Monday, December 27, 2010

When lice is nice


Disclaimer: for God's sake...do not click on the link if you are squeamish or eating. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Some years ago, and yet not long enough because the thought of it still makes me itch, I took care of a patient with Norwegian Scabies. Now there isn't anything special about the mites that cause this, except to say the level of infestation is monumental. The disease was identified in Norway--hence the name. While a relatively healthy person may have scabies with a handful of mites present to cause a bit of misery, someone with Norwegian Scabies is host to hundreds of thousands of mites.

No lie.

Can you see why this patient would be unforgettable?

I thought about that patient today as I was knitting on my hat and executing a beautiful lice stitch pattern common in Norway. One thought led to another and pretty soon I was thinking about the homeless patient who landed in our ICU to die of a secondary and overwhelming bacteremia and fungemia. Sad. I was not thinking of the mites per se as to do so invites nightmares. I will not forget what that infection looked like though, and in my 27 years of nursing, I've never seen the likes of something like this. May I never see it again (Amen).

Back to the lice stitch...I find myself wishing I'd held the white yarn in my left hand instead of the right as I've read this would have made the white lice stitches more dominant instead of receding into the red. Live and learn. Since I'm sort of new to this color knitting stuff, I thought I'd share that here so you can learn by my trials. I'm done with the hat portion of the cap and now doing decreasing rounds with a scattering of lice stitches. So, if you want the predominant yarn, in this case the red, to dominate, carry it in your left hand. If you want the other yarn, in my case the white, to dominate, carry that yarn in the left hand and the red in the right. According to several sources, one should not change the hand you carry your yarn in for the project. If it's something that you'll put down and pick back up later, you may want to do like me and make a note of which hand carried each yarn.

If you linked to that photo...sorry.



13 comments:

sapphireblue said...

I can't believe you've made so much progress on that hat!

Silliyak said...

I passed on the picture, but thanks for thinking of us. No kidding, Word verification is "imeat"

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh i looked! you knew i would didn't you? ha ha ha i think the fish oil made me do it. the hat is lovely!!!

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxo

Joanna said...

No way am I looking at that picture. I don't even like the word lice. Totally creeped out now but it's probably because we've just discovered evidence of rats in the motor home. Anyway, the hat is indeed pretty.

SkippyMom said...

The hat is too pretty to click the link...what are you thinking woman! lol :)

Nice job. I still don't get the process but it is beautiful.

Gail said...

Beautiful, as always.

Dad use to tell a story about holding hands with a girl when he was small. He started itching(with mites) the next day, so he always warned us not to hold hands!

Miss 376 said...

This is beautiful, and the tension looks so even. I can't believe how quickly you've got this far

Rose said...

I love the hat, although I don't think I'll ever knit lice stitch. The name would just creep me out. And THANK you for the link warning!

NCmountainwoman said...

I would never click if you gave me fair warning. I love the pattern!

Jane/WTKnits said...

Lookin' goooood!!!!

Sandy said...

I saw the photo and wow!!!

ahh, word verification for today

"judeas"

so I thought, let me just check...

searched that word plus scabies and came up with

Josephus wrote that Herod's final illness – sometimes named as "Herod's Evil"[32] – was excruciating.[33] From Josephus' descriptions, some medical experts propose that Herod had chronic kidney disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene.[34] Modern scholars agree he suffered throughout his lifetime from depression and paranoia.[35] More recently, others report that the visible worms and putrefaction described in his final days are likely to have been scabies; the disease might have accounted for both his death and psychiatric symptoms.[36] Similar symptoms attended the death of his grandson Agrippa I in CE 44.

Rudee said...

Sandy, I have seen Fournier's Gangrene, and it ain't pretty, either. It affects a man's genitalia and is common for some reason in alcoholics. It's gruesome.

Winifred said...

I chickened out and didn't lick the link!

Love that red & white. Great pattern.