Friday, 2 November 2012

Getting there!

Blogger hasn't been nice lately, and wouldn't let me write.

I am so sorry for being so utterly miserable last month. Just after I wrote that whiny whinge I got really sick. Spiky temps and shivery hot/cold, ghastly pain, diarrhoea, slept for two days and woke up with a flat belly. In hindsight I should have gone back to hospital but I was feeling too awful to think that far outside my body!! I think the cysts must have popped or leaked, at least they seem to have gone away.

And since then have remained almost flat bellied, and progressively getting better. Slowly. Certainly am not sleeping 15 hours a day, and having to go back to bed to recover from showering.
Have even been doing gardening...!

Today I head back to hospital for the gastroscopy and colonoscopy that was ordered back in July. Been drinking that ghastly stuff and am on my last 500mls of "prescribed fluids" - I haven't eaten anything for 24 hours and I have a caffeine deficiency headache.

I went to my first spinning group on Tuesday. My neighbours gave me a bag of their fleece and two carding brushes/combs at Christmas and then another friend told me about her MIL's spinning wheel which had benefitting in her shed for twenty years. And when we went to pick it up the MIL told me that it had been sitting in another shed for twenty years before she got it...
I carted it along to our local spinning group on Tuesday, and sat next to my friend Janine. I taught her to quilt about 15 years ago so now she is teaching me to spin! She started spinning when she was 15, and has just had her 50th (which she celebrated by joining a roller derby group!!!!).  She has a room full of plastic bins of her wool she has spun, beautiful stuff. She has sold some of her wool through our other friend Alex who owns ZigoZago  - lots of yummy wool there!
Most of the other women at spinning group are either members of the 80s Club or aspiring to shortly become members. So Janine and I are treated as daughters! They are a wonderful group, very friendly and supportive and helpful.
One of them said "Come over here and try my wheel. I want to know if it is because your wheel is awful or if you just can't spin". And then said I was a lovely spinner, a natural! And that it was the wheel which is probably only good for putting in the garden and planting a vine over.
I immediately looked up some wheels on eBay and some of them gathered around my clever new iPhone and were most impressed ("it's a tiny computer, how clever!") and also helpful about which wheels were useful.
My wheel is a home made one and has been changed from having one string around it to two, and the bobbins are broken, and also where the wool gets sucked in is pretty rough and rusty. It was magic to,try the other wheel where the wool slurped onto the bobbin like butter. Whereas I had to keep stopping and winding the wool on by hand...

And I have been knitting, socks for grandbabies, and also bibs. S3 brought back lots of yarny treasures from  Ireland when he was on placement in May-July including balls of cotton which I have knitted into bibs. Half washcloth flowers - they are very cute. And also knitted a couple of shawls, and scarves. It has been fun.
Yesterday I got three balls of Debbie Bliss wool and cashmere at the opshop for ...$2.50. And five balls of Patons Bluebell for $3. Both cream. both so soft and smooshy. So I am knitting a scarf to keep my hands and mind slightly occupied. Size 9 mm needles, both the yarns held together. I started with three stitches and have been doing some KFB, and YOK2tog to make it all lacy and holey. I got to 250 stitches so have decided to stick with that - mostly cos there isn't any more room on the needles...

I will add some photos when I am on my phone and on the net (woohoo, LOVE what it can do. Considering my previous did very little except calls and excruciatingly tedious texting with my nails breaking all the time on the tiny keys.

OK, must go and think about what I am to do at 12.30 today...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Puzzled of Newstead

I don't understand at all how, last year with one cyst, I was on URGENT list and this year, with two AND bleeding inside the cysts, that I aren't.
I was supposed to have that colonoscopy and gastroscopy within 90 days. Which expires today.
I just got a letter informing me that the appointment is next month. I rang and asked about the 90 day thing and was told that it was "an average" - some people are seen sooner and some are seen later than that. And I was one of the ones being seen later...
I don't think that is right but I can't see what is wrong with it. It seems so LOGICAL.
I was also told I could come back to A&E if I felt unwell.
I DO FEEL UNWELL, I feel like crap, I am so tired of pain. I can see why people die on waiting lists. They kill themselves because they feel worthless. I do.

