Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bringing back the blog?

Hi folks, it's been a long time, hasn't it!  My summer ended up being rather crazy-busy, and if dissertation summer camp didn't indicate a busy start, it only continued from there. I left my camera, too, all the way across the country at my brother's, and it's due to arrive back with me sometime this week, allowing for actual blog pictures. 

Until the camera returns, I'll just give you a brief recap of what I've been up to: 
  • three weeks traveling for research
  • two-and-a-half weeks traveling to visit family
  • one room-painting project (our bedroom is now a nice yellow "butterfly-bush" color
  • some hiking, but not quite enough
  • bunches of fresh veggies from the garden and markets canned or preserved
  • one week-plus visit to my academic home in New Jersey
  • twelve years of microfilm read
  • little bits of dissertation written, certainly not as much as I'd have liked to complete
  • rather a lot of reflecting and getting myself back on track worked on
  • one Foliage Shawl completed
  • one pair of socks completed, plus another, one of which was way too short and needs some work
  • one cowl out of handspun, one scarf for Coffeeboy out of handspun
  • a bunch of light blue corriedale handspun completed after many months of very thin spinning
  • several academic job applications sent off (and an appropriate number of anxious dreams to complement them)
I think that just about covers the most of it! 

As for why I'm returning to the blog after a several-month absence, I have a few reasons.  Chief among them is that I had started to lose track of my projects, and figured the blog would be a good way to get back on-track.  I could also use Ravelry for that, but I haven't been good, lately, about updating there, either.  In fact, once the camera returns, I'm not entirely sure if I'll blog or use Ravelry.  

I've usually blogged about either my fiber adventures, my academic life, or about Coffeeboy's and my adventures in things like cheesemaking, gardening, hiking, or other activities that attempt to get us closer to the source of things.  Sometimes I fear that the blog spent too much time on academics, and not enough on fiber.  So many of you are so reflective about your pieces, about your process, about your choices or the ways you change a pattern, that my fiber-blogging always felt so matter-of-fact by comparison.  "Here's an FO! Yes, it looks just like the picture.  No, I didn't wildly change the pattern.  I like how its [insert 'blue' or 'autumn colored' here]. I wish the sleeves weren't quite as tight as they are, but I'll try to block it and see how it goes."  So you see, it doesn't exactly make for exciting blog fodder.  And on a purportedly fiber-focused blog, too much ruminating over the minutiae of the dissertation or the job search just might bore many of you.   

Maybe that's precisely the point - no, not to bore you - rather, maybe the blog reflects the place fiber has in my life.  It adds color and texture and warmth, it adds some challenge but is primarily there for relaxation and enjoyment.  Especially of late, the dissertation has been challenging enough to work on from what still feels like nearly the middle of nowhere.  If I'm working harder on that (or on other stuff that's taking up mental or emotional space), I want the knitting and spinning to play a different, more relaxed role.  I almost think that in order for it to be relaxing, I sometimes need it also to be private, which means I don't need the extra effort of blogging about it.  I guess this is what happens when an introvert tries to blog. 

Then, there are those friends who don't particularly care for all the fiber-stuff, and would rather hear about my life than about knitting and spinning - but since to my mind this is still, among other things, a blog about knitting "between the lines" of everything else going on in my life, the fiber will still play a role -- and I expect I'll also still write about schoolwork, hiking, or those other activities that Coffeeboy and I've taken to calling the activities of "amateur homesteading."  

If you're here for the fiber or here for a general idea of what I've been up to in other areas, I imagine you'll still find both.  

So, with that, I'll leave you with a good-faith gesture, a picture  or two of "socks on a train," my handspun socks that I worked on while Coffeeboy and I chugged our way from Colorado to California this summer: 

A sock in a dining car Scenery and a sock Obligatory train wine-and-cheese

And finally, the supposedly finished socks, made of handspun BFL, too! Don't they look cute there on that train seat? 

Finished socks

Of course, in my eagerness to finish them while still on the train, the second sock ended up being 1/2 inch too short... a month later and I have yet to undo the kitchener and actually finish it, but now that it's [Sock]tober, I might as well! 


The Weber Family said...

Hi Emily,

I'm in the same conundrum, where life gets too busy to blog! As soon as we found out we were expecting a second baby, and moving to a new house (still in Cambridge, hurrah!) everything got pretty darn crazy! Hope all is well with you and Coffeeboy! Take care - and I hear there are some good schools for you to teach/research in the Boston area...just saying! Good luck with your search.

Jessica said...

Good to hear from you! Sounds like you had a busy summer. Just let the blog be whatever you need and want it to be. It's yours! We'll still read. :)

Anonymous said...

Yay! The blog is back! :)