Archive for February, 2009

No-photo Saturday

February 28, 2009

This week I have no photosto show.  I haven’t finished any knitting, haven’t bought anything new, haven’t even really done anything. 

So why am I writing?  Ah, you know, habit. 

I have been knitting of course.  I’ve got just 1.5 fingers to do to finish my pretty purple gloves.  I would have got there last night if I hadn’t had to stop and wind the 3rd skein of laceweight…which…took…forever!  Perhaps at some point I should invest in a ball winder. 

I haven’t started on my Mum’s second pink sock yet, as I want to finish the gloves first. 

Then I thought I’d make a hat. 

Only I should make a wedding sampler for my friend’s daughter first.  But I want to make a hat.  And some more socks. 

Actually it might be a good idea to take a break from the knitting anyway.  The wedding sampler shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks, even with designing it myself, as Ali is looking for something small, probably about A5 size.  Then I can return to knitting full of new enthusiasm and fresh ideas.  Cos that’s what I need, right?  New ideas?  More enthusiasm?  Cos there are enough hours in the day to knit everything I want as it is. 

Anyway, I promised to make the wedding sampler, and if I just get on with it, it will be done the quicker.  I might even re-discover my cross-stitch mojo. 

In other news, our friends from New Zealand turned up out of the blue last weekend.  Jenny is bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding today, and was planning to come over on her own.  Tim managed to tag along in the end, bringing with them the good news that they are having a baby! 

In book news, I finished the James Bond book by Sebastian Faulks, which I started a few days ago.  I can’t say I really enjoyed it, and there were definitely times where I was looking forward to the end.  I think I need to read one of the original Bond books to see how different it really is.  It might be that Faulks has captured the style exactly, and I just wouldn’t have enjoyed the originals either.  I’ll reserve judgement for now. 

This morning I have re-read Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres.  It’s a little, short book, but so lovely.  It made me cry, as it did when I first read it 6 years ago (almost to the day).  I think I might re-read some other de Bernieres books now, starting with The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts. 

That’s enough for today, I want to get back to those gloves.

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…insert title here…

February 25, 2009

I cant think of a title right now, so I may come back to it if something occurs to me, otherwise…whatever.

I finished re-reading Wuthering Heights the other day, and I’m pleased to say I followed the story and kind of ‘got it’ for the first time.  I still found it hard work, and I had to concentrate on it, but the lightbulb click moment when I got through it was worth it.  I think the problem lies in all the similar names,  Heathcliff and Hareton and Hindley and Linton and two Catherines.  I just find it hard work. 

Now I’m reading the James Bond book Devil May Care, by Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming.  It seems quite stilted and uncomfortable to start with, with lots of irritating not-quite-explanations and history snippets, but his style is relaxing a bit now I’m further into it.  I have several other books by Faulks, and really enjoy his style and stories.  Once I’ve read this one it might be good to track down one of the original Bond books, by Fleming himself, and see how it compares. 

Then what?  Maybe The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Maybe some Thomas Hardy.  Maybe something completely different.  I don’t plan too far ahead with my reading, often just reading whatever catches my eye.  I do keep a list of what I’ve read though, by date and by author.  I can easily see how recently I’ve read something, or what I was reading as far back as 2003.  It’s fascinating.  Although, reading that back it actually sounds really dull 😉 .  Really though, I consider that I read Pride and Prejudice regularly, frequently even.  But I realised the other day that I haven’t read it since before 2003!  That’s not frequent at all! 

Moving on to knitting…I made it to knitting group today, for the second week running.  It’s always good to relax for that hour or so. 

I have completed the first of my Mum’s ‘think pink’ socks (thank heavens) and it finally looks the right size.  It is a little grubby from having been wound, knit, frogged and re-wound several times, but once sock 2 is done, I’ll wash them and pass them on to their owner. 

I put off starting my second malabrigo glove, so I’d concentrate on the pink socks, but now one sock is done, I’ve cast on the second glove.  I haven’t decided whether to work on both at once or finish glove then sock. 

Once I’ve got these two projects done, I’ve promised to make a wedding sampler for my friend to give to her daughter, as a wedding present.  I haven’t done any cross-stitch since all the wedding presents I made last year, so it’ll be nice to do something different.  I just have to drag myself away from the knitting for long enough! 

Anyway, on that note I must go and start cooking dinner.  Steak and chips, mmmmm.

What do you mean, I missed a week?

February 21, 2009

Okay, so I did miss last Saturday.  Can’t even remember why.  Probably laziness. 

What has been going on in the last two weeks?  Hmmm, not a great deal that I can think of. 

Got the last blood test result back, all normal.  Still waiting for hospital appointments. 

Mum got confirmation that the pain and skin problems which so closely resemble the cancer she had a year ago are ‘post-radiotherapy changes in the skin’.  Which is interesting, 20 years after the radiotherapy! 

A has a slight change of role at work, he has been given specific responsibilities, instead of general ones.  It’s probably a good thing as he will be adding skills to his repertoire. 

I’ve been struggling to work very successfully, only been in to the office twice this week, and couldn’t work at all on Thursday.  I’ve got to get my act together, the boss-man is very understanding, but I can’t rely on him being my boss for much longer.  Change is coming. 

