WIP: Scuba Baby Blanket

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Hello, bloggy friends. Another weekend is drawing to a close and I have, of course, been crocheting. This project has a deadline, which means I am having to push myself to work on it every day, though tonight I’ve had to put it down because the wrist is hurting too much (probably from the gym work, rather than the yarn manipulation).

Michaels had a “30% off all yarn” day on Thursday so my friend and I went over there and bought yarn and other fun stuff. I picked up two skeins of the Red Heart Super Saver Ombre in Scuba – turquoise is my favourite colour but it’s also a good colour for a baby blanket. These are big balls! Ten ounces/482 yards big!

I have crocheted up almost a whole skein and so far I have a rectangular granny that measures about 23 x 16 inches, so it looks like I’ll be making inroads into the second skein for sure.

I also found these on clearance…

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(Just a little stash enhancement.)

So as I said, the wrist is pretty painful tonight. Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I wore my wrist brace for the first time since last Sunday’s gym session. Even though I’m not using my right hand while at the gym (because lifting even a cup of tea is beyond me right now) I am trying to use my forearm on the weights machines, but it still strains the wrist a bit. The night before last, I had a really painful night and got up early. Last night was better.

I have been doing the exercises that the hand therapist showed me, but also doing stuff around the house like cleaning out the fridge freezer, doing the seasonal review of my closet, and sweeping and mopping the deck where the pine needles off the neighbour’s tree have gathered and stained it.

It’s a fine line between pushing yourself far enough that you improve your strength and flexibility long term, and hurting yourself and setting things back. Turns out that the morning tingling/numbness in the fingertips was caused by me curling my wrist inwards while I slept and putting pressure on the carpal tunnel. Now that I know to keep my hand straight, that situation has improved.

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Before I sign off, I thought I’d show you my latest hair art! I added turquoise and hot pink Manic Panic to my hair with gloved fingers, and this is the result. I call it unicorn hair!

The brim is done!

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It took six days but I managed three inches of knitting stockinette in the round for the hat for my father-in-law, and tonight did the folding/provisional cast on removal/three needle trick to get the folded brim all done. I have now graduated to the larger needle tip (US#5) for the body of the hat.

I’m pleased that when I folded it I didn’t lose all the blue to the back. The dark green is nice, but I’ll enjoy the brighter colours even more. I love the feel of this Lion Brand Mandala yarn – it’s very wool-like.

Yesterday I had my last X-ray and doctor checkup for the time being (six weeks post-surgery) and today I met with a hand therapist at the hospital and was given exercises to do. She measured the angle that I could move my hand to in different directions so that we can check for progress next time. I’m also supposed to apply a bit of pressure to the scar tissue with my thumb and move the skin around to prevent adhesions underneath the incision area – not keen on that!

My boss is going to be scheduling me for shifts the week after next. I will have to take things slowly. I will be able to do cash, as that is mostly operating a touch screen, but I’m hesitant to try cutting and lifting fabric too soon. A nice co-worker has lent me a pair of left-handed scissors which I’m going to practice with, as that would solve the cutting problem at least. As for lifting, I can barely hold a small mug of tea or a book so bolts of fabric are out of the question.

Hope you have a great day! TTYS

WIP: Bill’s vanilla hat

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I was feeling so accomplished after the Paper Bag Princess project was done, despite the delays and discomfort from my wrist injury. At the beginning of this year, I had a goal in mind (uncharacteristically) to make 12 sweaters in 12 months. I whizzed through the first two, and was almost done with the third, all in the space of a month and a half, when the snowboarding crash happened.

It’s been two months since then, and for a while I couldn’t do any crochet or knitting. Then I managed some gentle crochet, left handed, and made a bulky cowl and finished off the doll project. Encouraged by that, I decided it was time to try knitting.

Of course, my sweater goal has been pretty much abandoned, at least for the time being. But I wanted to make something for my father-in-law, who, like my mother, is often very generous. He is getting on in years and I have heard he is feeling the cold more these days. Even though he hasn’t been a hat-wearer in the many years I’ve known him, I feel that he will appreciate one made out of a colourful yarn. If nothing else, he loves his colour.

So out from the stash came the Lion Brand Mandala in the colourway Chimera, which is what I would describe as a muted rainbow. Blue through dark and light green, mustard yellow, orange, magenta and brown. I have only made one other project with the Mandala – my Spill shawl – but I love this DK weight yarn and the colours it comes in.

The pattern I chose is the Vanilla Hat. It’s a really basic stockinette hat with a folded hem and a simple crown with four decrease lines leading to the centre. I’m not sure how many of the colours of the cake will fit into the hat, but I’m hoping for the brightest ones at least.

Progress is slow. When I first cast on, my gauge was a little loose so I ended up ripping out the first few rounds and restarting with a smaller needle size – US#4 (3.5mm). During my first session of working on this hat, I was feeling quite comfortable, thinking how my wrist seemed happy to be knitting. Unfortunately the next day I changed my mind. I think the fine motor movements of the Continental knitting, which does have a reasonable economy of motion, aggravated some out-of-practice muscles and tendons. So I am having to be careful to do a small amount at a time.

