Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Yes I Know......

Yes I know I haven't blogged for a month of Sundays..... apologies........

Life has been rather very busy and is due to remain busy for a while yet.... so quick update....

Mary-Jane Alice Jackson was born on 22nd August 2010, weighing in at 9lb 11oz. She is healthy and absolutely perfect in every way.

Pictures and all things Mary-Jane to follow!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

HK's First Sock Completed!

HK's first sock was completed last night, much to mine and HK's delight! I'm very pleased with it. It has totally banished my thought block of socks being difficult to do. I'm glad I waited until the time was right to do socks and to be bitten by the sock bug. This is a very simple pattern, with extra help and enouragement from Linda. I love the cast off, very stretchy. Just as Linda said it would be. It is a sewn cast off. I've never done a sewn cast off before and this is easy peasy! I like the way the random black zig zags have come out. The yarn is from China (or somewhere near there, via ebay). I used two 2.5mm circular sock needles. I've got enough to make myself a pair and a tiny pair for Baby as well. I'm trying to hold back on starting a pair for Baby!
This view shows heel and toes. I have warned HK that I want pictures of him modelling them. I have already started on the second one. A fab tip I got from Linda - to avoid getting Second Sock Syndrome - start the second sock before finishing the first one. Start the first one, do a bit, then cast on the second, do a bit etc. At whatever rate you want to. Or so they are about finished at the same time. Seems like sense to me. I casted on the second one about an inch or so before starting the ribbing on the first.
The pattern is an adapted one by Linda. She is going to use it at a Class at Yarn Gathering of Stone. I will ask her if I can publish it on here and on Ravelry. It's a good basic Toe Up Sock Pattern. Thumbs up from me!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!

Today is our 4th Wedding Anniversary. It's been a busy four years, and has flown by. Here's to many more, I wouldn't want to be without HK!

Relaxing Weekend

We've had a very relaxing weekend. Friday evening, Spudette decided to do her thing, not sure what she was doing, stretching, wriggling, moving (all good stuff though!) which made me feel quite uncomfortable and didn't know what to do with myself, a bit like on Monday. It did make me feel drained. We didn't do the weekly shop that evening and an early night was called for. The shopping was done Saturday Morning. Spudette soon realised we were in Asda, however, and played me up (the little tinker!) so the shopping was a struggle. By the time we got home, a sit down for a few hours was called for - and that did the trick!

From there we did some sorting in my new knitting room - and we didn't fall out this time - hurrah! My room now has some semblance of order. There is now floor space (I'll try not to fill it too soon) and nothing is on the floor. However the shelves do need a bit more sorting as I've not emptied them from the old knitting room, now Baby's room. Plus the stash needs organising, there is no order to it, apart from looking generally tidy to the uninitiated! Oh and there are still two big boxes of yarn in Baby's room, that just won't fit into my room.......... Some stash busting needs to be done - lucky for me that I've got a decent stash as things may get a bit tight soon!! I will take pix of the room now it's looking a little less chaotic.

My sock for HK is coming on a treat. I started turning the heel last night. I'm taking it to Knit Chicks this morning to do a bit more.

I've also, on the Stash Busting front, wound all leftover Peaches & Creme into three balls. With this I started experimenting with what to do with it. By this point however, I was in one of those 'can't concentrate' moods. So I tried quite a few things, but frogged them. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. Mainly some kind of blanket, but wanted to do it so it could grow until I finished the yarn, if you know what I mean! I tried doing a square one, then a circular one, but they just didn't look right. I thought the idea of starting from the middle and working outwards was the best idea.

In the end, I went for a rectangular shape rug. I cast on 40 stitches (I think - I was toying with 50 stitches, but at this point didn't want to go onto circulars). I've used the three strands together, so it is thick. Needle size is 8mm, to make it dense. It is going to be a cot side rug. Again pictures later (I need to charge up the camera). I've only done a couple of inches so far.

Late Saturday afternoon, HK looked at the printer, as I said it wasn't working properly. My diagnosis was that the paper feed thingy wasn't working. HK sort of agreed. The printer was declcared 'Kaput'. I had a look at argos for a budget replacement, that used the same ink cartridges, as I had just bought new ones and not used them. I found one, that was reduced by £30 to £50. Sorted. Off we went. When the printer was bought to us in the shop, it wasn't the right one that I wanted. The lady said that if they are out of stock they will offer the nearest one. HK was gettign excited saying that we will have that one. I was being dozy (slow!) and wanted to look further to make sure it had the same spec. I noted that the ink cartridges were the same, then noted HK's hidden excitement and decided to go with it. Thank you very much and we were off. At home I looked up the new model on the t'internet. It was a much upgraded version of what we originally wanted, plus it was a specialised photo printer. It was priced at £120. Bargain. It works a treat and is much better than the one I originally wanted!!

Friday, 18 June 2010

The Sock Bug May Finally Be Nibbling At Me!

The sock bug may finally be nibbling at me! I've waited a long time for this! Not to mention been given and bought copious amount of sock yarn in preparation for this moment....... HK yet again asked if I'd make him some socks. This request managed to filter through places of my brain that other requests had failed to reach. So on Wednesday, at Carol's, it all started....... Linda helped me cast on - magic loop method. I had learned this technique before, but not used it for quite a while, well since my last foray into attempting to make a sock. Linda again then showed me the best way to do a sock increase. Joan and others gave me much encouragement. I was off and away! I must admit that 'the tongue of concentration' was out for a short while, till I'd got the hang of the cast on!

So here is what I've done so far - the sock addiction is not far behind the nibbling either. I've not been able to put it down!

The socks were going to be a surprise for HK for his birthday - to be presented whether finished or not - but I was too excited and couldn't wait that long. I made the announcement that evening. HK was highly delighted! He has had a fitting that night and last night, with much approval. He likes the yarn as well. He said to use something out of my stash, even when warned that I didn't have anything plain black or similar and that colour may be involved. I found the red and black - very Dennis The Mennace! I wasn't sure how the colour change would come out as the red bits are slightly longer than the black - random zigzags! It would be interesting to see how it turns out on a smaller size (like one that would fit me!) I have quite a few balls of it. I got it quite a while ago, from Ebay, from a place somewhere in the region of China or Hong Kong.

