Thursday, August 20, 2009

Counting Down

A year ago today, we learned that Dad and Fran had the apartment in Reno. At least this year I'm not running around making moving arrangements and comparison shopping cellphones suitable for the elderly.

And that's a good thing, since I'm quite busy prepping for classes, which begin -- eeep! -- Monday. The med school's started already; I've taught two classes for them (one an hour, one two hours), and I'll be giving a brief presentation up there tomorrow. In the meantime, today I proofread and photocopied the syllabus and handouts for my fiction workshop. Tomorrow I need to finish my freshman-comp syllabus. I try not to be one of those panicky people who photocopies reams of material ten minutes before the first class begins, especially since the photocopier can smell fear and inevitably chooses such moments to break. My stress level's high enough as it is!

I haven't been writing, but really really really want, and intend, to get back to it.

I have been knitting, though. I know: it takes time away from writing, but feels almost as necessary as breathing in through here. Steadies the nerves wonderfully, knitting does. And as addictions go, things could be a lot worse. Yarn's expensive, but at least I get wonderful handmade goodies out of it, and as far as I know, my knitting habit isn't damaging any internal organs.

Gary's first super-hefty hiking sock is almost done. He thought it looked too long, but last night I slipped it off the DPNs onto circulars so he could try it on, and it fits perfectly. I was quite thrilled. This will be one fine pair of socks, if I say so myself.

I'll post photos when I'm done. I'm already planning other socks; I have a bunch of patterns, but it's more fun to browse through my stitch-a-day calendar and figure out my own designs. They're incredibly simple, but they're mine.

The only problem with socks is that you can't spontaneously knit them for gifts, because making them requires measurements: shoe size or (preferably) length of foot, plus circumference of the largest part of the foot, and maybe ankle and calf circumferences too. And I haven't yet figured out a sneaky way to measure the feet of friends and family . . . although my mother, when I told her I was making socks, said, "We don't need socks for Christmas. Socks are a useless gift, unless you're really into socks." C'mon: who doesn't need socks? Especially comfy handknit ones? But I don't have time to knit Christmas gifts this year, so it's a moot point. Plus, my sister's crocheting socks now, so I'm sure she'll take care of the Philly family.

Speaking of Mom and knitting, I made a point of telling her how much more I value her knitting skills now that I knit myself. She made astonishingly skilled and beautiful things for me when I was a kid, and I never properly appreciated them. I wanted her to know that I do now.

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