designing, estonian knitting, sewing

new beginnings

This is a time for new beginnings, at least if you’re a person of the academic persuasion. In two days, I’ll start teaching the writing class I’ve been preparing for over the summer. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous as all get-out…I still wonder why on earth they trust me to teach this class, and whether I can actually maintain a healthy balance in my life between Teaching, Research, and all the Other Stuff. Here’s hoping.

Speaking of new beginnings…


Those may not look all that exciting to you, but those are my first quilt squares EVER. In the process of making them, I fell in love with the rotary cutter and my iron. Not so much with my sewing machine, which took a fair amount of verbal abuse from me thanks to the frustration it caused. While I was ironing the squares, after I’d sewn them, I joked about feeling like a proper little housewife, to which my husband replied that proper little housewives probably didn’t cuss at their sewing machines with quite the fervor that I had. Oh well!

The squares are for a quilting bee that I helped create with Ann. Yeah, I know, I’m as surprised as you are at the fact that I helped start a quilting bee. It came about after I spent an evening watching half my Twitter list chat about their various quilting bees, and feeling a bit left out, cracked a joke about how I should start a quilting bee for complete sewing newbies like me, and call it the “NewBee”. Well, turns out that people were actually interested in making the NewBee happen for real, and so it has. My month is October, so I really need to start plotting what I’d like to have my bee-mates make for me.

So now I’m a quilter. But knitting remains my true crafty love. I was sad to realize, the other day, just how little I’ve managed to knit so far this year. Between the busy-ness, the sickness, and the projects that started off well but got derailed somewhere in the process, I’ve not finished a single me-sized sweater, and only one baby-sized sweater. Given my obsession with knitting sweaters, that’s pretty bizarre! I just can’t seem to figure out how to manage my time. That, and I’ve got two sweaters-for-other-people on the docket, and something about knitting things “on commission” like that (even if they’re things I want to knit, and for people I want to knit for) just really screws me up…I feel like I can’t let myself work on other ideas until the “commissioned” things are finished, but then end up letting them drag out because let’s face it, I’m a selfish knitter at heart and the biggest motivation for me is to end up with something I can wear. Which, obviously, is not the end result when I knit for other people! Just something I should remind myself to keep in mind, when I plan future projects.

But, on the topic of knitting for other people, the maple leaf cardigan (part deux) is coming along nicely. I started the sleeve about a week ago, and then got very busy and haven’t knit at all since then:


I absolutely love that little nupp cluster at the wrist, even though it’s a detail that barely shows on the finished sweater. It just looks like a little embossed flower, or something. What you see below it is one of the many little sketches I’ve been drawing when I have a snippet of free time lately. We’ll see if anything comes of it…I’d hoped to have a new sweater design to show off for Rhinebeck, but at this point that is looking unlikely. Let’s just say, if you see me wearing a new design at Rhinebeck this year, it’ll be as big a surprise for you as it will be for me. For now, I’m focusing on finishing up the pattern for the maple leaf sweater along with the second version of the sweater itself, and knitting the second of the Think On Your Feet socks (remember those?), and of course, the aforementioned teaching and research. I’m hoping this new year will give me a chance to establish some better habits and routines for managing my time and staying happy, centered, and healthy. Wish me luck?

5 thoughts on “new beginnings”

  1. Good luck!! :)
    Knitting should be something you do to stay happy and healthy and balanced, not stress you out. Of course, you know that already.

  2. happy start of the semester! those quilt squares are lovely — and yes, i hear you on aiming for balance. being mindful of the need for it is the first step, right?

  3. Wishing you, of course, lots of luck! You start before Labor Day weekend? I would hate to start before a long weekend (and I did, all through high school). I wish I were a quilter. How did you figure out how to make your beginning blocks? I’m finding that I really like sewing, but I have no idea how to translate that to quilting if I wished to.

  4. I love the “NewBee” idea! I wish I’d known, as I’d definitely have wanted to join. It sounds awesome! Also, good luck on the writing class! I bet you’ll be great at it. I’ve been teaching college writing courses for six years, and the best thing I can tell you is to just be yourself and try and make it as interesting as possible. They’ll love you!

  5. Congratulations on your quilting bee. I hope it is an enjoyable and not frustrating process with your sewing machine.

    I hear you on the knitting. I posted a long list of all the sweaters I want to knit, but other things keep getting in the way.

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