Monday, 30 March 2009

Thank you

Hey Guys

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the kind comments, messages and even cards through the letterbox we've had since Saturday. Trev and I really appreciate them all and there's no words to express how much it means to us.

I thought I'd add to some of the pictures I posted on Saturday. Here are some more pics. The little blonde terror in one of the photos, in case you hadn't guessed, was Trev as a baby. Wasn't he cute? Time for more cuteness! (Full sized photos here, btw.)

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Trev is going to hate me for sharing these with the Blogosphere, but what the heck :) He has asked me to share the other photos we have of him with his mum, but that doesn't mean I have to exclude the dodgy ones of him with one shoe on and his shirt tucked into his underpants!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Tears

I was going to do a spinning update today, a post I should really have done last week. However things have gotten overtaken by some family matters.

Some of you may remember my mentioning a few weeks ago that Trev's mum was very ill with pancreatic cancer.

Well today, she passed away.

She went home last week but was taken back into hospital yesterday, having drastically worsened in the space of a week. It was told to us that she'd have less than a month left. The rest of Trev's family were going to be around today, so yesterday he made arrangements to go.

When he got there this morning, it became apparent that less than a week was most likely. Yesterday I booked Wednesday afternoon off to go and see her one last time. Turns out I wasn't quick enough.

The nurse came in to see everyone at about 3:45pm and told them she didn't have long left. She's been in a state recently where she doesn't know who she is, or where she is. She didn't recognise Trev this morning when he came to see her. She was also refusing all food and fluids - so they were just giving her pain medication.

A few minutes after they all entered the room, Trev put his hand on her forehead and the nurse said that his mum had taken her last breath.

I'm just glad he was able to be there when it happened. I feel sorry for his brother and SIL who had popped out to the shops shortly before the nurse came in - they weren't there when it happened. The worst estimate we had been given before that, at only 3pm, was tomorrow night, or maybe Monday, so for it to happen today was very sudden.

Trev is staying over there tonight, so I'm here on my own. I was over at my parents this afternoon, but it wasn't the most harmonious of atmospheres and I felt very uncomfortable. As much as I don't want to be on my own, I don't want to be there. I was sat there playing music as loud as I could through my headphones anyway to try and drown out my thoughts.

So it's just me and the Kookybear. I've been pretty useless today and spent most of the day crying. In fact I'm still crying. I think my iTunes is trying to conspire to deliberately play songs that it knows will make me cry.

It's ironic as I went to my parent's earlier today to scan some photos for Trev, of him and his mum from when he was younger.

I'm just shocked at how sudden it's all been. She only started to be sick a little over 2 months ago and now she's not here.

Here's a photo taken of her when they came up for the day in November:

Trev and his mum

And here they are in one of the photos I scanned for him earlier today:

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Goodbye Carole x

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Knitting and Crochet catch-up

Been over a week since I blogged! Naughty me. We've been very busy the last couple of weeks. After going to London 2 weeks ago, we spent last weekend helping my parents do some painting... which left me too tired on Sunday to do anything other than sleep!

But that doesn't mean I didn't do any knitting!

On Friday I finished the gloves for my Mum. I took them to her house and finished off the thumbs whilst there, so I could get her to try them on while I was there.

It took me a little while to do the thumbs, but they've come out really well:

Mum's Evangeline

Mum's Evangeline

Mum's Evangeline

Made a couple of changes aside from my usual mods. I cast on an extra 4 stitches to allow a bit more room - so they're a better fit for both me and my Mum who have bigger than normal hands. I also made a conscious effort to knit looser, so these are a bit longer than previous gloves, too - which is great.

For the thumb this time, I picked up total of 20 stitches, did 3 rows of 20, on rows 4 and 5 decreased 2 stitches each, giving me 16. Knit 16 on row 6 and 7, then on rows 8-12 knit 2x2 ribbing.

I then cast on for another Boyfriend hat on Saturday - this one for me! Finished it on Monday - it was my train project so I got plenty done during the commute.

A Hat Fit For Me

This is made from the same Rowan Cashsoft Chunky as Trev's hat, just in black instead of blues.

I added more length to this one, doing nearly 7 inches before starting the decreases, so it more or less covers my ears. But I could probably have added yet more length quite comfortably.

I made a mess of weaving in the ends of yarn where I had to add in a new ball of yarn - I pulled it too tight and there's a puckered bit in the hat - but at least it's towards the back.

I'm a bit meh about the hat to be honest - I don't think it looks great in just one colour, and it reminds me of the hat I had to wear then they threw me out of a plane. But here's another pic with it modelled on Trev:

A Hat Fit For Me

Took the opportunity to take another photo of Trev's hat:

A Hat For For A Husbeast

That's been it in terms of knitting!

