Category Archives: Crochet

It’s a glum bum day

I was intending to share the whole peritoneal dialysis fluid exchange procedure today – I mean it may come in handy one day – there could a question in a quiz – if it involves a lot of money though remember where you read the answer!

Instead though I decided to do a crafty post to brighten me up as the weather, Bud and my mood turned glum as the day went on.  Actually with me it’s more tired and has nothing at all to do with a late night and early morning!  With the weather it started all bright, sunny and quite warm this morning (as evidenced by no coat needed when Bud pressured me into taking him for a wander in the wood) but by lunch time it was bucketing it down and all gloomy.  With Bud its the fact that B didn’t take him for his regular walk – due to the weather!  In fact it was Bud’s expression when he realised he wasn’t getting a proper trip out that made me think of the word glum – he sat there with the most pathetic look on his face and looked a right ‘glum bum’.

I needed a quick baby pattern to knit for one of the ward nurses who was leaving to have a baby – funnily enough.  As I’d got some aran weight cotton in I decided to give Trellis another go. I altered one of the cable patterns into a more conventional four stitch cable rather than a travelling twisted stitch…

and repeated the cable on the hat with moss stitch in between.

It got Cairngorm Reindeer Herd buttons – I don’t know what I’m going to do when these run out.

The whole cardigan is knit on 4.5 mm needles with no increases once past the ‘rib’ but this results in the following…

so on the fronts and sleeves I reduced the cast on stitches only by two or three and then put then back before I started cabling and this sorted out the wibble.

I’ve also finished my latest bits and pieces afghan which turned out a ‘bit’ bigger than I was aiming for at 84 cm x 152 cm (33″ x 60″).

That photo doesn’t really do it justice so here’s some others…

Chris, the friend who was partly responsible for my late night yesterday, said the pink and blue centred rectangle above was her favourite or wait, was it the purple and purple one?  I don’t know now – she liked a lot of them.  What we both liked though was how using the yarn like this enabled colours that you wouldn’t necessarily put together to work – well we thought so.

I had thought this would use up all my outstanding ‘bits and pieces’ and I could bin the remnants but I still have too many to throw away with a clear conscience.  Since I need a trip to The Knitting Centre before I can start the next batch of things I’m making I started another blanket to use up absolutely all of them.

I’m doing a single alternating row of four different colours (if that makes sense) and intend to just carry on until each colour runs out and then add in another one.

As you can see it results in a lovely tangle of wool – me no likey that at all.

Now although this way of doing things should also let me put all sorts of colour combinations together I think this one may be too BRIGHT.

And it’s not even my Myeloma UK Myeloma Buddy orange – this one is nearly flourescent – I’d love to know what the rest of the ball made.

Now I need to get an early night as I have my big day out tomorrow.  B said to me before ‘Will you be taking your anti sickness tablets?’  I said ‘Yes’.  Then he said ‘What about anti ageing ones?’ I said something that can’t be repeated in polite company.

I’m all out of wool, I’m so lost without it

and I’d run out of cream which was going to be my edging colour for both the inner squares and the outer rectangles.  So under duress he brought me a new 400g ball of cream aran, a pair of 4.5 mm knitting needles and the substitute cable needle.

I had found a lovely little jacket pattern at knitty.com –

I also tracked down a hat pattern at sweaterbabe.com – Cable Baby Beanie – and altered the rib to moss stitch and changed the cable stitch to match the one on the cardy.  After B brought me a darning needle in this afternoon, they both now look like this…

Needless to say finishing things off seems to usually take ages but it’s now done and I have nothing crafty to do.  I knew I should have pressed B to bring me something else in addition to the darning needle – he didn’t even want to bring me that suggesting I might prefer to ‘Have a rest’.

