Category Archives: News

Help!

Ok, rather than pick on one particular person, I thought I’d do a call out!

My other half is a huge Hitchcock fan, and the March 08 issue of Vanity Fair is the ‘Hollywood Issue’ with a big section on the rotund chappie. We are going to try in town to see if a big newsagents has the US edition, but would anyone be willing to buy us a copy if we can’t find it? I’ll gladly pay/do a swap with something English for any willing shopper (e.g. the wonder that is Marks and Spencer Percy Pigs, some small yarny goodness, Charbonnel and Walker chocolate, stitch markers, handmade brooches, music etc etc etc).

Any help would at least be greatly appreciated, if not by me, then certainly by the man… ;)

Cheers y’all! Real stuff later this week hopefully!

Productive.

Well, I’m on leave with DB this week to make up for the miserably ill Christmas break. Even if we did nothing at all I’d be happy, but I’ve been making up for lost time and tidying and sorting and cooking and crafting and going to pilates class. Pilates is just fantastic. After all the pain and immobility while trying to be mobile for so many weeks, I’ve found that even after very few classes I feel enabled, more mobile, more aware of what I can do and how I can make things easier for myself. I’ve never known an hour of exercise fly by so quickly either! And, what’s more, my pilates teacher tells me that if I do short blocks of knitting and watch my posture I’ll be fine :) Obviously I need to attend classes regularly, and there are some exercises I can do at home, but I have to avoid looking down for more than 20 mins ish, which sadly will include laptop use too. But I’m fine with that!

So what you really want to know is what crafting I’ve been doing. Well, some of the sorting involved the yarns in stash. I reacquainted myself with some yarns I forgot I had. I went through my projects and decided to rethink what I’m making. The secret knitting has been revised slightly to reflect my limited blocks of time (i.e. the baby stuff will be reduced and a change of pattern has been selected to minimise head lowering for the apres swap), and obviously it will take longer to knit individual items. To counter this, what have I done but cast on something else ;) I felt the need for comfort, and because the revised plan will make the baby stuff quicker to finish (i.e. a day of knitting at my new pace at most), I kind of feel justified. I’ve finally cast on for Cosmic Pluto’s top down cardi with the Malabrigo merino worsted I bought forever ago from Pure Knits. I’m knitting it with a moss stitch border in Velvet Grape, and boy is it soft! No wonder everyone loves it! I’ve never felt a merino yarn so soft, although it might well pill lots. I don’t care. For the now and the here it is perfect self indulgent knitting, whether I knit 1 row or 100. Mmmm.

I’ve also purchased two new drop spindles. Two? Yup! The one I got originally was part of a kit from Fyberspates, was cheap and was perfect for me to see if I enjoyed spinning. Now it has splinters on the dowel, and the hook is working loose and won’t stay screwed in when I work it back in. So I emailed Sublime Spindles via the Posh Yarn site asking for an apple spindle to be made up for me, but didn’t receive an email back :( I spotted a lovely hand made spindle on ebay so I pounced on it, went into my paypal account, and found an invoice for the apple one! There must have been something wrong with my hotmail as I didn’t even get an email from Paypal about the invoice :/ I’ve honoured the payment though, and I figure that 1) you can’t have too many spindles when you have multiple fibres to spin up 2) I’ll probably manage more spinning than knitting this week and 3) they are different weights so I might find one easier to use for thinner yarn.

So here is the one that I bought from ebay, also available from here (the Sublime Spindles one is being made for me from scratch :D so won’t be here for a week yet):

sapele-and-sycamore-spindle-bfl-fibre.jpg

It’s made from sycamore and sapele, which I’ve not heard of before. From a 30 second research though, sapele is apparently like mahogany, so I’m assuming the whorl is made from that. It is just beautiful, and I was spinning with it on the day it arrived (as you can see I’m using it right now :D That’s Yarn Yard BFL incidentally, varying in weight at the mo…). Here are the finished results (in the snow):

oil-on-water-merino.jpg

Doesn’t it look like the surface of a bubble or oil on water? The fibre was the one gifted by Brooke many moons ago (well, sometime last year). It’s merino, and I found it quite difficult to work with, even with predrafting the fibre. It was only at the end of spinning that I got used to joining the fibres, so there are lots of shoddy slubby and fluffy bits where I joined really badly. I’ve got about 28 and 1/2 yards of this, so I don’t know what to use it for. It varies in weight, but is probably mainly about dk weight, and the colours are so beautiful that I want to make something to show off (as opposed to the ring most people make to hold the fibres away from the spindle when spinning). Maybe I’ll just cast on a few stitches and try and make a strip long enough to go round my neck or knit some squares to make hand warmers or something. Not sure 28 yards is enough for that even! But I am already planning more spinning projects :D I have lots of alpaca/BFL blend left, and 100g ish of the BFL from the Yarn Yard in the top picture, which I’d really like to spin up to make some socks (albeit mad slubby heavyweight socks probably!). I’ve been predrafting the BFL so that it is relatively even, even if it is coming out between dk and fingering with the occassional lace weight patch! But even if I don’t get sock quality yarn, as long as I can knit with it, I don’t mind :) And I’m surprised at how quickly the yarn builds up on the spindle too (in the top pic there is about 20g spun up, which took up about an hour or so) – if I look at the time to make the merino up, it was probably only half a day including faffing with drafting the fibres (the roving was very thick and dense, so the time spent predrafting and tearing strips off was quite heavy – probably as much as the spinning in the end. I have no idea if that is normal in spinning or not, so do please enlighten me!)

