Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cor Blimey

Yes I am still alive. Not blogging but definitely doing ok. So much has been going on that blogging is way way down on the priorities. Gotta admit I love Twitter and prefer that. Nice and quick. Suits me down to the ground.

So what have I been up to? Well we moved into our newly renovated detached bungalow last weekend that has taken 6 months to renovate from when we purchased it. It needed everything doing but is just gorgeous now. We even had an extension built :)

Luckily we still had our old place to live in but still its been a hell of a slog. DH has been working all day then going straight to the bungalow every evening and working there all weekends. He's exhausted but the worst is over & we totally love living here. No darned stairs - yippee!! And a fab new south facing garden that Scruffs and me both adore :)

We live in a very quiet area with a lot of bungalows and a lot of friendly elderly neighbours. The man next door has 2 dogs which Scruffs loves and he gives Scruffs treats so he has a friend for life now lol.

Knitting is sporadic as you can imagine. My projects are on Ravelry though photos are really behind. I did manage to get some knitting out last night for the first time in a week which was a lovely feeling. Mostly though I'm too exhausted.

Things should start to slow down now, though there is a ton of stuff to move from our old place, some stuff to finish here and then our old place to sell. Oh yes, and we're still waiting on an oven. It's only been on order for a couple months........

I have been trying to read blogs but just haven't had time to comment. I'm here in spirit though! Would love to see you on Ravelry or Twitter. Have fun x

Sunday, December 21, 2008


It was all going so well last post wasn't it? But the jobs took their toll and I started getting a sore throat every day and swollen throbbing glands. Not a good sign so I cut down. Too little too late I'm afraid and had a relapse once we came back from our annual week in St Ives. I knew it was risky going but we discussed it and made sure we would have rest breaks for tea/food throughout the day and get taxis back to the flat. And we did. But I didn't have the best sleep there due to work on the water mains and after coming back home woke up feeling like I'd been run over by a bus.

I was so unprepared for a major relapse. I really thought things would eventually just keep getting better, though really slowly. To find I could hardly do anything for myself again was crushing. A visit to the docs and my meds were increased. Thankfully I feel better in myself now which is good. Body is still crap though. Walking is a challenge and now I have pain in my legs so have painkillers for that. But I'm still knitting and have gotten some lovely pattern books too, like Kim Hargreaves ones and the fab Love to Knit Socks. I just couldn't resist getting 2 skeins of Malabrigo Sock Yarn which is gorgeous and asking nicely to be knitted up.

After the shock of the relapse I talked to my doctor and realised that not reading up about CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) was a seriously bad idea. And pretending that Post Viral Syndrome is not another name for CFS is frankly, quite stupid. But PVS doesn't sound so bad does it? And not so permanent either. Though it can be depressing reading about CFS, you also learn that you can deal with it and more importantly, how to pace yourself to avoid those relapses! So I've been doing a fair bit of reading and practising this pacing lark and making sure I have breaks during the day. Surprisingly, knitting in front of the TV doesn't count as a break! Who knew? I'm not very good at total relaxation but I'm learning and getting better at it.

So back to the knitting. I would so love to show you a bundle of FOs. Like I used to. Can you believe I've been ill for over a year now? But I need to accept that I won't be able to churn out 20/30 projects a year now. That it doesn't matter as long as I'm still knitting and enjoying it. And enjoying it I am. But I do have one lovely FO I finished last month from stash. Gorgeous bedsocks :)

My finishing/WIP pile grows and grows. I rarely have the energy to complete the finishing bit as it takes concentration and I'm such a perfectionist. It's frustrating but there's no point stressing over it. They'll get done when they're done. Currently I have 1 and half socks sock, one snug boot and one slipper. Plus Dawn and Cherish to finish sewing up. Though to DHs amazement I've been walking round wearing one slipper. He thinks I'm crazy. Who cares, I love the slipper! It's sibling will arrive soon and I won't look so mad then :) Pics will go on Ravelry before they get here lol :)

Last but definitely not least, we have a new addition to the family to keep me company. His name is Scruffs and he is TOTALLY ADORABLE!!! Isn't his sweater cute? A real quick pattern from Ravelry using less than a ball of Big Wool.

