weaving together (while thinking about donuts)

I didn’t think we would make it the fiber festival this year.  Saturday there was baseball, and Sunday it was supposed to be cold and rainy.  I also wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of taking all the kids without Jonny like we did last year, and he needed to work on the bathroom.  In the end, I realized that being stuck inside on a cruddy day with the house a wreck was far worse than a little adventure with my kids.  Most of my kids were begging and pleading to go, claiming they didn’t care if it was cold and raining.  Seth hates the fiber festival, so he stayed home with Jonny, while I took everyone else.

Once we arrived, it became clear that shopping for yarn wasn’t what any of them had in mind.  There was some debate over whether we should get donuts first or go to the hands on tent.  After petting a few sheep and goats, they decided to go straight to the teaching tent to do some weaving.  Gabe, Keats, and Larkspur all took turns weaving while Silas, riding on my back, pulled my hair and Beatrix watched, wishing for her own turn. Larkspur told Beatrix that she could have a turn, but that since she couldn’t reach the pedals, she would have to sit in her lap and they would “do teamwork.”  That was my favorite part of the day, watching them work together.  I was reminded once again how much I wish I had space to set up the table top loom I was given a few years ago.  Someday, I hope I will.  I can imagine telling the girls to do some weaving together at times when they are fighting, because yes, they fight.  I’ve noticed that their fights are different than those between the boys.  They always arise when one of the girls is feeling unloved by the other.  There is this perception of “un-love” that results in hurt feelings and lashing out.  I wonder how true this remains for grown women?  When I think of the times I have been upset with a friend, often it is because she has hurt my feelings somehow, not even meaning to.  My work with my little girls then, is always to remind the girls of how much they love each other.  I would love to be able to sit them down at the loom at times like this, and say,”How about some teamwork, girls?”  They would scowl at first, but eventually they would start giggling, hug each other and get to work.

After weaving, we bought donuts, the other real reason my kids wanted to visit the festival.  We ate them while watching a bit of the sheep dog trials before heading back to the van.  As we walked away, I reached into my back pocket to grab my lens cap and dislocated (?) my shoulder.  This is something that has been happening to me on and off for about two and a half years.  I called all my children around for help.  Gabe took Silas off my back and everyone took something to carry.  I managed to get a photo of Gabe and Silas while telling Gabe through my grimace, “Don’t let Silas ruin his new pants.”  (These are some of my favorite wool pants for toddlers.   I usually reserve them for pajama pants, or wearing around the house.)  I made it back to the van and burst into tears.  There’s no telling what my poor kids thought.  I couldn’t get my shoulder back into place and it hurt terribly.  I stood there with my face in the seat of the van crying while the girls prayed for it to go back in place.  After about five minutes it did, and I nearly threw up because it was really that bad.  I am hoping that it’s not really a dislocation, but something else(?) popping out of place that’s not a big deal outside of the horrible pain.  (updated to add:  based on some very serious youtube research, I really don’t think it’s a completely dislocated shoulder I’m dealing with–otherwise I’d be in far worse shape!) I’ll see a doctor about this next week, but I wondered if this has happened to any of you?  It began when Beatrix was about 18 months old and has gotten worse in the past six months or so, maybe due to lifting gigantic Silas.  I haven’t wanted to talk about it, because really I want to ignore it.  But, I can no longer hoe my garden, pitch mulch, or do anything that requires using my right arm behind my body, so to the doctor I go.   Last night there was still a burning pain in my shoulder and I didn’t. even. want. to. knit.  (thank goodness for my Winterwoods sampler.)

It’s cold here this morning.  I kind of love it.

p.s.  The girls are wearing their Sunday Sweaters.


  1. Re: space for a loom – have you seen this?

    I totally want to do this with my kid!!!!

  2. I thought I had already posted a comment, but i don’t see it anymore, so here is round 2! I hope your shoulder is feeling better soon. I had a knitting “injury” this summer (really just exacerbated by knitting) and having to stop knitting was the pits. I’m glad you enjoyed the fiber festival. I was so bummed to miss it, but I will be there for sure next year, now that I am living close to Virginia again. Thinking of you~

  3. p.s… How do you manage to not come home with a van filled with those amazing yarns?.. Wow!