Finally (but certainly not least), Ruth at Roobeedoo has nominated me for the ‘You Make My Day’ award :D

youmakemydayaward.jpg

Thanks sweetie! She nominated me because, as anyone worth their salt knows, Ruth and I are sock twins. Less so recently thanks my haitus and her ability to wear the most gorgeous knee highs, but we ARE sock twins. So there :) So I believe I have to nominate some other bloggers for this one.

I’m going to nominate Ruth back, even though she nominated me and already clearly has the award, but I wanted to make it clear that the feeling is reciprocated. She’s already nominated two of my other essential reads (the ‘other’ Ruth and AmberMoggie – go read them. They rock), so my list will be a bit short, but I have others (and hopefully I’ll introduce you to some of the lesser known bloggers too while I’m at it! I have 130 knitting blogs in my bloglines feeds…) :D

Erin at Knitting RN. Erin has gorgeous yarns, spins up a storm and is a real enabler when it comes to sock and garment knitting.

Aileen at Knitting Neels. I met Aileen through a secret pal session, and I’ve been reading her blog ever since. She’s a fab knitter, to the point that since I met her she’s started offering classes and has been designing and selling patterns. She churns stuff out so quickly I can barely keep up! She always inspires me, and writes wonderful posts. Go Aileen!

Finally, I nominate Heather at Love me, love my caribou because any woman who will listen to my rambles about knitting and mouldy bread on Facebook and thrash me at scrabulous, while also doing the ravelry queue discussion needs an award :D Heather – you may have finished the legwarmers, but get your arse into gear and get some deep v done now ;) Or I’ll come round and thrash YOU instead, and bring chocolate and dog bubbles.

Ok, I’ve officially posted myself out – it took a week to get this thing out into the world!

A good week

No, I’m not knitting quite yet, but nearly am :D My physio on the upper body is nearly complete and all I have to do is wait for the nerve to finish healing, which shouldn’t be too long.

BUT, what a week to not be knitting! I got 3 parcels all in one week :)

1) Yahaira’s fantastic book, Sensual Knits :) Yum yum yum! I dare not read through it too much yet, but already have plans for some knits from it…

2)

apres-sock-swap.jpg

apres-sock-swap-socks.jpg

Forgive the awful light on these pics btw – it has done nothing but rain and snow around here for 2 weeks. Mainly raining though :(

I took (or rather am still taking till I can complete it) part in a little sock swap organised by Abigail over at 1870pearl. I was lucky enough to receive all this and the perfect fitting socks from Guinifer. She is clearly very talented, and she got me down to a tee too with the gifts – the pretty little stitchmarkers and the yummy yarn :) Thank you Guinifer!

I also took part in a little contest too, over at Prayer For Rain. If you haven’t seen her blog, go look – she does some fantastic socks and uses drool inducing yarn :) Her competition was to guess where she had taken photos of Professor Cline’s Dinosaur Kingdom, a place where dinosaurs helped the cowboys win the civil war :) I couldn’t not enter when she showed pics of the place – I had to know where it was :D These were my winnings…

rahime.jpg

Yummy! Perfect colours in the yarn, and lots of goodies too! Thank you Rahime :)

And indeed thank you both of you – you made my week :) And thanks Amazon for finally sending me the book. I could go on, but I won’t ;)

And I may not have been knitting, but I have been doing a small amount of secret sewing… I’m testing my crafting capacity as knitting made me ache the other weekend (but I was feeling a bit crappy then anyway so maybe it wasn’t the knitting and just me being rubbish), and doing a little embroidering seemed like a good alternative. Except the cat came and sat on it and nearly spiked himself with the needle, and rubbed off a lot of what I’d transfered to the fabric with his little hairy bum :) I’ll show you pics of that when it isn’t so secret anymore but I can tell you that it involves organic fabric and linen threads… Reveals absolutely nothing that ;)

Just checking in…

I wanted to thank everyone again for your comments and support – you just keep coming back! Nice to hear from some lurkers too ;) I’m still avoiding spending too much time on the pc so I’m still not emailing individuals right now, but I’m slowly on the mend. Kind of. I’ve got another 3 weeks of physio, but keep getting ill, which aggravates the nerve which makes me feel worse again. I had an infection which needed antibiotics last week. This week I have a cold. But I am slowly on the mend, really I am!

