Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Clear! There is a heart beat!

As you would have guessed I have not been well.  Many thanks for all the well wishes.  

Basically I had a bad summer fibromyalgia pain management wise which was topped with  the August bank holiday weekend from hell. The after effects of a horrible Bank Holiday Friday night where I did the timber impersonation of falling over one to many times resulted in some more nerve damage to my existing broke list collection along with the acquisition of a frequent customer points card with the Walton Centre in Liverpool. For those who don't know the Walton Centre it is a one of the top specialist neurological hospitals in the UK and is next door to Aintree Hospital.

I have been climbing out of the repeat roundabout where I have had of hospital appointment after hospital appointment again with the occasional short stay. Hello wasn't I just here just before, hang on which hospital am I supposed to be at. There was a recent Friday where I had six different neuro-consultancy areas all have a poke and prod at me thankfully the appointments were all at the same hospital and some how they were organised one after another. That is not a normal occurrence with the NHS.

I have almost finished the workplace occupational health assessments and the associated risk assessment processes for all my employers which meant that on one occasion I was three different hospitals all on the same day. Could you all just not have the same report from one occupational health service and save money? I have a occy health needs assessment next week in North Manchester but hopefully that will me for a while with a return to the regular routine consultant appointment schedule with the various consultants who have been scratching their heads with my treatment plan.  The quacks have knocked something together which seems to be working touch wood.

Knitting wise aint got anything done as I have been struggling to use the hands but that has improved thanks to occupational and physical therapy. I have almost got full hand control it is just the pinkie and ring finger of my left hand who are a little dodgy. In the middle of this drama, the academic year started again and it looked like I would not be able to do the crafts course due to the health issues but I am still hanging in there just and starting to get life back together with normal mundane chores of life like work, kids activities and household things like getting the dishes washed.  The occy health assessment next week is for the course to get the support I need to stay on course.  So life is getting better and thanks again for all the messages and I am working through crowded inboxes (email, ravelry, google, pin interest).

Monday, 22 August 2011

New Meds

The thought of summer free time sustained me through many months of the last academic year but I was deluding myself. I thought. I just thought. That is where I made my mistake. I made it by thinking that I could actually think about a time when there was not some drama lama invading my consciousness.

Yes I have felt like I was falling falling.

Since April I have been on new meds as the recent skin issues have acerbated something I have had for over 20 years.  My spoonieness has been confirmed for the last 9 years when I started to limit my actions due to my condition.  But right now I have not had any action or activity in my life as I have had several quacks (medical professionals) play around with my medication regime. It has been so bad I have not been able to work. Shock horror me not lerking in the workplace how will the library not fall down. A great side effect is that I have been seeing lovely things in my induced granny naps. Things like this blue hippo. I would not mind if I saw him again in the flesh as it would mean either I was in Paris or New York. Either place for a short visit would be nice..

Dreaming really odd things!
The side effects of new meds is I dont feel like I am getting much of anything done in life from the list:
  • housework (optional of course), 
  • university work (not optional they pay the bills), 
  • work pdp (must maintain certification to maintain paycheck thus not optional), 
  • children (they never stop being demanding), 
  • knitting (to many things to do and not enough time), 
  • family commitments (not meeting them so yet again I am in the dog house again with the family)
  • associations (not being a very good executive member)
  • doctors ( struggling to get to appointments and do everything they ask)
ZZZZZZZZ  sorry I am supposed to get something done.  I  think I will just turn over and have another 20 minutes. when I wake up I might even knit a row which I will probably have to rip out later.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Startitis Part 2 2011

To try and combat the startitis I thought I would work on an old project which has been waiting for a skein or two to finish it off. During that bush turkey impersonation of trying to find something to cast on with, I found the two skeins I had been looking for and so I did some garter stitch knitting. I stuffed it up. I stuffed up garter stitch how the heck I did it I just do not know.  I should of known that I needed to walk away from the knitting as I stuffed up some lace which required me to do some wrip wrup wripping back. oh NO!  It was not just a tink but a frog and recaston job which only did about 6 times before someone else in the house (the dearly beloved husband) suggested I look for something less complicated what about that stuff that goes back and forth and it is all the same stitch (aka garter stitch).  I swapped and still managed to stuff up my knitting.

Red Buttersoft DK
I probably need a good cuppa tea and some scones with jam and cream. The Red Buttersoft project is a cardigan that I started in Scotland last year with another pattern. When I had finished the whole lot and blocked it up there I did not like so it was frogged.  I love the wool but the old pattern just was lacking.  So I changed to another pattern which is a one piece knit across the body that produces a seamless short sleeved cardigan. I had got so far and then I could not find the final two skeins.  I had got as far as almost all the back done. This short sleeved cardigan is designed just to keep your kidneys warm when working in a slightly chilli library. I think the red is lovely as it is semi solid so there is movement in the colour.  I just have to get my knitting mojo into action and finish it.  Now that I have the skeins found that is more likely to happen.. I also have a project that I have to finish for the end of the month for daughter before she goes back to school in September. I have a bit of work to do and I have still got a case of startitis. The count so far is four different weights of lace, 3 sock patterns, a hat, mitts and everything else in the workbasket which has not been finished for the last 12 months. 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Startitis or Olympic standard Nana Napping

Since Monday all I have seemed to do knitting wise is cast on and cast on repeatedly.  Yes the symptoms are in for a case of startitis.  The differential diagnosis process has led me to believe that this condition had struck again.

