the days of not-knitting

I'm on day three of not knitting and it's killing me. On Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment, and they drew blood to test, and it did not go well. Tuesday night I was hardly able to move my arm and was in lots of pain. It's gotten much better since then, but now (three days later) my inner elbow is still bruised and somewhat swollen. In a fit of optimism, I tried to do a bit of knitting last night. I managed one stinkin' row on the Wash sweater before admitting defeat. I'm tempted to try again tonight. Maybe the blue socks will go better since DPNs are more comfortable to knit with than 14" straights.

In the meantime, I've been doing other yarn-related things. Just to take the edge off, man, just to take the edge off. Last night I sat down and ripped back the six rows on the Larch shawl that I needed to rip back. I used the frogging method I've perfected over the years: rip back to the row before, then pull out the next row of stitches just a few inches at a time and pick them up with a needle several sizes smaller than what the project is using. In this case, since I'm knitting Larch on US 7s, I used size US 3s. The smaller needle makes it much less of a headache to catch at the stitches, and I don't have to deal with trying to jam the needle through a stitch only to pull out the loop of the next one. Then just knit from the smaller needle back onto the regular one. In this case, because of my arm, I just slipped the stitches back onto the US 7. Easy peasy.

Today, I finished up sorting through The Stash and uploading pics to my Ravelry stash page. I'd barely set up, when my first helper arrived.

She was very well behaved, and slept there for quite a while before moving on to the next napping spot. She was soon replaced by my second helper, who just couldn't resist the allure of a yarn fortress. The only way it could get better would be if someone would just get rid of those pesky cat-proof bags keeping her apart from her precious precious wool.

Now I'm doing stash-sorting. There's something deeply satisfying about getting organized. I refreshed myself on what exactly is lurking in The Stash, and I updated my mental queue of upcoming projects. ....and now I really want to knit it all.

Damn.

Instead I branched out into another crafty area. Remember a while ago I was talking about using the hot weather of summer as an excuse to brush up on my embroidery skills? I think I mentioned that. If I didn't just pretend I did. I have some great ideas that I might use as Christmas gifts, but I haven't embroidered anything since I was about 12 or 13, so I ordered a set of blank tea towels to brush up my skills with. Because I like making things for Jason, I offered to embroider whatever videogame characters he picked onto there. He never got back to me on that, so I just picked three for him. I went for the more cartoon-ish ones because those translate better to an embroidery pattern.

We've got Mario and Luigi, Megaman, and Link. I just did a google image search for those characters, picked one, adjusted the size, and printed it on regular paper. Then I took it downstairs to a window and taped it up there so the light went through it and traced the picture from the wrong side using hot iron transfer pencils. I need it to be backwards so that when I iron it onto the towels it will be reversed and be right way round again.

Now I just need to prewash the tea towels, which unfortunately has to wait until I do a load of towels. Then I'll iron on the transfers and get started. I'm pretty excited.

While I've been unable to knit, I've been reading in the evenings instead. Since Tuesday, I finished up The Star Beast by Robert Heinlein. That's one I hadn't read before, and it didn't disappoint. I think it's very interesting how he combines the kitschy Leave-It-To-Beaver 1950s feel with science fiction. I think it makes a very cool juxtaposition. Then I read a stupid teen book. Dystopian is the new vampire for young adult fiction, and like the paranormal influences that were all the rage before it, it's hit and miss. Some is fantastic, some is awful. This one was awful, but it only took me a day to read, so eh.

Now I'm reading something much better: Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. Mignola is the creator of Hellboy, which is why I originally picked it up. Very enjoyable so far. I'm about halfway through now, and can't wait to finish it up.