Dancing through Pain

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Pain is an odd thing. It has lingered far longer than I had thought it would post-surgery. It takes a stronger hold in the evenings, keeping me from feeling like I want to go out anywhere. It can drain the life right of you. I’ve been trying to fight it by not only taking pain medication but also employing natural pain meds such as drawing, painting, knitting and crocheting.

FreeformVest

In my last post, you saw the crocheted motifs I had made originally for a capelet design I had milling around in my head. But I switched gears and decided to make a vest out of them instead. Freeform crochet is one of my favorite things to do…no rules, only boundaries (ie. the shape of the vest).

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My husband has officiated several weddings this summer. I have not been able to attend any of them. This past weekend was a wedding of the daughter of some dear friends of ours and I just didn’t want to miss out on it. So I pushed myself to attend the rehearsal dinner on Saturday evening and then the wedding and reception on Sunday evening.

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Pain doesn’t take a holiday when you decide to go out and enjoy life. I barely made it through the majority of the rehearsal dinner. And I made myself make it through as much of the reception as I could.

I am so glad I did!

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Sitting at our table while others were out on the dance floor, my husband nodded to me and then nodded in the direction of the dance floor. I was surprised he wanted to dance and even more surprised that my response was OK! Let’s go!

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Walking is painful in the evenings and I knew dancing would not be any better. But somehow, as we started our “swing” moves to the beach music being played, I forgot about the pain and relished dancing with my husband. I made it to the end of that song but knew I could not do any more.

But I did it! I danced through the pain! It may have been the vest I was wearing! Ha!;) I’ve also been crocheting through the pain. Knitting through the pain. And painting and drawing through the pain.

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A couple of friends have been asking how I do this even though I’m not feeling well. My response is that I somehow forget about how I’m feeling while I’m being creative in some way. It is indeed a natural pain medication.

So I’ll keep on “dancing” no matter how I feel. Every stitch of this freeform crochet vest was so enjoyable…I’m dreaming of other freeform works!

If you’ve never tried this type of crochet, you should! Typically, I cut out of muslin a “pattern”…a simple shape of whatever it is I want to make: vest, shawl, etc. I didn’t do that on this vest, just winged it and kept laying out the pieces as I made them to see where I needed to go next. I wanted the bottom edge to be organic, not straight. Freeform crochet allows you to add any stitch, any where you like.

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I have a couple of books that inspire me and give ideas. But this one is my favorite: Creative Crochet Lace: A Freeform Look at Classic Crochet by Myra Wood. It shows how you go about designing and creating a freeform crochet piece to wear. Myra calls this method “doodling with yarn”. I love that! Instead of doodling with a pen on paper, you really are doodling with a hook and yarn.

So fun! You should give it a try! It will even help with any ailment you may be experiencing!

Completely Succumbed

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It’s entirely the fault of our snow day today! At least, I’m blaming it on that. It’s actually been coming on for a week or so now. All my efforts at being single minded in my creative ventures, all my talk about being focused and present on only ONE creative project at a time, has completely flown OUT the window and beyond the horizon along with the rain/snow/thunder storm that blew through yesterday. It left behind a beautiful icy snow, no school, a day to walk and play outside with my youngest, and a lap full of more yarn than I can hold! Such fun!

LeafWhite

I just know you’re wondering what I’m working on! Hee hee! First up, but not necessarily in order of having started them, is a wonderful FREE pattern by Susan B. Anderson, a favorite designer.  It’s a marvelous leaf pattern you can make into a scarf or a bookmark depending on the thickness of yarn you use. I have plans for this beyond a scarf or bookmark…I’ll show you in time. (Please notice that phrase “in time”. This is an open-ended choice of words meant to be vague, as I myself have no clue whether I will finish this project next week or next year!)

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Another lace-type pattern I’m working on is this little scarf from the book Knitting Little Luxuries. I love the patterns in this book! Very feminine and princessy. I started this pattern at least two years ago and got about half way through. I had even made the flower broach for the scarf. All that’s needed is a bit of pattern following for the remainder of the scarf. This is not a typical pattern for me…I tend not to like having to follow a detailed chart or instructions. The great thing about this book is that it writes out each line of the chart in regular knitting vocabulary. It’s really cool to see the pattern emerge from your fingers.

GrayDayz

Next is what I’m calling my Gray Dayz afghan. This one truly may take a year to complete, but I love the yarn, Sheepish, and it’s awesome colors. We have had so many gray days around these parts, that it has reminded me of how colors appear so vibrant when surrounded by gray. So each striped, round, polka dot will be encased in gray. It’ll be striking when it’s all put together…I hope. 😉 Free pattern here!

SockYarns

And as if that isn’t enough, I took myself to one of my favorite yarn shops yesterday, to get some sock yarn! Of course! Instead of stocking up on milk and bread for the winter storm, I. must. have. YARN! Martha and Shirley, the owners of Knit One Smock Too are wonderful guides for exactly what you need for knitting socks, or anything else for that matter.

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And I’m still working on Brown Sweater. Gracious! I really have done it this time! I fear I may need to wave my white surrender flag buried under all this yarn!!!!  Rest assured, I’ll be inside the mound of yarn giggling and knitting all the while. :0

Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf

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If I told you I wasn’t a huge fan of knitting lace, please don’t judge too quickly.  I know, I know…perhaps I’m not a “real” knitter, but it isn’t that I don’t adore the LOOK of lace.  So many of the popular patterns today are these gorgeous shawls either knitted entirely in an intricate lace pattern, or the edging is lacework.  I just don’t enjoy being chained to the pattern, row by row having to read, follow, check, make sure I’m on the right row.  And UN-knitting a row of lacework you’ve knitted incorrectly is the worst. So, for me, I love simple knitting.

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Yet, when simple knitting and a bit of lace go together…THAT’s really fun! So I’m passing the fun on to you with instructions to knit a two-row stitch pattern I came across several years ago.  This is the second scarf I’ve made using this two-row repeat pattern.  Yes, that’s it! Only two rows you have to remember, and really, it’s only ONE ROW!  The second row is purling across. How much easier could you get for a pretty, lacy, ripply look!

I have made it into a FREE pattern, writing it so that you can use just about any weight yarn you’d like to! I love knitting the same pattern in all different yarn weights…you wind up with such different looks using the same stitch pattern.  I’ve also added in my Variations on a Theme section, the instructions for making this into a shawl!!  I can’t wait to try that!

The first pic above is my latest Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf I knitted with what I had leftover from a vest I made (this accounts for why it’s a bit short in length).  The yarn is Noro Silk Garden Lite, a favorite yarn typically knitted with a size 6 or 7 needle.  This pattern relies on you knitting with needles at least two sizes larger than what is recommended on the label. I used size 10 needles for this.

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This version of the same scarf is one I knitted a few years ago and I wear with my green coat.  I do wish I could tell you what yarn it is.  But it’s the same gauge as Silk Garden Lite and I used size 10 needles with it as well.  My next Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf will be using a chunky weight yarn and see how that turns out. 🙂

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I hope you enjoy the Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf pattern as much as I have. Click those highlighted words to download a PDF of it.  You may even have time to knit one or two of these before Christmas if you’re in need of a last-minute gift!