Friday, October 10, 2008

I Cannot Knit

Warning: You may notice some whining ahead. If you're not in the mood, skip this one. I'll try and do better next time.

Thank you so much to everyone who sent emails, cards and comments regarding my mother-in-law passing away. DH, Iain and I very much appreciated them all. We arrived back last Saturday morning into Halifax from the red eye flight from Victoria and have spent the week trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy. That's been difficult considering we have no heat, a leaky chimney, both the dishwasher and computer are not working (thus the lack of blog posts and consider this my advance apology for spelling/grammar errors in this and subsequent posts. I am unable to open MS Word on our computer and cannot complete a spell check at present), and it does not look like we will be able to get anyone in to help us fix our house problems before December. See? Whining!

I can't knit. For those of you who are faint of heart, you might want to sit down. It is true and you did read that right. I simply cannot knit right now. Have not been able to for a week or so. Heck, I can barely type. The responsible problem can be summed up in one word: exzema. I will not submit you to pictures of my poor hands but I feel it sufficient to say that the skin on three of my fingers no longer looks so much like skin and I am in agony quite a lot of the time.

I did not suffer from exzema before I had a baby. The doctor thinks my hand problems are due to excessive dryness due to hand washing. DH thinks I might be allergic to wool. I'm ignoring DH. Some things are just too terrifying to contemplate.

Although I have been experiencing a problem with exzema on my hands for over a year now, it was only on our trip West that things got really out of control. Prior to that time, I was lucky enough to have exzema patches on my hands but always where it did not affect my knitting. However, I am allergic to the baby wipes that we only use when travelling and the over two weeks spent away from home has been hellish on my skin. In particular, on my right forefinger. That's the one I need to slide my yarn over to knit.

The silver lining in this very dark knitting cloud is that I've been wanting to learn how to knit continental for a long time. I hear it's faster. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you will appreciate how much I would benefit from the powers of faster knitting. If I knit using the continental method, I wouldn't have to run fibre over my right forefinger at all. The question is, though, would I get the same gauge as I do with English knitting? And do I have the patience to learn under the time contraints of 'the holidays are coming' coupled with itchy, weepy skin? I'm not sure but it's certainly worth considering. And, I know someone who lives near me who knits using the continental style...
Stay tuned!


Renee said...

Exzema! Oh no! I think I actually gasped at the computer when I read that.

You can't be allergic to wool. Just. Cannot. Be. It's gotta be something else (blame the baby wipes).

My gauge is looser and slower with continental knitting (I chalk both things up to experience). Maybe you'll be luckier than I am though. If it gets you knitting then go for it!

JustApril said...

Sorry about the eczema, my DD deals with that from time to time. It tends to attack when your immune system is overworked or tired.

Continental is sorta fun to learn, I haven't branched out into purling that way so much, but knitting that way in rounds works pretty good for me and I didn't notice any gauge issues.

Too bad about the computer and the chimney, too =(

About the finger, have you considered one of those little finger cot things (like one finger of a glove, sorta) ? may be too itchy for that tho.

hope all gets better real soon =)

Lydee said...

I am so sorry to hear about your Mother-in-law passing away. My sympathy for you and your family.

I hope your hands heal quickly and normalcy returns soon for you and your family. It sounds like a whole bunch of little things add up to a big yuck.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Yarnhog said...

That is too horrible for words. I have a minor problem with eczema, but not on my hands. Can you knit with thin cotton gloves on? I've never tried it, but it might work. Also, if you slathered your hands with lotion before you put on the gloves, they could do double duty as therapy for your poor hands.

I hope they get better soon!

Elizabeth said...

Well eczyma is just the icing on the cake this month isn't it. I'm sorry to hear all of the calamities of the week and you have every reason for a good old fashion rant. You go girl.

Two suggestions. 1. A copy of "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" by Jane Brocket (it is so stunningly gorgeous that it will keep you inspired until you can get knitting again - I can't put it down lately) 2. Strange as this sounds - swimming. I have a relative that suffered from eczyma and for some reason, the chlorine in the pool really helped to clear it up one summer. Can't guarantee results but it's worth a try (and it gives you some Patty time during these non-knitting moments). Hang in there - brighter days are right around the corner!