general ramblings · knitting · life

Seeking Comfort

How is everyone’s week going so far? Ready for the weekend?

I’ve been struck down pretty hard with occipital neuralgia, which is an inflammation or injury to the occipital nerves which innervate the back of the head including the area behind the ears. It is not the first time I’ve had this problem (it most likely stems from my C-PTSD which causes hypervigilance and constant muscle tension) but definitely the worst case so far. My neck, the back of my head, my ears and at times, my eyes hurt all the time, and it gets worse whenever I move. The pain is pulsating and dull, but from time to time, it’s very sharp and strong. I feel very sensitive to light (and it’s finally getting a little more warm and sunny!!!). It honestly sucks. I’m doing as advised by my GP: massaging the neck and shoulder muscles, trying to relax them, using heating pads and painkillers, but it’s not getting better. I’m going to see the GP again on Monday, so maybe it’s time to move to another treatment, like stronger anti-inflammatory meds, muscle relaxants, or even nerve block shots. We’ll see what she says; unfortunately, it’s a long-lasting condition. In any case, it’s no fun, and as you can imagine, I’m not doing much knitting because of the discomfort.

And since I mentioned discomfort, I thought this should be a good opportunity to talk about its opposite – comfort – and that brings me to my finished project: the Comfort Fade Cardigan.

This pattern was all the rage on Ravelry about 2 or 3 years ago, and it absolutely deserves it. It’s a very satisfying knit, in which you can watch the gradual colour transition achieved by combining different yarns. The cardigan is very comfortable, perfect for wrapping yourself around with it, and the big collar can provide additional protection to the neck when warn raised high. It’s also a very versatile project, one that can be made longer like a tunic or short, more fitting or slightly oversized – anything goes. The sweater is knitted in reversed stockinette stitch (I just decided to knit it in stockinette and then turn it wrong side out to avoid all the purl stitches) and garter stitch (collar, sleeve cuffs and bottom band), with DK-wight yarn.

I ordered a yarn set from Irish Fairytale Yarns, a transition from light grey to red, and I think it looks great. I forgot to mention that I made it for my Mum and I know she’s going to rock these colours πŸ™‚ The only worry I have is that she’s not a fan of long sleeves (whereas I love them, my idea of perfect sleeves is when I can pull them down and hold them stretched with my fingers), and these sleeves turned out quite long. I thought about redoing them, but I like the look too much, so hopefully, she can wrap them up, or, worst case, I will unravel and knit them again if she complains πŸ™‚

I’m going to give her a shawl pin together with the sweater as it’s an open construction, without buttons. I also think I may knit one for myself at some point because it was such joy to make and it’s a great cardigan to have in my wardrobe.

And since this post is about comfort, I’m going to end it with some photos of my cats being snuggled up, comfy or otherwise enjoying life.

18 thoughts on “Seeking Comfort

    1. It’s possible – migraine is actually one of potential explanations in cases when the reason for neuralgia can’t be explained. I’ll see what the GP decides next, maybe I will have to see a neurologist for further tests.

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  1. Sending good vibes your way – hope you feel better soon, and that your GP visit brings better results. And hope your mum likes the long sleeves of her cardigan – they look beautiful long. (The cats are, as always, adorable.)

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  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your pain. Nerve pain is the worst. I have peripheral neuropathy and some times I just can’t stand the pain in my feet, ankles and legs.
    I love your sweater!

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    1. Thank you! It’s awful, isn’t it? The sudden sharp pain is just so bad, I’m scared to move my neck at all! I’m sorry that you’re dealing with neuropathy!

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  3. Oh Kat – you poor thing ! I have a very small heating pad that I use when my back’s playing up; and I can’t help thinking it would be marvellous for you to tie onto the back of your head and neck (comes with long ties for fixing to wherever on your body you want to put it).
    site:.ie electric heating pad -pinterest
    I put that into Google and got a shitload of eBay entries ..
    As for your cardi, it’s gorgeous !!

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    1. I have a whole bunch of heating pads of different kinds (small, big, electric, micowaveable…) and I use them now too but without any results 😒ugh, I hope it passes soon…

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  4. Kat, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having to deal with so much pain 😦 I am sending big hugs. I hope that your doctor can find another treatment that will help.

    On the brighter side…your cardigan is beauuuutiful! πŸ˜€ I’ve been wanting to try an Andrea Mowry pattern one day when I level up…it looks so cozy!

    Your cats are too cute! I was laughing at the last picture.

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    1. Thank you Jenny! I’m going to see my GP today so hopefully she can help, or send me for additional tests (the dreaded MRI… I’m super claustrophobic so even the thought terrifies me!) that can provide some answers.
      Andrea Mowry’s patterns are super well written, at least the two I’ve tried so far, so you should give a try when you feel like it!

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      1. I was going to have an open MRI but of course, the day before the scan they called me that it’s out of service and offered to either move the scan for the next week or have one in the normal machine. Since I really wanted answers fast, I decided to try the normal one and I survived. Just closed my eyes as soon as I laid down and never once opened them until it was over πŸ˜‰ Bad thing is that it didn’t find what the GP expected (I mean not that I’d like to have a herniated neck disc but at least we’d know what to do now…) so now I’m waiting until the neurologist calls back to set up the consultation date and then I guess I’ll have more tests… meanwhile, I’m trying to deal with pain as I can. Damn, as soon as I crossed the magic age of 40, my body decided to betray me πŸ˜‰

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      2. Oh no Kat, I’m so sorry! 😦 I’m glad you made it through the MRI but I know those are no fun. I really hope you can find answers soon so you won’t be in pain any more!

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  5. Aw I’m sorry you’re in pain. Fingers crossed the doctor can offer some more help.
    The cardigan looks gorgeous, and I love being able to hide my hands in my sleeves so it’s perfect as far as I’m concerned! I hope your Mum loves it too.

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    1. I love it too, I always stretch my sleeves because of that! My favourite running blouses have holes for thumbs in the cuffs 😊

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