Day 115

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So it seems that my upset stomach is partly stress but mostly to do with my back. Everything seems to have solidified into an inflexible mass from my neck to my waist. And not just down my spine. It feels like I spent all day yesterday doing sit-ups – it hurts to breathe. I will be seeing my osteopath in the morning so there is some relief in the very near future.

It does mean today has been spent in a carefully constructed nest of pillows, sleeping through the pain (sleep relaxes muscles after all) and not doing much but trying to get enough oxygen into my lungs without causing myself pain.

I didn’t even want to knit my blanket piece today but I did. I even rewarded myself by using my favourite pink yarn.
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And now, to sleep. A lullaby to ease your way into slumber…. If you can keep the giggles at bay.

http://youtu.be/vZPmZ64m3_4

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Day 89

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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

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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.

Day 81

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Another downside of depression and anxiety, and the medications used to manage them, is a scattering of thoughts and an inability to focus. My brain is so fried right now that counting to 20 has given me trouble today. I had to reknit today’s triangle because I lost a stitch somewhere and couldn’t work out where. More than that, I had to count everything at least 3 times before I was sure I’d gotten it right.

day 81I did eventually get it and now there is a lovely red triangle that seems to be all on its own at the moment. When I looked at the design layout I had drawn, I couldn’t work out what I’d been thinking to put the triangle in at this angle but because of the pieces  to be worked later, I’d have to redo a large section of the plan. See above for why didn’t even attempt that. I still need to recheck it to see if there is a better way to work some of it but it’s staying as is for now.

So I want to share a song by India Arie called ‘Video’ with you. I can’t embed the clip like I normally  do so you’ll have to actually click here to go to YouTube and listen to/watch it. The song is a self-affirmation, that being who you are is ok, that it’s ok to love yourself because you’re important. While I was getting the link, I came across this 5 minute video of India speaking with Oprah. I didn’t know that India had been nominated for any Grammy’s let alone 7. They talk about the song as well as that experience and what she has taken from that experience is so positive.

I will say though, that I think the way they speak of ‘losing the Grammy’ is erroneous. She didn’t lose anything. That would imply that she already had it. It’s more that she didn’t win. I’m not sure the distinction makes any difference at all but it’s there all the same and I think it’s a little more positive.

All of her music is beautiful and I highly recommend it.

Day 56

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More Australiana for you today. John Farnham made a comeback in the ’80’s with the song ‘You’re The Voice’ which is from an album I still love. By 1990 he had become a much loved fixture in current music. This is one of the most beautiful ballads I have heard. It’s simple, a little raw and heartfelt.

And so the epic venture that is typing up a pattern begins. I’ve not written a shawl pattern before so I’m a little unsure about approaching the formatting of it but I think I’ve worked it out. I’m nearly done with the knitting, close enough to it that I feel confident enough to finish writing the pattern while I wait for hubby to go into the loft for another ball of yarn for me. It’s already a big shawl, which are my favourite sort, but it’s still got another 50 or so rows to go.

I’ve really enjoyed this process actually. When I started knitting this shawl, I knew what shapes I wanted and that I wanted to keep it fairly simple. I have kept the stitches to knit and purl, and used a single type of increase. The numbers are straight forward and you can see the pattern as you work. I’ve used DK-weight yarn and knitted it with slightly larger than normal needles for the yarn weight to give it drape and softness. And while it could use a little blocking to straighten it up, it isn’t necessary which means that once the knitting is done it can be worn straight away. More pictures when it is finished.

day 56There is a lovely comfort in the simple stitches.

More simple stitches – a large triangle in shades of green.

Day 49

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I’m in between projects in many ways and while designing may seem like a project in itself, I don’t consider it that way. It is a process that may not result in anything and an opportunity to explore texture or stitches or shape and the combination of these design elements. Calling it a ‘project’ puts too much expectation and pressure on it. Having said all of that, I am beyond the halfway point (length not width measurement) of the shawl I am designing. I had hoped I could make it using only one ball of yarn but alas it was not meant to be. The Husband will be venturing into the loft for yarn once again.

