Another Hobby Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's Catch-Up Time!

As I've mentioned before, I've got quite a backlog of posts to write:

I fell behind due to this knee injury and the demands that have been made on my time and my psyche because of it. At least one of those posts dates all the way back to early February, but I did quite well staying on top of things for the first few months of my injury, so it wasn't until April that things fell apart completely.

Many if not most of the overdue posts are Thank You notes!! with pictures and all.. others are posts about things I've done--Norwescon, Black Sheep Gathering, a dye workshop with Judith McKenzie...

All in all I know of at least 35 posts I have intended to write and don't want to forget. At one post a day (if I were able to stay on that schedule,) getting them all complete would take at least a month! And that's not factoring in the new posts that will need to be written!

Please be patient with me, and please watch for your name in glowing recognition! If you think I'm forgetting you, feel free to drop me an email and let me know! I really don't want to forget *anyone,* and I'd gladly welcome a gentle prompt.

Here's the plan:

I've written one post on each slip of paper. I'm going to put them all into a jar, and draw one at random each time I sit down to write at my blog. ... I'm going to aim for one-per-day, but there will be days I don't manage to write one. Hopefully there will also be days in which I get to finish more than one!

We're on a roll again, people.. fasten your seatbelts and hang on for the ride. ;)

SP8! You Weren't Kidding!

When my SP8 spoiler wrote a week ago to say it was a good thing I'd sent out so many packages because they'd just about make room for what was coming in... well... I laughed and wondered if maybe it were an exaggeration. It wasn't!

She admonished me against lifting the box myself: for the sake of my healing knee, I was to enlist the aid of my mother and my husband to get the box inside the door and get it opened.

Wait til you see what was inside!! I've only opened the one primary huge thing, and OHMYWORD!!! How COULD you??? I *love* him!! :) lovehimlovehimlovehim!!

And he wasn't the only thing??????

Now, I thought that *I* knew how to go completely overboard and spoil someone silly... (and I think that people who've been spoiled by me might know what I mean!) .. but this goes above and beyond and it sets a new bar!

On top of everything you've done already? I just... I just... wow. Thank you!!!

And there is more! :)

Since I got my doctor's clearance to start PT again, and to be up and around on my leg as much as it will tolerate, I'm back into the too many places to be mode, and moving so slowly that three appointments takes all day! (argh) .. SO--I'm gonna open one of the package components each day until I run out. ... should last at least a week! (I didn't count)

THANK YOU!! ThankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankYOU!! :)

Pictures when I get a chance. argh.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Knee Injury Update: Progress Report Good! :)

I saw my surgeon this morning, and he dutifully clipped the ends off of my dissolving sutures. Harrumpf! I could have done that!

He showed me pictures of the inside of my knee, which are surprisingly not as gross as I would have expected. I expected at least a little blood, but they pump the knee so full of saline that it acts as a kind of pressure-tourniquet that keeps the capillaries from leaking. Kind-of like how tied pressure creates a resist for dyeing.

He's very pleased with my healing progress: he says my range of motion is ahead of schedule and looking good. :) I got cleared to start walking around a bit (as my knee permits/tolerates), but am required to wear my brace for all weight-bearing actions. What happens is that the quadriceps shut down somewhat in response to the injury (an automatic system reaction), and because of that reaction, they are rather weakened, and even worse, unpredictable. I might do nothing wrong at all, but have that knee buckle because of the quadricep's current condition. And the brace will give extra support for catching that weight and will keep the knee in alignment. It'll take several more weeks before I am allowed to bear weight without the brace.

But I do get to sleep without the brace! yay!! And I do get to shed the compression bandage that made me itch so much! And I get to shower again! (without taping my leg up in plastic and trying to keep it outside the water zone...)

I start physical therapy again on Thursday for my leg, and I am cleared to get back to the gym for upper-body fitness training again at will. :)

I finished sock #1 from Indie's ball of yarn, and am 1.5 inches into it's mate. :)
I switched from size 10 needles to size 13 needles for the garter-stitch shawl I am making from the Noro, and am much happier with the resultant drape.
Pictures soon. Much too sleepy tonight.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mia, How Could You?!