  • more sets of needles spread around the preferred seating location along with paper patterns, needle rolls, project bags and sssh! swatches.
  • more pdf files on the desktop of the laptop which is located on the left arm of the preferred seating location  also known as mother's couch in this household.
  • all the sides round the couch have work baskets that been dragged out from their lounge room hiding places and are creating a trip hazard for the rest of the family.
  • a worried dog looking over the pile of headhog frames (what else to do you call dpns when there is a sock cast on them).  The dog is worried cause he is thinking how the heck to I get to my food bowl and will she kill me I walk out with one of her projects around my neck or leg again.
  • repeated mutterings of "german long tailed stretchy cast on, turkish twisted cast on, garter tab cast on".
  • although the knitter concerned has short hair she has a dpn holding her fringe up off her face as this hair has been twisted up out of the way as it was annoying her.
  • The knitter is muttering about a lost dpn which she had just a minute ago and can not find anywhere totally forgetting about the one that is holding up her fringe.
  • a number of half completed projects which show absolutely no further progression even though one or two of them only need seaming or two french knots so they could cross over from works in progress to completed objects.  As the two simple french knots have not been done it is definitely not finishitis.
Mutley on the other couch
The causes of this condition.
Now the causes of startitis is pretty well unknown as it seems to randomly strike but this week's dose I am blaming on the new medication regime. Yes really. I am. The pain quack, the blessed Saint Anesthete, is trying to find me the new optimum dosage for my fibromyalgia and I have been having a new cocktail combination in my dorsett box. I don't remember much of Wednesday day between 10am and 6pm. Not much at all and I had to tink back my knitting. As one of key knitting commentators whom I actually pay attention to says "Good friends dont let friends knit drunk". Ms Pearl-Mcphee (aka the Yarn Harlot) advises it is never a good thing and I so agree to the point where I want to amend this advice phrase to "Good friends dont let friends knit drunk or as high as a kite".

These are not the needles I am looking for.

So of the side effects of the new medication combinations beside complete out of body moments is bouts of confusion. Did I or did I not cast something on from my never ending ravelry queue and extensive xmas list? No I have not got any lace on the go at the moment totally forgetting about the three projects I have cast on in the last 24 hours. As I have fallen asleep yet again I have dropped another newly started project onto the floor and out of my line of sight.  Where are all my needles?  Confusion is reigning the couch.

I think I am going to apply to compete in the granny napping world championship and then the Olympics as I believe I am starting to get into the elite sports standard.  Do you think the Australian or Republic of Ireland Olympic committees would consider this lump for the nana napping events? I could do the sprint as I am getting under the 1 minute time splits. This is where you take medication with a cuppa and go to sleep before you have a chance to pour the rest the cuppa down your gullet or even return the mug a level surface. Side effect is the potential to spill hot liquid down your front but I could also do the hurdles too. The ability to take medication, fall asleep holding your mug upright and not spill any hot liquid on yourself. Some days I stumble but that is where my fencing jacket aka duna (translation: douvet) comes in handy as it help to protect my skin from liquid burns but I normally end up washing it and its cover a couple of times a week. Why yes my couch (mother's couch) is set up as a day bed and I routinely have a duna around me even in Summer?  We are talking the English summer here it gets terribly wet and cold. I probably would not be selected as I expect that I would fail the drug testing mainly due to the steroids I take to keep breathing.  Cherio now I am off to take my constitutional siesta. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Monday, 8 August 2011

Thinking of Autumn

Today's socks are definitely at touch of autumn in their colouring. They are the well loved pattern called Nutkin. Originally they were going to be for me but then halfway though the middle of the first sock I acknowledged that they were going to be a little tight on me. As the next person in the house who they could fit had gone to bed I could not finish the first sock off that evening as I needed to check the length of the foot.

I should learn to read the pattern introduction properly as it did warn me that the foot was 8 inch diameter. She jumped at the thought of this pair of socks being for her incredibly long foot. I am a 8.5 to 9 (27cm to 27.5 cm) shoe depending on the style while daughter come in starting at 9.5 (28 cm). She has skinny ankles and long thin feet where I have a very very good grip on the ground. I am 9.5 inches round the ball.
That is a long foot as the legs are 4inches.
Daughter has been wearing the round the house unblocked and I have finally managed to get a photo on them. There are little flicks of colour in the brown but she loves brown so it is a win win. There was just a little bit of crispness in the morning that indicates that autumn is on its way. While I have to get some more sock knitting done I also have to do some lace knitting cause I am getting WAY bored can you tell I am channelling some teenager lingo. Off to go an rattle round in the stash and look at patterns on ravelry.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Zig Zag socks

So that is another pair of socks down.  I really did not like the colour changes in the Zig Zag. Now have half a ball of it but I will be good and use it. I have a test knit and it is the right weight. I don't think the colour change will be supportive for the cables in the pattern but why not have a test knit to prove that variegated yarns are not suitable for the pattern. I could be completely wrong but it somehow I don't think I will be.

