Cut and Run

Sorry about being so cryptic about the DIY project in my last post.  I wanted to make a few tweaks and figure out how to describe it first.  I’m having arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder to (hopefully) fix some long-standing issues.   It’s scheduled for Monday morning so, depending on where you are, the surgery may be happening right now!  Isn’t that exciting.  When they’re all done, I’ll have this fetching bandage and a fabulous new sling to keep my arm immobile.  They tell me I need to ice this behemoth every hour for 20 minutes at a time, which is what sent me on the search for something to keep a cold pack in place. I had one more requirement: I needed to be able to adjust it with my non-dominant hand.

Naturally, the insurance company wouldn’t pop for the nifty cryotherapy unit that fits around the shoulder and delivers ice cold water at regular intervals.   “Although I agree that it may aid healing, that is not something we approve,” said the firm but understanding voice on the other end.  An online search yielded a couple of likely candidates for something to hold ice in place, but nothing completely suitable.  They were either outrageously expensive or unclear as to dimensions or where it fastened.  Assuming someone would be there to fasten a sling in the back didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me – not for an average of $60 a pop.

I opted for a $15 neoprene ice pack holder with adjustable Velcro which, according to the package was suitable for shoulder or back.  It only got me half-way there because it neither fit across the body (to ice the shoulder) or around the waist (to ice the back).  One size fits all? Feh!

sling detailHere’s how I fashioned it into an ice sling that works for me:

Cut a length of heavy duty Velcro;

Fit it around your body (or on a conveniently located dressmaker’s dummy);

Pin in place at to the fabric on the non-adjustable end;

Cut that end on a 30-degree angle.

If you want to pretty it up like I did, cut a length of fabric, sew it in a tube around the Velcro, leaving the hooks and loops at the adjustable end uncovered. Slip-stitch the covered Velcro to the non-adjustable end.  Easy.

Ice Sling

Ice Sling

I’m irrationally proud of how my Ice Sling (TM) turned out.  I’m sure some venture capital folks will be contacting me any day now.  I’ll be around the house for at least 6 weeks so call me.  Seriously, any time is good.

I also finished something (hooray), likely the last thing for a while.  This one is for one of the mothers and babies served by The Crafty Angels.  I’ve never made anything to be donated, choosing instead to give yarn and other items to enable others to serve people in the Chicago area.  This time, I let some forgotten yarn tell me what it wanted to be.

Crochet Baby Blanket

Crochet Baby Blanket

Yarn:  4 skeins of Berroco Comfort (1 cream, 1 blue, 2 green)
Hook: Size 9 / 5.5 mm
Pattern: 9 Patch Blanket (Lion Brand free pattern – registration required)
Difficulty: Easy, even for a beginner

All I did was modify the squares.  Instead of creating a foundation chain per pattern, I used 23 stitches, then followed the pattern creating (7) 3-stitch clusters per row.  If you crochet evenly, 14 rows (or 7 “bumps” per side) should yield a square measuring 5 inches.  I underestimated the number of squares I ended up with, getting 6 from each skein instead of 4.

I laid out the squares in a diagonal pattern, then used a slip stitch to connect them.  The finishing touch you see a bit of is a single crochet border.

Once my shoulder is back in good working order, I’ll pop this in the mail along with a cute little matching hat.  I hope some little one will enjoy it.

7 comments to Cut and Run

  • Rebecca

    THINKING GOOD THOUGHTS FOR YOU. Big hugs!!! And that blanket is gorgeous 🙂

  • Am thinking of you RIGHT NOW!!! (11:30 a.m. EST on Monday) I surely hope all is going well, and that you’ll keep us posted – even if it’s one-handed typing and extremely SHORT!
    Many hugs and I hope the venture capitalist ring your phone off the hook!

  • Karen –
    The blanket is gorgeous! I can’t wait to see it in person! And secondly – your Ice Sling design is awesome. Having struggled with neck and back issues that have to be iced, your adaptation answers all the problems I’ve had. I’m going to make one for myself — and what is brilliant, is that you can be up and about doing things while the ice stays in place. I could use this at work, even. I’m praying that your surgery will go well and that your recovery will be swift and complete.

  • Bonnie

    Your Ice Sling is brilliant! I hope the surgery and recovery go well.

  • Thinking of you!!! And sending healing thoughts your way. The ice sling is very clever indeed.

    And the blanket is gorgeous. 🙂

  • Best of luck with the operation today. The blanket is just lovely! Someone will definitely be very happy to get it.

  • I wish you good luck with your surgery! Your ice sling is genius! I love ;the colors of the baby blanket. Somebody will be thrilled.