I *love* the sock yarn!! (pictures soon, like all the others)

I thought you already sent me my get-well yarn! How fabulous to have Another!!

I think I have the network problem worked-around.. I should be able to get pictures up soon. :)

But right now I am working on a super-secret project, and I can't be interrupted!

Tomorrow.. Tomorrow the thank-you notes start coming. ;)

Knee Injury Update: Sutures Come Out Tomorrow!

My post-surgery follow-up appointment is tomorrow morning! Not only do my sutures come out, but I get to take home a souveneir CD of my surgery!! (Ewww!)

It's the 11th day from surgery today, and I am feeling so much better! I still have pain, and I still need to spend most of my day(s) on the couch with my leg elevated (at least until tomorrow morning when (I hope!) he tells me I can start walking again and stuff...) but it's a lower-level pain.. more like what I'd been living with in May and June, and my mother has been quite pleasant company, so I'm getting along rather well! :)

I'll post more details tomorrow evening after the check-up!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Network Trouble Today

has made it difficult for me to access the pictures I've got ready to post about or to put up new pictures. I don't think I'll have a chance to get that particular problem fixed until next week some time, so I'll have to make do with text-posts until then. :)

I guess I've got a thousand words to write since I can't put a picture up, hmm?

So It Turns Out...

yesterday I had my first guest!! (not counting my mother who has been helping since just prior to surgery)

My first real calls-up-on-the-phone(well, email actually)-to ask-if-I'd-like-a-visitor-tonight Visitor! :)

And she brought Yummy Snacks!! from Uwajimaya grocery (if you don't have one near you, they are this fabulous Asian market with oh-so-fabulous fascinating treats like mochi ice cream and banana samosa! ... and oh-so-acquired-taste things like rose flavored toasted melon seeds!)

We had a wonderful supper of try it and see if you like it foods (most were a smashing hit. The lady has good taste!)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday:

Today I am sore. Very sore. But I finally have come out of the pain-and-medicine-induced fog enough to start wandering about on the internet, looking at friends' blogs again (which I haven't done since April, please forgive me!) I am looking forward to finding out what you have all been up to!

I also have *almost* enough energy and coherent thought to start writing some of my LONG OVERDUE blog posts! Things like *proper* thank you notes with pictures and stuff! (of which I have a backlog dating back into January, can you believe it?) Thank you so very very much to everyone who has stayed in contact with me through these difficult times, and hopefully I will be able to do wonderful stuff again soon! Like walk without crutches, eat without nausea, and sleep without pain.

I am turning the heel on my first Indie sock! :)
I have completed one ball of my 3-ball Kureyon shawl! :)

I am *really* liking this GetWell yarn stash! :) :) :) My very own special wonderful pile of hugs!!

Oh! and thank you, Juli! for the fabulous books you sent! Erma Bombeck is a wonderful writer and humorist and is certain to bring me smiles despite my physical discomfort and pain! and I am looking forward to the Sudoku puzzles when my hands need a break from knitting, and as a wind-down before bed activity! :) How fabulous of you to spoil -me- when I'm YOUR SP8 spoiler! ;)

Hugs all.. something new tomorrow.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Knee Update: Post Surgery

Yes, they gave me some pain meds: Oxycodone which I can take 1f tab every two hours as needed, plus some tylenol with codeine which I can stack in between the oxycodone if something's really awful. For the most part, it's tapering off quickly. Which is to say I only curse half the alphabet now instead of running through all 26 letters and starting again when I need to limp my way to the restroom. Lying here doing nothing is relatively tolerable. achey, but not exploding pain. Trying to change the compression bandage, on the other hand, is quite a different experience that I would wish on no one.

