Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cast On!

No, I don't get to knit yet. [sigh!] But I did get to have a cast party. Here's how it went...

castparty2

It will be three more weeks. When the cast comes off, I will have a thumb splint and strengthening exercises. I can knit then. Here's what my cast looks like...

caston

I may try to spin in a few days, but I can't pinch, so I may have to put up with a few lumps. I'm going to give hand quilting a try, too. The cast is fiberglass, and not heavy. I can't get it wet, though. [Kitchen trash bag and rubber band work fine.]

Several people have asked what was done. [If you read my explanation elsewhere, you can just skip this part.] I had an LRTI and Trapieziectomy. That may not mean any more to you than it did to me when I heard of it, so I'll explain: the Trapiezium is [in my case, was] a bone at the base of the thumb. It was removed, and a tendon from my wrist was taken out and used to rebuild the joint, much the way arteries in the leg are used to replace clogged arteries in coronary bypass surgery. This was needed because of osteoarthritis in that location. I've been in a bandage since surgery last Friday. I guess they wanted the swelling to go down before putting on the cast. I will need several weeks of physical therapy after the cast comes off. The right thumb will have to be done after I recover from this surgery.

I can't show you what's on my needles this week, because it's still the same. Here's what it looked like in my backyard last weekend, though. It's almost all gone now. Happy spring!

springsnow

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rule of Thumb!

HELLO, KNITTING COMMUNITY! DOING OK AND FOLLOWING DR'S ORDERS. (ALL CAPS SIMPLIFY POSTING.)

Post2

I GOT SEVERAL PATTERN REPEATS DONE ON MY CLC SLEEVE. WHILE WAITING FOR SURGERY. THE NURSES GOT A KICK OUT OF THAT, LOL! MY SURGICAL NURSE WAS A MAN AND MY SURGEON WAS A WOMAN, A SIGN OF THE TIMES. THE NURSE LOOKED ABOUT 50, AND CUTE! IF I DIDN'T HAVE MY WONDERFUL DH, THE NURSE WOULD MAKE A GOOD POTENTIAL BOY TOY, BEING SUFFICIENTLY YOUNGER THAN I AM.
THE LAVENDER CUBE THING IS TO KEEP ME FROM REACHING AROUND AND CHEWING ON MY STS. (AT LEAST SOMETHING IS RELATED TO STS!) WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT THE LAVENDER WHEN I PICKED MY OUTFIT, I MIGHT HAVE CHOSEN SOMETHING OTHER THAN RED. HAPPY KNITTING, EVERYONE! I'M GOING TO TAKE NAP, READ FOR AWHILE, AND THEN COME BACK AND LET YOU ENTERTAIN ME! --PEGGY

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Arrives at My House!

Nearly a month after the official first day of spring (aka vernal equinox), warmer weather finally arrives at 7200 feet above the Greater Salt Lake Valley. Here's one of my neighbors, going for a walk in the sun in front of my house. This always rattles Rocky's and Sunny's chain!

MooseCrop

This means the end of snowshoe season, but the dogs had a great snowshoe at Deer Valley on Saturday.
I'm trying to get some things done in preparation for my thumb surgery on Friday: stocking the freezer with homemade bread and dinners and getting some laundry done. I've been trying to knit, but it's painful. The quilting is a little easier. Spinning is OK, too. Now that my spinning class is over, I've decided I'm ready to tackle the pile of Coopworth fiber my friend Lynda and I ordered from Oregon.

Fiber1

It's spinning up OK, but has little chunks of fiber, usually an odd color, which makes it interesting but not as smooth. Here's what it looks like spun as a single. When I ply it, I'll post another photo. That will be a while, though.

Single1

What's on my needles:
In the last week or two I've started two new projects. I just couldn't help it. I wanted to participate in the Knit Picks Sock Innovation KAL, so I CO for the Kristi sock from the book. Here's what I have so far:

Kristi3

The other project is my Classic Lines Cardigan, which is also a KAL at Knit Picks. I'm finding the straight knitting a little less painful to do than the traveling st pattern of the Kristi. Here's my progress:

Sleeves1

What's on my ear buds:
I'm listening to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for the umteenth time. I wish she had written more books. I just finished Nelson DeMille's Night Fall, which was also entertaining, but completely different.

My next blog post will come after my surgery. I'm hoping I can type one-handed. There probably won't be very many photos, though. Next month, I'm hoping to post some photos of my quilts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good News and Bad News

I just came back from seeing the orthopedist, and I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I didn't do this to myself by knitting, spinning, quilting or posting! In fact, I didn't do it to myself at all...unless I chose my parents.
The problem is osteoarthritis, plain, simple and...genetic. What a relief! I've spent the last two weeks limiting my knitting and spinning, because I thought I had been overdoing it. The bad news is, it will continue to get worse until I have surgery.
Well, no, that's not the bad news. The bad news is that after surgery, it may be weeks before I can knit again. The really bad news is, both thumbs need to be done, and I can't do them both at once. As my Dr. said, "Who would wipe your butt?" The left one was worse, so I have scheduled that one already. It will be done April 24th. She will remove a bone and sort of put everything back again. Toward the end of the summer, I can have the right one done. That will be a little more complicated, because I'm mostly right-handed. After recovering from the surgery, I should be able to do anything I did before, but without pain, which is really good news.
While I've been waiting to get in to see the orthopedist, I've been doing a lot of reading. Here's what I've been doing besides reading:

VolunteerDog

Sunny and I are registered as an animal therapy team. We have been visiting a nursing home in Salt Lake City. We meet people in the dining room. Sunny "visits" with each person and gets petted, or she sits in their laps. She also gives wet kisses. She shows them her tricks. She can sit up and dance, along with some rather ordinary "tricks." Some people are in wheelchairs and some come in with walkers or using a cane. After we visit for a while in the dining room, Sunny and I go to visit people who want to see her, but can't get out of bed. We have also been invited to visit with some children who are afraid of dogs and have a lot of fear in their lives.

