Monday, May 15, 2006


Work is really intense. I worked through last week, through Saturday, through Sunday, and through today. The short-o play seems done but now I'm hung up on long e and it's not going well. My desk is strewn with lists of decodable words and high-frequency words and notes from two different sweater projects. One problem with this "stage" of work is that come Monday morning I'm sometimes too burnt out to really get much done. I spend most of the day trying to write and while I spent plenty of time at my desk, it's not very productive. There's a lot of drooling involved.

However, as I age I do get a wee bit wiser and I am (finally) learning that if I go to bed at a decent hour at least four nights a week during this schedule, it's not so bad. So Saturday and Sunday night I did. I went to bed at a decent hour and slept in until I was ready to get up.

So, today wasn't a waste. I really did get a lot done between 9 and 5, although I have to say that "a lot done" was relative--it amounted to four complete pages--but there was a lot of writing and rewriting and then the bizarre mathematics required of my work in which I go through and count this kind of word and that kind of word and divide them by each other and come up with readability statistics and . . . at any rate, not a lot of drooling and staring off into space.

Every so often I'd reach a stalemate with my curriculum-writing muse, so I'd pick up the Green Striped sweater and do a row. It started the day at the 3 inch mark and it needed to be at the 5 inch mark to change rows. This is Milo's sweater, knit to match Ben's Famous Blue Sweater--which is Really Royal and Dough in Prairie Silk. Which I still adore. I successfully reworked the sleeve on Ben's sweater to better fit my dear little Orangutan--only to run out of yarn. So while we wait for the LYS to get in one more skein of Really Royal, we cast on Milo's Green sweater. It has some odd name like Grenade Green or Grenadine or Gr...something. OK, fine, I'll go find the label. GUILDER GREEN. There.

It knits up as well and feels as good as the Really Royal but I wasn't quite loving it the way I love the RR. Still, it knits up well and feels good, so in between me working on these short o words and long e words I would pick it up and knit a row. Finally, the short o play was done and I hit SEND. I tried returning immediately to the long e play but there were two problems with that. First, after I turn something in I almost always feel a sense of relief--which seems to sort of require a break from the keyboard. My brain demands recognition that it FINISHED something and therefore I should STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.


Second, I got an Amazon box. Now, truthfully, most of the Amazon box contains books on teaching young children poetry because there are two wee paragraphs in the project on which I'm working where we're supposed to tell the teacher to tell the kids something, anything really, about that poem. And I could tell from reading the first manuscript that came across my desk last week that none of us really have a clue what to tell these first grade teachers about teaching poetry to first graders. So I decided that instead of FAKING it (which is not necessarily wrong) that I would get some resources and learn me a thing or two about teaching poetry to young children so I could delete anything that sounded suscipiciously vague in that paragraph and replace it with something USEFUL.

And while I was placing that order, two knitting-themed mystery paperbacks inexplicably fell into my online shopping cart and were there in that box today.

So here I'd knit up an inch and a half of guilder green and finished the short o poem--dinner was in the oven . . . . I picked up Knit One, Kill Two and began to read. I was about 30 pages into the book when I thought, "Oh gosh, this is awful. I could totally do this." The editing is on par with a typical bodice ripper--I'll send it to Charlotte when I'm done. She'll love it and enjoy editing it as she goes. The main character is smart and spunky and adorable. She has a dog. There's a yarn store to die for, and 54 pages into the book, you can tell there's a hint at a possible romance, new friends, a nice base for what will clearly be a series, and I can't tell who did it yet. My standards aren't high (but I like bodice rippers, too). It's not on par with Rita Mae Brown's series about Harry the Postmistress and her sleuthing cats, but it's totally at home among its peers of paperback mysteries. Rita Mae Brown's mysteries come out first in hardcover. Maggie Sefton's will go straight to paperback, but I'll buy them.

The other book I got is Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger, and I think it may be in a slighter higher class. It's a bigger book, but it's also in bigger print (which I appreciate, actually). It's worth going to Amazon and reading the "back of the book" for a good groan. Somebody was feeling punchy when they wrote that one up. It is also the base of a new mystery series. I haven't read enough of it yet to give any sort of a review.

So after making it a few chapters into that, I listened to the Cast-on podcast and knit some more on my green sweater until I reached the 5 inch mark. At this point I wound another skein of "Dough" color into a center-pull ball and started the first "white" (it's a creamy natural color) stripe of the Grenadier Green (whatever) sweater and Ta-Da! the whole sweater came to life. There is something about this series--maybe it's the whole wool/silk/mohair blend thing--that makes the dark color really come to life when it's placed next to the light natural color. All of a sudden I was head-over-heels in love with this yarn again. I've about decided to order more of it in red and go ahead and make Max a sweater, too.

I haven't started the Orenburg shawl yet, so I can still think that way.

At any rate, somewhere in here I started feeling the old mojo flowing again and so I pulled out more work and sorted and stapled and got it ready for the morning. I'm going to bed now at a still relatively reasonable hour, but I fully expect tomorrow to be another productive day. Good kids, good hubby, good work, good knitting, fun books--it could be a really wonderful week.


Writing and Living said...

You know, I've been thinking for a long time that somebody has GOT to write a knitting book that is completely FREE OF PUNS because it just hasn't been done yet.

Sounds like you had a good day. Hurrah on finishing the short-o play.

Eliza said...

You so make me want to be a Knitter like you are :D Today however, Annabelle and I made some more doll jewlery.

The Queen said...

A knitting book without puns? That would be like a faculty meeting without the group of teachers sitting in the back, whispering, and passing notes. It just ain't gonna happen.

Eliza--you will be assimilated.

Aunt Charlotte said...

I can hardly wait for my book! and yes, I do enjoy editing them. My favorite was the character that sat down and ordered an egg salad sandwich, and left the remains of her tuna sandwich at the end of the paragraph! You write them and I'll read for content errors.