Blog-free Kim came over last night to lend a hand with blocking the wedding shawl. I had soaked it in some Celebrations Soak, then in went the wires. It wasn't long before we agreed that pinning it on a sheet over a quilt on the hardwood floor was not going to work. It needed the bed, so this morning, the bed it got. I suspect I could block this to be even longer and wider, but my fear of snapping a thread is greater than my desire to block more vigorously. Want some pictures?
Here she is, all stretched out on the bed. There are some wobbly uneven bits, but see what I wrote above about fear of snapping. Here's a close up. Don't you love the way the color undulates? That Scout outdid herself.
I've got a jam-packed day, starting with a cut and color with Peter, followed by a bridal luncheon my sister is throwing me at one of my favorite restuarants, then waxing, nails, favor-making, and final house clean up. After the honeymoon I have posts to write about unexpected generosity. There's a lot of it around, you know, and I was the recipient of some this morning. Thanks, Erin.
I'll try to pop online to post a wedding picture tomorrow; if not then, I'll be back on Monday.
Keep those good weather thoughts focussed on Granby, will you? Doesn't look hopeful for a garden wedding, but, as so many of you noted recently, the most important thing is that Neal and I will be married...doesn't matter where, right?
I met Mona through the Albuquerque SnB, and she's one of the reasons I miss NM a lot. Mona's got style and wit and strong sense of the right thing to do in sticky situations-she's helped me to think more clearly on several occasions. She's frickin' hilarious, too. If her laugh doesn't make you laugh, I'd suggest checking your pulse.
ETA: The power of the bloggers is working. As of 7:00 p.m., the forecast has gone from rain to few showers! Keep those sunshiney thoughts coming, friends!
Rain. A 30% chance of rain on Friday. Of course, my fabu math skills tell me that means a 70% chance of sunshine. I just need an hour of sun in the morning for the wedding to be outside. Otherwise we'll do a quick emptying of the dining room and get married in there.
There are a lot of plants in the dining room, so with the table removed, I think it will be a good substitute for our pretty back yard.
I know Scout's been wanting to see the wedding shawl, but it will have to wait just a little longer. In the interest of getting it done on time without spending all of my time knitting (there are a lot of little details to attend to, even with a small, modest wedding like mine), and after consultation with Blog-free Kim, Cae, and Laura (no longer blog-free), I decided to modify the border. I've done three sets of the eyelet rows, and I'm now halfway done with a picot cast off per Victorian Lace Today. I plan to have it blocking tomorrow, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that after 10+ years of knitting, this will be my first blocking experience. After I get back from my honeymoon, I'll write a post about what knitting this shawl has taught me. "Pay attention" is the condensed version of that post.
Yesterday Neal's work friends took us to lunch, then Neal came home early with me. We stopped to do a little shopping (funny how a weekend trip has inspired us both to make a few wardrobe upgrades), then we went to town hall and got our marriage license. It was super exciting. I had butterflies while standing at the counter, and when I held the license in my hands, looked at our signatures, I was awed. This moment in time is encapsulated in our signatures. When folks look up family records to learn more about their lineage, these are the moments they find--the excitement of marriage, the grief of death, the joy of home ownership. Until yesterday, I'd never thought about public records that way, but zowie-pop-rocket, my brain has been spinning around that idea since. I've got that magical "there's a story in here" gut feeling. I can't wait to see what it is.
One final thing before I go on a phone call marathon. If you're interested in the Artist's Date swap, I think the link on the last post is messed up, so try this one, or you can go to swap-bot and search for it. The deadline to sign up is May 25--hope you'll join us!
A few days before the attacks on the World Trade Center (funny how life is "before" and "after" that day), my ex and I had a sometimes-bandmate of his over for a picnic and swimming in our co-op pool. I talked to Peter about my frustrations with writing, and he suggested that I pick up Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, so I did. It was a few months before I made the commitment to work through the book, but when I did, my life changed. Really. Not a life change like when I find a pair of pants that make my butt look fantastic, but fundamental changes in my thought process and understanding of myself. I have volumes of morning pages that I wrote, and when I look back through them, I see the shift as I went from making myself secondary to my ex's creative process to writing my first novel draft to dealing with my separation and divorce to falling in love with the man I will marry in eight days.
Less easy for me were the artist's dates. I enjoyed them when I did them, but I let myself ditch them too often. My dear friend Cae was working through the book at about the same time, and she recalls having a similar difficulty with the artist's dates.
