I Want to be a Hermit

This time last year saw many of my nights sitting on the couch, happily knitting away at various projects, writing up designs, and taking care of those little things that easily fill up your day.  Twice a week I would venture out for circus activities, once a month I would go out dancing, and once a month I would attend a friend’s brunch.  While I had visions of being more social, I was happy with that existence – I felt in control and satisfied with my efforts.

Over the remainder of the year, I forged deeper relationships with people and traveled more, developing my dreams into more complex goals that I was determined to achieve.  I added activities and attended more parties and gatherings, and my network of friends and colleagues widened, quite suddenly.

Lately, I have been feeling exhausted and chaotic as I try to achieve everything in the designated time frame – design, socialize, work, train, make pretty things, clean house, spend time with family, take care of self.  Sometimes, I try to fit it all into one day.  Recently, I have recognized how listless it has been making me feel, and how I don’t feel like I’m doing any of it well, especially the last one – taking care of me.  I have been taking a stand a bit more – “I would love to attend the [insert event], but I’ve got something going on the night before and two days after, and I really need to have a free night or two this week to relax and reset.”  That is an acceptable response!  It’s ok to turn events down!  I still feel a bit guilty.

The thing I’m feeling the most is how little I have been able to knit recently.  There are many things in my queue and many more ideas piled in my head, but I can’t knit and drive, or knit and play certain games, and knit lace in the dark.

I’ve got Clue 3 of the Follow Your Arrow pattern done for one of the shawls (Version 2.0) and still have to work it up for Version 1.  But I feel that it’s taken me a ridiculously long time to work 12 rows of simple lace.

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Basically, if I flicker in out of the blogosphere over the next couple of weeks – know that I am trying to take that precious time to myself so that I can hit my reset button and face the world with a genuine smile, rather than the exhausted whimper that’s been quietly escaping my lips when  I think of everything I’ve committed myself to in the following week.

Sunday

Dear Trapeze, I think I love you.

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Winter Won’t Beat Me

The polar vortex lingers.  It’s cold, constantly, to the point where I don’t care how high my gas bill spikes, I just want to feel my fingertips again!  It’s been kind of miserable, and I can feel my emotions going downhill.  I don’t want to be in Chicago right now, I don’t want to put on fifteen layers before heading outside, and I wouldn’t mind not needing four comforters on my bed.

I cast on the Follow Your Arrow Shawl, Version 2.0 – Operation Over the Rainbow.  So far, just looking at it lifts my spirits.

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Until you know…you notice an error in your lace portion and have to rip out the second clue.

Clear for Take-Off

After two months of being grounded due to a strained shoulder, and 6 weeks of physical therapy, my PT gave me the all-clear to resume my normal aerial activities.  She even urged me to start doing what I would normally, and try hanging from just the injured shoulder and pushing myself back to my normal range of flexibility – which I had been avoiding out of fear of further injury.

Two months on the ground has been the worst feeling for me.  I started doing aerial arts four years ago as a way to work out, gain strength and flexibility, and meet people in this crazy circus world.  It quickly turned into a passion that kept me fit and flexible, but also introduced me to so many more people than I was anticipating, and people that have become dear friends, and opportunities to perform and teach and grow.  The creativity and inspiration I feel when I am hanging twenty feet in the air is intoxicating, and being able to share my passion with others, and nurture it in them, help them, and watch them fly on their own, is one of the happiest experiences I’ve ever had.

Last night, I was at the gym and I was flying.

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It was wonderful to know that I was strong enough for it again, although my level of endurance has been reduced from the two months of inactivity.  By the end of class I was splayed out on the floor, exhilarated and exhausted by the workout.

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I was born to fly.

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And now I’m doing it again.  There was no pain last night, and none this morning, and I’ve been drinking herbal tea to ease my joints instead of popping pain killers as I had been doing previously.

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I still don’t have my full range of motion, and supporting my body weight feels a bit uneasy, but I’m healing, and that’s what matters.

In The Meantime

I tried to start another shawl last night, and ended up not liking the colors together.  This morning, I wound another ball of yarn, thinking I would like that combination together, but when I threw them in the project bag, something just didn’t seem right to me.  I put that bag down and grabbed a different WIP to work on throughout the day.

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This is the second half of a set of legwarmers I started about this time last year.  The first one was finished, and then the whole thing was abandoned.  I cannot think of the reason.  Anyway, I’ve decided it’s going to be my travel project when I need something a little mindless.  It’s on large needles, so it won’t take too long (Famous last words).

At least my startitis is balanced somewhat equally by the rare finish-it-up-itis.  Who’s taking a poll to see how long this lasts?

Hate Is Such A Strong Word

I *dislike* the yarn I used for this scarf.  When I was knitting, it felt processed and oily, but I thought that would wash out when I soaked it for blocking.  The yarn is Newton Yarn Company’s Pencil Roving.

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While I was knitting, the yarn dye rubbed off on my hands.  I have worked with yarn that wasn’t stellar, but the magic happened in the blocking.  So, I maintained faith that it would work out in the end.

I soaked it for a week, changing out the water every couple of hours, letting it soak over night, adding a mild soap to break down the oils and remove the weird smell (like walking into a basement – not musty or moldy, just moth ball-esque).  Finally, worried that I was going to felt the scarf if I putzed with it too much longer, I pinned it in place.

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The smell hasn’t left, and the coarseness of the yarn only feels worse, like it’s a wet acrylic instead of a natural wool.  Maybe it will be better once it is completely dry, or after it has been worn a bit.  Right now, the thought of wrapping this thing around my neck makes my neck itch uncontrollably.

The only saving grace is that that the butterfly image pops beautifully and the lace is clear.

Have you ever worked with a yarn that you ended up disliking?  Did you finish the project?  Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of the smell or coarseness of the yarn?

Spoilers!

Clue 2 came out today for the Ysolda Teague Mystery Knit-Along.  I’ve decided this is a good time to share clue 1.

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I like how happy the shawl looks so far.  This yarn (Unplanned Peacock Studios) is a delight to work with – colorful, soft, accommodating.  It can be a little splitty if I’m not paying attention, but overall, it’s been wonderful.

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The yarn conundrum has been resolved, and later today I will be caking two skeins for the other shawl.  I’m kind of giddy to see where this is going.  This second clue has been quite interesting, and several different directions lie on the horizon.

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