Thursday, November 06, 2008

Of Accomplishments and Dreams...

I am literally counting the hours.

Tomorrow night, I abandon my family and beg my husband to drive my mother and I almost 40 minutes away from our city to a wonderful haven known as Camp Wildwood for an AWESOME cross stitch retreat! For almost 48 hours, I will be free from e-mail, phone, children and husband. Yes, I will be sleeping in my sleeping bag on a mattress on the floor (because the bunk beds are just too SHORT for me!) but someone else will be doing all the cooking and dishes. If I want to sit and stitch or knit or draw until midnight... I can! If I want to take a nap or go for a walk in the middle of the afternoon... I can!

Can you see why I am counting down the hours until I leave?

I used to lie to my youngest daughter every time I went to retreat. She would tell me how much she was going to miss me... and I would tell her “ I will miss you too!”. Now that she is older, I can be honest with her. I explain that Mommy will be much happier and much more relaxed after an event like this than if I didn’t go! Since the girls have Monday and Tuesday off from school, I will still have time to play with them and get stuff done here at home. I can truly skip off with minimal guilt this year! I probably need it even more this year because of all the supply work that I am getting. I have worked or taught outside the home every day this week. Great for the budget... not so great for getting ready for the SCBWI conference that I just registered for today in New York City at the end of January. I need to have 5 or 6 new pieces in my portfolio for that show so that they see change and growth since this summer in LA.

Instead of giving in to panic... I turn to my knitting and stitching. Knitters and stitchers know that you have to just work on the piece one stitch at a time.

LOOK!! I finally finished that second pair of socks! Aren’t they COOL???!! This is all your fault, Barb!

With volleyball season underway, we spent last Saturday in Fredericton at a 15 and under Provincial Volleyball tournament with Erin. Smart, multitasking mother and illustrator that I am, I had already arranged a book signing at the Fredericton Chapters bookstore with the author of Owen and the Dinosaur, Paul Burns. I watched Erin’s first set of games and then snuck off for 2 hours to peddle our books. They sold very well!

On the way down in the car, I decided to start an Irish Moss pattern scarf. The texture of the wool and colour shading lent itself well to this motif. I was fine in the car and during the second set of games that I watched when I returned to the tournament... but then our team made it to the semifinals. Since I knit by feel, I can watch the game and knit at the same time... but I found that I was looking down to often to see which row I was on to keep the pattern working properly! So this scarf got stuffed down into my “Knitting Bag of Holding” (yes, I did play a LOT of D&D!) and out came another tempting colour and new needles for a second scarf to knit in “plain old knitting”. Love the colour!

I also learned that you can actually knit TWO socks at once!! I bought some wonderful sock yarn at the Purple Purl in Toronto and started to work on two socks from the same ball so that my tension would stay the same for both socks. I did promise myself that 2008 would be the year that I learned to knit socks and I am well on my way to being totally addicted.

Of course I did buy a new knitting project to take up to the retreat.... but you will have to wait until the next blog entry to find out what could tempt me away from my sock quest!