Tag Archives: thalidomide

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!


Hiccy Burpy to me

Hiccy Burpy was on a card I got a friend years and years ago – it featured drunken frogs.  It really amused me.  B says it doesn’t take much but I found this particularly amusing.

Its been a lovely bright sunny day

(photo does not do it justice)

B and I went to a friends for tea yesterday where I got a cake with four candles in it and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday by a quartet – minus the one member of the house who’s actually in a choir.

We discussed going out for tea ie, I suggested we go to the one pub within walking distance, take Bud and sit outside – B thought this idea sucked as it was so nice we wouldn’t get a seat outside so we decided on an Indian takeaway, after neighbours and eldest nephew suggested newish Indian restaurant we decided on this, we didn’t know opening times, they weren’t open when I phoned, B and Bud got back from their walk and I suggested we call on the way back from dialysis tomorrow and have an Indian takeaway tonight!

Bud got to have the chicken tikka but everyone declined the salad

Here’s some other pics…


Yoga Frog – The Tree

After an inquisitive visit from the small furry family member…

it was a fallen tree – making him jump.  Bud did like the box too

‘I just caught it, it was trying to escape’

I felt bad taking a chunk out of Tatty Ted but he tasted yummy

Wonder whose legs those are

These were off Bud.  I tapped B on the arm nine times and asked if that was how Bud has requested them.  B looked at me quizzically – ‘Nine times.  After eight.’  Not as funny as I thought apparently.

New shawl, PJ bottoms and socks

Look I’ve got five o’clock shadow – not to worry we’ll get rid of that next DT-PACE

‘What are you doing?’

‘Come here my pretty’


‘Hey! That’s my behind – get your own.’

‘I’m not very happy about this – you know I don’t pose’

My sister in law is improving her crochet skills daily – like this tag.  It’s really funny/strange watching her crochet left handed.

Sheep – the source of hours of pleasure and not just for the Welsh

On Friday when Prof realised it was my birthday today he said ‘Well done’ and I nearly piped up ‘What for getting to another one?’ but although I’ve been taking the Thalidomide earlier (7.30pm to 8.00 pm) and this has made me perkier earlier in the day, I still need a bit of a run up to get to smart a*se mode.

Then today when all three of us were sitting on the settee and I’d finished opening the presents and cards I had at the time I sat there and started getting teary – I did leak a little bit.  B asked me why I was crying, was it because of the cancer.  I said no.  He said ‘You wouldn’t be crying if you didn’t have myeloma.’   When I could trust myself to speak without bawling I said ‘I know no-one knows what will happen and lots of people don’t make their next birthday but I’m just so grateful that I did.’

A little bit of knitting

I really haven’t done much knitting or crocheting this week but here’s what I have done.

Not quite another little aran baby cardigan and yes this one has has a boo boo in the cabling but you know what I did… I’m ashamed to say that I did repeated the boo boo so that it looked like the design rather than undo the front.

This is the start of a pram/cot (crib) blanket.  It’s supposed to be knit on double pointed needles (dpns) but as I’m sure  I’ve said before I don’t really do them.  I think it’s because I’m a tucker ie, I tuck my working needle under my right arm.  I’ve tried long dpns that can be tucked but it’s still too slow, I just can’t get a rhythm going and the thought of starting with 120 stitches but finishing with about ten split between three needles – urghhhh!  So I decided to adapt it so I could use two.  The first one worked fine but I went wrong with the second darker blue one and had to undo it.  Well I say undo I’d sewn it up so neatly the end was well hidden so I took a pair of scissors to it!

And that’s been it other than a few rows of crochet and I still have these few balls to knit/crochet up…

along with a ball of red and green waiting at my local yarn shop!  Better get my finger out.

I have had a thought which might help enthusiasm matters – I generally feel better later in the day from early evening so I thought I’d try and take my Thalidomide earlier tonight (I went with 8 pm) and see if that made a difference to when I perked up tomorrow.  It’s worth a go.

Other creative spaces can be seen here.

Out of Sorts

I’m so out of sorts today.  Not too sure why although if I don’t perk up I’ll be blaming the Thalidomide.

I’d put feeling unenthusiastic about things on and off for the past few weeks down to being anemic but after getting two units of blood on Saturday I didn’t get the usual ‘blood rush’. Then I had cause to look up the side effects of Thalidomide as I’ve experienced the occasional slight trembling in my hands – as I was in the kitchen when it happened on Sunday night I was in the vicinity of the meds. It turned out that this was one of the side effects of Thalidomide along with depression, confusion, mood changes and anxiety. The shaking affecting more than 1 user in 10 and the other affecting 1 to 10 users in 100 which is also the rating for feeling weak, faint or unsteady, lack of energy or strength, low blood pressure (which are all grouped as one) I’ve just noticed and since I don’t actually feel depressed (just can’t be ars… bothered) maybe this is more suitable. I generally give drug leaflets a quick scan but only read them in detail if I have any specific queries.

I haven’t even got the enthusiasm for being crafty today – I made a buddy yesterday and have a ton of knitting/crocheting to do but just cannot be bothered.

I got up this morning to stay up at about 8.15 (I’d gone back to bed at 7.00 after I’d been forced from the bed by a bursting bladder), but nodded off briefly on the settee not long after, made myself take Bud for a short walk in the wood, decided five minutes moving some leaves off the front would make me feel better – and it did a bit along with out of breath. Other than that I’ve made three cups of herbal tea, watched the TV, stroked Bud and read a few blogs. That’s it.

A friend did point out to me last week that people without cancer have their off days and I did have a busy day yesterday. B dropped me off at the Royal, I had dialysis, our neighbours collected me and I got home at 12.20, I took Bud out for ten minutes, I drove myself to Armchair Yoga for 1 pm, I whizzed home for just after three, made chilli and rice for an early tea (which should have been Spaghetti Bolognese but between us, B got the bags out of the freezer but I directed him to where they were, we ended up with two bags of mince so I had to improvise), had a shower while it was cooking, got dressed as a friend was calling to pick me up at four to go to the Blood Support Group (the meeting started at six, and is about forty minutes drive away, but Chris didn’t want to drive in rush hour traffic and we did get slightly mislaid so it took an hour), I ate some tea, threw up, couldn’t manage the rest, off we went (and I didn’t even pick up my knitting on the way although we might have got more mislaid if I had), then on the way home we called for chips and got back 9.10, briefly spoke to Auntie Ann who’d only got back from her Norwegian Fjords cruise yesterday, ate my chips and fish cake (which stayed down) and went to bed five minutes after Chris left at 10.10 pm – my which time I was just about staggering and didn’t even have the energy to move the plates from the sink, where Chris had put them, to the dishwasher – something B picked up on this morning.

And B’s alarm went off half an hour ago so I’ll have to get up the enthusiasm to make lunch and I don’t even feel like eating – chewing takes a lot of energy! I think I might just be tired as I haven’t even really spoken to Bud today and there’s not been much smiling going on. Gosh, darn side effects leaflets.

Oh, and I did get a call about four free massages at the local oncology centre starting a week on Friday at 3pm, which is also the date of my next blood clinic appointment so I’m sure will cause B some sort of issue but what the heck.

Haemoglobin – 10.8 (up from Saturday)

Platelets – 225 (up)

Neutrophils – 0.8 (0.1 down)