Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sockapaloooza 4 arrives!

I am the luckiest sock-swopper in Sockapaloooza 4!

Look what I got!!!!

It's a Monkey! A pair of Monkeys... in Socks That Rock Silkie!?!

Rebecca has done a very beautiful thing - they are soft and warm and a perfect fit... and I love the colours! I looked back to see what I asked for... and I said I would like purple and if it wasn't asking too much, STR would be ideal - and I got it!
She also sent me a skein of handspun in a gorgeous emerald green, which almost became fingerless mittens late last night, but I decided to go to sleep instead!
Oh - and one of those little sock-blocker key ring thingies - very cute!
There are lots of exclamation marks in this post... but that sums up how I feel - WOW!
Thank you SO much, Rebecca!
I posted off my pal's package yesterday. I know it is still a little bit early but things are so up and down here that I didn't want to risk missing the send-off date in my distraction. First Love is still in hospital, but that's the best place for him at the moment. Maybe back home today? We shall see.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Press purchase

Today I went to Etsy and for the first time pressed the Purchase button!

I have been stalking pigeonroofstudios for a loooong time, waiting for an update, and this morning there it was! I had hesitated several times over the pigeonroof collection at Woolgirl because they didn’t have the exact shade I wanted and although part of me said “buy everything, you know you want to!” I managed to avoid a Woolgirl order, and today managed to stop at one skein of the perfect colourway direct from the dyer – woo hoo! Sportweight, but believe me it is cold enough in my house for sportweight socks in July, never mind the winter! I am imagining a “clog sock” with plenty of back-of-leg action…

And then I remembered spotting a “sold” skein of yarn in a colourway called “scratch art” at another etsy shop, Dyeabolicalyarns… so I pottered over there and yes! Another store update waiting for me! My daughter will love this yarn – black with streaks of primary colours through it. I see this as a set of punkish armwarmers. Did you see the recent film of “Bridge to Terabithia”? (It should be out on dvd very soon, if not already.) The main girl character had an amazing indie wardrobe, including a funky collection of disembodied sleeves. My daughter and I agreed they were essential. Now at least one of us will get some!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pink is a colour

“The pink geraniums in the window…
She stood still and looked up at them, and she found herself rejoicing in their beauty. After all, though pink was not her favourite colour, it was a colour and… all colour is of the sun, and good. And pink is the colour of dawn and sunset, the link between day and night, because when one is rising and the other setting they so often greet each other across an expanse of rosy sky.”
P.249 “The Little White Horse” by Elizabeth Gouge (Awarded the Library Association Carnegie Medal for being an outstanding children’s book in 1946)

Late last night I took First Love back to hospital. Friday’s chemotherapy started quietly but by Friday evening he was unable to even keep plain water down. This continued all day Saturday, until we realised it was NOT going to “settle” on its own, and we had run out of anti-emetic pills.

So this morning I was up at dawn, to walk the dog through the fields. Yesterday we disturbed clouds of butterflies and a bird of prey circled overhead, but this morning it was still and peaceful.

The kitchen floor has never been so clean: scrubbing is therapeutic.

I have reached the ankle of Clessidra.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Woolgirl sock club

Have you seen that Woolgirl has started a sock club?
Hanne gave me the wink and I did not hesitate to join - woo hoo!
I have many justifications for this: the exchange rate is favourable right now; Woolgirl stocks the most amazing range of indie dyers, all of which I would love to try; oh - and I need a treat!
It runs from September to February, which gives me plenty of time to finish Clessidra and rustle up a couple of pairs of warm socks from the stash for First Love before I indulge myself.

Clessidra is going well but still seems very wide - I read through the full set of decreases last night and it only goes down to 78 stitches at the ankle, compared to my standard 64... trying not to worry about this! I keep trying it on and all seems well - maybe the extra stitches are to make up for the cables? Hmmm. I refuse to rip it - the fabric is far too lovely to destroy and I am making steady progress - I have knitted about six inches and in any other sock that would mean I was ready to do the heel! Another seven or eight to go... gulp.

Oh - and Rebecca sent me a lovely lovely lovely box of goodness from Connecticut! I won't tell you why, just yet, but there will be photographs of the gorgeous contents - this is just to let her know it arrived safely and that I am THRILLED! You got it exactly right!

