Monthly Archives: October 2013

Multiple WIPs to Combat Hand Fatigue


I was able to pick up my needles this week but quickly realized that I was going to have to find a sweet spot to appease both of my hands. This gave me the best excuse to cast on several projects, I mean, I have to keep my hands happy!

I have found that different types of needles, different needle sizes and different types of yarn are the best way to keep my hands from feeling any fatigue – also, I never get bored working on one project. Pretty awesome in my book, maybe this whole arthritis thing isn’t so bad after all! 😉 So here is my WIP run down:

Size 2US DPN – Sock Weight Yarn – Patons Jacquard & Stripe Socks #104

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

I casted on another pair of these immediately after I finished the first, I am only on the ribbing so no picture yet, but they are fantastic to knit and easy on both hands.

Size 4 Circular Needles – Lace Weight – Fiori Autunnali Shawl

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

This pattern is from the Craftsy Class New Directions in Lace. It is an incredible early Christmas present from my Mom – and there are beads! I am still a bit daunted by how much work it is going to take to finish this beast, but it’s just so pretty I don’t care. Romi Hill creates the most beautiful work and her class is so full of information I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. If you like lace, like learning, want to try something new and work with a stellar pattern – go sign up for this class.

This is where I am in the pattern:

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Size 5US Circular Needles – DK Weight Yarn – Jayashri Sweater

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

This is the kalallnight that Stacy over at Musings and Motion and I are making. The pattern is available from Knit Picks and if you still feel the urge to join feel free! I have a feeling that Stacy will finish way before I do and I wouldn’t mind the company! Here is where I am so far:

jayashri sweater - week 4

Size 7US Circular and DPN – Worsted Weight – “Hat on the Brain”

I have gone on a mini design kick trying to make a bunch of different beanies. I am trying to have a very styled brim (usually combinations of stitch dictionaries) and working my way through a list of hat decreases. I just finished the one last night, the rusty orange beanie above ↑ so I will need to cast on another one today.

Size 8US Straight 7″ Needles – Worsted Weight – Looped Loop Cowl

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Here is a super fun cowl by Kirsten Johnstone that I just had to cast on – despite the fact that straight needles make both my hands hurt and the pinkie on my right hand usually gets rubbed raw ( you know, since it just lays there and doesn’t move…man…that sounds super dirty ;)). Anyway, I had to give it a go and here is the progress:

Total length needs to be 44" - still a bit to go.

Total length needs to be 44″ – still a bit to go.

Oh! For fun, here is Lucy Neatby showing the coolest provisional cast on I have ever done.

And finally….

Size 15US Straight Needles – Two Strands DK Weight – Eyelet Scarf

This was another attempt to create something out of my own noggin….and some stitch dictionaries. I am trying to combine different variations on eyelet patterns so it looks swirled. I started it before I hurt my left hand so I can only work on it maybe 20 minutes a day. The color is beautiful though so I don’t mind looking at it everyday.

So Far...

So Far…

So that’s the low down on my WIPs for Wednesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ranting and hopefully I have given you an excellent excuse to cast on more projects – you must think of the health of your hands!

So friends and neighbors I am interested to hear, if you would like to share, how you combat both boredom and hand fatigue. I was once a fairly monogamous knitter (no more that three projects going at a time) so this is all new to me. Feel free to share – I love to listen!

Two Years Ago I Couldn’t Manage to Hold a Spoon, and Now…


I just finished my first pair of knitted socks.

Size 2 DPNs - EAT MY DUST!

Size 2 DPNs – EAT MY DUST!

I thought this would be a good way to come back to my blog, to show some massive progress has been made. It wasn’t made in the week (5 days – Trevor would have added this here so I am going to add it for him) I took off but in the past two years. Two years….that is still really hard for me to wrap my head around.

Two years ago, from April to October I 1) lost my grandfather 2) lost the idea of motherhood and 3) loss all functionality in my hand. I was down, I was so down I didn’t even realize it. I couldn’t write, drive, eat, lift, get my hair clean, put in my contacts or give the finger in traffic  – and I was told it was never going to change.

I saw a knitting pattern by Tiny Owl Knits – the Orchids and Fairylight’s hat – and I knew I had to figure out how to knit that damn hat. It took three very long months of practicing calligraphy to learn to write again, another two months to figure out how to hold my needles (and write legibly and consistently). I found an amazing woman who showed me I didn’t really need more than seven working fingers to knit. She spent two days a week with me in the public library going over everything I thought I had already learned. She gave me swatch patterns to work on, made me write out my GG’s patterns then knit them. She built up my confidence far more than she built up the muscles in my hand.

A year later, I finished my hat. It took 4 months of monogamous knitting but I did it.

It’s been a week and I am ready to come back, my right hand is still a bit sore but my left is totally healed. I can look down at the stupid appendage, all swollen and purple, and feel nothing but grateful. My hand works as much as I need it to, and I will have to learn to treat it a bit better.

