08 Sep 2009

Dither dither dither BANG!

With less than two weeks to go, yesterday I began making preparations for my plinth sitting. The process was ridiculously simple, and utterly erased all the stress I had been carrying about the event. Which was good, because I had been worrying, and procrastinating, and then worrying about the procrastinating for weeks.

Turns out there were a lot of things getting in my way of feeling happy about being hoisted to the top of a tall column of concrete, and sitting there for an hour, knitting. You wouldn’t think there’d be much, but the list was actually pretty long. I’ve had a good stretch of time now to come up with things to be unhappy about.

Despite being over-the-moon excited when I got the news, the bloom about the affair began to fade shortly thereafter, when I realized I had an hour to fill and had to make some plans. First I began to fret about the plans; the expense of them, their hassle, and their do-ability. Eventually the plans, or rather the lack of them, began to loom larger than experience itself. After a few weeks of this I had managed to all but talk myself out of going. If you’ve written lately asking about my plans, and I haven’t written you back, this is why.

Yesterday, line item by line item, I changed everything on that list that I could, adjusted some of my own expectations in the process, then made a few calls, and sent a few emails. When I was done I realized I had me some plans, and the only thing left to do now is show up. I hope you will too (Saturday, 19 September, 1-2 pm in Trafalgar Square) because according to Woody Allen, just showing up is eighty percent of success, right there.

After a little research on portable PA systems, and having watched the truly spectacular equipment fail of one poor plinther (no link; she’s suffered enough humiliation) I’ve given up on being heard by the people below. I’ll be wearing a radio mic (you’ll be able to hear me in the live stream) and I’ll be recording a podcast (that I’ll produce after the fact). I’ve ordered a spiffy new lapel mic, which will leave my hands free to knit something big, in recycled wool, on enormous needles. Thus, after weeks of dithering on the plans for this plinth thing, some pretty awesome things came together over the course of a couple of hours. I’m really all set.

I had a little crow about that in the Green Room (the private Skype chat that has become the office water cooler for a handful of creative souls, scattered across the planet). I shared the link to my new giant knitting needles, and the really wonderful phone call I had had with Rachel, the woman who makes the needles, how happy I was to see the plinth plan coming together at last.

And one of my Green Room buddies said, “But you know how it goes. We fret and worry and feel like horrible empty vapid holes and then BANG comes the lightening and everything falls into place. It is our way.”

So it seems.

the-new-sexThis little shop is new in Carmarthen; it’s been open just five weeks. Tonia and I stopped in on Saturday to have a look around, and noticed at once how bright the corner of Jackson’s Lane was, now that the black and red facade of the old sex shop has disappeared behind a cheery new exterior. We had a nice chat with the owner, and she laughed when we said, “Knitting is the new sex!” just as if she’d never heard that joke ever before.

The shop currently stocks just a few lines of yarn, but there are plans to add more as time goes on and I am really looking forward to watching them grow. Though I have enough yarn and fiber to last a decade, and can find whatever I want online, there is just is no substitute for a real, honest to goodness LYS. Welcome to the neighborhood, Knit and Natter!

Posted on September 8, in Blog


  1. Camille wrote:

    Oh, how I wish I could go to London to see you up on the plinth! I am actually tentatively planning to be there over New Year’s, but I have no idea if I’ll have time to travel to Wales. REALLY want to make it to Hay on Wye (needless to say). 🙂

    New LYS in what used to be a sex shop. Priceless.

    Posted on 9.8.09 ·
  2. Alanna wrote:

    Just finished listening to your latest podcast today. Truly wonderful series, I must add. But somehow I knew you’d be fretting about the plinth. There’s a secret thrill we get out of that angst. It must be all part of the creative process. Congrats on your release.

    Looking forward to virtually supporting your trip to the top!

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  3. Angeline wrote:

    Oh how I wish I were in London town! I will surely watch from the other side of the world though. Whatever you do it will be wonderful because you are doing it. I agree with your fiend, the lightening will hit, just after you step of that crane. There will be many people I am sure sending “vibes of support” breathe in and you will feel them.

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  4. Karen S wrote:

    I won’t promise to think about you at the exact time (my son will be celebrating his 1st birthday), but I’ll send good vibrations your way from now until you’re going on the plinth. Sounds wonderful that you’ve gotten through the anxiety and problems and now have plans and confidence. I’m sure it’ll be wonderful, and that loads of knitters will show up to support you.

    Love the link to the oversized needles… am contemplating buying some and turning them into an art piece in my home 😉

    YAY for the new LYS. True that nothing beats the first hand (touch) experience of wandering about a LYS… funny that it’s an old sex shop 😉

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  5. Would love to be there… can’t wait to hear it! 🙂

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  6. Ulrica wrote:

    I’m so happy your blogging is comming along. It fills the gaps between podcasts. I have beel listening to all of your pods through out the summer and just love it… your voice, the themes, the interesting twist on things, the history from Wales…no I just want to go there. Keep up the good work and good luck on the plinth.

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  7. mardi wrote:

    So, Brenda… We USA West coasters should be able, then, to log-on for a live feed via your website? If that is true, the best I can calculate is that we on the WEST coast can tune in at 05:00 on the 12th, respective of an 8 hour time difference. Sound right? I hope so, I want to be there!

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  8. Mardi wrote:

    Okay Kids! WE have a WEBCAM on the square, where you might be able to see Brenda during her sit! Rock On!


    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  9. Mardi wrote:
    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  10. Mary wrote:


    We can’t wait to see you on the 19th – we’ve been with you in spirit since you announced your plinth stint and will be there in person to support you and Tonia – raaaay !!
    And don’t fret (easy said) it will turn out all right on the day – especially if you’re wearing a sweater !!

    Posted on 9.9.09 ·
  11. Felix wrote:

    I shall come in full support!

    Posted on 9.10.09 ·
  12. Lucy Williams wrote:

    Hi Brenda,

    I was all set to come and knit with you next Saturday on the plinth but sadly have now got to work.
    Being freelance sucks – I hardly ever work on saturdays.
    I’m going to the iknit weekender tmrw – everything I am doing there I have discovered through listening to Cast on since it began : Alice Starmore and Woolly Warmhead workshops and a book signing by the fabulous Ysolda.

    Thank you – you have expanded my knitting horizons!

    I love, love love your podcast,
    Good luck next week

    Lucy Williams

    Posted on 9.10.09 ·
  13. Emma wrote:

    Squeeel like a girl…..yarn shop in Carmarthen. Didn’t that sex shop used to be a fishing shop (different type of tackle 😉 ) or is that next door.

    Posted on 9.16.09 ·

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