By the way, it’s World Wide Knit in Public Day next week. Well, I say ‘day’ but it’s expanded to encompass the entire week to allow as many people/groups to participate. It’s awesome and our ‘event’ 2 years ago brought my friend G into my life.

So, who doesn’t love The Muppets? Some of my favourite movies and tv shows owe their thank to Jim Henson and his brainchild. The Muppets (movies and tv), Farscape, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal…There’s a lot of viewing hours involved, and most of them were not during my childhood… nor my son’s.

Other than the frequent crazy involved with them, one of my favourite thing about The Muppets is the music. Whether they were interpreting an old standard or putting their stamp on modern pop (Elton John’s ‘Crocodile Rock’ is brilliant!), I love it. So, here is a Frog and a Bear at the beginning of a roadtrip.

And just because I love this one…. stick with it. It’s ridiculous and perfect.

Seriously, so many Muppets clips on YouTube that I want to share with you all (there’s one of Tom Hiddleston that you need to see for no other reason that it’s Tom Hiddleston, who just may be flawless.)

day 49Anyway, knitting. You’re getting a new pattern today. It’s another triangle and the pattern is based heavily on the pattern we use for the squares with a 3-into-1 decrease up the centre but it also has a decrease along each edge to flatten what would be the other 2 sides into just one. This pattern of decreasing will take 4 stitches from your total at the end of each right side row. Decreases that require a series of steps to complete have been placed into parentheses “( )” for simplicity.

Abbreviations I’ve used (and I am so sorry for not including this sooner) :

k – knit

s – slip a stitch from the left hand needle to the right hand needle as if you were knitting it

psso – pass slipped stitch over the stitch/es just knitted

k2tog – knit 2 stitches together

sts – stitches

Start by picking up 31 stitches along one side, 1 in the corner and 31 along the second side, at a right angle to the first. I am working along the rectangle from day 43 for the first side. The second side is made from working across the small square of day 38 and the first half of the rectangle from yesterday (day 48). This gives me a total of 63 stitches.

Row 1 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k27, (s2, k1, psso), k27, k2tog, k1 – 59sts

Row 2 – knit

Row 3 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k25, (s2, k1, psso), k25, k2tog, k1 – 55sts

Row 4 – knit

Row 5 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k23, (s2, k1, psso), k23, k2tog, k1 – 51sts

Row 6 – knit

Row 7 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k21, (s2, k1, psso), k21, k2tog, k1 – 47sts

Row 8 – knit

Row 9 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k19, (s2, k1, psso), k19, k2tog, k1 – 43sts

Row 10 – knit

Row 11 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k17, (s2, k1, psso), k17, k2tog, k1 – 39sts

Row 12 – knit

Row 13 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k15, (s2, k1, psso), k15, k2tog, k1 – 35sts

Row 14 – knit

Row 15 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k13, (s2, k1, psso), k13, k2tog, k1 – 31sts

Row 16 – knit

Row 17 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k11, (s2, k1, psso), k11, k2tog, k1 – 27sts

Row 18 – knit

Row 19 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k9, (s2, k1, psso), k9, k2tog, k1 – 23sts

Row 20 – knit

Row 21 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k7, (s2, k1, psso), k7, k2tog, k1 – 19sts

Row 22 – knit

Row 23 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k5, (s2, k1, psso), k5, k2tog, k1 – 15sts

Row 24 – knit

Row 25 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k3, (s2, k1, psso), k3, k2tog, k1 – 11sts

Row 26 – knit

Row 27 – k1, (s1, k1, psso), k1, (s2, k1, psso), k1, k2tog, k1 – 7sts

Row 28 – k2tog, (s1, k2, psso), (s1, k1, psso) – 3sts

Row 29 – s2, k1, psso – 1sts