Archive for May, 2009

The usual Photo Saturday thing

May 30, 2009

It has felt like a long week.  Which is odd because it was a short one really, due to the bank holiday at the start of it. 

Firstly, our friends didn’t come round for dinner last Saturday after all.  They had some personal issues to deal with and weren’t up to socialising.  Big karma hugs to both of them. 

I’ve done fairly well work-wise this week.  I not only made it in to the office 3 mornings out of 4, I managed to time those days for when the fairly-high and really-high bosses were there.  Result!  I had a down day on Thurs when I didn’t get up on time, in lots of pain from the start of the day and couldn’t quite think clearly all day.  I made up for it with a good day on Friday.

This morning I woke up at 7.30am…but for no reason!  I lay in bed for a while, waiting to go back to sleep, then gave in and got up at 8.00.  The post lady knocked on the door 10 mins later (good timing!), to bring me this:

It’s the new sock book by Cookie A, who designs some lovely socks.  Part of the book is about designing socks, which is really interesting and could be useful.  I’ve waited weeks for this, since before our holiday.  In fact, I ordered it in time to take it on holiday, or so I thought.  I don’t know what went wrong, but almost no-one was able to get hold of a copy for a while, and as recently as yesterday my order status said ‘we’ll let you know when we have the faintest idea when we might send this to you’, or words to that effect. 

Hooray!  I got my prize! 

This week I have a team meeting in Bristol on Tuesday, and lunch planned with my friend Caron on Wednesday. 

The start of the team meeting has been delayed by an hour, but T from Plymouth and I have decided to catch our usual trains and meet for coffee before the meeting.  It’ll be nice to catch up, and have longer than the brisk walk to the office for once. 

I haven’t seen Caron for a while, and although I’ll miss knitting group this week, I really need to catch up with her.  She only works part time now, and doesn’t live in Swindon, so when she suggested Weds I said yes anyway.  Caron’s little girl celebrated her second birthday this week, and it was for her that I made the ladybird pyjama case.  We’ve now bought some ‘jamas to go in it too…

So cute!  I’ll deliver ladybird and ‘jamas to Caron on Weds and hopefiully get a couple of pictures in return. 

In knitting news, I’ve finished a couple of things this week, starting with the socks which were nearly complete last week:

I’m pleased with how they turned out. 

I also started and finished a little dog for my friend at work, whose dog was put down last week:

Ali was really happy with it, even though the spot pattern isn’t quite right.  I have offered to re-do the spots, but she just wanted to take it home. 

The second start this week was on my stripey cardigan.  I haven’t made much progress because I stopped for the dog…and to start a scarf (not sure why, the weather is suddenly lovely), but here’s where it is:

And finally, the scarf.  It’s an entrelac pattern, which is the only thing I’ve found to suit this particular sock yarn.  I love the mad colours of it, but the colour changes are just a bit too much for all the sock patterns I tried.  The intention was that I’d have this as a smaller project for travelling with…but now I’ve got the new sock book…maybe some socks are in order?!

I had a discussion with my niece a few weeks ago.  I was showing her some of the things I’ve knitted recently, and some of the things I’m planning to knit, and she asked me why I don’t knit for her any more.  I always used to include a hand made gift in their birthday presents, but haven’t for a year or so now.  For a start, we have 13 nieces and nephews, and several we include as step-relations.  Secondly, they just don’t appreciate them.  I pointed this out to M, and she went quiet.  An hour or so later she started raving about the cushion I knitted for her birthday one year.  Did it take her that long to remember the last thing I made for her? Or was she just trying to decide what her favourite gift was?

Anyway, M herself put a successful end to the conversation when she said about the cardigan I was showing her “I don’t know why you don’t just go to Primark and buy one for £6”! 

Nuff said.

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Photo Saturday

May 23, 2009

I hadn’t realised how important emotion is in my life.  I just read back through the post I wrote yesterday, and it is astonishing how different I feel now, compared to say a week ago. 

Yesterday I made a comment about enjoying work, and I gave that a lot of thought yesterday.  I do enjoy work, especially when there is so much to do, and I’m the one who knows how to do it…I’m busy and driven and..yes, I enjoy it. 

That is such a difference to a week ago.  I was still as busy, had as many deadlines and problems with the data as I do this week, but I just couldn’t quite care.  I plodded through the day and finished as early as I reasonably could. 

Of course, all that aside, I’d retire tomorrow if I could (come on, lottery win!). 

Anyway, I promised photos and here they are…nothing exciting, but some knitting stuff as usual:

That is the progress on my made-up socks.  Not much really, for a week, but I’m working on both at once (magic loop) so they should be done in a day or two. 

This is the yarn I bought yesterday to make myself a cardigan:

I’m excited about starting it, but holding back until I’ve finished the socks.

That’s it though, just two photos.  Hopefully by next week I’ll have finished the socks, started the cardi, cast on a  new pair of socks and maybe even made a small dog for my friend.  She made the final decision yesterday, and was having her dog put down last night.  So I’m sending a big swirl of thought karma her way this weekend.  I’m also sending a big old swoosh of karma to my friend D, who needs it too at the moment.  I only wish I could help in some way. 

