Sunday, 26 October 2014

Spring forward, Fall back

Yes, the clocks went back last night so I got an extra hour in bed this morning - whoopee!  However, it does mean that winter is really on its way - time to get out the hot water bottles, electric blankets and heavier duvets.

Just a couple of pictures to show this week.  I got another three blocks done on Carnation so am slightly ahead of myself for the moment.  If I can do the same again in the coming week, I will be nearly at the end of another row.

On the knitting front, I have made good progress on my second sock.  I have finished the leg and the heel flap and turned the heel.

I also attended my first knitting group yesterday.  It was nice to spend time with like minded people and I have every intention of going again.

In other news, I finally managed to get hold of the endocrinology nurse at the hospital.  My blood test came back clear and I have now stopped taking the tablets!!  I have to have another couple of blood tests just as check-ups, but other than that I'm done!  I also went to Slimming World and discovered that I'd put on 1lb over the last fortnight, so am now 11 stone 9lb - 2lb to lose to get back to target.

The extra hour in bed this morning came in handy because I was babysitting late last night.  I still feel a bit tired so will finish here and wish you and yours a very good week, and may the frog stay away from your needles.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Far Too Many Pretty Things!

Today I went to the Bakewell Wool Gathering.  Bakewell is a pretty little market town in the Peak District area of England not far from Chatsworth, and so gets lots of tourists visiting.  But this weekend was the Wool Gathering so I got up early this morning and headed out to see what there was.  I promised myself that I wasn't going to spend a lot (having bought a lot of yarn in Yorkshire) and that I wasn't going to buy sock yarn (because I already have lots).  I failed on both counts (surprise!).

There were far, far too many pretty things.  Half of this is sock yarn and the four skeins of yarn on the left are from new to me vendors.  The reddy aran weight yarn in the middle comes from someone who only lives a few miles down the road, which is a dangerous thing to know.

Moving on to work in progress - thanks to having a day off on Friday so that my plumber could check the boiler over before the winter weather really kicks in, I got three blocks done on Carnation this week.  So row 16 is complete and the first block of row 17 is done.  I've done some calculations and I need to get 2.5 blocks done each week in order to finish this page by the New Year.

Sock number 2 is coming on nicely.  The only problem is that the needles get caught in my cuffs when I'm knitting.  There was a lady at the Gathering today knitting baby booties on very short double pointed needles.  She was also knitting a sock on a 20cm circular needle which, as well as not getting caught in your cuffs, has the benefit of not creating any ladders in your knitting.  My next pair of socks will be knitted on a circular needle for sure!

And I have started Breeze again!!!  This time I am using a lifeline (that's the fleshy pink embroidery thread) at the end of each repeat.  I am hoping that this will mean that if I do have to frog it again, I will only have to frog it back to the last repeat, fingers very firmly crossed.

In other news, I didn't make it to Slimming World this week.  We had a bit of a crisis at work that afternoon, which meant that I was late leaving work, got caught up in the traffic, was running very behind and was feeling somewhat stressed.  As a target member, I don't have to turn up every week so I just came home and put my feet up.  However I will make a definite effort to go this week.

On the thyroid front, I am still waiting to hear from the hospital as to whether I can come off the pills.  I will be ringing the nurse tomorrow as it has been well over a week since I had the blood test and I really want to know what the current position is.

It was an early start so I shall love you and leave you, and may the frog steer well clear of your needles of whatever variety.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - October Full Moon

Time is flying again - I just read somewhere that there are only 76 days to Christmas - I'm sorry, but I don't start thinking about Christmas until after Mum's birthday in mid November!  And Halloween comes before that - which is an ideal lead-in to this month's WIPocalypse question: are you a Halloween stitcher or a Christmas stitcher?

For me, the answer is generally neither - I don't go out of my way to stitch stuff for Halloween or Christmas.  The only exception to this is the tree ornaments that I stitch for my nieces, so I suppose if we are going to be persnickety about this, on that basis I could say that I am a Christmas stitcher.  But it is just two small tree ornaments each year, because they only have a small artificial tree.

Moving on, I got another couple of blocks done on Carnation, which leaves two more to the end of the row.  I mostly work on this in the mornings before work, but it is getting a bit chilly first thing and my fingers don't work so fast when they're cold.

