Posted by: christinelaennec | September 27, 2015

The New Leaf is turned!

The title of this post is courtesy of my friend Roobeedoo.  I finally finished the jacket by the Norwegian designer Solveig Hisdal that I started at Christmas 2012.  When I began it, the Dafter was nearly completely bedbound, Michael was commuting to Glasgow, and I had yet to prepare our Aberdeen house to put it on the market so we could move to Glasgow.  Hence the name I gave it, my New Leaf Cardigan.  And here it is:

Finally finished turning over my New Leaf!  September 2015.

Finally finished turning over my New Leaf! September 2015.

Finishing this jacket is one of the reasons I haven’t done any blogging in about two weeks!  I think it must have taken me at least 50 hours of work.  I’ll post about that process another time, for anyone who might be interested.

Generally I have been busy, and also deeply tired.  The Dafter has been managing, with ups and downs, to go to school for most of her part-time timetable.  This means that four days a week, most weeks, I have an hour or two to do things of my choosing.  One of the things I’ve been doing in that time is a wee voluntary job as the music librarian for the three choirs I’m in.  At the start of a new season, and with Christmas added into the mix, that’s needed attention.  I just love going up to the church and seeing people, and I love being involved and having that very small role.

Fall colors in the garden, Glasgow, 27 September 2015.

Fall colors in the garden, Glasgow, 27 September 2015.

One of my free slots each week has been taken up with treatment for my frozen shoulder.  It is responding, and I have more movement now.  I’m relieved, because I absolutely must be able to drive in order for our family to function.  I’ve had four treatments and may need another eight (of the Neil Asher Technique). Perhaps one of the reasons that I am feeling so deeply exhausted is that, even with painkillers, I am in quite a lot of pain.  I usually wake up in the night with the pain.  But it will heal.

Falstaff rose, my garden, Glasgow, 27 September 2015.

Falstaff rose, my garden, Glasgow, 27 September 2015.

I’ve been doing some gardening.  I planted up a number of pots with bulbs this afternoon.  I love the long-term preparations in gardening:  I am already excited about spring!

Katharine Stewart wrote about this sense of promise in her September 24th essay.  “So the garden dies graciously, being certain of rebirth.  Warmed by this feeling of faith in the future which contact with the garden gives…. Days of stress, sadness or disappointment in any facet of life can be smoothed out as you look at the perfect structure of a flower.  You stop and remember that root, stem and leaf have survived frost, snow, gale, every kind of storm or weather.  You walk on, gather a sun-warmed strawberry, and realise that growing things give and give.”  (p 111 – 113)

Crocosmia and James Galway climbing rose over the pond, 27 September 2015.

Crocosmia and James Galway climbing rose over the pond, 27 September 2015.

I am so very grateful for the slow improvement the Dafter is experiencing with her ME/CFS, and I pray it will continue.  She is often able to concentrate for a full class (1 hour 40 minutes), though not always, and while she’s at school I always have my phone nearby me, as she may need to be fetched at a moment’s notice.

Our Son, now 23, and the Dafter, 17.  August 2015.

Our Son, now 23, and the Dafter, 17. August 2015.

Here is a photo from last month of the children.  Our Son is enjoying a course he’s taking, which is great.  And, just because in my opinion one can never have too many roses, here is a bouquet the garden gave me on a beautiful Indian summer’s day last week:

Roses from the garden - no long stems so into the trifle bowl they went!  22 Sept 2015.

Roses from the garden – no long stems so into the trifle bowl they went! 22 Sept 2015.

I wish you all a Happy Autumn, and a good start to the week!  (And, as I said in my reply to the comments on my last post, thank you so much for the birthday wishes!  I had a lovely birthday.)



  1. Yea!!! Congratulations on finishing your cardigan. It’s just beautiful!!
    It’s good to hear that the Dafter is doing better, but sorry to hear about your sleepless nights. Waking up during the night with pain is no fun and totally exhausting. I’m praying or a quick recovery and healing in your shoulder.
    I agree, one can never have too many roses. They’re beautiful. 🙂
    Enjoy your fall days, ♥

  2. Your jacket is really beautiful, what vibrant colours and beautiful pattern! It will keep you warm and cosy during winter. You asked if I was near-sighted. I don’t think so, but miniatures have been my escape during difficult periods in life. My own little world, where good things happen. My life with Me syndrome has become a very isolated one, people have got tired of my never being able to join in on anything, and they have disappeared out of my life. I need a tiny world sometimes, where the sun shines and emagination rules the ground :). Blessings, Pam in Norway

  3. What a beautiful jacket and what beautiful roses too! You bring beauty into your world, which is an achievement to treasure.

    Pain IS exhausting, especially chronic pain. With that and everything else it’s no wonder you’re tired, and I’m so impressed by your managing to do all that you do. I hope you and your daughter continue to heal.