Many thanks to well-wishers re my last post. We are lurching from euphoria to despair - not helped by the news that First Love may need a full blood transfusion just to get through this first treatment stage, as his blood count is plummeting. Tomorrow is chemo day, so I will be sitting beside him with Clessidra, acting as a gentle cheerleader while the drugs do their stuff.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Violets and clover

I have cast on for Clessidra in Wollmeise Superwash sock wool, colour Veilchen (violets). It took me several attempts to do the set-up row: so many stitchmarkers (7)! And it didn’t help that I snapped one of my lovely Lantern Moon 2.25mm needles, so I am working with 4 wholes and 2 halves – luckily the hourglass cable is about the same breadth as a half! I have got the hang of it now and it is knitting up well. I couldn’t quite believe that I needed this much width for my calf (110 stitches), but I tried it on and it isn’t ridiculously baggy at all. The colours are beautiful and the pooling is perfectly acceptable – a blend of colour rather than a sharp contrast.

I tried to start my Lead or Follow scarf, but I couldn’t do it. Five attempts at the first row, and every one a disaster. Too tight, a lonesome stitch left at the end of a row… my mind was not up to it. I need sock knitting right now.

Back to work in the morning. Short days until we see how First Love manages on his own. He is able to get around the house with a walking stick now- how ironic for the man who walked 5 miles a day until a few short weeks ago!

Found a four-leaf clover out in the fields!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Back again with a pair of socks.

These are the Scrolls from More Sensational Knitted Socks, in Piece of Beauty “Vintage Floral” – this is the old-style fingering merino which I just LOVE. Kirsty, please can you stock it again? That’s my PoB stash exhausted – must do something about that soon!

Size 1 (2.25mm) needles, the yarn and the pattern were a really good match: smooth stocking stitch and popping lace – lovely! I especially like the 3-garter-stitch edge to the heel flap – a very polished touch. These are for a birthday present later in the year. I didn’t manage to memorise the lace pattern, but it wasn’t too much of a chore to watch the instructions as I knitted the main leg section. However, I found the book layout a bit annoying, having to flip from the front to the back of book within a row to check the shaping and stitch pattern sections. And it took me a while to sort out how to read the stitch numbers for my size as I moved down the sock. But maybe that was just the effects of sleep deprivation.

Thanks to everyone who has left a supportive comment over the past couple of weeks. Once I am back at work I will have daytime broadband access so will be able to visit your individual blogs. My home dial up is too slow.

The days are starting to have a routine, and I can see that Fridays are the hardest. That is chemo day and First Love becomes extremely anxious and depressed and physically sick. Last Friday was desperately sad. I hope I can be strong for him this week. I wasn’t prepared for it last week and I let him drag me into his whirling despair, which didn’t help anybody. Thanks to those of you who suggested contacting the Macmillan organisation – we are awaiting a phone call to arrange a visit.

I am supposed to return to work on Monday but I am not sure how it will be possible. He relies on me to administer his medicines, make sure he eats at least once a day, and drink as much as possible. And just to make sure he doesn’t trip over the cat on his slow painful way to the bathroom. I thought I might drive home at lunchtimes, but he is saying it would be too much for me. Maybe I will have to arrange to work shorter days. I just don’t want to reduce our income or risk losing my job. Not knowing how long this could go on. Weeks? Months? Years?

I realised we don’t have a decent photo of the two of us. How ridiculous! We were hoping to marry later this year. Just a quiet ceremony in a special place, maybe at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, with a few friends. I have joked with him that he needs to get fit enough to get up all those stairs! But I am afraid it may never happen now. Sorry to be so lugubrious! But if we make it to the Light Room, I will make sure there are plenty of pictures.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Big C

You know how people always tell you to be optimistic?

That things are never as bad as they seem?

Well, I am sorry to say they are much much worse.

First Love has Multiple Myeloma, which basically means cancer of the bone marrow. This is not a treatable condition. He can have chemotherapy tablets which might put him into remission. Or might not.

But he can't have them until his kidneys are functioning again.

I don't expect to be blogging for a while. I have two weeks' holidays to take, and two children to entertain. But I am sure I will be knitting, so I will keep taking pictures and surprise you one day with a colourful post

Monday, July 02, 2007


Look what we found on the washing green!

Feargal (the cat) gave one sniff and then scarpered - I think he has met one of these before!

Not at all prickly - my latest sock. In Piece of Beauty Vintage Floral, this is the Scrolls pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. I am actually further on than this photo suggests. I had to take First Love into hospital yesterday so spent 4 hours on my sock while waiting waiting waiting. They don't know what is wrong with him, except that his kidneys are struggling and he has raised levels of calcium in his blood. Don't do what I did and Google it...