Last night turned a bit manic on us.  We went to Gorse Hill after work (A actively encouraged me to buy yarn, I wonder what he wants?), then strolled over to Sainsbury’s, taking the scenic route through the River Ray Parkway.  It was a lovely walk.  We got a few bits of shopping, but not much, had a drink in the cafe and strolled home again.  On the way back we got picked up by my Dad, who was on his way round to deliver some baby albums and scrapbooks which he found when clearing out at his house.  He wanted them out of his soon-to-be-ex-wife’s reach.  He stayed for a while. 

Then we realised we had just 45 mins to make and eat dinner before our Sainsbury’s delivery arrived.  It seems odd that we went shopping there when we were getting stuff delivered anyway, but it makes sense really.  We order online once every 4 weeks, when A gets paid.  That stocks up the freezer and the tins and non-perishables.  Then in between deliveries we just get fresh stuff like bread, milk, cheese – the sort of thing you want to pick out for yourself and check the date on. 

So we considered take-away, but had already defrosted a plate full of prawns.  A came up with a master-plan to just warm them through in a pan with some mushrooms, then chuck them on a plate with chips and curry sauce from the chip shop.  Voila – easy prawn and mushroom curry!  Of course, we had no cash.  So A plodded off to the cashpoint 5 minutes away, intending to get the chips and curry sauce on the way back, while I started preparing the prawns and mushrooms.  The cashpoint was out of cash.  So A came home and we considered our options.  There was no time to get to the next nearest cashpoint, prepare dinner and eat it before the shopping delivery.  So bizarrely, on payday when we should have most money, we scrabbled around trying to come up with just £2.60 to buy dinner! 

We managed it in the end, but 5 minutes after we sat down to eat, and 15 minutes before we expected them, the Sainsbury’s van pulled up outside!

Dinner went cold while we unloaded the shopping, but by that time we were both so tired we didn’t care.  It was only 8pm but we seriously considered going straight to bed.  Instead we had to stay up to watch the new episode of NCIS on FX…how could we miss it?!

Tonight our friends Alan and Kat are coming round for dinner and a good natter.  We’re taking the lazy option and ordering pizza, especially as one of the big pizza chains put a leaflet through our door which gives us 50% discount when we spend £30 or more.  And we had the foresight to include a big box of lager in the shopping delivery.  Hooray!

Improvement

May 22, 2009

I’m feeling a bit better.  I’d almost say a lot better, but that would just be getting carried away. 

Since I have stopped taking the amitriptyline, I’ve rediscovered emotion.  That sounds a bit odd, but bear in mind that amitriptyline is an anti-depressant as well as a painkiller.  And like all other anti-depressants (at least the ones I’ve taken) they don’t make you happy, they just strip away feelings. 

Unfortunately, as well as the good feelings, I’ve got an excess of all emotions going on – yesterday I almost had a tantrum because the data I was working with didn’t add up as I expected it to! 

On the whole though, I think it’s a big improvement and I’m already happier.  Once I’ve settled back down properly I’m sure it’ll be good. 

That said, I still have pain, even more since stopping the extra drugs, but I’ll live with that. 

Another positive is a rediscovery of my knitting inspiration.  I want to finish the socks I’m working on now, buy some yarn for a cardigan, re-start an entrelac scarf which I ditched because I thought the back might be ugly (it deserves another chance), knit a small dog for my friend (whose dog has to be put down 😦 ) and…oh so much more. 

Also, I can drive!  At least in the mornings when I’m not on co-codamol from the minute I wake up.  I went to work in the office yesterday morning, for the first time in more than a week.  I lasted until 1pm, and wasn’t even grey-faced when I left!  Today of course I’m paying for it, but it’ll pass.  Remember the pacing from the pain clinic?!

Anyway, back to work – which I’m even enjoying – photo Saturday as usual tomorrow.

Nightmares

May 19, 2009

I agreed with the doctor-man yesterday that I can stop taking one of the painkillers I’ve been on for the last couple of months.  I’m sleeping 10+ hours per night, napping in the afternoon and still feeling too tired to function all day.  I really shouldn’t be driving, not at all. 

Part of the problem is the nightmares.  All night, every night.  I wake up repeatedly and find it hard to go back to sleep.  Last night I wasn’t allowed a sandwich for lunch until I’d eaten a whole loaf of dry bread.  By which time I really didn’t want a sandwich anyway.  I then wasn’t allowed dinner until I’d eaten a pair of trousers and two pairs of socks!  It sounds silly now, but at the time it was just distressing. 

Then, when I got back to sleep, I was the Queen of somewhere or other, but only because I was married to the King.  Sounds good?  At the point that I started dreaming it, the King had just died and a rioting mob were looking for me.  Not so good.

The night before last, I was chased by, then fighting with the Terminator.  Both the scary Arnie one and the even more scary molten metal one.  I slashed the metal one’s throat with a knife, twice, but he just laughed at me and healed over.  The Arnie one just stood there grinning, neither attacking nor defending me.  I was shaking and sweating when I woke up from that one and it took a very long time to get back to sleep! 

