Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saltwater Heals

"Saltwater heals, healing referring to its various forms; tears, cleanses and heals the soul; sweat, cleanses through labor; the ocean, heals in all its forms. " ~Rabindranath Tagore

Yeah, I know, I seem to have dropped off the planet. I haven't forgotten I have a blog, in fact it has been nagging at me for a while now. Having spent the last several months sick and not feeling interested in much of anything, I've been rather lacking in post material. In desperation I posted twice about Sheldon the knitted turtle. I know there are people who blog every day about any old thing and they are often quite brilliant. I can't seem to do that. Either I'm just too Martha Stewart in my need for a theme and appropriate photos or its my lack of brilliance and clever reparte'. (I think its the latter) In any case I've set myself a high standard with cleverness and photos and sometimes its just too exhausting to contemplate.

Perhaps if I had a huge readership like Yarn Harlot , Smitten Kitchen, or KnitSpot, where fans wait breathlessly to hear from me, I might feel more motivated. The weather hasn't helped much. It is officially June and Colorado still hasn't quite said goodbye to winter yet. Very cold, damp, wet spring. All of this has me with no energy or desire for anything but sleep. I have no lungs left to cough up. This nasty bronchial bug came right on the heels of several months of intestinal trouble that at long last has a name: Ulcerative colitis. Now I'm researching ways to relieve or reverse it. During the chest x-ray to see if I had pneumonia, the radiologist said my heart shadow didn't look right. Now I've got to have an echocardiogram. I'm due for a visit to the Denver Arthritis Clinic and my mammogram, but more parts of me keep falling apart. I try not to let real life get too much of a grip on my blog life but sometimes it can't be helped. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

I'm still knitting of course, just slowed up a bit in order to fit in time for spinning and sewing (and coughing and running to the bathroom). I've finished nearly 2 pair of socks and 1/2 of a shawl. And of course there was all that work on Sheldon...

Here's the Hedgerow socks, one on and one off. I used a skien of OnLine super sock cotton in a green blend from my stash and they came out really nice. The pattern is fun and easy and I think the striping made lovely hedgerows in colors from winter to spring. The socks fit great and this is the most comfy sock yarn ever. I try to keep one pair of socks on the needles all the time. Either a plain or a patterned one and my sock drawer is full to bursting. Guess I'll be gifting socks next, I just hope everyone wears my size. I just finished Anne's Tidelines socks. The yarn cost me a small fortune, but the colors really do look like the colors of the sea and foam as it washes upon the sand creating tidelines.

Tidelines Socks

And speaking of the sea, I'm working my way through a scarf book that is completely themed around the ocean. I finished the first scarf, the Adriatic Sea.

Hated the yarn, actually a ribbon called Zen by Berroco. That ribbon made this project painful. Slippery, snaggy and the finished scarf is a bit too scratchy and bouncy to be comfortable. Sure looks pretty though...

Adriatic Sea Scarf

The Cluranach shawl is 1/2 finished. You can see how long it is, and that's without blocking. There will be plenty of this to wrap around my bulk and keep me very warm. The yarn is kitten soft and the variations in the shades of purple are beautiful.

Cluranach Shawl (Thistle Shawl)

It is hard to see the subtle shade variations in the photos. In fact this shawl is very hard to photograph in general. No matter how I drape it or light it the photos just come out terrible. This is the best yet, the thistle design is actually visible

I finished spinning my very first yarn! Yep. Spun the singles into a 2 ply. Washed and tied it up into skiens and gifted the yarn to Sarah for her knitting. I think it would make fantastic scarves or some fingerless gloves. Its a bit thicker than I'd imagined and bit lumpy but nice. Really nice. The Romney wool is incredibly soft, not a prickle in it. You could wear a sweater of this next to your skin and it would be lovely. I'm so proud of it. I'm working on my second batch of Romney, a lighter gray and spinning it much thinner.

I also made a huge investment in 30 ounces of Cormo cross wool from Kate at Knaackwool. I fell in love with a sweater in Spin Off magazine called The Cloisters. And, in my usual obsessive way I became determined to knit it in the same wool as the model or as close as I could get. I sent out several inquiring emails and Kate answered back right away. Her wool had just come back from processing and she had some that was nearly identical to the original.

The balls of roving arrived last week along with a sample of the original yarn from Sarah Swett. I'll take that as a sign that it was meant to be. I've also made a new friend in Kate. We exchange emails every few days.

Now if I can just spin something remotely similar. Then I'll have to dye it and then I'll have to knit it... Gee, no pressure or anything. Actually it doesn't feel all that overwhelming, it just feels exciting and fun. Something for me to sink myself hip deep into. I have hours of relaxing zen/healing time ahead of me.

Beth is busy with work. She was in New Orleans for 3 days for a visit to the set of Jonah Hex. She's the first friend or family member to visit the city since hurricane Katrina, so it was great to get the perspective of someone familiar with what the city had been like previously, and how she was now. Much of that special aura is gone, lost with the buildings that washed away. Still miles and miles of devastation. The new is too new and too fresh, in between are great holes where things are missing. Even parts of the French Quarter are propped up with scaffolds. Where the low income housing sat just outside New Orleans Cemetary #1, there lies a brand spanking new trailer park looking completely out of place. The city is quiet and many shops closed. Still, the city is warm with welcome and the people friendly and eager to chat. The food is still the best on the planet and Beth had her first fried green tomatoes. She had her tarot cards read (with interesting and creepy results) and visited Cafe Dumond each day for cafe au lait and beniets.

Sarah should soon have employment at her first salon. A whole new part of her life is about to begin. I suspect total independence won't be far behind and I will miss her very much. I've had an extra long time with my girls at home and I have to not think of myself as losing her but glory in her freedom and be thankful I had a full nest for so long.

Time to rest and sleep, maybe dream of a visit to the ocean where I could let the saltwater wash over and through me and heal me inside and out.