Last night, Joe and I were watching some dumb thing on TV, and I was so irritated and he was bugging me (not his fault, though I was sure it was at the time) and my knitting was annoying me, and my email was all terrible, and the weather was impossible and the dinner I made wasn’t very good and the cat was off the hook with the way she was being a cat (I am not snuggling something furry in this freakin’ heat, stay off my damn lap) and I suddenly realized that I was magnificently tired.  Then I coughed – if by coughed you understand that I mean I hacked until I just about wept, then I sneezed. Then I coughed again, and then I said something really filthy, and I went the H E double-hockey sticks to bed.  I slept for just about nine hours – except for the coughing, and when I got up I could see the way forward, and it was a day of rest and solitude, and that is what I have had.

Well, not totally. It didn’t absolutely work out. Joe worked from home for the morning, and Sam was home shortly after he left, and I had work to do, and stuff like that, but I could decide when and how to do it, and I could stay off my road bike for a day – and I did. I plunked myself down in the backyard, where it was pretty and nice to work, and I did the stuff that was vital, and then, a thought occurred to me. I had been planning a 3 hour bike ride today. I somehow found the time to give for that, so if I wasn’t going to get on my bike, didn’t I still have that time? To do something else? LIKE KNIT MAYBE?

ballalpaca 2016-07-07

Heck yeah.  I wound that little gradient skein of baby alpaca into a ball because I’ve sort of been obsessed with it,  and then I picked a pattern already in my Rav library, and I plunked my little self down in the back garden (until it rained) and then I went inside and kept on knitting until I felt like I’d done a long bike ride’s worth.


The pattern I picked is Zuzu’s Petals (because I was totally happy with the last time I used handspun for it) and I’m churning along, happy as a little duck.  I’m telling you, I’m pretty sure that I don’t have enough yarn to finish, and I don’t care. Not even a little bit. I’ll figure it out when I get there, I’m sure there will be something that I can do. I mean, I’m an inventive person, and… sometimes what you’re making isn’t the point, and sometimes it doesn’t need to work out, it doesn’t need to make something, it just needs to …  make. Be transformed. Move from one state to another even though I can’t.

zuzumore 2016-07-07

I’m just sitting in the backyard knitting right now, and sniffling into a tissue a little bit, and writing things as I think of them (and possibly having a beer) and slowly and delicately crossing things off a to-do list that is made up of all sitting down jobs, and I’ve let go of the idea of making dinner (screw it, we’ll have popcorn) and I expect tomorrow to have a lot more joie de vivre in it, and probably, a cowl, which has got to be good news for the cat, because last night her future wasn’t looking good.

Peace out, Knitters.

80 thoughts on “Surrender

  1. So Pretty!
    I just gave some coffee money to you and Cameron for the ride. Hope everyone will follow along your tweet from today. Happy Knitting

  2. I’m glad you have reminded yourself of the available time and managed to get some knitting done. Knitting always seems to make the world right. 🙂

  3. H E Double hockey sticks!! I was reading my grandmother’s diary yesterday and ran across that expression; was thinking I hadn’t heard that in a million years, and Lo! the very next day!

    • I am so charmed that your grandmother used that expression *in her diary*. Where, presumably, nobody else would read it if she used the actual word.

  4. I’m happy that you have had a long sleep and a day of making your own decisions. I know how lovely that feels! Been there, done that. Many days. 🙂 Thanks for leading me to that pattern! I have a small gradient cake that’s been waiting to become something pretty!

  5. I do something similar and call it my “Ostrich Theory of Survival.” If it’s all bad, I stick my head in the ground (read go to bed), check once in a while to see if all is well again. Knitting helps, that’s for sure.

  6. omg, this made me laugh!! yesterday and today have been those days for me due to a breast reconstruction issue which I won’t go into except to say it hurts like H.E .double hockey sticks!! And my 2 cats keep insisting on lap time when I’m trying to knit and its hot here too…I did what you did, went to bed early, slept well thanks to pain meds and have spent today watching British mysteries and knitting. aaaahhhhhh….and the popcorn for dinner thing – totally us too!!! (sometimes chips and canned bean dip!) heeheehee

    btw, that cappucino yarn is yummy! You could sell that easily….what a great gradient, you talented thing 🙂 Hope the rest of your week and weekend goes well.

  7. My cat is walking the ragged edge of disaster too. Why do they have to set ON you when you can’t breath, I ask you? The knitting is hot enough thank you very much.

  8. Hugs my dear. Sometimes a good nap is what it takes.

    Hug the cat and let her know you are not mad at her. You might want to do the same with Joe just to let him know you have gotten over your funk.

