Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties (a.k.a. "Leaf")

Friday, December 22, 2006

In a platypus' garden

The platypus made the trek up from Durham to NYC with me and currently resides in our living room. (He has no garden per se, just a little ivy-patterned pillow sham that my mom made for me.) Today, he's modeling the Seaweed and Shells scarf that I knitted for my mom. It's weird--I think I prefer the look of the one with the wrong-headed (wrong-handed?) yarnovers, but maybe that's just because the whole thing is bigger. I used Rowan's Cashsoft Baby DK (all these "cash" names are kinda funny, given that the yarn contains maybe 10% cashmere). Still, it's super-soft (more so than the comparable Debbie Bliss stuff, I think) and machine-washable, and even better, it came from the gaping maw that is my yarn stash. Who am I kidding? I'm just making room for more.

This was knitted over a week or so of night shifts...because honestly, nights are often busy, but there's also a lot of down time. It comes in chunks that are too small to do anything major (like study--or so I tell myself), but enough to knit a couple of rows here and there.

In other news, I got an invitation to my first interview for rheumatology fellowship! It's sometime in January. I have to go dig out the suits and sensible heels--here we go again.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Second chances

I started knitting a second Seaweed and Shells scarf for my mom a couple of days ago...Now that I'm doing my yarnovers correctly (i.e. not backwards), it looks a bit different. So I'm planning to knit the Dayflower and Branching Out scarves again correctly to prove that I can actually follow a pattern!

Life is a little slower now that I'm on night float, which is why I have some time to post these days. Last month, I was working in the MICU, which was alternately exhilarating and exhausting. When I worked in the MICU as an intern, I found that a lot of my patients were critically ill, but I wasn't doing much for them and what I was doing for them wasn't doing anything to change their prognoses...Most of them were dying and I was unable to change that. Yet with all of the medicines and drips and lines and machines, I was able to prolong their lives. It felt awful. As a resident, things in the MICU had changed. There were a lot of younger patients, which I suppose is scary on the one hand, but on the other, well, Mike put it best. He said that the reason that we take younger patients to the MICU is because we think that treating them aggressively will actually benefit them--we're fighting hard because they have a chance of walking out of the hospital and living a normal life. I thought that was a pretty astute assessment for someone who hasn't done any clinical medicine.

And so there were times when I really felt like that was what I was doing--getting people up to the MICU, treating them, and then sending them out to the regular wards. I'd see them walking the halls and feel a little bit gratified (although to be honest, the real point of the MICU is more the nursing staff than the residents).

But there were a lot of times when I felt like I was just torturing patients with those same needles and lines and drips. And those memories, sights and sounds, won't go away.

Last month also led me to the definitive conclusion that critical care isn't for me, which is part of what allowed me to finally submit my application for rheumatology fellowship. (The other part was getting my butt in gear and writing my personal statement.) Part of the attraction, I think, is that almost all of the pulmonary/critical care physicians I've worked with are wonderful--smart, insightful, compassionate, great teachers...basically everything I aspire to be as a physician. But pulmonology just isn't interesting to me. And I don't want to be emotionally drained all the time, to become cynical, and to try not to care--which started happening towards the end of the month.

Anyway, all of that is over now--for the moment, at least. I caught up on sleep last week, and now can start focusing on new projects--Step 3 of the medical boards, interviewing for fellowship, and, oh yes, winter-time knitting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Back to basics

Last night, I discovered that my purl row yarnovers on Ella were all wrong--somehow, I twisted them and created a ridge on the right side. I'd noticed this before, but it didn't click until I accidentally created a yarnover correctly and marvelled at the difference. So Ella was frogged back to a ball of yarn.

So was Liesel, because I might as well be consistent.

I admit defeat.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The San Francisco treat

Someone told me the other day that Rice-A-Roni was first developed as a competitor to boxed mac and cheese. Suddenly, many things became clear. Well, one--the name. Really, I'd never thought of it in that way, although the association is obvious. It was obvious even when I was a kid, because my nickname through much of elementary school was Rice-Aruni, and sometimes Macaruni. Not all of elementary school, mind you--it took a while for the kids to come up with that sophisticated rhyming scheme (I swear, I got "Atuni" at one point, which was pretty poor). On the whole, I think I got off pretty easy.

All of this has nothing whatsoever to do with Calorimetry, which I knit up yesterday in an attempt to get the momentum going. It's practical, in that it's a pain in the butt to wear my hair down whenever putting on a hat, and pretty cute as well, I think. It took a little fiddling to get it down to the correct size (despite my relatively gigantic head). I cast on 100 stitches instead of 120 and worked row 5 until I had 22 stitches outside of the markers instead of 38. I was using some plummy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran left over from Tempting, below, and stuck in a few stripes of black Mission Falls Wool because I was afraid I'd run out of yarn, but I think it works.

I also have Ella on the needles, and want to get past the increases before starting the real work (family gifts, etc.):

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Remembrance of things past

Mike brought back some chocolate-covered madeleines from Thanksgiving with his family (possibly the tastiest of our leftovers, including the white meat that still is sitting, still is sitting on the second shelf of our fridge). I managed to finish the last of them this evening without hearing a peep from Mike, who insists on making the same joke about Proust and becoming lost in one's reveries, etc. whenever I mention eating madeleines. He told me that he doesn't associate the actual pastries with Proust, but thinks of him only when someone talks about consuming madeleines, which is funny because it's analagous to what Proust said about the connection between the madeleines and memories of his childhood. Or maybe it's not so funny.

And by the way, oh no, it's a picture of me on the internet! This is Tempting (version 2, but not II) in a plum-colored Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It was one of my first medium-size knitting projects a couple of years ago and turned out too big and uneven...unfortunately, I had the same problems with this one but don't have the energy to correct them. I used a bit over 5 balls to make the smallest version and even though I got gauge, it's still way bigger than the small. I still think it turned out pretty well. Maybe if I had the guts to throw it in the dryer, it'd shrink to a more manageable size...