My hospital appointment for the six week post-surgery checkup is this Tuesday. I hope to hear that my recovery so far is typical for the type of injury. If I am to get back to normal, or as close as possible, I know that I have to exercise the hand and wrist and that some pain is to be expected.

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and that your crafting is going well. What are you making?

FO: The Paper Bag Princess

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This is a quickie post to show you my finished doll, as promised. 

The photo with the board book was taken before I made her crown. Luckily I found some Aunt Lydia’s crochet cotton in gold so that the crown has a bit of sparkle. I dug out a 1.5mm hook for that, which I bought in 1983 in Greece. Amazing that I still have it. The crown is sewn on in four spots so that it doesn’t get lost. 

The dress is from the Princess Poppy pattern, though I didn’t need as many rows as the pattern suggested for the bodice. It still worked out fine. I was disappointed that there was an outside link for the granny shrug that was broken, so instead I searched Ravelry for a hexagon baby jacket pattern and worked the first three rounds. 

I didn’t bother with knickers or shoes. 

We booked our summer holiday today. Two weeks in Switzerland to visit with some of Tai Chi Man’s relatives and enjoy some beautiful mountain vistas. Very exciting! Do you have any travel plans?

WIP: The Paper Bag Princess

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The Princess doll has come along well in the last few days. Her paper bag dress is done, but her crown is not. I did try it with some yellow yarn but it came out too big and I’d like to find some metallic gold embroidery thread. 

Considering how much girls like to dress dolls, I decided to make the dress and cardigan from the same pattern but had to take a break when my wrist hurt too much. I’ll show you those next time. 

The grapevine wreath on my kitchen wall was looking very outdated as it still held the crocheted fall leaves, pumpkins and sunflower from autumn. Today it was taken apart and, considering my crochet output is so little at the moment, I cheated by using my Shaun the Sheep and a bunch of cotton minis from the stash to fill the wreath. It will have to do until I can up my game!


My wrist was quite sore yesterday and again today, and I think it’s partially due to exercises I did after watching a couple of physiotherapist videos on You Tube and partly the crochet. It worries me a little, but not having anything to compare with means I don’t know if my healing expectations are reasonable.  The skin is sensitive around my wrist – cuffs chafe unpleasantly now that I’m leaving off the brace more during the day – and the joint is still quite inflexible. 

Next appointment is April 10th, and hopefully all will look good. 

Brightening up my life

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Wow, what a great day I’ve had so far. My dear friend Jeanette came and picked me up this morning and took me south to the little town on the lake which we love to visit. It’s only 15 minutes’ drive away but you always feel like you’re on vacation when you go there. We had lunch at the cafe there (well, it was actually coffee and cake but who’s counting) and then had a look around the small shops nearby.

I tend to favour cheap and cheerful stuff and balk at spending mega bucks on an item of clothing, or really even spending anything on myself at all. But the third store we went into, I came across a cute backpack-style bag that was just so “me” that I had to look closer. The turquoise colour and the floral embellishments drew me in, but the “we are vegan” tag sold me!

I had no idea that there was a company called ESPE (www.espe.ca) that makes all-vegan bags and wallets. A Canadian company! A vegan product! OMG!

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Can you see why I had to have it? Huh? It’s a bit smaller than my regular backpack-type Adidas bag, but SO much prettier.

Then of course I saw some wallets by the same company. Unfortunately there weren’t any in the turquoise but I like lime green too so…

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As if that wasn’t enough, I (ahem) saw another item that I fell in love with too, and my grabby little hands couldn’t leave this behind…

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The funny thing is that this is the first time I’ve ever seen these products, and yet on the drive home we stopped at a garden centre so I could prettify my dining room table with these…

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…and what should I see but more products by the same company (thankfully the wallet I looked at was a bit more expensive at the garden centre, or I might have been a bit miffed).

Now I’m home and on a sugar-retail-therapy-induced high. Gratitude to my lovely friend for taking me out today, to the weather for being sunny and bright, and to companies with a strong vegan ethic.

FO: Left-handed therapy cowl

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Hello again. I am excited to announce the conclusion of the cowl, crocheted with a 10mm hook and Loops & Threads Facets. I think Michaels have discontinued this yarn now as some of the balls I have were marked down.

At the point I decided to finish it, it was a bit long to seam the ends together for a cowl, but too short for a scarf, so I overlapped the ends and added three buttons along the top edge. The buttons were in my stash, found at work ages ago in the discontinued basket. With C2C there are naturally lots of buttonhole options, so I could probably get inventive and button it a number of different ways.

The last week has seen a couple of major events in my extended family. My mum celebrated her 85th birthday and of course seeing the photos of the party with the whole family there gave me a twinge of sadness that I was so far away. Even my cousins from England had flown over to the island for the weekend.

The other event is the death of my aunt, my mum’s older sister. She was just one week shy of her 93rd birthday. She hadn’t been very well for a long time and had been living in care homes for years, but it’s still a jolt when it happens.