  4. I think the world turned upside down on me when I clicked the link for Silas’ pants and found something other than a link to a ravelry pattern! What in the world? They must be pretty amazing to beat homemades? I’m so dumbfounded! 😉

  5. Ginny –

    I am so sorry about your shoulder! The things we do for our kids (and crafting). I’m glad you were able to go to the fiber festival. I wanted to go so badly, but we also had so much going on this weekend. I am loving that I am back near Virginia and am close enough to attend some of these events. Your pictures make it look like it was a lot of fun. I definitely won’t miss next year. I hope you feel well soon!

  6. Oh, dear Ginny…Bret has been suffering with a bad shoulder for a few months now, and although he lift any amount of weight with that arm, he can’t get his wallet out of his back pocket or put on a jacket without pain. He got a cortisone shot in the shoulder, and that didn’t help much either. He is going to physical therapy, but I don’t know that it has done much good thus far.

    I’ve never been to a fiber festival, and I doubt I ever will get to one, as no one in my family is even vaguely interested, and I have no knitters among my acquaintances here : (

  7. Dear Ginny, could it be a frozen shoulder? I have it too and it sounds like it. It feels as if your nerves are being grind between something if you make a wrong move. Fysiotherapy works for me, it is slowly getting better. I crochet instead, with my OK arm… Good luck and all the best.

  8. ah sweetie, not your shoulder! i am facing the same thing, i just told chuck about it, trying to ignore it here.

    your photos are so so beautiful. i love all your babies in their handknits.

  9. I am sure you have already thought of this, but you probably have a knitting injury. I have knitter’s elbow and when reading about it, I saw that a lot of women have shoulder injuries as well. I knit continental so I think I have less shoulder movement than right-handed knitters.

  10. praying that shoulder business heals itself quickly…

    the fiber festival–such a great fall weekend thing to do….the weaving sisters pictures are wonderful!!! all my grands will be here this weekend….i’ll be lucky to round up all 7 to get them to the pumpkin patch!

  11. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for several years now. I am a grandmother and past my child rearing days, but I enjoy seeing how you cope with the day-to-day of mothering. One thing that I have noticed in so many of your pictures over the last year…it seems Gabe is your son with the most interest in caring for and entertaining Silas. Do the other boys help with the baby but happen to be camera shy? You have so many sweet pictures of Gabe and Silas together!

    I’m also a knitter and enjoy seeing your beautiful projects. Hope the shoulder improves rapidly.

    • Hi Jan! Yes, the other boys do help with Silas, but not naturally. I have to ask them to. Gabriel has a very nurturing personality when it comes to younger children. He is wonderful with them. He adores Silas and naturally ends up helping out. It’s funny that you mention the camera shy part. All three boys are camera shy, but now that I think of it, Gabe doesn’t mind having his photo taken when he is with someone else. Keats and Seth typically scowl the moment I pull the camera out.

  12. Ginny you must be so uncomfortable and in pain. I would try not carrying anything with that arm. I have had arm pain for about 3 weeks now and couldnt even reach behind my back with the right arm. My sister who is a masseuse came around on Sunday and said I was that knotted and stiff that I had to have a deep remedial massage to relieve all the tension out of my muscles. She also gave me stretching exercises so my body wont knot up again, and my arms still both hurt from the massage as the muscles were so tight it took quite a bit of treatment to get them moving properly again. I do hope that you find a solution to the problem so you dont have anymore episodes like that. The festival looks like fun and the weaving looks fun too.

  13. I really like your weaving photographs. The colors are so vivid and the browns look so warm. Sorry to hear about your shoulder and hope you mend soon.

  14. I’m so glad that so many commenters have had experience with similar problems (well, I’m not glad for their pain or yours, but I think you know what I mean) and can give you such fine advice! Having never experienced anything like what you’re going through, I only have one thing to say: Go to the doctor!! You must be hurting badly if you don’t want to knit, and I can’t even imagine you being unable to knit for any length of time!

