Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Knitting 2009 and knitting plans 2010

Earlier in the year I started to keep notes on what I had knit. Mostly I look around my home and think to myself that I haven't knit much this year. Yet I always seem to be knitting, I feel lost in the evenings if I'm not knitting a row or too. Clearly from the list below it is evident that I do knit.


The Republic Hat by Nicole Reeves in Adriafil Lama colourway Brown (64)

Lavender in Winter Beanie by Vicky Hammerstein in Adriafil Lama colourways Grey and Brown (74 & 64)

Seaman's Cap by Brenda Zuk in Colinette Iona colourway Summer Berries.

Hawthorne by Tanis Gray in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in colourway 6610

Two Amanda Hats by Gina House in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in Reds and Purple and Black.

Two Amanda scarfs inspired by Gina House in Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in Reds and Purple and Black.

Emerald Cardigan by Amy Swenson in Rowan Scottish Tweed Chunky in colourway Lobster.

Mandy's cutting edge of fashion tank top - 07 V-neck Vest by Elena Malo in RYC Cashsoft Aran Brown 020

Tartan scarf by Anna Tillman in Kidsilk Haze Trance 582 and Rowan Tapestry Moorland 175 & Lakeland 180

Kiri Shawl by Polly Outhwaite in Wollmeise Lace-Garn in colourway Terra di Siena.

Pi Hat by TChemGrrl in Rowan Pure Wool Aran Praline and RYC Cashsoft Aran light beige.

half of a Surface by Norah Gaughan in Toft Alpaca DK Chocolate 208

Sir Lancelots magical jacket - Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss in RYC Cashsoft Aran, Red (10)

Seaman's hat for a friend - Seaman's hat by Brenda Zuk in RYC Cashsoft Aran, Red (10)


Socks

Cherry Tree Socks - Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Fall Foliage.

Fandango Socks - Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Fandango

Show off Stranded socks by Anne Campbell - Fyberspates Sock Yarn.

My Country Garden Socks - Cherry Tree Hill Supesock in Country Garden.

More socks for Mandy - Austermann Step colourway 55

Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt in The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Differential Grasshopper

Spring Forward to Sunny Days by Linda Welch in Wollmeise Sockenwolle 100 % superwash in Baba Jaga.

Stripey socks - ball band lost.

Thick Grey socks - Schoeller & Stahl Limbo Color in Grey.

Charlie's Cheesy Wotsit Paw Prints - Pyewacket Socks by Kristi Schueler in Handmaiden Fine Yarn Casbah Sock in Sangria.

Lost label Socks - lost label.

Redcurrants and Stinging Nettles - Johannisbeer und Brennessel 100% Wollmeise.

Mum's Emergency Socks - Regia Kaffe Fassett colourway 4355

Spey Valley by Nancy Bush in Peace, Love & Misti Alpaca Hand Paint sock yarn in colourway Taos.

Socks for a huge footed male, Opal Hundertwasser in 1432 Der Blaue Mond

Lizard Ridge,
9 squares.

My knitting plans for next year, (how are we saying this twenty ten, or two thousand and ten? I think I'm sticking to twenty ten) they are simple.

1. It is going to be the year of the cardigan for me. I love cardigans, I do, I prefer the flexibility of not overheating (its probably my age!) I've concentrated on socks this year, mainly because I needed a stash to keep my feet warm and I will still knit socks, but I would love some super warm cardigans to choose from come next winter.

2. When I do knit socks, I will probably be looking for a patterned sock. Bayerische, may even get tackled this year. That is my holy grail and one day I will knit it.

3. And this plan is quite scary - my stash is threatening to overtake my home. I have some beautiful wools to choose from, really stunning and now is the time to use them. So... (and this is so difficult to type) I don't care how tempting the bargain is or how much I desire that particular colourway, I am going to knit from my stash. If I need a couple of balls to complete or compliment a project that is fine, but apart from that it must come from the stash. I can however buy beautiful needles and books, I couldn't live without books and magazines. (well I could obviously, but I prefer not to) I can also swap yarn. - that is allowable.

At the moment I could probably knit at my current rate of knitting for several years just from my stash. Especially with the amount of sock yarn I have, its time to make a serious dent in it.

I feel slightly panicked about this idea, I'm hoping this panicky feeling (and who knew I'd become such a consumer!) will lessen as the time goes on. Especially when I start using some of the most beautiful yarns that I have carefully stored away.

I'm hoping for a much healthier year next year, this was not a good year for Mandycharlie. I saw my rheumatologist today etc etc, he's just diagnosed the pain in the side as pleurisy. Whether its pleurisy or strained intercostal muscles, it flippin' hurts. I'm on my fifth course of antibiotics, I've had five lots of blood tests, one xray - (still waiting for results) huge amounts of painkillers etc etc. He thinks that its going to take two to three months to get back to normal. All I know is that I couldn't walk far if my life depended on it. My breathing is completely whacked out (a common side effect of pneumonia apparently) and I've an appointment with a physiotherapist to get my breathing back into line. So at the moment I don't think I'm going to be playing for another month or so.

I'm okay really, I'm a bit low as you might imagine, and it probably wasn't a good idea for hubby to be refitting the kitchen just while I've been this poorly, but basically I'm okay and its more a question of having a little winge. *grin*

So, I'm just going to have a little break from blogging, just to let you know that nothing dire has happened, I am over the worst I just need rest and recuperation.

