Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stitches, stitches and more stitches!

I'll only post pics of the sort you want to see. I promise!

Stitches #1 -

Last week on Tuesday, we woke to a very, very frosty morning. Lots of fog and frost, actually. While we were waiting for the school bus, DD#2 decided to walk on a wooden plank that had been placed for riding bikes up and over a (very frozen) pile of dirt. I warned her that it was slippery. I asked her not to do it. I repeated myself many times. Did she listen? Did she stop?

Not so much. She had her hands stuffed in her pockets, so when she fell, she went face first. On the board. With nothing to break her fall. I was pretty sure she'd smashed her nose and mouth, but when I checked her mouth, there was no blood. But then, seconds later as the bus rounded the corner, I noticed blood under her chin. My reptile brain told me that a chin wound would almost certainly require stitches, so I didn't bother to look further. I, rather off-handedly, shooed the elder child onto the bus and guided the still stunned younger back to the house.

Himself is not very good with medical emergencies. By "not very good" I do mean completly bloody useless 9 times out of 10. (Mind you, when I broke my leg and was in shock, *I* was the one telling him what to do and where to drive.) So when I asked him to take care of her while I got ready to go to the hospital, he turned around in circles for a bit shouting "what do I do?" He eventually heard the bit about a wet washcloth for her chin. I gathered her things for school, including a fresh shirt, some knitting (hey, the bag was already there & ready to go) and stuffed the now crying and very upset child into the van. I also noticed that Himself had given her a very *hot* washcloth for her chin. *sigh*

We spent a lovely 3.5 hours in the ER, she got 6 stitches, but was very, very brave. I didn't do any knitting, though, as there was nothing to occupy her if I was counting stitches. Just for fun, she was in the same bed I had when I brok my leg. Yeah, she was interested in that bit of news for about 10 seconds. She wanted to go to school, and it was the day she was *supposed* to test for the Highly Capable program. She missed the tests, but they were to be rescheduled. I don't really know if that happened or not, and I sort-of don't care right now. She got 3 stitches out on Monday (this week) and the rest will come out on Friday.

Stitches #2 -

So here is my progress on the Jack's Aran Sweater from Men in Knits. This is the sweater on the cover and I'm doing this for Himself. I started this over the Summer, but I just couldn't seem to get anywhere. I'm using Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Wheat, the photo seems a bit on the red/orange side, oh well.

I knit the first 4 inches of cable and ripped it out due to issues with the photocopy of the cable pattern. I would like to blame my copier, but I can't be certain where the blame falls. I *should* have double checked to be sure all of the details copied properly, but I didn't. So, after fiddling with that bit I set it aside after I got 4-6 inches of the correct cable pattern done. The yarn also sheds like crazy and that was annoying me, too. Anyway, I picked it up again around Christmas time, when we were all snowed in, and decided the gauge was off, so I ripped *all* the cables out, switched to a smaller needle and went again. After about 4 inches of cable I re-measured and realized - are you ready for this? - I had used the gauge information *for the wrong pattern* and it - deep breath - was correct the first time.

Nice, huh? So I ripped the 4 inches of cable out *again* and started over with the needle I used the first time around. See? This is where being trapped with your family in your house *could* prove to be a bit challenging (for them). I think I managed it well, I just kept working away like it was all part of my big plan until I got 4 inches of correct gauge, correct pattern cable done. The next day, I started up again and made quite a bit of progress (I think by now I'd mastered the cable pattern, so it was going *much* faster) - until I dropped some stitches. On a cable row.

I picked them up as best I could, and kept going. After about 2 more inches, though, I could see that it was not anything close to correct. It was *very* obvious. So I had to *rip back* to a non-cable row beyond the one that was messed up. I counted, I held my breath, I put in a life line, I took a quick breath and held it again, then I ripped. And ripped. And ripped. *sigh* Close to 4 inches (yes, again) to get to a place I felt comfortable was a non-pattern row. Then, keeping my mental fingers crossed for luck, I put all the stitches back on and started knitting again.