If I do a pair for me (ever the ambitious knitter, me!) then I will have to do a pair for Baby!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Baby Activity & A Soothing Bath

Baby was so active last night, I thought she was punching her way out. It was so uncomfortable, it took me nearly an hour to eat my tea. She only started to get excited when we decided to have chips for tea, must be one of her favourites! I can feel her lower down, so I think maybe she might be getting 'in position' ready for August. I didn't think babies got in position till about four weeks prior to birth, but apparantly they can start to get ready from round now. Without knowing anything else, I shall put it down to that, as well as her being an awkward little cuss at times!! Or as HK said this morning - 'A Madam!' He's given her her instructions not to play me up to much today........

Sleep is still a bit hit and miss, but last night wasn't too bad, once I got comfy. I was glad to get into bed last night, I was feeling proper sorry for myself and just wanted to be comfy. I drank a pint of squash once I got out of the bath. Baths are even getting a little tricky. It's been quite a while since I was able to pull the plug out whilst actually sitting in the bath, as normal. But I have discovered that if the bath is fuller rather than shallower, the the buoyoncy helps me get out of the bath itself. But the bath seems a little narrower these days........

I'm starting to gather things for the hospital. I might go out today and find a few more bits. The main thing is something to wear! I don't wear nightwear as such, although I do slob out of an evening in nightwear, nothing is appropriate for Birth or to wear around the hospital. So another trip out today may be on the cards.

I've only got 8 weeks (yesterday) to go. I can't really put things off anymore. I'm slow at doing things now, so when I've got the wind about me, I need to do what I need to do. There isn't too much to do, but the more I look, the more there is to do - isn't that just the way!!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Spudette's Surprise Itsy Parcel Has Arrived!

A parcel arrived, addressed from Tavish in Tonanwanda. I ripped the packaging off and opened the parcel, only to be stopped in my tracks. Inside were gifts from my Itsy friends on Ravelry. The most awesome of gifts is the beautiful baby blanket. I draped it over the sofa, and had to sit for some time to admire it, each and every sqaure that made up the blanket! HK spent time walking in and out of the front room, looking at the blankie, gobsmacked. Paula had gathered charms together on a Charm Ring, and listed what each charm means. Very, very thoughtful.
The poem on the card bought tears to my eyes
I love these buttons and can't wait to put them on garments for Baby!
This hanging storage unit, so beautiful. It will be put up in Baby's room, in a place where it will be easily seen and admired!
A pretty pashmina! I've tried to drape it so both sides and all colours can be seen. HK loves it on me when I tried it on!

Thank you so much Itsy Ladies! I wasn't expecting it all. Thank you, from both HK and myself (and Spudette!) for all the time and love that has gone into putting it all together!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sleep can be elusive

I have seen the midwife for another routine check up. Baby is doing fine. Heart beat is strong and regular. Baby bump was measured and growing well - don't I know it! HK says I'm no longer his 'Little Fatty', but his 'Not So Little Fatty'! I have to agree with him! Sleeping is starting to become a little troublesome. Sometimes I just can't seem to relax, or get comfy, or Baby is on night manoevers, or I sleep for the first half of the night, then I'm awake for a couple of hours, just dozing until about half an hour before it's time to get up. After three consecutive nights like this, I wasn't pleasant company. It got to the point where I just didn't know what to do with myself. Luckily I slept really well that night.

HK isn't sleeping that well either. He is a light sleeper, so I disturb him when I can't sleep. Plus he's painfully aware of knocking or touching me in bed incase he touches Baby. And his plates in his legs have been aching him badly due to the change in weather, so that is not helping his sleep. But we'll soldier on and try not to get niggly.

Baby is moving lots, as well as honing up her kicks and punches! Thankfully, she has only hit under my ribs a couple of times. She is discovering how to stretch in every direction all at once, this can stop me in my tracks! All signs of movement are good though.

I've been started on some Ferrous Fumerate - that's Iron tablets to you and me. It was two a day, but with agreement with the midwife, I've knocked these down to one a day. I'm only just slightly under the levels, by a whole 0.2. The side effects of the iron have kicked in, constipation, blackness of youknowhat, and well, stand down wind of me at your own peril! Hopefully the reduction of the tablets will resolve this.

Rhinog is really coming into his own at the moment. He is never far from my side. When I'm sat in the front room, he will come through every 10 - 15 minutes to check on me to make sure I'm okay. A day or two ago I was having an uncomfortable time with Baby moving, so I was ooing and ouching and Rhinog was there, at my side, sticking like glue, looking very concerned. Yesterday I was opening a box, I couldn't do this on the sofa, as I couldn't twist round sufficiently, so I decided to sit on the floor. Well, poor Rhinog was distraught. He is not used to me sitting on the floor and seemed to automatically presume that something was wrong, despite me re-assuring him that I was fine. To him, I was on the floor and that wasn't right. He got as close to me as he could, even trying to lie partially over one of my legs to comfort me. Poor lad looked so distressed.

I got up of the floor as soon as I could, much to Rhinog's relief. Once I was up, he became much happier, ears unpinned from the back of his head and wagging his tail. Even when I come home, after being out, he almost looks relieved that I am back and am safe! He's a good boy and looking after his Momma so well!

The Sheilero

The Sheilero is a shrug/wrap/bolero. It was originally named 'Shrugalero' of something similar. But the only person who could pronounce this new name, was Sheila, at Knitterati. We soon decided to call it the 'Sheilero' as that is soooo much easier to say! The original pattern was bought to Knitterati and was soon adapted and several versions have been made.

I gave in to temptation and got four balls of Noro Silk Garden to make mine. I had been tempted to this yarn for a week. A whole week!! I am still tempted to some Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, there is a beautiful colour way with my name all over it! I suppose it's my treat to do something that is for me rather than Baby.

