Rethinking due to Reassessment…

Here’s my Twitterscope for today:

You may need to reconsider a decision that you made recently, especially if you weren’t being realistic about your abilities. Your expectations might have been exaggerated because you were looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but now you are beginning to see things in their proper light. Although you could be a bit discouraged today, the situation will likely work out beneficially in the long run.

Ironically, I saw that after I’d had a good heart to heart with myself about my ability to finish History On Two Needles on my own. I don’t know if I can do it, given my diminished energy and my new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

The book WILL get done, but I have to face the fact that things are different now – at least for the short run. I’ve been beating myself up for not getting more done on the book, but when I look at the last 6 months I realize just HOW MUCH I’ve been in pain, how difficult life has been, and how I’d been avoiding seeing that.

Barrelling through IS a good strategy, but it doesn’t work forever.

So now that I’ve been sidelined, seriously, I need to reconsider how I’m going to go about publishing this book. I think I’ll contact publishers I’ve wanted to work with for a while and see if they have any interest. I’ve already done the research, and most of the patterns are written and finished garments are ready to be photographed. I just cannot see myself arranging that as I thought I could a year ago.

I can’t tell you guys how sad this makes me. But to have the book not see the light of day would make me much sadder. So, we pick the level of our sadness, I guess, and we pick our battles.

I think the Trazodone has been helping my sleeping. I don’t think I’d realized that my sleep WAS being interrupted by pain, but it had been. I have half-awake remembrances of rolling one way and finding it agonizing, then rolling the other and finding THAT agonizing, too.

I’ve also been waking up between 5 – 7 every morning. Nothing wrong with that, but I’d been going to sleep later and later. Laying in bed felt good because I was tired, but it HURT to be in one position for very long. The Trazodone is helping me go to sleep at 11 and sleep, FULLY, until I wake up at 8 or so. Very late for me.

I guess that’s what vacations are for!

And – irony of ironies – how brilliant that this is all coming to a head right when my first online class is about to start. It’s a beautiful thing, to be able to teach and not have to drive, carry bags (the hardest thing for me) walk up stairs, carry bags up stairs.

It’s nice to not have to unpack all my stuff, dance around a classroom to act out Stitch Theater, move from student to student bending over and looking at work (I’d been doing more “gather ’round me, students!” moments) and then packing everything up, carrying it out to the car and driving home. It’s good to not have to do that.

What’s been hard is finding a day when I look halfway like myself to make videos. I look at myself in the mirror and I hardly recognize myself. I look very old, very wrinkled, very tired.

So I brush my hair and put on makeup and I feel better. And today I WILL make several videos and thus be finished with the pre-recorded portion of the Combination Knitting Class.

I’m blown away by the fact that the January Combination Knitting class is sold out, and February is one space away from being sold out. I’m contemplating adding a second section to February, there’s no reason why I can’t, but I want to get an idea of how much email / chat I’ll be fielding on a week to week basis before I make that commitment. I’ll decide by mid Jan.

In the mean time I’m making a few samples for a new class, the Universal Mitered Handbag, and I cannot WAIT to get going with that class! I’m thinking hard about how best to feature a project class, how much can I expect from the students when we don’t have the 3-hour time constraint. This new way of working out classes is fascinating!

Something else that’s fascinating is a new book I was just sent! Myra Wood’s new book, Crazy Lace, is just lovely! It’s well photographed, laid out in an easy-to-read manner, and has a lot of useful images to help a knitter through the concept of creating your own lace.

I really like the “go for it!” attitude it has about lace, that you should approach it fearlessly, with a bit of a ‘go to hell’ attitude about making sure everything is perfectly symmetrical. I think this will free up a lot of folks to begin to play with their lace.

It’s through this kind of play that we become the knitters we want to be – folks who don’t lose themselves in their knitting often have a hard time finding themselves in their knitting, too.

One thing that I thought was odd was Mrya’s use of the left leaning triple decrease in all the patterns. I think it would have been helpful to introduce the concept of a centered (or vertical) double decrease, which can add such a dramatic effect. And, like many books, this one works on the assumption that every knitter is a Western knitter (all decreases are described as if all stitches were seated on the needle in a Western fashion)

It’s understandable, but I keep hoping that as wonderful books are being independently published, the concept of a universal knitting pattern style will begin to take hold (describing decreases as left and right leaning – k2togL and k2togR – instead of using the terms SSK and K2tog, which only apply to Western knitters.)

One thing I really liked was the encouragement to BLOCK. I’m often surprised when I meet an excellent knitter in a class, someone who obviously knows all the ins and outs of creating beautiful knit fabric, but is wearing a garment that COULD be really stellar if only it were blocked.

When I mention blocking in class, often this same student will shake their head and say, “I never block!” Such a waste – to be SO close to an amazing garment and falter in the last few yards.

Blocking is easy. You don’t have to wet down your garment, you can use steam to block just about anything (I use it for EVERYTHING except mostly acrylic fibers, which can stretch out) and the results of blocking are so easy to see, it feels like you’ve just performed a miracle. This is especially true in lace knitting, when the increases and decreases need to be opened up as only blocking can do.

If folks who read Crazy Lace start blocking more, it will be a wonderful thing for all knitting in general!

I’ve discovered and it’s a real work stopper. Fortunately I can’t afford the $155 for the whole year, so I’ll be out before my 14 day free trial is over. But I’m enjoying it right now!

