Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Monday, July 14, 2014

a little better -- and some crafty backlog

I woke up feeling much less foggy today.  I think a) buying the car b) laughing so hard and long that my face hurt at the pool with the kids and c)borrowing a great book (and starting to read it) have made my head feel a little better.

also, the cicadas are back in my yard which always makes me feel like I'm in a Japanese movie.  Which may not sound romantic to you, but for me, and my sweetie, there's a thing about Japan, and Yakuza movies, and well, classic movies in general.  You don't really need to understand, except to know that it's really awesome and evocative for us to have cicadas in our yard every summer.

Further, my corn is getting taller, I have baby pumpkins, and my tomatoes are finally starting to pink up. 

I haven't really been well enough to work that much since the accident... that post I wrote on Friday?  yeah, I basically had to sleep for 3 hours afterwards.  Which means 2 hours of work = 3 hours of sleep.... that is not a good ratio.  especially when my typical ratio is 13 hours of work + 4 hours of chillaxing = 7 hours of sleep.  I like my typical ratio, I can't wait until I can get back to that.  This whole trying not to "think too hard" part of healing from the concussion is not my favorite.

The one thing that doesn't seem to tax my brain too much is hanging out in the garden.  Which is great -- all the work of the spring has been done (ie. the thinking) and now it's all about weeding and watering and harvesting... which is totally mindless and rewarding.  I also was told by our preschool teacher that our lilac hedge in the front (that we planted a month or two ago) really needs water.  So, we've been spending at least an hour every evening watering our various things.  (it's been really dry here...)

I do honestly think the accident is (in part) the universe trying to school me in slowing down -- because I'm usually at warp speed all the time.  I know that finding some kind of cosmic balance in anything is strange for your resident atheist... and trust me part of why I'm so damn ANGRY about the accident is that this is time that I will never be able to get back.  I have no afterlife to look forward to THIS IS IT.  The whole concept of asking for a monetary settlement for this kind of thing is hard for me because there is nothing more precious than time.  Money helps make the time I have less stressful, and for that it seems an okay trade -- up to a point.  But I will never have this summer where my girls are 4 and 6 ever again.  I will never have these moments and I want to be here and clear, not a ball of anxiety and stress and worry hidden behind the fog of a bruise on my brain.

sigh.  We also bought (or agreed to buy, I should say, because we don't actually have it yet) a car.  I have been trying not to misdirect my anger at the accident -- let's be angry at the situation, and frankly, angry at the person who's negligence caused it... let's not be angry at the car, the car dealers, all other drivers, and the kids. 

As soon as I admitted my issues and stress about buying the car to Josh I felt like I could get a handle on them and we found THE car.  It's lovely, and it makes me smile, and it will be the best in RED (but I have back-up choices if they can't find it in RED)  Luckily, Josh did the negotiating and was able to take my vague comments about how all of the cars felt, and the things I liked and didn't like and translated that into a set of features that I "needed" and that we could "afford"  (we had the squished car paid off and are not exactly thrilled or quite prepared for having a car payment again... another big annoying repercussion of the accident)  Anyway, I'm excited about the car, and not driving the humongous rental mini-van anymore.  It is a bit bigger than the car that was squished and I'm particularly looking forward to driving it to maine to visit the grandparents.  it's going to be so nice to have all that space!

One thing that I have thought several times would be awesome for my brain that I haven't quite gotten to do yet (or I should say since the accident because I was on quite a roll for a while) is spin.  I had taken to spinning in my witching hour.  The space between dinner and bedtime makes me kind of twitchy as a parent.  I've lost my earth-goddess-mother-patience and I'm ready for the kids to just be asleep already.  I know this, and knowing helps me combat my short temper a lot of the time, but add a little spinning meditation and I can handle it all a lot better. 

People like to say that knitting is akin to meditation, there are studies, and the whatnot.  But spinning, man, spinning is even more so.  The sound of the wheel -- sometimes the girls just get mesmerized, and once Clara asked if I could spin while she tried to sleep because the sound was so calming.  The constant motion of your feet on the treadles, the motion of your hands, the slow filling of the bobbin.  It's so lovely.  I had been, as I said, in quite the groove, spinning for about an hour each evening and I was really starting to spin up a lot of my fiber...

I started with a 4oz bundle I had purchased in Kentucky when I went down for my grandpa's funeral.  It's Nube from Malabrigo in the color Pocion.  It took me a little over a week of evenings to spin the whole thing onto two bobbins and then to ply it to be a bouncy, lovely little two-ply.  The result was a light worsted, about 160 yards.

I was looking around for a pattern to knit it -- I thought based on the way I spun the fiber that it may be a bit on the stripey side, and it's pretty purple... so I wanted something fun that didn't take a lot of yarn, and I also wanted something that if I ran out it wouldn't all be for naught.  enter Candy: Stripes and Sprinkles  I thought the buttons would be fun, and if I ran out I could always use leftovers of Rios for the button bands, or the brim (the hat is knit top-down)  Not only was the hat super fast to knit, and fun, and yes, the buttons are awesome.  But if you are doing a single color you have plenty at 160 yards, in fact I have enough leftovers that I may do a little cowl or something to match - maybe my worker bee mitts...

It's a funny trick of the light that the yarn looks gray -- in real life, it is really a dark purple with blue and citron highlights.  the buttons are a yellow-ish green and semi-transparent which I love.

I was experimenting with the whole "take a selfie with your good camera in a mirror" concept.  But I don't quite have a large enough mirror to pull it off.  So it looks like moving the furniture and sweeping the dust bunny colonies out from that corner in my dining room will continue to be my photo-shoot space.  No short cuts!  But you know, I do love the results of the hat and you can get an idea of how adorable the pattern is from these photos -- such as they are.

And tonight I'm really going to try to spin some more.  I'm working on an enormous amount of merino/silk hand painted roving that Naomi gave me years ago.  I'm secretly (she doesn't read the blog anyway, so I can tell you) spinning it up to give it to her.  I've already got one skein finished (spun, plied, soaked, and dried) and I'm working on the spinning part of the second.  It's turning out really well and I know she'll hoard it for years and then make something gorgeous out of it.

What about you, have you tried spinning?  We have June Pryce Fiber Arts coming this Sunday for a Meet the Dyer, and she does a lot of fiber.  I'm really excited to pick more up for this spinning thing I've gotten myself into -- not that I NEED any MORE, but you know her colors are irresistible!  If you've been thinking of trying it out -- her fiber on a drop spindle would be a great place to start.  I'd be happy to show you at my open knit (which is free during the summer) your brain will thank you, trust me.

and now I need to go rest mine -- all these words are literally making my brain hurt.  That was only a figure of speech for me until recently.  Luckily packing online orders is also not terribly taxing to my brain!

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