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.