Invisible Illnesses

Today started off wonderfully with an early trip to the sledding hill in hopes of being the first ones there- and we were!

Although my GERD was flaring up, I took some medication and hoped for the best. I wasn’t going to let it spoil my fun. And we did have a grand old time, howling with laughter and screaming down the hill as fast as we could make our little plastic toboggan go.

It was over in an hour, as my stomach and constitution couldn’t handle any more thrills. I had hoped for a good day of sledding, an aromatherapy event for Haven Herbs, and then some time in my studio.

Most of my days are good days. It’s rare now when I have to adjourn from life to the couch or my bed to wait while the worst passes.

I don’t know if it was something I ate or the accumulation of stress over the week, or most likely a combination of things, but I’ve had to accept that studio time isn’t going to happen today. And luckily I wasn’t needed at the aromatherapy event.

I wanted to work on my Ohio Star cowl, and I did spend some time with an app while I lay on the couch.

The gauge here is spot on for my Better Breakfast DK. The chart isn’t perfectly symmetrical as the top half is shorter than the bottom. That can be fixed.

The Ohio Star is a quilt block pattern, and I remember my Grandmother showing it to me when I was young. Because I now live in Ohio and the yarn is from Ohio, I started exploring this design for my cowl. I wanted something intrinsically American, and after perusing different First Nations and early American motifs, I decided this was a natural fit.

I also want to work it in stranded colorwork with the same yarn, but in fingering weight colors of Poppy Seed and Daybreak.

As you can see, I made the best of it.

Invisible illnesses are not only difficult because of the illnesses themselves, but also because it’s so easy to get into the “just shake it off” mindset, which doesn’t work and is psychologically unhelpful. Today I kept thinking I was going to feel better, and as the day wore on, I grew worse and worse.

I do a lot. I have many passions and I’m not the kind of person who can ignore the desires that drive me. But in order to do all the things I want to do, I have to know when to slow down, take care of myself, listen to my body, and let it all go… not forever, but for later.

So I’m back in bed with a cup of herbal tisane. Even knitting feels like too much. I may try a book.

Wednesday Off

I took today off for some self care after my whirlwind inventory tour for work.

I can’t decide if I should get out of bed or not.

It’s finally snowing. I love the snow and would be very sad if we didn’t get at least one good blizzard. It’s only flurrying today, though, so not enough to keep me from going to the gym and running some errands. If I can get out of bed, that is.

Hello 2019!

As you can see, I didn’t have any trouble getting into my journal today. I transferred over my goals from my decomposition notebook into a list format with the help of a new stencil. After using said stencil, I’m not quite sure I needed it, but as I now have it, I’ll probably carry on using it.

I finished my Carbeth today. This is pre-blocking. Even so, in full knowledge that this does not have the required ease, I still love it and it is perfect over my favorite flannel shirt. I also chose to skip the rolled neckline, because jowls, and instead matched the ribbing on the hem.

Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to get one photo of myself I felt was decent enough to post on my blog.

I have a full skein of yarn leftover! Super exciting, because I love this gorgeous red Targhee!

For my next cast on, I’ve decided to start Celtic Myths. I wound my skein of Cheryl Oberle’s Dancing Colours today, and as you can see, the colors are sultry! I am casting on with hopes of wearing it to the Celtic Colours Festival in Nova Scotia in October. Bob and I have a goal to get there and spend some time with his parents.

Bob and I went hiking on Sunday. I say hiking, but it was really wandering around lost in the mud. It was still a beautiful day, as you can see.

I really love the community here on WordPress, and I’m so grateful to have made so many new blogging friends in 2018. Thank you for reading my blog!

Happy New Year!

Practice Makes Perfect

Kate Davies posted a helpful article about getting started with your journal. Yesterday, I made my first marks in it.

Rudimentary, but a start. This is a 2 ounce cake of Better Breakfast DK in Poppyseed from Bare Naked Wools. I want to knit a cowl with it, and it’s my first design of the year. My ideas for this design are still pretty half baked, but getting a sketch done and a gauge swatch is helping me inch forward.

Yesterday felt like I was playing house, only playing knitting designer in my studio, because this was very much an exercise. And that’s why my word for 2019 will be “Practice.”

My next entries in my journal will include a list of knitting projects in my queue, and a completed color chart of the Birds of Blendon hat.

But today, today is for hiking!

Glorious Fall Sunday

Bob and I had a wonderful day today. It started out visiting our kid at the bakery where she works.

Everything is gluten-free and nut-free so we could eat everything! We had a tough time narrowing down our selections, so we didn’t. We each took one bite out of everything.

Then we went for a long hike at Mohican State Park. It was wet and rainy, but we were enjoying the trudge and took a break under a rock ledge.

I love to pore over the carvings in the rock. The oldest (dated) one we found was from 1871.

I brought coffee (an idea I got from stgeorgeknits) and what was left of the blueberry muffin. I may have been stalling a little on the climb up these stairs, too.

All the fall yellows were out in full force.

As you can see, I brought my Birds of Blendon Hat along.

We even got to walk across a covered bridge!

It was a charming day, and I made some progress on my sock while in the car.

And I got a thrill when we arrived back home. Kate Davies left a comment on my Instagram saying my hat was lovely! What a great topper to my day.

How was your Sunday?

Birds of Blendon Hat

I finished it!

I quite like it. It does remind me of that walk in the woods and the birds in the snow. I didn’t finish coloring in my chart, but never mind. The top is my favorite part.

I enjoyed knitting it so much I’ve decided to knit more stranded color work! I saw The Oa Hoodie on Ravelry and burst out, “I have to knit that!” When I stopped by my super local (around the corner) LYS 614 Knit to pick up some size 3 dpns for the crown of the hat, I fell in love with this yarn and it’s perfect for the pattern.

