A nurse who knits…

August 28, 2007

FO: Short N Sweet

Filed under: Knitting — yarnnut @ 7:00 pm

Yeah!!! I have successfully crocheted this piece. I have a few pictures of it but here’s my critique.

Yarn: Berroco Merino, color 8532 which is kind of an orange red

Pattern: Short N Sweet from Stitch N Bitch Happy Hooker

Hook: Bamboo hook size H.

Caution, if you have the first edition, you will see errors in the written instructions. The chart however is correct. The pattern was fairly easy to memorize and shaping was minimal. I did modify the sleeves by only doing 4 rounds instead of the 8 the pattern specifies. I’d been reading on other blogs that if you crochet the full 8 rounds, the sleeves end up looking bell shaped.

 Sorry for the mirror shot again.  It was suggested to me by my friend Missy to get a tripod.  I have one but I’m too lazy to bring it out.

Thanks for the kind comments about my first doula experience.  It’s nice to know that women appreciate my efforts.  I’m going to a doula meeting tonight to meet the other doulas.  Should be a lot of fun.   Matt and I are going to dinner before the meeting.  Yeah!!!

I was going to start knitting a new sweater but I decided I want to finish those socks that have been on my needles for about a year.  Hopefully, I can finish them soon and I can get to the next sweater.

I discovered the library again this morning.  My friend Missy wanted to pick up some books at the Library in 4S Ranch and I signed up for a library card.  I got two knitting books, “Never knit your man a sweater” and “One skein”.  Hopefully this cuts down on the knitting books that I buy.  I can open my own library lol…


August 26, 2007


Filed under: Nursing — yarnnut @ 5:35 pm

I missed the Saturday knitting/crocheting meetup for a very good reason.  I got to see a baby being born.  I was on my way to the meeting when I got a call from my doula mentor, S.  When I asked when I should meet her, she said take “Take your time.  She’s a primip at 2 cm.  Spanish speaking only.  Let’s say 11:30”.   So I get there and change into my uniform.  S. is already running around so I have no idea where to go.  But I finally find her and we walk into the room together at the birth center.

Mom is 18 years old and her support system is her aunt.  Her mom and father of the baby were in Mexico.  She is was sitting in a chair and was practicing her breathing.  She reminded me so much of Nicole Richie.  Same facial and bone structure.  Very tiny.  When we got there, her pain was 9/10 and we practiced massage and walking with her.  Her nurse encouraged her to eat lunch and drink fluids.  No IV fluids were running at this point.  She was doing great.

At around 1 pm she started running a low grade fever and had a heart rate running in the 120-130’s.  So… that bought her a trip to the L&D floor.  Down there she would be given IV antibiotics to kick the infection that she probably had.  But that also meant that she had to get pitocin to speed up her labor and continuous monitoring.  S. and I were with her all day and we noticed a definite change w/ the interventions that she wanted.  Once she got hooked up to pit, she did not want to be touched and she was writhing in pain no matter what we did.  Poor girl was so tense that her body couldn’t open up. She was stalled at 4 cm dilated for hours.  They started upping pit even more and added the internal uterine monitoring to the mix.  She started wanting an epidural around 4 pm but didn’t get it to work until 7 pm.  She had her first one done at 5 pm but it didn’t work and had to be replaced.  I felt like I failed her as a doula because we couldn’t get her thru her birth the way she wanted to but she was much more relaxed after the epidural and her labor started to progress.

Now, if you’re thinking she had her baby soon after that, you are dead wrong.  Her baby was born at 11:45 at night!  First babies take a really long time to come out as any mother will tell you but she was so joyful and happy when she heard her baby cry.  The nurse and the midwife immediately put the baby on her chest for a minute and then took her for a few minutes for assessment while the midwife attended to the momma.  The baby had the cord wrapped around her neck and the midwife had thought she might have to intervene but at the last minute the baby repositioned herself enough for the midwife to attend to the cord w/o cutting momma.  This girl  walked away with minimal bleeding and just a small tear.

I can’t describe what a privilege it was to attend to this mother.  Being a doula is a volunteer thing for me but I feel so rewarded by being about to see the start of life for this little girl.  She’s beautiful and her mother did a great job in bringing her into the world.  What was amazing about the whole experience is that the momma barely understood English and my Spanish is of the spanglish variety but we managed to give her emotional support anyway.  When she heard her baby cry, she asked me “Como esta me bebe?” And I got to tell her “Buen trabajo.  Su bebe is bonita”.  She was tiny and very pretty like her mom.

