diet detection takes precedence…

May 16, 2008

which is why I’m doing most of my blogging at


I’ll be back with knits and other things shortly.


two sweaters and twelve years

May 14, 2007

Although I have not blogged for nearly two months, I do almost have a master’s degree to show for it. I graduate on Friday. And along with a new job and weekends that can actually be spent on long walks through city parks with my husband, I am really excited about knitting again. Today at 4:30 I fulfilled all of my academic obligations, the last edits on my PDR notwithstanding. These will resume in two days. But in the meantime, I dream of my summer projects….

The Union Square Market Pullover, from the Fall 2005 Interweave Knits. No I never did finish Fantine, but my research shows that despite the tediousness of small stitches, this is actually a good beginner sweater. But just in case, first I’ll knit…

The hourglass pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

And in the interim

February 6, 2007

“Did I wake you?” is a shitty thing to say to someone on the phone at 9:45 in the morning.

So I healed up great from my gallbladder surgery. But some of my problems didn’t go away. So now I’m on an elimination diet. 2 days in. There’s no news worth reporting yet.

And we have a new family member to keep us smiling while we’re abstaining from coffee and other delicious things and doing our schoolwork.

loki’s sweater (and long train ride)

January 20, 2007

Yesterday, some of the girls from school came by to visit me. Christina and Jaclyn brought their new puppy Loki over. So, knowing of Loki’s imminent arrival, I figured I’d try out my first dog sweater. I found, without too much searching, a great pattern online, Midnight Knitter’s pup sweater. I figured it would be a quick knit and I was right. However, when I asked for Loki’s measurements, I found he was really tiny,and I had to adjust the pattern quite a bit. The sweater was a little long, but otherwise a fairly good fit. A simple roll-up did the trick.

Besides being thoroughly entertained by academic gossip and puppy antics, I learned that sweater + dog = sleepy dog.

Surprising, since Loki rode the train from Harlem to Bushwick and slept the whole way!

its that little souvenir of a terrible year that makes my eyes feel sore…

January 16, 2007

I had surgery to remove my gallbladder on Friday. There was a lot of scar tissue around my gallbladder. My surgeon showed a picture of my gallbladder to Ian. Ian said his hands were shaking. My surgeon said “You probably won’t know what this is but-” and Ian cut him off, “I know what that is. That’s a gallbladder. We had an ornament on our tree shaped like a gallbladder.” The surgeon was surprised that Ian could identify basic organs, and so let him in to a little higher level of conversing about my surgery. His hands stopped shaking then too, Ian told me. Which was good, because Ian had been freaking out – “Is this the guy that took my girlfriend’s gallbladder out? Why the fuck is he shaking?” He told Ian about the scar tissue surrounding my now estranged organ, which shouldn’t have been there and was likely causing “the bulk” of my problems, and then he recounted the tale of how he cut it all out, with great extra cutting. I don’t know why the scar tissue was there. From what I know, that sort of thing comes about if you have had previous surgery; or for the gallbladder, it can occur with multiple attacks. I’ve never had any type of surgery and I’ve only ever had one attack. However, it was there, and it’s gone now. Besides knowing why it was there, I’d like to know if recovery is going slowly for me because of all the extra cutting and I’d like to know if I should expect that it might come back to cause me problems someday. I think I see him on Thursday, so this scar tissue matter will be at the top of my list.

For now I think recovery is going along as well as it might. Saturday I actually had more pain than I did on Friday and I got a little sad. But Sunday I woke up and felt the good kind of aches, as opposed to the hopeless kind, and began to think that maybe things were actually on track. Sunday was also the day I was supposed to able to come off of a clear liquid diet. Actually on Saturday night I had tolerated bread well. So I promptly overdid it on Sunday with an exotic mix of foods (all vegan and fat-free mind you) involving ketchup and maple syrup and needless to say I got real sick. Today I scaled it back to my vegetarian jello/veggie broth diet and added in a vegan pate, and again didn’t feel so hot. So again I was sad, but I preservere.

The one-skein wonder was finished last week; not as soon as I had hoped, however, because lucky me, a moxie day got me all busy in the Kingdom. But it was an easy knit, and I did learn a thing or two about picking up stitches, and I’ve started a second one in Debbie Bliss Alpaca silk. And its a great fit, but no no no pictures until this surgery bloat is cleared up. Good lord. I think that surgeons can be terribly insensitive about pumping us up with gas to do these things. I never felt more like a hot air balloon than when I walked out of that hospital on Friday night. Mind you that after the ERCP, the first surgery I had where they expand your insides with gas, I felt NOTHING, because for the past 8 months I’ve dealt with mind-blowing bloating.