I don’t even remember a lot of the nightmares, but they’re very vivid at the time.  I read once that to remember dreams, you should write them down immediately, even if it is the middle of the night. 

To be honest…I don’t want to remember these ones! 

So anyway, I’ve stopped taking the amitriptyline and hopefully things will start to improve.  I still had to sleep for an hour this afternoon, but I don’t remember any dreams at all.  Seems like a small thing to be so pleased about, doesn’t it?!

Where’s my mojo?

May 16, 2009

My knitting mojo!  Where has it hidden itself away?!

Seriously, I’ve hardly been knitting at all.  I finished my last pair of socks, I finished the ladybird pyjama case for Maya, and I couldn’t think what to cast on next. 

I thought “That’s easy, I’ll just make me some more socks”.  I picked out some lovely Tofutsies yarn, mmm pretty blue yarn.  So soft.  I picked out a pattern, couldn’t get gauge.  I picked another pattern, didn’t like the look of it.  I picked a third pattern, which had options for two sizes.  The large one was way too large.  The small/medium was way too small. 

I trawled Ravelry.  I searched my queue…ransacked my favourites…scoured the forums.  I rummaged through both of my sock books.  I could not settle on a pattern. 

I decided to make a plain, simple stocking stitch sock. 

I knit the cuff then thought to myself “I could just take a peek in the book of stitch patterns I have upstairs”. 

Then of course, the only problem was deciding on one stitch pattern!  I’ve ended up with something kind of odd looking, but I like it.  It involves wrapping the yarn several times around the needle before knitting stitches on some rows…

And the close-up on the pattern:

Of course, I’ve realised since I finally settled on these that the Tofutsies yarn isn’t the 4-ply fingering weight yarn I usually use for socks…it’s 3-ply light fingering.  Genius! 

When I’ve finished these I’ll hopefully be able to afford enough yarn to make me a cardigan.  I love cardigans, wear them all the time, and I’ve got a few patterns in my Ravelry queue. 

After that, I’m hoping that my new sock book will have finally turned up.  I ordered it weeks and weeks ago, and I’ll have had so far is repeated e-mails apologising for the delay.  The only consolation is that I’ve seen lots of other Ravelers complaining of delays too, so it’s not just me, there is a problem with it. 

On to non-knitting stuff…our 11 year old niece is staying over with us tonight.  I offered her a choice of birthday treat – a shopping trip, a fancy restaurant dinner, a trip to the cinema, a sleep-over with take away of her choice…or anything else she could think of.  The strange child wouldn’t even consider the other options, she desperately wants to stay with us.  So we’ll be ordering pizza and trying to keep her entertained for the evening. 

Hmm, apart from that…can’t think of much news…nope, that’s it, for today anyway.

The return of Photo Saturday!

May 9, 2009

Okay, let’s get straight on with the good stuff…all knitting, but at least they’re photos.  I can’t remember when I last posted photos, or what they included, so I’m just going to launch in with the last few pairs of socks and hope that covers it (too lazy to check)…

Yarn: Violet Green’s Burnt Orange Solemate

Pattern: Primavera

 

Yarn: Tofutsies

Pattern: Tidal Wave

 

Yarn: VG Stellar 1403

Pattern: Fools Rush

And, after all the lovely sockiness…my creative masterpiece (?!)…a pyjama case made for my friend’s little girl, who will be 2 this month.

The 3rd picture is just to demonstrate where the ‘jamas go.  Neat, huh?

Yep, that’s just one big pile of weirdness disguised as creativity, but hopefully Maya will like it.

I’m back!

May 7, 2009

Well, it’s been a while.  I can’t think of all the exciting things I’ve been up to in the past few weeks, but here’s a brief list of high(and low)lights:

  • My Grandmother’s funeral finally happened.  With it came a release of tension and a chance to actually talk to some of the family;
  • We’ve been on holiday to Westward Ho!  Yay, holiday!
  • I went for a pre-op assessment yesterday – 4 attempts at a blood test, two giganto-normous bruises and two hours later…
  • I’m still waiting for a surgery date;
  • Work is still work, busy but nothing urgent;
  • Mum still doesn’t know whether she’ll be having a hysterectomy.

I think that’s most of it. 

I made it into the office this morning, for the first time in weeks.  Only, I forgot my laptop.  And my tens machine.  And somehow didn’t manage to take any of my tablets before I went.  So two hours later, I came back home again.  D’oh!

In knitting news, I’ve been busy on socks, as always.  Also, I’m making a ladybird pyjama case for my friends little girl.  I couldn’t find a pattern for what I wanted, so I’m making it up.  It took me a while to track down how exactly to knit a flat circle, but as soon as I’d figured that out, I was away.  It’s getting there now, just got to finish the shell, sew it on to the body and stuff it, then work out legs, eyes and antennae.  I’ll post pictures when I’m done, maybe even write up the pattern (if I can make sense of my scribbled notes). 

Talking of pictures, I’m sure I’m way behind.  On Saturday I should have the morning to myself while A is at work, so I’ll get some sorted then. 

For now though, back to work!