    Loved seeing the kids wear all their hand knit woolens to the fiber festival. Sounds like a really lovely time. Hope you’re on the mend soon!

  15. I so hope you get an easy fix and fast relief for your shoulder. The photos of your girls are wonderful, and I especially love that they’re both wearing their Sunday sweaters.

  16. That sounds horrible Ginny! The last bit anyway, the donuts and wool sound lovely.
    I have seen an osetopath after I dislocated my coccyx with my third then again with my fourth baby. She did a wonderful job although it took many many visits. When I was pregnant I also put my knee ‘out’ quite a bit and it happened again the other day when I was digging in the garden. My osteo reckons that when you are pregnant and breastfeeding your body has higher levels of the hormone relaxin, which make these injuries more common. I weaned ten months ago after 8 years of being pregnant and feeding non-stop. I feel like I’m on the road to recovery with my body . . slowly!

  17. hi ginny!
    i don’t have any answers for you, but my shoulder does the same thing. started with a snowboarding injury, and then has happened about three times since (over a span of about 10 years). once diving in to the ocean, once bumping it into a bus seat, and the last was gardening?! i’ve never really gotten it checked out because it happens so infrequently, and i always manage to panic-ly get it back in place. hope you feel better! and don’t get too far ahead on that sampler! i don’t want to feel like a slacker ha ha!

  18. Omgoodness Ginny…definitely go to the Dr. You just never know if it’s something that could be fixed quickly , versus living with pain for extended periods . I bet the kids were frightened ! Hope you are feeling better soon.

  19. Connie K. says:

    Lovely, lovely yarn! This would absolutely become something for me because I am in love with this color. Please be sure to get that shoulder checked out, it could be very serious.

  20. Hello, My name is Elisa, I live in France, I just discover your blog and I really wanted to tell you what a great moment I had looking at your beautiful photos.

  21. My hip does almost exactly what your shoulder does. My chiro had it fixed, but I’ve messed it up again. I seriously want to cry when it slides out of place (or whatever it’s doing!) I’ve been putting off going back to the chiro for awhile now due to things coming up. I really need to get back and get everything back in order!

    I love the pictures of your girls weaving together. Such a sweet moment!

  22. I say see the doctor and make sure you get a thorough exam. Physical Therapists are fantastic at not only making an area feel better but if it is from mis use they will teach you how to not hurt it. I herniated a back disc and the PT taught me how to never ever do it again–he was right! Good luck!

  23. Hi Ginny

    Have you thought of visiting an osteopath – they are fantastic for shoulder issues. I do hope you feel better soon (ibuprofen is great for that kind of pain).
    Best wishes

  24. Partial dislocation is called subluxation, though for me, when I sublux my shoulder it slips back in by itself without that extended period of horrible pain.

    Be sure to ice it daily, preferably several times a day, until you can get in to see a doctor. When it slipped out of joint, it stretched and abused all the muscles and ligaments. The icing will help calm the swelling and should ease some of the pain. Also, as others have said, be very careful not to push your limits with that shoulder until you get an accurate diagnosis. One thing you may not be aware of is that sleeping on your side (very common for a cosleeping mama who nurses) is going to push that shoulder forward and out of the joint. Try to back sleep while you’re waiting on your appointment.

    My experience with physical therapists is that they are very skilled at the kind of hands-on, practical diagnosis and treatment that is helpful in the longterm. They’ll look at what muscles are weak, what ligaments are stretched, what postures and movements put you at risk, etc., and then design a set of treatments and exercises to correct that and get you back to being active.

    Try carrying Silas in a hardframe backpack (I think I’ve seen photos of you or your husband with him in one) instead of the Ergo. A hardframe backpack just requires you to put the straps over your back–there’s no reaching behind yourself to put in the baby, fasten or tighten straps, etc.

    Sorry to write in with such a long list of suggestions, but I’ve been through this and I really feel for you!

