Slowly climbs the snail . . .

That quintessential Japanese haiku about how the snail climbs Mt. Fuji and, by single-minded determination, eventually gets to the top. About how there are times when you just have to put your head down and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s all you have the attention span for, all you have the energy to manage.

I know there are some of you who are here for the knitting content, and there is some. I’m going a little bit more in depth because there are family members who come here for info about how I’m doing. And my dear mom. It’s just so much easier for her to read what I need her to know than for me to call her on that horrible cell phone. Her hearing is problematic; even in person, with your mask off, you still have to repeat things at least once before she gets it. But that cellphone is an exercise in futility. I just don’t have the energy to repeat everything three and four times and maybe make the connection and maybe not over the phone.

I did get the two little boxes unpacked and most of that put away. That was the rest of my tea stash and my Crystal Light, so the two big boxes that remain may just stay packed for a while because it’s all china cabinet stuff and there’s nothing in them I need.

Tuesday, I went in to JACC and got a liter of fluid. That has helped. The itching has worked its way to my forearms. There is still some itching but it’s low-grade and ignorable. The most persistent itching is on my forearms. However, it responds to “stroking” of the skin. I stopped taking the antihistamine Tuesday, and it’s been OK. I’ve been in touch with my oncologist and we’ve decided on a game plan for round 2. A week of premedication with diphenhydramine (Benadryl), one dose of the bendamustine, the Neulasta on the second day, and several days of pushing fluid through a liter at a time.

I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed sleeping for three or four hours at a stretch. I’d wake up, make a trip, take a big swig of what I’ve been drinking, and go back to sleep. I’ve been putting away gallons of ice water with about a cup of peach juice in it to give it flavor because I had used up all the Crystal Light I had to hand. (Today I found the rest of it, so cool there.) I can have meals delivered to my door, so that’s been wonderful. Because they’re working on the dining facility at the other building and are in the process of relocating the kitchen, they started having dinner as well as lunch here. So, I’ve been able to have a light lunch of fruit, cheese and nuts, and then order a hot supper, which has been ideal.

In the meantime, I have no energy. It was all I could manage to walk down and check mail and get my package from the front desk and walk back. It’s only a round trip of about 100 yards. Still, Tuesday walking down to my car was about as much as I could manage without stopping to rest, and I had to stop and rest between my car and the place upstairs at JACC where I go because I had to walk up about a 10-degree incline for about 50 feet to get up to the building. And this is only the first session.

I did find out that my Dad’s brother’s daughter’s daughter (got that?) is pregnant again and they’re having another little girl.

So, in the knitting news, I got out both sets of my US 6 (4.0 mm) DPNs, and got into that Lion Brand acrylic baby yarn and went hexagonal, using a variant of the Savannah Square pattern. The first two rows are the tricky bits. Six needles is almost like wrestling an octopus.

Like anything you knit in the round, it’s critical to get that first row joined without twisting it. Here’s all you really need to know about the pattern:

Cast on 6 stitches on a single DPN.  
Row 1:	kfb; *on the next needle, kfb; repeat from * to end of row, place marker to mark end of row. (2 stitches per DPN on 6 DPNs, total 12 stitches)
Row 2:	Join to knit in round, being careful not to twist any stitches, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. 
Row 3:	kfb to end of row. 
Row 4:	*k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.
Row 5:	*kfb, k until 1 stitch remains on needle, kfb, repeat from * for all six needles. 

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until the needles become crowded. Knit off onto a circular needle. 

Row 6:	*k1, p1, to end of the DPN and place marker, repeat from * to end of row, placing the row marker at the end of the sixth needle. 
Row 7:	*kfb, k until 1 stitch before marker, kfb,  repeat from * to end of row.
Row 8:  *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.  

Repeat rows 7 and 8 until you reach the size you want. 

For comparison, here is the relevant bit of the Savannah Square pattern.

Cast on 8 stitches onto a single DPN. You will work these stitches off two at a time onto a succession of DPN needles until all four DPNs have been brought into play. 
Row 1:	 Kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb. (16 sts)  
You should now have four DPNs in play with 4 stitches on each needle (16 sts total).  
Attach a row marker to the work. 
Join work to knit in round, being careful not to twist any stitches. 
Row 2:	 Knitting in round, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. (16 sts, 4 per DPN)
Row 3:	 *Kfb, k2, kfb, repeat from * to end of row.  (24 sts, 6 per DPN)
Row 4:	 *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. (24 sts, 6 per DPN)

Row 5:	  *(kfb, knit until one stitch remains on the needle, kfb), repeat from * four times.  
Row 6:	  *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until the double pointed needles become crowded with stitches.  Knit off onto the 16-inch circular needle.  Each time you knit all the stitches off a DPN, place a marker, placing the row marker after you’ve knitted all the stitches off the fourth DPN. 

Have fun.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

One thought on “Slowly climbs the snail . . .”

  1. “Low grade and ignorable” is the best kind of itching, I suppose. May all your issues going forward to low grade and ignorable. It’s good you’ve got those decent meal arrangements. Here’s an idle thought I’ve never before considered: with only one foot, a snail can’t put one foot in front of the other. Still, they manage.


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