Archive for May, 2010

the one with carpal tunnel


So I’m not quite meeting my “at least one post per week” goal, am I? Considering that I was posting about once every three months at the end of my LiveJournal blogging career, I think I’m doing fairly well.

I guess I’m too busy knitting and watching season/series finales. I’ve cast on more knitting projects and added to my stash (everyone needs a little retail therapy once in a while, especially when there’s great yarn at 40% off!). My shoulder is still bothering me a bit, but not as bad as it was.

New on the needles is a cotton baby bib that I started two days ago and will most likely complete today, if my wrists allow. It’s the first in a trio of bibs for a friend’s first boy. The colors in the picture aren’t quite accurate—the green is more of a bright lime green.

I’m still plodding along on the blanket for my mom. The rounds just get longer and longer…they’re ridiculously long already and I still have two and a half skeins to use. I’m content with finishing just one or two rounds each time I pick it up. I believe the end result will be worth the monotony and the wrist pain.

I’m worried about these issues I have with my wrists. I’m not even 30 years old! Carpal tunnel is probably a real possibility given years of flute playing, many years of heavy computer use, and now several years of knitting. I have a doctor’s appointment this coming week for my annual “wellness” exam and I think I’ll be discussing my wrist and shoulder issues with my doc.

Just for fun, here’s Artemis, our princess kitty.

She loves the IU camp chair.

knitter’s shoulder?


I think I’ve injured myself by knitting too furiously.

I started a blanket for my mom a week before Mother’s Day. I had grand delusions of being able to finish it, even at the snail-like pace that I knit, in time to gift it on Mother’s Day. Now…you need to understand that I knit so tightly that I often have to let go of the working yarn to scooch the knitting up the needle using both hands (or in this case, around the needle, since I’m working in the round). My hands usually start to hurt after knitting for an hour or so.

Also, I usually knit while sitting in my computer chair—an instrument of torture that I’ve been suffering for several years. The armrests are not adjustable. They are made of hard plastic and do not have any cushioning or padding covering them.

I finally realized after a week of furious knitting (furious means that I averaged at least an hour of knitting every day) that the way I rest my elbows against my torso while knitting—somewhat squished because if I rested my elbows on the actual ARMRESTS for more than five minutes, I would be bruised for life—yep, it kinda hurt.

When I finally admitted defeat two days before my unrealistic deadline, I scaled back on my knitting time and consciously tried to adjust my posture so as to not create as much tension in my hands and upper body. But, the next day my wrists and shoulder ached just a bit. A little twinge here and there.

Apparently I really need to try to knit more loosely. I’ve barely knitted at all this week. My wrists twinge more than a bit. And my shoulder! Egads, my right shoulder aches like whoa if I move it just so, especially while performing that oh-so-important motion of pulling up your pants or underwear. I don’t think the reference desk setup at work helps either. Our reference desk was designed by a sadist who did not stop to consider that most librarians (okay, about half of the librarians I know) have thighs the size of giant hams, and maybe we’d like to sit at the desk with an ergonomically correct posture but we’re unable to do so due to the sadistic design plus the idiotic lap drawers that are six inches tall, which means we can’t put our arms and wrists in that comfortable computing position because the tops of our thunder thighs will bump the lap drawers if we adjust the chair height to the correct ergonomic position.

But I digress.

I need a new computer/knitting/sewing chair.

fun with kool-aid and yarn


Several weeks ago I decided to try hand dyeing some yarn with Kool-Aid. I had never dyed yarn before but wanted to give it a go—especially since it would give me an excuse to buy lots of colorful little packets of fruity smelling goodness.

I found a few colors/flavors at Meijer but was unable to find the two flavors I wanted most (Lemon Lime and Berry Blue). I reluctantly braved a trip to Wal-Mart and found them there.

I used the dyeing tutorial from Knitty. I spent pretty much an entire afternoon and evening mixing colors, dyeing, and rinsing. OMG, the rinsing! I don’t think the water ever ran completely clear, even after six or seven rinses.

I was somewhat disappointed in the reds…it didn’t matter whether I used cherry or tropical punch or strawberry, they all ended up as almost identical shades of pink. That’s not to say that I’m not pleased with the results…I was just hoping for a bit more variation.

I dyed four different skeins of natural/undyed yarn from KnitPicks. The picture below shows all of the skeins I dyed.

From top to bottom, the colors/flavors I used:
#1 – Handpainted with 2 parts Black Cherry; 2 parts Strawberry; 1 part Cherry
#2 – Handpainted with 2 parts Cherry; 2 parts Orange; 0.5 parts Black Cherry
#3 – Handpainted with 3 parts Berry Blue; 2.5 parts Lemon Lime
#4 – Just sorta dumped into a bowl together: 2 parts Lemonade; 1.5 parts Tropical Punch

My favorite by far is #3, where a lot of the natural color remains along with the blues/greens.

I don’t have any patterns in mind for any of these yet. I still have another four or five undyed skeins left. Time to brave another trip to Wal-Mart…

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