Grounded

Over the past three months, I’ve been coping with a leg issue – which I haven’t really talked about, because, you know, privacy.  It started in late August, and after a few days, I figured out that it was probably due to a condition that I knew about before – a kind of non-cancerous tumor in my leg – that you don’t do anything about until it causes you trouble.

The short of it is that it appears that trouble has arrived, and I’m exploring with specialists what to do about it. Fortunately, I have excellent medical insurance, so last week I visited UCSF Mission Bay medical center. The nursing student who did my intake stuff says his professor calls it “The Emerald City” – it is certainly spanking new and hi-tech and soft green windows in multiple buildings of medical excellence:

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The other thing I got out of the appointment was this:

 

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which is precautionary to make sure I don’t make things worse for now.  Although it is better than using crutches, it makes me feel a million years old;  lest I get too depressed about this, I hastily add the for now. (Remember that I managed to get a cool certification to teach aqua boot camp at the beginning of the year? Feels like a long time ago.) In a few weeks I’ll consult with my specialist (my nickname for him is Dr. Fancy Schmansy which cracks up the staff there because he is probably God to them) and we’ll figure out what to do. He sees patients like me all the time, which is great.  But it has taken 3 months from knowing there’s a problem to getting to the guy who can fix it, all the time trying to work out the pain/foggy dynamic of pain meds that make me comfortable.

Here’s what I know about pain that I didn’t know before: it takes a lot of energy to cope with pain. It saps you, and then when you are in pain, you don’t think that you’ll be able to take care of business because – pain. When you’re not in pain, you are calculating the pain-cost of various activities. Here’s an example: should I go out tonight (meaning no pains meds because that makes me foggy), then suffer the fact of more acute pain going to bed, meaning I take more meds and wake up with foggy brain? I’m coping, but that’s all that it is. And waiting, waiting for what’s next…

Perhaps it is appropriate to be in a time of waiting, as the season of Advent in the Christian calendar is right around the corner. I’m in that time of waiting too.

Now, onto fibery goodness!

The Dictionary of All Knitting

I finally broke down and bought the dictionary of knitting:

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The price is going up $20 in the next printing, and I don’t want to pay that much more. I do buy hard copies of books for knitting, especially reference books. If there’s a deal to get the e-book too, I’ll buy that as well. Here’s why I buy physical books:

  • so much easier to browse them (although I haven’t cracked this one open yet)
  • full size photos without zooming in and out
  • always there whether or not my device is charged
  • I “really” own this “book.”

This last point might be lost on a few folks. When you “buy” a Kindle book, it’s really a long-term rental. There are a ton of conditions and terms of use for that Kindle book, while with a “book” you just plain own it and can do what you like with it (not copying for others, of course). I don’t have to worry that any heirs will have access to the book, or whether the software will become so outdated that the book ceases to function, or if my device fails I can no longer access my book.

How do you buy your knitting books today? What have I overlooked?

Projects

I think I am onto my last pair of socks for Christmas knitting, and of course they end up being Size 12 Mens. That’s a lot of knitting! I’m doing a basic 3×1 rib sock (essentially the basic ribbed sock from Custom Socks by Kate Atherley). By the way, if you have sizing issues with your socks, check out the  Ravelry forum Kate Atherley Designs – there’s a terrific thread on sock sizing and Kate weighs in frequently!

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The baby set is done and washed and dried and delivered. Turns out the baby is small for its age, so Jason might be wearing the set a lot longer than I thought!

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(sans baby)

I’m working on a semi-surprise for a friend, Artesian shawl (rav link) by Rosemary Hill, which is an asymmetrical shawl with garter and mesh lace. Not on deadline, thank goodness.

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I just heard that Ysolda Teague is sending out more of the yarn I need to finish the Osebury Rock scarf/shawl, so I will be working on that again and see if I can make enough progress that it is a short hop to finish it before Christmas. That will be the last knitting deadline for this year!

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Finishing, WIP-ing, and RIP-ing

There’s been a fair amount of fiber-related work here at Casa del Revknits since I am mostly staying off a leg to prevent further injury til we figure out what’s up. It roughly falls into three categories.

Finishing

The Christmas knitting continues apace – I’ve knocked out another pair of socks from Kate Atherley’s new Custom Socks book. Any serious sock knitter will want this on their shelves, as the author deconstructs sock sizing, sock versus shoe sizing, and fitting the unusual foot. It’s quite perfect, as one would expect from a technical editor  (she techs for Knitty.com). If you have weird foot to ankle circumferences, narrow or wide heels, have a tough time fitting your foot, this is a great book. In addition, the instructions are really, really clear!

I adapted a pattern from the book called Wellesley – altering the cable to work better with the variegated yarn that was in my stash.

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I also “finished”some yarn – it started out as polwarth wool and silk 50-50 merino top, from Into the Whirled, purchased two years ago at Rhinebeck. I had spun the single on my KCL multiple shaft spindle, so I made a two-ply plied on my trusty 2 oz Schacht spindle. The fiber is the one on the left…

IMG_1914Unfinished yarn:

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And after soaking, twacking, and hang drying:image

This is a laceweight yarn, about 600 yards. Ivwill probably be used for shawl, I have to show off the beauty and drape of this yarn!

WIP-ing

Yes, there are some WIPS (works in progress), neither of them a dishcloth. The Osebury Rock Shawl is on hold – an odd thing occurred with this project, which is part of Ysolda’s 2015 Shawl Club. While I can’t say enough good things about this club there was a small hiccup for this project. It turns out that many of the knitters, including me, are running out of one of the colors despite it being test knit ok. Because it is Ysolda and she is fabulous, she is working to resolve the situation instead of just leaving us to hang trying to make do. I hope to sign-up for next year!

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I have a new WIP because a pastor in my congregation has just taken on two foster children with her husband, one of whom is a small baby, so I’m making the Buttons Cardigan in a lovely varigated DK Regia yarn. This is my go-to pattern for baby sweaters, and with the washable DK yarn, it’s perfect for a busy mom. I hope to finish in the next couple of days, and make a matching hat as well. The chill in the air has reached Fresno!

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RIP-ing

I am saying good-bye this week to one of my hand knits – a pair of socks out of A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Creating yarn. It’s very soft and lovely, and the socks have been great, but I have come to realize that 100% soft wool, such as this beautifully dyed 100% merino wool, doesn’t hold up in wear the way that merino-nylon blends do.

The brown yarn is a previous patch in wool-blend yarn, but now there a big hole below it. I’ve now mended these a couple of times, and it’s time to move onto to new socks!

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