Blessing from above must have beamed down upon me because it looks like I got it fixed. I finished the back off on Tuesday (this week) as Himself was having a minor surgery. I may have knit a bit too far after binding off the middle, but that is easily ripped. I had a hard time measuring accurately at the medical clinic. I figured it was fine to go a bit over and rip back later. I'm currently about 3 rows away from starting the cables on the front section (which will pretty much mirror the back, except at the neckline). The sleeves are attached and then knit down, so I won't really be able to knit them both together, which is what I had hoped to do. Both sleeves have a *simple* cable down them, so no cheating in how they're constructed. Unless I decide to skip the cable, but I probably won't.

This thing goes pretty fast. When you're not constantly ripping it back, that is.

Stitches #3 -

Himself had a mole removed at the end of Thanksgiving and the tests came back showing that it was a melanoma. I've been in a terrible mental panic, but he is cool as a cucumber. The earliest we could follow up on it was the first week of January, then the surgery was scheduled for this week (Tuesday). The surgery was to take an additional 1 cm of skin all around the area, checking for signs of any remaining tumor, and then to test that skin sample for any cancer not visible. The doctor said that the area looked great and he didn't see anything, but of course we have to wait on the labs. Those will be back next week.

I feel better, though, after talking to the surgeon. Or maybe the knitting soothed me, I don't know, but I'm much more calm now. There will also be a visit to a dermatologist, I assume to check for any additional areas in need of testing. It makes me wonder if I should go get checked too, I did spend a number of (fruitless) years pursuing a tan, way back when. I'll get Himself sorted out first, though.

This surgery left my man with 18 big stitches, right between his shoulder blades. It is an awkward spot, to say the least. Every movement with his arms pulls it a bit. He is restricted from lifting anything over 5 pounds for the next week, but that is it. He's already back at his trombone playing, though, so it can't bother him too much.

He was a terrible grump leading up to the surgery. I wanted to ask the nurses if they could give him some "happy juice" just so I wouldn't mind being there, but I didn't. He was much nicer after the surgery. *Heh.* Everything was delayed, as so often happens, so pretty much my whole day was spent there. At least I had knitting to keep me company.

Stitches #4-

Lastly, I cast on something new. The Fish Hat, from Knitty. I'll probably end up doing two of these (at least). See, I'm dying to cast on a new sweater, but I'm trying really hard to avoid doing that until this sweater is done! So, in a fit of start-itis, I jumped on this hat when my eldest said "Oooo! I want one of those!"

Here you can see the lips/mouth are done, and I'm getting started on the body. This is knit in some Cascade 220 in red, a very deep blue-ish purple (violet?), a heathered grey and an off -white. This is a lovely, mindless knit for later at night when my brain has shut down.

It isn't terribly portable, what with the multiple balls of yarn to fiddle with, but it is fun. We'll see if the younger wants one too, but I imagine so. Hers will, of course, be pink.

I'm hoping the hats are done at about the same time as the sweater. Then I can cast on a new sweater without guilt. Maybe. I really need to knit the yougest a sweater of her own, and the eldest has outgrown hers and... I'm sure I'll be ready for smaller projects before the sweaters are done. Right now, I'm cold and knitting sweaters makes me think warm thoughts.


Stacy said...

Jamie, wow! What an interesting few weeks you've had! I'm so glad the docs feel good about having gotten all the melanoma. I'll be praying for good labs on that. And what is it with kids and stitches, anyway? All Aidan's are inside his mouth (so far -- is it wrong and superstitious to say "knock wood"?). He had to have, like, ten teeth pulled (baby teeth) before he could have his braces put on. Fortunately this was not all at once, but over three summers. I kept them all. Is that macabre? Or even just gross? One of them actually crumbled. *Shudder* Yes, I plan to scrapbook about his teeth, but I won't try to put the actual teeth on the scrapbook page. Too lumpy, and I'm not sure if they're photo safe and acid- and lignan-free, KWIM? lol

I hope all your patients aren't draining you of your patience. (Yes, that was bad.) I'm glad you've got God and knitting!

Daisy said...

Oh my goodness! Hope everyone recovers quickly & the tests come back OK. I had to laugh at your description of him dealing with an emergency though, why are men so hopeless?!

Jamie said...

I do know a few men who aren't hopeless in a medical crisis, but they are also medical professionals. :)

DD#2 appreciated my description of him as a chicken running around flapping his wings and squawking like crazy.

Thanks for your positive thoughts and prayers!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

My goodness, that was a post chock full of news! Glad all things human and yarny are looking good right now, and pray that continues.