It’s Spring!

Well, technically, I guess it’s actually been spring for a while by the calendar. I date it from the first appearance of baby ducks on our lake. We have a great weedy patch by the dock that serves as duck habitat (that’s my current excuse for not cleaning it up, anyway!). I looked out this afternoon to see this little family.

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The papa is very protective, and took his little brood and mom away as soon as I sneaked close enough for a picture. Earlier I saw him giving another male Mallard hell and driving him away from the family homestead. They are so funny when they are learning to swim. Once they start getting a little more independent, they race back and forth, but they don’t have very good directional or speed control for the first few weeks, so they go off in all sorts of comical directions.

And I found a blooming lavender plant on the way back up from the lake, where I really don’t remember anybody planting it. I guess it’s a volunteer*. You can see that nobody on this particular “farm” has been out weeding yet.

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Here is a close up picture of those purply flowers from yesterday. Anybody from the Pacific Northwest know what these are? They grow wild, a lot of people think they are weeds, but they have a lovely fragrance, and most importantly, I don’t have to plant them. They just come up; more volunteers. One friend called them bluebells; anybody know for sure?**

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*John confessed to moving this from someplace else; so it’s not a volunteer after all. I’m apparently just clueless about what goes on in our yard.

**They are hyacinthoides, as per Laurie from Etherknitter, not only a doctor and a knitter, but a gardening whiz.

Knitting & Shopping


Your Inner European is Russian!


Mysterious and exotic.
You’ve got a great balance of danger and allure.

It must have been the vodka and caviar answer that landed me in the “Russian” category.

I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. I can’t imagine going through all of this nonsense the past two months without all of you cheering me on. Most of my non-Internet based friends are non-knitters, so though they’ve been supportive, they don’t understand the frustration that I’ve had with not being able to knit. I’ve been knitting this past week, but can only manage a row or two at a time. Between the weakness of my muscles and the discomfort, it’s slow going. But it is better than just fondling all my yarn wistfully. At least I’m knitting. I’ve found that knitting heavy worsted wool requires just a bit more tugging than I want to do for very long. So I’m back working on the Birch shawl, a project that I started a long time ago. This has been hanging out in my project bag for months while I was working on Rogue. Laceweight hairy dental floss is easier on my hands, though possibly not my sanity. Here’s where I am:

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Five repeats done, twenty-five to go. The lace pattern is actually fairly easy to memorize, though I’m planning on sticking with my stitch markers and lifeline for now. My hand isn’t agile enough to fix any complicated screwups just yet.

Here’s the shopping part of the post. I haven’t bought any yarn up until now since my injury, but have been looking for a special project to save for when my fingers are back to normal. This yarn came in the mail a few days ago. I ordered it about ten minutes after Amy told me that it was OK to start knitting.

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It’s KnitPicks Shimmer, which is a laceweight baby alpaca/silk blend. I plan on making a shawl out of it, though I’m not sure which one. I ordered several patterns also, from Red Bird Knits. They are all shawls; the Flower Basket Shawl, the Estonian Garden Wrap, and the Leaf Lace Shawl.

Everybody in blog-land seems to be posting pictures of beautiful flowers this week. Here’s what’s in my garden:

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The rhodies here are very prolific. Mine are a bit behind some, as this part of my yard only gets partial sun most of the day. Willie really likes his yard much better than the shelter that he came from.

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I don’t know what these flowers are called, but they grow wild in everybody’s yard. They smell divine, and when you go out in the yard in the early evening, the fragrance is almost overpowering. Nice weeds, eh?

Last but not least, here is the little wall that I tumbled over two months ago.

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Here’s Will demonstrating that he is fearless. “Wall, what wall?”

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Hand Update, Again

Today I’m at 7 weeks post-op. I’m still going to therapy twice a week. Today was the first day that my spouse took the camera (he still comes with me, as I can’t drive yet). Amy, my OT, suggested that I bring my knitting needles with me today so she could watch me knit in order to determine if it was safe to try it yet. Ever thinking of my blog readers, I had John take pictures to document the event. I knew you guys would not want to miss this.

The most fun thing I do in therapy is the corn husk machine. It is filled with ground up corn husks, and is heated. After you stick your arms in it, the fan comes on and blows the corn around your hands while you do exercises. It feels really good, and enables me to do a lot more with my fingers than I can do without it. I think it’s partly the heat, and partly the tactile stimulus of the husks that helps. Here is a picture of me in the machine.

