Category Archives: knitting

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.

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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.

 

Hexagoning and Needles

While I have a bit of time on my hands I decided it was about time I shared my finished hexagonal baby blanket.  I have been unable to knit today!  {Sharp intake of breath} Don’t panic – I feel fine but my knitting is feeling decidely soggy following an unfortunate encounter with some tea this morning so it’s still drying off from its little cleansing shower.  Yesterday I have to admit no knitting got done as I was really tired and in quite a bit of pain from my right shoulder which knitting aggravated – I’m waiting on the results of yesterday’s x-ray on it.

Anyhoo back to some knitting I finished a few weeks ago.  This is Swirl and yet again is from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans.

In total it measures about 74 cm (29″) across and is in double knitting yarn on size 4 mm straight needles.

When I showed pics previously Fiona enquired as to how it was constructed here we go – please excuse a the quality of a couple of the photos – I took them on my phone and can confirm that its correctly called a phone with a camera and not a camera phone.

Now it should have been knit on four double pointed needles but as I’ve said I avoid these if at all possible so adapted the pattern to suit two.

I started with one hexagon and joined the seam on that to close it up.  Then I cast on 100 stitches and picked up another 20 along one side to join the second one on.

This carried on adding 20 stitches for additional side that the new hexagon needed to join on to ie, this one had four hexagons so had 80 stitches from hexagon sides and 40 new ones…

Each hexagon had a seam that needed joining because of being knit on just two needles.

And just once there was a seam to be sewn between hexagons when I didn’t pick up enough stitches…

I wasn’t particularly orderly about adding hexagons possibly because I didn’t have any green to start with.

but after filling in the irratic gaps it looked like this…

Yes its not quite flat, and not quite as noticeable in ‘real life’ but I don’t think knitting it on four needles would have made that much of a difference.

This again isn’t a pattern I would have chosen to knit or colours I would have necessarily used (the colours are similar to the ones in the book) but I am quite pleased with it and do think it would look great in really bright colours.

Other creative spaces can be found here.

I started the DT-PACE IV chemotherapy today – my switch to peritoneal dialysis (PD) caused a bit of delay will things were thunk about.  I said to the blook pharmacist this morning that I believed I was causing them a problem, he agreed and said I was really testing them.  The renal doctor called to see me again for the fourth time, however its the first time I was actually ‘in’.  Tuesday with not having anything scheduled I’d been allowed out and after a trip into Primark would have come back with clothing if I’d been able to remember my credit card pin.  The third time the doc called yesterday morning I was having a shower.  The only concern he had about the schedule was that it resulted in me restarting the PD at midnight when he thought surely nine would have been better.  As it is I only got hooked up at quarter to one so by the time the bags have run through its probably going to be three o’clock Saturday morning that I need to start up again.  As you may have gathered I am being allowed to do the PD during the treatment, rather than having to go down for the haemodialysis (HD).  He must have thought that I looked way too enthusiastic having to get up at 12 even to pop a bag of fluid in but bascially I’m just estatic that I don’t have to go back to HD – and can only think he doesn’t know what sort irrate hours and late nights this can entail for inpatients – like the time I went down at ten past midnight so got back to my bed at 4.20 am!

After getting back from my non-shopping spree on Tuesday B took me out for tea – fish and chips which I had to stop eating part way through as I felt sick and got chastised for not asking for an anti-sickness tablet – I forgot!  It didn’t help that he knew I’d been sick at lunch time at the tiniest taste of Pot Noodle.

Oh, and tomorrow I get to have a biopsy needle stuck in the bump on the back of my head as the x-ray report says my skull is fine – which is good since when I was diagnosed the x-ray showed a lorra, lorra lytic lesions.  I’m think I may have to come up with a convicing ‘Silly me I forgot but I do know remember bumping it’ – depending on the size of the needle!

Aside

I have to say I surprised even myself by getting this jacket finished in time for today.  I then un-surprised myself by forgetting it was in the washing machine last night but fortunately remembered just as I was going to bed, popped … Continue reading

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.

Lots of Buddies

We’ve had a spate of Myeloma Buddy production going on over the past few months.  If I’m a bit stuck for something to take out with me or just need something small I knit a Buddy.  When I was thinking of posting the pics I realised that I’d never said where the orange Myeloma Buddy army went last year.

The 100 Buddies were ordered by Myeloma UK – orange or rather ORANGE being their corporate colour.  They are available direct from them and are listed in their site shop right here.  They’re also for sale at their Info Days.

While I’m at it there’s also a link to my Buddies in the FUNdraisers section of the IMF site (International Myeloma Foundation that is not the better known but less fantastic International Monetary Fund).

Mmm, wonder what one would look like in fabric?

Other creative spaces are here.

When I went for dialysis today I asked about the results of the 24 hour wee collection from Monday.  Apparently the level of toxins in it that my kidneys had filtered is not yet normal but is going up.  The blood test showed my calcium level is on the low side even though my Calci-chew dose was increased three weeks ago from 2g a day to 4g so the nurse said she’d get a doctor to review it when I went in on Saturday.  

The Fire

It wasn’t a big fire, it wasn’t even a dramatic fire – well I guess depending on your definition of dramatic (B may dispute this but the couple when I lived at home involving a tea towel above the grill catching light and a pan with a bit of oil in were more dramatic as far as I’m concerned) but it was definitely a fire.

Last Saturday, even though I was a tad tired, I rashly said to B that if he liked I’d make pancakes for breakfast on Sunday.  Needless to say he was quite enthusiastic and pointed out that it had been quite a while since I’d made them.  To be honest since Christmas B has done the vast majority of the cooking and has got very good at doing steaks – beef or lamb.  I just take over as head chef if it involves anything that couldn’t be defined as a steak – apart from frozen scampi.

