Finished Objects 2011, Knit Without Ceasing, Physical Therapy, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical Therapy

Today I saw the physical therapist to get some help with range of motion issues in a couple of major joints that have been affected by rheumatoid arthritis. We talked about knitting, and how much I love it, and how I try to strike a balance between knitting enough to keep my hands flexible but not so much as to bother my shoulder. I've got to use, but not overuse, my joints. The same principle applies to all physical activity, and we're working together to figure out what will be therapeutic for me. Step one is a series of yoga-type stretches. Step two is using that elliptical machine we have upstairs. And step three is realizing that knitting counts as helpful, too. 

So the socks I finished tonight? Are physical therapy. And to keep myself knitting, I'm going to try and record my finished knitting here.

I've been a pretty big failure at that kind of record-keeping in the past. 

Finished Objects 2011 002 But who knows? This may be the year. It's just that you (and I) may have to settle for quick phone camera shots such as the one here. 

This is a pair of socks for #1 Son. The yarn never made it to the stash, I think I cast on as soon as I got the yarn home from the store. It's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the colorway Marias Falls, which is deep blue with purple, warm brown, chocolate & dark green. It's meant to be used on big needles, for a bulky sock, but I ended up using size 1 needles and getting a dense, tight, soft sock. #1 Son tried on the first sock when he was here in October, and it's taken a ridiculous amount of time to get around to finishing the second one. These still need blocking, but at least they are off the needles!

I enjoyed working with the yarn, but the proof is in the wearing. 

I have three other projects on the needles (at least I hope it's only three), and my goal is to finish two of those before I pick up anything else. The third is a sweater for LP. I started it quite a while ago and need to assess whether it will still fit and suit her, probably more the latter than the former. 

Tomorrow I start the stretching…more on that when I have something to report.


Knit Without Ceasing, reverb10, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Make — #reverb10 day 6

December 6 – Make.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made a new stash house for my yarn.

I've been avidly collecting yarn for about six years now, after a long knitting hiatus. It's been in bags and plastic bins, mostly, and in a pretty basket given to me by the lovely people of First Parish Church in Freeport when I finished my interim ministry with them. 

Dresser 001 But the rearrangement of our lives left what was once my Daddy's large dresser without a user, and since LP really needed a bigger chest of drawers, we swapped one for the other, and I now have beautiful yarn storage in my bedroom. 

On top is a long ago attempt at a stole for Advent, made from yarn that stretched to a size far too long for this short preacher.

Which brings me to the last knitting project I completed, if memory serves. I made a stole for my advisee who was recently ordained, using a Noro sock yarn in a delicious array of dark purples, black and green. I believe it will not stretch to a ridiculous length. I hope I'm right. The pattern was a K3, P3, K3 just like the prayer shawls (as was the pattern for the stole on the dresser…). 

I have a several projects in progress: two pairs of socks, a shawlette and a sweater sadly laid aside last year when I couldn't manage sufficient knitting time due to rheumatoid arthritis complications, but it's a good thing, because I only knitted the body in the round from the waistband up and stopped before the armpits and LP is taller now, so when I do start again, it will be okay.  

Really, it will.

Church Life, Knit Without Ceasing, Ministry of the Meantime

A thing of beauty


I thought the announcements were over, and I was ready to move us on to the Introit, when a dear person stood up and said words kinder than I would dare to quote, and three women came forward and presented me with this stole.

Many hands made it, many clever and loving hands. 

(They included knitting!!!!) 

One of the sad things about doing interim ministry is saying goodbye so often. But one of the sweet things is that since you're leaving, people tell you, or show you, how they feel about you.

I have a month to go at Y1P, but since it's summer and some of the hands involved will be out of town, I go this gift in plenty of time to say thank you more than once.

Which I am already doing.

I hear it looked great in the pulpit!

Thank you, thank you, to all who took part in creating it. I will wear it with fond memories of my time among you.

Here's a close-up of a pair of flowers:


Knit Without Ceasing, Knitting Olympics, Lent, Writing

Coming Unraveled

It's really too bad that Lent will last all March long. I can promise you that whether you give something up
or take something on there will come a day in the middle of the month–that long, holiday-free month–when you wonder why you made that apparently seemingly
brilliant choice and how you can talk yourself out of it. 