I've mostly been exhausted. Between the pain killers causing drowsiness and the benadryl causing drowsiness (did I mention I'm having an itch-reaction to the elastic in the compression bandages? ..the same reason I do not wear elasticized thigh-highs no matter how cute they look.) I have been too exhausted to do much of anything- too exhausted to read e-mail or update blog posts, too exhausted to help put together a puzzle, too exhausted even to knit! argh. But I have been able to sleep.

Sleep is a real blessing- in sleep I rarely notice the pain from my knee. .. except when I jolt awake, straining every injured tissue in that poor knee! Jolting awake happens about every two hours. Just in time to take my next pain killer, really.

Remember--I did not take *any* painkillers with the initial injury until it actually got diagnosed 7 weeks after the injury occurred. Numbness and shock were my painkillers of choice then, and I think they'd do a better job now, if I could figure out a way to activate them instead! .. it's no wonder most people go straight to the doctor when some sort of strain occurrs. .. If they have to endure the initial pain the way I'm enduring this pain, it's no wonder at all. Ouch.

D'y'know that pain tolerance evidentally runs in my family? I don't recall what my mother said about her own incidents, but I do remember what she told me about her father (my grandfather). Grandfather evidentally was standing in the wrong place behind the car when grandmother was backing out to take everyone for dinner. Grandfather got his leg run over. (upper thigh, I believe), and insisted that he would NOT go to the hospital for treatment, he wanted to go to dinner. And that was that. The tire imprint, I am told, was still visible on his leg three weeks later.

Well, anyway.. I don't want to be making anyone sick with these posts. I'm doing okay. There is pain, but for the most part it is manageable, and it is fading. I can move my ankle today. :) I have a new, clean dressing. :) I knitted a few rows. :) :)

Actually, I discovered that while the pain is high and the drugs are in my system, teensy little size 0 sock needles are not the kindest friends. So I've got Indie's sock yarn on those, but I've also cast on the Noro from my SP6 spoiler! I've started out making a basic garter-stitch shawl, with some basic interest coming from how the increases are made. Size ten needles! woohoo!

Also, a big thank you to my August Sock Yarn swap pal! :) She sent me a beautiful ocelot-colored yarn and an ocelot-fabric drawstring bag to carry it in! :) Oh, how I can hardly wait to get started with it as well!!

I had been hoping to enter some exhibits in the state fair this year, but with the knee injury and surgery, I didn't have time to do so. :( I guess I wait for next year instead.

Thank you everyone for your enduring support and encouragement. :) Every single comment or e-mail is treasured and helps me get well sooner. :)

hugs all. Must sleep again.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Knee Update: Home From Surgery

This is a Horrible, HORRIBLE pain.

It's a different kind of pain than anything I have experienced before, and it is truly awful. Really, truly, awful.

I am having trouble sleeping. Unlike a sudeen sport-induced injury, this surgical pain does not come with the dulling edge of shock.

I am hurting in a way I've never hurt before. It's awful. Really trully awful.


I am home again after a very successful arthroscopic surgery. No miniscus repair, which means I should be on the quicker path to healing. Tonight will be the most painful night, and if I were able, I would be asleep right no just to avoid the pain. Unfortunately, I already slept most of the day, and I am having a little difficulty actually staying asleep now.

Pain pain pain pain pain.


Oh! so I got home from the hospital, and there was this **HUGE** immense balloon bouquet flanking my driveway! Gorgeous!! *really* made me smile. :) I can't find a note, so I am puzzled as to which one of you absolutely darling angels was so thoughtful and inventive! I do consider myself truly fortunate to have such wonderful Blog friends that it really could have been any of you! :) .... Very appreciated. Absolutely awesome.


And Zann!! You are *such* a sweetie! The treasures you sent are truly divine--a mere reflection of your sparkling and richly caring soul. :) Thank you!


pain pain pain pain pain. .. but the benadryl I took might help me sleep, so I'm going to turn off the light and try again.

