Monday, August 27, 2007

behind on everything

last week i was on back-up- the academic equivalent of a lifeline. that means that, in addition to normal busy-ness and receiving, i was responsible for fielding questions from interns and providing on-site aid when needed. no matter the time. there is an occasional back-up who resents intern calls, but i would always rather be woken unnecessarily than have an animal die because the intern was going it 'without a net'. of course, the down side is that one doesn't always get much sleep if they are approachable and supportive. so last weekend was going to be my saving grace. this weekend, i was going to catch up on email, catch up on posting, catch up on exercise and sleep. well, none of those things happened.

at the end of the day, i was just plain dead tired. i was at the hospital 10 hours Monday, 12 each on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 13 on Thursday. Saturday, i put in 9 hours. that meant my weekend was already reduced to Sunday when i only spent a measly hour at the hospital.

so, this week i was off back-up though still on clinics. i hoped, for no reason i can divine now, that i would have better luck making headway on, well, everything, but not so much. i did make it to the gym Monday and Tuesday, but developed a nasty migraine Wednesday that plagued me the remainder of the week.

tragedy was introduced at Travy's work when Tuesday they were told that one of his fellow trainees had committed suicide. this was perhaps even more saddening than one might expect. although they had only known each other two weeks, the trainees work through four months of training in a tight group with lots of team-building and group projects. of course, the woman who committed suicide stood out in the group as the most supportive and most interested in everyone else. as is always the case after a suicide, Trav is fluctuating between sorrow at her loss and apparent inability to ask for help and anger at the selfishness of her act. sigh.

the rest of the week was spent putting out client communication fires and struggling with very complex cases. though the days ran 11-12 hours a piece, our service had no inpatients remaining for the weekend. this is both good, because i really needed a break, and bad, because it means pretty much all of our inpatients died despite our best efforts.

most of the weekend has been spent puttering about home, watering plants, cuddling critters, and killing ants. Saturday, Travy kicked me out to attend the monthly meeting of the TV Handspinners guild. i had a great time listening to the chatter and watching other people's projects develop. Saturday night, we both went out to an Hard Knox Roller Girls bout to support one of Trav's co-workers. it was a good time, though the attendance certainly pales in comparison to DRD bouts.

Moody Blues handspun
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
craft updates? there are plenty of course- Friday i plied my first knittable yarn... Travy, of course, wants socks, and i think it may be fine enough for that purpose! i took it for show and tell at the guild meeting and was delighted to be informed that it is well-balanced, neither over- nor underplied!

Valpuri sweater
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
then there is my current sweater... Valpuri. this is a great example of the importance of stash... the yarn i ordered for this project ended up too fine somehow and i didn't like the look when i adjusted needles to get gauge. off to the stash and, lo and behold, the perfect yarn! this is yarn i picked up in North Hampton England when staying with friends to celebrate Y2K. seven years it has been skulking in my stash, biding its time, for this right pattern. as they no one really says in England- Huzzah!

Wine and Roses Mitts
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
because winter is approaching, i suspended sock knitting to make the Wine and Roses mitts my purse knitting. my gauge is a little lacier than the model's, but i think that will balance the warmer temperatures here in Tennessee nicely.

finally, there is a lace shawl/scarf on the needles from Victorian Lace Today in Knitpicks Gossamer Sweet Peas. it hasn't come very far though so i will reserve pictures for another post.

oh yeah, did i mention we have hummingbirds now? yippee!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

in the midst of chaos, there is still knitting

Originally uploaded by jacquichris
here it is, my second week as Service Chief and my third week on clinics. can i just say how tired i am? last week we had two 10 hour days, two 12s and one ghastly 14 hour slog of a day. happily, our inpatients were fairly stable so weekend rounds/care took just an hour a day. what else? oh yeah, Friday i got bit through the nail by a wicked little dog. happily, it doesn't appear to be abscessing (so i think i will keep the nail) and it isn't impeding my knitting or spinning.

