Sunday, April 30, 2017

I won't give up - damn it!

If you have been following me on facebook you will know that my writers' group told me that they no longer wanted to read and/or critique my novel because my protagonist was too introspective, she was nameless, there wasn't enough dialogue and it was too safe.

Hmmmm.

My novel (which I wrote during the 2015 NaNaWriMo) is about a depressed woman who has decided, once and for all, that at the end of the month she will end her life.

It has been something she has been putting off for months, and this month, the Month of November she is determined.

However, even though the decision has been made she still goes on with her life, her routine, and this month her routine gives her some insights into the eventual decision she makes.

I included snippets of the Novel through the Month of November 2015 if you are interested. The first entry is featured in my sidebar to the right.

Anyways, to make a long story short, or maybe a short story longer, I wrote something yesterday to add to one of my chapters.

Trigger Warning if you have ever contemplated suicide or know someone that has this may be a difficult read. It was a difficult write.


The thoughts would cross her mind from time to time.

Driving on the highway, going one hundred and twenty kilometers per hour, the thought would flit across her conscious mind that she could just turn the wheel and head into a tree, or an oncoming car or off a cliff.


Or sitting on a ferry, quietly reading and eating a muffin, the thought would come. I could just stand up, walk outside to the railing, and step over.

Or walking on the side of the road, it would be so simple to take one step to the right into the oncoming traffic.

Or in the mornings while she shook out the pills she seemed to so desperately need, sometimes she would shake out the whole bottle and imagine how easy it would be to swallow them all.

Or swimming, even swimming, she would imagine not coming up for the air her lungs so desparately craved. Instead she could just breath in a tablespoon of water. Just one tablespoon.

The thoughts would be fleeting enough, and she never turned the wheel, never got up from the cafeteria chair, never stepped to the right, never inhaled the water, never swallowed the handful of pills.

But still, and all, the thoughts had found their way front and center and for a few hours they would haunt her.

She had been there before - staring out the window at the cedars and the rain, the birds and the clouds, thinking that finally she understood why one would take their own life.

It isn't about it being simpler. It isn't about others being better off without you. It was simply about wanting the pain to stop that much. Like tearing off a bandage. Certainly the fall, the drowning, the crash, the overdose would be unpleasant for a split moment.
But then?
Then it would be over.

She knew these thoughts would eventually take her back to the doctor's office, back to therapy, back to perhaps a change in medication.

She knew these thoughts if they persisted should lead her to tell someone.

But what if this month they didn't.

What if this month she let nature, or fate, or flaw just take its course.

But then she would think of her son's blue eyes, her husband's touch, her sisters' voices, her brothers' humour, her friends's concerns, even the annoying cat and she would make the call.

She always had put others before herself and in this case it was perhaps a good trait to have.

Perhaps.



Yopping 44 - Chinese Rats and Pigs



Here are the two doubleknit hemp potholders I completed this week.







The red and blue one (the chinese character for pig) I had to create the chart myself because the chart included in the pattern was wrong. Here is what I knit from:



And although I haven't done any more on the EZ Surprise sweater here is a video of how it goes together.








I have pinned my baby blanket together so I can start joining the seams - hopefully I won't lose heart and will have something to show you next week.

Happy Yopping All....we are counting down only eight more weeks to go!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Yopping 43 - EZ as Pi



The sweater is done. I need to block and weave in ends and put on buttons but as it is it is finished and all my worsted stash is used up. I did lose at yarn chicken while I was binding off, but luckily I had a close enough match in my basket of odds and ends left over from my sock yarn blanket.

I want to make the sleeves longer, but I need to wait until I get some more yarn.

I trusted the pattern and it is going to fit beautifully. Good old Elizabeth Zimmerman.

She must have been a math genius to figure out that this:




with one quick fold turns into this:



which is why the reference to Pi in the title.

I am now diligently working on my double knit - pictures next week.

Happy yopping.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Yop Update 42 - EZ! Not!



This week has been all about the Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater. I know it is going to be fantastic when it is finished, but it is also a good example of me having to 'trust the pattern', because it is hard to imagine it is going to work.

However, having faith I continue on.



This has become a memory sweater because it is made up of stash wool I have from sweaters knit for my brother, my son, and myself.

How Elizabeth Zimmerman imagined this garment is mind boggling. It really is a trick of origami and faith. And as I head back towards the 333 stitches I only get a few rows completed in an evening. Once I get to the magic number of stitches I have to keep going to add more length and then after finishing the neckline I will pick-up the stitches to finish the sleeves. I think I will I-cord the edges at the end if I have enough wool. It is going to be a very cozy sweater and will have used up a lot of stash.


I also started another hemp zodiac double-knit potholder for the husband of the birthday girl from last week. But I only have four rows so it is not picture worthy. It will have the chinese character for Rat on it, and I will have a picture to show you of my progress next week.


Happy Easter everyone...

Chocolate time!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Not too old to snuggle (and an ask)

When she was younger she would come to my house weekly after school and we would knit. And have tea. And chat.

Once she turned twelve it seemed like all bets were off. When her family came to visit or we went to visit them she was noticeably absent - sleepovers, skiing, hanging with friends.

I missed her.

Last Saturday she plopped herself down beside me and asked me if I could rub her neck. She was sore from a day of skiing.

