Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Afghan with No Name

Tan afghan
Originally uploaded by emtkatydid.
Also known as, "Wow, Kate, that's impressive!" (no, not really.)

This is the tan afghan from the textured knits book that I bought for cheap in Minnesota. It's fun to work on because it flows pretty quickly and looks really neat when I show people. I'm making it in an acrylic yarn--I just can't justify using expensive yarn on large projects like this. Maybe when I am a rich doctor I will be able to make cashmere blankets, but not quite yet.


Originally uploaded by emtkatydid.
This is the very popular Clapotis pattern from I did it in a green wool with flecks of yellow in it, so it's not as soft and it doesn't curl up as nicely as the sample one in the pattern. However, it's interesting and super-warm. The cool thing is that I worked on it all though the new resident orientation weeks at the end of June, and it certainly helped me to stand out as a different kind of resident. (As if I needed more help to stand out.)

Anyhow, it's known at our house as the "residency scarf" and actually prompted the development of some friends, as well as helping to keep me awake.

Yet another example of how knitting can make you smarter AND give you more friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Rainy Days

We're in the middle of a big storm right now--everyone is calling it the first Nor'easter of the season. I like to think of it as the weather trying to mess up everyone's lives and remind us that it's bigger than we are. As if the hurricaines were not enough, in New England, we have to suffer....rain! Wind! And, in some parts of the state, Snow! At least I finally had the sense to start bringing my umbrella with me as I leave the house.

However, the crappy weather has been helping me to get more knitting done. I am working on a new afghan for the back of our couch. The cats threw up on the slipcover when we first got it (nice kitty) and so there's a spot on the back that we have to keep covered. The old afghan is navy blue, and while that was fine in the old house, where there were navy blue curtains in the windows, it's less good now. So I am making a tan one--knitting it, instead of crocheting. I found a really cool pattern from a book I picked up in Minnesota. The book purchase was funny because I was at a knitting store with my aunt and was looking through the discount section--as is my wont--when I found this book. It's all beat up, but hey, sale! Woo-hoo!!! I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but it's a bunch of patterns that are very much my style of knitting: all one color, with interesting stitch patterns or textures. I still haven't been able to bring myself to try intarsia, or multiple color knitting. (Though I'd better hop to it: the heirloom Christmas stocking that Grandma makes has about 15 colors in it, and the patterns has been passed on to me and another cousin for the future.)

Anyhow, the afghan is turning out very nicely. I'm proud of myself that I have been able to follow the pattern chart...they can be very intimidating when you first look at them, but with work and effort and reading the directions, success is achievable! Plus, it impresses the novice knitters when they come over to practice.

I'm finishing up my pair of red and black socks and will post photos of them soon. I just have to tear the computer from my husband's clutches...he has been playing World of Warcraft religiously, so I'll have to sneak in and use the computer while he's sleeping or something.

More soon!!!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dear Overnight Charge Nurse;

Was it something I said?

Do you hate me? Is that it? It can't be, because I know you do this to other residents too.

But did you REALLY have to page me at 4 am (right after I had fallen asleep, 1/2 hour after the LAST page) to tell me that the patient has had blood in his urine for the last TWO DAYS!?!?! I mean, I agree that it is something we need to look into . . . but as you said, it's not getting worse (and at 5 am, when I was up again and working on another admission, the medicine resident who's been seeing him said the bleeding was BETTER, and besides, he'd had a traumatic catheter self-removal so actually he did it HIMSELF) so . . . anyhow, why, again, did you need to page me?

Let's talk about this, because if it's like this every time I am on call, I wil be brought to a massive incoherent rage and might be forced to . . . you know . . . say something not nice.

And, you know, you don't want to see me being not nice.

Love, Kate

PS--dear patient whom I admitted involuntarily: 6 am, as I am walking back to the call room to sleep for another hour or so, is really NOT the time to argue with me about whether I am going to let you out. No, really. I'm not kidding.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


We knitted only a little last night...mostly we talked. One of the things that we talked about was knitting (of course). Two of the girls, psych residents both, said they were starting to learn how to knit and were frustrated by how hard it was to learn. One of them said, "I just want this to be perfect, like yours is."

So the first thing I did was show her all the mistakes that I have made in my current pair of socks.

Then I told her what I had heard the Amish do in their quilts: they often intentionally make a mistake in the quilt. They feel it opens a space to let God into their work.

Some of my projects have more God in them than others.

But it's something important, especially for med residents to think about. We are so focused on being perfect and working hard all the time...and at the same time, we aren't really MAKING anything. We're labeling people, and we're trying to change their chemistries or their ways of relating to others, but it's a long slow process and sometimes more destructive than productive. At the end of the day, I want to feel like I am making something, besides money and headaches for my attendings.

So I knit. See? There's a med-knitting link. You just have to, you know, stretch.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Knitting Party

Also, we are having a knitting party tonight. The cats are excited because they will have more people to pet them. Should be a good, there's going to be cookies, and everyone loves cookies.

New and improved, with knitting content!

Originally uploaded by DrEtak.
Thank you Sara for your nice comment! (that would be my first non-family member comment... how special!) Sara has a good point: WHERE THE HECK IS ALL THIS TALK ABOUT KNITTING? Well, she said it nicer than that. But she is right. Where is the knitting content?

Well, here are the first pair of socks that I made. They are self-patterning yarn, made using the toe-up design from Knitty. I wear them on call. Last week, when I was on call and wearing them, my attending doctor asked me, "hey, did you make those?" "Yes," I replied, "do you like them?" And, because he is a jerk, he said "No." (grrr.) But he was kidding, and *I* like them! I am currently working on sock #2 from the pattern in the Winter 2004 Interweave Knits, Retro-Rib Socks. They are so handy to carry to lectures and Grand Rounds.

I am also working on a pretty afghan, and a basic garter-stitch scarf and hat set for one of the other interns. He is from Nepal and for some reason has no winter clothes.

Once the husband comes back from vacation (he has the digital camera), I'll take some more photos of Finished Objects. Keep tuning in!!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My First (wearable) Sweater

So, I finally did something with the HUGE spools of yarn that I've had for over a year. I made a sweater! I started with the "Hourglass Sweater" pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and then put on the sleeves and hood from Debbie Bliss' Simply Living book. I also fudged around with the number of stitches because my gague was a little off. But look how cute I am!!!

Otherwise, everything is fine. Chris is on a little vacation for the week, visiting some friends of his in the Pennsylvania-Maryland area...and for anyone watching The Amazing Race this season, yes, Pennsylvania IS a state. My aunt and I would know that...we continue to insist that we would kick ass on TAR. And we are sooooo right, until of course I got all worn out and started to cry a lot. As I do.

I'm working on a cabled afghan for the back of the couch now, and I'm also finishing up a pair of socks at work. I've ALSO been named the Webmistress of our residency program's website (along with Important Major Consultant, My Husband) so I've gotta get cracking on that as well. Hope everyone on the internets is doing well.