05 Jun 2009

Lunch hour

One of the hardest things for me about working from home is maintaining that elusive state commonly known as the work/life balance. When home, I am never more than 25 steps away from my office, meaning I am effectively “at work” all the time. Since there is never a shortage of work to be done, I find myself having to actively choose to not work, instead of the other way around. During moments of idle speculation I sometimes wonder if I’d be better about carving out a little “me time” from my day if I had an office to go to. I like the option of working in my pyjamas too much, however, to make an away-from-home office a reality. What I’m left with then is self-regulation; always a a tricky proposition for a workaholic.

I’ve made several attempts to remedy the situation over the years; this is the latest. I realized this morning that I’ve a host of projects I’ve been wild to photograph and share, and that the reason I haven’t done so, is that it requires sitting at a computer. Which is where I do my work. So blogging looks like work, it feels like work, and I’ve been scheduling into my calendar as if it is work. However, as a work task, quite frankly, blogging doesn’t get much shrift on the calendar. It’s way low on the priority list.

Today’ I’m sliding blogging over to the other side of the work/life fulcrum. I’ve given myself an hour for lunch, which is something I rarely do. One hour, to eat my sandwich at my desk, and get some photos up on the blog. I’ve never been good at cranking out the words, because I tend to write and edit simultaneously. And use big words that I can’t spell, and have to look up, like “simultaneously”. So I’ve been dicking around at it, in my usual succinct fashion, for a while now, and I have just twenty nine minutes left to get some photos up and show you what I’ve been up to.

arielscarfI did not finish the Ariel Scarf in time to wear it to Austen’s wedding last Sunday, but it was of little matter, as the day was the warmest yet this summer. Even a silk scarf would have been over kill.

I finished it last night, and have just blocked it, deciding during the process to block the side edges wavy, as that’s what they seemed to want to do naturally. It was knit from Briar Rose silk aran weight (a gift from Chris, of BRF, via Lucinda, who visited a few weeks ago) in the most gorgeous range of summer rose pinks. My camera does not do the color justice.

Just one skein yielded a scarf that’s about 11 inches wide, and 66 inches long. It’s the perfect yarn for this pattern, and I love the finished scarf, though by the time I was done knitting, I was really ready to knit something else. Scarves are like that, I find. No matter how interesting the stitch pattern, I eventually reach a point where I just want the damned thing to be done. All scarf patterns should read, “Knit until the yarn runs out, or you can’t stand it anymore. Whichever comes first.”

The hour is almost up. Time to click “publish” and get on with my day.

This was fun. Let’s do it again soon.

Posted on June 5, in Blog


  1. Camille wrote:

    Wow, that scarf is GORGEOUS!!!!!

    Posted on 6.5.09 ·
  2. Theresa wrote:

    It is beautiful! I am knitting a wrap out of an alpaca/wool/xxx blend from Briar Rose right now. It’s so delicious.

    Also, I love that you used the phrase “dicking around at it.” 🙂

    Posted on 6.5.09 ·
  3. Cathy wrote:

    just want to say thanks for your wonderful podcast. I’ve been slowly catching up from podcast #1 to current.
    Your work is fantastic — I admire your ability to hang in there over the years. No need to reply — just take heart that you have one more fan out there, eager to hear the latest goings on in your life. You rock! Really!
    My son is in the air force and will soon be stationed at Lakenheath airforce base — I hope to visit him one day — never thought I wold want to visit Wales (I tend to be more Ireland focused) but now I’m interested as a result of your podcasts.
    Hope all is well with you and thanks again for your fantastic work
    Jum8uck on ravelry

    Posted on 6.5.09 ·
  4. Libby wrote:

    Lovely scarf!! I really like the wavy edges. But what I really wanted to say was:
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR TOMORROW!!! I hope you have a lovely day and are spoilt rotten.

    Libby x

    Posted on 6.5.09 ·
  5. Hi Brenda,

    Gread podcast, great scarf – all good all round! I love listening to you. According to the above comment, it must be your birthday today, so have a good one.

    I have just spent the morning doing one of my all time favourite things – knitting and listening to a podcast.
    It used to be Kelly Petkin King pin of the podcasts, but i won’t say you’ve knocked her off, but i will say you’ve made her move over to make room for you! Anyway, now I have 2 favourites to listen to!

    Roseanne (no reply necessary)

    Posted on 6.6.09 ·
  6. lynn wrote:

    Saw cake next to your photo on Ravelry and just had to say -Happy Birthday to You! Enjoy your weekend!

