The Interstitial Knitter

OK, so I realize that using a word like “interstitial” in a blog title drastically reduces the likelihood that people will actually read this, but it’s really the best word for the topic, so I’m going for it.  For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, “interstitial” means the space or gap between other areas that are filled with matter.  For instance, there are tiny spaces in between the cells of a living organism, and those spaces are called interstitial spaces, which can vary in size depending on their location and the physical condition of the cells (for example, the spaces may increase if the cells are dehydrated).

Today’s topic is how I’m dealing with being an interstitial knitter and blogger.  I’m willing to bet that most of the knitterverse out there is in the same situation.  While it would be really nice if I could fill most of my time with knitterly activities and the interstitial spaces with other things, such as housework, I can’t.  Most of my days are occupied with earning a living, spending time with my family, and running a household.  My interstitial spaces are largely filled with knitting and reading for pleasure.  Lately, those spaces have become even more squeezed than usual.

I’ve been fortunate that the type of work I do has allowed me to keep regular hours and usually does not weigh heavily on my mind when I’m not working.  Having work be compartmentalized in that manner provides me with 1) money to buy knitting supplies, and 2) time to knit and to write about it.  That all changed a few weeks ago when I took over duties for my boss, who is on a six-month assignment elsewhere.  It was important that my boss take this temporary assignment, and wise for me to step in to his shoes during that time, but it does come at a price.

I am working longer hours than I typically would, even with the support of an excellent staff below me and management above me.  Even when I am home, I find it difficult to disconnect from work, to the point where it’s sometimes hard to knit even stockinette.  My reduced personal time means that time with my family is squeezed, as is time to take care of the house.  And of course, time to knit and write are squeezed, too.

My boss’s assignment is slated to end at the end of November, so it’s my hope that I can take a short sabbatical around Christmas to be with my family and to catch up on some knitting and writing.  Until then, I will appreciate the interstitial spaces I do have, and will continue to write and post updates on my knitting as much as I can.  And it will be a long, long time before I complain about my regular job being too time-consuming.

The time squeeze notwithstanding, I have managed to make some progress on a few things.  While it’s pretty challenging to design a sweater without large blocks of time to go through patterns and do the math for the drafting, I have managed to start designing my younger son’s Aran.  While the gansey idea didn’t pan out with this particular yarn, using Aran patterns is working better.  I’ve begun swatching a few ideas, and the center panel is looking promising.  It’s a seed-stitch-filled diamond flanked by mirroring cables.

I’ll be swatching some other patterns I have in mind for the flanks and sleeves, as well.  When I’ve got this sweater all figured out, I’ll even give it a name.

I’m also making this Seamless Kimono baby sweater by Carina Spencer, available here, for a friend expecting a baby this fall, and it will match the Baby Leaves Hat that I made in the emergency room a few weeks ago.

I’ve made progress on the Rosebud Shawl, too, but am not going to bother with photos, as they’ll look pretty much the same as all the other ones I’ve posted.

That’s all for now.  I’ll make do with the interstitial spaces that I have right now, and will hope that they’ll return to their normal size in 2013.

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