So have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oooh Hello!

Well it's been a while hasn't it? Summer has arrived, well kind of, one day glorious then the next chucking down with rain. But it's lovely to see the sun, however long it decides to stay out! So what have I been up to? I finally finished my STR Firebird socks from last years club kit which are fab and fit just perfectly.

I managed to start a 'proper' pattern and have finally finished the back of Joy from Kim Hargreave's Nectar which is an amazing book and am almost finished with the struggle of the first front. I'm finding the pattern a bit of a challenge, brain fog/tiredness and the inability to follow a pattern properly has lead to rather a lot of frogging! But I'm plugging away at it. It is a gorgeous design though definitely does not come natural to me, especially right now. Of course had I chosen a plain SS pattern I'd have been fine I expect, but I didn't. I fell in love with Joy so thats that and I'm so glad I actually managed to find a book to buy for the spring/summer season. Hope I get a chance to wear her though before it gets too cold!

Being part of the Socks That Rock club has continued to be great with the most amazing colourways arriving in the latest and previous kit. As I only just got the latest kit will post a pic next post (ha ha!) but will tempt you with pics of the previous one. As usual purples never photograph well and it is much much nicer in the flesh. I was almost tempted to start them but this is one season of the year I can live in flip flops so usually give sock knitting a little break. Not for long though!

I've been to the docs and the homeopathic hospital and both are pleased with my progress. I feel better in myself, brighter and more confident. It's a good feeling! The tiredness still continues, but we're all hoping that will catch up with my brain. I always keep myself busy and occupied as its great to feel like you're accomplishing something. Whether its online competitions that I'm currently addicted to or becoming self employed so I can earn a few pennies here and there, much of it from home.

The main reason for becoming self employed is that I start to pay Class 2 NI contributions and so qualify for benefits in due course in case I should need to. Working part time unbelievably meant I could claim nothing. So even though I was able to claim Incapacity Benefit, I wasn't entitled to it. Being short of money when you're ill isn't a great combination. We're not in dire straits but my wages used to pay for all the extras and of course my yarn addiction ;)

So our annual holiday to somewhere exotic in May was off this year. Not helped by the fact that I wouldn't have the energy to get to the airport never mind anything else.........but still, I missed that we weren't going anyway. So it cheered me right up to win a 2 night break with Premier Inns. I've wanted to go to Monkey World forever so we're going to Bournemouth next month and will get to visit Monkey World. I'm really looking forward to it ;)

Thank you all so much for the lovely birthday wishes. I did indeed have a lovely time and could quite get used to being pampered all day and got some lovely gifts, some of which you can see. I surprised myself by enjoying the sauna and aroma room though couldn't stay long the first time lol! But the massage........ooh........was to die for ;) Our meal that night was perfect in our favourite indian and I got lots of lovely pressies. And finally got to wear my gorgeous eternity ring that DH had bought for me for my birthday. Lucky me eh?

Lixie Knits It tagged me ages ago and I did say I'd do it so here goes:

1. What I was doing 10 years ago
Blimey. I can't remember 10 days ago but here we go. Living in Finchley, North London in my gorgeous garden flat. Had recently split up with seriously bad news part-live in boyfriend. Decided I needed to get my head round things so went to Maldives for the first time where I had an amazing time. Was working in the City of London for a commercial bank that was part of the HSBC group. Yes, those were days when I earnt good money and got great benefits......