I've cast on another EZ Surprise Jacket, with the promise to myself that when I finish this one that I won't cast on another the next day! I'm doing this one in Tiny Tots, in stripes. Linda gave me the yarn, it's very pretty and is looking good already, and I'm on 7 ridges. I was doing it yesterday and fell foul of too much natter and not knitting. I was on the increase 9 on each end for the cuff fullness, and increased where I should have decreased. A row later, tink, tink, tink. I did resist the urge to make my knitting airborne. I had to tink. The thought of frogging a row and a half then picking up all those stitches, filled me with dread.

It was at that point that I had decided to treat myself to the Noro. It didn't take much!!! I've only done about ten rows, so when it is grown more (or finished, depending on how long it takes me to do!), I'll post the pattern and a picture.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket 2

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket 2 is now complete - minus buttons at the moment. This time I used Wendy Beach Baby DK. It took just over one ball. It is slightly bigger than the previous one, but I dont mind that as Baby will grow! I'm planning to do one more, in stripes this time. I've been given two balls of Tiny Tots, by Linda, on Monday. After that no more, at least for quite a while. I do have plans of lots of other things to do for Spudette. I am rather taken with the Surprise Jacket though.......

Friday, 4 June 2010

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

Whilst I was in the throes of having my nasty cold, I had a rare thought. I was planning what to do for my next project. The Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket, was the only clear contender. I thought I must be running a temperature to be even thinking about doing this, never mind actually tackling it. But no, this is what I wanted to do......

I've done one before, a couple of years ago, at a workshop. Then I didn't really have my head around the best use and potential of stitch markers, hence my increases and decreases didn't quite line up.....

Time has passed now. Confidently I cast on. Confidently I carried on - and thoroughly enjoyed doing it! So much so, that the day after I finished it, I cast on another, with thoughts of doing another!! Stunning! So this is the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I'd recommend the pattern to anyone. It's a lot easier to do than what I originally thought. With minimal sewing up, which is a bonus to most people! I just need to sew buttons on, I've got some pretty ones for this. I used Sirdar Snuggly Kisses, it's very soft and knits up well.

Spudette's First Parcel

Spudette has had her first parcel! It came all the way from Boston, Massacheusettes, US of A. It was kindly sent from Cousin Ann, known in our house as 'Ann-in-America'! Ann sent Spudette some absolutely beautiful items - four bibs, my favourite says 'I'll always be Daddy's little girl', it made HK smile! A Romper suit plus 3 sleep suits, that match the bibs!
This set goes off the scale with cuteness! I can't wait to see her in this!
This layette set raised lots of ooohs and aaahs! Again I can't wait to get Baby into this! She will certainly stand out from the crowd with these outfits. Thank you so very much Ann, from all of us! It won't be too long now before Spudette is with us - a little over 9 weeks if she is on time, she will be one well dressed Baby!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Scary Day

Yesterday wasn't going to bad until I noticed some PV bleeding. Followed by some abdo cramps. Followed by increased anxiety! I managed to get an appointment with the Midwife, luckily an hour or so later. Wednesday is the Midwife Clinic at the GP Surgery.

After assessment and listening to Spudletta's heart, which was beating as strong and regular as ever (massive decrease in anxiety levels at this point, needless to say!) I was advised to go to the Hospital to the Maternity Delivery Unit to be checked out.

It was the first time I had been there, and the anxiety levels escalated again. I was shown to a bed and sat and sobbed. A midwife came, reassured me, spoke with me, took my details. I felt better in myself and by this point the cramps were no where near as bad. My BP & pulse were fine, I was expecting them to be elevated, but no. She hooked me up to a machine to monitor baby for about 30 minutes. But Baby was being her awkward little self! She let the midwife know she was there and that she was fine - heart beat and movements noted. But did she stay still to get hooked up? Not a chance! She wriggled this way and that way and wouldn't stay still - still indicating that she was fine and dandy, if not awkward!

HK was still at work, as with no transport, he couldn't get back, which didn't help me or him. However, there was a waggon leaving his place to do a delivery in Stafford, so he got a lift all the way to the hospital. It made me feel so much better seeing him and him being there. He was besides himself with worry, to say the least.

The midwives were happy. I was seen by the Doctor - speculum examination and HVS taken (high vaginal swab). A urine sample was also sent to the lab. Turns out that I have Thrush and that this is the likely cause of the bleeding and cramps.

It scared the beejeebers out of me. It even crossed my head that Spud was going to be a May Baby instead of an August Baby. We were both shattered by the time we got home in the evening. I feel achey at the moment, I think just through the sheer stress of the situation, even though I slept very well. Restful and relaxing day for me today, all at my own pace!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Poorly Chook & TV Knitting

I am starting to feel a little better with this nasty cold. Not quite out of the woods yet, but it is in sight. A few more days rest sprinkled with doing a few little jobs might sort me out. I'm still not well enough to go Knit Chicks or Knitterati, but am there in spirit.

The EZ Surprise Jacket is coming along okay, it seems. I still maintain that I am sure that I may have done it slightly different last time. A temporary cast on keeps coming to mind. As long as the finished thing is wearable then I shall be happy, and perhaps I may do another one. It doesn't seem as scary to do as the first one, that may be something to do with me being more skilled and confident. Not to mention keeping all the increases and decreases in all the right places! More knitting today should see a near completion, all being well.

We lost one of the Chooks, one of the little Modern Games. It appears that she may have been trying to lay an egg and over pushed. She looked quite unwell and closer inspection showed that she had about two inches of her inners protuding from her vent. Decision made, she was quickly and painlessly dispatched by HK. So now we only have four Chooks.

I finally saw the end of two programmes I have been watching on the Idiot Box - 'Ashes to Ashes' and 'John Adams'. Ashes to Ashes - ooooooh wasn't expecting that ending, but liked it. It tied all four series up well. John Adams - well, I shed a tear when Abigail died, not to mention wincing somewhat at the masectomy. Did Mr Adams and Mr Jefferson really die on the same day, co-incidentally the 50th anniversary of American Independance? I shall have to look that up and see how much poetic licence was granted on that one. I enjoyed both programmes though.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

First Soakers Completed!