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And a closeup of the corn.

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After my splint came off at six weeks, I noticed that my hand is extremely hypersensitive. This is partly from having it in a splint for that long, with the resulting sensory deprivation, and I suspect partly from having all the skin peel off my entire hand about a month into this. It’s getting better as I am able to use it more, but the weird sensation in that hand has been very disconcerting. Amy assures me that this is normal and that using it will help.

I’ve started doing manual tasks with my hand. She has told me that it is OK to type, though my hand is very awkward, and I can’t type for long without getting very tired. Here’s the other gadget that I started using this week at OT.

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I have to pick up the pegs, turn them over in my hand, and put them back in, while curling my wayward fingers around the peg. It’s harder than it looks. Here’s another view, with Amy supervising and cheerleading.

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And now the picture that you have all been waiting for.

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I’M KNITTING!!! After carefully watching me knit a whole row, Amy said “Those are just the movements I want you to be working on”. I showed her how I could knit continental style to take the work off my index finger, and she said that she would rather I use that right hand so I start getting some dexterity back. (This is a very good thing, as I am a thrower by nature, not a picker.)

HOORAY!!

I had some serious doubts the past several weeks whether I would ever be posting knitting pictures again on this blog. Here’s a closeup of what I’m making.

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The color is actually more amethyst , more like the first picture. I started this before my injury; it will be a simple 1X1 rib scarf.  The yarn is Beaverslide Dry Goods fisherman weight, in a color named Prairie Aster. I intended this to be for the Dulaan project, started by Ryan, of Mossy Cottage Knits. Ryan, this might not get done by the deadline, but it WILL get done and sent eventually! I’m not going to win any speed races any time soon, but I’M KNITTING!! Did I already mention that?

Another Book Thing

There is another of those book memes going around, and it was sent to me by Justine, of Adventures in Asia. I have indeed had a lot of time on my hands to read since my injury, though I have been doing some medical reading to catch up, so haven’t gotten a lot of novels read. Nonethless, here are the questions and my answers.

Q: You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Not sure I would want to be a book at all, in that world. If I had to be, it would be one of the banned/challenged ones. Maybe Darwin’s “Origin of Species”; one of the most revolutionary scientific books of the past few centuries. It amazes me that there are still people who can say with a straight face that they don’t “believe” in evolution. It’s not a religion, it’s a scientific fact. Saying the world is flat doesn’t make it so. My alternate choice would be “A Wrinkle in Time”, by Madeleine L’Engle, one of my favorite books of all time, and also on a variety of banned books lists. It’s a wonder that humans have survived as long as we have, as stupid as we can be at times.

Q: Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Not really. If I had one, it would probably be the swashbuckling Francis Crawford of Lymond, from Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series. Handsome, brilliant, daring, dangerous. My kind of guy.

Q: The last book you bought is: “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine”. Oh, you probably meant NON-medical reading. That would be Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s bookbookbook “At Knit’s End”.

Q: The last book you read: “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”, by Susanna Clarke.

Q: What are you currently reading? “Snow”, by Orhan Pamuk, and “East of Eden”, by John Steinbeck. And the “Collected Stories of Grace Paley”, by Grace Paley. (And Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. Pretty exciting reading.)

Q: Five books you would take to a desert island. Most of these I have never read. I’ve read parts of Twain, parts of Trevor, and Tolkien once, but certainly could re-read it. They’re all big books that would last until I was rescued.

1. “Collected Works of Mark Twain”, the unabridged edition
2. “Collected Stories”, William Trevor
3. “Remembrance of Things Past”, by Marcel Proust
4. “Make Way for Lucia, the Complete Lucia”, by E.F. Benson
5. “Lord of the Rings Trilogy”, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Q: Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
1. Laurie, of Etherknitter. She also has lots of time on her hands to read after surgery.
2. Cara, of January One. She is a librarian, a reader, and started Knit One Read Too.
3. Wendy, of The Bookish Girl. How could I not, with the name of her blog?

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Every so often I check out the Google search strings that got people to my blog. Here are a few favorites from this week:

“things that could be worse”
“bourbon girl” (my favorite)
“one handed knitting”
“one handed zipping technique”
“internal pictures doctor ass” (I can only imagine what this person was really looking for.)

I’m not making those up.

International Pajama Day!

