Plans

Hola!

I haven’t had the op yet and I’ve not been away, and I’ve not given up blogging either but I have been a trifle distracted lately…. the op (total knee replacement on the 24th of this month) is playing on my mind rather and it’s been hard to concentrate on anything that isn’t related to it/involving it/tangentially something to do with it….for example

  • I have organised my post-op wardrobe – no skinny jeans for me for a while (if you’ve ever looked at my insta-feed – joatvillagewoolly – you’ll realise that I don’t really do outfits that don’t involve skinny jeans. This is a bit of a wrench. To put it mildly. But I have (wo)manned up and I now have a wardrobe full of clean clothes and an outfit to come home in…..
  • I am tidying cupboards – any cupboard. Just in case anyone who isn’t me has to go find something. Oh dear god – my house will be at the mercy of all these menfolk – help!
  • I am worrying…. a lot…. about how I will fill all those hours when I will be obliged to sit on my ass – with no access to my car, my sewing machine (foot pedals are going to be a no-no) or my desk…
  • ….and in consequence I have started organising a lot of knitting. I currently have around six projects bagged up (with patterns in cute bags) ready to go. There are 2 half socks, two shawls,  two sweaters and a blanket…ok, seven projects ready to go. Not to mention a kinda pattern that I’m  half working on (oh, eight projects) plus the unfinished/on a break bits and bobs that every knitter has (a Cline for example. And half a mitten set that stalled when Spring sprang). Which brings us up to a round dozen…. there’s an argument that by the time I finish this lot I won’t just be recovered, I will be nearly 70 years old.

Anyways – I most probably won’t be around so much for a while but naturally I will be knitting, and when I’m back at the computer I hope you’ll keep me company again.

Ta ta for now.

Here’s some pretty pictures from recent travels with Vanda and friends…

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Spring flowers..
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lovely tulips
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…with Vanda to Anglesey in Wales
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Vanda’s new awning
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..sunspot blanket in situ

a date for my diary

So, darlings, I have a date for my op – the 24th of May – and I honestly couldn’t be less thrilled about it. Sure I know that the benefits will outweigh the short term consequences, and I’m grown up enough to be ‘down’ with that, but…..

Anyhoo – this isn’t a blog about me whinging about impending surgery (just think if I lived in the US I’d have to pay for it too…. and I’m lucky to be in a country that views the health of its citizens to be something that the country invests in blah blah blah…) so let’s get down to knitting and crochet….

First off – finished projects

The cowl is huge and squooshy and will be handy when Winter comes – the yarn, colour and stitch combo make it super-lovely and however you wrap it around yourself its cosy (I put in a single twist for fun)..

… the socks (destined to be gifted, are vanilla toe-up but the yarn (this one by Stylecraft) is lovely. But I think that the star of this FO show is the blanket. My Sunspots throw is on its way to Vanda but for now its decorating whatever I’m sitting on so I can stroke it and admire my handwork. It’s based on this pattern but I used three shades of wool DK instead (so 77 squares instead of 64) and edged it with bobbles instead of the band of front post treble crochet/treble crochet suggested. It’s a substantial blanket with the typical heft you expect of wool. And the colour is blissful – especially when Spring is this late arriving. It took about 3 years to make, off and on and finally getting it over the line is fabulous.

Which leaves a gap for another crochet work in progress doesn’t it? Contenders include another blanket made of squares or some sort of large ‘granny’ affair. Tbh I’m not loving the idea of making another lot of squares (all those ends, all that sewing) but the portability of something similar is appealing. I welcome suggestions. In the meanwhile to keep my hook busy I’m using some Rico Creative Melange in greyscale to make a wavy wrap. It’s pleasingly mindless.

On the knitting needles? This sweater (I know I was all about ‘small’ but..) Cranberry Gose is a lovely name and the pattern is definitely ‘me’. I started it with some stash yarn, gave up and bought something acrylic with wool which was ok (but my tension was way off so I undid it and the yarn is now available for crochet) and I’ve settled on using some pure Italian wool called Day that was £1.20 in my LYS and is very pleasing to knit with indeed. It’s a tweedy combination of black and brown with a soft and lofty feel to it. I’ve also finished one of my cashmere/wool socks (definitely won’t be given away). I have another couple of things on the ‘ancient and pending’ list but thats it for the ‘actives’ which is pretty minimal by my standards.

