Thursday, January 26, 2017

Knit yourself a poncho

Hello again! Let's open with a beautiful, much loved, and completely neglected ball of yarn.

Oh the heartbreak. January and February are the time of year when I do the most knitting, so it's a particularly unfortunate season in which to have broken two fingers. I had hoped I could go for long walks in my newfound leisure time, if nothing else, but I haven't been able to get my splint through a sleeve and you can only be outside so long in winter with nothing but layered ponchos, you know? (Moving around too much indoors seems to be leading me to more small injuries, so I've learned to mostly sit still and live vicariously through UK real estate and cooking shows on television… SO much sock knitting time wasted!)

On Tuesday I graduated to the second level splint, which I have to keep on full-time for a week, and part time for another week, while doing excruciatingly painful finger curling exercises. Here are its mugshots:

 I named the last one The Claw but this one is called Lambchop in honour of Shari Lewis' hand puppet.

That's Lambchop, on the left.
See the resemblance? You have to imagine Lambchop with her hooves over her eyes, but still.

My Lambchop splint is made of molded plastic and is very painful to wear, so my physical therapist kindly layered a piece of adhesive felt where my knuckles touch it (aka 'slowly grind away skin, layer by layer.) The felt really only contributed an additional source of irritation so as soon as I got home I tucked in some unspun, supersoft fiber, a thing that every home should have, apparently.

Sweet relief! Since that first hour when I had just a little protecting two sore knuckles, I have added an entire slab to protect all four of my fingers.

I am so glad I did not break my fingers in July, because mohair + wool = steam heat.

This brings us back to today's theme: knit yourself a poncho!

Truly, whether or not you think ponchos are an attractive fashion accessory, you may very well need one someday and it's good to be prepared. Had I but known, I would've spent last winter knitting small neat swatches to tuck inside my splint without getting long strands of mohair all over Lambchop's Velcro straps. I would've knit more soft, loose cowls because they are easier to secure with one hand on a windy day. I would have knit long armed fingerless mitts – you know the ones that look so impractical? Because if it's warm enough to need a glove it's too warm to be sleeveless? Yeah. I would have knit those, and stopped them just above the thumb opening.

I got an email from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas promoting a new poncho pattern the day I came home with Lambchop, and let me tell you there was some serious tooth gnashing going on as I read it.

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself though. If I'd known in advance I would need a poncho I would've known in advance not to run to the number 11 bus route… And even without knowing, this is the winter I finally gave in and bought a giant lambswool wrap at the winter fair, as well as a swingy cashmere poncho in a Boxing Week sale – well before I fell down and broke my fingers. Like Fate was stealthily giving me some assets in advance because it felt sorry for me and my blind devotion to handknit socks.

We can't always count on pity from Fate though, so I highly recommend having a poncho in your life, and Churchmouse has a dizzying array of options on their pattern page.

When I get my hand back, I am totally knitting some!


Laurinda said...

It really does look like Lambchop! At least you were smart enough to pad your splint with quality fiber. It makes me feel bad for people who don't have access to any.
You could fake some arm warmers with a second hand men's sweater, slightly felted. Felt the body harder, & you can have a no sew cowl. I belong to the Thrifty Knitters, & the Unravellers groups on Ravelry
Funny about you mentioning ponchos-I have two beautiful wool fabrics to sew a reversible poncho, & I have one on the needles that was put aside for christmas, & other'have to', knitting. Both are self drafted. I'll let you know how they come out.
How much longer will you be incapacitated?

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks for the reminder about felted wool sweaters Laurinda - I found one in my fabric stash and was able to sort something out! Looks like another four weeks in the splint with increasing amounts of time off for good behaviour (aka physical therapy) aieeeeee