Tag Archive | knitting

Sub sub sub sub…

Groups and sub-groups fascinate me.  First of all, there is no group of people that can’t be broken up into multiple sub-groups.  Second, no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.

Let’s hit the first point: every group of people has sub-groups.

You all know this: think about where you work.  You probably all have similar training, work in a similar environment, doing similar things, but you are not “the same” as these people.  Your background, experiences, and personal interests make you different.  Someone walking in to your workplace might just see “a group of engineers,” or “a room full of teachers” but you know that isn’t true.

As an ASL Interpreter, I have Deaf people who I count among my friends.  If you’ve only “met a Deaf person once,” you will assume all deaf people are just like the person you met.  I can tell you without question, that is not so.  Deaf people are just like people who are not Deaf, that is, different from one another.  In my group of Deaf friends, one is a knitter, like me.  One speaks on his cell phone, but doesn’t text; all of my other Deaf friends text me.  One is a stay-at-home mom who is an avid reader. One loves music and dancing.  (For those people who are confused right now, being Deaf doesn’t mean you hear nothing, it means you have a hearing loss.)  The only thing these friends have in common is that they are unique.

We all want to be unique.  Unique is good.  Unique is special.  Our fingerprints are all different. Our DNA is ours and ours alone.  There is a point, however, when unique becomes, well… weird.  You wouldn’t want to be the only person in the world, for example, who liked eating chocolate covered pretzels.  First of all, they’d be very hard to find.  People would ridicule you for making them yourself to satisfy the craving.  And, if every time someone tried your delicacy they got sick, you’d start wondering just how “unique” you are.

Which brings me to my second point: no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.

For better or worse (and I’m definitely a “better” believer), the Internet has made the world smaller.  There may only be a few people who share your interest in antique cars, whale bone corsets and macrame, but rest assured someone likes these things as much as you do.

I’m a member of a website called Ravelry, which I’ve talked about before.  I describe it as Facebook for Knitters, but it’s really much more.  On Ravelry, you can join various groups of people who share your interests.  I belong to a Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup group.   The House Cup group is run as a School.  We’ve broken the year into 3 terms (3 months, break, 3 months, break, 3 months, break).  Everyone is sorted into a house (just like the original books) and each term there are classes with a “homework assignment.” You craft an item for the class to win points for your House (I’m a proud Badger of Hufflepuff in my 5th term.) Each house has it’s own separate forum where we can chat online and cheer each other on. You post pictures of your project to prove you’ve finished your “homework” and … okay, some of you are reading this thinking, “Okay, THAT is weird.”  Well, the HPKCHC has over three thousand members.  I may be weird, but I’m in good company.  And they really ARE good company.  Besides chat & encouragement, I received many birthday wishes online last month and two of my Hufflepuff classmates sent me snail mail cards with gifts!

These people are great and I feel lucky to have found them.  They are my sub-group.  Maybe even my sub-sub-group. And it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Just for fun, I recommend you check out the website 10 of the Weirdest Hobbies (http://www.oddee.com/item_97171.aspx).  Even though one of them is knitting related (no, I’ve never knit one of those), my favorite is number 8: Grooming Dogs.

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Perspective

It’s really all about perspective.

Y’see, I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals.

I’m quite a klutz and spent most of my childhood falling and getting minor (and sometimes major) scrapes.  I’ve been stitched up more times than I can remember.  I used to say, “Well, at least I’ve never broken anything.”  Then I fractured my ankle.  Then I fractured it again.  And, just for good measure, I did it a third time.   Yes, the same ankle each time.

In the seven years we’ve been married, my husband, the carpenter, has spent more than his fair share of time in the ER.  Staples in his head.  Pieces of his fingers getting stitched back on.  That kind of thing.  Not to be outdone, I’ve managed to clock a few hours in the ER myself, once or twice with seasonal asthma-related breathing issues, but I did manage to fall down a flight of stairs and get food poisoning  (in the same week!) a year or two ago.  My mother-in-law, however, has been the frequent flyer in the family and, since she lives with us, we spend countless hours getting her to and from the ER and visiting her in the hospital.  As a sign language interpreter, doing emergency work in the ERs and hospitals is some of my favorite work.  I know how overwhelmed a person can feel talking to a doctor when a loved one is ill, and knowing that I am providing a valuable service makes my job extremely fulfilling.