Celia, from Unraveling, has a mission in life. She is trying to spread the word about the joys of spending a whole day in your jammies. Yesterday was International Pajama Day IV, and I’m proud to say that I participated. I changed into flannel pants and a warm fleecy top and passed the whole day lounging around the house.

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Celia did it in much higher style; she’s had several chances to perfect her pajama performance. Check out her blog post from yesterday for her great photos.

I spent the day reading and playing on the computer. In the evening, John cooked me a nice little spring risotto.

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Here’s me helping. I’m still not allowed to handle any sharp objects.

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And here’s the recipe, as best I can reconstruct it. It’s a modification based on lots of trials and several recipes. Once you figure out how to make a basic recipe, you can add whatever you find that looks good. We got all the fresh ingredients at the Farmers’ Market in Olympia this weekend. If you ever see green garlic in the market, buy it and try it. It looks like big green onions, and has a wonderful flavor. You can use it wherever you would use garlic.

We usually blanch whatever vegetable we’re going to add in the broth, and saute any raw fish or meat bits separately. That way you can add it all at the end and not have to figure out how long each part will take to cook. You can use leftover stuff in this as well. About the only thing we haven’t tried in risotto is Spam, and I suppose you could use that if you were desperate.

Some people frown on cheese in risotto with fish or seafood. I like it, so there.

Spring Risotto with Green Garlic, Asparagus, and Shrimp

2 cups arborio rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Another tablespoon butter
3 stalks green garlic, chopped; use regular garlic if you can’t find this.
Shallots, chopped, about 3 tablespoons (or leeks, if you have them)
1/2 cup white wine
6 1/2 cups broth. We used fish stock that we buy frozen, but you can use chicken or veggie.
Asparagus, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces. We used about a dozen or so stalks.
1 cup peas, shelled; fresh or frozen
Handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
3/4 pound shrimp, cleaned and shelled, tails off
Another 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese. Please don’t use that stuff out of a can or the risotto gods will get their revenge eventually.
Salt & pepper

Heat the broth to just simmering and keep it there. Dump in the asparagus and cook for a few minutes to blanch them, take them out with a slotted spoon and set aside. If you’re using fresh peas, blanch those too and set aside. Put the first tablespoon of butter and the oil in a largish pot and saute the onion, garlic, and shallot till soft. In another pan, melt another tablespoon of butter and briefly saute the shrimp, just till they turn from pink to white. Turn off, and set aside.

Add the rice to the pot with the butter, garlic, shallot, and onion, and stir briefly until rice starts to look translucent at the edges. This will just take a few minutes. Add the wine and stir until liquid is almost absorbed. Now start adding your broth to the rice about a cupful at a time, stirring most of the time and watching closely. When most of the liquid from each cup is absorbed into the rice, it’s time to add the next cup of broth. As the rice gets closer to done, add the broth in smaller amounts, and taste the rice off and on to make sure you’re not getting too much liquid. You want it done but not mushy; the rice should still have a firm bite to it when you’re all done. When the rice tastes like it’s just a few minutes from being done, add the asparagus, shrimp, parsley, and peas, and keep stirring and adding more broth in small amounts till the rice is done. You may not have to use all the liquid in the pot.

When the rice tastes done, turn off the heat, add the last tablespoon of butter and the cheese, and stir in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve. This should easily feed 4 hungry people as a main course, or 6 as a side dish. Leftovers are wonderful: we form patties out of it, about the size of a big burger, and saute in a bit of butter. Yum. I’m off to find lunch.

I Dyed!

Or, Kool-Aid is Fun!

Yesterday was the big Kool-Aid dyeing project, courtesy of Kristen. Check out this post for a rundown of what she sent me a couple of weeks ago. I finally got around to making a mess in my kitchen yesterday with this.

Knitty has the instructions here for doing this. Check that out for details; what I’ve written here is just a brief rundown. If you do a Google search for “kool-aid dyeing” you will get other resources as well. John helped me with the photo shoot.

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First I washed the yarn in mild soap and water, then rinsed and left it to soak in water while I was getting everything else ready. Kristen was nice enough to put the yarn in two separate skeins and tie them for me. I decided to do one color rather than a handpainted look.  After a little experimenting on bits of yarn, I chose Strawberry.

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I actually added a bit of red food coloring, as I had a very vibrant strawberry in mind. You can use the dyes that are made for cake decorating as well, and these come in a wider variety of colors.