I got home very tired around 1:30 am and slept very deeply.  I found out that the baby hats I had been knitting were huge.  They wouldn’t fit this baby for about a year lol… Next time I’ll bring my knitting.   Being a doula is cool.

August 23, 2007

Pet peeve

Filed under: Knitting,Life in general — yarnnut @ 6:15 pm

I have a day off and am listening to the news as I crochet along on my Short N Sweet.  I am listening to a story about a party gone wrong.  Something about a girl who gets shot by another girl.  Apparently they “liked” the same boy.  And I suppose one of them “liked” him enough to kill.  Now, the reporter had a bystander give a play by play of the incident.  It went something like this.   She was a young girl in her teens.

Girl: I think they liked the same guy.  And like she took a gun out and like said she was going to like kill the other girl.  She like wanted him for herself.

Now, how hard is it to stop using the word “like”.  It is an all purpose word and can be used as a noun, preposition, verb, adjective.  I do not believe that it should be used as an adverb.  I don’t profess to be a linguist but even I know that like is being used way too much.  Are we raising a generation of “like” idiots.  I know this is harsh.  But ya just don’t go on tv speaking like this poor girl did.  Please think about what you’re going to say and don’t use like more than once in a sentance.

Enough of my language rant.  I apologize for any spelling errors I have ever had or will have in the future.

I finally  figured out what I was doing wrong w/ my Short N Sweet.  There was a half shell added to each of the fronts and I figured out how to incorporate it in the stitch pattern.  Yeah!!! I’ve finished the fronts and have linked the fronts and the back together.  Now I just need to continue until it’s the length I wanted.  The bolero is a bit chunky as it is crocheted in worsted weight.   I hope it doesn’t look like a heavy curtain when I have it on.

Back to crocheting!

August 21, 2007

Finished One Toned Shrug

Filed under: Knitting — yarnnut @ 1:35 am

I got around to taking pictures of the One Toned Shrug that I finished on last Wed at a knitting get together. All I did that day was weave in the ends but what a difference that makes. Here are some pics.

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This one is a close up of the increases located at the neck of the shrug.
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Here it is just lying on the table.

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I’m trying to take a picture of the back
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One of the front view.

Pattern: Two Toned Shrug from Fitted Knits

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 2 skeins.

Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbos

Time to completion: July 28-August 15 or 19 days.

Opinion: I like this garment. I never thought I’d be one for shrugs but this one was easy to knit and quite versatile. The blue is a really pretty color. I pretty much followed the pattern and as far as I can see there are no errors in it. I have NEVER finished a piece this quickly. Thanks to Susan for inspiring me to concentrate on one project at a time. I bought yarn for the Dropped Stitch Lace tank and the Short Sleeved Cardigan which I’ll start after I finish Short N Sweet from Happy Hooker.

Thanks for looking everyone!

August 15, 2007

Bonding w/ strangers in Borders

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnnut @ 10:37 pm

I went to bed thinking that my Wednesday knitting group was meeting in the morning so I got up earlier than normal and headed over to Panera’s at 9 am. No one was there so I emailed Suzanne who emailed back that we meet every other Wednesday and that I’m off schedule. Hmmm…. makes sense. Thanks for reminding me Suzanne. I’ll see you next week 🙂

After figuring out that no one was going to show up, I went home and started crocheting. OMG… I haven’t picked up a hook for anything other than making provisional cast ons and weaving in ends in years. But I went to a sale at Yarning for You in San Marcos yesterday and came home with some Berroco Merino that I thought would be perfect for “Short N Sweet” from Happy Hooker. I downloaded the errata like a good girl and started. It all comes back to you ladies if you’ve put down the hook in favor of needles. The only snag was some front and back post crocheting which I’d never done before. But I think I figured it out. I’ll post a pic tomorrow after I make some more progress. At noon, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned. Thank goodness, I get to keep my teeth. I had a substitute dentist today. I never realized that dentists cover for other dentists while they were on vacation. I just figured they’d shutdown the office. She said that my teeth and gums look great and to keep up with what I was doing.

