All the Single Ladies, Knit Without Ceasing

Signs of life

Last year, in the midst of seeking a call and a considerable amount of personal turmoil, there were some parts of my life that I just dropped.

I didn’t knit.

I didn’t read much.

I stopped listening to podcasts.

I didn’t knit because the stress of life caused my RA to flare, and I just didn’t have the shoulder or the wrist for it. I think it was the first year in the past seven I didn’t give at least one person a knitted Christmas present.

I didn’t read much because it was hard to focus. I’ve been keeping track of the books I read on my blog for several years now, and I had an informal goal of 60 books for 2010. I didn’t even come close.

I stopped listening to podcasts, and that is provable by the way iTunes stopped getting new ones for me. I lost track of Fresh Air, and This American Life and the NPR Religion podcast. I didn’t have the detachment to laugh at Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. This meant I didn’t know much about what was going on in the world, since I relied on Fresh Air to tell me about the movies I don’t go to see and Wait, Wait to point to any news stories I might have missed. And This American Life? I turn to it for the comfort of knowing I’m less messed up than most people, and that didn’t seem very honest.

A little at a time, those things are coming back.

I’ve been knitting, and I’ve finished two projects in 2011!

I’ve read 15 books, which while not on the pace for 60, is encouraging.

The last holdout is podcast-listening, and I  don’t know if it will ever come back all the way, because I listened a lot while I was walking with Sam. With Hoagie I listen to music, and our walks are too short to listen to much of a podcast anyway.

But just today I thought, wow, I really miss Fresh Air. I wonder who Terri Gross talked to last week?

Like the hyacinths Hoagie stopped to sniff today — and he stops a lot, I need to tell you — these are signs of life.

Finished Objects 2011, Knit Without Ceasing, Physical Therapy, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical Therapy

Today I saw the physical therapist to get some help with range of motion issues in a couple of major joints that have been affected by rheumatoid arthritis. We talked about knitting, and how much I love it, and how I try to strike a balance between knitting enough to keep my hands flexible but not so much as to bother my shoulder. I've got to use, but not overuse, my joints. The same principle applies to all physical activity, and we're working together to figure out what will be therapeutic for me. Step one is a series of yoga-type stretches. Step two is using that elliptical machine we have upstairs. And step three is realizing that knitting counts as helpful, too. 

So the socks I finished tonight? Are physical therapy. And to keep myself knitting, I'm going to try and record my finished knitting here.

I've been a pretty big failure at that kind of record-keeping in the past. 

Finished Objects 2011 002 But who knows? This may be the year. It's just that you (and I) may have to settle for quick phone camera shots such as the one here. 

This is a pair of socks for #1 Son. The yarn never made it to the stash, I think I cast on as soon as I got the yarn home from the store. It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the colorway Marias Falls, which is deep blue with purple, warm brown, chocolate & dark green. It's meant to be used on big needles, for a bulky sock, but I ended up using size 1 needles and getting a dense, tight, soft sock. #1 Son tried on the first sock when he was here in October, and it's taken a ridiculous amount of time to get around to finishing the second one. These still need blocking, but at least they are off the needles!

I enjoyed working with the yarn, but the proof is in the wearing. 

I have three other projects on the needles (at least I hope it's only three), and my goal is to finish two of those before I pick up anything else. The third is a sweater for LP. I started it quite a while ago and need to assess whether it will still fit and suit her, probably more the latter than the former. 

Tomorrow I start the stretching…more on that when I have something to report.


Knit Without Ceasing, reverb10, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Make — #reverb10 day 6

December 6 – Make.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made a new stash house for my yarn.

I've been avidly collecting yarn for about six years now, after a long knitting hiatus. It's been in bags and plastic bins, mostly, and in a pretty basket given to me by the lovely people of First Parish Church in Freeport when I finished my interim ministry with them. 

Dresser 001 But the rearrangement of our lives left what was once my Daddy's large dresser without a user, and since LP really needed a bigger chest of drawers, we swapped one for the other, and I now have beautiful yarn storage in my bedroom. 

On top is a long ago attempt at a stole for Advent, made from yarn that stretched to a size far too long for this short preacher.

Which brings me to the last knitting project I completed, if memory serves. I made a stole for my advisee who was recently ordained, using a Noro sock yarn in a delicious array of dark purples, black and green. I believe it will not stretch to a ridiculous length. I hope I'm right. The pattern was a K3, P3, K3 just like the prayer shawls (as was the pattern for the stole on the dresser…). 

I have a several projects in progress: two pairs of socks, a shawlette and a sweater sadly laid aside last year when I couldn't manage sufficient knitting time due to rheumatoid arthritis complications, but it's a good thing, because I only knitted the body in the round from the waistband up and stopped before the armpits and LP is taller now, so when I do start again, it will be okay.  

Really, it will.