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After you get the yarn in the Kool-Aid, you either put it in the microwave or on the stove and heat not quite to the boiling point, stirring a couple of times to make sure all the yarn is under the water.

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Take it out of the microwave and let it cool, again stirring a few times. Wash again in mild soapy water, rinse, and dry. Be careful not to manhandle the yarn too much, or to shock it with different temperatures of water, or you will have a big felted wet strawberry.

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Here is the finished yarn, ready to knit when my fingers start to cooperate.

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You might notice something missing in this photo. Yes, the splint is gone, as of yesterday. I got a good report card from both my OT and my surgeon, and am now starting to work on range of motion and strengthening in earnest.

I also received some lovely gifts in the mail from my sister Diane today. You can tell that a warped sense of humor obviously runs in our family. The glasses are plastic, of course, to prevent further injury the next time we head off over the hills to the neighbors’ house to share wine.

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And a closeup of the authentic crown:

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Yes, that’s Riley licking her butt in the background. I didn’t notice it until it was up here, and I’m not doing it over. At least I have a puppy picture, so I won’t get kicked out of the Purling Puppy Webring.

What’s On Your Ipod?

As Laurie from Etherknitter pointed out in her post today, health complaints tend to have a short half-life. While my tendon saga is no doubt endlessly fascinating to some of you, even I am getting sick of hearing about it. But I can’t knit, so what to write about? (And John has this insane idea that I shouldn’t buy yet more yarn that I am unable to knit. He has a point.)

And yes, I have tried to knit. Amy the OT, if by some chance you’ve found my blog, this would be the time to take a break and get a cup of coffee. You don’t want to know, trust me. I very carefully picked up my needles and gave it a try. I guess I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. And I couldn’t, of course. My muscles are way too weak, the tendons feel a little iffy when I try it, and I don’t have the fine motor control. Hell, I don’t even have gross motor control. Yet.

I’ve made very good use of my Ipod during this time. Which brings me to the subject of this post. Our local paper ran an article over the weekend about our president and what’s on his Ipod. (Originally published in the New York Times). I was rather impressed at his techological savvy until I got to the part that said he only has 250 songs on his 40 gigabyte player, and he has an aide that loads it up for him. And one of his songs is “My Sharona”. When I got to that part, any lingering respect I might have had for the man was shot down. I don’t necessarily think that his George Jones is a bad choice; I’m a traditional country music fan myself, though my taste runs more towards Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell. Conway Twitty singing “It’s Only Make Believe”.  Floyd Cramer playing “Last Date”. And Vern Gosdin, the greatest country singer of all time. Makes me want to break out the bourbon just thinking about it.

So, what is on my Ipod? For starters, I have 5421 songs currently loaded. And 25 audio books. And the latest broadcast of Car Talk, one of the funniest shows on public radio. My musical taste would best be described as insanely eclectic. There is almost always music going on at our house. We have an extensive CD collection, though these days we mostly listen to Rhapsody; with our computer wired to the stereo we can listen to almost anything we want, anytime. And they have to put the CDs back in the cases, not me. We also listen to Folk Alley and KPIG.

About 1500 of those Ipod tunes are bluegrass or Appalachian style music, stretching over a wide range of bluegrass styles. About 600 are country or cowboy music (Wylie & The Wild West, Ian Tyson, Tom Russell). There are a couple hundred songs in the pop/rock/classic rock/oldies categories. There are 350 or so folk songs,about 180 blues tunes, a couple hundred jazz and swing tunes, another couple hundred or so songs by Texas artists…Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, Freddy Fender, Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore. (Texas is about the only state that has its own music.) There is some Cajun and zydeco music, about 30 of my favorite classical pieces, and 5 or 6 opera albums. Though they’re not loaded yet, I have the complete Beethoven string quartets (7 CD’s worth) on deck to load next time I sync the thing. I have a few Hawaiian tunes (the other state with its own music), by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. No Ipod is complete without Sousa tunes, and I have 15 of them. Try it on the treadmill before you laugh. There are a dozen polka tunes (don’t ask, I grew up in North Dakota and was raised on Lawrence Welk and Myron Floren). I have 31 songs categorized as “surf”, by Dick Dale, the Hellecasters, and the Aqua Velvets. Listen to the Aqua Velvets’ “Smoking Panatelas on the Blue Mediterranean Sea”, from their “Nomad” album for a taste of what they’re like. And then there are a bunch of miscellaneous tracks that are hard to classify in any one genre.

