Friday, 25 November 2011


Oh yes I did!

And I have the photos to prove it.

I have loved knitting these dafties, all very quick and easy.

Firstly I present - The Santas. Excellent singers, very giggly and silly - available to hire for parties.

I love the way each seems to have a distinctive personality - I made mine in DK rather than 4 ply (easier on my hands at the mo) so they are a few inches tall, a bit big for hanging on a tree but lovely just - well, just sitting.

Then there are the likes of this little cheeky chappy, who escaped this morning in search of friends (and food). Thankfully I spotted him through the window.
I was able to get a couple of sneaky photos before he spotted me and flew away.
Somehow I suspect he will return...

I also did sewing.
I love these and have made a few of them - again they are very light so easy on my hands. The pattern was (I think) from Posie Gets Cosy, pdf download - so far I have only made the coat (several coats) because it just makes me smile. I saw it when it originally came out as a kit, but simply couldn't afford it so was really pleased when it was available as just the download. The teeny tiny mitts!

And I love the back detail too - I think the seamstress / designer in me just couldn't resist!
It might not be the neatest stitching in the world but I am simply chuffed to bits that I can make them at all.

There's more to come, including some rather deranged reindeer, scary guinea pigs and others. It's making a change to my usual beloved cardi knitting.

Hope everyone is well - keep warm, the weather's utterly vile out there!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Non Broken Fanny

It's a real good news / bad news time lately, arrrgggghhhhh.

Good news - mah fanny she is mended, sort of. Bet you really wanted to know that. Dr said back to the no dairy, no citrus, no caffeine thingy but all test results are super duper. I think I should have a 'Healthy Fanny' certifcate for my wall.

Bad news - my left knee gave out when I was almost at the top of the stairs to bed the other night. Now when people say 'oh it suddenly gave out' it sounds ever so dwama queenish, but it really did, literally, give out - a big crunch and it buckled under me. Utter bloody fooking agony since then, can't put any weight on it (thank goodness for my stick).

Was at physio anyway yesterday so she spent ages on my bad knee - she thinks some of the knackered cartilage has broken off and is floating about jabbing into the RA that's already there. Possible day surgery if it doesn't settle soon.

Yes that's just what I really want thank you, my not-quite-as-knackered-by-rheumatoid-knee deciding it wants some of the attention now. ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! Plus I am on minimum painkillers at the mo as the others have given me a suspected stomach ulcer, so it's just paracetamol and Tramadoladingdong. I think I might resort to a live of alcohol and swearing, I am good at swearing. No dairy,no gluten, minimal fats, minimal spices, no caffeine, no citrus - so that's mashed potato for me then.Ah, my hands often hurt to much to peel or mash - so that's chomping on a raw unpeeled spud then. Why the hell I am not skinny I do not know!

Meanwhile, from my pathetic position on the settee I have been crafting up a storm.

Normally I am not at all interested in Christmas - this year I seem to have gone Christmas mad. Now whether that's because I am in seven million Christmassy swaps, or because I am at home a lot, or because I need serious medical help I don't know, but I am surrounded by limbs from assorted Christmassy items - reindeer, Santas, Robins, all sorts. And I haven't even started on the glittery stuff yet ....

Top Seekrit Test Knit has been approved, paid for and praised and I am half way through the second one - I am absolutely loving knitting for someone else, for a specific purpose, and cannot wait to see if they make it into the books!

What's that? You would like some pretty piccies and you are sick of reading my drivel?

Hmmmm, you know this means I have to try and find the camera lead don't you? Did I mention my knee hurts? Oh, you don't care eh.
Will see what I can do.

Right - these are from a couple of weeks ago - can't believe I haven't posted them already. There was a hell of a scrabbling noise outside - and who was running up and down on the window sill?
I tapped on the glass and lifted the net curtaon, and he came right up with his paws on the glass peering inside at me , absolutely gorgeous! I know they are flying rats but I love them, cheeky pretty little things. This one is by far the smallest I hasve seen in my garden, he's been back most days on the window sill.
Forgive the photos, they were taken through the window.
He scoffed all the peanuts from the bird table and played silly buggers, running up and down the green house, onto the guttering then back on the window sill. He then ran across the bench and played in the planters.
Climbed the tree and savaged what was left of the feeders there - he has incredibly long front 'fingers'.
He made my morning - this went on for a good 45 minutes or more. The larger one used to sit in the tree and SHOUT at me when I went to work!

Not keen on squiggles?
Just be thankful I didn't post a piccy of my non - broken fanny .....

Monday, 21 November 2011

I digress.

For some silly reason when I couldn't sleep, I was pondering the whys - no wherefores, just whys - of  cross country running at secondary school.