I rubbed. She cuddled in. We chatted about this and that.

She was back.

I am not sure when the opportunity will arise again, but it is okay. I will take what I can get.

One of my three honourary grand-daughters, and not totally lost to me after-all.

Speaking of grand-daughters I am going to put out a request to my readers.

My blogging friend, Michelle, has set up a gofundme page for her grand-daughter. McKinlee has a heart defect and has already had soooo many surgeries, and her parents are doing all they can. They need some help, besides all the prayers you can send their way, but financially they need help. Every little bit can help.

You can read McKinlee's story here, and if you are so moved you can donate to the GoFundMe here.

I don't have many readers, but if each one gave a dollar it would be a couple of hundred dollars to make their month a little less stressful. Something is everything.

Thank you for considering.

Here is to grand-children everywhere. May they live a life of good health and god-willing, peace.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Waking up from a dream

It was one of those awful early morning dreams: conflict, misunderstanding, loss, sadness.....

and then a knock on our camper door.

Two little girls, four and seven, scampered in, chattering away, shaking off winter boots, crawling up onto the bed with me.

My eyes opened to their smiling faces, their questions, their simplicity, their innocence.

The dream tried to linger with me.

The seven year old said I had tears in my eyes.

"Just morning tears", I assured her as I tussled her hair.

The dream tried once more.

But there, on that bed, that morning, there was only love, and happiness, and innocence, and questions.

Lots of questions.

And playing with the fan and the lights.

And coffee (for me).

And cookies (for them).

It is my favourite way to be woken up.

I look forward to more mornings just like them.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Yop Update 41



Finally we had a day without rain so I could start the soak of two of my fleeces.



This is a Babydoll black fleece - only about 1/12 of the raw fleece I have, but I want to see how it spins up before proceeding to wash more of it.

This fleece was so filthy it took at least five soaks before the water ran clear. It is full of straw and grass and I picked out as much as I had patience for - the rest will be dealt with when I card it.

Here it is after drying:



While I was doing the first 24 hour soak I started to hand card a Shetland fleece I had washed a couple of years ago. I am new at hand carding and the whole right/left confusion got in my way while I was learning via Youtube but I persevered and ended up with a whole bag of rolags. (which is only 15 gms)







Below is a Friesian fleece from my son. It was much cleaner but FULL of lanolin. I want to keep the lanolin because I am going to spin this for a Cowichan sweater so I soaked it overnight in cold water and it only took one rinse the next day before the water ran clear.

Luckily the sun came out on Tuesday so it could dry in the sun. (Unlike the babydoll that took so long to wash I had to dry it inside.

Here is the raw fleece:


and here it is drying in the sun:



and here are my first three rolags off the hand carders:



Needless to say with all the wool washing my hands are soooooo soft.


As far as knitting goes I started a new colour combination for my Iona:



but, that is as far as that got because I decided on Tuesday to make this doubleknit hemp potholder for a friend's birthday (which was yesterday).



She was born in the year of the Snake, so this is the Chinese character for Snake.

When my hands were complaining form knitting with the hemp I decided to use up some stash by starting two sweaters:

An Elizabeth Zimmerman Surprise Sweater for me using these colours:



and a Dizzy sweater for a little girl (tba) by Holly Yeoh with these:



I don't have enough pink, but I have some white which I will dye to match as closely as I can.

I haven't actually cast on the Dizzy yet. Well, technically I did, and knit about an inch before realizing the first wool I chose wasn't going to work. It was alpaca and too fluffy so the stitch definition wasn't showing through.

I have cast on the Elizabeth Zimmerman sweater after swatching and futzing about with her numbers to figure out how many stitches to cast on. The answer is:

333!!

Oh my, each row seems to last f o r e v e r!

Let's see.....what else?

Nothing. That was my Yopping week. I hope to have some spinning to show you next time.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Yop 40 Update and a word (or three) about Hope



This will be a short update as I am not feeling so great today.

I did finish the fourth quadrant of my blanket, so I have to block and sew it together and then figure out how to knit the border on directly.



I got caught up in some stash busting and made these two cutie pies for a friend of mine who had given me the pattern.




And I needed to finish this which I have been wearing pretty much non stop (although my husband asked me not to wear it when next we cross the border - duh):




Last night I wound the hemp I bought at Fibres West so I can start another zodiac potholder (or two).



I have begun a second square of the Iona blanket, but the teddies kinda got in the way. Once I finish this one the next will be in a different colourway (which means I have more yarn to wind).



Currently I only have two wips, so of course I must cast-on those pot-holders tout de suite!

Also the weather is finally sunny so I think today I will be washing some fleece - stay tuned.

***

On a personal note, I walked by a gentlemen both coming and going to the library and he was engrossed in a serious conversation about someone named Josh.

As I walked by him the second time he was saying "Hope is Hope". Then he said it again and followed it with "Hebrews 20:11 - look it up."

I took that as a sign and went home to look up the reference. There is no Chapter 20 in Hebrews, so I looked up 11:20.

"By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come."

It was about Faith. The gist being the Faith is Hope. At least that is what I am taking from it.

I think it was a message God wanted me to hear.

Faith is Hope.

I had forgotten that.

Silly me.