In general, because of my experiences, I feel very comfortable in hospitals.

Next week that will all change.

Because next week, I will be the patient.

I’m having surgery.

(Pardon me if I don’t share all the details publicly.  All I need to say is that it’s considered major surgery and, no, it’s not cancer.)  I’m in my late 40s and my last surgery was when I was 7 (or was I 6?) and had my tonsils out. I’ve managed to come through 4 decades without doctors cutting me open.  Even my son’s birth didn’t require a knife or any painkillers.  (Well, at the time, I may have disagreed about the painkillers, but I didn’t get any.)  Not counting tonsils, I have all my original parts – even my appendix.  Maybe God figured I didn’t need any extra scars; I’d gotten so many as a kid.

I’ve talked to other people who’ve had this surgery done and they’ve said it will be fine.  I understand that everyone’s experiences are different, but I find it comforting to talk to people who have walked this path.  Especially since I did what most people do, in this day and age, when I found out I needed surgery: I turned to the internet. What a mistake!  The horror stories were rampant!   I turned to my husband one night, tears in my eyes and fear in my heart and said, “I am NOT having this done.”

Obviously, I’ve reconsidered.  I know the benefits outweigh the risks.

Still, I will admit, I’m scared.  One friend who had a similar procedure done told me, “I’d been in so much pain that recovery wasn’t bad.  I felt so much better.”  I understood what she was saying but, I’m not in pain.  Not yet.  But I will come out with pain.  Luckily I’ll also come home with painkillers.  I’ve been told I’ll sleep a lot.  I was also told, by a fellow knitter, that I should knit a simple washcloth while I’m on painkillers, just for laughs.  I’m considering it.

Because, more than anything, I know it’s about perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m scared because I’m still on “this side” of the surgery.  I don’t know what to expect. Once it’s over, I’d really like to look back on it all, maybe look at a washcloth, and laugh.

The Real Hunger Games

The Real Hunger Games

Is there anyone who really doesn’t like to learn? I remember not liking “school.” And there were certain classes that I didn’t care for.  (Some classes where the teacher would’ve taken me to task for that previous sentence, which shouldn’t begin with the word “and,” and shouldn’t end with a preposition.)  But mostly the math classes. I just can’t wrap my head around those. Numbers don’t change, so by now I should have a pretty good grasp on them but, frankly, they get more mysterious to me every year.

I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone, though, who wanted to stop learning. We naturally have a Hunger for Knowledge.

Over the past few years, I’ve been learning a lot about knitting, crocheting, spinning yarn, and other fiber-related things. (Some of my friends and family have also, albeit without as much enthusiasm, learned alongside me.) But I still want to learn more! I want to read about it, take classes to improve technique. More! More!! I have a sewing machine in the attic. I want to learn how to use it. I’ve tried at least twice in my life to learn to sew. Failed miserably both times. Still, hope springs eternal. “This,” I think, “will be the time I put Martha Stewart to shame!” All I need is an instructor (looking around hopefully…)

My mom has started going to exercise classes. She plays Mahjong (which I had to look up online to get the proper spelling). She’s doing new things to keep her mind and body active and I applaud her! My dad got back into painting recently. Each painting shows he’s trying something new, even if only one small aspect of the craft. He’s darned good at it, too. (I mean “good” like, “Your DAD did that?!” I can’t draw more than a stick figure. ::shrug:: He can’t knit.)

A friend of mine shared with me her recent experience with bio-feedback. She’s in college working on her second (third? fourth?) degree, all while balancing some difficult medical issues.  It blows my mind.  Another friend had her first written work published recently.  Isn’t that awesome?  My husband is considering going back to college after…well, after many years.  He’s thinking about changing careers.  I couldn’t be prouder!

And we are all over 40!   We talk about our medical procedures with each other.  That’s what OLD people do!  But we’re still young enough to learn.  No – to WANT to learn.  We’re still Hungry.

Every now and then I get depressed about the future. Today was one of those days. The economy is awful. Politicians make me sick. The gap between The Rich and The Poor is huge and I’m much closer to the latter than I would like to be.

Then I remembered all the opportunities that still await. Tons of stuff I don’t know yet. So much left to try! So much left to learn! It’s probably a good thing that our brains don’t “growl” when they’re hungry the way our stomachs do. I’m not sure they ever get full.   The noise would be deafening.