Pondering In My Heart

I’m trying to work through some stuff, directions, etc.

I thought I’d find a shining sign at TNNA: GO FORTH AND DO THIS! But I didn’t.  I did get a lot of support, though, which is excellent.

Shrug En Route & "B" Twist

I’m finishing up my Lace Bootcamp and Twisted Float Shrug Online Classes, which start on July 1.  I always feel doubtful about a class the first time I run it, and this time is no exception.  Time to just keep plugging away and try to make it as comprehensible as possible.

If you’d care to sign up for either of my new classes, please use the code “july” for a 25% discount. I feel better discounting the first run of a class, I figure I learn as much from you as you do from me, and this allows me to give a break to folks who are willing to be guinea pigs!

Wavy Lace Wrong SideAside from working on the classes, there’s not a lot going on.  I’m mentally and physically preparing for UK Knit Camp in Stirling (I’ll be teaching a few classes) and on the horizon is that magnificent Italian adventure in September (I’ll be teaching, it should be – how you say – amazing!)

But mostly I’m just – mentally – trying to find my place right now.

Calm Mississippi Dog Run

I need to find a peaceful, calm place to roost, a place where I can do what I love, pay the mortgage, and not feel encumbered by this fibro crap / pain that crops up at the most inconsistent times.

Mentally, the fibro is wearing me down, I have to say it.  When I was first diagnosed I was not aware of how much this would affect me.  This renewed awareness is almost more of a boulder in my path than the fibro itself.

I’m sorry I’m not more – me? – today.  Funny?  Joyful?  Deep down I’m all those things, really!

But right now the part of me that’s rising to the top is the scared and hurt part.  Obviously I need to knit more.  Or maybe I need to stir things up?  Or maybe I need some dispersant? However you spin it, this fibro-depression is lurking just under my surface like a 300 foot plume.


Why am I really so low today?  I had a bad doctor’s appointment.  Not a bad appointment, a bad DOCTOR who just went off on healthcare, political stuff, etc. with no encouragement from me.  Honest.  None at all.  And I know from encouraging folks to go off, it’s a real skill of mine.  This time, it wasn’t me.  He was going off on folks before we even arrived (we heard him explaining some of his views as we passed another exam room.)

This picture has nothing to do with the text. I just wanted to show that we'd been to see the Dead Sea Scrolls for Father's Day.

It was bizarre.  If Gerry hadn’t been with me (and if I hadn’t seen the look on the Physician’s Assistants face, who was in the room with us and was trying to keep it together) I would have thought I was nuts.

Well, maybe I am – but this guy was NUTSIER.

He tried, belatedly, to apologize for going off on  – me? the world? – I don’t really know who his anger/frustration was directed toward.  But he was angry.

He said so at one point – “I’m angry.” Very odd.

So that was my last visit, not so much because he’s a freakazoid (and I know from freakazoid docs, this was the fellow who delivered Hannah in Oct 1996, the same month as the carving incident) It was our last visit because our insurance runs out in 10 days.

See, a silver lining already!

The kids will have to be uninsured for 4 months before they’re eligible for MN care, Gerry will be on SSDI Medicare.  But I’ll be floating along like a dandelion seed, wafting away on a breath blown by an asthmatic kid.

Twisted Float Detail

And me? I will knit. I’m putting the resume together, looking into temp type work, but I just don’t think I have the physical stamina to work a full 8 hours in a day without resting, or coming home in severe pain.

Obviously the work a bit, rest a bit schedule is great – but since January I can’t seem to produce enough to keep it going.

How can I be terribly upset, though, when I have such amazing yarn to work with?  This is a swatch using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Worsted (Zombie BBQ) and a tiny piece of Pico Accuardi merino as waste yarn.  The Pico was used above in the lace swatch.

This is excellent therapy.

Monday, June 21, 2010 By Rick Levine

Yesterday | Today | Tomorrow

(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You may long for a resting place in your ongoing struggle to hold on to recent gains while still embracing the future. Inevitable change seems to be knocking at your front door, but just as you think it’s okay to let it in, something happens that makes you question your assumptions. Don’t be attached to your expectations. Instead, be ready to flow with the shifting tides until they settle back down.