Originally uploaded by jacquichris
this weekend had many pluses. i went back to the gym both Saturday and Sunday, my first visits since well before the move. i am sore sore sore, but it is a great feeling. i also had a massage Saturday which helped with the stress in general and my head in particular.

with such a long week, i hadn't any much time for crafting but i was able to squeeze some in this weekend. i blocked the Brittania and am very happy with the final result. (the photo is pre-block, just to give a feel for it all.) the Hedera socks should be finished soon though my sock pace has slowed now that i confine work on them to meetings. MS3 Swan Lake is complete (but unblocked). i don't know whether i like the combined construction but find the wing just darling. i may make a two-winged version with more beads. finally, i filled most of a second bobbin of fine merino in a colorway called Moody Blues (photo to follow) and am almost ready to attempt plying it. i am almost ready to take the plunge and purchase my own wheel. i am leaning towards the Lendrum Double Treadle. input welcome...

well, i am going to be late if i don't sign off now. i leave you with a photo of my one-winged dove:

MS3 complete but unblocked
Originally uploaded by jacquichris

Friday, August 03, 2007

a sto-reee!

today i sit down with my coffee just as the MS3 theme and clue go out. having the clue start with the following sentence has made my morning:

We will now be knitting a wing.

i may hate the final stole, i may love it, but waking up to read that has totally made it worthwhile. the discussion of asymmetry reminded me of a silliness from my residency so i am going to break my no recreational typing rule to share.

Internal Medicine is intense. the mortality rate is high, the owners highly invested and the patients usually particularly special (else the owner would never come so far). it can take less than 3 hours to reduce a student to tears so it is important to instantly achieve familiarity with all the 'kids' on a new student rotation. everyone has their own favorite icebreakers. one week, my chief of service Lauren had everyone share the song lyrics they most misunderstood.

one of the guys says, 'You know that song by Stevie Nicks? Edge of Seventeen? I thought for the longest time that she was singing, "Just like the one wing of love."'


'I couldn't figure out what it meant. It drove me crazy. It took me like a year to figure out she was saying, "Just like a one-winged dove."'


[people begin shifting and shuffling uncomfortably]

Lauren started giggling, chuckling, then laughing so hard her face turned purple - i thought she might have to change her pants.

'It's not "a one-winged dove". [gasping for air] It's "the white-winged dove."'

the guy: 'Oohhhhhh. That makes more sense.'

Lauren: 'A one-winged dove?'

the guy: 'I thought that maybe that was why the bird was so sad.'

so here we are, knitting one-winged doves... Lauren would be amused.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

you can only leverage so far

in spite of my best efforts, my computer set-up at home isn't quite ergo (though still way better than my situation at work) so all the typing and computer diagram design i have been doing for my lectures have fried my arms. it is a good thing i will be going on clinics for six weeks come Monday so my arms have time to heal. that means 'recreational typing' is out. on the upside, the tendonitis does not appear to be aggravated by crafting... so here i present craft updates with few words:

MS3, through Clue 4
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
here is MS3, through the fourth clue. i couldn't decide whether to lengthen it, and eventually went with the pattern as written. we'll see how that shakes out.

Originally uploaded by jacquichris
the Brittania is also coming along rather quickly, given its degree of neglect. last night i started shaping for the armholes for the front. the yarn is remarkably soft (Knit One Crochet Two Angora soft) and i am curious to see how it tolerates my lifestyle.

Hedera socks
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
with my Roza's socks completed and two days of lectures at a laparoscopy course to observe, i needed a new sock pattern. after much debate, i started Hedera by Cookie A. the body is a 4 row repeat and easy to perform in low light. i think they are turning out just lovely. i am past the gusset on the first sock.

My first true spool
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
after plying off the mish mosh to get empty spools, i began the 'serious' work applying my lesson in spinning. here is my first 'from scratch' spool.

My second spool
Originally uploaded by jacquichris
after finishing the first spool with reasonable focus on consistency, i thought i would try making a spool of finer wool. i thought it would help me gain proficiency handling difficult spots in the rovings. it is the yarn on my second spool. unfortunately, i have run out of Shermie. i also am not sure that i can ply the two together. happily, my mentor's spinning group meets this Saturday (1st Sat of the month). i can show her my work and get advice, probably pick up some more of Shermie's rovings, and select something else with which to play.

not shown is the progress i have made on my alpaca fleece and the fleeces that Cathy sent me. they are coming along, but i think one needs a bit of carding to loosen VM. also, i think i am not quite ready for spinning from the lock.

well, my arm's making cranky at me (kinda feels like bugs under my skin), so i'd best sign off.