Saturday, January 18, 2014

Life and a visit to the Frog Pond

In knitting there is an action called Frogging.  For me it's the single most horrible thing a knitter has to do, I do almost anything to avoid it, including burying the unhappy sweater in the bottom of a box somewhere insuring that it will become lost in the midden that is our basement and never be seen by human eyes again.

Frogging happens when you've knit a section (or an entire project) and decide that it just won't do as it is.  Maybe it's two miles too wide, or three sizes too small.  Perhaps a mistake was made and the lace pattern used to knit the jumper leaving two great big holes right where your endowment is, drawing unfavourable attention to your breasts.  Maybe socks were knit for boyfriend only to discover halfway through that said person hates green so much, it makes him vomit if he ever tried to wear it.  These are imaginary examples, not from real life - at least not from my real life.

What did happen in my real life lately was I knit a sweater.  The most beautiful sweater I've ever seen or made.  It really is incredible.  But it's also a very light colour, almost a foggy oatmeal, and I'm especially skilled at spilling coloured food on my clothing.  So I was afraid to try it on.  When it was finished, and the ends all darned in, I put the sweater on top of my dresser and admired it for a few days, until I worked up the courage to try it on.

Then I tried it on.

After 4 minutes I took it off, not because I wanted to drink coffee (a liquid that stains fabric quickly and with great ease).   The problem was that the neckline was too high at the front, and when I moved it pulled back and choked me.  I realized then that I would never wear this sweater as it is and needed to do something about it.  Only it was too beautiful to be lost in the dark vortex that is our stuff storage.

So I frogged a part of it.

Frogging is when you take the needles out of the knitting, grab hold of the bit of yarn dangling there, and pull.  In an ideal situation (aka, one not involving mohair) the yarn will pull and pull, while the knitting unravels into a pile of kinky yarn.

I frogged the neckline and a good inch down from there (it was a top up sweater).  Then I spent what felt like six hours (probably only one) re-inserting the needles into the knitted fabric.

The next job is to reknit the neckline and shoulders, starting the neck an inch earlier in the sweater.  Wish me luck.

In other news, from time to time I go quiet on my blog(s).  In case you feel neglected, I wanted to share with you why that is.  When I started Trampled by Geese, I chose the name as a reminder to only share with people what inspires me and gives me joy.  Sometimes in life, I have trouble finding anything joyful to write about, or there are joyful things, but I can't find the inspiration to write about them.

At the moment we are going through a trying time, where my grandfather, who lives with us, is having trouble making rational decisions, and is becoming dangerous not just to us (he's been that for a while now) but also to himself.  Most of the time he is his lovely self, but as is common with this kind of problem, he can have and act unpredictably and ...well...other things (a lot of other things) which he doesn't remember ...  I don't want to muddy up this blog with it. This is a big problem and takes over 95% of our time now, leaving only 5% of our time for taking care of the animals, playing with yarn, spending time with friends, sleep, all that good stuff that rekindles joy in the world.

I want to mention how grateful I am to the Canadian Health System - though we have had our differences on other issues - the health care people have been amazing with this situation.  This is one of the things they excel at and I can't imagine how difficult this would be without their constant advice and support.  Having a professional who can come evaluate and give advice, someone who sees this sort of thing on a daily basis and knows what to do about it - this is amazing.  What's more, I'm joyful that there is a system in place to help care for veterans, and give them the support and respect they deserve for defending our way of life.  My Grandfather fought every day of the second world war, and suffered many physical and emotional problems from it.  Without the help of these services, he would not have been able to keep his independence and health for this long.

What's more, both Veterans and the Health Authority have given so much help, enabling us to care and maintain a high quality of life for him.  Now, they are guiding us through what comes next, and evaluating when it will be time to begin the next stage in his care.  I cannot express enough how wonderful it is to have this kind of resource available.

(Hopefully, that put a more positive spin on a very unjoyful topic - 'though I'm worried I gave a false impression that things are better than they really are.  Let's just say I'm having a great deal of trouble finding enough motivation to write about joyful things these days)

If you are one of my real life friends, I have a favour to ask you.  If I start complaining about the situation at home, just gently remind me, 'he's not here right now' so that I can break my behaviour pattern of taking my troubles with me and re-focus on the joyful things (namely you) that are right in front of me.

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