Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cut, sew, knit, weave up a storm

The last couple of days have been knitting, weaving, cutting, stitching central around here.

First, to pass on a neat idea: remember the legwarmer notion that HS suggested for HP? and I thought sweater sleeves would do it? I had a better idea! which I have put into effect and pass on to you: cut off the legs of sweatpants, finish the cut edges, and use the legs as legwarmers and the top part as shorts. Wallah, as they say in those misguided DIY shows, legwarmers AND shorts, AND the catheter is accessible. He's very pleased with the first set which he is now wearing, and there are no draughts behind his legs now.

The thing about wheelchairs is that you can cover the top of the person, but it's very hard to stop draughts from getting behind their legs, the logistics of lowering a person into a chair being incompatible with having nice rugs behind there, largely because there's no traction to keep the person in the chair. HP can not support himself sitting upright, and would slide right down and out of the chair if he were not seated firmly on the official cushions ordered up by the medical people.

Our neighbors and local police force, saints in uniform, who have lifted him up off the floor and back into his chair before he had the approved wheelchair, will attest to this. And even a 140 lb paralyzed man, HP is small, is a dead weight, and it takes at least two people to do it. This was in pre-Hoyer lift days. So all this is part of the equation.

The reason I share info like this is in case any of you dear blogreaders, should need to pass it on for the benefit of other people, you never know, and it could save a lot of grief in someone else's life.

On to other creative endeavors: I'm halfway up panel two of the tapestry, and show you a picture here. Once again, it seems that stuff is appearing that I didn't actually consciously put there! this always happens, and it's a great surprise usually. I notice buildings in there now, in late afternoon reddish light. I show you the first panel to see the echoes in the design, intentional, and the contrast in color choices, also intentional. Interesting mix of conscious and subconscious.

The third panel, already warped, will be in the blue/purple/black range, so that a kind of vertical landscape will appear. At least that's the current thinking. I simply never know if that will in fact happen. This work looks ragged right now, because it's still on the loom, with the stay laces at the sides, and has yet to be removed and blocked and kind of neatened up and finished off, so you're seeing it in its raw state, but I think that's interesting.

And lastly, when I lose my art mojo, this kind of freeform tapestry being very tiring to work on, because of all the decision making every minute or so, exactly like painting, I have a nice bit of knitting on the needles.

It's a feather and fan lace pattern scarf, which will probably go to some person as a Christmas gift, since I certainly have enough scarves, and would like to give this one. Not sure of the destination yet, but it's fun to make. I cast this on a couple of days ago.

It's an old old lace tradition, used in the Shetlands and elsewhere, with a lot of variations. Known also as shell stitch, and as shale, reference I think to the wave shapes left on the sand by the receding tide, which Shetlanders certainly knew all about.

So that's us! Happy Saturday, tout le monde!


  1. Thank you for the legwarmer etc idea - even sitting on the sofa doesn't keep the back of the legs warm when the draughts start up in the Fall. I use those knitted things that were popular back in the '70s, but I will pass on your info to my eldest who has a dear friend as incapacitated as your HS.

    The closest my book (The Complete (?) knitting, crocheting etc Book) comes to your lovely pattern is one called Pine Tree, but there's nothing remotely resembling it elsewhere. I have yet to finish my heavy sweater coat :-(

  2. I beg your pardon for the wrong letters in the first para - HP, of course.

  3. Good thinking with the tackpants/leg warmers - much better use of the re-purposed garment than cutting the sleeves off another one.
    Although that was my first thought too.

    The tapestries are looking great as is the scarf. I love the old feather and fan pattern. I have made at least 2 or 3 baby shawls in that pattern, not to mention various other baby garments. It is so timeless.

    Keep up the good work.


  4. I was going to suggest the bottom half of a sleeping bag, or something seamed up to make a half of a bunting bag for the legs. But your solution sounds perfect!

  5. I appreciate the encouragement! the legwarmers are working out very well so far. The thing is that the legs must be kept separate, since I do not have the strength to lift them together to get anything over both of them (think about 60 lbs dead weight near the floor!) and they have to be manipulated at intervals during the day to prevent painful stiffness in the joints, and that involves getting easily at the leg and brake controls of the chair. So legwarmers seem to be the answer. For now, that is! nothing works for very long, but that's the nature of things. And all words of encouragement are welcome.

  6. lovely things!! my goodness, the items that come from your needles are amazing to me...
    thank you for sharing the legwarmer tip, too. have a dear friend who may find this useful.


  7. Thanks for the legwarmer idea - perfect for my goddaughter who is wheelchair bound and whose legs are always cold!

    That feather and fan scarf is beautiful. Is it a pattern that is easily found or is it one of your own?


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