I know there are people out there with private health insurance, who get medical procedures much quicker than this. I wish I had private insurance. But it wouldn't make any difference apparently. I asked the surgeon about going private and he said he didn't want to operate anymore. He said it is too dangerous to do it again cos of where the cysts are located. That didn't stop him last year.
I really I haven't had enough spare money ever for private insurance. I spent a lot of my life bringing up my boys as a single mum and fighting the ex for child support. My boys didn't get overseas trips and private schooling and a home with three bathrooms like his next wife's kids did. Instead we got to fight every inch of the way to survive and I didn't have extra $$$ for health insurance.
And now I am being punished for having brought up lovely sons who benefited for having a mummy who put the as her priority. Maybe I should not have been so unselfish, maybe I should have continued my uni education, or stayed working and let them be latch key kids, and had some money in my super fund. And private health insurance. And a house with bathrooms.
No, I wouldn't swap they way my boys are for any of it.
Except for a little understanding of how the health care system works. I wouldn't mind that. I can always go private The Sweetheart says - he sold his 911 so I could. But I don't want that, besides the surgeon said it wouldn't make any difference, he still wouldn't operate again as it is too dangerous. I don't understand that either. Why wasn't it dangerous last year????

Is that too much to want?????

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Vintage books

The previous blog about the vintage knitting book I once owned from my Kiwi MIL was less than useful without any photos of the books I thought it may have been.

It could have been any of these. It had a section at the front with all sorts of patterns with number of stitches per repeat etc, and Fair Isle and lace charts etc; then a section of garment patterns for the entire family that could be customised with the first section patterns; and household stuff - tea cosies and bedspreads etc. and probably an English publication, or possibly even printed in New Zealand. It wasn't American - not many American things in NZ in the 1940s.

This is the bedspread square, it is knitted corner-wise, and four blocks together make the flower:
Bugger! Can't load the photo - failed the test of iPad and dated operating system... I had to download Google+ and I still can't add the pics...sigh.

Have a look at the pic on this site, it is EXACTLY what I made from the MIL's book:

And, no - cant ask her, she is long gone in all senses of the term. She was a great knitter and patch worker, however!!!

The book she gave me is quite possibly one of these in this blog entry:

Please let me know if you have this book, find it in a garage sale, know about it, recognise it...bugger again, -Blogger is going lopyWould so love to have it back, especially as Nana Molly i

Friday, 21 September 2012

More GRRRRRR!!!!!

When I was in hospital a couple of weeks ago the registrar asked me to see the surgeon Monday week ago and when I rang at 0900 to confirm was told "no appointment TODAY! It is October 29"...
OCTOBER 29???????
So I cracked the shits big time, and they made an appointment to see the surgeon the next Mon (which was now last Mon, the 17th).

(Did I mention being in hospital, at the end of August? The Sweetheart had to take me to A&E on a Monday as I had shoulder tip pain, agonising right side pain, sweatings. Was in a bed in the Hep Bil ward within 1.5 hours. A record in this public health Lib State Gov era of coronary patients on gurneys in corridors for days! Was in for three days, had lots of blood tests, few L of fluids, CT scan and ultrasound. There was a possibility of a recent bleed into cysts).

Saw the same surgeon as last year (whew!) who said that the cysts wouldn't cause this sort of swollen belly as they are *only* 8 and 6 cm. When I said that it was the same last year and after surgery I had gone back to being skinny he said "Lots of women lose weight after surgery", and I explained that I hadn't 'lost weight' but had GONE BACK TO BEING SKINNY!!!
I even showed him the size 10 (US 6) Spanx I wore to my nephew's wedding in May which now doesn't go half way across my 120cm belly, though does still fit across my back...*
He was very dismissive, and again said about 'losing weight'.

Said I need to have colonoscopy and gastroscopy to see what else is wrong that will be causing bloating. Because I may have 'ulcer or coeliac disease'. NOBODY IN MY FAMILY EVER HAD EITHER!!!

And said that there is 90 day wait to have the procedure.
I said "What about when I was here in July and signed a consent form for this? Haven't heard a thing". There was NO RECORD of me having seen anyone on July 9! Remember? I wrote of the doctor I saw whose name I wasn't allowed to know 'for privacy reasons'. Fortunately, I had handed the consent form to the front office so the slow cogs were in motion for me to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy within 20 days! Haha, saved 70 days...??
He wants me to have another CT scan in 12 weeks. That is CHRISTMAS. And I am still feeling like crap.

I am so miserable, so tired, so much pain, I look like I am very pregnant, I KNOW I don't have an ulcer - even a symptomless one, and certainly not a genetic disease like coeliac and so I feel like am being duck-shoved.
A least I am getting some knitting done...see my Ravelry list:

*I actually bought new one cos I felt a hit icky about showing him underwear I had worn...!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Vintage Knitting Books...

