A nurse who knits…

November 25, 2007

Charlotte makes her debut!

Filed under: Knitting — yarnnut @ 11:03 pm

I finally finished Charlotte’s Web shawl by Koigu designs. I am extremely happy with this shawl. The wool is absolutely wonderful to knit with. It comes in beautiful colors and is lovely in your hands. I loved watching the color sequence change as I knit it. I made no modifications to the shawl except that I think I’m going to leave the fringe off. It is pretty big on someone as vertically challenged as me. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Charlotte’s Web by Koigu designs ( I bought this back before Painter’s Pallette was a book)

Needles: Addi Turbos size 6 32 inch

Yarn: Koigu in 5 colorways.

Size: 67″ x 32″ blocked.

I should have taken a picture prior to blocking because it was indeed a sorry looking project. Blocking does wonders for lace as far as bringing out the pattern. I did do the crochet edging on the edge of the shawl and am pretty happy the way it is. Are there any opinions on fringing this shawl? I have tons of leftover yarn mostly my first and second skein so it wouldn’t be a problem to fringe.I love knitting lace but towards the end, this shawl was around 300 stitches a row.  That does get a bit mind numbing.  The lace pattern is very easy to memorize.  Two tips: Use stitch markers and a row counter for accuracy.  One thing that gets mentioned in posts on the internet is that people lose count of stitches in the lace repeat.
Charlotte draped on my couch
Charlotte in the customary mirror picture
Charlotte in the yard
Me stretching Charlotte out
Yeah!!! I’m so glad it’s done and I have it wrapped around my shoulders right now as I surf the web and write this post.

I don’t have another project lined up. I am working on what I’m calling the “Berry Socks” but those will be over before I know it. Any suggestions for my next project? I have a huge queue in Ravelry but it’s so overwhelming that I don’t know what to tackle first. I’m thinking a sweater would be appropriate given the season. Cherie Amour from Knitty, Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Fall 2007, and Zephyr Style’s Tree Jacket are at the top of my list. And I probably have yarn for all of these sweaters in my stash. I also have a whole bunch of patterns from Chic Knits that have been burning a hole in my pattern binder. I just hate it when I’m overcome by indecision! Well, I’ll just plug along on Berry socks until I figure it out. I welcome all suggestions for my next project though…

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November 22, 2007

A non-epidural birth

Filed under: Nursing — yarnnut @ 1:55 am

For those of you who are looking to read a knitting post, this is not one of them.  I’ve done a bit of knitting but a lot of working.  And by working, I mean birthing babies.  I do have a preceptor who is guiding me and I need lots of guidance right now since I’ve only done nursing stuff with pregnant women these past two days.

Yesterday I had a Spanish speaking multip who was post date and coming in to get induced at 8 am.  She specifically stated that she did not want pain medication.  As nurses, my preceptor and I had to explain her options anyway just so she knew.  We did all of the usual tasks of getting her admitted to our unit, orienting her, starting her IV, starting her pitocin, and getting her labor “started”.  She was rating her pain as 2/10 most of the day and it was tolerable.  Her doctor came in around 8 am to check her out and she told us that the woman’s cervix was very high, dilated to 1 cm, and her bag of waters was intact.  To an L&D nurse, this means that we’re in for a long day.  Or so I thought….

We were increasing her pitocin all day long trying to get her contractions to come at regular intervals.  I pretty much stayed in the room and practiced my Spanish with her.  Her sister in law was in the room but not really participating.  She started feeling them more at around noon.  That’s when I started doing my doula maneuvers.  I used ice to distract her from her pain.  We repositioned countless times.  She used the bathroom A Lot to keep the baby moving down.  I put counterpressure on her back to relieve her back labor.  My preceptor said I was doing a great job supporting her during her labor.  Now, I haven’t told many nurses including my preceptor that I am a doula for UCSD.  I’ve been hearing some of the nurses saying bad things about doulas like they aren’t helpful to anyone and that they tell moms not to have c sections when they need one.  As a doula, we can help clarify things that we are able to and to encourage the parents to seek education.  But never, ever do we provide medical advice.  It’s not our place to do so.  We’re supposed to support the parents’ decision.  So, I’m holding my tongue for now until I am off orientation.  So around 1:45 in the afternoon, her doc comes in to check her.  My preceptor was helping down in another room because another baby was having some decelerations in the heart rate.   In case you were wondering, “decels” are not necessarily good and need intervention.  The doc tells me that my lady is 5 cm dilated, 100% effaced, and -2 station.  My patient from the day before had her water broken, was at the same station and around the same dilation and did not give birth for 6 hours.  That lady was also a multip.  So the water was broken at 1:46.  Right after the doc left, my patient started to lose it.  She told me that she couldn’t handle the pain and she started grabbing my hands and was getting quite hysterical.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to get the baby back on the monitor before I take a look at what happened in her nether regions.  I was trying to calm her down saying that we could get the anesthesiologist in if she wanted pain relief.  Luckily, my preceptor walked in and stuck her head down there and said, “We need to set up for stat delivery.”  At this point her water had been broken for about 3 minutes!  The poor patient was instructed to not push and I paged the doc as my preceptor tried to get the room set up.  The doc walks in around 1:55.  The baby was born at 1:57.  Jiminy cricket, that was fast.  What an adrenaline rush!  My first birth without pain meds.  I found that it is much faster than other births that I had seen and that transition is MUCH more apparent.  Which is probably why I didn’t recognize that birth was imminent so quickly after the rupture of membranes.