Shameless Plug

I’m teaching in Columbus Ohio on June 10 & 11, downtown at the Marriott Courtyard
35 W. Spring St, Columbus, OH 43215, map

I’m teaching in conjunction with a group I belong to, the Stitch Coop, and the number & quality of classes is pretty impressive.  All of our classes are spread between June 10 – 13, a whole potpourri!

The sign-ups have a teensy been slower than we’d like, so today we’re launching a

Grand Memorial Day Weekend Discount

If you sign up for ANY of the Stitch Coop Classes over this Memorial Day weekend and use the code “shhh” you’ll get 10% off of all your classes. 

If you know a friend in the Columbus area (or anywhere in Ohio or related environs) please feel free to pass this along!

Combination Knitting
Thursday, June 10, 7pm – 10pm

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Have you ever taken a foreign language and discovered that – suddenly – you understand your OWN language a bit better?  That’s how it feels when you dive into a NEW way of thinking about your knitting!

Many folks have found Combination Knitting* to be an easier, faster and less painful method of creating stitches – and the ribbing will make you kvell!  This class will turn the way you think about your stitches inside out!

*Combo Knitting is a mix of Eastern & Western Knitting, it can be worked with either the Western (Right hand) or Continental (Left hand) yarn hold.

Tips & Tricks
Friday, June 11, 11am – 2pm

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This class is all about shortcuts that make SO much sense I wonder that everyone doesn’t do them!  25 years of knitting heresy have give me a nice bank of unusual ways of binding off, creating embellishments, increasing, cabling, and many more fun techniques.

This class is full of all kinds of groovy tips that can make your knitting more joyful than you’d ever expected.  For many knitters, this is just the class they need to leap forward to a new level and find the intuitive path they’ve been seeking!

Lace Scarf Boot Camp
Friday, June 11, 7pm – 10pm

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Have you felt passed over by the lace explosion?  Do you just feel you’re not “getting it?” when you see your friends creating lovely shawls & scarves?  Do charts make you cringe a little bit?  Allow me to introduce you to the BASIC concepts of lace, charts, directional increases & decreases – all in a way that will have you creating the lace of your dreams in a very short time!

I concentrate on teaching you to interpret, comprehend and MEMORIZE lace motifs (written or charted) so you can make lace the truly intuitive experience it should be!

Making Hay While The Sun Shines!

Next year we upgrade: push mower!

It’s no secret that my health has been – iffy – the past year, especially since October when I tumbled into bed after a looooong teaching trip only to rise as my own self in late January!

So many things seem to be part of this Fibromyalgia experience.

I have memories of meals I enjoyed immensely, only to feel absolutely terrible; ill, achey, feverish, flu-ish a few hours later.

I now realize it was the massive amount of wheat / gluten that I inhaled during those most enjoyable meals.

I think back to a slight case of the cold, or  flu that seemed to expand and explode into a pain filled three week voyage.

I realize now that my immune system doesn’t work the same as it did 5 years ago (or the same as most folk’s immune systems work!) This fibro is VERY clever at exploiting any chink in my health armor to tackle me into submission.

Submit I will not.

When it’s warm and I feel that I can rule the world and save the universe – all from the comfort of my bike seat – I have to dig deep to remember just a few weeks earlier when it was below freezing here and I could barely move.

On a rainy and cold day like today, in the middle of a warm Spring, I feel practically paralyzed with stiffness every time I try to move.  These episodes now make sense to me.

That doesn’t mean I enjoy them any more, but it DOES mean that I know it will end, and I will be able to move again.

Sadly, I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that as much as I love cold weather (and I adore it) I usually do a bit better when it’s not clammy & wet & cold all at the same time (like today.)

Our family is NOT contemplating a move – we ADORE Minnesota and we’re doing well here – but it does mean that I need to take advantage of the warmer months for the more physical aspects of my job.

So my own way of making hay – of putting up a harvest to live off of through the Winter – is teaching.


I’m teaching in May (Ireland), June (Columbus), Aug (Scotland) & Sept (Italy).  I’m a little concerned about my ability to swear off of wheat while teaching near Rome, but it must be done or I’ll do precious little teaching.  Maybe I’ll go on a sacrifice pasta bender my final night?  I’ve already sworn off Guinness whilst in Ireland.

