Friday, January 31, 2014

A Lacy Re-think

Since I have the yarn and the pattern and still want to knit the lacy cardigan it has occurred to me that if I modify the sleeves so that there is just one line of the pattern up each sleeve I will have no problems with the increases since the rest of the sleeves will be in stocking stitch.  The only problem which I can see is that I will still have to keep the pattern as I decrease for the armholes but the lace pattern should be firmly drilled into my brain by then that I should be able to work it out one way or another.

In the meantime I am  pushing ahead with the black corriedale tops and have started on bobbin No.8 so I am more than halfway there.  The trouble is that I have found another pattern which I like very much and will probably knit that one instead of the 'everylastyard' pattern.

I am having fun with my blending board and am accumulating rolags to spin when I have the corriedale finished.  The colour is going to be fearsome since I am throwing in random colours with a basic apricot and if D3 orders the glitter fibre she has promised to get me then I will blend half of the apricot bump with glitter and use it to ply the coloured stuff.

I am back on antibiotics.  The second spider bite is refusing to heal fully and by this morning I was back to aching all over.  I am starting to feel better this evening and hopeful that this fourth course of antibiotics will see the last of it.  I am back to doing yoga but it is not much fun at the moment; it hurts.

COTA is starting again next Thursday.  Pray that the bookings will work out better than they did last year.  I have told K. that we teach pretty well all available versions of Windows and welcome clients bringing their own computers if they want to.  It can be helpful; at least it gives us an idea where they are coming from and if absolutely necessary I can connect them to COTA's network  -  but most of them seem to have dongles these days.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I have surrendered to the god of lace knitting

I picked up my knitting with high hopes this morning only to come to the same place which I reached last time.  I know this because I also reached the end of the frogged yarn which, after I had frogged it once again, was starting to look a bit shaggy.  I might knit the body which is pretty straight forward even if I have to keep on counting and do the sleeves in stocking stitch or I might just knit innumerable pairs of maroon (actually it is puce) socks.

Meanwhile, I am past the halfway mark with my black spinning so I am feeling as though at least I have achieved something and there is enough to start knitting if the mood moves me.  But I am reluctant to knit the 'everylastyard' pattern since it involves some lace at the bottoms of the body and the sleeves and I have rather lost my confidence with lace knitting.  Maybe a nice simple V-necked, raglan-sleeved cardigan would fit the bill.

This morning I received a request from a social media site called Twoo, supposedly from someone I met in Malta and with whom I had sort of lost touch.  To go and look to see if it was a computer generated friend request I would have had to sign up to Twoo, which I wasn't about to do, but it gave me the option of checking on Facebook.  I did that instead and we are now "friends".  I am not sure how active she is since she has almost nothing on her wall and most of the posts were from other people and all but one was dated 2009, and only a very generic page.  Hopefully, since she responded to my friend request very promptly, we will resume contact.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How many times ... ?

Having successfully knitted a swatch for the lacy cardigan I want to knit I started, as recommended by the designer, with a sleeve; and started  -  and started.  And I am about to start again.  I have come to the conclusion that I will, to a degree, have to do my own thing and make careful notes so that both sleeves match.

In the olden days when I used to spin from the combed fleece I was never sure how things were going to turn out and the swatch gave me the ratio between my own spun yarn and the recommended yarn for the particular pattern.  I used to knit with a calculator to work out the ratios and never had a problem.  This is really no different, I just feel that reporting my progress on I feel as though the world is watching ... which it isn't.  I just need to get past the first four rows of plain knitting without having to undo it all again.  Maybe the spider poison was affecting my thinking.

My spider bites are almost healed up and I will be getting back to yoga again this evening; starting with the really easy one.  I have been feeling old and stiff without it but didn't feel up to doing anything much, what with the antibiotics and the flu-like aches and pains.

Parsifal has suddenly turned himself into a lap-cat and has become very cuddly.  It may be on account of I can set him smurgling and he seems to need to do that, bless him.  Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Strike Two.

I have another white-tailed spider bite, this time on my belly.  So far it has not developed into anything sinister but I again have a low-grade fever and am a bit headachy.  I had to see my doctor about something else today and she has given me a prescription for another two courses of antibiotics.  I'd prefer not to take any more but it may be necessary in the end.  I haven't found any more spider corpses  -  only three  -  but every time anything brushes my legs I find myself checking to make sure that it is not another spider.

There is some yarn waiting to be picked up from the Post Office so that I can get back to knitting as it is going to take me some time to finish spinning the black corriedale tops and I can spin only so much black before I get bored and my eyes start to protest.  At the moment I an entertaining myself by making rolags on my blending board.  They are basically an apricot colour but I am having fun throwing in random other colours.  Goodness knows what they will look like spun and I am going to have to wait to finish the beastly black before I can find out.  I spun one rolag on my Turkish spindle  -  very badly as I have never used one before  -  and the base colour came through strongly so it may not look as bad as I am imagining.

The cats are well and Parsifal has suddenly become very cuddly.  I am not sure what that is all about but it is usually the prelude to a bout of smurgling so he may realise that I can trigger an attack for him; he doesn't seem to be able to initiate an attack by himself.

GB2 has started spinning and I can see trouble ahead unless D3 buys another spinning wheel.  They are both very pleased with her and I think that it is great with three generations all spinning.  I don't think that anyone has taught her to knit yet.  Her other grandmother could teach her to knit the continental way which would be a very good thing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Spider, Spider, burning bite ...

Christmas is over and hopefully things are getting back to normal.  D1 came to stay from 22nd December and returned to Sydney yesterday.

It was not my year for having Christmas lunch; it was my turn to have the family on Boxing Day.  We had a sausage sizzle which the GBs like, as do the rest of us and for the first time I refused to make a trifle.  The whole family except me is lactose intolerant and to keep on making a dessert comprised mainly of custard and cream is ridiculous.  Until now I have succumbed to the argument that it is a Christmas tradition but for D2's birthday she requested a chocolate mousse.  The GBs practically had their heads in the bowl licking it out so I made a triple batch and they still licked out the bowl.  Their mother, D3, was concerned that they would break the bowl so I went to the Boxing Day sales and bought a couple of rather nice, big, stainless steel bowls for $25 each.  They will hold a lot of mousse. 

My hip has been painful but not bad enough to resort to crutches and on Boxing Day I was bitten on the ankle by what was probably a white-tailed spider, developed cellulitis and am currently taking antibiotics.  It is settling but still looks angry around the actual bite and I am aching all over.  The doctor told me to keep my leg elevated and do no exercise so I have been spinning.  Normally I do yoga after a long spinning session and hopefully it is just the lack of stretching which is making me ache.

It is exactly two years since I collected the cats from their breeder so it is sort of a birthday for them.  Parsifal has grown into a very large cat but Poppy is quite petite.  She became addicted to a game on D1's I-Pad and has been screaming at me to be allowed to play it on mine.  She is rather good at the game but is mostly content to just sit and look at the screen so I am hardening my heart and will have to do so over the bathroom tap as she expects me to turn on the tap over the bath whenever I go into the bathroom so that she can play with the water.

Parsifal is seriously clever.  Anything he wants to keep as a toy he picks up in his mouth and puts into the toybox and a little red babushka was carefully dropped into the ball box.  I had to rescue that one because it won't roll out again.  And knowing that I keep  chains through the drainholes in the showers (to help syphon the water out)  he dropped a chain necklace down the drainhole in the bathroom floor.  Luckily it caught or I would never have found it.

They are not easy to handle sometimes and Parsifal's pica is a worry but they have brought so much laughter and pleasure into my life and I wouldn't be without them for anything.