Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crushed Blossoms

(Skip this blog post if you don't want to read about someone sad about how things have turned out and beating herself up for her flaws. I won't mind if you do.)

Yesterday may well go down as one of the worst days of my knitting life. For so many reasons, but primarily for this. I was at the LYS, and after chatting, having some banana bread and such, I reached into my knitting bag to pick up the Rosebud Shawl. I was pretty happy to have finished the center panel of rosebuds and got a start on the borders, with correctly placed markers to get the corners right. Then, I saw what you see below.

I don't know what did this. I have a couple of guesses--one marker was not a smooth, wonderful Entrelac marker, but was one with a dangle on it. The yarn had gotten caught in that, but when I removed the one strand in there, it seemed to be fine. This hole has at least three strands of broken yarn in it, more like something cut it. No clue what could have done it. One idea put forward was moths, but if that were the case, I would have seen it sooner--there was no hole the day before.

I was surprised and dismayed at how sad it made me to see that irreparable hole in the shawl. It flashed through my mind how many mistakes I had fixed in it, how hard it had been to unravel those rows and get the lace back on the needles, how carefully I'd had to re-attach the two dropped stitches that I had found. Through all those trials, I still was able to use my skills to keep the project going. But, there is nothing I can do to fix the hole, which was in the FIRST repeat of the lace pattern.

Worse is that I reacted really poorly when it was suggested that it was just knitting, nothing really important. My gut reaction was that, yes, it WAS something important to me. I now realize that I was so upset because knitting was pretty much the ONLY part of my life where I felt like I had a bit of a handle on things--that I was competent enough to control and have some mastery over.

As you may know, I have had to deal with a series of employment situations where no matter how good I worked, I had to leave and find something else. I'd really not expected the most recent one--no matter how well I have been doing or how much my coworkers like me, circumstances beyond my control reach out and bop me on the head. This has now happened 4 times since 2006. It's been the same with relationships--I'd trusted that my ex would take care of our family so that I could take the risk of being an at-home parent, and tried so hard to be a good wife and mother, even taking up my husband's hobbies and losing a bunch of weight. But still, I could not be someone else, and I was left to try to figure out another future. I had tried really hard to set up a safe environment in the job I had for over a decade, but again, I could not control things and protect myself and others, leaving me to try to figure out a new career in mid life.

These are the kind of thoughts that have been going on in my mind the past few months. That I am sort of adrift with no plan and no security and nothing I can do to help it. I am so glad I at least have my husband, who has employment and still does care about me--but I worry something could happen to him. Great. None of this has a thing to do with knitting, but when I lost control of that, all the sadness about all the other things welled up inside me. I really got upset, handled the huge rush of sadness very poorly, and now I figure I'll never be welcome at the yarn shop again.

I hadn't cried in months other than a bit when my son went off to college. I'd been trying very hard to remain optimistic and up-beat when I could, and neutral otherwise. Some folks can be sarcastic, snarky and pick at people for their flaws and others just chalk it up to "that's the way she/he is." I know that has never worked with me--any time I have let negative stuff slip out of me, I have paid for it and paid for it hard. This is no exception. I got all my pent-up stuff out of me yesterday!

I need to surround myself with people who can listen and understand that once in a great while I might get upset, who can accept apologies that are sincere, and who can try to understand when something really is important to me. So, I'll be moving on. I really AM sorry I over-reacted and upset people. No one wants to publicly embarrass themselves and upset others, or to lose any chance of friendship with people they like a lot. For me, it just confirms my already not-so-hot self image, to top it all off. But, it's not about me, really. I just don't want to make other people feel bad, so I am not happy with myself at all.

The reason I am sharing this stuff is that I want to once again apologize for not living up to my own standards, and to ask any local folks who read this and want to stay in touch to please be my Facebook or Ravelry friend and remain in contact. I'd love to do stuff with any of you who want to remain my friend!

And now, back to knitting, which helps keep me centered, and will always be my friend, even though unforeseen circumstances can cause knitting heartache!