Here’s one branch of my father’s family that I’ve been looking up. Is it true? Who knows.

Click for larger version

This does, though, give a good amount of information so I can begin using other resources to verify what I’ve found. I know the connection to the Cunninghams is solid (we used to go to the Modesitt/Cunningham reunion when I was a kid) and the walk back from Cunninghams to Scotland seems pretty firm. Maybe this is why I felt so at home in Scotland this past Summer?

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12 thoughts on “Rethinking due to Reassessment…

  1. Debra

    It’s going to take awhile for you to process your diagnosis. In the meantime,there is one thing you can do to feel good. Swimming in a warm pool is sooo good for your body.

  2. Alison

    Thank you so much for this post. All I can say is that you are in my thoughts. I so sympathize with what you are going through—chronic pain is debilitating, plain and simple, and no matter how we will ourselves to snap out of it or shake it off, it takes a toll. The pace has to shift. This is something that I am struggling with myself these days—I can’t seem to get past the fact that I can’t make my energy level what want it to be, just by pushing forward or by stamping my foot and insisting that it should be.
    Obviously, I can’t wait to get my hands on your new book—it is just the sort of book that I love, but it will come, and self-published or otherwise, it will be beautiful and absolutely worth waiting for. In the meantime, I can’t wait to take one of your classes. Please be good to you and know that your sharing is such a gift to so many of us.
    I wish you freedom from pain, solace and a joyous new year.

  3. Lori

    Here’s hoping the you feel better and get your energy back in the new year. is nice. One of my cousins is researching his family tree and since I have access to all of the information for his mother’s side of the family, he gave me access to his account to input it. So maybe the solution is to have multiple family members share the cost of a membership.

  4. Fiber Floozie

    I have been taking Trazodone for years now. When I started to take it I hadn’t realized how sleep deprived I had been. Fortunately I have a girl friend who recognized the symptoms and gave me a good talking to. I didn’t believe in medicines to cure what ailed me.
    Long story short my husband makes sure that when we go anywhere I always have two things, my knitting and my drugs. He’s such a smart man.

  5. Leslie

    I’m so glad to hear that the classes are filling up. An additional advantage to this sort of class is the diminished overhead. While you certainly have to pay Ning something, it’s bound to be less than travel (gas, wear & tear), hotel and eating out. When you first told us about the Fibro I was thinking this could become a really good way for you to teach – at home and in comfort.

  6. Hester

    WOW – another diagnosis of Fibro. I’m sorry you got the diagnosis but glad that a dr. was able to recoginze it for what it is. Good sleep will help and also Vitamin D. I took a prescription of Vitamin D for a huge amount of for several months and then I take about 800 units of Vit D over the counter. If I miss the Vit D for more than 2 days I feel it. Hang in there – you will feel better.

    It was one of the major AHA moments of my life with a Dr. said oh, you have fibro. Someone in the medical profession actually paid attention to me and knew what was going on. I was thrilled as I had suffered with this for most of my life.

    Hugs – Hester from Atlanta

  7. quesselchen

    Just wanted to send you loads of hugs and strength over the big pool! A diagnosis like that is always hard to swallow, and while the diagnosis is an evil blow, knowing what is wrong will hopefully allow you to adjust your life and improve your quality of life. Best of luck to you and your family!
    And don’t worry about the book too much – I’m sure there’s plenty out there like me who will buy it no matter when it comes out…


  8. Wendy

    I am so sorry to hear your diagnosis, but hope that as you process it your life will in the end be better. I don’t mean to be trite, but with all that you have suffered of late, at least knowing gives you a plan so that there are some things that you can do to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. I love the idea of the on-line courses both for us and for you and really hope that you will easily find a publisher for hotn. The pieces that you have shared are amazing. As for the waking up a bit 5-7 times a night, I can attest to how debilitating it is. I had hot flashes almost only at night, but they became so frequent and so severe that I simply wasn’t sleeping deeply at all. It was like having a newborn for years on end. My solution was different than yours, but all I can say is thanks for better living through chemistry. Much love and feel better.

  9. Joyce

    I just read about your recent diagnosis. I am a Massage Therapist (in practice for over 20 years)and I have seen many clients who have Fibromyalgia. One thing I’ve learned is something I thought you might be interested in. One of my clients received her diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN several years back. She said they told her they were looking into a sleep disorder as being the cause of Fibromyalgia….rather than just one of the symptoms. They helped her manage her sleep….no naps, some gentle exercise (walking especially), no caffeine, and no sleep meds. Those are the things I remember anyway. So, thought I’d let you know in case you’d like to look into it a bit more. My client has followed the guidelines and is doing spectacularly. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts. Joyce

  10. Ruby Girl

    I guess the good thing is you have a diagnosis, and some medication to help you sleep. Good news on your classes being so popular.

  11. Nita

    I have a friend who is a massage therapist with fibro clients. She said she has noticed that they are all shallow breathers. However this relates to your ongoing breathing issues, I wonder if a doctor would recommend breath therapy as a help for both. I’m thinking of practice sessions of yogic breathing, for example.

  12. mam42549

    I don’t normally post but my mother’s maiden name was Cunningham. I didn’t want to pay either so check the LDS Genealogical libraries they have a subscription and anyone can use it. My grandmother taught me how to knit the way you do. When I showed anyone they looked at me like I was crazy. I am so glad there is someone else out there.

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