Monday, February 26, 2007

The Truth Hurts

Your humble Sheep is rather good at denial. I've elevated it to an art form. I am the one who can cheerfully maneuver around the proverbial elephant in the room without missing a step. Give me a situation that is unpleasant or unwanted and I will ignore it until it is impossible to do so for another minute. From bad job situations to haircuts gone awry, I've smiled the blissful "this is just not happening" smile through all of them.

But sometimes, you have to face things. Some truths are just bound and determined to slap you upside the head repeatedly until you give in and admit that they exist. I've taken a couple of truth-hits over the last twenty-four hours and, while I will be the better for acknowledging them, I have to say that denial was a much more pleasant state.

Stupid truth.

Painful Truth The First: Two weeks away from the bike, weights and step machine make for a difficult Monday workout.

I have a few rules around the workouts. Odd though they may be, they work for me. One of these rules is that I don't try to exercise while I'm sick. There is some wiggle room here, but, in general, if I'm not feeling well then I take that as a sign from the body that it needs a break. The week before school vacation I had the Squirrel Pox. There were no workouts. Another rule is that school vacations are also workout-free. I can't exactly apply this to the summer vacation. That's a bit of a lengthy stretch. But the random week that pops up here and there throughout the school year is a freebie. And I get to eat a lot of chocolate. I like those vacation breaks. But when you combine the sick break with the school break then you get two weeks off from exercising. Today's return to the routine was horrific. It felt endless. There was a creaking sound that I fear may have come from my knees. I may have actually been sweating chocolate and Mountain Dew as this has comprised much of my diet over the last week or so. I'm sure that it will get better. But, for the moment, I am full of the aches and the pains and wishing that toning and aerobicizing came in pill form.

Painful Truth The Second: The Sweater Curse Continues.

I had to come to a harsh realization last night. One that I have really been aware of for some time now. I just didn't want to admit it. I've been knitting this sweater. I have hummed along with few errors and had naught but the seaming left to complete. This would have been the first sweater successfully completed since starting the blog and was to have broken what I have come to think of as the Blog Induced Sweater Curse. (pre-blog it seems that I was perfectly capable of knitting sweaters...not so much lately) But every time I knit on this thing, I get hives. Not metaphorical hives referenced in a joking manner to illustrated a high degree of stress. Real hives. On my forehead or upper lip. I can ignore it no longer. I am having a reaction to the wool. I will admit that my choice of yarn for this project was a poor one. I spun this Lincoln Longwool a couple of summers ago with no problem and have used it before without getting all puffy. It is fairly scratchy, but it was what I had on hand in an amount that would work for the project so I figured I'd give it a go.

But I had to finally give in last night despite having made it nearly to the finish line. If I can't even knit this thing, how on earth am I ever going to be able to wear it??? The time has come to step out of the darkness of denial and into the harsh light of truth: the sweater is a bust. I give up. The white flag is waving and I'm back to knitting on the sock.

I'm not giving up entirely, though. There are a few new yarns nestled in various corners of The Sheep household these days and I think that I can still pull off a sweater. This curse will be broken and there will be a picture of a sweater in the sidebar of this blog or I will die trying! (overly dramatic, perhaps...but I need to work up a bit of a frenzy here if I'm gonna get my sweater groove on.) It just won't be the scratchy, hive inducing Boxy Jacket.

The truth may hurt, but your sweater shouldn't.



trek said...

Sounds like my spinning experiences with the mohair! I mean, on the spindle for short bursts was okay. Sort of. It wasn't until I tried to do an hour on the wheel that I got seriously raspy and itchy and recognized the problem for what it was: an allergy. Hence the Great Mohair Removal of 2006 (which dribbled into 2007 somehow...).

Hope that the next sweater yarn is less traumatic. Maybe a nice superwash wool or a wool blend?

Beth said...

"The truth may hurt, but your sweater shouldn't." That's classic. :) What about breaking the curse by knitting a vest first? ;)

Lorraine said...

I suppose finishing the sweater on benedryl wouldn't work? Akin to knitting on Nyquil, I suppose. Then it could be gifted, at least.

brenda said...

Oh no, a wool allergy?! How can a sheep be allergic to wool? Just wondering.

catsmum said...

you would probably identify with me on this one then ... I walk around yarn shops/departments tucking balls under my chin or stroking them across my throat. I get some really weird looks but if I can't stand it next to my skin how am I going to wear it? My main problem is I like to knit with natural fibres but my skin only really likes nice soft cooshy manmade.
btw good luck with Dr de Sade

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your allergy. Can you piece said sweater together and give it as a gift?
I see you are going to see Dr DeSade soon. Good luck with that. I am off to see the hygenist from hell today.

Anne said...

Oh dear. Maybe it's just THAT wool and not ALL wool. Otherwise, you'd have to move to all alpaca or silk - and what a tragedy that would be!! Or not.

Cathy said...

Welll.... I am ever so proud that you came to grips. Remember our little chat about lincoln longwool and what I learned the hard way? Thankfully, that was pre-my-blog so I didn't have to fess it in public. I left a long and witty (and long) comment on a previous post. Never showed."Must demonstrate restraint in comments."

Debby said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sweater situation, but truth be told it gives me some comfort. Just this winter I noticed my arms were horribly itchy...I really thought it was a new plague or evidence of the cancerous tumor that must be undetected, and then I discovered that nonwool sweaters did not evoke the horrible red rash...I'll be reading along to see what you knit your future sweaters with. If there is hope for the Sheep, there is hope for us all.

My advance best wishes on your trip to the Torture Chambers that is coming up soon.

Annie said...

Oooh, bummer. Better to find out now before you finish the sweater that you would never wear it, right?

Jeanne said...

Oh, no. That is so sad!

Geez, I can't think of anything else to say, I'm bereft over the sweater.