Then I went to Borders to pick up the Fall IK. I’d been hearing so much I’d really just thumbed thru it in Borders and like these designs:

  • Minimalist Cardigan
  • Cobblestone Pullover
  • Belle Cardigan
  • Counterpane Pullover

So… like any pattern hoarder, I snatched the magazine in my little hands and headed over to the craft section of books.  There was an older lady sitting on a wheeled chair.  It wasn’t a wheel chair but kind of a stand with wheels that has a cushion to sit on.  She asked me she was in my way and I replied no.   Here’s the rest of our conversation.

Lady: “Do you crochet?”

Me: “Yes but I knit more often.  I’m buying the new IK.”  I offer the magazine to her and she starts looking at it.

Lady: “Those designs are beautiful.  I like to crochet more.” She shows me the book that she was looking at.  It was full of crocheted skirts and shawls.

Me: “Those are nice too.  You thinking about getting this book?”

Lady: “No, it’s too expensive.  I live on a fixed income.  I’m only here because my daughter has to work and it’s too hot for me to be without air conditioning.”

We talk a bit more and I ask her if she’d like to have a cup of coffee and look at books together.  We spent the next hour talking.  I felt very sad for her because she told me that she felt like a burden to her family.   That she can’t take care of herself.  She wished that she’d die so that she wouldn’t be such a burden to her children.  She was really lonely and she said “God bless you for talking to me.  I feel so much better.  People ignore you when you’re old.”

I had tears in my eyes when she told me that.  She then asked me what I was doing at Borders on a week day and I told her that I had the day off and that I’m a nurse when I’m working.  She said, “That makes perfect sense.  Nurses are the nicest people.  Can you come work for me so I can talk to you?”   I told her that I couldn’t work for her but that if I saw her at Borders, I would buy her a cup of coffee and that we would talk.

Does medicare reimburse elder day care??? What happens to old people who can’t afford to go to retired living communities?  Do they lead lonely lives?  It makes me sad to think of this old lady.  She told me that poverty keeps her from doing many things.  If you do anything today, please say hi to an older person that you meet in public.  They would probably love to talk to someone.  You can learn a lot from an older person.  Like when crochet was the big craze.  Not knitting.

August 13, 2007

A baby hat and a disaster

Filed under: Knitting — yarnnut @ 12:11 am

I have a couple of FO’s in case you couldn’t tell by my title. Take a look:

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I decided that I wanted to give a hat to all the babies that I help w/ at the UCSD doula program. Here’s a picture of my first one. It’s knit with a very soft yarn called Wendy. I made up the pattern and knit it from the top down using the magic loop method. I know it is hard to see but the bottom of the hat is seed stitch. I’m a bit worried that I made the hat too big as I don’t have a baby to try it. But I know that babies have unexpectedly large heads. I have quite a bit left over from the skein, probably enough for another hat.

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Here’s the hat on a very unwilling model. It took me about 15 minutes to get him to sit still w/ doggie treats. After the photo session, he fled the scene and hid under the bed. It took 3 more dog treats to get him to come out. But he is very cute. Too bad he’s not one for clothes.

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And here’s the disaster. The Lucy bag. The knitting went fine but I’m an inexperienced felter and I found out what neglect can do w/ a felted object. Finished knitting Lucy a few weeks ago on a Saturday and decided to throw it into the washer. I set the washer on hot and put Lucy in a pillow case. I turned the washer on for the long cycle (I think 18 minutes) and let ‘er rip. When I came back 45 minutes later, Lucy was out of the pillow case and the strap was wrapped around the agitator. Ugh… It came out super felted and the strap felted in some places. Other places, no. And I don’t know how to save it. It turned out much smaller than I wanted too. I did some research on felting and found out that you have to watch the object during the felting process and stop it when it’s sufficiently felted to your tastes. Oh well… If there is anyone w/ suggestions, let me know. I am not showing the strap out of shame.

My friend Michelle flew down from San Francisco for the weekend. We went saw the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park and spent a beautiful day yesterday walking. She is of the hot persuasion. Meaning, she’s not one for hot weather. She and Matt are on the same wave length on that one. Me… I love me a hot day. It makes me all sleepy and relaxed and I love walking in hot weather. I’m good unless I have to do any kind of exercising in it. The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit was kept at a constant temp. To preserve the scrolls, the temperature had to be below 70 deg at all times. Michelle was happy. I, on the other hand, was not. But the scrolls were an interesting piece of history. If you can see it as it tours the US, it comes highly recommended by me. (Not that my opinion should matter much.) For those who live in San Diego, the scrolls will be in town until December.

