Cast-ocalypse Day 4

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So, what have I learned this week?

First lesson: obviously, not to crash on the ski hill. Taking a tumble over another snowboarder is a bad idea, in my case resulting in a fractured distal radius and a massive bruise on the opposite forearm.

Second lesson: broken bones hurt. Particularly at the time of the break, but also afterwards, including when in a cast. Not so much that I’ve needed painkillers since Monday, but enough to be uncomfortable.

Third lesson: don’t over-extend yourself. I was reaching for something last night, overbalanced and put pressure on the cast and it hurt like hell. Also too much activity means too much blood to the hand and the cast gets uncomfortably snug.

Fourth lesson: get help. These are things I can’t do

  • floss teeth (had to get dh to buy sticks instead)
  • open round door handles if left hand holding something
  • do up separating zippers
  • open cans and jars
  • knit
  • crochet
  • lift weights at the gym
  • squeeze a lemon properly
  • chop food that rolls around
  • lift a large pan from sink to stove or vice versa
  • drive my car (it’s a manual/stick)

On the bright side, I can read, watch Netflix, go for walks, write (very messily with my left hand, but I’m practising to get better), wash and apply deodorant, get dressed as long as doesn’t involve a bra, make tea and simple meals, do laundry, load and unload the dishwasher, and type. I could even, maybe in a couple of weeks, go back to the gym and go on the treadmill, or attempt a yoga class (just not downward facing dog)! The lovely yoga teacher is already planning modified poses for me.

I’m doing my best to balance my days, not spending too much time on any one activity. And I have friends who will give me rides to appointments or come over if cabin fever hits.

I am grateful for so many things. I only broke one bone, I have a lovely husband who helped me bathe and washed my hair for me (after taping my cast inside a giant plastic bag), I have three able sons, one of whom is home most of the time, who can do the things I am struggling with. I have plenty to do to keep me occupied.

Tomorrow we have a potluck planned with friends, which will be awesome.

Life is good!

 

Healing in progress

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First attempt at left-handed crochet!

First attempt at left-handed knitting!

A nice stack of reading

This is a quickie post as I have to type with one hand, which is a little easier on the iPad, partly because the letters are closer together and partly because of auto-correct.
Last night, a friend picked me up for our new book group at a coffee shop, so that worked out well. And today I walked to the store where I work to say Hi to everyone and get some exercise and fresh air too.

My attempts at knitting and crocheting were quite successful, if slow, but also painful. It’s too soon, and I think I shall wait until after my orthopaedic appointment next Tuesday before trying again.

The best laid plans…

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…of knitters and crocheters can often be derailed in the blink of an eye.

This will be a short post as typing is slow, but this was my Facebook status yesterday:

Had a bad crash on the hill today. Another snowboarder came out of nowhere and I went head over heels. Arm hurt like hell. Tried to carry on, but thankfully came across a Ski Patrol guy a little further down the mountain. He did a temporary splint and I was strapped into an emergency sled and he pulled me to the medical clinic.
A quick ultrasound confirmed a break. Splinted again, and R rounded up the boys. L had to drive my car as we’d taken both R’s and mine.
Thankfully not too long a wait at KGH for Xray and cast.
Six weeks of doing everything one-handed! Can’t write, drive, knit, crochet (waaaah) or get the cast wet.

Well, that’s put the proverbial spanner in the works! I’ve had to withdraw from the Ravellenic Games and the sweater goal will be delayed.

Of course it was my dominant hand!

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Tai Chi Man went home and brought me my Hello Kitty pyjama top to wear as it has wide sleeves. I did request a Hello Kitty cast but had to settle for plain pink.

Had an unsettled night and now relearning how to do even the most mundane tasks.

WIP: The Paper Bag Princess (a Ravellenic Games project)

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Hi all

First I should say Thank You for all the Like clicks on my blog recently. It’s good to know that there are people out there reading my ramblings and even enjoying them!

The stripey vest aka March sweater has progressed since my last post, but I don’t have up to date photos, so will dedicate this blog post to the Princess doll.

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Bagged up ahead of the Games, ready for the opening ceremonies

I am using a pattern that’s available for free – Princess Poppy doll. She is the best option I could find for my purpose, which is actually to make a doll who looks like the girl in Robert Munsch’s book, The Paper Bag Princess. I love this book with its feminist twist at the end, and bought the board book months ago, knowing it would make a great gift along with a crocheted doll.

