Archive for October, 2009


negative equity knitting

October 30, 2009

This morning, snuggled into bed, I grabbed my knitting bag from under my bed. Switched needle sizes and started knitting away on 2 sleeves at once, using magic loop-I’d done the ribbing previously. 25 rows later I suddenly remember that sleeves need to be increased regularly to fit arms! Cue: ripping. Leaving me in what I call, negative equity.  Although today’s venture probably doesn’t quite hit that, as I’m not further back from where I started. OOPS!

Re Frogging: I don’t frog unless I have to. That is, I don’t like leaving mistakes either, but a lot of things can be rectified by dropping back stitches and not frogging entire rows… Redoing cables like this, will be a picture post at some point. For now, my sleeves call.


Frugal knitting one step too far?

October 28, 2009

I have a hoodie that I finished in March last year.

Now, it’s a little shorter than I would have liked as I was running out of wool fast and the zip length also kind of determined the length of the hoodie.

If it were a bottom up hoodie, I’d rip back the hood and the flipped up hem (in contrasting yarn) and add a contrasting button and neck band and use the grey wool to add some ribbing/garter stitch to the bottom.

As the hoodie was knit top down though, this isn’t as straight forward….

why do i want to alter it and not just knit a new one? cost!! and it’s perfectly good wool-in fact i really like the wool… hmm. your thoughts would be gratefully received 😉


Why knit?

October 17, 2009

Eskimimi recently asked “Why do you knit?” I then started writing about how I started knitting and it all got a bit bogged down and boring, so it’s living in my drafts folder…

Why I knit in bullet points:

  • it’s a craft that (mostly) does not aggravate my pain
  • I love woolens
  • I love creating woolens
  • I like having something to show for my time
  • I enjoy the feeling of needles and wool and the knitting action
  • I feel connected with others through it (past and present)
  • maths!! 🙂

Interestingly Ekimimi commented about the thriftyness of knitting and people’s mis-belief that it’s a cheap past-time. It really really isn’t. Yet,  through necessity, I have managed to keep all my sweaters to a price I’d be willing to pay in a shop for a woolen garment (£30) with a few coming in cheaper… This budget knitting hasn’t meant knitting in acrylic either, but it has limited my choices… Socks work out quite expensive, but are at £5 for a pair of socks it’s a luxury I enjoy (I rarely go over that price bracket).

My question to any readers interested in replying is Where do you knit? with a sub question of what do you do whilst knitting and do you knit in company of your cohabitees should you cohabit (be that houseshare, family, etc)

I’m saving this entry until I have photographed my environment of knitting for you 😉

Morning knitting done in bed

the view from my bed (through ugly window)

view of green space visable through leaded bedroom window

where ravelry happens when the laptop needs charging

The living room-lunchtime and evening knitting

sofa with 2 balls of wool on arm-bright pictures above

Dining room,where wool winding happens, book and wool storage is and where a lot of bits of paper get scribbled on.

I do knit in company. In the evening if the tv’s on, I’m usually knitting. If we have music on, I’m definitely knitting. Being able to knit and chat and do is what makes knitting an amazing pasttime. In fact I am constantly trying to persuade Simon to knit 😉 “just” sitting watching tv seems strange, but then maybe that’s what he needs!

I’m off down to my parents for a week tomorrow and have some 75% wool 25% acrylic ready waiting for me to make owlets-my first forray into kids knitting and with machine washable wool too (socks excepted)


living with the downs of chronic illness

October 14, 2009

This autumn I’ve been struggling big time with living with chronic illness. It’s been 15 years since I had my first serious relapse and 10 since this last one started. I thought I had acceptance and coping down to a T (ok a 95%T). Tonight I’m close to tears again and I thought  I would use the opportunity to share a little-it’s hard to write about the bad times when they’re over…

I have M.E. visual field loss and a slight left sided weakness.

It’s not so much coping with these that I am struggling with, but their impact on my life.  I cannot work and as last year’s forray into part-time university proves, I cannot study out of the house either. OU exists, but is pricey for those not on means tested benefits and to be honest, especially their level 1 courses do not appeal. I’m also someone who likes to have a reason for learning and learn better from people than from books.

Good day’s are marked by being showered, dressed and teeth brushed and ideally getting downstairs for a bit during the day. Simon does 98% of everything from meal prep, to cleaning. Laundry has been one of my highlights this summer. Getting outside to hang it up and it being dry at the end of the day, feels earthly, wholesome-just good.

Talking of seasons, winter is generally my worst time health wise, with autumn seeing a decline and spring seeing a gradual slight improvement. Last year’s uni trial, which I had to abandon in November took me until May time ish to recover from…

Logically I know that I contribute to the relationship and running of our home, by just being. Taking care of finances, coming up with concoction ideas that keep our love of home cooked food alive.

At these recent down times though, when I am so shattered that the noise of kids playing outside sends my nervous system into sensory overload, I struggle emotionally. The scars of lost frienships become raw, the complete and utter isolation becomes overwhelming, the realisation about how much Simon does-yet there is no ability to change. I become angry and frustrated-all signs of NOT coping with being ill.

I recently googled coping with chronic illness and found an interesting article where she says that a Ployanna like existance is not real and that intermittent depression is normal and to be expected. Living in the acceptance stage takes daily work as it’s so different to our previous existance.

My “alter psyche” as this person calls our healthy previous us, would have studied medicine. Enjoyed the gym, cycling, socialising… I fully accept that my career aspirations will not occur. I also accept that the other won’t exist the way they do for healthy people. I know some people recover from ME and there are always “amazing stories” but 15 years is more than half of my life and wishing for “when’s” is something I realised was destructive a long time ago. Life in that state becomes markers of “still ill” instead of enjoying life along the way.

I love my knitting, music and reading when I can, food, family… The majority of the time I’m smileysair.

I do not know if it is the anniversary of uni starting, or a new acquaintance using me as an emotional dumping ground or autumn’s health decline that has got me into this. No idea. I just try and let the sadness out instead of berating myself for not coping and deal with tomorrow when it comes.



October 6, 2009

an addendum to my brief entry about wise choices. Another unwise choice is to expect said recipient of the cardigan to be a reliable source for measuring!

Let me explain a little more. I am about to join the arms and body together, but need to do another round on each to put stitches onto waste yarn. So I remeasure and realise that the arms are currently 23″ and I wanted to add another 4 rounds of garter stitch to the cuffs to bring them to the same depth of the garter at the bottom of the cardi. So, I picked up the phone, hoping my mum would remeasure my dad/one of his sweaters. Except she’s in the bath and my dad is cooking. So dad grabs “a sweater” I don’t even know if it’s a well fitting sweater, being so tall means that often things are a little short. He also grabs a DIY folding meter rule and measures the arm length.

I smiled, said thanks. I remembered I have one of his sweaters in my drawer (I kind of nicked it, it was/is cosy) so I’m going to measure that and go from there…


wise choices

October 5, 2009

Making a cabled cardigan for my dad who is 6’4″ might not have been the wisest choice, let alone doing it in DK in a wool that needs skeining, washing, winding before use!

Body and 2 23″ long arms done, now for the maths for the saddle shoulder. Oh yeah, another unwise choice-making it custom fit-no pattern to fall back on/swear at!