Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Greatest Skill is Denial

I go to the doctor. Every winter I get horribly dry skin on my hands. This year, it’s even worse and I look like I have the stigmata. I don’t, FYI.

The doctor thinks it’s eczema.

“It’s probably made worse by wool sensitivity. Do you wear wool mittens?”

I pause, thinking of how much wool I come into contact with on a daily basis.

“Um, I knit. Kind of a lot.”

“With wool?”


“That might be your problem.”

“I don’t have a wool allergy. “

“What you really mean is: I don’t care if I have a wool allergy, I’m going to knit anyway, right?”

“Pretty much.”

(Turns out it’s probably not my knitting – she watched me knit and noted where the wool runs over my skin. The worst areas on my hand don’t actually come into contact with my knitting, so in this case, my denial was well placed.)


I’m knitting a wedding shawl for my friend Kate. It is, if I say so myself, beautiful. Buttery soft luscious Malabrigo lace-weight yarn, a floaty, delicate pattern that she chose out of an incredible book of designs, hours (upon hours) of work. It’s well on its way to stunning.

It also has an ink stain on it.

An uncapped pen came into contact with it and bled like a son-of-a-bitch. This happened about 2 hours ago. The shawl is 90% finished. If the ink doesn’t wash out, I will need to rip back about 45 rows (of 600+ stitches each) slice off the offending ink stained yarn, and start afresh. With 10 days left before her shower.
I’m going with it will wash out rather than the screaming, panicking and tearing around with tears in my eyes that I want to do.


I seem to be deluded about my ability to handle sleep deprivation as well. My new hours at work involve staying until 11:30 or midnight.

I get home by 12:30-ish, read for a little while to wind down, and get to sleep by 1:30. The mister’s alarm goes off at 6:30.

I’m an 8-9 hours of sleep a night kind of girl, but I keep thinking I can operate just fine of 5 hours of sleep.


I could carry groceries in the bags under my eyes. I’m bitchy, snappy, and irritable. After 6 months of greatly reducing my caffeine intake, I’m back up to 6 or 8 cups of coffee a day, most of them well after noon.
I keep thinking I’ll get so much done if I get up when the mister does. What really happens is that I get up, slouch my way to the couch and sit there, vegetable-like for several hours, maybe getting up to walk the dog or toss in a load of laundry, but mostly, sitting. Then the mister comes home for lunch, we eat, I slouch my way to the gym where I half-ass a workout. Then I slouch my way home, shower, and sit my ass on the couch for another hour before heading to work.

I’m trying a new thing this week. It’s called ignoring the mister’s alarm clock and sleeping for another couple of hours after he leaves. I’m going to follow this with getting up and actually moving around instead of laying on the couch reading trashy books and eating cereal straight out of the box.


Pickles and Dimes said...

Minnesota winters are so hard on our skin. If I don't slather on an inch of lotion right after my shower, I can count on dry patches on: my left elbow, my right shin, and two teeny spots on my right thigh. WTH?

GAH about your shawl. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I read somewhere that hairspray removes ink stains, but I don't know if that would help or hurt your yarn. Good luck with the stain removal - I hope it works!

I too need 8-9 hours of sleep a night. If I do manage to get up early, I also sit in a stupor rather than actually being productive. I say you sleep in later in the mornings!

MOLLY said...

Thank goodness it's not a wool allergy! I have eczema right now too. I've been using the steroid cream and it removes a layer of my skin. So that's fun. But at least I don't have the urge to itch my fingers raw. Stigmata!

craft-chick said...

I had eczema for the first time this year...I didn't appreciate the fact that it appeared on my face until I read your post...at least it being around my eye meant no one tried to blame my knitting!

As for sleep, ignore the alarm clock, I'm an 8-9 hour kind of gal myself, and I've decided not to fight it, because as a grown-up I need to be responsible and make sure I'm at 100% (at least that's how I rationalize it).