Thursday, December 24, 2009

Some updates and a hiatus.

The CT scan results indicate that there isn't anything seriously wrong with my neck or brain. We think it's just that stress and poor sleeping and sitting positions have resulted in my shoulder and neck muscles being so tight that they made the Physiotherapist laugh, and that was pushing on one or more of the nerves to my arm.

I saw the afore-mentioned Physio last night and I have sore but more relaxed shoulder and neck muscles and a little list of homework exercises to do.

So that all turned out well, I think.

I've managed to get Margot all caught up to where I was before I ripped out 38 rows, and then some. I'm now 1.75 inches beyond the division for the sleeves, and it's motoring along now. I still can't knit as much as I'd like as I am still getting some pain in my wrist, but the wrist has improved and I have high hopes for the improvement to continue.

Today we dug out The Boy's christmas stocking, which I made for christmas in 2005. It's a normal top-down sock pattern, sized up, knitted in 8 ply acrylic (if you look closely you can see the colour change in the red when I ran out of yarn) with a much-shortened foot. It turned out a bit bigger than I was originally thinking of, but it seems kids like big christmas stockings. Could it have something to do with lots of room for presents perhaps?

So I'll wish you all a Merry [insert festive season of your own choice] and I hope Santa brings you something nice.

Here is my version of the Twelve Days of Christmas!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
12 Storage boxes
11 Lexie Barnes bags
10 Ysolda patterns
9 skeins of mohair
8 knitpicks cables
7 bags of roving
6 top-whorl spindles
5 DPN’s
4 blocking wires
3 sock yarns
2 spinning wheels
and a skein of yummy malabrigo.
(I wish!)

As a final note, I will be taking a short break from the blog and will be back in mid January.  I hope you all have a safe and happy time over the next couple of weeks and get to spend some time with people you love, and who love you and cherish you. I hope you get to have a rest and to take care of yourself and your friends and family, and that you get to eat and drink well, but not too much.

I will be spending time on what's most important to me - my family, and some knitting, of course!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Going for a ride in a machine that goes "Whirrrrrr"

I've been having some problems with my right arm lately. On two occasions I've had a sensation as though I'm recovering from pins and needles - slight tingling in my hand and a very slight numbness and heavyness in my whole arm. I had it a week or so ago and it went away, only to come back again on the weekend.

I saw a Doctor this morning and got sent off this afternoon for a CT scan of my head and neck - the head to rule out anything obviously wrong in my brain, and the neck to see if I have anything impinging on a nerve.

The whole experience was a little bit of an anticlimax, actually. The process is very streamlined - fill out your forms; wait for a while; get taken into a large room dominated by a machine that looks like a massive white donut on it's edge, with a bed on rails set up to go through the donut hole; lie down on said bed and keep really still while the machine whirrs at you for a while and the bed slides in and out of the donut hole.

Then the nice radiologist lady (I'm sure it doesn't have to be a lady, and it's even possible that they don't have to be nice) comes out and tells you that it's all over and you get to go back out to the foyer to wait for them to print up your x-rays.

All over in about 20 minutes, and that included filling out the forms and waiting. The actual scanning took maybe 2-3 minutes..

The longest part of the process will be waiting for the results. I can get them from the GP on Wednesday morning. I have a huge pile of x-ray films in an envelope on the table. I've even had a look at some of them, and while I can recognise brain and spine, there's no way I could tell if anything was going on. I can tell that everything in my brain appears to be homogenous and nothing really looks obviously lumpy in the brain scans, which I'm going to take as a good thing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where did Margot go?

Usually I knit for at least 30 minutes every day, quite often a lot more. Recently, with my dodgy wrist, I've done a lot less knitting than normal, some days as little as 10 stitches in the day, some days none at all. So I was really happy to have reached the last raglan increase row on Margot, all ready to divide for the sleeves and body.

