Monday, January 4, 2010

Tomorrow's Sweet Sorrow

In exactly twelve hours, I’ll be back in the middle-school saddle again. The bell to begin homeroom will spin me back into a teacher at exactly 7:35 in the (holy cannoli, that’s early) morning. I love my job…I really do. It’s just hard to kiss goodbye some of the frivolous luxuries that I so indulge myself in during the Christmas break. Sleeping-in is painfully the first to go, which means it’s adios to my post-midnight writing antics. Solo sessions at the piano are out the window. Hasta la vista to surfing, too—both web and otherwise. Facebook forays, shopping shenanigans, and mindless meanderings—adieu.

But the most painful departure, the one that always leaves me all balled up inside, is the shelving of my knitting needles. Over the past two weeks, I have finished and sent off Joe Llama to author (and friend), Claire Davis.

Joe Llama

Joe would have been sent off months ago, but after he lost a rhinestone eyeball, I had to go on a fruitless mission to find a perfect match. Ultimately, I did an eyeball transplant from Comma, my second llama, who, God bless him, had already lost an ear in the molten felting process.

(Comma the Llama II)

Next, I tackled the Dolly Llama—a gift for Alina, my favorite two-year old in So Cal. To my pleasant surprise, Dolly came out much hairier than my other critters, probably the result of three-stranding with Peruvian wool, mohair, and cashmere.

Yes, Dolly’s an expensive girl!

(The Dolly Llama)

She would be soaring across the Pacific right now if I didn’t run into yet another llama crisis two days ago, when I trekked over to Ala Moana Shopping Center in hot pursuit of a heart beater from the Build-a-Bear shop. I began adding these when I discovered them this summer at the Downtown Disney shop for a doable five dollars.

Taxi the LuckyAlpaca, whose owner is New York author (and friend), John Gorman, has a heartbeat, as does Claire’s Joe Llama.

(Taxi the Lucky Alpaca)

Much to my horror, the Build-a-Bear shop has been replaced by some unnecessary skateboarding shop, which now leaves the Dolly Llama heartless. Fortunately, I discovered the online Build-a-Bear shop sells these five-dollar coronary treasures, but the shipping of course is going to ramp up the price tag yet another notch. I’ve decided to purchase a dozen of them…for the llamas and alpacas of the future.

While waiting for the hearts to be medivacked from a warehouse in St. Louis, Missouri, I have begun shaping up a new alpaca in aqua for my cousin Jan, an artist in Gaston, Oregon. So far, Aqualicious only has a bulbous booty to show for herself, and with school resuming tomorrow, she may be stuck this way until spring break.

(Aqualicious' rear end)

Now the ultimate apex of my fourteen-day respite took place tonight, when Noah, my bold and daring knitter of a son (or son of a knitter), begged me to teach him how to knit up a hand puppet.

He persisted, even after I explained to him that it would require using not the usual two needles, but rather four, double-pointed bad boys all at the same time. “No problem,” he stated. “I can do it.”

So I took a breather from this bittersweet blogging effort, gathered up the needed materials, and hunkered down with him in my room to show him the ropes. It’s been over a year since Noah brandished a pair of knitting needles, but he secured his slipknot and proceeded to cast-on thirty-four stitches. I showed him how to divvy up the stitches onto the three needles and helped him to join it together and start the six rows of knit-1, purl-1 circular ribbing. It’s no easy task to wrangle four needles at once, but Noah proved himself 100% capable. I started one of these puppets myself as a model, but he doesn’t seem to need much guidance at this point. He went to bed at 10 (an hour past his bedtime), after completing eight rows of circular knitting!

So here I am, back at the laptop at 11:20. The homeroom bell’s gonna blow in eight hours, but I’m bound and determined to finish this blog as a swansong of my glorious, but much too brief, holiday reprieve.

Goodnight, goodnight, my precious notions and yarns, parting (until spring) is such sweet sorrow.

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