One for you, one for me?

Yesterday I had a whole post ready for you. I’d written it in my head, I’d frozen my arse off so that Joe could take pictures, and the whole thing was ready and good to go, and then I tried to type it up and had a total freakout that’s been coming for two weeks.  I’ve gotten new glasses, and then (when those weren’t working so well) contacts, and for two weeks I’ve been staggering around trying to be a good person who tries hard to adapt to new things and yesterday I had to finally crash and admit that I’m a good person who tries hard to adapt to new things who CAN’T SEE HER WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG.

Obviously, something I’ve been afraid of for 35 years has happened. I have failed a vision test, and as a result, I have the wrong glasses.  (I have always hated exams that you can’t study for.  I feel the same way about the blood pressure cuff.) This is the only explanation I can think of.* At some point the optometrist said "one or two" as he flipped back and forth between lenses, and I said "one" and the correct answer was obviously two. Or when he asked me what I could read on that chart I got it right but only by accident, I don’t know. What I do know is that  I can’t see anything.  I can’t see well enough that I’d be comfortable driving a car,  going down a flight of stairs is taking a risk that feels like skydiving,  I can’t see what items are on the shelves of the shops,  I can’t read,  I can’t see my email, and I’m struggling to see what I’m typing right now.   Last night I tried to read a chart for a shawl that I’ve returned to, and absolutely couldn’t make it out. Not for love nor money, and not with the glasses, and not with the contacts.  You know, it isn’t even that things are blurry – it’s that they’re swimming and vibrating (and sort of blurry) and it takes a Herculean effort to pull anything into focus, and I can’t nail depth of field. Yesterday I reached out to put my coffee cup on the counter and came perilously close to dropping it straight onto the floor, and I’m being terrorized by mice and birds that don’t exist, but I feel sure I can see moving out of the corner of my eyes. It’s like being high as a freakin’ kite, if – as Ken said on the weekend, you’re only living the disorientation, and none of the possible perks.  (Or so I’ve heard, Mum – if you’re reading this. I wouldn’t know.)

It’s been a strain that I didn’t even really know I was under until yesterday when I couldn’t read the instructions on a label, walked straight into a doorjamb like someone in a cartoon, almost fell down the basement stairs and then couldn’t read my computer screen well enough to blog about it. (I have only two outlets in life. If both blogging and knitting are hard for me, I’m practically dangerous.)  I came to my senses, and I have an eye appointment today.  Persistence isn’t always a virtue. You gotta know when to give up, and I’m crying uncle.  I’m obviously going to be hospitalized a long time before I get used to these glasses.

Wanna see something that totally worked out?  Sure you do.  I’ll squint madly at it, and try to get pictures up that aren’t blurry.  (How’s that for a segue?)  Remember this roving:

that became this yarn?

One of you made a great suggestion that it would be a great Zuzu’s Petals, and when I saw the pattern I thought it was a great idea.  It could be the -30 talking, but a cowl that looks like a shawl that can’t fall off? What a great idea.  I’ve got a friend with a birthday coming up – and I thought this would be perfect for her.  I cast on, and let me tell you, this sucker is fast.  In a single evening I’d knit a big chunk of it, and the next morning I got far enough to see how pretty it was, and how quickly it was coming together… 

Too quickly actually.  I realized that I was on round 31 of only 42, and that I still had a whole lot of yarn.  Way too much, my instincts said, and I hopped over to the scale to confirm.  I was right, I still had 45% of my yarn left, and that meant that I was going to have to embiggen the pattern.  Back I went.

I pulled it back to round 17, and I started doing some other things.  First, I went up a needle size. Then I started adding stitches in a little wedge at the back of the neck, two every other round until I had enough that I could sneak in another repeat.  I also added a few more rounds in the last section of the lace (If you have the pattern, it will be easy for you to see what I mean) and I added rounds after the final increase, and increased again – all to make it so that I used (almost) all the yarn.

Oh – wait, and for the record, I cast off purlwise to give the edge a little help lying flat.  (In my experience, the purl-bumps on the right side push the chain of the cast off to the wrong side. I like how it looks.

Now, ordinarily, this is the sort of thing that I wouldn’t wear.   I’m not wild about purple, I I don’t usually like things that are pullovers, and frankly, I made it with a friend in mind that it’s just perfect for…

(I am completely frozen in this picture. That is how much you can smile in -30 or your lips freeze to your teeth.) 

so I have no reasonable excuse for what happened when I pulled it on.  I loved it.

(Also, that wind? Seriously harshing on what little I have that passes for a hairstyle.)

Maybe it’s because I was so cold and it was so cozy, or maybe it’s because I couldn’t really see it, or maybe it’s an unreasonable attachment to my handspun, but I put it on, and I wanted it. Badly. 

I’ve decided to give it away anyhow, because I think things should follow the intention I have for them, and because giving it up makes me feel delightfully generous. 

* I lied. The other explanation I could think of was that the lab made the glasses wrong, but I had them checked.  They’re just what the Dr ordered, and his prescription made sense.  Also, the lenses are in the correct sides.  I checked that too.  I think I really did flunk an eye exam.

