09 April 2007

Catching Up

I have a very exciting announcement:

I got the KnitPicks Options set for my birthday from my mom.

Oh, and I also turned in the "final" draft to my advisor yesterday afternoon.

Does it seem like I'm not sure which thing to be more excited about? It's not that, exactly, so much as the perfect symbiosis of the two major events happening at once.

I've been wanting those Options since the day they came out. Actually, I'd been wanting them long before, I just didn't know what they were going to be called yet.

I've been writing this "draft" for about 18 months, and during the last few months of that time I've hardly been able to knit at all, and during the entire time I could not justify spending money on anything beyond food, shelter and birthdays, and not even the latter occasion could justify even half what the Options set cost (this was my last (!) year of grad school when the usual fellowship had already run out, so I was living on bits and pieces of fellowship and temp work here and there)

So, my birthday passed a few weeks ago with only good wishes and some flowers - which was lovely - while I was still frantically revising, and neither capable of taking time off to buy or play with new toys or even to think about such things. Then, on Saturday, amidst Nervous Breakdown No. 3496 re: the stubborn non-linearity of Chapter Five, the postman came with a package from mom AND a package from Amazon paid for by our credit card-related gift certificate and graciously given over to my exclusive use by my loving Hubbster.

At the time I was only able to emit an ear-piercing SQUEEEEE (ask Hubbster!), and turn back to the computer.

But, by mid-day on Sunday I was proof-reading the last round of changes, and then off to the computer lab to double-space it and print it out. Delivered it to professor's doorman. Came home. Shaken. In shock. Exhausted in a way I never thought was possible (and I've done lots of stupid, exhausting things before, like go to the U of chicago for undergrad and hand-copy 150-year-old Russian handwriting during every available hour non-stop for 9 months, etc). More than anything else, I had NO IDEA what to do with myself. Every waking and sleeping hour for the past 18 months I've either been working on this diss, or thinking it or dreading it. And of course there's still a lot to do - not least, I need to finish the footnotes and bibliography while the prof is reading, and as soon as he's done he's sure to ask for more changes even in the BEST case scenario.


For the first time in 18 months, there is an introduction, 7 chapters all containing thesis statements, intros, conclusions, and nothing bracketed or half-finished in between, and a there's a conclusion for the whole thing. And, on Sunday night and again tonight and maybe even for one or two more days after that...I don't have to do anything related to the dissertation. I have to temp (that's where I am now), but when I'm done here at 7:30 I don't have to make myself stay until 11 so as not to lose the caffeine rush I've got going. I can go home.

And play with my new Options needle set.

and the Harlot's new book.

and the yarn - YARN - that Hubbster strongly suggested needed to be purchased to go along with the new needles. (Good Hubbster! So good that the yarn I've ordered is going to be a sweater for him...see how smart he is at getting what he wants?)

Life has suddenly become very good indeed.

I actually knitted for several dazed hours last night, but don't have much to show for it since I just added a few rows to every one of my many, many WIPs (where did all these things come from??? Have no memory of starting most of them...)

In the meantime, though, I have some extremely crappy pictures (taken indoors and on location, so to speak) of a few FOs from waaaaaay back that I've been promising pictures of for ages. Here you go:

The peacock sock for Hubbster, which caused me a bit of a dilemma, because I'd made the gussets so monstrously huge for his very wide, flat feet that I ran out of yarn. After much helpful input, in the end I ripped back the first toe, and finished off both socks in Paton's Kroy. I've been wanting to get a modeled shot of them in ages, but Hubbster wasn't ready to wear them yet. It always takes him a while to get over his initial awe of a new handknit made just for him and actually expose it, ever so delicately, to the elements by wearing it.

The second afghan square for Warm Up America, made with the rest of the Paton's SWS that we were given at the Represent event. The colors are a little off here, but obviously it's supposed to be the same as the other square (which, oddly enough, photographed better even though I took that one on my lap in a crowded semi-dark auditorium).

This one's been absent for so long even I forgot about it. It's a felted tea cozy that I made over xmas break while we were in Georgia. It somehow found its way under the bed and therefore didn't get packed. My mother-in-law finally found it and mailed it to us. It's made from leftovers and the size/shape was a total guess, but it's actually a perfect fit for the teapot. I chose the colors of tea - green, brown, and red, because rooibos is my favorite tea (and everything that can have red in it should, anyway)!

Ignore the canister of scary-looking "Ultra Hair [tm]" shake mix. Mom-in-law sent it because she's a biologist and really obsessed with reading ingredient lists - and she decided that this stuff was so packed with important vitamins (for lots of things besides hair) that we needed it to get through the diss (in my case) and oral exams (in Hubbster's). Don't say anything, but...it tastes so awful we couldn't make ourselves drink any no matter how miserably unhealthy we feel...

Will be back soon...with new knitting to show you, and lots of happy ravings about my new book and new needles (suffice to say for now that I'm VERY happy with both!!)


Mary Lynn said...

Congrats on the FINAL draft, intro, 7 chapters, thesis statements, conclusions and not a bracket in the bunch. Super kudos.

Happy belated birthday and you will love your Options. I know I love mine and have been adding those odd sizes that don't come as part of the set . . . nos. 1, 2 and 3 in various length cables. They are grand things!

WineGrrl said...

Delurking to wish you luck!

Olga said...

oh, well it certainly sounds like the worst is over, in terms of the writing! good luck with the feedback, and enjoy your days off! plus, i adored that story about your husband. got totally sidetracked for about 5 minutes there. may we all find a sweetie like that!

hesira said...

Congratulations on your final draft and your new needles. I've been following your grad school experience for a couple of months and can only say, I sympathize with you. I know about the anxiety, and self doubt, (not to mention the temp jobs) but you are closing in on it.

And happy belated Birthday!

Specs said...

Hooray! I hope you have the most relaxing, rewarding next few days possible.

Oh, and I love that red teapot. Right now I've just got a small, one-serving teapot that R got me in Japan. It's nice, but I'm keeping an eye out for a nice, larger pot at yardsales and thrift stores.

Marianne said...

Kate, again with the 'YAYS', getting your final draft in, there's bigger light at the end of that tunnel,eh?
I'm so happy for you, the new needles (I got mine for bd also, love them), and the new Harlot book AND yarn?!?!?!?!!!
Enjoy your next few days, love the socks, square, and that tea dozy!
rooibos is one of my all time faves too!

Kim U said...

Congrats on the final draft!!! And on the knitpicks options too!

Lynn said...

I'm so happy for you. I know it's been a long haul and it's not over yet, but you've passed a major hurdle!

Enjoy your peaceful knitting time. :)

Laura said...

Congratulations on everything! I'm so glad people know how to spoil you when it's so well deserved!

Kate said...

Congrats! This is a gigantic accomplishment. Enjoy your knitting.

Kim said...

Congratulations on handing in your final draft! That's a big step. Recover for the rest of your life. ;)

penny said...


Eve said...

Congratualations! I'm on the edge of finishing my thesis, but there's still so much more to go... It's going to be a crunch...

annmarie said...

Adding my congratulations to everyone else's. Wahoo! :)