Friday, June 29, 2012

More sewing, making a day of it!

Taking time out to finish a few projects involving the sewing machine. The dress fits! We thought it might be too big, and a Kindle cover to ensure that Hal doesn't think we wasted the day... New knitting projects to follow.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wedding - Done; Gift - Not done

It's coming!  Now it's up to the bridegroom to give me the thumbs up or down about sizing.  Here's what they have, so far:

Three socks, two for bride which I am quite sure will fit, and a third sock for the groom.  I usually don't knit for men, so this was scary big... 
The odd gimmick for these socks is that one sock in each pair has a knitted pocket on the leg that houses a compass. These young newly weds are athletic musicians, and biking is a big part of their lives.  I'm not sure the compass will stay in there, and if it doesn't, it's OK.  Not that useful, I suspect, just to go with the theme:  Find Your Way Home.
The pattern: Find Your Way Home by Wendy Gaal from Think Outside the Sox
The Yarn: Strumpfgarn TOM Cotton by Bärengarne, Fingering / 4 ply Wool, Nylon, Cotton, 454 yards / 100 grams
I knitted one sock with the pattern, and found the heel to be crazy-shaped.  After that, I ripped back and made them all according to how I thought they should be, with short-row heels.  I was on such a knitting tear to get them done (the fourth and final sock is up to the heel, and waiting) that I never bothered to examine the pattern.  It may be incorrect, or I can't read while rafting...

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Little Rapid Action

A few seconds of the noisy Colorado River.  I don't know what I was saying!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fingers, Beware!

What was the one thing my boss says before I go rafting? "Don't hurt your fingers!". Of course, she means make sure you can still play piano and organ when you return.
What were some of the trials I put my body through? Mostly skin deep: cuts, bruises, heel blisters, sunburn, rashes, and dryness (wash your hands multiple times a day in bleach treated water). I ingested my more than fair share of bleach treated water, too. My insides must be white!
And I wasn't sick. That was the good news.
Redwall Cavern GCNP

For 18 days, I was admonished to hold on and keep away from the oars, especially in the rapids. I did a great job of it, but early on (day 8) I got smacked by an oar--on my left little finger. Ouch! Hard to imagine that it happened so fast and with such force; I was holding onto a strap that was around the seat behind me which was covered with a Paco Pad, watching churning water in front of us, when the oar suddenly had no water resistance and threw the rower and oar forward and he and it landed right on the tip of my finger. As far as I know, that was the only injury of all 16 of us, besides the aforementioned skin abrasions.
This could be the last time I had ten functioning fingers.

It hurt, it swelled up, turned red, and ... It suddenly looked, in shape, like it matched my right pinky. My right pinky has, for years, been deteriorating from Heberden's Nodes.  Click here for some scary pictures. Scary especially for me because my hands don't look that bad yet, (do they?) but they look like my grandmother's hands.
My Grandmother's Hands

For days I looked at my left pinky injury, which didn't hurt much, but looked odd. It certainly wasn't an injury for which to be airlifted out of the canyon. A bad bruise, to be sure.
It wasn't until I had been home for five days, I played organ in church on Sunday, knitted my way across the state of Arizona, and otherwise returned to normal life, that I looked at it one evening and thought it really looked the same as it did three weeks prior. Shouldn't it have improved? Was it always going to be crooked, red and tender? (Tenderness most noticeable when playing music. Banging it on a keyboard.)
The next day I was in the doctor's office, he was moving it around, ordered x-rays, and there it was: a broken bone. To be specific, the tendon on the back of the finger was still attached to a tiny bone fragment that had come off of the distal phalanx. The bad news was that it would never get better on its own, and the really bad news was I have to keep my finger in a splint for 8 weeks. Being a three week old injury doesn't make it any better, so now I'm trying to soldier on with eight and a half fingers. My right pinky isn't 100% and my left pinky is 0%. I'm going to continue to play, cheating the notes in the bass (lucky that I can use pedals to bolster the lower notes), and it seems I should be able to knit.
The splint is clumsy, and gets in the way of needles and writing (I'm left-handed) and tonight it started aching so that I stopped knitting! On a ten point scale, it has to be an eight if I have to put down my knitting.
 And I have a whole pair of socks to knit in one week. Rut-roh!
PS:  I discovered last night I have to keep my hand above my heart or it throbs and it wakes me up.  Maybe I can knit lying down!?!  Worth a try!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Wedding

I was able to finish off one pair of socks for myself, and have others on my needles with less than two week deadline.
 One down, 3 to go.
Here's my story:  I intended to work on these while I had leisure time every evening on my 18 day rafting trip, but it didn't turn out that way.  Evenings were often busy with getting things set up, cooking, and sleeping!
Once the sun went down, knowing we'd be up at "first light", it was hit the sack, and stargazing.

On Day 12, the cable came apart from the needle.  I was using my 2.25 mm "short" circulars from KA Switch set.  I needed that size, and I was afraid to take regular dpn's for fear of breaking them or stabbing something.  That slowed me down a bit.  Day 13 was a "layover" day where we hung around in a beautiful canyon and mustered our courage for the biggest rapid of the trip. (Lava Falls Rapid; #9)
I managed to knit by threading 10 stitches at a time from the cable onto my left needle, and knitting them off.  I sat for hours in any shade, knitted and watched the hummingbirds, other birds, lizards, damselflies, and really enjoyed myself.  We all came out of the canyon once someone called out that there was shade on the beach, where we camped.
On the drive home, I thought I'd manage a few solid hours of knitting, only half hour into the journey the needle broke right at the metal fitting.  Then it was thrown in the bag, and ... I brought out the "other" socks.  Those have been on needles since early April, and had no deadline.  I was using a 2.5 mm Addi circular and the world was right again.

I'm back to the dpn's (2.25 mm Crystal Palace bamboo, of which I have 9 needles from two sets;  they break...) and as long as I can watch "Days of Our Lives", which I don't have to WATCH, just listen, I'm chugging along.  I'm really smitten by "Sherlock", which I DO have to watch, even though I've seen it one or two times previously.

Planted my tomato plants a month earlier than last year, so this is my reward.  (GROW)


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