Day 176

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I was at Waterstones Cafe again today for the first Thursday afternoon knitting club since I went into hospital in October. I was great to see Jo and Natalie again.

I started to cast on for yesterdays blanket square and got 2 rows knitted before Natalie arrive and today I was teaching her to crochet. It wasn’t until I was on my way home much later that I realised I was using the wrong coloured yarn. I started again with the right yarn when I got home. The right yarn being the variegated red being knitted into a large square. Today’s piece is a small square in variegated grey.

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Hubby was home today after doing some work maintenance from home last night. After he’d finished he met me in town and we had a ‘date’ at Wagamama’s where I was very brave and tried 2 new dishes. I am not an adventurous eater so trying pork ribs in a Korean BBQ sauce and a chicken teriyaki donburi when normally I would have chicken gyoza and chicken katsu with amai sauce. The donburi is a *huge* meal of rice and chicken. I had to bring half of it home. It was all very tasty and I highly recommend all 4 of these dishes.

I have chosen Bruno Mars’ ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ to share with you today. No particular reason but that I like it.

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Day 171

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All fixed!

The new triangle…

day 168 - corrected

Pieces 170 and 171.

Day 170-171

I am now up-to-date.

I gave in with the triangle and knit it separately. I cast on 31, and decreased one at the beginning of every right side row, knitting the last two stitches together to finish. I left a tail long enough to sew the triangle to the rest of the blanket.

It’s getting cumbersome to cart around now. I’ll try to remember to measure it tomorrow along the longest sides, and I really need to start sewing in the ends. There are more than 300 now.

We have music tonight! Because I am knitting while watching Marvel Avengers Assemble, here’s Soundgarden.

P.S. I’ve finally updated Day 169 with the photo of the updated plan. I had to email it to myself from my phone and it took 2 days to arrive for some reason…

Day 158

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I’m going to embarrass myself with today’s music choice but first… I’ve been looking forward to today’s square. I’m trying to do a large square in each of the yarns I’m using for the blanket and today is the Step ‘Türkis’ which is one of my favourites. Turquoise with orange is a colour combination that particularly appeals to me so I really like knitting with this colourway. Also, I really like how the striping of this colour way looks in garter stitch. Not all striped yarns work knitted this way and of those that do, there are those which work better than others. In this case, I think it is because the colours are uncomplicated – by which I mean that they’ve got a little bit of variance in the turquoise but the orange and white are solidly single colours. For whatever reason, I really like it.

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I haven’t achieved as much knitting of the pink/green shawl as I had anticipated today. I was slow getting out of bed, had a late morning osteopath appointment then spent the early afternoon in Waterstones with the friend who is buying the shawl. By the time I got home it was about 4pm. I lasted about an hour before I fell asleep. The week after a weekend with my son is often filled with long naps. It is partly sadness about the situation and partly a response to the anxiety of the lead up to the visit. I am more than halfway through the second length of border and being that it’s only 15 stitches I’m working on, it grows quite quickly.

So you’re probably quite curious about the music choice. I’ve managed to shy away from cliches and cheese for the most part but this song has been drifting in and out of my thoughts for a few months now. I’ve never learned to roller skate (though I have very clear memories of my older sister skating to ‘Xanadu’ blasting from a boom box) and I managed to avoid the worst of the ’80’s fashion by being too young to do my own shopping but I wanted a walkman for the longest time. My son is barely aware of CDs as most of his music is digital so he’s never going to know the awesomeness of the first time you have portable music of your own choice and not whatever is on the radio.

