Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gathering Together

Its been unseasonably cold here on Vancouver Island..... and even colder elsewhere. Lots of snow and chilly temperatures all over. Well, at least here in the northern hemisphere!  I found the picture above on line, but it easily could have been taken here with fog among the trees.  These two pictures below are from our upper deck yesterday morning, and it was minus 5 degrees Celsius:

Okay, not really cold compared to some places right now but cold enough to get your attention! Seems like Old Man Winter is off to a good start this year.

Calli *loves* the snow!
I somehow felt that acquiring (gathering) snow tires would be a good thing and to do it early this year and so Bruce has brand new Toyo winter treads on the Santa Fe and we have AWD if need be. Its a darn good thing I had that urge to be ready ahead of the snow as I'm traveling by a moderately high mountain highway to Victoria this coming Thursday for my surgery!   I have to BE THERE for 7:30 am......that's plain nasty! It doesn't mean I'm first up either and may still have a further wait ahead of me....

I'm now in the process of making up a list of what I would like to bring along, and what I need to bring along! ( and have it all fit in a small overnight bag). Its hardly a vacation, but I'd rather have the items there to hand than having to wait for Bruce to bring them in the next day.

All the medical people I talk to have been telling me that so much has changed since I had my first hip replaced thirteen years ago in 2001.   The first thing I noticed is how short the stay is, especially when you consider what they are doing to me!  2001: they quoted 4-6 days and I stayed 6. Now they tell you: 2-3 days. We'll see how that goes!

For my homecoming  I have also been gathering together books, DVD's and some small hand work projects to do while initially recovering.  I have books and recent Vav and Handwovens and also the Complex Weavers Journals to read. Then I have a lace scarf I'm knitting away on and also some small amulet knit beaded bags are under way too.  I was going to warp up the table loom but they told me that sitting for any length of time like that would be better served if my legs were elevated. (you swell up pretty good!)  If I am able to sit, then I might as well try treadling instead and move the legs and I have the recent scarf project  still on the Louet Spring.

It crossed my mind that I may not be able to change tie up's on that loom for some time (3-4 months?) as you can't bend forward and straining the operated site for fear of a dislocation or rupture internal stitches.  So there may be variations of the box pattern showing up for some time to come!   I'll play with the draft on the computer and see what else I can dream up with the same tie up.

So lots of plans for my time, but the reality will be something else I'm sure!    Lots of cat naps as sleeping at night is tricky. Its hurts to move in bed and laying in one position isn't good either.  Since you need help to shift  and rearrange all the support pillows( and just about anything else for a while) Bruce will be helping me move about and later napping himself when I am (if he's smart!)

Bruce is a good cook in the kitchen so no worries there!  We are however working on how to manage a washing machine with all its water levels, temperatures and additives such as soap and softener.   The complexities of darks versus lights.... hand wash versus gentle cycle.   The "hang to dry" over the "tumble to a crisp" on high heat!     I'm sure he will do just fine (... failing that,  I can buy new duds.... with his credit card.  :)

Christmas, such as it will is and will be, is all done.  The cards are gathered and ready for mailing come Monday or Tuesday.  There's no tree this year and no lights. We'll put up the Christmas cards we receive and I have one Christmas ball that is netted with bobbin lace out on its hanger already.

I'm also systematically giving all house plants a good soaking as no one will even think about them for a time!

So you may have figured out by now that all this is a "self created distraction" that is designed to keep me from thinking too much about what's to come!

I'm having a full general..... so start to count backwards.....

I know that there are some rough days ahead but also good ones too as I heal. I already know that the end result is worth it.  Its a process much like weaving where you have to lay the ground work for a good final finish !

I''ll be back soon.....  see you on the other side of this!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lots of Miles In...

Since I last posted on November 2nd, or two weeks ago, I have put on many miles on but few of them on my loom unfortunately.    This getting ready for an operation is crazy busy!  Since I last wrote I have seen:

  • my surgeon (who gave me x-rays to do.)
  • an internist (who gave me blood tests to do.)
  • had a four hour education class on joint replacements (who gave me more blood tests to do...)
  • had special 'templating' x-ray and (surprise!)  various blood tests.
  • visited the Red Cross loans to work out what I will need at home post surgery.
  • and had a consult with an Anaesthetist, (who scared the crap out of me.)

I also fit into the schedule:
  • a movie with a friend and hubby ("Fury" with Brad Pitt.... which made "Saving Private Ryan" look like a pleasant walk in the countryside. )
  • a pedicure (no nasty feet!)
  • had a dinner out with friends for their anniversary early.
  • got all my Christmas cards done, several letters and all the Christmas shopping done, which was simplified this year by using gift cards.

I found out that I will have yet more tests to do later this week and I also have a date with the hairdresser (got to look good... and who knows when I can go again!)

