Archive for January, 2008

After a long hiatus, I’ve started on the Babette Blanket again. I didn’t like the oranges and browns–a bit too 70s–so I ripped out a bunch of the squares to start fresh. Now I’m making purple the dominant color, rather than taupe/brown. And I finally got the time and motivation to dye some yarn.

Swish Overdye#1 & #2

Both of these started out as Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Bubblegum pink. I added red #20 powder food coloring and red Kool-Aid to the one on the left, and Wilton’s violet to the one one the right. Really love the coral/watermelon color, but it never stopped bleeding in the rinse water. I’m sure it was the powder dye that did it.

My therapist gave me a great tip today: use citric acid powder (from a natural food store) instead of vinegar. Doesn’t have the nasty vinegar smell, and it’s the same stuff they put in Kool-Aid. I find that Kool-Aid colors set pretty well.

Swish Overdye #3

Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Coast Gray, overdyed with Wilton’s violet and a splash of random red Kool-Aid. I’m going to go back and re-do it with grape Kool-Aid, since I was looking for a darker color.

My partner and I hosted afternoon tea–that’s right, a tea party. I made fresh lemon curd* for the scones, and finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off and everything. Cucumber and yogurt/dill/cilantro spread; smoked wild Sockeye salmon and fresh dill with a cream cheese spread; sliced Bosc pear (the Concorde season is over, alas) and deliciously creamy Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese. YUM! Wanted to take pics but my friends think I’m a loony foody as it is. But we did receive this beautiful beautiful teapot, which a friend left behind when she left the country.


Read Full Post »

The Meaning of Success

I’ve been restless this past holiday season, and now that 2008 is here (!!!!!), something is pressing on me.

I feel like I should feel more successful… after all, didn’t I just file my dissertation? (Oh, but it took you how many years?). Didn’t I just co-author a big research grant that got funded? (It wasn’t really your idea…) Am I not about to submit an article as part of a special issue for a leading journal? (Yeah, but I bet yours is the only article that doesn’t make it past peer review).

I do think having high standards helps you excel. But at a certain point, it gets in the way. For example, the immense pressure to produce brilliant and flawless work makes it hard to enjoy developing my own ideas.

And… this holiday season’s giftmaking started as something I wanted to do in order to be creative, and to give something personal and thoughtful to people in my life.  Then it got to be about performance.  Somewhere inside me lurks Bree Van de Kamp except I don’t vacuum.

The scary thing is, when I try to imagine what would be enough, under what circumstances I would feel successful, I can’t. It’s not a bar, but a wall that goes up and up and never ends. It also stretches horizontally to infinity. And has a million places where I can slip and tumble down. Aaaaack!


I’m in the thick of it and don’t have anything graceful or insightful to say about this. Except that I want to do it differently.

Read Full Post »