This blog is turning into a miserable moany place right now, so apologies for that. And I’m still not knitting. But Santa kindly brought the following knitting goodies:

Knitted Icons – absolutely hilarious :D
Knitting New Scarves – very interesting and inspirational. I’ll use it to learn new techniques but I’m not convinced that I’d use many of the patterns as they are. It definitely makes the old scarf knitting more intriguing though!
A ball of sock yarn from Germany – Rico Design Superna Print 4ply. It looks a bit like a ball of Regia self patterning yarn, but there aren’t many pics online except for the 6 ply which doesn’t have any knitted swatches. It is kind of a mix of cream, light brown and dove grey, so nice and tweedy looking. No idea whether it will come out as faux fair isle or whether it will just be mottled…

Also in the crafty goodness I got a couple of very very fab Aranzi Aronzo books. If you haven’t seen these before – go look. Their site is fab, and more and more of their books are getting translated from Japanese to English now. They are supercute :D

BUT, seeing as I can’t really utilise any of these yet, I’ve been obsessing over my new Nintendo DS Lite, and the joy that is Pokemon Pearl… Oops ;)

Ok, need breakfast so I can take my tablet before today’s physio session. Hopefully back soon with more interesting stuff!

In the meantime, I hope you have all had a wonderful peace and love filled Christmas, and that the new year brings all that you desire.

Ooooch!

Ok, think I may have mentioned this, but I have been diagnosed as having T4 syndrome. Physio is going well even if I do have to wait till the end of the week to see them again :(

But I just screwed up I think :S I sat down more heavily than I planned on the sofa and *crunch* at the top of my back and an odd feeling in my throat. No pain though, so keep your fingers crossed it is just a release of tension in the spine – like when you crick your fingers or something… I had a really bad night last night, with lots of problems finding a comfy position and lots of aches and pains in the morning.

Ugh. Not sure can deal with another source of discomfort…

Rattling

Awww, you guys are fab :)

I won’t be replying individually right now until I’m happier with using the laptop, but trust me, I love you all :) Out of curiosity, has anyone else ever been prescribed these:

Diclofenac 50mg, Omeprazole 20mg and Amitriptyline 10mg? They are what the doc gave me yesterday. Took the Ami last night and it was the first good night I’ve had in a while, although I felt a bit strange, and am a bit fuzzy this morning (albeit no worse than usual ;D), with a slight nausea and wind (but that could be the pasta and quorn I had last night – is good to eat things again :D). I’ve just taken the Omeprazole because, whether I take the Diclofenac or not, it can’t do any harm given all the stuff I’ve had to take recently. Am a bit scared of taking the Diclofenac because of how strong it is, although a lot of people have had it with the Omeprazole for trapped nerves and have sung its praises through the roof! Am mildly asthmatic, but if I can take ibuprofen, I can apparently take diclofenac too. Reading the side effects lists always freaks me out with tablets though – makes me paranoid.

But, frankly, just not having to get up and being able to stay home is making me feel better. I read somewhere that relaxation and sleep is one of the best fixes for trapped nerves, and at the moment I’m inclined to agree! As is the prospect of some good massage from a lady at work, and some good physio/chiro/anything really!

An update

Visit to the docs today. The lady I saw today is FAB. She’s the loveliest, kindliest doctor – in spite of my appointment being an urgent one (and therefore supposed to be 5 mins and no more) she spent all the time I needed with her and told me not to rush, and made me feel much better just by being so nice.

I’m signed off work for 2 weeks, and have 1) super strong anti inflammatory tablets 2) super strong antacid tablets to stop me from suffering from the first tablets and 3) some stuff to take at night so that any pain or discomfort is super reduced. I dare not take the superstrong stuff yet today, but after all the prodding and manipulating the doctor did, I feel a little better again (even if I apparently have LOTS of muscle areas that have been struck down by the nerve issue), so hopefully the night stuff will be enough with some bog standard pills for the night.

I should be more normal by the end of the week, but the nerve will still just have to heal by itself. I’m fine with that, but the question is how long will it take, and how can I help it along? Need to get physio sorted out I think (the place I originally booked into is a bit nasty looking now I’ve checked it out, so I’m trying somewhere else!)…

And maybe, given the Socktopus club package getting posted this week, I’ll have nice things to post about instead of horrid things where you get fed up of me moaning. And you see pretty things. And maybe by the end of the week, instead of watching mad dvd/tv stuff, I’ll be able to knit a little again…

poop.

