Sunday, January 28, 2007

Medical stuff

I've been trying to decide how much to say in my blog about the medical stuff. I guess I've already said too much not to say more. The bone and CT scans have indicated some cancer in my bones. Since primary bone cancer is almost exclusively found in young people who are still growing (as my friend Shirley said, that lets me out), and since I have no personal history of cancer, they are trying to determine where the stuff has migrated from. I went to a gynecologist on Thursday and will see a surgeon tomorrow. Once the source is found, a treatment plan can be devised.

I can move my left arm more than I could three weeks ago, and my left knee is better.

Oh! I hadn't said anything yet about my knee, had I? On Sunday 1/14 we went into Mayfield to Big Lots and WalMart. While in Big Lots, I had to visit the ladies room. As I sat down, my left knee felt like it exploded and/or crumbled. I managed to get up and walking through the store was not too bad, but getting into the car was terribly painful. When I tried to get out at WalMart, I couldn't. So I wrote down the short list and sent Dominic in. When he returned, I asked him to take me to the emergency room. They did x-rays, said nothing was broken or out of place, wrapped it in an Ace bandage, gave me prescriptions for steriods and pain pills, and sent me home.

At home, I had Dominic bring in and clean up one of the walkers (non-folding type) that I have been using in the yard like tomato cages. Fortunately, the house is only 1/2 step up from ground level at the back (the entrance we always use). However my 'master suite' was formerly a carport at the end of the house, two short steps down from the house. Whoever transformed it did not raise the floor, so those two short steps are still there between the weaving room and my bedroom. Of course they had to raise the bathroom floor to have space for the pipes, so there is a step up from my bedroom there. I use the walker to give me better support when negotiating those steps. I need it for more than that for several days after the knee thing, but now I can walk unaided, although slowly and painfully.

On Monday 1/15, the ER doctor called to say that when the radiologist reviewed the x-rays, he noted something strange in the bone above the knee, and that I needed to see my regular doctor that afternoon. About fifteen minutes later, my doctor called to say I did not need to see her that afternoon, since I had just seen her a week before. However, she had set up an appointment for a bone scan the next day, and was expanding the order for the CT scan, which she had ordered initially because of the same 'strangeness' in the left clavicle.

So that's where things are now. I'm making a small dent in my stash. The things I haven't photographed are two watchcaps and a scarf for Seamen's Church Institute. They're not that interesting - basic, using the patterns SCI prefers.

Monday, January 22, 2007

And More Hats!

My sister would love the color of this hat and scarf set, but since she lives in south Florida, I doubt that she has any use for it. I'll have to find someone else to give it to. Actually all of these are meant for charity.

I'm sticking to my resolution to knit from my stash this year. So far I've worked up over three pounds of yarn - I'm keeping an Excel spreadsheet of the items I'm making, including finished weight.

On this 'brick' hat, I've made the bricks larger than on the one I made a few days ago. I ran out of the gray yarn, so the top is done in the multicolor yarn, which is Red Heart 4-ply in the Circus colorway. It's black alternating with several bright colors. Each bit of color is no more than six inches long. That yarn is used by itself in the hat in the middle of the picture below.

I like the squirrels on the hat on the right. I made an I-cord tail at the top and plan to either make or buy some 'acorns' to hang from it. I started this one with a tubular cast-on, but after I finished the hat, I realized the cast-on was too tight. So I put the needle through the round of stitches just above the ribbing, cut to yarn and unraveled the ribbing, Then I knit several rounds of stockinette stitch and cast off, to make a rolled brim.

The 'Circus' hat is plain stockinette. The two off-white ones have a plaited cord stitch (slip 1, knit 1, yarn over, pass the slipped stitch over the YO and the K1), with several plain stitches between the 'cords.' I've tried to take a close-up picture so you could see it better, but I'm not a good photographer.

I'm still having trouble with my left arm, but by wedging it between my body and the back of the sofa, I can knit. I go for a CT scan tomorrow on several areas of my body. It was supposed to be last Thursday, but no one told me I had to do a 'prep.' Thursday, they gave me the stuff I have to drink; I'll do that as soon as I finish this blog entry.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hats, Hats, Hats

Five more hats knit from stash - four of them from the same Red Heart Pounder in Dark Plum.

