A Long Finished Object — More Than One

Greetings all! Here I am, back at college, holed up in my little room, really not wanting to leave for any reason at all. It is cold outside.

But good news in regards to that though. I’ve finished my coat! Well, I finished it a while ago, but I am just now getting around to writing about it, which means that it is actually done, instead of the nearly done stage that I’ve been wearing it around in for months.

Also, this means that I am done with the Zimmermann Project — the thing where I knit all the patterns in Knitting Workshop, which took (past tense people!), a little over two years, a great deal of my sanity, and miles of yarn. There will be a blog post to follow about that, something so big that I think it deserves its own post because, really, how often do you knit 32 different things all in one book, and live to tell the tale?

So the coat. We will start with a few pictures because it has probably been a long time since you all saw this coat, for which I am sorry, it is a great coat.

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There is something about dreaming, designing, plotting, and knitting a knee-length (or about) coat that smacks of madness. And really, that is not untrue. It is a mad, mad, undertaking, which you realize as you are wrestling with a coat in late July, very thankful for air-conditioning, but still sweating up a storm as your realize your cables are slightly off, but you really could not care less.

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It makes sense though — in a strange way, to end something big, with something big. Both are insane, and very satisfying though, in the way that finishing just anything isn’t — this is special because it took time and effort. I worked hard, on both this sweater, and the Zimmermann Project, and I am proud to put my name on both of them.

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(I call the one above this “Reaching for the Stars”.) I am proud of this sweater, with its cables and its pockets, and the saddle shoulders. I love the buttons and the toggle closures. It is warm and woolly. I wore it all over the place this fall, and people were constantly admiring it, then I got the pleasure of telling them that I had made it, and then enjoying the look of astonishment on their faces.

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I have to admit that it does look sightly like something an old lady would wear, but I don’t really care. Thankfully “funky” (however you want to interpret that) is sort of the new fashion. Wear whatever you want, but own it, be confident.

I guess that confidence is really what all this Zimmermann is all about. She preached to confidence in knitting, and as is often said, you can take her knitting “philosophy” of confidence, hope and enjoyment into your day to day life. Don’t worry and relax because you are doing the best you can, and that, despite how you often feel the opposite, is good enough.

Big Stuff!!

Well, need I say that this, a long hiatus from blogging, was a bit much. Even now, over break, I still have a hard time finding time to sit down and write a blog post. As usual, there are a thousand other things that crop up, things that really seem more pressing at the time than writing drivel to be read by no more than ten people. I find a list format would be useful for a quick update on what I’ve been doing for the past few months.

1. College. That time suck. I think I am stuck in that sophmore space — the newness has faded off, while the classes got harder, so really I just want to be done — I get bored easily and am ready to move on. I think about if I wasn’t in college I would have so much time, and do so much, then I realize that it would be like trading a fishing pole for a bucket of fish. Yes, it would be easier — for now. So onward I go, studying German (of all things! Kill me!), and English.

2. Work. Hey! Did you know that I got a job? Hey, did you know what sucks? My job. I am, what I like to say, a telephone research specialist for a data collection agency, which is a fancy way of saying a telephone surveyor. (Not a telemarkter. Call me one, I dare you.) It is awful, but it’s a job, which is what everyone says to people that have awful jobs and it is not the least bit comforting. However, they have very flexible schedules and were willing to give me a leave for Christmas break. And it’s second shift too, which I love because mornings are awful. (Tell that to my morning German class all next semester.)

3. Well, I started writing another book this fall. This one is about a heroin addict who dies. Because of this I now have a very incriminating Google search history. I mean for this one to be more experimental than my other books — thus making it more fufilling to write. (And I crave fufillment.) ┬áThe narration style is less direct and controlled than my earlier works — making this one more flowing and artistic.

4. The Beatles. I had listened to them before, but I never really appreciated them, you know? I recognized the cultural phenomion that they were, however, I never actually liked music. Then, I don’t know, something clicked in me, and suddenly it was like Beatlemania up in here. Guess what is playing in my ears as I write this?

(Also, as an aside, do you know why they spelled their band “Bea” instead of the more common spelling “Bee” ? It was due, in part, to the Beat Generation — a school of writers with whom I’m infatuated — there are like three beat books on my desk now as I write this, and one book of really awful poetry that was obviously trying to imitate that — but failed.)

5. Virginia Woolf. Are you afraid of her. For a long time, I confess that I was, till I had to read A Room of One’s Own and “The Mark on the Wall” for a class, along with Mrs. Dalloway because I wanted to, and fell in love with her beautiful prose, which walks the line between poetry and narrative plot.

6. Knitting! Well, I’ve been doing some of this. I finished my coat this fall, knit another vest, a few little things, and am working on a sweater now. I’ve been very busy, can’t you tell? (School was, um, like hell there for a little while — I didn’t really sleep for about three or four days there for a while during finals week because I had too much work to do, in addiction to doing 1-2 all-nighters a week for two months prior. My professors were doing that thing where I swear that they get together and try to kill me — the scary part is that they almost won.)

7. That part about the coat above? Do you remember that coat? If you do, you may also recall that it was the last project in Knitting Workshop. Yes, I guess that means I’ve finished it. It may sound like I’m not particularly excited about this, and that’s for two reasons — one, I finished it months ago, and two, I really don’t know how I feel about it. I will explore this more in an upcoming post; I feel that it at least deserves that.

And here I am, back at my old desk, my feet propped up on the same old tin, surrounded by cookbooks and dwarfing piles of paper, post-its with nuggets of wisdom taped all around me, and half-read books waiting for me to get to them — which I will, right now.