Now I’m not saying I’m easily bored – oh wait, yes I am actually.  Yesterday I changed my own bed – and not because I’d had a boo boo I’ll have you know.  I was about to remind the Health Care Assistants when I thought ‘What’s stopping me doing it?’  The answer was nothing and it made a change since B changes the bed at home because the bending starts my back off however with the benefit of an adjustable bed no bending was required.  I also assisted today – well I’m going with ‘assisted’ but ‘hindered’ is probably a better description.

One of the registrars called in this afternoon and asked whether Prof had said if I could go home after the chemotherapy had finished or if we needed to wait until my counts went back up before I got released.  As it turned out I got disconnected while B was here and if I’d thought on I could have pushed to go home then!  Just kidding!!! B wouldn’t have gone for it and the nurse I said it in front of thought that that was being a bit too keen – plus although B has cleaned the bathroom today he still apparently needs to wash the bed sheets.

I forgot to mention that I’m concerned that Prof knows me too well.  As I’ve said me and the steriod Dexamethasone don’t mix well so when I got my first dose last Thursday and it was the same as last time I queried it as Prof said we’d look at reducing the amount.  The nurse said she’d ask about it and shortly after Prof and one of the junior docs arrived and he informed her, to her surprise and the surprise of the nearby nurse and subsequent visiting registrar, that in view of my extreme reaction to Dex it was up to me how much I took.  There I was all geared up for putting my case across for taking less than suggested or in fact none at all and I ended up with free reign.  Prof’s method actually worked like a charm and I had to give proper consideration to the amount I wanted to take and felt I had to take some as I’d been entrusted with a completely voluntary decision and indeed when the registrar suggested that I might want to consider taking 6 mg instead of 4 mg I immediately wanted to say ‘No way’ even though I’d thought this myself.

Other Creative Spaces can be found here – at least I’ll have plenty of time in the morning to do some serious looking at other craftiness.

 

Going Loopy

Have you seen the film Julie and Julia about the young woman who decided to make every recipe in Julia Childs’ book and blog about it?  I seem to remember seeing a blog where someone was knitting every sock in a sock book.   Now although I am quite infatuated with Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans I wouldn’t contemplate doing every single one as there are several that I would have no desire to make – this being one that fell into that category…

It’s called Flokati after the greek rugs it’s based on and is supposed to be knit.  Once I’d got over my initial ‘Oh no!’ when I was asked to do one I did this…

and wasn’t happy with it for a number of reasons – the stitch was messy, my first lot of loops weren’t loopy enough and some attempted to disappear to the back side (as it were), I made the second lot bigger but they still seemed loose so after finding a more satisfactory looking, but very time consuming, loop knitting method on the web I decided to try crocheting – I had crocheted loopy ears for the toy spaniels I did last year but couldn’t recall where I’d got the pattern from.

I tried a stitch in the Vogue Knitting Dictionary of Crochet Stitches (the left hand side of the photo) but wasn’t convinced that those loops would be stable.

I got another method off the internet but as can be seen from the right hand side of the photo it somehow got wider and I didn’t like the loopy side either…

Then I happened upon a free Loop Stitch Pillow pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn site and was more than happy with it.  It was easy to do, didn’t involved making the loop on one side and then moving it to the other and looks like this up close…

three rows of double crochet (US – single crochet) and between each loop stitch row.  When tousled to hide the in-between rows it looks like this…

On the rear every fourth row is a bit uneven…

but who’s going to see the back – apart from us.  In total it measure 74 cm (29″) by 94 cm (37″) and is in aran (worsted) weight yarn on a size 5.00mm hook and has probably cured my aversion to any large area of loops.

Plus here’s another pic worthy of note…

In case you’re wondering that would be two, yes two, empty washing baskets.  All the clean washing as of today is ironed and put away or just put away.  B nearly sabotaged this when he did some more washing just before tea but fortunately fresh from the dryer nothing needed ironing.  I think this is the first time since I got home at Christmas, or possibly the second, that we have had a clean laundry free zone in the back bedroom.

