Me Balls are too Big

I thought it was about time we had a craft related post.  I’ll start with what I did while on my five week Royal-cation.

I did 20 fancy crocheted squares – I had 63 to choose from in the booklet which was just as well as there were a number I undid, either because I had too many or too few chains left at the end of the base row or it didn’t turn out the right size.  I must apologise for the picture quality but I took some of them on my phone.

I had plenty of yarn left over from making the fancy squares so I made another 45 (I already had five made at home) for Share a Square.  Shelly was a little short of contributors, as every square in an afghan should come from someone different, so it was suggested that if you crocheted them you could put a friend/family member on the tag that accompanies them.  So I did this batch from my Auntie Ann  – needless to say I had to handwrite the tags.

This was one of the squares I’d already done.  This and the other 45 squares are in Red Heart aran/worsted and this one is called Bikini.  I have  to say I was very impressed with Red Heart’s service.  I ordered on a Saturday night, the order was processed on the Monday and I received it Friday – all the way from the US.

Now we’ll get onto the subject of big balls and me being a tad (read that as very) slow.  I selected some yarn for a blanket from my local yarn store over the phone and a friend picked it up.  B brought the book in I needed – Comfort Knitting and Crochet Afghans and off I went.  I have to admit that the last week in the hospital I didn’t do any knitting at all.  Yes, I felt somewhat crappy but if I’d had something to do that didn’t involve four colours in a row I might have been more inclined to do some but I had already managed a fair bit…

Plus the balls were all 400g and actually seemed to be getting bigger rather than smaller, as they loosened up, so it was really a mither to untangle the yarn part way through.  I started knitting again on Wednesday and saw the light – why didn’t I just wrap smaller balls to make it easier – Doh!

The pattern itself is really clever, well I think so, in that you start with a straight row of stitches…

and because of the decreases in the middle it forms a square when finished.

On Tuesday this week I decided I’d like to do some crochet and thought I’d start a blanket for the creche/hospital in South Africa that our GPs’ receptionist, and husband, are involved with using the bag of tiny balls that one of the other receptionists gave me.  I also had quite a few bits hanging about myself.

I crocheted them together as I went along otherwise I would have crocheted round each square in the same colour, say cream, to unite it more.  Now my sister in law, Gill, rang on Tuesday to ask if I had a crochet hook that she could borrow for some double knit yarn she’d bought.  She’s never crocheted before but is having trouble sleeping so she thought it might be an idea to learn so that she could crochet when she’s awake in the middle of the night.  She’s left handed but had found an instructional video for left handed people on the internet. I said no problem, I have lots of crochet hooks.  Turns out I only have one 4.5mm which was the size I was using for the blanket so after I’d lent it to Gill I needed something else to do in dialysis on Wednesday, so I did these…

They are in a chunky yarn, which I wouldn’t usually use, but was given two bags full by a friend from Armchair Yoga so I thought I’d use that as it would crochet up quickly.

And finally, I actually finished my second Stephen West Knitalong shawl, for a friend for Christmas, just before I went into hospital.  I hadn’t blocked it though I had left it to dry flat and I was so annoyed with myself on Christmas Eve.  Chris called round with my present (and we had a chat with me in the vestibule and her in the porch – as she had a cold) and I hadn’t had chance to block the shawl.  After she’d gone I went upstairs and when I looked at the shawl it would have been fine – I could have just wrapped it up.  Double doh!

I have to say I really like the colours particularly as I wasn’t too sure how they would look together.

And one little departure from crafting – when I went to dialysis yesterday both the doctor and dietitian called in to see me.  The dietitian was asking me how my mouth was and I said it was loads better, the only thing that really made it sting was the potassium tablets I’d been given to take when I left the hospital.  It turned out that my potassium was too high on Wednesday but this would be the reason and since I took the last ones on Wednesday it should settle back down.

My phosphate had also been low prompting a phone call from one of the doctors on Monday afternoon but since I didn’t feel nauseous and was eating it wasn’t too much cause for concern and it had gone up a little by Wednesday.

The other thing was the 24 hour wee collection I’d taken in on Monday – 1.8 litres!  Just a tad different from the 200 to 300ml I was producing at first.  When analysed it didn’t have that many toxins in it which would have showed that my kidneys were recovering and dialysis could be stopped at some point,  but it did have some.  The doctor said though that there is still a little hope that they will pick up and I need to do a monthly collection.  It was just as well that I hadn’t got my hopes up but then again you never know, stranger things have happened at sea.

