26 May, 2007

Tag: 7 (not so) random facts about me

I've been tagged by Mary. Here are the rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

OK, my facts are not very random (but it is my blog after all :-)

1. I got myself an education. I worked hard and enjoyed it. Life was hectic, exciting, stressful, and interesting (although I didn’t knit). This is what life used to be:

2. August 31st, 2001, this happened:

I would like to encourage all readers of this blog to concentrate (don’t knit!) when driving a car. Being hit from behind by a car driving in 43.5 mph/ 70 km/t is so incredibly unpleasant.

This was the result:

3. I felt like this for 1,5 years:

That is, until I got an interest in gardening, then I started feeling like this:

Due to a lot of help and support from family and friends, I was fortunate enough to also feel like this:

The three pictures above show how it feels to live with ME/CFS (at least from my point of view). Although at that point in time, nobody knew what was wrong with me. I could only state the facts: All energy seemed to be drained out of my body, and in addition, there was a long, long list of other symptoms. I was barely able to leave the house at all, and got sicker and sicker every time I did.

4. After about 18 months, I got this message:

Great news! At that point I had tried all sorts of hobbies, all of them just making me even more exhausted. When getting the great news, I suddenly remembered that I used to knit when I was a teenager. OK, one more thing to try, maybe it wouldn’t be to energy consuming to knit? It was energy consuming, and it took me 7 months to knit a small jacket, a dress, babysocks and a hat for my little niece. But it was less energy consuming than all the other hobbies I had tried, so I continued. And continued, and continued, and still continues (Thank you, little sister!)

5. Then I got more great news in 2003. After two years of wandering in a desert of a health care system, a doctor finally took interest in my “case”. He sent me to another doctor, who finally diagnosed me. Getting a ME/CFS diagnose is not something to wish for, but it’s better than being undiagnosed. In addition, this doctor enrolled me as a “guinea pig” in a scientific project, using experimental medication. These happenings made me feel like this:

I had started the road to recovery. Recovery is slow. Very, very slow. Oh my God it is slow. But slowly getting better, is better than not getting better at all.
(The scientific project does no longer exist due to lack of funding.)

My partner helps me a lot. He bought me a green house. Every spring he goes out, digs and carries compost, and makes me a blank canvas to work on:

Thank you!!!!

6. So I got a new life. I didn’t want it, but you can’t appeal to life. Life does as it pleases. My new life is not a hectic one. ME/CFS patients are unable to tolerate much stress. So out of an old hectic life, grew a new and very peaceful one:

7. It is now 5 years, 8 months, and 28 days since the car accident, and now I feel like this most of the time:

I hope to feel like this (at least once in a while):

Before I reach this stage:

If I ever get well enough, I plan on turning into some kind of anti-stress-guru. I will publish books with titles like these:

“How to relax while finding 55 ways to photograph a Dandelion”

“How to relax while your partner does all the digging in the garden”

“How to relax while knitting a scarf”

“How to relax while crocheting a hat”

“How to relax while blogging”

And if I still got any energy left after that, I’ll start a knitting factory ;-)

You would do me, and all the other thousands of ME/CFS patients, a great favor if you spend a few minutes on educating yourself on what ME/CFS is. There is a severe lack of knowledge, both among medical personnel and laypersons. Having an invisible and unknown illness makes life so much harder for all of us. Every time I meet someone who says they’ve heard about ME/CFS, it makes me so incredibly happy. It somehow makes me feel that I don’t have to fight so hard to get them to believe me.

This is the only post where I’ll write about this. I have defined this blog to be a corner of my life where illness is not allowed in. I guess this post is just the exception to the rule :-)

Links concerning ME/CFS:

YouTube: CFS 2006 awareness Campaign CDC (7,33 minutes long)

YouTube: Sleepydust - About M.E. / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (9,16 minutes long)

Informasjon på norsk (Information in Norwegian)

I’m not tagging anyone, but feel free to list 7 random facts about yourself if you wish to do so :-)

22 May, 2007

Bomullsteppe / Cotton blanket

Da jeg var ferdig med Bølgeteppet, var jeg egentlig ganske overrasket over at jeg hadde lagd noe som var så stort, i motsetning til pulsvarmere for eksempel. Gigantomanien tok meg visst et øyeblikk, og derfor har jeg begått et teppe til. Striper istedenfor bølger denne gangen. Vi har en gammel stol som er riktig stygg. Vi klarer likevel ikke å kaste den ut fordi den er så innmari god å sitte i. Planen er egentlig å trekke den om, men noen planer tar lengre tid enn andre. I mellomtiden har jeg heklet et teppe i et forsøk på å gjøre den litt penere. Jeg har heklet doble rader med stavmasker. Jeg har brukt bomullsgarnet Paris fra Garnstudio, og heklet med dobbelt garn på heklenål nr. 8. Jeg skjønte ganske raskt at jeg egentlig ikke har noen erfaring med bomull, for jeg fikk meg en overraskelse når jeg skjønte hvor tungt bomull er. Dette teppet er kjempetungt. Så hvis hensikten var å sitte under det, så ville jeg nok ende opp med å føle seg ganske nedtynget. Siden dette teppet er til å sitte oppå, er det i grunnen perfekt, fordi jeg tenker at tyngden er med på å holde teppet på plass i stolen. Så på tross av min manglende bomullskunnskap så hadde jeg egentlig kjempeflaks :-)