Here’s the one-skein-wonder the first. In Lion Cotton, far less than a skein, and knit on 8 and 5 in the round.

the one-skein wonder and the pristine pair

January 10, 2007

I forgot my nicotine patch today. I left the house without wearing it. I wasn’t too far out the door when I remembered, but I had pretty much just enough time to get to an appointment, so I had to keep going. I mean, by the time I got to the train station, I had halved my mental list of things to do for the day, because I figured if I could just cut way down on the time I would have to be without it, I’d be okay. At one time, this wouldn’t have worked. Any kind of mental technique that involved me thinking about the patch as some kind of a fix would just explode in my face because I would feel like I was “settling,” and taking a fix far inferior to the one I really wanted. Boy, that would make me angry, and I’d soon enough be smoking again. I had to look at the patch as something I just did in the mornings, coincidentally to quitting smoking. Oh, look at that. It’s a patch on my boobie. I know better now, however. The patch is a fix, and a great one indeed. There’s nothing like the calm that washes over me about fifteen minutes after putting her on. Well, maybe a cigarette. But that’s kind of defeating the purpose.

I’m really not going to get too into the whole quitting smoking thing here on my knitting and gallbladder health blog. (That’s funny if you imagine someone saying the whole sentence very seriously.) Seriously, this blog is fairly new and I don’t know who reads it. I appear to have no regular readers, just throngs of people crazy about Fantine, and googlers looking for things like “gallbladder danger” and liver cleanses. Which I do NOT condone, by the way. Anyway, I think my mother reads occasionally, and the myspace friends, but otherwise, there’s nothing I can confirm, and therefore, I’ve decided not to get into the smoking thing on here because it is far too personal and too painful to do.

I do have to tell the funny story of what happened today when I left my patch at home, however. Because I actually had a fairly decent day and didn’t get too angry, except at one point on Fifth Avenue a guy and his girlfriend who were walking in front of me stopped short to take a closer look at a Halal cart and I literally tripped over them. Both of them. He apologized; she did not, of course, because women in New York are like Jeckyll and Hyde, every one that I have ever met is either super sugary nice and sweet or else they are evil mean banshee demons who seem to think that city life is a large contest full of smaller little contests such as Who Can Talk the Loudest or Look the Most Bored or Who Can Swing Their Fendi Bag That No One Wants Anymore Already More Violently, and they are all trying their hardest to win.

So I become really angry, and as I start to cross the street, I’m muttering cursewords under my breath, all directed at the girlfriend, of course, because she could not bother to say “I’m sorry.” And then a woman in front of me who is crossing the street too drops her purple underwear out of her enormous tote bag and I decide to pick it up and give it back to her. I don’t know why I decided to pick it up and give it back to her, but I did. I don’t think I even knew it was underwear until it was about a split second from my hand. And I gave it back to her completely straight-faced because I was so angry still at the girl. She quickly took them back from me but her eyes steadily grew wider and wider and I thought she was going to die and then she just started laughing really hard. She assured me over and over that they were clean and told me that I would probably have karma to burn for a long time for handling a stranger’s underwear like that. We laughed until 6th Avenue.

I toyed with the idea of taking this opportunity to wean myself off of the patch, but when I got home today I decided that was an idea whose time had not yet come. Instead I tried to coordinate exactly putting on the patch with taking the first bite of my tofurkey sandwich. It took a little bit of strategy, but it was well worth the mild sedative effect I gained from the combination of nicotine and delicious food.

Last night I started the one-skein wonder from Glampyre Knits. I purchased this pattern quite some time ago and kept putting off getting around to it, thinking I didn’t have the right yarn. Then I noticed several knitters had taken on this pattern in Lion Cotton, and it looked great, so I figured I’d do the same! I’m almost done; the knitting goes quickly, the picking up stitches is a bitch as there are over a hundred to pick up. I’m learning as I go; I’d love it if it fit, but as my research has shown me, it can take several tries sometimes, so I’m okay with the idea of frogging the equivalent of two nights of knitting in order to get it just right. I think if I can pull this off however, I will have learned a little something about the fine art of the sleeve, which means I can get back to Fantine. I’m thinking I’m going to start over again on her as well, because if ever a sweater deserved to look absolutely perfect, it’s Fantine. Anyone up for a Knit-Along? I’d be more than happy to host. I’ve got two good weeks before classes start up again, more than enough time to get a KAL going strong.

the sexy scary tunnel and the irish hiking scarf

January 8, 2007

It’s about 7pm in New York City in January. And its a balmy 65 degrees. And Ian and I have taken Wes to Central Park even though its dark because I secretly like Central Park in the dark. And we get our shoes covered in mud and we find the “sexy scary tunnel” (which is a joke, by the way, because tunnels aren’t scary) and we see raccoons limbering slowly up trees and then we turn a corner and come upon the reservoir. We had kind of forgotten about the reservoir, and there probably could have been no more perfect and accidental sight to show off to our friend and no more perfect night than that one.

