Wednesday, 18 March 2009

My Own Worst Enemy

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

I know that I often have problems sleeping, so I have developed a strategy that tries to ensure that I get as much sleep as possible. What I try to do is to tire myself out physically and mentally. The physical aspect can be quite difficult on the days that I don't have the energy to do much physical activity, and the mental side can be difficult to achieve when I have problems with concentration. However, I do my best and one thing that I can usually manage to deal with the mental side of things is to work on one of the crafts that I enjoy.

At the moment the craft that absorbs much of my time, and hopefully mental capacity, is knitting. I have often mentioned before that I have been a knitter almost all my life, and I have always loved the challenge of the difficult, so you will often find that I have several projects on the go at the same time so that I have something that is suitable to meet my concentration abilities at any given time.

Lace knitting requires a high level of concentration as it is nothing unusual for every row to be different when knitting a complex shawl for example. This means that it is not suitable as something to do when watching television. So, if it is a good night for television I will have something which requires little concentration, a jumper or a scarf, for example.

As a result of a large number of visitors to my blog a few weeks ago who had arrived via the same Google search terms I did some investigating. These visitors had arrived via a link in a knitting forum to one of my posts that was about Shetland Hap shawls. The end result was that I joined the knitting forum myself and I have been enjoying reading what other knitters are working on and attempting to answer other knitter's questions. One of the forum members has been knitting a lovely circular blanket (afghan) and has posted a picture of it now that she has finished it. She also gave details of the pattern that she used, so I had a look at the pattern and decided to buy it so that I could knit it in the future. I was able to buy a download of the pattern which was useful as the designer is American, as are most of the forum members, so it was unlikely that had it been a 'paper pattern' that it would be available in the UK.

Yesterday I went for walk and while I was out I managed to buy some wool, at a very reasonable price, to use to knit the blanket. I didn't mean to start the blanket yet as I have a couple of other projects that I need to work on, but because this pattern had a new technique for starting the work, I am afraid that the temptation was too much and yesterday evening I had to have a go at starting it. Try as I might I just could not follow the instructions for this start, which enables you to begin knitting a circular item without a bulky cast on and without leaving a hole at the middle of the item. However, there was an illustration showing what the cast on should look like once it had been completed and because the start of the blanket only required 10 stitches to be created I decided to approach the problem from a different angle. Armed with a knitting needle and the wool threaded through a tapestry needle, I managed to recreate the layout of the stitches and yarn as illustrated and then transferred them to the double-pointed needles required for the early stages of the knitting. Having managed this, I found that I had to carry on with the knitting, at least for a few rows, so that I had the pattern, and the blanket, established and ready to be put aside until I was ready to work on it in earnest.

Unfortunately I became hooked on it, and as it grew I found I wanted to start work on the next chart (it is worked using a set of charts to illustrate how the stitches and patterns involved are developed) and then the next. This meant that instead of going to bed at a reasonable time and reading a little before going to sleep, I was hooked on my knitting and was still going strong at about 3am this morning at which time I started to yawn uncontrollably and realized that I really ought to go to bed. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow but was awake again by 6.30 with the sun streaming through the window. Not enough sleep really, but I found that I couldn't turn over and drop off again.

There you have it. I'm tired, but I have things that I must do today, so I am up and having now had something to eat and got myself ready to face the day, I must get on with my chores, go to the Post Office to do some business there, then go for a walk to get some physical exercise for the day, before coming home and maybe having a short nap to make up for the hours that I missed last night.

Tonight I really must go to bed early, but I bet I won't. You see I really am my own worst enemy!


Anonymous said...

Are you really your own worst enemy? Just think about what you have said and then reflect and respond as only you can! The post was eloquent and so well presented that I applaud you; I can even imagine you sitting there composing it - yawning whilst you did so! And I haven't quite forgiven you for posting the details of the infuriatingly addictive bubble wrap site, which I love incidentally! Talk to you soon. :-))

BTC said...

Have to agree with the previous comment - sounds like you're doing an admirable job at trying to look after yourself.

Without sounding like someone's mother - are you eating properly? I find that I (as insomniac extraordinaire) am much more fidgety when I haven't had enough iron. Supplements with an evening meal can sometimes help. Or at least, they help me. (not a doctor!!)

Well done on getting *some* sleep