Stitches and Sutures

I'm a 25-year-old second-year medical student living in Ontario, Canada. I'm pretty sure that the only way to stay sane in medical school is to have a life outside of medical school, and knitting is one of my chosen diversions.

Location: Ontario, Canada

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Spring has officially sprung. I almost missed it (being a bit busy these days), but the evidence is everywhere, including my garden:

Tomorrow is my last day of internal medicine (and my last call shift - so I actually don't "finish" until Saturday). Now that it's almost over, I'm actually feeling a bit wistful. It's been a good rotation overall, and I think there's also an element of, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't" -- I have no idea what I'm getting into with my psych rotation!

It will be really nice to have weekends off again, though.

No hospital stories today, and no knitting either. I'm off to enjoy spring!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The "Q" word

I've discovered that saying the word "quiet" on call causes great, great distress in the other members of my team. They're all convinced that merely uttering the word will cause heart attacks, strokes, pneumonias and gastrenteritis all over the city, and that every poor soul affected by one of these dreaded conditions will descend on the emergency room at our hospital, thus ensuring that none of us will sleep at all that night.

I disagree with that theory. I started saying "quiet" at 2 p.m. yesterday and STILL got six hours of sleep AND did this:

4.5 repeats on Branching Out (I finished repeat #5 today before taking this pic).

The yarn is Kid Silk Haze, for those who are wondering. It has pretty silvery sparkles and is so soft that I just want to pet it all the time, a struggle that Laura has also been facing.

In the "book smart doesn't mean common sense" category: I just discovered that I've been doing YO's wrong. That's right, the single easiest stitch in all of knitting, and I was doing it wrong. I couldn't figure out why my knitting looked so tight. Turns out I was wrapping my YO's the wrong way and ending up with a lot less yarn there.

Once I figured that out, I couldn't stand to do the entire scarf with all the YO's I ripped it back, all eight completed repeats, on Thursday. And then yesterday, I cast on again and did almost five repeats, all while I was on call! Craziness!

It was a bit frustrating to have a quiet shift this weekend, because the Boy's brother and sister-in-law were in town, and we haven't seen them in ages. I spent almost their entire time in town at the hospital, and literally saw his sister-in-law (who I really like and haven't seen in ages) for about two minutes. I kept wishing while I was knitting that I was at home, hanging out with them (and knitting of course). However, I'm not complaining too much - it was nice to get almost a full night's sleep on call for once!

Six more days of internal. Two more nights of call. I'm not going to go as far as saying that I wish it was longer, but I *have* enjoyed it....for the most part. :-)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Patterns for pitter-pattering little feet

My life has become a bit of a baby boom of late.

First, about a month ago, a classmate had a baby boy.
Then, last weekend, my cousin had a baby boy.
Another friend (this one from high school) is pregnant with a girl, and is due the first week in April.
And a good friend from high school and then university called a few weeks ago to tell me that his wife is pregnant.

Clearly there is no way that all these babies are getting sweaters, or blankies. I'm a fairly slow knitter, and even if I had the time (and money) to make big items for all of them, my poor aching hands couldn't handle it. Thank goodness for booties and hats! Besides, I always think that non-knitters are equally appreciative, regardless of the size of the knitted item. And smaller items use less yarn, which means I can afford to buy really nice stuff.

Yarn crack, if you will. This stuff (Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk) is so soft that I have to stop and pet it quite frequently. Slows down the knitting progress!

I've bought a few colours, all in DK so I can knit two strands together and make a fairly plain pattern look a little fancier.

Here's pair #1:

I wish you could feel them. Or maybe it's good that you can't, because you'd want to make yourself a pair of adult-sized booties, and that would probably be a bit weird.

The Specs:

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK, from my favourite yarn store. The colour numbers on the ball-bands don't match the one on the Debbie Bliss website...but anyways, I used white and indigo.

Pattern: My usual bootie pattern, which a friend gave to me a while back. I don't actually know where it's from originally. (Bad, I know.)

Thoughts: I love this pattern. It's fast, and the booties are cute and don't look like they're from the 1950's. Even with my slow, infrequent knitting, I can finish a pair of these in a week's worth of Jeopardy!

The recipient for this pair is still undetermined. Possibly the classmate's baby. Who knows?


My not-so-nice attending had a Jekyll/Hyde transformation this week and has been great. Suddenly she's nice to me, she gives me positive feedback, and I'm no longer totally tongue-tied in front of her. I had a really good week, in fact. Amazing.

Only eight more days of internal medicine. Of course, I will be at the hospital every one of these days....but who's counting, right?

Pretty things make me smile

I am still slugging through Internal Medicine. It was really great for two whole weeks, while I had a fabulous attending physician who really treated me well. I know that I don't want to be an internist, and was hoping just to survive internal in one piece, but for a few weeks there, I was actually enjoying it!

I now have an attending who for some reason has taken a dislike to me, so although I still enjoy the work, I spend a lot of my day feeling really anxious and stressed. I'm trying to keep those feelings to a minimum, an effort which is helped by having great residents on the team who encourage me, and having received a superb evaluation from the previous attending (the one who I liked) -- and besides, only two more weeks and then on to psychiatry! Hooray!

Anyhow. Let's focus on things that make me smile almost all the time (dropped stitches aside).


I made a Booga Bag!

I spotted the pattern sometime last fall and decided right away that I wanted to make one. I'm always on a quest for the perfect purse - something not too dressy (leather looks funny with my ski jacket and/or running shoes) and not too plain (because that looks strange with dressy clothes). The Booga Bag seemed like the perfect compromise.



The colours are truer in the pre-felting pics, but if I wait until I'm home during daylight hours to take a picture of the assembled version, it'll be May before this post is finished!

The Specs

Pattern: Booga Bag, by Julie Anderson. Available online here.

Yarn: Noro Kureyon, #159 (It took almost the whole 3 skeins.)

Comments: This was my first effort at felting. It's fun! Every felting how-to website that I could find said to put the items in a zippered pillowcase, which definitely doesn't exist at my house, so I compromised. I put them in a regular pillowcase (an old one) and tied a big ol' overhand knot. It took three trips through the washer to felt as I wanted it to.

The pattern is great, simple, and easy to follow for first-time felters.

My only complaint is that the i-cord straps stretch quite easily and are already growing. When I make my next one (I'm thinking spring colours), I'll probably put the strap through the washer an extra time to make it a little sturdier.


I've been knitting (and, sadly, frogging) other things lately, too. More to come, hopefully later this week!