being

back it up

On June 1st I finally managed to get my prednisone dosage down to 0.5mg. After the kerfuffle that followed my surgery, I was weaning off it slowly. Think a milligram a month slow. I don’t know whether it was the most recent drop (of half a milligram a day), or the position of the stars or what, but something convinced my immune system to once again lose its shit and hell-o, it’s flare time.

hands: "ew"
I talked to my specialist, and we tried bumping to 1mg, then two, then five. While I’m not exactly gonna complain about not wanting to gnaw my hands off, I have essentially undone five months of careful tapering in a week.

I’m a lil cranky about it.

I am also, unsurprisingly, hangry about it. I want sugar, and I want it all the time. Combine this with a freshly and consistently pissed off gut and this just barely controlled ED is going to have a field day.

So, regular, planned meals so I do eat (and so I don’t forget to eat a single vegetable for three days straight and end up teary-eyed in front of the fridge demolishing half a cucumber), protein so I’m less of a cookie monster, and tummy-friendly so I am actually able to eat those planned meals.

And, if in doubt, shove an entire kumara in your bag and stick it in the microwave when you get to work.

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being · Uncategorized

I’m more than a little thrown by christmas this year. Mid-November I got started with planning and decorating and building up my festive spirit. I was ahead of the game, I was prepared.

Our ten days out of town seemed like they were from an alternate universe. They didn’t count. As far as my internal clock was concerned, I had no need to worry – it was the start of December, my plans were made and the decorations were up. Turns out that in this (and in many other things) my internal clock was a liar. It is in fact, about a week from christmas and I have gone right from ‘ahead of the game’ to ‘way behind the ball’.

I axed a few things right out; little bundles of handmade goodies will have to wait til next year, christmas pjs are also not going to happen (probably. I may have a crack tomorrow and see where I get to). Some things are staying. Russian fudge is way too much trouble right now, but cheats’s fudge, in all it’s delicious variations? Very possible. Gingerbread cookies may also make an appearance.

As for gifts well, I’m actually very nearly sorted. I have a few bits to pick up, and a few more to wrap, but the bulk of the gifts have been wrapped (my favourite part of christmas, honestly) and either stuck under the tree, delivered, or sent of their merry way.

I do have a rather lovely WIP that’s well on track to be under the tree by christmas eve, but my phone is currently uh, indisposed and for now at least it shall remain mysterious.

making

Make it two

I want to preface this post with the disclaimer that toe-up socks and I just do not get on. I’ve tried, I really have, but everything about them just irks me. Shaping a toe with increases rather than decreases ends up messy, neat and stretchy cast offs are far fiddlier than neat and stretchy cast ons, and (until this week) I had yet to find a toe up heel that actually fit.

I knew this about myself, and yet I still threw myself into knitting a pair of toe up socks. I had a small contrast skein I wanted to make the most of, I had the knew Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern to try, and to be honest, I was a little grumpy that something as small as a toe up sock had me flummoxed.

Attempt one resulted in a symmetrical toe. It looked alright but feet are not wedge shaped, and I was having trouble fitting the damn thing on the little cardboard foot from the FLK pattern. I frogged it.

Attempt two was more foot shaped, it was also messy and weird looking. I frogged it again.

Attempt three was serviceable. Not as good as a top-down toe, but good enough.

At this point I spent most of a day trying different stripe widths. Single row helix stripes, five row chunky stripes, two row “goldilocks” stripes. I hated them all. I had to admit that the problem wasn’t really the stripes. It was the colours.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong with the colours themselves, but despite how much I loved them together, put them in sock form, add some striping, and all I can see is christmas.img_9578

Now I love christmas, I do. But I’m more a fan of gold and silver and shiny and white and maybe some green in the form of a tree. Red and green, not really my thing. In the process of trying to convince myself that I could make these work, I came across a gorgeous photo on pinterest of some two-colour, stripey, fraternal socks.

I took a deep breath. I frogged again.*

Two and a half days later?

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Sock!**


*I only ripped back to the end of the toe, which is currently hanging out on some spare needles, may as well have a head start on the next pair.

**Not featured: me knitting the cuff about three times, and casting off twice because I couldn’t decide between 2×2 and 1×1 knitting

 

making

Patience

Well, the predicted making did not happen last week. When I woke up on Wednesday I realised that we had one day to organise everyone before we left on Thursday morning.

Having just finished my gift knits, I was desperately hoping the yarn I’d ordered would arrive before we left. When that started to look like a pipe dream, I grabbed some emergency yarn to make another Wurm so I’d at least have something to do on the drive.