When it comes to crochet, I had a request from a friend to make something for a friend of his who is having a baby in May. I suggested a starghan and asked for favourite colours. The bloke in question is an Arsenal fan, so red and white spring to mind.

So I picked up some more acrylic yarn and started this the weekend before last. Not done much during the week on this - but am hoping to do more this weekend. Making good progress:

Arsenal Starghan

I've done 16 rounds so far, and want to do between 28 and 36 rounds to make it a good size. It's already gotten to the stage where doing a single round takes about 40 minutes... so it's a good thing the baby isn't due until May.

Once I've gotten this out of the way, I'll finish off my CPH and then start work on my broomstick lace Hourglass Jacket. It's funny how I've got more knitted stuff in my queue now than crocheted. Still need to start on socks!

Monday, 9 March 2009

New treat!

I forgot to mention, during my mammoth post yesterday that I've ordered myself another new gift.

I saw this spindle online a little while ago and fell in love. Given how much I love my new Rosewood Mini, I think another Mini is in order. This one is Pink Ivory with an Ebony shaft (this one isn't mine - I wish - but it's what I want mine to look like):



I've asked for my Mini to also have the longer shaft... and I have plans for perhaps a sibling in Purpleheart?

I've been seeing lots of other people's spindles online and at some point I think I would like to try a Golding, and a couple of Spindlewoods (one of the square ones - Diane has a really nice Tulipwood one with Ebony shaft, and one of their round ones). So I'm not a total Bossie devotee (YET!) but I do love them.

When my new Pink Ivory turns up, that will be my third Bossie and my fourth spindle in um, less than 2 months? And Moosie in December will make 5. Never mind what else I might get in the meantime...

I think I might have a problem.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Presents to myself

As promised late last night, here is my new shiny blog post featuring lots of pictures! I've just had a message from Trev to say he is on his coach back from Victoria now, so he'll be back in Peterborough sometime around 4pm. At last I can breathe! :)

On Tuesday my yummy angorino fibre arrived at my office. It helped make up for the horror that was the night before (run in with the in-laws, dontcha know). I got it home, plaited it, and here it is in all it's glory:

Ixchel Angorino

Ixchel Angorino

Ixchel Angorino

Gorgeous huh?

Now staying over in London on Monday night, meant that I missed the postman trying to deliver my new Rosewood Mini spindle from the Bosworths... so instead I had it redelivered on Thursday when I was working from home. Isn't it beautiful?

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

Bosworth Mini Rosewood

More pics in my Bosworth Spindles set on Flickr.

So, this is a Rosewood Mini with Bloodwood shaft. I went for the 9" rather than the 7.5" shaft, due to the whorl being heavier. It's 24gm/0.84oz and is part of the February 2009 Special Stripy Spindles run.

It came attached with the loveliest bit of Ashland Bay Merino on it - which I have since spun up into my first laceweight yarn. I'm unsure of the wpi or yardage - I need to sit down and work that out later. It's a baby mini-skein, but gives me an idea of how fine I can spin and let me know that I can also spin from the fold! :)

First Laceweight Handspun

First Laceweight Handspun

First Laceweight Handspun

First Laceweight Handspun

I spun the single and then turned it into a 2 ply using the handy-plying technique found here on Knitty.

I've also been doing a bit of knitting. One of Mum's Evangeline gloves is nearly finished (just need to add the thumb). They're coming out ok - but I don't think this yarn defines the cables very well (it's Rowan Cashsoft Aran):

Mum's Evangeline

They don't look bad, by any means, but there just isn't the definition there I'd like that other gloves have had.

To give me a break from knitting I'm going to start another crochet project - another Chromium Star Blanket. Making this one in Arsenal colours (red and white) for a friend of a friend who is having a baby. I know it's not selfish knitting, but a) it's crochet and b) babies are inherently knitworthy. Will also do some booties if I have the time.

Off to start that now! Should be nice to do a bit of crochet again :)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Falling Behind

I meant to blog today. A proper post. With a ton of pictures and words. I had some new presents to myself arrive in the week and I did some spinning I was quite proud of. Unfortunately, today has been rough.

I went to London with Trev to visit his mum (he's been a few times already, but it's the first time I've gone) and it was hard. I didn't stay for long - Trev was staying overnight so he can help his dad with a few things tomorrow (they moved house in the week just gone) and after a fiasco we had when I stayed over on Monday, we decided it was best if I didn't stay this time. So I was at the hospital for an hour, and then headed home.