A million years ago, when I was married to Rex The Ex in the 70s, my lovely MIL from New Zealand gave me her treasured copy of a knitting book.
Since I have got back to this activity I am really missing that book. I don't know what happened to it after God told Rex The Ex that he didn't need a wife any more and I found myself somewhat superfluous to requirement... (there is the possibility that the next woman after me burnt it. As she did with everything that had any association with me. My wedding dress, all photos that had me in them - including all the baby pics of S1 & S2, the patchwork quilts hand stitched by the MIL for the boys because she thought I had made them (grrr), you get the picture. She was one weird fucking cow who also abused my boys and I am glad she is no longer around and her own boys grew up to be bogan smackies who achieved nothing. I don't know that at all actually).
Or, perhaps I did take it with me and it went astray I one of my dozens of moves across the country, and the world. But I don't think so. I think it was left behind.

This knitting book had every conceivable basic knitting pattern, from baby wear, undies, scarves, socks, gloves and hats, jumpers for men, women and children. And the other half of the book was all different patterns with stitch multiples etc so you could customise any of the basic patterns.
It would have been published in the 1940s or 1950s possibly in New Zealand but more likely in England.

And I went hunting online and found three books that are all possibilities. Does anyone have any of these and can tell me if any of them fit my memory? Cos I would love to have it again!

And - again - I don't yet know how to edit this on the new IDevice so I can't get rid of the second and smaller image of that first book. Sorry!! At least I figured out how to cut and paste the images from Google images, hooray for me!!

PS: I just found this blog with a photo of a knitted square and remembered I knitted squares to make a blankie. And this photo looks like my squares. It is from Mary Thomas's Book Of Knitting Patterns, so perhaps that was the book I had... Unless any of the next three also had blankie square patterns, too???
PPS, let me know whether or not you can actually see these photos I so cleverly added. Cos they showed up initially and then someone else FBed me and said they couldn't see the pics.

And the book I had was this same beige, just like the others...vbg!

Knitting For All Illustrated:

Complete Home Knitting Illustrated

Knitting For All, Illustrated:

Practical Knitting Illustrated:

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Father's Day

It is Father's Day today in Australia (and possibly elsewhere, too).
(BTW, this is my first post from my new IPhone and I am not so au fait with editing, please forgive!)
Our Dad died in 1971 when I was just 18, and my baby brother was 9. So our Mum was left a widow at 38, with six kids, and eight and a half thousand acres of Mallee farm to run. But she had loads of training - Dad had been dying for the best part of ten years. 
And Mum protected us from the worst of Dad's illness (he had Multiple Myeloma, a fucking nasty way to die) as well as managing the running of the farm, nursing Dad, feeding us, and playing her piano every day...
Which is why I always have not just acknowledged Mother's Day for her but also Father's Day.
So, happy Dad's Day to my Mummy!!! I send her at least a card every year, always a phone call (but that happens just about every day!).
In January my former husband died - also of Multiple Myeloma, he was the father of S3 & S4 (as well as the two stillborn babies). 
S4 posted this to Facebook early this morning before heading off to start a 0700 restaurant 12 hour shift (to explain the grammatical lapses!):
Marshall Smash
Marshall Smash updated his status.: "An open letter to everyone who has a dad. Today is totally a day for hallmark to gouge people a little more and it’s easy to become disillusioned by that but it is also so much more than that. All this tacky Today is a day that everyone who is able to should use to go out and try and spend some time with their Dad, to do something to make them proud. Why? Because they gave us life and that’s pretty great and it’s probably not easy being a Dad. It won’t take much, probably much less than you think. Remember that we were once small enough to fit in his hands and we shat ourselves several times a day so who are we to act so dignified? Absolutely do not buy anything from one of those “Stuff for Blokes” shops such as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency picture frame with a can of beer behind it pieces of crap. They are tacky and lame and you’re only embarrassing yourself. You can do better. This is also for those of you who have shit relationships with your Dads. I can relate to that. They helped make you, for better and worse, even if they weren’t always there. There was no training, no guidebook, and in many cases no support. And they might have had idiots for fathers too. This is a day for Dad’s who might have made a bit of a mess of things to reach out as well. Sort that out. So much can go unsaid but there comes a time where you have to think about some things you would like to fix, and then to look them right in the eye and tell them that they are probably fucking everything up, and would they like to sort it out? Note* this will almost definitely be awful but from experience I can say it’s worth it [sample bias, that’s bad science]. So today, if you can, spend a little time and cook him some food or take him out for a meal somewhere quiet, make him something, write him a letter, have a conversation, work something out, fucking do *anything*. Get started right now, because if you don’t sooner or later one or both of you is going to be fucking dead and there won’t be a damned thing you can do about it. And if you don’t have a Dad around feel free to come drink a shit load of bourbon with me in thirteen hours when I finish work."

