Month: February 2011

Heart hat

Don’t tell me, I know. . . I’m twick and sisted. This is actually for a Discworld knitters’ group thingie, but I thought you guys’d get a kick out of it. Of course Herself wouldn’t actually let me put it on her. Don’t be silly. Top one has no Igor stitches. . .

. . . bottom one does. If you don’t know what Igor stitches are, you need to add the Discworld novels to your reading-material base. 🙂

Technical bits: I knitted it in two pieces, curving left and then right to simulate the halves of the heart, and made large patches of increases at both edges of each piece to get the curvature. After sewing it together, I added the aortic arch and pulmonary artery bits (a good portion of which you can’t see ‘cause they refused to cooperate) and the bits of the brachiocephalic trunk, the left common carotid and the left subclavian arteries (the little red sproings).

It wouldn’t pass in a science class, but hey, it’s a hat.

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. . . (stealth visit)

Made one to Grandma’s to take over some desperately—and I mean desperately—needed new clothes and nightgowns. She has fought and argued and fought and argued and flat-out refused, in her own inimitable stubborn-as-a-tree-stump way, to let me get rid of some blouses that date to the mid-70s (and I am not exaggerating)—before you guys were even born. Not to mention nightgowns so thin they are beyond transparent; I have no idea how the buttons stay up ’cause there certainly is no support around them.

So I sneaked in when she was out today, made the transfers, took away the too-ratty-for-rags stuff, and sneaked back out. Chances are she won’t notice, given her level senility, and probably won’t remember if she does. That probably  makes me a Bad Daughter, but what can a person do?

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Aerobic shoes: not what you think

Or, a demonstration of the usefulness of the words “and then”

Even though the bone’s still sore and swollen on my right ankle, I decided to check out REI for hiking boots this afternoon (after I took Grandma some ice cream, which she slurped right down). Nobody, apparently, makes mid-shin hiking boots anymore, so I will have to wear those awful braces when I go out in the hills. That means hiking shoes will have to fit over them. And that means I have to try on boots with the braces on. Don’t you love logic?

Putting the dang things on took nearly half an hour and a lot of fidgeting and squnching. You have to shove your foot into the brace cradle, then lace it up tightly, then fight with Velcro sticking to everything in its path and cross the straps over your feet, and pull the straps up tight so your foot’s at about 90 degrees to the ankle, stick them to the Velcro they’re supposed to stick to, and then wrap another Velcro cuff around the whole schmear to hold them all in place. That’s enough to work up a sweat and ought to qualify as aerobic exercise.

Then you have to figure out what size boot you now need, since it has to fit around your orthotics and the braces and still lace up. So you have to swap shoes and orthotics six or eight times ’til you find the right size, and then (of course) you have to try several different models to see which one seems to work the best. Naturally, the most expensive one seems to fit the bill; however, since your ankle is, as noted, still swollen and sore, it’s not smart to actually buy the boots. Which turns out to be a good thing, since REI has a 20% off sale in March, and you probably won’t be actually in need of the boots until at least then, and maybe later.

You wipe the well-earned sweat from your brow and write down the product numbers so you can find them later. Then, the salesperson says to you, “You know, I really admire your persistence. If I had to go through all that to find a pair of boots, I’d just take up poker.”

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Bunny-braining along

An old friend of mine used to hop from topic to unrelated topic so fast that I called him “bunny brain.” As it turned out, Snaotheus was of this persuasion as a kid (okay, yeah, still is), and today I’m gonna do it, too.

Grandma was kinda meh for her birthday, which I celebrated with her yesterday (though the actual event was today), and I was kinda mad. She was meh because she’s really tired of seeing birthdays roll around every year and is convinced it will never stop. I was annoyed ’cause I’d gotten her a bright, colorful balloon along with a card and a big piece of cake (which she ate for breakfast), and as I was getting out of the car Blue Dog got a little too enthusiastic, the ribbon caught on the door frame, and the balloon went soaring off to whatever fate awaited it in the stratosphere. If it made it that far. So she has an undecorated wheelchair. Pfblththttt.

Her shingles are looking really good, so I guess the antiviral did its job. Good thing, since her insurance company won’t pay for it. Can you believe that? Old people who can’t afford antivirals are just supposed to suffer? I’ve read (long, long ago) about people who committed suicide because of shingles. That’s one o’ those deals where I’d hock the dog to get the money if I had to. Fortunately, I didn’t have to. (Can you see the little balloon over my head, quite black, sparking with lightning and steam, and bursting with epithets and obscenities aimed at the insurance industry? No, I’m not gonna get started. Not.)

My right ankle is packed with ice yet again. Since I did nine and a half miles at higher resistance last time and didn’t suffer too much, I tried a still-higher level today. Only did eight miles in the same amount of time, but it was too much. The right ankle aches and the foot’s numb. The swelling over the fibula compresses the nerve that feeds that side of the foot; I think it was Snaotheus who said numbness should be a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s not the foot that hurts. . . :rolls eyes yet again. Somebody please catch ’em and roll ’em back:

Speaking of, I got quite a chuckle out of him last time he and KrisDi were up here to see Grandma. We were driving down a main drag whose speed limit is 35. Some hunched-over little old man was toolin’ along at 20 right in front of us and traffic had us boxed in behind him. Snaotheus, one of whose favorite things is to tell his mother to chill when her Type A rears its head, threw quite a fit. Swore at the guy, shook his fist, and screamed at him to get off the road. My goodness! Such hostility! :giggle giggle: I shall kindly impute it to anxiety over his impending daddyhood. Which hasn’t yet become a physical reality, though only FIVE days remain. I’m keeping duct tape over my mouth so I don’t drive them over the proverbial cliff asking whether KrisDi’s in labor yet.

So who calls me in mid-post? Shrieking “Mom! MOM!!” when I answer the phone?

Yep, you got it, and no, KrisDi isn’t in labor; he just wanted to wind me up. That’s mean.

Oh, yes: physics experts, below you should find a shot of the polymer clay Thing I’m trying to balance. Pencil marks toward the bottom right (burned in) show where the Thing keeps stopping on the balancing thingie. I’ve shaved off probably half a gram of stuff in that area (inside the black lines) and it has made no difference at all. Since it’s an odd shape, am I looking at too narrow an area? I think it’s weird that it balances to the side of one of the heavy tips. This stuff should not have any variation in density, so I’m baffled. And frustrated, since I spent six or seven hours yesterday carefully shaving and sanding, to no apparent effect atall, atall.

That’s about all the news that is news across this corner of the nation, except for the little phone-tag parade we just had so Snaotheus could wish Grandma a happy birthday. Nothing ever seems to be simple in this family, does it?

:wafts labor-inducing thoughts KrisDi’s way: Go, Chilkat, go!

Oh, yeah, again. . . somebody please tell Marilyn and Wilmie my name? They think I’m stalking them.

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