Thursday, 19 January 2012


Made you jump!

Back, with some knitting finished. This cardi was meant to be finished for my daughter at Christmas but it didn't quite work out like that. The actual knitting was done all but one sleeve.
I know myself well enough that if I don't finish something from start to end then it becomes less and less appealing as time goes by - I have the attention span of a gnat.

So I am delighted to have finished this - I hope it fits, the underarms look maybe a tad snug. The Great Trying On will be on Sunday.

Anyway - Eco Wool, which has to be my all time favourite wool. Pattern from my own brain - the tree is a free pattern from Ravelry that I altered, made the branches longer and more spindly.

Press studs at the front, might sew buttons on just for decoration at some point. Will see what she thinks.
I am chuffed with how the cables MOSTLY blend into the deep ribbing:
Took a few goes, and the tree sections don't blend as well on the back. The rest of it works though.
The cable runs down the middle of each sleeve too, long ribbed cuffs to fold back if needed.

I did write notes as I went - and cannot find them (about par for this house lately). I really fancy one for myself so will TYPE AND SAVE notes as I go second time around, there's quite a bit of interest on Ravelry about how to make it.

What would I change?
The sleeves - not mad keen on drop shoulders, but for a first go at a pattern I think it's ok.
The front bands - just need to have a couple of extra stitches added.
Not much else yet - might add more whenb it's actually on a human body!

What I like?
The trees!
The collar, am very happy with that - took a couple of goes altering the increases to make it lie nicely but I got there in the end.
The deep ribbing.

Hurrah for knitting!

Black floofy jumper is almost finished too.

What else - aha, a little visitor! Not so little really, the washing line shakes like hell when it lands.
Not the world's best photo as it was taken through the window, the nets and from the living room! He's lovely, a really fat bright robin who came all last year too.

Friday, 13 January 2012


Very bad reaction to the new medication, Dr this morning told me to stop taking it until I hear from the hospital as I have almost every side effect listed.

Then I slept for four hours and the hospital rang and left a message saying the same thing - stop taking it immediately and they will ring again.

I ache everywhere, feel VERY sick, hot, shivery, sore throat, headache, the lot - but like having the flu without the snot!
Hopefully things will be better tomorrow as the stuff starts to leave my system.

Back soon hopefully x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mostly health stuff.

Feel free to skip unless vaguely interested in ongoing health matters. I fully appreciated a 'crafty knitty with occasional cattiness' blog has been overtaken somewhat by health stuff and wont appeal to everyone anymore.

So far:
Diagnosed March 2011 with Rheumatoid Arthritis (ironically a student at the ME hospital told me to ask my Dr to check my hands - tests revealed very elevated RA markers).
Had scans, Xrays, blood tests and steroid injection in April at first hospital appointment in April.
RA nurse rang me back the following week to say my markers were off the scale and to come in the next day to start medication.

Started on Methotrexate tablets, folic acid to ease the resultant sickness, codeine for the pain, steroid tablets.
Meths made me so ill I changed to self injections to try and bypass the sickness. Added in Hydroxychloroquine (works the same way as meths, to try and stop the disease progressing), Amitriptyline (to help me sleep and also to help the codeine work), Omeprazole (protects stomach lining) and paracetamol.

I started having nightmares. This sounds a silly trivial thing, but these were off the scale - regularly woke crying, screaming and shouting. Dreadful things, technicolour, clear and lingered in the day. Pain continued.
Increased injections to maximum dose of 25mg.
Changed painkillers to Diclofenac.

Increased Diclofenac to slow release, stronger tablets morning and night.
Stopped both Hydroxychloroquine and Amitriptyline as the Prof suspected one was to blame for the nightmares. (These eased very soon afterwards)

Stomach pain, heartburn etc - suspected peptic ulcer from the Diclofenac. (Pain eased considerably after stopping Diclofenac)
Changed to Tramadol.
Doubled Omeprazole.
Calcichew tablets for very low Calcium and vitamin D.


Told to stop Meths injections just before Christmas as I was so ill, and struggling with the injections.

Changed to Suphasalazine tablets, to increase dosage very slowly. Suspected that my ME is hindering progress with meds.
Changed Tramadol to high dose slow release, to take one morning and one night, with paracetamol throughout the day, Only allowed one more lower dose tablet to top up on bad days.

And that is where I am now.
I have had a headache pretty much constantly, in varying degrees since starting the new tablets. I spend the vast majority of each day lying down, sometimes sleeping, mostly unable to get going.
I feel dizzy, woozy and spaced out.
If I take the Tramadol on a morning I am too zonked out to do much and would not be safe near roads - so I stay in. If I don't take it I feel more awake but am in considerable pain. Hey ho.

The pain is almost all day every day, and most of the night. I am a miserable cow!