    Mullein and Coltsfoot tea will sooth that cough…make it easier to cough the gunk.

  9. Touching the clock: reminder to set aside time to nourish ourselves.

    My parents ate popcorn for YEARS as Sunday supper once us kids were grown. My dad made the best. Ever.

    • When I was a college student I often ate popcorn for dinner, with Nutritional Yeast 🙂
      Now when we are very busy or tired, we have Snack Night: everybody grabs something –popcorn, leftovers, a bowl of cereal and we sit down together –easy!

      • My favorite growing up was Find Your Own Food Fridays! Basically it was my mom’s busiest night of the week so we would all have to scavenge from the fridge or pantry. Makes me grateful that even though she didn’t make dinner, I never went hungry (though I sure had some strange meals!)

        • At my house, it’s called National Leftovers Night. You want pizza and wings? Fine! Just leave some for me.

  10. With as much as you’ve had going on recently, plus being sick, I think a rest was well deserved. If you could sleep that much, clearly your body needed it.

  11. Hugs Steph, sounds like the sleep and knitting was much needed! I’ve never ever even thought of popcorn for dinner but I’m pretty sure the kids would think it was a grand plan :0) Rest up, put some fresh raspberries in your days and be well :0)
    Hugs again, Mel

  12. You needed a day to rest up a bit. Hopefully, Millie will understand. Today, we reached 12 degrees with rain summer? The weather is totally mixed up. Zuzu’s Petals will look gorgeous in the Cappuccino handspun. Take care.

  13. And your program tells me to touch the cat… That cat of yours, it’s persistent!

    I was just looking at a leaf pattern in my Rav library yesterday, thinking how well that would go appliquéd onto the squares of an afghan that I’m slowly figuring out how I want to make it.

  14. Oh do I know the feeling! Hot tea works with popcorn. The warm fills in the spaces that the popcorn doesn’t and my stomach feels warm and full. I laughed out loud! I hope that you are feeling better.

  15. With age comes wisdom. Especially the wisdom to listen to the inner voice guiding us to stop, rest, reflect and take care. Well done, my yarny friend! 🙂

  16. Rest, knit, repeat.
    Take care of yourself first.
    You will get better; if in doubt, repeat line 1…
    Heather M.

  17. If you’re responsible most of the time, there’s something so totally restorative about just giving in and giving yourself time to get over “it”. Often, one day is enough. Glad you were able to do that.
    Touch the world: which seems to right itself after a day off.

    • I agree, more rest and fewer demands. I think your body is trying to tell you something, in fact, it’s been trying for weeks. Take care of yourself.

  18. I hope Zuzu’s Petals and that pretty yarn are filled with the therapeutic wonder and transformative powers of The Knit.

    If you ask me, popcorn for dinner can be an act of heroism on a difficult day.

  19. I call it re-booting. When everything seems godawful and everything I try to do doesn’t work, including dropping things and running into sharp corners, eventually I realize that the best thing I can do is STOP. Life can just wait awhile. Later, all will be well. And so will you. Glad you took some knitting time.

  20. Please take care of yourself. It seems like you have gotten run down too many times lately. I got mono when I was 52 from being run down and you “don’t” want to do that. (even though you are not that old yet). I am almost 72 and still paying for it. Can’t wait to see more pictures of the wedding! The bride was absolutely beautiful.

  21. Some days you just have to throw the whole priority thing out the window and just do what is easy/quick/simple. Even if it’s not the BEST thing to do right then, it still clears some of the mind clutter and gives you a little taste of accomplishment. Don’t fight the universe – some days are hugely productive and some aren’t, and sometimes taking time out is the most productive thing you can do in the longer term. Especially when it sounds like your body is not entirely happy in itself.

  22. Rest, solitude and a nice peaceful knit. So glad you are taking care of yourself first, Super Steph. I’m sure the cat is, too.

  23. You’re still coughing. I feel like you shouldn’t still be coughing. Have you been back to the doctor? Did they listen for pneumonia? Hmmm. I love your yarn.

  24. Hope you feel much betterness soon although in my house a sniffly nose, a cough and a general feeling of “out of sorts” means you need some serious chocolate!!! Just sayin’…. xxx

  25. ‘Cure for Melancholy’- so old it is a nursery rhyme:

    Cross patch draw the latch
    Sit by the fire and spin.
    Make a cup and drink it up,
    Then ask the neighbors in.

    Even superwoman needs time off. Let be. Hugs.