It is 12.40am on a Monday morning, and I’m in pain. Serious pain for the first time with this bizarre illness thing. Stupid trapped nerve. Have booked myself in for physio this week, with no referral from the doc because he didn’t give me any pain killers or anything. I’m going back today if I can get in to see whether he approves.

Ouch. I had the old burning sensation and muscle spasms that freaked me out and made me get up and check that they are actually normal for a trapped nerve. Which they are. Not had those ones before :( But my mate is also up late and has been chatting and soothing me very well indeed. Cheers Cath :D And the aceness that is Tiger Balm too. Tiger Balm is my new best friend.

Ok, maybe will try and sleep now… Night all.

Nothing spectacular. Well, actually that depends…

There is knitting, and I made it in probably an evening’s worth of time, mainly last week, and most of it on the Friday night. A friend at work asked if I could make her a beret, and bought some massively chunky yarn for it (about 2.5 sts per inch), so I ended up working out a stitch count based on another hat’s size, then just making it up as I went along. It is just a couple of rows of ribbing, some increasing to make a lip, and some decreasing to make the rest of the hat. The decreasing is a bit wonky on one side, but it should ease out with wearing and washing. It is also rather teacosy-ish :) and probably a bit baggy on the rib as the chunky yarn, the fibre and the rib don’t seem to go together. And it has a bit of a nipple at the top :D. I’m going to offer to reknit it if it isn’t suitable, particularly given that it didn’t take very long once I’d got going, but if it is ok, fine by me!

I’ve decided to re-evaluate my knitting basket too. I think I ought to frog one or two things, finish off the good stuff (like the colour work socks), but mainly concentrate again on the knits I owe people. Luckily these people are very very nice and understanding :) The little sock swap I’m participating in needs some socks, so I’m not going to start any other socks until those are done. I don’t want to overload my tiny brain with projects right now.

Oh, and Laila’s socks are finished :D

laila-finished-2.jpg

laila-finished-1.jpg

Apologies for the poor photo quality – it has done nothing but rain and snow this weekend :( I had to use the flash at 2pm :S I started them in October and finished them last weekend eeeeeeeeeee! I’m so happy with them! I messed up the pattern a bit, which you luckily wouldn’t know by looking, plus I made the first one a bit short so I added 3 more rows before the toe decreases and they were fine :D Still not a massive fan of Opal Uni, but it does well as a work horse yarn, and did the job very well for these. The pattern is pretty easy for a stranded sock, but I don’t know if the edition I borrowed from work is an older one or not, as the instructions and what the chart says don’t quite match (hence the mistakes cos I just followed the chart). I did one less repeat on the leg, and I’m left with 56g of the brown and 70-odd g of the pink, so plenty left over for more stranded knitting :D Probably the tangled garden pattern on Knitty…

In other news, life is improving now the virus is sneaking out the back door. Stick with me on this one – there is something quite cool at the end…

Last Saturday was the first time I’ve felt well outside of work, so DB and I took a walk in the woods with a camera, and headed up to the local farm shop for some tasty treats. It was the perfect winter day – crisp and cold (we soon warmed up climbing up the hill in the mud through the woods though), yet beautifully sunny with blue sky all over the place. This is in contrast to the ‘showers’ we had late last night, with thunder and lightening right above the house and frightening the cat. DB took some amazing photos I just have to share, but you can easily see why it felt like the first really wonderful day I’ve had in a long time. He took loads more than this, but these are my faves.

netherton_031
netherton_026
netherton_012

I should point out too that I went back to work last week too. It was really really tough. The first few days I felt like I might collapse at some point, but I managed and by the end of the week I felt almost normal, apart from a need to do strange arm exercises that look like I’m waving at someone. Now perhaps I should have gone back to the doctors earlier and asked for another week of sick leave, but really, I felt the need to get back on my feet and get going again. And also I didn’t really want to miss the chance to do this:

ps_023

That’s me with the hair in bunches, sat next to my blurry line manager in the subject office (blurry because she couldn’t quite believe that certain gentleman had come to chat with us proles :D). And for those people who don’t recognise him with that small furry mammal on his upper lip and the university regalia, the gentleman chatting to me is Patrick Stewart :D He’d come to officially open the newly refurbished library/student centre, and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time :D I missed him going in to the part where I work to shake hands with everyone thanks to having to, you know, do work and stuff :/ but this was totally worth missing the hand shaking :D

You see – Pat and me, like that we are now [crosses fingers to demonstrate closeness].

Heeeheee!

Interesting health fact number 478920787057

Hey! The trapped nerve is viral and is in my neck on the left! That means knitting is on the cards if I take it carefully :D :D :D The bad news? 4-6 weeks for it to get better, but hey, couldn’t it be a million times worse?

First thing is first – to knit something small and chunky so that even though I can’t knit much in one go, it will move reasonably quickly.

Keep your eyes open for something lovely and your fingers crossed I can make it!