I am due to see the RA nurse sometime late Jan / early Feb but no sign of an appointment letter yet.

I can't help feeling a little short changed - up until my last appointment I couldn't fault the hospital. But the last time, I saw a different consultant (so far I had seen one of two, and they always referred to the Prof who usually popped in to check on things).
So I had the age old thing of having to go through my progress / lack of it yet again. Last time I had been told that Enbrel or one of the new drugs being trialled should be the next step. I was quite excited about this having heard good things.
But nope.
Everything I read says after 2 failed DMARDS it's time to try a biologic drug. I am now on my THIRD DMARD. And I hurt!

There, that's more than enough. Just a down time at the moment and I am sure it will pass.

Onto other things.
I have this pattern on the way from America:

The front zip should be ideal for my knackered hands - hopefully a couple of these should be feminine enough yet wearable to get me through the spring.

I also like this dress:
and thought it might be nice with a knitted bodice and fabric skirt. Again nice and easy to get on and off but pretty.

Thanks for reading this far!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

First finished items of 2012.

Amazingly I seem to be getting some knitting done.

Small things at the mo but that's fine.

Firstly the infamous 'snoncho' - blatantly copied from the lovely Janice as I liked hers so much. Tis a poncho thingy (technical term) which I wouldn't have thought of actually making despite liking it - but an extra layer is always a good thing.

I bought some discontinued 'mohair' (ie acrylic mix stuff) for the grand sum of £1.31 for several balls, from fleabay. As it is softish and thickish it did perfectly for this project (which should have been in Kidsilk Aura)(I didn't want to use up my precious Kidsilk just yet):
Roomy enough to be able to move one's arms, always a bonus! 'Scuse the iffy photo, looks like my lens needs a clean. Why yes that IS my baby photo in the background ;-)
Took me a few evenings mindless knitting which was ideal with the new tablets, zombies can knit it seems - would be a two day project if I was firing on all cylinders.
Pattern is Aimee, by Kim Hargreaves in the now discontinued Thrown Together book, link here: Aimee

I also made a warm hat - yes I DO look a knobber in hats as I have said before, but what the hell.

Erm - yes I know it looks nowt in this piccy, it does look loads better on I promise! Will take a photo when I have warpaint on - looks less like a baby's bonnet on. Truly.
Pattern is Capucine, from Ravelry, link here: Capucine and knit in Sublime Chunky, Merino Tweed which is very very soft, in charcoal. Cost around a fiver in total which isn't at all bad for a warm hat. A touch bluey but not as blue as the photo. Again this is a very speedy, simple knit - I used the mods from Ravelry as it is a small knit if following the pattern exactly.

I have also almost finished the back of a simple, baggy (hopefully) jumper in the black fakey mohair - Sid, from Precious by Kim Hargreaves. I thought it would be a handy jumper to throw on at home, or wear over a slip style dress if I ever get my head round the concept of sewing again. A link here: Sid.

I have an order for one of the KiT organisers which is brilliant, very pleased about that!
I really need to get some sewing done but am so very tired at the moment, the new medication and painkillers have given me a bit of a kicking lately.

Ooooh! How could I forget - the hugely exciting news - to me at least - one of the test knits I did recently has been photographed, printed and will be published in February! It was for the spring Louisa Harding books and can be seen here:
Marguerite Mine is the last photo, Willow. I can't claim kudos for the finishing, I sent it in unseamed - but how exciting to see it professionally modelled!

From this to this:
Highly recommend - my body doesn't quite lend itself to the long lean shape but I really enjoyed knitting it, and plan to make myself one when the booklet is available to wear with a floofy sticky outy skirt. There's a jacket too, am waiting to see if that makes it into one of the booklets as well!

Exciting enough to be knitting for a top designer, doubly so that my two favourites are Louisa Harding and Kim Hargreaves - this definitely perked me up last year, to have something to do for someone else and feel I was doing something worthwhile again.

That's it for now, more to come soon - enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

If you can't beat 'em ...

God and his dog seem to be making New Year collages at the moment - and as I am a bit of a camera addict (untalented but keen) here goes:

Highlights from the last year. It's a good way of reminding myself that despite the lows and the huge life changes there HAVE been plenty of wonderful days out, laughs, sunny days and general good feelings.

and then there are the assorted 'things' I have made over the year that I am pretty chuffed with. Pink and black may figure in some of these.

Tis also a reminder to self to actually FINISH things (the pink crochet is a half made summery bag that I am really pleased with, but I need to get my act together and finish it).

On health notes which I won't try to collage (phew) I am struggling with the new tablets, utterly drained of all energy but not sick which is a bonus. Sums it up when 'not puking' is the best thing about a new tablet!

So that's as much as I can manage at the moment, hope all are well and chirpy.