Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stress Survival

It has been awhile since I have blogged. We have had a lot to deal with lately. After the 3rd Chemo treatment for my husband’s T-cell lymphoma, his immune system let us down, when he suddenly came down with pneumonia and was hospitalized for a week. He is home now recovering, however, regaining his strength has been slow and it looks like he will go on medical leave until the chemo is done and his strength comes back or remission happens. Soo…we are planning to tighten our belts and be frugal.

Frugality has me going through thrift shops, hunting for old sweaters to frog and trying to knit from my stash. I never was a big spender, when it comes to yarn. Michaels, Walmart and JoAnn’s suit me fine. If I need a better fiber like wool, I will make it myself, as I still have several fleeces to knit from. I love being self-sustaining. Raising three kids on one income so I could be home with them when they were young, gave me good skills in frugality. Some lessons learned never leave you. I also grew up in a home where my parents always saved money and were frugal as well.

One of the side effects of my husband’s disease is that his skin seems to be flaking off constantly, leaving him very sensitive to cold. So just when I thought it was too late to knit a warm sweater in March in California, an opportunity presents itself. I started a soft sweater for him. Initially, it was to be a vest, but he says he wants his arms covered too. I found this soft Bernat Alpaca Yarn, which is 70% Acrylic and 30% alpaca. When I saw it and touched it, I could not resist. It will be very comfy on his delicate skin and be very warm with the alpaca fiber in it. The sweater pattern is just a plain stockinette sweater. The pattern is from Ann Budd’s “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns”. This very versatile book has patterns for socks, gloves, vests, hats, tams, sweaters and cardigans in all sizes and gauges. This is a gem of a book. Everyone should have this is their library.

I also am making a hat for him out of the same yarn. However, I’m not sure he will wear a hat. Spring and warmer weather are coming and he may not need one.
I must say my knitting has been very comforting to me. The stress from work this time of year, my husband’s health, and additional home responsibilities have been tremendous. I have developed a tick in my left eyelid from the stress. Knitting has helped me to relax and maintain my sanity and health. With my husband being so prone to infections, I cannot afford to get sick now. I listen to knitting podcasts for entertainment and company when I am waiting in doctor’s offices or hospital rooms. I’ve even discovered a knitting TV show to watch. I think it’s called “Knitting and Crochet for Today”. God is Good!