I have a few things to sew (I got some £5/metre Liberty lawn….delicious) but I’m trying to sew slow…so I’ve put away the overlocker and I’m working on a mash-up blouse/tunic with bracelet length sleeves that should be a winner for summer (should we ever have one) and sitting around recuperating. I could do with a really good pattern for pull on culottes/ wide leg trousers but I’m struggling. I know from experience that skinny jeans will not be wearable for some time post-op. Sob.

#nobuyzone has obviously be compromised by yarn purchases but I have still not bought clothes, bags or shoes (..other than an emergency coat) since November.

knit next

This time last weekend I had four layers of clothes on (and a scarf and 2 lots of gloves), today I sat out in a t-shirt and had a cup of tea in the sun: this is why British weather is always a conversation point. As mentioned in a previous post I’m done with large projects (I have the yarn and pattern for this lovely sweater tucked away for later in the year/when I’m laid up – whichever comes first) but I’m all about small right now. Irritatingly my right wrist thought that this would be the ideal time to make knitting socks a painful chore, so I’m having to put those aside for a moment (just as I managed to find the prettiest self-striping sock yarn in wool and cashmere too…).

Instead I’m crocheting – catching up on  an old blanket project and inventing a scarf/wrap/thing with the help of this crochet pattern from Purl Soho which will use up 3 random skeins of WYS aran yarn (this but in a variegated colour way) and a couple of rather lovely balls of yarn that I scored in Berwick on Tweed last weekend. I grant you that an aran wrap/scarf thing is not totally seasonally appropriate but …well, there you go.

To be honest I can’t really settle to anything much at the moment – the possible impending surgery (or it may be in several months…the jury appears to be out on this) has apparently befuddled me a bit. So instead of warbling away about random stuff I’ll give you some lovely seaview photos to enjoy!

 

all the things….

I am  step closer to getting my knee replaced: I’m now scheduled for my pre-op assessment in early April and that makes an end of April/beginning of May likely for the big chop. Huzzah!I think. I mean I’m looking forward to not having a knee that is disappointingly painful, but I am a bit worried about the op itself, which is a wee bit sore (she understated). Still, to have some fitness back and the chance to walk about like normal people is a good thing. I just wish I was somewhere a few weeks past it.

And I had plans: I was going to make some Ginger jeans, several Aida blouses (maybe the Arenite pants too…especially since pull-on, baggy trousers are a boon when you have a recently operated-on knee) and maybe even a jacket….And I was going to embroider some more stuff, and knit too, of course, maybe a striped black and white sweater, maybe a fair isle cardigan (with a steek? Who knows…), socks, and more shawls naturally….basically all the things..

But now instead of randomly hitting upon stuff in my workroom and jumping on the latest knit-train (yes, I’m looking at you Carbeth), I will have to plan, which is not really my strong suit. A decade ago when I had my first knee ‘transplant’ I made socks – a pair for all the family as a presents and I organised the other family Christmas presents on-line (it was a novelty then and quite exciting). I also watched a lot of Star Trek box sets (but that’s another story). Obviously I still knit socks but my enthusiasm for them has waned lately and I’m done with large projects (still looking at you Carbeth). I am open to reasonable suggestions.

My head wants to keep it simple – drug/pain addled minds don’t hold complicated lace patterns or colour-work too well – but my heart is saying ‘stuff that’ – so the next couple of weeks will be about getting my head and heart to talk sensibly to each other!

Edinburgh….again

I refer you to my post of last year – and I wasn’t going to go this year but my lovely hubby had the event in his diary and he thought that I would enjoy another visit north (and he had some IHG points to use up – which meant that we stayed in a lovely and central Hotel Indigo). He was right about enjoying Edinburgh (which is my favourite UK city by a country mile) but I am done with knitting shows.

Maybe it was too soon after losing my own little shop, maybe it was the heat and crowds, maybe the increased entry price (15 quid!!!!)  or maybe the beautiful but expensive yarns, but again it all made me a little low. I bought a few bits and pieces (just the one ball of yarn) but came away thinking that the festival is run for a club that I don’t qualify for. Ordinary everyday knitting has nothing to do with the brilliant rainbows of yarn on display – to make a sweater you’d need to find a hundred pounds or so, so it’s exclusive in the strict sense of the word. My customers would have felt ill at ease amongst the stashers and free spenders flocking to the hand-dyed stalls.

