Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Go big or go home, or at least keep trying

 I can't face an empty day. I need to have some activity, even if it's "wasting time". I count wasting time as setting out to read the news, for instance, and being dragged down rabbit holes for all those little clickable sites that take you on for seeming hours to look at "rare historic photos", ad infinitum. Pretty soon it's lunch time.

Yesterday I finished another batch of towels, and this color is a keeper. It's lime, and lime popsicle is the apt description. It looks and feels that cool.


 

The color wheel is simply too bland now, so the next color will be blue:


The snow has stopped, replaced by bitterly cold air. Typing that made me smile. The next couple of weeks will be in the teens. That is cold, for sure. But I remember a finals week, back in the nineteen sixties. The temps were below zero for a very long time, and we walked from building to building, warming up in each one, then going on.

I wonder if millenials do that. Or just stay home.

The only other big occupation in my life is knitting socks. I sent the inauguration socks to my friend Ann. She and Drea are big fans of wool socks, working on cement floors at the kennel. Ann showed them off and Drea said they actually are exciting news.


This pair is for Drea. The foot is within a couple rows of decreasing for the toe, but I just texted to confirm Drea's foot is ten inches long. I still have towels to hem while I wait.

Learning over to knit socks has been fascinating. It used to be something I did. I love wool socks, and have lots of winter to wear them in. I even knit summer socks occasionally, from embroidery floss. 

Socks are a mindless activity, once learned. Knitting is mindless, even great repetitive patterns like Aran or lace sweaters. The mind knows the feel of each stitch on the needle and when it's time to change the stitch because the feel has changed.

But, I had to relearn, and having sustained a right brain injury this time, my attitude was Oh Well. Too Bad. Tough Beans. I was four years even picking up an almost completed sock found in the knitting bag. Showing my fingers and brain the movements required, and this time on my own. My mother and grandmother long gone. Oh well. I plowed on through.

50 comments:

  1. You are one determined woman! Well done!

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  2. Goodness, your socks are just as beautiful as your towels. Lucky friends you have!!! Stay warm and keep safe!

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  3. Anyone who can knit a sock is champion of the world, I reckon.

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  4. Loving your socks. And the popsicle towels. I also stopped in at Where the Towels Live - and will leave your blog smiling. Many thanks.

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  5. i heard somewhere that knitting calms the busy part of your brain, it works for me. Lovely socks.

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  6. I'm so happy you are sticking to the knitting Joanne. It's good for the brain! During the war they used to teach the soldiers to knit to help them recover from head injuries and shock.

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    1. And blind people to knit to keep up with the need for balaclavas. That's how I learned to knit and read or watch the TV.

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  7. I would say you've done a pretty fine job of plowing on through your knitting! I've tried knitting and the best I could do was small flat pieces, but I prefer sewing anyway. I sure admire all that you do. The socks you make always look so warm and beautiful!

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  8. Knitting requires a mathematical brain...something I do not have. Yes, I do like that color. :)

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  9. That sock is a thing of beauty. As is your quiet persistence and insistence on learning or relearning. Go you!

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  10. Hari OM
    It will be some of that very 'cellular memory' aspec of knitting (crochet, etc) that helped you recover the skill and knowledge you thought gone... hoorah for that Pavlovian aspect of learning a craft!!! YAM xx

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  11. I'm completely in awe of your knitting. You are absolute proof positive of the plasticity of the human brain. But you really had to be determined and you were and you are and look at that gorgeous sock!

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  12. It’s funny how you can concentrate mindlessly - getting to the end of a row knowing just by feel that the stitches were right. Although I’m a ‘silent counter’ when it comes to lacy things......just to be sure.
    Socks.....maybe....one day.
    After the last year, I think we’ve come to accept ‘empty days’ as the norm. Or at least I have. Routines are returning to life here in Melbourne and I know a few of us will be wanting our empty days back again soon......without last year’s complications

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  13. Knitting and weaving - you are a bundle of talent! Stay warm up there in the frozen northlands.

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  14. You do such lovely work, Joanne. I wish I had learned to crochet and knit, especially now. My mom made beautiful things but she could never get name me nor my siblings interested.

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  15. I hear you about empty days!! Although those rabbit holes are tempting...

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  16. One needs to do something. Knitting works. Sue is crocheting quite a bit. I was just checking out my Scottish ancestry.

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  17. What great socks! You keep yourself occupied very well.

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  18. maybe you didn't relearn to knit but your body remembered even if your mind didn't. I need to start doing art again or I'll have to relearn that.

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  19. Mindless? Knitting socks or anything? I only wish! I've tried and tried to knit but it seems as though I am a Knit-wit. (heheheh) Gorgeous towels and socks though!

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    1. Hello Cathy! Talk about coming in from the cold. It's wonderful to see your smiling face.