The stash down is continuing as I am now looking at what yarn we have left and what I can use it for. I also need to get some items done for the autumn. My God woman England is the middle of the warmest three days of the year and you are already thinking about autumn.... I  know I know but you have to be prepared. I am also planning to catch up with my A-Z knitting but I need another knitting project which is not 2.50 mm needles.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stash Down 2011

This year I have been doing a bit of a stash down attempt. Basically I looked at my Coal bunker and thought that i should reduce the amount of items I have in it.  I have fabrics that are 20 years old sitting there waiting to do something about it.  I want to get the shelves down considerably so I am not overflowing.  Some of the stash has been shared with a local charity shop as I was honest with self that I was never going to use it at all.  Part of my stash includes fabrics stashed by my grandmother.  Nothing like inheriting stash.

So far this year everything has been knitted, sewed or crocheted from the stash. I have mainly only done minor purchases such as lining for daughter Carnaby skirt and buttons. These purchases have not ended up as stash but rather helped the stash to enter into the wonderful world of being finished projects. The one yarn purchase I have done this year was some crochet thread so I could do a surprise project for the daughter.  This project is currently on the back burner since daughter is on holidays so I can not seem to get anything done without her putting her sticky beak in.

After the tour de fleece I have a lot handspun which I will be using for projects but when I sorted out the coal bunker I noticed I still had a lot of hand spun which I had not found a use for.  So as part of the stash down I want use up my hand spun as much as possible.  The Moorlit fleece which is a now a nice yarn will need to get a decent photo before I knit it up into a cardi for hubby. This will be his Christmas pressie this year.  I still have the 500gms of BFL in a Mocha which I will have to work out what I am going to use it for.  There Shetland braid from Wonkyknitter which I had in the stash which was spun and then knitted into a Haurni shawl.  I have blocked it but I will need to re block it as I wont ask the children what happened.  We have reached August and I have not done a major yarn purchase it is amazing.  

Sock yarn wise I am almost getting to the bare cupboard situation. Currently I am knitting some socks in some King Cole Zig Zag that I had in the stash which I had regretted purchasing. The stash down attitude has helped me to use this yarn cause I had in the past gone meh, not that keen to use.  The yarn has too short of yarn colour change and I am not enamoured with it.  Additionally I don't think the yarn is particularly sympathetic to the pattern and it would have probably better knit in a plain coloured yarn. As I am knitting my H pattern in the yarn which is top down design I a suddenly hit upon a solution. Don't make the socks for me.  Make them for someone who will like the colours.  Simples! My sock foot is suddenly shorted from a size 8.5 to a tiddly 3.5.  Sanity back in check and the feeling of absolute relief when I get the first sock done.   But I still have a second sock to finish.  Must knit this second sock now to brake the chance of a large hiatus or the dreaded second sock syndrome.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Update on the A-Z KAL

I have had a couple of socks sitting in the one sock cast on hiatus for a while.  But this week I managed to restart a pair from scratch.  I had to rip them back and start them again with a larger needle.
Tickle Tickle
Do you know how hard it is to photograph your own feet? Son took his life in is own hands when he decided to tickle my feet while I was taking a photo.  I am not someone whom you even think about  attempting to tickle my feet cause I dont like it.  So this was my L pair of socks as the pattern is Lakehouse Socks by Yasmin Kock for the A-Z KAL.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

An Aussie wins the Tour de France

So Cadel Evans wins the tour and I limp across the finish line of the tour de fleece with head held over the handlebars of my spinning wheel.  All my singles of the Moorlit Shetland Fleece are done. I am not fully plyed or wacked but I have singles.... and no more brown fluff, to card , pick vm out of and hold in my hot little hands.  I am over the moon about Cadel and I think I am about my effort in the Tour but I am in that exhausted phase where I dont even want to think much about anything. YKWIM.

Doing a run down of this years Tour I would definitely say it has been the year of brown where last year it was the year of purple.  Most of what I spun was Brown in some shape or form.
  • 500gms of Mocha Blue Faced Liester  
  • 1 kilogram of Moorlit Shetland Fleece
  • 120 grams of Shetland braid.
While this year was an all British breeds tour de fleece the only break from brown tones was a contrasting blue tonal from the WonkyKnitter which I managed to spin up into a light fingering.  I was trying for lace weight but it did not happen.  In addition to the spinning, I have also been doing some knitting.  How / When?   No I have not managed to get my hands on the keys of the Tardis but I got a shawl done in that light coloured shetland from the WonkyKnitter.

