Of pain and exhaustion

My herniated disc is at it again. I am walking and sitting, but the pain is constantly present. The nerve to my right leg got pinched badly this time around, leaving it in a constant state of ‘bad leg cramps’ that have begun to feel like fire. My toes feel partially numb and my leg gives out every now and then.

This would be manageable, I think I built up a massive pain tolerance over the past 4 years dealing with this crap, if it wasn’t for the accompanying exhaustion that the pain brings. Everything you do suddenly requires so much more effort. The pain keeps your body in overdrive throughout the day and even the night. Some nights I spend 5 minutes figuring out the best way to get out of bed without too much pain (or god forbid, collapsing on my bedroom floor) just to go pee.

No fun. Add to that the dropping of the outdoors temperatures, my period finally having ended, and my glucose values climbing a little because of it. I was doing so well on my first week of insulin, but as I suspected this was partially due to the heat wave and my period partying together like there was no tomorrow. My day curves this week are up by 2 mmol/L on average compared to last week, which kind of sucks. I exceeded 10 mmol/L twice which disappointed me a bit, but I have to admit that overall, my numbers are still in the green. The peaks might be a bit of a concern, but I’m getting in touch with my doctor on Friday, when she’s back in the office, to discuss a couple of details with her. I’m definitely not in any sort of red zone right now though, which is good!

Injections are still relatively painless. (Maybe that’s because of my high pain tolerance?) I’ve noticed that if the needle hurts me when I lightly poke the skin without piercing it, the whole injection will hurt and burn. If I carefully poke around until I find a spot that doesn’t hurt, the whole injection is as good as painless, save for a very, very, very minor burning sensation sometimes. I’m not sure why this is, but maybe my belly’s stretchmarks play a role in this? Either way, if I do have to end up bolusing, I don’t expect it to be a big deal if I can get another pen. I’m surprised at how easy it all really is when the mystery is gone.

I want to pick up my two currently pending knitting projects, but I can’t sit still long enough to get much done. My summer cardigan is dragging on and summer will be over before I finish it. It makes me want to take out the sleeve and start over in a plain stockinette stitch rather than the diagonal openwork I have right now, so that I can turn it into a winter cardi. But I’ve also come so far, and I’m really close to finishing! I still have to rip out the cabled socks I was working on and start over, which I’ve been aching to do on and off. I just can’t get my head right for it.

So instead of doing things I should be doing, I’m watching the first Pokemon season (Indigo League) and playing my Pokemon XYORAS games. I’d be up and about playing Pokemon Go like nobody’s business if I had a phone that supports it, but my Galaxy S3 can’t handle the game. My friend has a spare phone he’s sending out to me soon, so fingers crossed!

While we’re here, I want to share with your the deliciousness of my dinner the past two days. I threw fancy out the window and went back to good old Dutch basics.

My glucose values were perfectly in range after these, which is fantastic. 🙂

The mystery of the missing stitch

I’ve been working on my two projects, the cabled socks and my summer cardigan with moderate success!

I did mess up on the socks and am looking at a tough decision to make. I made a mistake counting the rows in the pattern and got confused, tinked back (only to find out I was on the right track after all)… and mysteriously lost a stitch. It didn’t drop because there’s no unraveling ladder, and it doesn’t look like I k2tog at any point either. I’ve been fidgeting, staring, moving stitches back and forth and generally grunting in anger at it for the past two days. I know for sure that the stitch count was correct before I tinked because I double checked the numbers before I undid my work.

Just… Poof. Gone. And as cables are still new to me and I haven’t had enough practice to be able to read cabled stitches well enough when trying to fix mistakes, I’m not seeing any way to fix this that will go unnoticed. It’s guaranteed to show if I bulldoze through and make a new stitch where the one is missing.

Now I put a lifeline just past the toes before beginning the pattern, so it can be as easy as ripping back and starting over. I wasn’t too happy with the decorative siding I chose either, so this could be a chance to fix that up as well. If the yarn was heavier than sock weight, I might have been able to fix it, but I’m not confident that I can do it with dark, fuzzy, wooly sock yarn this time. Sigh.

lhL4LIRThat leads me to my bigger success story: my summer cardigan! I’m getting closer, even if it’s at a snail pace. That vacation really took the wind out of my sails on this one, but I’m finishing up the hemming of the body right now with a double moss stitch. (R1-2: k1, p1* — R3-4: p1, k1* *repeat to end of row) I’m planning on doing the hemming all around the sides and neck in a double moss stitch as well in the same orange color as the bottom.

But first I have to do the sleeves. I’m still debating on how to make them look nice and decorative without being too warm. I have some ideas for a nice, horizontal pattern, followed by a diagonal openwork, but it all depends on how many stitches I end up with when picking up the sleeves. That’s the only downside to knitting with measurements versus # of stitches, you design as you go along and have to ditch your original ideas a lot!