I went to a half decent secondary school in Northallerton (North Yorkshire), with a chuffing AWFUL bridge to cross every day from one side of the split site to the other - how I loathed that bloody bridge, especially in winter when it was icy, windy and slippery.
Many times we had 'crutch envy' (not to be confused with crotch envy) because those who hobbled with broken limbs were allowed to cross via the road with a teacher instead of that bloody bridge.

Did I like secondary school? Dunno - some of it yes, when we moved up to the Grammar School yes I mostly liked it, not so much at the split site one. Am I alone in not being able to remember most of the people I went to school with? My memory is shot, I don't remember much really, odd snippets.

Anyway, the single most awful thing about school was cross country running - in winter - followed by the dreaded showers. When I took my daughter for a look round the same school when she was about to start, the smell, the yukky smell of the gym and the showers, eeeewwwww! Horrid memories!

Cross country running would be banned today on grounds of 'elf and safety, human rights, child cruelty, trespass, the lot. (I don't actually know if it would but it bloody well SHOULD). It was always in the middle of winter - this was before fab trainers and trackies, we all seemed to have a variation of the same white plimmies (went mouldy green if you left them in your PE bag, shove them in the washing machine then spend ages using that messy whitener with a sponge tip that clogged up the laces eyelets). Those who were posh had green flash plimmies. Trackies were in either blue or red with white stripes, that awful stretchy synthetic stuff - you either sweat like a pig in it or shivered. And none of it fit properly.

Sometimes we just ran it - and I use the term 'ran' extremely loosely in my case - in shorts (stretchy bottle green) and sports top, red PE socks and plimmies. So we had those attractive corned beef legs and mottled blue knees before we even started. Nothing like stretchy tight green shorts to boost a pubescent girl's self confidence ....

The 'run' went the length of the sport's field, over fences, down a road, through fields, through / across a small stream etc etc. Most of it I don't remember - I blame shorts induced trauma - always when it was frosty, usually when rainy and often through ice and snow. I don't think I ever managed to reach the end of the field (ie the starting part) without wanting to cry. I certainly did cry many times whilst 'running'. My sister cried. We are not natural born athletes.
There were the front runners who shot off and stormed through it, coming back triumphant covered in mud and glory. They were strange runny fit folk. Then there were the middling ones who jogged on and on but didn't seem to mind it all that much. And bringing up the rear were the lame, the deranged, the smelly and the simply useless.
I was one of this elite group.
Athletic prowess was not my forte.

Absolutely no idea why I felt the need to write about this - I blame Tramadol.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Broken Fanny.

My fanny, she is broken.

Woe is me.

A broken fanny is never a good thing - in other words I have been to the Dr for some tests, due back Wednesday. Ouchy, they hurt.

On a lighter note, I am currently surrounded by these:
which are making me quite ridiculously happy. Four are totally finished, one partly completed - I have an urge to keep on making millions of them but I will fight it.
Can't beat a pile of squeaky acrylic!

These too.

I am looking forward to this, love the posters and the limited info released so far. Shallow? Me? Hell yes.
I want one of these:

and want to look like this:
just for the sheer hell of it.

I suspect I might be guilty of posting a blog whilst over tired ;-)

Juts go with it and let me indulge myself - I will add more knitty / crafty type piccies one day, truly.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


should be meths day but I am having all sorts of icky stomach problems so not allowed it today, oh joy. I won't twitter on too much, enough to say it could be an ulcer caused by the many painkillers I am on - plus something gynae flaring up yet again.
So Dr on Monday to get the lady garden area checked, hospital Wednesday to get the rest of me checked.

Meanwhile, I am playing with very squeaky acrylic. In the name of Christmas I now seem to be surrounded by bits of assorted 'things' in red, white and green. Oh heck.

Piccies to come, this is just a flying visit sort of post. Hope you are all hunky dory.

Happy weekend x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Lynne, MacMillan, Christmas and Wool

A post full of unashamed product pimping for which I make absolutely no apology at all!

Some of you may know that a truly lovely knitter friend died recently. Lynne was pretty unique and without going into too many details here, simply a warm, funny, kind, naughty, generous and extremely brave woman. She was also a knitter and designer who loved coral pink. Er, but not yellow

She was wonderfully cared for in the last weeks at a Macmillan hospice - for further information about the work of Macmillan nurses please see here
There are many ways to support Macmillan, from sending an ecard to brighten someone's day here to fund raising, donations, even from your wedding list. Please do have a look at the fabulous work they do. Lynne sent a round robin text each morning and constantly said how wonderfully well she was looked after.

As a gesture of thanks, Joy aka the fabby Knitting Goddess has done some wonderful yarns in celebration of Lynne. She has named the range SparkLynne.

50% of the sale price of all of the SparkLynne yarns and fibres (including the mini skein sets) will go to Macmillan cancer support until the end of the year.

There are also 2 colours - Lynne’s loved and loathed, the Coral and the Yellow.