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The book, the hooks, the yarn

I love crocheted toys but I don’t necessarily love making them. Those fiddly little tubes for her arms and legs were a frustrating job to crochet, and let’s not dwell on the agony of getting polyester fibrefill into those tubes. The body was a comparative joy after the limbs, but with a 3.25mm hook the yarn gets splitty and doesn’t always like to co-operate.

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Components ready to assemble

Sewing the bits together was pretty easy and it’s good to see how tall the doll is going to be when she’s done (about nine inches).

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Assembled and ready to add hair and clothes

After I took these photos, I added a cap of brown ‘hair’: this princess is not going to be blonde, partly because her crown is going to be yellow, and her dress (ie paper bag) will be camel, and blonde hair would just look too washed out, and also partly because the little girl who will be receiving this is dark and I’m sure she would like the doll to look more like her.

After the cap is sewn on, one adds strands of hair with a crochet hook. I haven’t done hair this way on a doll before but it seems to be a good method. I am part way through and will show you more next time. She will need eyes and a mouth, and then I will have to design a dress that looks like a paper bag! I have an idea in mind and hope it works out.

I’ve entered two projects in the Ravelry version of the Olymp*cs (mustn’t get in trouble saying the ‘O’ word). This doll is my Toy Bobsleigh entry, and the March sweater is entered into the WIPs Dancing event. I have even been following some of the real Games online with a couple of You Tube channels – one is the CBC and the other is a channel that is streaming live. I have enjoyed seeing the snowboard slope style and tried to pick up a few tips!!! (We are heading to the ski hill tomorrow for Family Day.)

I am a little stiff in places from yesterday’s five pin bowling (especially the left glute, from all that lunging)! When Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym today, I spent the time on the treadmill (43 minutes) which was really easy as I had a crochet podcast to watch. Tonight, I am groaning a bit each time I get up off the couch, and after tomorrow’s snowboarding it’ll probably be even more interesting.

Hope you guys all have a fantastic week. I’ll talk to you again soon.

 

 

 

 

WIP: March sweater – lots more stripes

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I had another awesome day of crocheting today. After starting the left front of the sweater last night, while sitting and having hot chocolate with friends at home, I continued with it today while watching crochet podcasts.

Last time I posted I was up to the yellow.

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This is what it looked like after doing the orange stripes and a red, right on the edge. Above, folded. Below, laid out flat.

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And today, it looks like this.

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Above, folded. My friend had the inspired idea, when I was saying there wasn’t room for more red on the right front last night, to suggest putting some on the left front. So I did, just on the bit you’ll see when I’m wearing it.

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Laid out flat, you can see what I mean. And there’s only about four inches more to add to the left front. Then there will be a ton of weaving in, and doing a border around the edges to neaten it all up.

I’ll need to find three buttons to match one of the colours – one for right and left top corners, and another for the left side to hold it at bust level if I decide to wear it with the top corner folded down. The double crochet stitches are large enough that I don’t need to worry about making buttonholes.

Well, the timer should be going off on the stove in a sec – for some reason, the food didn’t cook properly at 375 degrees so I put the nut roast and the Greek potatoes back in for another half an hour at 425 and if THAT doesn’t cook the buggers I will be well ticked off. I would have liked to eat earlier so that I had time to digest before yoga 😦

WIP: March sweater Day 2

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Well hello there, I’m back with more news of the March sweater.

Yesterday was a heavy crochet day – I spent a LOT of time on the couch and almost finished the back. I did go for a walk in the evening with Tai Chi Man to get some fresh air and some blood flowing through the veins, though.

The back was kinda boring, being all black, and it was nice to start on the coloured stripes for the right front today (after my 8am yoga class).

My first Ravelry project page update, earlier today, showed that I had done five blue stripes and was just starting on the green part of the yarn cake. In order to keep the coloured sc rows fairly visible, I’m crocheting the black rows in the front loop only. This leaves a little extra colour visible on the right side.

I’m also “cheating” with the colour. The blue did five rows and I made sure that the green would arrive on the sixth. So when I’d done five green rows I cut some out so that the acid yellow would appear on the next one. I want to make sure that all five colours in the cake appear across the front of the sweater (which is actually going to be a sleeveless vest with a wrap front).