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I hope to bind the bottom hem off tonight and get started on the first sleeve tomorrow!

Are you having any problems with your projects right now?

Going through the motions

This weekend wasn’t so fun. I’ve been experiencing late-night and early-morning nausea bouts that led to vomiting this morning. I try not to if I can avoid it at all because every heave risks my herniated disc getting worse. (The last time I was down for 2 weeks in bed unable to move, it was the direct result of throwing up actually!) That’s been less fun, and it ate into my knitting time. I think I might be a bit behind schedule on my cardi.

However, I also knit up a pair of knitted knockers for a neighbor of a friend from group. She had a mastectomy a couple of weeks ago and can’t tolerate the silicone prostheses. I started on them yesterday evening and finished them this morning.

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I rode my bicycle through the rain to the dollar store for a card and a cute gift bag to make it nicer. 🙂 The knockers are ‘overstuffed’, but the recipient can take out some of the filling from the back to get the knockers to her liking. (If you’re interested or know someone who might be interested in a pair, I knit these for free. You can get in touch with me directly or request a pair from KnittedKnockers.org)

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I’m super close to the last color change in the cardigan now. I think there’s only 2 or 3 centimeters left before I repeat the striping gradient with an orange color. It’s taking a lot less yarn than I thought, so I’ll probably have enough yarn of any of the three colors for a nice band all around! I’m considering making the cardigan buttonless the longer I work on it.

What’s on your needles?

FO and WIP Saturday

Because I’ve been busy! Let me start off strong by showing my finished socks.

I really, really love how they turned out. The pattern was really just a lacy-v stitch repeated three times over the front, and past the heel also three times across the back. I had 3 stitches too many to make it a nice ‘all the way around’ pattern (66 sts for a multiple of 9 pattern) so there’s a plain stockinette stitch area of 6 sts on either side between the sections. The only downside to this pair is that the yarn’s coloration is very busy and doesn’t show the lace too well, but I can live with that!

If you’re interested in the pattern for these socks, let me know. 🙂 They’re toe-up socks, and can be knit TAAT or single.

Before I get going with my WIP, let me share some very exciting news with you: I’m going on vacation! My daytime activities group organized a 5 day getaway at a beach resort in Zeeland (province of the Netherlands) that up to 7 people could go to, counselor included. It cost €100, but it includes… well, everything. Three meals a day, the rent of the large family sized vacation home, activities in the resort and the drive to and back. The house also has all sorts of facilities, like a coffeemaker, washer and wifi. 🙂 We’ll be doing whatever we feel like, which is super nice because I don’t like the pressure of sticking to a strict schedule of activities. I get along great with all the women who are joining the vacation so I expect nothing but oodles of fun.

My WIP is a cardigan made with discontinued yarn from Phildar, which I’m hoping to have finished and be wearing by the time we leave. (The yarn is a nylon/acrylic/wool/silk blend, very soft and warm without being winter warm – perfect for a summer garment!). It’s a DK weight yarn. My goal deadline is June 4th, so two weeks from now. And it’s going to be an XXL for sure, too. I know some of you are going ‘She’s CRAZY‘ and maybe I am! But I finished a Worsted weight adult mean’s sweater in 18 days on my first sweater ever. I can do this too!

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This is what I have done within a single day. I’m about 2 inches away from putting the sleeves on holders and stopping the increases to continue working back and forth. My original ideas didn’t quite work out so well. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around the math involved with starting a lacy pattern on an increase section, so I opted for something different. The main body will be a plain stockinette knit, but the sleeves will be a gorgeous swirling mesh pattern with a fancy edge on the end of the sleeve.

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To make the cardigan even more interesting, I’ll be using all three colors shown in the photo above, in that order from left to right. Every 25cms (10 inches) I’ll knit a gradient stripe to gradually change the colors. If my math is correct, it will be something similar to this:

  • Knit with MC
  • R1: CC – 1
  • R2-5: MC – 4
  • R6-7: CC – 2
  • R8-10: MC – 3
  • R11-13: CC – 3
  • R14-15: MC – 2
  • R16-19: CC – 4
  • R20: MC – 1
  • Knit with CC

I think this will look much nicer than a harsh, sudden change of color that results in three ‘blocks’ on the cardigan.

Once I finish knitting the body and sleeves, I will pick up stitches all around the sides and neck and knit about 2-4 inches of seed stitch in one of the three colors. It depends on how much I have left, I may have only enough of the pinkish color for the body, but we’ll see about that when we get there. (The yarn is discontinued, so what I have is what I get to work with here.) I’ll knit in 1-3 button holes and find some nice buttons to go with this so I can be comfy and warm on a cool summer’s night.