Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Which Some Things Are Grand

Hi, folks! Miss me? Sorry to fall off the face of the planet. I have, as I've indicated elsewhere, been Experiencing Technical Difficulties, and all my non-email posting has been painfully curtailed.

But I had to post today. March 21st is important.

No, not because it's the first day of Spring. That's important! But it's not personal.

No, not because it's the day my ISP finally decided to function and reconnect me to the world, after a week of mockingly timing me out of every single forum and thread I frequent (to all my dear forumites: I miss you, too!). That's certainly essential and cause for rejoicing, but I had no way of knowing it would happen.

Today is important because, 12 years ago, I made a ludicrous and ill-advised decisions to stagger down a row of pews, stammer through some vows written by people who died a long time ago, and let a crazy man lead me off into a hall of mostly strangers. I was ridiculously young, he was unemployed, we were both horrifically unprepared for marriage or indeed independent living of any sort.

Today we woke up early so we could celebrate before he had to go to work. Celebration, in this case, consisting of him giving me things and me being thrilled.

And I really am thrilled. It's our silk and linen anniversary, apparently-- he's the one who keeps track of these things-- and he bought me two square yards of jaw-dropping emerald green silk, three sets of buttons in four colors, and a custom four-color linen skirt. And a green band major's shako. Which last is insanely awesome, and which I have been wearing around the house all day. Washing dishes takes on a whole new dimension when one is wearing a green leather shako.

I think there is maybe one person reading this blog who has any idea at all of the full extent of awesome involved here. For everyone who doesn't know, well, it involves a sort of obscure fandom, and a long-stifled urge to cosplay one extremely minor character (she takes over a kingdom with knitting needles! Essentially so she can eat chocolate! And then begins a fantastic artistic career among creampuff trees! It is everything I aspire to.)

So to get me all this, in theme, he had to pay attention to a wee minor fixation, come up with the costume plan himself, hunt down a seamstress (thanks, Etsy!), remember my measurements, and hide multiple packages in the house. And plan it all weeks in advance.

Twelve years ago, I made a stupid, lunatic choice, for a stupid, lunatic reason.

Now I have an awesome hat.

I have an awesome husband.

And good sense and sanity can leave a message, but we're not likely to answer any time soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Thing : Knitting! And Extended Metaphors!

I am, as per my resolution, trying to do something new every week. Not all these endeavors get posted about, because I Am Lazy, and also, how many recipes do you really want to read? Not many, I'm guessing. Though feel free to correct me. Really!

This week, though, I stumbled by sheerest coincidence (and the graces of Facebook) on a chance to learn knitting. Knitting! A skill I had always longed to possess, but thought the province of wiser and grander dames than I am or ever will be, sheer Witches of Craft, who can also do things like force prickly pear tunas to jell and strawberries to become wine.

As it turns out, I can indeed knit! A lot! With great enthusiasm!

And, uh. Great enthusiasm!

Because I had fully accepted, going in to knitting, that I was going to be awful at it. Really unforgiveable. An offense to the sheep that gave its wool to the yarn I would abuse (or, being that I'm learning with acrylic, possibly the Plastic Bags that gave their lives to the recycler. Whatever.).

So I wasn't even trying to do it right. Once I got the basic knit-purl down, I set about Experimenting. What happens if I drop stitches on purpose? Add them on purpose? Exactly how can I add stitches? Lose them? Can I make the stitches super loose? Can I do this left handed? Both handed? If I fumble massively, can I recover?

And the thing is, I know the answer to these questions, and many more! are available for the price of a quick Google search. But I don't care. I'm not ready to listen to the voice of experience just yet. For me, this stage of a new craft- where I know nothing, not what's possible or impossible or sensible or anything-- is like the rush of first love. I need to make all the mistakes, and make them hard, not to figure out how this particular craft works, but how I work with it. Is it fun even when I'm frustrated? Can I make something good out of a mistake? Is this, in short the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

In time, if it turns out that this is more than a passing infatuation-- and I'm seriously enjoying myself, and there's lots of room for play here, so I think it will be-- then there's time enough to pick out rings and argue over the caterer and fight over how to hang the toilet paper. I'll start trying out patterns, and reading tutorials, and looking for specific gauges of yarn. I'll curse and swear when I miscount a row of stitches, and giggle with glee when I make my first successful felted piece. I'll settle down and explore the deeper joys that come with a committed relationship, like sharing new friends and having something a little more popular to sell at the local craft shows.

But for now, it's just me and some screaming green yarn and a couple of bamboo needles, and we are having a whale of a time.

What's your latest love?