Friday 9 August 2013

still here, still searching, still crafting (a little) – only a little doped!

Family history research is a very absorbing hobby – absorbing of one’s time, that is!

In the past couple of months, I have added over 400 people to my extended family. I try to include the parents and siblings of all my blood relatives’ spouses. Families with ten or more children are not uncommon among the working class from which my ancestors come so the numbers add up quickly.

So, if you’ve been wondering why I’m not reading and commenting on your blog – or writing my own – my computer time is almost totally devoted to family history research these days!

I’m not one for resolutions (and it’s not New Year) but some self-discipline is called for and I am now going to limit my time spent on family history research each day. I have friends who deserve my attention, followers that expect somewhat regular posts and craft projects that need my attention.
There are photos coming but they have all been taken with my iPad so I apologise in advance for the quality!

Ah, shingles; yes, I was diagnosed with that mysterious virus four weeks ago. I spent the first week doped up so high I couldn’t walk a straight line. I was taking anti-viral medication and a daily dose of125mg of heavy-duty pain-killers (pregabalin for those who need to know such things) for post-herpetic neuralgia. But the good news is that the rash has almost completely disappeared and I am down to 25mg (one capsule) of the pain-killer a day so I’m thinking relatively clearly and almost ready to drive my sewing machine again!

I have been doing some crafting. A week after I was diagnosed I was supposed to teach a workshop on knitting with variegated and hand-painted yarns. I worked diligently through my fog to prepare for that workshop but, alas, it didn't happen; there's no way that I could get my befuddled mind into gear and teach! But samples were made, ripped out and made again.
variegated yarns
Why do my mitred squares never come out square? This one will be ripped out!

I even managed to knit a whole dropped-stitch scarf in a commercial variegated acrylic yarn that I’ve dubbed the “brussell sprout” scarf because of the colouring.
2013 Brussel sprout scarf
In theory, knitting this scarf should have made the blotchy tendencies of this yarn less obvious but, unfortunately, this scarf is still so blotchy the pattern is almost completely obliterated!
2013 Brussel sprout scarf detail 
If it wasn’t acrylic, I’d consider over-dyeing it. I’ve been successful in dying white acrylic yarn but I’m not confident that I can get colours dark enough to overdye this one!  Never mind, the scarf will still make the journey west to Mudgee next week when I tutor a workshop on “knitting with dropped stitches”.

A new project, called the “Mudgee Wrap”, has also been started for the same workshop but there isn’t much to show yet.

I haven’t been courageous (or foolish) enough to use my sewing machine while taking painkillers with that famous warning: “This drug may cause drowsiness. Do not operate machinery.” The idea of sewing through my finger is not at all appealing! But I have paid for classes so attendance is “mandatory”. Bring on the hand stitching…

In the past month I have made quite a few hexagon “triads” from scratch (the photo shows my intended layout although not the final position of the “blocks”)
– which basically means I have drawn and cut hexagons from 4” fabric squares, basted those hexagons and joined them in sets of three to create thirty of these:
There has been some humming and hawing over setting these triads but in the end I have decided to go with my original plan and have stuck with my “Dutch cap” shapes which I talked about in this post. In reality, there is quite a lot of fiddling around to create these shapes because each diamond is added separately to the triad then the diamonds are joined together.
1st Dutch cap
So far I have made only one. I hope it will get easier with experience, otherwise I’ll be ripping them all out and looking for an easier setting!

So that’s my last four weeks summed up. Not much to show for it but I am supposed to be taking it easy and concentrating on getting better. The thing is that I just don’t feel “sick” and most of the time forget that I have been ill.

Onwards and upwards, as they say! In other words, back to my Mudgee Wrap which I ambitiously hope to finish in one week!


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better and it's lovely to hear from you again. Good luck with the Mudgee Wrap.

  2. I love the green scarf. Glad to hear you are resting and recovering.

  3. Your hexie project looks great! I love the layout of colors. Can't wait to watch this one grow a bit more :)

  4. Glad to hear you feel better. Get lots of rest.

  5. Good to hear you are improving, those hand pieced hexagons are going to be beautiful.

  6. Yea! Glad you are improving. I love all your knits and things....and the hexies too!

  7. Oh ouch! Never had shingles, never hope to have it. I have known a few people who have, and it sounds miserable. Hope you're back to normal soon. You have turned out some beautiful knitting in spite of it all.

  8. Glad to hear you are feeling much better :) Love those hexies!

  9. N I certainly to h ave an update! We miss you! Glad you are improving and playing it smart. The scarf is beautiful; I like both the color and the texture. The hexagonal are slow going but they keep your hands busy and safe!

  10. I'm glad you are feeling better! I love the greens in that gorgeous scarf!

  11. Glad that you are feeling better and expect to get back to sewing soon. Family history research is very time consuming, but oh so interesting. I did a lot before our daughter was born, but afterwards, it was too hard to concentrate on it. Then I got into quilting. With a full time job, one hobby is enough!

  12. Sometimes other interests come before sewing/knitting! The scarf is gorgeous (love that yarn) and I love where you are going with the hexies.


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