It’s a glum bum day

I was intending to share the whole peritoneal dialysis fluid exchange procedure today – I mean it may come in handy one day – there could a question in a quiz – if it involves a lot of money though remember where you read the answer!

Instead though I decided to do a crafty post to brighten me up as the weather, Bud and my mood turned glum as the day went on.  Actually with me it’s more tired and has nothing at all to do with a late night and early morning!  With the weather it started all bright, sunny and quite warm this morning (as evidenced by no coat needed when Bud pressured me into taking him for a wander in the wood) but by lunch time it was bucketing it down and all gloomy.  With Bud its the fact that B didn’t take him for his regular walk – due to the weather!  In fact it was Bud’s expression when he realised he wasn’t getting a proper trip out that made me think of the word glum – he sat there with the most pathetic look on his face and looked a right ‘glum bum’.

I needed a quick baby pattern to knit for one of the ward nurses who was leaving to have a baby – funnily enough.  As I’d got some aran weight cotton in I decided to give Trellis another go. I altered one of the cable patterns into a more conventional four stitch cable rather than a travelling twisted stitch…

and repeated the cable on the hat with moss stitch in between.

It got Cairngorm Reindeer Herd buttons – I don’t know what I’m going to do when these run out.

The whole cardigan is knit on 4.5 mm needles with no increases once past the ‘rib’ but this results in the following…

so on the fronts and sleeves I reduced the cast on stitches only by two or three and then put then back before I started cabling and this sorted out the wibble.

I’ve also finished my latest bits and pieces afghan which turned out a ‘bit’ bigger than I was aiming for at 84 cm x 152 cm (33″ x 60″).

That photo doesn’t really do it justice so here’s some others…

Chris, the friend who was partly responsible for my late night yesterday, said the pink and blue centred rectangle above was her favourite or wait, was it the purple and purple one?  I don’t know now – she liked a lot of them.  What we both liked though was how using the yarn like this enabled colours that you wouldn’t necessarily put together to work – well we thought so.

I had thought this would use up all my outstanding ‘bits and pieces’ and I could bin the remnants but I still have too many to throw away with a clear conscience.  Since I need a trip to The Knitting Centre before I can start the next batch of things I’m making I started another blanket to use up absolutely all of them.

I’m doing a single alternating row of four different colours (if that makes sense) and intend to just carry on until each colour runs out and then add in another one.

As you can see it results in a lovely tangle of wool – me no likey that at all.

Now although this way of doing things should also let me put all sorts of colour combinations together I think this one may be too BRIGHT.

And it’s not even my Myeloma UK Myeloma Buddy orange – this one is nearly flourescent – I’d love to know what the rest of the ball made.

Now I need to get an early night as I have my big day out tomorrow.  B said to me before ‘Will you be taking your anti sickness tablets?’  I said ‘Yes’.  Then he said ‘What about anti ageing ones?’ I said something that can’t be repeated in polite company.

Getting immoral with rumps

I think I may have done something, if not illegal, then certainly immoral with some rump steak – I made steak and onions.  Now this may be perfectly acceptable with some high folotting celebrity chef but I was brought up to make steak and onions, hotpot and such like with stewing steak and as it seems to be labelled now braising steak.

B had asked constantly today what I wanted for my tea and I had absolutely no idea.  Well okay, it was probably about twice but seemed a lot more.  At lunch he started to suggest things and at the point where he said soup I had to say ‘I think you should stop mentioning food or I’m gonna throw up’.  Later in the afternoon he nipped out for some milk and wanted to know again – but although I don’t feel queasy all the time I don ’t feel particularly like eating.  B asked should he get some bread but the thought of bread turned my stomach at the time – indeed yesterday I made up some barm cakes for B but had some Ryvitas myself – just as well really since it turned out the barm cakes I’d used had a use by date of the 28th!

So tea time-ish today I went into the kitchen and looked at the rump steak in the fridge and thought ‘I couldn’t eat that fried but I could eat it in steak and onions’ so that’s what I did with it – I have to admit without chopping it into smaller pieces – I just wopped it in a pan to brown and then covered it with stock – chicken as we were out of beef.  B peeled the potatoes and we had it with mash and what I managed to eat stayed down unlike Sunday’s cottage pie.