I did one final count to make sure I had the right number of stitches and my numbers were off. None of the four sections matched their opposite number, so I'd obviously missed some increases, and when I investigated further, one of the side sections, which would become the top of one sleeve, had increases in the middle, where there should have been none. I contemplated fudging it, as I certainly could have done that without too much trouble, and it wouldn't have mattered in the scheme of things, but I knew that these errors would play on my mind, and I would always know they were there.

So I had to rip out 38 rows. I worked out where I had to work back to, and picked up stitches all the way around. Then I ripped out until I reached my picked up row. I painstakingly wound up the huge pile of crimped, unraveled yarn. Now all there is to do is to knit all of those rows again.

Sometimes I wish I could just ignore those little mistakes. 

ps. Thank you for the lovely comments about my February Lady Sweater yesterday. I feel really special when I wear it, and I love that I can feel that way about something I made myself. It's a wonderful thing, this knitting caper, itsn't it? Although I do have to wonder sometimes when I'm recovering 38 ripped out rows!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A weekend in the country

We went away for the weekend to celebrate some family birthdays. We had a lovely time in a beautiful house up in the Byron Bay hinterland, with room for all of us, a verandah on which to have some tasty meals, and a great swimming pool for lots of fun and shenanigans.

This was the view from the verandah...


 And here is a shot of the shenanigans in the pool

I gave the remaining two bags to their recipients, who were most effusive in their praise. I hope that means they liked them!

There was lots of wildlife around. None of us saw the platypus in the nearby creek but that was probably because they heard us coming. I did see a gorgeous Peregrine Falcon circling over the house this afternoon and this little guy joined us for dinner last night. He positioned himself near our mozzie coil which seemed like a silly place for a creature who probably would have enjoyed a few little flying insects for his own dinner, but he seemed happy there.


I took the opportunity to get The Man to take a few photos of me wearing my February Lady Sweater.

Apart from all of that, I did get some knitting done, and a lot undone. Margot sufferred a huge setback, but more on that tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Mummy made it.

We gave away the first of the knitted bags today. It was the stripy blue booga bag and we gave it to The Boy's Prep teacher as a thank you gift. All of his class met this evening at the home of one of the other boys, and we ate and drank and made pizzas in their wood fired pizza oven and chatted and had fun. The Boy handed over the gift to his teacher and proudly stated "My Mummy made it".

I can't explain how that made me feel. It's probably one of those things that you have to be a Step-Mum to understand. To be proudly acknowledged as The Boy's Mummy is special, beautiful and bitter-sweet. The Boy's biological (I have to fight myself not to say "real" here) Mummy died when he was 14 months old. He was three months shy of 3 years old when I moved in, and he's six and a half now. I still have days when I feel like an imposter, like I'm not meant to be the Mummy. It's not meant to be me going to a party at the end of Prep, celebrating another milestone, it's meant to be someone else.

But then, The Boy chose to call me Mummy. We didn't force it on him, allowing him to work it out himself. Of course, with all the other kids at school using the word Mummy, perhaps he's just going with the flow. Even so, I choose to be proud and happy to be the Mummy of the young man who has become my little boy, and proud and happy to share that honour with the beautiful woman who held it before me.

Of course, true to form, I forgot to take a photo of the finished bag. So you'll just have to look at this photo of it blocking and imagine it upside down (making it the right way up for a bag), with handles!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is there a wet dog in here?

I've been felting today. These three bags are the closest thing to Christmas knitting that I have committed myself to this year. Two are for birthdays in the family and the third is a thank you present for The Boy's prep teacher. They all need to be finished by this Thursday. I got them all felted this morning - due to my wrist still being a little bit fragile, I went against my usual principles and did them in the washing machine. Currently they're all blocking on shoeboxes or stuffed with plastic bags.

 A booga bag in Homemaker Clinker DK
 Another Booga Bag in double stranded DK, various bits and pieces
 Sophie bag in Panda Carnival Pure Wool 8ply.

It's disturbing how much wet wool smells like wet dog.