I have finished the first pair of soakers! I really enjoyed doing them and am planning to do more! I used Sirdar Snuggly Kisses. Okay so it's acrylic rather than wool, so I shall see how they go, at least they should wash well! I've not done any ribbing on the leg holes, perhaps will do on the next pair and have a play around with size, thickness of yarn etc. The size I have done is for New Born. They do look small to me - am more used to my size of bloomers than Baby sizes!

I have found a few other patterns about the place, including a couple in a 1940's/50's vintage pattern book, which look quite cute! As well as re-exploring what is on Ravelry. I did find a very groovy pair of leggins with a monster on the bum!! When I picked the pattern, I wanted to use the simplest one I could find (on Ravelry). I now have a very heavy cold, which means I'm wheezing and my chest is bubbling with every breath. Lying down and sleeping is not fun. I know I am disturbing HK at night and he is very worried about my health at the moment.

So the simple pattern took two days of knitting to do. Whilst being able to to concentrate only on the simplest of things to knit, I mused about doing, then decided to do, an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. I must have been running a temperature as well!! I have done a jacket before, a couple of years ago.

I have now cast it on and have about finished the first lot of decreases. I am still using a lot of blind faith with the pattern, it doesn't particularly look like the other one I did. I shall persevere and not panic! I am hoping that I will have enough yarn left over to make a simple soaker, maybe.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Soaker Day

I'm distracted (read pre-occupied) with a new pattern. I'm itching to cast on - providing I have the yarn in the stash - I'm sure I have - DK wool! The pattern is for a New Born Soaker on flat needles, in English, it is a knitted version of those nasty plastic pants that you put over baby's nappy, using straight needles. I've picked a simple pattern to do, there are some that start with Magic Loop cast on etc, but my head can only cope with very simple things at the moment, plus my concentration isn't at it's best.

I Have finished some coasters for a swap. I really enjoyed doing these, and will do some for my home. I did them in trusty Peaches & Creme, so they will wash well. I'm sure yesterday I was itching to start another project, but was very good and decided to finish the coasters before I turned my attention to soemthing else. But I've slept since then and I can't remember what yesterday's burning wannado project was. It might have been to sew some sqaures together to form a blankie. Perhaps, sounds like it. But this is today, and today is Soaker Day

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Room Swap

We've had further thoughts on which room is going to be Baby's room. We have now decided that Baby's room is going to be my knitting room. It is a big, lighter airier room and looks out onto the garden. Just need to swap everything over. I don't make things easy at all. But we'll get there. So today will see the start of the Great Swapping Of Rooms. Shall I discover yarn that I had forgotten about - probably! And I will be distracted with all the projects I can make with all the yarns....... I still need to give Extreme Knitting & Crochet a go. That was going to be the Ultimate Stash Busting Project! I have seen some rugs and things made like this and they are absolutely jaw dropping.

See, I'm distracted already! I will have to get some baskets to put yarn in to put on shelves. I also want to bring the cross stitch things to the new room as well. It shall be interesting to say the least. But do-able (fingers crossed!).

GTT Results

Apparantly I don't have Gestational Diabetes - which is a good thing. I did find it a little disconcerting that when the midwife rang for the results, she had to ask whether the results were 'okay' or 'not'. But they are within normal range, so that's okay! I may also have another nasty UTI, the sample has been sent off for analysis, so by the time that comes back, the UTI may well be rip-roaring.

I need to go to the hospital today to have more routine bloods taken. The midwife did have a tentative go, but that was it. I think she had decided that I ought to go the hospital before she even tried as I said that my veins were well hidded and not easy to get blood from. I have to mention somewhere, the length of her nails - a good inch at least!! I mean! I suppose I have become fastidious in my old age and used to being a hard-nosed nurse. Tsk!

Never mind, shall see how the next appointment goes and try not to get too nit picky - she didn't introduce her student let alone ask if it was okay with me for her to be there........

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Knitting Room

I have made some headway in my knitting room. I have re-homed another pile of magazines - over a foot in height. Plus two bin liners of rubbish. You can now actually see the far corner of the room. I knew it was always there, but HK had his doubts. The top of the desk is virtually clear, just a few things need putting in another place. The plan is to move HK's laptop, the printer etc to in here(!) I just need to sort out the bookcase so I can move some of my cross stitching paraphenalia from the front room into here. So progress is being made, honest!

This is the general view of the room, from by the door. It does look untidy on first glance, but look closer, it isn't as bad as what as it has been. Empty magazine holders can be seen on the shelves. There is still 4 skeins of yarn to be balled up, 2 skeins are very resistive of this and are full of tangles. I did threaten them yesterday with the bin unless they co-operate next time I have a go at balling them.

A closer look at the shelving. See, it doesn't seem that bad! Still lots of room for improvement, which will happen, believe me. I have always been a bit of an untidy bod. HK, however is the complete opposite - tidy, ordered and not a bit of clutter to be seen. I tell him I'm his 'Tidy Nemesis'. We have compromised, where I try and be tidy and not leave my things all around the house and he realises that I will never reach his level of Tidy Order. I am allowed a corner in the front room to put my bits, and to put a few things on my rocking chair. But I can't put too much in either place, and tidy regularly. Fair enough really!
One of my storage areas for yarn. This is admittedly a mess and needs sorting. It's been over rummaged and not straightened. The TV and the DVD player are going at the weekend as well. I haven't used them since HK put them in there for me. I'm not one that needs background noise all the time, sometimes it's nice to have peace and quiet and just listen to the natual noise around me. Plus my head is usually whizzing with what I can do with all the lovely yarn, that I don't need further distraction of more noise!

Another stash unit. I had the stupid idea yesterday of finding somewhere else to put the yarn in here, so I could get rid of the actual unit and make more space. I'll not do anything with it until the room is straight and I can see where the space is. I know there is space in the cupboard area of the dresser next to it. I'm trying to stash bust as much as I can. I know over the next year or so, yarn purchasing will be reduced. It doesn't bother me too much, as I know it will take a couple of months of Sundays to make a reasonable dent in this lot. There is also 2 further free standing units of yarn as well.......