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

What is next...?

Yeah, still feeling like crap.

I rather expected to hear from the hospital with some concrete date for at least an appointment at the clinic as a prelude to another wait for an appointment with the surgeon.


Went to see my lovely GP a couple of weeks ago, she spent a week (in between patients, moving house, feeding her darling husband and her Just The Four Boys) trying to call the surgeon and being put on hold and put through to the wrong people and had to give up. She told me to take my knitting, a good book and front to A&E and prepare to wait 12 hours but that would be surely better than waiting 12 weeks.

And after progressively feeling worse and worser I went to A&E at St Vincent's in the city  last Monday afternoon. I did take knitting but by then I felt so totally crap I could scarcely walk let alone cope with any sort of activity.
I must have also looked pretty nasty too cos I only waited about ten minutes after they saw me, and was whisked into the inner sanctum. AND ADMITTED - WITH A REAL BED! - WITHIN AN HOUR!!!!!! Yep, not a gurney in a corridor but a real bed, back in my Hep-Biliary Ward where I was last year.
Had an ultrasound and another CT scan, lots of  fasting and painkillers, and great care. And then slung out on Wednesday night with a promise of a hot date with the surgeon in clinic on Monday week.
Seems I have had a bleed inside one of the cysts, fortunately not a large one (bleed not cyst, they are still a decent size sadly). Maybe helping S4 move house wasn't such a good move after all. I thought it might precipitate action, so I did achieve that!

In the last six weeks since I last wrote I have just been flopping around knitting and doing very little else. Apart from moving S4. He came back from his wonderful adventure of a semester studying in Germany, and had to move house. The relationship he has had with his girlfriend didn't last the distance. They got together when they were 17 or 18, and these last seven years have been times of great change and growth for both, and each, of them. I am very sad about it cos I love her too. However, he has settled in a house with two girls (women) he was at school with from The Maine. they are older and have real jobs, are not students, and that makes for different dynamics. They are lovely. One of them I have known for twenty years - am I really so old that I have friends who I once babysat???!!

And S3 returned from his two month placement in Belfast. What an experience for him! He is in final year (maybe, perhaps there will be post grad study in the future) of Youth Services and has to do a placement in this final semester. So instead of two days a week for the rest of the semester he was able to roll it together in the mid year break. Belfast was extraordinary, can't wait to read his reports when he has completed them. Working with gay, transsexual and bi teens many also homeless in the midst of some riots and conflict was a totally different experience to here. Being asked if he was Protestant or Catholic, and not being able to avoid it be replying he was atheist. "Yes but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist"...!!!!!

I will add some photos shortly - next week shortly, not in the next hour shortly. I am staying at The Sweetheart's at the moment. My house is way too cold for someone who can't chop wood. So there are pics of my latest knitty creations on my computer at home.
I made a circular jacket with matching hot water bottle cover for Molly Moo for her 7th birthday. The jacket started with 8 stitches and then spiraled out with "afterthought sleeves" (same technique as "afterthought heels" on socks). I used 12 ply wool and it worked up really well, and it fits her!
So successful was then jacket I decided to make one for me as my Olympics project. Sadly, I ran put of yarn as I was doing the I-cord cast off, and then felt too unwell to continue. Thought I could extend it to be my Olympics AND Paralympics project but hospital has put an end to that.  Only got the casting off to do but it is both time and yarn consuming. I am knitting I-cord 3 stitches by 12 rows  and then looping then and weaving onto the three stitches after the next three. It will make sense with photos... However, there are about 1,200 stitches, three circular needles to hold them all to cast off...

And I am making socks, and a shawl that is 4 ply variegated sock wool, and some wristies forgone of the nieces who is I. The. Northern hemisphere. And both S1 and S2 are going to be daddies. S1 is the father of Molly Moo, and their baby is due December 8. S2 and his beloved are having their first darling on Valentines Day. I am so excited. Do so want to be well, I have lots of travelling to do between Hobart and Baranduda in the next months. Years even!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Knitting Needle Holder

I made a roll to keep knitting needles in.
Some of them at least...

