Saturday, December 31, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.........


A year that has given me a very fair share of wonderful things. And something more of a slice of normal real life downside of that than I would have wished.

I should start by saying that I do know what an extremely fortunate woman I am. I could very rapidly run out of fingers counting of people that I know personally who have had much worse this year than I have. That process would be even faster if I were to list all my many blessings. I know that - although, at one time I would not have, having turned myself over the years by strength of will from an awful pessimist to something of a rather annoying Pollyanna. As a steady background to my life I have good friends, things I love doing, cats that make me smile and give me hours of pleasure, a great place to live and sufficient money to keep me in spindles and books. And, I suppose, I should include the DSM (insert great big cheesy grin here) before I start getting the comments berating me.........

The teaching gigs this year took us all over the place and were all wonderful, if scary at times (but that is just me). I met even more great people, and thoroughly enjoyed passing on the skills that I have and learning in my turn from those I was supposed to be teaching (that's one of the things that I love about it.) With the DSM no longer slaving over a hot computer every day to earn a crust, we had more time both for work and recreational trips, and I found a new bit of the US to fall in love with.

But this year, the other side of the coin has been more insistent and omnipresent. Whilst it might be a common health complaint, hiatus hernia/GORD is, to put it mildly, a bugger to deal with, and although slowly getting there, I still haven't found all the tricks to manage it (and if one more person says to me that they or someone they know has the same thing and that one little pill a day sorted them out, I WILL NOT be answerable for my actions!!)

And then, there was my mother.

I don't think that I have gone on about it too much here in the blog, but neither did I make any secret of the fact that we had - no, I will rephrase that, I had with her, a - difficult - relationship. Exactly what she thought of me - well, I simply do not know. I had come to terms with quite a lot of it long ago, but I had always thought that her death might cause me, well, lets say some problems. It hasn't worked out quite as I thought, better in some ways, but I still have quite a bit to get through.

Not surprisingly, spinning has been a huge solace. I will by the end of today have finished some very pretty mid-green merino and silk that is going to be a knitted shawlette with a crocheted edging. At least I hope it is - that has been the plan all along.

Then, every evening, in lieu of reading in bed because the stupid ski slope that I need because of the aforementioned health niggles makes sitting up in bed uncomfortable, I have been listening to an audio book and spinning thick yarn on my Sidekick.

Now, this may not seem entirely logical - I could maybe do a better job of a thick yarn using the largest head on my Lendrum. But I wanted to run in the new wheel and get used to it, so....and anyway, it has worked.

This is Falklands top, which has a tendency to puff up when washed, so I am not quite sure what thickness it will end up being (and no, I didn't sample. This was therapy as much as anything else!) I'm thinking more aran than bulky. It is intended to be a waistcoat, when I have decided what colours to dye it. There will be fourteen skeins, but I don't know the yardage - but if there isn't enough, I can do more, no?

I also needed a dead simple knitting project, so I cast on an Einstein jacket from Sally Melville's "The Knit Stitch." A nice design, but - boring. And because I missed a vital detail in the instructions (not hugely well laid out, in my own defence,) I have been doing a three needle bind off on the shoulders when it would have been better not to have done. I think I can work around that, though. Why seam when you don't have to? I used some chain-plyed Rovings Polwarth in colourway "Mojave" that had been in my stash for ages, and that had a false start as an afghan. In this project, it looks great, and I will photograph it when finished.

I am not making any "resolutions" or "intentions" for next year. I have them - to get past this and to enjoy what good stuff the year brings whilst hoping for the minimum of the bad.

But as I keep on saying to everyone's annoyance, it is all part of life's rich pattern. Never the less, I am not going to be sorry to see the back of 2011.

OK, this has all been very self indulgent. In future, I hope, less of that and more of the craft - I do have some great plans for 2012. Lets hope that I can put at least some of them in to action!

Meanwhile...fighting and conquering risk of soppiness here - my very best wishes for a very happy new year to you all.


Batty said...

That is beautiful yarn! I'm glad you were able to find some solace in spinning, I remember some tough times in 2010 when neither spinning, knitting or cats could be of any comfort because the pain was too deep. It helps when you reach the point where regular things can be of comfort.

I wish you a wonderful 2012 with many blessings and a bit less of the downside. There are people who have had it worse, but this is not the misery Olympics. It's OK to acknowledge your pain and hope for better next year.

My Heart Exposed Yarns said...

Hi Carol

just popping in to wish you a very calm new year filled with even more blessings for you both than the last one.

There is no magic pill for the twisting bulge I'm afraid, all you can do is adapt your lifestyle to include it. I feel like my body has been completely invaded by it even though I've had to have reconstructive surgery to remove the 'thing' I'm now left with a whole new set of physical constraints so know only too well what its like not to suddenly be able to sit up reading in bed, or doing any of those things we took for granted before like knitting sitting up in bed too.

You will come through it, I think 'acceptance' is probably the magic potion for IT! just changing the way you do some of the things you love doing, you will get through it and come out the other side brighter than ever before :)

(((((( hugs ))))))

Helen x
PS : I was the recipient of Pete's UK Spinners Secret Santa Presents, in case you are wondering who I am :)