Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where’d That Week Go?

Hmmm…I’ve written a whole bunch of posts in my head but none of them actually became reality. I’ve been busy reading some more about many different fibres for my upcoming February lecture. Fascinating stuff, let me tell you. Hopefully I’ll share some details of my findings some time soon. I also went to the dermatologist last week about my eczema. It was disappointing in that I didn’t get any answers about the possible cause of the problem. The doctor treated me as a series of symptoms instead of a whole person and gave me the third degree on everything from what type of gloves worn while doing the dishes to what meds we already tried. It felt like a test that I failed rather than a collaborative effort to find a cure. Guess I’ve been spoiled by my family doc’s friendly personality and cooperative attitude. Even though between us we weren’t able to fix the problem which is why he sent me to the specialist. Anyway I ended up with a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid ointment, a test for fungus (results to take a month), a blood test for liver function, and possibly a prescription for antifungal pills which I haven’t gotten yet because it depended on the results of the blood test. I still have to call back to find out. Meanwhile I think the new ointment is having some beneficial effect but it’s not happening quickly. At least I’m not quite so itchy!

I was told I had to use nitrile gloves instead of vinyl or latex and I can’t find any that fit me. Trying to wash dishes with stiff, oversized, slippery gloves is awkward to say the least. And I had to change the soap I use to Dove for sensitive skin. Why do they say it’s fragrance-free when it still smells perfumy? Manufacturers are allowed to add a small amount of fragrance just to cover up any chemical smell but it’s so annoying that they can still call it fragrance-free! I would prefer the chemicals. They’re there anyhow. Or use something like lavender which I’m not sensitive to. Anyway I don’t use very much soap. Dermatologist didn’t even ask about shampoo which also contacts my skin, more of it than soap does, nor about laundry detergent. Oh well. I already use Tide Free because of the perfume issue. (And yes it does have a very mild scent added.) He did tell me to use a very specific and expensive moisturizer but I’m going to be bad and continue using my own homemade one but without the tea tree oil in it. We’ll see if any of this helps.

Then T-Man and I had a lovely day on Sunday. It wasn’t raining (for a wonder) and the temp has been very mild. So we went to Steveston for fish and chips at Dave’s:

Steveston Daves Yum! Both of us had halibut and chips and T had clam chowder and beer and I had a pear cider. All together it cost less than my bill at Steamworks for the Festivus Party and was more than twice as good! So there.

Then we went down to the dock and bought 3 lbs of fresh prawns from the fish boats to take home for dinner:

Steveston fishboats Also yum! (Steamed with garlic butter on Sunday. Leftovers last night in homemade chowder along with some frozen clams.) We walked along the waterfront:

Steveston walkway And we saw a pair of bald eagles:

Steveston eagles Yes, those dots are eagles. Take my word for it. And lots of other birds too including these guys:

Steveston birds Every piling had it’s own seagull except for the one with the heron. There were also coots and several kinds of ducks, and on the way home a flock of snow geese flew overhead. It was a lovely walk. Oh and of course I went to Wool & Wicker, Steveston’s LYS, and got 6 balls of Trekking XXL sock yarn. My own LYS’s don’t carry it so I was naturally justified. One can never have too much sock yarn! The shop looked as if they hadn’t had a chance to restock after their Boxing Day sales and I was disappointed not to find Janel Laidman’s “The Enchanted Sole” book that I’ve been hunting for. I may have to break down and order it from her directly but I’d rather support a local shop. Does anyone have it available? 

What else? Oh yes, I finished my slippers:

Pixie Slippers

clip_image002For: Me

Begun: January 5, 2010

Completed: January 11, 2010

Yarn: Condon’s worsted (vintage!), 100% wool, colour 1610 (soft dark violet-blue), 215 yds per skein, 2 skeins.

Bernat Boa, 100% polyester eyelash, colour purple, about 30 yds of leftovers.

Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo dpns, US11/8mm

Pattern: Family of Slippers by Chris deLongpré, free pattern from knitting at KNoon Designs. Ravelry link.

Modifications: Last time I made this pattern they came out too wide for my feet. The pattern calls for 44 sts which I had modified to 40 but this time I went all the way down to 32 sts and finished with a slightly pointier toe (12 sts total before grafting). Much better.

Comments: Basically these are plain socks with no ribbing and no heel stitch knitted on huge needles with doubled worsted yarn. I only got 7 rounds of the eyelash yarn before running out. Tops were 21 rounds total before beginning heel. Before fulling the foot was 12” long and just under 12” around. It only took 2 runs through the wash cycle on their own with a bit of Orvus to full them sufficiently. Stomped on them between towels to take out excess water but probably should have spun in the washer. Took a couple of days to dry even with a session on the rack in the dryer on hot. They fit perfectly.

clip_image004I also wet-felted some coarse gray wool to make thick innersoles. I made a 4” thick pile using 6 perpendicular layers on bubble wrap, dampened with soapy water, covered with poly/cotton fabric (couldn’t find my netting) and rolled up with a pool noodle in the middle and tied. Took about 400 arm rolls, changing wrapping direction each 100. Then I hard-felted the piece on the washboard. After it dried, I cut out 4 innersoles (2 for spares) and needlefelted them to condense them some more. Unlike the last pair, this time I lightly stitched them in to make them stay in place!

clip_image006I’m much happier with these than the first pair I made. Those holey things were consigned to the garbage with thanks for the 2.5 years of service they provided me. Now T wants a pair. Without the fuzzy top edge.

Left: old slipper. Right: new slipper. Better huh?

1 comment:

Ev said...

I realize this is an older post, but thank you! That's good information. I did manage to felt them down to a better size, after 3 rounds in the washer. I'm sure they'll wear out fairly quickly and I will be keeping your notes close to hand. Thanks Louisa!

And, hey, next time we come visit the family in Abbotsford, I'll try to make some time to visit. You're not THAT far from Abbotsford, after all. :)