Work-in-Progress Wednesday!

Knitting is one of my big pleasures.  I love the idea that this is a timeless skill that has been passed on through generations, just as my grandmother taught me. I’m not very good at it yet! For a long time, all I managed to produce was…well, really long pieces of knitting.  Here (below) is a blanket that I’ve loved working on.  I would like it to be a kind of heirloom picnic blanket so when I’ve decided it’s big enough, I’ll probably back it with a kikoy towel or perhaps a brushed cotton sheet or some fleece to make it even cosier.

The ‘TOGETHER’ squares came about because ‘together’ was the theme of an exhibition of my local ‘knit and natter’ group.  Of course I didn’t manage to get the blanket done in time for the exhibition!  But through my friendship with the knit and natter ladies – also known as the Hatherleigh hookers – I’ve also got something even more special out of my favourite hobby.  A sense of belonging and community – togetherness indeed.

And woop – now it seems like knitting is actually cool – well, relatively speaking!   Perhaps it’s a way of rejecting the smash and grab consumption trends of the noughties, and tapping into the ‘grow your own’ ethos.  In that way it’s like seeing your garden come alive in springtime.  The pleasure is in the gradualness of it, the anticipation of seeing it come together (that word again).

I’m not the fastest or neatest knitter in the world, but since I love to look at other knitting blogs, I will try to share my progress once a week. Let me know what you think!

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About this blog…

“It’s my belief that history is a wheel. ‘Inconstancy is my very essence,’ says the wheel. ‘Rise up on my spokes if you like but don’t complain when you’re cast back down…. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, just like the best of times, are always passing away”.’   

– Boethius, The Consolations of Philosophy

This is a blog about the things that make me happy.  Most of the things I write about will probably be very small things.  Some of them will probably seem rather materialistic and shallow.  Some of them – I hope – will be a little bit more profound.   The point is, happiness and contentment are a bit too ephemeral for my liking.  It took me until my 30s to realise that you have to work at them both.  Happiness is a mutable state (Boethius above, puts it better than me) – just as pain and sadness are.

Which is just as well, because this summer (2012), I’m scheduled to have major orthopaedic surgery.  No Olympic marathons for me!  I have a condition called hip dysplasia, which means my hip sockets are not formed properly and it is painful and difficult for me to walk.  When I found out, I thought nobody could help me.  I thought I would be in a wheelchair for life.  It is the only time in my life that I was so frustrated and angry I wanted to throw things.  But it got better – with the help of a lot of physiotherapy (up to 3 hours a day), the pain became manageable for a while.  I got a great six pack too!  Now, when I go out with a walking stick or crutches, people stare because I don’t look like someone with a disability.

Buns of Steel – Can’t Get Up Stairs

Despite appearances to the contrary though, things are getting worse.  It’s painful to walk, painful to sit, painful to lie down.  I’m tired all the time, and then I feel guilty for being tired and sore and not doing enough with my family or at work.

I do not know anyone else with my condition, but I have found some blogs telling the stories of other young women who have undergone a PAO (peri-acetabular osteotomy) – or even two, just like I need.  I decided to write another blog which tells the story of the PAO alongside all the other things that make up life.  So I will tell my hip story, but I hope that most of my posts will be about other stuff.  The things that actually get me through.  The things that remind me that the worst of times are passing away.

Here’s a bit about me.  I am in my 30s and in 2009, I married my delicious husband (let’s call him Irish, which was the nickname he gave himself on the Internet Dating site where we met).  He is retired (!) due to a severe injury he sustained on military operations in 2003.  We look after each other.  I have two equally delicious (though not in the same way) stepdaughters, aged 12 and 8.   We live with a Bengal cat and five unruly chickens in The House, in an ancient village in the middle of darkest Devon, in England.  I have a full-time job, I love my job, but I don’t want to write about that.  I like to eat, and bake, and garden, and knit, and read, and wear lovely clothes and handbags.  And most of all, I like to laugh with my family, every day, as much as I can.

This blog is named after a song that makes me happy.  It’s by Anafey, it’s got a cool oldskool ‘boots-cats’ vibe to it, and like all the best things, gets better towards the end.  You can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypl59XewnDk

One more thing.  I would like this blog to be uplifting, but not smug, self-aggrandising, or self-congratulatory – ugh.   Please comment and tell me if I’m doing it right (or wrong).

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