So the last 2 months have been over shadowed by the fact that I had an operation to remove my left ovary and the cyst that was damaging it. We were hoping the surgeon could save my ovary but the damage was too great. I’m a bit disappointed but I have another ovary so I won’t have to go through the menopause yet!
After my op, I spent a fortnight feeling like a zombie! I was so tired and in so much pain! I prioritised getting better and wasn’t worried about actually accomplishing anything. We had a conference 2 weeks after my op so I concentrated on being well enough to be there! I did get there but I’m glad we stayed opposite the venue which was the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. We stayed in the Park Inn. I think if we hadn’t stayed over, I wouldn’t have made it. I had a bit of a wobble Sunday because I was overtired and I got a bit upset by the way some people treated me but I got through it!
This week was our anniversary and we’ve taken time to celebrate it. I’ve written a blog post about our trip to the American Museum in Britain already. It was a lot of fun!
I had an Etsy sale last month before I put my Etsy shop into holiday mode while I recovered from my op. A lady from Germany bought 3 hats from me inclcluding a panda hat which meant I had to find my pom-pom maker!
Apart from that all I’ve finished is Mariana. She was going to be a seamless cowl that I made in the round but I changed my mind. As you can see, she’s now a winged triangular shawl. I love how she looks! I’m so grateful to Sheena from The Mermaid’s Purse. I used the Eco4ply in the Plankton colourway. I wasn’t going to have enough and she had the perfect solution! An almost solid blue skein that matched perfectly!
The poem (Mariana by Tennyson) was inspired by a line from Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. When I read the poem I thought about an Elizabethan home with leaded windows. I also felt like Mariana was trapped by her love for Angelo and his abandonment.
I saw a lot of diamonds and angled lines in my head. I knew exactly the look I was going for! The fountain pattern was perfect! The diamond border is knit onto the main shawl perpendicularly. Don’t panic! It’s a lot easier than it looks!*
*Blurb from Mariana Shawl pattern.
I decided that as I had all this extra (350m) yarn, Mariana needed an amazing border! And so the diamond border was born! (See above) I decided I wanted an applied border (something I’d never done before!) so I watched lots and lots of YouTube videos on how to do it! I had a go with a mini shawl and decided I needed to go up a few needle sizes to do the border. So I changed to the solid blue a few rows before I finished the main shawl and changed from a 3.75mm 80cm long circular needle to a 5mm 100cm long one while I was knitting the final row. The final row has to be a right sided row. Then I cast on a few stitches so I could work the border. On each purl row, I then purled the final stitch of the border and the next live stitch of the main shawl.
Mariana is currently being tested by two friends and I’m hoping to release her soon. I’ve listed her in my Etsy store as a made to order item recently! Mariana and the Lady of Shalott will be part of the ebook called Tennyson’s Ladies that I’m planning soon!
I ended up with 2/3s of the solid blue skein left so I decided that Mariana needed some matching mitts! I used the same stitch pattern that I used for the shawl and I made them two at a time. (TAAT) I made each mitt different by reversing the pattern. I need to get some proper photos of the mitts but these are the temporary ones that will be going in the pattern while it’s being tested.
And how could I forget! I made some adorable bootees for my violin teacher’s clown mascot!
Everything was on hold for a week though while I make a baby jumper as an audition piece for the lady that runs my local yarn shop in the market. I’ve using James C Brett Baby Marble DK which is so soft! I’m thinking I might invest in some to make a jumper for me! I think I’ll make myself a jumper in the round and make a note of it so that I can start designing clothes. I have no idea how I’m going to grade the sizes though! I think I need to do some reading on the subject!
I haven’t really started anything new in the last few weeks. Mostly because I’ve been concentrating on Mariana. RiverSystem’s socks are in the naughty pile at the moment until they decide how they want to look!
may or may not have started the Beechenhurst Wrap by Anthea from Forest Flower Designs. I’m using some mystery yarn that I know is 100% Welsh wool from my stash. I’m making it in a grey, off white and peach colour. So far the pattern is really simple to follow. Anthea has a knack for explaining things in such a way that it makes perfect sense!
RiverSystem’s pullover is still plodding a long but it’s soooo boring! I’ll get through it though
And now for something completely different!
While we were in Bath, we popped into Hobbycraft because RiverSystem wanted to check how much their drawing boards were. *Insert bad joke by RiverSystem here* While we were there, I noticed that their basic charcoal was reduced from £1 to 50p for 4 pieces. I like drawing (not that I’m any good at it!) and charcoal is my favourite medium. I picked some up and dug out my sketch book yesterday and drew a picture of Teddy. I don’t think I’ll ever be famous but I’m thinking I should tell people I’m an abstract artist so I can get away with not being any good! 😹
The other day, we visited a friend this week who has built an OO gauge model railway which is roughly 1:76 scale. Apart from the trains, almost everything was built by himself! His attention to detail is spot on! But there’s one thing missing! It needs yarn bombing! Yesterday, I dug out my 1mm hook and some emroidery thread and I’m making a tiny granny square blanket so he can have a family having a picnic on the grass somewhere!
We’ve finally finished painting the living room! We moved it around and gave it a good clean while we were at it! It was a bigger job than I thought! But now Teddy can’t lie on the sofa and scream blue murder at everyone who walks past!
As the children are returning to school this week, I’m planning a Craft Along that incorporates self care and mindfulness. You don’t have to have children or be crafty to get involved! All you need is you, some inspiration and a calm space! You don’t have to take a big chunk of your day out. Even if it’s just five minutes a day for you to sit down and focus on a project. As long as it’s a bit a day, you’ll eventually learn to do it while you’re washing the dishes. I’ve chosen the 15th of September as a start date because hopefully everyone will have caught up with themselves by then! I’ll be sharing more information soon and I’m hoping to get some companies to donate some prizes for a giveaway so watch this space!
I’m planning a review of Jamie’s Italian Bath next week. As soon as I’ve done it, I’ll link it here! Feel free to take a look at my posts in the last month. The penultimate post before this is about my BuJo. You might find that interesting…
Look after yourself and I’ll talk to you all next month!