Archive for March, 2010

One third

If you’ve been keeping tabs on my ability to complete this Finish or Frog it adventure you should know I just hit the 1/3 mark – I believe its technically 35 percent complete, but that doesn’t sound as nice. The total number of projects ended up being 20. 20!!!!! And that’s just projects that I said yes let’s finish those and not them sit around for another few years which ended being frogged. I did add one to that list (Doctors without Borders sock). 19 is still a crazy amount of wips. And I have completed 7 projects. I know most of you thought I would flake on this project with my knitting ADD and severe case of startitis….to you nay sayer I say ha. I’ll have Nefertiti done soon and that will make 8. I could finish up a few of the small things and then its half way there….and its only April (well its still March but I like to think ahead).

The Be Sweet scarf and the spiral baby blanket — you are on the short list to get me to 50%….don’t get too cozy in the bin.

And to my knowledge there has been no stealing of my yarn by Jacie yet. Although I believe she learned not to enter into a contract with me without all specifications spelled out. She should have taken notes from my dad – the last time he did that we got a dog.

Tomorrow I am off to Lexington for an interview….I love airport knitting and people watching, its one of my favorite hobbies.

Have a happy Easter Passover Spring Holiday!!

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That would be Nefertiti.  I pinned it out for a few beauty shots.  Isn’t she lovely.  Still in chart 13 – only a day behind on the schedule.


I finsihed spinning up a True Blood batt from Corgi Hill Farm.  If you haven’t bought fiber from her … go do it now.  Not only is it lovely, but her favorite color is red.  Shipping is fast and her prices are always reasonable.  Jacie made me an addict – and because I am a dirty enabler I urge you to join us.


Oh shinny red merino/silk/firestar blend how I love you.  You will make something lovely one day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          

There’s about 374 yards of fingering weight yarn.  It’s not completely even, but it’s an improvement from my normal.  It’s also my favorite color and I am in love with it.  Now to just keep kitty from eating it.

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Oh poor kitty


Jacie and I had the brilliant plan to introduce furball (Salem the cat) and fluffball (Madori the dog) to each other this past weekend.

Background of Salem – he’s pretty much a dog.  He follows you around, he curls up in your lap.  He’s loyal and stupid.  I’ve contemplated teaching him to fetch.  He’s never been around other animals except at the humane society when I rescued him.  He loves all people.  We figured he’d love all animals too because as cute as he is.. he’s kinda dumb and he enjoys snuggling warm fuzzy things.

Well guess what… I actually own a cat.  He was in fact not keen on having a puppy play date.  He spent the first half of the evening hiding in the kitchen on top of the step stool (and yes I use that to get things out of the shelf – shut up I’m short).  He glared at the dog.  I think it was a combinations of “WTF is that that”  and “I AM THE ONLY SMALL FURRY THING AROUND HERE.” Minor the occasional squeaky noises Madori made, she was cool with the whole situation.  I do believe that the squeaks translate to “WE ARE AT ALLISON’S HOUSE,  I LOVE ALLIOSN.  CAN I EAT THE CAT FOOD.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE IT’S SOOOOO TASTY!!”

Salem then moved from the kitchen and parked himself in the chair while Jacie, Madori and myself knitting and watched up in the air.  My cat’s favorite place is next to me on the couch while knitting.  It’s kitty mecca.  Warm body and yarn draped across him.  He wanted to be on the couch, but did not want to be near the dog.

Well apparently Salem also has the memory of a goldfish.  Every 15 minutes or so he’d forget the dog was there, venture over to the couch.  Get some pets from behind the couch, turn the corner as if to perch himself in the middle of the couch….and then he’d see the dog.  And the growling (from the cat) would resume.  He didn’t run away or swat at the dog.  Just growling.. not so much hissing… so he still might be a dog/cat.

I eventually coaxed him into my lap, put the blanket over him and he purred contently.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Remove blanket… growling resumed.

This is where I left him this morning… on the dreary nasty rainy day that it is.


It’s such a rough life the kitty lives….

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Tempting was my second to last cast on of last year.  One can not let Malabrigo Twist sit around idly for months – that is just plain wrong.


