Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Today marks the beginning not only of a new calendar year but also of another blog year: my sixth! Yes, the Brainylady blog turns five today. On New Year's Day in 2003 I sat in my bedroom in my first Taipei apartment and signed up on Blogger as a very new knitter. (My first real post came a couple of days later.) I had no idea then what I was really getting myself into! I didn't know that I was entering into such an incredible community -- dare I say a tight-knit community? -- where there would always (always!) be somebody cheering me on, answering my questions, and offering advice, reassurance, compliments, and/or inspiration at every turn. Nor did I know that I would meet some of them in person, be invited to stay at their houses, and be sent yarn and homemade cookies in the mail. I freaking love the knitbloggers. Whatever people say about online friends versus "real friends," I don't see such a clear line dividing the two.

And having said all that, I must now tell you that you'll be seeing less of me in the coming months. I need to make some changes in my day-to-day life, and the most important thing is to reestablish school as my top priority. Over the last six months I've let things become unbalanced, and let myself off the hook too easily. It's pretty obvious to me that I can't, at this point, split my time effectively between reading and knitting; my mind is so occupied with knitting patterns and my Ravelry queue that it won't let Foucault and Bourdieu in. Plus I've been letting the Internet suck too much precious time out of each day. So I have to make some big changes: I have to extract myself from the computer and I have to make my brain more available to what I'm reading. This means I'm not even going to open my laptop until the evening, so not much blogging. This also means very little knitting, both because of the time knitting takes and because of the time I spend thinking about what I'm going to knit next. It's time I put the brainy back in brainylady.

To conclude (I do feel a bit like I'm making a speech here), may I present the real last knits of 2007! I'd hoped to give Bill a new pair of socks for Christmas, but I just couldn't get them finished. So he got a surprise New Year's Eve present instead:


It's very tempting to make a joke here, like "these socks look like A.S.S. -- Arch-Shaped Socks, that is!" but that would be terribly immature. Ahem. So these are indeed Arch-Shaped Socks (PDF), knit on 2.50mm DPNs in Reynolds Soft Sea Wool. It's an interesting pattern: a plain stockinette sock without being just a plain sock. I don't know if I screwed up somewhere (twice), but I had to fudge the numbers when I got to the part in the foot where the gusset decreases met the arch decreases. (I had 70 sts. at that point instead of 66; I skipped one round of sole increases and worked the whole foot on 68 sts.) The colour is more true in this picture -- it's a really good blue, like a faded tattoo:


Here's what they look like flat -- weird, right?


And here's one more shot, in which cuteness trumps blurriness:


I wish you the very, very best for this new year. Watch your Bloglines -- I will be back. In the meantime, wish me luck with my reading. I've got to get it done! Good luck with everything you hope to accomplish in 2008, and I hope the year brings you plenty of happiness. Knit a few rows for me from time to time. xo

46 comments:

Claudia said...

I will miss you, but I certainly can appreciate and respect the decision to get on with the seriousness of school. Happy New Year to you and we'll see you soon!

Claudia

Seanna Lea said...

Good luck on the reading. It's too easy to get sucked into the Internet instead of school and work.

LEO said...

Oh, good luck on the school front! I'm very intrigued by that sock pattern... I wonder if it offers some sort of support, or just mirrors the arch shape of the foot?

carolyn said...

dang dude. that is quite the downer of new year's news. maybe i'll just go bury my hand in the sand for the year. :(

p.s. those socks are very intriguing. and i LOVELOVELOVE the mittens. LOVE.

Knitting Mama said...

Those look weird flat - but great on! Love the color!

Happy New Year Alison. Are you coming knitting on Wednesday night?

grace said...

I will miss you very much but applaud your self-discipline. Though I've no public sphere in which to discuss the ways I'm restructuring my timetable to include more active than passive pursuits, it has become clear that changes are needed and, like you, I will be reestablishing some priorities. Now that daughter number three is only a year and a bit away from finishing her undergrad I think it may very well be the mama's turn to look at another degree. All the very best in 2008 Alison and to Bill and Mooky too.

grace in snowy ottawa

Chris said...

Completely understandable - I'm really glad that blogging wasn't a factor when I was getting my MS; Tetris and Civilization were more than sufficient distractions...

Cool socks! Hmm....

anne said...

Hey, I hear ya and appreciate your coherent statements on the subject...my work/school life has changed so much this year, too, and I miss knitting and blogging. Best of luck to you and Bourdieu in the new year!!

lori z said...

Happy 2008 to you too! Good luck with getting school back as top priority. I too am thinking about limiting my hobby time in favour of schoolwork. Our Ph.D.'s will not finish themselves!

Robin said...

I'll look forward to hearing more about Foucault instead of socks (cool construction, by the way) and mitts (your mitts have been fab lately) in the months to come. Good on you for buckling down to work! I hope you get lots of reading accomplished.

goodkarma said...

Happy New Year! It's good to see that I'm not the only one who's going to be buckling down and spending less precious time on Ravelry and Bloglines in the next several months... good luck with your reading goals!

amanda said...

Good luck with your reading! We'll miss you, but know that we're cheering you on in your brainy pursuits as much as we do in you yarny pursuits! :)

djb said...

