This post isn’t so much about knitting, though I am totally engrossed in my latest project. At the moment I feel like I’m the work in progress… crafting a life worth living despite recent challenges, family dramas, and the stress that comes with rearing teenagers. This moment in time requires resourcefulness, flexibility, and compassion. I’m in the process of trimming pieces of myself that no longer fit, repurposing remnants of the past, and creating a Self which is far from perfect, but worthy nonetheless.
As I mentioned in my Hello Autumn post, my 3 youngest biological sons and daughter are back in school. I hoped that would give me more free time for blogging and other hobbies. However, I’ve become more involved in my three year old’s kindergarten than I anticipated.
Like many Waldorf schools, it is run by the parents. We need to attend meetings, as well as care for the physical space. Sometimes there are Work Days scheduled. Families tend the garden, clean the building, and develop a sense of community while completing tasks. Covid19 has changed things since parents can no longer go indoors and a professional cleaner has taken over.
It’s strange to be on the committee again after an eleven year absence. The management of the school has changed a lot. In the past, we paid fees which are now covered by a government grant. I really appreciate that we’re receiving such a wonderful service for very little cost! Being so connected with the system has changed some of the grassroots feel, but compromise is a necessary part of life.
Time has been racing by, and I’ve found myself wishing we could slow down. On Monday the nation was prepared for the government to announce a Level 5 lockdown (imposing the most severe restrictions) at the request of NPHET (National Public Health Emergency Team) on Sunday evening. The Irish government has ignored the advice of the country’s leading medical professionals, moving only to Level 3 at midnight on Tuesday. (The levels can be explained in detail here). I felt almost guilty for being disappointed about the decision. The in-between stages are hardest for me. I would prefer to have everyone safely at home.
Reactions have varied nationwide. The government is understandably trying to keep schools and childcare services open so as not to disrupt the workforce. It seems economics are being prioritized over health. Last weekend the number of Covid19 cases reached as high as what were seen last April. NPHET’s concern is that the hospital services will not be able to cope unless the trend is quickly reversed. They hoped to achieve a “circuit break” if we had a short, severe lockdown. Their recommendations have, however, been ignored, which makes all of the sacrifices we’ve made so far seem meaningless.
It is all so confusing. Many of the strategies to combat Covid19 don’t make sense. Students and their families are on edge because there are rumors of Covid19 cases in our local schools. If we are going to pack 800 teenagers into our local secondary school 5 days a week, and then tell the same students that they can’t meet their friends over the weekend, it doesn’t seem fair.
My daughter is devastated because her sixteenth birthday is this weekend. All of the things we planned to do to celebrate are no longer possible. The restaurants have had to close except for outdoor dining or takeaways. It’s too cold and wet to enjoy a meal outside now. No social gatherings are permitted- not even with extended family. My bonus son’s birthday is the day before my bio daughter’s and we’ve had to cancel his party too.
The uncertainty is tough on everyone. My first class in 6 months was scheduled for tomorrow. Unfortunately the organization rang me yesterday to cancel in light of the Level 3 restrictions.
I miss working. I should resume Zoom classes, but it’s just not the same as being in the studio. I hoped to be back teaching live classes by September. As the second wave hit, I decided to wait to advertise. I don’t want to start and then have to stop again. This will be the first time in 10 years that my small business’s expenses will likely exceed my earnings. Even though I’m not paying rental costs at the moment, my license fees continue to add up each month.
I haven’t received my absentee ballot yet and am starting to panic. I’ll call the clerk in New Mexico tomorrow since that’s the last state I was registered in. I haven’t ever had a problem voting absentee for the US elections. Hopefully this year will be no different. I’m looking forward to watching the vice-presidential debate tonight. It starts at midnight Irish time. Last week the Biden/ Trump fiasco was humiliating for Americans everywhere. Is anyone else counting down the days until 2020 ends?
Knitting continues to help me cope. There’s something so relaxing and meditative about the repetition. I don’t know if I’m any faster than I was a year ago, but my enjoyment of the craft has increased. At the moment I’m knitting lace for the first time. It requires concentration so I try to work on it when my family isn’t constantly interrupting me. I was really happy with my progress until I realized I was one stitch short. I thought I could rip out a row and find my mistake. It didn’t work out that way however. In the end I had to start the whole project over! I’m glad I did.
The sweater starts with a provisional cast on which I’d never done before. The first time around I hadn’t left a chain of stitches that I could unpick later when I need to knit the neckline. It’s a humbling reminder that it’s ok to make mistakes- even big ones- and begin again.
Before I cast on a second time, I bought new stitch markers that lock since my old ones kept moving. I also decided to put markers ever 12 stitches to mark where the lace pattern repeats. This has been hugely helpful! (Thank you Ravelry members. I found the comment section for this pattern useful for tips).
I’m hoping to complete the lace section tonight. From then on it should be straight forward stockinette stitch. I’ve made a couple of mistakes with the lace but opted not to start over again. I’m resigned to muddling through and accepting the imperfections. Who would have thought knitting would also provide Life Lessons? We have to just keep going, do our best, and accept the outcome.