I feel like there's a cloud of things perpetually buzzing around my head. Like juggling balls that I've almost but not actually remotely got under control, or perhaps more like bees that I haven't yet coaxed into a productive hive. (I know nothing about beekeeping, so that may well be a silly analogy. Feel free to correct me.) I tackle them one at a time, with intention: focusing, thinking about what I want to consistently achieve, making plans, trouble-shooting, trying again, keeping track and fine-tuning until they slip into a consistent, sustainable pattern and I can turn my attention to the next thing. And even though I can look back over time and see clear and measureable progress (I have a viable business that I built out of nothing, with my own hard work and ingenuity; I've finally got a do-able weight loss approach, I get out for a walk most days, and many more...) the things flitting in my face never seem to be any fewer, or the buzzing any quieter. Sometimes the anxious suspicion that I am getting nowhere and doomed to do so in perpetuity, feels overwhelming. Plus, I don't see anyone else buzzing, though I would like to think, at least statistically, that I can't be the only one.
I read in the latest Rotary magazine that in the Balti language of northern Pakistan, there is no word for failure - the closest equivalent translates roughly as "transition." Which I find comforting to a point, but I would really like more of my life to be "not in transition." You know - achieved, unassailable, on auto-pilot, completely under control. Come to think of it, that may be the most difficult part of the SAHM/home-business/artist-entrepreneur gig - nothing has a life of its own (other than disorder). If I don't actively make things happen every minute of every day, they don't. (They don't coast to a gentle halt, either, but stop dead in their tracks with a sickening lurch.)
The condo is the giant swarm that gets my attention this week. The arrayed forces of disorder are formidable indeed, but I live in hope that the little battles I've won here and there can be extended to wider domains. To kick things off: combining the virtues of multi-tasking, using-what-you've-got, and creativity, I started a blanket. (As much as it sounds like housework avoidance, this really does make sense.)
I have enormous bags of oddball yarn taking up scarce storage space; I have a couch that is fraying far faster than its replacement is likely to be affordable, and I know how to crochet.
If I make one 12 inch square a day (which is about all my wrist will take), I'll have a generously couch-sized blanket by the end of the summer (or perhaps well into the fall, allowing for the forces of chaos and anarchy):
Construction: dense single crochet, in triple stranded worsted weight (or equivalent) wools. This enhances both its stash busting potential and its durability, as well as keeping the lines clean. Square by square construction gives me the flexibility to change my mind about the final dimensions, as well as keeping the working size manageable.
1) Uses the colours (or close relatives thereof) found in the couch. This gives me a selection of olive hues, a desaturated emerald, some steel blue with hints of teal, dark cherry red, a variety of warm browns, and charcoal. Not looking for precise matches, but an overall optical effect that harmonizes with the rest of the decor. (If you have been in my home, I am fully aware of the irony of that statement, considering the floor to ceiling stacks of blue Rubbermaid totes that dwarf the dining room table and house the for-sale yarn. There's a plan for those too, but it involves a lot more money and a studio lease.)
2) Red is the common denominator: every square must have at least one round of red (a variety of related reds are acceptable), every second square will be predominately red. When the time comes, they will be all be joined in a single shade of red; possibly after crocheting an extra round or two in the chosen hue onto each square. I'll make that decision later.
By my present calculations, I'm planning on 126 squares (which might make a good Flickr set, come to think of it.) My biggest reservation is the nagging fear that a crocheted blanket can't help but be tacky - crochet was the first fibre skill I learned, and I made some dreadfully hideous things back in the 70's and early 80's. I need to believe I can transcend that history. I'm hoping that careful colour selection and an unfussy graphic esthetic will save me.