Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sort of an Update

Since there was so little knitting content in my previous post, it seemed only proper that I get a second post up this week--WITH knitting content!

Here you see the progress on my Great American Aran Afghan. The square on the left is Barbara Selesnick, found on page 16. On the right is Hanna Burns, found on page 32. This square (Hanna Burns) claims to be "easy." They lie. Big time. It was not easy. The third square is Ada Fenick, found on page 46. So far (and I do knock on wood as I say this) it has been easy. Who knows what joys lurk in the later rows.

We are teaching a class from the Patons Upside Downers book at the shop this month. Here is my progress so far. I'm using the number of stitches for a size 2; but the yarn is an older bulky wool and I'm using the proper size needles. I THINK this is going to turn out to be an adult large now. Sure hope I have sufficient wool to complete the sweater. The wool has been laughing at me since stitch one but I've persevered and forced the wool to do my will. I'm not sure I could stand the humiliation of having the wool stand victorious over my poor, defeated body as I struggle through the frog pond.

All other knitting has been studiously ignored while my brain attempts to find its way through the ever-present fog. Only three more days of antiobiotics, and hopefully I'll be in the home stretch.

A girl CAN dream, right?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oy vey!

The past couple of weeks have been beyond interesting at my house, and hence the absence of blogging. I do apologise.

To bring you up to date ... My doctor has been quite obsessed with my alleged high blood pressure. She prescribed some meds three years ago, which have done nothing to bring down the numbers she sees. She asked me to purchase a home monitor two years ago, which I did.

The first prescribed med. was hydrochlorothiazide--a water pill. We started at a low dose and when that had no effect, climbed higher. Still no effect. Well, other than the fatigue that has been sucking my patience and body dry. After all, just who sleeps 16 or 17 hours a day anyway? Well, other than me, not many folks that I know.

When confronted with the actual numbers of hours of sleep I required instead of the vague "fatigue" word, she conceded that perhaps my need for sleep was excessive. So she prescribed an ASE-inhibitor by the name of Lisinopril. Again, at a low dose, but ...

I am amazed, totally amazed at the speed with which life changed. The lisinopril kicked in and my blood pressure dropped. Dramatically. As recorded on the home monitor. Unfortunately, so did the side effects. Major and uncomfortable. Nausea, dizziness, light-headedness. What I thought were unrelated physical manifestations were chills, insomnia, huge coughing fits for absolutely no reason and with no productive outcome, and emotional melt-downs. Turns out that everything but the chills were related to the lisinopril. Chills? Well, wouldn't YOU be cold if your blood pressure was somewhere around 100/65?

At the last check-up on March 5, the doctor and I discussed the situation. Turns out that the home monitor readings don't count. Are, in fact, worthless, because she didn't take them. (Why I got to spend $100 buying the blasted monitor I still don't understand, especially if she is just gonna ignore the numbers.) I had already decided to stop taking the lisinopril, a decision with which she agreed. Fortunately! Now I just had to wait for the meds to work their way through and out the body.

Thursday evening (the 13th), I ended up going to the local emergency room. I had a pain in my right side that basically had me hunched over and not breathing. The diagnosis? Well ... it MIGHT be a fractured/dislocated rib caused by coughing so hard; it MIGHT be pneumonia because there was shading in the lung on the x-ray; it MIGHT be a kidney infection since there was blood in the urine. Sweet. Got some lovely antibiotics and some of the good (pain) drugs and sent home. Things are improving, albeit slowly. Monday morning I get to go for an ultrasound and then we'll see how things go from there.

Because of the lack of sleep and brain fog I have been experiencing, there really hasn't been much knitting done around here. By me, anyway. It was March Break for the daughter, and her brother was willing to come visit. This is the fabulous sight I saw on some evenings here at my house: Jeffrey may look a wee bit perturbed at his knitting, but the reality is that he was concentrating very hard. Such determination!

He was here at Christmas time and started and completed his first project: a hat!
Inspired by his success, he went searching for a special hat for a young lady friend of his. She performs dances wearing a black dress ... and needed a flapper-style hat to complete the outfit. He found a pattern, his step-mother provided the yarn, and he went to work.
The flapper hat as modeled by his younger sister. Turned out quite well, in fact.

He wasn't done knitting, however, so he browsed around the shop and decided to make himself a sweater. He selected a pattern, I suggested yarn, and he has begun the adventure of a lifetime. He is becoming a Knitter. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I made contact with a friend of the Yarn Harlot's who lives in his neighbourhood, and inquired about male-friendly shops and knitting groups. He now has a knitting buddy nearby. How cool is that?!

Time to take another of those good drugs and hit the hay. Tomorrow is another day, and since I'm starting to feel better, I'm actually looking forward to it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

New boots, how do I love thee?

I love thee from the tips of your wonderfully roomy toes to the top of your padded ankles ...

I love thee for the wonderfully secure three-pin bindings upon your soles ...
I love thee for the cool and flashy laces in your eyelets ...
I love thee for your wonderfully sturdy arch supports ...
I love thee for the way you keep me standing upon my skiis and gliding (somewhat) gracefully down the hills ...
I love thee for the way you keep me from getting bruises (unlike your predecessors!) ...
(That was one nasty tumble, by the way. Doug feared that I would be giving up skiing again, despite the fact that I snarled through clenched teeth that I really WAS having fun.)

I love thee for the hours that I spend knitting on my way to and from the Leslie Frost Centre ...
This is Bamboo On Your Toes from S.R. Kertzer--a delightful experience in knitting once you get past the casting on. The yarn tends to unply as I cast on, something to do with the fact that I cast on left left-handed and pull from the centre of the ball, no doubt.

PS--Note to Elizabeth Barret Browning: Thanks for letting me borrow your lines!