Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Valerian Affect

with a blog named "obsessed in oakland" it probably comes as no surprise that i am not the best sleeper in the world. the last several months have been absolutely awful.

first of all it takes me forever to fall asleep. the minute my head hits the pillow my brain goes into overdrive. my subconscious walks through the day's events and then once it's done starts on the 'to do' lists for the next day, week, month... and of course knitting. i somehow manage to fall asleep but then wake up several times during the night.

the tv commercials for lunesta and the like started to appeal to me. but before hitting the narcotics i decided this past weekend to take cathy and jim's advice and try the homeopathic herb Valerian. i'll admit it, i was skeptical. but i figured i might as well try it.

i think the Valerian is actually working. i don't know if it's acting like a placebo but i have been falling asleep a lot quicker and managing to sleep through most of the night.

now the warning on the bottle reads, "Excessive consumption may impair ability to drive or operate machinery." the manufacturers must have felt it wasn't necessary to include the fine print. let me fill you in on the missing information, 'May induce the most fucked up and memorable dreams you have ever had in your life!"

i'll give you a little background on what was going on prior to the weird dream i had on tuesday. i had been moving along pretty well on my sweater. in fact here's a picture of how far i've gotten on the front. i just started the raglan decrease.

My first Adult Sweater

i have also been ghetto-tivoing (we have comcast's dvr) and catching up on knitty gritty on diy network. the show is great for picking up good knitting tips, tricks and patterns. the last few episodes had guest designers that use the continental or pick method to knit. i swear that they were all doing the knit stitch from the back loop. they weren't doing any special stitches like yarn overs. they were just knitting in plain stockinet. i started to wonder that i may be knitting wrong. i consulted my knitting books and looked online and confirmed that i was executing the correct stitch. maybe they were intentionally twisting their stitches or maybe they were fixing some twisted stitches on the needle. it was hard to tell.

so between my sweater project and fear that i was not knitting properly i dreamt that i was taking a knitting class. the instructor was showing us how to do a simple knit stitch. the stitch he (yes it was a male instructor) was doing was clearly not a knit stitch. the stitch produced a multiple of 5 loops with one loop being longer than the others. he also said that we needed to knit a contrasting piece of yarn along with the stitch. but not to worry because the contrasting yarn would not show.

i showed the instructor my sample and blurted out at the top of my lungs, 'you are crazy. you can clearly see the contrasting yarn and the knit stitch you are showing us is totally wrong!' and then i woke up. it was 5:15 a.m. only 15 minutes before my alarm.

my dreams are definitely weirder but at least i'm sleeping through the night. i going to continue taking the Valerian and see how it goes. maybe i should recommend to the manufacturer to add this warning on the label, "You may experience fucked up dreams if you mix Valerian with obsessive knitting and too much knitty gritty."


Blogger hotknits said...

Insomniac of 17yrs here. If you do decide to go prescription, ask to try Trazadone (Desyryl). It is a mild antidepressant that is often reccommended for sleeping problems due to it's effects. It isn't nearly as harmful as sleeping pills (it just makes your brain produce more serotonin i think) and your sleep is natural. The dosage is adjustable, and you only have to take it when you need to. It is also safe for long term use.
I dream about knitting all the time. Hey, some people count sheep and I count stitches.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Tallguy said...

hahhaaha.... What fun you are! You know, if you can't sleep, why don't you just knit until you feel you need to get some sleep? Works for me!!

Knitting Continental is great, but purling is really difficult, if you don't do it the right way. If done wrong, you get twisted stitches on the knit side, so you have to knit into the back of the stitch so it all comes out right. So two wrongs DO make a right! So Mom was wrong -- hmmm.

7:37 PM  
Blogger tammy said...

Hey Keith-Tammy from Article Pract here!!! love your blog!
I too am a knitting insomniac!! I get the best ideas in the dark when I am desperately trying to fall asleep. I am a manic planner to boot, so I lay there making mental to-do lists!!
Per my acupuncturist's instruction, I have found that drinking a hot cup of herbal tea before bed relocates the energy to my tummy & away from my brain. I know it sounds new agey corny- but it has helped. I also learned some deep breathing techniques that work like a charm every time!!
I will be sending sweet dream vibes your way! : ')

1:31 PM  
Blogger knitcrazed said...

i think we must be related ;-) thanks for your tips.

8:35 PM  

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