Day 5 of the Tour de Fleece 2011.
There were some heart stopping moments in the Tour de Fleece shawl project - the great rip back in the shawl from 12 pairs of central leaves to 6. Dont ask for the gory details but lets just say it involved an animal or two in this household and the knitting was just collateral damage. Then there was that race to the finish line between the edging and the amount of yarn left.  It was measured at.....  wait for it...37cm.  That is like winning the time trial by a 100th of second. Currently the shawl is blocking and I am putting my feet up and icing my aching hands. Thoroughly planning to talk myself out of a major challenge next year.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A blur of continuous motion

Between Tour de Fleece last week and graduation ceremonies after graduation ceremonies where some 6000 students were pushed across the stage the last week was bit of a blur of continuous motion. I did a lot of ceremonies and my hat goes off (and it was off most of the time any way) to the speaker who read those 6000 names. It was big ask to get every one of those 6000 names correct. She did and did it well. So it was a blurr of what ceremony, seating area, group of students, part of the ceremony and where are we up to in the vice chancellors speech. The VC retires this year, so the speech which has basically been the same for the last 8 years, twice a day for five days once a year has had its last outing.  I can say it word for word...  You know its bad as I have a crap memory.
Look hard you might see a harried academic checking seating cards
I have used my mommy voice, my teacher voice, my large lecture theatre voice and finally to the law students on Thursday my police parade ground voice. Most of the time students were great with having their name cards ready but the Masters of Law students took the cake with their telephone usage and unruliness. No you can not sit with your friends. Get off that telephone and put it on silent. Repeat rinse and reapply.  
The back row of the Post graduates
The other side to Thursday afternoon is that I had some business post graduate students who were nothing like their faculty counter parts (it is Business and Law) whom also graduated through the largest ceremony of the week at 900+ students.  These boys where the back row as in the absolute last of the last on the platform of the super ceremony.  So here they are in the correct seats early, present and accounted for.  Notice the empty seats in front that is the Master of Law.  Sorry MMMC but you mob in the Law Department are absolutely bonkers and some of your counterparts I wanted to slap silly.

We had a great speech from the Chancellor. He always is really cool as he has been both a parent of a student, a long time student and recent graduate not just a legendary rocker. The problem I had in his ceremonies was that I had the earwig of a malapropism of another raveler's (rrevbdd) child of one of his band's classic songs running through my head all the way through the ceremony to the point I was mumbling it out loud. As in to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody...I'm just a poor boy..., I need no sip of tea. To which one wit in one of my ushering rows suggested that I needed a cuppa with a strong dash of something like rum cause obviously I was having a hard days night - Scousers yah gotta love em and not a bad idea.
Caught giving directions in my normal hat.
Lot of knitting graduation pressies were given out - my shawl cupboard is absolutely bare. I had to do some super fast shawl knits cause I was a little short as in 3 pressies short on the Saturday before the start of graduation. I must get the photos of the projects updated and sorted as I just made it... like last minute steam iron assistance to get the blocking finished. I also managed to do at least a bobbin of the Moorlit fleece spun each day and I am finally over the half way mark. Not very far over it but I have finally made it to the halfway point. Hopefully I will get the rest of the fleece finished by the end of the Tour de Fleece. Then I just have to start knitting it up for the hubby's cardi. I need a drink just thinking about knitting for him again... I think I will head over to the Rav Tav yet again.
120gms of Shetland already in working its way into a shawl
I got a phone call this morning from another institution whom I also work for and have in the past been an active participant in graduation ceremonies with a cheeky request of if it was possible I could help out this week as like this morning since I only live round the corner.  Nope Nada I have done my lot.  You should have asked me months ago as I need to plan and schedule my valuable time xP. I started another Haurni shawl over the weekend to help with my BP issue (missing house guests) in the 120gms of coloured Shetland from WonkyKnitter aka Anne that I spun up on Day 5 of the Tour. So I will keep on knitting like the clappers and try to treddle my way through the rest of the fleece by the end of the Tour. Bye now I have a bobbin to finish tonight.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tour de Fleece Day 11

Well I now have 3 full bobbins of ply and I think by the end of the night I might have another half plyed up. Fleece wise I have still done less than a third.  I have a long way to go but I dont think I am going to get it finished byt the end of the Tour de fleece but I will have a good try.

I went to my second day of graduation.  The fellow awardee was a little in love with her own voice (hello I am actress) so we got out latter than expected.  Then down side was I was late for knit night but I got to see the start of a new shawl that Caro is working on in Noro.  We will have to watch the colour repeats to make sure it looks good.

Monday, 11 July 2011

It is supposed to be a rest day on the Tour de Fleece

Well there is no rest for the wicked as I had to do a couple of hours work first in the library before rolling down the hill to the Cathedral for the first of five graduation ceremonies I am attending this week. Yes that is one ceremony a day. I get to usher and make sure my students graduate. Today due to the high powered guests I did not get a disabled park but rather was miles away at the bottom of the hill.  Tomorrow I am leaving the car at the library and hailing a cab. So I did not get much of a rest day as per the schedule in the tour de fleece.

My first kinneared photo ever
So I got to herd these students from one side of the city to the other. Put them in their seats and then talk to them about not being so loud when they are chatting while waiting to cross the stage. Getting them in order, dressed and pressed, announced, across the stage and then herded back in their seats. So on their way back to the other cathedral and my way home I finally managed to get a photo.  The photo was my first ever attempt at a Kinneared photo. Not Bad Not Bad and I love the way you can see the reflection of the camera in the mirror. Must do better for the photo shots during the rest of the week. I have a couple of masters and PhD students so I have to get some decent bonnet shots. I have made it home just as the batteries in me decided to die. I am completely knackered.

