It’s been 6 weeks since my last confession…

I did not love Blog when:

  • I promised to write specific posts and then completely …eh… didn’t!;
  • I did all these fantastic, blog-worthy and craft-related things and never told you about them;
  • I allowed real-life time-pressures to get in the way of blogging time…

For these, and all my sins, I am truly sorry.

For my penance I will try to write circa 20 catch-up posts over the next two weeks!

I have to apologise for my prolonged absence from my blog. It all started when DH got stuck in San Francisco because of the Ash Cloud. I was due to write a blog post all about my adventures to The Yarn Room in Wicklow the previous weekend, and meeting Irene Lundgaard for the first time – and being taught by her – but the heart just wasn’t in it.

When DH is away I still work full-time and have to get myself and the three crazies up and out the door in the morning; and fed and put to bed each evening. It’s a bit like living on a treadmill but I can do it by just getting on with it. I cut myself a break or two by easing off on household chores, such as laundry, for the duration. My knitting buddies are a great help too, as they often “bring the Mountain to Mohammed” as it were, by coming over to my house for Knit-night.

I have huge admiration for single parents, let me tell you; I don’t know how they keep themselves going. I know I only have to hold it all together until DH is home again and usually we’re only talking one week. I liken it to running a marathon: it’s a hellish run but you keep yourself moving, knowing the finish-line is in sight.

On Thursday 15th April the world woke up to the news that a certain, unpronounceable Volcano in Iceland was – quite literally – hell-bent on wrecking everyone’s plans. DH had been away since the previous Sunday and was due to fly home on Saturday afternoon. Sure enough, Mother Nature had different ideas. From my perspective, it was like someone had taken the finish-line and just run off with it. I had no choice but to keep running the marathon; but there’s something disturbing, psychologically, about not knowing when it will all end.

On Saturday night, DH suggested that he could be stuck for another five days. Strangely, rather than being horrified and distraught at the news, this was exactly what I needed to gather my energies and keep myself moving. He had given me a glimmer of ribbon that I could focus on and move towards. As it turned out, his prediction proved correct and he flew in on the second flight into Dublin Airport on Wednesday 21st April. It was amazing to see a single con-trail in the sky while simultaneously listening to a news headline reporting its arrival. We were thrown back to the early days of Flying!

So he’s been home now for a month… how do I explain the past four weeks?!?!?! Hmmmmm!?!?

The problem, for a change, was not having nothing to say (if you follow me). The problem was absolutely, over-indulging in crafty, blog-worthy adventures; to such an extent that I’m spoiled for choice. The problem with this is that I haven’t yet learned how to make time – I can only make the most of it; and I’ve certainly been doing that lately, as you can see below!

As it’s Sunday Miscellany, I’m just going to list all the excitement, somewhat in chronological order. These are potential blog-posts that you can look forward to. I have a plan for when I’m going to write each but I’ve learned from my mistake – I’m not going to tell you when to expect them in case I don’t follow through and disappear from my blog again out of shame!

  • Trip to the Yarn Room Co. Wicklow
  • Met Irene Lundgard
  • Learned Tunisian Crochet in the Round
  • Made a pair of wrist-warmers using what I learned
  • Went to the April Spin-in at Powerscourt
  • Stash Accumulation after the April Spin-in
  • Chose between finishing my April Socks and making a hat for a co-worker
  • Attended Combination Knitting Workshop by Annie Modesitt at TIK
  • Met Samsaradh and had great time catching-up with SusyMcQ
  • Stash Accumulation after the Combination Knitting Workshop
  • Met Averil
  • Stash Accumulation to celebrate meeting Averil (yeah, I’m totally out-of-control, by now!)
  • Choosing Crochet over knitting lately
  • Some Chemo caps I’m making and why
  • Choosing not to cast-on until current WIPs are whupped
  • Progress on Better Mousetrap socks
  • Progress on GlenvarAgin
  • We get Broadband means Spinning Tutorials on YouTube
  • Stash Accumulation from The Yarn and Fiber Company
  • Getting into running, the “Couch to 5K programme” and The Flora Women’s Mini-marathon

That’s kinda enough to be getting on with, I think you’ll agree!