However, I’ve scheduled only one engagement per month, quite a reduction from previous Summers.  In recent years I’d teach 2 weekends a month, or go on long trips where I’d do 6 or 7 engagements in two weeks.  That’s not going to be happening any time soon.

I know now that I can’t push it. I will suffer, as will my students.

And that makes me immeasurably sad.  But I must be realistic.  Learning to do what I can do, and to stop doing things that make me sicker, is going to be a long journey.

I can’t stand the thought of being disabled – even partially – or what that would mean to the kids (with their father already out of commission) so I’m working hard to squeeze in enough work during my up times to make both ends come together nicely.


My only scheduled in-person teaching event in the US in 2010 will be in Columbus on June 10 & 11.  The design group I belong to, The Stitch Coop, has rented space at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Columbus, OH, so we can teach to anyone who wants to come and have an awesome time learning new knit techniques!

If you’ll be in or near Columbus and are interested in taking some wonderful classes (not just mine, but so many classes by other SC members!) please check out our offerings and sign up!  We’re limiting the size of the classes, when they’re full, they’re CLOSED!

For folks who sign up for my classes at my website, I can offer you a bit of a discount.  Use the code word “tnna” and you’ll get a cool 10% off of the price per class.

If you know what class(es) you want, you can sign up here.  For more information on my classes, visit http://anniemodesitt.com/classes/columbus_classes_2010.html and you can sign up there, too!

Combination  Knitting
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Annie Modesitt Tips & Tricks
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Lace Boot Camp
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I hope to see you in Columbus.  (Or, perhaps in Ireland, Scotland or Rome!)


Not to go all Katie Couric on you, but get a Colonoscopy.  Seriously.

Colon Cancer is a terrible disease, but your chances of surviving increase by 90% with proper testing.  If you are in your middle years (the guidelines now say age 50) please get yourself a colonoscopy.

My mother died of this horrible disease (complications of it led to her liver and lung cancer, too, a pretty awful way to pass) and my recent colonoscopy turned up a pre-cancerous flat polyp that was 15mm, pretty large.  It was removed, but I’m supposed to have another test every 3 years.

I shudder to think what would have happened if I had skipped this necessary test (as I considered doing) before my health insurance runs out on July 1.

Seriously, Rick Levine, Are You Stalking Me?

Thursday, April 15, 2010 By Rick Levine

Virgo Virgo (June 21 – Jul 22)

It’s likely that you have been thinking about taking a vacation or doing something with educational value, but you haven’t been able to pull it all together. Today, it’s reassuring when your vision finally falls into place. But the work isn’t done; you still have to fine-tune the details before executing your plan. Don’t try to do everything all at once; give yourself plenty of time to make it happen.


And that’s exactly what we’re doing!  We’re tacking our packing projects a little bit at a time, cleaning the house and getting all of our old clothes sent to goodwill.  We’re making space for our new houseguests!

Spring cleaning is good, and now that I’m on Prednisone (the bronchitis would NOT abate without it) I’m actually able to smell again (a mixed blessing) and my energy is up a bit (funny how not being able to breath will flag the energy, no?)

I’m not overdoing it, but I AM getting stuff together and I’m trying to intelligently delegate to Max & Hannah.  THEY’RE not nuts about that part, but it’s necessary, and they’re still of a good age to help us out with a minimum of grumbling…

In terms of my Fibromyalgia pain, it’s worth mentioning again that if I don’t get at least a small amount of exercise every day, my pain is much harder to control.

It may be that the warmth of Spring has something to do with reduced pain this week, or that my bronchitis is going away, but I chalk a lot of it up to being more on top of taking my Vitamin D (I flagged during our trip to Rushmore) AND my wonderful bike! YAY BIKE!

I don’t ride far, but I enjoy every last minute that I’m ringing my bell and waving to the crowds!


The new energy’s gone to my head.  I’ve scheduled a few classes in the coming months, no more than 1 engagement in any month (oh, for the days when I used to do 2 a month 12x a year…)

So here’s my schedule from now through September.  3 countries, no waiting!

I also have a few banner ads for my classes.  Since I’m foolishly proud of them, I’ll list them here, too!


I’ll be a guest on Knit & Purl Girl’s Stitch & Dish radio program Friday night (tomorrow) at 8pm Eastern Time.  If you have a way to get online, you can listen to the show!  She’s a fun interviewer, I really hope you’ll tune in!