Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Comfort of Fiber

It has been so long since I posted and so much has happened since my last entry about Princess Nora and her magical dress.  I actually got to see Princess Nora in August when I traveled to Ohio to spend some time with my mom.  I also got to see my daughter and daughter-in-law, one of my brothers and my mother-in-law, as well as my son, briefly.  I missed a lot of people, but had promised to help my mom do some decluttering and we were able to donate several of the things we cleared out to a worthy organization that will see they are given to those who can use them.  If you're reading this and I didn't come see you, I promise, I wish I could have.  It was a lovely visit, except for the plane trip which I'm not sure I'd do again.  I have never been afraid of flying, but had the trip between Columbus and Atlanta had been any worse, I'd have been booking a bus ticket for the last leg of my journey back to South Mississippi.  I'm just sayin'...

Right after that trip - craziness.

Turns out, about that third week of August I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and that's kind of what my life has revolved around since then.  The good news is, it's a slow-growing cancer, but the bad news is, it's rare enough that there doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on it and its treatment.  I started on a course of topical chemotherapy, but due to a miscommunication from my (maybe former) oncologist's office, I have spent nearly a week now in a significant amount of pain, missing a couple days of work (probably more).  I haven't felt like doing a whole lot of anything.

Except knitting, of course.

I told myself I wasn't going to do any Christmas knitting.  And then I ignored myself and started a list anyway.   And during the cancer ordeal, I have been able to complete one of those projects, which was a relief to get done.  It has cables.  These are a challenge for me.  If only I could cable like Thea Coleman.  I would be invincible.  I would need a cape, for sure.  Thea should have a cape.  And she should teach me how to knit cables like she does.  Seriously.

It's vegan!
I have been swatching for the next Christmas project:  a sweater for my daughter.  She knows what she's getting already because she submitted a specific request while I was in Ohio (which never happens - she has not the love of fiber her mother does) and she even helped me shop for "vegan" yarn for the project while I was there*.  Yes, that's right.  My daughter has gone all vegan on me, and it extends past her diet into what fiber she puts on her person.  I really AM proud of her - she's stuck to this for a while now.  But vegan yarn?  Really?  Meh... To top off the vegan thing, guess what color she wants it knit in.  Go ahead, guess.  That's right.  Black.  Because black yarn is the friend of every knitter.  Sure.  Sure it is.  But...since I would unreservedly throw myself in front of a bus for the child, I suppose I can push through knitting with black, vegan yarn.  We even managed to find a lovely 100% viscose yarn in her requisite black that didn't cost me a fortune.  I'll be using Feza Yarns Amaze.  

Now Ravelry has classified this yarn as worsted weight.  Whether they got that from the manufacturer or made it up on their own, someone is seriously deluded.  There is no way this is worsted weight yarn.  It's more like fingering or a very light sport weight.  Right now, I'm trying to decide what size needle to use to get the fabric I like, hence the swatching.  I'm going to try Amy Herzog's Custom Fit for the very first time which, if you live in a cave and haven't heard, allows you to pick a pattern and use whatever yarn you want - it will calculate the appropriate pattern instructions for you.  I'm excited about this project in spite of the fact that I won't be using my beloved wool.  I took Cassie's measurements before I left to come home and I am anxious to see how a custom fit sweater for her turns out because quite frankly, my daughter is not an easy fit.  

So anyway, I mentioned my rough few days and this weekend, while I had hoped I'd be doing much better by now, has been quite the challenge.  I've been in tears more than once over the last two days from the pain, but it's funny - I was sitting here with the black, vegan yarn, trying to muster up the energy to swatch with yet another needle size when I was drawn to put the skein of yarn to up my face and just feel it, so I did.  And it brought me great comfort.  It may not be wool, but it is soft and lovely and in spite of all that I've been through over the last week, I was able to draw some peace from the simple act of cuddling with a skein of black viscose.  

(not vegan)

This, as you well know my friends, is the power of fiber.  Just imagine what would happen if I fetched my stash of merino...


*Of course I found a yarn shop in Ohio.  This is the hidden agenda for every single trip away from home.  Don't tell The Husband.