Layered pretty floral with vintage heavier turquoise and some white and turquoise striped cotton materials and sewed then RS together, then turned them trough so the long strip was lined.
Then, sewed some channels on the turquoise side, and stamped sizes onto vintage belt lining, cut it into squares and vliso-fixed each one to a channel.
It is all tied up with lovely tape measure binding that S4 gave me for Christmas last year.

Here are some little photos of the progress:

How much better, eh!

I was inspired by the roll I made for my lovely pens and pencils (again - SOME of them!!)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Porridge Coloured Wool

And I dyed some of the other porridge coloured wool:


This is going to be fun to knit with, as well!

Wristies and sockies

Just after Mum's Big Oh birthday my baby sister fell out of a car in an awkward moment and broke both her wrists (crawling out the back of a 4WD and her jeans hem caught on the tow-ball).
Here she is drinking gin at our nephew's wedding:
Ten weeks later she is still in strife with them, needs surgery (cos the hospital she went to didn't apparently do the right thing. The hospital AT WHICH SHE NURSES. So if they can fuck up the brokenness of someone they know and care about, what happens to strangers???? Just wonderin'.)

So I made her a pair of little wristies to cheer her up and protect her wrists and to tell her I love her heaps:

The bright multi-coloured wool is a soft and cuddly soy/wool mix, the turquoise is 8 ply pure  wool. Despite what it looks like it is really a 2Purl 2Plain rib, and with a picot cast-off (how smartie pants am I getting with my knitting, eh!)

I also made wristies for The Sweetheart to wear in his freezing cold office:

Is Opal sock wool, all ribbed to be stretchy and snuggly.

And lacy socks for my all singing, all dancing Bollywood Princess Parvyn Kaur Singh (Google her name - there are thousands of links to all sorts of delightful youtube sites, and to her songs. She is gorgeous!)
I added ribbons through the eyelets just for fun.

The lacy pattern is an easybubs "P5, K4tog, (YO, K1) 6 times, K4 tog, P5 (should still be 22 stitches - or whatever you started with!). Then, K three rows. Rep". You can do any number of purl stitches to fill in the side of the rows. I did the soles in Continental knitting so they would be thicker, and added an extra fine thread into the toes and heels. Two at a time, toe up - THIS is the method I used but there are lots of vids and pages showing how to do it. So much easier than one at a time, and really doesn't seem to take that much longer. Also, essential for lacy socks cos then the patterns are matching...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Doona Solution

For years I have climbed inside the doona cover and then grasped the bottom corners of the doona and backed out, turning the doona cover inside out with the doona inside. And after a shake it is all beautifully flat and ready to sleep under.

I don't know why I thought of this - but it started cos I dyed a heap of ratty white (ish) t-shirts denim/indigo blue and am (still) cutting them into spiral strips with the long term plan of knitting something with the ensuing yarn. There were about 15 t-shirts so it is a lot of cutting.


What if I sewed a loop of the t-shirt yarn to those two bottom corners of the doona, and two long strings (actually one sewn in the centre to make two) to the inside bottom corners of the doona cover then all I would have to do is tie the long strings to the loops, flap the lot and instantly the doona is inside doona cover!!!

So I did it:

Easy as. and yes, it is a slightly grubby doona, but it is old, and it is way too cold and wet to worry about washing it now. I shall do that when summer comes around again...

(Obviously before I dyed the t-shirts., too)

PS - this is for you, Hayden so you wont ever have to struggle with your doona and cover ever again!

Happy birthday my Mummy!

A couple of months ago it was my Mum's 80th birthday.

And we all got together for the first time since 1996 (or thereabouts - though judging from the hairstyles it could have been the 80s...).

How funny are we?!

This was at the house that our Mum built in the bush out of Castlemaine.
From sandstone she dragged out of her own ground. AND it was double-rock walls too!!!
She was in her fifties when she did this, and didn't have any help until she got up above head height and was starting to stand on wobbly 44 gallon drums for scaffolding. Whereupon, she paid a bloke $10 to help her. All up, including the 15 acres of land, her house cost her $30,000.
She started this in 1986 - couldn't come to Melbourne to see newborn S4 in July because the slab had just been laid and needed to be looked after (and besides - "if you have seen one newborn baby you have seen them all..."!!!).

