Friday, 29 March 2013

FO Friday

I have two finished projects today. My toe-socks by Abigail Grasso.  I am not really fond of making separate toes, it's the same with gloves and fingers, but am glad I made the effort. Very pleased with them.

Secondly I have a shawlette, the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower. It's a simple DK  stockinette stitch with bands of yarnovers. It knits up really quickly, so am going to make a lot for gifts this year.

Going to go and look at other peoples FO's over on Tami's Amis now. x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have three pairs of socks on the go at the moment. First the Basic Toe Sock Pattern by Abigail Grasso. I have finished the first sock and and working on the toes of the second. I am using King Cole Zig Zag.  That's Lenoir standing guard next to them, waiting for the chance to play with the yarn.

The next is the Simple Sock Pattern by Sue Morgan. This came with the ball of Katia Ole Socks which mum brought with the intention of knitting socks for my step-dad. She managed to get to the heel of the first sock (with my help) then gave up. So I thought I'd better finish them if my step-dad ever wants to wear them!

And finally the Trilobite Socks by Wendy D. Johnson. I have wanted to try toe-up socks for ages and couldn't wait to finish the first two pairs of socks to give it a go. I was a bit worried about the Turkish cast-on , but found it really easy and a brilliant seamless cast on. I probably should have used a plain yarn for this pattern, but am really liking the striping so am not that bothered. Will definitely be doing these socks again anyway.


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

On the Needles

I have been doing quite well with knitting so far this year, and completed quite a few projects. All are on my Ravelry page if you want a peek. I am not a monogamous knitter and have quite a few projects on the go at any one time. What can I say, I love casting on! My main project at the moment is a shawl for my mother's birthday in June. It's called the Berger Shawlette by Lisa Fliss, a free pattern on Ravelry.

I have a lot of yarn in my stash and wanted to try to use a lot of it up this year, so am using Wilkinsons Fancy Lustre yarn in green which is making a lovely silky shawl. I am not good with charts, and have not really done lace before so thought I would start off with something easy. Have made a few mistakes, but managed to fudge them so far, now am just hoping I have enough yarn left to finish it. Only a few rows left to go so should be ok. Hope to finish it off in the next few days.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Prog Blanket

So to start off talking about my knitting I thought I would write about my first knitting project, The Prog Blanket. My partner's mother gave me some needles and yarn and set me off on plain garter stitch. I made my first garter stitch square and decreed that I would make a blanket. I cannot tell you the name of the yarn I used, it was both nameless and acrylic and I thought it was wonderfully soft. I have come a long way in yarn snobbery since then! So I made a few garter stitch squares, then a few stockinette squares, then ribbed. Did I take into account that ribbing pulls the knitting in making it smaller width-wise? Of course not.
I continued making squares, experimenting with stitch patterns from magazines and books my partner's mother lent me, till I thought I had enough to make a decent sized blanket. (Till I got bored of making squares!) So then came the time to sew them together.....and I find I hate sewing knitting! Apparently not an uncommon hatred amongst knitters. So I put off doing it, and put off doing it, and tried to farm it out to my mother to sew up. She put off doing it too.
I think about a year went by and my partner kept asking about the blanket. He had taken a shine to the thought of a patchwork blanket. I had a blanket on the couch, the cats had a blanket on the couch. He wanted one. It would be his "Prog Blanket".
I think an explanation is due here. My partner collects records, lots of them. He has three book cases full in the living room and several boxes in cupboards and the spare room. (I can't complain because of the size of my yarn stash!) He likes several music genres, but his favourite is progressive rock, or Prog Rock as it is known. Hence the Prog Blanket. So I took the bull by the horns and sewed the squares together.
It actually looked good for about all of five minutes or so. My partner thought it was great, heaped praises on me, and then made the mistake of showing it to the cats. They thought it was great too. They still do, at the moment it is lining a cardboard box that one of our cats, Lenoir, has decided is hers.

Yes, I know, we spoil our cats.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

First Blog post!

After months of reading other people's blogs I have finally decided to start my own. A place where I can express myself and share my views and experiences. Being pretty much housebound is very isolating and has made me feel distanced from the "real world". Being online has helped take away that feeling to a certain extent. It's given me a way to feel connected to the "real world" again which I haven't felt in a long time. Five years to be exact. That's how long I have been ill. Actually that's not true, I have been ill much longer than that but did not know it. How can you be ill and not know it you ask? Very easily I reply, if said illness sneaks up on you slowly and gradually takes things away from you without you really noticing that you have lost anything or changed the way you live your life. I had carefully crafted my life around my illness without even realising. Of course I knew I was exhausted most of the time and could sleep at the drop of a hat, and that this had come on after I contracted glandular fever in my teens, but I never considered myself as ill. Actually I did my best to cover up my tiredness in case people thought I was lazy, I thought I was lazy. So I tried to work even harder to make up for my "laziness". Going to college, university, then working. I didn't even think about it at the time but the jobs I had were both part-time, enabling me to cope with my sleep patterns. To my family my sleeping a lot was a long standing family joke, but nothing to be concerned about. In my family you get on with things, you cope.
And I was coping.
Then suddenly I became much worse. I had a viral infection  which along with a year of doing too much turned into Fibromyalgia. I have been in constant pain for 5 years, but I know how much worse it could be from that first night. It was agony. Pure agony. My poor partner was terrified. When he phoned NHS Direct the woman advised him to give me a paracetamol!!! I would still feel that pain without the pain medication I am on. As it is the pain is bearable, mostly. But it has taken my carefully constructed life and turned it into one where I am not in control. I cannot do what I want when I want. I have to rely on others for most things. At this moment I have been in bed for nearly two weeks, unable to get up without help, unable to clean myself or get myself something to eat. The basic things we take for granted, until we can't do them. I have lost my independence. I haven't gone anywhere on my own for 5 years! I am very grateful and lucky that I have family and friends to help me do things, so many people have not. I could have it much worse. But I could also have it a lot better, and sometimes its hard to accept that is not going to happen. Not any time soon, perhaps not ever. I try not to think about that. That I could be in pain for the rest of my life.
And so I cope.
Because that's what I have to do to keep going. And I try to make my life as enjoyable as possible. Try to do what I can, and not regret too much what I can't. So this is my life and hopefully I can share some of it with you; good, bad and ugly. I promise not to moan too much, and to talk about knitting, crochet and yarn a lot!
I learnt to crochet as a teenager when I was first ill. My grandmother taught me and I have loved doing it ever since. But I couldn't get on with knitting. Never managed to pick it up, though I had several goes at it. I tried again after I became ill with Fibro and suddenly took to it like a duck to water. It has now overtaken crochet as my main hobby, and has even led me to trying out spinning my own yarn on a drop spindle. Though this is a new venture and I am still learning. I think I can see a spinning wheel in my future!