I think it’s safe to say that taking the Thalidomide (200 mg) earlier in the evening, 8 pm o’clock being the optimum time for me – having moved from just before bed, so about 10.30, and having tried various times between then and half seven.  I’m still not that good in a morning but I never have been but am getting up easier and do feel significantly better later in the day – which is just as well as the Peritoneal Nurse called this morning to confirm that she can start my training tomorrow after Haemodialysis.  YAY.

Taking the Thalidomide earlier hasn’t made any difference to my forgetfulness and in fact in telling you about training tomorrow has reminded me that I need to make some butties to take with me!

 

Red and denim and white and green

I love, love, love this pram blanket and everyone who’s seen it whilst in progress have loved it too – well at least that’s what they’ve said and maybe the ones that didn’t love it just didn’t say anything!  Four friends at Armchair Yoga wanted to know where the pattern came from and two friends last night described it as striking.

Although I selected the yarn I didn’t as such pick the colours – if you know what I mean. No? Well, its for the impending grandson of a lady who works at the Royal and the pram that’s been bought for him is denim outside with the lining white, red, lime green and denim so she gave me the list of colours and I went and shopped for the actual shades.

Now I’m not going to even pretend that given the whole of the Sirdar Bonus DK colour range that I would have selected these four colours to go into one blanket but I’m truly in love with it – surprisingly smitten actually since although they went together okay when still on the balls it was only when combined in the pattern that I started feeling a growing affection but only after  I’d changed the colour order.

I initially started following the order the colours were written down in on the basis that if you were listing the colours on something you might note them down in the order you saw them (apparently they hadn’t done this anyway).   However the red and denim together just looked too heavy.  So I undid it back to the denim set up row and re-ordered it along the lines of light and dark which I think works much better.

Then there was the issue of the number of colours.  Did I work each strip separately ie, cut the yarn at the end of its current use or did I carry the yarns up the side.  I thought it would be easier to cut the colours, knot them and crochet the edging over it.

Then one of the Armchair Yoga ladies queried this as she wasn’t at all envious of all those ends to deal with and I explained that I didn’t want to spend ages un-tangling the four balls but since I had about a third to go I decided to give it a go.

I have to say the later was the better option.  Not only was it neater but it was way easier to edge over.  Fortunately I’d already decided to edge in denim but had I chosen the green or white I would have had to change my mind as the stronger colours would have peeked through.

The edging was the single crochet (US double crochet) first round and a second round of sc (dc) worked backwards – it’s so simple and every time I’ve used it I’m always pleased with the result.

I’d done the six rows I didn’t like by Sunday morning and this was when I undid five of them and started again from the set-up row and I finished edging it today – which shows it’s quite an easy pattern that grows quickly.  Mind you it’s not like I’ve been doing tons of other stuff although if I hadn’t gone out for my tea yesterday I could have had it finished then.  (I didn’t go out with B by the way but two friends one of whom was a bit worried about me going as B told her I’d been sick yesterday – which I had but apparently the way B told her she thought I’d literally just up-chucked but it had been in the morning.  As it turned out I was fine and really enjoyed the food – I had stilton and garlic mushrooms and then lamb shank with mash and green beans- sometimes anti-sickness meds are just wonderful.)

The blanket measures 75 cm (29.5″) x 95cm (37.5″) and the pattern is Greenway from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans – again!  It’s a good job I don’t have to pay royalties – I’ve never had such use out of a book of afghans.

Other creative spaces are here.

A Clinic and A Cloche

Now if you’d said ‘Why not make a cloche?’ to me before yesterday I would have said ‘What do I want with something for plants?  I’m in no condition for gardening’.  The only cloche I was familiar with was the kind that you stuck over tender plants to keep them happy and healthy.  Little did I know that it also relates to hats and indeed cloche refers to both the hatty and the planty varieties being bell-shaped.   You may be wondering what this has to do with our clinic appointment today, well let’s start at the beginning.

