Ok, I'll admit it. About a month ago, I got completely overwhelmed with the sheer number of projects I had going on. I started to think it was really stupid to come back every week and say, "Gee, I knit 10 rows on this one, five rows on that one, 17 on the third..." on and on and on...yet hardly ever have any finished projects to share. So...anal retentive little thing that I am, I ordered all my projects by how much I had to do to finish, then tackled the "almost done" ones, the low-hanging fruit. I'm now working my way through the projects, one or two at a time, but no more (unless it's some really quick and easy thing that I can do in a day or two). I blew through five projects in record time, but now I'm caught in a certain degree of slogularity - both of my active projects are big ones - so I succumbed to the temptation of a sweater KAL. You knew I couldn't just stick with TWO projects, right? I mean, especially when they're so slogsome...
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Sportweight (sadly discontinued...)
Colorway: 107 Blue Bell
Purchased at: JoAnn (I think...it was a long time ago)
Date Started: 9/11/10
This is a really great, easy pattern that looks harder than it is. The pattern repeat is 16 rows, and they zip by pretty quickly. I am about halfway through my tenth pattern repeat out of fourteen, so am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of completing it. My goal is to have it finished within the next five days (which will be a stretch).
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Eco+
Purchased at: Jimmy Beans Wool
Date Started: 10/21/10
Progress: about 20%
Yeah, I know...another project. But my knitting group was doing a sweater KAL, and I didn't want to feel left out. I figured this one would be pretty quick and easy, and I was right. I also needed a "World Series Project" to work on. Who knew the Giants would sweep in four before I even got halfway through the body? Go Giants (no, seriously...I love Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton, but you Giant guys kicked butt!)!!!
I had gauge problems with this sweater at first and frogged it several times before getting "close enough" that I could slightly alter the pattern by knitting fewer rows and have it come out right. My stitch gauge is almost always spot-on, but my row gauge is frequently too loose, as was the case here. All turned out well, however, and I'm working my way down through the body of this sweater. The yarn has interesting subtle color changes and tweedies so it keeps my interest through the stockinette slog. "Slog" seems to be the keyword for my active projects at the moment.
I'm also slogging away on the Ten-Stitch Rug. I have about one and a half rounds to finish. Sounds quick and easy, right? It's not...it's taking forever. I'm not even going to post a picture until it's done.
Happily we knit along, knit along, knit along...
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
You are kidding, right? You're asking ME how to simplify my life? My life is utter chaos 24/7! Ok...let me think...
- Control clutter. I'm working on this, really. I've pared way down on book-buying by using the library and CD buying by using iTunes. There is no downparing with yarn.
- Admit you can't do everything. Last year, I sang in four choirs. This year, only two...ok, three...but the third one is a short-term, six-week commitment. Yes, I could sing in every community choir in town, and they'd be happy to have me. And I'd lose my mind and my marriage. Two/three is simpler.
- Plan your meals. I really like the idea of only cooking once a month, but I'm not that good...yet.
- Have caller ID. Since we bundled our phone in with the cable, our caller ID shows up on the TV screen. No need to get up and answer the phone or see who's calling. This is a VERY small simplification since our TV is off about 98% of the time.
- Take time for yourself. Knit. Read. Do yoga. Meditate. Pray. I saw a plaque that said something to the effect that the time when we most need to slow down and relax is the time when we THINK we don't have time to.
- Disconnect from the phone/computer/crackberry. Don't be available 24/7.
- Have a spiritual practice. This kind of ties in with #5. I've just started revisiting The Artist's Way. Wonder where it will lead me?
- Don't overeat/overdrink/overspend/over...ANYTHING!
- You really don't need to read every magazine on earth. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I used to be the Magazine Queen. No longer... There are three (not counting knitting magazines!) that I still read. If I want to look at any of the others, I'll grab a chair at the bookstore.
- Gain control of your chaotic hotspot. Mine is the basement. OMG...the basement...eek. Obviously I need to gain control. I may blog about this...as long as everyone forgives me for the "before" pictures.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thank you so much for your prayers, positive thoughts and messages. You have really sustained me during this week of discomfort and waiting.
If you've never had a needle biopsy (and I pray you never have and never will!), let me just say it ain't a whole lotta fun. They do everything they can to make it as comfortable as possible...but it's impossible to be comfortable. For me, the procedure itself was not too difficult. The problem was the recovery.