Monday, 17 May 2010

GTT & Baby Blanket Done!

The GTT is all done. Not as bad as what I thought it would be, thankfully! The dreaded blood tests were not veinous, instead done by finger pricks - like regular Blood Glucose Monitoring. Not a bruise in sight! The waiting room was quite full, and got a little stuffy despite the window being open. However there was lots and lots of sniffs and not a tissue to be seen. Tsk! Must be getting a funny bod in my old age!

There was a lady in there waiting fo rher husband, who was having a procedure done in the Day Unit. We both smiled at each other. I thought 'I recognise you', but place her I couldn't. Not until a nurse came in and spoke to her. Per-ding! I knew exactly who she was. She is a Medical Secretary. I have worked in the same team as her twice now. I have to say hand on heart, she is probably the best Medical Secretary I have come across, a complete font of knowledge and information, and pleasant with it. So we had a chat and a catch up.

The GTT took over two hours. My bum was so square after, with all that sitting down! However the grots did not surface, so the glucose drink must have held them at bay. When I got home I had two doorstop pieces of toast with peanut butter, followed by some chocolate raisens, a nap on the sofa, followed by a nap on the bed!!

I took my baby blanket with me and made good headway with it. To the point that it is now completed - by default that I ran out of cotton! But I think it is a good size, not that I have measured it. I'm pleased with it and am tempted to do another one! The yarn is peaches & creme, although I can't think what the colourway is. Another item for Baby.

Glucose Tolerance Test

I have a Glucose Tolerance Test - GTT - this morning at the Hospital. I'm not overly looking forward to it - apart from it interfering with the weekly knit at Druckers. From 9pm last night it was nil by mouth apart from water. My appointment is at 9am. I will be required to have a few blood tests and drink a glucose drink (bet that tastes yuk!) then have a few more blood tests. My veins are not easiest to detect never mind withdraw blood from. The last time I had bloods done at the hospital, my arm was so bruised! The bruise was well over 6 inches in length plus there was bruises that fitted finger marks from where the phlebotomist was holding on to my arm and wiggling the needle.

I don't enjoy having bloods done due to my veins going into hiding and ensuing discomfort. Not to mention the actual process of having bloods taken!

The other bit that I'm not looking forward to is that the whole GTT takes just over 2 hours. So liklihood is that I won't be eating till about 12. And I just know that I will feel so grotty for going so long without food. Never mind. It is for the good of my and Baby's health.

I don't think I have gestational diabetes, I don't have any of the classic symptoms and Baby seems to be growing at an average rate. But due to my BMI and close family history of diabetes, it needs to be done.

On the upside - I have decided to have (depending on hunger!) when I get home, a peanut butter sandwich and/or toast with Rhubarb and Apple jam that I made last week. All with bread thatI made yesterday! Yum yum! Plus whilst I'm sat around during the test, I have to sit/rest, so my hands will be busy - crocheting a cot blanket!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Making Space

I made a concerted effort to create space in what is going to be Baby's Room. Before we started work on it, the room was given over to books but mainly DVD's - probably well over 1000 of them. HK has re-homed about 2/3 of them. Oh and this figure doesn't count the old video's either!

I had two book cases and a bit of shelving to clear. One complete book case is full of nursey books, the vast majority forensic psychiatric health care from when I did my Masters Programme. I was very ruthless with the rest of them. I've kept only Terry Pratchett books and reference type books - and that doesn't include the nursey books!

I've decided to go through whats left of my knitting magazines as well. I have already got rid of about half of them. This re-think was inspired by Carol, who was having a de-clutter of her magazines. She said that as much as she kept them to refer back to them, all she does is dust them. Oh gosh, how familiar is that thought?! That caused a 'Ping' reaction in my napper. So over the weekend I will be ultra ruthless. I've not been this ruthless with the cross stitch mags. Their designs don't seem to age as much as knitwear. I'm sticking with that excuse for now anyhow!

In between all this, I started to make a cot blanket for Spud. I was given two cones of Peaches & Creme (lucky me!) in the autumn and decided to use one of these. All hail Peaches & Creme! They are both ombres of baby colours. I had a vision in my mind of a crochet blanket. I started using a 6mm hook as I wanted it quite loose. That got frogged. Enter 5mm hook and an episode of 'Fringe' (which to me was the first 'filler' episode I have seen, never mind). I got the square - rectangle to be precise to about 7" and wasn't really happy with it. Y'know the feeling. You're not happy but carry on regardless incase you change your mind as you can't quite put your finger on why you don't like it. That is until you face the decision that 'it is growing quite big and would be a shame to frog it now it has got this size!' Now how many of you are nodding with knowing wry grins??!!

So I took a long, hard look at it. The edges seemed to flute more than what they normally do and it seemed bulkier, I could put this down to the actual cotton yarn. Frog Frog Frog. Followed by a Power Nap. I decided that I will try again using a slightly different pattern, inspired by a soap bag that Paula Tavish sent me.

So that's on today's agenda. Along with dusting and de-cluttering more knitting magazines.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gothic Prague Shawl & Gifts for Baby

Yesterday I spent the day at Carols, a very enjoyable and relaxing day, as ever! Not to mention the box of choccie biccies on the table! I was determined to finish my Gothic Prague shawl, with just under two balls to go, this seemed achieveable. I called it 'Gothic Prague' for two reasons. Firstly, when I started it in March, I was watching 'Most Haunted Gothic Prague'; and secondly, it's in purple and black - tres goth! The stitch is simple - half a granny square. It did start life as a 3/4 square, but it didn't quite work out how I anticipated, so it got frogged and I went for the original half square. I used a 15mm hook. It took 8 50g balls of Katia Surprise, which I got from Yarn Gathering of Stone. I will try and get better photos as this one doesn't really give it justice. But I took the photo at 07:30 and there was no-one around to help take photos! So it's draped over the end of the chicken run, it did get investigated for eating properties but failed on that front - thankfully!