The purple will be the pop of color. I’ve never knit with Scout yarn before but it’s got a nice squish to it.

So another Kate Davies design in my queue and I haven’t even cast on the Carbeth yet. I guess I’m a fan!

Anniversary Getaway

This week Bob and I went to Hocking Hills to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. We went for our honeymoon, and we go back every October.

This year we went back to the cabin where we stayed for our honeymoon, Evergreen Place. I was ambitious and brought a lot of knitting.

I made a point to knit at least a little bit on each WIP. And I started a sock!

The yarn is really that blue, but the basket it is sitting on is not quite that dayglo orange. Pretty close, though. The yarn is Knitting Goddess and it is 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, and it is wonderful and full of lanolin! I picked it because it is all wool but sturdy enough for socks. I think I blogged about this before.

In addition to my knitting, we did a lot of hiking on this trip. On our last day we hiked Jacob’s Ladder (a steep zig zag incline) to be rewarded with this view from Christmas Rocks.

It was breathtaking, or maybe that was all the climbing. But we were happy at last to have a crisp autumn day, even if there isn’t much color in the leaves yet.

I had to share this photo because these are little fungus spores. I touched one and it puffed which surprised me, and I accidentally breathed the spores in. I told Bob the fungus might take over my brain and I might become the first zombie in the zombie apocalypse, so to keep an eye on me.

What do you think about this fall display we happened upon? It is certainly striking. I may have edited the photo to make it a little more dramatic.

You can tell I’m in a Halloween mood.

This means “a hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish Gaelic.

Here’s a random pic of Bob to wrap up this random post. Also, this bear. I love this bear keeping watch on the porch.

A Wool Gathering

Hi! I went to A Wool Gathering with my friend Mystic Llama Shop (Sara) and brought home some new yarn. This llama loved having his photo taken and would pose like this for you when you raised your phone. He really needs a bow tie.

I found this gorgeous locally hand spun merino in my favorite color. It is a deep blue with specks of violet. I’ve already cast on for Purl Soho’s Sweatshirt Sweater.

Another local yarn, this gorgeous red Targhee is for a Carbeth. I may go ahead cast on for that too. I love starting new projects!

And this linen and cotton is for a simple shift top. I’ll wait until spring for this one.

I recently saw a post on Instagram about being a monogamous knitter. I thought, that’s nice. I wish I could do that. And gleefully cast on my second sweater.

What about you? Are you a monogamous knitter?

Valentine’s Day Field Trip!

This field trip had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, other than I wanted to go, and Bob came with me. He’s a real trooper and a keeper. ❤ Are you ready for a treat? We went to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers!

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I have a Coopworth fleece I bought at Great Lakes Fiber Show many years ago. It is still dirty, stewing in its lanolin in a box.

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I think it’s pretty, though.

I did hand wash, card, spin, dye, and knit a small amount of it (just to say I did it). I kind of lost interest after that. It’s a big job! A job for professionals. So we took a little day trip about two hours south to Sardinia, Ohio.

The rooms were filled with gorgeous old equipment. It was like a step back in time.

The picker is from the 1880s, and the carding machines are from around 1916. The belts are made from buffalo hide! When they need parts, they ask the local Amish to make them, because everything on these machines is irreplaceable. I know they look like antiques, and they are, but Richard, the gentleman who gave us the tour, fired one up for us!

Here is the web, which is divided into what looks like yarn, but is actually tiny rovings, which are then plied.

This yarn is 3ply, as you can see if you look carefully. The machine is from post WWII, and was also used for plying parachute cord for the Vietnam War.

After plying, it can be wound onto cones. This machine is from the 1960s.

The yarn can also be put up into hanks. They don’t have a date on this machine, but Richard thinks it may be from the 18th century!

Here he is telling us how it works.

So we left my fleece and in 8-12 weeks I will have some nice clean batts ready to spin! I don’t have enough fiber for a yarn order. And, unfortunately, I sold my spinning wheel during the great studio purge. I am thinking about getting a new drop spindle. I was never very good at it, and it might be time to pick it up again. (Honestly, I was never very good at the spinning wheel, either, but I did make some beautiful thick and thin yarn.)

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Here is Diane, the owner and a local sheep farmer, with two hanks of yarn from her own Icelandic sheep. I bought these two, and they might be perfect to make the new West Highland Way design! Talk about synchronicity! I will swatch it and see how it knits up. Now I wish I had bought another hank, but I could order it and ask them to pop it in the mail to me.

We had such a wonderful time, and want to thank Richard, Diane, Sean, and Renicia for showing us around and starting up machines for us. I particularly enjoyed Sean showing us all the different kinds of fiber people asked them to process, like husky, cat, and elk!

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After the tour, Bob and I had a nice lunch at La Cascada and a little hike at Rocky Fork State Park, which was beautiful.

I hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate! If not, Happy Wednesday!

Progress

img_2741Words cannot express my joy at finally (mostly) finishing the design for the West Highland Way hat contest and ordering the yarn!

I posted this in black and white because I’m not finished with the color design. I need to see the yarn in person to really know how I am going to use it. But I did finish the top decreasing which I think will work out okay, and I chose colors which remind me of that winter’s day at Blendon Woods and the birds in the snow.

I also ordered 2 extra balls of the color Bruce (black) because I am going to knit myself a textured hat with this. What can I say? I like wearing black and I like knitting hats.

Also, the yarn is my Valentine’s gift from Bob. ❤ Thank you, Bob!

(Checks weekly blog post off to do list.)