On Friday, I did something that knitting friends do to their non-knitting friends around the world. I took her to a yarn store. I just couldn’t help it. She came during the annual balloon sale at Common Threads in Encinitas. While I tooled around and bought yarn, she became fascinated by the store. She ended up walking away w/ a set of size 10.5 circular knitting needles from Bryspun (which I’ve never tried. They look really nice though in case you were wondering), a skein of Rowan Plaid, and a skein of some new yarn from Berroco called Comfort When we left, she made me promise to teach her how to knit that night. I walked away with some Cascade 128 in Tuscany to make the Short Sleeved Cardigan with Ribbing from the Fitted Knits book. After seeing my friend with the Comfort, I got 3 skeins in Coppen Blue to make the Drop Stitch Lace tank from the same book. The Comfort seduced me so much that I got 2 more skeins to make baby hats for my doula volunteering, one in Rosebud (for the girls) and one in Spruce for the boys. How do some of you feel about color coding the sexes? I’m not really one for yellow but I don’t necessarily feel that I have to use pink when knitting for baby girls or vice versa for boys. What are your fav colors for baby knitting?

By the way, Comfort is a new yarn from Berroco that has mucho potential for me. It’s reasonable at about $5 per skein and machine washable/dryable. Gauge is 18 stitches/ 4″ for my knitter friends and 14 sc for those who crochet. I’ll knit a baby hat from Comfort and let you know how it holds up.

For those of you unfamiliar w/ Common Threads and their sale, you shop for your yarn.  Then when you’re done, you pick a balloon from the ones they have floating in the store and pop it to reveal your discount.  I think they offer a discount from 10% to 50%.  Of course, I get the 10% coupon which is still great.  But, my friend got the 40%.   Not that I wasn’t happy for her or anything… but still.  I was envious at her beginners luck at yarn shopping.

As for the knitting lesson, Michelle did really well. She learned how to cast on, knit, and bind off in the same night. She couldn’t wait until morning to start her first project. A scarf in the Plaid. She’s working on it now as we speak on her flight back. I’m glad I gave her something that she will be able to use in her down time. Poor girl… she has so much traveling to do. She’s going to the Philippines to visit family in two weeks. While she’s there, she’s going to Hong Kong for a few days of sightseeing and shopping. After she gets back from there, she’s going to Hawaii on vaca… lots of time on planes. Darn, I wish I was her.

August 6, 2007

Update on the ring.

Filed under: Life in general — yarnnut @ 7:32 pm

So… I have good news. Royal Caribbean is going to handle the return of my ring to Diamonds International. I sent the ring off and they have it in their hands. A sigh of relief has left my body.

The bad news is I had my other ring appraised. I paid $3800 for it and it appraised for $1855. I also found out that the yellow diamonds that were supposedly natural are actually heat treated.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, any gem stones that have been treated must be disclosed to the customer at the time of sale.  So in addition to duping me into buying this ring of less value than they said, they have committed fraud.  Goodmark jewelry who I bought it from says that they will not honor their policy of refunding the difference because I did not have it appraised by GIA, EGL, or one other gem lab.  They also are telling me that the stones are indeed genuine.  No where in my documentation do I have proof that the diamonds are natural.  I had called each of the labs prior to contacting Goodmark and they told me they do not do appraisals only gem certifications.  Appraisals assign a monetary value to a piece while certifications only verify whether you have a natural stone or not.  When I informed Goodmark that their receipt is erroneous for saying that they will only accept appraisals from GIA, EGL, etc., they said that they will not accept appraisals from a GIA certified appraiser.  Only a gemologist employed at GIA.   Errr… why won’t they listen to me???

As I feared, I will have to contact the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.  They are a group that tries to keep the jewelry industry clean.  My appraiser suggested that this would be a hard fight.  Now I don’t even want the ring.  I want my money back because they are basically lying to me.   Hopefully, the JVC can help me.  Again… I repeat… Do not ever buy jewelry from a place that says you must have one of the labs appraise your ring before they will take it back.  That is false.  In fact, do not buy jewelry from any store that you cannot travel back to.  The next time I buy a piece, I will support the local mom and pop stores that will take the piece back if it does not match specifications as determined by an unbiased appraiser.  If there is anyone with any legal advice, I’d sure appreciate it.  I hope next time I buy something big, I won’t be so dumb.  I think when you’re on vacation, you tend to lose your mind and do things you normally wouldn’t do at home.