Well, it's been too long since I've written morning pages, and yesterday I decided that after the wedding I would go through the program again. I have about 12 weeks off from work and a big project to complete this summer, so it feels right. I also have a tendency to put my creativity aside for things such as washing floors, and as I enter my new life I want to ensure that I live every hour in such a way that will let my creativity blossom. It's time, in other words, for some tweaking of the creative recovery I experienced in 2002.
Back to the artist's dates. I decided one way make sure I do them would be to involve others. Not on the dates themselves; those are meant to be solo. I started a swap to exchange packages to spark artist's dates ideas. If this is something that goes well, I'll do it every month.
If you're interested in The Artist's Way, whether you once worked through the book and want to go back to some of the tasks, or you want to learn what it's all about, head over and join the swap. It could be the start of something creative and wonderful for you.
My practically perfect briefcase was filled with student papers. Final papers. The last papers I'll have to grade until sometime in September. My keys were safely zipped in my adorable spring handbag (mine is pink). As I walked across the parking lot, I kicked out my hip to swing the briefcase to my back while I twisted my other shoulder for better access to that zipped pocket.
I thought of my favorite television heroine, picked myself up, and smiled my way to the car. But, golly! I've got a bruise that's taking over my right hip, and a scrape the size of my ipod mini on my elbow. This bride is going to look like she's been playing roller derby!
Believe it or not, for several hours the day went more downhill. I tried to remind myself that no one I loved was seriously sick or dying; how bad could life be? Even when one knows that, though, sometimes the mean reds take over, and it's hard to triumph. I'll spare you the story about crying in two dressing rooms and merely suggest that when you have a good seamstress, follow her advice and save some tears.
A walk in the woods with the mutts, a nap, a trip shopping for Neal's wedding clothes (all bought in about 30 minutes flat), and dinner out helped chase away the mean reds. Not quite as well as Tiffany's, but a girl has to take what she can get.
I guess, technically, I haven't been truly single since Neal and I got engaged, or maybe since we moved in together last May. In any case I have a breath over two weeks until our wedding. And a list. I have a list:
1. Buy shoes and undergarments and get dress tailored.
2. Finish Wedding Shawl.
3. Decide for once and for all where to have brunch after the ceremony.
4. Schedule someone to marry us.
5. Get a marriage license.
6. Order Neal's seersucker shirt.
7. Order Neal's wedding ring.
I think that's the entire list, but I suddenly feel as though I really need to get my act together.
At least I have accomplished something. About 45 minutes ago, I finished the 24th repeat of the Wedding Shawl center panel. I'm done with that, and now it's time to pick up stitches. Despite its being the tail end of my single-hood, I'm not going in for any bachelorette party antics, hanging out in bars, dancing with cowboys. Stitches are all I'll be picking up, thank you very much!
Since this picture was taken earlier in the week I've knit a bit more. I'm halfway done with the 17th repeat (out of 24). If all goes well, I should be finished with the center panel by next Tuesday. I'm a little concerned about the border as I don't fully understand what I'll be doing (or even how many stitches to pick up with this modified length), but I know I can figure it out or find help.
Our wedding is less than a month away. J. Crew came through for me again yesterday with wonderful in-store customer service when I had to return and exchange the dresses I bought. I should have the garment that will be my actual wedding dress on Friday. Here's hoping for a good fit. (I chose the ivory one, so you ladies who helped me narrow things down will know!)
Flowers have been ordered, and we're making a final decision about whether to have brunch at home or at a restaurant. Until today, we were going to have it here, but the decision is being re-thought. Invitations were sent last week, and the responses are trickling in. Our guest list for the May wedding (a bash for all of our friends is planned for July) is small, but I couldn't resist sending a nice invitation anyway. Want to see that, too?
I've vowed to think only happy, joyful thoughts while I knit the wedding shawl, but last night I was emotional as I knit and gave in to the ache that filled me. Wouldn't you know, before long I had a dropped stitch, then I did a lace row (Row 7, if you're interested) on the purl side. I tinked, but things were getting worse. I thought about my deadline, then thought about the fact that it is important for me to get this shawl right. That's not to say there aren't errors in it, but so far (knock on wood), the errors are not glaring.
That's when I remembered the lifeline that Meg had encouraged me to use after every repeat. It's also the same moment that I remembered how, just a few hours earlier, hubris had reared its ugly head, and I nearly decided to forgo the lifeline. It was there to rescue me, though, and I re-knit half the repeat before bed.
You may have seen this on Whip-up, but if not, take a look and fill a bag if you're so inclined.