Sunday, April 28, 2019

Yopping Update #43 - Portuguese Knitting

I worked a wee bit over the week on my amigurumi Monkey.  Head, body and one leg done.

It is slow going to crochet with my left hand but it is coming along.

Then yesterday I had an epiphany.  What about Portuguese Knitting? I went to my trusty friend YouTube and after looking at a couple of videos I gave it a try.

I got out the felted slipper pattern I had, and I made myself a pin to hook the yarn to the left side of my shirt.  The whole idea is that all the action, and tension is happening with the left hand.  The right arm just has to hold the needle, and the tensioned yarn is held around the middle finger so no opening and closing of my thumb.

It took me a few tries to get the knit stitch, but the purl stitch is super easy.  In fact purling is so easy that if you want to have a garter stitch project you purl every row, rather than knitting every row.

Even though it is called Portuguese Knitting it is a common way of knitting in Turkey, Greece and other countries.  Who Knew?

In a funny coincidence Liz (highlandhefflump) sent me an email that I received this morning suggesting I give it a try.  Great minds think alike!!

I knit for a few hours, on and off last night, and my arm is no more the sorer for it.  I will take it slow.  I did get my ultrasound results and I have a 9 mm tear in one of my rotator cuff tendons.  It is what my physio suspected but when I see her on Thursday I will take her the report and we will continue our work together.

I had a better week mentally this week.  I went to the gym a couple of times and the pool once where I walked in the river current without using my right arm at all.  I walked to my 12 step meeting yesterday because it was so beautiful out, apple and cherry blossoms everywhere.  Beats the snow my son was getting one province over!

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Yopping Update #42 - To the left, to the left

Happy Easter!

Spring Cleaning seems to be happening here - trying to do so with my left arm (this takes longer and is not as efficient).  Yesterday I took apart our bedroom fan (looking forward to hot July days) and cleaned all the dust and muck that has accumulated over - oh, I don't know - twenty years!!

I re-potted my Aloe Vera plant which had enough new babies to now have four pots!  I cleaned out the flower boxes and I will buy more hummingbird flower seeds to keep those dear little birds around.

I worked this week on learning to crochet with the hook in my left hand.

I finished the skein of cotton and frogged it, and now I am trying to learn the basket weave stitch.  

I narrowly avoided buying a set of knitpicks interchangeable needles (darn knitpick catalogue), but as my uncle would say - common sense prevailed.  I don't NEED any more needles, but I feel so lost
without my knitting I just want to buy something knitting related.  I wandered into a local wool shop Thursday and perused the crochet needles (I also don't need these), and again came to my senses before spending any money.

I did, though, buy a crochet pattern that has been in my queue for a while, for the Rainbow Amigurumi Monkey, and I am using the yarn I bought at Michael's at the end of March.

This will be a slow process, but it is on my Year of Projects to-do list.

I got home Monday night - and have not been doing any walking because I have been feeling sorry for myself.  I put my arm in a sling on Friday, which I think helped me be aware enough not to use it all the time for this and that.  I have my ultrasound on Tuesday, and also a physio appointment. I have been sleeping better because I am taking ibuprofen as I head to bed, which seems to make a lot of difference.

I have been reading this amazing book called Tides, by Jonathon White.  I picked it up from the library to read as prep for the course I am teaching this summer, but it is more than just that - it is such a good read, accessible in its scientific explanations, and the story telling of the different unusual tides around the world is very engaging.

I went to my Croatian lesson on Thursday and we got through another chapter of my textbook.  Yay us!

I went to my CoDA meeting yesterday morning and was late because I had slept in.  Then I sat in the corner quite weepy for the first part of the meeting (see above about feeling sorry for myself).  However by the end of the meeting I was feeling much lighter, and more hopeful and that probably explains the fan cleaning and plant re-potting yesterday afternoon.

There has been some difficult news this week of two dear friends who both have been recently diagnosed with Cancer.  F&^k Cancer!

I have set up my daughter's painting easel, and I plan to start painting again - since I can't knit or swim.  I will keep you posted on my progress but I am looking forward to getting my paints out once more.

Here is another message from my son:

And when all else fails I just play this video over and over:

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Now I have a chocolate bunny to eat.....

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Yopping Update #41 - going backwards?

