Saturday, September 28, 2013

Free Fingers!!!

They're Free!
Free fingers...
I couldn't very well sing you "Free Falling," now could I? That would make you worry. Because I fall down. It would make ME worry, too!

In any case, my fingers are free from their captivity, and they are pretty glad to be knitting and typing and just living their "digit"-al lives. :) On Wednesday morning, the doc looked over my X-rays and declared my fingers "well on their way to recovery." He said they will continue to be swollen and sore for another 6 weeks or so, but they are healthy enough to start using them all the time. Cleared for knitting? Well, you don't have to tell me twice! (I actually confessed to the doc that I had already started knitting, even before the clearance...he laughed, and assured me that knitting is good physical therapy, and I should knit as often and as much as my fingers would allow - Yay!!!) I've already finished the first in a pair of socks (that I started while still wearing the brace):

And, after knitting a pair of fingerless gloves (for Dollface, one-and-a-half knit before the cast, the second finished in the brace) with Chroma in Midwinter and a cream-colored alpaca/wool/nylon fingering-weight yarn... 

I've actually knit a third one in the last couple of days!

Can you see the color variation? Yeah, I love the gentle gradient that is Chroma, but after I had knit the second mitt, I noticed how different the colors were on each one...hmmm. So I thought I'd knit a third, and just match it to the closest of the other two...well, do you see what happened? Yep! Three mitts, each totally different in! So, since Dollface said not to bother trying for a third, and since she liked the first two together anyway, I'm just going to give them to her and call it done. (If I have enough of the cream yarn left, I may make a fourth so I can have a mismatched pair that match hers...kinda...haha!)

In other Knitting Knews, it turns out that I've made quite a bit of progress on the alpaca scarf, even knitting on it a bit while I had the big cast on! So, this morning, it looks like this:

The variegation in the yarn (which I spun myself - squee!), is just so lovely! In the sunshine, it almost is the happiest brown I think I have ever seen!

It makes me so happy that I am taking it on a field trip to That'll Do Farm this afternoon, along with some spinning for a fiber day! If you're not doing anything fun yet, you should totally come on out to Farm Days and see us! (Or you could come to see the alpacas, or the very friendly chickens, or the very hungry goats, 

or the very busy bees, or even the sheep...they have sheep! So fun!) 

It's going to be a great day! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope that you have lots of time to Knit in Good Health this weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Any Progress?

From running three times a week (and falling once a month), I went to nothing at all. I tried to walk with the cast...but 4 days after having the cast applied, I actually fell down and gashed my knee while also landing directly on the cast. I rolled with it, and the cast and fingers were fine (okay, I was sore...and I had a grass stain ON MY CAST, but I was fine), but I fell off the sidewalk and ended up flat out on my back. I did not walk again for almost three weeks. I was a-skeered.

Actually, walking around didn't bother me in general, but the minute I thought about "going for a walk," or someone suggested the same, my pulse would quicken, and I would immediately play the footage of the three falls in my brain...the video would go in slow motion at the point of impact, and my whole body would tense. A little ridiculous, I know. But I was (apparently) traumatized. Still, I knew that I needed to get back out there.

So, in the past couple of weeks, I've done just that. I've had Mr. Pretty dig out my athletic shoes (yes, they are my expensive, well-fitting "running" shoes, but we all know that I will not be running, now don't we?), and I laced up so we could go for a walk. For the most part, I've done fine. Walking is still causing me some anxiety, and I'm not sure how long it will be until that goes away (there have been some minor stumbles), but I'm walking. That's progress! You know what else is getting better? The knitting! (Yayyy!) Here's proof, in the form of a new baby toy:

A sock, that is actually starting to look like a sock...

And three more hexipuffs! (Bringing the grand total to 129!!!)

(Psst! I did two of those before the broken fingers, so in all honesty, I should really only be taking credit for one hexipuff, but I'm an overachiever...and apparently, a bit of a fibber!)

Anyway, as you can plainly see, there has been progress. As a matter of fact, as this post goes live, I'm probably getting an X-ray of my fingers to see just how much healing progress my fingers have made. Judging by the knitting, I'm guessing that the news will be good. :) I promise to report in and let you know!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

PS - It's a good thing there is knitting queue is currently over 200 projects!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Goodbye, Old Musical Friend

I've got the music in me...I think I always have. But the fourth grade gave me my first real opportunity to learn music. I had plunked out a tune or two on assorted keyboards, here and there, but my family did not own a piano (or any other musical instruments). When I learned that I could be in the fourth-and-fifth-grade band, I think I may have been a little bit excited! When I found out that the pretty, pretty flute was an option, I was ecstatic!!! So my parents rented a flute from the local music store, and I proceeded to torture the dogs with my attempts at making beautiful music with that lovely, sideways, silver woodwind...but playing the flute made me dizzy.