It was, in B’s opinion, excellent.  He wasn’t being immodest as he hadn’t made it.  I decided to tackle the mince meat while B was out walking with Bud.  I donned a pair of disposable gloves and tackled the carrots and onion – better safe than sorry on the bacteria front.  B again peeled the potatoes for the topping and I remembered to do some veg to accompany it, unlike tonight’s meal.  I was enjoying it when suddenly I felt the urge to hurl and B passed me the poop bag lined sick bowl that’s stowed at the side of the settee just in time.  I did manage to finish off what was on my plate once I’d been sick.

Buddy has a reaction to seeing a sick bowl – he gets all anxious.  In this instance B passed me the bowl and before I’d even ejected the cottage pie Bud was up off his mat and over near the curtains looking at me funny.  I think it’s because his reaction is to come check I’m okay but it results in B telling him to get on his mat and when he doesn’t do it immediately B gets louder while I try and slope off to the stairs so I’m not throwing up in front of B while he’s trying to finish his food.   So it’s got to the point where I just have to move a sick bowl and Bud reacts.

Other than being a bit off my food I’ve still felt reasonably alright.  I have felt particularly tired today and didn’t go to armchair yoga this afternoon as I just didn’t have the energy/enthusiasm.  It had taken me the best part of an hour to go upstairs to set up the printer to work wirelessly – and in fact must have been fatigued as I didn’t even have the energy to threaten the netbook/printer when it didn’t work straight away.

I’ve also been a bit bunged up.  I thought that once I was home I’d start being regular again – isn’t this a lovely subject?  It was so hard to go in the Royal especially on the toilet I ended up using from my cupboard.  More people walked past the door than go through Heathrow in the length of a day.  Plus at Heathrow you don’t get people stood outside with drip machines beeping while you’re trying to ‘concentrate’.  I think I’ve taken enough laxatives to clear out a rhino but obviously need to increase them to take care of an elephant.  I wouldn’t usually be too concerned but in light of the need to go really regularly with the peritoneal dialysis I thought I better act sooner rather than later, particularly as the fluid I drained first thing this morning was a bit low which can be caused by constipation.

Meanwhile, although I really haven’t done anything today, I have previously finished off some things I did during my recent stay at the Royal.

I’ve added buttons to the aran jacket…

Sewn the ends in on the baby blanket made in the same aran (worsted) weight yarn…

Again this is from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans.

Sorted out the ends on a granny square afghan for the crèche/hospital in South Africa at one of our GP’s receptionist’s husbands is involved with…

and cracked on with the other one I started…

I am really liking this and think the cream round the two centre squares and then again round the resulting rectangles ties it all together nicely.  I think I need to add nine more rectangles to get it to an acceptable size – which should just about clear all the tiny balls of double knitting yarn that I have left or have been given.  This is just as well as I need more storage in my sewing room for all my new peritoneal dialysis stuff.  I mean I do have room but I wanted to tidy hide as much of it away as possible so that the back room doesn’t make it look like there’s someone sick in the house!

I’m all out of wool, I’m so lost without it

and I’d run out of cream which was going to be my edging colour for both the inner squares and the outer rectangles.  So under duress he brought me a new 400g ball of cream aran, a pair of 4.5 mm knitting needles and the substitute cable needle.

I had found a lovely little jacket pattern at knitty.com –

I also tracked down a hat pattern at sweaterbabe.com – Cable Baby Beanie – and altered the rib to moss stitch and changed the cable stitch to match the one on the cardy.  After B brought me a darning needle in this afternoon, they both now look like this…

Needless to say finishing things off seems to usually take ages but it’s now done and I have nothing crafty to do.  I knew I should have pressed B to bring me something else in addition to the darning needle – he didn’t even want to bring me that suggesting I might prefer to ‘Have a rest’.

