Get Orf

I know, I know, I know that I have been remiss in posting and that there is a ton of other news that I should tell you about in chronological order, but I just had to tell you this INSANE story.

To begin at the beginning, the weekend before this past weekend was the Garden State Sheep and Fiber Festival. On that Friday, I helped Gryphon (of The Verdant Gryphon) set up her booth, and on Saturday I went there again on a little field trip with my Thursday night knitting group (hey guys). We shopped, petted some sheep, ate some food, and I had a little shopping-fit in Lambertville (who knew I’d find, like, 6 wardrobe staples I didn’t know I needed?). Then on Sunday I went back and hung out with Gryphon a little, got my face painted, and helped take down the booth.

Fast-forward to this past weekend: I was the guest of honor on a party boat! Who knew a career in knitwear design would lead to such a glamorous lifestyle?! Anyway, The Village Knitter, a shop on Long Island, organized the whole thing. I designed an exclusive pattern for them (Undertow, if you’ve been following it on Ravelry) and the boat trip was to celebrate. We sailed to Fire Island for dinner and on the way back, a lovely woman named Patti showed me how to use a drop spindle to spin yarn. (It might have gone better if I’d had fewer cocktails, but whatevs.)

The next day I had a trunk show at The Village Knitter. I woke up with these weird blisters on my finger. After showing them to everyone who would look, I thought maybe I’d somehow given myself a drop-spindling injury. Friction burn? Something? Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a spinning wheel; I got an infected blister from drop spindling. Typical. I was kind of hoping time would stop and I’d get to sleep for 100 years, but the blisters kept getting worse so on Monday I went to the dermatologist.
He was a bit stumped. I asked him if there was any way it could have been from drop spindling and he said no. He asked me what I was doing a week before the blisters appeared. I couldn’t think of anything unusual, but then I remembered it was the Garden State festival. I told him I’d been petting some sheep and he said, “ORF!! Orf orf orf orf orf orf! Orf! Orf orf!” A bit startled, I asked the nurse in the room if he had developed some kind of Tourette’s. He had not: Orf is a cutaneous virus SPREAD BY SHEEP. He’d never seen a case of it before this and I got it from petting sheep at the festival. Talk about weird-ass occupational hazards.

Anyway, the upshot is that the doctor took some cultures (both viral and bacterial to make sure a secondary bacterial infection doesn’t develop, for those of you concerned for my health). He also prescribed me a heavy-duty antiviral which is making me very sleepy, but may be helping.

I’d post a picture of the blisters but I fear I’d never have any more readers after that. Personally, I’m totally fascinated by weird medical shit, so for those of you with similar inclinations, I urge you to google this. Let me first tell you, though, that my blisters are NOWHERE NEAR as bad as some of the ones you’ll see. Mine look like a cluster of about five little burns on the pad of my middle finger.

The funniest part of all this is that, according to wikipedia, the blisters can appear on humans on the “hands, face, arms, or PENIS.”

As if New Jersey’s reputation wasn’t bad enough. Welcome to Jersey, where even the sheep have herpes!

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