21 April 2009

Gift giving

I'm really bad at gift giving on holidays, birthdays, etc. But I love giving gifts. Case in point: I have at least three gifts for friends and family on the needles (for you non-fiber arts people, that means I'm knitting them). Unfortunately, I think two of those are actually Christmas gifts. One of them was a Christmas gift for Xmas 2007. Sigh.

Here's the thing...I really hate giving gifts with a deadline. This doesn't apply to just gifts I'm making. Sometimes I find the right gift easily, or I enjoy knitting up the project. Sometimes I don't. But I hate it when I feel pressured to giving an imperfect or ill suited gift just for the sake of getting it there on a timeline. I'm just glad I have friends and family that understand and appreciate my position, even if I've never discussed it with them...there's no resentment if a gift is late, and no expectation that a gift from them equals a gift from me (at least none that I've ever noticed).

The real point...I like to give for the sake of giving. Not cause it's expected, or because I'm obligated, but because I found the right yarn, that would make the right pair of socks, for just the right person. I especially like to do craft exchanges or bartering with other people. My friend Katy and I seem to work well like this...I knit some knee socks, she screen prints a hippo, and around and around it goes. There are other people with whom I really like to share crafting this way (but it's harder when they live on another continent).

Here's a pair of socks I made for a friend, just cause she said has to watch me knit socks all the time but never gets any. At least she's a knitter, so she understands.

As a knitter that likes to knit all the time, I often am faced with requests for knitted objects. These requests come in various forms, from half-drunk demands, to teasing guilt trips, and it's interesting to me which ones tend to stick in my mind as I'm digging through my yarn stash looking for something new to work up. I'll always make things for people with whom I've made a deal. I'll sometimes make things for people just because, for no other reason than I think they need some cheering, or because I'm exceptionally fond of them that week. So a piece of advice...if you really want that pair of socks from a knitter, make a deal. A batch of cookies (recipe too, please!) will go a long way to appeasing a hungry fiber artist.

13 April 2009


Ever since returning from my series of business trips, I've found myself repeatedly forgetting to attend appointments and meetings of various levels of import. My forgetfulness is most startling because I am generally so diligent about keep track of my schedule, but also because of the frequency with which I am forgetting things right now.

Being the problem-solving scientist I am, I find myself wondering about the causes of my forgetfulness. Am I distracted by anything? Something new in my life that requires more attention right now? Well, not really. Am I spending more time than usual doing other activities? Well, not really. I knit a lot. I read quite a bit. But not more now than usual.

The unfortunate part about my forgetfulness right now is the utterly nebulousness it possesses (I think there are too many of the letter "s" in the last phrase in that sentence). It's difficult to figure out how to fix me being a space cadet when I don't know why I am being spacey.

Here's another lovely picture of flowers emerging in from the ground, mostly because I like them so much, but also partly because flowers generally do not forget to pop up in the spring. Sometimes they're late, sometimes they're frozen out, but they always keep trying.