The Winter of My Discontent

So the same hand/arm pain that stopped me from knitting for 4 months in 2010 came back at the end of January this year. In April I started seeing a physiotherapist and things are looking up now.

That is the short version. For the long version, continue reading.

Spring came exceptionally late to Finland this year, so when I say that this was a very long winter for me, I mean it both literally and figuratively. I have been mostly healthy all my life and did not react very well to the possibility that this problem with my hands might be chronic. When I stopped knitting, I also stopped visiting blogs and Ravelry -not only because I thought it best to limit my use of the computer, but because i was angry, like a jilted bride at someone else’s wedding.

I did try other crafts, sewing mostly, since it didn’t seem to affect my hands or arms. But for the most part I have used my extra time baking and reading. Between February and the end of April I read at least 10 books: All the Earthsea books (LOVED them) by Ursula Le Guin (including The Other Wind), 75% of Les Miserables (still working through it), Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brogol, Teemestarin kirja by Emmi Itäranta, The Passage by Justin Cronin, The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl by Shauna Reid, Bossypants by Tina Fey and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart.

From the Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl I also picked up the Couch-to-5K plan. I started in April and have just completed the 5th week.

In April I also started seeing a physiotherapist. I have modified my work environment & posture and done my “homework” (various stretches) meticulously and it appears that my hands and arms are getting better. I was given permission to do crafts and so, on the first warm day this spring, I picked up the needles again.

I am slowly working on a hat.

If you have similar problems: please, do not be stubborn and continue through the pain! STOP knitting and consult a doctor. Do something else. If you’re open to trying other crafts, sewing might be a good option. Chrissy from the Snappy Stitches and Manic Purl podcasts also turned to sewing (and jogging) when hand pain stopped her from knitting (interview here).

I am most definitely not happy about not being able to knit for months, but it did make me read a lot and get some exercise, so maybe there is a silver lining.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still far from being back to normal. Knitting content will be very scant on this blog for some time, but I might post a book review or two as well as some baking-related stuff.



Import completed

The import from Posterous seems to have worked.

The old entries have no categories, just tags, and I’m not sure how I’ll organize things in the future. But since I imagine everyone is using some sort of blog reader/app anyway, maybe that doesn’t even matter.

I’m still trying to find my way around WordPress. I’m definitely starting to remember why I chose Posterous in the first place. The WordPress iPad app for example refuses to publish anything…

Happened so far

I finish three baby gifts, knit single socks like a mad woman and learn to crochet.

I’m also working as a translator, which means I’m using a computer for hours every day.

And then my hands begin to hurt.

At the moment this means no knitting, very limited use of the computer, lots of time to read, kool aid dying and coming up with ways to do things without using your hands.

(Ways like Dragon dictation)

Some Unofficial, Totally Casual Resolutions

I sort of didn’t want to make any new year’s resolutions but unofficially, in my head, I still made some. Could just as well write them down.

Knit more for other people. Last year I consciously only knit 12 things for others (in addition to which there were 5 things that I started for myself, but ended up gifting for various reasons). I really have all the scarves I need, not to mention hats, so it makes no sense to keep everything I make. Also, I often get these great ideas about what I could knit for someone, but only when it’s too late to get it finished in time. 

I am at heart a process knitter, and I know that if I feel like knitting a hat, then I will knit a hat. I don’t think I can change that, but maybe I can make the hat in a size that fits someone else.

Show your supporta.) I listen to a lot of knitting podcasts and read some blogs like they were novels. That equals a lot of free entertainment, and the authors should know how much I appreciate them. That means more comments, emails or Ravelry messages, and in the case of podcasts that don’t have advertisements, hitting that donate-button every now and then. 

(If you’re curious about my favourite podcasts or blogs, there’s a short list in the sidebar on the left. For a more comprehensive list of blogs, see my friends on Ravelry and the “friends’ blogs” tab. There’s a very lovely giveaway on one of them.)

b.) The Helsinki metropolitan area might be one of the best places in the world for local yarn stores. There are 12 that I visit at least once a year (and the few favourites about once a month) and I don’t even drive. If I did, there are a few more I might visit, too. Many of these places host knit nights and KIP events, offer classes, support and a place to meet other crafters. I really want to keep it this way. In 2013 I want to buy more of my knitting supplies from brick-and-mortar stores and limit my online shopping.