The Great Slipper Hunt of 2011

I was hoping to be able to show you a finished shawl today but after I missed yesterday’s knitting target dramatically I took a picture today while there was still a fair amount of natural light left and abandoned any thoughts of getting to the point of weaving ends in this evening.

I ended up having to do another West knits Knitalong shawl after a friend saw the first one and said ‘I’ll have one of these for Christmas in white, grey and black if you can manage it.  It will be ideal rather than a cardy.’ To which I responded ‘Okay then.’ While thinking ‘DOH!’  You see said friend hardly ever asks me to knit, sew, crochet anything even though I’ve offered loads of times – thinking about it maybe she just doesn’t trust my crafting skills – I think things she’s asked for, rather than just had thrust upon her amount to a fabric pelmet and a throw.  The DOH! resulted from me having already bought her present.  A couple of months ago she accompanied me to a hospital appointment and then we did a spot of shopping in Liverpool and then, of course, went for food.  During the course of the shopping she spotted a handbag she really liked and I was able to buy it a few days later from the local version of the same shop.  ‘What a result’ I thought at the time – with the starting of a sense of smugness at getting ahead with Christmas presents.  Anyhoo needless to say I couldn’t/didn’t say no and bought the yarn last Saturday.

As I avoid circular needles at all costs I am, once again, knitting this one on straight needles so it’s not exactly photogenic.  Actually it’s not clear in the flesh, so to speak, two friends called round last night and one isn’t a knitter at all and couldn’t grasp how what went where at all – so I had to get the first one to explain it.  I also brought down Pyjama Bear which shows I’m feeling better than two weeks ago when I mentioned the bear but couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to go upstairs for it.

So here it is…

I didn’t meet my knitting target yesterday as we had a Buddy incident.  There I was all set to carry on with the shawl after getting a drink and getting myself comfy on the settee just after two o’clock and by half past I was putting the quilt off the settee in the washer along with Bud’s two duvet/mat covers – because I thought I might as well make the most of the wash.  This was because Bud had been out for a wee wee and come back in with a pooey paw, only slightly pooey right enough but still pooey!  And I made Bud flinch, I was shooing him out into the garage and he went onto his window mat as he thought he’d been naughty.  As he wasn’t moving quick enough I put my hand out to pull him towards me and as it passed over his head he ducked and I ended up feeling bad.  Then I thoroughly traumatised Bud by inspecting his paws and then washing the relevant one with large quantities of Dettol, copious amounts of kitchen roll and a huge, nay HUGE use of ‘It’s alright.   You’re a good boy.’  He got a doggy treat after it and I got a nap.

I wouldn’t mind but B did a poo sweep of the garden last Saturday as we got back from Auntie Ann’s on Friday to find one of B’s garage slippers was missing.  After a search of the garage and house we could only conclude it was in the garden and Bud was being no help, he refused to answer B’s question ‘Where’s my slipper?  What have you done with it?’  On Saturday I ventured out on a slipper hunt to find it was poo central in the garden.  B not having collected anything since I initially went into hospital in September, he was waiting for a frosty morning but the weather has been unseasonably mild.  So B ended up having to don a pair of latex gloves and go on a poo hunt.  What made it hilarious, er I mean worse was that it was frosty early on Sunday morning!  Hehe.

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Looking up Shawls

Today, well this evening in fact, which is probably the reason I am currently so tired I could cry and am cutting it fine to post a Creative Space Thursday post, I finished my

KAL stands for knit a long (just thought I’d let any of you who were uninitiated know – this included me for the first two weeks of it).

I had a little assistant when I took my photos – I think I may have left a boiled sweet stuck to the shawl because he was being very inquisitive (rude) looking up the bottom of it.


And it cost me the price of the pattern.  The purples were given to me by a friend and were part of her machine knitting days and the green from one my fellow armchair yogaists.

I would also have liked to share my latest afghan made up of my ‘boo boo’ squares made last year for Share a Square when I had a little misunderstanding between worsted and double knit but Bud had other ideas…

(Please note he is still pointing in the general direction of the shawl – he has such a hectic schedule – standing on crocheting and looking up a shawl in the same evening!)

So more on that when later.

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