Jeg er jo ikke den eneste som hekler tepper for tiden. Det går jo bokstavelig talt en bølge av Bølgetepper rundt omkring, sammen med mange tepper i Bestemorruter. Babette teppet er det mange som er i gang med (også jeg, men det er et langtidsprosjekt litt på siden av andre ting). Bea har laget, og er i gang med, ikke mindre enn tre tepper, og de finner du her, og her, og her.

When I had finished my Ripple, I was very surprised by the fact that I had made something that big, as opposed to for instance wrist warmers. Some kind of gigantomania caught hold of me for a little while, so I’ve made another blanket. I’ve made stripes instead of ripples this time. We’ve got an old armchair that is really ugly. However, we’re not able to throw it out, because it is so incredibly comfortable. The plan is get it refurbished, but some plans take more time than other plans. Meanwhile, I’ve crocheted a blanket in an attempt to make the armchair look a little better. I’ve crocheted double rows of double crochet stitches. I’ve used cotton, Paris from Garnstudio, and crocheted with double thread on crochet hook 8 mm. I soon realized that I haven’t got much experience with cotton, because I got a surprise when I realized how heavy cotton is. This blanket is really, really heavy. So if my intention was to sit underneath this blanket, it would have weighted me down more than I would have liked. Since the intention is to sit on top of this blanket, it is actually perfect, because I believe that the weight of the blanket will help keep it in place in the armchair. So in spite of my lack of cotton knowledge, I had a lot of luck :-)

I’m not the only one crocheting blankets now a days. Many people make the Ripple blanket, many people make blankets using grannysquares, and the Babette blanket also seems to be popular (I’ve started one too, but that is a long term project on the side). Bea has made, and is making, no less than three blankets, and you can find them here, and here, and here.

16 May, 2007

Project Spectrum April / May

In March, I wrote that I wanted to post pictures from an exhibition of Norwegian national costumes for Project Spectrum. May 17th is Constitution day in Norway, and the day when everyone who has got a “bunad” wear it. You can read more about that in the Norway Needles blog, where Strikkelise wrote about this last year. I also wrote something about it, and you can read about it here. The colors for Project Spectrum in April and May are green, yellow and pink.

10 May, 2007

Broomstick lace for barn / Broomstick lace for children

I påsken holdt jeg på med broomstick lace. Mens jeg holdt på med det, spør min lille niese på 3 år hva jeg holder på med. Jeg strikker, svarer jeg. Åja, sier hun, og kikker forundret på det jeg holder på med. Øyeblikket etter kommer moren hennes, og hun har det grønne skjerfet jeg lagde tidligere på seg. Hun viser det til datteren sin, som blir veldig fasinert av perlene på det. Det har tante lagd til meg, sier moren hennes, og peker på meg som sitter der med pinner og garn. Plutselig ser jeg at min lille niese skjønner sammenhengen mellom det jeg holder på med, og det at moren har et nytt skjerf. Min lille niese lener seg over fanget mitt, ser intenst på meg, og spør: Kan du lage skjerf til meg? Tantehjertet mitt gikk inn i en fase av total nedsmelting, og jeg svarte at selvfølgelig skulle jeg lage skjerf til henne. Når jeg først var i gang lagde jeg selvfølgelig et til søsteren hennes også. Jeg har brukt Kitten mohair, strikkepinne nr. 25 og heklenål nr. 8 :-)

During my last holiday, I made broomstick lace scarves. While I was doing that, my little niece, 3 years old, asked me what I was doing. I’m knitting, I replied. OK, she says, and looks a bit confused at what I’m doing. A moment later, her mother arrives, wearing the green scarf I made earlier. She shows the scarf to her daughter, who becomes very fascinated by the beads. Her mother points at me sitting there with yarn and needles, and says: Your aunt made this for me. I can see that my little niece suddenly understands the connection between the scarf and the knitting. My little niece leans over my lap, looks at me with an intense look in her eyes, and asks: can you make me a scarf? My heart went into total meltdown, and I said that of course, I will make you a scarf. So I did, and I made one for her sister as well. I’ve used Kitten mohair, knitting needle 25 mm, crochet hook 8 mm. :-)

03 May, 2007

Mai / May

Mai er så deilig grønn. Mai er et drivhus klart for små struttende tomatplanter. Mai er liv på Oslofjorden igjen. Mai er bare deilig :-)

May is so lovely green. May is a greenhouse prepared for little tomato plants. May is boats sailing on the Oslo fjord again. May is just wonderful :-)