Monday, September 26, 2022

Year of Projects Update Week 13

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This week was lots of knitting but not much to show.  I started the 2nd Vancouver sock, and I am on the back of my son's gansey.  I have been combing and spinning my Friesen fleece and it WILL be done before September 30th (she said confidently). 

I have about three inches done on my Birdsong sweater and I can't wait to start the charts.  Maybe tonight?  Who knows. 

I do have one quick start and finish.  I was tired of my clothes pegs spilling all over the deck everytime I hung my laundry outside, so I knit up this cute little peg bag.  I used some Cascade fixation, held double and it is the perfect weight.  I cut a wooden hanger to size and Voila, no more spills!

Big Smile!

I also finished my Gnome.  I will post his finish picture next week - so no spoilers this week for those of you taking part in the KAL.  You can go to my Ravelry project page if you want to see him before next week. 

Mostly this week has been all about my ocean swimming which I blogged about here.  

It has been a good week.  My new medications have kicked in, and the cold water therapy is really amazing.  It has actually been a very good week. I haven't been able to say that for the past year. 

And my Hoya is blooming - first time since I repotted it in the spring.


If you want to see what other Yoppers are up to you can check out the right side of my blog for shortcuts to their posts. 

Wild swimming

I am back on Blogger after taking the summer off due to personal/mental health reasons.  I have been working hard to find support both medically and emotionally.  Something that really helped during the summer was returning to the pool in early July.  I swam 4 to 5 times a week in the pool for at least 45 minutes. In that time I could swim approximately 1.2km. One day I was struggling more than usual and I decided to go for a swim in the ocean instead.  It was a cool, rainy day, but  I went and swam for about 15 minutes.  It helped.  A week or so later my son, hubby and I were spending a day at a beach not too far from our city where the water is glacier fed, and again I went for a 15 minute swim.  Hmmm, I seemed to be noticing improvement in my anxiety with these swims.  

In early September I headed to the beach and swam for 33 minutes.  It was glorious despite the water temperature being around 13.5 degrees Celsius! After conversations with my sister who swims in the ocean year round I decided to ‘dive’ into this new routine.  There are many studies that connect cold water swimming to improvements in depression and anxiety.  

This past Sunday, September 18, I started my daily ocean swims.  On day four, I was amazed at how serene and peaceful it was to swim in the ocean.  All seemed right with the world and the feeling continued through the rest of my day.  The ocean temps are still around 13.5 degrees but they are starting to dip as we head towards winter. I have bought some neoprene gloves, booties and cap and my sisters and brothers, who are all regular ocean swimmers, have given me lots of good advice about how long, or short, to stay in the water and how to warm up after each swim.  

Swimming has been a lifeline for me since my late twenties. I am looking forward to this new adventure. I have been reading all sorts of blogs and posts by cold water swimmers from all over the world and getting some great advice. I already swim with a 'swimbuddy' that I tow behind me so I can be seen by any boats or paddlers that might be in the water, and so my husband can more easily see me from the shore.

I have a warm drink in a thermos, warm clothes to put on as soon as I get out, and the knowledge that I shouldn't stay in the water past the 'one minute for every degree' rule once the ocean temperatures dip to 10C and below. I also read about the trick to take a hot water bottle to wrap my after-swim clothes in, and a foam pad to stand on until I get my shoes on as I am dressing. I have learned that your body temperature keeps dropping after you get out of the water so I need to be prepared to deal with that - no hot showers or baths directly after the swim.

All good advice.

Today was day 9. a mid-morning swim for about 17 minutes. The ocean temperature was 14C. After I dressed and drank my decaf milky coffee I walked along the beach watch ducks and cormorants, herons and seagulls. I got quite the kick out of this young seagull whining at his mom.