A month ago today, my mom had total hip replacement surgery. I've been staying with her since then, being physical-therapy coach, pill-dispenser, chauffer, chief cook and bottle washer, and of course general dogsbody -- actually, she is a fairly ideal patient, uncomplaining and undemanding, and for the most part in good spirits if often just tired. There was an unexpected falter at the very beginning, when, having been told that "probably" she would be going home the same day as the procedure, the hospital stay ended up being five days, which of course was exhausting and stressful, and meant that her physical recovery was set back that much more. But then there was a dramatic upswing, she got to come home, and things have been progressing in an upwards direction almost continually since then.
I knew of course that the recovery period would be extended -- four to six weeks with the walker and the infamous TED hose, then a transition to the quad cane -- so I came well-prepared with numerous fiber projects and books for various situations.
I know, a scarf in July! But I was indoors quite a lot during mom's hospital stay, and although I had a couple of books with me, she was surprisingly chatty considering, and I knitted on this until the grey wool ran out. I had been looking for something in my "knitting" e-mail folder and found this free pattern in a Jimmy Beans newsletter from 2007 (!) and I thought, "hey, I have that Cashsoft in those very colors!" so I dug out a ball of each and tossed them in my bag. It is the Storm Scarf by Iris G, and very simple with just a touch of busy-ness there in the middle. The original pattern has you alternate the direction of the cables each time, but that didn't quite work for me so I have made them all the same. Unfortunately, my two balls of Cashsoft are of considerably different sizes, so the "Thunder" ran out long before the cream did. I have some more of each at home, so finishing is on hold but probably not far away.
Another petit-point carpet, this one the "Gendje Runner" from one of Meik and Ian McNaughton's books.
No less than three Inspector Gamache mysteries, which I found at the library used-book shop for two dollars apiece.
(I read the first of the series not long after it came out, and enjoyed it. I liked the Inspector, gentle and thoughtful, and the small-town Canadian setting with its quirky artists, but somehow I hadn’t managed to read any more in the meantime. Knowing now, of course, that I’d be more-or-less house-bound for some time, I snapped them up, even though it was likely that there were gaps in the sequence, and yesterday I picked up Bury Your Dead. And then it began. Sentence fragments. Piling up inexorably. Like December snow against the door. More and more. I grew restless. January. Deeper and deeper. Blast upon blast. I remembered every grammar lesson I ever had – “no sentence fragments!” Even the ones that were kinder than that. “If you must, at least use them sparingly!” But still they kept coming. The snow is up to the eaves now. And I am only in chapter two. I feel trapped. Battered by the icy shards. Smothered –)
This is the skein of Pagewood Farms' Denali in "New Horizon" that I've had in my stash since 2009. 2009! unbelievable. I had already tried any number of patterns and was dissatisfied for any number of reasons, and tried more than one this month, including the Simple Skyp Socks which didn't quite appeal in this wool for some reason -- though I will definitely put them on my future-knits list, mind you -- but eventually decided on some toe-up Hermione's Everyday socks. The cast-on I chose gave me much grief for an evening, but I eventually a) got it figured out and b) adapted the sizing to better suit my very-wide toes. It's a beautiful cast-on, too, very clever, and makes a smooth and elegant toe.
(Okay, how many people can't help calling them Simple Skype Socks?! I don't even Skype!)
Mom has a couple of knitted dishcloths in her kitchen drawer, but mostly uses a brush for washing. Surprisingly to me, since of course I grew up washing dishes with a brush, I far prefer cloths now, and so since from the start of this adventure I've been the one doing the dishes, I thought, "okay, I get to do the dishes, I get to choose the equipment!" and even though I'm pretty sure mom does not care for these colors, they are just dishcloths and I had a whole cone of the cotton. I have already made at least five cloths with it, and after cranking out a few more -- a whole dishcloth in an evening, sometimes! that's one of the great things about crochet, I must say -- I began calling it "The Cone of a Thousand Dishcloths"!
The one at the right is the only one that took more than a day -- it went incredibly slowly, but I had a hard time figuring out the stitch, and because I like my dishcloths worked at a very tight gauge, working it just made my hand ache. It's the "Crunchy Stitch Cloth" from Petals to Picots, and although I will say that although it was a bit of trouble, the result turned out very well. The others are, clockwise from there, the Spiral Double Crochet cloth, a horizontal rib cloth, the Herringbone Crochet cloth with a SC edge, Seeing Squares, and the Simplicity Dishcloth (DC edge). I confess that I still often can't tell what I'm doing with crochet, and had the dickens of a time telling apart the herringbone and the half-double Simplicity one, but maybe that's partly because the herringbone doesn't look particularly herringboney to me ...
So it has been a strange four weeks, kind of outside of time and space while everything is discombobulated -- my surroundings are different, the routine is different, the company is different. We had some spectacularly hot weather --
-- this was after it had cooled off! -- and even an unexpected downpour --
but also some really beautiful clouds in the evenings --
and a brief interlude when Laura came to stay with Grandma while I went home and to the County Fair to see Julia show her market lamb --
Yes, she tied her hair back for the show ring! It was a fun weekend, and I will share more pictures of the crafts competitions in another post. The picture at very top here, by the way, is past Fair logos in cross-stitch! Quite impressive -- this was only part of the very large piece, and needless to say, it won some very big ribbons!
And now I'm back at mom's, more dishes and laundry, more sunsets, more follow-up visits to doctors and physical therapists, a quick stop at the yarn shop ...