Consumption for its own sake is something I feel deeply uncomfortable with at the moment, hence my attempt to stop spending on ‘stuff’. That ball of sock yarn from the EYF was the last treat I think – #nobuyzone is back on track.

Knitting news….. my Carbeth cardigan was indeed frogged and is being re-knitted on smaller needles. I did the sleeves on the drive up and back to the north and now the body is coming along pretty well (and I bought the most gorgeous buttons for it at the festival). Sock ongoing, gloves still stalled, shawl…well I have an idea for the yarn, and I’ve played around with some stitch patterns….it might work. Watch this space.

Sewing has taken up most of my crafting attention this week: I finished an embroidery project and produced a nice little blouse for Spring (if it ever happens). I have pant plans too…

 

 

one of those weeks

 

nope

I had a bit of a pity-party early this week brought on by a feeling that my body was being a bit, well, disappointing.

As mentioned it has arthritis already, it’s prone to migraine, has had a brush with diverticular disease, still harbours a patch of two of psoriasis and is currently trying it on with a bunch of menopause symptoms. Then a few weeks ago a blood test revealed a sky-high cholesterol reading and some liver enzyme results that got me an early booking for an ultra-sound of said organ. A rather censorious woman gave me a good going over and suggested that my liver was on the fatty side of things. I assume that, like me, she’d read the NHS page where a fatty liver was frequently due to alcohol abuse or obesity – she must have noted my lack of chubs and reached an unfavourable conclusion about my drinking habits. In vain I protested that my cholesterol was the culprit, she’d already given me up as a dipsomaniac.

My too too solid flesh has thus resulted in my lifestyle being shaken up big time: no more fatty foods, no drink, weight loss on the cards and a whole bunch of nope. No chocolate, no sausages, severely restricted eating, a handful of drugs to take and a diagnosis of no fun until I’m thin.

So I have given myself permission to say “yes” to the odd purchase: a bit of yarn for sure and maybe some ego-boosting clothes (in smaller sizes? Maybe). #nobuyzone will recommence once my cholesterol is down and my mood is up!

Knitting news: the second sock from the bad ball of yarn has been cast on, the gloves are still on hold, the shawl has been frogged and the Carbeth cardigan may well join it (the tension was ok when I did a square, with a small question mark against the rows per centimetre, but since it’s now big enough for me and someone else, I suspect that I may have to bite the bullet, frog and try again. It’s a good job I like the pattern). I have ordered some more yarn to ensure that I can finish it at an improved tension and I might have accidentally acquired some rather delicious WYS sock yarn – this and this – at the same time….. but see above)

Project review

Now that Winter is on the retreat again (I hope….) I thought it was a good time to review the state of the making.

Finished projects:

Carbeth 2 got wrapped up, the everlasting socks made it over the finishing line.

IMG_4181In the non-knitting categories I made a patchwork quilt and concluded that the only place for it was on the sofa in my workspace, and it only ‘goes’ there because the conservatory is a jumble of mis-matched and random cast-aways from other rooms and houses with no meaningful overarching theme… But it’s cosy.

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I finished the Q and U for my graphic alphabet too (a hand-drawn pen and pencil project that I started in the shop as something or other to fill the hours that grew into a proper ‘thing’), but it turns out that I have missed out the W – I can give you ‘love’ and ‘hope’, and I can now ask a ‘question’, but I can’t ask ‘why’ …..

New projects

Well obviously I’ll have to sit down and finish off that ‘W’ at some point, but knitting-wise…

I started another pair of socks (possibly because I was giddy with relief after finally nailing the everlasting pair), finished one in two nights, found that the ball was a horrible mess of knots and disaster winding. Sorted out same, re-wound it (then found I’d rewound it in the wrong direction) rewound it again and then, for some reason my enthusiasm for the the project had evaporated.

With winters grip tightening, I started a pair of mittens to keep out the beast from the east – which has now gone back to Siberia, taking with it my interest in mittens….

Then there is this…bad bad shawl. Naughty bad pattern. Lovely yarn (from Countess Ablaze) but horrible horrible pattern. *sad face.

So…. with a heavy heart I bought yarn (I know, I know) and I’m now banging out a Carbeth cardigan …..and I don’t care.

I also did a week of unselfish sewing for my mum’s holidays, finished a spot of embroidery and made a couple of t-shirts for myself, so all in all it’s been productive, but if the knitting was getting a report card it would say…..‘must try harder’.