Friday, May 23, 2008

my knitting i am

a few posts ago bells said something about how there was no clear distinction between her knitting and her life. i have had this idea running through my head quite a lot since. it has got me thinking about how central a part of my sense of self knitting is. at the markets, the guy from the naturally coloured yarn stall asked if i was a knitter and i stood up a bit straighter and said, yes, i am, as though it was something i should be proud of. and i really am. i took it up to help me cope with the stress of studying, and it has become some kind of weedy vine, wrapping itself around all other aspects of my life, none of which feel complete if knitting is not involved.

in a way, i feel like it is the only real, creative thing i do. this might sound weird for someone who ferrets around in archives and writes a lot and talks to students all the time, but increasingly these come to feel like mere motions to be got through, not what i really live for.

so much so that i take my knitting to work, even though i never have time to do any of it:

it sits on my desk as a talisman, a kind of beacon...get through this and you can have me!

the weird part is how it makes me relate to other people. i am more than a little untrusting of those who dont knit (or something like it) and have no time for those who scorn it. i am most comfortable with other people who do it (preferably those who are also obsessed!) and thats because it is not pretentious or hierarchical or any of that other crap i encounter every day.

i dont mean that nothing else is real and only knitting and knitters are, but its the simplicity of it that attracts me. people have been stopping me in hallways lately saying congratulations and wanting to gush and tell me how great 'it is' and im like, yes but, have you seen this shawl im working on. priorities people!

speaking of which:

bad light in this photo but i have gone up to 5.5mm needles and its working out just divine. i love this pattern, i can nearly do it now without the chart.

and speaking of knitters being great people, look what i got from one last night:

yes sock project bags!

arent they gorgeous?! the very clever amanda made them for us, and now i can stop cursing the fact that knitpick nickel dpns poke their way through plastic sandwich bags. i love them. i want to curl up in bed with them. possibly this is because the material for the pink one also made a pair of pjs for sidney.

but its also possibly because all i want to do at the moment is go back to bed. and knit. and drink pots of hot tea.

see, i had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. in a strange turn of events, now that i am a doctor, i have become officially status-less at uni. i am only employed casually and teaching finishes next week (dont talk to me about the 80 essays i have to mark after that), and i have some bits of research work lined up, but otherwise i am between worlds. this means that in the infinite wisdom of academic bureaucracy, i was shifted to the lovely office you saw in the picture above, only to be shunted out again three weeks later and then last night i receive an email telling me i am going to have to move out of the new one they gave me as well and be put in a shared space somewhere. i dont mind that, but i do mind the shifting. i love this thing they have going with casual workers. we'll give you some scraps of work but we wont give you an office to do it in. trent suggests i go hire an office space somewhere and charge them for it, let alone all the moving expenses.

all that hoo-ha wasnt helped by classes where no one did their reading, and being stalked by students who demand to be told how to write their essays so that they pass. and i mean not just HOW to write it but WHAT to write. like, 'can you tell me what points i need to make in that section?". um....NO!!

the reality is that i have just not had time to unwind. no sooner did i finish fighting to get the phd submitted than i went straight into teaching and took on a bigger load than usual, and was also doing some work on redeveloping a course guide, and having all those feelings about submitting, and then bob died and changed everything, and then i immediately start looking for jobs and having interviews and getting rejected and all the stress that that entails. trent says i look tired and i feel it.

and there is still a lot of change in store for this year, including what looks like a move back to sydney, so i really need some down time. at least the job market has gone a bit quiet, so i am resolved to just spend the next few months developing my own research project and trying to get some funding for it, and doing little scraps of research and not so much teaching.

trent said to me the other day, 'so its research you would really like to do' and i thought for a minute and said yes, but of course what i was really thinking was 'no, id rather be knitting'!

wouldnt we all?!

k xx


Bells said...

ah, yes we would. Absolutely rather be knitting.

i know what you mean about knitters. My world has changed entirely since I met knitters. My best friends are knitters. Life is better now and I attribute it to that.

A move to Sydney? Not Canberra? :-(

Rose Red said...

Yeah, move to Sydney!! Not Canberra!! (tee hee!)

Totally agree with you - knitting has changed my life. Knitters just get "it" don't they, whatever "it" might be in your life.

amy said...

I tend to feel more comfortable straight off if I know somebody is a knitter.

As for all the other stuff, you're right, that's a lot of major life changes going on at once, which is incredibly stressful. Just one or two is stressful, never mind a heap of them. Knit all you need. The rest will untangle, eventually.

TinkingBell said...

Why not a move to Tassie? There are knitters here too you know!

But I agree - my loveliest friends are knitters and cooks! (I have a couple of close non knitting friends - but we are foodies - so that's OK!)
And yes, definitely rather be knitting!

Stell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stell said...

mm - yes knitters, the obsessed kind, not the rule pattern following kind . thoughtful knitters makes the best companions in life. Am I the only one to make a link between the name of your blog and the current state of office housing, when all you want is a 'room of your own'?

kms said...

ha! how about that, i didnt even notice it myself stell, but it is in fact, the story of my life! very well observed :)

kms said...

PS. i have a job app in in canberra but its not likely, there is still another option im purusing there. and i would gladly up and go to the apple isle tomorrow but SOMEONE i know never stops complaining about the cold and will wave goodbye from the mainland. canberra is a big enough ask! the sydney move is because of a housing opportunity through the FIL but dont want to blog it till its certain...

Renee said...

Ah to spend a life being creative... wouldn't it be lovely. I would much rather see what you knit than what you write (whilst i think you are one clever cat, stop using Freud damn you!!) Some well-deserved rest is in order. Re the students: I know some people that know that some people, so just say the word.

Michelle said...

Amen! To everything you wrote!

Fernicle said...

I think there should be a fund for newly finished PhDs so that they can be granted some special space and time to simply chill and do what pleases them most, be that knitting or mountain climbing, just so they can find some sanity and recuperation after the madness. I might call it the 'Space of my own' fund...

Hope you can at least find some pieces of it in between the chaos of life post PhD.


Olivia said...

Ah, I've been thinking about this too, after a simple joke about being offered a package (no it's not on my horizon at all) made all these joyful and relieved feelings burst forth (I'll go home and knit!!!). It's not really that I want to leave my job. But I think it's the satisfaction and CONTROL of your own creativity/making stuff (can't bring myself to limit it to just knitting) that is so fulfilling, though also frustrating when it's hard to express it to other people. I think it's worth trying to get it across to non-knitters - perhaps the person you're talking to gets the feeling from something else - otherwise I feel like knitting is some kind of clique or cult - and it ain't! Sorry this is garbled, might need a post of my own on this!

2paw said...

Life has a tendency to be 'interesting'. Maybe a little tme to think and unwind and knit!!! There's a thought!!! I love the view from your room.