Tricky to photograph black, especially when there are other colours involved in part of the shot. Of course I’m only using an old iPad Mini, so I guess I can’t expect too much. (And those ends! Lots of weaving in to do later.)

So that’s it for today. I’ve put down my hook for the night, even though it’s only 9.20pm. I’d rather go and get into my PJs and read in bed for a while because I’ve realised that staying up late is not serving me well. Thankfully I’ve finished all seasons of Mr Selfridge now, and am reluctant to start another series. It’s just too easy to binge watch episode after episode.

So apart from crochet, this week’s entertainment is finishing A Dog’s Purpose (yes, the book that the film was based on, though I haven’t seen the film) and starting on the third book in the Poldark series, Warleggan.

I gave a work shift away to a co-worker whose schedule was messed up so the coming week has me doing two shifts instead of three, which means…you guessed it…more crochet time! I estimate the March sweater will take no more than a week in all and then I can decide what to knit for April! Oh yes, and the Ravelry Ravellenic Games start on February 9th, and I am entering the toy event, so I need to do a bit of preparation for that before next Friday.

It’s all go, you know. 🙂

WIP: March sweater

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Well, it’s been a mixed-up weather day today. We’ve had blowing snow, cloud, sunshine, wind, just about everything. However I have been inside on the couch, getting on with my March sweater.

As I’ve said, my goal is 12 sweaters in 12 months, and January and February are checked off the To Do list. It feels good to be ahead of the schedule and starting my March sweater on February 2nd.

I went through a few ideas, one of which I sketched out in detail and actually started knitting. However it has now been frogged in favour of a crochet version. As you can see, my Hello Kitty pencil tin and accessories are a very important part of this process.

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I started with the back piece – this was earlier today – I have since finished the first ball of yarn and started on the second.

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Rather than make three separate pieces, I think when I get to the end of the back I will just keep going with the right front, and when that’s done I’ll return to the beginning chain edge and work the left front onto it rather than having to sew things together.

The stitch pattern I’m using is one row single crochet, one row double crochet. For the right front I will do the sc rows in my rainbow yarn. Hoping for a wearable result! I think this is why I have been hesitant in the past to make garments because it’s a big time/yarn investment that may not work out. However I am heartened by the recent finished objects so will plug on!

While crocheting, I’ve found a couple of new crochet podcasts to watch on You Tube, and also an interesting sock tutorial by Mikey at The Crochet Crowd.

 

 

 

FO: Crochet Cuddler Cocoon (and new yarn)

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Before I show you my February sweater, here is a photo of me in my January sweater.  I wore it the other day (wow, it’s warm) and it fits perfectly. If I could change one thing about it, though, I’d add an inch to the sleeves. When I was driving and out and about, I felt I could have done with just a bit of extra length in the sleeves.

So, once I finished that sweater off last Monday night, I was free to get on with the next project. The February project took all of four days from start to finish, it was so quick and easy. I did make a few adjustments to the pattern so I will link to my Ravelry project page here.

I had to crop out my head in that shot because the cardigan is so dark that my face was overexposed. The base rectangle for the back of the sweater seemed really small in the pattern so I added four rows. The sleeves also would have been tiny so I doubled the length of those. And there were only three border rounds in the pattern and I did 12, basically until my yarn almost ran out.

The yarn is Willow Wash Bulky, which is so lovely and soft to work with and to wear, but the six strands are very loosely spun so you have to be careful not to split them. As I am just hanging around the house today, I decided to wear it (it would probably not be warm enough outside in the cold at the moment) though I had to abandon it while vacuuming because I was getting too hot.

I am pleased with it, thanks to my adaptations. I think if you were to use a much bulkier yarn, you could follow the designer’s numbers, but it would have been far too small for me using the Willow Wash, following it as is.

There has been a little bit of yarn acquisition this week. OK, a lot. Walmart still has the Bernat Pop! yarn, and I decided that I should get extra of the rainbow coloured one to pair with plain black for a future sweater. Also I found a nice one with grey and pink that I can pair with the leftover Red Heart Supersaver in grey heather. And a couple of cakes of grey/turquoise, just because.

Also today I received my Wool Warehouse order, a mere WEEK after they shipped it. I love their efficiency. I ordered on the weekend, they shipped it the first working day afterwards, and the post office have done their bit too. Normally stuff takes two weeks to get here. I am glad it’s here as part of the order is for my Ravelry Ravellenic Games project, the doll I mentioned in my last post. The rest are colours that I picked to pad out gaps in my DK collection, like the  yellows, browns and neutrals.