For now, it is 36º in the Buckeye State and I am curled up, wearing my new hand knit socks. And friends and neighbors….that’s pretty awesome :).

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

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So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

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Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

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Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

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A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

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Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

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Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

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Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

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So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

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For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

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These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

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Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

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That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!

 

Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf – FREE PATTERN!!


Trevor here: Rachel wrote this pattern, all by herself she’s asked me to add, for a friend of that knitting website. I am here copying and pasting it for her here.

Gloria Here!: The site is Raverly, and the scarf is officially named Kinda Ribbed, Kinda Basket Weave Reversible Scarf. Here are some pictures – which aren’t great but I might get to add some because she is going to let me play with her camera! And don’t forget to check out the Tags Section – it’s epic!

 

Okay. So I am doing this with the hunt-and-peck method so if there are errors just message me back. This is just how I did it – a change in gauge or yarn thickness will change things. Duh, huh? 😉

Needles: Size 11 US (8mm) Straight 8” Needles
Yarn: Two (2) Strands of Worsted Weight Combined for thickness (this was Red Heart Shimmer in Red).

CO 44sts (+/- 5sts for width change)

Pattern

Row 1: (RS) – P3, K3, P2 rep to till last 6sts; K3, P3
Row 2: (WS) – K3, P3, K2 rep to till last 6sts; P3, K3
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Knit
Row 5: Purl
Row 6: Repeat Row 2
Row 7: Repeat Row 1
Row 8: Repeat Row 2
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: Knit

** Repeat rows 1-10 till desired length **
** Repeat rows 1-3 once more **
** Bind off all stitches knit wise **

**** My Notes ****

-I put stitch marker on “wrong side” (it’s reversible, so there’s no wrong side) but it’ll help keep things moving

-I slipped the 1st (first) stitch of every row purl wise to keep the edges looking tidy.

Have fun! I can’t wait to see pics because this pattern is super quick and super easy. Yea! Stitch Pattern Books! 🙂

 

Taking A Week To Heal


  • Dictated by: Rachel, courtesy of Dragon Speak.
  • Edited by: Trevor – an amazing husband.
  • Links by: Gloria – whose better with computers than Trevor.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may know that I am arthritic in my right – and dominate – hand. I have managed to do everything the doctor’s said I would never be able to do with a gleeful “(censored) you!” attitude since 2011. However, I didn’t realize how much of this depended on my left hand being fully functional.

Without boring you too much, I injured my left hand early last week doing something utterly stupid. I really wouldn’t expect anything less that a stupid accident to completely derail my  life but hey, I’ve gotten used to it. I spend most of last week trying to figure out how to keep doing all the things I normally do with little success, and now here we are. I have officially wrecked both my hands, because I was trying to accommodate one hand at a time. Basically if my right hand was happy, my left was mad. And if my left hand was happy, my right had was super mad. As a result I have been left with two incredibly angry hands.

SO, I am going to take a week off from, well, everything. I am not going to post anything this week – although I am hoping to get caught up with some of my blog reading. I’m going to try to not knit, type, lift more than 2 pounds, make fists, or use a knife (which means *sigh* Trevor is going to have to cut my food again). I am going to ice, elevate, schedule Advil, wear braces and try to heal up my hands.

Seriously, I don’t know how my little brain is going to handle this. My OCD and my Panic Monster start to return when the weather gets chilly – really that little bugger’s optimal time to muck up my life is from October to early April. With no outlet on how to handle that, I’m not sure what is going to happen. All I want is to find a little piece of mind in doing the things I love – right now I feel like I’m up (censored) creek without a paddle.

I know that this seems like phenomenal amount of complaining, but when I think about how my coping mechanisms are being altered I start to get pretty nervous. More than less likely I am going to try to keep knitting (no, she’s not – added by Trevor) (she probably will – added by ♠Gloria♥) but the amount of time I can do it is going to be very limited. It seems that only certain needles for certain amounts of time don’t make me want to curl up into a  ball and cry.

Anyway – You can always find me on Ravelry as RainyDayStitches for personal messaging or on Facebook as All Night Knits. If your super bored I am also on Twitter (which she doesn’t really know how to use – added by Gloria) and Instagram. I can do nice and short messages, typing with one finger on my iPod is totally doable but anything longer may have to wait.

I am really hoping that this time next week I will have TONS of amazing stuff (she does, I live with her amazing stuff allover the house – added by Trevor) (she’s gonna kill you for saying that – added By Gloria) to share with you, it will make me decidedly less boring to read about. For now, have a wonderful week and enjoy your fiber twice as much for me!

October 8th – 13th Yarn Photo a Day Contest! #yarnpadc


Feeling a little behind lately, but here are this weeks photos for October’s #yarnpadc photo contest!

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For a full explanation of these photos or if you really enjoy knitting photos, follow me on Instagram!