See, the lady who used to live here also was really fond of flowers. She was so fond of them, in fact, that she planted a lot of them. They're very bright and happy looking, these little flowers, and they seem to grow year-round. We first saw the house in winter, and wondered about flowers that would bloom in December. Sure it was warm, but not that warm. Was it? So Mike and Colleen had an adventure in the yard, and determined the variety of flowers growing. They are of the silk family, genus craftstore. And lovely as they are, I think it's time for them to make way for some slightly more natural versions. We'll only be here two summers, so I don't want to invest too much in a garden, but we may stay longer, depending on where we're all at in our lives in two years. And besides, I can't wait to till up the soil and plant some tomatoes. And I think I want to try corn, too. Oh, and strawberries. And some herbs, but I think I'll grow those in containers if I can, so they can come with me when we move out eventually.

This is going to come out of left field, but it turns out that my grandmother knit. I never knew this, as I've never met her or my grandfather. Apparently not much, or at least not once she had six or seven kids, but she at least had a knitting basket. This is my father's mother, who died before I was born. My dad doesn't talk about her at much, and I think I've only ever seen a handful of pictures of her. I learned that she was a knitter this Christmas, when Dadumms saw Kate and I with some cylindrical row-counters. He told us that he remembered playing with some his mother had when he was a kid. For a variety of reasons, my little part of the family doesn't keep in touch with most of our somewhat larger family group. Most of the time, this doesn't bother me. Blood ties do not a family make. Your family are the people you love who love you right back. But I don't really have much of a sense of family history sometimes, and I occasionally feel just a wee bit adrift. I have friends who can track their families back practically to the Mayflower, but I can't tell you my grandmother's favorite color. This is one of the reasons I'm big on tradition, I like to feel like I have a history, like I'm a little grounded. Don't get me wrong, Momolla and Dadumms have given me a great sense of family, and I've never felt like home was unstable. I just don't always feel like I have much of a history, you know? And I think that's one of the main reasons knitting appeals to me. By knitting, I'm sort of connecting myself with generations upon generations of women who've done the same things. By knitting, I'm claiming a small part of my heritage, not just in terms of family, but in terms of womanhood (this is not to say that men don't knit, but historically--so far as i know--it's been primarily a woman's occupation). It makes me feel a little warm and fuzzy to think that by knitting, I'm getting just a little closer to the grandmother I never knew. I have this fantasy where my grandmother and my mother and my sisters and cousins and I are all sitting around knitting or spinning and catching up. Sounds nice, doesn't it? I'm thinking that maybe one day it will be me and my daughters and their cousins and grandmother sitting around knitting. Not quite the same, but a good thought, nonetheless. So. In part, that's why I knit.

But enough of the babble, eh? I hope the weekend is full of safe, sweet adventures and small moments of bliss and isn't over too soon.


Rose Red said...

The thought of "planting" silk flowers cracks me up. Perhaps you should knit some tomatoes and plant them too. Then you can have tomatoes all year round!!

Donna Lee said...

I like the idea of sitting around and knitting with my daughters and grandchildren (who knows, maybe the boys will knit). I didn't know dad's mom so I didn't know she knitted. How cool. My mother was a crocheter and always had a large (and extremely ugly)craft basket filled with acrylic yarn. And we have always had a very loose definition of family.

Georgie said...

I *laughed* at those flowers! Hilarious! And quite sweet, the thought of making one's own spring garden all year round.

Very interesting thoughts on family - I totally agree, family is beyond blood ties, and sometimes those ties are more of a burden than they should be, and drag you down. I too feel that lack of history and roots sometimes, but am glad my immediate family is there to ground me. We are making our own traditions now, and your family inspires me!

Bells said...

Em, the part about tradition really hit home for me. I've spoken to your mum a little about some of this stuff.

I never knew either of my grandmothers. One died before I was born and the other one my parents never spoke to after I was born. But I know that both of them were knitters and the one we didn't speak to was a test knitter for patons. My mum says I get my neat tension from her.

But I never knew her and I wonder if we would have connected over knitting, despite the huge chasm in the family?

I'll never know, but I knit on and make my own connections.