Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today was another milestone for the green aran sweater:

The singles are all spun. It was a sad moment when the last bit of the last batt passed through my fingers onto the bobbin.

So where am I in the process? Probably about a third of the way.
  • wash
  • sort
  • dye
  • pick
  • card individual colors
  • divide for blended batts
  • card twice for blending
  • spin
  • ply
  • wash
  • swatch
  • design a cabled sweater
  • knit
Those last two steps will take a while. I have enjoyed every step of this project so far. Now, on to plying!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The spinning has commenced:

Seven of 30 batts turned into singles this weekend.

I'm LOVING spinning these batts. Effortless, fluid, beautiful. I switched my technique a bit after sampling some more. I'm now doing a long draw, but still smoothing down the singles and compacting them just a bit as they wind onto the bobbin. As in the original chain-plied samples, I'm doing lower-twist (not minimum-twist, but on the low side) on the singles, and will ply just a bit beyond balanced, to give the finished yarn bounce. On my various samples, at least, this gave an elastic yarn with good resistance to abrasion, but still nice and lofty and soft.

I don't even have to predraft the batts at all. I just tear them into 4-6 strips and spin spin spin.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Well, yesterday was fun.

That terrible cell phone picture is poor little Emma, in a hospital gown, with an IV in her hand. Not at all how I planned to spend my Friday afternoon.

She's had a cough and runny nose for a week or so, just like everyone else in her school. They've been passing it around. Tuesday night she spiked a fever (104.5! eep!), and the fever never went away completely, even with Tylenol. It stayed right around 102-103 for the next three days. I took the morning off work Wednesday (Shaun stayed home with Emma in the afternoon), but Thursday and Friday were more problematic, as Shaun had to go to Friday Harbor for the weekend, leaving Thursday morning.

Emma came to work with me Thursday, and it was actually fine. She felt so yukky that she slept most of the day, in her little nest under my desk. Friday, not so fine. Her fever was going back up, and she was just plain miserable. She didn't even want to watch DVDs, if that tells you anything. She just lay in her nest and made little whimpering sounds. About 10:00, when she started complaining that her tummy hurt, and yelped when I gently pressed her abdomen, I knew it was time to leave work and take her to the doctor.

Her pediatrician was booked solid for the day, and recommended that I take her to the urgent care clinic in town. A co-worker gave us a ride to the clinic (Shaun has the car in Friday Harbor, leaving me and sick Emma transportationless; no biking in 35 degree weather for feverish girls), and the doctor confirmed that she had a high fever, and a tender belly. Umm, thanks! I already knew that! He didn't hear any congestion in her lungs, so ruled out pneumonia, and said it was probably her appendix. Or simple gastroenteritis (though she has had no diarrhea). One or the other. He sent us up to the hospital with a slip for an expedited CT scan.

(aside: Mama freaking out, here.)

So my co-worker came back to fetch us and take us to the hospital. Emma got to drink some apparently delicious orange-flavored barium, and then had to get some blood drawn. Getting a blood sample from a scared, feverish, dehydrated 5-year-old who is terrified of needles is not easy. They had to stick her twice and call in an extra nurse. Finally done with that, we waited around until the scan appointment. They stashed us in a small waiting room, and she actually got a nap. I watched the movie "Big" and chewed my thumbnails down to nubbins, thinking about surgery.

At 3:00 I woke Emma and we went to Radiology, where she had an IV put in her hand for the iodine dye. So. Not. Fun. Trembling and shaking and many tears. Getting it in wasn't quite as bad as the blood draw (they got the vein the first try), but because it had to stay in, it was worse overall. I had an IV during childbirth, and I could totally sympathize with her. Once it's in, it doesn't hurt, per se, but it's uncomfortable and every time she moved her hand she was reminded that it was there and that they used a big needle to put it in. In her words, "Scary." I told her that when she was born I had one too, and showed her the scar, and that seemed to be a bit comforting. We also counted by tens to 200 when they were putting it in, as a distraction.

Then we waited another half hour until it was our turn in the CT scanner, me babbling my head off to her about anything I could think of, so she wouldn't keep thinking about the IV. I have no idea what I talked about.

The actual scan was fine. She did exactly what the radiologist told her to; held very still, held her breath the entire time, and they only had to do one scan. Yay, less radiation. Then back to the other room to wait for the doctor to read the scan and tell us if she was going to be whisked off to surgery. (Note to the radiology nurse trying to be friendly: In the future, please refrain from telling your five-year-old patients that if the scan shows "bad parts inside you, we'll just take you up for an operation and cut out the bad parts." Seriously. It doesn't help the five-year-old feel better about what's happening to them. Not even a little bit.)

Finally, they came back in and told me that her appendix was fine.


However, she does have pneumonia. It's socked in her lower left lung, and in the words of the radiologist, is "dense and spectacular." Apparently, pneumonia in the lower lungs can press on the diaphragm, and that's what was causing the belly pain. At least she doesn't have to have surgery.

I do wonder, though, that the doctor at the urgent care clinic heard no sign of lung congestion during his exam. I'll not take Emma back to him.

From Radiology, they sent us over to the Emergency Room. They gave her a bag of saline and a mega powerful antibiotic through her IV (she was worried until I told her that no needles were involved; that's why they left the tube in her hand, so they wouldn't have to do it again). She also got a dose of Motrin in the ER, and her fever finally broke.

At first they were going to keep her overnight and admit her to the hospital, but because her fever went down and she wasn't having trouble breathing, they let me take her home. My patient co-worker came to fetch us again, and then finally we were home.

We were both exhausted. It was 7:00 pm, and I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I got us both drinks, scrambled myself an egg, called Shaun to let him know we were home and let Emma talk to him, and tucked us both into my bed by 8:00.

Next thing I knew, it was 9:00 this morning, and Emma was poking my shoulder to wake me up. "Mama," she said, "it's springtime- I can hear a frog! It's sunny out! I'm hungry! Can we go to the park?"