Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello! It's been a while...

I find it hard to believe that my last blog post was in February. Work intruded and any kind of writing, even the fun stuff, felt like...well...work. So no blogging, and really, not much of anything else, except work. And that makes for a very boring blog.

However, the "all work and no play" aspect of my life is changing. I hired a technical writer at work, which will relieve me of a lot of the work I've been doing and given me time to focus on other aspects of my job. And after my husband and several friends threatened interventions, I will put boundaries around my work. I have to, to preserve my marriage, my friendships, and my health (multiple migraines a week are not fun).

So twice a week, I need to leave work early to come home and fix dinner. It will be, by necessity, simple: grilled fish and vegetables and a nice salad. Every other Thursday I leave a little early to teach a knitting class. And I will not work weekends unless it's critical.

Creativity
One thing that I realized is that it's absolutely critical to have a creative outlet in my life. Yes, knitting is creative, but when you think about it, it's still kind of a left brain activity (can you say "math"?). Even with my knitting, I could feel that I was getting stuck--paralyzed by color, afraid to try new things. The knitting was just too familiar. So when I read on the Squam blog that Alena Hennessy was teaching an online art workshop, I ignored the fear and plunged in. I haven't done any painting or drawing since I was in elementary school (and that was a very long time ago!). I bought the art supplied (india inks come in such pretty colors!) and anxiously waiting for the class to start. Once the class started, I was surprised to find that I like what I was creating. And the process of creating was liberating. I was wholly engaged in making art--time stopped, my concentration was focused, and everything just flowed. The workshop didn't focus only on creating art; Alena included breathing exercises, photography, and self-care (long hot baths, tea, flower essences). The students shared their work and writings on a private Facebook group and the support from the group was amazing. Some of the art created was stunning. I enjoyed the class so much that I signed up for the next Squam online art workshop Pages and Paint. That workshop is focused more on mixed media (Alena's class was sort of mixed media) and looks like it will be fun!

Knitting News
Despite the 60-hour weeks, I did manage to get some knitting in. I started a knit-along with my 11-year old niece in April. We're knitting Clapotis, and are using the same yarn base (different colors). It will be interesting to see how our Clapotis differ.

I'm still plodding along on the Elizabeth R shawl from the Shakespeare in Lace shawl club. I think I might have enough yarn for a 6th repeat (I'm on repeat 5 now, so am almost done).

I knit two Baby Surprise Jackets for co-workers. Amazingly, even though the babies were almost four months old by the time they got their jackets, the jackets fit! I wasn't sure, since I don't have any babies laying around the house to see if the fit was good. And two more coworkers are expecting babies to come into their families, so I get to knit two more BSJs. The BSJ is a fun knit.

So before it gets too late, I'm going to post this and start knitting Elizabeth R. In my next post, I'll blog about Spring Squam...there was Shetland lace, vintage patterns, wild garter stitch, bears, loons, owls, and more. It was awesome!

Happy knitting!

3 comments:

=Tamar said...

Ooh, tell us about the vintage patterns!

Anne said...

Finding a balance is HARD. I struggle all the time with it, but sounds like you are putting some good structure in place to give yourself some much-needed downtime.

Christina said...

I've signed up for Pages and Paint too. I hope it gives that wonderful break at home to keep the creative juices flowing!