OK, I’ve been good and written two LONG blog posts. In fact the one I’m going to post now I wrote 2 weeks ago and haven’t posted it because I wanted to include photos. But I’m giving up, I haven’t had chance and I’m at the point I want to get the post up so that I can do the follow up info – which I also have written up. So apologies for a long post without photos – I will get to them, I promise….
I can’t believe I haven’t updated since the 4th November! I keep promising myself that I’ll get the camera out and photograph the bits I want to share with you, and then life gets in the way. I have so much to update with you, this post is going to seem a bit random – so apologies in advance!
First up a ‘hands’ update – the consultant has announced (as of the 15th of this month) that it’s probably ‘mild tenosynovitis’, I’m not in *that* much pain (says who?!) and rheumatology only deal with arthritis (utter nonsense) so there is nothing more they can do for me. I asked for referral to physiotherapy, but ‘there is no clinical proof it works’. I asked for referral to a nutritionist – ‘no clinical proof’. I even asked about steroid injections – guess what?, yeap. ‘no clinical proof’. The recommendation is for me to have total rest, don’t use my wrists/hands at all but they weren’t prepared to sign me off work. The consultant also recommended I take naproxen (along with a stomach lining medication as naproxen is nasty stuff for your liver) for at least 12 months. It works on a “cellular level” don’t you know – though it won’t help with the pain at all. He couldn’t write me a prescription, just a note for my doctor to write one. The upshot is = Go back to my GP, so I’m back to square one. I was shaking with suppressed anger by the time I left the consultant meeting.
However the chiropractor does seem to be having an effect and my wrists have been slowly improving over the last couple of weeks, so fingers crossed for me. I’ve had a couple of ‘good’ (almost normal) days which have made me realise just how much this has been affecting me, but the ‘bad’ days are nowhere near as bad as they were – so hopefully we are finally in to the ‘healing’ phase.
We are firmly on the slippery slope to the annual round of liver testing known as Christmas. A season which challenges my ability to process vast amounts of alcohol and rich foods, and makes me gain weight just as I want to look my slimmest in all my party frocks. As a result I’m ‘out’ more than usual and therefore doing a bit less crafting than usual. I wouldn’t change this for the world, it’s great to catch up with people I haven’t seen in months and I do love the whole sparkly event in all its kitsch-ness. You’ll see more of *that* in my next post!
Coupled with the less crafting I was already doing because of my hands, me being out three or four evenings a week means my crafting time has been almost non-existent – not a good state when you are trying to finish a baby blanket! I’m a lot further along than I was though, and with a tail wind I am on target to get it done by my own self-imposed deadline of the 20th December. If I don’t it’s no big deal – the baby isn’t due till February.
I have moved along on a few projects though. I finished my ‘stormy clouds cowl’ and am delighted with it! I’d been terrified of this yarn. Partially because it was gifted and I’m always a bit scared that I won’t do gifted yarn justice somehow, and partially because this particular yarn was hand-spun. I enjoyed making this, 4 short little rows each evening and I’ve been wearing it for 2 weeks. It’s just long enough to go over my head and holds its shape well enough to stand guard against chills and drafts over my collar. It’s beautifully soft, and because I know the yarn was hand-spun by a dear friend I feel like I have a secret hug around my neck, which adds its own little warmth. I had just enough of the grey yarn to add a crochet border on one edge (once the cream had run out) so I even feel like I have two looks for the price of one – depending on which way up I wear it! I keep meaning to wash and give it a light blocking, but I haven’t got that far.
I’m now working on finishing a thrummed muff – which is about to celebrate its first birthday. By ‘finishing’ of course I mean “I must get it out of storage and pick it up again”. I promised it to my niece last Christmas after she saw me working on it, but then my hands interfered and I haven’t picked it up since March. It’s an easy project, and done purely to learn the technique. It’s made in best acrylic and very cheap (quite possibly acrylic) multi-coloured fibre. This means it’s perfect for niece as I’m not that attached to it, if her mother throws it in the wash it’s not the end of the world, and it’s a fun little project – I still have my muff from when I was even younger! However I’m not sure I am up-to doing a meter of icord to make the neck strap – any ideas?
I’ve been doing a little more of my continental cowl as well, and am almost at the ‘competent’ level. I love collecting techniques and skills, and I have found that I now know three different methods of knitting that adjust my tension very slightly from my ‘default’ throwing or ‘British’ style of knitting. Portuguese style (where you ‘wear’ the yarn around your neck) gives me a slightly tighter, but very even tension, and Continental style gives me a slightly looser, and not so even, tension.
“Why is this useful?” you might be asking yourself. Well, it’s all to do with gauge. When I finally get around to making something where the fit actually matters I’ll do a gauge swatch. If I am fractionally out on my stitch counts I can change techniques rather than needle size to see if that helps! See. Cool.
I’m also holding my Portuguese, Continental and Backwards knitting in reserve for the day that somebody tells me I’m “doing it wrong”. Apparently this happens a lot to knitters – but it hasn’t happened to me yet.
With my current lack of desire to take on a bigger project, I’ve been absent-mindedly playing with some Tunisian crochet ideas for a possible workshop in 2013, and I’ve been plugging away at the swatches for a Crochet 102 class planned for early 2013. Yeap, you heard it here first – I’m confident enough about my hands/wrists to have actually started planning the long promised intermediate level classes. And you read that right too – classes plural! The fun I am having with this is a separate long post in itself!
Written down it seems like I’ve been doing LOADS of crafting – but in what amounts to nearly a month I have four 6” swatches, finished a small cowl, about 1/8 of a different cowl, half a Tunisian dish cloth and just over half a baby blanket. I’m aware that if I had started those projects this time last year, they would all be finished by now – along with working on a more major project such as finishing a sweater or getting at least one of the lace knitted shawls I have queued mostly done. Frankly I’m just grateful I can do anything at all at the moment, and I’m enjoying the bits I can do.