Friday, February 1, 2008

Kniting, Spinning, and Asperger's Syndrome

I did spend most of my knitting time yesterday knitting up the swatch with my handspun. Unfortunately, I can't get a good picture of it, so, sorry.... I knit the swatch with several needle sizes, starting with a four and working up to a seven. I'd never really done that before and was amazed at how different the fabric was. The smaller needle produced a nice, firm, almost stiff fabric, and the size seven a nice loose usable fabric. I think, even though I didn't really enjoy spinning this all that much, I'll go ahead and work on finishing the rest of the pound of roving. It'll be a relative long term project, but, maybe I'll make myself something nice with it when done. I love the rustic look of the knitted fabric. And I'll try to get a good picture.

I spun some more mohair, too, and although the spindle isn't full yet, I may wind it off today and block. Then again, I just my keep spinning more of it. It's so slippery and soft and easy to spin....

I know I've mentioned before that I have Asperger's Syndrome and I know that doesn't mean a lot to most people. The syndrome is on the Autistic Spectrum and is one of the more invisible syndromes. People with Asperger's are generally considered weird and annoying. There is a group on Ravelry, in fact several groups, that deal with different aspects of the Autistic Spectrum. Ones for those that have it to those that have friends and family members on the spectrum. There was a link to YouTube on one of the threads which lead me to several things on YouTube. These you might get an insight into my world.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5

I have Asperger's Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. It's hard to diagnose in adults, and most information you find deals with diagnosing children. If you are interested in learning more about it from the view point of an autistic individual, read Asperger Syndrome in the Family and Pretending to Be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome by Liane Holliday Willey. A good novel is The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon as well as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon.

I don't expect anything from any of you because I've sent you this. I don't expect you to accept me any more than you do now, nor try to develop a relationship with me. I send you this to give you an idea of who I am and why I am that way. I really want to continue to be invisible.

It would be wonderful, I suppose, to have a group of friends, a family, family reunions, and all those things I see on TV, read about. Friends and relatives interacting with each other and with me just like on those Folger's commercials at Christmas time. But it doesn't work for me. It's never worked for me. I've always been odd, get strange looks, and am excluded for reasons I've never understood in any more than in an intellectual way. I know people don't like me and I know it's because I have Asperger's and I'm weird. But I don't understand it on an emotional level. The only "feelings" I have are those connected to rejection. Yet I don't see, hear, feel, understand what it is that I do "wrong." It can be told to me in a factual way: too loud, appearing to be an authority on everything, disagreeing, correcting everyone, inappropriate topics, but I don't hear the "too loud." I have information and assume others want that information. I have correct information and assume others want correct information. I don't understand the social nuance that makes a topic or a joke inappropriate.

I've lived my life trying to fake being human. I've felt all my life I was on the Wrong Planet. That I was an alien life form trying to pass for human.

One of the nice things about on-line relationships, is they are based on the written word, which everyone makes allowances for, because we can't see facial cues. It makes those with Aspberger's on the same level in many ways. You'd be surprised how much is communicate with facial cues, body language, etc. And if you can't see that, and I can't see it, it puts our conversation on an even plain. And that's nice for me and not irritating to you.

"The [Asperger] person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others." - Tony Attwood.

Knitting Graffiti and Knitted Art
These would make the neatest knitting bags. Make sure you check out all the pockets inside. Not to mention the interior is white which makes things soooooo much easier to find.
If you enjoy Knitting in Color, this is a great blog to read.


  1. Lizzie, I read your blog today and wished I were closer so I could give you a hug! I’ve known that you have Asperger’s and what I like the most about you (and I’ve said it before, right!) is that you are honest and don’t play games. I accept you for who you are. We all want that happy family, the reunions, etc., however many, many of us have relatives that are truly annoying, insensitive, not loving or understanding. Many just don’t talk about it. When relatives behave the way yours do at times, it is their loss. You can choose your friends but not your relatives. I, like you, wanted that happy family and when watching “Family Feud” and see all those relatives lined up having fun, I wanted that also. Lizzie, you are such a giving person so please be good to yourself and consider me your friend no matter what! Don’t let those crazy relatives drag you down. After spending a lot of money on therapy to understand many of mine, I’ve decided they are the ones in need of therapy and I’m taking that money and spending it on yarn. Hugs to you!!!!

  2. I agree with Joansie. This was a very interesting and important post, but you also need to know that most of us don't have that happy family life and lovely reunions and all that. Sometimes I think my worry and angst over family issues (my birth family, not Avi and the girls) is going to give me heart disease one day...

    I really like who you are. I understand what you mean about the written word, but I think you also give us a fair reflection of who you are through your blog, emails etc. And I think you're great!

  3. My son has fairly severe ADHD. One doctor thought he might have Asperger's, but he missed the required criteria by one. He's 20 now, just coming into his own, finding friends. We're lucky; somehow we muddled through but oh, it was hard.

    I figure the best way I can change the world is to teach my children to be as accepting as they can be of other people, no matter how different or the same, to really get to know people before deciding on whether they like someone or not. I hope it works.


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