Linda gave me a set of mittens and bootees for Baby - so pretty and soft! I was over the moon with them! I can't wait to use them, Baby will look a toff, a very warm, pretty toff!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Shoulder Shawl

At Knitting yesterday, Jo was sporting a rather gorgeous Shoulder Shawl that she had made using Noro Silk Garden Chunky. I viewed it very much with Green Eyes, you knitters will know exactly what I mean - you see, you want, you stash surf, you knit!

Once home I found the pattern - it's on Ravelry - and wrote it down. I dug out some James Brett 'Marble' Chunky, the nearest thing I had to Noro, well colourwise anyway. It said on the pattern to use 10mm needles. The ball band said 6mm, so I compromised and used 8mm (straights then circulars). Jo's looked fairly loose, so I thought that seemed an okay size to use.
I cast on like one possessed and off I went for an hour or two. I picked it up again this morning, put the idiot box on and off I went, thinking I would not stop until I finished. 'Ghost Hunters' and half of 'Most Haunted' whooshed by. I was getting restless and tired. The shawl seemed an okay size to cast off. I can remember Jo saying something about 16" or you could do it longer. Mine measured 27" along the neck side. Where oh where did the 16" come from? Never mind. With the end in sight, I cast off.

I promptly posted on Ravelry. I then thought I would revisit the original pattern - I had written it down instead of printing it. This 16" was playing on my mind a little. My shoulder shawl sat a little up my neck and Jo's had not. Hhhmmph.

Then all became clear. The 16" was the measurement from the centre of the neck edge down to the point. Mine is only 12". Theme and variation. And a moral or two in there. Write the whole pattern down, especially when it's a simple one. Read the whole pattern before you start. Especially the simple ones. Tsk Tsk! On the upside that pattern does lend itself to theme and variation, whether you mean to or not!!
I like it anyway - it'll be good when I'm sat in a draft, with my hair up or when I'm driving!!

More from the garden!

This picture is especially for Paula! Me and Spudletta! Just under 13 weeks to go yet........ HobbitKeeper (aka Poppa Bear!) having a well earned break - is that from gardening or looking after me?!

The ever handsome Mr Rhinog!

Yours truly! A coupleof weeks ago. It was bright, hence the hat, but getting a bit nippy - any excuse to wear my Lush Shawl! And it was so toasty and snuggly!

The garden is growing

We managed to spend some time out in the garden on Sunday. It wasn't the warmest of days, but the few hours spent our there was much needed!

This is the lettuce for the Chooks, growing in the potting shed. I'm not sure what sort of lettuce it it, it has a slight peppery taste, might be all year round lettuce. Also a few tomato plants lurking in there as well! The Rhubarb! The first crop of the season. After this I pulled most of it, half of it has now been made into jam, the rest may be a crumble by the end of the day......
Onions. The first time we have grown onions, so far so good!
Some of the Early tatties, seeming to do well. 13 out of 15 plants had come through when we looked last evening.
More lettuce. It's growing opposite the Chicken Run, and by gum, it drives the girls nuts
being able to see it and not eat it!

Bradford Fire 25 Years On

Thoughts and Rememberences to all who lost loved ones due to the Bradford Football Stadium Fire, 25 years ago today.

56 RIP

Monday, 10 May 2010

Notions Bag from BrooklynIrishGirl

Last week I recieved my parcel from BrooklyIrishGirl, in the April ItsyBitsy Swap. The parcel was really lovely, lots of goodies! I can't wait to start using the things that I was sent. Karen sent me some stretchy sock yarn, the sort of which I don't think I've seen here, Plus a few patterns for socks! A good kick start for me for my Year of The Sock! Karen also sent some garden themed buttons, a pretzel mould, a tea towel and a bookmark.

Here is a close up of the bag, I love the colours. At the moment I have it hanging off my lamp, so it is easy to access and use!

So big Thanks to Karen - aka BrooklynIrishGirl!!


Friday saw my last day at work. A strange day. I don't think I'd properly mentally prepared myself for it. Train of thoughts at times went.... I can do that after the weekend, got that meeting during the week etc. Until it hit me like a wet kipper each time that after the weekend I will be at home and won't be at work to attend that meeting...... weird.
At lunchtime a Fuddle had been organised. It was lovely, with lots of lovely nibblies and I renewed my liking of profiteroles! I spent a good few hours grazing. Charl & I started with crisps and dip at just after 10am. Needless to say by the time I got home I didn't want any tea as I'd eaten enough!
I was presented with a pretty bunch of flowers, the photo doesn't do them justice.
So, now I think I will be around here a lot more. I seem to have missed out on blogging so much over the last few months due mainly to me being so tired on my days off. All will change!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Lush Shawl

I finished the Lush Shawl yesterday. I am really chuffed with the end result. It's quite heavy - 1200g, but will keep me toasty to say the least. It's incredibly touchy-feely. I used Sirdar Wow! from my stash. I bought it nearly 3 years ago, in Hobbycraft. It was in the sale for £1.49, an offer I couldn't refuse!It crochets up in absoultey no time at all! I started it last Friday, had another go with it on Tuesday then did the last two and a half balls yesterday. I used a 15mm hook.

The photos were taken at Yarn Gathering, Stone. Big Thanks to Jeanette! Also big thanks to Carol for the inspiration and Hooks Up to Linda, Joan and Rachel (and Carol!) for their company and encouragement whilst making it!
I did wonder on the name of the Shawl. 'Lush' came to mind quite quickly as it ticks all the lush boxes. After that I thought - Love U Shawl - Lush!! So the name was named!!
I'm itching to start another one. Before I finished Lush, I thought to do another Stash Busting one - or even make a start with the extreme needles (proper stash busting!). But my wandering eye was drawn to some delicious purpley black Katia Surprise. I'm hoping to cast on (do you say cast on when starting crochet?!) some time today.
I'm planning to try and do it a little different. Instead of being half a granny square to do 3/4's of a square so the back would be straight rather than pointy. Something tells me I've not totally had all the thoughts on this that I should have........

