Thursday, February 10, 2011

Colours To Brighten Your Life

It’s a beautiful sunny and not-too-cold day here – and I have a migraine. Bleh. You just can’t win sometimes. I’m currently waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in. Meanwhile, first I’ll tell you about yesterday’s sojourn at Children’s hospital with Milady Daughter and grandbaby Rosebud. And maybe later we’ll have a Book Review. Haven’t had one of those in ages!

So this was the second time for the full spate of tests for poor little Rosebud. These are necessary for the study she’s in involving Botox in the treatment for club foot. We got to hear her really angry cry during the ultrasound of both legs, the good one and the (formerly) curly one. She hates to be on her tummy unless she can be on a warm human chest! A hospital examining table just doesn’t cut it. And messing with her sensitive foot as well. Not happy. No uncertain terms there.

Then we got her soothed and the loaded diaper changed and next it was on to the x-rays. This time at least the radiologist didn’t strap her so tightly but instead let mommy (wearing a lead apron) hold her foot still. Unfortunately she didn’t like this procedure much better than the ultrasound. I think it still hurts to press her foot down flat.

More soothing while I carried Rosebud and finally joggled her to sleep in my arms. Ortho-doc used that opportunity to photograph the legs and feet while she was still. Unfortunately then they had to do more measuring which meant she woke up when I put her down on the table. And decided she was famished. Doc said to hold off until the casting because she wanted her hungry enough to drink her bottle during the procedure. But first the Botox injection (the real thing this time) and I was wishing I didn’t have my hearing aids on! Poor thing was so outraged at the mean trick we played on her. Doc even spent time rubbing Rosebud’s leg with shea butter herself because she felt bad about sticking her. So sweet – but really it all can’t be helped. We all know that except for the poor baby!

The casting went uneventfully. Rosebud was happily sucking on her bottle and paying no nevermind to the wrapping. Again. Possibly only two more casts and then on to the boots-and-bar. Oh joy. Oh, and we managed to get her weighed: 6 kilos. That’s over 13 lbs now. Happy chubby baby. When we aren’t sticking her with needles that is! All-in-all it took nearly 3 hours to get everything done that needed to be done. Whew. I don’t know about Rosebud and her mommy but I was pretty worn out afterward.

So now how about a Book Review? I got a couple of new books the other day. Haven’t managed to read them all yet but this one is a fairly quick read:


The Knitter’s Guild to Hand-Dyed and Variegated Yarn by Lorna Miser, founder of Lorna’s Laces, published by Watson-Guptill Publications. The subtitle “techniques and projects for hand-painted and multicolored yarn” gives it away. If you’ve ever had trouble with streaking, pooling and other unique features of these yarns then this is the book for you.

The first chapter looks at multicoloured yarns and how to determine the repeat sequence and if they are muted or bright. This is really useful information for both commercially dyed or printed yarns and for those lovely hand-painted yarns, whether purchased or dyed yourself. Chapter Two has ways to blend mismatched skeins and there’s two patterns, a tunic and a shawl, that illustrate some of the solutions. Chapter Three talks about breaking up the colours with texture stitches and concludes with patterns for mittens and a child’s cardigan. Chapter Four features slipped stitches with patterns for a man’s vest and a small coin purse. Chapter Five is tucked stitches and the patterns are for placemats and a ladies top. Chapter Six investigates float stitches and follows up with patterns for a neck cozy and socks. Chapter Seven shows how to add solid colours with the variegated ones and illustrates with a hat and a cardigan pattern. Chapter Eight goes further with solids and stripes and features a baby sweater and a throw. Chapter Nine explores fair isle (stranded) patterns and has patterns for a ladies vest and a fulled (felted) laptop case. Chapter Ten is the one we’ve all been waiting for: lace. It includes patterns for fingerless mitts and a shawl. Chapter Eleven mixes weights and textures with a tote bag and another throw.

Throughout the book, Lorna has included many stitch patterns (65 in total) as well as ideas for their use and variations to try. They are both verbal and charted. Patterns for complete items call for yarns from many different manufacturers but I’m sure one could have lots of fun swatching and substituting one’s own choices.

This book fulfills all my wishes for a good knitting book: lots of clear technical information, juicy pattern stitches and patterns for items that I might really want to make. It’s a good addition to my copy of The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe, which complements and expands on some of the principles. Go forth and swatch.

I’m going to take another ibuprofen…

No comments: