When I get stressed out I knit – I know, I know, big surprise there. I turn to knitting as a way to calm my mind, I just should have figured out that a project that requires my full attention was not the best way to go.
I was so intent on blocking the trip to the zoo (more on that later) from my mind that I was solely focused on finishing my lace shawl. The problem, as you can see above, is that when you aren’t paying attention you end up screwing up 10 whole rows and over 2,000 stitches. To think it had been going so well….
It is a pleasure to inform you now that after two hours, and a lot of cursing, the shawl is back on track. I really am hoping to get it finished either tomorrow or Tuesday – but boy oh boy I wanted to finish it today.
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** The Zoo Fiasco **
What led to this particular frenzy of knitting was a trip to the Columbus Zoo on Friday. It should have been a fun little outing; Trevor, Mom, Gloria and I bundled into the car (despite the heat) and made our way towards furry, fuzzy goodness. It started very well – just look at Trevor and his new best friend.
Everything seemed to be going so well, until my Mom’s first asthma attack.
All things considered it really wasn’t that bad, since her diagnosis with COPD almost 10 years ago we’ve all gotten used to varying degrees of attacks. Two hits on the inhaler, some water and cotton candy and we were on the move again.
We saw polar bears….
Some Blue Mallards….
and baby elephants…..
Things seemed to be going pretty well – until they weren’t.
We were standing in line to get on a ride about dinosaurs of all things. I should say that no one but my mom wanted to do this, but she was like a little kid – so excited to go see the dinosaurs. So we humored her, put away our cameras and stood in line. I didn’t even know anything was wrong until she was grabbing my shirt and pushing through the throngs of people behind us.
By the time we were clear of the crowd her asthma wasn’t going to be easily controlled. Two more hits on the inhaler didn’t seem to damp it down, neither was hot water. I left her in Trevor and Gloria’s care and ran to some poor kid selling ice cream to see if he could get me a medic cart. I scared the hell out of this kid, but my insistence – as well as my fear that my mom was going to drop dead at the zoo – made me determined to get what was needed.
He radioed the cart and I returned to where my family was perched on a bench. I should have been freaking out when I saw here EpiPen but oddly enough I am always calm in stressful situations. It’s usually only after that my Panic Monster and I get reacquainted. She was holding it in her fist, shaking from tears and adrenaline released from four monster hits on her inhaler in less than two hours. All she could keep saying was “I want to go home”.
By the time the cart there all I wanted to do was go home too, unfortunately the cart held 3 and us being 4 I had to run behind the cart. This isn’t usually a big deal but my shoes were not fit for running and after about 35 minutes of this (the cart was kind enough to take us to the care) my shoes were full of blood.
My mom is fine – physically she is fine, mentally is another story. It breaks her a little every time her asthma takes something else away from here, and it has been doing that pretty steadily for the past 10 years. So, to work out the frustration of knowing my mom is mortal I temporarily ruined my lace shawl.
Silver linings right? The trip was great (except for the asthma). The shawl is going great (except for the marathon session of frogging). My mom is better (for now) and life keeps going.
Ahh, it feel ridiculously good to get that off my chest. As a reward friends and neighbors, how about a few more photos? You’ve earned it! 🙂
There is nothing more frustrating than finding a frogable error several rows later. Especially in complex work.
I survived….barely 😉 It was rough because this is my first lace project, I was terrified I would ruin the whole thing!
Sorry to hear about your mum, glad she is now recovering.
The lace shawl looks very pretty!
Thank you. She is much better and shawl is coming along nicely.
That’s a great post, although not so great about your Mom’s COPD. I’ve been to the Columbus Zoo before, although all I remember is that I was more than suitably impressed.
The zoo is fantastic – it was just a shame that she didn’t get to enjoy it. Plus – we didn’t get to see the monkeys! 😉
You always gotta visit family at the zoo! 😀
Yea, it was a blast….;)
Glad your mom is feeling better and that the beautiful lace shawl is back on track. Your photos at the zoo are terrific.
Thank you! It was hard not to post all of them at the same time, but I’ve held some back for later in the week.
As for the shawl, I really….really want to finish it today! 🙂
Oh, what a sad way to end what should have just been a fun summer day. My grandmother and stepfather both suffered from COPD, and their worlds did get very small. I remember my grandmother saying that even if she COULD go somewhere, she didn’t enjoy it, because she was very worried about getting back before her oxygen tank ran out. hard fro us to understand, being able to breathe, but a very real fear.
Now, as for the shawl – you need life lines. If you haven’t heard of them, they are worth learning more about. Probably you can find a video on You tube, but essentially – when you have completed a row that you are sure is right – take a length of thread (I use unflavored, un-waxed dental floss, actually) on a sewing or tapestry needle, and run the thread through all the stitches on your knitting needle, so that it sits under the knitting needle. Don’t knot it or anything. let it hang. Keep on knitting, being careful not to knit any of the thread. So. If, later on, you make an error, you can slip your needle out, rip all the stitches back to the thread – the live stitches are captured on the thread, and you can just pick them up and keep going. When I make complicated lace, I might move that darned thread up every couple of rows, just to make sure I don’t have to rip back too far. When I heard about this for the first time, it was the most freeing thing I ever heard in knitting – my first lace project took me almost two years, because I was always carefully un-knitting back to my last good row. (I think I ripped out at least two shawls worth before I finished!) Now I can knit the most complicated scarf in a couple of months at the most.
