Monday, February 06, 2006

Thanks and row gauge

Has anyone assembled a comprehensive list of the various Knitting Olympic teams?

Thanks for all the comments on the speed post -- I'm learning a lot. Here's a jar opener, available in the utensils section of larger grocery stores and some health food stores. I actually prefer the discontinued kind from Fuller Brush that is mounted under an upper cabinet, but mine is still on the farm so I can't post a photo. It's a blue plastic rectangle with metal gripping teeth in a spiral, starting large so it handles a good array of jar sizes.

It isn't sleeping in fetal position that can irritate those knitting tendons, but the bending of the wrists to tuck your hands under your chin. For a while, I wore braces to bed, but they felt alien, so I ended up wearing fingerless gloves which were just there enough to keep me from bending my wrists in my sleep, but not annoying enough to keep me awake. When I've had tendonitis in my forearms, I've been much happier sleeping with straight elbows, too.

For me, tingling and numbness in my hands has usually meant my upper spine or neck was out of alignment; often just a few of those shoulder rolls will make everything click back in place. However, if it persists, see a doctor. You do NOT want carpal tunnel syndrome... There are a variety of symptoms and we don't all display the same way. If in doubt, get a professional opinion. Verna, what are the first warning signs?

Cat B., I actually do a lot of knitting while lying on my back on the couch, but hadn't thought of it as being a good balance to my upright knitting (ha! now I have an excuse for hogging the couch!). We live in a tiny carriage house that's mostly one big room with a sleeping loft. My family likes to sleep, and I don't need as many hours as most, so I lie on the couch in the dark, knitting well into every night, lute music playing softly on the stereo. My vision is coming back now that the radiation damage is healing, but knitting blind is a skill I don't want to lose. I make very few mistakes because I feel where I'm going with my left index finger and, frankly, it's a lovely finish to the day to knit another inch or two and listen to the seals barking or the foghorns sounding in the night.

I finished a sock yesterday morning and felt really good about myself until I tried it on. I had already knit the left sock, turned it inside out, tried it on my right foot, then replicated the left sock in mirror symmetry. Nearly one inch too long. Really. I knit the first sock in December, when things were less than harmonious around here, and knit the second sock in January, after things had resolved. Stitch gauge is uniform, but row gauge is 12% looser!!! I've re-knit the right sock now, starting the decreases at 64 rounds from the gusset pick-up instead of 72, but it still doesn't fit as well as the left one turned inside out. Shank slump and excess side toe. Figures. They're just for me so I'll throw them in the wash as is and wear them. I definitely need to get my life in order so I don't have any more angst-related gauge fluctuations!

I started a swatch for my Olympics shawl, just five minutes to test the needle size. I like the first one, but it's green and the yarn is green, so I'll check the stash to see if I have a similar size and point shape in a silver or gray needle to increase contrast. I'm blocking my brain when it tries to *see* the new shawl. There aren't that many things about knitting that are challenging for me (I've been knitting a long, long time), so the challenge aspect will be to do the complete project in the time allowed. I like races and deadlines, so the idea of having to sprint to concoct and finish some freeform lace appeals to me very much.