And here all we are 16 years later (goodness, how difficult it is to get us all in one place!!!):

We haven't changed that much...

Cos here we are when we were all little.
With three other cousins (they are the dark-haired ones!). It isn't such a crash-hot pic cos it is 50 years old and the colour has died a tad.
This was in the Mallee at our farm.
On the swing that our Dad made for a Christmas present (he didn't actually MAKE it - he got one of the farm workers to weld it up from pipes and a slab of timber. Lethal, but no-one ever got whacked with it. That I know of, anyway!). It fitted all of us, and was the most wonderful swing!

How CUTE are those little brothers!!!
And middle of winter and we all have bare feet!
Alpal's pant legs are filthy - and LOOK - he has a dolly!!!!
(And Noela and Marion look like they are also wearing shoes and socks - far right for Noela and Marion is in between two dark haired cussies in the middle of the swing. Softies!!).
This would be about 1962.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Update on Health

So you can ignore this post if you don't want to know about the latest medical stuff.
Latest debacle.
Bloody, bloody doctors at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne (you know who you are. If you don't then look more closely at the Hep Biliary Clinic...).
Went to the clinic last Monday, again sat waiting for hours to get in. However, feeling just a tiny bit smug (very tiny bit) cos my lovely GP and I had done all the blood tests they had requested last year - Tumour Markers, and Hydatids - which had tacked weeks onto my waiting list.
And then I got called in, some idiot asked me for my medical history, so I said "It is all on the computer" and he said "Can't be bothered looking there, tell me to save me looking", and so I said that it had taken two hours to give my history on admission last year, I had had almost everything out, or looked into, and had haemorraghed at every opportunity.
He also flicked through the disc of CT pics I provided - because he couldn't find the ones that had been sent to them, also took all the copies of blood tests I had duplicated )couldn't find the ones which had been sent to them...) and asked me to get them copied at the desk and added to my file.
Then, poked my belly and told me I needed to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy to find out 'why I was bloated'. Said it is cos there is frigging great cysts in my liver. It was like this last year, I had surgery, litres of fluid were drained, I was 5 kgs lighter and was back into my size 10 jeans cos I was again skinny.
He very patronisingly told me the liver is a very static organ which doesn't expand. So I need colonoscopy and gasroscopy. Sign this form.
WTF???? Liver certainly looks distended in the CT pics. And so it should, with another maybe 3L of fluid inside it already.
BTW, one of the cysts is the same one from last year, returned and bringing two siblings (cysters, hahaha) which have merged into one.
Last year, they spent some time explaining how the cyst had been 'deroofed' and stitched open so it wouldn't refill.
Instead, on the CT scan it is very obvious that this never happened - the cyst was drained and A CLIP PUT ON TO CLOSE THE DRAIN HOLE.
So it can refill????
Seems so....

Anyways, he gave me the form to sign and take out to the front desk and they will send me a letter letting me know when the oscopies are to take place. Which will be up to six weeks...
So I cried in his rooms, and then at the front desk in front of every other patient waiting, and then went and sat out in the gutter in Victoria Parade and bawled my eyes out.
And then had to catch a tram to Southern Cross Station and the train back to Castlemaine for 1.5 hours. Sniffling and snivelling. So humiliating, but I couldn't help it (and how different is it now? Here I am telling total strangers about snot-faced wailings...).
I am so over this being sick thing. Only had about a six weeks of heading back to being lively. I knew as soon as I could only eat two prawns at my nephew's wedding that something was wrong.

I measured myself today. Bust - 103cm. Waist ("waist"???) - 106. Hips - 109.
Perfect figure. If you like pyramids.

Knitting lots.

It takes brains...

I made a brain hat for Smellie 3. I don't think he is too impressed with it, actually. Is a knitted beanie with about 45m of I-cord sewn on symmetrically. I used the left over wool from the cardi I made - the one where I ran out of wool and had to "fussy-cut" the darker pink bits out of about 6 more balls for the yoke,  leaving the pink and milky-cocoa pieces behind. Perfect for brains, however!!!!

This is the cardi:

Porridge to jumper...

I bought a heap of rather ugly porridge coloured wool at the op shop. Five ply, mostly wool with a bit of nylon in it. Twenty balls in all (hooray!). For about $20, double hooray!!
And I skeined it, then dyed it with purple Rit.

And admired it for a while before winding it into balls with my new swift and ball winder (eBay treasure!).