When fifth grade rolled around, the band director gently suggested that I try a new instrument...we needed more clarinets in our little group. Eager to please, and oblivious to the fact that he was probably telling me gently that the flute was not my forte, I proudly brought home that clarinet, and I practiced at every opportunity. I was oblivious to the fact that the dogs had a strong disdain for my new "music-maker," and I put those pooches out when they nuzzled the bell and cried. In retrospect (and having heard beginners on the clarinet within the context of my adult years) I now wish I could somehow go back and apologize to them...I didn't even offer ear plugs!

Well, I played that clarinet for two years, and I think I eventually did ok. We rented it long enough that we owned the instrument, and I know that the dogs complained less (in general) over time, so I have to assume that I got better. Still, I never achieved anything remotely close to the coveted "first chair" in the band...but I really liked music, and I loved to play my clarinet. :)

By the end of 6th grade, I noticed that there were a LOT of clarinets and flutes in the band! In response, I abandoned the woodwind family altogether, and taught myself to play the trumpet during the summer before 7th grade. I also played the trombone briefly in high school, and the french horn my senior year, but it was mostly trumpet. My elementary school band director was distressed rather than proud of my achievement in the brass family, and he kept saying, "No! Sax-o-phone comes next...!," as though loudly over-articulating would bring me to me senses (and back to the woodwinds)! But, I sat 3rd-chair (only two away from first-chair) in the 7th-grade trumpet section...there was no going back!

All these years, I've kept that clarinet. I've taken it out, from time to time, and I've even blown a note or two here and there. Mostly, though, it sits on a shelf, lonely and unused...until this past week. I learned that a friend's son is having his fourth-grade band opportunity, and he's decided on the clarinet. I haven't heard him play, but this kid's personality strikes me as having Benny Goodman potential, so I've offered up the instrument to him and his family, and they have accepted. :)

Goodbye, old friend. May you Sing, Sing, Sing (Clarinet solo at 1:01 in the video), and find new life with a Bloke and a Bird's Boy!

I know...there was no knitting today, but I am making knitting'll see proof on Wednesday! Until then, I hope that you are finding the joy in your life, music and crafting.

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Love Bunting

Due to my lack of recent, personal knitting and crochet, I bring you a brief tale from the Land of Odd...

When you play with yarn, you fall in love.

When you are in love with your craft, you find other yarn crafters...

...and they find other yarn crafters...

...and so on...

...and so on...

...and so on...

Eventually, you might even meet crafters with a fabric habit...

The two really are not that far removed, one from the other!

Textiles can really bring a group together...even if they are not geographically close. 

And when a bunch of crafty ladies, connected by the magic of Ravelry, find out that one of their own is in need of a little tangible love to help her through some rough stuff...well, then you get a Love Bunting!

And perhaps a Love Mobile as well!

We are an Odd little bunch, that's certain...but the love cannot be questioned. Right, Amy?

We love you, and we hope that all the hugs and hand-holds and prayers and good thoughts arrived safely with your happy hearts! Our hearts are with you, now and always!

A special THANK YOU to Julie for putting this all together and shipping it off (along with that beautiful shawl you made - gorgeousss)! Your kindness must be programmed right into your DNA, you diva, you!

Readers, is there someone in your world who could use a little love? Why not take just a few minutes this week to share a smile, a laugh, a word of encouragement, a moment of your time? Be careful, tho! You might be surprised how much love spills right back into your own lap! Love is funny that way...the only way to get more is to give some away!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to Knit (and Love) in Good Health!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stripe Therapy

So, I have these broken fingers, and I am starting to realize that I will need to work on flexibility at some point. Well, I can work on it, or I can wait until the doctor tells me to start thinking about physical therapy!

This is why I decided to just try to cast on a plain, self-striping sock this week. It took me two tries, and over an hour, to get those 64 stitches on the needles (DPNs, easier than magic loop for me), then it was another hour to knit the first 4 rounds of ribbing...I did the first cast on with the broken-finger (left) hand, and it was really painful. The second time around, I cheated and used the other hand...not much of a cheat really...casting on right-handed is like writing left-handed...very awkward!!! 

After the first cast-on, I stretched my hand and rearranged the stitches onto 4 needles, not too hard. Then I started knitting. At first, I used my right hand to "throw" the yarn (I am a continental knitter by nature, "picking" the yarn from my left hand. Unless I have three broken fingers on that hand.) After working across one needle, I grabbed the newly "free" needle to turn and continue...and then I saw all those loops. GASP! I had grabbed an active needle! All. Those. LOOPS!

It's a rookie mistake, one I'd made dozens of times when I was new to sock-knitting. This early in the game, it's really no big just pull it all out and cast on again, right? Right. But I'm no rookie, and my hand was so sore that this mistake made me want to cry. After a few minutes, I just pulled out attempt one, and I started over. Eventually, I had this...