    • You know, I mostly gave up carrying him on my back many months ago, because I suffer from a lot of back pain and he is just too big. I only do it if I absolutely have to (you know if there’s a fiber festival that I MUST attend and Jonny can’t come 🙂 It’s interesting what you say about sleep positions. I haven’t been able to sleep on my right side (the problem is my right shoulder) for years because it is very uncomfortable for me. I guess it’s related to whatever is wrong with that shoulder! I am really looking forward to getting some answers. I will start with my internist to get a good recommendation, and then yes, get into physical therapy.

  25. Ouch! And (((hugs))).

    I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and one of the problems associated with this (although, thankfully, not something that I suffer from) are dislocating joints – sometimes just one persistant one. Although I don’t dislocate, I’m forever pulling something (lax ligaments). Unfortunately it can affect my ability to knit at times 🙁

    I hope you can get an answer to your shoulder (and that the pain clears) soon.

  26. I had something like this a couple years ago. It would happen sporadically. It would be so bad that I would freeze and not be able to move until it just stopped hurting. Once it was so bad I had to call my husband to come home from work. I literally couldn’t take care of my children. It has not happened in a long time so maybe everything is back to normal. It reminds me of someone who says that they have slipped a disc in their back. It’s so debilitating when you have something like this because you can’t ignore it when it’s happening, in fact it’s impossible. and then it’s gone and you want to pretend it will go away and not come back. I hope you get some answers form the doctor.

    Unrelated note: What pattern do you use for the children’s hats?

    • I typically don’t use a pattern, just a formula. I bet I shared it somewhere on this blog years ago. Do you want me to try and find the post for you?

      • No, that’s ok. There are lots of ideas on Ravelry. I just like the simplicity and look of yours. I thought if you had a specific pattern…

        Thanks for responding!

  27. beth lehman says:

    i can tell you were at the fiber festival on sunday, b/c saturday when i was there it was pretty warm!!! i hope you shoulder feels better and that you are able to get some relief from the pain…

  28. Oh, Ginny, I’m so sorry! That is so painful. My husband played college football, and as a result he suffered many injuries, including his shoulder. He frequently dislocates it, and it is very painful. My only advice is to guard your shoulder carefully, and be aware that the ligaments on that side are likely stretched out, and you may dislocate it doing simple tasks that would never bother the other side. Don’t let your kids hang from that arm. Or pick things up one handed. Be gentle with yourself and protect that shoulder as much as you can. I hope the doctor and some physical therapy will help with your healing. Prayers for quick recovery!

  29. I, too, would say it sounds like the rotator cuff. Unfortunately, it’s probably aggravated by carrying babies on your back and the pull of the straps. I had to stop using a back carrier with my babies and reserve it for my husband. (A sling could do the same thing if not worn properly with good weight distribution or without adequate back strength). I would urge you first to seek out a good chiropractor. I finally found a chiro who worked on my problem areas instead of just running through a standard adjustment. I felt better after a month (it was painful before just to reach behind to hook my bra). From friends’ experience, an MD’s standard treatment is to give some pretty strong pain killers and steroids, which route I assume you wouldn’t want to do while nursing Silas. I’ve also had good results with acupuncture. But definitely, don’t ignore it – it’s not going to go away. You don’t want to get to the point where you are looking at surgery.

    • With the exception of emergencies (fiber festival that Jonny couldn’t attend with me) I never carry Silas on my back anymore either. He’s too big and it’s just painful! I am just hoping to get a referral from my MD, and then yes, hope to explore all my options!!

  30. I feel bad about your shoulder. I have six childern so I know how hard it is to be mama and be in pain. I’ll be praying for you. Thanks so much for sharing. That is so awesome that you could take your kids to the fiber festival. I’m looking for one here in Michigan. I’ve never actually been to one. Silas’s pants are TOO cute and I love the girls sweaters.

  31. mmm, donuts. I have no idea what’s wrong with your shoulder but I wanted to suggest you get looked at by a chiropractor you trust. Also, use a heat pad at least 2x a day to relax the muscles. Feel well!