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

First Dance

LS and I have just had our First Dance! I was in the kitchen, The Human League's Love Action was playing, followed by Joy Division's Blue Monday. I came into the back room, turned the radio up and danced all the way through the song!

I'm now a little out of breath, my knees know they are there, and I think LS is still dancing!! What's more - I'm smiling!! ;-)

20 Weeks - Half Way There!

I was 20 weeks on Monday - Half way there ( now how many people have now got... Living on a prayer.......going through their heads??! I have, unfortunatley!)

Next Monday afternoon is Anomoly Scan day, another chance to see Little Spud and to check that all is well, and that growth has been happening at the correct rate. And to see if LS is being co-operative and will show us his/her bits so we can see if LS is a girl or a boy. We don't want to wait for the surprise, although I do realise this is down to LS next Monday! I shall have to have quiet words! HK is still adamant that LS is a girl. He's already started with the Protective Father comments (rants) that if any man shows interest in her before she is 30 then he will take a shotgun to them...... oh dear...... I then have to remind him of things, it's fun.

I'm getting more and more rotund - fat as HK says when he is trying to cheer me up and make me smile. Lying down and sleeping is starting to become a little uncomfortable. Time to start propping up tum when lying down I think! Even when turning over in bed, I usually now have to hold my tummy, or LS ends up turning over after I do, if you see what I mean!

I'm giving serious thought as to when to start Maternity Leave. The way I've been feeling of late, I want to start as soon as possible, including taking two weeks annual leave. The main down sides of this decision are two fold. Firstly, I have been told that I am only entitled to 13 weeks Maternity Pay from work, so if I go early then I will be on benefits shortly after the birth. Secondly, I'm under the impression that even thought Mums are entitled to a years maternity leave, the last 3 months do not attract pay/benefits. So I would have to go back to work when Baby is around 6 months old.

The worries following on from that is the issue of Child Care. Are there childminders out there that look after 6 month old babies from just before 6AM till just after 5pm, or even till gone 10pm? And just how much does this service cost and does it make it worth while actually going out to work in the first place? And do I really want someone else spending so much time raising our baby?!

Then there is the ongoing issue of getting HK to work and back each day. There seems to be no movement on this what so ever. It looks like I shall be driving, regardless. Hmmph. I need cheering up. A day of Crochet today - continuing making a rather lush shawl is on the cards for today, happy days.

Virus Free

My laptop is now virus free after having to take it to the 'Laptop Hospital' and parting with some hard earned cash. Acutally it wasn't as expensive as what I thought it would be, thankfully. The shop didn't say what virus it was, just that it was a particularly nasty one and that the hard drive had to be wiped. Anti virus soft ware is bang up to date. I'm now safely back online.

Apologies if the virus has effected you, as it did me. I guess the people who dream these viruses up don't really give a damn about how their handiwork impacts on lives. If they are so clever, then why don't they dream up the antedotes and send them as well? Why do they do it in the first place? All I can think of is along the same lines as why people climb mountains - because they are there, because they can, because they like a challenge. Well that's the more pleasanter explanation from me.

And the less pleasanter explanation - because they are all 'See You Next Tuesdays'. Haha. Always got a naughty side, me!!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


As of yesterday, my pc has become very infected with nasty viruses, that came in via facebook. My anti-virus softwear cant fight them, so I'm in the position now of having to get even more antivirus stuff. I'm quite annoyed to say the least. I've not had virus problems with this laptop since I had it, over a year ago. Hhrrmph.

So be warned and wary, especially on FB, dont open anything that says its a link to 'you tube'. Watch out for the spelling of it - 'yuo tube' - that dawned on me too late.

Make sure all you antivirus stuff is up to date!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Latch Hook Rug for Little Spud

I saw this rug in Hobbycraft and unsurprisingly fell for it! I'm a sucker for all things Wallace & Gromit, especially Shaun The Sheep! It's been a couple of years since I've done a rug, nonetheless, have really enjoyed doing it so far. I started it on Friday, although didn't do much as HK wanted to learn how to do it. So a few hours on Saturday and a few on Sunday has got me thus far!

First Planting

Whilst lying in bed Sunday morning, I was starting to be a bit more positive. HobbitKeeper announced that he and Nogs were going for a walk around the block. I decided to get out of my pit and to go with them. So we went for a walk round the block at 8am. It was a lovely morning and very few people were out. I'd not got half way and was sounding like an old puffing billy, but carried on. I have now developed the Mum-To-Be gait, sort of wobbling side to side with each step, you'll know exactly what I mean!

By the time we got back, I was very pleased that I'd had the walk and kinda felt better for it. After that I helped HobbitKeeper in the garden doing some fo the first seed planting of the season. I was hoping still that the fresh air would help me feel better - I am trying to make a concerted effort to feel better. I'm fed up with being off the hooks. It's not all doom and gloom. I am starting to feel better but an seriously lacking in energy and voice!

The first lot of seeds we planted was All Year Round Lettuce, mainly for the Chooks. They love em and lettuce doesnt last long with them!
We then planted some garlic. This is the first time we have grown garlic. HobbitKeeper eats that much garlic that he could never ever be a vampire!! This Is HK planting the garlic, overlooked by a meerkat......

The rhubarb patch. Not a sign of a shoot yet, but I don't think it will be long. HK has put straw on the bed. Last year we planted two new plants which did very well. The other plant is a very old one, that was transplanted from the old garden in Chesterfield.

I couldn't talk about spending time in the garden without including a picture of Rhinog! Looking as handsome as ever!