His mum looked better than I thought she would, but it was still extremely hard. It's hard not to feel guilty about it being so long since we saw them, but it's difficult when you live so far away. And she's resigned to the fact that her cancer is terminal, which is quite upsetting when you hear her talk about it so frankly. Was very hard to keep it together. In addition to which she had a small stroke just over a week ago as a result of her medication which makes it hard to understand her sometimes and it just makes her sound so sad. She cried when I left.

So, tonight has been hard. I don't know where the time has gone - I guess I've just been wandering around aimlessly like a little lost sheep which I am without my Trev here. I did a few rows of knitting, but wasn't really in the mood for much despite all my grandiose plans of how I was going to spend the evening.

So it's only 22:10 now, which isn't that late but I'm shattered from spending goodness knows how many hours travelling today and this post has already ended up being longer than I intended. I guess it's a result of not wanting to go to sleep, which I don't since I'm on my own in the flat for the first time since we moved in over 18 months ago, and even the cat doesn't want to know me right now (she's sitting on the back of the sofa shooting me evil glances). And I can't bear to sleep in the bedroom without Trev, so I guess I'm sleeping on the sofa :)

I'll be back in the morning - I'm sure in a much better state of mind as I know Trev will soon be on his way home to me.

In case you read this babe, I love you x

Snow Day 5th Feb 2009!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Ooooh stash!

I come to you with a much bigger stash than a week ago:

My Fibre Stash!

This is a mix of Corriedale, BFL, merino and silk. Lots of what you see here was very kindly gifted to me by Yoshimi and I had great fun plaiting all my existing fibre to make it pretty to photograph.

And thanks to Diane, in addition to some dyes to try (still yet to try those) I have the loan of this:

Ashford Joy

Diane is going back to Melbourne for a month on Wednesday and whilst she's away I've been lent an Ashford Joy to try. I got some great looks bringing this back from Fulham to Peterborough. Yoshimi came round the other day when I got back with this to help me get to grips with it and I managed to spin up something semi-decent. The attempt I've done today has come out a bit better, but behold the glory of my first wheelspun:

First wheelspun!

First wheelspun!

First wheelspun!

We also got Trev to have a go on the wheel. He was able to produce this:

Trev's First Handspun

Trev's First Handspun

Annoyingly good.

I also got round to taking pics of my most recent Navajo plying attempt that I mentioned in my last post. I am annoyed at the pathetic yardage I got out of it, but never mind. It's starting to look better!

Second Navajo Plied

Second Navajo Plied

Really love my Bosworth spindles. I was able to try the most beautiful Mini that Yoshimi has - Bloodwood whorl with a Walnut shaft. Absolutely exquisite. I want one. (Although my Rosewood Mini has been posted and should be here in the next day or so - woo!) I did wonder if she'd notice if I snuck it into a pile of fibre somewhere, but I think she would. She gave me a sample of some lovely superwash merino to spin up (I think this was from the Yarn Yard fibre club) from which I was able to make this:

Cabled yarn

Cabled yarn

My first cabled yarn! I was so proud :) It's a 2-ply then plied again. I was dead impressed with myself as I was able to get mine to look almost the same as the bit Yoshimi spun up in terms of gauge and feel. Happy :)

Unfortunately I did make use of the "drop" part of spindling a bit too much. My floor is made of terrible crappy wood anyway, but the spindle came off the best in several clashes they had together. I definitely need to get a rug for my living room - for the sake of the floor, rather than my spindles. Jonathan and Sheila, you should be proud of your work! :)

I treated myself to some lovely fibre from Charly in Oz which will hopefully come tomorrow. I've ordered 2 lots of the Princess Buttercup which I know will be super soft and lovely to spin. I also signed up to the monthly fibre club at The Yarn Yard. I blame Yoshimi. She brought around lovely fibres and made me pet them. But at least I can rest assured in the knowledge that my stash will be growing steadily every month.

Here's the lovely angorino on it's way to me from Charley:



Oops - that came out a bit big.

To conclude, here are some pics of my stash close-up and nicely plaited :)

Corriedale, in white and brown/black:

White Corriedale

Brown/Black Corriedale

Some silk hankies. I'm not too sure what I think of spinning with these yet:

Silk Hankies

My merino - in white and Whisper. This is what I'm thinking of making Endpaper Mitts with:

White merino

Merino

Whisper

Orange Merino gifted from Yoshimi:

Orange Merino

The rest of it is all BFL:

Blue BFL

Hand-dyed BFL

Hand-dyed BFL

Now a whole bag of Jacob's Fleece! I'm a bit scared of this:

Jacob's Fleece

I really need to start blogging more than once a week so I don't crash everyone's connections with too many pictures. Sorry! Once we get more daylight I'll be able to take more pictures :)