Friday, May 30, 2014

Still here.

So what's new?

I'm back in the office nearly full time. I say nearly because a few hours a week I'm still in PT.  Now I'm working on rotation (think reaching behind you to zip a zipper), and strength. I still have difficulty pushing a full grocery cart.

I'm knitting though. I'm teaching a class for Bad Oyster, in August/September. I'm teaching a beaded bracelet next month. I use 0000 needles for the bracelet, and I'm not sure how it will go. Everything old is new again. I'll start a sample next weekend and I'll accommodate if I need to. I've become really good at that.

As for Bad Oyster, it has unusual increases and an unusual shape, you start on DPs and move to circs or magic loop and steeking. I always like to teach projects that have lots of interesting techniques. It's actually an easy knit, and I think will make really nice gift knitting. It is definitely car and travel knitting.

 I finished the sample this week:


I used a little bit less than a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Citrus. I love Mad Tosh. I'm using it for a second shop sample of Color Affection. I was supposed to teach it this past spring/summer, but couldn't knit for those two months. So we're now pointing toward Fall.

 It was a very happy knit because of the color. I found I hit a black hole of knitting somewhere around the 12 inch mark. You knit a funnel-like tube to 18 inches deep. Then steek to create the fringe. It blocked to more than 18 inches on the fringed sides.

Here we're on break, so the town is quieter. Well, quieter if you don't count all the construction. We cannot drive anywhere directly. Apparently, all the people who plan these projects don't talk to each other. It's easier to escape from Alcatraz than it is to get a loaf a bread. Never a dull moment.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Long time no write....


...but I have a great excuse. I've been concentrating on getting all my parts back in working order. I'm better thanks to a steroid shot...but still have a ways to go. I'm stunned that I'm still in PT, but I don't know why I should be. I'm hoping soon I'll be able to put on my own underwear if you get my drift.

I am, however, knitting again. Not as long or as fast, but I'm not worried about those things. Hanging around the house for so long enabled me to take stock of some of my well loved knitwear, and some I had to part with. For example:

These are my beloved French Press Slippers. I made them in 2010, and wore them out.....what do I mean wore them out?













Allow me to demonstrate:



 I installed suede soles on them so that the holes in the soles would not be visible, however, it wore them through again anyway.....

Not even I could justify keeping them, so I snipped off the soles, and out they went.








I started from scratch....



Can't help but love the red......

These were OK to knit, though I struggled a little with the triple yarn on the sole. I'm still struggling a little with knitting. But the designer made substantial improvements to the pattern, and they were easier to sew together.








And here is the finished product:

 I reused the suede soles, and changed out the buttons. I think they're sweet.

















And because they're like potato chips, I had to knit a second pair in graphite. You can see the comparison here. I need to add a felted shot though. I made a few changes to the black slippers making them a little deeper. They look less like ballet flats and more like regular slippers. They will be fine though especially if we have another winter like the last one.











Love this pattern. Easy peasy. And the finished product is highly useable.

That's not all I've been doing though. I started a Prayer Shawl for a friend and colleague who is going through a brutal treatment for melanoma. I don't know how she is managing. I just don't. I started the piece, enlisted my knitting colleagues, then we passed it all over the university to anyone who wanted to add a stitch or two, even the men who tried to demur. Everyone then signed a cardstock graphic wishing her well. The illness and treatment she is experiencing really puts my shoulder and, neverending, physical therapy into perspective. Who needs to be able to reach behind to hook a bra really?

Thursday, February 06, 2014

What you should know about breaking a shoulder.....

