Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh, what is all this chatter about socks! If I ever threaten to make another pair of socks, just stake me out with my #19s and leave me to burn in the Texas sun! (Not to say that Sandra’s spiral socks aren’t magnificent, mind you—they are quite shaply and I bet they’re cozy in winter, but who can think of winter when it’s 95 degrees in the shade?)

Not me.

And who AM I? I’m Gloria Alvarez, AWOL member of this bloggy bunch. I’m really a poseur, since I haven’t published a romance since 2002 (it’s the sad but all-too-common story of the publisher cancelling the line. But you can occasionally still find my work at places like Half-Price Books). But I really like to knit, so here I am . . .

I do a lot of freelance writing, and I work with the Houston office of Writers in the Schools. We writers teach in public classrooms (and juvenile centers, hospitals, community centers and the like) once a week. We try to teach kids how to think and work the way writers work (yeah, yeah, with all the messiness that entails!) We read student work, comment on it, help them revise and refine it, and eventually publish an entire volume of the class’s best material. Best of all, we never assign grades! So the kids generally love us, and usually by the end of the year, they’ve written 3-6 really creative pieces.

I’ve been known to bring fiber in to spark the darlings’ creativity. I have a small stash of angora, wool and cotton fibers, and the kids get a charge out of trying to figure out what it is and writing about it before I tell them. Try it some time if you have smallish humans running around your house . . .

As for knitting, I’m working on a darling little t-shirt (of which I will post photos if and when my tech support hubby stays awake long enough to help me . . ). I adapted the pattern so I could knit it the round, simultaneously avoiding the torture of purling and seams! (Did I mention I’m lazy?)

And heaven help me, I’m about a third of the way done and I am out-of-my-mind bored! I still like the pattern. I still like the yarn: a Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton—soft and springy—very neutral Willow so it’ll go with all my little khaki skirts, shorts and pants! But the actual knitting is turning me starkers. Even hours of Law and Order reruns as I knit doesn’t break the tedium.

(I'm a real newbie at this blogging thing, and I haven't quite mastered the live link concept, so here's the URL you can paste to your browser if you want to see this yarn:

So being bored with knitting, I’ll talk instead about pottery, my other expensive hobby. Today at the studio, I did a raku firing—short intense heat to vitrify the glaze (turn it to liquid glass). Then you pull the piece out of the kiln and plunge it into a newspaper-filled metal trash can. The newspaper catches fire (so you know the piece is at least 451 degrees!). You slap on the lid, the oxygen gets consumed, and your piece—if you’re lucky and the pottery gods are smiling—turns out perfect. Which mine did.

Why can’t I use that same energy to just knit the blasted shirt? Don’t know. It just doesn’t work that way. Instead I want to back to my garage and make more pots.

So that’ll be part of my contribution to the contest—a copy of one of my old books in an original bowl (and probably some yarn-y stash, too!)

And th-that’s all for now. Must go try to knit two rounds before starting supper.

So glad I’m finally here. I’ll be more regular now.

xoglo, who promises pictures soon . . .


Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Gloria!!! You're here and I'm absolutely thrilled. Welcome. I would love to learn more about firing pots, lots more. So don't hesitate to share your creative life with us.

Again, welcome! I hope this is the first post of many.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

Gloria - So good to see you here!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Ooooh, an original bowl. That does it. I'm entering this contest under an assumed name. Madonna. Demi. Barbra. Cher. Queen Elizabeth. Mrs. Liam Neeson. LOL! No guarantee I'll win, of course, but ... oh, an original bowl!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Raku sounds so cool!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Hey, Gloria, welcome!!! I didn't know you were in Texas, too! (And's hard to think about wool when we're in the lower circles of hell, as in hot-as...gad, what a summer!)

Raku--how fabulous. I've thrown a few pots years ago (pre-GHOST) on a friend's wheel and absolutely loved it (but Patrick Swayze ::sniff:: did not come with it)...but I've never had anything to do with the firing. Pictures, please, when you can!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

How nice to "meet" you, Gloria! I adore handthrown pottery, esp. with cool glazes, so definitely post pictures. Admiring minds want to see it!

10:18 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Yes, please, post pottery pics. You can put yarn in the bowl to keep it knitting-related!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Welcome, Gloria!

The pottery sounds fascinating, especially the *intentionally* catching the newspaper on fire part. I could see myself doing it quite accidentally...

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Oh,boy! Another Law and Order rerun-watching knitter! It's great to "meet" you, Gloria, and I'll look forward to learning more about your pottery.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

What is it about Law and Order reruns, anyway? Whenever I'm stuck on a scene, I can turn on L&O and drift along with one of the oft-seen plots while my brain works on the book problem. Just did that today, in fact ... Lenny's old married fling wound up testifying for him and I finally figured out what it was my heroine was going to find on the front porch.

I'll be if I had Glo's bowl, though, I'd never get stuck. (VEG)

Mrs. Liam Neeson

7:19 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Hoo boy! Fran, you devil, I am just hoping BB never gets back to these comments or the Mrs. Liam signature (which made me splurt tea all over--I think I invented a word, but it's graphic, don't you agree?) is likely to set her in-the-closet curly hair on fire!

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Oh boy, have just blown my happiness meter beyond the 100% mark! I am soooo excited about the bowl! You ladies have no idea what pleasure winning this contest has brought to me...and I haven't even received anything yet! LOL Over the past year I've been through chemo and radiation, and having something nice like happen has really lifted my spirits. Even tho' I won randomly, as far as I'm concerned, you're all angels!

11:46 AM  

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