Things are quiet here at the KAH blog because about 6 weeks ago my knitting came screeching to a halt. Some of you may remember waaaaay back in 2006 when I first mentioned I might have carpal tunnel syndrom in my hands? While it has come and gone most of the time since then, mainly flaring up when I go through a period of intense knitting, it came on strong during the month of September.
I could tell the problem was getting worse - both arms/hands completely asleep all night long, going to sleep while I was knitting, etc - but I was in heavy denial. It's Fall! The shop is SO busy! There are samples to be made! Computer work at the store is never-ending! How on EARTH could I be expected to STOP knitting?
But stop I did, after one grueling 24 hour period of a lot of twining. I finished a twined hat (I'll talk about it below) and then promptly began the earflap version out of the orgasmic Rowan Lima. (Yeah, I went there. And yeah, Lima is that good.) I was knitting in the shop and in pain, and stopping frequently to rub my arms, and Nichole looked at me and said, You have to stop. Now. Put down the needles.
So I did. For almost four long, long, weeks.
It seems so obvious in retrospect, both the clear need to stop knitting and rest my hands, and why I was in such denial about needing to stop. Knitting is my sanity. 100%. I'm sure you understand. When I'm supervising the medium level of constant chaos that goes on in my house at any given moment, it's easy to not let it get to me because I can knit. I'm in my happy place. When we have to watch Hannah Montana or Suite Life on Deck on the living room TV because Campbell wants some veg time, I can knit through it to tune it out. And without the knitting - all of that stuff makes mommy kind of grouchy.
It's not just the lack of knitting, either. I also missed that constant hum in the background of my brain that I never knew was there. It's that thread of thought that is ALWAYS thinking about the project I am on, planning the next project, thinking about a new sample, going over a technique to make it better, etc etc. There is a constant knitting imagination at work, and when the knitting gets turned off solidly (not even a stitch, people) for that long, it's like everything goes quiet, in a very dull and not-good way.
Rest seemed to work, for now, and I've seen a nuerologist who says surgery is probably in my future when I finally get to the point that I can no longer bear/afford to do the resting. I went back to knitting after Terri Shea blew through the Gorge and shattered my world with her Selbu mittens and gloves, which I'll post more about in the future. I'll do some alternative things in the meantime to help manage it.
But can I tell you how good it feels to knit again? Like coming home.
OK - on to the twining that did me in.
Despite the pain this caused, I love twining! The effect achieved is so fun, so entertaining (especially the twined ribbing!). I started this little guy a year ago when I first taught the Twined Hat class, and for no reason in particular didn't finish it until now.
The method of twining creates a thicker, wind-resistant fabric that is excellent for outdoor use in the winter - great ski wear! And for this basic version of the hat, you can get all sizes out of only 1 ball of Taos. I was skeptical as I approached the top of the hat and my ball was looking so teeny, but it's true! If you haven't tried twining yet, I highly recommend it!