Friday, February 29, 2008

Thank God for baseball...

Just gotten to the end of about the worst week of work ever -- the only thing getting me through it was the promise of watching the Sox play the Twins on The game is currently distracting me from being on call (the insult added to the injury of the work week-- I'm wearing the pager 24/7 until next friday).


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

soundtrack issues

Had a patient come in yesterday morning for her exam -- she was miserable because she'd broken up with her boyfriend of x years just the night before. The universe was really not trying to make her feel any better -- the songs that were piping in over the sound system went from bad to worse. Actually, from maudlin sappy love song to angst-ridden misanthropy. The nurse that did her intake came out saying "I just kept trying to talk louder so the lyrics wouldn't be so noticable."

Seriously, I am not exaggerating. When she came in it was Phil Collins: Groovy Kind of Love (maudlin and sappy enough?). Then:
Carrie Underwood: Before He Cheats
Hootie & the Blowfish: Let Her Cry
Billy Joel: She's Got a Way

As I'm doing her exam:
Green Day: Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I get her exit papers together as fast as I can & bring in her script to Tracy Chapman singing "Give me one reason to stay here, and I'll turn right back around..."

I hope she managed to find a different radio station to listen to in her car when she left...or maybe every station was like that on this particular morning.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Brilliant devices

This is my new favorite toy:

It's a Norwegian knitting thimble -- for two-color knitting (I hate to admit where I bought it -- it was $2.50 on a clearance endcap at Mall-Wart). Even though I'm still pretty clumsy with it, it's making my knitting go faster on my latest project:

It's a scarf for my sweet 11-year-old daughter -- covered with lots of sweet little skulls and crossbones. (We banned the color pink a few years ago & this is what we replaced it with.) If you are piratically inclined, you may find the pattern here. Mine's not done or blocked yet. I know it looks a bit lumpy, but give it time...

The knitting thimble in action:

Before the knitting thimble, what slowed me down was carrying the unused color on the back of the work. You have to twist it past the working color every few stitches, so that you don't wind up with great huge floppy strands of white on the wrong side, looking for ways to get snagged.

I hold the yarn in my left hand while knitting, although when I first learned to knit I held it in my right (I switched because I go quicker holding it in my left). I had hoped that for two-color knitting I could hold one color in each hand and keep them out of each others' way. I wasn't coordinated enough to make it work, so I wound up with both strands on the left. So what happens as you knit is the two colors tend to twist together as they come from the skein (due to all those twists on the wrong side. I can't seem to alternate them so they cancel out). Then you have to straighten everything out before you can do a single color row.

The thimble keeps the colors from twisting -- now different parts of the job slow me down -- like trying to keep the stitches from bunching up on the right side of the circular needle (they don't want to just keep marching along the needle without a shove from me).

What I really need is more hands -- it's a juggling act keeping everything working together at the same pace. Someone else has already envisioned the solution to this.

May I be reincarnated thus, even if it requires millions of kalpas...

...and if anyone wants to get me (or themselves) Kali on a t-shirt, head here.

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