Saturday, April 2, 2016

About a Tiring Week and an Alien Shawl

First thing every morning before you arise say out loud, 'I believe,' three times. --Ovid
I had a hard week at work this week. Well, in truth, it's been a tiring time for a few weeks at work, but at the end of this one, I felt like I ran uphill the whole time. By Thursday, I felt like I'd was getting close to the top of it. By yesterday, I was at the top, but then had to run through a patch of thorny bushes. So yes, it was a hard week.

Thursday morning, I woke up to the sound of springtime birdsong. I sat up with dread, fearing what the day would bring, but after I took a few deep breaths, I decided to believe that there was definitely going to be more to this day than work, and that I was going to go looking for something else to add to the day.

I got up, put on my running gear, and went out for a beautiful morning run. After injuring my knee last weekend and being relegated to icing and stretching and babying it at the gym, it felt so good to be outside in the fresh air, watching the sun rise as I trotted along, and listening to more birds singing (and woodpeckers pecking - I bet they're popular). It was a wonderful hour to myself - a good start, even though I knew I'd be crashing through the chaos of another day at work.

On Friday morning, when I woke up, I told myself again to believe that there would be more to the day than work. And there was. On the way to work, I noticed the magnolia tree on my driving route was in full bloom. I circled the block and parked underneath it (actually, I stalled my car underneath it - I wasn't quite awake enough for such a detour). I climbed out of my car with my phone and hopped around on the road, taking photos of its beautiful blossoms:



I noticed petals dropping as I took them, but it was only when I backed up a bit to get a shot of the full tree that I noticed the crow perched in it. He must have been having lots of fun poking around in there:


So, here I am on a Saturday, grateful to have reached it, grateful to have had a long night's sleep and to have had a nap this afternoon, and grateful to have some time to myself. I got up this morning and took these dried beans that I got out of this week's veggie box and put them in to soak. They're so pretty... like they've been dipped in marbling paint. I'm still deciding what to do with them, but I'm glad to have the chance to play around with them this weekend:


And of course, I'm happy to have some time to knit. I did have time to knit this week, but I'm thinking I might put a movie on this evening and settle down to an hour or two of uninterrupted, blissful stitching. I'm reaching an interesting part of the shawl I'm working on. As a true yarn nerd, I'm totally excited by it... even if it's going to take me a long time to finish it.


The pattern is 2Hundert, and the yarn is a skein of Paternayan Crewel, a discontinued laceweight yarn in a dusty pinkish grey that I bought a few years ago and that has been begging to be made into something. The pattern is a surprisingly simple shawl. It starts out from the top centre, and it grows outwards, a semi-circle that gets bigger and bigger until you add the cables at the edge. Earlier in the week, I was still in the "amazement" stage of the shawl, when you say, "Wow, this is working up so quickly! At this rate, I'll be done tomorrow!"

But you forget about this thing called this thing called geometry. I won't go into the formula for it, but of course, the larger diameter of a circle, the larger the circumference. In short, the more I knit, the bigger it gets, and the longer each row takes to knit.

And for some reason, there's no such thing as "steady growth" with a shawl. You fly through the first half of it in leaps and bounds, like you've got some kind of knitting super power, like in those dreams where you can run so fast without any effort at all. And then real life hits, and all of a sudden each row is like racing through a giant vat of custard... which might sound enjoyable, but is actually a lot of work:


I have still quite a lot of yarn left, but I'm not going to be tempted to try to do extra rows before the edging, because another annoying thing about these shawls is how they suddenly turn into hungry little beasts out of nowhere, gobbling up huge amounts of yardage for each row, where previously, they were only daintily nibbling at the ball as it grew. It's like those movies where people find cute little alien creatures and take them home: they look like they would make awfully cute pets, but soon they're eating all the food and all the people and all the toilet paper...

You haven't seen that movie? Have they made that movie? I'm sure they have.

Anyway, I am very glad that there is more to life than weeks of hard work. In my heart, I believe that it'll calm down some day, and I believe that I have the ability to change things so that it won't be so hard. It'll be a matter nudging things into the right direction so things will settle out it its natural order. All things have a natural progression.

Except for those alien shawls... sudden giants taking over your knitting bag... 

Hmmm, I believe I need another nap. Happy Saturday.

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