First, those spazzing over your Knit Picks yarns, please relax. Occasionally dud skeins turn up in batches of yarn, not just from Knit Picks. I saw something similar happen with Lorna's Laces on the internet, just a while back. In a word, shit happens. I was pretty pissed when I wrote that yesterday - having just finished patching it - and may have possibly been a bit rabid about it. (Ha. Me? Rabid? Say it ain't so.) I would, however, watch for weird spots as you knit... but then those got past me. I don't know. In the future, if I can afford it, I'll be buying Bendigo Woolen Mills' beige yarn for dyeing. Or something of similar quality, just get the beige/natural version and off you go.
Oh, and the hex jacket? It's not going together right. I sewed up half of it last night, and was kind of frowning at it, and said "Maybe it'll look better if I block it." and the husbeast said something like "Oh, is that what knitters tell themselves in these situations?" and I laughed and said "It works just often enough that we keep thinking it." So we'll see, but now this morning, I'm re-thinking it, and I may have a half-assed solution. Maybe. It would work, but it would reduce the chest circumference and would mean ripping out the half of the jacket I've already sewn up. Yay. I live for that shit.
And last night, when I threw it aside in disgust? Two hours later I found Sekhmet napping on it. Fucker.
Physical therapy is a biggie for anyone with a chronic orthopedic problem. Those of you out there with chronic ortho problems are even now going "Well, duh." Often, if you're lucky, ongoing physical therapy means going to the gym and working out three days a week, or walking around the block, or something low-key but similar. (I've got a friend with a back problem who goes camping. I imagine setting up her camper is all the exercise her back needs - that and caring for her three dogs. It doesn't HAVE to be all formal in a gym or office, but you gotta MOVE.) "Use it or lose it." is the phrase I've had thrown at my by physical therapists. Hence my ongoing quest for crafting that helps my small-motor skills. Might as well make something pretty while I'm at it, right?
For people with chronic pain (technically Reflexive Sympathetic Dystrophy in my case, if we want to get really Big Word about it - the nervous system gets stuck in 'injured' mode), doing physical therapy is often difficult. I've been told it's amazing I finished out my original physical therapy ten years ago, let alone continuing it. The fact that I work out is cause for much happiness from the doctors too. Chronic pain specialists are more used to people who lay around all day, barely functioning. (One of the many reasons I say I don't need a chronic pain specialist.) So of COURSE for them, one of their first treatments is to get the patient into physical therapy. It does help - especially for those not doing it at all - and most chronic pain people don't do it, and I am always open for suggestions of new ideas for physical therapy. But wearing hand-knits (and now hand spun) to the doc's office sort of sets the tone for the doc and me dealing with each other; I am on the ball, know what's good for me, and do it. It creates an entirely different patient-doctor dynamic, because they then know I am dead serious about keeping my hand working and not some whiner after medication. (I hate it, but I have to admit, yes, chronic pain docs see whiners who want drugs, and they're human and sometimes it takes a bit to figure out who is who.)
Last time I did this, I wore the Chain Mail Sweater. The doc was like "Okay, number one, yes, that's all the physical therapy you need, well done, keep up the good work. And two, THAT'S REALLY COOL. My wife knits. Do you know the pattern?" and I wrote down the details for his wife.
And lastly, conversations with the Goob over the last couple days:
ME: Quit whining and use your words.
GOOB: NO! (I don't think she gets 'irony' yet.)
ME: You drama queen.
GOOB, nose in air: No. I a dwama PWINCESS.
ME: Guess who's here? (The husbeast had gotten home from work early.)
GOOB: GRANDMA AND GRANDPA??!!?? (Remembering the surprise birthday visit. I called them and told them this, and they're thinking of sneaking into town after bed time, again, for Thanksgiving.)
GOOB: Mumma, my butt bwoken.
ME: Your butt's broken?
ME: Why is your butt broken?
GOOB: Dewe a cwak in it. [There's a crack in it.]
The husbeast had set me up for this, and was in the other room laughing hysterically. The Goob is STILL telling me her butt is broken three days later. And wants me to kiss it better.
GOOB: Shoo, modifo! [Shoo, mosquito!]
ME: They don't shoo, baby. Just smash it.
GOOB, eyes round: SMASH IT?
ME, after bedtime: Sekhmet.... here kitty kitty, Sekhmet...
GOOB, loudly, from her bed: MUMMA! TITTY IN HERE!
I opened the door, and there was the idiot cat.
Now I'm going to go decide whether I'll pick out the seam on the hex jacket, or dump that whole thing for a day and work on something else. Like sewing up Innsvinget. Or maybe I'll just knit on the Octagonal Thing all day - I'm up to round 118.
Oh, and the dyeing? I fear my attitude is getting, uh, screwy. I found myself thinking last night "Did the Phoenicians run to the craft store for everything?? NO." Gonna be interesting. The Phoenicians were THE dyers of the ancient world (murex was theirs, their NAME means purple people) and while they were operating at bronze age tech, they also ran a trade empire and I'm betting were better equipped than me; I KNOW they were more knowledgeable. But it's the principle, damn it; the same reason I keep thinking of the ancient Egyptians weaving 80 thread per inch linen on looms made of sticks and consider building my own.