Good grief. Honestly, I have been trying all sorts of getting-self-to-write strategies and I am just going to admit I am stuck, mostly because I keep second-guessing myself. “It’s boring” “It’s not cheery enough”… for Pete’s sake. We’re just coming ‘round the corner on two years of COVID living…perhaps maybe I could just, I don’t know…LIGHTEN UP and then just WRITE, or something silly like that.
Do you know what I discovered a while back? I discovered that I needed to write this blog more than I needed to be clever, charming, cheerful, or even A Great Voice of Our Time (the room reverberates with bone-rattling echos…).
Shall we give this a go, then?
A Morning’s Adventure
I woke up an hour before dawn today, and for those of you who remember, I am a serious non-morning person. I tried to argue myself into another pat on the snooze button, or even another deliciously wicked half-hour, but in the end, a 9 AM booster shot at our Wonderful Walmart was my destiny, and so I got up and got dressed before I could speak a sensible word in any language, let alone English. (The real question is, however: Can I curse in Spanish that early? If not, then I’m truly lost to this world for at least another hour or so.)
(The astute amongst you will note that dawn in Ontario was at 7:52 AM today, which meant that I woke up at 7:00 AM. Which is STILL TOO EARLY.)
I tried my usual wakey-wakey tricks: coffee, food, starving my screaming cats for another ten minutes while I located whatever food they are supposed to be eating this week, cold face wash, podcasts, more coffee. Then the usual getting-out-the-door-dramas: Where’s my hat? No, my OTHER hat. Remember to put the paperwork, health card, and phone (for QR code) in my bag. Go to get keys off rack…Oh, yes. My car has a flat tire, so I have to wake M so she can drive me in her car (I don’t drive a stick …yet). The seatbelt in her car was frozen just a few inches short of comfortable breathable range for Curvaceous Me. I couldn’t find the dates of the first two shots, or the proper QR code. I went to get a new vaccine passport, and I typed in the secret code on the back of my driver’s license instead of the one on the back of my health card.
The good news is that I am now home after a successful shot experience. No one got run down by a reindeer (I hear they are still on vacation up in their summer homes in Nunavuit). I didn’t curse at anyone in any language. M and I even managed to stop at Canadian Tire afterwards to get a compressor to fix that flat tire. All before 11 AM, imagine that!
I cleared my schedule for the rest of the day. Just in case. So far, only a headache, an upset stomach, some wooziness (great word), a whack more fatigue than is usual for me, and a sore arm. I’m supposed to rest the remainder of the day. Rest. Me. Yeah, I think I remember how to do that. (I don’t suppose writing a blog post counts as resting?)
Knitting? What Knitting?
I started a COVID sweater, of course. Cables and textures, all knit in my very own handspun yarn. This was my first adventure knitting with my handspun…and I was really enjoying the rhythm of the cable pattern, working from the neck down in back, and then from the shoulders down in front. However…didn’t it look a little small? I measured, and yes, it was, in fact, too small. I growled, and set it aside to contemplate its not-navel for a while.
And then? I stopped knitting for a time. For nearly a year, in fact. I couldn’t follow a pattern because my poor brain felt so unfocussed and confused much of the time. Truth? I just didn’t feel that spark any longer.
However, as one might predict, I found that I missed knitting horribly. (Of course I did.) I constantly need socks, so I finally started a pair of those, thinking that I used to be able to knit socks completely out of my head, so this should be easy! I am a relatively slow sock knitter, and I usually choose my patterns carefully since we are going to be working together for a while. This time, though, I just couldn’t seem to decide on a pattern, so I started knitting a random cable from memory (I may have cables on the brain). I must have ripped that thing back a half a million times between the first cast-on and the very last stitch. I couldn’t remember how many stitches I usually cast on (cuff down is my comfort knitting), I couldn’t remember how to turn the heel (of all things!), and I kept getting the cable crossings messed up. I eventually gave up on perfection of any sort and told myself that all that mattered was that I ended up with some sort of knitted fabric made in a shape that would cover my feet. It has taken me months, but I am allllllmost done with ONE sock.
“Almost” as in, all but the grafting at the toe. I found that I couldn’t recall the kitchener stitch. It had literally been years since I had knit socks, and I had forgotten the kitchener stitch. I also forgot my own grafting on the needles technique I taught back in the days of Knitting Daily. So last night, I did the google and wrote down the steps in the very first pages of my new 2022 notebook, so I would ALWAYS be able to find the instructions in a jiffy. (Knowing me, I will forget where I have written them down. Now, however, their location is written here on the blog, so perhaps I will actually have a chance of finding them!)
Perhaps I will have a completely finished sock before next summer?
And you know what? It only took me two weeks to cobble together something I felt I could post. Oh, I’ve written drafts of blog posts almost every day; I just couldn’t stop overthinking. ARGH. But, hey, look: Another blog post! Within a month after the first! That is better than nothing, and since I have the makings of at least four more posts, I might even get another post out before, oh, June, I suppose. (Kidding. Hopefully.)
And Now For Your Regularly Scheduled Cat Photo…
…in which Ben assures me that the back and fronts of the cabled sweater are at least three paws too small.
A final wee note….
I went back-and-forth about writing about getting my booster shot, knowing that the topic of COVID vaccines can cause strong emotions to emerge. One of my strongest values is Respect, both for myself and for others. This value constantly shapes and informs my writing, my speaking, and my teaching; it is something I hope will be reflected in all the discussions on this blog.
And with that…Thank you for the good that all of you are, both for me and for those around you!