22 June 2011

Still here

I’m still here – and thank you so very much to those who pinged me to ask if I was all right and to check on me after so long without a blog post. You make me feel so special, truly, you do. Thanks. :)

This whole recovery thing is very challenging: I still have chest pain, though nowhere near as bad as it was to start, and I either have a lot of energy (but don’t know what to do with it) or I’m suddenly very worn out. It’s an odd place to be for someone who has spent most of her life being very driven, always going from one thing to the next, refusing to take a break until “all the work was done”. Clearly that wasn’t a healthy way to live and now I’m going to have to figure out what a reasonable pace looks like. So far, I’m still floundering, but I’m floundering more slowly, so maybe that counts as progress.

Regardless, the world continues it’s circuit around the sun with no attention paid to the status of my mental health. The pasture grass is growing: we had a lot of hay this past year, so we were able to keep the sheep off the pastures a little longer in the spring and let the grass get a good head start (which, after two years of drought, was needed). They’re now out there happily mowing the knee-high grass, and identifying all the weak spots in the fences that we haven’t yet patched.

The garden is off to a slow start – the battle against the quackgrass continues, and I’m making headway but it takes a lot of persistent tilling and weeding. I did get the tomatoes transplanted outside and they lived comfortably under the hooped row cover The Boy made for a week – a week of steady rain. At least they didn’t bake to death in the heat, there wasn’t any heat. The peppers are still inside, but we have a few sunny days forecast, so they will go out shortly. Maybe tomorrow.

The corn is poking it’s head up, but the beans are still sulking underground. The cranberry bushes that I uncovered when removing the last traces of quack grass from that corner of the garden seem to be doing quite well – maybe if I can keep them clear, they’ll actually give us berries in a few years! The grape vines have new leaves as well, as do the raspberries, and that’s all very encouraging.

My big focus the last few weeks has been getting ready to go to Olds for Fibre Week: I’ll be taking classes Sunday through Tuesday, but staying the entire week. I figure I’ll probably pace myself better if I stay for the entire time rather than try to fit all the fun into a few packed days, and since I travel in the motorhome, I have a comfortable, peaceful place to rest. Last year I had one day between my classes and I spent the day working on a new sock pattern: it was like a self-directed workshop and I really enjoyed it. I may do that kind of thing again … I’ll certainly be taking a lot of raw materials with me, just in case I am overcome with the need to start another project.

In the meantime, I have been knitting a lot: I finished a large lace shawl (the Midnight Stole), which was made in black bamboo/silk for a friend’s wedding. I did the whole thing in seven weeks, which felt like a lot of time when I cast on, but the pattern was much more complicated than I anticipated and as a result I was much slower at knitting than I usually am. Still, I made the deadline and the shawl will be at the wedding this weekend. Yay! The recipient is very special to me, and I am honoured to have been able to make something that suits her so very well for such a wonderful occasion. I’ve got a few other projects on the go as well (don’t I always?) and I’ve been spinning up the fleeces that have been hanging in my fibre room for much, much too long. I needed to give my wheels a test run before Fibre Week, which was the initial incentive to spin, but I’m finding it really enjoyable just now, so I think I’ll be doing more of it. I am dyeing the resulting yarns as I spin, so I just keep the crock pot going and add a skein when I’m done, trying different things to see what I can do for colour variations and so on. I discovered a fun trick the other day: skein up the yarn, then twist it into a long snake (like you would if you were going to store it) and tie it in an overhand knot after it’s twisted. Put it in the dyepot just like that: no tangles, for one thing, and you get really neat tie-dye effects on the finished yarn! I’m thinking this could be a fun trick for overdyeing: do it once with a light colour, reskein it, and do it again with a darker colour. That could be interesting!

So, stay tuned for more wooly updates – the next week or so is likely to be heavy on spinning content!


  1. I'm glad you're back. I do keep checking in on you. I'd love to see pictures of your dyed wool. Although I'll never get to that process, I love seeing the art of others.


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