We wont mention my colleague going absolutely ballistic at one student in a whisper.  Student was chatting on the phone in the middle of the ceremony. Ummm you are in A) Cathedral,  B) a formal ceremony and C) Right in front of the High Alter. [We were in the Chancel] You may be graduating a course but you sure have not graduated as a mannerly or respectful human being. I swear in a twenty row radius the students were all on their best behaviour.  To level up the bad a good part was the ice cream vans.  I managed to get out via the long way round before my students in the academic parade and have an ice cream or in my case an icy pole before they had even left the cathedral. [There are some photos on the net with me and an icy pole in my hand]

On the Hill Climb of the Tour de Fleece - Day 9.

Today it was a hill climb in the Tour de France and it was also one for me in the Tour de Fleece. I have been carrying an injury on the hand and I thought the reason why I was not progressing so well was due to this injury. Nope it turns out it was probably a equipment issues which helped to contribute to the hand issues. The equipment issues was the drive band. Finally the wheel stopped turning when I was treadling and I was there wondering what happened. A bit like those riders who looked dazed after the large crash in today's stage. It turns out I had worn my drive band out on the wheel it was just shredded bits of fluff which used to be a cohesive piece of thread.

I have done five bobbins of the Moorit fleece and I plyed the first two bobbins  and it can be seen in the middle of the back row of the picture above. The upright bobbin on the right is a bit then but it is a case of the bobbin making a squeak and the family complaining about the noise.

From the close up above you can see that I am averaging 36 to 32 wpi in the singles. I am trying to get a light weight yarn so that hubby has a cardi that covers him (Gorilla size) and not too heavy as he tends to run hot.   It will be an interesting week this week spinning wise as I will have student graduation ceremonies running interruption and normal work life returning to almost full swing.

Friday, 8 July 2011

I think I can I think I can

I think I can said the little engine. At this stage of the tour de fleece I am already displaying signs of injury. I have got some sensitivity in the finger tips of my left hand. I think I have been pinching the twist to hard. While I have got one bobbin done I am not pushing for a second bobbin today as I am taking it as a slower day - that makes 3 down about 27 to go. Instead I am doing something about the pig sty which is better known as my coal bunker.

Yarn barf every where
I have let the children in there too often and as a result they have ratted around a little more than I like.  To the point I can not find anything. So today I decided was D-day to go through and get it reorganised in preparation for the new academic year. At some stage I am going to have to repaint it but that is not likely to be this summer. I made some project bags to help sort some of my yarn projects.  I sorted out some fabric to be sent off to the charity shop.  I know me putting fabric out the door is a totally strange concept but I felt that I was never going to use it and therefore it was better off in someone else's fabric stash.  I almost did some yarn but then my yarn hoarding tendencies come over myself and I held onto the yarn.  It is a box where if I dont find a use for it in the next six weeks I will send it out to someone else.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Day 6. Starting at the bottom of the hill climb

Yesterday after finishing the dyed shetland I started on the moorit shetland that I have to process for a cardigan for the dear husband. I managed to get half a bobbin but no photo yesterday. Today on day 6 of the Tour de Fleece I have managed to get a bobbin and half done.  

This amount and yesterdays half bobbin is less than 100gms.  I have a kilo of fleece to spin.  So if we say 3 bobbins for 100 grams that means I have 30 bobbins to fill and ply......  30 bobbins ok who has lost her marbles.  I think that we agree that would be Moi.

Today was the first day of Ry's summer holidays so of course she slept in.  I finally turfed her out between the thunder storms to get photos with a shawl.  We talking the English Summer here it will be wet guaranteed. 

I made the Garden of Alla shawl back in January but only got around to blocking it last night.  This shawl was designed by Suzy Crancer but I used another ravelry user's edging to what is in the pattern directions.  My Masha'allah was using up some Schoppell-Wole Zaberball Starke 6 that I had left over from making some socks.  This shawl is one, yes one skein.  While the pink to green is not really my thing as I think there is too much pink in this shawl I have another graduation present in the cupboard.

This is a big shawl we are talking over 80cm from centre back neck to bottom point.  Daughter is 6'3" and she had plenty to spare when she was doing the eagle spread of the shawl  as from tip to tip we are over 2 metres in length.  

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Day 5 of the Tour de Fleece

Today I had to face up to the fact it was time to bite that bullet and start the challenge of spinning a fleece worth of yarn up for hubby.  Yeap that means I have to start carding and preparing fibre.  Nope dont want to spend my life playing with combs and carders.  Why is when you want certain objects you can not find them for love nor money?  Don't answer that...  Yes I know my house is a tip at the moment as I am domestic slattern.  I am working on the tip of the house with a good action plan.  ie I do a chore and then I can knit or spin for half an hour.  I am pacing self as it is important with fibromyalgia but the pain in the neck moment is when you just finished cleaning something up a kid comes through and it was worse than before.  Sometimes I knit so I don't kill people. No I am not kidding it is called anger management and pain distraction.

So yesterday I started and finished 120 grams of Shetland and it is a nice single see pretty picture of the ball. This means I have to start on the Moorit Shetland for hubby.  I thought since I had the afternoon off from work today I would attend the Treadle and Chatter group in Ormskirk at the Knit Wise.  So since I could not find my carders one of the dog detatchers attended with me.  I can see that this is going to be a very long process to get through all of this Moorit.

This morning after tidying up some odds and ends in the kitchen and increasing our recycling pile I managed to block a shawl that I knitted a couple of weeks ago.

