Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Hands that Make the Blockers

Many of you know about the Aromatic Cedar Sock Blockers that I carry in my shop, but did you know that my husband, Bruce, makes those? I thought I'd share with you today the hands that make the blockers.
Here they are:

Oops. Yes, that's right. The hands are out of commission for a while. Actually, just the left hand, but when it comes to woodworking that's enough to put the set out of action.

Ever since my husband I have been together I've occasionally mentioned that I would like someday for him to teach me a bit about woodworking. He's all too eager to do so, but I always back off when push comes to shove. All of those power tools whirring and cutting and spinning and slicing scare the pants off of me. I am, I must admit, a bit of a klutz and I don't think it would be a wise thing to put more than a cordless drill in my hands (even that could be a stretch).

Each time I express my hesitancy about the use of tools, Bruce scoffs and explains that with proper safety precautions, there is no danger.

Now, at this point you're probably expecting a story about a power tool mishap leading to the hand-out-of-commission. But no. No power tools involved here. It was a simple putty knife. Bruce was prying apart two small pieces of wood using the putty knife and when they gave way under the pressure, his right hand with the putty knife slipped downward into the palm of his left hand beneath. All of this took place while I stood by watching and chit chatting away.

He muttered an expletive or two, took a look at the cut, and informed me that he would need a couple of stitches. He was entirely calm about the whole thing and even had the presence of mind to hold his hand carefully out of my view. Although there wasn't actually much blood, he knows me well enough to know that even a few drops might be enough for me to pass out cold. (I kid you not. I am ridiculously and unbelievably squeamish.)

As we sat in the emergency room waiting for Bruce's turn to be stitched up, he noticed that his pinky was sticking straight out and that he could not move or feel it. That's when he realized that perhaps this was more than a little cut requiring a stitch or two.

Turns out he sliced clean through the tendon in his palm. They stitched him up temporarily and scheduled him for surgery for a few days later, but by the next morning he had lost all feeling and movement in three fingers and his entire palm was going dead as well. After a call to the doctor, back to the hospital we went and just an hour or two later he was in surgery.

The surgery seems to have gone well and he does have feeling and a bit of movement back in his fingers, but unfortunately the recovery process will take a while. He'll be in the splint for at least 4 weeks and perhaps as long as 8 weeks. There will also be a few visits a week to a hand therapist.

Bruce is entirely his usual cheerful self and seemingly unaffected by the whole thing. ("What are you gonna do? It happened," is about all he has to say, with a casual shrug of the shoulders.) He will, however, be bored to tears these next few weeks. He works in a clean room and so there is no way for him to go to work. To enter the clean room, he must be fully covered from head to toe with only his eyes peeping out. The clean room is ten thousand times cleaner in terms of particle count than an operating room and thus he must wear a full "bunny suit" including gloves. The gloves can't be worn over this splint and even if they could, the doctors won't have him moving around that much. He has to keep his wrist bent and pretty much immobile or he risks tearing the tendon again. (And yes, they really do call it a bunny suit. If you're interested in odd things like this, here's some info on the bunny suit. Bruce has to go through this process of suiting up each time he enters the workplace.)

And so, the hands that make the sock blockers are out of commission for a while. There are plenty of blockers remaining in stock though. He was on a bit of a blocker-making frenzy over the past few weeks, so we've got a nice supply. In fact, I have one single pair of very special blockers:

These are Women's Size Medium but they are knee-high rather than the usual calf-high size. Bruce made a couple of sets of these knee-high blockers as a special order and while he was at it he made a spare set just to be safe. They are a full 16 inches from heel to top, so can be used to block knee socks. I haven't listed these in my shop yet and only have one single set, so if anyone is interested in them, just pop me an e-mail and let me know and I can set up a reserved listing for you. They are a bit pricier at $33 and the shipping (U.S. only) is also rather high at $12, since they are quite a bit larger and heavier in this knee-high size.

That's about all the news for today. I'm busy dyeing, doing a bit of knitting, and catering to my one-handed husband's needs ;)

Great day to all!


BeadKnitter said...

Ouch! Tell your husband I send wishes for a quick and complete recovery!

anne said...

oh please pass my regards to bruce for a quick and thorough recovery!
i keep meaning to order some of those blockers and i guess i better get on that! i think they'd be great as sock models when photographing my own foot is too awkward!

Lynne E. said...

Oh, that's terrible for Bruce! I hope that he's right-handed, just in case everything doesn't heal perfectly. Because he's a woodworker, it's got to be truly annoying not to be able to do anything with his hands for a month or more. Please give him my sincere best wishes for a speedy recovery! (And tell him once again that I really love my cedar sock blockers from Etsy Fearless Fibers.)

Laura said...

Ooh, bummer about your hubby's hand! I hope that heals up nice and fast for him. There was a clean room one place I worked... After hearing what people had to go through to get in there, I was very glad to be able to avoid all that myself. Daily? Egads. LOL

Anonymous said...

Ack! Best Wishes to Bruce for a speedy recovery! I worry in the same way about my DH in his shop, but I know how easily you can get hurt everywhere else!

DragonsChest said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Bruce! I'm so glad you got that tendon seen to, and that the doctors didn't fiddle faddle about. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

Hope you get back in that bunny suit soon. ~Suzy

Rebecca said...

Awww, that's too bad!

I hope Bruce heals up nicely and can get back into his bunny suit and his workshop soon.