    Posted on 6.7.09 ·
  7. Hi Brenda!

    Been quite a while since I’ve contacted, but still listening to and loving the podcast. And that scarf! That will definitely go on the queue.

    Ran into a something cute this morning, thought I’d share it for a giggle
    a href=”http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/06/06/funny-pictures-was-really-invented/”>see more Lolcats and funny pictures

    Or here’s a link to the page, incase the html got screwed up

    Hope all is well!

    Posted on 6.7.09 ·
  8. Walden wrote:

    The scarf looks great. I feel the same way about scarves too often, which equates to me having only made one and it will probably be the only one I ever make.

    Posted on 6.9.09 ·
  9. Karen S wrote:

    Really nice to see a “recreational” blog post 😉 Good for you (and for us)!
    It’s a stunning scarf… I really love the colour! But I’m with you on the which-ever come first… have actually known a few scarves to have second halves that were shorter than the first…

    Posted on 6.10.09 ·
  10. Rachel in Ct wrote:

    After listening to your podcast since January and really enjoying it, it finally occured to me to let you know. OK here it goes: I really enjoy listening to your podcast. Love the essay’s, the conversations, and I really enjoy the music. I have been inspired by a lot of what you have to say. I participate in many of the fiber arts, but mostly alone. It is so nice to hear that there are others out there that share my passion and for some reason you are able to articulate what I cannot. You have a gift. Thank you,

    Posted on 6.12.09 ·
  11. KimGala wrote:

    Je ne comprends pas grand chose en anglais mais je vois claire et c’est MAGNIFIQUE comme travail. Si je peux le faire traduire en français, je le ferai.

    Bye bye


    Posted on 6.15.09 ·
  12. Eleanor Cavin wrote:

    Nice scarf! enjoy wearing it.
    best regards, ec

    Posted on 6.15.09 ·
  13. janice wrote:

    Hi – I am loving this make do and mend series. I must ask – can we see a picture of the “hat” that was going to the wedding – and did it make it on to your head? I know you said it was hot and you took the road less travelled to get there but in my mind’s eye the picture is incomplete – I must see the hat!

    Posted on 6.17.09 ·
  14. Jo wrote:

    Thank you for your podcast! My ten year old son and I have just loved it. We are also American ex-pats living in Wales (Vale of Glamorgan) and we get really tickled to hear you speak of Wales with your American accent. I listen to you as I take my walks through the Welsh countryside and feel a little less foreign and a little less out of place. Thanks for that.

    Posted on 6.25.09 ·
  15. lynn wrote:

    Ariel! I like! How come I’ve never seen this pattern anywhere else before? Oh wait, yours is just nicer than anyone else’s, maybe? Agree completely about the scarf boredom, have always wanted to try that Hanami stole/scarf by Melanie Gibbons, as it morphs from basketweave to cherry blossom. Even more impossible challenge: first spin the yarn.

    Posted on 6.26.09 ·
  16. Sandy wrote:

    The scarf is gorgeous! Wear it with pride. I’m just about to begin my first scarf (a clapotis) and I admit to being a bit nervous about boredom. Fortunately, I plan on making a much smaller one than the pattern does as written.

    I just got caught up on your podcasts, going back to #1, while you were in between series. Very enjoyable and filled in many gaps for me. The new series is very good as well, and I love that you played Great Big Sea again, especially one of my favourite songs.

    Posted on 6.27.09 ·
  17. Robin wrote:

    can we get a copy or tell me where a copy of this scarf can be found

    Posted on 7.13.09 ·
  18. Brenda – I feel I know you so well I can take the liberty of calling you by your first name…

    I listed to your Podcast tonight as we travelled up the motorway from visiting our teenage son who was very nearly killed, but thankkfully just very badly brain-injured in a car accident on the 28th November 2005. I heard from your Podcast that you started broadcasting in the same month… even though I only found you 2 years or so ago

    I would just like you to know how your words, thoughts, cheerful stoic attitude and just plain solid wholehearted commonsense have got me through the last few years. When things have been really bad, I have plugged myself into the iPod as we travel the miles home from Cullompton to Bristol, or when consultants are rowing around me, or when I was cold and fragile in a hospital corridor, not knowing whether my beloved youngest son was going to live or die… I just picked up my pointy sticks and suspended my life to take a glimpse into your world…
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart..

    and why am I writing tonight to you – because I have just read your post about home/worklife balance – I too have that joke going on in my life… and I will now pledge to myself at least two blogs this week during my “lunch hour”.
    Hugs and thanks again..

    Posted on 8.2.09 ·

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