Category Archives: health

Cool fabric

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.


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!


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


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


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?!


Halfway there


One week with this splint and dressing…

One week to go. Thankfully I have only needed one pain pill on each of the last couple of days. It’s more uncomfortable than anything, especially when my arm swells up.

The weather went from snow on Monday to beautiful sunshine on Tuesday, and today we are having diffuse sun. I have enjoyed a neighbourhood walk the last two days which adds a bit of variety, exercise and fresh air. All my menfolk have been out working every day  this week so I’ve had a few days of alone time. This is fine as long as I can feed myself one-handed! Whilst I can do a little tidying and laundry, I can’t do vacuuming or complicated meal prep. 

Lunch today was a turmeric miso noodle soup, the recipe for which turned up in my email inbox from The Garden Grazer. 

I sat outside for a bit while the house aired. Took my giant cup of tea and kitchen stool out on the deck.

The calendar and temperature may say Spring but there’s still a lot of snow around. The clocks go forward this weekend.

Well, it’s back to my photo files. I’ve made good progress on the DVDs that we had backed up (although we did lose some photos thanks to lack of self-discipline) and I have made a mental promise to myself to treat myself to something nice when the job is done! Dangling that carrot…



I went for my two week X-Ray on Tuesday. The image showed that my radius was shortening as it healed. The doc said one option would be to saw off the cast and manipulate my wrist and put on a tighter cast, and the other option, more likely to be successful, would be inserting a metal plate. Apparently, allowing the radius to shorten leads to problems with the ulna down the road.  

It took me a few minutes to decide. I really wanted to call my husband and get his oh-so-logical input. Instead I made up my own mind and said I’d go for the surgery.

In preparation for that, they sawed through my cast on both sides. Have to say, having a buzzing blade so close to one’s arm is scary!

I was called in the following day and went through lots of questions and waiting time. I changed into a fetching blue gown and slipper socks. I met the anaesthesiologist and the surgeon. And finally I was rolled into theatre. Seeing the operating theatre just before they knock you out is somewhat surreal. But you do get to hear the reassuring voices of your team as they welcome you and their cheerful banter. 

Waking up in Recovery is horrible. Suddenly you hear voices all around you, then the pain hits. And on a scale of 1-10, mine was a 9. The meds added to my IV worked slowly and I had a few extra doses, plus when I felt able to swallow I had a pill. I kept my eyes closed most of the time as the room was spinning and I couldn’t focus. Being wheeled downstairs made me feel quite sick, and over the next couple of hours I threw up a few times. Thankfully it was only liquid. Tai Chi Man turned up just as I was heaving into a bowl and said, “Well, there’s no need to ask how you’re feeling!”

He had to wait a long time for me to feel ready to go home. I agreed to a dose of anti-nausea medication before they took out my IV which was good, as I didn’t get sick in the car or at home later on. I was wobbly but managed to get dressed and had a little ride in a wheelchair to the exit. 

I managed half a slice of dry toast at home, and a very welcome cup of tea. Took a couple of pain pills and went to bed early. It was a wakeful night, during which I took two more pills. Overnight the numbness in my fingers wore off, but the splint and dressing are tight today.

You can see how swollen my fingers are. The redness is from whatever they swabbed my arm with before they started.

Today I got out of bed really early, at the same time as Tai Chi Man, and we both had porridge for breakfast along with our lemon water. I made myself a nest on the couch, with blankets and pillows and the essentials nearby, like water, tea, phone, iPad, pills. Over the course of the morning I alternately slept and tried to read or watch podcasts. My eyelids keep drooping! 

Ds3 made me some toast as I’m incapable of anything that requires two hands, even more so than when I had the cast on. The pain in my right arm is constant, despite the pills. 

The rest of my day is more of the same. Take a pill every four hours, nap, read, watch You Tube. That’s it! My next appointment is in two weeks. I’ll be curious to see the X-Ray with the metal in my wrist. If I remember, I’ll take my iPad with me and get a photo of it. 

Take care, everyone. Talk to you again soon.

Cast-ocalypse Week Two


Aren’t these just the most awesome fabrics?! I had a friend drive me to the fabric store where I work today so I could say Hello to my co-workers and get a sewing pattern and this quilting cotton was on sale. I had had my eye on it for a while. I snapped up a metre of each in case they sell out before I get back to work. 

I attempted a bit more knitting and crochet yesterday but it was a pain, literally – I had to give up after a few minutes. 

I have adapted to the one-handed life now, and the family is learning what I can and cannot do. They are having to help with cans, jars, chopping, hand washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. I’m getting more comfortable with writing with my left hand.  

Over the last week I’ve read two ebooks and most of a regular one, and watched a season of Imposters on Netflix.

Today the big task that I’ve been procrastinating over for years was finally started. I pulled out the flash drive of backed up digital photos from the fire safe and started to upload them, rename them and sort them into folders for eventual creation of Photobooks. If I can get this job done while I’m off work, I will consider my time well spent.

Hopefully you are all well and happily crafting away. Talk to you again soon.

Cast-ocalypse Day 4


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!


The best laid plans…


…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!



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)


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.


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.


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).


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.





FO: mug cosy


This is my first FO of 2018. A very quick and easy cosy to prettify a dollar store mug, which has already been packed into a gift bag with some boxes of tea for a friend.

I used Loops & Threads Facets in Capri Blue, double stranded, with a 10mm hook.  Such a pretty yarn but barely spun at all, so it doesn’t take rough handling. The big button was in my stash. Instead of just the basic circle, which wraps around the outside of the mug, I added a base to it too.

And while looking for a mug, I happened to come across these mini skeins of cotton yarn and, well, they jumped into my hand and begged to come home with me. Each tiny skein is 10 grams. So cute! The yarn looks OK. There were acrylic minis too, but I thought I’d stick with the cotton.

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Apart from mug and yarn shopping, I had a visit with my ear doctor today. Three years ago he performed a stapedotomy on my left ear, which entails opening the ear drum, drilling out the calcification around the bones inside my ear (due to otosclerosis) and replacing the stapes with a teeny tiny titanium prosthesis. As the hearing in my right ear has got progressively worse, I’ve decided it’s time to schedule another surgery. It won’t be until the second half of the year sometime, but as the wheels of the medical system often grind slowly, it’s worth starting the ball rolling early. Hmmm, I think I’m mixing my  metaphors.

My current Netflix obsession is Rectify, which I am going to continue watching as soon as this blog post is done. Do you watch shows while knitting or crocheting? If so, what do you like to watch?