That is FANTASTIC!!!! I have never heard of a life line but it makes perfect sense. If I had done that I wouldn’t have almost had a heart attack yesterday. Thank you so much, best knitting advice that I’ve heard in a long time 😉
My mom hates her COPD, I think it’s made even worse by the fact that she never smoked – but my dad smokes like a chimney. She feels the world shrinking and the looming fact that a lung transplant is in the future. Time will tell I guess.
Lifeline’s are wonderful things- the only thing I would add is make sure your sewing needle is really, really blunt – it’s so easy to sew through your wool and that’s a pain to remove afterwards.
I have asthma and it’s seriously scary at times. Did you manage to find out what set off the asthma attack so you can try to avoid it in future (not easy if it was heat/ crowds/ anxiety) ? If it was due to being too many people etc, you could try going back to the zoo really early or really late to see the bits you missed.
I think the second one (the bad one) was caused by standing in line so close to the very pungent river. I think we’ll go really early one day and see what we missed!
You could try giving them a ring, explaining the situation, including what happened last time and asking when their quietest time is to visit. It’s what I do when going places with my dad, who’s profoundly deaf and suffers from anxiety attacks in large crowds – he gets disorientated. (You never know, if the zoo are feeling generous they might give you a discount, since your first visit was cut short!).
We actually have a family membership so that’s no problem. Calling doesn’t sound like a bad idea though – thank you!
That was pretty much my reaction when I learned about it – then “duh, why didn’t I think of it?” So I am glad to help you get through your lace projects more easily!
My Gram used to say in her husky raspy voice “I did this to myself. Don’t ever smoke.” I can only imagine the bitterness she would have felt if Gramp were the smoker in the house. I am glad though, that a lung transplant is a possibility for her, it never was for Gram or my stepdad.
In all honesty I don’t really see it as an option, she never could handle the immune-blockers that would prevent her body from rejecting the transplant. I just keep thinking they’ll come up with something new….
She’s here now and that’s all that matters 🙂
I hear you. So keep on finding things to do that you both enjoy, while she is here and able. And do keep working on that miracle!
Crossing fingers and toes! 😉
Q – I feel your froggin’ pain. I have my Froggin’ Song, glad I only had about 750 stitches. What a scare with your mom. Poor mom. 8-( Glad for the silver linings!
She’s much better now, we’ll try to go again if she wants to. She has a portable breathing machine that we should have brought.
It makes frogging seem like a little less of a big deal 😉
So glad your mom is okay. Knitting also calms me in times of stress.
A captivating post to say the least! I wish your mom the best. Has she every tried Acupuncture? When I moved to FL about 5 years ago my son was constantly having issues and the side effects to the med options was worse than the allergies themselves. My son was so frustrated that when I suggested trying something more holistic he was completely open. It was like night and day after a few treatments! So may be something your mum my might want to consider. Also, thanks for sharing all the fabo pic’s. Oh, and am glad your project is all on track. I know it totally bombs when that happens. Well, always a pleasure reading your posts! Take care 🙂
My mom is a bit past holistic – we are talking lung transplants in the near future. Usually lung function depreciates after 15 years but it seems to be getting a lot worse. We’ll see.
Sorry to hear about your mom. 😦
I second the lifeline! It’s usually best to do on a purl (“rest”) row.
Alternately, consider repeating the mistake and calling it a pattern. Ha!
I thought about it, but the RS and WS got switched – there was no way to hide that 😉
Aasaaahhhh! Yes. Lifeline=BFFL (best friend for lace).
Well now that I know this lace knitting can go to the next level!
I’m sorry to hear about your Mum, it must be very worrying for you, especially when it is so sudden and unpredictable. Having someone close to you with a serious health issue is hard. You have to try to be strong for them even when you are really scared for them and it seems like you did that, which is pretty amazing. If it gets too much you know where I am. xx
Your shawl looks fab 🙂 I hate having to frog, but my perfectionism never lets me get away with a mistake! Sometimes I just undo that stitch to a few rows further down and then re-knit it with a crochet hook, but it’s only good for small errors.
I just adore talking to you, so sweet!!! 🙂
As for the shawl, the whole flipping RS &WS made it impossible to fake. I’m glad it’s all set up to finish – now I just need to do it!
Yay! At least now you’ve made the mistake you’ll know what to look out for next time 🙂 Good luck with the finishing!
Thank you! Now I just need to get over my fear if picking it up and doing it – I’ve kept putting it off today.
It is really scary when someone has an asthma attack and i really felt for you. Your shawl is going to beautiful despite the frustrations. Xx
Thank you 🙂
Glad to see all is well at the end. Take care. Love the shawl, your knitting is just stunning. 🙂
Thank you *BLUSHING*!
Ok. You’re a better woman than I am. I noticed I had frogged on my lovely purse. I very carefully deliberated whether to go back the 14 rows to correct it, or just plug on ahead as no one except me will probably notice it. I plugged on. I’ve got no patience for that sort of nonsense!!
It was pretty bad, I switched RS and WS. I don’t think my OCD could handle it!
I’m sorry about the shawl! How is it now?
I JUST FINISHED!!!! HUZZAH!!!!! 🙂