These resolutions do not, however, mean that I should forget the following:

Knit what you enjoy. This is a hobby; there’s no rule that says I should learn new things with every project, or that knitting garments is more worthwhile than knitting accessories. If I want to spend the year knitting stockinette beanies for everyone I know, I will do just that.

2012 in Review

Note: Posterous is apparently being a jerk and claims that my blog archive has one (1!) post. Should anyone feel any interest in reading older entries, I’ve tagged everything by month (see the tag cloud).

I again wanted to do an end-of-the-year review and so spent a while today frantically adding all my December projects to Ravelry, so I could count them all. 

So, in 2012 I knit:

54 items, of which

26 were hats

10 were socks

6 were scarves/shawls

4 were cowls

5 were mittens/gloves/armwarmers

3 were sweaters (one of which was baby-sized)

To compare these numbers to the stats from 2011, this year I knit considerably more. I managed to make more socks and less hats like I hoped (although 26 still sounds pretty insane).

Looking back at my projects now, there are many that I love dearly. The Essayist Sweater proved to be a great success. It’s warm and soft and I’ve used it as an alternative for a coat in the fall. The Reverie Cowl has been one of my most-used accessories in the warmer months, and I remember knitting it while watching a so-bad-it’s-funny movie with friends. I’m also very happy to have finally knit gloves and mittens successfully.

2012 was, in general, a great year for me and I can only hope that 2013 will be as good. I will in any case start it in the best possible way -with the bf, some knitting, some sparkling wine and vegan potato salad. It doesn’t get any better than that.


Sahramia & kurkumaa

(In Finnish only this time. Merry Christmas!)

Olen aina pitänyt joulusta, vaikka sen perinteinen sanoma ei minua kosketakaan (erosin kirkosta 18-vuotiaana). Tykkään jouluvaloista, kuusen tuoksusta, joululeffoista, ja tietenkin lahjoista…Tänä vuonna antamissani lahjoissa itsetehtyjen osuus on tavallista suurempi, joten aattona sitten jännitetään, kelpaako ne.

Mitä ruokapuoleen tulee, minä & mies olemme tehneet valtavan määrän vegaanisia pipareita (ohje jo hyvöksi havaittu Puputyttö ja vohvelisankari -kirjan pipariohje) sekä seitankinkun Chocochilin ohjeella. Illalla vielä tehdään sahramipullat soijamaitoon perheen naisten voimin.

Sahramipullien lisäksi yksi ehdottomia joulusuosikkejani on vaalea joululimppu. Viime vuonna söin sitä vain seitanin kanssa, mutta tällä kertaa keksin toisenkin särpimen:

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Sain synttärilahjaksi ystävältä Vegaanikeittiön käsikirjan, jonka pari eri reseptiä inspiroivat kokoilemaan tämän mössön valmistamista. 

Monet sellaiset ruoat kuin jo mainitsemani seitan”kinkku” ei maistu samalta kuin liha, eikä sen ole tarkoituskaan, mutta tähän tofulevitteeseen musta suola tuo eittämättä kananmunamaisen aromin. Erinomaista myös karjalanpiirakan päällä.

Tofulevite (“munavoi”)

250 g maustamatonta tofua (esim. Alpro)

n. 0,75 tl mustaa suolaa (esim. Govinda)

n. 0,75 tl vihreitä norihiutaleita (voi jättää poiskin, jos kaupasta ei saa)

2 tl kurkumaa 

1-2 tl mietoa sinappia

2-5 rkl margariinia

Murusta tofu käsissä tai haarukalla jääkaappiin mahtuvassa kulhossa.

Lisää suola, norihiutaleet ja kurkuma. Sekoita. Lisää sinappi ja sekoita taas.

Lisää margariinia pieni määrä kerrallaan kunnes rakenne on sopiva. Tarkoitus on siis että levite pysyy leivän päällä.

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Jälkkäriksi pari kissapiparia 🙂

Hyvää joulua!