The first two have the same 'Fair Isle' design on them. On the one on the left, the design is worked in purl stitches, so it creates a nice texture with no added color. On the other one, the yellow really brightens the Dark Plum, doesn't it?

There really are two hats in this picture. Although I tried to brighten it, it's still pretty dark, but I'm too lazy to re-take it. The left one is worked in a slip-stitch 'brick' pattern with a multicolor yarn as the bricks.

The right one is child size, worked in a modified bamboo stitch - R1: YO, K2, pass YO over K2. R2: work plain, i.e. K if working in the round, P if knitting flat. I modified it by working two plain rounds.

And wintertime Eeyore is wearing a cute earflap hat in a variegated yarn, with a knotted pigtail on top. It's a DK weight yarn and I used size 6 needles with 75 stitches, which resulted in very nice striping. The top is what I call a five-part swirl top - five decreases every round. That gives a relatively flat top to the hat.

Yesterday I switched from hats to scarves, or at least to A scarf. I'll probably make a hat to match it. I had to go to the hospital for a bone scan and knew that I'd have a two-hour wait while whatever substance they injected into my spread throughout my body. I thought a scarf would be a better project for that time. I'm using Brunswick Quickmist in a faded rose color. I have no idea how long that yarn has been in my stash. It's acrylic, but is quite soft and slightly fuzzy. I'm using a modified bamboo stitch for it with three plain rows between the pattern rows. I like the way it's turning out.

When I first went into the hospital, one of the men who frequents the Senior Center (where I used to work) was in the cafeteria having breakfast, so I went in to say hello. After registering and getting the injection, I went back to the cafeteria, and another Senior Center regular was there having breakfast. I guess that's where a bunch of the old men go every morning. I got coffee (it's free!) and a muffin, and sat there eating and knitting for about an hour and a half. Then I went back near the Radiology department and talked to one of the 'pink ladies' who lives a mile down the road from me. She said she had wondered why my lights were on already when she passed my house.

We finally had a sunny day today - well, until mid-afternoon anyway. I don't know how much rain we've had in the last week, but I know that the gullies in my driveway have rearranged themselves a little. And for a couple of days my herb garden was a pond! The Ohio River is above flood stage at Cairo (that's pronounced kay-ro) IL, which is less than 30 miles from here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knitting from my Stash

Three more hats from my stash. With limited mobility in my left arm, I don't feel like making the mittens I had really planned to work on this month. The one in the middle was done yesterday and the other two today. They're all experiments of one sort or another. I guess the green in the 'quilting' on the one on the left is too close in value (am I using the correct term?) to the dark plum to show up. The tweed stitch I used on the one in the middle mixed the colors of the Red Heart color Grape Ivy up very nicely. The hat with the ear flaps is also Grape Ivy. On 74 stitches in stockinette stitch, the colors really pooled! All the blue and lavendar are on the other side. These are all for charity.

Now I need to look through a couple of stitch dictionaries to decide what else I want to try.

I was just startled by Dominic's alarm clock - he doesn't want to miss the Eagles game! I'm glad he set the alarm instead of depending on me to wake him.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The Octopus was well received at the shower last night. Being a knitting group, there were many handknit gifts - blankets, sweaters, hats. I took a couple of pictures, but they didn't look good once I transferred them to the computer, so I deleted them.

Dominic was my chauffeur, since I don't think I should drive with such limited use of my left arm. We met at a coffee shop, so he just took a book along and sat in a corner reading. He said one woman asked him if he was a knitter. I told him he should have said, "Oh yes, I made this sweater (he was wearing one I had knit of my handspun)." However, he was honest and told her he was just my driver.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Three is the Magic Number

At least that's what it seemed like today at the clinic. Since Thursday night, I've been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder with limited mobility of that arm (but I can still knit). Saturday I noticed a lump on the neck end of the left collarbone. I called then to see who the 'doctor-on-duty' was, but since it was one I don't care for, I decided to wait until today and see my regular doctor.

