Friday, January 31, 2014

Sock Power

I've been really depending on my wool socks this winter. With so many days at negative degrees and my unwillingness to spend more money on heating our house, wool is a necessity. Wool socks, a cowl or two, a cardigan or vest... It all keeps us plenty warm on the days when the wind is biting and just stepping outside steals your breath.

This morning I put on store bought socks since I was going to the hospital and didn't want to shuffle around the floors in my handmade socks. My feet were freezing in those socks until I got into my tennis shoes. I've been so spoiled (or is it prepared???) by wool socks this winter. I have 5 pair of handmade socks I'm rotating and washing and all I can think is... I need more socks. The 2 pair I have on the needles really need to jump off. Now.

I've been knitting on the red/grey/brown/black striped sock at each doctor's appointment and while waiting for each test. Today I had two MRIs, than another with contrast. It was a LONG time laying in that machine, and I quite purposely put my attention on knitting while I was in there. I mentally went through my basket, and thought about the stage of each project and when I want to finish them, including the waiting pairs of socks. And the "in progress" socks- they were in the room with my clothes and my kindle and my wedding rings... You really do finish socks one stitch at a time. I'm putting on stitches every day, and that's all I can do.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Yarn Along

{Yarning Along with Ginny this week and crafting with Frontier Dreams. Will you join us?}

I've been working on several things this week, but in small passes as my hands are able. I really wish I had big progress to show you today, but my left arm just isn't allowing it lately. I have 3 socks in the heel turn region of the knitting process, and I'm working hard this week on hats for Halos of Hope.

The Halos of Hope project I'm working on is part of the Podcaster Throwdown- a challenge issued to several podcasters to encourage them and their listeners to make hats to donate to Halos of Hope with the goal of collecting over 2,000 hats at the Stitches convention being held in California in February. I am knitting on behalf of Team Knitmore. While I listen to several podcasts, the Knitmores were the very first knitting podcast I came across. I still look forward to each episode and listen on Thursday evening while I drive to and from knitting group.

I am about half way through Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (on the kindle) as part of the Knitmore Girls Read Along, but coming up soon on the next book. As much as I love having a physical book in my hands, right now that can be a challenge for me since one of my arms isn't working well and I tend to choose books with well over 400 pages. I love that I don't have to hold the kindle while I read or can do it one handed. I can even knit while reading on the kindle. I love it.

What are you making this week?

Monday, January 27, 2014


How are you this morning? Did you have a great weekend? I really hope so.

I started my rounds of medical offices, so that's where I've been hanging out for the last 2-ish weeks instead of here. The most recent visit was with a neurologist who was able to narrow the possibilities down significantly. None of them are good, but at least now we have a better idea what we're dealing with and pain management is in place, which is a BIG win for me. I have not been doing well in that department and I'm having to negotiate my days somewhat to make sure I have energy for the most important parts of my day, as well as (hopefully) less pain at the important times. We're learning this pattern as we go.

This week is an MRI, then a muscle and nerve test, then back to the rheumatologist for what will hopefully be the final diagnosis, or very close to it. When I'm able to say what exactly is going on, I'll share it here. But for now we just don't know for sure. In a few weeks we will know a lot more.

Because of all this craziness with the left side of my body continually letting me down, I have had to change a lot about how I do every day things. One of the big chances has been my knitting style (because, you know, I can't just NOT KNIT). I've gone to a weird combo of English style and lever style knitting. Basically it allows me to leave my left hand stationary where it just sort of props up the left needle, but my right hand does all of the work. I'm happy to at least be able to knit, even though it isn't super fast anymore.

Currently I'm knitting on:

1. My "travel" New Year Socks- you know, the ones that ride along in my purse that get a row here and there when I have a few minutes. I'm at the heel flap on sock #2.

2. The Exploding Socks (aka the impossible to photograph socks). I finished gusset #2 and now I'm ready for heels on both socks. I need to find time to do it this week when I can focus on directions since I've not really done toe-up since sometime around 2010.

3. Halo hats. I have 1 1/2 complete (The one at the top of the post is #1!) and I have yarn lined up for several- now I just have to knit them. I don't want to guess how many I think I'll get done, but I really really really want to aim for 5 finished before the Ravellenic Games begin. I just have to see how my left arm holds up. Go Team Knitmore!

4. Speaking of the Ravellenic Games, I have a hopeful plan in place for this year. Assuming I'm in good arm health I'm hoping to knit the Wildflower Cardigan by Alana Dakos. And if I'm in *REALLY* good arm health, I'd like to knit the Wee Wildflower for Ellie too.


I know.


I know.

That's why the plan is for real only for my sweater (with a tiny hope for knitting Ellie's).

And I may "fail" miserably if my arm totally loses it, but why not aim high, right? The yarn is all wound up and I'm ready to swatch this week.

5. It's KCW this week. I had bigger plans before my body gave up on me, but I'm aiming for 1 finished toddler-sized garment to show you next week. It will depend a lot on energy levels at the time of day when I can sew, but we'll see what happens here.

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