Cable Afghan - Fiber Therapy

Fiber Therapy – Warm and Fuzzy

I am just passed my 2 weeks post surgical date (cervical spine fusion). Time for some fiber therapy. I started a “mindless” crochet project before going in thinking I could pick it up and keep myself busy while recuperating. I was thinking that crocheting would be easier and safer while on pain meds. Well none of that went the way I thought it would. Figures!

Those of you who follow my posts know that prior to surgery we had the living room repainted and are re-decorating. The purple I picked for the “mindless” crocheted throw is actually a weird periwinkle blue. Pretty, but not purple. I unraveled that and my daughter and I took a trip to the yarn store. I highly recommend a trip to the yarn store asap after surgery. Great for any post surgical depression that may be festering in the cobwebs of a recently anesthetized mind, gets your whole body moving and that prevents blood-clots plus there is bound to be some giggling and laughing going on which is just plain good for you.

We ended up shifting gears from crocheting to knitting. I guess I was feeling ready for 2 pointy sticks! The woman behind the counter I’m sure had her doubts since I couldn’t seem to figure out exactly how to pay for the yarn I was buying. I decided on a very easy garter stitch and yarn over pattern. I could imagine the stripes in the new colors we picked out.

So that evening I cast on 50 or so to get a rough gauge swatch. I’ve been known to just wing it with an afghan and end up with something that could yarn-bomb the capital steps. So I gauge swatch even things that don’t need to fit anyone. It seemed to take forever to get the swatch done. I just could not count to 50 and coordinate my left hand to do my favorite long-tail cast on. When it came time for the yarn overs I was all thumbs, yummy purple yarn and neck brace Velcro. Disgusted and discouraged, I threw it over my head and behind the chair (a Prednisone moment, no doubt.)

A few days went by and I was feeling better. I had been browsing Ravelry and Pinterest and decided that I would make a cabled sampler instead. Just whip it up in no time, after all I am just sitting around doing nothing… (at this point there was no one here to slap me straight.)

Yes, I thought, I would start with the darkest color in the Hollow Oak pattern which is an intricate cable/seed stitch and bobble combo from Barbara Walker’s book “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns,” 2nd edition. I had my husband retrieve the rejected tangle from behind my chair. Amazingly I was able to get it back into knit-able condition without too many tears over knots, etc. There I sat. Size 8’s and a beautiful chocolate brown Cascade 220 in hand. I was thinking the hollow oak pattern is worked over 15 stitches so I would cast on 35 and have a border of 10 in garter stitch on either side. I could just repeat the pattern lengthwise until I ran out of that color and that’s how long the throw would be. Then the next stripe on either side would be some other cable pattern with a similar garter edging, etc. Thankfully I was still taking several pain pills a day and sleeping a lot. This project is for someone with all their wits about them. It may be too late for me. I vaguely remember losing a few wits back in ’82 (new research is hopeful that lost wits can be regenerated.)

This morning I feel great. I actually slept in my bed. The beautiful Madelinetosh purple that my daughter and I bought at the yarn store that day is sitting here next to my chair, waiting. I can almost hear it say, “So are we crocheting or what?” I’m going to cast on 250 stitches (50 stitches = 12 inches) and work on the Breezy Baby Blanket.

Here’s to sunny winter mornings, beautiful yarn, and feeling better! Fiber therapy isn’t always about the bilateral physical aspect of creating something with your hands, is it? I wish all therapy was as warm and fuzzy.

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