Monday, January 29, 2007

where I've been and what comes next

It's been awhile, eh?

(I had someone who heard me talking with a patient ask me if I was from Canada last week - I took it as a huge compliment.)

the quick version: (longer version swallowed whole by blogger....)

-Socks? still being knit. The STR socks are done, various second socks have been started and many toes are sewn up.

-Boards? the scores from the set I took in November (the adventure at JFK airport?) are in and I passed. I'm not sure which was more of a relief: knowing that I didn't have to study for it again, or knowing that I wouldn't have to arrange another flight/stay to PA.

-More Boards? yup, the 8hr computerized exam is tomorrow, set to start at 9am. I've been consistantly scoring in the "passing" range on my practice exams, but as the past has shown, that doesn't mean diddly. I'd rather not have to take these again, but if I have to, I will. (I'd rather remain guardedly optimistic than be disappointed or full of self-fufilling failure.) Riding on the high that came with checking my other board scores will help me with tomorrow's exam.

- location, location, location: I'm currently in Rhode Island (at my friend Katie's) and hope to stick around here for a few more days before taking off for my next rotation. Her cats seem pleased to have another lap and the testing center is a mere 20 minutes from here.

- rotations: My ER rotation is done and I saw and participated in things I may never see again; the sheer volume of patients meant that I saw at least one "interesting" or "non-textbook" case each day. I have many stories to tell, but they'll need to wait while I process them (after boards).

- I'd be lying if I said leaving the Mama's House was easy. My time there was incredible, and from the first moment to the last I felt much like a new strand of yarn being incorporated into a gansey with an already well established pattern. (and in my mind the yarn is all from the same lot). Henry, Eleanor and I read many stories together, had adventures, and discussed the both the finer and more technical things in life (including but not limited to: why we breathe air, where oxygen comes from, why hospitals are open 24hrs a day, why medicines are important, which character we'd invite over for lunch and what the cat and/or dog would say if they could talk...). I regret that I didn't get a good picture of the room I stayed in, but will say that the design elements were eclectic. If I could (and I just might...) schedule another rotation there I would, in a heartbeat.

and for those keeping track:
The Match (when I find out where I will be a resident): 2 weeks
Graduation: 18weeks, 5 days
graduation shawl: pattern chosen, yarn bought but still not dyed

Friday, January 12, 2007

SIPs: Socks In Progress

eta: my age in the above box has been changed - thank you to the eagle eyes who noticed!

This month I'm doing my ER rotation at a very busy hospital - it's showing me that I don't want to be an ER doc, and that I am much more comfortable in smaller, community hospitals. The experience has thought me a lot so far and, above everything else, every resident or attending physician I've worked with has been friendly and helpful. The best part of this rotation is the housing - I'll ramble more about that in the future, but everything about my current digs is wonderful - from the food to the animals the to incredibly comfortable bed, and that's not even taking into consideration the fantastically fabulous people I'm staying with. I'm not going to want to leave when it's time for me to move on.

I signed up to take the other part of my boards on Jan 3oth - it's not an ideal time, but it's as good as I'm going to get considering all the meshing of schedules that has to take place. (this part is the computer part - lots and lots and lots of multiple choice questions) I've been putting in lots of time reviewing and reading and answering practice questions which means I'm behind in all of my knitting-reading and emails (nevermind that the bag of things to be mailed is still sitting in my car. It's one step closer now that everything is all together, but I can't make any promises as to when I'll get to a post office.) I've had my phone off and haven't been getting in touch with people - as was evidenced to me when I called to talk with my parents and the first thing out of my mom's mouth was "you've surfaced!"

Board studying = sock knitting, so I dug through my car to find all of the not-yet-finished socks that could be worked on...I'm afraid there are many more than I thought there were, and we'll see how many are finished during the rest of this month.

a pair that has been featured here several times - they're 99.5% done (starting from yarn dyed last New Year's) but the toes still aren't sewn up. I plead the fifth as to why they still remain unfinished.

socks that rock socks, started when I was in York, PA last August. Intially I wasn't thrilled with the yarn, but leaving them to "age" a bit has changed my mind (for this pair). The fabric is thick, and the texture is different from other wool or wool blend sock yarn and I think they will wear well. (color is farmhouse, and not exactly true on my monitor.)

Pink Trekking socks, started on a whim sometime last year. I remember picking up the ball of yarn and grabbing some sock needles on my way out the door - I must have been doing something that required me to pay attention because I knit a picot edge, but didn't sew it down while I was knitting. I was hoping that this colorway would fade into various shades of pink and was disappointed when I saw it was creating a repeat'able pattern. The upside to the stripes is that this might be my first "matching" pair of socks. (I don't aim to match, but the first sock appears to have ended at just the right spot.)

On the left is a pastel trekking sock - essentially finished. (I think "essentially finished" is my new term for "where are those darning needles and when will I have time to sew the toe?) They were started at a friend's wedding in...June? On the right is a sock made from a German yarn I'd never heard of, but won in a sock yarn lot on ebay. It is producing stripes with a looooong repeat, so it looks much more random than it is. These were both before I had confidence in my picot edge, hence the ribbed calf/ankle section. (I've learned my lesson and I'm a picot believer. Ribbing has it's place and that place isn't always on my socks.)

another single Trekking sock, in a very difficult to photograph dark'ish fading colorway. This sock isn't nearly as old as the rest because I started it on my November surgery rotation. (I'd hoped to get a pair of socks done that month...) I had my picot edges down by then, but still, for some reason, ribbed the upper half of the sock. I think I'm at the toe decreases, but it'll require trying on to know for sure.

Socks started simply because I had a long day ahead of me and the needles and yarn were in my car. The yarn on the left is Opal DK, so they are knitting up quickly. The sock on the left is being knit from my new favorite sock yarns, but I couldn't find the ball band to tell you what the name is. It's German, and sold in 50g balls...when I come across the ball band, I'll let you know what it is. (it's not creating spiralling stripes OR pooling - I have had a hard time finding yarn that doesn't do either of those things!)

this is not for the faint of heart....these are older socks that were robbed of their needles so I could work on other socks. The one on the left is made in Regia yarn that was going to be for me, but the heel is too shallow and instead fits my mom. The one on the right is from older regia yarn that was discontinued years ago (the two balls I bought from a lys near my parent's house were found in the depths of their storage basement); it has more pinkish red bits than are showing up in this picture.

and last, but not least, another sock started because I had nothing else with me. It's a 100g Regia (I think?) and the colors aren't what I was expecting because they aren't as bright as I thought they would be. This one is pretty far down on the "to do" list.

Monday, January 01, 2007

"old long since"

The verison of Auld Lang Syne that Brenda featured in her holiday podcast of "Cast-On" last year (episode 5, A Cup of Kindness) is the most played song on my computer (per the Itunes play count). The simple tune resonates with me, and the inclusion of the little-known chorus has become a bit of a mantra over the past few months.

"Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne..."

I picked up my knitting again this month, and have made progress on almost everything that I'm working on; the progress will continue because I'm emptying my car of things, and all yarn not currently involved in a project is going to be safely put away for a few months. I have 6+ socks on the needles and if I finish them (instead of starting another new pair) I'll be able to wear them this winter.

Right now I'm in the middle of a dozen things that all needed to be taken care of two weeks ago, and at some point during daylight hours today I need to hit the road and head southwest, towards my next rotation site. I rang in the new year at the same place I was last year - though instead of winding yarn with the help of some cats, I sat quietly with some sleeping puppies.

I hope that your New Year's Day is relaxing and restful!