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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Zickzack Tunic on Knitting Daily Gallery

Check out the Knitting Daily Gallery for some Zickzack tunic shots on a few different models :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One Row Buttonhole Tutorial

Since most of my designs are cardigans, I thought it might be nice to share one of my favorite buttonhole techniques. I've been told by some knitters and tech editors that it that is not used too often. Or maybe it's just one of those secret knitting techniques people just don't talk about. Either way, it is too nice of a buttonhole to have it languish in the cold, dark, overlooked world of good finishing techniques. Enjoy!

One row buttonhole tutorial

1. Work to the point of your first buttonhole and with your yarn in front, slip 1 stitch purlwise.

2. Move yarn to back.

3. Slip 1 st purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.

4. Pass the 2nd st on the right needle over the first st as if to bind off.

5. Repeat slip 1, bind off 1 for as many stitches needed to fit your button, I am binding off 4 total.

6. Slip the last stitch from the right needle back to the left needle.

7. Turn the work.

8. Using the cable cast on, begin casting on for the top of the buttonhole.

8a. To work cable cast on, put right needle between first and second stitch on left needle.

8b. Wrap yarn.

8c. Pull yarn through between 2 stitches.

8d. Place new stitch on left needle. Be sure not to pull too tight when making new stitches! You want the tension to be close as possible to your bind off edge on the bottom.

9. Cast on one more stitch than you bound off. In my case, I'm casting on 5 sts (4+1).

10. Turn the work, slip the first stitch on the left needle over to the right needle.

11. Pass the extra stitch from the cast on over the stitch just slipped to the right needle to close the buttonhole.

Completed buttonhole

Work in rib, stockinette or pattern until you get to your next buttonhole and repeat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So Close!

I'm so close to finishing up my last deadline project and can't wait. I even brought some personal knitting with me to work today. I had forgotten how nice it is to enjoy my knitting and not have to speed knit!

Personal Knitting!!

I also had my second Chiropractic adjustment last weekend and the wrist is still on the mend. I had a little bit of a relapse on Sunday, even though I didn't knit a stitch, and I was a little scared. It seems to be ok now and I'm only having a little bit of discomfort after knitting for about an hour or so. Usually I knit about 3-4 hours per night, so it would be very nice to be back to normal.

Unraveling mitts

In other news, my poor Hurry Up Spring armwarmers are starting to unravel. It started with the right hand a few month back and spread to the left hand. I had every intention of fixing them up with a small amount of leftover yarn, but haven't gotten around to it. I suppose they had a good run - they were knit 4 years ago and used constantly. It would probably be helpful if I stopped wearing them, but I love them so much! So I just stuck some safety pins in the raveling stitches and hope for the best. Lazy, I know.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

One Down, One To Go

With my IK fall project out of my hair, now I just have one other to deal with before I can truly rest my hands. Luckily it's about half done, but I only have a 2 week window to complete and mail off. So far the hands have been really good to me and am looking forward to my second chiropractic adjustment this weekend. Now I just have to stay focused and make sure I keep a steady pace and don't fall behind.

So after April 1st, I'm possibly looking at some downtime. Thinking about some downtime made me start planning what I'm going to knit next. I have it in my mind to finally start Little Birds with the yarn I received for Christmas. How exciting, knitting for me and no deadlines!! Well, when faced with that, I did what any designer would do, and rushed out a new submission.

Maybe I'm crazy, I don't know. I complain about not being able to knit for myself anymore, but I think I'm addicted to crazy deadlines. There are so many things I want to knit for myself, but I've gotten so used to sending things away after I've knit them, it's become the norm.

And without personal knitting projects, quite frankly, the blog is quite a bore without any happy progress pictures. Help, I think I need an intervention!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Survived

Well, the monster is done and ready to be put in the mail to Interweave tomorrow. It turned out well I think and I hope you guys like it come Fall. And if you don't, just lie :)

But I could not have made it without the help of 2 very gracious knitters! Kimberly swatched her little heart out, but knit a little too loose and couldn't get gauge. However, she was still able to help the cause by knitting a lovely belt.

Then Ivete came to the rescue out of the blue and helped out with the sleeves. She cranked them out for me in 2 nights and I couldn't be more grateful.

Thank you ladies!!! I seriously could not have done it without you both!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't Want to Jinx it but......

Well, I definitely don't want to jinx it, but I'm feeling a lot better. Not 100% yet and maybe a day on the computer will change my mind about this, but feeling pretty good. I went to the chiropractor on Saturday and we're thinking it might be more of a pinched nerve causing the discomfort. Tendinitis wasn't ruled out, but a definite diagnosis wasn't made. From the adjustment, I'm a little sore and my muscles are still a little sore, but I don't have too much to complain about.

I knit all weekend with little discomfort and rested quite a bit. Even took a little drive to the shore to get some fresh salt air.

My deadline project has now become too large to carry with me on the subway, so I brought my sport weight project along. The difference is definitely noticeable.

The doctor still prescribes rest, but he knows I won't be resting much until I get these projects done. He knew better than to press me on it! He said to just keep doing the exercises and icing when needed and I should be fine.

