Sunday, November 13, 2005

Knitting Interrupted

My knitting was interrupted this week by an impinged nerve in my right shoulder & elbow. I'm pretty used to dealing with pain on a daily basis since I have really bad fibromyalgia (that's doing remarkably good, all things considered). So the pain is one thing, but waking up in the middle of the night with numbness and tingling (ie. sharp prickly pain) from my pinky and ring fingers all the way up to my elbow still freaks me out a bit. This stuff first popped up a couple of months ago when I decided to give my bathroom a serious facelift -- like ripping out the glass sliding doors in the shower, digging out old grungy grout and replacing it with fresh grout and sealant, ripping out the raunchy medicine cabinet and replacing it with a big fancy new one with great lighting to go with it (eeeekkkk! I have that many wrinkles and clogged pores! yikes!!!). Oh, and then there's the paint! My wonderful PCP smiled and suggested that given the severity of my fibro, I probably shouldn't being doing such things! But my first hot bubble bath out of the "cage" in a truly clean tub was so worth it. (Note to anyone considering glass shower doors - yes they keep the water in, but they are impossible to keep clean). Besides, now I can actually see what I'm doing when i brush my teeth and put on makeup (scary, huh????)

So, I recovered from the bathroom renovation, but the clean-up, fix-up bug had bit and all "well-loved" and lived in homes have need for repair. Next came the patio & deck. We had the deck replaced a couple of years ago using a mix of trex decking and treated lumber. A year later we had the wood painted with a tinted stain sealer. Well, this is the south and it is hot and humid, so the deck rails were looking a little mildewy green and dirty. Power washing helped, but not enough. So I retrieved the leftover stain from the toolshed and applied a couple of fresh new coats to all the surfaces I could reach without a ladder. The rest will just have to wait until spring. With the deck spruced up, next came the patio. Power washing got rid of the green under the deck, but the cracks and pitting on surface of the concrete and the retaining wall were getting pretty bad. I think it was the 3 buckets of concrete patch and 2 gallons of tinted sealant on the patio that really did my ulnar nerve in this time. But the patio has never looked this good and the water beads up on the surface like a freshly detailed car in the rain! Cool!

I "took it easy" this week by adding 280 lbs. of topsoil & compost to 2 of my flower beds (the rose garden and the shade garden). Much of the topsoil went to replace the space left vacant after I sucessfully removed the last of the rotting tree roots from my rose garden. In hindsight, I'm not so sure that it was a good decision to create a garden bed in the same place where a 30+ year-old weeping willow tree lived. When the tree split into pieces in a storm 6 years ago, we did have the trunk and "big" roots augered out. There remains a large stump about 1 foot below the surface, but I hauled the last "little" root (ROFLMAO!) on Monday. It was *not* little. But, now there is lots of loose friable well-composted soil surrounding my pink roses. Record-high temperatures have them blooming like crazy! I added ~150 pink flower bulbs (tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, allium, amaryllis, & lilies) in between the roses and topped them off with 3 flats of pansies (lavender & yellow since pink ones haven't been hybridized, yet!). After all that, I was pretty much completely incapacitated for 3 days. All I did was take meds, knit a little, and sleep alot. Ah, the life of a fibromite :-(

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

WooHoo It's a Sock!!!

I'm sooooo excited about knitting my first sock! I love socks. I wear socks around the house. I wear socks to bed. I just have this thing about soft, comfy socks to keep my tootsies toasty warm. Over the last year I've noticed that there is a cult following of sock knitters online. There are so many great patterns and yarns for socks! But, I had one major obstacle to conquering socks----double pointed needles.

I made friends with circular needles last wasn't easy with my strange method of "prop the needle in your lap, let go, and throw the yarn you righty girl" method of knitting. Those circulars popped out into the strangest contortions you ever saw and it was just murder to get them back into place for that next stitch. I couldn't even cast on and successfully knit one row with dpns. Even the bamboo ones slid all over the place and somehow I was knitting around inside out. Yikes! Forget turning a heel, I couldn't even knit the cuff! But... I kept on buying different sizes of dpns for the stash as they came on sale and the budget allowed, then I picked up some Kroy sock yarn in some of my favorite colors. Never say never, right????

Over the weekend I was surfing the KnitPicks website (yarn lust, you know) and ran across a free toe-up sock pattern. The cast-on and start sounded like something I could do, so I gave it a whirl. Before I knew it I was knitting with tiny (US1) dpns and things were much easier than my first attempts using US6 needles. (I do well with tiny things after many years as a neonatal nurse LOL). I had some gaps on one side of the toe, so I decided to frog and start over. But....the thought pops in my head....can you do it dpn from the cuff down????? Of course I had to try. Woohoo!!!!! It worked! I'm almost ready to work the toe on the first sock. This *is* fun!

My First Sock!!!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Feeling Adventurous

I read my first knitting blog last month and was totally fascinated by this intimate community of people who share the same passion. After reading a couple dozen blogs, I decided I just have to try this! I've been feeling very adventurous in my knitting and other creative endeavors lately, so why not venture into blogging too? So, I'm jumping in ----- hope the water is warm!!!