Saturday, 29 August 2015

Now, that's a first!!

Excuse me for getting a little excited - but this is the
first time I've ever done any crochet designing....

Dead chuffed at having learned new techniques from doing the
  "Sophie's Universe" CAL  " earlier in the year - and managed to create
 a design all of my own!

...and  yes - I did remember to write it all down, so I can replicate the pattern!
(it may even appear here, at some point!)

Thank you for letting have a little 'show and tell' session!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Catching up with updates!

Well - a bit of a long hiatus but now hopefully back on track. Life in our household has been like a washing machine - going round and round at speed and wet!

Let me 'unpack' that a bit:

Since Spring, we have moved two elderly relatives (hubby's mother and his maiden aunt) from their Retirement complex on the south coast of England up to a new Residential Home just the other side of town from us. This makes a vast difference - previously it was a 4+hour drive each way, now it is about 10 mins!  Which means, if there's a problem you can be there and back without letting your coffee go cold!

The first 'upheval' was having to clear both their flats of furniture! It was ultimately going to hubby's sister's smallholding to be stored in a barn, pending other family members choosing anything they'd like. However, she was on on the 'high seas' sailing up to the Hebrides at the time of the move so it ended up in our conservatory, our garage, our lounge, our spare(?) bedrooms and our own bedroom (just a small trench around the bed for access!) - in fact there was stuff every where:

....... you get the drift...?

We couldn't turn for falling over 'stuff' - but eventually, after some weeks the bulk of things had been shipped out to its final destination. We still had boxes and crates of ornaments and crockery and what I referred to as 'old lady detritus' - the accumulations of 80+ years. By about the middle of June we could start to return things to normal - oh the luxury of 'space to move'!!

It was short-lived, of course.  About 4 weeks, to be precise.

The analogy of the 'washing machine' now comes into play - not only was our life turned upside down but we learned the devastation that follows a flood!

(rugs floating on top of the water-sodden carpet - you can see the ceiling light reflected in the water)

Basically, the water main just up from our property had 'exploded' and it had come down the hill, across the gardens, UNDER the neighbour's house and straight into ours! Right through the lounge-diner and out through the conservatory. The term 'A river runs through it' seems apt.

That was nearly five weeks ago - we have no carpets, lost some furniture, rescued some the so-called 'recovery team' tried to wreck and spent close on a month in a local hotel as we had industrial blow-heaters running 24/7 at 33degC - making the place uninhabitable.

We 'moved' back in a few days ago - we're back to having 'stuff' everywhere (small access trench around the bed - again :-/) upstairs. Downstairs is Spartan, to say the least - we've had a decorator stripping off the wallpaper so last night our Saturday evening in the 'homestead' looks really luxurious, doesn't it:
(like our 'temporary' media trolley?)

We have a hell of a long way to go - thank goodness the water company are picking up the tab, but I doubt we'll get compensation for the distress and trauma that's been caused.


Anyway, at least there was only one 'yarn-related' casualty - a bag of knitted squares someone had asked me to sew together for a charity blanket. I fished the bag out of the conservatory and laundered them - at some point I'll get round to sewing them!

So, here's a few pics of completed projects that got done in the midst of the melee:

This was the 'log cabin' knitted patchwork blanket I started ages ago - finally finished the border and sewed in all the ends. (draped over a sofa at my daughter's home - our secondary bolt-hole after the deluge!)

I made it through to the bitter end, getting my "Sophie's Universe" afghan finished. Learned SO many new techniques and stitches, I have no excuse not to try even more complicated things!
(it came out huge, too - over 6ft square! Try blocking that.....!)

Having learned about 'surface' stitches via the 'Universe' - I tried out this 'Spiro Star' design, by Helen Shrimpton  - I have the wool to make more blocks, but it's currently buried behind everything else in what was my workroom:
- since the flood, now known as one of the 'dumping grounds'! 

In between I've been doing lots of incubator blankets for prem. babies - our knitting group is on a mission to get parcels of blankets and baby-related items to as many SCBUs as we can - it's an ongoing project.

At the other end of the scale we're also producing lots of 'Twiddle muffs' for Alzheimers and Dementia patients. (learn more here )

We're passing them on to local hospitals and care homes -  it's a great way to use up all sorts of bits and pieces and it also means we're supporting a worthwhile cause.


Right, that's about got things up to date - it will be a month ot two until our home is back to 'normal', but at least hubby doesn't bat an eyelid when I have frequent 'yarn-shopping expeditions' to deal with the stress! 

Now I'm off to start onto another project I've been wanting to do for ages!