Hugs, all.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Self-Portrait Thursday: Knee

It's all about the knee today. Midnight: no more food, no more water. I've already been restricted from vitamin E and Advil for the past three days. The ice-pack people were here today to show me how to use a velcro-on waterbed-like knee wrap that hooks up to a cooler of ice water. I'm sure glad I got that tutorial. Don't know how I would have figured it all out myself! (rolling eyes) .. the thing is pretty nifty, though... or it seems like it will be, anyway. I have also rented a hospital bed for the recovery so I don't get my knee bumped in the night by my sweetie. Plus, I can elevate my knee or sit up (ish) to read with a touch of a button. Pretty cool, for all it's worth.

I'm super-aware of my limitations today.. of how much my knee still hurts, still slips, still restrains my movements. It'll be nice to get that fixed, even if it does hurt more and restrain my movement more tomorrow. In six months I should be able to do the things I enjoy again: dancing, ice skating, running along the beach, playing frisbee, walking a dog (I miss my doggie), climbing trees... going up and down stairs without thinking through every single step, walking at regular speed up and down hills... six months.

I wish I'd been able to get myself better set up for recovery. With Beth's packing, departure, etc. I didn't get to spend that time setting up for my own needs. Time ran short before I got the things I need completed. I'll survive just fine--but comfort will be far below what I had hoped it would be.

Keith is a blessing. Every single day is easier and better because he is part of my life. He does little things every day to help me cope, to help me get ready, even just to be there. It would be a very different, much darker experience without him.

Mother has been quite helpful as well. Together we have put as much of the house as we could into order following Beth's departure and the chaos left behind by the move. I caught up on laundry yesterday for the first time since February. I have a clean (if still cluttered) bathroom to use. We have made a little mini-suite of my bedroom with the mini-fridge from Keith's office and a hotplate. She even made banana bread!! Yay! It was yummy. I have been saving those over-ripe bananas in my freezer for months now in just such a dream that banana bread would magically appear (I asked Beth, but she was busy).. and it did! :) yummy yummy banana bread! .. unfortuately, we ate it all, so I don't get any after surgery tomorrow. :P

But I do have a box from Zann! A box that arrived two days ago -- I haven't had any time to relax and open it leisurely, so now I get to open it as a Home Again Get Well package when I get out of sedation enough to remember how to remove tape from a cardboard box. ;)

And today I read the Get Well card that Laura sent!! :) Thank you so much my fab Brit friend!! :)

Things could be better, but I'm not going to be talking about the things that have gone wrong along the way. Right now I have time and energy only for the investments that bring me the most support and healing. I am very fortunate indeed to have so many wonderful Blog-friends offering comfort and support and encouragement and yarn!

(I cheated just a little.. I cast on one of my Get Well skeins tonight so that I would have it tomorrow morning in the waiting rooms. I pulled it at random out of the bag of Get Well and Exchange yarns, and it was the one from Laura! The first of the Get Well yarns to arrive in the post lucks out to be the first Get Well yarn I knit from!! :) ..and I just have to say.. while I loved the colorway, I do sheepishly admit I was also a bit skeptical, wondering if it was going to end up being garish. ... but now that I am watching it knit up, I *****LOVE***** it!!! It's so much more fabulous than I ever expected! .. bright and cheerful and just the thing to bring me luck tomorrow in the Operating Room. (Not that I'll be able to bring the yarn in with me.. it will have to wait for me in the waiting room with my mother and my husband.)

I will get some sleep as soon as I have finished writing this post.

6:30 AM, wake up and shower with special antiseptic soap. (had to do that already once tonight.) .. No personal care products of any kind--no shampoo, no deodorant, no makeup...
...and remember not to eat or drink anything. Not even enough to take medicines. They'll have to wait until evening.

8:30 AM, at the hands of the anesthesiologist.

10:30 (ish) to 12:30 (ish) on the operating table.

12:30-2:30 (ish) in recovery waiting for the anesthesia to wear off enough to go home.

I get my own copy of the operation on DVD to take home as a souveneir.

After that, I can't say. I don't know when I'll be well enough to be online again, but you can bet I'll post a note again as soon as I can.

Hugs all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Boxes

It took two full days to get those boxes filled and ready for shipping!