2. What 5 things are on my to-do list for today (but won't get done)
DH's self-employed accounts
Dusting - ha ha ha!
Catch up with online comps
Check online accounts
Sort out old DS & PSP games to sell

3. Snacks I enjoy
Kettle Lightly Salted crisps.......oh yum yum! I did love the Chilli flavour but it gives me blisters and other unwanted side effects :( Oh, yes and Hula Hoops. Perfectly portable in case of an energy boost. And peanut tracker bars. I have one with a banana for breakfast. Or that would be lunchtime by everyone else's standards.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire
In view of umm the current political climate in a certain African country I'd rather like to hire an assassin. Really necessary me thinks and can't understand why it hasn't been done yet. Also, would travel all over the world and either fund or set up an animal sanctuary, or several. And build a eco-friendly home with solar panels and other lovely gadgets.

5. Places I have lived
Hornsey, Finchley, West Hampstead, Kilburn, Kentish Town, Finchley (again!), Bristol & Weston-Super-Mare.

Thats it folks. I will try post quicker next time though I'm finding if I over do things workwise (yes again) I go backwards and absolutely nothing gets done and it takes ages to try and catch up. But I will make an efffort, especially as I need to show off my lovely STR kit AND the goodies I bought in the John Lewis sale. Noro Kochoran for £2.70!!! Yup, you read right. So obviously I HAD to get it. I mean at that crazy price. They'd just reduced it again and I knew the sales assistant and she told me. I hadn't even spotted it. And she told me about the 90p a ball Rowan 4ply Cotton that may or may not have jumped into my shopping bag! It's been a while since I bought some stash and boy did it feel good.

Oh yes, and now we have fish. Yes I persuaded DH that yes we did NEED a tropical fish tank as I was fed up with the 'yes you can have one when we move' response. The fish are great, I'll try and sort out some semi-decent pics soon :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Oops & Birthday Celebrations!!!

Here are the finished lovely Evolution bedsocks :) Lovely and cozy to wear. Unfortunately they only lasted a week! Read on........I have a couple of stupid things to own up to!

The first would be putting the bedsocks in the washing machine. It does say gentle machine wash on the label, and I've put plenty of socks in there before though not STR ones as I learnt from that mistake! Although they never ruined the socks thankfully ;)

So I was rather suprised when they turned out like this........DH was laughing his head off though I think he's more bothered about it than I am. Not much I can do about it is there. So if anyone has a little girl that wants some felted socks, just let me know. They were lovely while they lasted....... and now I know Evolution felts like a dream :(

The other stupid, or daft thing just shows why I can't follow patterns any more. I'd been working on and off on my Colinette Point 5 jacket and decided to sew up the ends on the final 2 pieces left in the lounge. The rest I'd already pressed in a mad half hour ironing spree. So there I was, trying to make sure the ends didn't show on what would be the zip sides of the front, but I couldn't understand why I had so many joins on those sides. Usually I only join in yarn on fronts where it will be hidden in seams. Anyway, as puzzled as I was I carried on quite content. I then laid out both the fronts and got totally freaked out as I couldn't get them to match up. One seemed to be shorter than the other and I just couldn't work out why. I spent 10 mins trying to match them up but eventually gave up and went to bed, figuring I'd try and work it out the following day.

The next day arrived and whilst I was pottering about it suddenly dawned on me. I'd been trying to 'match' the sleeves to one another. The fronts were upstairs already pressed!!! I never used to be stupid, honest. But its one of the side effects of either the illness or the meds. It's rather funny when you think about it, but slightly worrying how long it takes me to figure out what on earth I've done.

But I have been getting better and am managing to make the Firebird socks from the STR kit quite nicely thank you ;) Curly Cable inspired me when I saw how lovely hers were looking on Ravelry and I've already finished one sock. I only knitted the cuff for 5" as I don't like my socks too high, but realised after working the foot long enough to try it on that 5" would have been ok as the sock has a garter stitch heel which is alot shorter than my usual heel flap heel. It didn't matter anyway as when I tried the finished sock on, it fit perfectly :) I'm now working on the 2nd sock and can't wait till their finished. I thought I'd taken a pic of it but haven't so you'll have to wait till next time ;)

The lovely Curly Cable nominated me for the You Make My Day Award a while back and I was chuffed to bits so thank you very much :) My nominees are:

Knit Only But Also for her fabulous style (we like the same things lol), wacky humour, awesome knitting, superb finishing, kindness and for being my blog friend ;) She always makes me laugh and goes on fab trips and makes me jealous with wonderful photos.

