Hello again. I want to start by thanking Cathy and Leonore for their kind comments, which made me feel it was worth posting again after all this time.
This is intended to be the first of a number of catch-up posts to show you what I got up to during my mental health break from the blog. As my last post before then is dated 25 October 2015, there are nearly 18 months to cover so I am not going to put everything in one post because it would take forever and be very picture heavy. Projects will therefore be shown in chronological order of finishing to make things a bit easier.
The first project that I finished after things got bad were my Twilight Cabled Handwarmers, which I made for my Mum's 70th birthday.
These used a pattern which I had previously used to make handwarmers for myself, designed by Pat Strong and featured in Issue 38 of "Knit Now" magazine. This pair were knit in a hand dyed superwash merino DK from Truly Hooked in her "Twilight" colourway on 4mm needles. They were cast on on 23 October 2015, bound off on 9 November 2015 and sewn up on 13 November 2015. Mum liked them very much, but they don't look quite like the photo anymore as the colours ran when she first hand washed them, so they are now black, purple and grey instead of black, purple and white.
My second finish was my Hitchhiker shawlette.
This is a design by Martina Behm, which I cast on on 21 June 2015 and bound off on 23 November 2015. The pattern is called Hitchhiker because it is supposed to have 42 points a la "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". I knit mine in a heavy lace weight yarn from Fivemoons - their "Nanna Not Sock" base in the "Shepherd's Delight" colourway. Instead of 42 points, mine has 50 points because there was 600 metres of yarn and I knit as many points as I could get out of it.
My third project, and the last one for this post, was a cross stitch piece, again for my Mum's 70th birthday. This was done as part of a collective gift by the other members of Mum's patchwork group. We all made a 12 inch block with a sleeve on the back which Mum could display on a decorative hanger. The theme was Gothic, steampunk and skeletons.
This design is "Stitch Night at the Crypt Club" by Prairie Moon, stitched on 32 count Zweigart Murano evenweave in the vintage marbled grey colourway using DMC threads. I started it on 31 August 2015 and finished the stitching on 6 December 2015. It was made up as above on 9 December 2015 and handed over to Mum at the patchwork group meeting on 10 December 2015.
One of the reasons that this took relatively long, despite being quite a simple pattern, was that I struggled with the stitch count and found that I had to use a magnifier in order to work on it. This, combined with other adaptions I found myself making, such as taking my glasses off to read, finally meant that I switched to wearing varifocals the following May (2016) and have been very happy with them ever since.
As you can tell, Mum's 70th birthday was a big event at this time and we, the family, organised a party to celebrate. Lots of people came, friends and family, and a great time was had by all. My sister and I spent most of our time in the kitchen dealing with the food etc, but it paid off and Mum really enjoyed herself.
At about the same time, I got two new jobs - one full-time and one part-time. The full-time job I still have, but the part-time one as administrator for the flats I live in, which was strenuous while it lasted, has fortunately passed to another flat owner who is retired and has more time to give it. However, I did manage to pay off my car using the extra money, which was a positive thing.
I'm going to finish here as I have tomorrow off to spend with my eldest niece who turned 11 last month. I don't know where the years have gone. It seems just yesterday that she started school and now she will be going to secondary school in September.
Wishing all the best to you and yours.