Archive for April, 2008

…and staying recovered.  Three words:




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Almost Human

Thank you to everyone who sent get well wishes my way. I feel almost human, and as long as I can refrain from lifting anything more than 10 pounds for the next four weeks, I anticipate a full and successful recovery. Note to Terri: If there was codeine in my tylenol, there would have been a rather spectacular rash and possibly projectile vomiting. In technicolour.  So, no codeine.

The day of the surgery progressed in a fashion typical to me- scattered and a little disorganized. Mike got me to the hospital at 6:00am, and then had to turn around and drove home to pick up the paperwork I had left on the kitchen table. (I had remembered to pack my in-progress Pi Shawl, but not the paperwork.  Just an indication of at where was my mind.)  I was able to knit for a couple of hours before they came to get me for the walk to surgery (not even a wheelchair; the service was a little lacking). At first I thought I was in the wrong place; the holding pen room was full of senior citizens waiting for eye surgery and hip replacements.  But I was in the right place, and was soon ushered into the operating theatre.  There was a student anesthetist working with the regular anesthetist, and while she tried hard, the vein for the IV was playing hard to get.  The only way to describe the sensation was that it felt like a really big starburst in my hand.  I was very brave, and she was most aplogetic, but I was quite happy to let the senior anesthetist take over.  I got a spinal (meaning I was supposedly awake for the procedure), but they also gave me “something to relax me”, and the only thing I remember about the surgery was opening my eyes and seeing the screen set up across my chest (really, like I was going to try to watch?), and hearing someone say “please cough” and I was happy to oblige.  Next recollection is being wheeled into recovery feeling like I had just had a good nap, and one of the orderlies saying to the other “We’ve got a happy one here.”  I was grinning like the village idiot. 

I did discover that when you’re still frozen you can’t feel the stuff they accidentally leave in the bed.  Then, as the sensation came back, I discovered  a hard plastic vial, some tubing, an open package of lube jelly under my butt (and not the warming kind, either), and then some scrunched up stuff that should have hit the garbage can.  Sadly, by this time I was realizing that my hip flexors really hurt.  Turns out that when your ass is frozen, you can’t feel that you’ve been riding the horse (as it were) for too long.  I’m glad there was no activity involving an open abdominal cavity; there’s no telling what might have been left behind.  (“Omigod.  I dropped my pager.  Has anyone seen my pager?”)

I was glad to get home, and the next couple of days I laid low.  When I took my first post-op shower, I discovered that one of the stick-on contacts for the heart monitor was still attached.  Not having a do-it-yourself defibrillator, I had no need for the contact.  Off it came.  At least it wasn’t connected to anything important.

I’m walking normally, the headache is gone, and I haven’t found anything else that’s not supposed to be there.  Hooray!

Speaking of the Pi Shawl:

It blocked beautifully and drapes gracefully.  The edging is from Myrna Stahman’s Shawls and Scarves (which apparently is out of print- someone correct me if I’m wrong, please.) and is the edging used for the Susan and Alberta Shawls.  In spite of my careful counting and increasing to accomodate the 20 row repeat/”knit 2tog with next stitch on needle” instruction, I goofed on the very first point and had to fudge the last one.  Someone more anal than me (that would be pretty much everyone) would likely have frogged the whole edge and re-knit it.  I don’t care.   

My splices held (thank goodness!) and there are only 2 or 3 mistakes in it.  I used 400 grams of Misti Alpaca worsted (don’t know the colour) and my favourite Turbo needles.  I just wish the needles were a little more pointed- K3tog was a touch awkward.  I should have gone at least another 10 rounds, but that’s 5750 stitches that wanted to be knit somewhere else.  I will likely not use it for a shawl (too small)  or a tablethrow, but it will make a nice girl-baby gift someday.  Into the tickle trunk it goes.

I have taken a step over to the dark side, but I’m not staying.  Specifically, I am Knitting Socks.  I bought the wool last fall to knit a pair for my sister’s friend who claims to love wool socks, and the plan was to have them done for Christmas.  The wool is San Diego by Wisdom Yarns. 

Here it is, not even the end of April, so I am right on schedule.  Top down, eye-of-partridge heel (planned), matching stripes.  Is there no end to the fun I’m having?  Well, yes.  I expect that the fun will end around the same time I have to graft the toes.  I hate grafting.  I hate Kitchener (whoever that was…)  Maybe a 3-needle castoff?   After the socks, perhaps I will revisit the peacock feather shawl  or the green pullover.  Or maybe the top-down t-shirt?  Lots of choices!

It always surprises me how much pleasure I can derive from seemingly trivial things:


Four throw pillows and I feel like nominating myself for the Martha Stewart award.  I even picked them out myself.  As usual, Mike doesn’t “get” the whole throw pillow concept (he thinks they’re called throw pillows because that’s what you have do with them before you sit down), but I am sticking to my guns.  In terms of decorating, my house is a circle, not a straight line.  Asking when I’ll be done decorating is like asking when I’ll be done knitting.  When they pry the paintbrush/needles from my cold dead hands.