KnitDevil for being a wonderful cyber pal who's so much fun, generous beyond words, incredibly kind and makes me laugh even when things get tough. She got me my KP Harmony's AND my STR sock blockers. KnitDevil also has a wicked stash which I love to watch grow on Ravelry!

I could nominate some more but then the post would never ever get finished.........

And the reason for another post so soon (for me anyway) is that its my 40th Birthday on Wednesday! I know, I'm quite shocked too. How did this happen? Knowing how long I usually leave it till posts thought I'd announce before rather than weeks later..... I'm going to a local spa for a top-to-toe day and DH is coming with me until after lunch when he'll come home and clean the house whilst I continue being massaged and generally pampered. They know I've been ill a while so its no problem if I need to crash out at any time. I have to get up earlier than I'm used to so that will be quite a shock. I'm looking forward to it and my homeopath did suggest massage therapy :)

I had a good doctors visit last Friday and she was really pleased with my progess. The black bags and listlessness are gone and its nice to have someone notice improvements. We discussed ME/CF again as my energy levels are still pretty non existent. But baby steps are the way to go and I'm managing my 5-8 min daily walks quite nicely. In addition CF would be treated the same way as depression anyway, so I continue on the meds, take plenty of vits and go on my little walks. She also suggested trying yoga or yogalates too. I've done yoga before and really enjoyed it so that will be good for rainy days. Like today!

Of course I can't go without leaving you with with this unusual animal video. Our animals are all well and healthy and currently Roxy is sat in his new sand bath looking really cute and trying to chew the ceramic edge. He's rather puzzled why he can't. Bless. There is a reason we bought a ceramic one to replace the chewed plastic one!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Is It Spring Yet?

I had in my head the idea that I'd post once a month. Seemed fairly reasonable. Until I got the cold from hell that quite a few people have suffered with and it managed to wipe me out for over 2 weeks. Not fun at all. Needless to say, very little knitting got done ie. even less than usual! I have my DH to thank for the cold as he generously passed his on to me.

I got my own back though on his birthday by being really ill so we couldn't go out for a meal. The culprit this time looks to be an egg yolk. Trust me, you do not want to suffer from allergies and food intolerances. The egg caused another week of illness and flu like feeling. None of which is helping my weight gain. I'm already lactose intolerant and have to be careful with egg , milk & cheese, but for some reason I react much more to the tiniest amount of dairy nowadays so thats it for me with dairy from now on. Apart from butter which seems be ok.

On the good side, my strange red, blistering tongue allergy issues seem to have cleared up. One day I just looked at my tongue and could hardly recognise it. Its been a couple of years since I had a normal tongue, but there it was, all looking lovely as it should be. I have to thank homeopathy for that and am so pleased I can eat without getting blisters. Wonderful! Fingers all crossed it continues ;)

I had a review with my doctor and she's pleased with my current dosage. And taking the meds first things seems to work much better and I've had hardly any nausea or side effects. Yippee! I'm still trying to put on weight but haven't lost any more so thats a start.

I have to apologise for being behind on replying to posts and reading blogs. I'm the same with household post and bills too. They just seem to pile up and up.........

And for some knitting news. Not much but here we go. I got my 1st STR kit of the year and am super pleased with it. Makes me even more glad I rejoined. Isn't is pretty? I've actually just got the 2nd kit (can you tell I started this post a while back but never managed to actually post it....) which is gorgeous. As its newish I won't post a pic yet, but will do next time.