It is a Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl by Maggie Magali.  It was made up using 1 skein of Araucania Ranco Multi colour. This again was very quick knit and I really really want to do a larger size one for myself in a very very bright colour.  I am thinking an eggy yellow or a fluro orange.  I don't know why but I can just see this shawl in those type of colours.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Knit night in Pemberton Wigan

Tonight at knit night I was spinning rather than knitting.  Got quiet a few looks from the bar regulars but no questions. Since the demise of the Prescot knit night I have been going to one in Pemberton on the boarder of Orell which is considerably closer than before. It used to take an hour to get to knit night now it only takes me roughly 20 minutes. If you are in the area of Pemberton, Wigan on Tuesday between 6 and 8pm come on down to the White Swan pub and join the knitters, crocheters and spinners.

So last night since it was a tour de fleece day I took the wheel to knit night to catch up on my spinning for the day. I had finished off the last of the BFL Mocha so that is 500 grams done for the tour de fleece. I started on the 120 grams of  Shetland that Wonkyknitter aka Anne had sent me in a care package and it was finished up when I got home. The singles is a nice wpi for lace and I think I will use it for one of three shawls I have to knock out in a hurry. No I have not started on them but I must get my A in to Gear.

So I have to bite the bullet now as I dont have any other fibre in the house except the fleeces. I am now up to carding and preparing the Moorit Shetland into a fibre for hubby. Yes I am going to knit him a cardigan after I have spun this fleece up... Yes I know I am crazy and absolutely dilusional to think that I might have a chance of spinning a fleece in approximately 10 days while working, raising a family and managing a house with a dog and a cat.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Day 2 to 3 of the Tour de Fleece

I have been cruising along with the spinning on the BFL Mocha.  I have now got 400 gms it done, that leaves another 100 gms.  Additionally I also washed two shetland fleeces yesterday.  A Moorit and a white.  I am looking forward to getting them dry and then I have a lot of carding to do while I remove some to extra vegetable material out of them.  I got a lot out during the washing but there is some items that I think only carding will help me get it out.

I managed to get a rats size clump of the morrit dry and spun it up into a taster and it produces a lovely tweedy effect with the shift from light to darker brown. If J plays his cards right he might get a cardi in it for his Christmas present.   I also think I need to be right royally out of my brain to knit again for him but since yesterday was our wedding anniversary I think I might be blissed out.  It is either the love or just the latest drugs from the new pain clinic consultant who will be forever known as Saint Anesthete cause he has worked miracles in less than a week .  I could just be in a drug induced haze but I am actually considering to knit for J again gorilla arms and all that considered.
Moorit Shetland
The white fleece has some bright white sections which I hope to get some lace weight out of. There are other sections which are a creamy off white which I think will  end up dying.  I have another two fleeces to process but I don't see me doing them in the next week cause I am absolutely knackered from doing these two. The white sheepy had being playing in the heather some sand and lots of grass.

White Shetland.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Trip to Cambridge

Earlier this week we drove down to Cambridge with daughter to check out her preferred university course. If she gets in she will need a push bike like the one in the picture with a big enough basket to carry all her library books.  How do you like that courtyard building for the just the English department?  I loved their library and I could see me spending hours working in there but I think she liked the other libraries this campus had just as much as well so is likely to be spoiled for choice.

It is day two of the tour de fleece here and so far I have done another four bobbins of the Mocha Blue Face Leicester. So I currently have plied yarn which has been twacked outside in the sun do some finishing off drying with weights.

The lovely weather yesterday also allowed me to get a shawl that I made in January blocked.  I know, I know but we have a shortage of space and waiting for days and days to dry is just not a feasible option for me. Between the cat, the dog, children and the husband something would happen.  So here we are with my Zertzerta shawl project.
This shawl is made out of first attempt to spin a lace or lighter weight yarn. It goes from cobweb to light fingering in places but I am getting better at doing finer weight yarns. I just need more practice aka the tour de fleece for a period of consistent practice.  The pattern is Hauni and I can not believe how quick it was to knit the second time around.  The first time took me something like a month to six weeks of grief.  This time I did it in 2 days.  If I had more yarn I would have made a larger shawl and I really like how I got the graduated colour on the bottom leaves. It was really worth doing all the individual pins for the crochet bottom edge.  A pain on the fingers but I like the edge effect.

Daughter again modelled this shawl for me and she is doing the typical behaviour when she likes my project of I WANT.  I want it. Repeat, wash and rinse and you now know what is like to live with a teenager it is a bit like a broken record.

Yes the garden is getting rampant again but I hopefully will have some kids to help wack it back into submission soon. Daughter has 3 more days of school next week and then her brother gets off two weeks later.

Since this is not the only shawl in the cupboard that need blocking I am off to block another one or two. I do have to do a few more shawls in the next couple of weeks for graduation pressies so I am between a rock and hard place with time commitments so I can see some midnight oil being burnt knitting or spinning like the clappers.  Now I just have to make a choice about shawl patterns.  I think repeats of patterns I have done before is the way to go but it is a case of which ones.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

On your marks

Today is the start of the Tour de Fleece which is an annual spinning event that coincides with Tour de France.  The idea is to be challenge yourself. Well I have a challenge or four thanks to  the fleeces I brought last year while at knit camp.  I have to process these four raw fleeces soon.  I can not keep putting it off to the weather gets nicer I think it is this weekend or never.