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This incredibly hairy doll is the Princess Poppy doll which I am making into the Paper Bag Princess. I had made great progress on this in February, and was up to the point where I had crocheted the hair cap and starting attaching the strands of hair. Well, that was scuppered when I broke my wrist. However having finished the aforementioned therapy cowl I felt ready to tackle this project again. I’m using a teeny 3.25mm hook, and my left hand, but there’s still a lot of support work done by the right hand and after adding quite a lot of hair to the doll this afternoon my wrist was quite painful. In case you’re wondering, the strand of cream yarn coming out of her face is a guide I put in for her centre parting.

I think she still needs a bit more volume on top of her head and then she’ll get a haircut so it’s all the same length. She’s not supposed to look too “put together” really, as in the book the Paper Bag Princess has just survived having all the clothes scorched off her by a large dragon!

This typing is killing my wrist too. The wrist brace is off and I can type properly with both hands again, but OMG it hurts. I think I shall have to return to my library book (Strangers by Dean Koontz, nearly 700 page paperback, of which I have read three-quarters in two days).

We are definitely on the cusp between two seasons here. It snowed lightly today. However we have also had a huge amount of rain this week (a really great rainstorm that came along with a wind that lashed it against the back of the house) and already in some places there is talk of flooding. Spring melt plus rain equals swollen creeks. Apparently the snowpack is even deeper than last year and is likely to cause even more problems as the level of the lake rises over the spring. I guess there could be a lot of people pumping out their houses along the lakeshore again this year.

Cool fabric

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Cool fabric

Hello friends! How are you? I hope you’re enjoying signs of spring in your part of the world (or fall if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

I haven’t been outside yet but it’s a pretty mellow-looking day. Cloudy, no wind. The snow is almost gone from the garden. Our temperature the last week or two has been in the single digits, I think, warmer in the sunshine, still cold in the shade.

I have my wrist brace off to type this because I want to get my flexibility back. My right wrist is still a little puffy on top but the underneath is cleaner looking now. There is still a lot of yellow bruising up the arm.

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I mixed some coconut oil with some lavender, geranium and frankincense essential oils and I’m applying it three times a day to keep the skin soft and minimise scarring. I love being able to take the brace off when I want to bathe, but leave it on when doing daily tasks or sleeping so I don’t hurt it accidentally.

Some major milestones (or as  I like to call them, “smilestones”) for this week: wearing jeans as I can now do up the button and belt, crocheting (albeit slowly and left-handed), a gentle workout at the gym (treadmill, core, legs, and some one-armed biceps/triceps), and today I had a bath all by myself (no Tai Chi Man there to wash my hair or scrub my back and I even managed to hack through the undergrowth on my legs)!

So all in all, good progress!

I have to show you this fabric I saw at Fabricland when I went in there with my friend the other day. We were there for her to buy stuff to make a bag, so I wandered around with her and chatted to my co-workers. Well, this new quilting cotton jumped out at me and I just had to grab a metre of it to add to the stash!

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Isn’t it awesome? Kind of a vintage “caravans at the seaside” vibe.

Have a great day and talk to you again soon.

WIP: Left-handed therapy cowl

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Once my bandages were off, I was itching to try a little crochet. I had another play with the bulky green yarn and a giant hook and felt confident enough to pull out this Loops & Threads Facets yarn (Amethyst colourway) and a 10mm hook and start a cowl. I chose the C2C because it only involves a small amount of chaining. 

Working left-handed means I have to reverse everything which can mess with your head a bit, but it seems to be working out. I can only make a small amount of progress each day because I don’t want it to hurt. 

The above photo is the first day’s progress. Below is the third day. After this cowl is done, I’m hoping to go back to the doll. 


I had a lovely package in the mail yesterday.  One of the other moderators in the Crafternoon Treats Ravelry Group knew about my injury and asked for my address so she could send me something. She lives in Norway and by the time it arrived I had forgotten all about it. 


She sent two crocheted washcloths, a clay and rose water face mask kit, a rose-scented heart soap and some chocolate. How sweet is that? It made my day!

Spring seems to have arrived in our valley. The snow is mostly gone and Tai Chi Man says he spotted some daffodil shoots in the garden today. It’s mild and sunny this weekend. Ooh, I nearly forgot! I hit a milestone today (autocorrect changed that to “smile stone”) as I was actually able to put on a pair of jeans for the first time in over a month. But this typing is making my arm hurt like crazy so I am signing off for now. Happy Spring!

The next stage of recovery

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I was very relieved to have my appointment at the hospital today. They removed the splint and bandages which, thanks to periodic swelling, have been so  darned uncomfortable the last two weeks. I was disconcerted to find metal staples underneath and not dissolving stitches. My arm looked so pathetic – loose crumpled skin, loss of muscle, green and yellow bruising on the staple side.

The X-rays look kinda cool with that chunk of metal in there, and the line of staples too.

The staples were taken out, which was so painful I nearly cried (I couldn’t watch). Tai Chi Man was there and would have offered a shoulder if I’d needed it, but I held it together. Now I have a removable wrist brace, which I can adjust if I get some swelling, and have to take off now and then for strengthening exercises. Official physiotherapy starts in two weeks.

What a treat it was to get home and wash my arm, and put some arnica cream on the green and yellow bits. And maybe soon….a little yarn play?!