Have you guessed the song yet? I have rarely been without portable music since my late childhood. Thank goodness we can be wired for sound 😉

Cliff Richard – Wired for Sound

Day 124

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Today we are listening to Gym Class Heroes featuring Maroon 5’s front man Adam Levine just because I like it…
Stereo hearts by Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine

I’m feeling better today. A yoga breathing routine is excellent for stretching the muscles that were causing problems again. Even better is that we worked out that the problem with my e-spinner was the battery. We connected a jack for a mains power cord and the spinner works better than ever despite running at only 6 volts instead of the 12 it used to have!!!!! Of course, this was all worked out *after* we ordered new parts. Which is fine though because we have plans to build a better e-spinner and the existing spinner can’t support those improvements. And I was a good girl and caught up on my blanket pieces even though I really, really, really, really, *really* wanted to be spinning yarn.

Day 123’s piece is a large green square. Day 124’s is a small purple square.

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Day 121

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I had forgotten how long the large squares take to knit. I guess I don’t notice the time passing while I craft.

Anyway, bright orange and yellow large square today.

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The boys had a great camp out and though the sparse timetabling of the Sunday buses adding 2 hours to their return, they got home safely. Last year it rained but with the forest canopy, they were mostly dry. This year it was windy. I imagine they’d have been less bothered by it if they used an actual tent instead of building a bivouac but that is how they all camp at this event. It’s cosy enough I suppose…

bivouac 2014

I’ve discussed my affection for Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ album in the past. I love the intimacy of the music produced by singer-songwriter-musician. In today’s music industry, they are as scarce as hen’s teeth but they are out there. One of my modern favourites is Sarah Bareilles. I have all of her music but it is her ballads that I love the most. One that struck me most is the final track ‘Gravity’ from her debut album ‘Little Voice’. The clarity of the vocals and the simplicity of the accompniment are just beautiful.

I’d not seen the video clip before today and was impressed by it – it’s a simple enough idea and doesn’t detract from the music.

Day 109

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Two blanket pieces today – today’s large square and yesterday’s rectangle, which I hadn’t done yesterday because finishing the tablecloth took longer than expected. But I am all caught up now and coming swiftly to the end of the planned squares. I’ll start working on the next instalment of the diagram this week and will update the existing diagrams to include the changes I’ve made as I’ve been knitting.

   Day 109  day 108 

Next project I need to focus on….. so many. I have some crochet circles to do for one of my knitting ladies. They only take about 10-15 minutes each to do and there are only 20 to make. I can get it done in an afternoon so no worries there. There are sweaters I want to work on for my friend J. And of course there are the 20 million shawls I have in the works. And we’re not discussing the yarn spinning that’s also in my work bag…

Today’s video is not music. Koko the gorilla has been trained and is fluent in American Sign Language and Robin Williams had the opportunity to meet her in 2001.

His profound ability to communicate transcends species.

As you have no doubt heard by now, the comedian Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday after many years struggling with severe depression. Today, Koko learned he had passed away and is mourning with us.

The sad loss of Robin Williams is yet another proof that the greatest performances come from the greatest pain. My condolences are with all of those affected by his death and by the circumstances of that death.

There has been worrying commentary since his passing and the preliminary autopsy findings of suicide, that suicide and depression are selfish. Speaking with the experience of one who struggles with depression and who has witnessed parents and husband struggle with it, I know that the illness is very selfish in the same way that any illness is. You don’t ask pneumonia to keep you in bed. You don’t ask a limb to break. The sucking morass of depression doesn’t ask before robbing you of reason or rationality, joy and creativity. You don’t ask it to undermine your relationships and your self-esteem. It is NOT a choice. Why would anyone *choose* to feel like this?! What an utterly ludicrous and insensible argument.

But whether the act of suicide is selfish or not isn’t really the point. The point is that people who attempt or succeed at suicide need our compassion and our love, and that we must focus our grief on helping those who continue to struggle with mental or chronic health concerns so that they do not ever feel the desperation, despair and worthlessness that leads to suicide.

Be gentle with each other. We are all struggling with something and while something may be easy for you, will be incomprehensible to someone else.

Hug your loved ones. Be kind to them. Tell them you love them. Tell them they matter and listen when they need you. If you don’t know what to do to help them, start with these things.

You will never know how a smile or a hug will improve someone’s day.