I think the Queen said much the same thing in her Christmas address! Happy New Year! X

Barbara-Kay said...

You are so correct to focus on school now. There will be plenty of time to take up your interests after school.

Our favorite bumper sticker of all time was "Is there life after nursing school?" It was an intense education process, no time for anything leisure. Psych nursing was so welcome because we got to do crafts with our patients!

See you on the other side. Best wishes for a happy New Year!

Jenny said...

Those socks are pretty cool. And I will also miss reading you but understand making school a priority. I'm going back after 5 years this month and I will need to do the same.

Nicole said...

Alison, I will miss you, but as many have said above, I applaud your resolve. Although I am finished with school, I would like to spend less time online and more time creating. Best of luck to you!

Elinor said...

Ick, sometimes life gets in the way of knitting. What a hassle! I'll certainly be here when you pop in to post! The socks are beautiful - what a nice, cozy present for the new year!

miss ewe said...

Happy New Year, Alison. And good luck with all your work. We'll be happy to read you when you have the time.
Let me know the next time you pass through Toronto!

Michelle said...

Happy happy new year! I love how the camera focuses on Moukros.

I hear ya on the unbalanced thing--I've been completely preoccupied lately myself. I know you're going to rawk in 2008.

(but don't think I didn't see "Foucault doll" in your queue. Mwah!)

Paula said...

Best wishes for joy and happiness in the New Year ... oh ya and study hard eh!

Meg said...

Very neat socks! Best wishes for the reading & studying -- & Happy New Year! ~meg

Octopus Knits said...

Those socks are so neat (and loved the mittens in your last post as well)! Happy new year, and good luck with school : )

Caroline said...

Happy Blogiversary and good luck with school!

gleek said...

great socks! i love all the shaping! happy new year and blogiversary to you!

Amy Jo said...

Good Luck with school and reading! It will be fun, too, in its own way.

chez shoes said...

I admire your determination to stick to the plan. Here's to a happy, productive new year!

Ellen said...

Alison - I'll miss your blogs, but applaud your resolve to get on with it. It is too easy for knitting to go from diversion to obsession, especially with reinforcement from other knitters. Good luck to you, and happy 2008.

Marie said...

After reading your post, I spent half the night reading an introduction to the works of Foucault. I once knew (not personally but intellectually speaking) this great philosopher. I didn't get much sleep, but the insomnia was great. I've been meaning to seriously get into Bourdieu too. Thanks for the kick in the butt. Maybe you could "blogdrop" a line or two from your readings? You'll be miss.

Veronique said...

That is a tough resolution to make (and follow). But we can all understand that it's needed. We will miss you though :(

Katie said...

I support your resolution! I feel the need to do the same if I am ever going to get that doctorate. I admire your strength.

rachael said...

I'll just wait right here for you, then. No hurry, I'll be here.

Mia said...

School is more important. You need to finish your research. And the internet is a big time suck some days. I do like Bill's socks though.

knitty_kat said...

Fabulous socks! I'm going to miss your posts, but I'm sure you will step in time to time. Good-luck with all that you need to do!

Cheers

La Cabeza Grande said...

La Brainy has got to do what she must. You know we're all behind you and respect your decision. Drop in when you can. You will always be welcome to the party.

All best, Alison.

J. said...

yeah for 5 years! I totally get the school thing - see more on the flip side

susan said...

Good luck with the school stuff. Yay for Foucault and Bourdieu! I also need to rededicate myself to school this new year, though not so much because of knitting. Here's hoping it works for both of us.

Also, those socks are so neat! They look really comfortable. And in those shots, Bill is wearing the same pjs that my sweetie has.

Thinks too much said...

Good luck, BL. I just let my blog fade when I didn't have time to keep it up. The speech route is better. Happy reading.

Mindy said...

I have to admit, this is the first of your posts that I have read, but I COMPLETELY understand! My blog functioned beautifully as my "paper? What paper?" escape for the last year or so of college, resulting in some distinctly odd posts. Anyway, good luck with the schooling and .... I need to check out those socks...

Stacey said...

sounds like you are getting priorities straight - you have to do what you have to do! :) we'll be here if you post once a week or once a month!

tadlewog said...

you will be missed, but good for you for figuring out what you need to do and how to do it.

i know that i don't post very much at all (and even less since ravelry became my friend), but that seems to be because i make actually knitting and other priorities come before writing... which just ends up that it doesn't happen much.

good luck. it will be great!
(and those socks-! fabulous!)

knttinfitz said...

Good luck finishing your degree. I so enjoy your posts and I will look forward to more, when you have time.

claudia said...

Good luck getting your head back into work. I know EXACTLY what that feels like.

jennie said...

BOY, do I understand. I've disappeared because I know that I need to make choices, and the right choice is to use my computer time as dissertation-writing-time. Can I say that i'm proud of your self-control without sounding condescending? Because I am. Good luck with that foucault!

molly! said...

Sorry to hear that you won't be posting as much, but I hope that your studies go swimmingly for you.

Looking forward to hearing from you next!

Jesse said...

Congratulations on your blog birthday! And thank you for the link to those socks - they look so good.

Mommyprenuer said...

Great socks! It's 12 degrees here! I just discovered your blog but seems I am a tad late. Best of luck to you!