Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ribs: Dad's, Cloth and Scarf

A couple of years ago, my dad started on a series of surgeries by accident. Literally. He was up on his step stool putting books away in his study when he fell. He broke one rib and displaced another one and at the time we thought that was the extent of the damage. A few months later, thinking he had a tumor in his stomach, while undergoing exploratory surgery,the surgeon slipped beginning a 10 day stay in the heart unit and many weeks in surgical rehab. It was something that could/should have killed a weaker man. Or woman. The heart doc said had Dad not had a daily ritual of walking 5 miles at the mall, his heart wouldn't have been strong enough to pull him through.

The good part of the story? He didn't have a tumor in his stomach, rather it was a hiatal hernia which was fixable. It got fixed...the bad part of the story...while it got fixed, he ended up with peritonitis from the surgeon's slip. Today he's having another surgery. He has bladder cancer now. They are taking out his second tumor today while I'm writing this. This is the latest in the continuing 'effects' I believe stem from that 'incident'. Hang in there DAD!

(camera phone, good color, fuzzy picture-sorry)
Prior to the original fall and broken rib saga, I'd begun an afghan for my dad using his favorite maroon/burgundy/cranberry color. I used a Red Heart pattern from one of their little books you can pick up from any department type store that still has knitting/yarn stuff. I used Paton's Decor in their cranberry color. AND I LOVED IT! I loved the 75/25% wool blend, the sheen to it, and the way it felt in my hands. Like it would last a long time without pilling and fuzzing up and didn't break the bank. It was very warm as I worked away on nearly 300 stitches laying in my lap. It was a pattern that needed complete concentration. Needless to say, it wasn't a project that got worked on very steadily.
(35mm film, good picture, light colors)
Since I had also been 'sidelined' with injuries myself, after the surgery, I got to thinking I might want to finish it quickly and get it up to him, certainly I now had the time to finish it. I wanted him to be able to have it on his bed while he was in the hospital recovering as my way of sending him daily 'hugs' via the afghan. It got done, he went to surgical rehab, I fed-exed the afghan, and the nurses said..he can't keep it there. It was at risk of being stolen. ulg! He did get a lot of use out of it when he went home and had to sleep in the recliner. Even though I understood the reason, I was not a happy camper that they wouldn't let him keep it while he was there. I couldn't go back and I wanted him to know that I was wrapping him up in prayers, hugs, and love while he needed to get better.
(35mm camera, good long lens, not much detail)
Anyway. As I was packing up the afghan, I wanted to send something for Mom, too. She'd been driving back and forth every day, many days more than once between their apartment, the hospital and the surgical rehab the whole time. Sometimes she didn't get home until 3am, but she was always there in the am to give him his shave and his care, help with his meals, etc...Grandma would have been very proud of her, she had been a nurse. I think Mom would have been an excellent nurse, too.

Getting back to the story, I flipped through my 365 stitches calendar and found a pattern that by the name alone I knew I'd found what I was looking for. I decided to make a dishcloth for mom that she could keep in the kitchen. The title of the stitch? Broken rib. Perfect, no? I also decided to make Dad a scarf with the left over yarn from his afghan. With that, I attached notes telling them both that from this day forward, these are the only two things for the rest of their lives, that are allowed to have broken ribs in and around the two of them! Period. Forever!

Mom’s Broken Rib Dishcloth
(US) 8 (5.0mm) needles
100 % cotton yarn
Finished size: 7 ¼” x 7 ¾”

C/O 29 sts
k4 rows *slip the first stitch of all rows, then beg pattern:
1: sl 1, k across
2: sl 1, k2 (edge stitches), p 1, (k1, p1) 11 times, end k3 (edge stitches)
Repeat rows (1 and 2) 17 more times (total of 18 pattern repeats).
K5 rows, B/O in purl.

© Cathy Waldie, February 13, 2005

Dad’s Broken Rib Scarf

(US) 4 (3.5mm) needles
(US) 7 (4.5mm) needles
2 skeins Paton’s D├ęcor claret #1657 (or color of your choice)(add more if longer length is desired)
Gauge in patt: 20 sts/27 rows = 4"/10cm, unblocked
Finished size : 6” x 56 ½”

C/O=Cast On
B/O=Bind off
Kfb=knit into the front and the back of the same stitch
Sl 1=slip the first stitch as if to knit

Using smaller sized needles, C/O 29 sts and K 5 rows (slipping the first stitch of each row).
6: sl 1, k6, kfb in next stitch, k4, kfb in next st, k3, kfb in next st, k4, kfb in next st, k7 (33 sts)

Switch to larger needles
7: sl 1, k across
8: sl 1, k2(edge stitches), p 1, (k1, p1) 13 times, end k3 (edge stitches)

Repeat rows (7 and 8) 170 more times (171 pattern repeats total) or until desired length, switch back to smaller needles

Next row:
sl 1, k6, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k7.
K4 rows (slipping the first stitch of each row)
B/O in purl.

Weave in ends.
© Cathy Waldie, January 22, 2005


cindybmw2004 said...

Wow! You are one heck of a daughter and you should be proud of your work. I know you don't know me, as I found your blog, accidently, through someone's blog off the monthly dishcloth group. I wanted you to know I enjoy reading about your life (NO, I'm not a stalker)and looking at your beautiful work. I have only been knitting a little over a year and look at what everyone accomplishes and feel embarrassed that I am stuck on dishclothes and socks. Oh well, I did start a shell last night and hope my daughter enjoys wearing it as much as your family seems to enjoy what you do for them. Prayers for your family and Best wishes, Cindy

Cathy said...

Thank you for the comments. I appreciate them a lot! Don't put your skills down at all...I went over and peeked! Intarsia for a first year? Now that puts me to shame. Wait until you've put in 40 years like I have and see what you will accomplish! Keep pictures, wish I would have!
happy knitting!

Rae said...

Wow is right! Not only is the blanket beautiful, but the sentiment behind it is so touching. Thanks for posting the pattern -- I'm not up for an entire blanket, but I love the speed of dishcloths.

Good luck to your dad!!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I knit that same little afghan in a burgundy Red Heart yarn too! Funny! Took me a long time, too... I didn't like to concentrate that much. Mine went to a 92yo WWII veteran who loves it very much. :) I enjoy reading your stories and seeing your projects. Keep up the great work!

Cathy said...

Thank you very much!