My Christmas/birthday fund is being rapidly depleted!

I’ve said this before, but I love the organza bags that WW send the yarn in.

Well, today I need to start swatching for a new sweater: the March sweater, in theory, though I am well ahead of my deadline. Believe it or not, despite the thousands of patterns in the Ravelry database, I couldn’t find the perfect one for my black/rainbow combination, so I have sketched out a possible design and need to figure out my gauge. I am having a few niggling doubts about a rainbow tunic, even if it is calmed down with black, so I  may end up going with the grey instead. For now, though, I have to finish cleaning the kitchen (totally distracted by the parcel of yarn in the mail and wanting to tell you all about it, but it’s nose to the grindstone time for me now)!

I hope next time to show you what my decision was for the March sweater, plus some progress.

 

 

FO: January sweater

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Thanks to a few knitting opportunities throughout the day yesterday, I finished my sweater last night. I love the touch of colour in the hem facings. I will try it on again today then give it a wash – thanks to the hardwearing nature of Red Heart Super Saver, I can machine wash and dry with abandon (as long as nothing else in the machine has Velcro or hooks).

It took me about 15 days. I cast on January 7th after a false start with a different pattern and needles. As I’ve finished my January sweater early, I can get a head start on my February sweater.

The February sweater is this one – The Crochet Cuddler Cocoon – which I plan to make with the navy Willow Wash Bulky that was frogged from a different sweater that didn’t work out, and which has been sitting in my stash for a long time.

It’s snowing here today, which seems appropriate as I have a new sweater to wear! I have had a very lazy morning of Ravelry browsing, but I plan to hit the gym shortly to remedy that.

Are you joining in with the Ravellenic Games on Ravelry? They coincide with the Winter Olympics in South Korea. My project will be a crocheted doll for whom I intend to devise a dress that looks like a paper bag. She will be the Paper Bag Princess, and will be sent to my great-niece with the board book of the same name by Robert Munsch. Well, I didn’t have the right colour yarn, of course, so ordered some from Wool Warehouse….along with a few others to keep it company as it flew here from England! I will of course show it to you as soon as it arrives. It shipped yesterday.

 

 

Almost finished!

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We are at the 22nd of January already, and my January sweater deadline is fast approaching, but I’m going to make it!

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Since my last update, I have finished the yoke (inserting two more short rows near the back of the neck), knitted a ribbed turtleneck (adding stitches for the foldover part to accommodate the bulk and not be too tight), grafted the underarm stitches and started on the cuff hem lining.

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The colour of the lining was dictated by the fullest ball of Stylecraft Special Aran that I had, plus I wanted it to be bright to give the grey sweater a lift. Using two strands of Pomegranate and a US10.5 needle, I picked up stitches on the inner edge of the cuff. Obviously I had to increase, because the gauge is very different from the main part of the sweater, so I made an educated guess and did a Make One after each two stitches picked up. And it worked!

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I still haven’t fastened anything off or woven any ends in. I’ll do that after the second cuff and the bottom hem are done, but before washing and drying.

My Hygge friends are coming over tonight so I will get more knitting time in then. So far today I’ve done some housework and started a new batch of kombucha. I had a brainwave, and realised how much easier my Mondays are if I don’t have to work. I can get the house tidied up, and dinner made and eaten, well before my friends come at 7.30pm. Not so easy if you have to work until 6 or 6.15. So I have changed my scheduling preferences at work to say I am unavailable on Mondays.

I picked up my latest hold at the library this week – Jeremy Poldark, book 3 in the Poldark series – and it’s not a huge tome so I immediately reserved book 4, Warleggan, so I can get that one soon. I also found these…

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I don’t know whether I’ll make any of the projects, but the Arne and Carlos book is just a feast of eye candy! Beautiful colours of yarn and flowers and blankets and toys and the best doll’s house ever. Worth borrowing from the library for sure.

It’s a beautiful day out there, cold and windy of course, but the sun is streaming in. Hmmm, I should probably fit a neighbourhood walk into my afternoon. And while I’m out, I’ll annoy the boys and open some windows perhaps! It helps to keep the humidity down indoors. We had quite a problem with condensation last winter, with the new less-draughty windows.

Better get on then. Hope you have a great day!