Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome have slowed down both writing and holiday knitting. When the discomfort became too great, all use of my right hand had to go on hold. So writing here and elsewhere stopped abruptly, the menorah kal stalled, and holiday knitting languished. What first seemed to be a condition produced by knitting small things with metallic cord later turned out to be computer-related: my computer’s track pad is wreaking havoc with my right wrist. So knitting has resumed its role in daily life, and typing is returning slowly, with the aid of a new mouse.
To combat the commercial and competitive aspects of Hanukkah, I’ve always tried to make as many gifts as possible. In the distant past, that meant quilts and other sewn items. But the sewing room is now a family storage space, my machine nearly inaccessible. Slowed down by carpal tunnel syndrome, my holiday knitting is behind schedule. Many Hanukkah and inter-faith gifts are still in progress, though a few have been completed in the past few days’ knitting time.
Silver bells and silver stars (made with that demon silver cord) are ready for Christmas giving. After making the first small bell from the new pattern online, I decided to enlarge the bell as a more substantial ornament for my sister-in-law’s tree. Increasing to 30 sts, adding 4 rows to the length of the bell, and finishing with 3 purl rows did the trick. The star pattern worked up quickly as well. I’ll plan to revise the pattern to create a Magen David (Star of David) for Hanukkah giving next year.
A special old friend will get special felted ornaments: a peace crane (made with Peace Fleece) and a fortune cookie (with appropriate proverb).
With extra time on my hands (no pun intended) a few weeks ago, I decided to to tackle a new knitting technique – reversible double knitting. I’ve been charting interfaith designs for my Patterns for Peacebuilders project, and produced my first reversible object, a Hamsa hotpad.
This really was fun to work on, challenging intellectually – especially when it came time to correct errors, on both sides! I’m very fond of the “braided” I-cord, which is nothing more than working each row with a different color. Inspired by Fallingblox‘s reversible knitting , I’ve already begun another reversible project, a hat, based on this chart he used as a (very lovely) block in a wall hanging.
Ravelry’s Double Knitting group has had plenty of helpful information about casting on for reversible knitting. After testing standard long-tail, alternating long-tail, a hybrid long-tail with a reverse long-tail, and braided cast-on, I’ve decided to use a provisional cast-on to create a seamless edge for the hatband. I’d like to make it a pillbox shape, so will see what happens when I get to the crown-shaping.
Finally, the Cobblestone Pullover requested by my younger son is underway. It’s Peace Fleece Father’s Gray, full of interesting heathery bits and mohair hairs, smells and feels like the old-fashioned wool I remember my grandmother using. To treat myself, I made a new set of fish stitch markers.
With my right hand firmly planted on the mouse, and a more careful regimen for stretching and resting when I type, the needlework is back under way.