Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Let's Have a Party...

David and I spent a long stretch of Sunday afternoon knitting while our 7yo took a nap. By the end of the evening, both of us were very close to finished objects, although neither looks like very much yet:

I bound off Swallowtail!



And David finished up the body of Satchel. I loved watching him do the I-cord bindoff.



Blocking for Swallowtail and felting for Satchel are on the agenda. It'll be a party!

* * *

Speaking of parties:

When our son woke up from his Sunday afternoon nap, we headed over to Martha's for a lovely party of knitters and their families. In addition to getting some knitting done, we enjoyed trying out her very cool Knitter's Loom , drinking the wine her husband picked out, and receiving a couple of excellent presents.

Martha, the founder of Silver Spring Knits (SSK), gave us all appropriate bumper magnets:



And Amy gave us all adorable miniature sock blocker key chains:



Of course, the best part of the evening was the company. What a great group of people I have found!

* * *

I took my new toy to the party.




What is it, you ask? A little recorder for podcasting? A cell phone, maybe, to call knitwear designers with desperate questions?

An assistive listening device, the Pocketalker.

I am completely deaf in one ear and cannot wear a hearing aid on that side due to the lack of an acoustic nerve. Although I hear fine in quiet one-on-one situations, I have quite a difficult time hearing in loud places where there is a lot of background noise. I can read lips fairly well and David and I both can use ASL as well, so for years I've gotten along with one working ear and one ear just for show. But so much of the time, if I am meeting new people or simply not in my own house, I have trouble following exactly what is going on and feel like I am faking it all too often. Add to the hearing issues my profoundly introverted personality--and you get a recluse wannabe.

So, after years of having my mother suggest I try something out, having my partner's mother's first cousin's hard-of-hearing spouse suggest I try out this particular device, and having a colossal argument with someone I love about the fact that I don't even think about ways I might address my hearing issues, I ordered one.

With a 30-day return period.

And I'm testing it not just to see if it works but if I feel too weird wearing it. I thought it might feel strange to have to explain to the folks I am talking to what it is, but that is not the biggest issue. The earphone looks enough like a Bluetooth that I wonder if people think I am not really focusing on them. And someone else wondered if I was recording our conversation!

But gosh...!

We went out to eat at an especially loud restaurant that we have frequented way too often in the last few years. When we walked in, the person at the front desk asked us how many were in out party. Would you believe that she ACTUALLY IS SPEAKING ALOUD?! All this time, I thought she might just be mouthing the words.

One of the coolest things is that I can now eavesdrop without staring at the droppee in order to read his or her lips...

It is not perfect. Hearing sounds over the microphone is a little disorienting. Without the device, although I cannot locate sounds due to my monaural hearing, I have developed some ability to guess location a bit based on what is quieter, etc. But with the device, if the mic is on my right, sounds feel like they are loud and therefore must be on my left. Sound feels like it is coming from everywhere and nowhere. I suspect I can get used to the difference. Hm.

While wearing the device, I feel a lot less internal. David pointed out that I even go up to complete strangers now and say things to them. (I asked a woman if she knitted her sweater. Her mother had.) So much for my recluse personality. Hey--let's PARTY!

10 comments:

Lolly said...

That is amazing, Hannah. Quite an interesting device! Thanks for sharing the information on it! :)

You two are so productive - Swallowtail and Satchel? If I could get my partner to knit, I would not have a stash problem...

Mouse said...

Can I send my holiday knitting your direction? Hee hee! All of the finished objects look great!

Deborah Robson said...

Keep us posted on the toy/tool. Getting to check out other folks' knitting through new means--direct inquiry and/or eavesdropping--could provide new sources of amusement!

Anonymous said...

Swallowtail and the Satchel are amazing! Nice work. I also love the little sock blocker...what a great party favor!

I'll be curious to see how the new ALD works for you. I've been hearing really good things about some of the newer ones but have not had a chance to see any of them. I'm used to working with some of the older ones that were just as clunky as all get-out. The kids hated them! It is so cool that they are becoming more comfortable and user-friendly!

Kathy said...

Ooh...can't wait to see Swallowtail when it's blocked and Satchel after felting!

I know someone who has monaural hearing and may well be interested in your device - I think I will pass on the information!

Anonymous said...

I spend my days convincing children that these helpful devices are truely halpful -- the glasses I find are harder to convince them of then the hearing devices -- they love being a part of the action that hearing allows them to be and forget about the device altogether.

Anonymous said...

I spend my days convincing children that these helpful devices are truely halpful -- the glasses I find are harder to convince them of then the hearing devices -- they love being a part of the action that hearing allows them to be and forget about the device altogether.

Carrie K said...

I think Swallowtail will probably look better when blocked....;)

Satchel looks great!

I think that maybe the ability to really hear might overcome your resistance to the thingamajig. That, and getting used to it. People are a little insensitive, but I think it's just because it never occurs to them since they don't have the problem.

I can only see out of my right eye (born with cataracts in my left) so I don't have any depth perception, and I'm constantly moving around so people are on my righthand side. I get a crick in my neck talking to them if they're on my left.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing swallowtail ... that is an accomplishment! The satchel looks great too; I can't wait to see it felted.

Good for you for trying out some new things! I think getting over my own anxieties is often the hardest part of a new adventure. Your past the hard part now!

Sara Skates said...

Cool Hannah! Sounds like you're keeping it!

Great knitting progres too :)

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