Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Socks and Things

The other day I went uphill to gather eggs and get the mail. I put this off because it was snowing, and although the dogs love this, and cavort like children, I am not a big fan.I got the mail and the eggs, and headed back to the house with my elated canine companions and saw this.I was standing at the top of the hill in a swirl of falling snow and darkness. And as I stood and waited this sun and blue sky crept slowly over me until the clouds fell away.
I haven't talked a lot about "the Lyme thing" in a while, and I think it's time for an update. The metaphor of that blustery snow wasn't lost on me. It's how I feel. I feel like for the last year or more I was wrapped in dark stormy gray, in a swirling fog of people and places and events and moments. I struggled every day to make sense of the simplest things. I hid things, I sneaked, cheated, lied and maneuvered so no one would know how bad it was. There's things I barely remember, things I don't remember at all, and days I remember and wish I could forget. The first time I logged on to LymeNet and saw that the first posts in the forums were suicide hotlines, I cried. Yes, when it's bad, Lyme is that bad. You lose all hope.
But then the sun came for me in the form of Lyme guy and his lovely meds, and now months later I am at times amazed to be alive, and thrilled to be happily so. For a long time my goals were really simple - "make being alive not hurt" was a good one. "Make being alive not scary" was another. I've raised the bar, and I feel safe doing so. "Make being alive feel wonderful again". And it does.
The irony here is that I don't take drugs or visit doctors. I will stand on the street corner on my soapbox and rant loudly about the overuse of antibiotics, the rapid development of antibiotic resistant organisms, the need for the human body to fight things off on it's own thereby developing new immunities. I will wait until hell is about to freeze over before I will darken a doctor's door. But I went, and I took the scripts, and I am glad I did.
Since spring I've taken Biaxin, Plaquenil, Mepron, doxycycline, metronidazole and a whack of supplements and probiotics. And although I had qualms about the first five, I am forever grateful that I was sick enough to say yes to them, and grateful that they were there when I needed them. I know there are people out there suffering with Lyme, wondering if it gets better, wondering if alive can feel good again. Trust me, it can. I promise. I just needed to say that today.
I swatched the other day for a special sock pattern for someone else's bookI think I love it. It will be toe up. The yarn is Dye Dreams Classy Sox and I love it, too. I believe feet deserve a little cashmere. The percentage is low enough that it's like a little sneaky treat and the nylon keeps it stable. This yarn was supposed to be something completely other, but circumstances change, and yarn calls out to me, and that's the end of that!
I also did these for Clover, which will be available at TNNA and hopefully thereafter...I will let you know when they're available and how you can get the pattern.The yarn is Valley Yarns Franklin. That you can get now. It is dyed, as I've said here before, by Gail Callahan who has not only the distinction of being brilliant, lovable, and an excellent friend, but now is a published author as well! Her book, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece, is so pretty and so good...it makes me happy just to think about it! She doesn't remember, but the first time I met her was when she was still a nurse and I was still a nursing student.
This catalog came today. I first found Kitchen Krafts catalog when I was dabbling in baking and considering doing that for a living. As I recall I was on a quest for a tiny ice cream scoop and ended up with a $200 order containing all manner of good things from sanding sugars to a decent candy thermometer. Baking for money was a quickly discarded dream. I enjoy baking, but baking in bulk loses it's appeal. Small batches for family and friends feel rightRegardless, this catalog is loaded with all manner of things kitchen-y.
Like canning jar labels. I've debated making my own. But when these are right here, well...do I need to make them?And this. No clue where my jelly and juice strainer frame went, although the bags are here, but I am getting over tying and stringing and hanging cheesecloth from the frame of my ancient food grinder. I think it's time to break down and order this.Flip a few more pages and I find what's possibly the perfect cake pan for this house - a Nordic Ware Beehive!I am so grooving on the tiny fondant bees. Need! The only thing better would be a pan that somehow incorporated a barn, chickens and a beehive! Kitchen Krafts also sells essentials like dessicated coconut. Trust me, you need some.
In my pre-holiday cleaning spree I discovered this - a Baby Surprise set of sorts, EZ's sweater, MMO's out of my head bootees and hat.I think I started these for Wyatt and then remembered that he's a machine wash only baby, and this is a hand wash only yarn. Into the box it goes. If Meg ever had a baby it's going to have years' worth of woolens awaiting it.
Obsessed, I ended up with three hats and four pair of mittens, none alike. One hat is a knit-purl combination, one is cabled. The brown set I think will be Emily's, and the others will go to April.I realized I hadn't knit anything for Em and Wyatt...I have yarn to make a set for him too.
The holidays are mostly over for us. We'll have a day with my father and my kids, and then someday we'll get together with Kristie and Mike and the kids, maybe before Em's birthday, but it's winding down. The tree is put away, baby Jesus is back in His box, and this year I remembered to take the beads down from the dining room light fixture.
I wish I could say that 2009 was a great year. The truth is 2009 was a conflicted year for me - 2-at-a-Time Socks continued to be great, and I continue to be grateful to you for making it so, I got to be a part of Sock Summit (and was on the antibiotics by then which made that experience so much better than it might have otherwise been) and Clara's Knitter's Review Retreat, and taught at a host of shops. But somewhere in there I fell apart. I pulled it back together, but the falling apart was the scariest thing I've ever been through, and so I can't slap 2009 on the back and thank it for coming around. Heading into 2010, I am reaching out with open and welcoming arms. Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time is coming soon, and I am looking forward to a better year than last. Looking forward. I'm grateful to be here to do just that.

9 comments:

booksNyarn said...

Rounding up the year is hard, especially with the ups and the downs, isn't it? But, it's time to face a new year, and a new day comes around really quick now!

But, I am glad that you are feeling better. Even after watching The Future of Food. (Thanks for that recommendation, I think) :)

Anonymous said...
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Gerry said...

Well, Melissa, I love what I learned from 2-at-a-time sox. I love knitting sox two at a time.
Here's to a new decade, it will be the best ever.

waterfall said...

Wow Melissa, I appreciate how deeply you are sharing! A friend of mine had a great practice in CT. and lost it all to Lyme Dysease! She has been ill for many years.

When I came down with several debilitating illnesses, I lay in bed app. 20 hrs. per day. If I showered, it took 3 hours of laying in the bed quiet to recover.

I used the time to fantasize about a better world, Community improvements, etc. I never thought about this as a positive, forward-thinking time in my life, until I read your blog. Thank You!

Anna McCarthy said...

Bless you for that Lyme post. I got all kinds of dumb diagnoses of fibromyalgia etc over the past 22 years . Nobody asked me about tick bites till I went and said maybe I have Lyme Disease. Now I have Bartonella encephalitis and have to go very slowly and carefully but I will. I tell people about Tick Borne Diseases but they think I'm crazy or it doesn't apply to them. People annoyed me for years saying I had Lyme disease but I thought just because you have Lyme doesn't mean I do. But I was wrong! I was a nurse and believed the CDC. Now I read Lyme MD blog which is so informative.

Anna McCarthy said...

I do knit which is how I got to you.

Joanne said...

I have been making socks from your wonderful book for a year and a half now and will never go back to the old way. Thank-you so much! I just started blogging, mostly I quilt, but I always have socks on the go. I thought I should come see if you were a blogger too. I wanted to let you know that I have got more comments on your style of sock making than anything else! Thanks again!

Tipper said...

OMG that catalog! *goes to sign up for one*

Yarnhog said...

Oh, Melissa--I'm so glad you're feeling better!