If you are a recipient of one of them, consider yourself very lucky indeed! I ran out of time before I ran out of people I could be sending things to!

Surgery is day after tomorrow.

hugs all...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thank You, Laura! Thank You, Zann!!

Oh how I do love seeing the Queen's own portrait in my mailbox! To-date it always means something has come in from my most wonderful SP5 recipient! Laura was *SO* much fun to spoil, and we have kept on with a bit of a friendship ever since! :) Today I got a card!! I haven't opened it yet, but I am almost certain it must be a get-well card! How super-thoughtful!!! :) .. especially since the housewarming box I keep promising to send is still sitting on my dining-room table tonight, not *QUITE* ready to go out yet. ... and she moved in March. Doh! ...

If nothing interferes, the box(es!) will go out on Wednesday. Before Surgery. I am determined!

And also in my mailbox was a box!!! a box from my SP7 recipient, Zann!! :) Two great big fabulous hugs in postal format! I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful surprise today. :) ... I haven't opened the box yet, so I am not sure what it holds, but I am absolutely certain that it is 100 percent wonderful! :)

Thank you, Laura!
Thank you, Zann!!

I think I will open them both tomorrow when I get home from running my errands. Tonight I am utterly exhausted and need to get some sleep before tomorrow's early onset. I will save the surprises until I get a chance to relax with them and really savor the moment!

Hugs all!

Knee Injury: Update-Surgery on Thursday

That's right, I have only two more days to try to get things done before I go in for knee surgery on Thursday (August 17th).

I wanted to post a Self-Portrait Tuesday picture last week: a picture taken out the window of the car driving at freeway speeds so it would be all blurry and hard to figure out. That's been my life for the most recent couple of weeks, which explains why I (still) haven't been posting. I must admit, I'm really looking forward to the recovery weeks (except for the pain) when I can relax and take it easy and knit from the wonderful stash of Get Well yarns (that I still need to write thank you notes for!) and write blog posts (like get-well-yarn thank you posts, SP exchange thank you posts, Sockapaloooza thank you post! Norwescon review post, etc, etc, etc!) and read library books (I am *so* glad I bought my alumni membership! University libraries rock.)

Tomorrow I have more errands to run. Wednesday I have stuff to do around the house. Thursday I spend all day at the hospital (but I should be sleeping at home that night), Friday I find out whether post-surgery pain really *is* more intense than the original injury (oh, I hope not...)... after that, I'm not really sure. I'll write as soon as I can.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Broken Spindle: Mostly Okay

The join slipped somewhere in the mending process, and now it's offset and jagged. It'll function okay, especially if I put a wrap around the joint so that the jagged edges don't catch on fine yarn. But it will never be as balanced or as beautiful as it was.

It makes a good self-portrait piece these days.

(If the join hadn't slipped, it would have been almost as good as new. Click here for details on the repair process)

SP8 box 2 !

I think that I also didn't get around to showing pictures of the absolutely AMAZING box of goodies that arrived from my SP8 spoiler just before I headed to Portland. .. Hours before I headed off to Portland, in fact.

Let me just say that had not been the best day for me (in a long string of not-the-best-day s) and your package, dear spoiler, made me smile to a depth I'd been wondering whether I was still capable of.

I almost missed the package, actually.. I'd planned to leave the house a day earlier, but I fell behind schedule (happens a lot lately. Knee slows things waaaaay down.) so I was still home, packing, when the box arrived!

The first thing I remember thinking when I opened it was, "How does so much goodness fit in a box this small?!"

And then I started unwrapping. Could it get any better??!

I just *love* this water bottle!! It shows a sheep with it's fleece being unravelled into a ball of yarn, and the motto above says, "Feeling Unravelled? Knit!"

I haven't been without it since it arrived. I cannot tell you how many people have complimented me on it! It has been drooled upon by spinners in Portland and in Snohomish, laughed at by exercizers at the gym, and winced at by bookstore patrons. It is my very favorite accessory these days, and I really love the pop-up-top to drink from!