  4. This is such a perfect time of year to finish your New Leaf jacket! It is stunning and I hope you thoroughly enjoy wearing it for many years to come. Your music group activities sound positive and your flowers are beautiful. I am pleased that you and Dafter are seeing progress in healing!! I plan to join your efforts this week since I have caught a cold that over half the members of my household have too generously been sharing. Praying that you have a happy week. xx

  5. Christine, your New Leaf Cardigan is lovely, and the wool colours you chose really suit you!
    I hope your shoulder responds quickly to treatment.
    Sending belated happy birthday wishes, and love x

  6. The jacket is stunning, a beautiful creation, hopefully it will bring back some positive memories of making it. Glad to hear the Dafter is still doing well and that you are now able to have some free time for yourself, that will make a real difference to you. Hope the shoulder heals soon and that you will be pain free.

  7. What a lovely selection of photographs and many congratulations on completing your jacket – it looks amazing! I’m sorry to hear about your continuing shoulder trouble, but hope that the treatment is gradually doing its work and will heal it completely. I like the quote from Katharine Stewart, very uplifting. As I was reading about your tiredness and pain I remembered you writing something recently about this time of year being when nature rests, and that being a good reminder for us to do likewise. I hope you can find some time to rest, as well as getting on with the busyness of life. It is exciting to plant bulbs, I’ve been doing that too and can’t wait to see them pop up into flowers next year.

  8. Wow, Christine, that is an amazing piece of knitting – this post has really cheered me up this morning – thank you 🙂

  9. Well worth all that hard work. Look after yourself as well as everyone else!x

  10. What a work of art! Well done Christine! Good to see the kids looking so happy and well. I hope your shoulder heals up soon. God bless, xx

  11. Oh so much to be delighted with. The jacket is beautiful, so a feat. The pictures of the roses and especially the children are wonderful. Have a Happy Fall, and sorry I missed wishing you a Happy Birthday. Enjoy!!

  12. Christine, your children are lovely; it’s so good to see a picture of them together. And your jacket is simply beautiful. You should be proud of it.
    I hope your shoulder improves quickly.
    And I do agree about how good it is to have a little job which makes you part of something.

  13. Happy belated birthday! Beautiful jacket, I hope it brings you lots of happiness. Very glad to read that the Dafter is doing well x

  14. First, I must say that’s a lovely photo of your beautiful children. And, your roses are so pretty. You really have a green thumb. The sweater turned out stunning. I don’t know how you do it; you’re such an expert knitter. I read the link you shared in your last post about steeking. It sounds quite fascinating and scary at the same time. I’m looking forward to see how you assembled the sweater. My best to you, Pat xx
    P.S. My computer was acting up and I see that I originally posted this comment on your “about” page so please delete it if you can…sorry

  15. Finally catching up on blogs!!! 🙂 LOVE your jacket. It’s just gorgeous. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is all the work it must have taken!! But it yielded wonderful results. I’m so glad you have this little music librarian job. I can imagine how nice it would be to walk up to the church and say hello to a few people. So very excited that the Dafter is making it more regularly to classes.

  16. Beautiful jacket☺

  17. I’m not a pink person…but it’s an amazing jacket! You did a brilliant job!!!!

    And good to catch up on all your news :))

    Happy Spring (from Tasmania)!! xx

  18. Thank you all so much for your kind comments about the Dafter and my latest creation, and for your good wishes.

    Pam, how my heart goes out to you. Our family is all too familiar with the lack of understanding that surrounds ME. I don’t know if people suffering from other conditions have to endure such isolation and judgement. I do believe it has something to do with a widespread belief that if you really wanted to, you would join in. We have battled this attitude as long as the Dafter has been ill. Recently she was criticised by one of her friends for only attending a social event for 20 minutes, when that person should have realised what a compliment it was that the Dafter chose to make a big effort to get dressed, go out, and be there for as long as she was able. She was then not invited to a subsequent event, which she would have loved to go to, and she would have managed to attend quite a bit on that particular day. Instead, she read about it on Facebook while she spent the day home alone, and was really plunged into quite a despair about her situation for a few days afterwards. It makes me so very angry sometimes. I hope I would not have been like that towards others, even if ME hadn’t entered my life, but I will never know for sure. Keep strong and keep the faith – and keep creating your lovely little world!

  19. Je vois que vous avez passé une quinzaine difficile et j’espère que la semaine qui va commencer sera meilleure pour vous. Mais comme toujours aussi vous savez nous montrer tout ce qui peut aider à traverser ces moments. Soyez en rémerciée !

  20. Facebook is the curse of the young, as far as I can see (and not having it myself). I have been thinking about you all tho bad at being in touch. Hope to emerge from current madness in December when a trip your way would be real treat. Tho the Swedish cafe has closed down before we could visit!
    Love the Dafter’s style. I hope your shoulder treatment is taking effect and that you’re getting more sleep.

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