  26. You need some Echinacea and Vitamin C to build up your immunity system. When mine is down I take an E in the morning and before I go to bed. I also take 2 C every hour with a glass of water. After I get to feeling better (usually in a day or 2) I continue with an E and C every morning and evening for 2 weeks. I hope you feel better soon.

  27. Just so you know, I knew that you had a new post and a new project by looking at the hot list on Ravelry! Love. It.

  28. Hope you’re feeling better today. If not, it may be time to see the doctor. If you are feeling a bit better, remember to take it easy and not overdo — you don’t want a relapse! (Joe and Millie: She does love you. It’s just the heat and this chest crud talking. Now shut up and eat your popcorn.)

  29. I spent my 4th of July in Toronto!! Thanks for asking.
    I was sort of hoping to run into you but didn’t really think you’d be at the ROM all day on the 5th. Fabulous place.


  30. Oh Stephanie, how often I identify with your plights and remedies to such, but none more than in this writing. Thank you for as always eloquently expressing what you and I, and I’m sure so many others, feel but can’t quite put into words let alone find the humor of it all until we see ourselves in your blog.
    Peace to you and yours, and if we are very very fortunate, may tolerance leading the way to peace be found in our world in our children’s lifetimes.
    Linda B in NJ, USA

  31. THANK YOU for reminding me that I had that pattern in my library. 🙂

    Glad you got yourself sorted. That’s what my husband and I tell each other when we are out of sorts. Well, it’s mostly just me that gets my sorts unsorted, but I’m going with “we”.

  32. Husbands can share the dinner making duties! Wonderful meals can be created quite simply from a trip to the deli section of the grocery store. Teach your sons to cook, too – women will love them for it!

  33. When we were first married, my husband and I had an occasional popcorn and apples night. For the truly hungry, there was peanut butter for the apple slices.

    I so understand the knitting for its own sake. We’ll get there when we get there. Crafters are like that. Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones putting things together instead of just pulling them apart.

  34. Hope you’re feeling better today. Glad you’re looking after yourself. You’re not going to be much good supporting sick people if you’re sick yourself.

  35. Ah, Zuzu’s Petals, one of my favorite patterns! Carina Spencer is a grand designer – did you get to meet her while you were in Kansas City? Sorry you’re still hacking things up – sleep is always a good idea and always helps my point of view. Take care of yourself!

  36. ah…I was just reading about coming to end of decision-making i.e., too many? time to step off the grid and refresh. i’m also glad you rested up from the cough/cold. your schedule is quite non-stop, fun, but non-stop. the yarn is luscious and i look forward to seeing how this turns out.

  37. I know you have LOADS of loyal readers, but I was thoroughly impressed by the numbers that put Zuzu’s Petals at the top of Rav’s Favorites list today: 18033!!
    when I checked. I went to Rav before your blog today…
    Only took me a minute to figure out that you’d be the one fueling all the interest in this lovely cowl!
    Beautiful handspun, too!
    Hope your R & R was totally therapeutic.

  38. Stephanie, did you see the photograph of all of the llamas sitting on the Tour de France racecourse? I think they were attracted by the power of spinners — the yarny kind.

  39. I really appreciate this. Just knowing that it’s okay to be easy on yourself is extremely necessary to me right now. I get o hard on myself for all the things I fail to do that I do nothing which just perpetuates the cycle.

  40. I was trying to plan this coming week’s meals last night – while at the same time casting on over 400 stitches for a shawl. Didn’t like the way my stitches were looking – so took it off – threw it on the floor a few times…. then I didn’t like anything that I was thinking about having for dinner. Yelled, cried, said I was not going to cook again or knit again. Realized it was all stemming from the fact that I recently found out my favorite yarn shop is closing in a month! I eventually calmed down, had a cup of coffee, planned some meals – and started to recast those 400 stitches on my needles… knitting saves me again!

    Linda in VA

    • I can imagine the sadness at the closing of the yarn shop. Don’t forget to plan your final trips there. (Plan really inexpensive meals so you have money for the yarn.)

  41. Beware the cough! My daughter was just diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis) which is a CDC reportable illness here in the US. The vaccinatios are not lasting, the cough is horrendous, also called the 100-Day Cough. Lethal for babies, highly contagious. Just FYI. Feel better!

  42. I hope you feel much better very soon* I’m going to skip my coffee and donate to the rally instead of buying you flowers. Sometimes when my 6 year old and I (mostly I) have been working in the garden too late, we have cereal for dinner.

    *when you do, could you post where that fibre came from? It’s to die for. Otherwise, I’m just going to have to buy gradient alpacas.

  43. Hope you are feeling better. You are amazing. I love the hockey stick metaphor being a dyed in the blood hockey fan despite living in Indiana!

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