The link to the shop and Lynne's wools can be found at  theknittinggoddess - just how gorgeous is that pink!

So if you are looking for a pressie for the knitter in your life - or looking for a pressie for yourself please do go and have a peep at the SparkLynne range.

Thank you.

( who would have had a bloody good laugh at the bodge up I made of this post the first time round)

I want to share this, my favourite quote from Lynne from a message she sent me a few months ago.
'The real gauling thing…well one of them…..and this should make you laff……is I’m 56 and I’d planned on being the grumpiest, oldest, old git ever! ROFL!'

Sunday, 6 November 2011

My mum

Discussing how hard I found it getting out of the bath the other day, my arms had zero strength in them.

'What you need is a pole dancing pole thing and one of those strap ons.'


Absolutely no idea what that was meant to mean and didn't want to find out ....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Saturday evenings chez sulks

And to think I used to be a wild punk art student .... I am sure Saturdays were more exciting then!

Someone asked me exactly how to do a methotrexate injection, so advance warning - THIS POST CONTAINS PICCIES OF NEEDLES.
Run for the hills if (like my daughter) you are likely to keel over!

Right - firstly this stuff is DANGEROUS. Google it and there will be loads of scary stuff, the best I read in the paperwork from the hospital was 'side effects may include death.' Wahaaaayyyy!

It is supposed to be used only where the flooring is washable - if it spills on a carpet the whole lot has to come up and be incinerated. As I don't have any washable flooring, only carpets, I use a black bin bag spread out beneath me. The injection goes in my thigh (alternate leg each week), so thank goodness I have chunky thighs! Left leg is a nuisance as it's definitely harder to do.

Right. So - spillage bag at the ready just in case.
Tray, sharps box, special 'designated' scissors not to be used for anything else, needle tip, cotton wool, plaster and the methotrexate itself. This comes in sealed dark plastic packets, one syringe per packet and are stored in a plastic locked box.

Firstly, check the name, dosage etc on the outer label. That's deffo me. Cut this open, inside is another sealed plastic packet but see through, cut this and pop the syringe inside onto the tray.

Check the label on the syringe for expiry date, dosage etc and check the colour. It's a slightly unfortunate shade of yellow and should be clear.

All the plastic packaging, paper from the plaster etc goes straight into the sharps bin. Then the needle tip - this just needs unsealing from the wrapper at the moment.

This above is the bonkersmad Cytotoxic spillage kit, contents shown below:

The blue bit on the syringe is the lid - this is brilliantly shaped for sore or weak fingers and unscrews MUCH more easily than the ones I had to do at the hospital.
From this point on you are committed to doing the injection - no putting the syringe down or there's a huge risk of spillage.

With the 'open' end of the syringe pointing upwards, the needle tip just screws into the top (twists maybe is a better description, one twist tends to be wnough to tighten it securely).

Now the syringe is secure again and can be tipped upside down - this is by far the easiest way to undo the lid on the needle.
This also twists off.

And now it's JABBYJAB TIME!

OK, now you need to grab your thigh - I have chunky thighs and this is still easier said than done! I tend to nip a bit of flesh with my left fingers and balance the needle tip where it's going in with my right hand (I am right handed).
The needle is longer than I expected but getting it in is surprisingly NOT the most painful bit - mentally getting ALL the needle in is icky. As the needle goes in you let go of the flesh so you can use both hands - I tend to need one hand to steady the syringe and one to depress the plunger. I am on the maximum dose and can definitely feel the difference in the amount going in from when I started on a much smaller dosage.

It's a good job I am single as I have started singing - yes, SINGING, out loud as I stick the needle in. Distraction technique. Or insanity.

The part I usually mess up is taking the damned thing out, I sometimes nick the skin on the way out. Sometimes it bleeds a tiny bit, sometimes the smallest droplet of meths comes out, hence a plaster (don't want that stuff on my clothes).

Scuse my thigh.
Seriously, do excuse my thigh!

See that tiny droplet? That's the meths.

Plaster on, tidy it all away, wash handies - all done for another week.

This stuff makes me feel pretty dreadful as I know it does for others. Not as sick as I was with the tablets, but by hell it isn't fun. This is to be expected I suppose as it is a drug used (in stronger doses) in chemotherapy. It is supposed to slow my immune system turning in on itself long term and doing further damage to my joints, but as it isn't working so far the hospital are possibly going to add in another injection soon. So more piccies to look forward to!

Sorry for this post - it's actually done me a bit of good mentally to post it all. I hope it is useful to anyone else in this position as I had very little idea of what to expect when I started and was really nervous.

Does it hurt? Not so much the actual injection but it stings like hell for about 2 minutes afterwards.

Ok, I promise some knitty pics soon. And squirrel pics. Better? Happy weekend all x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Worra Whopper

At this very moment in time I have two very attractive men in my house, both with their tools out.

'It's perked me up no end.