Start the Ball Rolling

this ball won’t run away from me!

After what felt like weeks of spinning (really about 2.5 weeks in all in all), I finished the incredible batt of mohair/wool fiber that dear Arleigh sent me, dyed by a friend of hers, Leola! What is more, I set it warm water (to make sure it wouldn’t twist back on itself!), stretched it for awhile (as it was super dee duper curly!) and today finally put yarn loops on the back of a chair and then proceeded to put the yarn into a ball. Wow that was a lot of work! Sheer the animal, wash the fiber, pick and card the individual fibers, dye the fibers, spin the fiber, set the fibers, and ball. I only had to do 3 of those things. Imagine if you followed the process start to finish. How rewarding! I am very pleased with how it turned off…for singles (meaning only one strand, versus many strands making up a thicker yarn) it is very evenly spun (meaning that it is almost all the same thickness!). I have no idea what it’s going to look like knit up, so I just can’t to figure out what I can make with it and cast off!

top view

Unlike a lot of mohair yarns, this one is very soft and dreamy, which has mostly to do with the animal and perhaps from where on the body it was harvested. It is mixed with sheep wool too, which would help add softness. The yarn has a wonderful sheen to it, and it almost sparkles in the light. Spinning handspun yarn is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable experience out there for a knitter. I can’t wait to report back all the wonderful bonuses of knitting with your own yarn. All that treadling and sweating paid off enormously, and I feel very proud of myself. I feel that in the coming weeks/months I might have to ease back on the amount of spinning I’m doing per week, because the IV meds exhaust me.

I am already noticing icky affects from the medication. The most annoying being that I am very tired and lethargic, and that my mouth tastes of rubber bands and deceased mice all the time. Because IV meds enter through the bloodstream, and because my dosage is so high, I can taste the medicine through the tiny spider webbed blood vessels in my tongue and nasal passage. It would be much more fascinating if it wasn’t my own mouth. These vessels are very close to the surface in this area…maybe that’s why it can be tasted? I wonder if anyone else has noticed this while taking Clindamycin? I did a bit of research about it and a lot of people mentioned a bitter taste. This seems a bit non-specific to me, because for me it so very clearly tastes like rubber bands…as though I have been chewing on them in place of gum. My naturopath said that people who can taste the saline and heparin flushes (done before and after IV) have trouble detoxing. I found this an interesting principle and wonder if it also applies to the medicine, or maybe it’s just caused from a side effect.

Yesterday when I had yoga class with Barbara, I had to take lots of breaks because I was so exhausted. Bringing my arms and legs up made me feel so weak and faint, something I haven’t been complaining about in previous weeks. I was so exhausted after the practice, rather than feeling energized. This is disappointing and frustrating, but hopefully as my body becomes more adjusted to the rhythms of the medication this will improve? It will be interesting to see what happens when I am off the IV meds for 3 days (we ‘pulse’ 2 weeks on, 3 days off).

Choir

I wrote this as a different kind of project for choir, because obviously I couldn’t fill out performance reports and such (what performances??). I thought I’d share with you my reflections, although they thoughts are quite disjointed. It was written more like a letter to my choir teacher, Mrs. Tradewell, in case you are wondering who I am talking to. Enjoy.

I wrote this on February 22:

For me, attending choir feels like the most important thing I do in a week. Not only do I get to sing amazing music with my friends, but choir also helps in so many other areas, such as confidence and team building, listening skills, and following directions! I used to take doing these things for granted when I was in choir before, but now that I actually have to work on them, I can appreciate just how much work goes into a piece!

Take risks:
I’ve been in choirs so long that they feel rather like a big musically-inclined family. We all know each other so well by this point that it is okay to make horrible mistakes and laugh about it afterward! I think most of us are at the point where we are comfortable enough to take risks both musically and in our opinions and critics, without worrying about the group’s reaction, which really lets our creativity as a whole soar.

Be involved:
You can stand at the back and move your mouth with no sound, but in jazz choir it is a lot harder, as we are such a small group, and everyone can be heard! There is no easy way out! I feel that doing less than 100% lets down the rest of the group, who are trying so much! That includes not just attending rehearsals and concerts, but actually being present during that time. This is one of the hardest parts more me, partly because my 100% now is such a small fraction to how it was before I got sick. I find it very frustrating that singing a song leaves me exhausted, but I suppose that having to work harder at each turn makes me appreciate the final product so much more!


Stay committed!:

As much as I love rehearsals, there is nothing quite like being able to show off all that hard work to your friends and family! Concerts are very difficult because they are so loud and distracting for me! Even though I am sight-reading the piece (for the thousandth time maybe), I am so proud of the rest of the choir for doing such an excellent job! Even though I don’t know how the pieces sounded in the beginning, they always sound fantastic in concerts!

Choir is really excellent for me while being sick! It gives me something to look forward to every few days and gives me something to work hard at! There are very few things like this that I can do, it seems, except art related things! For some reason that part of my brain seems to be working really well! For instance, I can still play the piano and sightread new pieces! It’s very strange…but I am so thankful that I can.

I am sort of jumping around here, partly because the question is so abstract (thanks!). I think I’m also repeating myself, and if that is the case I’m really sorry. I’m feeling a little lost for words when it comes to describing how much choir means to me. If the things you could do in a day were slashed overnight to a tiny percentage, how would you feel about that handful of activities? I mean, if I had ended up having no idea how to do music, and only….math or something, that would have been not as fun! Music has always been my favorite, enormous part of my life.

There is no feeling like singing with a group, but of course you understand what it’s like so it will be easier to describe! It is like we are all talking at once and all understanding everything. When its really working, and all the pieces come together, it is magic. It is a feeling like being lightened or enlightened, its very calming and yet exciting. Music is everything, I suppose is what I’m saying. 

Thank you so much for letting me be part of the choir! It is just amazing!!!!