When the nurse called me in, she asked if I thought X-rays should be done. I said probably and showed her the lump. She sent me across to X-ray, and they took three pictures. When the doctor saw me and then saw the X-rays, she wanted other views, so I went back to X-ray, where they took three more pictures. None of these show anything wrong (of course, I've heard that she's not the best at reading X-rays, but the radiologist will review them). She is going to order a CT scan, and also refer me to a new arthritis specialist in town. On the way out, she had me go to the lab, where they took three vials of blood for testing.

Finished Projects

I finished the mittens and matching hat today. When I asked Dominic if the hat was cute, he said NO, but he put it on his head and wanted me to take a picture of him. I like the way that variegated yarn looks in linen stitch. I think I'll try it in several other stitch patterns as well.
The hat and mittens are for a child, of course. They'll go to some social service agency to be given to someone who needs them.

Friday, January 5, 2007

C'est Finis

I finished the octopus yesterday. I think it turned out pretty well. It's now in a gift bag, waiting for the shower next Tuesday evening. It's bigger than I thought, but by the time the baby is walking well, he'll be able to carry it around.

Country Living

I wish I'd been quicker on the draw with the camera about half an hour ago. I looked out the window and a minivan was driving slowly by with the back hatch open. A man was sitting inside holding the reins of two horses that were trotting along behind.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


Isn't he cute! I gave him a face last night. The eyes are fabric appliqued on; the mouth is embroidered with yarn. Those pink and blue 'pins' are holding the bottom to the main piece. I'll sew them together today, leaving a space open for stuffing. I have one more leg to knit. Then I'll wash all the pieces, stuff them, assemble it, and find a bag, some tissue paper and a gift card (all of which should be in the weaving room closet). I'll post a picture of the completed project.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

This is what it looked like from my front porch yesterday afternoon. Today it is cloudy. One of my reasons eleven years ago for moving to this end of the state was to get into the eastern part of a time zone, so I wouldn't have to wait until 8 o'clock for the sun to come up in December and January. Little did I know that many years the sun doesn't show itself much in December and January. I discovered that the first year I was in 'the Purchase' and it's happening again this year.

Now to show the works in progress at year end/beginning. Mittens I cast on yesterday because I wanted to see what this yarn (cheap, worsted-weight acrylic) looks like in linen stitch. I like it! These mittens are for charity. The thumbs will be in garter stitch. I'm using US size 5 needles. Next up - the socks for Alyssa to match the ones I made for Lexi. Lexi likes short socks, so I only worked about an inch of the lace pattern before starting the heel. Alyssa's wants hers about eight inches from top to bottom of heel. The heels and toes will be solid brown. Those are my old Rhodo-Cristal Nacre needles, 2 mm (US size 0) in a nice sunny yellow. I love these needles for socks. They have a metal wire in the middle - they'll bend a little, but are not likely to break. This is a bit of the bedspread I'm crocheting as a wedding gift. It's in Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Thread - size 10 crochet cotton, using a size 5 steel hook. Each piece takes about two hours. I've done 88 so far. If I do one each day, maybe I'll get it done by Yvette's third anniversary this fall.
So far this stuffed toy is a quintopus, but by next Tuesday he should be an octopus and ready to present at the baby shower/knitting guild meeting. It's from worsted weight cotton I've had forever. I'm using US size 4 needles, so it's very tightly knit. That's a bit hard on the hands, but then it's a small project. The pattern is in Kath Dalmeny's World of Knitted Toys. I altered it a bit so I could knit in the round and not have all those seams.
And this project I set aside a couple of months ago to work on other more pressing projects. It's a 'log cabin' small blanket for charity. The reason I started it, other than wanting to do a 'log cabin' was to use up certain yarn from my stash. I then discovered that I didn't have enough of the forest green (it looks like black in the picture), so I had to buy more! But my overall stash will be reduced when I finish it. There will be twelve squares; ten are done so far. Each starts with red as the 'home fire' with forest green, midnight blue and amethyst as the 'logs' - two squares each of the six possibilities. Worsted weight acrylic, US size 9 needles.And finally, some of my granddaughter's handiwork. Isn't he cute?