Yesterday I saw this adorable pattern, The Paiyton Cloche,

over at googie momma’s blog where she’d done a yarny round up.  I was smitten and it just what I needed – there’s also some really cute over patterns there to – I was also particularly taken with the crocheted necklace and the crocodile bootees.  However when I visited The Velvet Acorn it was sold!  I convo’ed them, it was re-listed and I bought one.

Last night when I was contemplating what knitting/crocheting to do on the way to/from and while at the clinic appointment today I thought I’d start the cloche as everything else was too big to be easily portable or too complex to chat round.

What prompted me to be looking for a toddler size hat (although it includes adult sizes in the pattern too) is that the neighbours who have been picking me up from dialysis for the past two weeks have a two year old great grand-daughter who visits quite a lot – she’s so cute and adorable herself.  Mrs Neighbour had asked for my opinion of what needles to use on a ball of wool that she’d bought in Spain (she actually brought it in when she visited me last time I on Royal-cation) as she intended to knit a toddler size hat.  I said 6mm and emailed her a link to a site that provides free patterns as I didn’t have any for aran weight hats.  She was telling me last week that she’d made one and had increased the 60 stitches instructed to 80 as it didn’t look sufficient and the hat had still turned out only big enough to fit a doll.  ‘I only had a pair of 9’s so I used them.  Would this make a difference?’  ‘If that’s the old Imperial size 9 then yes!’  (For the non-knitters a size 9 equals a metric 3.75 mm as opposed to the 6 mm that the pattern probably asked for so anything knit would turn out quite a bit smaller.)

I’m well impressed with both the pattern, which was easy to follow, and the resulting hat, I mean cloche.  It was super quick and super simple AND it turns out to be one of those items that follow this equation

minimal effort = fantastic result

I started it on the way to the clinic and finished it after I got home from my Indian Head Massage – I could have finished it sooner but I hadn’t even looked at the pattern so didn’t realise how easy it was and didn’t have a tape measure to hand so I guessed at 18″ and when I measured it when we got home it was actually 4″ too long.

What’d think?

As to the clinic appointment – we had to wait for a short time as my case notes hadn’t been sent down from the ward I had my PD line installed on – so we went for a cuppa and when we got back the Prof chased them up but when they still didn’t materialise he got to prove right his quip last time when he introduced us to the new doctor saying ‘I’ve seen Paula that much I don’t need the case notes’.

I’m getting another ‘week off’, which is just as well as B took a chance and booked next week off himself at the last minute hoping that I wouldn’t be on another Royal-cation, and I need to ring the ward on Monday 2 April to see if they have a bed for me then so we can start the third (and last) DT-PACE.

To prove that even Professors are human when I said that this suited us fine as B was off next week Prof said ‘Oh, that’s good.  Are you going away?’ to which I said ‘No’ but B said ‘It’s a bit hard with dialysis’.  Prof then accused himself of being thick (especially as he’d only just confirmed what days I went for dialysis) and B actually disagreed – allegedly Mrs Prof wouldn’t have.

I may smell shortly

Here’s what I’ve been done this week.  I finished the Fish Ripple Pattern pram/cot/crib blanket from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans.

Yes, it is slightly ripple-erey down the edge and also when you look at in top down or bottom up for that matter – well it is called Fish RIPPLE

and it looks okay from this angle.  It ended up 75 cm x 95 cm (29.5″ x 37.4 “).

I also got these finished.

 

I just couldn’t find the mitten pattern – I looked through the magazine holder where I keep my individual patterns divided by category and knew that as I’d used it recently it should be at the end of the baby section – no it wasn’t.  I checked somewhere I keep odds and ends of patterns for all sorts that don’t fit anywhere else just in case – no it wasn’t there either.  Oh, I wasn’t sort of choices of mitten patterns but the one big difference was none had a thumb so it would be an obvious difference.   I looked through the magazine folder again and it still wasn’t there – no wonder really it turned out that it was in the Sirdar baby booklet I’d knit the jacket and hat out of – Doh!