Btw, I never linked to it before, but this is the link for the video I've been using for my exercises. It's very sales pitchy, but for me, the 30 bucks was worth it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Treatment: Day 5

Feeling pretty good this morning and looking forward to seeing the doc tomorrow. Going home to NJ tonight, so I won't be able to update til I get back. Hopefully I'll have nothing but good to say about the wrist and progress on the knitting!

It's going to take a little bit of extra motivation for the ice dips over the weekend. Going from an apartment where you are the next room over from the kitchen to a 2 floor house can make you lazy. Guess I'll be hanging out in the kitchen instead of being lazy upstairs watching movies all weekend. Boo!

I did not get a chance to knit on the subway today or at lunch, so I'm getting a bit of rest in a way. I also took the option of hand sketching at work instead of using Illustrator. Haven't had to use the brace or the pain cream today, so that's an improvement.

Alrighty, off to NJ for the weekend! Wish me luck and lots of fairly pain free knitting!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Treatment: Day 4

This morning the tendons in my forearm feel a little tight and ache (in my head) when I think about the project due in one week!

About mid-morning had to switch back to the brace for computer work and rubbed some pain cream on my entire arm. Felt good enough at lunch to knit, but I think I pushed a little hard and hand is so tired it's ready to fall off. At this point, I'm almost wondering if it has more to do with the Aran weight non-stretchy wool yarn than my tendons. If it wasn't a deadline, I'd probably pick up my sport weight project and see if it makes a difference.

At this point, I just hope than when the project is published in the Fall issue of Interweave that people like it and knit it. I would be so sad if I'm the one with 2 hearts on Ravelry. I want all this to just be worth it!

Treatment went ok tonight, not as painful as the night before. I also got to the point in the project where I split for the armholes and that also seems to be helping tons. Littler sections of knitting are much easier on the tired hands.

And thanks to everyone who has made helpful suggestions! I'm going to the doctor on Saturday, so I'm going to run all these things by him and see what he thinks. So keep them coming!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Treatment: Day 3

Not doing too bad today. Woke up with arms in strange position and they were asleep, but corrected that quickly. Very slight pain when using computer, but nothing abnormal considering the circumstances. At lunch went out to try and find some ibuprofen cream, but no luck. Went with an asprin type one that is supposed to reduce inflammation. Figure this can't hurt to use throughout the day when I can't ice.

Knit a few rows on the subway with little problem. Knit a few rows at lunch with little problem. Still trying to take it easy.

Ice dip treatments were really, really tough tonight. I was really feeling the cold and it really tired me out. I went from knitting 1 row in about 15 minutes to knitting 1 row in 60 minutes. I didn't slow down because it was painful though, my hands and arms were just exhausted.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Treatment: Day 2

7:30am: Woke up with a little tenderness in the wrist area, but nothing abnormal. Neck muscles have been stiff due to leaning over, but only related to the problem to a point. Didn't experience any numbness during the night which is a plus.

8:30am: Hot shower does wonders for sore muscles. I think the sore muscles are from me trying to readjust my knitting process to compensate for the wrist pain.

9:00am: Knit 1 1/2 rows on the train. Kept on wrist brace as extra support. Seemed to do pretty ok. Mornings usually aren't the problem though. I don't start to push myself til later on when I get home from work.

12:00pm: Little discomfort writing and using the mouse. Trying to work without the brace today.

3:30pm: Tendons in hands seem a little tight from using the mouse drawing in Illustrator. Didn't get to knit at lunch today, so no extra strain involved.

7:00pm: Started treatment. It's a little easier to take the cold ice dip today and left in a little longer than yesterday.

9:00pm: Treatment done. Knit between dunks in the ice bath and feel ok. Started to get a little tired after awhile, but mobility and range of motion seems to be improving.

And for anyone interested in how I got here, here's a little background:

About a month ago, home sick from work, I was trying to catch up on some deadline knitting. Basically, being stuck in bed for 2 days let me knit a little too much and the pain started in. I tried to knit for 2 more days, but it was painful. I bought a brace, but it only helped for another day. I then rested for 7 days. No knitting (drove me crazy) and as little computer work as possible.

After 7 days, I picked the needles back up, but started slowly. Pain started to return. I then heard about ice dipping. Basically, you fill up the kitchen sink with cold water and stick some ice or frozen water bottles in. You then dip your arm in about 10-15 times over a 2 hour period for 5-10 seconds each. I did this for 7 days and got quite a bit of relief because it took most of the inflammation away.

I say most of the inflammation because I had to keep knitting throughout the treatment due to crazy deadline I need to meet. If I had rested another 7 days while doing the ice dips, I'd probably be fine right now.

So now, in addition to the ice dips, the DVD has taught me a few exercises to lengthen the tendons and strengthen some muscles. This seems to be the key to keep the symptoms from reoccurring. Getting rid of the inflammation is only one piece of the puzzle. Getting your muscular and nervous system back in the groove is the key.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Treatment: Day 1

Today my dvd arrived that is supposed to cure me of my wrist pain 4-eva. It's not exactly a hollywood production, but the logic behind the injury made total sense and the fix is very simple (and according to the dvd - effective).

I did what it told me to and I'm a little sore, but we'll see how we make out tomorrow. I'm supposed to follow the treatment for 7 days and should feel tons better (hopefully). For my own forgetful self, I'll be checking in daily to write how I'm feeling, if the pain moves, and progress I've made. Wish me luck!