Tag Archives: knitting

Lapfull of Warm v3.0

(and the last one — promise!)

DH wanted me to recreate a shorter version of the original muffler, for him. I did. It’s finished, except I have to weave in the 2 ends.

This time I’ve been watching Hart to Hart. All those TV shows in the 80s I missed because I worked until Gawd knows what hours? I’m up late, knitting in front of my computer. Works!

Interesting catching up with my youth, now. Certainly not a 2nd childhood, but regressing to some extent, you bet. (Also enjoying myself!)

No more planned knitting right now. The rug I’m working on requires too much concentration for me to do it and anything else.

I keep hoping I’ll have a dream or something and remember the stupid trauma, so I can absolutely, finally put it to rest. In the meantime,  if I knit you something, realize it probably meant not only did I spend a long time on it, but I burned a lot of midnight oil doing it as well!

J

 

 

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Lapful of Warm, v 2.0

I had a second skein of the yarn I used to make the muffler. I’ve been using the muffler, but it’s a bit narrow. I started playing with that second skein and had a slightly bigger pair of needles and wondered how that would change it? Well, after a few days of knitting, I have the following to report:

  • It’s wider
  • My knitting is better
  • and, because I quit deliberately when I did, it’s a bit shorter.

I intend to use this one rather than the other. It’s better made and slightly more practical. I may (or may not) rip the other one apart and make a pillow cover from it. I haven’t decided.

No shaking, cold, etc. until this morning when I was casting off. Of course, I kept myself distracted while I was knitting. This time I’ve been watching episodes of the original Ironside on youtube. Whatever the trauma related to knitting is/was, it definitely is its worst during casting off!

The frustrating part is that without an actual memory of what occurred, I can’t do more than I have to combat it. For me to “erase” a trauma, I need to know/understand wtf happened so I can rewrite the scenario, filtered by my adult understanding. It’s the same process I talked about with cleaning the house, here . The “easy” traumas, the obvious and clearly remembered ones, have been dealt with as much as I can. Otherwise, it’s shadow boxing, you guess and try — lather, rinse, repeat — hoping to narrow down what the issue is/was.

The second lapful of warm is a deliberate repetition and a better variation, if I say so myself. Happy holidays to me!

Happy holidays to all of you too, whatever midwinter festival, holiday, or break you practice.

What You Do, If You’re Me

Remember the knitting posts? (I had links in here and they worked for me, but never when I wasn’t signed in?)

It took me several months to get my dander up and find a teacher. I went into yarn shops here and there with mixed results when I started to look for a teacher.

I had determined after knitting all those squares that I had the most problem casting on and off. Found a dish cloth I wanted to make. Asked a yarn shop owner about private lessons. She only wanted to teach people using a muffler pattern she had as it, “…uses all the casting on and casting off techniques in one item.”

When I said, “I really want to make this dish cloth, would you consider –?”

“No. I only teach beginners using the muffler. In all my years as a teacher . . . .”

So that shop was out.

Went into another shop, explained that I had PTSD, and had some trauma related to knitting I wanted to work through. . . .

The woman backed up 2 steps behind her counter from me (!) said, “You’ll have to talk to our teacher. I don’t know if she’d take you on or not.”

Well, if I scare you so much, I won’t impose myself on you or your teacher — that shop was out!

Lather, rinse, repeat. I went into at least 2 other shops, with mixed results, but no success.

I went into a hand-craft shop and told the woman behind the counter about my experience. She was supportive, helpful, and positive. What a pleasant change! It ends up her husband has PTSD, so she knows and understands that not everyone with PTSD is a lunatic frothing at the mouth who needs to be heavily drugged or they’re dangerous.

The teacher they had for me and I exchanged a few emails. I sent her the knitting lesson post. She asked, reasonably, “Why would you want to tackle that?”

My answer required next to no thought, “Well, I don’t. Why would any sane person willingly pursue something that negative? But I refuse to give my abuser any more of my life!”

We met at a Dunkin’ Donuts in October. I’ve been knitting, compulsively, ever since. About the 4th stitch of every row my hands still shake, I’ll drop a stitch or two, etc. I say “F. U. Abuser!” and keep going. After about 2 months of this, it has lessened, but not gone away entirely. If I think about the fact that I’m knitting, I still shake, palms sweat, etc. If I concentrate on something else and try to go on autopilot, I mess up, drop stitches, etc. all of which just makes me more determined I’m not going to let my abuser keep me from knitting.

I don’t know what the trauma is, it doesn’t matter. My body remembers. Until my body-mind decides that knitting isn’t dangerous/scarey/painful or worthy of adrenaline, I’ll keep knitting

Next?

The squares are all stitched together, the border started on it, and I got bored. Especially since I have no intention of keeping the thing.

I need to wash the big ball of yarn and put it and the remains of the other up for sale. If it doesn’t sell, it goes to the swap shop or a thrift store. That original 4″ square I still have, and I probably will keep it. But the rest? Nah, ain’t interested.

My big news is that in the course of working on the bedroom yesterday, I found where I’d filed the printout of the memoir with the editor’s comments from the last edit. I managed to get through 66 pages of the thing; no flashback. Writing  and editing it have been harder for me than actually living through all the events. It’s a condensed “bad parts version” of my life: one after the other. Because of that, instead of being like handling a stick of dynamite every now and then, it’s like being given a box, with a fuse lit, at least for me.

Yesterday, when I was done, I could feel it at the back of my throat, BUT I DIDN’T GO BACK! No flashback!!! If I knew how to do such things, I’d insert a gif of fireworks in here — that’s how it feels. I’m 60 and I maybe, finally, really might, just might be able to get past my crappy childhood — maybe.