What's on my needles? Same as last time. What's on my wheel is new, though!

Spinning2

Those of us in my spinning class are spinning the roving we dyed last time, and next week we are going to learn Navajo plying. That will be our last class. I'm still waiting for my yarn for the CLC KAL and my book for the Sock-Innovations KAL. Now that I've been given the green light to knit up until they wheel me in to chop up my left thumb, that's exactly what I'm going to do. And that's the really good news.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Confessions of a Laid-up Knitter

As some of you know, I've been having sore thumbs, and until I see the orthopedist, I'm trying very hard not to knit. This is more than the usual arthritis I've had for years. I've been spending my time reading real books from the library and signing up for two new KALs! (There was no containing me!!!)
Last night I was going through my knitting books and marking the ones I would like to make. In Bronwyn Lowenthal's Love to Knit Socks, I only found one pair I would like to make soon that called for fingering-weight yarn. They are the Fair Isle socks on the cover. I can do that with my leftovers, but I need to add some "Bare" to my collection to do what I want.
In Interweave's Favorite Socks, though, I found lots calling for fingering-weight yarn. There are two I really want to try: The "Padded Footlets" have a sole that's knit double. I have to do it to understand how it's done, but you work across the sole with one strand of yarn, slipping every other st, then you turn and do the same thing back with the other strand of yarn. I guess you K the sl st and purl the K sts on the way back.
The other pair of socks I want to try for the technique is the "Eastern European Footlets." These call for worsted-weight, which I'm sure I can round up. What I like about these is that they are intarsia-in-the-round, something I've been wanting to try. The instep is in one color, while the heel and sole are another. You knit one across, cross your yarn and knit back. Then you do the same thing with the other. It calls for dpns, but I can see this working perfectly with two circs, my preferred method. This one and the "Padded Footlets" are more-or-less cuffless footies, so they would give me a chance to try them with a minimal investment of yarn.
I now have 9 patterns marked in that book that I think would be great for kettle-dyed yarn, and I haven't even started in on my new book, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn! There are some great-looking socks in that one, too, I noticed as I glanced through. Nor have I even looked at Cookie A's book, which is probably stuck in the snow somewhere between Utah and Ohio! Along with my yarn for the CLC! It's a good thing they aren't here. I would have so much trouble resisting the urge to CO those two projects.
Here's a picture of my KP Kettle-dyed Essential sock yarn and the book that arrived early this week and which have had to endure much petting and fondling ever since:

KPHaul

[Sigh!]

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Water from Lourdes Cures Dyeing Knitter!

Well, no water from Lourdes was involved. I do wonder what water from that source would do to the color of the finished project. If you are into dyeing, you know that the content of the water affects the color you get. However, Here's what I did at my spinning class on Monday:

Dyeing with Judy

The white yarn shows my (ick!) spindle-spun white yarn before dyeing. The dark brown yarn was pretty much unchanged. The gray is the next one, with more muted tones. Our teacher put white roving in the bottom of the dye pot, which was full of hot water. We added our yarn and some uncarded fleece in lingerie bags. Then we added a little powdered dye in each of three colors. We put each color on one third of the surface. Then it cooked for about 40 minutes or so, while we had a lesson in producing natural dyes, using mordants, and their effect.. Then we took our fiber out, rinsed it, and added more uncarded fleece to the exhaust. That's how we got the lavender, which also cooked for a while. Next week we will bring our wheels and spin the roving that came out of the pot. It has the same colors as the yarn. It will be interesting to see how that turns out. Sometimes you get something completely different when you spin it.
Those of you who have been reading my posts know that I'm having difficulty with my thumbs. (Some Lourdes water would be nice, if anyone has any.) I think it's from drop-spindling the very sticky fiber we used for the class. Anyway, I'm letting my hands rest a bit (even limiting posting) and reading some books I've been wanting to get to. To reward my restraint, though, I received a nice Knit Picks order yesterday. Well, it's not all the kettle-dyed Essential KP has to offer, but it's enough for 9 pairs of socks. The book came, too. My next order has Cookie A's new sock book, which should make some great socks with this yarn. The rest of my order belongs to my friend Georgette.
I have to add a great, big "Thank You!" to the nice people at KP customer service. I had placed an order right before I found out that the Classic Lines Cardigan had started. I set my alarm to get up early, and was able to get them to add the needed yarn to my order.
I have about two weeks before my next KP order will arrive. That will give me time to rest my thumbs, which I will be doing...unless someone has some Lourdes water for me? Happy knitting/spinning/dyeing, everyone, and Happy April Fool's Day!
Note: Most of the information in this blog is true.