 

A bigger pom pom than on the last one had been requested and it did indeed start off very big but it had a little accident coming off the pom pom maker and ended up quite lob sided so by the time it had been evened out it was a tad smaller than I’d intended.

Sorry about the photo quality – must have been an off day.

I’ve also done more on Swirl, also from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans (I’m really getting my money out of this book).

This hasn’t been without its share of boo boos, like this one…

I don’t know about you but I think I did really know that a hexagon should have six sides so I’m not sure how I only noticed this one had five once I’d sewn it up.

Plus there’s been the insertion of some hexagons in the wrong positions – that’s happened at least three or even four times but I think everything’s in its right place now.

I had my peritoneal catheter/cannula put in yesterday and I don’t know what I was getting my knickers in a twist about – I did opt for the sedation and only really ‘came to’ when the cannula was actually being inserted which was okay.  There was some pushing and then I’m sure I felt one of the stitches but only a bit and the ‘new’ doctor from last week was actually really nice and very good.

Turns out that what I should have been fretting over was how it feels today!  Yesterday going home with Auntie Ann I had to sit carefully with the seat belt away from my tummy but I thought, well actually I didn’t think what it would be like after AT ALL.  I know that might sound odd but having had a Hickman, PICC, femoral and dialysis neck line I just thought it would be similar (okay the femoral did hurt a bit after but I’ve just let that slip my memory).

Let’s just say its a soupcon tender.  I got out of bed in the early hours of the morning for a visit to the bathroom and forgot initially then WHAM ‘That hurts’.  This morning I could barely sit on the settee initially but after the two paracetamol and two tramadol kicked in it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay more tolerable.  Its tender like a BIG bruise and at the moment it’s not lying as flat as it will once settled due to the various dressings so things are pressing on it more than they will do.

BUT worst thing ever is that I can’t shower for four, or rather FOUR weeks – FOUR WEEKS!  Nobody told me this BEFOREHAND.  I thought when the nurse said don’t shower yesterday he meant just yesterday but NO – FOUR WEEKS – did I mention that already?

Oh, and I can’t drive for approximately SIX WEEKS – B’s done a happy dance and put the flag out.

 Other creative spaces can be found here.

More Twisted Cables

I finally got round to block… oh, I didn’t I dried it flat,  the cardigan I started during my last holiday in the Royal.

It was from Designer Knitting (which is what Vogue Knitting is called in the UK) Winter 2009/2010 and looked like this…

Not a particularly good picture but enough of a resemblance that it needs to be borne in mind for later.

There were a few teething troubles…

This was my first attempt at the back which had an untwisted bit at the bottom of the first twisty cable – I did notice this and thought ‘Hey I’ll just do an untwisted bit at the top end’ – and then I got to the above point and suddenly realised that I should have had five twisty cables instead of the four I had.  So  it should actually have looked like this…

And then there was the collar.  I picked up the stitches and knit it the other Tuesday when a friend was visiting so it didn’t have my undivided attention and it was the night I was really tired so the attention it did have was probably less than adequate.  This was the first go…

This was the second go…

much smoother with evenly distributed stitches.  I knew when I was doing it it would probably go pear-shaped but carried on regardless.

Anyhoo, here we have the finished article on the dress form and remember the picture from the magazine – closely fitting tailored style silhouette

nipped in waist, fitted looking, mmm, slightly loose round the bust maybe but still I’m probably bigger than the form…

We’ll ignore the little creases under the back cables from where it dried – I was going to say they would drop out but let’s face it there the least of it’s worries…

Perhaps I could just get some shoulder pads and longer arms!

Here’s some things that are going a bit better.  The crochet blanket I started last week which just needs another 15 cm (6″)…

but I did get a bit fed up with this which translates as I made a few boo boos – I’m blaming it on my haemoglobin level, lack of circulating oxygen must affect concentration, so I dipped into my bits box and started another granny square afghan…

Other creative spaces are here.