Sunday, July 17, 2005

Quiet Day At Home #2

It's so quiet today that I don't even have a picture to go with it. We don't need one of me vacuuming, do we? Anyway that was the most exciting (and noisy) thing I did. I haven't done any more sewing yet, but I did start Kiera's hat to go with her poncho. About time — her birthday is in 3 weeks. I couldn't find a pattern I liked but I was kind of inspired by one with two "points" with pom-poms on them. Instead of decreasing for the crown part, you just knit straight and join the top with a flat seam. It's actually very simple and kind of cute in a jester-ish sort of way. So I cast on 100 stitches (which barely fits around my 3mm 16" circular needle) in the variegated yarn and am currently knitting in circular garter stitch (one row knit, one row purl). There's not much to show yet. I plan to carry on with the garter stitch for awhile and then switch to the plain yellow yarn and 3.5mm needles and continue in stockinette until it's tall enough for a hat. Then three-needle bind-off and add tassels or pom-poms in the corners and there ya go! Should go OK with the poncho anyway. Whether the Little Miss will wear it or not is another question. Pictures when I finish.

What else was I going to say? Oh yeah. Why can't that Damselfly ever stick with one thing for very long? Two reasons: one physical and one mental. (Always knew I was mental, didn't ya?) First the physical. I have some osteoarthritis in various annoying places, most notably my hands and neck. Three and a half years ago I had a pinched nerve in my neck from two vertebrae going flat that damaged the feeling in my left forefinger permanently. It's sort of tingly on the tip and the left side of my finger is mostly normal, but there's a whole section of the right side that I can't feel at all. My thumb and middle finger are also slightly affected. Now being right-handed you would think that losing the feeling in your left pointer finger wouldn't be a big deal, but you never realize how much you use something until something goes wrong with it. Plus I knit Continental-style and crochet, both of which use the left forefinger for tension, and also spin, braid, and weave, all of which are two-handed crafts. I can still function (thank heavens!) but I can't do anything fast or for very long at a time. And my bobbin lace has been put aside, at least for now. I can't grip the bobbins properly in the overhanded (picking) way of working. I'll have to learn the alternative (tossing) method — if I can. But then that uses my wrists a lot which also aren't very strong, especially the left one. What an old cripple, eh? And yes, I regularly do exercises with stretchy bands and weights and go see my physio whenever things get too annoying.

The mental reason why I flit around with my crafts is because I get bored rather easily once I see that things are coming out alright. I have to force myself to finish and I hate making more than one of anything. A set of placemats on the loom is just deadly! SSS would be inevitable if I didn't start the second sock right away while working on the first one. I like making mis-matched (aka "freeform") earrings too. On the other hand I don't like to make constant design decisions so I never took to tapestry, for instance. Don't get me wrong, I do like the processes of knitting or weaving or whatever but I'm always thinking beyond what I'm working on at the moment and get impatient to try that out before I've finished what I'm doing. As you might guess I have a lot of UFOs! I do end up finishing most of them eventually, but there's a minimum of about 5 that I'm working on alternately at any one time. There's the simple portable project (at the moment, either the toddler hat or those Confetti socks), the complicated not-so-portable project (the hooked rug, which I must confess I haven't touched for awhile), the not-portable-at-all project (in this case "projects" because there's the boa on the loom and the sewing), several begun-and-then-lost-interest projects (they'll either get finished someday or morph into something else), and a whole bunch of wannabees which I haven't started yet (but I'm working on ideas/designs/solutions in my head while doing something else). At least I'm never bored.

It's nice and warm and sunny (finally!) today and the weatherman says it's good until at least Thursday. So why am I not outside?

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