Ah... the retired life...days of nothing to do but read, knit, and binge watch all of the television I missed during my thirty-three years of being at the mercy of the state board of education. (Don't get me wrong. I loved my job. MS has a way of redirecting our priorities, as all Warriors know.)
My first active "project" upon retiring was to learn how to knit. With my enthusiastic bff, a year ago I embarked upon this journey. And it has been a wonderfully horrible thing.
Initially Jodi and I learned how to knit scarves. Lots and lots of scarves. We made a knitted scarf, a purled scarf, a scarf of combined stitches... Looking at our finished products was exhilarating. Feeling the hole in my wallet was depressing. Had I gotten myself into the "golf" sport of hobbies? I couldn't continue to shell out that kind of cash and expect to still feed my family. So, I started opting for the less expensive fibers at our area Walmart. Of course these yarns were NOT made in the USA and NOT a product of exotic animals, but, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
I quickly learned that the average recipient of a knitted project really doesn't recognize the value of fine wools after "gifting" an expectant mother with a very expensive newborn cap that was instantly caste aside as a thoughtfully crocheted toboggan that reminded her of something her grandmother had once given her. I mean, just the feel of that high dollar alpaca was enough to earn me years of compliments. Right?
Okay. Screeching halt.
I am not criticizing the world of crochet. I have crocheted for years and I love it. For this chick, knitting is a totally different beast, though. I have always envisioned the knitting world as more elegant, refined venture for some reason. There is nothing mediocre about crochet. My collection of blankets, lap robes, and cozy shawls (I am wearing one right now.) represent my affection for crochet. Crochet has served me well, but I was sincerely thrilled to gift this young mother-to-be with the premiere of new talent.
I guess that Heart-something brand of Chinese made synthetic stuff would have impressed her sufficiently. I decided then to save the "good" stuff for myself.
So, to take my mind off of ridiculous medical bills, I splurge on "comfort" yarns at a carefully monitored pace.
And yesterday I went wild!
Are you aware of how many knitting websites there are out there? I blame my knitting buddy for being so thorough in her research, but I admit that Jodi's attitude has been far more serious than mine and it shows in her beautifully crafted knitting projects. I need to catch up.
In the beginning we knitted the same patterns so we actively shared the experience. When we branched off on our own, I fell drastically behind and I knew it. Right now I am the proud owner of a thumb-less mitten, one partially completed house slipper, two unfinished toboggans, and and ongoing lacy shawl that I have torn out so many times that the yarn is beginning to fray.
So why would I ever consider starting another project?
Because the pattern guide describes it as an "easy-to-knit pattern". See for yourself. Read the description under the picture.
"This easy-to-knit pattern is warm and cozy and great for year-round use, or when you have the desire to just settle down and curl up with a good book. The pattern includes 2 versions, 1 made with worsted-weight yarn, the other with super chunky-weight yarn. Knit with 5 hanks of Berroco® Weekend™ or 5 balls of Premier® Yarns Mega Tweed at a gauge of 18 sts and 26 rows for the worsted version or 6 sts and 9 rows for the super chunky version per 4". The worsted-weight version uses U.S. size 7/4.5mm needles and the super chunky-weight version uses U.S. size 17/12.75mm needles. Finished size is 17" x 60"."
And look at it! It is called a "reading wrap". It is the perfect gift for my avid reader Aunt. (Don't get too excited, Katie. I have already printed my list of knitting failures.) And I read ALL THE TIME! "Winter is coming", warns the characters in Game of Thrones and I plan to be ready for those cozy, snowy reading days ahead.
I don't have to go any where to get this pattern because
"Electronic download is available as a PDF and in formats compatible with your e-reader."
And I really l loved this review(especially the last sentence) from a satisfied customer:
"I am making this wrap for a friend who is wheelchair bound but still gets around everywhere. I am doing the smaller lighter version for a light wrap that she can carry her kindle, chewing gum, notebook and pencil, whatever she needs without them getting in the way, or falling off her lap. I am so excited; I can hardly wait to give it to her. Easy to follow directions and pretty quick to make up."
Although my fingers want to go immediately to the "submit order now" button, my yesterday brain has mercifully stayed in yesterday and my today brain reminds me that I have a really exciting shipment on the way to my door as I type this. I do not need another potential project. Today.
How is knitting related to my MS? It is knot...I mean, not. But it does keep my fingers somewhat nimble and it makes me think. I have to count stitches, plan my next move, measure, measure, measure, read directions, and solve the puzzle of unfamiliar stitches. (They lied when the Knitting Nazis tell us that all that is needed is the knowledge of knit and purl.)
There is a LOT of thinking involved in knitting.As we Warriors all know cognitive issues are very real for us. We can longer wave them away into another category of life.
According to Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies (I seriously need a kick back from the Wiley publishing house for all the reference I make to the volume), "cognitive changes weren't even acknowledged or addressed by the medical community until about 25 years ago" even though Jean-Martin Charcot noted these symptoms in his early descriptions of MS in the late 1800s."
It comes of no surprise to me that Charcot's little discovery has been over looked this long. MS was still undefined in the the 1950s. When I was diagnosed in 2001, MS was just entering it's teen years on the age calculator. I do't really need this fact or any statistics abut my disease any way. I know what I feel.This is my MS.
If I could only convince Big Pharma that knitting is as therapeutic as any chemical they prescribe, life would be GREAT. Think about all those sheep I could support.
Enough from me. I have knitting to do.