Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Retreat to the Coffee Shop

When all else fails, and when stress hits the hardest, you can pretty much guarantee that I'm going to be well-caffeinated. Very very well caffeinated. This is usually because I will retreat to a coffee shop.

It was the most apparent the five months I wrote my thesis. With only a rewrite to do (only, I say, isn't that an incredible way to look back on tossing out 30 pages of my thesis and starting over?), I was home and working full time. Disliking rush hour traffic, I retreated to Starbucks and waaaaay too many evenings of lattes, macchiatos and scones.

Tonight I had two missions, edit a friend's book proposal and finish the squares for the log cabin afghan that were due to my aunt at Christmas. The former was supposed to be done Monday night-so technically I'm only 48 hours behind. The latter, obviously I'm running a little more late.

For the not as hand craft inclined:

Log Cabin Squares = Squares that are knitted in stripes of different colors. You start in the middle with one color, changing color and direction every certain number of rows (in this case 19). The strips of color get bigger and eventually you stop or start a new square. See here but imagine that every strip was a different color. You could do an entire afghan that is one square, but usually it's made up of multiple squares sewn together.

I was making three squares as a part of an afghan for a cousin who is getting married. It was a joint effort of six women of three generations of the family. Sibling the Elder and I did half the squares of the blanket between us--and fortunately when I was home we were able to confirm our squares were turning out a similar size. But with each color change, that meant there were two ends to be woven in. Due to the nature of the project, I had to split the yarn in half, discreetly weave two pieces in, and put in tons of little knots that will hopefully not unravel. I'm hoping a good washing (careful washing, this is wool after all) will secure it just enough that they'll be okay.

So after work, where I made a small dent in things I wanted to get done, I retreated with printout and the last of the squares in hand to a nearby coffee shop. Over quiche and a cup of hazelnut coffee I edited. Then I popped in my headphones, turned on a podcast, and wove in ends. I only burst out laughing twice--which, considering the podcast (an old episode of Lime and Violet) is admirable restraint. Nearly two hours later I had an edited document and three finalized squares. And a pretty solid sense of accomplishment for the day.

I drove immediately to the post office and mailed the squares. They should be there Friday, I did two day priority and the post office around here is pretty speedy. So my aunt has almost three weeks to complete the afghan now that the negligent hedgehog has completed her squares.

And it's only 9:30 p.m., so I can now tackle my databases. Which means I'm just charging through things today. But first, I'm going to go put on the kettle. I need another french press of coffee.

Taking joy in the small victories.

1 comment:

Sibling-The-Elder said...

Congrats on finishing your squares! It was a surprisingly challenging project from my perspective. An now, onward and upward with the next round of projects!