And now, three of the other great joys in my life:

The one on the right is Geoff, and the one who looks panic-stricken is Wallace.  (But you  knew that.)  No pictures of Andy today, but here’s the long and the short of Attie.

She’s doing her best greyhound imitation.  (scroll down for the Princess.)


As Mum would say, snug as a bug in a rug! 

Well, I must toddle off now and knit some heels.  Starting from now, I will accept any words of encouragement for toe grafting (that sounds a little Frankensteinish, doesn’t it?) that anyone cares to forward.  Wish me luck.



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Time Out

In the wake of a wee bit of day surgery last Thursday, I am walking like a duck and feeling a little ucky. I can’t do any lifting, or housework (no change there), and can’t sit for too long without seizing up. (For those of you who need gory details, it was plumbing repair.) I can knit only until I get a headache, and can’t sleep more than an hour or two at a stretch. In short, I am a mess.

Please drop by in a few days; hopefully I’ll be more human. But for now, you’ll have to excuse me. I have to go take another Tylenol.

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I’ve been terribly disorganized for the past week and a half.  I blame it on houseguests who cause my morning coffee break to run right from breakfast all the way to mid-afternoon.  So all I’ve done this week is eat, drink and visit.  Ain’t life grand?

We’ve had some cooler spring weather, resulting in scenes like this:

and this

and this

This shot may grace my Christmas letter this year.   Photography is a bit like golf for me:  I have no idea what I’m doing, but periodically I get a good shot.

I have been going cross-eyed looking at bed and breakfast websites in anticipation of our upcoming trip to Scotland.  I decided that we should try to meet people instead of staying in some anonymous hotel, and our travel agent doesn’t deal with b&b’s, hence my own research.  The one we booked on the Isle of Skye is run by an older couple, who emailed me a “wee map” so we won’t get lost on the way there.  I can’t wait to meet them. Then, because Mike was so enthused about the idea not involved in making arrangements, we are staying on a sheep farm in Inverness for 4 days.   The owner trains Border Colllies, so I’ll get a dog fix while I’m away.  Mike generally prefers not to make any reservations before we go anywhere (doesn’t want to be “tied down” to a particular schedule, but he doesn’t seem to want to fly standby…Go figure.) but that is so far out of my comfort zone that I cannot even describe it.  Now that the  arrangements are made, and the Visa card is groaning badly, I have to attend to mundane things like doing our income tax and submitting a GST return for the business.

What knitting I’ve been doing started with a very painful 90 minutes of trying to do an Emily Ocker caston to do a Pi Shawl (Zimmermann).   That works out to 10 minutes a stitch.  I think I have a mental block when it comes to EZ, because her directions and diagrams sometimes appear to have gaps in them.  Turns out that if you stop being a moron read carefully, the directions do make sense.  I just needed an hour and a half  to digest what the heck was going on.  Accordingly, last Wednesday’s S&B was, shall we say, less than productive.  It is a nifty caston, though, and results in a pretty little flowery-shaped thingy in the middle of the circle. 

Once the caston is accomplished (with three cheers and a tiger for me!)  the knitting is simple.  I especially like EZ’s direction after the last round of increases: to “knit until you are tired”.  I have 575 stitches on the needle (yes, I missed an increase.  Tough.) and a round takes me, well, just short of forever. 

I’m using Misti Alpaca worsted weight and provided my splices hold, it should be fairly soft and loose once it’s blocked.  I have no idea how big I’ll make it; I am on the third ball and I still have 5.  I won’t use ’em all on this; maybe a scarf or two or a vest.  This is lovely to knit with; so soft. 

I can see how one might get bored with this now that the increases are done, but for now, it’s excellent for knitting at a soccer game, in front of the telly, or anywhere that I might be carrying on a conversation.  (Well, that’s just about everywhere I go, even if I’m alone.  Sad, that.)  

We’ve got a full house for supper tonight; my folks, Andy, Geoff and Courtney, Mike and myself.  I was up well before breakfast today, and the cheesecake is made, the salad is marinating, and the spinach lasagne is waiting in the fridge.   Now all I have to do is clear off the dining room table (or “Laptop Central” as I like to call it) and set it for supper.  I told Dad to bring wine, so we may have a bit of an adventure there.  He said he had just bottled some, but I told him we’d rather not have the fresh stuff.

Next morning:  WordPress has very kindly updated the blogging program here, so it took me until today to figure out how to get my pictures inserted.  Thanks for the warning, guys. I was just thinking how sad it was that I just figured out blogging and everyone is now all about Ravlery, when they pull a stunt like this and it turns out I really haven’t figured out blogging. (Kind of like when I set up a Myspace page just when Facebook came on the scene. I guess I’m just a little behind.)

Geoff and Courtney have left to return to Calgary.  They have elected to give Cruise Ship Life a break for now, so are embarking on the Get A Job adventure in Calgary.  I look forward to the day they have their own place and I can ship all his stuff to Calgary.  Think of all the storage space I’ll have!  I wonder what I could put in it?



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