Out Like A Lion

I know that title is butchering the ‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ phrase regarding March (which feels quite far away), but I think it’s fair to say that 2015 is going out like a lion. We’re having a whirlwind end of the year over here, featuring a rollercoaster of emotions and events.

The biggest news is that the Fiasco and I are expecting a little one at the end of June. We have named him/her the Hatchling. And while he/she is doing well, he/she has caused nothing but trouble for me thus far. It turns out, I don’t like pregnancy very much, and it doesn’t like me right back. I’ve just discovered that I am now in a high risk category due to a blood clot in my leg (a.k.a. deep vein thrombosis). I have to inject myself with blood thinners twice a day for the next six months, and likely after the birth as well. This, friends, is a very unpleasant side effect of pregnancy that I had no idea was a thing that could happen. Also, fatigue. I have thallasemia minor, which is a genetic trait that makes me bad at producing hemoglobin and thus permanently anemic (for which iron does nothing to help) so I’m extra super tired all the time because pregnancy ALSO makes you anemic and fatigued. And then there was the nausea for a while (thank goodness that’s mostly gone) and the general feeling like I don’t know what the hell is happening in my own body anymore.

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If you have to go to the ER, you might as well be wearing great socks.

Sorry to rant a bit, but all of that has been occupying a lot of my attention lately and has greatly reduced my available time and energy for knitting, spinning, and Sweet Sheep-ing. I also think it’s important to provide some Real Talk about pregnancy. Sometimes, pregnant women are painted as these beautiful, fecund goddesses of patience and serenity, when really… it’s hard and can be dangerous. And I think that’s good to acknowledge. Also, as a PSA for deep vein thrombosis, if you feel a strange persistent pain in your calf or thigh that seems like the worst part of a charlie horse cramp but doesn’t go away or feel better when you stretch, get checked out. My first cramp lasted 5 days but my doctor just said to drink more water. Then two weeks later I had a similar pain in my thigh, as well as swelling around my knee, and TA DA! Blood clots can break into pieces that travel to your heart/lungs and become pulmonary embolisms, so it’s important to get treated ASAP.

All that said, we are very excited, and I’m looking forward to knitting some adorable baby things in the near future. Here’s proof of how cute our Hatchling will be someday:

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Proof of tiny human, waving hello.

That was taken a couple of weeks ago, so the little tyke has likely doubled in size by now. And proof that I haven’t totally forgotten how to knit:

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BMFA Tigger Targhee in Gnome for the Holidays.

These are the beginnings of Katniss socks using the brand new Tigger Targhee from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I like it a lot, and will write more about it soon.

Later on I’ll take a hard look about what I made in 2015, but right now, I’d like to look forward. I typically choose a couple of words to represent my goals and intentions for the new year and this year, I think my words will have to be PATIENCE and ACCEPTANCE. In the year that I become a parent, I think they will be really, really important. Being patient with myself, slowing down as needed, patiently awaiting the big events to come. Accepting my limitations, doing just what I can, accepting the challenges thrown in my path with some amount of grace, these are my hopes for 2016. How about you?

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From a recent hike that I took, with a freaking blood clot in my leg. Glad I’m not dead!

Happy new year, folks. See you on the other side.

A Nice Round Number

There’s something about the number ‘2015’ that I really like. It’s not technically a round number, not even an even number, but it feels like a nice, round number to me. I’ve been inspired by all the list-making and year-reviewing happening in blogland and I’d like to jump in with my own. In the past, I’ve made some pretty geeky year-end project charts. This year, my knitting production was way way less. I suspect there are a few reasons for this:

  1. a wrist injury that prevented knitting for most of 2 months
  2. the planning and execution of my wedding
  3. the opening of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe
  4. more time spent spinning (52 oz of finished yarn!)
  5. and very few gifts knit this year (only 2)

All of these events means that my knitting production was so dismal, I’m not even making a graph of it. Compared to last year’s 50 project finished in 2013, during 2014 I completed a grand total of 18 projects–many of them hats. Shockingly, I have 44 WIPs from the last few years floating around my house somewhere… a situation which sorely needs to be remedied.

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Although I couldn’t resist making a table…

Somewhat more disappointing is the complete lack of disregard I showed for the goals I made last January. They were to knit myself a sweater, knit entirely from stash, and finish or frog all of my socks in progress. In fairness, I did knit about 70% of a vest (that I intend to finish by January 24th!), except for one hat I did knit entirely from older stash (but I still stashed over 60 skeins of yarn), and the sock status remains a disaster. I finished a grand total of two pairs of socks in 2014, with 17 pairs (actually, I just cast on a new one, so make that 18 pairs) still in some kind of progress.

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But isn’t the new sock delightful?!

Thus, I’ve concluded that I really needed some more concrete goals, with an associated plan of attack. Constructing such a plan of attack will be my WIP this week, I’m sure…

I believe I first encountered the idea of embracing a particular word for the new year instead of making concrete resolutions on Sarah’s blog (although you can also read about the idea here). I love the concept and think that approaching a year with intention is more doable than aiming for a particular outcome (clearly, based on my lack of goal-stick-to-it-iveness). Circumstances are so unpredictable and the only thing you can really control is the way that you approach it all, so framing your approach with mindfulness makes a lot of sense to me.

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Sunbeam of mindfulness.

I have two words this year. The first is Bravery. There’s a great line in a Jason Mraz song that goes “But my thoughts are all I got, so I try to make ’em brave” which has become a bit of a mantra for me. Even before I heard the song, I promised in one of my wedding vows to approach our life together with a sense of adventure and joy. I think part of what I meant was that I will try to be brave — to worry less, to enjoy more, to retain a sense of perspective, and to keep our life together fun, because it is a good life and we are lucky to have it. It takes a lot of courage for me to face uncertain futures and make decisions with a light heart, and I intend to do my best to cultivate such an attitude of bravery in 2015.

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Irrelevant to this post, just wanted to show off the awesome shirt I gave the Fiasco (my muppet-y man) for xmas.

My second word, partially inspired by this post, is Enough. While this word has negative connotations, I think it can be incredibly freeing, as well. Everything really is ok, in moderation, and learning when I’ve had/done enough and accepting that I am/do enough is key. I tend to throw myself into projects/ideas/plans with 150% of my being, whole-hog, guns-blazing, and all that jazz. And while that can be a productive approach, it can also lead to burn out, a lack of direction, unproductive backslides, and guilt. (Nobody needs that guilt.) So this year I intend to get ok with gradual amounts of progress, with spending moderate amounts of time in a variety of pursuits, and with realistically outlining my goals and priorities so that they aren’t quite so ‘all or nothing’. I am coming to the understanding that everything in my life cannot be top priority at all times, that some things must slide back while others come forward, and as long as the backburner doesn’t turn into a place where dreams go to die, it will all be just fine.

How do you greet the new year? Do you reflect on the past, look forward to the future? Do you make any goals? If so, what are you focusing on for 2015? And since I likely won’t make it back to this space before Friday, have a very Happy New Year!