Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sometimes you need a sweater with a hole in it

The whole not-knitting thing is really getting to me. But it's surprising what you can do with a pair of scissors and a ratty old sweater… after cutting this one up into arm warmers and a splint liner, I felt much better.

My fingers are healing, according to my doctor who looked at them again on Tuesday. But they have not "healed". And I guess because of how much they're broken he wants me to spend another FOUR WEEKS with my hand encased at least part time in Lambchop (aka my splint).

Lambchop was happy about this, having pretty much become a member of the family with something funny to contribute to most conversations, and I had to promise that she could stick around even after I don't have to wear her anymore. But honestly, the thought of another four weeks in the splint is making me very sad. After this week I get to take her off four times a day for 15 minutes each to do more painful exercises – and not a moment too soon because I want to make sure my fingers move properly and they've been still for a long time. But I'll still have to wear Lambchop the rest of the time, and apart from the barrier between me and knitting, that means four more weeks in winter with no coat. Aargh.

Naturally I responded to this news with emotional shopping. Yes, apparently emotional alpaca poncho shopping is a thing for people with splints that don't fit through a coat sleeve.

I chose this black one because it sort of has sleeves and definitely has a turtleneck.

My other two ponchos don't have either of those features and I thought I could layer more effectively with this option in my arsenal. Then I chose this red one because it's colourful and I'm tired of looking like a flappy raven every time I go outside.

If I had bothered to try them on in the shop before I bought them I might have left the turtleneck one behind… It's actually a little uncomfortable to wear, because the arm openings hit just below where you bend for your elbow and even then the top part of the poncho bunches up around your shoulders. But that turtleneck is a big draw and has already been a help, so I don't regret it. The red poncho is pretty flattering and quite comfortable, but after this ordeal is over it will be my black cashmere poncho that gets the most use – it's just a huge square with a hole in the middle for your head, and so open on the sides I can raise my arms however I want. The red poncho is not as constricting as the black turtleneck one, but it's still narrow enough to hold my arms down.

I had no idea there was so much variety in poncho design! I might start thinking about this so I can come up with a dream poncho design in case this should ever happen to me again… Fashion ponchos have completely different requirements than cast-friendly ones, I find.

And now, back to our ratty old sweater.

I bought and felted this broken thing years ago for making mittens and was as thrilled now as I was then to see the fiber content:

Wool and just a bit of angora for softness: Yay!  And the perfect thickness for my situation.

Cutting a splint liner to shape was a different story…

It was difficult to do this with one hand, especially since I had to take the splint off to size it properly. I feel quite free to move my hand when it's in the splint, and I'm able to use my thumb or the tip of the splint to stabilize things, but outside it I freeze up, afraid to make the break worse again or at the very least cause myself pain by moving any part of my left hand.

Thankfully I did get it sorted out..

... and the splint was immediately much more comfortable to wear. It's no fun wearing hard plastic against your skin with just a thin cotton tube for protection. But four weeks in, I still haven't found a solution that will help to protect my knuckles, which feel like they have windburn. Tonight I finally resorted to Vaseline topped off with a strip of fabric from an old sweatshirt as a barrier between me and the wool liner, but that's not 100% effective either. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I do have some strategies for keeping life and Hugs interesting for the rest of my splint time, so please bear with me. And do try not to break any bones of your own! Although it is nice in some ways to be waited on, it is not so much so as to make not knitting bearable when you're as hooked on it as we are, sigh.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you again in a few days!


Anonymous said...

There is this spongy bandaid type tape that comes in a roll. I don't know if that would help or not. Sorry about your hand. I can't imagine not being able to knit. I guess I would have to watch all the subtitle movies I never watch because knitting needs attention now and then.

Anonymous said...

How about a cast sock for your knuckle problem?
There are several patterns on Ravelry to give you ideas.
Just cut off the end of a old pair of socks and slip over fingers inside or outside of cast.

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks for these suggestions, Anons! I've been experimenting with that grabby tape and the cut sock is a great fix on the outside, to keep thing from catching on the Velcro straps, ugh. Just a few more days and I can leave the splint off sometimes - can't wait :^)