Wednesday 5 October 2011

I'm back!

Today life returns to something resembling "normalcy".

My sinuses are still not completely clear but that is normal for me! At least I can do something other than sleep or sit with my head as still as possible. Thanks to all those who sent good wishes and prayers my way during my fight with acute sinusitis.

I have been away from home the past two weekends: the first we travelled to Armidale to my niece's 21st birthday. The second, this past weekend, I went to the biennial camp of the Knitters' Guild of NSW (Inc) - there will be a separate post about that; all I need to say here was I had a great time!

In the week between Armidale and the Camp, we had my mother staying with us. There were visits from DD (mum's eldest grand-daughter) and the Grandboys, a visit to my MIL, a visit to my brother and his family, and a special birthday outing - the subject of another separate post (I need to have something to write about! LOL)

I must be the world's most boring daughter because while mum was here she had time to read two novels: The Tin Ticket (the central character of which is my dad's great-great-grandmother: a convict originally from Glasgow, Scotland) and The Drovers. Mum really loves Australian novels so once she started reading she couldn't put the books down.

The truth is that while mum was here (and reading), I had to finish knitting some samples for Camp. I had knitted samples and written patterns, but I had to test knit the patterns! Let me tell you that is not as easy as it sounds; my brain knows how to do entrelac and it was hard to follow the pattern word for word so some mistakes were, unfortunately, found over the weekend!

I foolishly also thought I could knit a short-sleeved jumper in two weeks! Who am I kidding? I did about twenty percent of it, I suppose. Which, in the end, is just as well, as I have decided to rip it all out anyway. It is being knitted in Moda Vera "Bamboo Wave", which is textured (thick and thin) yarn: 60% bamboo and 40% cotton. I have gauge for the jumper but it's still too loose and drapey - and given that cotton drops a lot, I have decided, after consultation with another knitter whose skills I admire and trust, to rip it out (and, maybe, start again).
The jumper is the Morning, Noon and Night Sweater (Ravelry link - third photo) by Gwen Bortner, in her book Entree to Entrelac. I was quite happy with most of it (apart from the slowness of entrelac) but, as explained, it must be ripped out -- when I can bring myself to do it.

I have also been knitting on my garter stitch blanket (since I came home, happy, but exhausted, from Camp). I am just past halfway with that.

What you see here is approximately 40 inches wide and 45 inches long. The top edge is on a Knitpicks cable, ready for me to knit in the other direction. The bottom is on the 4.5mm circular needles I am using to knit this DK blanket. I got bored with one row per colour so I am now knitting a Fibonacci sequence: 1-1-2-3-2-1-1-2-3-2- etc. Yes, all those ends are still hanging out but wait till you see what I do with them!

There has also been some sock knitting - again the subject of another post.

Why so much knitting? It was the only craft I could cope with for the last month or so! And even then the pattern needed to be fairly simple! I knitted in front of the television for up to five hours a day, staring straight ahead - moving the head as little as possible!

In the midst of my pain and woolly-headedness, I just couldn't face sewing so there has been very little of that. In fact, I have only used my sewing machine twice in this past five weeks; once to do the block which was the subject of this post, and on Monday last week when I went to sewing class for the first time in three weeks. I attempted to make another block but I have either lost my ability to sew in straight lines or perhaps I never had it in the first place! Either way, patchwork is dependent on cutting and sewing accurately - the more seams there are, the more accurate one must be! Much, much more accurate than one needs to be for dress-making! And I have discovered that I am not accurate enough!

Sadly, these two blocks were to be sent to So Sarah Sews to be sewn into quilt tops for girls in the foster care system who have been doing it tough. I really wanted to be part of this, but just felt that my work wasn't up to scratch. I had to write to Sarah and ask to be allowed out of the group -- I feel bad for letting her down but I'm sure it will be easier for her to make two extra blocks than to make mine fit! I could make new blocks, but Sarah wanted them by 7th October - two days from now; she lives in the USA and I live in Australia so it was never going to happen for me!

Having been away from my computer since before the trip to Armidale, I have spent hours since I came home from Camp trying to catch up with other people's blogs. Since there are 165 blogs on my Blog Reading List, this is no mean feat. I spent three hours today reading all and commenting on some of the posts that were published three days ago and two days ago, so another few hours should find me caught up.

I cannot set even weekly or monthly goals - they seem too daunting; I will just have to take things as they come for the next little while.

So now, I'm off to re-acquaint myself with Jan, before she forgets who I am entirely!


  1. Glad you're feeling better! We missed you... don't stress too much about keeping up with the blog world, you didn't miss much ;) I'm not much of a knitter so I don't really see the mistakes and I think it looks great, but if you have to take everything out then you have to!

  2. Thank you for catching up with me! I'm glad you are feeling better!

  3. Nice to see you back and feeling better.

  4. such a shame you have to rip that gorgeous "morning, noon, and night" knit! it does look beautiful! you're probably right though, cotton does drop sooooo much. do you think you'll try that pattern again in a different yarn?

  5. Welcome back, glad you are feeling better. Even though you've been unwell, still sounds like a busy time with travel and guild camp etc! Lots to catch us up on!

  6. Glad to have you back. Looks like you've been busy - travelled a bit, had visitors and knitted up a storm.

  7. Always a shame to rip out pretty knitting but if it isn't up to expectations then rip away! Glad you are on the way to better-knitting is all I could do when I was sick, too. Grateful for the ability to knit at least , aren't we!?

  8. Glad things are getting back to normal.Sometimes sitting together in silence (reading and knitting) is worth more than some scheduled outing:) I love your entrelac too! Wish I could knit.

  9. Nice to have you back. Catching up with what feels like a billion posts is what I'm doing right now ;-)

  10. I'm pleased you're feeling somewhat better. Even though you feel you've not been functioning well, you seem to me to have achieved so much. Love the colours in the stripey blanket, by the way.

  11. Happy to hear you are feeling a bit better. There is nothing like a bought of illness to make us appreciate our usual good health when it returns. Maybe some scrappy crumb or string blocks would be a nice change of pace? Accuracy and straight seems don't matter much and you can just square them up at the end. It sounds like you have plenty of knitting to keep you busy for a while though -- love the look of the striped garter stitch blanket. So happy!


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