The Saturday Update: Week 3, 2021

What a week, what a week, what a week! We saw our new president inaugurated here in the US, I went wild and set up a plethora of new knitting projects, I had issues with my health through the week, and yesterday I spent most of the day in Urgent Care getting some testing done. Whew! Let’s just unpack the whole week, okay?

But first:

I knew there was a chance that I might be gone from Hannah for a few days if my new symptoms spiraled out of control so I installed a new Hannah cam. Alright, that was a little bit of a struggle as I hunted for screws to mount the camera (Hannah, where did you put the package of screws…) onto a shelf in the craft room. Never finding the correct screws for the mount I hunted through the garage to locate alternative screws. Got them. Then the power drill was… out of power… so I found a screwdriver. Right. There is no way these scleroderma wrists can put a screw into wood without a hole already there. Back to the garage for nails and a hammer to put a starter hole into the shelf. Hannah was a huge help through all of this, by the way. As I hammered in a nail to make my starter hole in the shelf Hannah swooped the screws off the table and onto the floor, because… it’s a cat thing. “Why is everything so hard…”, I muttered to myself as I rescued the screws and got them into the camera mount. Hannah moved up onto the shelf so she could help me work better… that little paw can work magic, right? Finally, finally I finished and checked to make sure the camera was on the network and working correctly…

The first thing I see through the camera feed…


I have been doing pretty good keeping my knitting WIPs under control. Then the government sent me some money and I bought yarn! Hello, just doing my part to stimulate the economy and support other people, right? I am just rolling in creative ideas for knitted projects and this week I bought and printed patterns, organized knitting kits and cast on with reckless abandon. You might say that there was a small explosion of knitting projects.

Did you get all of that? Let me tell you what’s up starting with the pictures on top, left to right. (1)I lost my mittens, so I need to make those Tinsel Mitts before it snows again. They have a flip top to cover the fingers and I’m thinking that there must be some way I can line them for more warmth. Maybe with some fleece or wool batting stuffed into the lining to keep it all extra warm around the fingers? Hmm… (2) I moved the Goldwing sweater up my queue and want to get started on it as soon as a couple of little projects move off the needles. That sweater is sooo cute and I love the yarn that I just bought for it. (3) I bought lots of bluish yarns while I was sad last spring, and now I want to stay warm without putting too much effort into it. I know that the Age of Gold shawl has lots of soothing garter stitch with a nice warm drape and good coverage so I am making it again with this blue multi yarn. (4) The group of pink and grey yarn is going to be used to make a pair of arm warmers to match my Secret Handshake cowl that I made in that MKAL last fall.

That takes care of the top row of projects. The bottom row shows the two projects, left to right, that I worked on this week along with the WIP that I carried into the week, the Geology Socks. (1)I wanted easy, calming knitting to produce snuggly warmth early in the week and went to Ravelry to look at patterns. I decided on making another Age of Gold but there was a wrap that really screamed that it wanted me to make it: Julie’s Wrap by Joji Locatelli. Darn. That wrap needed more than 3 skeins of yarn to make. Wait, wait, wait… I had 4 skeins of a dusty black cashmere/merino fingering yarn lined up for a sweater that could be directed to this wrap… bam! That yarn instantly became this wrap as I frogged the sweater and decided to knit Goldwing first. (2) The yarn on the right is to make a pair of detailed Mandalorian mitts.

Having made the kits and decisions, I then got busy. Once again, the projects are lined up left to right in the pictures above. (1) I have finished my first Geology sock and am started on the second sock. (2) I am making good progress on the Mando mitts even though you have to use three colors at once in parts of the mitts, and I need to add more detail with duplicate stitch after I finish. I don’t think that English is this author’s first language as some of the written directions are a little shaky, but the charts are golden and I’m just using the force and charging along fearlessly as I knit these mostly ignoring the directions. (3) the dusty black garter knitting is the beginning of Julie’s Wrap coming off my needles. Right now I have over 2 feet of done with 2 more feet ahead of me before I start on the twisted rib outer trim and finally the (be still my heart…) BOBBLES! that are produced in what I think is the bind off. I love bobbles! I learned how to knit backwards just for bobble production, and if ever there was a time to utilize that singular skill it is while making bobbles on a wrap that is more than 4 feet long. By the way, now that I’m knitting that black yarn I’m glad it is becoming a wrap because it is pretty darn streaky. See, a good decision!!