So I cast on the 160 stitches and knit an inch.  Just an inch, Jacie said it just had to be on the needles.  Jacie would also like me to point out that I abuse the system she set up.  It’s a great beginners pattern.  2×2 rib for oh… forever.  Make some sleeves, attach them, knit more 2×2 rib.  Nothing super complicated.


It was a good project to take to knitting – even if I mess up, fixing a 2×2 rib doesn’t make me throw sharp objects or curse.  I finished knitting on Thursday night right after knitting.  Saturday morning I spent most of SnB weaving the ends in.  And for some weird reason there was about 8 million of them.  A few were because kitty likes to chew on the malabrigo and detach it from the skein.  The other issue was I alternated skeins – so when it came down to making sleeves and reattaching them I had to break the yarn far too many times.


Ribbon was purchased yesterday afternoon – after an epic afternoon of 5 Guys Burgers and Fries and yarn shopping with the girls.



I think it’s fits pretty well.  I had a hard time taking pictures of my self where it didn’t look all wonky.  But it’s like wearing a hug.  Malabrigo Twist is so warm and squishy and made of awesomeness.  I think everyone should go out and buy some right now.  I have 4 more skein of Indeceta waiting in the stash….oh lovely yarn.  Not sure what you will become but it will be something great, I know it.



I also finished up the brown toe up Seeded Ribbing socks yesterday/this am.  I had to weave the ends in this morning before promptly putting them on my feet.



I am trying out the new Ravelry project sharing option with the project links. 🙂

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The good and the bad

Bad: I officially ran out of yarn for Tempting.

Good:  Once I obtain more yarn I will only be a few inches shy of finishing.

Bad: I now need to go to Webs.

Good: I now need to go to Webs.


Bad: I’ve frogged rows and rows of Jeanie.   Far more than I care to admit because apparently reading patterns in not my forte in life.  Cabling BACK should really not be that difficult, unless you actually do a Cable FRONT. 

Good:  I frogged an entire repeat, picked up all the stitches, started again, frogged another row, picked up all the stitches again – and I actually think I know where in the pattern I am in.

Bad:  K1b, P1, K1, P1b is really really really boring after a while.

Good: Jeanie is measuring 16 inches, which in theory makes it 1/4 done.


Bad: I am behind on my Nefertiti shawl, because well the beginning of the week sucked.

Good:  I still have lots of time to make it up, and I will have it done for my birthday.

Bad: I still hate the yarn.

Good: Furball has not eaten it yet – it apparently is not up to his standards.  Yarn snob.


Bad: I ate a ridiculously fattening dinner at Max’s Burger with Jacie

Good:  It was delicious and I went to the gym W, F, M, W and I have plans to go today. 


Bad: work related suckage– and that’s all I am saying about that.

Good:  Not sure there’s a good there yet….

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Our last morning in Port-au-Prince were were awoken at 1 am by another 4.7M earthquake, quickly followed by several small ones, and another larger earthquake (I’d guess somewhere around a 3.0M).  There was a small group of tents almost directly across the street from where we were staying.  People ran into the streets screaming.  I can not even fathom having to live there, having no option out.  I knew I got to leave and go home to my nice secure apartment, where the electricity and water always work, and yet I was still very freaked out.  This trip definitely changed my prescriptive on post traumatic stress and how the body copes with extreme situations.  I have no doubt that this knowledge will make me a better doctor.


I’ll spare the details of the morning leaving Haiti.  But let’s just thank the American Air lines pilot and flight attendant for holding the plane for me.  Delta is not on my list of things I like at the moment, mostly because they didn’t bother to tell me they had not resumed flights out of Haiti until I got to the airport.  (and I checked the website the night before and the flight said it was on-time and ready…boo Delta).  So the short story is for 3 hours I was almost stuck in Haiti and there was much freaking out.  But thankfully I made it home, and I have never been so excited to be in the Miami airport than I was that day.


I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the stories.  The photo album above has some of my favorite pictures – some old and a few that I hadn’t posted yet. 


Thank you to everyone who helped me go on this trip.  Thank you for caring for the Haitian people.  Your generosity made it possible for us to treat 1,600 patients and to help hundreds of families.

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It arrived

I managed to score some Wollmeise a few weeks ago. I pretty much just clicked buttons having no idea what I was buying.  Why yes I can stop buying yarn at any time, I just choose not to.