And I started making a neck down jumper using lovely lovely Noro that was a surprise from my gorgeous dancing singing Indian friend Parvyn

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I am sick...

Poor little blog thing, you have been so ignored for such a long time! I haven't even been reading what everyone else has been up to. I have more cysts in my liver. And that has totally shot the shit out of me. I was just beginning to feel better, recovering from the major surgery of December, recovering from maybe YEARS of that HUGE liver cyst growing and being so debilitating. My GP reckons that perhaps the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia post meningitis five years ago was due more to the liver cyst than the post-viral symptoms. I was beginning to do stuff. I even tackled the ironing basket and got half that put away. It is more "Ironing Mountain" than basket of stuff. So the linen closet was full of lovely smooth pillow slips, and a basket in the kitchen with pretty tea towels. It is growing again... I even started tackling some of the housework crap that for the last year was just filed in the Too Hard drawer. I knew something was up when I couldn't eat more than two prawns and had to hand over my dessert to my S3 to finish at my nephew's wedding a month ago. And that the middle-aged spread was beginning to happen again around my belly. And that I have put on a couple of kilos, too. So I went back to my GP, and I am back on the medical merry-go-round. There are TWO of the fuckers this time. Two that 10 months ago were measured in millimetres and are now 4 and 7 centimetres. Bastards. Bloody, bloody bastard bastards. I am so miserable about being sick again. And just after I bundled all those maternity clothes off to the op shop, too. I hope this doesn't take until December cos that will be another year wasted.i got so lively I even started thinking that I could even worka PROPER job (ooooh, money would be so lovely. I am all so very over not having enough $$$ to last from one fortnight to the next. I eat a lot of toast...). I initially had a couple of ultrasounds to do a rough check on the livr which found the cysts. And also found a very tender lump in my left breast. So Tuesday to Bendigo for a mammogram and another ultrasound, as well as a CT scan with contrast etc on my liver. Fortunately, there is nothing sinister in my breast. Is just maybe fibrous tissue. I haven't got to see the radiologist's report yet, just going on what the radiographer told me. And that they didn't go into any sort of panic mode when they did the procedure. And now I am awaiting a note from St Vincent's hospital in Melbourne to let me know they are so anxious to not only see my face but my belly.And chop holes in it. I HAVE been sittin' and knittin' a lot lately. If you are on Ravelry you can have a look at what I have been up to. I am AuntieJappa. Actually there are quite a few things that I made that aren't (yet!) on Ravelry either. I even dyed a lot of porridge coloured 5 ply pure wool. Laboriously winding it into skeins before hitting to up with some lovely deep purple. Got about 2kgs so that should be enough to make something pretty Lush! I shall keep you posted...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

March marches on...

I know, I know - missing in action (inaction, too!) for much of this month.
But - whiny voice - I have been busy.

This is some of what I have done:

The start of it all with the clever cast-on stitches for the little cap sleeves.
The yoke IS a different colour. There wasn't enough of the original so I got a heap of balls of the pink/rose that also had lots of cream through to milky-cocoa colours in it. I sorted them out (see below for what they got used for!)  and then went back to the neckline with a tiny remainder of the bottom-half wool.

Gorgeous cables! I loved doing these, tho I am piqued somewhat that the cable pattern wasn't the proper Celtic over and under thing that cables MUST do (well in my book!)
Found wonderful buttons at Lincraft that are perfect (even if they were $4 each, sigh).

Here we are. It is a trifle snug but apart from planning to keep on losing weight - just a few more kgs) it also looks mighty fine with just the top few buttons done up...

This is a scull cap I knitted to be able to use up the wool that was shunted out of the yoke wool of the above.

It is a lovely pattern for this hat. I sort of made it up after  following an on-line pattern for a hat knitted in far bigger wool.

Then I made MILES of I-cord to make a Brain Hat for S3 for his birthday. Using that culled wool.
More of the Brain Hat. S4 is silly, err brave, enough to wear a hat like this. He will probably wear it to uni - where he is studying Youth Services, 3rd year. Hey, he is off to Belfast and the UK in June/July for a Study Tour and to do a Placement. Clever fella!  I am a tad proud of him...

A friend told me her MIL had a spinning wheel sitting in her shed for the last 20 years and she would be happy to get rid of it! It was only 50 kms away, lovely trek. The lovely MIL said that she suspected that the person who donated it to her 20 years ago had also had it sitting in their shed for 20 years...
I haven't even seen anyone spinning. But I cleaned it up (urkies) and oiled it and scrubbed it, and found some cord to use as the string bit that goes around the wheel and the spinny thing. And I carded some of the wool that my neighbours gave me for Christmas (good job they gave me the carders too). And then I spun some wool!