The lush Jailhouse Rock STR socks are done and dusted and have been several times. I love them. Can't get over their amazing colours.

Remember the Evolution I showed last post? Well they're being knitting into bed socks and I've finished the first sock and working on the second. It was real slow going for a while, they yarn is really soft but has no elasticity, and I started to lose interest. But now I've tried the sock on, I love them. Boy is this stuff soft. Won't be hardwearing, but I don't need them to be. So hopefully it won't take too much longer to get the 2nd one done. It's already taking forever as it is. Then I can get back to my favourite STR ;)

I didn't buy any yarn at all in Feb or March. I thought the new Rowan mag was uninspiring and neither VKI or IK had anything that really excited me. I managed to find a preview of Rowan Studio 9 that has Calmer designs but didn't like that either. Oh well, at least I can't spend what I don't have. But surely there must at least a booklet I can get! I mean, to go another month without knitting purchases is unheard of. I don't count subscriptions but I've even cut down on those. And may cut down on Let's Knit as well if the next issue is as awful as the one before last. Shame as that one seeemed to be different to the others at first.

Update: I managed to make knitting related purchases - only small ones and not yarn but much wanted.

This is just a perfect easter picture and just made me laugh. Can't imagine Thunder like that :)

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. We had a nice quiet one. Wasn't the weather awful though? Thank god it won't be that early for a long time.

This is a photo of what my windscreen looked like after being vandalised a week last Friday night. Yes, it was outside my house and CSI have been and taken photos and measurements as there were footprints all over the bonnet. As well as scratches and dents. Hmm, teenagers are definitely not my favourite species at the moment! As if we haven't got enough stuff going on as it is! But its now been replaced so once more driveable.

I'll leave you with this video. I don't whether to laugh or cry. It takes spoiling animals to a whole new level. The last part is just unbelievable! And there's more on this one, it looks all quite normal at first, then just gets crazier and crazier....... the quality isn't great and the sound track is urmm, not my thing but you have to just watch it :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A New Year

Happy New Year! Can't quite believe it's the end of January already. But I always find Jan & Feb fly by and to be honest, I'm rather glad. Cold, wet gloomy weather really doesn't do it for me funnily enough! Roll on spring please...........

To prove I've been knitting here are my last 2 FO's of 2007 which brings a grand total of 26 . Substantially down from previous years but never mind. I've given up knitting anything that requires reading a pattern so that really leaves just plain socks. But combined with STR yarn they are the perfect project for me right now. The gorgeous STR colours keep my interest and I don't have to (mis)read a pattern and so don't make any mistakes. Good news all round ;)

The scarf is gorgeous and is the Purl Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. A fab stashbusting pattern too and would also make a lovely gift :)

The final FO are my Cherry Tree Hill Louet Gems socks which really seemed to take forever. I kinda went off the yarn a little when knitting the second sock, something that doesn't happen with STR!

Check out the gorgeous Blue Moon sock blockers sent from the lovely Madge. Aren't they just beautiful? And they arrived in the most perfect packing too! How cool is that!

We had animal shennanigans again just before Christmas when Roo and Chilli had an 'encounter' resulting in more being bitten off from Chilli's paw. Yes, it was the same paw Roo bit off again! So another vet visit and 21 days of antibiotics ensued. He seems to be ok now though not sure either of them have learnt their lesson.

Thunder has been super cuddly and generally pretty good apart from his new trick of jumping onto my laptop - when I'm using it! He's not a small rabbit and has taken a couple of keys out. Luckily I put them back ok. To make it worse, Chilli and Roo have decided this is a also a wonderful game and do the same. Luckily they don't weight much but really, come on guys!