Day 1 Plyed Fingering weight

Today I was working on some BFL that I brought last year at Fibre Flurry in October. I have 500gms to get through and I have about 300gms to go.  I had done about 50 to 100gms earlier so I estimate todays spinning activity at 100gms.   So we are off and racing in the tour.  I am hoping to get some of the fleece dry tomorrow so I can  prepare it for spinning but knowing my luck it will now rain since I am trying to dry the fleece.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

17 years ago....

I became a mother on this day for the first time.  She was early for the only time in her life but at the same time late.  When she finally started to arrive with some urgency I had already been in labour for four days. They had shot me full of steroids to help with her lung development and said this time they were going to let me proceed in labour.  We had a couple of early kick offs which they had shut down but this time the doppler cord reading indicated it was time to run the marathon of labour.  She was flickle whirlwind of a thing even then with her stormy emotions. I by this stage was so ready for this having a baby thing to be over cause I was sick of being terrified about what might happen after being prepared for the worst case scenarios.  At this point we were almost 7 weeks before my expected due date.  My pregnancy has not been this rosey thing but rather one where I got to learn too much technical terminology.

 little lot of prayer.
Today 17 years ago I got sped up faster than the midwife and obngyn was expecting as 30 minutes after the drip line inserted I end up getting wheeled into an emergency c-section while the hubby had nipped out for a quick bite to eat (his first meal in over 24 hours).  I was not allowed to eat incase it ended up in a c-section good plan but it had been at least 24 hours since I had a bite of toast and I was ready to eat anything if it moved.  I had transitioned to pushing in less than 15 minutes and the midwife hit the panic button as she was crowning. Obgyn and others responded and the race was on. Wheeled into theatre with a nurse on the gurney pushing her back from where I wanted to get her out of.   Yes I was doing that head swivelling thing were you want to rip someone's head of their shoulders when they are shouting at you NOT to Push.  Hells bells lady do you think I have any control in this you must be completely BATSHIT CRAZY.

Come on spit it out? What do you want?
I was had two new lines put in each arm as I am transferred from the gurney to the operating table along with a midwife still between my legs pushing back a stubborn head. While I am looking down at the aneathesologist putting the second line in my arm and answering his questions,  I am also asked do I want the baby baptised, what names have I picked out and say hello to the emergency on call peditrician. More names and faces flash into my vision in this cacophony of sound as I am trying so hard not to push. I listen to my obngyn explain in clipped frantic phrases what they are going to do through the intercom as he is scrubbing up.  My friend a theatre nurse says she is here and I recognise her eyes from behind the mask.  I ask again have they told J what is going on.  Apparently someone in maternity is searching for him in the hospital canteen which is directly below the theatre I am in.  I had clocked the stairs and sign as they wheeled me from the labour suite to the theatre at high speed. In between all these questions and everything else including the urge to push down NOW I look at the clock and the ticking hands are almost at 6pm.  Obgyn enters the theatre and the total rushing sounds of carts, trays and frantic preparation noises stops.   A quick order for his quiet music, a last eye smile (wink) for me as the peaditrician confirms he is ready and prepared. Start time is announced as 6pm. The gas mask is lowered and I get told to count back from ten and look up at the anaesthesiologist. The nurse is removed from between my legs.  I lose my voice at about 6 going to 5. I am counting and I listening to the sound of music and the commentary and commands of the obgyn.  The anaethesiologist flashes a light in my eyes and announces I am out (sorry mate I am not) but I am not able to move, he tapes my eyes down. Don't put that tape on my eyes I want to say as I am allergic to it. My Eyes are itching as Obyn announces starting to cut (did not feel it) and it is 6:02. I feel some tugging on the belly but that was all. Baby delivered at 6:04 is announced.  No cry nothing. I hear the frantic activity to the side of me at the paediatric set up. The murmur of voices and equipment but still no baby cry.  I am struggling to move my mouth and after what seemed an age I ask if the baby is all right...    A sharp urgent command is issued to put me out, Put her out Now....  @£$@£@ Put her out now.  First time I have heard the Obgyn swear ever. More Muttering from the anaethesiolgist - yes he was swearing too. I feel more of the cold burning sensation in my arm again and at last my ears hear a cry of protest.  More flashing in my eyes as they try to confirm that I am out.  I am not but I feel like I am falling.  My friend whispers into my ear it is a little girl, she is ok, they have baptised her, Ry, and they are taking her out to the baby ICU where J is waiting for her.  