This picture is for Leonore, who said that she would like to see the yarn that I bought while I was away.  The top row is the yarn that I bought at Yarndale, while the bottom row is yarn that I bought elsewhere on my travels.  Amongst that lot is yarn for another six pairs of socks as well as assorted other things.

And this is my happy dance for the month!  As you can see, my first sock is finished and the second one started.  My first sock isn't perfect - for a start, the toe decreases are in the wrong place - but I never expected to get it completely right first time, and it does fit, which is what really matters!  I'm really pleased with myself, and have plans for making the second sock better.  They are not going to be identical socks, just fraternal :-)

In other news, despite having a week away, I managed to maintain my weight at 11 stone 8lb, which is great.  And even better, I went to the hospital on Wednesday to see the consultant about my overactive thyroid.  He said that, provided that the blood test I had done straight after he had seen me came back normal, he would discharge me back to my GP and I could come off the tablets.  This means that I will only have been on the tablets for about 4.5 months, and when I was first diagnosed, they told me that I would have to take them for 12 to 18 months.  I will have to have a couple more blood tests once I stop taking the tablets, but that's no hardship - it will just be good not to be on medication anymore.  I did tell the consultant that I felt like a fraud, because I had never felt unwell in the first place, but obviously we caught it so early that I didn't get round to having any noticeable symptoms.

So I'm a happy bunny and I hope that things are going well for you and yours.  May the frog stay well away from your stitching/knitting/crochet etc.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Been away and come back again

The reason that I didn't post last Sunday was because I was away on a little trip round Yorkshire.  I generally take a week off when my birthday comes round and this year it just so happened that there was a yarn fest in Skipton a couple of days beforehand - Yarndale 2014.  So I decided to combine Yarndale and my week off and go for a little trip across Yorkshire, ending up in Whitby on the east coast.

So off I went early last Saturday - Yarndale was amazing, loads of lovely yarn and other nice things, rammed solid with people - and I spent a fair bit of money.  Generally I stayed in Youth Hostels - some more basic than others.  The first night I stayed at Earby (basic) before moving on to York (recently refurbished) for the next two nights, stopping off briefly in Skipton and Harrogate on the way.  I visited several yarn shops in York, but it seems that the overdose I had received at Yarndale had spoilt me for yarn buying for a day or so.  After two nights in York, having visited York Minster and the Quilt Museum amongst other places, I traveled into the north-east.  

I went round Castle Howard, which is a stunning place (photo taken from the rear of the main building).  I bought yarn in a couple of places, including Helmsley, which is a nice little market town.  That night I stayed in the charming youth hostel at Lockton (the YHA call it Dalby Forest, which is very confusing).  

The following day I drove back on myself to Pickering in order to get a phone signal and ended up buying more yarn.  Pickering's parish church has some fantastic medieval wall paintings, which are well worth a visit.  From there I drove to Whitby with a couple of sidesteps to Goathland ("Heartbeat" country) and Guisborough.  

This was my first trip to Whitby.  Everyone I had spoken to who had been there said that it was lovely and everyone who hadn't been said that they had heard that it was lovely.  Whitby is indeed lovely - lots of winding cobbled streets leading downhill to the harbour and then over the bridge and up the other side to the foot of the 199 steps to the church and the ruins of Whitby Abbey on the headland.  The church has the original box pews and a triple decker pulpit, and the Abbey ruins are stunning (not so keen on the English Heritage presentation though).  I stayed two nights in a B&B - nice room, comfy bed, well cooked breakfast and crap shower.  There was a yarn shop but I was yarned out by then.

And then I came home on Friday to sleep in my own bed, do several loads of laundry and sort out my yarn purchases before going back to work tomorrow.

However, before I went away, I got a couple more blocks done on Carnation.  The Chinese lantern is now coming through clearly.  I do need to get some serious time in on this if I am going to get the page finished by the end of the year.

The Patchwork Group had a sewing day on the Friday before I went away.  I took my sock and managed to get the heel turned.  While I was away, I picked up the stitches for the gusset, did all the necessary decreases and am now knitting the foot.  I would like to finish it this week, but we'll see.

Well, I hope that all is well with you and yours.  I now need to brace myself for what I'm going to find when I go back into the office tomorrow.  Good night and may the frog steer well clear of your needles.