Now this birth did not follow the pattern for a normal birth so I was totally discombobulated.  I didn’t restart the pitocin at the right time.  I wasn’t firm enough with my lady in getting  her to push.  I think everything was such a blur that nothing I learned the day before popped into my head.  I ended up being baby nurse, which is the best job of all when the baby is ok.  I got to dry him, put him on mom’s belly, and do his assessment.  This baby was beautiful.  And I played a small part in bringing him into the world.  I thought my preceptor was going to be upset but she told me that I did great and that she was also out of sorts because of the speed of this delivery.  My second delivery as a nurse… I’d like to think that I helped this woman forgo the pain meds even though she was on pitocin which can make labor contractions unbearable.

As for knitting, the Charlotte’s Web is on it’s last few rows.  I just have to crochet an edging around it after that and put a fringe on.  I was scared that I wasn’t going to have enough of the 4th skein to finish the color sequence but I ended up having about 5 feet left over.  Yeah!!!  I will post pics probably before the weekend of an unblocked shawl.

November 17, 2007

It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks

Filed under: Nursing — yarnnut @ 12:33 am

I am having a hard time adjusting to my new job. Labor and delivery nursing is sooo much different from telemetry. Different patient population, different procedures, different charting… I thought it would be easier for me to transition than a new grad but I think I may be having a harder time! I saw a bunch of babies born this week which made my discomfort worth it. I’m sure I’ll become more comfortable as I get to work with my preceptor. These last two weeks have been spent in “skills days”. We’re doing things like observing postpartum, the OR, PACU, etc. That was a good experience but there were days that I think were better spent with a preceptor.

I’ve been knitting in my spare time. I completed two squares for the San Diego wildfires blanket project. They are having a big joining party tomorrow but I don’t know who I can give my squares to. I have to work tomorrow so I can’t join in on the fun. My Charlotte’s web shawl is so close to done that I can taste it. I’ll probably be done this weekend and I’ll post a pic then.

I miss my Wednesday knitting group. I think I can join them at a meeting in December. Yeah!!! I hope everyone had a great week.

November 12, 2007

I’m back…

Filed under: Knitting,Life in general — yarnnut @ 9:09 pm

My weekend in the Bay area was great. In case you don’t know where that is, it’s the San Francisco Bay Area. My friends tend to get a little pissy when someone doesn’t know where the “Bay” is. They also call San Francisco, SF or “the City”. Whatever… I personally don’t think of San Francisco as “the City”.

I got there on Friday night and had dinner with two of my best friends from Cal Poly where I got my first college degree. Ben and Michelle were my roomies for 4 years. I don’t get to see them more than once or twice a year usually but it’s sooo easy to talk to them when we get together. Don’t you just love friendships like that??? When you’re so comfortable with someone that distance and time doesn’t matter in how close you are. We went out to dinner at some restaurant in Santana Row and headed home for a night of catching up.

The next day, Michelle and I headed down to Carmel to visit another friend of mine who was having a “girl’s day”. We met up at Katy’s Place. The breakfast food was extremely tasty. I had the turkey and avocado eggs Benedict. Yummy. Then we walked the brunch off shopping in downtown Carmel. My friends felt like going engagement ring shopping and we stopped in Tiffany’s for a looksie. I think I picked out my wedding band. It will probably look something like this

After that we went wine tasting for about an hour and headed back to my friend’s house to say hi to her two year old son and hubby. My goodness… I remember when she was pregnant. That was the last time I had seen her. I need to do a better job keeping in contact w/ my friends. Here’s some pics of us at the end of the wine tasting. Don’t we looked dazed???