Scleroderma Chronicle:

Sigh. Then there is my continuing scleroderma adventure. I’ve been experiencing some intermittent chest pain that has become more severe and frequent over the last couple of weeks. When you are chronically ill you don’t call in every new development because if you did you would wear out your doctors and you’d absolutely exhaust everybody involved in your life, but when I had a 45 minute bout of chest pain Thursday night along with blue lips and shortness of breath I knew I had to get some medical evaluation started.

The medical group that I belong to has a 24 hour online “chat with a doctor” to get advice. The advice I got was to head to urgent care to get a heart attack ruled out. Okay. I can do that…

When you show up at urgent care with shortness of breath and chest pain you get double masked and whisked into a sealed exam room where you are isolated from everyone else and the medical staff wears all the protective gear available to them. Whew, that was fun. After testing and 5 hours of waiting (and starving because I hadn’t eaten just in case…) I was told that this wasn’t a heart attack (YAY!!) but that there was an issue with fluid around my heart. It’s an autoimmune thing. I need more testing and evaluation and may need to be hospitalized to get it done, but since it was the weekend I convinced them to let me go. Actually, I think that I was lucky that I went to urgent care instead of an ER as it made it easier for me to escape. πŸ™‚ Referrals were made, summaries were sent off to my rheumatologist, and I drove home with my chest still hurting. As soon as I got home I shot off an email to my rheumatologist and went back to bed. Bad scleroderma, bad!!

My niece sent me soup today using DoorDash!

Today I’m up and doing better but taking it really easy. Yesterday was just another chapter in my scleroderma story, but it really impressed on me that catching Covid-19 would not be a good thing at all.

Wear your masks, people!!

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

37 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Week 3, 2021”

  1. Oh goodness I hope you feel better soon, what a rollercoaster your medical conditions take you on. Well the cat cam seems to be working well πŸ˜‚. She’s so entertaining. I can’t handle that many WIPs I don’t think…not that I have tried. I only have a pair of socks and a long hibernating brioche project that I stalled on when it got to learning how to do the cables. I should probably get on with learning or frog it and cast on something new.

    1. The scleroderma craziness is always challenging. πŸ™‚ My next door neighbor has a bad finger and has been complaining about how awful it is… I can’t help but feel it must be nice to have just one problem. On the other hand, one painful issue that is impeding your life can be more difficult to accept I guess than a whole cornucopia of issues that together just blend into the background as you just continually adjust and move on determined to keep enjoying your life in spite of your limitations. πŸ™‚

      Hannah is the biggest bundle of joy ever. She just plain works endearing like no other cat I’ve had, and I’ve had some cats with big personalities… ahem… like MacKenzie.

      I am liking having the large assortment of projects going at once as I pick up different knits depending on my energy/mood. I cast on the Goldwing sweater last night as I was ready for some colorwork but not up to the extreme detail of Mando mitts. It does make the rate of completed projects slow down, but on the other hand things tend to all finish up in a rush as I get further on in the many projects.

      I have had dreams about brioche as it is such a learning curve. Brioche cables?! Ugh. A dropped stitch would be just a nightmare. Put in a lifeline or two for that!!

    1. I was really happy to get out of there, but I have to admit that I kitten-proofed the house and put some essential stuff like phone chargers into the car before I went as I thought that there was a chance that I might get shoved into an ambulance and sent to a hospital. Tomorrow the messages will arrive at the rheumatologist’s office and then stuff will start to go into motion again. Meanwhile, I plan to knit!!

    1. I have made thrummed mitts before and while I liked them, they are a little lumpy inside with the thrums. I’m now playing around with the idea of taking wool batting (from my drum carder) and layering it in smoothly into the outer knitted mitten flap, then knitting a lining, and then quilting the three layers together. I also have these electronic hand warmers that I use in my pockets… I’m thinking of making a pouch in the hand portion of the mitten by knitting a lining with a pocket that I can slip the warmer into. It is a knitting experiment!

    1. Me too! I let this go on too long because I kept hoping that I would be able to get the vaccine, but now it looks like it will be months before that happens. Ugh! Now I’m just going to suck it up, strap on my mask, and go get the testing that I need to get things back under control. πŸ™‚ If I get Covid during one of these visits I will already be getting some quality medical attention and I think that they will deal with it.

