Friday, December 19, 2008

Migraineur & Some Fresh(ish) off the Needles

My health education is continuing. "Migraineur" is someone who has migraines. It seems there should also be "stomach acheurs," "back paineurs," and so on for the many ailments that afflict us human beasts.

I am reading, on my neurologist's advice, "Heal Your Headache, the 1-2-3 Program" by David Buchholz, M.D.. It is an interesting book, and has very much widened my understanding of migraine. Prior to reading the book I thought of migraine in its classic sense but now understand that most headaches are likely some version of migraine; and neck pain or sinus congestion might also be migraine symptoms.

In good part I am reading the book though to understand what foods might be triggers for migraine and am attempting to avoid them. It is quite the change from my usual diet. There is a very long list of foods to avoid, some of them are my go-to foods. There is a tempting box of satsumas in the fridge, but no citrus is allowed. No fresh yeast breads. No tomatoes. No, no, no. I think over the summer I inadvertently was eating foods that were making things worse. Some of the easiest things to prepare are full of potential triggers: pizza, spaghetti, all kinds of nuts. Such a long list to avoid. I'm motivated to get rid of the dizziness, but also skeptical that I have migraines given that I only infrequently have headaches. I am going to try this new diet for a while though and hope for improvement, and I just might lose some weight too. Oh, and no caffeine. I'm a Seattle girl so that is pretty tough to consider, no coffee? no chocolate? But, I'd do a lot to not be dizzy.

So, I have some finished projects to show. First up, a pair of pink socks for my little pinkerella. Turns out that they fit, but only barely.

Rather obligingly, J laid upon the floor so I could get a slightly better angle on these cute socks, and her cute feet.

This is a modified version of Chrissy Gardiner's Knotty or Nice socks from the Fall 2008 Interweave Knits. Knotty does not come in a child's size so I modified it based on the Basic Toe-to-Cuff Sock from HeartStrings Patterns. I used an elastic bind-off and that seems like the right one. J can get it over her foot and yet the sock doesn't fall down once on her. Now I just have to cut off the toes and do those over again so she has room. Or perhaps I'll never do that and just remember next time to aim big on the size. The yarn is Pagewood Farm Denali Hand Dyed Sock Yarn in Cotton Candy. This was a great yarn to use, it was smooth, didn't get splitty even with all the twisted stitches, and has a nice color variation within the skein. The only bad thing was that there are occasional dark stains, in the knit it looks like an ink pen mark.

Another sock project is now done. This time I studiously followed the pattern, including using the recommended yarn. This is my second Cookie A pattern, years ago I made a pair of Monkeys. The socks pictured here are Stricken

I began this project with both socks on one needle. This got frustrating pretty quickly because if I noticed a mistake I had to tink back not only the sock with the mistake but the other one too. And it was easy to make a mistake, at least initially, because this is a complicated pattern. It was so nice to watch this sock unwind from the skein and turn into these lovely twists and turns. Cookie is such an amazing designer. My main point of difficulty was on the wrong side of the heel, the twisted lattice cable from the backside is far from intuitive. The results though are so worth the effort.

The top of the foot is quite nice too, and a nice relief after all the complicated twisted cables in the body of the sock. In some ways it seems a shame to do much work at all on the foot of a sock since it will mostly be hidden inside a shoe. Indulgence in these thoughts is pretty limited on my part. After all, one can easily buy socks at most stores so the point of a knitted sock is more than one of strict utility.

Here is a gratuitous shot of the front. Okay, I like these socks lots. Maybe I'll even make a pair for myself one day. Right after I get through all the yarn in my stash.

Here is a close-up of the toes. I did the sock on the right first, using the standard Kitchener stitch. You'll notice the bump on the right toe. On the left I used a trick from the Vogue Sock book, and there is no bump. The trick is that you slip the last stitch on the needle over the next stitch, you do this for each end of the two needles holding your live stitches. Then you use the Kitchener stitch as per usual. Knitting is nothing if not these little tricks.

More on the dizzy saga, and knitting, sometime soon.