Besides great sights, the weekend was filled with more dining and drinking out than I should have indulged in. Sadly for me, we went to Hunan Delight and Souen, and both places offered very little for me to eat. Admittedly, I expected to be greatly challenged by the mock fried goodness at HD; it nearly brought a tear to my eye to order the seaweed and bean curd soup while Ian and Wes dined on sweet and sour mock chicken and General Tso’s. Actually, I cried when no one was looking because I have deprivation issues. And then I ate as much of the mock duck appetizer as I could. After dinner we spent a few hours at the Larry Lawrence, one of my favorite unmarked bars in Brooklyn, and a somewhat quiet evening turned into The Most People I’ve Ever Seen At This Bar within a few amaretto and cokes. Unfortunately, the mock duck began to hate me so hard, and I had to go home, super sick. No attacks; just general misery. That was Friday. On Saturday I knew a little better than to buckle to the awesome charm of the miso-dressed veggies at Souen, because they were sauteed in oil. As was nearly everything. Of course, once again Ian’s dish was way more succulent than mine. Wes had sushi so I didn’t try it. But the carrot leek soup was nothing to sneeze at. And I freaking love the pastries there, which never give me any problems, so the night proved far less of a wash for me than Friday.

Now its back to work except for the fact that my surgery is in 6 days and I don’t feel great. Unfortunately its going to have to be one last doing the minimum just to get by kind of weeks, hope upon hope, the last doing the minimum to get by kind of week. I’m terrified of the surgery but yet strangely ready. I can’t really remember, besides my birthday celebration, which was wonderfully fun, but was the kind of fun we were bullied into having by our friends who wouldn’t have it any other way….really, I can’t remember the last time that Ian and I set foot in a bar or restaurant. We’ve been far too poor and I’ve been too sick. It was more than disappointing to have to leave the bar with my pants unbuttoned, shamed and nauseus and so so sore, over an appetizer a few hours before. This isn’t the kind of life I signed up for. I’m going to do everything I can to avoid it.

As mentioned earlier, endoscopy went well. Nothing too out of the ordinary, just a few “pre-ulcerous” spots, and a prescription for Nexium. The anesthesia hit me hard, leaving me exhausted for about three days, and so I feel a little more prepared for what I’m in for, tired-ness wise. I’m also more than ready to ask everyone who dares come near me in the hospital on Friday to prove that they know what procedure I’m going in for. For a great set-up, my doctor sent my pharmacy a colonoscopy prep. You can imagine my surprise when I went to pick up what I thought was going to be a slip of paper basically telling me to fast after midnight, and instead was presented with a $20 box of colonoscopy prep. The next day as I’m lying on the stretcher waiting to get my IV and go in, one of the nurses comes to introduce herself. She tells me she’s going to be giving me my IV, and begins to give me instructions like, “Just go on ahead and lift your bottom up there, that’s right,” and starts undressing me. “Why are you doing this to me?” I asked her. “Because when they turn you over for the colonoscopy they’ll have to get to your bottom!” Needless to say she didn’t give me my IV; she was too busy walking away as fast as she could.

I knitted until they asked me to get on the stupid stretcher. So the Irish Hiking Scarf carried memories of not only being abused by overworked nurses but also of watching Reanimator while doped up on anesthesia, and taking long, cold, sundrenched train rides to JFK and 110th Street to see the Harlem Meer.

This is my first attempt at cabling anything beyond owls, and it went well. I still don’t own a proper cable needle. For most of the scarf I used a stitch marker to hold my CF stitches and then slip them back onto the left needle. I got the idea a little late in the process, but to speed things up I finally just started to use a small dpn. It was Wes’ Christmas present, although he is Scottish, but like almost all my Christmas presents, it wasn’t finished in time. It was kind of fun to knit it while sitting on trains and watching movies with him and Ian, though. It kind of fused the process with the purpose with the end product. I haven’t knitted for many people yet, so maybe its always like that; I guess I’ll know soon enough. He really liked it though, and I think he looks just great in it. I highly recommend this scarf to anyone who has only recently learned cables, and wants some practice through repetition. I used 2 skeins of Wool-Ease in Chestnut Heather and US8 needles like the pattern calls for.

I’m really sorry its feast or famine here lately. And I haven’t even gotten to our other houseguest, or the fact that I haven’t smoked in over two weeks. I’ll get there.