I’ve done it, finally, and it’s only taken a year almost. Actually, now I look at the dates on the early photographs, over a year.
This is Lydia. Well, Lydia’s fleece, some of it; I divided the whole thing with a friend. Lovely colour.
But it’s been a year full of hand problems, from simple injury (OK, ‘massive trauma’ – physiotherapist) to Whojumaflit’s Atrophy of the hand, to mad triggering, to steroid injections, to three weeks’ grace and then back to Yikes Mcflikes and eeeeoowwww, but with the thumbs this time. And, boy, am I in a flare-up now, though they may be calming a bit – possibly because the rugby’s been too exciting to knit through.
Acupuncture helps but cannot cure it; exercise helps but ditto – and now, I suspect, hand surgery awaits. I’m still waiting to see the surgeon, but there’s no point in more steroid injections into the tendons – phew, they’re nasty times twelve – as they’ve just worn off. Surgery remaining option, but fortunately has a very good rate of success… and that’s why there have been a couple of weeks since my last post. Ouch.
I suppose I could give up knitting and spinning. Yeah, right.
That’s really going to happen.
And at least the acupuncturist understands and takes it seriously; I’m glad someone does, but then she’s an avid quilter. The original injury went down on the physiotherapy department’s ‘bizarre traumas’ list; I don’t think they’d encountered a spinning injury before, or not a wool spinning one at least. Most spinners are, after all, more sensible than lil’ old moi.
In the Winnie-the-Pooh analogy that is life, I’m not usually an Eeyore. Even my best friends have me down as an irredeemable Tigger, with a hint of Owl and quite a lot of Rabbit. But now I find myself channelling an old grey donkey: ‘Good morning, Pooh Bear … if it is a good morning, which I doubt…’ But Tigger eventually reasserts himself – generally when the strange Chinese embrocation which is rather like liquid Tiger Balm kicks in – and I go bouncing about again.
I bounced quite a bit when I finished my first-ever piece of work from fleece I’d sorted, scoured, carded and spun. And I even like it!
It’s a version of a frilly baktus – cast on ten, increase at one side every four rows until you use half your yarn, then decrease, but with a short-row ruffle added. Had a bit of a battle with the unevenness of my spinning, but in the end it didn’t matter that much and just adds character. No, it does.
But I do have a problem – how to wear it. It’s not small. Do I wrap it, Faroese style?
Well, possibly not with my boobs (Doris here has not yet been padded to conform with reality). Or my height, either – too short.
I’ve tried swinging it jauntily over my shoulders but it a) unwinds itself pretty quickly, even when I use a shawl pin, and b) catches my feckin’ thumbs when I do so, and a madwoman shouting out loud in Tesco is not the image I had in mind when I made the shawl. But I may have got there:
Middle at the front, sling ends round back, screech, bring to front and tie using fingers and absolutely not thumbs. It doesn’t fit under my coat, and gives me no discernible neck (rather like a prop forward, though I happily lack the cauliflower ear and the tooth shield), but in other circumstances it Works.
And I don’t just like it, I lurve it:
I’m still completely besotted with the natural colour of the wool, and with the whole process. I’m definitely controlling the means of production (well, apart from not actually raising the sheep myself, but I think a flock in my garden might cause consternation, even here in rural Wales). And I can snuggle into it. I know cats go fleece snorgling – an interesting and appropriate new word, gleaned from Ravelry – but so do I.
And now Eeyore has been banished at least for a while. He may be back, of course, especially as I’m being considered for a demented new commission – I’m just a hack – which will drive me bonkers: ‘This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.’