For My Demanding Reader (The Only One!)

My loving husband has demanded an update. I am sorry for the lack of content; this time of year is always hard on me and makes it hard to find the words to communicate. Even knitting has been slack.

The intense fatigue of my first few weeks post-op has let up. Daily naps are no longer required. This afternoon, when I see my doctor, I should be given my permanent “diet,” my rules for eating for life. Life is not normal yet, but it is less weird than it was.

I am probably suffering from some winter blues, if not outright depression. It isn’t too severe, fortunately, as I think exercise and social interaction (even if forced) has helped. As a result of the blues, knitting usually takes a back seat to disinterest and reading.

I have been reading voraciously. I just finished a book called Horse Soldiers about the opening weeks of the war in Afghanistan and the American Special Forces teams that literally went into battle riding stout but small Afghan ponies. A great story that I suspect we will see optioned into a movie, a la Blackhawk Down (another book and movie I love).

All that being said, knitting and spinning are never too far from my mind. I was working on my Impressionist Scarf when last I wrote. I finished that back on 2/12. I haven’t taken final photograps of it yet; maybe tomorrow. Here is a picture of it the day before I finished it.
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I made a big modification of taking out the purl row of the four row ripple pattern (the bottom half). Maybe as a result, the scarf curls up pretty badly, but I have not blocked it yet either. Also, because I used smaller needles than called for (simply did not have the size it called for), it is nice and long, but does not drape at all on my shoulders. My biggest disappointment was with the applied I-cord bind off. The ripple pattern has some stretch to it and it might have sat slightly across my shoulders but the I-cord bind off is too constricting. I loved the look of the bind off, but not the function. Still, since it will sit underneath a coat, I am overall pleased, especially with its warmth and the fact I can pull it up over my face like a muffler. I adore the colors.

After the disaster in Haiti, I asked my readers to consider making a donation to Doctors Without Borders. Both Iseulte and Ashley did. Instead of chosing one or the other to get handspun yarn, I am going to spin some fiber for Iseulte for free/no trade, and I will make a set of Carolina blue stitch markers for Ashley. Thank you both for your contributions.

Iseulte sent me the fiber, some merino/tencel from FiberOptic on Sunday, and Monday night, I sat down to give it a try. I confess to being a little intimidated by it. It was so slippery in my hands. It was also stunningly beautiful. What if I screwed it up? I worked up a sample and plied it. My intimidation was unnecessary. It spun like butter. The yarn has a little bit of a halo, making me believe it is going to be warm and soft on the skin. Tonight I will get it off the spinning wheel and set the twist and see how it finishes. My only complaint is that the roving is a bit on the clingy side and I had a lot of fiber stuck to my sweat shirt.

Overall, I loved the results enough that I had to go buy some merino/tencel fiber for myself. I found what I was looking for at Gnomespun Yarn.
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A semi-solid color blend, it is intended to become lace-weight. This roving is destined to become a shawl. I do not generally like variegated lace, thus with hunting down the perfect semi-solid roving.

If her colorway Silver and Gold is still around next month, I might have to get that one next, as I loved that one too, but I want a green shawl for spring first. I think that could make some lovely, silky, warm bed socks (not to be worn for general walking around in, you understand).

Poor Byram’s Beer Socks are coming along. I am not far from putting the “head” on the top of the first sock now. I must have some block against these socks. I cannot explain why I dislike them so much and why I don’t want to knit them, but I just don’t. I very much want him to have his beer socks, but I guess I don’t want to be the one to knit them. Whatever is wrong with my brain, I am closing in on the first one finally, and I will cast on the second one the minute the first is finished so as not to have my favorite sized sock needles freed up for some other project.

My Laminaria shawl remains untouched since New Year’s eve even though I have been craving some lace knitting.

There has been a lot pulling at my attention. Aside from the aforementioned reading, this past weekend the weather was suitable for gardening. I got out and loosened garden soil, planted some potted lettuce and spinach, turned the compost, and even put in a few peas, fully intending to try and make them succeed. They are snow peas, which my mother adores, so I will make a trellis for them and hope for the best.

As a result of my early spring planting, we are scheduled to get two (really, TWO) inches of snow in Richmond tomorrow. I resisted the urge to get violently ill at the thought, but it took some work.

Life post-op is generally very good. I have dropped roughly 30 pounds (I will get my official total this afternoon) since Jan. 14. A lot of other people report losing a lot more than that in the first six weeks so I am trying not to be discouraged. Instead, I am thrilled to say I am not wearing my size 24 pants at all anymore. My size 22 pants are baggy. In fact, over the weekend, I bought some size 1x shirts because all I own are 2x and 3x shirts, and once I put on a nice looking 1x shirt with a pair of baggy 22 pants, I looked kind of ridiculous. This morning, I put on some snug size 20s. They fit. They aren’t loose, but they aren’t uncomfortable either. Progress is happening. I loved my new shirts and I love how I look in them.

I am exercising most week days. I need to get on the exercise bike or something tonight since I worked through lunch today (leaving early this afternoon). I desperately need new shoes as the mileage on these old Nikes is pretty high anymore. They might be contributing to some of my back pain as two people suggested at work.

I have to wrap this up now as work duty calls, but I hope, I really hope, to try and get better about updating.

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One response to this post.

  1. So great to hear from you!! I was about to comment on your last post, saying I was thinking about you, when this one popped up. So glad to hear you’re doing well. And so sorry about the plants! I am jealous, though – it won’t be planting season here for a while yet. And I’ll have to do a container garden this year.

    Thank you for the promise of stitch markers. I’ll be honest, I had completely forgotten about them until right this second. You’re so cool :)

    Also forgotten was the fact that you’re knitting a Laminaria! I cast one on (my first lace-weight lace project!) a couple of weeks ago. It’s a grey yarn, maybe Gloss, from KnitPicks? I’m with you on not liking variegated lace. I like solids or tonal variegation too. There’s a shawl called Maplewing that I might like to make someday, and the sample is in a beautiful reddish-pinkish-orangish variegation.

    And whether or not the photo quality is supreme or not, the colors in your impressionist scarf are STUNNING. So so pretty.

    Reply

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