Me, planting the remainder of the garlic. In a very lady-like stance, but believe me, it was the most comfortable for the short time I was planting! I was thankful for HK and the silver birch tree to help me back up again. I'm looking forward to seeing how the garlic goes on.
This is going to be an extra special year in the garden - I will be growing and blooming along with everything else! Very Exciting, can't wait!
As for my energy levels....... Once I got in from the garden, I was shattered, proper shattered. I flopped on the sofa, had a rest for a while and felt a bit better. By 1.30 I had to wave the white flag and go to bed for a nap, for an hour or so. Never mind. Getting there. 19 Weeks today!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Two Knits for Little Spud

This is the first garment I have done for LS. It's a hooded wasitcoat. I did it in Sirdar Tiny Tots, DK. It was quite nice to do, lots of picking up stitches. Doesn't photo well at all cos it's black! I need to put buttons and loops on when I know which side to put them on. The Christmas Pram Blankie. The lump under it is the cushion, no worries there. It was done in Katia Astrakan, purchased at Yarn Gathering, Stone. I need to get some pretty christmas buttons to put where the colour change is.

It is noteworthy to do regular stitch counts, due to the nature of the yarn. I'm sure I cast off less stitches than what I cast on, but I'm turning a blind eye to that, as once it's in situ and being used, it might not be that noticeable...... it's only one or two stitches, nothing too noticeable......

A Home Made Bear

Knitted Toys are fairly new to me, I have room for improvement. But this Bear, it has Bear Magic to me. The stitching together is, well, the biggest area that could've done better, closely followed by the amount of stuffing I used. The poor thing looks like he hasn't had a decent meal for a few days!
All that being said, he does have a certain charm! The pattern is from Debbie Bliss 'Simply Baby'. I started it just over 2 years ago, for a freinds baby, that hadn't then been born. This baby now has a younger sister. So as part of me trying to complete some of my WIP's/UFO's, Teddy Bear was finished. He nearly was before. All I had to do was sew on his arms, nose and eyes. But I didn't like the way I'd sewn his legs on. So he sat on the shelf till a week ago.
I took one leg off and restitched it on, but it didn't seem to make a drastic difference, so I left the other one. After I realised that as much as I tried the arms were wonky. I did make a bigger effort to get the eyes to match. I wanted sewn eyes rather than button eyes.
Now the knock-kneed, pidgeon toed, wonky shouldered, needs feeding and magically charming Bear, is all ready to be given to Our Little Spud!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

18 Weeks and I can't say a word!

18 weeks and all is well with Little Spud. We have chosen names (to be disclosed later!) just one girls name, one boys name. I've started to feel LS moving, flutterings or quickenings. Amazing! I was quite stunned the first few times. I tried to explain to HobbitKeeper the weird sensations that I was feeling. I can't wait for him to feel Baby kick and wriggle!

Sickness is starting to abate. I can't drive without munching on Trebor Extra Strong Mints! They really settle my tum down.

I am starting to feel a bit better in myself, but, and this is a big but......a week last Saturday, I came home from work with a bit of a sore throat, didn't think anymore of it, just put it down to one of those things. However, it didn't go away with me not thinking about it. By end of play Tuesday, I was down to a hoarse whisper, my voice had gone. Wednesday I'd already taken as Annual Leave so I could go to Knitterati. Wednesday was spent in bed. Thursday and Friday I struggled into work, barely able to whisper and feeling like the proverbial bag of spanners. Saturday and Sunday saw me doing not a lot, apart from go down hill further.

Monday was a day off. I spent 25 minutes constantly trying to get through to the GP surgery, and managed to get an emergency appointment at 5.50 that evening. My throat feels awful. Swallowing is very painful, with lots of thick 'crud' knocking about (the less said about that the better!) Even when drinking I have a slight reflux. So now, I'm on day 2 of anti-biotics, and trying to believe that things are getting better. The anti-biotic is the most safest for Baby. I did have a choice whether to start the anti-biotic, my rationale was that I had been badly for over a week and things were still getting worse.

So lots of rest for me and LS. Attempting to talk is a no-no. Must keep LS safe as possible. Infected Laryngitis, anyone want it? I've got plenty to go around!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

16 Weeks - Starting To Feel Better!

I'm starting to feel a bit better with the pregnancy, thankfully! The queeziness is about gone, although I wretch a bit some mornings. I haven't been sick for over a week now, come close a couple of times! I'm feeling brighter in myself and the really low moods are starting to be a thing of the past as well. These do seem to be linked with how I'm feeling physically, most of the time and generally in the morning. So overall, things appear to be on the up!

I'm 16 weeks at the moment and seeing the Mid-wife tomorrow for the routine 16 week check-up. Then next is the 20 week scan, which will actually be at 21 weeks, as HobbitKeeper couldn't get time off work that week. Fingers crossed that Little Spud will be co-operative and show us it's 'bits' so he/she can be sexed.

I've had the new car nearly two weeks now. It seems like a tank to drive compared with the 206. I'm getting used to it. It has a bit more oooomph under the bonnet as well. I feel a lot safer driving it. I'll take some pix when it's a bit better weather.

I've very nearly finished Little Spud's first garment - a hooded waistcoat jacket. All I need do is sew up one side and finish attaching the hood. The buttons and loops will have to wait till we know the sex of baby so they can be put on the correct side. I'm also about 1/3 way through a Christmas Pram Blankie. I have a plethora of things to do next for LS, just need to decide!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Loopy Bag and Noro Hat

I have finally finished my Loopy Bag! I had finished knitting it over a month ago, then had to find buttons, and then do the dreaded sewing up! But all is done - one finished bag ready for it's maiden voyage! I may use it this afternoon, perhaps, it needs a test run! The pattern is a freebie from Let's Knit Magazine a month or two ago. It's done in Sirdar Big Softie, using just under two balls if memory serves me correctly! It is the first time I have done a loopy stitch. It is a stitch much easier to do rather than read. When I read how to do the stitch, I thought 'Naaaaaah, that sounds too complicated!' I perservered and got it right second time round. So I was pleased, new stitch under my belt and a new bag to boot!

In the back end of last year, I went on a trip to Fibre & Clay in Knutsford. Whilst there, I fell for this hat they had on display. So I duly bought two balls of Noro Kureyon, went home and found the pattern free online - look on Ravelry for 'Noro Hat, or got to Saartjeknits.nl. It's a lovely hat to knit!
I've re-named it the Noro Caterpillar hat. It is being modelled by The Butler, an all year round reminder in our back room, that the spirit of Halloween can last all year!