Friday, January 1, 2010

First of Many

There's a good 364 of them left, too. (Is it a leap year? Can't be, 2010 isn't divisible by 4. Someone straighten me out if I'm wrong; I'd hate to leave out one poor lonely day.)

GIven that last year feels like it stalled around April 6 or so, when my first mortgage went down the crapper (feel free to check the archives if you're new or want to relive the hysteria), and didn't regain much momentum Thanksgiving, I am relieved to begin a new one. I know it's just another day on the calendar in reality. Twenty-four hours doesn't make that much of a difference...unless we choose to make it so. I honestly have just recently begun to feel like this house is MY house. Despite the curtains I made, and the very little painting I've done, and the pretty new bathroom, my start here was so distressing that it really put a pall on the new-homeowner experience. It's finally, finally starting to feel different. I think putting up my first Christmas tree in three years went a long way in putting my stamp here, even though it too was a temporary marker.

I had some pretty grand plans for this past week, between Christmas and going back to work on Monday. Firstly, I had to finish my sister's blanket, which I did last night. (Pictures to come. I discovered that the blanket is essentially the same color as my carpet, so once it's dry, I'll drape it on the dark blue love seat.) I have cast on for Dad's sweater. The swatch was a success in both tension and washability, and I think he's going to like it a lot. He won't be wearing it until next winter (52"chest), but he won't be able to shrink this one. I also decided I wanted to...

*sand and possibly seal the stripped trim around the door
*paint another room
*make the curtains for my office (just one window, luckily)
*finish a hat for myself (one that nearly derailed any hope of finishing any Christmas knitting)
*really start spinning the fiber I want to use to make the Vine Yoke cardigan for this year's Ravelympics

With a whole week off, and no ankle-biters at my house, this should have been a SNAP.

Oh, the hubris.

Well, not hubris. Not really. I didn't overestimate my abilities; I am quite capable of pushing myself to some pretty crazy extremes to finish things once I get my teeth in them. What I didn't count on was the depth of my tiredness. I didn't need naps (except for the first couple of days). I needed sitting. I needed to not be in constant motion. It finally occurred to me that I essentially work almost six days a week, when you add in the time I spend teaching private lessons. I had decided a while ago not to teach this week. That's one of the smartest decisions I've made in a while.

There were other factors involved, too. The trim, being made of either oak or chestnut and also being from about 1927, is as hard as a rock, and a light sanding is not going to do the trick. I may have to resort to a gentle power sander (do they still make the Mouse?) for the flat areas to save my wrists. But now I know. I'm in color-lock for painting, so I'll whack out the last little bit of trim in the bathroom instead. I didn't have lining fabric for the curtains. Mom rescued me on that with a hunk of muslin she bought for another project, but doesn't need after all. They'll be an afternoon's work. (Two big rectangles, my kind of sewing. It's more work getting the damn machine out than doing the actual sewing.)

Finishing the hat? Probably not, as I started over. I had begun with silk, which looked wonderful, but I realized would grow and grow and grow. Take Two is with a "Rare Gems" skein of Socks That Rock. All hype aside, I love that yarn. It's a pleasure to work with, and it will make a much better hat.

And today, since I decided I wanted to do things today that I wanted to be sure I did more often this year, I began by having a decent breakfast, working on my hat, moisturizing thoroughly (that is a regular habit...I've always had dry, dry skin), and then took a walk. I made a quick trip out to the dreaded mall to reload the moisturizer supply (yes, I use one of those fancy department-store brands...I also have very sensitive skin). Came home and worked on Dad's sweater a little. (It starts with 236 stitches and increases after the ribbing.)

After that, I managed to accomplish one of the things on my list: I sat down at my wheel, and began spinning. I had no illusions about finishing anything here, as we're talking about two pounds of fiber (more details next post...I even have pictures). But I haven't spun in I don't remember how long, and today I went for a good hour and a half before my back complained. How do I know it was 90 minutes? I had "The Holy Grail" in the DVD player while I spun.

I plan to laugh more this year, too, and that was a great way to kick off what I hope will be the easiest resolution to keep.


Fujiyamamama said...

What an excellent start to the new year!

Marcy said...

Right on! This is a great start to your year!
My verification word is "blesing"

I wish many on you this year.

Barb said...

Marcy, that's pretty damn cool. I plan to have "blesings" to spare, so I'll be sure to send some your way too!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

2010 is going to be fantastic. I have spoken.

My spinning wheels keep looking at me reproachfully. If I wasn't on a deadline...