Sunday, 29 June 2014

Progress - light at the end of the tunnel!

Well it's been a good week this week with plenty of progress to report and new things learned.

 On the stitching front, I finished another two rows on Corgi and the first blocks on the last two rows.  With luck and a following wind, I will be happy dancing a page finish in my next post - fingers crossed.  And then just the last page and the month to go ....  This chart is such a pleasure to stitch and the results are so good that I will be taking another look at Yiota's website and seeing what else she has to offer.

Moving on to knitting, this week I knitted 40 rows of simple diamonds onto my scarf.  I'm thinking that there will be one more set of 40 rows (pattern to be confirmed) before I turn whatever is left of the yarn into tassels or find some other way to finish this scarf off.  It's not going to be a very long scarf but it will be all my own work!!!  However it is going on hold this coming week as I have a more urgent knitting project to deal with.

New start!  This is an as yet unfinished baby bootie.  By close of play on Thursday there will hopefully be two of these plus baby mittens.  I have taken advice on this bootie as it seems rather large to me despite having followed the pattern to the letter.  I am to carry on as before, but next time I knit a pair of booties I am to use a smaller needle.  This is knitted in King Cole Bamboo Cotton in lemon, which feels lovely.  New experiences in knitting - k2tog (decrease) and casting off.  The next new experience will be sewing this together with garter mattress stitch.

In other news, I lost another 0.5lb this week so am back down to 11 stone 7lb - slow and steady does it.  Mum is doing fine apart from some problems sleeping.  And I must confess to another yarn accident in Hobbycraft Clearance on Monday night - this was caused by the discovery that I can't give blood until 24 months after I've finished my thyroid treatment, so I could be looking at 2017.  This upset me very much as it means a lot to me to give blood - it's a way of contributing, paying forward for the good things in my life.  It took another 17 balls of yarn to take the edge off my distress.  Now I have over 60 balls of assorted yarn and need ideas for what to do with it.  Suggestions on a postcard?

Work tomorrow so I'll love you and leave you.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog steer well clear of your stitching/knitting.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Getting there - a progress report

Getting there is perhaps the best way of describing things at the moment - stitching, knitting, Mum's health, my health and weight loss - the things that I tend to write about in these blog posts.

Some things are getting there faster than others, but that is only to be expected.

 I made good progress on Corgi this week - completing rows 11 and 12.  In answer to Leonore's comment on my last post, this page is 73 stitches deep at the centre, but it curves in from the edge similar to the top pages.  In fact the last row on this page only consists of 2 stitches.  However this may well go down to the wire - I have to finish this page, stitch the last page, stitch the word 'November' down the left hand side and turn it into a bound 12 inch padded square by the end of August!

On my 'Learning Curve' scarf I knitted 40 rows of mock cables this week.  I weighed the remaining yarn which came to 27g, so I'm just under 3/4 of the way there.  It's not going to be massively long. but it will go round my neck properly and it will be all my own work.

In other news, Mum was discharged from hospital on Tuesday afternoon following her hip replacement.  She could have come home Monday night but the hospital pharmacy closed at 5pm.  It opened again at 9am on Tuesday morning, but it took until 2.50pm before I got the 'come and get me' call!  And they go on about bed blocking!  She is now getting very frustrated because she can't just get on with things.  Today she was complaining because she can't bend down to switch the plug socket on so that she can do some ironing.  I feel very sorry for Dad, cos he's got to live with her for the next 5 and a bit weeks until she gets the all-clear.  Other than that, she is doing fine.

On a personal front, my thyroid medication gets cut to half as of Tuesday, but I haven't noticed any signs of normality yet :-)  I also managed to lose 0.5lb this week despite the stresses and strains of Mum being in hospital, so am back to 11 stone 7.5lb.

Sssh - this is a confession.  I went to Hobbycraft yesterday - they have their Summer Clearance on - and I came out with 23 balls of assorted yarn!!!!  I'm not telling Mum - it wouldn't go down well.

Apologies for the lack of variety in my current posts.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog steer well clear of your stitching.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - June Full Moon

The year seems to be flying by - halfway through the WIPocalypse year already - and I don't seem to be getting anywhere fast with most of my stitching goals.

The important news is that Mum had her hip replacement operation on Friday and, despite a slight setback yesterday when the drugs didn't agree with her, is doing well.  She is up and about on her Zimmer frame, but will need to be confident on her crutches before the hospital will discharge her.  It seems likely that yesterday's setback will mean that she is not home tomorrow as originally hoped, but we are keeping our fingers crossed for Tuesday, which is littlest niece's birthday.

In stitching news, I have progress to report.

 Having finished page 2 of Corgi last week, this week I moved on to page 3.  What you see there is row 10 completed, together with the first block of row 11, and some considerable overlap into the other blocks of row 11.  I'm really quite pleased with this and the finished item should look really good.

Moving on to knitting news:

I'm really pleased with this photo.  For the first time you can get some idea of the different stitch patterns that I have used so far in this scarf.  The last 40 rows have been diagonal moss stitch stripe, but I haven't decided what I am going to do next yet.  And thankfully the scarf itself is widening out a bit after the double ribbing section.