Here I am  on a cloudy Sunday afternoon realizing I need to do my non-update for Year of Projects. 

Do I sound pathetic? 

A little, yes. 

I continued to walk the puppies (who are 14 and 12) everyday. I have amassed 23.46 km and a whole bunches of steps.  So at least I am earning some Carrot points towards a free movie.  Carrot is a Canadian app that tracks your steps and sets you challenges and if you make your step quota each day (mine is currently 7700 steps) then you earn points towards movies.  I already have enough points for 10 free movies, but still it keeps me motivated to keep trying to earn my carrot every day. 

I have seen eagles, herons and even a ring necked pheasant on my walks, plus lots of robins and hummingbirds.  And the island seems overflowing with beautiful yellow daffodils everywhere!

I did try, and succeeded, in learning something new with knitting.  Since I find that knitting really aggravates my right arm I wondered if knitting backwards, which means knitting from the right needle to the left needle might alleviate the aggravation. 

Here is my progress:

I did figure out how to both knit and purl and cast on backwards so I am pretty proud of myself for that.  Unfortunately it still hurts my arm so I put it away. 

I bought myself a healing bracelet that I am wearing on my right wrist to remind me to do things with my left arm.  The dark stones are lava and it is recommended to put some essential oil on the stones - I chose thieves oil which is suppose to be an anti-inflammatory and also is suppose to boost your immune system.  It is worth a shot.

I chose this one because of the purple beads - and then read the card:

That's right.  Hummingbird heart.  My totem speaks to me everywhere.

My cooking experiments have been going quite well - I have made these vietnamese rolls three times already this week, and I am making them again tonight. I also made the peanut sauce to dip them in.

There have been some lovely mossy walks:

and a couple of glorious ocean walks as well.

My son has been sending me encouragement: (his artwork)

and when I get really discouraged about things I always have these faces to cheer me up.

I am heading home tomorrow.  I miss my hubby - I love hearing his voice on the phone every night but it will be even better to hear it in person.

Lent will be over in a week and I will be back on facebook and instagram to see what I have been missing - oh and I can start baking those chocolate chip cookies again next Sunday.  I wish the lenten fast of swimming and knitting would also be over, but I am not that much of an optimist. Sigh.

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Yopping Update #40 - One foot in front of the other

Well, no knitting.  I did take apart a sweater for my sister which took a couple of days. She found the sweater at the free store that was hand knit from home spun.  She will make a lovely vest for herself with the wool. 

I have been walking an hour or so every day with the puppies, and meeting some new friends:

I have tried some new recipes:  gluten free cinnamon buns, beef and broccoli, butternut squash salad, and guacamole.  (No pic of the guacamole - but it was yummy on toast!)  This is huge for me as my hubby is the cook in our family (I am so spoiled), but I think I am managing quite well. 

I worked through another chapter of my croatian textbook, and typed up a couple of days worth of lecture notes from February to use this summer.  The kitchen table is awash in papers and pens, pencils and notes.

There has been binge watching -  A Place to Call Home, Call the Midwife, and Girls. 

I went to the movies last night and saw Green Book.  It was very good. During the day I went to a workshop on water conservancy which was very interesting and it was nice to see some friends there too. 

All in all I am getting things done.  I have even been journalling a little bit every morning.

Yesterday after walking the dogs, I went up a trail by myself that had many many stairs.  I counted 65 stairs up and then down of course and my legs feel it today.  I imagine they will feel it even more tomorrow.

Tonight I am going to make a chicken stir-fry over pad thai noodles, and settle in for some more telly.  We had quite the windstorm here yesterday, and although it is still windy today, the sun is out and the sky is blue.

Tomorrow I am going to volunteer again, as I did last Monday, at the soup kitchen, and I will go to the community choir again too.  Singing is good for my spirits.  I think on Tuesday I will try the yoga class, and let the instructor know about my arm and modify as needed.  It helps to keep active.  Sulking doesn't do me any good, and if my arm is going to be like this for months, as I hear it may be, I have to find ways to carry on doing the things I can without moping about not be able to do the things I can't.

So that is my year of projects update - still an update, just not knitting related.  I am hoping when I get home my magazine will have arrived and I can start to sew together the blanket squares that I have completed.  I think hand sewing will be manageable in small doses.  Hope springs eternal.

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