14 thoughts on “One for you, one for me?

  1. I once had my prescription changed 3 times in one month, then my optometrist told me to go get my sugar blood tested. It turns out I’d been hypoglycemic and that can make one’s vision fluctuate.

  2. Your cowl is beautiful! I’ve stayed away from cowls, but this one may end up on the queue.
    About your glasses. I ran into a problem with my newest glasses. When I first put them on in the optometrist’s office I wasn’t able to see anything clearly. The assistant tried to blame the new progressive lenses – adding to my already nightmarish myopia prescription – but I wasn’t able to see anything clearly at any distance. Just to see what would happen, I slid the glasses a bit down my nose away from my eyes, and I was able to see clearly. It turns out that the new glasses, with plastic frames, were seated higher on my face, and closer to my eyes, than my old glasses with metal frames, and this was causing me to be overcorrected. Decreasing my prescription by about 1 diopter made it so I can see well enough to be street legal. Give it a try.

  3. Love the cowl and love the snow in the background of your pictures. Really. Down here, near the lower tip of the US, it’s been bouncing between 60-75 the past couple of weeks. We’re totally getting gypped on winter.

  4. At my last eye exam, the doctor put in the order for my contacts and when they came and I put them in, I could not see a blooming thing. When I took them back, he checked and realized he had put a – instead of a + in front of the prescription numbers. lol

  5. Stephanie – take heart, you probably were given the wrong prescription. This happened to my 13 year old daughter last year. It was very frustrating and stressful as we went through multiple appointments trying to fit her for contact lenses that, ultimately, she could not see well through. It finally occurred to me that perhaps her prescription was wrong. (Why that hadn’t occurred to the doctor, I don’t know). It turns out it was. They had to re do her glasses and contact lenses, and all is well now. But it was a multi month slog trying to sort the problem out. I would highly encourage you to re do your vision test to see if needs to be adjusted. I hope all turns out well for you, too!

  6. You can’t really flunk an eye exam. At least, not with my eye doctor. Once she establishes your script with the ones and twos, she redoes it to see if you meant it, and retests distance and close up with the new script. And then, evaluates you, because there are things about vision comfort that are an art, not a science, and she didn’t want someone hating their glasses, even though “technically” they are correct. The amount of magnification is a personal comfort thing, for instance, and her knowledge of me and what I use my glasses for affect how MCV I will like “in the real world”, as opposed to in her office. I’m grateful for her knowledge to help me get the right script faster!

  7. It’s possible that the mice and birds you were seeing were floaters (happened to me, but I thought they were fruit flies). It’s good you went back to the doctor to have your problems checked. Most floaters will go away on their own, but a doctor should check periodically to be sure they aren’t a sign of something more serious. If you see a flash of light or experience a pain in your eye(s), hightail it back to the doctor immediately.
    I hope an adjustment to your prescription resulted in much better vision.

  8. I think I tweeted this in parts when comments weren’t working. I had a similar issue where the lab decided they should average the centers, instead of using what the doc sent them. Made me sick.
    Another time, they put the entire bifocal gradient in approximately the bottom eighth of the lens, and I was sitting at the computer with my head tilted so far back I looked like I’d passed out.
    My doc later ditched this lab, thank goodness.

  9. I emailed this while comments were down, but I imagine it might get lost in the thousands of emails you probably got….so here it is again –
    The glasses may be wrong even though the prescription is right! Let me explain – I had a pair of glasses made a while back, could see distance, but around 10 feet away, things turned to crap. By the time things were in arms reach, as you said – swimming and vibrating. After some experimentation, I discovered that the focal points for close-up was in the wrong place. As in too close to the center of my face. After showing what I meant to the optomitrist, they finally remade the lenses, and much better! I suggest closing one eye, find out where you can see clearly, then switch eyes. If the clear area is different, your lenses are wrong, even though they’re “right”.

  10. I have (apparently) a very short face. Short meaning, it’s flat-ish front to back. All of my glasses have to have the legs adjusted to fit my ears. Which means, when I had a prescription, I sent it off and because the place I used didn’t do custom PD (pupillary distance), I was screwed and had to get new lenses from a local place. Best of luck to you with your eyes, and gorgeous new shawl/cowl!

  11. Hey, didn’t you have a new heating system put in recently? That could be contributing to the eyesight problem; I have Dry Eye Syndrome, and it’s so much worse in the winter because the radiators dry the air out – and the symptoms are exactly like what you describe. You can get your optician to check for this, and if it is a factor, ceramic humidifiers on the radiators help, as do carbomer gel eye drops. Good luck!

  12. I’ll have to see if your Zuzu’s Petals suggestions help me. I got the pattern because I can’t accessorize in a tidy fashion, and this seemed like an ideal solution. But I want to use some of my (incredibly large) sock yarn collection, and it hurt my brain to try to figure out how to adapt the pattern to thinner yarn after my first failed attempt. Yours looks great!

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