Maybe George needs to borrow my Ipod for awhile. I think I like my song selection better than his. It might broaden his horizons considerably.

I Passed!

My tendons passed, that is. Thursday I had the tendons tested, which was a hell of an excitement, let me tell you. I actually had a dream about it the night before. In my dream I had taken my splint off to show somebody how it worked, then couldn’t get it back on correctly. I showed up at my “test” and Amy was none too happy with me. Any of you who have been through “higher education” would probably recognize this as a variant of the dream where you realize that the final is today and you forgot to go to class all semester.

The actual test took about ten seconds, then I was on my way to doing active exercises. This has been a rather distressing few days. I’ve lost a lot more power and range of motion in my hand and wrist than I would have thought possible in a month. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m not supposed to be at full strength for another two months.

The real surprise was that my splint was revised yet again. Amy replaced the tape that straps it to my wrist with velcro straps so I can TAKE IT OFF to do exercises, and to wash my hand to get the gunk off. Hooray! In case you think this less than thrilling, let me just say that a lot of gunk builds up when you can’t wash your hand for a month. I’m exfoliating the skin off my whole hand and leaving my DNA all over the house. Guess I can’t commit any crimes for awhile; Gil on CSI would identify me in a minute.

I got a great surprise package in the mail this week from Kristen. Check out her blog here. Here is a picture.

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Though I can’t knit, she figured I could manage Kool-Aid dyeing. There is a ball of Patons wool, which she skeined and tied for me so it’s ready to go. She included the Kool-Aid as well as gloves; a regular one for my regular hand, and a plastic bag to go over the splint. There are treats as well: chocolate for me, a knit catnip mouse for the cats, and a cookie for Riley. Here’s Willie’s verdict. He’s been trying to kill that mouse ever since he got it.

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And Riley’s thoughts on the matter:

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The chocolate is long gone, so no pictures. Thanks Kristen!

One more tip for any of you who unexpectedly find yourself unable to wash your own hair for three months. I got a little tired of looking like Phyllis Diller after the first week and went to my salon for a shampoo and style. It was wonderful, but a little spendy to do very often. John called his barber to see what they charge. The barber that owns the shop is a woman, and she charges $8 for a wash and dry. So I’m splurging and going every week.

3 Weeks Down,

Only 9 more to go. This week has been about maintaining my sense of humor. The first two weeks I was all gung ho, with an “I can lick this” attitude. I think the reality hit this week. I’m better now, but at the beginning of this week I wasn’t a happy camper about any part of this experience. Then to add insult to injury, I was in my surgeon’s office yesterday morning. He looked at my hand and said “you’re missing one of the stones from your ring”. This would be my wedding ring he was referring to, and neither I or John had noticed it. The ring has one larger diamond in the center with a smaller one on each side, and it was one of the smaller ones that was gone.

I managed to keep it together until we got to the car and then burst into tears, crying all the way home. I figured we’d look all over and never find it. I reached down to unhook the seat belt, and whacked my hand yet again on the center console, as I have been doing every time because it’s so f-ing awkward to do the seat belt with your left hand. Just for the heck of it I looked down between the seats to see if by some miracle it was there, and it WAS. So now the ring is at the jeweler’s to get fixed, and I’ve got three weeks of this under my belt, and I feel much better, thank you.

After this week, if all is going well with the tendons, I get to start doing what Amy my OT calls “baby bird” exercises. It apparently goes something like this: I passively move my fingers into my palm, then let them go and pretend like I’m holding a baby bird. I have to hold tight enough to cradle the bird in my hand, but not hard enough to squish it. I’ve never been so excited to start an exercise program in my life. Not this week though. That would be next week, if all goes well. This week is still another of the boring passive-range-of-motion-exercises weeks.

I can’t thank all of you enough for the kind words of support. Ryan, of Mossy Cottage Knits, and Margene, of Zeneedle, think I’m an inspiration. And Dorothy of Missouri Star fame sent me this after I whined about having trouble holding paperback books open.

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Very cool. And it works amazingly well! Thanks, Dorothy! This might mean no more books lobbed across the room in frustration.

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

Today is the first anniversary of The Knitting Doctor. Unfortunately I won’t be doing any knitting to celebrate. It’s been a fun year. I started this as a way to document what I’m knitting, but it has turned into a wonderful way to “meet” a lot of other knitters. I’ve learned a few things about computers, and a lot of things about knitting. I like to look at anniversaries as opportunities for reflection; a time to set new goals, perhaps drop old ones that are no longer useful.