So weaving seems to have take a back seat lately. Its unlikely that the new scarves I put on will get done as its rather fine weaving and it takes a lot to make an inch.   I have started making a list of things to do post recovery:
  • read all the Handwoven's from the last six months
  • read all the Complex Weavers Journals
  • read my Vav magazines
  •  arranged for some easy knitting to do for winter lace scarves and also miniature beaded bags.
  • have my inkle looms loaded and ready to weave
  • Fiberworks is warming up on the laptop for some design work
  • and I have Netflix  on stand by and two full seasons of HBO's Rome to watch again. 

But the reality will be:
  • many physio appointments and exercising.
  • more Doctor visits.
  • another x-ray or three (blood samples too I suspect.)
  • waiting for the staples to come out for a nice full shower!
  • some reading, a movie or three .....and some napping.

I did weave a bit (sleep is overrated by the way...)  and I changed the weft yarn to a black fine 30/2 silk and I like it better. There is more pattern definition.  So now its just a matter of sitting down for short periods and getting some inches done and chip away at it.   Meanwhile I'm trying to think of what weft and colour to use on the second scarf. I think I will dig deep into the stash and see what I can find.   When I have some free time!

As you can see there is better definition of the 'boxes'  and I think the subtle colour changes in the warp help. Its not a difficult twill run but it does challenge my cranky hip on one side and a bum knee on the other, so I take it slow.   But I'm weaving!

The coming week has:  an eye specialist visit, a visit to the family doctor to discuss anaesthesia , a hair appointment,  some shopping for more comfy clothes, and a visit to the Red Cross loans. Oh, yeah... more blood tests and another x-ray.   After that, time will be running short!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trials and Tribulations

Well, I did warn you some time ago that there will come a day when the medical stuff going on in my life will start to really squeeze out the weaving part.... and its beginning...

In the last month I have had three dental appointments, and seen my family doctor twice, my rheumatologist once and recently my surgeon again. Its been a very busy time and will be ongoing for  awhile.

I had a three hour root canal this past Tuesday and I'm still in the recovery phase and not chewing on that side of my face.   I'm a "white knuckle flyer" in the chair and on the day, so  I took some ativan and brought my iPod along.   I plugged in my ear phones and listened to some favourite music... loudly.... and just lay still. I reckoned the orthodontist could do a faster job if I kept quiet.... and I did a good job of it.  I even started to fall asleep once!  They got it all done and even a permanent filling in place, so no return visit or two.  (We won't talk about the two crowns I need now....)

Then two days later I saw my surgeon for an important appointment.  Bruce came in with me and we had a discussion about my two cranky joints and which goes first.  They are both equally painful now and both need medical intervention and it was decided to go with replacing my right hip as its a major weight bearing joint and the left knee will be next year, approximately June to August possibly.

I've been down this road before as I had my left hip replaced in 2001 and so know full well what is ahead and we have been busy getting ready. There are a lot of helpful aides that you need to set up: raised toilet seat, walkers, a reacher, crutches, a cushion to raise your spot on the coach or chair, and a bath bench.   You need comfy clothes for coming home in,  and going to rehab. We have been ticking off things on the list. Why the hurry?   Well, they have moved my surgery up to December 4th and that's not all that far away.  

So add in getting Christmas done early (such as it will be) and there is an air of urgency !

Coming up this week is yet another Doctor visit and a three hour education class at the Joint Replacement Clinic.  It doesn't leave much time for weaving and quite frankly, sometimes I just sit and read a book to take my mind off everything.  Between the knee and hip and dealing with pain.... and some time down the road, there will even be a foot surgery, it can all get a bit much to deal with.   Weaving keeps me sane and is my "carrot" to dangle at the end of all this!

If you made it to here, then you deserve some fibre content!    I've been playing around with my Fireworks program and came up with this: (click to enlarge)

I saw in my mind's eye,  scarves in three types of fine silks: silk yak blend is the grey, silk and camel is the gold, and 30/2  bombyx silk is the cream, with a sett of 36 epi.  Soft natural colours.

Its tough for me to stand in one spot for too long so winding the warp took time, especially  with all the colour changes!  I did bits and pieces as I could and Bruce helped me wind the warp on. 

Today,  I worked the new tie up with the loom up on her crates and made a start!

The two stick start means you get busy right away.

This is a close up of the sample for my records.

I laced on to reduce loom waste... it is silk after all! I plan to weave one scarf like the sample with all yak silk weft, and then maybe try my silk plaid arrangement for the second?  Or find another weft yarn?  I'm just happy that the loom is back in action and I can sit and weave when time allows!

Bruce took the pictures of the Japanese maple today while the sun shone. This magic colour is such a brief period in time and I wait all year for it!

Here's one that I took a few years ago and the leaves seem to  float by themselves in the air!