Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unplugged, Yet Recharged

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes... including you. -- Anne Lamont
There's really only one way to sum up what I've been up to since my last post:

That was the little sign I put on my door at work early last week. I caught a head cold that I'm pretty sure nobody wanted me to share, but I wasn't feeling sick enough to stay home, thus the Post-it warning. It was a pretty good idea, actually: I had the quietest day at work I'd had for weeks. Part of me thinks I might just stick it on there whenever I want a bit of piece and quiet...

... except I'm sure someone would either figure it out or send me into quarantine.

Catching this cold made me really slow down and take a much-needed look at how things were going, how much rest I needed, and how I was dealing with things that were happening in my life. The loudest message I got out of this was that I needed to be kinder to myself. By that, I mean: not just giving myself little treats while I was feeling sorry for myself (mmm, Nutella), but by really giving myself the time to heal, and compassion to not push myself so hard, and the patience to know that this wasn't going to last forever.

That meant that I didn't do much of anything except rest, eat, sleep, eat some more... I did not knit and I did not write. I barely went for walks. I made good friends with the couch and a book, of which I only read a few pages before I put it down to sleep.

On the bright side, I'm grateful that the days are brighter and that I'm waiting up to daylight these days, even if I am still a bit tired. My CSA box is proof of the bright and sunny weather:

I could not get over the beauty of these radishes. It seemed almost a shame to eat them, but they were so good for my healing body:

I had no qualms about eating that rhubarb. I made stewed rhubarb for the first time with them, and I'm almost sorry I did, because it was SO GOOD that it almost didn't make it into the crumble I made with it later:

I wasn't all that interested in working on my 2Hundert shawl. It was partly due to my low energy (as my friend, dkzack says: friends don't let sick friends knit), and partly because I really didn't know how I was going to finish it off. I had an image in my head about how I wanted it to look, but I wasn't all that confident my addled brain could figure out how to do it.

However, I was quite pleased when I figured out that I could put my little vintage Villeroy and Boch creamer to use. It made a perfect little container to hold the beads I was using, and the spout made an excellent rest for my steel crochet hook. That, in and of itself, made me feel better:

After a few days of knitting a stitch here and there in between naps, I finally did make it to the final bind off, but even that was a bit of a struggle. I tried about four different methods (with a nap in between each) before I finally found one shared on Slip Slip Knit that I thought might be ok. I actually used a crochet hook to bind it off, because I'd ripped out the stitches so many times that I didn't want to risk breaking the yarn at the end with my needles.

Even after the bind off, I wasn't all that sure that I was going to like the result. I wanted a nice, big shawl to wear over my shoulders during the cool summer evenings. I was determined to use up all of the yarn, but I got to the point where I couldn't force out another repeat for fear of ruining the shape of the shawl. For once, I was disappointed about not running out of yarn.

After I bound off the stitches, it looked disappointingly small:

Last night, I got up the courage to block it, and I was much, much happier with it. I was especially pleased with the points I was able to block into it, and I'm much more confident with the way the beads are standing out in each of the points:

It's still on the blocking boards right now, because I always like to leave things to block for a full twenty-four hours, just to make sure they are fully dry and so that they will hold their shape. I also wasn't in any mood to make myself presentable for photos. I think I'll wait until I look less like a zombie to share the final result.

In the meantime, I'm going to daydream about making something from this new pattern book I got yesterday. I suddenly feel excited to dive into my stash to pull out some cotton that has been waiting to become something:

I spent some quiet time with some friends this afternoon, and for the first time in a couple of weeks, I finally feel rested. There's something about being around a certain energy that rejuvenates you in a way that even a full night's sleep can't. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be back to my old energetic self soon.

But first, I think I'll go lie on the couch for a bit. It's best not to rush these things...

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