Do really think I am going to pay any
attention to you mother?
At that point I crash out into the blackness that was pulling me down. Later on I am waking up in recovery with a lot a pain, a new drip line location, itchy eyes, a horse voice asking for confirmation about baby girl and an urgent need for a bowl to throw up in along with a body which I can not move properly.  Do you know how hard it is to throw up when you are partially paralysed it is not fun at all especially with stitches in your lower abdomen. How could l keep throwing up I had nothing left to throw up I had not eaten in days. I drift in and out of consciousness, throw up yet again and again as I move from recovery to a room near the Baby ICU.  I can hear  a baby screaming.  It was Ry who was already expressing her displeasure and letting the world know she did not suffer fools well.  After throwing up yet again I am suddenly propped up as they clean me up and change my vomit covered sheets where I have missed the bowl (again). The screaming torrent of noise is getting closer.  The door opens and a wheel crib with a battle axe of a nurse who I seen too much of in the last weeks brings Ry into me.  Closely followed by J.  The room is echoing with sound of Ry's displeasure of being prodded and poked.  I am still half out of it and I am rearranged to hold a baby who was screaming for a feed. I have almost no control of my arms as they attach her to my breast and all of a sudden I am crying my heart out with relief..... She is just so perfect. As I look down at her I wondered when they are going to take her away from me as they realise I am not supposed to be her mother as she is just too beautiful and totally needs someone who is infinitely more qualified than inadequate little old me.

With her little brother at about 5.
Today I do a double take as she towers above me and wonder about how fast the years have gone by.  She still is a storm of emotion who does not suffer fools well.  She has had J wrapped round her fingers from the first moment he saw her and I think I was not that far behind him.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Wind in the Willlows

"O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us." The Mole, greatly wondering, obeyed. "I hear nothing myself," he said, "but the wind playing in the reeds and rushes and osiers."  
- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Ch. 7.

My Willow Leaf Stole by Linda Choo has finally been finished and blocked. I originally queued this pattern up in 2009 for the the 2010 shawl challenge and just did not get round to it. It was a case of too many patterns and just not enough time. It is third shawl for 2011 but the first one I have managed to get blocked and daughter to model the photo shoot.

It is longer than her arms. We have to do some gardening before we can have a proper photoshoot as it is dangerous out there. The camera also seems to have developed a blurr but that could be due to the sunlight so we are going to try this again later in the day when the day is not sooooo bright.


Or crocus in english.  This project has finally been finished.  It has more pick ups and put downs than most projects. To think that this project was first started in the planning stage back in 2009. Every spring I want to do a crocus project to celebrate these wonderful little flowers who are the sentinels of spring for me.  Back in the Spring of this year I finally cast on the project and used up two cones and then had to wait for the order of a third cone for it to arrive.  When the cone finally arrived the hook which was in the project had gone for a walk.  So the project was relegated back to the lounge work basket.  If it was there in lounge basket the reasoning was that it would get done as it would annoy me.  Hello that was the idea but the reality is that I did not work on this stole for almost three months.  Thank goodness for the recent FO mania and I have managed to knock this one off too.


My mother's thing was for owls, my aunts was mice and mine seems to be frogs and hedgehogs.  There is just something about hedgehogs whom I first encountered in the pages of Beatrix Potter's classic, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.  So I just had to make Smith by Ysolda Teague.  I of course made a large one.  Next time I would not use the summer tweed but it was what I had on hand but I love the effect and I can see that I will potentially have a family of hedgehogs.  The pattern is quiet addictive.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Finished Object Friday

After having a couple of weeks of really being stalled in knitting land I have actually managed to finish a few things this week despite having a fibromyalgia flare up week. I have finished a green stole which is currently stretched out and being blocked. I have stuffed my hedgehog that I made way back in April.  He just needs a decent photo in daylight. I have even worked my way towards finishing my crocus shawl. I feel it needs another foot or so as soon as the blocking mat allows it will be heading there.

Today was a POETS day for me which has been good for fiddlely little bits. I have managed to cast on another pair of socks my K pair for the KAL just in the nick of time. I just have to finish off some of them.  I also have looked longingly at other shawl patterns to cast on. I might make it to tomorrow without another shawl on the needles but I not holding my breath on it as it could be two or three shawls the way I am feeling with this bout of startisis.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Galloping Grasshoppers

My A-Z KAL knitting has been slightly stalled for a while. I was good at casting on but actual knitting on and finishing was a bit stalled. Life and all that jazz got in the way. I had managed to finish of the D socks - Dublin bay a couple of weeks ago. These socks were supposed to be finished in February that is only two months late. I had cast on E a little late so according to the official list these were taking a bye but I had cast them on. I just did not do the official KAL group thread post in time.  The E socks are one sock done.  
The colour work pair Fishy Fishy aka F pair are stalled in the first sock I have not even made it to the first heel of the sock.  The H and I socks have been cast on but there has not been much progress. But But But my G socks are done. These were a pair of galloping grasshoppers. I had cast them on and only just got to the pattern section of the gusset. After being in hiatus land for quiet a while, a couple of weeks is a while for me, I sat down on the Friday afternoon of the Royal Wedding (after sleeping in) to look at where I was at knitting wise on these socks and went foo bar as I dropped a needle out and managed to pull the work at the same time. So it was a quick rip back a couple of rows to about the second row of the toe.  Yes these were toe up socks.  Managed to get Sock 1 redone on Friday evening and then got Sock 2 done on Saturday evening.  That was not bad for me.  Photo on Sunday 1st May. It has just taken me almost a month to finish this blog post and actually up load the photos to the blog and Ravelry.

So the Galloping Spring Hoppers were made out of Regina which I seem to have a lot of in my stash.  Stash down 2011 is still in progress.  The pattern is called Grasshopper Twists and the cuff length is 4" for this boof foot at 8.5 UK Ladies.