I thought it was about time we had a craft related post. I’ll start with what I did while on my five week Royal-cation.
I did 20 fancy crocheted squares – I had 63 to choose from in the booklet which was just as well as there were a number I undid, either because I had too many or too few chains left at the end of the base row or it didn’t turn out the right size. I must apologise for the picture quality but I took some of them on my phone.
I had plenty of yarn left over from making the fancy squares so I made another 45 (I already had five made at home) for Share a Square. Shelly was a little short of contributors, as every square in an afghan should come from someone different, so it was suggested that if you crocheted them you could put a friend/family member on the tag that accompanies them. So I did this batch from my Auntie Ann – needless to say I had to handwrite the tags.
This was one of the squares I’d already done. This and the other 45 squares are in Red Heart aran/worsted and this one is called Bikini. I have to say I was very impressed with Red Heart’s service. I ordered on a Saturday night, the order was processed on the Monday and I received it Friday – all the way from the US.
Now we’ll get onto the subject of big balls and me being a tad (read that as very) slow. I selected some yarn for a blanket from my local yarn store over the phone and a friend picked it up. B brought the book in I needed – Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans and off I went. I have to admit that the last week in the hospital I didn’t do any knitting at all. Yes, I felt somewhat crappy but if I’d had something to do that didn’t involve four colours in a row I might have been more inclined to do some but I had already managed a fair bit…
Plus the balls were all 400g and actually seemed to be getting bigger rather than smaller, as they loosened up, so it was really a mither to untangle the yarn part way through. I started knitting again on Wednesday and saw the light – why didn’t I just wrap smaller balls to make it easier – Doh!
The pattern itself is really clever, well I think so, in that you start with a straight row of stitches…
and because of the decreases in the middle it forms a square when finished.
On Tuesday this week I decided I’d like to do some crochet and thought I’d start a blanket for the creche/hospital in South Africa that our GPs’ receptionist, and husband, are involved with using the bag of tiny balls that one of the other receptionists gave me. I also had quite a few bits hanging about myself.
I crocheted them together as I went along otherwise I would have crocheted round each square in the same colour, say cream, to unite it more. Now my sister in law, Gill, rang on Tuesday to ask if I had a crochet hook that she could borrow for some double knit yarn she’d bought. She’s never crocheted before but is having trouble sleeping so she thought it might be an idea to learn so that she could crochet when she’s awake in the middle of the night. She’s left handed but had found an instructional video for left handed people on the internet. I said no problem, I have lots of crochet hooks. Turns out I only have one 4.5mm which was the size I was using for the blanket so after I’d lent it to Gill I needed something else to do in dialysis on Wednesday, so I did these…
They are in a chunky yarn, which I wouldn’t usually use, but was given two bags full by a friend from Armchair Yoga so I thought I’d use that as it would crochet up quickly.
And finally, I actually finished my second Stephen West Knitalong shawl, for a friend for Christmas, just before I went into hospital. I hadn’t blocked it though I had left it to dry flat and I was so annoyed with myself on Christmas Eve. Chris called round with my present (and we had a chat with me in the vestibule and her in the porch – as she had a cold) and I hadn’t had chance to block the shawl. After she’d gone I went upstairs and when I looked at the shawl it would have been fine – I could have just wrapped it up. Double doh!
I have to say I really like the colours particularly as I wasn’t too sure how they would look together.
And one little departure from crafting – when I went to dialysis yesterday both the doctor and dietitian called in to see me. The dietitian was asking me how my mouth was and I said it was loads better, the only thing that really made it sting was the potassium tablets I’d been given to take when I left the hospital. It turned out that my potassium was too high on Wednesday but this would be the reason and since I took the last ones on Wednesday it should settle back down.
My phosphate had also been low prompting a phone call from one of the doctors on Monday afternoon but since I didn’t feel nauseous and was eating it wasn’t too much cause for concern and it had gone up a little by Wednesday.
The other thing was the 24 hour wee collection I’d taken in on Monday – 1.8 litres! Just a tad different from the 200 to 300ml I was producing at first. When analysed it didn’t have that many toxins in it which would have showed that my kidneys were recovering and dialysis could be stopped at some point, but it did have some. The doctor said though that there is still a little hope that they will pick up and I need to do a monthly collection. It was just as well that I hadn’t got my hopes up but then again you never know, stranger things have happened at sea.
So wonderful to have you knitting, crocheting and of course blogging again! Hope you had a blessed Christmas at home with B and Bud and by the looks of all the handwork you have done, you must be feeling pretty well! Praying you continue on the upswing and best wishes for a Happy New Year!
Don’t know if you like to read statistics – if you’d rather not know what the stats are on getting off dialysis, STOP READING NOW.
I spent some time looking for this when hubby was on dialysis after kidney crash but didn’t find it until recently. Evidently about 52 percent of MM patients who have a major episode that puts them on dialysis eventually recover kidney function and go off dialysis. I will keep my fingers crossed that you join my husband in that group, but I know exactly what you mean about not getting your hopes up. You have to be prepared. But there IS a good reason to be hopeful. 1) you are young and your kidneys are relatively less worse for the wear than older people 2) your potassium and phosphorus seem to be under control. Keep us posted. I have hats and horns on hand.
Wonderful to see you feeling well enough to pick back up on your crafts, Paula. The shawl is lovely – nice work! I do so hope you’re in the 52% that get to go off dialysis that Julie noted. That will be in my 2012 wishes!
Hope you’ve see the photos I posted on your FB page. Your Myeloma Bunny arrived in Vegas and enjoyed the New Years Eve fireworks. Many, many thanks for letting him make a visit. It was so nice to not be alone that night!
Magnificent work! I especially like the trompe l’oiel square. And the shawl — design and colors — is lovely.
Glad to start my 2012 with happy words from you. Be well, my friend!
oooo look at all your knitting and crochet!! You are a knitting and crochet demon 😀 I love the colours of the shawl too they look lovely together!!
paula, keep your hopes up that your kidneys will bounce back. in my 30 years of nursing i witnessed soooo many people, who against all odds, resumed normal kidney function and got off dialysis. julie’s comments were right on. BELIEVE. it will cancel out the nasty stress of worry. keep yourself enveloped in your amazing creativity to run through your veins and heal with the great joy it gives to you and others whom you inspire. i wish you comfort, peace and the good cheer you so deserve. xo, karen