Day 97


So you might have noticed, from the brevity of my posts, that I’m not really ok at the moment. I’m feeling very fragile right now and struggling to feel of worth. My concentration has been severely limited as well.

I am not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking a break today. I will make up today’s knitting when I do tomorrow’s because I’ve been working on this for 3 months now and I am enjoying it.

I just need to take a breath.

Day 96


I finished spinning the main section of pink today. There is a section of mostly undyed fibre before I begin the green and I hope to get that section done tomorrow.

Joining tomorrow’s trapezoid will be interesting and will involve picking up stitches which I hadn’t considered when I was drawing up the plan. Shouldn’t be a problem though. I’ve done similar already with this blanket.

day 96

Nanki-Poo is the son of The Mikado but has been masquerading as a simple travelling musician in an effort to avoid marrying a slightly terrifying and much older woman from his fathers court. Through a comedy of errors, he must pretend to be executed so that he can marry Yum-Yum, the woman he loves, and not Katisha as he was promised. After revealing the execution to The Mikado, Nanki-Poo’s royalty is revealed. With the ‘death’ discovered, they will all die as punishment. But if they can divert Katisha’s attention to someone else, they might yet survive. They just have to convince Koko.

The Mikado – Flowers That Bloom In The Spring

No Simon Gallagher or Helen Donaldson in this recording of the operetta but the talent (Derek Metzger and Terri Crouch) remains outstanding, and the humour excellent.


Day 95


An example of the energy and affection for the production by both the cast and the audience is today’s Gilbert & Sullivan/EssGee Productions clip. In ‘Pirates of Penzance’, Frederick was apprenticed, by accident, to Pirates until his 21st birthday. Being that he was born in a leap year, it gets complicated when he tries to leave the Pirate company. He finds a girl, her father tells a lie, the Pirates find out so they determine to take revenge. In this song, ‘With Cat-like Tread’, they sing about exchanging Piracy for burglary… then the conductor and the audience make them do  it again, and again.

By the way, his very important dialogue is ‘Away!’ 😉

day 95



Had to decide whether to continue using very bold colours in this section of the blanket. I chose the apple green instead of the dark teal I was contemplating, worried that it would be too bright compared with the rest of the blanket so far. That’s not to say that I won’t put the teal above the red and purple later on….



garden - spinning 1I’m having a lot of trouble concentrating again this week. I think I’ve managed to knit 2 rounds of mum’s tablecloth (which I had expected would be in the post by now), but I have managed to keep up with the blanket, and have done a little hand spinning each day. I’ve continued to work on the peach/green fibre I bought at Fibre-East on Saturday. I’m using the hand spindle I made with the chopstick and the plug because I am spinning yarn of a similar thickness to sewing thread and that is the lightest weight spindle I have. Being that I want it to stay lightweight, I periodically move the yarn onto a larger spindle to hold until I’m ready to ply it. When I am finished, I will chain-ply it which will triple it’s thickness and improve the evenness and strength of the finished yarn.

I will try to remember to explain chain-plying (also called ‘Navajo-plying’) when I get to it.

Day 94


The excellence of Gilbert & Sullivan and the brilliance of Simon Gallagher’s production company came together in the 90’s to give the world a trio of fabulous musical theatre. They started with ‘Pirates of Penzance’ (which my mother and I went to see in Sydney), followed by ‘The Mikado’, and closing with ‘HMS Pinafore’. They updated the humour and included jokes to include the conductor as G&S had done. There was even a rope swing out over the audience. The seats were simple but vibrant and clever – rotating pieces were a feature in each of them. Then they released them on DVD and I fell in love with Gilbert and Sullivan’s collaborations all over again. Simon Gallagher is fantastic, John English is hilarious and I am so very jealous of Helen Donaldson’s talent. Not that any of that stops me trying to hit the high notes when I sing along. Choosing one song to share today from the catalogue of music in these three productions has been incredibly difficult and even as I’m preparing to share the link, I’m still not sure which one it will be. Though, I confess that it’s made more difficult by the fact that the song I most want to share isn’t on YouTube.

Ok, so in HMS Pinafore, a lowly sailor is in requited love with the Captain’s daughter and in order to avoid her having to marry an Admiral many years her senior, they decide to elope. This song is the lead in to them going, and shows the remarkable set design, the complexity of the music and the talent of the entire company. Enjoy 🙂

I was feeling bold colour-wise today so we have a red rectangle beside yesterdays purple square.

day 93

Day 92


Fibre-East was today. It was stupidly hot – outside *and* inside which led to an awful headache but to much beautiful yarn and fibre. So many intense colours and everyone is always so lovely. It’s nice to have the opportunity to chat with the person who dyes the fibre.

I do not *need* any more fibre, but as will all things we are fond of, “need” becomes superfluous. On the flip side, most of us don’t need as many clothes or shoes as we have. I stuck to my budget limit and bought some very beautiful fibre.

Recently Updatedlisted in the order I bought them 😉

1 – Dyer : Wheeldale Woolcraft, Fibre : Falkland

2 – Dyer : Wheeldale Woolcraft, Fibre : BlueFaced Leicester

3&4 – Dyer : Sara’s Texture Crafts, Fibre : Merino, Tussah Silk, recycled sari silk, Shetland, Zwartbles

5 – Dyer : Little Owl Crafts, Fibre : Merino/Silk

6 – Dyer : Little Owl Crafts, Fibre : Merino/Silk

7 – Dyer : Little Owl Crafts, Fibre : white yarn = yak/silk, coloured = teesdale locks (they’re curly!)

So much pretty! Of course, now all I want to do is spin yarn! Cause I don’t already have enough projects on the go 😉

Something haunting tonight. ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence was featured in the movie ‘Daredevil’, but don’t hold that against the song.