Move on Breathe, and Regroup

Because of not being able to work on the project I'd thought I'd spend the weekend on, I did manage to finish one repeat of the Flaming Desire socks. This is a GREAT pattern, as far as I am concerned. It is hard enough to keep my interest, but easy enough to not need a huge amount of concentration. I think it will look more like flames once I have completed the second repeat. I still like the Pagewood Farm Chugiak yarn and will enjoy knitting up the other skeins I have. I am not a fanatic about it, but I like the stitch definition and the variety of semi-solid colorways.

After that rather overwhelmingly unpleasant experience with trying to re-start a hibernating project, I decided that I would not get back to work on the Maelstrom shawl, but instead start something comforting and more easy. You may remember that a few months ago I bought some naturally gray two-ply laceweight yarn from American Shetland sheep. I had thought of making a Faroese-style shawl from it, so I looked through my resources and picked the Litla Dimun (Ravelry link) shawl from the Folk Shawls book by Cheryl Oberle. This shawl starts out from the long edge and grows smaller. Thus, what you see is a bit of the long edge. So far, it is just garter stitch and some decreases. After 12 ridges, a lovely lace border begins. It feels good to work with the yarn, which is called Natural Shetland Rustic Lace. It is indeed rustic, crunchy, even. This is, of course, what you expect from Shetland yarn.

Depending on how big this shawl turns out to be, I might just add a border to the edge. It is a bit small when made to gauge, which I think is what I am doing. With size 4 needles I am getting about 4 stitches per inch.

I may not post much for a while--I am feeling pretty vulnerable, sad, and like maybe I am not really a part of the knitting community. I will continue to read other people's blogs and such. I enjoy hearing how others are doing too much to not read! Thankfully, my work does start again tomorrow, so that huge amount of stress and worry will lift.

Happy knitting and remember the Golden Rule.


  1. We all (or at least you and I) both have times where we get upset, and mine usually lead to public embarrassment of myself. It sucks, a lot. In my experience, the people who are there and willing to forgive are worth keeping around, and the ones who can't understand may still be good people, but not worth hanging around with.

    You know I will always be your friend, and you can come over here for knitting and chatting anytime you like.

    None of this is really coming out the way I wanted it to, but it all amounts to "I still love you, Suna!"

    Speaking of knitting - I'm setting a personal record for "fastest pair of socks", which is exciting.

  2. I am so sorry this happened. Isn't it funny how one thing can set off a chain reaction of other emotions that are supposedly unrelated. To quote my husband, after witnesses a neighbor's meltdown over oranges, "You know, it's never just about the oranges."

    Hang in there, and do go back to your LYS. I have found that knitters are lovely, understanding people.

  3. HUGS...I can totally relate to your experience. It happens to all of us at one time or another. I'm sure your friends at the LYS will be very supportive of you, so don't be so hard on yourself.
    P.S..Will have to look you up on FB.

  4. Hang in there, Suna! Sending you positive thoughts :-)

  5. What was it we always said about Pisces... we'll walk a mile just to get our feelings hurt? I'm so sorry this happened. Back when my life was under the most strain (re Nancy and Kathryn), I cut a big whole in the finished sleeve on shirt I was sewing for Michael and I had a similar meltdown. It's a horrible feeling and becomes the conduit for all those awful emotions that are being carried around.

    On a cheerful note, it turns out that Nancy's little sister (who is Isaac's age) has taken up knitting and turned out a lace hat on her very first project. She's turning out to be a real gem in many ways!

  6. Wow! I don't know what I would do if that happened to me---console yourself that you are a great knitter who has made so many things that the rest of us can only dream of knitting!!!
    And be nicer to've taught us knitters to be really careful about the markers we use, and that's a big tip...
    Go back to your LYS---they still love you!

  7. {{{{{HUGE HUGS}}}}}}} We've all had days where something is the last straw and tips us over the edge. I'm sorry someone didn't understand that you needed words of encouragement, not snarky comments. I wish I'd been there to tell them to shut the heck up. Please remember that you are a wonderful knitter and an even better person, and not let this bring you down.

  8. Hey, gal - we might be a thousand miles apart and I might not be able to visit like we used to...but, you will always be welcome to drop social norms at any point and wail, moan, rant and rave to get things off your chest. It's part of what friendships and relationships are all about...being there for each other even when things get rocky and less than ideal. You're a peach of a woman and a joy to know. Never doubt it.


Suna says thanks for commenting--I love comments!