I’ve been reading a lot in the last two weeks…perhaps that’s why I didn’t get around to posting last week.  I’ve just re-read all of Jane Austen’s novels for the umpty-ninth time.  I love Pride and Prejudice, it;s one of my favourite books ever, and the rest of them are really good too.  I was given P&P by a friend of my Mum’s, for my 11th or 12th birthday. I read it then, and enjoyed it, but didn’t really understand it very well.  I have re=read it many times since and enjoyed it as much or more every time.  This time through I found it funnier than ever before, picking up on the clever phrases better. 

I think I’m going to re-read Wuthering Heights next, because I’ve never really understood it when I’ve read it before and I keep re-reading it in the hope that it starts to make sense.  We’ll see. 

In knitting news, I’ve restarted my Mum’s think pink socks…again…this time in a much bigger size.  I got to the toe of the first one and realised that it just wasn’t big enough, especially if I took into account the way her arthritic fingers struggle with things like socks.  She won’t be able to put on anything tight, they have to be loose.  It turns out she has been wearing her partner’s oversized men’s socks, so I’m going for a massive size, and using a bigger needle size to make the stitching looser. 

The picture is of the previous version, now frogged, but the pattern will be the same.

I finished my pretty purple lacy scarf, and have started making gloves from the leftover Malabrigo lace yarn.  Of course, when I say leftover, I mean 2 and a bit skeins!  I’ve finished the first glove, made holding two strands of the laceweight together, and realised when I put it on that I’ve never owned gloves that fit properly before!  Being able to adjust them to exactly the size and shape of my hand and fingers makes them fit so well. 

It’s impossible to get across the softness of this scarf in a photo, but it really feels luxurious.  It was 34 repeats long in the end so it took 17 days to knit, plus a couple to block. 

So, on that note I’m going to get back to my sock and/or glove knitting, plus checking out what time the snooker starts today.  It’s semi-final day of the Welsh Open…one of my favourites went out yesterday, but the other got through.  Yay!

A week of snow

February 7, 2009

I don’t remember it snowing like this since I was a child.  Every morning since Monday we’ve woken up to at least a couple of centimetres of snow on the ground.  Most days it melts by evening and is there again in the morning, deeper every day.  It’s forecast to last a while longer as well. 

The novelty wore off very quickly.  Most of the local schools are closed, bus services are very restricted, when they run at all and shops are running low on stock because of panic buying.  I’ve been working at home most of the week, although I did walk in to the office on Wednesday. 

A’s walk to work at 6am has not been fun, and being trapped at home all afternoon doesn’t make him happy.  He did manage to build himself a snowman in the garden though!  He went out to clear some of the drifting snow away from the back door, heaped it up out of the way and decided to have some fun.

 

Aaaahhh, cute!

I had a call on Weds morning, offering me a cancellation appointment for the pain management clinic at the hospital on  Thursday morning.  It was a bit of a problem getting there on time, but I’m hopeful that the physio lady I saw will be able to help.  The aim is not to cure me of pain, but to help me work out ways of managing it that let me do the things I need to do.  To reclaim my life really. 

I’ve got some simple exercises to do, a diary of all my activity and pain levels to keep and I have to do a work-space assessment when I next go into the office.  The boss-man has instructed me that he will do his best to get anything I need, for work or home.  So I have to re-consider the way I work at home as well.  Looks like I’ll have to clear the desk in the library, get hold of an office chair and ask for a docking station. 

Apparently I’m a ‘doer a giver and a coper’, which is great while I’m healthy.  I consider it a compliment in fact.  But when I’m ill it means I keep doing things even when I know it makes the pain worse.  I’ve got to learn to pace my activity, and even my inactivity!  I have to move around at least every half hour, at work or home. 

Sounds easy, but when I’m in the middle of something – writing code at work or knitting at home – I don’t want to get up and move.  We’ll see.  At least for now someone is trying to help in a constructive way. 

On Weds afternoon I went to see the Dr-man again, and got blood test results.  The results were all back and all clear, apart from the coeliac one which had to be sent away.  It’s the one I was most interested in too.  The Dr-man is referring me to see a gastro-enterologist anyway, and I can phone again next week to find out if the test result is back. 

On to the really interesting stuff…knitting news.

I have completed two repeats of my pretty purple scarf every day, and it is now up to twenty-something repeats and nearly finished.  I will have so much of the yarn left over that I thought I might make matching gloves and hat. 

My Mum’s ‘think pink’ socks were going well until I reached the place where i thought the ribbon pattern would go and couldn’t make it work from the bottom up – the pattern I have is top down.  I also realised that my plans for the picot top and threaded-through ribbon wouldn’t work as well.  So I frogged the lot and have started again. 

On Tuesday I got my latest order from Get Knittedin the post – some lovely Tofutsies sock yarn (cos I didn’t have enough sock yarn already, nope not enough by far), a range of KnitPicks Options circular needles in sock sizes and the deluxe KnitPicks Options interchangable needle set. 

 

Oh so pretty!  I immediately transferred my scarf onto the interchangable needles, which I know is bad practice but I just had to try them.  I have no idea what the Tofutsies is destined for (except probably socks, obviously). 

But look, pretty!