Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just a little knitting

Who would have thought it would take three weeks to get into see an orthopedist? At our Kaiser Permanente that's the wait time, so I opted to drive to a Kaiser Hospital in a nearby city where I could get in the very next morning, which was one day last week. I really liked the Dr. I saw, she was very thorough and easy to talk to. It turns out there are no bone problems, and that the problem is basically the same thing as tendonitis. The solution is to use it, but don't abuse it, and physical therapy when an opening is available, currently set for March 11th. Meanwhile I've begun to knit a little, being careful to keep my left elbow in close to my rib cage. I've knit a couple of evenings, the first time on Monday night I stuck with it a little too long on a basic scarf. But the major issue still causing pains is when I roll over onto my left side in my sleep.

Today I discovered that one of my epiphyllum plants, Elise, has a bud on it. This particular plant is a young one that hasn't bloomed before so I don't know how long it will take the bud to come to full bloom. You can see a picture of an Elise bloom here . Many growers would not allow a plant this young to bloom, they would pinch the bloom, but the plant is very healthy and I've decided to let it bloom. Hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of my own bloom here soon!

In other "green" news, the two schlumbergera, commonly known as either zygo cactus or Christmas cactus, which I polinated with my older variety have seed pods on them. It will be fun to watch the pods ripen, harvest the seeds and plant them. The plant I used to polinate these with has a deep fuschia color bloom, while the two plants which have the pods have a light salmon and pinkish yellow blooms so I can't wait to grow these to bloom size and see the blooms. All of my schlumb's have been moved back into the patio now that fear of frost is passed in our area. It's nice to be able to see the top of the table and the china cabinet in the dining room once again. I hope to be able to move all 80+ epies back to the patio in a couple of weeks.

The weather here has been a mix of sunny days in the 60's and rainy days that are much needed. Surrounding areas seem to get more rain than we do, almost like there is an umbrella over our area. We may get some rain tonight, I hope so, we can really use it.

Are you watching American Idol? Any favorites yet? I know it's early but I'm already finding a couple of people I think will go a long way.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's just NOT the same

No amount of crochet makes up for not knitting. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to belittle crochet, it's a wonderful art and was my primary art for most of my life. I can't explain it, but when I learned to knit it was like I'd truly found MY art. With crochet I never excelled, and never really tried. I couldn't make a round item lay flat if my life depended on it and I exercised absolutely no imagination. I picked up a pattern and made it, sometimes with really good results, but more often with less than the results I expected or hoped for. When I learned to knit, from early on I seldom made a pattern exactly as it was written. My imagination seemed to go into overdrive when paired with needles and yarn.

This conversation, one sided though it may be, comes up because the doctor did not release me to knit. Not only that, but she basically said to not use my left arm more than necessary. Suddenly it seems like without a left arm the simplest things become so much more difficult. Fortunately, she didn't say to immobilize the arm. Yeah! No sling! This is a really good thing. But to tell the story from the beginning, I had a follow up appt. with my primary physician on Friday the 13th (no, I'm not superstitious) because the pain in my left shoulder has not decreased in spite of decreased use. In fact it has escalated considerably, and even the simple act like reaching for a pencil causes major discomfort. After a thorough exam of poking, prodding, having me push, pull and reach she said it may be a rotator cuff injury. X-rays were ordered and she is referring me to an orthopedist. Unfortunately the orthopedic department is backed up and I have to wait for a call from them to set an appointment. The x-rays are done and available for the orthopedist. I was pleasantly surprised by the gentleness of the young technician. I've had similar x-rays done in the past with much more discomfort.

Now, back to the subject of crochet. I thought I could crochet because I would use my left arm less than when I knit, which was true, but it still causes pain I don't feel is worth the discomfort. I did complete a scarf from a new pattern I learned about through the Yahoo group linkslinkslinks. The designer has graciously allowed me to place links to her scarf patterns on the SFTH website here . This scarf is made from the "Bumpy" pattern. Be sure to check out Marie Anne's blog and her other patterns also. In addition to the Bumpy pattern, links to two more are on the SFTH website. In this scarf I used Paton's Canadiana in a deep chocolate brown, an off white and a raspberry red. The yarn is old, and the color numbers have long since been discontinued. I like the way the scarf is reversible with the off white being prominent on one side and the brown and red prominent on the other side. Using an "I" hook, casting on 232 stitches and completing 9 rows I ended up with a 4" wide scarf which is 80" long. It will be donated to SFTH with the next donation.

Next up; boredom, I guess. I've finished two books, The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney and Married in Seattle by Debbie Macomber. I guess I'll have to visit the local library for more reading material. What have you read lately that you'd recommend? Note, I'm not into heavy reading material. I like fiction, Debbie Macomber being my favorite, with Maggie Sefton and Maeve Binchy coming in tied for second.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Giving up knitting . . .

But only temporarily upon doctor's orders. I have what the doc describes as 'impingement' which means the bursa is swollen causing irritation in the muscles and tendons of my left shoulder. To me it's just medical jargon that means I'm forced to take an unwanted break from knitting. So, today is day three of NO knitting, and I'm a bit bored even though I've got some good reading material handy. I can't even guess at how long before I'll be back to knitting, but I have a follow up appointment on Friday the 13th, and no I'm not superstitious. But I'll knit for a few minutes at a time, starting with 5 minutes, and working up from there and see if that still causes pain. If it does, then x-rays or more will be the next step. This isn't my first bout with impingement, but it's by far the most severe.

Today I spent my free time tagging some scarves that had come for Scarves From The Heart But I've run out of tags, about half a dozen short. I'll be getting more from my Assoc. Director on Friday, so I'll be able to finish them then. Later in the day UPS arrived with a very large box that I'd forgotten was on it's way, and was amazed to find that Scarves From The Heart has been the very fortunate recipient of a large amount (16 pounds) of yarn from a very generous un-named person (whose name I will divulge with her permission if she agrees).

Beginning tomorrow I'll have lots of time to myself as hubby is going to visit his daughters and on to Disneyland with them. It's only a few days, he'll be back on Monday. I could have gone, but with the pain of the shoulder I decided not to go as sleeping in hotel beds is a problem for me and could very well exacerbate the problem.

If you're a praying person, please take a minute to visit my friend Alison H's blog
to read about all she's going through and then say a prayer for her. She can use all the prayers she can get in her fight for good health.

Other news here is that it seems we are going to be grandparents again. The due date and all is yet to be determined as mom hasn't seen her doctor yet, but over the counter tests have been positive. More on that when we know. Until then I'll be thinking about what I want to knit for this new little bundle of joy.

Hope 2009 has been kind to you.