Garter Stitch Jacket so far --
This is Attempt Number 3 at the sleeves, Number 1 of which came out when it was obvious that they were at least two inches too long, even after rolling up; Number 2 was ripped back when there was a knot in the cotton that would have entailed a join at the center of the cuff, garter stitch worked sideways, remember, and nowhere to hide woven-in ends. I was obviously not thinking very clearly when I went from a project knitted on US9s in wool held double, to one in fine-gauge cotton on US3s, either.
What I'm Trying to Get My Head Around Today: the "Dickens v. Domesticity" thing. I've noticed a number of bloggers mentioning this lately, the gulf between the life of the mind, as it were, and of home and family in women's lives. (Is is the beginning of the school year? I seem to feel this same thing welling up in me every September, when I drive past the college and the students with their shining morning faces, on my way to the grocery store. And should it be "v." and give a legal, even if I may, "courtly," sense of an intellectual argument, propounded over wine and chicken Marsala, or "versus" and sound like a trashy, no-holds-barred wrestling match?)
It always sounds more than a little poignant to me when women say, "My life began when I met X." I don't mean to disparage this sentiment, which is sweet and nice, which I hope I am myself most of the time. But what does it imply about the years before this event? Isn't that a big part of the Dickens side of an intellectual woman? where does it go? Perhaps my dismay comes from the fact that I met my husband-to-be when I was already in my thirties, and the Domestic side of me had given up hope, and the Dickens part rebelled at the fact that I even labeled it "hope" when I Should Not Need a Man to Make Me Feel Complete. A part of my life began at this point, certainly, and an extremely vivid and fulfilling part it is, to be sure. But I was already fairly solidly established intellectually, even allowing for the fact that there is always something new to be learned -- I'm not the brainiest person I know, not by a long chalk, but the Dickens part was how I defined myself for a long time before I met my X. It's an old argument, of course -- women have been feeling this disparity ever since they started being intellectual. (And we all know how long that's been.) How does one reconcile a career and family, scholarship and housekeeping? Why does it seem that one side must start and the other stop, why does a woman define herself as "before and after," can we possibly have it all? I'm tempted to add "Dickens v. Domesticity" as a category for this blog, it's such an eternal question. (And I love the alliteration.)
Sigh (both regretful and amused). My life is a game of Grandmother's Footsteps these days, with the steps backward beginning to outnumber the steps forward. I found my stack of "current" reading yesterday, buried under a mountain of artwork schlepped home from the girls' Hong Kong preschool. I am finding it incredibly frustrating toilet-training a stubborn child, especially when much of what I love so much about her is that she is so strongly and wonderfully her own person. My cookbook shelf is now bigger than my women's studies shelf. Instead of pondering and marveling on the relationship of wool skeins to art, I find myself refereeing the battle between two little girls about who has more Thomas engines in her train.
(No kidding! Look at this --
The skeins have this wonderful organic-ness about them, they seem almost alive, the way that they twist and how the light and variations of color add extra dimensions. They remind me of Michelangelo's slave studies, the way the arms wrap around their heads, the legs that bend and seem to emerge from the rock surrounding them.)
Well, I will close this rant with a misquote from Virginia Woolf -- "I meant to write about knitting, only life came breaking in as usual"!