Julia from Moth Heaven wrote an interesting post last week about what she chooses to knit and why. I think one of the few disadvantages of blogging, and reading other blogs, is that I get very distracted from my knitting. “Oooohhh, I want to knit THAT!” “No no, THAT needs to be next.” Once my fingers get working again, I want to finish up some old projects that have been languishing, then work on some of the projects buried in those eight tubs of yarn lurking behind me. (OK, ten.) So much yarn, so little time.

I promised a list of the positive benefits of my hand injury. I have combined this with a list of things I can and can’t do with one hand, as well as just a few random things I’ve discovered. In no particular order, here goes. Some of these might qualify as “too much information” for some of you. Consider yourself warned.

I’ve learned that “they” make dental floss thingies that can be used with one hand.

I am able to wash my right armpit with ease.

I need assistance with the left armpit.

I’ve mastered one-handed makeup.

I can take my bra off with one hand.

I can’t get it back on.

Let me just say that “feminine hygiene products” can indeed be managed with one hand when one has to do so.

I’ve learned to butter toast with one hand. (If you are thinking “Ha, I can do that”, just try it.)

I can still drink a glass of wine with one hand. I can’t get the bottle open alone, but once it’s open, I’m set.

I have a lot of free time to read books. I’ve even gotten caught up on some medical reading.

Paperbacks are harder to read with one hand. Hardback books stay open better by themselves. Fortunately there is no shortage of books in this house.

I have lots of time to play on the computer.

My husband and I have had lots of time together. As long as he remembers that he has to help me wash my left armpit and then hook my bra before he goes anyplace, we’ll get along fine.

Life is much easier when people leave my bathroom counter the way I have it. Especially people who seem to think it’s funny to go in and put the caps and lids back on everything.

I finally will have time to read through June Hiatt’s Principles of Knitting. Of course, it’s a big enough book that I might not be able to balance it one-handed.

I’m able to go to the park with John to walk the dog a lot more than I ever was before.

You learn the value of little milestones. My stitches came out this week.

I’m learning the value of patience when you are a patient. I’ve only lobbed a couple of things across the room in frustration this week because I couldn’t get them open.

My splint has a rubber band that hooks one part to another part. Cats appear to find this endlessly fascinating. I’ve discovered that it’s just better if I don’t fall asleep with my splint exposed while Willie is pretending to sleep on my chest.

I can pet the cat with one hand. I can just as easily knock him four feet across the room one-handed.

That’s enough for one day. I’m sure I’ll think of more later, with all the free time on my hands. Well, hand, I guess.

I Deserve Only The Best

riedel

I received this little doctored-up photo from our good friends with whom we are supposed to be on vacation in Spain. If you don’t get the significance, read the last few posts. Yes, they both have a sick sense of humor, which is probably why we love them.

And yes, it was one of our Riedel wine glasses, just to add insult to injury. To answer another question from the comments, the wine was a nice sauvignon blanc from South Africa.

My next post will be a discussion of the positive implications of my hand injury. It’s taking me a while to come up with the list…

Hand Update

I had my first hand therapy session yesterday. Let me just say that occupational therapists are way under-appreciated. I knew that they were going to put me in a different splint; I had this vision of the OT picking one off a shelf and strapping it on my hand. Not so. She built it from scratch based on my hand measurements and my specific injury.  It ended up being made out of a moldable plastic material, velcro, fishing line, Barge cement, and a rubber band. Here’s a photo. Click on it to get an appreciation for the fishing line part.

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I also have to start exercises hourly while I’m not asleep. I’m sure it’s the exercises and not just the splint, but the pain in my hand has gotten kicked up a notch.

I also found out yesterday just how limited I will be with the use of my hand for the next 3 months. Basically all the exercises are passive stretching, and she said that I won’t be allowed to do any active movements of any of my right hand fingers for that time frame. Obviously that means no knitting, but more significantly, no work for the next three months.  That means there won’t be any yarn deliveries around here for awhile. The UPS man might just forget where I live in three months. He’ll probably think I died or something.

I did buy myself one little self-pitying girlie item yesterday. Nothing cheers you up like springy makeup colors. The eyeliner might be a little optimistic, though. I have been able to get my makeup on with one hand otherwise.

