A lot of the time, I judge just how good or bad the day was by how many washcloths I get done. On good days (pain-wise, at least), I get other things done— be it school, cleaning, writing, baking, et cetera, et cetera, but on bad days–during migraine week especially–the thing I do most is watch movies or listen to audiobooks, and knit. I’ve recently taken up knitting again, mainly because of my headaches. During migraine week I hardly get anything done. I lay in a dark room and watch clips from the Carol Burnett Show. I cover all the windows in the basement with blankets so I can lay on the cold leather couch and watch a movie. If I can’t take any light at all, I put my earbuds in and listen to an audiobook. And I feel bad, because I don’t get anything done. My normal chores, Mum or Mack do. My family barely sees me for days. Usually by the end of the week I feel like *poof!* there went another week of my life, so unproductive; wasted.
So when I have something I can do–even if it’s just knitting another washcloth–it makes me feel so much better about the day. I may not have done anything else during the day, but hey! At least I got four washcloths done. I may not have gotten anything checked off my to-do list, but I was productive, in this small way.
That’s how I work. It’s depressing if all I can do is sit in a dark room, so if I can do something–anything!–productive, it makes me much happier. I just counted the washcloths I’ve knitted since the beginning of last migraine week to the end of this one (4-5 weeks, probably), and my stack has gotten so large that just from those few weeks I’ve knitted over 40 washcloths.
There’s another thing. I don’t just knit a washcloth, knit-purl-knit-purl; I come up with patterns. And if I don’t like them, I tear them out and start again. I’ll do tiny squares, or large zigzags, or fir trees. . . and I’ll look up patterns, and try to figure out how to adapt them and have fun with them. I don’t really follow the patterns, in fact; I just look at the pictures and see if I can figure it out on my own. And usually I can. If I can’t, I’ll look for a video, because, frankly, I’m horrible at reading patterns. I need the visual–that’s how I learned to cast on. And just yesterday I figured out how to knit circular washcloths! (I’m very happy about that. And I predict I won’t knit square washcloths for awhile. 😉 )
Is it just me, or do you feel like this too? When you have the flu, or a cold, or if you have a chronic illness, do you feel unproductive all the time? Do you have something that you can do with your hands that makes you feel just a little bit better–a little more productive, and less like you’re wasting your time–or life? That’s what is comes down to, for me. When I’m in a lot of pain, I need to distract myself. Otherwise, I’ll start wondering why I’m in pain, or why we can’t figure out the reason, or wondering if I will ever be able to a. b. or c. in the future. When I’m feeling good, I feel like I can conquer this thing. When I’m feeling bad, it feels like it has conquered me. So keeping my hands and my head busy. . . it helps me, in so many ways. And too, we’ll never run out of washcloths again. Yarn, yes. Washcloths, no.
Mum told me I need to start writing down my patterns for all these washcloths. . . when all this is over, I could write a book of washcloth patterns. But maybe I should publish a couple on here. . . what do you think, friends?
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