Of course, I knitted on the plane. I took along some Trekking XXL and knitted up my classic ribbed 3×1 sock. I’m almost done with the first one. Of course, they are for me. I haven’t yet ventured into knitting socks for others yet. I’m afraid that people might not appreciate how much work goes into knitting a sock. Everyone is impressed with knits like scarves, sweaters, and of course shawls. But socks? I get the question “why are you knitting socks?” all the time.

Case in point, I was knitting the sock on my trip up when the flight attendant came by to see if I wanted anything to drink. I said a glass of water. “My goodness!”, she says. “Aren’t you a bit young to knit?” “No” I reply. “Lots of people of all ages knit.” “Well”, she says. “What are you knitting then?” I told her that I was knitting a sock and she preceded to educate me that I could get 6 socks for $6 at Walmart and that basically I was wasting my time. I know a lot of knitters get comments like that but it was the first time I got that. I decided that I would just thank her for the water and just stop talking. And in case you were wondering what my “Waste of time” socks look like, here’s a pic.

November 9, 2007

My week…

Filed under: Nursing — yarnnut @ 6:20 pm

I’ve been in orientation the past too weeks.  That means class time and observations.  I’ve seen a total of 10 babies being born both vaginally and by c-section.  And birth still never ceases to amaze me.  I start precepting in two weeks which should be the most fun.   I can’t wait.  Sorry for the short update on this but I still have all my thoughts jumbled in my head.

As for knitting, I’m almost done with my Charlotte’s Web shawl.  I’m going on a short weekend get away to the Bay area and don’t know if the shawl is the most appropriate thing to bring.   I may start some socks using my Treking XXL.  I think stockinette is going to be the best way to go.  This yarn just does not look good in lace.

November 3, 2007

Do you feel lucky???

Filed under: Dogs,Knitting,Nursing — yarnnut @ 8:29 pm

I do. I don’t know why I do but I just do. With regards to my Charlotte’s Web Shawl that I started on 11/1/2007. I’m up to row 70 and I’m not using any lifelines right now. I know that this may bite me in the butt later but I’m feel like living on the edge. I am into the third color of Koigu now and am loving the process of knitting this shawl. The yarn is like “butta”. I was KIPing and a woman asked me if I was knitting with cashmere yarn. I wish!!! I’m now a bride on a budget. Sooo yarn is probably going to be bought seldomly until after the wedding. I have no idea when the wedding is going to be if anyone is wondering. That will be decided after I figure out the budget. So… without further delay, here’s a progress pic of Charlotte.
Charlotte's Web
Right now it looks like a bunch of limp noodles. It’s amazing what blocking will do for lace though to open it up.

I met with my knitting meetup group this morning and worked on the Vintage Baby Blanket edging. I finally got the one side done. I just have 3 more to go. My group is working on knitting or crocheting 8 inch squares which they will join to make blankets for San Diego Fire victims. So I will be doing some squares this week. They would like either acrylic or wool blend squares. I’ll have to search thru my stash to find the yarn but I’ll at least do a few to contribute to the effort. Here’s a link to their website if you would like to help out. The organizer is a good friend of mine who is always thinking of ways to help make the world a better place.

Baby Blanket
This picture came out really fuzzy but you get the idea. I loved knitting this blanket because it’s not as boring as your typical blanket pattern but the flower petals came out a bit wonky. And the yarn is acrylic so I don’t think the wonkiness will block out or steam out. Oh well, I didn’t want to get a nonmachine washable blanket to a baby who would spit up or poop on it.

In other news, I started my new job at Mary Birch this week. Yeah!!! I’m a labor and delivery nurse finally. This week, I just oriented but next week, I’ll start getting some experience on the floor. They have us doing skills like IV’s, admits, watching deliveries, observing C-sections in the OR, etc… I won’t get to meet my preceptor for 2 more weeks so I won’t get patients until then. The rest of the ladies in my preceptee group are really sweet and I think I’m going to enjoy going thru this training with them. I cannot work extra shifts for 6 months to a year at this job. They want us to be self sufficient before allowing us to work extra so I’m going to work some extra shifts with my old floor from now until December. Gotta save up for my dress!

I hope everyone is starting to get back to normal after the fires. Here’s a picture of Waldo, just because.
Waldo