F.O. Chemo Cap #2

The other day, I told you about choosing to put aside my socks for April (and sacrifice a credit in the sock-a-Month KAL) in order to make a hat for a co-worker who has been diagnosed with an in-operable Brain Tumour. Click “here” if you missed it.

I never took any photos of the hat while it was in progress but I made sure to take some when it was all finished. I’m trying out the new (to me) feature on Ravelry where you can share a page publicly. So if you want to know more about this project, click on the link:

It’s a side-ways construction and I made it longer than the pattern so that it’s more a Watchman’s style shaping than the beanie style of the original pattern. The original pattern was really for men so I think the longer length gives better flexibility for how a woman might wear it. It could be worn unfolded, to give that slouchy look everyone seems to be after these days. I like how the two colours worked together.

Anyway, I loved doing it and I think the recipient will like it. It’s just a bit annoying that the hamper is still sitting on a desk, unfilled with all the planned goodies and not looking like it’s going to make its way to the recipient any time soon. This is annoying in itself but also… I sacrificed a credit in the Sock-a-Month KAL for nothing!!!

WIP: Chemo Cap #1

I mentioned previously my efforts to make a hat for a co-worker who has been diagnosed with an in-operable Brain Tumour. Click “here” if you missed the original post.

Choosing a thin yarn and a time-consuming technique did not make for a quickly-finished hat. The Instant Gratification came in a different way, as I enjoyed watching the colour changes of the yarn as they progressed accross the piece.

Unfortunately, the construction of the project didn’t lend itself to being re-sized too readily. And I got it… wrong. I should have anticipated that the thinner yarn would have meant I needed to do a lot more rows of squares. I think I was in denial about how far this was from being a quick knit – I didn’t want to add to the pain by doing more again. When I finally admitted defeat, I abandoned it altogether and went on to finish a watchman’s style cap in bulkier Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton.

Entrelac Crochet in Wendy Happy

All is not lost for this project, however. Unfortunately, it’s another sad tale, though.

One of my recurring tasks at work is to carry out a feasibility inspection of a tenant’s homes. Basically, if a tenant’s needs change due to disability or over-crowding, they can apply to the Council for an extension to their home. I visit and report back to our Housing Department on whether or not it it’s feasibile to extend the house to accommodate their requirements. It’s an aspect of my job that I really love, because it brings me in contact with my “end-user” – the citizens of our Council area. I know I’m a big softie liberal leftie, but they are the reason I’m in the Public Sector.

In the last few weeks I was inspecting a two-bed, mid-terrace house for a family with two children – a boy (9) and a girl (2). The boy has Cerebal Palsy and needs access to a loo downstairs; because the children are different sexes they’re going to need an extra bedroom. I was greeted at the door by the mother and her dote of a 2yo girl – just a few months younger than my youngest; whom I noticed had a tube coming from her nostril. In the course of my visit the mother told me that her daughter had been diagnosed with cancer four weeks earlier. Hasn’t this woman had enough, already?

At the time, I was thinking I’d love to make her a crochet hat, something lacey and girl-ey with a brim; for her to wear in the summer. Then this WIP went wallup. So now my plan is to finish this hat first and use the rest of the skein to make up another, more flouncy one; then post both off.

Hopefully, they’ll be moved into a three-bedroomed house by then.

Yes, my report back to Housing said the house wasn’t feasible for extension to provide both a downstairs toilet and an extra bedroom. I added a recommendation that, in the light of the little girl’s condition (though her prognosis is good), in order to improve their quality of life as quickly as possible – currently the 2yo is either sleeping in the mother’s room or in a toddler bed in the living room – I recommended that they be transferred to a 3-bed soon. I even went to far as to check the list of empty three beds in the area and I’m to go shortly to carry out a feasibility inspection of adding a downstairs WC to one of them. Go me!