Sliced and Diced

Two days ago I was in a hurry slicing chunks off of a big block of cheese for lunch. I was using a new ceramic knife and doing the two things I always caution my kids against in their knife wielding, rushing and cutting toward myself. My knife slipped off of the cheese and ended up impaled in the index finger of my right hand. I felt it hit the bone. Gross.

There was a lot of blood and thankfully I'm not blood or injury squeamish. I wrapped it up, applied pressure and the bleeding mostly stopped. I was home alone looking forward to spending the afternoon spinning samples. I was pissed. I cleaned up the mess and ate my lunch while I contemplated going in for stitches. I even called the husband, a restaurant kitchen veteran, to discuss knife wounds.

What finally got me off of the couch and on the way to urgent care was a comment from the factual and logical part of my brain, "You make your living with your hands, go!"

I went and it was worse than I thought. It took seven stitches to close it and I was treated to a tetanus shot and a round of antibiotics. The team that took care of me was wonderful.  I mentioned that I spin and knit as my job and all of the yarny stories came pouring out of everyone that worked on me. The memories of sweaters and hats and mittens knit by beloved mothers and grandmothers. The local sheep rancher that almost cut his thumb off when castrating his sheep. The doctor who worked at a mission hospital in Bangladesh for 20 years while his wife, a quilter, started a sewing co-op with local women.

That same doctor was shy about my watching him stitch my finger because he thought his stitches would be sloppy. They use square knots for stitches, by the way, and his stitches were really even, especially for stitching on skin.

I get to wear a huge dressing on my finger for two weeks to keep it padded and dry. It is a pain in my butt, and looks pretty silly.

But the fiber must go on! I have figured ways to both spin and knit with my injured finger held out of the way. I put my middle finger to better use than it's usual expressive work.  It's slower going, and I get weird new hand cramps, but I'm spinning and knitting now and will weave this weekend. I think fiber people are wonderfully stubborn and not much can stop us from our craft.

Remember to cut away from yourself in the kitchen, my friends!