Anyway, my plan is to get through the other 60 ? pages today. Then I have to make the changes to the file; then it goes to the Beta readers. But first I have to read it again and the editor’s comments.

I guess I just needed some time away from it?

Dunno.

J

Finished, well partly

I made that square, then made another. It ended up being 4.5″ wide, so it had to be also 4.5″ long to be square, yes?

The cold hung on. Ice cubes regularly went down my back. It has taken me two or three days, but I finally have 9 squares all 4.5″ . I’ve decided to stitch them together, enough knitting for the moment.

The 8th one, yesterday, I started to cry, then stopped. I really have no idea what this is about?

The ninth? That took 3 tries,but I got it done.

So, tonight I’m typing “w” for WordPress and the “about” for my 43things.com account is the top item on the auto fill,and I started to cry.

I have  lost the true, first family home I’d ever had. Many of the people I’m still in contact with, but facebook or other sites somehow just aren’t the same. There were various people working on pirate sites or lookalikes, I hope they make it.

The site had been damaged by the folks running it trying to make it into facebook 2 or such instead of embracing what they had that worked. I would have gladly paid to have an account there, but they didn’t try that, but supercheers, a book, a few other things, the spammers, from wordpress mostly invaded, and things just got worse and worse. For months I’ve avoided thinking about 43t being unavailable to me any more. But up until 12/31/14 a snapshot of the site was still available. But that’s gone now too. So this batch of tears surprises me not at all.

The knitting? All I can tell from having done 9 more squares is that I think whatever it is concerns or happened during my casting off. The second stitch of each row was stressy, I shook more, dropped that stitch more often, or what have you. The last square, I was still slightly cold between my shoulders and if I thought about what I was doing, I’d get clumsy, drop stitches, etc. I just knit the 8th one, except for the tears. The 9th as I said, took a few tries. Then I put it aside. I need to stitch the squares together, then make a border and the back. It’s a couch pillow!

I’m sure it will be embarrassingly bad to anyone who knows really how to knit, etc. but when I get this thing done I will be damned proud of myself!

Postscript: DH and I talked about it. The yarn, although still in one of my favorite colorways still is a fuzzy acrylic that picks up anything near it, hair, dust, etc. I don’t really want to introduce/keep such a thing in my home. The house we’re in came with plenty of built-in gotchas for cleaning: crud in the water, ledges in the walls, etc. (I talked about this previously. I’ll add a link at some point to that blog.) I don’t need to add more hard to maintain stuff to my home. So here’s what I’m going to do: clean the other, larger ball of yarn, finish the pillow, and take a pic of it. Then give away the pillow and the yarn. I don’t need to keep the things, but it is important to me to honor myself, I found something that was awful and I made myself get past it. THAT counts; the item in question doesn’t! 1/14/15

Knitting Lesson

I found a LARGE ball of yarn in some of my favorite color combinations in the attic. It was attached to an unfinished (of course) crocheted piece. The piece it was attached to was supposed to be a couch throw. I decided to finish it.

Except. That the hook I used was the wrong size. In the time in the attic, the yarn had gotten all kinds of added stuff: dust, hair, chaff from weeds, you name it. This was the same yarn that had been a HUGE snarl and my MIL spent a couple of days undoing.

So. I was going to finish the couch blanket, then wash and use it. But there was the hook problem, so I took it apart. Then I had TWO very large balls of yarn, both full of little bits of stuff. (It’s fuzzy acrylic.)

I decided to wash the smaller of the two balls of yarn, then knit it into squares. I know how to knit, I learned how in boarding school, about 2nd grade. So I managed to wash the yarn without making it into a huge snarl again. This morning I decided I’d use the largest needles I have and knit a square before I went off to go do my errands.

I started.

And realized I was shaking?

Cast on 10 stitches, knit a row or two, shaking so badly I’m dropping stitches. Um okay, this is just stupid. WHY would knitting a small square make me scared? But it was. Pushed past it, got to the end, dropped a stitch. Retrieved it, dropped it again. By this time my palms are also sweating.

It took me 4 hours, and 4 tries, to make a square of 10 stitches, an approx. 4″ square.

This is, for those of you who don’t have it or something like it, is what PTSD is like. Until this morning, I had no idea that I have some trauma related to knitting. KNITTING?

The only thing I can remember is knitting a square in boarding school, when I first learned to knit, 2nd or 3rd grade it would be. The yarn I was given was a dark federal blue, not any of the bright colors in the popular colorways at the time (the 60s). I thought the color was ugly. I finished the square and didn’t try to knit anything again, until high school.

In high school, I was going to make a blanket. I was knitting triangles and then stitching them into squares. I have no idea what happened to them, but I never finished the blanket, of course.

Since then, I have played around with knitting every now and again, but not with the idea of actually making anything, it was just something to do with my fingers.

So the idea of knitting squares (it would be fast, easy to do in between work, cooking, cleaning, etc.) is something I haven’t considered seriously since 1964-5 and it makes me shake and sweat, with fear.

I have NO idea why this would be so. The needles don’t scare me, the yarn doesn’t scare me. It must be some deeply buried memory associated with that federal blue square, I guess? Dunno. Whatever it is, it sure changed my plans today! I was going to be gone by now to the antique stores. But here I am.

Once I started to shake & sweat, I decided I wouldn’t leave until I finished a square — NO MATTER WHAT! And that took four hours and I’m still shaking. I need to go get dressed so maybe I can accomplish a bit more today.

I wonder what this is all about?