Can’t find my camera but tonight’s trapezoid finishes the square that the last weeks pieces were making. The yarn is that fair isle style pattern.

Day 91


Today has been exceptionally bad. I have been home alone since Tuesday. Some days I have trouble being at home on my own while my husband is at work so you can imagine what has resulted from a whole week. I’ve been ambushed by sobbing  tears that didn’t seem to have an end only to have them stop suddenly and start  again 15 minutes later. I need a medication re-evalution but am extremely reluctant to do it at the moment. We’ve been on an emotional roller coaster with Social Services for the last 18 months and this week it finally ended. Not the way we wanted but not in a bad way. They have to leave us alone for the time being but getting to this point involved what limited  self-esteem I had been shredded on a regular basis and the frustration of dealing with people who claim to be working for the best outcome for your family but ignoring anything they’re told by professionals and otherwise if it didn’t fit with what they’d decided was the situation.

Long and the short of it is that I’m still trying to find my feet, that there is distress over the outcome, relief at the outcome, guilt and sorrow, and of course self-blame – if I’d been better, if I could just put the illness aside and get on with it etc. But of course, I have already discussed this and intellectually I know that there are a lot of factors, and that despite this situation my family is stronger than ever.

I think the turmoil I am currently experiencing is because, now that it’s done, my heart has peeked out of the cupboard it’s been hiding in and decided it’s safe to come out. And it’s found devastation.

And during all of this, I completed an access course to bridge the gap between finishing high school many years ago and where I’d need to be to start an Engineering degree. I got my results back this week and was stunned and delighted to not only pass but get an overall mark of 91 which earned me a Distinction! When I finished High School I was focussed on Humanities subjects – Music, Modern History and English – so moving on to a science degree is taking a very difference direction. Now I have to wait to start until I have the money for the course.

So, speaking of bridges, Billy Joel’s 1986 album ‘The Bridge’ is a constant in my collection. I am particularly fond of the song ‘Code of Silence’ as much for the lyrics as for Cyndi Lauper’s counterpoint in the chorus.

Can you believe I’ve been doing this blog for 3 months now? We’re “celebrating” with a green rectangle.

day 91

Day 90


Alan Rickman dancing in a petrol station! Not the only reason I love this song but it’s certainly an excellent reason to watch the video clip. ‘In Demand’ by Texas is more recent than the other ‘rock chick’ type tunes I’ve been including lately but Sharleen Spiteri is fabulous (she was Elvis in one video clip!). I’ve been aware of them as a band since I was in High School and enjoyed the music but this song…. I think it’s beautiful. It’s not a complicated tune, the lyrics tell a story, the singing is nuanced. And the aforementioned dancing Alan Rickman. Also, I think that’s Blackfriars Bridge they drive over at the beginning and I always get a thrill when a location is familiar.

‘In Demand’ – Texas

I’ve been able to avoid putting similar colours together in the blanket but apparently, it’s something I’m doing at the moment. I may need to add some more colours because it’s getting hard to get a balance with the colours and tones when I add a new piece. It’s looking good so far though. Just a small square today.

day 90

Despite spending all day on designing them, I don’t like the way the sleeves are looking. I need to rethink what I want to do. If I were decreasing instead of increasing, I think I’d like the way it looks more but for now I’ll be starting again. I have some ideas for how to go forward so it’ll be ok. Want to have them done asap though because I want to wear the dress on Saturday when I go to Fibre-East. Not to show it off, just because it’s a comfortable dress.

Day 89


Despite some good news today, my brain is still not firing on all cylinders. It has taken me all day to knit these two piece onto the blanket. My hands and thoughts are slow, I keep making mistakes or miscounting the stitches and going back over things that didn’t need it.

days 88-89

The triangle (the pink with dark spots on the right) is the piece that gave me so much trouble yesterday. Obsessively counting got me through it today. The trapezoid slotted in so easily to the space left for it. It was a satisfying thing to knit.


blanketplan- amendment

If you look back at the plan for this section (top left of the diagram), you will see that I’ve made some changes to the order this area is worked in. Because of the way the pieces are knitted it made more sense to attach the trapezoids to the triangle than trying to do the opposite. For me as much as for the curious, here is the amended order diagram for this section.    

I think that I have finally, *finally* figured out what I want to do for the next set of maxi-dress sleeves and how I’m going to get the pattern to work. Designing is a lot of fun but because I do my designing on paper it requires many pages. I do write over the early incarnations of patterns but I like to keep the later ones because I sometimes have to return to them if something doesn’t work out the way I’d expected. There are diagrams and rough sketches and the occasional doodle.

designprocess-blog When I have worked it out, I transfer it to a spreadsheet on my computer because it is always in front of me when I’m at home and with a carefully organised desktop, I can read and knit at the same time. Or watch YouTube… One of the world’s most stellar performers is Annie Lennox. As one half of the iconic Eurythmics, she continues to influence music. The music is varied, her voice is excellent and their videos are always interesting. This song even has Stevie Wonder on harmonica…

Day 88


No blanket update today. My ability to concentrate is taking a walkabout and didn’t see fit to take me with it. It took me 30 minutes just to cast on and pick up the right number of stitches (63, btw). Then I was halfway through the triangle when I realised that the centre decrease line was one stitch too far to the left.

So, I did knit for today but I didn’t mange to finish. It’s 2.50am so I did give it my best. Sorry it wasn’t better. I’ll have 2 pieces done for tomorrows post. Well today, but I’m backdating this because I haven’t slept yet which means it’s still the 22nd.

Classic Blondie today, for no other reason than this is what I wanted to listen to.