See you in a few weeks,

Happy New Year!





Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas Stocking.

I thought I'd update you all today on my pneumonia and the small amount of crafting that I have managed to do. Generally I'm steering myself towards a better place, last week was good on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, but Friday I deteriorated much to the concern of my doctor and so the weekend was filled with an anxious husband and children badgering me to go to the hospital. You can imagine it can't you "cough" - "go to the hospital" (ignore it) "Cough, cough" - "go to the hospital" (ignore it) "Cough, cough, cough" , accompanied by slight retching sounds as gasping for breath whilst clutching ribs, - "GO to the hospital" .... Female of forty odd years stands her ground and whilst gasping for breath manages to scream at her family that have collected around her "Will you lot just SHUT UP!!" Family dissipate until the next round of coughing where upon they regroup and have another go.

This morning, well, I don't feel quite so ill as I did at the weekend, I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was feeling brighter and my right lung is really hurting. I think that's to do with all the coughing I have done for the last few weeks, but I'm definitely feeling... not as ill.

One of the benefits of being ill is you get to watch as much television as you are able, although mostly your bored to tears by it. But there was a rare treat on last week which I thoroughly enjoyed, Kirstie Allsopp's Homemade Christmas. One of her projects really tickled me, her Christmas stocking, although the cost of her chosen materials didn't. I was deeply shocked by how expensive her materials were, mohair bear at £75.00 a metre for a three year old, maybe not. What I do love about Kirsty is she has an enthusiastic bubbly personality and obviously loves crafting. I like that.

So on Thursday Kirstie's idea of a Christmas stocking wouldn't leave me alone. Fortunately my sewing machine and other crafty materials are still downstairs. (See mother there are some benefits to not being house proud!) So it was not difficult to set everything up.

I've been collecting material, this is a tip for patch workers or would be patch workers that come across my blog. Fabric sample books are wonderful for patch workers, even the heavy materials from furniture suppliers are well worth having. And generally, they are free. They are just thrown away so if you can get in there first before the schools, local charities or perhaps someone else that has read this blog, do it. I've even been known to ask at shops making curtains etc when out on a day out.

So, this stocking that you are about to see was made with material given to me from my local shops, (I've got that wrapped up so don't even try!!!) a little wadding and material left over from my Christmas skirt, I bought the jingle bells and Christmas rope - which were in my stash. So sum total I think including threads, would have been about £1.50 for this project.

I started with choosing the back and lining of my stocking.

That was a bit tricky as most samples are quite small, but occasionally you do get a bigger bit and I was lucky that I had a lovely red to use.


I really enjoyed this part, I gathered together golds, creams, reds, rusts and greens, of various textures, they just look so pretty. It was great fun.

Next I made a pattern out of some tissue paper that I had saved. Cut out my wadding and then started to sew random patches onto my stocking shaped wadding.

I then trimmed all of the materials up and embellished my stocking with Christmas rope. Next I cut out the backing and lining materials,


and sewed them together. And that was the tricky bit. Trying to remember exactly how Kirstie had sewn them all together in one go and how it would work. My brain was doing backward flips at that point as it was desperately trying to work in 3D.

However, I managed it first time!

It was right sides of the backing and front together and right sides of the linings together, placed on top of the backing side. Sounds weird doesn't it.


Then once sewn up, pop your fingers in between the front and the backing and turn inside out.

and you have a stocking.

I used some quilt binding that was spare from my Christmas tree skirt. And I added a couple of jingle bells - because anyone that knows me knows that If I can add a little musical interest to a Christmas item, I will. They do make it absolutely wonderful, because they work on another sense, its not just visual its auditory and it really brings Christmas alive in this stocking.

The completed stocking. Its not perfect, but its mine and I love it so.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The reason I'm a little bit quiet.

You can tell its nearly Christmas, so much to do, so little time and no energy at all.

Three weeks ago I ended up at the Out of Hours doctors surgery at the local hospital with a chest infection, was duly given a course of antibiotics and sent home. I did as I was told, plenty of fluids, took all of my medication and waited to get better. Which I thought I had, but in my heart I knew I hadn't.

On Thursday I woke up feeling like death but chivvied myself to get dressed and get on with the morning, and it was just the tonic I needed to see the girls at knitting. I was still coughing like a good 'un, whilst making comments of "oh yes it is getting better" and trying not to listen to the comments that came back that I needed to see a doctor.

Thursday evening came, I was exhausted and shivery and on Friday morning my lungs really started to hurt on one side. AT that point I gave in and organised a doctors appointment and a taxi because I realised that I wouldn't be able to walk that far. My doctor was slightly concerned as she listened to my sticky lungs, gave me a course of antibiotics, instructed me not to take my methotrexate this weekend and has made me promise to go to the out of hours surgery if I'm not improving (at the moment I think I am, although its a fine line) has put me on weekly blood tests and weekly visits to see her until I'm better.

So, if someone could do all of my Christmas shopping, write my cards, make my cake and all of those other things that I was mean't to get done in the last month that I have been poorly, I'd really appreciate it..

I do hope people understand when they don't get Christmas cards this year, that I just couldn't do it. (And there hasn't been very much Christmas knitting done either!)

And on that note, I'm going back to my bed, wishing for a much better year next year.