I do believe Jacie said it best… It’s like she reached into your head and dyed them for you.  The red is fantastic.  It is fire engine red and made of awesome.  I may be petting it right now.  The other skein is a lovely darkred/organge, teal, and black/brown. 

It’s a good thing I am not allowed to cast on anything for a while.  It will take a while to find the perfect pattern for these babies.

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After spending several days in Les Caye we headed back into Port-au-Prince.  Knowing that travel is hit or miss we did not dare try to drive into the city on Tuesday morning the same day as our flight.  That is just crazy talk there.


On our way back into the city – Dr. Ashby wanted to stop in Leogane and check on wheelbarrow Lady’s foot.

So we stopped, talked to the “leaders” of the tent city so they could go find her and bring her to us.  Darrah and Josh spent the time playing soccer with the kids.   We got out the wound care supplies, walked around, talked to people and waited.


Wheelbarrow Lady was brought to us.  Jenna undressed her foot and was prepared to remove more dead tissue.  But there was hardly any.  We cleaned it up again, the edges were pink healthy looking and bleeding.  Bleeding is a good sign.  That means there’s enough blood flow for it to actually heal.  Blood also brings in nutrients and proteins.  YAY bleeding foot.   So we redressed it and gave her an orthopedic foot brace. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         She had a thing for Dr. Mike… but how can you blame her.  He saved her foot.  She may lose one or two toes (which aren’t really needed for general walking purposes) but she’s not going to lose her whole foot.


Apparently when you do minor surgery in the middle of a field atop a cooler it attracts a crowd.  Or they just wanted to see what the white people were up to.


After our “house” call we headed back to Port-au-Prince to get ready for our last day of clinic.  Our organizers went out searching for a tent city to visit the next day.  They found one near where we were staying.  It was housing over 10,000 people.

We were awoken in the middle of the night to a 4.7M earthquake.  Being awoken up to the ground making the most horrible screeching sound is not really fun.  We had at least one more small earthquake that night too, I am not sure on the strength of the smaller one, the USGS website only reports Worldwide earthquakes greater than 4.5. 

Over breakfast we talked about who felt the earthquake.  We apparently brought a few HEAVY sleepers, who were unfazed by the shake.  We drove to the tent city.  As we started setting up the tarp/bus/wall clinic people started forming a line.


I am not even sure what they were lining up for.  As we continued to set up there was another small earthquake.   It was a very different feeling from the one over night.  For starters I was standing and not laying down this time.  I got the sensation of falling, like when your stomach feels like it’s in your chest.  This is one of my least favorite sensations of all time.  I do not like the sensation of falling.  As we checked around to make sure everyone was ok (we had people atop our bus tying ropes at the time).. the people in line were screaming and running into the streets.  The fear in their faces is something I have a hard time putting into words.  It was heartbreaking.  They live in this fear everyday.  Will there be another earthquake today?  Will today be the day that building or that building falls down?  I can see why most people are sleeping in tents vs. buildings.  After the tremor, they could see we were still setting up and not leaving people got back in line and waited.


I treated several day old babies – as in 3 and 8 days old.  They were born in the tents.  Their moms wanted them to receive vaccines.  Unfortunately we were not able to bring vaccines with us.  We do not have the coolers needed to keep the vaccines at the correct temperatures.  I did tell them to try to find a UNICEF clinic – because I know they are doing vaccines.  We were able to give them formula, bottles, and clothes.  For the moms we were able to help with their anemia – B12 shots and vitamins.  Healthier moms equals healthier babies.



We also did a few minor surgeries.  I love a good incision and drainage.  There’s nothing quite like draining an abscess.  Maybe it’s because I’ve had one in my tonsil and having it drained was pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I drained an abscess on one man’s chin.  It was 3x2x1 inches.  While it might not have killed him immediately, eating and drinking are out of the question with something like that causing pain. 


I’ll spare you with the really gross pictures.  But if you can see the slightly yellow tint on his neck.  That’s the area I cleaned with iodine and where the abscess was.  Nothing like healing with cold hard steel. 


I was amazed with all the work we accomplished the last day.  We treated over 500 patients.  We saw everyone who wanted to be seen.  Because it was our last day most of us gave away our shoes.  This was especially hard on me.  I had some random swelling of my feet – as in 3+ pitting edema.  Still haven’t figured out what caused it, and I still have some of it now.  So my feet would only fit in my athletic shoes.  I had my flip flops and danskos.  If I needed to wear socks and flip flops home, I could do it, because I do not really need the extra pair of athletic shoes at home.