I’ve decided I’ll still be blogging. Obviously it won’t be about new knitting, and I’m not quite sure just what this space will hold for the next few months. I will get back to knitting eventually!

I WANNA KNIT!!

First, I would like to thank everybody who sent good wishes about my hand. I can’t type well enough to respond to each of you individually, so this will have to do for now. Things seem to be going as well as I’d expect, though I’m still relatively drugged up on narcotics for the pain, so who knows.

Damn it. DAMN IT, I said. You just don’t realize all the things that require two hands until you lose the use of one of them. I am fortunate to have a husband who is quite accustomed already to waiting on me, so he hasn’t really had to act much differently. I have learned how to brush my teeth with my left hand, and managed to eat spaghetti last night, after a fashion. Try buttering your toast with one hand, and see how that goes. Getting a bra on turns out to be a two person job, and I have to say that John was quite a good sport about trying to wield the flatiron and tame my hair this morning.

I dreamed about knitting last night. Looking at knitting books and patterns is no help, I just get more frustrated. I have my first physical/occupational therapy appointment on Tuesday, and should have a better idea at that point how long this will all take.

I did get a little package in the mail yesterday:

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Go to Patternworks if you want your very own.

Back to reading. I’m trying very hard not to behave like a spoiled two-year old with a temper tantrum.

Things Could Be Worse…

I guess I won’t be knitting for awhile. I did one of those “wide world of sports” falls two nights ago, and trashed my hand. We were going across the yard to the neighbors after dinner to socialize for a bit. We had part of a bottle of wine left, and I was carrying that and my wine glass. I miscalculated where the rock retaining wall was, and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground with a bloody hand, and the broken off stem of the wine glass sticking out of my palm. I couldn’t flex my index finger so I was pretty sure that I’d either gotten a nerve or a tendon, or both. After a couple of hours in ER, it appeared to be tendon. I had semi-emergency surgery last night, and spent the night in the hospital afterwards. The good news is that the plastic/hand surgeon was able to repair the two severed tendons, and if all goes well I should have a good chance of regaining full function.

I’ll spare you the bloody hand photos…actually we didn’t wait around long enough to take them before racing off to the ER. Here’s what it looks like this morning.

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Yes, it’s my right hand, and yes, I’m very right hand dominant. I’m not much of a one-hand typist, either.

To add insult to injury, our trip to Spain is postponed for the time being. We may try to reschedule for the fall, but the surgeon didn’t think leaving the country for three weeks was a very good idea. It’s a good thing I have lots of audio books on my Ipod.

Oh yes, though I broke the wine glass, I did manage to save the bottle of wine. I have my priorities, after all.

Still More Rogue

I finished the body of the Rogue sweater last night. I have a question for anybody who has made this sweater. What’s with the lone stitch on a holder at the front of the v-neck? I was just going to knit it together with the next stitch on one side, but I figured there must be some reason for this. The directions say to keep it on a holder till you are doing the finishing, then tack it down in the back. Hmmm. I am to the point of picking up all the stitches around the neckline to start the hood. I am also assuming that you need to pick up the wraps that are done on the throat cabling shaping, though it doesn’t specify this in the pattern. There is a lot of cabling on that hood, is all I have to say.

We leave for vacation in a week, and I probably won’t get much knitting done in the meantime, so I’m trying to decide whether to pack this along or not. I doubt that I’ll finish the hood before we go, and it is pretty bulky for travelling purposes. Bummer. I really want to finish this soon. Maybe I’ll just put the hood on a holder and start a sleeve…that won’t weigh so much.

We are going to Spain for about two weeks, and part of the trip involves train travel, so we’re planning (hoping) to travel light. Actually my husband is planning to travel light. Travelling light to me means only one steamer trunk. I start out packing with good intentions, and by the time we’re ready to leave I have everything I own in bags by the door. I’m already negotiating to purchase part of his suitcase space allottment.

Here are pictures of the Rogue progress.

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That throat bit is actually a split v-neck, though the picture doesn’t show it well. The markers are on those wrapped stitches so I don’t forget about them.

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The pattern also called for short row shaping on the shoulders, which I’ve done before. But then she has you bind off the shoulder stitches and seam them later instead of doing a three needle bind off. I did it the way the pattern is written as I thought that there might be some reason for this, but I believe you could do a three needle bind off easily without changing anything.

Last but not least, here is a gratuitous dog picture for your amusement. We all went to the park again yesterday. Daisie’s ears just make me laugh.

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