Saturday, January 07, 2012

Useful (to me) video

I've been doing a lot of crafty-type stuff this week, since I've been parked on the couch with a foot in the air.  Most of it was embroidery, but the day before yesterday I knitted a cowl. I'm about to make another one.

I don't knit in the round very much, mainly because most of the time the place where I joined the stitches looks ghastly. I've been using a method that I learned from "Knitting for Dummies," whereby you cast on one extra stitch, transfer the last cast-on stitch to the needle next to the first cast-on stitch, then knit them together. Most of the time it leaves a funky gap that I just can't get rid of. I always thought I'd make more socks if I ever found a better way to join things.

Guess what?  I just did.  I tried starting the cowl and was disgusted with the join. Since I had the lap top open (listening to Middlemarch some more) I decided to take my problem to Google.  Here's what I found:

So simple! And works so very well. I am very grateful to whoever this woman is.  There's nothing to keep me from making socks now except my own inertia.

As soon as I finish the second cowl I'll show you both.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Helloooo 2012!

So, how was everyone's December? Sorry I disappeared there, right after Thanksgiving. I got all involved in gift-shopping and wrapping stuff.  Then my colleague retired and we had a party for her. Then there was more gift-shopping, gift-wrapping, gift-sending (to Virginia and California), cookie-baking, and bam! It was Christmas.

That's "bam!" literally, by the way. I woke up Christmas morning in the dark with a leg cramp. Just walking to the kitchen to get ice to put on it made it go away. That should have been the warning that things were not going to go my way that day. Did I heed said warning? No, I did not. Later on that day, while sitting in my sister's basement rec room and still in my jammies, I took a mouthful of coffee and choked on it--sort of. I tried to swallow at exactly the same moment my body decided to cough. Turned myself into a coffee fountain.  It made a mess of my clothes, so I went upstairs to change and throw things into the washer, which is kept out in the garage.

The floor of the garage is lower than the floor of the rest of the house.  It's too steep for a regular step, so to mitigate this some previous owner (or maybe the builder) put in a little step between the door sill and the garage floor. I've been in this house a number of times before and never had trouble remembering it was there. This time I missed it completely and went "bam!" right down. Actually, I'm not sure if I missed it, slipped, or only caught half of the step. It all happened very fast. I was talking over my shoulder to my Mom, with one hand on the door, when down I went.  Pulled the door shut behind me with extreme violence, slammed into the metal cabinet that was to the right of me, screamed out, "Son of a b!tch!" (but apparently no one heard that over all the other noise) and then just sat there on the floor, stunned.

Mom came to see why I'd slammed the door so hard and found me sitting on the step I'd missed, rubbing my right ankle. I asked for ice, which she went and got while I sat there listening to the memory of my voice screaming "Son of a b!tch!" It started me giggling (every time I remember it, I giggle again. I did just now, writing that). This turned into full-blown hysterical laughter, complete with tears. I'm glad my default reaction is to laugh in situations like this. My mom came back with the ice, and we both sat there: me laughing and icing my ankle, she rubbing my back and (probably) wondering if I needed an X-ray. It was mentioned a few times, but I decided against it. My sister loaned me an Ace bandage (which I'm still wearing), and I spent the rest of the day either hobbling around or sitting somewhere with my foot in the air. The next day we went to New Jersey to have lunch with my Dad's brother and his family, then on the 27th we all went home.

Here's what the ankle looked like two days later:

Souvenir of my Christmas trip. #ouch on Twitpic
Pretty, no? I think Crayola should make a crayon color called "Ouch, My Ankle!" (not pictured: other side of ankle, which looked pretty much the same as this)

Since then I've been (for the most part) hanging out on the couch with my foot in the air, either watching TV or listening to audiobooks while I embroider. Right now (well, not right now, obviously) I'm listening to Middlemarch, as read by Juliet Stevenson.  She's excellent. I did make a couple of excursions outdoors, mainly to get necessities (milk, coffee filters, lunch meat), or, once the ankle felt strong enough to use, to take myself to lunch on New Year's Eve.  I thought I'd better go out then, because the bus wouldn't be running on either the 1st or the 2nd of January and I really should see a person or two before holing up for a few days.  I was going to go out today as well, but they're calling for snow, with a wind chill of 0 or even -5, so I'm staying right here, thank-you-very-much. I might go to the mall tomorrow, mainly because I can (I'm off until next Monday) but also partly to buy calendars from the calendar-and-game kiosk that pops up every November and disappears by mid-January. I need two wall calendars. I never think to ask for them as Christmas presents.

So how was your December? And your New Year's Eve? Did anyone make any resolutions? I can't without breaking one a I made a long time ago never to make another new year's resolution. I have some things I'd like to do this year, but I'm not serious enough about them to be "resolved" to do them. I'd like to post more often than I have been. And I'd like this year to be "Handmade Christmas," since I kind of fizzled out last year around February. I ran out of ideas. I think I have a better handle on it now. We'll see.