  • They do not typically cast a shoulder. they simply immobilize it in a sling. You are left petrified that you are going to knock it out of position. (Unless you have surgical intervention.)
  • Only do it in the summer. In the winter, at least in colder parts of the country, you will be unable to wear a coat properly. And unless you are very lucky, all your coats will be too small to fasten with your slinged arm inside. And I will guarantee that you will have the coldest winter in two decades.
  • Dressing is more complicated than launching the space shuttle. You are unable to pull ANYTHING over your head without desperate pain. Invest in button front everything, especially pj's because going out, just isn't worth getting dressed. A friend asked if I could "clean and jerk" an anvil yet, and I replied that all I want to do is wear a sweater that doesn't have buttons. (No can't do it yet.)
  • Pain. All the time, but especially at night. Be prepared. I'm told if one has a recliner sleeping is easier, however, I have my doubts.
  • Rehab is no better. My PT, though very nice, is a sadist. He tells me that I'll be a hurtin' turkey for 2 to 4 more weeks....and you know what. I don't believe him. I'm thinking it will be longer....much.
  • It changes every part of your life. If you're a runner, don't expect to run for a long time, the jostling is excruciating. If you're a knitter, take my advice and don't even attempt it until week 6. If you're a reader....Kindle. You can't hold a book (and turn the pages) comfortably. An iPad is too heavy. The Kindle was my only option. It also is nice in the wee small hours when sleep is impossible, to download new books. Daytime TV really, really sucks.
  • Expect that every light bulb that is in an inconvenient spot or that you need two hands to change, will burn out. The smoke detector will need a new battery.....count on it.
  • If you have pierced ears, prepare to put one pair of earrings in and then not change them for the duration. In my case, it was seven weeks. Recognizing that I wouldn't be comfortable sleeping in studs, but that leaving them out for an extended period would cause the piercings to disappear, I opted for silver ear threads with the rubber stoppers on the back. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but overall it worked out well...until I tried to take them out at about week 7. The rubber stoppers had hardened and could not be removed. I used Puppy Snips to cut the stoppers. 

All in all, it has been a bizarre two + months. But glacially, slowly, I'm getting better. I hope I survive it......


Though I'm not back to full force in the knitting area, this is my first completed piece for 2014.....


Collared Seed Wrap in Tahki Adele...I got the yarn in New Orleans...it's very sparkly. I had to hold it doubled (because I don't know what I was thinking when I bought it), so I couldn't make it as long as I had hoped.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

This is what -10 looks like.




This is what -10 degrees looks like at 8:00 am. The high today is going to be just over 0 (zero). The wind chill is predicted to be in the -30s. Why should it matter? Well, of course, I have an orthopedic follow up today, of all days. The coldest day in two decades. With my shoulder in a sling, I can't wear a coat properly, and I have to dress like a bag lady.

All my wool creations are really coming in handy today. The positive side of being a knitter.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Remarkably MORE of the same.

Stunningly we lost another member of the extended family. 

In three weeks:

16 year old 2nd cousin to suicide
Cousin succumbs after a 13 year battle with breast cancer.
27 year old 2nd cousin dies after working out, while visiting her parents for Christmas. Apparently a brain aneurysm.

WTF?

The family is stunned. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Progress report

S.L.O.W.

It has been three weeks since I knit. Every now and again I pick up my sock to see if I can manage. I can't, yet. Saw the doc on Thursday and everything is copacetic, but that only means; 1) no healing is visible on the x-ray yet; 2) the bone is nicely aligned; 3) I must refrain from using my arm for FOUR, count'em FOUR MORE WEEKS.  And this is NORMAL. 

Life here is not. The extended family lost a 16 year old to suicide, and a close cousin succumbed to breast cancer after a brilliant 13 year battle. It was one of those sad blessings. Lots of prayer here in the Knitnbead house this season. 

These things also put my whining about four weeks into perspective.

I hope whoever is still reading this has a blessed Christmas, and healthy and joyous New Year. 

Maybe I'll be typing with both hands soon. And if anyone has a suggestion for a good iPad dictation app (not Siri), I'm listening!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

I wish I had better news.

Here we are the first week of December and all that remains of my Christmas knitting is about 3/4 of a sock for my Mom. Last Saturday I received my bead order for the makins' for the traditional beaded ornament for my sister-in-law. Apparently, I got too cocky. 

Monday I slipped on some ice and broke my shoulder. In case you've never been so "lucky", let's just say it is painful. Good news: it is my non-dominant arm. Bad: it doesn't seem to matter. All movement is painful. I certainly can't do fine beadwork, but I'm hoping I may be able to knit again soon. I'm an English style knitter, so most of the work is done by my right hand. But I'm still at the don't move under pain of surgical intervention phase, and frankly not even the pain meds are working very well.

Well, enough one handed typing for now. I need to lie down........