That’s the lady taking my shoes.  She only had worn out sandals that had holes in them.  Princess puffy feet did manage to wear danskos all the way home without losing feeling in her toes.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Jenna giving her shoes away.



The VCOMers – Me, Heather Class of 2010, Adrian Class of 2007, Jenna Class of 2011, and Jeanne Class of 2008.


A few pictures taken of the tent city before we headed back to the Villa Ormiso.



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Nefertiti was my LAST and I do mean last cast on.  I may have put the 5 or whatever stitches the cast on calls for on the needles on Dec 31st at 6pm… but they were on there BEFORE January 1st.  And yes Jacie reminds me that this is not technically against the rules, but she frowns upon my skirting of the general principles.

The first 8 charts (of 18 – yes there are 18 charts) of the pattern are pretty redundant and easy to figure out if you make a mistake.  But I never make mistakes so it’s all good.  Ignore the random dropped stitch that I tied off…whistles innocently. K3tog and sssk… I can’t be responsible for ALL of the stitches– one stitch tried to run away, but it’s not going anywhere now.  Take that defiant stitch.

Now I’ve started chart 9 and the pattern changed.  It’s not as easy to read the stitches.  There is a reoccurring theme of a YO K1 YO that travels the entire length of the stole.  So if the k1 isn’t in the right place… well you only have to fix a few stitches to get back on track.

For the next few charts – the directions are rather long, so it’s not a take and carry project until I get back to the decreases.  So I mostly work on a few rows at a time in the morning before I go to work.  I’d really like to have the shawl done by April 20th at the LATEST.  I have a super fun date on the 23rd seeing Wicked in NYC with the boyfriend person.  Yeah he’s taking me there for my birthday, and we have orchestra level tickets.  You may be jealous.  I want the shawl blocking by the time I sleep on the 20th so it will be dry and fabulous to take to Broadway.  It is not a completely irrational plan.  I am normally a process knitter, but I really really really want to wear this.

If I did the math correctly – and we know that’s a 50/50 chance to begin with.  I need to knit 6.05 rows a day.  I figure on weekends I can get a few more rows in and make up the 0.05.


A picture of it looking like yarn vomit… which all lace does until you magically block it.  And that picture was during chart 2 or 3.

Have I mentioned that I sort of hate the yarn?  Madelintosh Lace – in thunderstorm.  Now mind you, I did buy this online before actually seeing it in person.  It is suppose to be a dark blue.  When I ordered it from WEBS the twist that I also ordered was on back order – so the order sat until all of it was in.  Because I have no will power against malabrigo we went to webs to buy more twist anyway.  I found the lace yarn, looked at what I purchased and thought yay dark blue semi solid awesomness.  Was that what came in the mail?  No.  I got a mostly black skein (there’s very little color variation at all) that’s rough and not soft like the other Tosh yarn I’ve knit with.  I am pretty sure I just got a crappy skein, but I am still slightly disappointed in it.

I am not swearing off all Tosh yarn – because the sock yarn is just yummy, and I want to knit with Prairie in a few years.

This weekend is filled with helping friends move, seeing the ballet, and spending some time with the boyfriend person…. sounds like a good plan to me.

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While in Les Caye we were able to visit a school run by the Bethanie Mission (where we stayed while in Les Caye).

Can you say cutest kids EVER…


When we went to the orphanage (also run by Bethanie Mission)… Robert (who’s a full time missionary in Guatemala) brought wooden flutes to give to the kids.  It’s a good thing he also brought someone who knows how to play flute (me in case you didn’t know).

So I taught a blind girl to play a recorder style flute and another little girl how to play a more traditional flute.  They are similar to penny flutes – as their fingers are slightly different than a concert flute.  Not that most people care, but I am telling you anyway because it’s my story and I want to.


A few of the children at the orphanage were victims of the earthquake losing their parents.

The city of Les Caye was relatively spared from the earthquake.  We did receive word that about a week after we left there was a big flood in the city.  The school we visited flooded.  I haven’t heard word as to how much damage was done, but hopefully it was minimal.

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