Not a lot for two hours of work, but it's a start. I did some throwing, and some picking, and lots of resting. I'm crossing my fingers (the ones on my right hand) that an hour or two of this every day or two will eventually increase the mobility in these fingers, and make knitting less painful. But until my fingers are stronger, I'm limiting my time with yarn, and I'm reading again. Who has a book recommendation for Pretty?

Thanks for stopping by. While you're here, why don't you knit a row or two on that sock for me? Thanks! Oh, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Things I CAN do...

Things I can do with two hands:
Knit, Crochet, Spin, Type, File, wash both armpits well, Cook, Drive, lift a small child and hold her securely, Cut, Paint, Glue, hold hands in church, Bead, Count, eat any sandwich you put in front of me, wash, brush and style my hair.

Things I can do with one hand and a cast (or brace):
Type (slowly, and with many mistakes), Drive (while accidentally hitting the turn signal with the cast/brace); Eat a sandwich (with the exception of any sandwich that has peanut butter, mayonnaise, or any other sauce or condiment that might make it even slightly messy), Knit (slowly and painfully for a few stitches, then cry afterwards...but it was probably worth it), wash one armpit, and make an attempt at washing my hair.

Things I can do with the brace off, 
even though my fingers are not healed:
Take a two-handed shower (yay!), type (slowly and with much pain), sleep with both arms comfortable (although I wake often, thinking, "where's my hand?!?"), Knit (for short periods of time with less pain, like 8 rows or so on a dishcloth), walk from the couch to the bathroom and back, worry about hurting the fingers, and put the brace back on before that happens. 

Things I can do, but don't plan to do ever again,
even after my fingers are healed:

This has been a long 4 weeks...but I do see progress. My "bad-word finger" feels just about as good as the pointer finger (which is also still sore, and not as bendy as it should be, although it was never actually broken). The other two are still hurting, and they are also the ones telling me that this post is just about over...

Thanks for stopping by and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Favorite Podcast...

For the contest, I asked you to tell me what you thought my favorite podcast was...and which ones you loved! Thanks for the appears that I now have some new shows to check out and get caught up on! Then I gave you the winner, and never answered the question...silly Pretty! So, here's my answer!

I listen to lots of audio and video podcasts each week (sometimes I get behind...but I usually keep up pretty well)! There's a special place in my heart for Carolyn (Girlfriends Knitting), Aimee and Darrin (Knitting in Circles), and Emily (Holding the Sticks) on the video front. As far as audio podcasts go, I cry when I miss a new episode from Kathy and Steve (Ready, Set, Knit!) or Alana (Never Not Knitting). Even if a new episode is a little delayed, I squeal with delight as I wait through whatever ad or download time comes before the actual "play," and I just love to hear and see what everyone is up to each week!  

But my very favorite podcast lately is Stockinette Zombies!

I just get such a kick out of the banter between Megan and Aimee, and Aimee's laughter reminds me of a dear friend of mine in real life! It feels like she's here with me every time I watch the show, and I just love laughing with friends, wherever I watch! 
(I promise that she is showing off a sock, not flipping the bird!)
Hand update:
I'm now in a stiff, removable brace, which I will wear for three weeks. The up-side is that I can take it off to shower and sleep (yay!). The downside is that my fingers still have a-ways to go, and a fair bit of pain remains, so the knitting is still fairly non-existent (but my queue is still growing - lol!). I guess I'll just be glad for simple washcloths for now...

Slow and steady, I can knit a simple washcloth in three or four days. :) So tell me, how are things in your queue? Have you lined up anything good for your next project?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Empty Corners...and a winner...

This week, we made our first trip to Ikea.

What? Oh, yes. There is a winner. Thanks for reminding me!

Anyway, we went to Ikea to do some "research" on sofas and space-saving solutions for our small home. So, we drove a couple hours and sat on more than our share of sofas, checked the storage in a couple of sofa beds, and kicked the tires...err, chairs...on a couple of dining sets. It was fun, and we even bought a new table and chairs for that tiny kitchen! It'll look like this, once we put it together!

What's that? Oh...I haven't told the winner yet? That's funny...because I know I set up the drawing...

But then I got distracted with a little knitting...just a little bit, though. Hand still hurts...but I go to the doc later this morning to find out how it's healing!

Once I put the yarn down, I couldn't help but let my mind wander back to that empty place in the kitchen...

But, since the table isn't put together yet, I distracted myself again by DRAWING A WINNER! And the winner is (drumroll please)...

Congratulations, MIkki522!!! Contact me with your mailing address, and I'll get your prize shipped out ASAP! Yayyy for Mikki522!

Now, onto the rest of the day! A winner is such a good way to start my Wednesday! Maybe I'll follow up by filling in that empty kitchen corner with a new table and chairs!

What are you looking forward to this week?