So Sunday I made pancakes.  Now I can’t say that I started this task with tons of enthusiasm and I also can’t say that the meal we had them for was breakfast although it was our first meal of the day.  I only entered the kitchen, in my jim jams straight from bed well maybe not straight I’d probably used the bathroom first, at 12.03!  I know, what a slob!  It is the longest lie in I’ve had in years and years.

So before I could change my mind I set to and mixed the pancake batter in a half asleep manner but let’s face it it’s not sending a rocket to the moon – or curing myeloma so although I couldn’t remember the exact quantity I usually make (was it one and a half cups of flour or two) it’s not like anyone’s life depended on it.

I’d shouted upstairs to see if B wanted a milky coffee and when he said he did I’d popped the milk in the pan and set it on the gas hob while the pancake pan was warming up.  I invested, not much, in an actual pancake pan.  It’s very flat with a tiny lip round the edge and means that even the first pancake is perfect but the surface is now a bit iffy so I give it a light coating of light olive oil.  In my half asleep state I’d been a bit exuberant with the oil so there was quite a bit heating up.  B then arrived in the kitchen and pointed out that the milk for his coffee wasn’t on.  Now I don’t deal well with mither within two hours of waking up at the best of times and I was really groggy so I believe I may have muttered something about it usually being ready with his pancakes while noticing that the oil on the pancake pan was borderline smoking.  Now I could have removed the pan from the flame but that would have been too easy obviously and would have slowed the process down – even though I knew I wasn’t going to break any records that day.  On a good day I can go from eggs, flour and milk to sitting down to pancakes, milky coffee and orange juice in twenty minutes.  What?  Doesn’t everyone time themselves doing stuff?  Huh?  I think it may have to do with B always asking how long stuff takes to make and getting a bit antsy if I say half an hour and it turns out to take three.  That said, when we did a weekly shop I used to time myself putting it away (three minutes) oh, and when I changed the bed sheets/duvet cover (five minutes).

Right, I think that’s all I timed.  The first because putting the groceries away was really boring and the second to make a point after the m-i-l had told me I was ‘a cheeky bugger’.  I know I was shocked too I mean it’s not like I asked for it…

m-i-l:  ‘We’ve been really busy today.’  It was a number of years ago and my father in law was still alive plus I was still capable of changing the bed without my back kicking off – B does it now and no, I’ve never timed him.

me:  ‘Have you.’  No, I don’t need a question mark as I wasn’t really asking at this point.

m-i-l:  ‘Oh yes!’

Now I wouldn’t have usually asked but since she was always saying she was busy and considering my Auntie En is a year older and at the time looked after her husband, cooked a homemade tea every night (as opposed to anything out of a tin) and made up lunch for one of her sons who’d moved back home along with knitting, sewing, crocheting blankets for charity and going to tailoring or upholstery classes at the local college I did sometimes wonder what the m-i-l’s definition of busy was and curiosity got the better of me on this occasion.

me:  ‘What did you do?’

m-i-l:  ‘We stripped the bed and put the sheets in the wash, then put them on the line and then when they were dry re-made the bed.’

me:  ‘So that took you ten minutes.  What did you do after that?’

m-i-l:  ‘You cheeky bugger.’

Where was I?  Oh yes – the fire.  So the pan was smoking and I couldn’t be bothered to do the sensible thing and take it off the flame… I plucked a few pieces of paper kitchen towel out of the cupboard and whipped them swiftly over the pan to remove the excess so that I could pop some batter on the pan but where should I put the now oily towels.  Oh yes, it’s all too easy to say from the other side of your computer screens that the bin may have been a good idea but B was in the way and I needed to get batter on the pan ASAP.  I couldn’t put them on the worktop as I believe I may have mentioned they were oily and that would have involved more cleaning up so it made perfect sense, at the time not so much now I have to admit, to pop them on the gas burner behind the one with the pancake pan and next to the one with the milk pan.  I then proceeded to switch on the flame under the milk pan – except, as you may have guessed, I switched on the one under the oily paper towels by mistake.

Now I think I may have mentioned in the past that I’m your gal for an emergency but B isn’t your guy.  However on this particular occasion he did in fact deal with it exceptionally well, which was good as I was even calmer than usual – to the point of it possibly looking like catatonic inaction.  I watched as the paper towel burst (which I think describes it pretty accurately) into flames and worked itself up into a quite a flame, at least twelve inches high even after I’d switched off that burner.   I could feel B hovering behind me waiting for me to do something but hey, I figured this was the reason that extractor hoods and wall cupboards have to be a certain distance from hobs.  So although I did think that it was probably quite rational to try and put out the flames since it seemed highly unlikely they would set fire to or even singe anything else surely the easiest thing all round was just to let them burn themselves out.  B however didn’t feel the same and started muttering things about damp tea towels so I figured ‘What the heck it might make him feel better’ and let him run one under the tap.  Now I did notice that the towel ended up more ‘wet’ than ‘damp’ and so took over and extinguished the flames.

All we lost was one pancake and not even as a direct result.  B suggested it might be a good idea to remove the tea towel from the hob, because he’s practical like that, and as I lifted it up a little piece of incinerated paper towel fluttered down onto the uncooked side of the pancake.  I believe the look I gave B implying that this loss was his fault was a step too far.  He didn’t say as much I just guessed from the way he snatched open the kitchen door and stormed off with the soggy singed tea towel into the garage.

I gave him a hug when he came back in because it must have been a bit of a shock – after all it was his first kitchen fire and my third.

 An lookie ‘ere, I finished the little aran cardy, hat and mittens…