  32. Looks like a nice, I wish to be able to go to a fiber festival some day.
    I love cold.
    I hope you get better soon and that it won’t be something very difficult to fix.

  33. ((hug)) my goodness, that shoulder thing sounds terrible. what a mess.
    on the bright side i love those pictures of your girlies weaving together in their matching sweater. 🙂
    and gabe looks HUGE!
    i think you should get to the doctor this week if possible.

  34. Hugs to you Ginny, that pain sounded terrible. Big doses of Arnica would probably help alongside any regular pain relief. Thank goodness you are having the problem checked out.

    Since my early twenty’s I’ve suffered from widespread joint pain, but since baby/toddler wearing my youngest, the whole of my spine has been a complete mess, with constant pain and swelling in the lower part of my back. The top part of my back also seizes up and that is a result of probably poor posture from extended breastfeeding ( I finally weaned her after her third birthday) but my physical therapist also believed that KNITTING plays a large part in the problem!! Needless to say, knitting is a real therapy for me so I put up with the pain and have regular acupuncture and massage to keep the problem under control.

    Hugs and prayers for you

    San xx

  35. Ginny,
    I would suspect a torn rotator cuff. My husband does ultrasounds on shoulders all the time and almost always this is the problem.

  36. Your daughters are very talented at weaving. That was a beautiful design and color combination in your photos.

  37. Get that shoulder looked at ASAP! I’ve had problems with my shoulder since high school (with good reason – I was the pitcher on the softball team). It’s to the point where I have difficulty lifting my arm any higher than level with the ground.

    If it’s popping in and out, it could be something more serious…and lifting up kiddos all day doesn’t help.

  38. My brother constantly dislocates his shoulder, he’s a sport teacher and sometimes throws the ball just a little too hard: ouch. I hope it’s not that. I had a frozen shoulder/trapped nerve in Singapore last year. The only physio I could get at short notice was a traditional Chinese practitioner whose massage was literally the most painful thing I’ve ever endured, I truly thought he was trying to do away with me. I sympathise so much with your pain, it literally affected every movement I made, it’s awful. But I must admit, the crazy massage did work…

  39. Ginny, you poor dear, I am so sorry to hear about your shoulder. I am glad you are going to the doctor and hope it is something that can easily be taken care of, maybe some simple exercises to do. I will keep you in my prayers.

    I had hoped to come up for the fiber festival, but with my son’s wedding in two weeks there just wasn’t time, next year for sure. There aren’t any fiber festival close to here which is just a shame.

    I wanted to thank you for the Sunday Sweater pattern. I finished the one I was working on for Emerson and I love it. I am already thinking about what color to use for the next one! It really is a great pattern and was a joy to knit.

    • Thank you Tracey! It would have been so fun to see you at the fiber festival. Maybe we’ll be able to meet sometime soon! You must be so excited about the wedding!

  40. My heart just went out to your family and you–what a terrifying experience for you and your littles. I am glad you are feeling better–ibuprofen will help with swelling. I have had that happen while babywearing my boys and the Little One I look after. I haven’t been to the doctor ….I just try to go easy when I wear any child and conscience of how I strain my body–it’s hard not to turn so quickly but I know I will pay for it later. I hope you get better–try to apply some warm compresses and some pain meds if you need them.
    Thinking of you.

  41. Poor Ginny. I know how it feels to have an ailment that prevents you from doing the things you love. But you just have to. You may do permanent damage. I will pray that the doctor can help, and soon. In the meantime, favor it and let someone else do the heavy lifting.

  42. The festival looked amazing. I have the same problem with my shoulder. I do strength exercises to help it. It has held off surgery. Hope you feel better.

  43. Ow! Oh, Ginny, that sounds just awful. I hope your doctor is able to figure out how to make it stop. xo

    • Mama take care of yourself. You have a lot of little ones that need you.
      I once had a slipped disk in my back that felt like someone stabbed me every time I did things like use scissors or other small finger movements. The physical therapist was able to fix it by jerking me upwards really fast under the arms. Hopefully your fix is as quick and easy.

I love to hear from you!