Tuesday, February 05, 2013



 I am glad to say that my muse is back. I have several sweaters planned to hand knit and I am working up to using my knitting machines that are now set up.

I have been on a bit of a spending spree with regard to interchangeable needles sets. The latest acquisition is one which I still cannot quite believe that I bought. You can see them above. I have yet to knit with them as I have only just unpacked them. They feel lovely in the hand, are a good weight, and feel very smooth. if you want to know how much the set is, Google it!

 As you can see they are indeed Lantern Moon Ebony Interchangeable Needles.

These are the yarns I am intending to use:

 The Cascade yarn at the top is for John and it will be an Aran.  The  Drops alpaca is going to be a textured knit  for myself and I also have the same yarn in a lovely moss green. The Alaska will also be an Aran and that will be for me.   Finally,  the Peace Fleece  yarn will also be an Aran for myself.

 I use a design software program called Design A Knit  for my machine knitting. I have been wondering whether to upgrade to version 8 and I have decided that yes I will because I will be able to chart out my Aran designs.  This will make life much easier for me as I will not have too use pieces of paper and numbers that I keep in my head. I was still basically only need the chart to do my foundation rows  unless of course the pattern changes as the sweater progresses or I decide to do something like Raglan in which case I will print out the full instructions. I have always done all this in my head but I confess that it has been increasingly more difficult to do the more painkillers that I have to take.

Once I have found a folding table that is lightweight I will also be back to dyeing my yarns for sale.


This is such a sore subject for me, pardon the pun. On my really bad days there is a part of me that feels  I am earning my disability status and benefit.

This government have succeeded in making people on disability benefits the target of the general public's anger. They have succeeded in blaming us for the deficit. I find that on Facebook or people that I meet when I am out in my wheelchair frequently offend me by constantly bringing up unasked  the subject of disability fraud. They always add "we don't mean you of course". That is designed to make what they say not offensive and it does not work. The government's own independent enquiry found out that 0.07% of disability claims were fraudulent. I cannot understand why people's anger is not put where it belongs: upon the rich who do not pay their taxes, the banks for behaving like boys with Monopoly money, and the politicians.

Not long ago I received the most vile email attacking me for being on disability benefits and yet attending dog shows. They accused me of being a fraud and in their ignorant state that I should go to a hospital and see in mobile people in their beds-the real disabled as she put it. What shocked me the most was that this was somebody whom I actually knew. The venom and the ignorance truly caught me by surprise and devastated me for a couple of days. In fact it frightened me. I was not hurt in the sense that I am sorry to have lost this person out of my life because I am not. Know what frightened me was the venom with which the letter was written and for a while I thought I do not leave my house. I felt as if I would be watched during my every move.

People really have to get a grip with what disability is and is not. The vast majority of people who are disabled are not immobile. Look at the Paralympics!

 Chronic pain that is severe and 24/7 counts as disability. The fact that I am able to be on my feet for short periods of time and even walk very short distances with the aid of canes and lots of drugs does not make me able. I am still disabled.  My balance is such that I fall on a regular basis. My bowel and my bladder do not work properly, I have heart disease, my spine is falling apart, I have neurological disease, and on top of that  I am bipolar. 

As I write this I feel embarrassed because it feels like I am moaning and of course  being English I was brought up to have a stiff upper lip. I also feel very uncomfortable because I feel that I am justifying my disability benefit. A lot of the time I have even wondered myself if I deserve the status of disabled. My doctor could not believe that I even asked her the question. She told me to ignore the government and those resentful jealous people. She told me that I am in no way capable of work and that I am very fortunate to be able to do what I managed to do and she says I am only able to do that because I have courage and determination. She supports me in every way she can because she believes in quality-of-life and therefore I am prescribed strong opiates without which I would not be able to swim, walk, nor attend dog shows.

I have shared on here some very personal things regarding the abuse I went to was a child and I did so gladly and without shame. I know that it has been of benefit to others and I continue to write on that subject. I used to publicly speak on it and raise money but I can no longer do that. 

However, writing the above about my disability has been a very unpleasant experience and I feel very uncomfortable sharing my feelings about it. It makes me feel like I have stood naked in front of people. I know that other disabled people feel exactly this way. They too have been shamed. There are so many illnesses that make one disabled where one does not look it. Ignoring me completely, there are diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis which are very disabling in many people  yet they are not necessarily visible. My best friend has multiple sclerosis and you would have no idea if you met her because like me she is a determined person and proud and she fights.

 It seems that those of us who show tremendous courage and fortitude  in the face of our disability and pain are penalised and shamed for it.


Iris said...

I'm glad your muse is back, too. I've missed seeing your creations. As for the government making the disabled feel as thought they and they alone are responsible for the deficit, take a good look at the U.S. Legislature. To listen to them, the fact that we (and our children) have been paying into "entitlements" for their entire lives, with no choice in the matter, not even the chance to invest for themselves, means we're all dregs of society looking for a handout. Some people are, indeed. However, they seem to forget that not everyone was born with money or encouragement or opportunity or some were cursed with just plain bad luck. I can see some kind of cutoff for things like Social Security. After all, I don't think people like Trump and Gates and many others really need it to survive and I know that a precious few won't have the "I paid into it, I'm getting mine" attitude, but I've heard more than one millionaire say that. Add to that the NRA extremists who really believe that, if everyone had guns, no one would get hurt or killed. No ones right to carry a gun negates the right of some 6 year old to his or her life.

OK. Thank you for the opportunity to rant.

Marsha said...

Hello Colin,

Your description of what defines disability is spot on! For those who have chronic pain and other diagnoses which will give them the "handicapped" parking passes or funds to survive because they cannot work, but still persevere through all that to do activities that make their life bearable should be applauded, not shamed.

Congratualtions to you for doing activities that help make your life fun and meaningful to you! You are one of my heroes!!!