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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Op #2

Saw the doc for my second post op visit, but my vision with the "new" eye is still blurry.  Turns out that it is because I have an astigmatism.  So an adjustment with lasik is up next.  The second cataract surgery is postponed until the lasik can be done sometime in the next couple of months or so. 

The good news is that I am again doing handstands and headstands, weight training, etc.  It feels good to work out again.  The first thing I did was get into the swimming pool. 

I heard from old friends in Florida today.  So glad to get in touch with them.  She -- an old high school classmate; he -- her son whom I have known about 10 years.  We visited each other in our respective cities many years back, and then lost track of each other again.  Thanks to modern social media, we are in touch again.  Sometimes technology can be a pain, and then again it is great.  He is one of the technology field's professionals, and as soon as he got my message, he looked me up in other ways and found this blog.  Hi, Carole and Mike!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cataracts and Inversions

Day 2 - Returned to the doc's office for the "day after" post op visit.  No problems, just routine, but I took along a card with my list of questions:  When can I swim?  Can I bend over now?  Weight training?  Eye makeup and removal?  Inversions? 

I can swim and weight train again in one more week.  Gently apply and very gently remove eye makeup.  Yes to bending over.  Inversions?  No one had ever asked him that before.  He was amused and asked me to wait another week and we will discuss it then. 

As promised, I came home from the OR yesterday and got right back to my knitting, albeit with magnifiers balanced on the end of my nose.  As also promised, I have included the large-lemon sized cap for the NICU, as well as a few others that I have made over the last few days.  This has really turned into a fun thing to do with remnants (45-50 yards) from my stash.  I still look sadly on the tiny cap that is the size of the large lemon.  (Note: this is not what I would call a large lemon, but the only one in the refrigerator.)  Such a sick baby that will get this cap.  That is the only thing that bothers me about this project, but I trust that a little one will get better with a little something extra to keep him/her warm and growing. 

Now I am knitting without magnifiers, but with my glasses -- still have the other eye to go. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cataract Surgery and knitting

Cataract surgery has made amazing strides.  I was fully conscious.  The eye was anesthetized with drops, over in 8 minutes -- and that included the time to wheel me into the OR, and all the other preparation. 

I was anxious about not being able to knit during this time.  There is a big patch over the eye which keeps me from using my glasses and knitting one-eyed.  I found that a pair of magnifiers with straight ear pieces solved the problem somewhat.  I can knit, but I would be up a creek if I dropped a stitch or split the yarn.  Maybe I should stop . . . fat chance!  Pink baby cap here I come. 

Speaking of baby caps, I have 5 finished caps in the bag for the NICU, and the 6th is on the needles.  Needless to say, I have memorized the pattern.  Last night, I emailed my LYS to tell them what I was doing and asked them to select some appropriate yarns for me.  After the followup visit with the surgeon tomorrow, Husker and I will whip by there -- minus the eye patch -- to add some yarns to my NICU stash.  Last night, I made a lemon-sized cap in Panda Silk, a Crystal Palace yarn.  It came out beautifully, but it is so-o-o small.  Bless those babies.  I will include a picture later -- can't see well enough to do that just yet. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NICU to the Rescue

After making the newborn Tuva hats, I dug deeper into my stash and found quite a bit of fingering weight and/or baby yarn that I could turn into baby caps.  Then a light bulb went off.  I met someone during the summer who makes caps for preemies in her local hospital's NICU unit.  (NICU = Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  Having been in our local Cook's Children's Hospital -- including the NICU unit -- I decided to give them a call, and to my delight, they welcome cap donations.  The nurse told me right off that they needed to fit 3 sizes:  large lemon, orange, and grapefruit.  I discovered right off that my "preemie" Tuva would probably be somewhere between orange and grapefruit.

I have also made a navy and silver-grey boy's cap that will fit an orange.  It looks white in the photo, but trust me, it is pale grey.  Please note that the colors are for our local pro football team.  The Cowboys may be losers, but they are ours. 

This was CO 72 sts of Berroco Comfort DK Sport Weight, using #3 dpn.  Credit Karen Everitt for the basic pattern on Ravelry.  It took less than an ounce of yarn, and less time than it takes to watch a football game.  Well ... Husker watches and I knit 'n' listen. 

This has become a fun stash buster.  Maybe they will let me rock a baby when I make my first delivery. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Itchy Fingers

I am between projects, but my itchy fingers just will not stop.  I found some leftover Wondersoft by Stylecraft in colorway Blossom that I used over a year ago to make a newborn baby set.  I have made a Tuva hat for another newborn as well as socks, and I am now making another Tuva hat.

This is the third Tuva that I have made, and I made a big mistake this third time because I relied upon memory.  After a few rows, I had to frog back to the ribbing and correct myself with a new start on the lacy crown.  I was getting down to a precious small amount of yarn for another hat, so it has become a preemie size.

My first Tuva was made from Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland Wool and was made with US 7 needles.  Christmas red, of course. 
One of the nice things about the Tuva pattern is that you can change needle size, yarn type and get a completely different size from preemie to adult without changing anything in the process.  You still cast on 90 stitches, and you still follow the same directions except for how many inches you make the cap before decreasing.  By the way, it is 3.5" for a newborn and 3" for a preemie. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011


When my children were young, I was a full-time mommy, and had time to make bread regularly.  Whole wheat, sourdough, fruited breads, stollen, English muffins, whatever.  Once the children were a little older, I went back to school to finish up my degree and simultaneously went back to work.  There was no longer time for bread making.

Occasionally, I would throw together a loaf, and even added focaccia to my skill set, but regular bread baking went by the wayside. 

About 10 days ago, while Husker was out of town, the "mood" hit me.  I went into the kitchen -- and without a recipe -- I started putting together a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread.  Amazingly, it came out to be as delicious a large round loaf as I remembered from years before.  The feel of the bread as I kneaded it was the same and I still recognized the feel that told me that it was ready for the next step.  I have since been mulling over Malin Elmlid's Bread Exchange on Facebook.  The whole idea of trading bread for goods/services intrigues me.  Do I want to commit myself to baking a lot and hoping that someone will offer me something in exchange?  What would I be willing to trade for my bread?  Should I use Facebook to solicit offers?  I would dearly love to hear from others about this. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Knitting Vogue's Cropped Turtleneck

Sometimes you see a pattern you want to knit, and you are disappointed that it is not a top-down one-piece project.  Well, I encountered this when I looked through Vogue Knitting's Early Fall 2011 magazine.  Since I am a semi-beginner type of knitter, it was my first experience with converting to a one-piece top-down project.  Let me back up and say it was my first successful conversion.  I attempted a garter stitch cardigan a year or so ago, but finally gave up in frustration. 

This time, I was determined enough to frog it 3 times several inches into it.  Finally, I got it right and it flowed through to the finish and I am going to wear it to work tomorrow.  See page 60 of the magazine for a comparison. 

I used Spud & Chloe's sweater in colorway Toast.  Since I wear a small, I cast on 72 sts to begin the yoke.  I made my sleeves about an inch or two longer than the Vogue pattern called for, but otherwise tried to follow the original pattern exactly.  I especially like the detail of the yoke seams.