Then I found These!! Rosewood needles!!! :) Oh how I have drooled over sets of needles like these in the stores, but I never quite worked up a reason to pamper myself with them! I do hope you got a good sale on these treasures!! they don't come cheap! (hughughughughug!) ... I think I am going to knit myself a stole for winter on these.. just because I love them so much! :)

And stitch markers!!! I do love stitch markers... :) .. and these are just the bomb! "beg of rnd", "ssk", "k2tog" !! so clever! ... and gorgeous besides! :)

At some point you have to start wondering how much generosity and insight one person can be blessed with! Every single thing my SP8 spoiler has ever sent has been absolutely knock-down perfect! ... and there was still more to unwrap! No kidding!!

Two balls of sock yarn!!! yay sock yarn! I love the colorway. :) These two skeins will go into my special Knee-Recovery knitting box! ... at this point I'll be able to knit my way through the painful part even if it lasts a year! ;)

And the latest issue of Interweave Knits! :) I just LOVE how my SP8 spoiler thought to include one issue in each box! I never know for sure if a magazine is going to arrive, or which one it will be.. and each one has had at least one pattern I am just itching to start on! Last box had that beautiful lace shawl...

This one has an oh-so-cute shell! I can't see finishing it before the end of this summer... but now I am already looking forward to next summer! :)

And Before I Forget...

When I got home from Portland, this was also waiting for me:

A postcard from Hearst Castle! (My spoiler went on vacation recently, and she thought of me while she was travelling!!)

Two utterly fabulous cards! (where do you find them??! They are terrific!)

and a picture of a garden bench in the shape of a peacock!! Wow!! super! ... I could order it online if I wanted to... for only about 2,500.00 USD! ... hmmm... bench.. yarn. .. hmmm... bench.. loom. ...hmmm...bench.. groceries.

darn that bench is tempting! ;)

Thank you for sharing, SP! I probably won't ever get the bench, but I sure do love the thought!! :)

And A Day Later...

He (my husband, Keith) helped me put together this:

for this:

(Cinnamon, soaking in the tub to cool off)


I am pet-sitting my friend from Portland's angora bunny for a few weeks during the heat wave and while she travels a bit.

It helps ease the pain of the absence of my dog. Maybe some day I will get another one. Right now I am in way too much pain.

Welcome Home

The night I returned from Portland, I asked for a welcome-home party. I'd been asking for some sort of party in my honor to lift my spirits and confirm my friendships since Memorial Day Weekend. Instead of having friendships and support confirmed, I found them collapsing and turning away. That's why I went to Portland in the first place and stayed for a week and a half --to give the drama in Seattle a chance to die down a bit.

But on the 24th, a gesture or two was made that kindled hope. And I asked (again) for a party in my honor-- this time a welcome-home party.

And once again, certain persons refused that request. 4 hours extra was apparently too long for those persons to invest in me. They had other things to do with their time. .. and with the time that has elapsed since.

On the other hand...

My husband loves me!! :)
When I did arrive home (at 2am after driving for 4 hours) this is what I found waiting for me:

A dozen red roses!

A floor full of festive balloons!!

and the cutest mylar balloon ever!!!

(I took one of the roses with me to the room I stayed in for the dye workshop. :)

And of course, best of all, my husband himself with a great big huge enfolding hug and the words, "I missed you. Welcome home."

I am making a lot of decisions right now about who will hold my trust, who I will share my heart and soul with, and who will be active influences in my future. I am unceasingly glad that my husband remains at the top of that list. :)

Judith MacKenzie Dye Workshop

was worth every penny.

I'll get around to putting up a longer review at some point.. but until then, here is a tantalizing glimpse at what we did:

color-wheel in roving: yellow through fuschia into purple. .. if time had permitted, I would have loved to keep going through blue and green back into yellow again!

Self-Portrait Tuesday

Lately I feel: completely unravelled. So much of what I have cared about, invested myself in, worked hard at has been ripped apart at the seams, unravelled tug by excruciating tug.