I'm thinking of the year I decided to give up
drinking mochas. It seemed like such a simple thing to do. I could drink a latte
instead. I even like lattes.

My family chortled at the thought. What could I
possibly accomplish on a spiritual level by giving up chocolate in my coffee? I
think they worried about how I would cope without the daily Attitude Adjustment
and what that might mean for them.

It wasn't the first time I made a commitment
related to coffee. One year I planned to stop buying coffee shop coffee and give
the money saved to a worthy cause. Other years I've taken things on; last year I
think I was going to write a poem every day, or work on one, or something like

But Lent is long. Lent is dreary, especially here
in Maine. We slog through muddy March, or some years we wish the snow would for
heaven's sake stop! We wish Easter would hurry up and get here.

As you may know, I recently took on a different
sort of challenge. I registered for the
Knitting Olympics, a sort of contest
sponsored by the Yarn Harlot. The idea is to
cast on a new project during the Opening Ceremony and finish it before the
Closing Ceremony. The project should be a challenge to complete in the allotted
seventeen days. Taking into account my schedule and my abilities, I chose a pair
of socks. 

The organizer writes:

While this is
intended to be somewhat difficult (like the Olympics) it is not intended to ruin
your life. Don't set yourself up for failure. (Olympic athletes may cry, but
they do not whine pitifully, sob and threaten members of their family with
pointed sticks because they haven't slept in five days. ) This is intended to
(like the Olympics) require some measure of sacrifice, and be difficult, but it
should be possible to attain. 

Sockapalooza 028

Now, I've made plenty of socks: men's socks,
women's socks, baby socks (sadly eaten by Sam), plain or with stitch patterns (such as the ones above).
But I have never made socks for which the pattern requires reading a chart. This
was to be my challenge. I studied the chart, and I tried to visualize
it. Somehow managed to turn it inside out (rookie mistake! how did that
happen?!?!!), and when I took it all out and began again, I realized the sock
was not going to fit on even a small woman's foot, which is to say,

While I did not threaten members of my family with
pointed sticks, I did get upset, and unraveling the sock a second time did not
exactly provide a catharsis. I felt like a failure. I came unraveled myself and made my own drama,
which not only seemed outside the spirit of the event but was a direct violation
of my New Year's resolution!

Like the Knitting Olympics, Lent is not intended to
ruin your life.
If you are finding your
particular discipline hard to keep, remember that you are not alone. Others are
wondering what they were thinking, too.

As I write this on the eve of Ash Wednesday, I'm
not sure if I will cast on the socks again, but I can promise you I will only do
it if I can find the right attitude. Which may, as my family would tell you,
require the chocolate in my coffee I am not giving up for Lent.

Books, Knit Without Ceasing, Knitting Olympics

Book #6: The Warden; also miscellany

I'm continuing my fiction reading and on KathyR's advice read the first in Anthony Trollope's Barchester Chronicles, "The Warden." I loved it! It's a perfect mix of social commentary and church commentary. When I finished I immediately began the next in the series, "Barchester Towers."

I expect the Olympics to be bad for reading, especially since I committed to the Knitting Olympics, though having lost two evenings to doing something wrong and then having to undo and redo, I doubt I will make it to the finish line in time. 

I have some other books on my Kindle I'm excited to read, but they will have to wait. I've decided against putting books in the sidebar unless I'm really reading them. Putting them there as encouragement to myself doesn't seem to work.

Polar bears are on TV, so I am going back to watching the Olympics now.

Knit Without Ceasing, Knitting Olympics

Knitting Crisis!!!

How is it that if I'm following the chart exactly, the sock is inside out?

I quit.

But seriously, has anyone done Rivendell? It seems to me the outside of the sock is the right side. Wouldn't that be logical? So I'm knitting along in this k1tbl, p2 pattern, but the part that's facing out–the RIGHT SIDE, right?– looks like a k2,p1 rib, and the little loopy thing that's supposed to be happening is on the inside, not the outside, of the sock.

I am in despair. I don't see anything in the instructions that makes sense of this. 

Help me, knitters. You are my only hope!