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  20. I admire your talent. Your towels and sox are outstanding. Knitting, sewing and I suspect weaving are all beyond me. My grandmother could do all these things as well as play the piano and organ by ear, later learning to read music. Just amazing. I, for sure, did not get those genes. (P.S.: I am thinking I will have to have some of your blue towels.)

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  21. The lime towels are beautiful. I've tried to learn how to knit several times; I think it would be a wonderful and calming pastime. Those socks look cozy!

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  22. I remember winters in the 60s, oh boy. So many stories about those days.

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  23. That is a good way to pass the time.

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  24. I believe there is "muscle memory". Even if your mind forgot how to knit, perhaps once you got the needles in your hands, things kicked in again. That is beautiful and I admire your ability to knit socks. I am a TERRIBLE knitter. I think it would be torture to me now. -Jenn

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  25. I too can't face an empty day but truthfully I never have empty days though sometimes I create one so I can have a rest. I know that in another year or two things might be different because by then I will have completed all of my backlog 'stuff'. Then I guess it will be time to create a new schedule.

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  26. My mother was a knitter. She tried to teach me how when I was in my teens, but she was right handed, I was left handed, and we couldn't figure out how to make it work.

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  27. Your knitted socks are so lovely and colourful!

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  28. Your socks are beautiful, I love the colours you use for them. The lime towels are also nice.

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  29. Oh but how beautiful Joanne :) And you reminded me of the phrase "Nevertheless she persisted."

    You are so inspiring.

    XO
    WWW

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  30. Beautiful work Joanne, you are never short of something to do.

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  31. Oooh good, blue. I like blue. I have trouble with pinks and limes because I can't see them.

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  32. Darling Joanne,

    How skilful you are. You make light of your achievements but, believe us, when we say that threading a needle for us is like climbing Everest. As for knitting socks well.... there are shops, we say, but yours look far better than any manufactured varieties. A friend made us presents of hand knitted socks one year and they are still going strong. They make us smile, think of him, and are so warm and comfortable, that they are a joy to wear.

    So, keep on keeping on. It is what we must all do. [Sure you made the mask too....clever you}

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  33. Well done for re-learning. I am not sure I could do that (but I am very good at wasting time), so I have admiration for you.

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  34. I can't imagine a more delightful than hand knitted socks. I am sure the recipients are thrilled beyond measure.

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  35. Well you remind me of my mom JoAnn she was a multitasking person of all the home arts. Going big makes me think of Pres. Joe let's get on with it to provide help where it's needed and get the pandemic stopped and we can return economically as well as healthwise to a new normal

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  36. Agreed. I also need to feel like I've done something, anything, to look back at by the end of the day.
    Those socks would be the equivalent of creating the theory of relativity for me.

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  37. I love this: "I even knit summer socks occasionally, from embroidery floss." How many strands of floss do you use? Maybe I'll start by making socks for my new little grand-baby.

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    1. Usually there are 6 strands, and I divided to 3 strands for socks.

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  38. Yes, blue is just what you need for your towels! So pretty. I keep a little list to keep me on track during the day, otherwise it is TOO frittered away. I like to keep my frittering ORGANIZED!

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  39. I really admire you that you can knit socks, Joanne! (I learned it once at school, but instantly forgot it - though I still can crochet (but stopped 1986) - and my mind I soothed some years with doing elaborate cross stitch (without printing on the cloth, just counting) - I did really marvellous things, but as suddenly as I started I stopped.
    I love your mentioning the rabbit holes!! (and dol follow you, so we are sitting there with Alice, maybe :-)

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  40. I'm impressed. That sock looks good. I'd hire you to knit socks for me. I love the colours too. The lime green is nice. I am using the one you sent me today. I ought to mail you a picture of it in use. I'll check your profile and see if there is an email contact.

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  41. By the way, have I told you how great I think you are.

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  42. Super socks! I haven't worn any since moving here but still treasure my Turkish ones which saw me through many a winter in France.

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  43. Dear Joanne, this sentence of your--"The mind knows the feel of each stitch on the needle and when it's time to change the stitch because the feel has changed" struck me. I've never knitted and I've always wondered at movies I'd see where someone--like Miss Jane Marple--would be listening to someone talk and knitting, so carefreely, at the same time. Now understand. I understand a little of what you must have to do each time you start a new technique since your right-brain injury. The reason I have some understanding is that for 18 months when Meniere's first arrived (2006-08), it badly affected my mind and I wasn't able to think straight. To reason. To prioritize. To make decisions. To remember how to read a wall clock. Etc. It's frustrating I know, but oh the joy when we realize we are able, once again, to do what was so simply before the accident or the illness. I hope you know how much I admire you. You're intrepid. Peace.

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  44. You are such a wonderful and lovely woman, Joanne. So glad to have met you. I don't know what it is but I always leave with a smile after visiting your blog. Good luck with the new towel color and getting those socks finished. Take care.

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  45. :) I'm so happy you're knitting socks again!! I wondered, and assumed the r-b injury was the culprit. Knit on, my friend. Knit on.

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