This month's WIPocalypse question asks whether I have ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival.  I think that the closest I can come to this is when the Patchwork Group have a sewing day.  Most of them are retired, so I take a day off work to participate.  We all go to someone's house, generally the same person, and take our sewing and our lunch.  We sit around and sew and chat, and give help and advice if someone has a WIP which needs a fresh eye.  Then we have lunch and the person whose house it is provides a yummy dessert.  Then we go back to sewing and chatting for a couple more hours before going home having had a nice relaxing and hopefully productive day with people of like mind.  I really enjoy these sewing days, such a nice change from going to work.

I went to Slimming World this week for the first time after my holiday and found that I had put on 2lb, so back to 11 stone 8lb.  And after the stressful weekend that I have just had, which is not finished yet, at least not until Mum is safely home, I fully expect to put on a bit more this week :-(  Visiting hours are 2.30pm to 5pm and 6pm to 8.30pm, and we are tending to do the late shift, which means that our evening meals are a bit hit and miss and not particularly waistline friendly.  However the end is in sight, and I refuse to get het up about a few pounds under the circumstances.

Anyway back to work tomorrow, so all the best to you and yours and may the frog stay away from your stitching.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

What I did on my holidays . . . .

So yesterday I got back from a week in Cornwall with my parents.  I had never been to Cornwall before, despite my brother in law being Cornish, so it was all new to me.

I am not a great photographer so please bear with me.  This is the cottage that we stayed in at Camelford.  It is a converted cowshed with two double bedrooms, a kitchen cum sitting room and a bathroom.  Out the back there was a small enclosed grass area as you can take pets there.  It was very comfortable and just right for the three of us, although the last time my parents stayed there, it took four adults and two children easily.

I did a lot of driving in a car much bigger than my own down very narrow twisty lanes where the vegetation at the sides was disguising thick stone walls.  By the end of the week I had become quite proficient on Cornish roads, so am feeling quite proud of myself.

This is a photo of the biomes at the Eden Project.  The ones in the centre of the picture house the Rainforest and the one to the right is part of the Mediterranean section.  When you consider that this place started out as a derelict quarry, it is truly amazing to see what they have created.

This is the harbour at Boscastle with the village in the background.  It is 10 years this August since the great flood which caused so much destruction here.  Dad and I walked out to the far end of the harbour (behind where I am standing) to look at the sea.

We also went to Tintagel on the same day, but it was very touristy and Mum's leg was playing up so I didn't see the castle.

This is a view of part of the Jungle at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  I think that I preferred Heligan to Eden, but that could partly be because there seemed to be less people there.  Dad and I did the Jungle which is down in a valley with a boardwalk and a rope bridge and massive tree ferns etc.

It was nice to go away and see the sights and spend time with my parents, but it was equally nice to come home, sleep in my own bed and be back in my own space.

While I was away, I worked on Corgi and on my scarf.

And ta da!  This is a page finish!  Page 2 of Corgi was finished on 5 June 2014.  I now have two smaller pages to complete before the end of August - about 9,000 stitches so roughly 90 hours work.

After doing 40 rows of double ribbing, I decided that I needed to do the next 40 rows in something which would widen my scarf out again.  So the next stitch was 'caterpillars crawling', otherwise known as 'dash stitch'.  As you can see, my scarf has started to widen out again but it will still need serious blocking.  I also had to join in the second ball of yarn towards the end of this section.

In other news, I did the Race for Life this morning - 5km in aid of Cancer Research UK.  Normally Mum and I do this together, but she wisely gave it a miss this year.  I walked every step of the way without stopping and my finishing time was 46 minutes, 4 seconds.  Now I just have to collect in my sponsor money.

And finally Mum goes in for her hip replacement this coming Friday, 13 June 2014.  We are all quite OK about it, but if any of you would care to keep your fingers crossed or put in a word with the powers that be, that would be very kind of you.  I will give you an update in my next post.

I'll finish here as I am back to work in the morning and expect to have plenty to catch up with.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well away from your stitching.

2014 Goals - May Report

This is just a brief catch-up post as I have been away in Cornwall for a week with my parents where I had no internet.  I will show you some holiday snaps in my next post.  

You may remember that my original list of goals for 2014 has now been put on one side in a desperate attempt to get Corgi finished in time for I's 80th birthday.

This is Corgi as of close of play on 1 June 2014 - not quite a page finish, but not far off.  I took this piece away with me so that I could work on it in the evenings.

I also took my knitting with me.  As of 1 June 2014 I had finished the 40 rows of double ribbing.  If anything goes to prove that the name 'Learning Curve' was the right one to pick, this is it.  If I had realised beforehand that double ribbing would pull the stitches in, I would have chosen a different stitch to do at this point.  As it is, I will have to block it hard and hope that it broadens out.

In other news, I finally had my hospital appointment on the Wednesday before I went away.  I now have an official diagnosis of Graves' disease - overactive thyroid caused by a superabundance of antibodies in my system.  I shall be on medication for the next 12 to 18 months and having blood tests every 6 to 8 weeks to keep an eye on my thyroid levels.  My next appointment is in October.  The medication is supposed to return me to normal - whatever that is!

I also went to Slimming World before I went away and found that I had put on 1.5lb so was back to 11 stone 6lb.  I was not too bothered about this, especially as I was about to go away and probably put more weight on.

Next post - what I did on my holidays . . . .