    1. Me too!! I was pretty sure going in that it wasn’t a heart attack, but rather a problem with my heart. Bad scleroderma, bad! Hannah was all over that camera and as soon as I began tracking it around to check the view she appeared in the view. Too funny for words.

    1. It was a week! Because of Covid I put things off a little too long, but I’m sure that the docs will get me sorted out soon. In days like these you can’t have too many projects to knit. πŸ™‚

  2. Sure hope you’re feeling better! Since my legs/feet are not very strong I can only drive about 10 miles from home. Good thing our grocery store, family doctor, church and Walmart are within 10 miles. My husbands eyes are not very good anymore so he can’t drive. If we need to go to a specialist which for us would be Harrisburg or Hershey we have to take a Capital Area Transit bus. Can be a pain but not much else we can do.
    Knit on and stay healthy. Hannah is beyond cute.

    1. Oh, I totally understand about the driving. I bought a new car a couple of years ago that was an automatic transmission because I couldn’t handle the clutch anymore, and I have to lift one leg up into the car when I get in. That is the thing about chronic conditions… you just keep adapting and adapting and then one day you wake up and realize that your world has pretty much shrunk… in your case into a 10 mile bubble. Hugs to you, and I’m so glad that you are mostly making it work. Thank heavens that fiber arts support life in the bubble!
      I’m channeling Elizabeth Zimmerman these days and knitting on through everything!

      1. My pain problems are due to peripheral neuropathy. Not only pain things like balance issues. Our car is over three years old and we don’t have 7,000 miles on it. I try to be careful but about three months ago I fractured my ankle due to a fall.
        I am always have socks on my needles, started a new shawl yesterday, get some spinning done (espinner) and love to read.

      2. Oh, no. My BIL had peripheral neuropathy that impacted his balance and it was really life altering for him. It’s so frustrating if yours is like that. I’m thinking about an espinner since my bad boy hip is really making it hard for me to spin these days. Reading! I once told someone that I can’t go to sleep unless I have read that day. I think that she thought I was crazy, but I love to read!

  3. You be well now, you hear? We’re sending healing energy backed up with prayers. (Know that strangers are looking out for you too.) I do like that Mando pattern. Look forward to seeing the finished mittens. Your niece is a good niece. Be well. πŸ™‚

  4. I hope you are feeling much better soon! All your yarn and new knitting projects look amazing – can’t wait to see how everything turns out! Very clever putting up the Hannah cam πŸ™‚

    1. I cast on the sweater last night and I am excessively happy with the yarn and design. The Hannah cams really help me keep track of her without climbing the stairs too much. She really is getting into things now…

  5. OMG! Hannah!! What a good girl! How did you know mommy was on the other side of the lens? Such a clever girl.
    Your acquisitions are lovely and the projects look divine. Just what the economy needed. I am typically fine with mittens as far as the warmth department goes. When I walk on very cold days, I may wear those tiny stretchy gloves you find in the dollar store inside. Is that tomato soup? Squash soup? Looks soooo delicious!

    1. I was moving the lens with the gimble and that is what a curious cat looks like, I guess! That soup was tomato soup from Mimi’s Cafe and it was so thick and yummy it set me right up! The little bread slices were just perfect to soak in it and my niece (the knitworthy!) also sent me hot chocolate and blueberry muffins. I mostly stayed in bed and ate muffins this weekend. πŸ™‚
      I really struggle with maintaining circulation in the cold, but things are better now that we are all wearing masks as they warm the air that I’m breathing. Still, I want to have these ultrawarm fliptop mittens; I’m thinking that I can wear thin fleece gloves under them too.

  6. I hope you are feeling better! 🧑 At least, you are able to distract yourself with project planning and squishing all the yarn. I love the projects you have queued up. How did I miss the Tinsel Mitts?! I will need to check those out in Ravelry.

    Hannah is such a cutie! Now, you can share all of the entertaining “Hannah Cam” videos. 😻😻😻

  7. I hope you are feeling better soon! I love the projects you have picked out. And I have had my eye on those Mando mitts. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. More Hannah videos please! We are a dog household bc my husband is allergic to cats, but I do love some good kitty pictures when possible. Take care.

    1. Hannah: more pictures are on the way!!
      I spent the week in bed knitting on the garter stitch wrap, but the Mando mitts are calling to me. They are fun because the design emerges really quickly due to rounds that are only 60 stitches… they are mitts, after all!

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