The last STR kit of 2007 took4 weeks to arrive (cheers UK post!) as they got caught up in the xmas post. Though I have to say I love the kit and have loved being part of it. Pre illness I'd already decided I would rejoin but after becoming ill and leaving work started to wonder if I would rejoin. Money issues and the fact that I can't read patterns anymore (correct that, I can read them, just can't follow them correctly anymore) made me think it might be better to leave it. But I couldn't bring myself to let Blue Moon know and ummed and aahed about it for 5 days till me & DH had a discussion and agreed part would be Valentines pressie and the rest from birthday money. So I rejoined and once I'd done it felt so pleased and actually rather relieved. So I'm in the 2008 club and the first kit should be arriving any day soon ;)

Here is my current WIP that is keeping me happy. Gorgeous STR socks in Jailhouse Rock. I can't get over the colours in the yarn and how different it all looks knitting up compared to in the skein. You can never see all the amazing colours till you start knitting with it. I've made good progress too and am now on the 2nd sock.
I ordered the extra Harmony sets as soon as they were in stock at Get Knitted and how have the complete set. I love em. But I am on a cutting down splurge. I've cancelled 2 of my knitting subs already and may do another 2. I'm also planning on selling some more yarn on Ebay that I know I'm unlikely to use. After hearing about various yarn diets I've decided to record all the yarn and yarn related stuff I buy this year. I don't think I got that much last year but reckon if I added it all up I'd be quite surprised. I'm not on a yarn diet, oh no, but more of a 'only get it if you really need it' type of thing.

So obviously buying a pack of 10 balls of my much-loved Rowan Calmer for £24 is perfectly fine. It's the only yarn I've bought this year and was reduced from £65 to £30 and then an extra 10% off. I try and steer clear off sale yarn these days unless its a couple of balls or so. But this is Calmer, and there is always an exception with this gorgeous yarn ;)

Healthwise there have been quite a few things going on. Asthma is under control though I'm still on a high steroid dosage. Virus and tiredness has improved so that I'm not spending half my life (or more) in bed. My homeopath recommended a light box and that has helped my excessive sleeping. She was pleased with my progress and I had some more medication sent to me. My lovely GP has now left the surgery and I saw another one in a very long session. We went through everything but she wasn't happy with my current antidepressant dosage which had been reduced a month ago as I'd lost a lot of weight due to them making me nauseus. Which was quite a surprise as I thought I was actually doing ok. But thinking about it she is right, I have been getting more and more upset for longer. So I'm back on the higher dosage and hoping no more weight loss occurs. Or nausea as I'll then have to change meds and I'd really really rather not go through all the side effects again.

It's kind of funny that after Christmas most people are thinking about dieting but I actually have to put on a stone in weight, which isn't actually all that easy. It would be nice not to be called skeletor by DH really but I can understand, bones that stick out are really not that attractive (or comfortable either).

It's the new knitting season very shortly and I'm hoping my Rowan mag arrives quickly and gets my creative juices flowing. Even if it doesn't, you can't have enough socks can you lol?

Here is the gorgeous Evolution bought at the Knitting & Stitch Show from Jo for part of my xmas pressie. Lush isn't it? And the other 2 yarns I got for xmas are from The Natural Dye Studio and some more Tait & Style.

I'll leave you with a cute iPhone Cozy I made to keep my lovely new iPhone snug and warm. Yay - my first FO of the year. The iPhone was my BIG christmas present from DH and I absolutely love it ;)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Just a short post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope that Santa brings you all you wish for!

I wanted to especially thank everyone who commented on my last post. Words can't explain how much it helped me and I'm so grateful for your comments.

I have been doing a little knitting most days and finished these lovely Cozy House Socks from 101 Skein Wonders. I loved them so much I've cast on for another pair in cream. I used Jaeger Matchmaker Aran from stash which is machine washable and so nice and easy to care for.

And I finally finished the Log Cabin Blanket from the Mason-Dixon book. It's only been a WIP for over a year! But it's lovely and snugly and perfect for cuddling up on the sofa with.

For my lovely Harmony needles I found this lovely DPN/circ case on Ebay which holds them all perfectly. I know have the larger additional sizes and so have a complete set ;)

See you all in the New Year!