On marathon projects.

It’s another writing day for me, which means I’d really rather be doing anything else.  Despite repeated efforts to maintain a writing schedule so that I don’t have to pull all-nighters (I’m 31…getting too old for that), my time in front of the computer during the weeks between adviser meetings seems to consist of me staring into space, reading Reddit, or refreshing FaceBook.  Don’t get me wrong–I put in the time every day.  I sit, open my working document, and stare EVERY. DAY. For reasons that are beyond me, my best writing takes place in marathon sessions that last the 12-14 hours before my scheduled dissertation update meetings.  During these times, I generate insane amounts of text–much of it usable and some of it pretty dang smart–and then go off to discuss it while still hot off the press.  Then I crash and am useless for two days because hello, no sleep.  My adviser, who promotes establishing a daily writing habit, seems to have accepted that this is my process, no matter how dysfunctional, and claims that my time staring into space is my brain thinking through and reorganizing my thoughts in preparation for marathon day.  I’ll admit, it doesn’t really feel that way.

And today is marathon day.

What does this mean?  It means that my blog gets updated as a prelude to marathoning.  I spent this morning sleeping in, framing some diss thoughts in my head, joining some girlfriends for Crafternoon (an almost-but-not-quite-monthly afternoon of sipping tea and crafting), and caffeinating.  I’m about to make a hearty and healthy dinner of chicken, spinach, and tortellini.  And then comes the writing…and oh, how I’m not looking forward to that.

I don’t know why I’m surprised by my inability to parcel out my writing sessions into bite-size chunks. I’m slightly obsessive by nature and tend to attack tasks in an all-or-nothing fashion.  Cleaning the house (unless it’s a quick vacuum) tends to turn into a massive reorganization that includes throwing or giving away bags full of things.  This is, perhaps, why I clean so rarely and why my husband (who has a much higher clutter tolerance than I) and I live in a home that always seems to be on the verge of implosion.  Likewise, grocery shopping is a half-day event in which I go to three or four different stores (one for produce, one for staples, one for organic stuff, and sometimes one for bulk stuff) and spend an hour in the kitchen organizing and reorganizing.  The only thing that I seem able to take in small bites is crafting.

All this is, of course, a lead-in to show you my newest project.  The project is for the birthday of a friend’s nearly six  year-old daughter–a girl who loves Ruby Gloom, Dia de los Muertos skeletons, amateur entymology, and the color pink.  I found this photo pinned to a Pinterest board, and decided to replicate it:

Inspiration blanket

I would love to attribute this blanket to its creator, but have yet to find any information on it.

The pattern is a simple granny square blanket in alternating grey and black with applique skulls (complete with eyelashes and bows). I set to making granny squares first, and opted for a slightly more complicated pattern that looks a bit like a snowflake. The blanket is 6×7 squares, so here are all 42 stacked up.  This took about 2 weeks of working for an hour or two in the evenings.

Stack o squares

42 squares, all in a tower.

These squares were then assembled into a blanket by single-crocheting them into rows (three more nights).  The rows were then joined into the larger blanket.

Stitching together

Sorry for potato quality here

Rows of squares

Four of the six rows


All assembled, ends not woven in.

I then added a supremely girly ruffled border.

Ruffles for days

Note: Ruffles take FOREVER.

I have now completed the 21 skulls that I will attach to the blanket. They look a bit like lightbulbs with eyes. Or possibly aliens.  I’m in the process of affixing the alien-skulls to the blanket.

Right hand bow.

Image Girl skulls. With lashes.

I’ve had to take significant time off between crafting nights as we are in the process of renovating our home for sale…as I’m doing most of that work on my own (another post all on its own), my body is suffering from overuse and my right arm periodically goes numb. This does not make for good crafting times (or good dissertating times, for that matter).  All in all, the project has taken me a little over seven weeks and should be complete within the next week.

So it seems that crafting projects exhaust my limited ability to pace myself. I’ve chosen to share my plight with the interwebs and show off the fruits of my limited ability to pace myself before running off to write for the next 12 hours.  Someday I hope to find a balance that doesn’t require staying up ’til seven a.m. and conversing with my adviser in a state of sleep-deprived fogginess.