Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reflections on Life

My Spring Break is over, although it wasn’t much of a break since my husband was in the hospital. I spent six hour days every day attending to him. Being a nurse has its benefits. I haven’t done hospital nursing in awhile but the skills came back quickly. I feel blessed that I had this time with my husband. It helped to draw us closer than ever. He was a very good patient.

I’m glad I had this time to also reflect on our financial situation. I trust God implicitly and know he will provide. He always has. It has been a bit of a challenge navigating through the paperwork of applying for disability and budgeting so that all the bills can be covered. Nevertheless, I feel God will provide me with a measure of wisdom to do this. If nothing else, this certainly is a opportunity for setting priorities and maintaining what we have.

On the fiber front, I have tried to return to spinning. I continue to spin with Alpaca although the weather is turning warm with 100 degree heat today, so I am considering exploring dyeing this weekend instead. I’m afraid I fell off the fiber wagon and ordered some superwash roving from Sheep Shed studios. This will be great for dyeing too. If things get tough financially, perhaps I can sell some fiber/knit/crochet creations. Although, I hate selling in general. Salespeople have a special gift and this is not one I’ve been given. I would rather give things away than sell them.

This weekend, we has some very old friends from my high school days come to visit us. They were amazed at my spinning wheel. Although some were allergic to wool, they touched and petted the alpaca I was spinning. It is hypo allergenic. I have read that there is some debate whether a wool allergy is a true allergy. When I asked my allergist about wool allergy, he said that there isn’t a true wool allergy. I’ve heard this echoed from other medical professionals. Yet, when you ask those with the allergies, they describe symptoms that one would only surmise to guess are symptoms of an allergic reaction. There needs to be more research about wool allergies. I have not been able to find any recent studies on this topic.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Warming the Heart

Written 4/12/09

I finished knitting Walter’s sweater. I’ve been blocking the pieces so I can sew it up and put on neckband.It came out quite nice and with using Bulky weight Bernat Alpaka yarn it finished up fast.
My husband has been in the hospital lately, with a heart condition, and this has caused me to be in a knitting frenzy as the moment. With his particular kind of cancer, he is very sensitive to cold, being that his outer skin layer wants to dry out and flake off……..constantly. We don’t really appreciate what our skin does for us until we loose it. It provides our bodies with an insulating layer. When it is thin and exposed, air causes our skin to dry, feeling the cold weather or air more. This triggers a “shivering” response from the brain which sends the message to the body to get moving the muscles to warm it up. Well you get the idea. The heart also gets going faster, sometimes so fast, that it was quite worrisome to some of the nurses, in my husband’s case. So I have been knitting up leg warmers and arm warmers. I have a few skeins of a Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky. It’s just a K2 P2 in the round pattern but I am hoping to just slip these on W whenever he starts to shiver.

As a temporary measure, until I can get these knitted up. I’ve finshed my Woodland Shawl. It is a lovely green in a leaf pattern made with Lisa Souza Alpaka/Wool lace weight yarn. It is so soft and warm, I just wrap it around any cold part and it warms up nicely. A little too feminine perhaps but when you’re cold and uncomfortable, you will do anything to get warm.

Another quick project I started to break up the monotony is the Ball Band Washcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting. I have always wanted to try this pattern. This is an amazing pattern. It reminds me of a brick wall. It is inspiring me to make other things with this pattern, i.e. flower pots, tissue paper covers, baskets, etc. I have alot of acrylic to use up.