Now I’m not saying I’m easily bored – oh wait, yes I am actually.  Yesterday I changed my own bed – and not because I’d had a boo boo I’ll have you know.  I was about to remind the Health Care Assistants when I thought ‘What’s stopping me doing it?’  The answer was nothing and it made a change since B changes the bed at home because the bending starts my back off however with the benefit of an adjustable bed no bending was required.  I also assisted today – well I’m going with ‘assisted’ but ‘hindered’ is probably a better description.

One of the registrars called in this afternoon and asked whether Prof had said if I could go home after the chemotherapy had finished or if we needed to wait until my counts went back up before I got released.  As it turned out I got disconnected while B was here and if I’d thought on I could have pushed to go home then!  Just kidding!!! B wouldn’t have gone for it and the nurse I said it in front of thought that that was being a bit too keen – plus although B has cleaned the bathroom today he still apparently needs to wash the bed sheets.

I forgot to mention that I’m concerned that Prof knows me too well.  As I’ve said me and the steriod Dexamethasone don’t mix well so when I got my first dose last Thursday and it was the same as last time I queried it as Prof said we’d look at reducing the amount.  The nurse said she’d ask about it and shortly after Prof and one of the junior docs arrived and he informed her, to her surprise and the surprise of the nearby nurse and subsequent visiting registrar, that in view of my extreme reaction to Dex it was up to me how much I took.  There I was all geared up for putting my case across for taking less than suggested or in fact none at all and I ended up with free reign.  Prof’s method actually worked like a charm and I had to give proper consideration to the amount I wanted to take and felt I had to take some as I’d been entrusted with a completely voluntary decision and indeed when the registrar suggested that I might want to consider taking 6 mg instead of 4 mg I immediately wanted to say ‘No way’ even though I’d thought this myself.

Other Creative Spaces can be found here – at least I’ll have plenty of time in the morning to do some serious looking at other craftiness.

More Twisted Cables

I finally got round to block… oh, I didn’t I dried it flat,  the cardigan I started during my last holiday in the Royal.

It was from Designer Knitting (which is what Vogue Knitting is called in the UK) Winter 2009/2010 and looked like this…

Not a particularly good picture but enough of a resemblance that it needs to be borne in mind for later.

There were a few teething troubles…

This was my first attempt at the back which had an untwisted bit at the bottom of the first twisty cable – I did notice this and thought ‘Hey I’ll just do an untwisted bit at the top end’ – and then I got to the above point and suddenly realised that I should have had five twisty cables instead of the four I had.  So  it should actually have looked like this…

And then there was the collar.  I picked up the stitches and knit it the other Tuesday when a friend was visiting so it didn’t have my undivided attention and it was the night I was really tired so the attention it did have was probably less than adequate.  This was the first go…

This was the second go…

much smoother with evenly distributed stitches.  I knew when I was doing it it would probably go pear-shaped but carried on regardless.

Anyhoo, here we have the finished article on the dress form and remember the picture from the magazine – closely fitting tailored style silhouette

nipped in waist, fitted looking, mmm, slightly loose round the bust maybe but still I’m probably bigger than the form…

We’ll ignore the little creases under the back cables from where it dried – I was going to say they would drop out but let’s face it there the least of it’s worries…

Perhaps I could just get some shoulder pads and longer arms!

Here’s some things that are going a bit better.  The crochet blanket I started last week which just needs another 15 cm (6″)…

but I did get a bit fed up with this which translates as I made a few boo boos – I’m blaming it on my haemoglobin level, lack of circulating oxygen must affect concentration, so I dipped into my bits box and started another granny square afghan…

Other creative spaces are here.

Crochet Catch-up

I thought it was about time I got up to date with the stuff I’d crocheted this year so far.

Another cot/pram blanket in the Greenway pattern from Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans in lemon and white.

This one is 75cm x 95cm and took four x 100g balls.  With the pink and white one I had more of the pink left but this used it up pretty evenly resulting in a two tone edging…

which hopefully looks like a design feature rather than a necessity.

I finished the chunky afghan I started when I lent my 4.5mm hook to my sister in law.

Its about 100cm x 130cm and I found some cream and blue chunky I had lying around – not too sure where it came from.

The green was given to me by the same yoga friend as the lilac and I had to use it double.  I gave my Auntie En the remainder last week for her blankets as I didn’t think I’d use it single and was in no rush to do anything else on a BIG hook.

