I have accumulated four five FOs, four new yarns, two WIPs, and a whole bunch of photographs to share here. But this working thing? It cuts into my free time. Only 30 hours/week — not even full time — but still, I fear that those previously mention FOs, etc., may have to wait until after October 15.
How do people who work full-time do it? (Well, first of all, they have more energy than I do because most of them are at least twenty years younger. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
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On Saturday I attended a knitting event held in a my area. Indoors, so no sheep or llamas or alpaca; but well-attended nevertheless.
It was held in a grade school gym. Remember grade school?
I was greeted by this guy propped up in the hall — maybe the principal? Maybe some children's television actor of whom I am sadly ignorant?
The gal at the check-in desk was showing off her apple cozy, which her mother had crocheted for her to protect her daily apple from bumps and bruises in her lunch bag. Clever, eh?
The day started with several speakers who talked about 1, how to avoid knitting-induced aches and pains (a physical therapist who crochets but didn't knit*); B, making an art yarn batt full of sparklies and surprises (the owner of the yarn shop where my knitting group meets); and iii, a short personal account of a knitting-related experience (a local resident; more on her later).
Those of you from Wisconsin and the Twin Cities might recognize the lady in the background, or you could if I had remembered to bring my camera and hadn't had to rely on my iPod:
That is Dixie of Yellow Dog Knitting, who was one of the vendors. She did it in a very clever and rather less stressful way than any of the other vendors: she brought along knitted samples, of course, but not a lot of yarn. Instead she brought one skein of each color of the yarns used in the samples. People could see and touch and stroke and squeeze the yarn, then order it from her. No shipping charges. Smart. I hope she made a killing.
One of the vendors was offering parafin [sic] dips for $5. That is my five dollar bill on the table.
On her table was a container of melted wax. She sprayed the customer's hands with a sanitizer and massaged them with lotion, then the customer dipped each hand into the melted wax three times to coat it. The wax was hot but not burning hot. She immediately put each waxed hand into a plastic bag and an insulated mitt, and the customer wandered off for five minutes to let the warmth soothe her hands.
After five minutes the customer came back to the table and the vendor removed the mitt and plastic bag and rubbed off the wax. The warm wax and the lotion left a lovely feeling, and the vendor was busy all day, her business limited only by the quantity of insulated mitts she had brought with her.
Attendees were encouraged to bring along a project to display.
Guess whose green lace shawl that is?
There will be better photos eventually, I promise.
Okay, now for the most awesome part of the day, the local knitter's experience.
I first heard of Sharon last February, when an acquaintance told me about his neighbor's wife — that would be Sharon — who was in the hospital. She had scratched her arm on something out in the barn or the barnyard, no big deal, but she woke up that night in terrific pain. Her husband took her to the emergency room, she was admitted, and the doctors found that she had gotten a horrific staph infection. Yes, the flesh-eating kind. She was in a coma for days, the doctors gave her something like a 1% chance of surviving. One day she was fine, the next day she was fighting for her life.
But she fought. (I'm a tough son of a bitch – her own words) The docs eventually had to amputate her arm and shoulder to save her life, but she healed and lived and came home.
Remember how she was a knitter?
She learned to knit one-handed.
Sharon was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her for the blog.
It is difficult to see because she was knitting with darkish yarn and because of the less-than-clear photos, but she props the left needle in her crotch and does everything else with her right hand. Of course, she knits more slowly now — I was a really fast knitter, she told me — but she can still do it and enjoy it. She was especially happy that she could still knit for her new granddaughter.
She also said that she has managed to do nearly everything that she could do before… except ride her horse. She is still working on that.
* She was sitting at our table and said that she wanted to learn to knit. Once upon a time someone had shown her how but she had forgotten. Over the lunch break I refreshed her memory on the knit stitch (she was knitting like a pro after five stitches) and taught her how to purl and how to cast on. Another crocheter comes over To The Light.