The weekend went as well as any weekend containing a funeral can, and my mum and I decided to stay on a few more days. By this point, even my emergency yarn was running low, so I got in contact with the lovely Helene of Happy-go-knitty to ask if I could possibly take a look at and buy some of her lovely yarn. Sunday we drove over, and I got to see and squish all of the lovely fibres.

A lot of ooh and ahhing (and some difficult decisions) later, I picked out some gorgeous BFL sock yarn:

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[mow the grass, clouds of thunder, and pōhutakawa]

I’d only been planning on getting the one skein, but I love the way these colours play together. Why knit one colour socks when you can knit three colour socks, right?

(right?)

 

being

Bereft

I’ve been planning this post, with this title since yesterday. I wanted to talk about the thrill I felt about finished a (reasonably sized) project, busting a good chunk of stash, followed by the uncomfortable, lonely feeling of having nothing to knit.

This morning I waited for a parcel of sock yarn, only to watch the mail van sweep past.

At lunchtime I got a call to say my uncle had died, and this post got very real, very quick.

I spent the afternoon antsy, a deep drive to get in the car and go to my aunt now, today. We waited instead, until we heard what she wanted, when she wanted us. I kept reaching for my needles, for the weight of yarn in my hands and the flow of stitches under my fingers.

After a few hours I cracked, headed to the craft store and spent an hour and a half getting lost in fabrics and patterns and piping cord. I didn’t bring home any yarn, which was impressive, but enough supplies for several pyjama pants.

We’re driving up the day after tomorrow, and as trivial as it sounds, I am desperate for my yarn to arrive before then. In the meantime I’ll pack. I’ll help. I’ll make pyjamas and take photos and wrap gifts.

Tonight I’ll sit with my fairy lights on, drink sleepy tea, snuggle my cat. Tomorrow is for making, being, going. Tonight is for being.

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making

season’s uh, beginnings?

Despite bringing very little with me from down south, I’ve set myself up with the goal of using up all the stash I have with me — fabric and yarn. What I can’t use, I have to lose (I’m trying to attempt some semblance of this minimalism thing but, well, we’ll see). The hitchhiker I finished last week was the start of that. The next, a baby blanket. Bias garter strips sewn together to form something resembling a herringbone.

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That’s two strips worth of ends to be woven in (weaved in?) and there’ll be six more before this thing is even approaching being finished.

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The ends-fuelled headache is more than balanced out by soft garter squishiness. It won’t be quick, but someone very small is going to have something very soft to snuggle in.

(You may have noticed that there is nowhere near enough yarn there to finish the thing. I am resolutely ignoring that fact, future me; this is your problem now)

Just to make things fun, I’ve recently realised we’re halfway through November, and helping organise the christmas decorations for my folks’ business has kicked my holiday fever right into gear. There’s socks to knit, and maybe a hat or two (for those lucky friends of mine who live places with a winter christmas), jimjams to plant, presents to plan, fudge to make and gingerbread recipes to test (I’ve never been gluten-free at christmas before, but I’m not fool enough to think I can wing it) and quite frankly, I’m thrilled.

Uncategorized

seventeen days

since my last post, and they’ve certainly been busy ones. We went to Welly the night before my surgery, made an adventure of it. I went in for surgery feeling much calmer than the last time around (but hungry, good god was I hungry). The surgery itself went well. I felt rough after it, but that’s to be expected. We came home.

I knit, a lot. Watched Elementary, got endless cuddles from the cat, and managed to finish a project that’s been on the needles for three and a half years;

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[Pattern: Hitchhiker//Yarn: Apple Tree Knits Luxe Fingering in New Growth//Project page here]

This yarn is one of the first nice yarns I bought myself, when I started knitting properly a few years ago. I’ve stopped and started this shawl more times than I can count, and I’m struck, every time I look at it, that it’s finally done (and given it’s currently hanging beside my bed, that’s pretty often.

Not long after that triumph, I ended up back in the hospital. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but someone somewhere screwed up in giving me my steroids (stopping them just before major surgery doesn’t seem to work too well) and five days later my body gave up and landed me in ED with a line in my arm and a lot of hydrocortisone.

They kept me for a couple of days (my gut was also packing a fit and needed a little coaxing back into life), and my dermatologist took control of my medications (thank god) and I now seem to be functioning as a regular human being. My hip managed to transition from “healing” to “healed” while I was laid up in a hospital bed, and while I’m having to take it very easy, I can actually move.

The moving thing turned out to be very handy, because not two days after getting home from hospital, NZ got hit by a series of earthquakes. The two big ones woke me up with a fright, but we’re far north enough that there’s not really any damage, and while the rest of the country wasn’t so lucky, most of the damage has been to property and roads — not people.