I don't write or talk a whole lot about the fact that I have fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain syndrome. I live with varying degrees of pain on a daily basis, but I don't tend to let it impact my life or my activities. I'd venture a guess that most people I know have no idea. They're impressed with the fact that I do yoga and can (most days...) not only touch my toes but rest my palms on the floor. They think I'm Ms. Flexible Yogini. They don't know that I rely on yoga, weight training, serious stretching and often scary amounts of ibuprofen to become mobile most mornings.
So...for five days leading up to the biopsy, I couldn't take ibuprofen. One leg of my support base knocked out from underneath me. The procedure involves lying absolutely motionless on an exam table in a really awkward position until the samples are taken - I'm guessing about 20-30 minutes for each side. I relied heavily on my yoga practice of breathing through discomfort and relaxing to get me through this, thinking all along that once it was over, I could go home, swallow a handful of ibuprofen, hit the yoga mat, and I'd feel better.
Um...wrong... My post-procedure instructions were for Tylenol (really...does Tylenol ease pain for ANYONE???)...no ibu for three days. Yoga? Nope...no yoga or other form of weight-bearing exercise for five days. "Just go home and relax, take it easy." Don't these people know that exercise is my biggest way of "taking it easy"??? Oh...and wear a boobiesquishing sports bra 24/7 for 2-3 days.
Really, the first day was pretty easy. I slept a lot. I found the pain from the procedure to be extremely minimal even though many people told me I would be very sore. The tape they put over the incisions itched like crazy, and I got chafed from wearing that stupid sports bra for so long. And my back hurt...my neck hurt...my shoulders hurt. I counted down the hours before I could do yoga again. I counted down the hours before I got the results.
With every day of "taking it easy" my muscle pain increased, and my energy level dropped. And I had a big weekend planned...
Friday night, we went with our friends, Mark and Lynn, to see Marty Stuart. We'd been planning this for months. Lynn drove in from St. Louis for this concert. I hated not having good news to share. Here's some audio from the concert...if you love harmony, this will kill you...I'm not kidding when I say my mouth was hanging open in absolute amazement during the last 30 seconds of this song: Marty Stuart - "Unseen Hand"
Saturday, we headed out early to vote. Afterward, we went to a really cool craft show at Wild Goose Creative I bought this great camera/cell phone case from my friend Nikki.
I'd been wanting to make a new camera case for a while, and this one just grabbed me. Every time I look at that big, pink button, I can't help but smile.
After the craft show, we went to Jeni's for ice cream. I savored a Mock Turtle Sundae, even though I knew I'd get a tummy ache later. Then we went to the grocery and got the ingredients for chili. I came home, got the chili simmering...then hit the yoga mat.
An hour of yoga. It was heaven. I felt amazing the rest of the evening.
Woke up yesterday morning feeling like...well, I had a picture of the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz here, and it was credited back to the original source...but obviously, they have issues with that, so I took it down and will just tell you...I felt like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz...oil can...oil can...
Could. Not. Move. Skipped church. Skipped a wonderful interfaith service I was supposed to attend in the afternoon. Laid on the couch in my jammies and moaned a lot.
By last night, I was feeling better. I went to bed early and woke up early this morning feeling great. At 8:56am, I got the "all clear" call. I called Pete. I found Bev on Facebook and told her via chat. She called me. I emailed as many people as I could think of. And now I'm telling you - I'm OK!!!!!
I do have...one...little...problem...
This lovely little girl has adopted our neighborhood. She's a tiny thing, and a world-class chipmunk killer. I thought the next-door neighbors were going to adopt her, and they are feeding her and giving her a warm place in their garage...but I don't like the thought of her living outdoors on our busy street. Also, I love cats (and my true weakness is the black and white ones)...but I really don't want another cat. We can't afford the vet bills - Wilbur's meds alone are over $100 a month.
For a few days, I rationalized not taking her in by saying it wouldn't be fair to Wilbur at his advanced age to bring another pet into the house and alter his routine. This morning, Wilbur met Neighborhood Kitty. They seemed very accepting of one another. Wilbur has always lived with cats - he thinks they're weird, but cool. NK seems totally unphased by the big, black dog sniffing her. Now, when I look out the front door, THIS is looking in at me...and Wilbur is looking out at her. They're doing the Vulcan Mind Meld or something...someone, please...come to Columbus and take this kitty home with you!!!!
Knitting content will resume on Wednesday...