It is a bit curly, and I haven't got any more workable bobbins to be able to ply it, but that will change soon enough. The wheel came with a Clever Kate (yeah I know, I know) and three extra bobbins but they are old and the ends are broken off. I learned a friend of ine has a step father who will be able to turn up some more for me.

My cousin showed me her gorgeous tattoo. There is more to come. Isn't this a work of art? I think so. Wouldn't have that much of a tatt myself - cos I am a sook, but I think this is beautiful. There is more to come over her right shoulder, flowers and pretties like that.

I spent a couple of evenings stitching sheets and pillowslips for my Lesbian Dolly Mummies and their new baby. The pillowslips and bottom sheet are from a very old rose printed hanky, and the top sheet is from a very fine silk cami that I have mostly worn to bits. Aren't they pretty dollies? The one on the right is also handicapped - she hasn't any legs...

The bed needs painting. It is from the cheap doll's house kit I bought when we lived in SF. All very cheap furniture you punch out of sheets of ply and cobble together. But suits The Lesbian Mummies perfectly.
I created a chandelier for my kitchen. It is from two rather crappy three armed 1960s chandeliers, and I bolted them together and added a great collection of extra crystals, and some elegant hand blown glass balls that The Boys gave me for Mother's Day back about 1992, and then draped the lot in tiny LED Christmas lights. It contrasts very well with the rustic mud bricks and tongue-and-groove pine lining boards and bare bricks that is my home.

We had 24mm of rain in 10 minutes on evening two weeks ago. This isn't a creek but the road in front of my place, looking East. On the left of the pic is the creek that couldn't cope with all the water...

...and looking West down the road - a couple of trees dropped big branches too. Fortunately, the bogan dad across the road was on his way home with the council road grader when the storm hit was was able to clear the trees off the road.

Next door's driveway with the overflow from his dam that went to make all the water on the road. It's not a bad pic for a panorama, I reckon!

However, my dam got a lot of water in it...
I am making another cardigan. This time I am making up my own pattern with lots of cables and fancy pants  stitches. I scored a few lovely little beaded stitch markers as a freebie on an English knitting magazine so decided to make some more.

I didn't have any (ie couldn't FIND any...!) jump rings so had to make my own. Using plastic covered paper clips.. I rolled them around a fat knitting needle and then cut them into rings.

Some of the pretty handmade beads in my collection. My clever smart-arsed camera has a little thing that comes up saying "FACE DETECTED". Which made me think it really is a clever little beast.

Until it said "FACE DETECTED" here too!!!! How immensely clever of it!!! And look at that dear little teapot. I didn't use it cos of the spiky handle bit that I thought would annoyingly get caught in knitting.

I had to add tiny beads at the bottoms of most of these beads as they have rather large holes.

And here they are already in use. The reverse stocking stitch parts are going to be the backgrounds for cables, and there are some stocking stitch areas  that are already going to be cables, and the line you can see 12 rows up is the row os holes I knitted so I can turn the hem up double and have a line of picots along the hem line. This is 3 or 4 ply wool (gauge 29 sts/10 cm), and I am using 2.75mm needles. With 156 stitches cast on so far. I am sort of using some other patterns to get some ideas but mostly making it up as I go along. But using a lovely big pad of graph paper too.

I made another vest/jacket. This time with 8 ply pretty flecked wool, and added a collar, and longer cap sleeves with a sort of I-cord hem on them, and a knitted on buttonhole band along the right side with a juicy fat I-cord on the edge of it. And only three buttonholes at the neckline.

This is more the colour of the above.

I had my hair cut again and some highlights bleached into it.

And I did LOTS of other things in the last month that I didn't get photos of. 
The Beez (my musician friends from Berlin) came and stayed three or four times in their travels around the country - next time we will have a House Concert here!
My Cousin Kathy came to stay with a friend of hers from Skye who is also a relative (her great great grandmother and our great great grandfather were half brother and sister. That is close enough in our family to travel halfway around the world and be welcomed!!!!) and we went to listen to The Beez, and to a family birthday party. And ate lots. That isn't My Cousin Kathy with the tatts earlier, btw.
Lots of other little time filling things went on. And now I am getting back to my knitting...
I hope you have made it this far...