And I finished the bits and bobs afghan with the 4.5mm hook…

I do think it would have looked better with all the squares edged in the same colour – more together.  This is about 90cm x 120cm.

It got a row of double crochet (US single crochet) for the edging with the second row done in reverse double crochet.  Hey it’s simple but effective.

This and the chunky one are for the South African creche/hospital via one of our GPs’ receptionists.

Gill, my sis in law, has still got the crocheting bug and when she mentioned that she was going to buy herself a selection of hooks I thought that might be a good idea for a Birthday present at the end of this month.  How about these for colourful and very reasonable at £8.99 from Amazon – certainly cheaper than buying plain grey ones individually and although I haven’t test driven any but they got good reviews and feel nice to handle.

Buddy Free Crochet

Once I’d got some sleep and extracted Bud from my crochet blanket I took some new pics.  As I mentioned the majority of these squares started life this time last year with a view to travelling across the pond to Shelly in Texas to become part of the whole Share a Square experience however I did them in the wrong weight yarn – worsted in the US equals aran in the UK not double knit as I originally thought.

When our doctors’ receptionist mentioned that a container was going over to South Africa in the next few weeks this gave me the impetus to provide them with a trip across a different ocean.  However they were quite different and looked a bit disjointed when put together.  They did look more disjointed but I only thought to take a photo after I’d already used some up.

So I took a leaf out of how Shelly has dealt with squares in previous years and decided to add a border to all the squares in one colour.

I went with a navy blue edging as I thought a dark colour would work better than a light one and I think it worked (in my humble opinion).

I am quite fond of these squares which hint at a flower while just being basic granny squares with the ‘flower’ centre being in novelty yarn surrounded by a ground of green ‘leaves’.

Coming Soon! – I’ve also done some little cardys which are knit all in one for the same shipment and the, no, THE cutest little crocheted ‘wellies’!

And yet more crocheting…

Last week after I’d used the yarn bought specifically for Share a Square I found some aran/worsted weight I’d been given by a neighbour.  The problem with it was that it didn’t tell me what it was made of – I asked but it was being coy.  I was pretty sure it was acrylic and indeed the cardigan I’d made myself from it didn’t bother me and I am wool phobic from a wearing point of view – I think this stems from a pair of tartan trousers my Mum made me when I was little they still itched after she’d lined them.  (I also had a matching cape!)

So I made a couple of squares anyway but since I wasn’t 100% sure (Share a Square squares need to be artificial to any allergies) I decided to make a blanket for the hospital/crèche in South Africa that one of the receptionists at our GPs has ties with and having bumped into her on Tuesday (not literally) she mentioned there was another container leaving in the next couple of weeks – so I timed that well.

I used the yarn I had left over from the Greenway blanket (presumably so called becasuse in the book it was done in shades of green but from here on in known as the Daisy Blanket because of the stitch) and I cannot tell you how gorgeous that cream yarn is even though it as 20% wool. It almost glows and it has to be fondled to fully appreciate its softness – as B was instructed on Sunday ‘Feel that.’ slight touch ‘No, fondle iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.’ (In my best Homer Simpson impersonation.)

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The edging is also à la the Daisy Blanket.  I was going to leave it as three rows of double crochet (US single crochet) but then did a backwards row of double crochet and it just finishes it off nicely – well I think so.

I had my hair cut by a friend on Monday.  She used our clippers.  She regularly cuts her husband with their clippers – he has it very short and she consciously tired not to get mine the same.  Let’s read the reviews.

Friend who visited last night on being informed that I’d had it cut – ‘Yes I noticed it was shorter than last time.’  (That being two weeks ago.)  So noticed but hadn’t said anything – mmmmm.

Friend who cut it as she was leaving – ‘As I say to my husband, if you don’t like it it will grow back in a couple of weeks.’

My husband (who as we know says what he sees) – ‘It’s alright.’ Oh!  When asked a second time because I had the strange feeling he may have developed a dose of tact. ‘It’s a bit (sparse, say sparse) bald looking in places.’  Doh!

Me – ‘I look like a cancer patient.’

Other creative spaces are here.