My Craft Projects – A Progress Report – Knitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did take all of these nice photos out in the back yard in the lovely afternoon light but something weird happened to them so you will have to make do with some less pretty ones taken inside!  This is my Textured Throw which only needs the short side edges to be finished and attached.  One is knitted and one is on the needles so it is very close to being finished.

Then comes the Dream Blanket.  I am up to panel 4 out of 5 and I have knitted 3 of the 5 letters.  I’m currently knitting up the blue panel with a delicious purple panel to finish off with.  The knitted letters will be stitched on with some sort of decorative stitch, the five panels will be sewn together.  There will be tassels using all five colours on each end and I have commissioned a very dear crocheting friend to crochet borders along the long sides.  It will be a happy happy day when I finally have this one done and of course it will be photographed at the shop with four of my knitting friends to help.

This week I have been toiling away on my “New Job” vest.  The “new job” has now become an old job but I am flying along with this one in the hope that it can soon be a vest for another new job!  I have the back and two fronts down as well as diamond shaped insert panels for the sides to give it the “hankie hem” look.  Those who I have “helped” with their knitting by ripping it out for them will no doubt be pleased to know that last night I had to frog one of the fronts right back to the armhole because I had created two “left fronts”.  All was restored by this morning and I only need to do the neck band on the front piece, then two long button and buttonhole bands and then I can sew the thing together.  I’ll be excited to finish this one too because when I was listening to Suzie the Stylist a couple of weeks ago I realised that this vest was going to have great potential.

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The Intervention

Just when I thought “interventions” were only done on rather scary reality TV shows I found myself the “victim” of a very large intervention on Sunday.  There I was, innocently drinking coffee with a good friend of mine  and relating the events of my week when she announced that we were going to deal with my clothes.  My pleas to finish the coffee and continue chatting were ignored and we were off into the bedroom to begin.

Clothes flew and were flung in all directions in the hours that followed.  Luckily she is a really good friend because comments included “No!”, “Frumpy!”, “Get rid of it”, “What were you thinking?” and “Did your mother choose this?”  I should hasten to say that I owned only one item of clothing chosen by my mother and it has now gone to a  better place.  The final tally was five small gar bags of clothes to go to charity, three small gar bags of stuff that I will fit into soon and best of all, a wardrobe which contains only items that I can wear right now.  It is the first time in my adult life that I can remember having such a wardrobe.  The aforementioned gar bags went into the back of my friend’s car so there were no chances for me to change my mind and the three bags of ambition clothes are going to be boxed up in plastic crates so that nothing nasty befalls them.  The wire coathangers were all dispatched to the garbage bin and the plastic coated wire hangers were deemed to be only good for hanging up my husband’s shirts.  I have most hangers the same the now and all facing in the same direction – revolutionary!

I still have the shoe section to go and a few drawers but they seem easy compared to the task of tackling that overstuffed wardrobe.  I am eagerly anticipating being able to pull out something to wear very easily from those places as well.

The flow on effect from this will be the ease with which I can put together outfits the night before to wear the next day.  I’m intending on having Plan A outfits for days that I am working and Plan B outfits for days that I am not.  The drawback is that I don’t have as many clothes but when I think about it I don’t really have less clothes because the ones that are not there could not be worn anyway.  So it is full of win all round really.

The saying “Knowledge is Power” could certainly be applied to my fateful Sunday afternoon too.  I was lucky enough to attend a High Tea on the previous Saturday where we met Suzy the Stylist.  Prior to that day I never would have thought that I had anything to gain from listening to a stylist given that I am overweight, the majority of my clothes are bargain buys and I usually buy things without trying them on because of time pressures.  Boy was I wrong!

I now know that I have curvy figure (somewhere under there!) and what to do about dressing for that figure.  I know exactly what to look for now in shops and which items of clothing I would like to buy when I next have the opportunity.  Because I was also able to look at things through a “knitter’s lens” as well I now know why some of my projects look good and why some of them should never have seen the light of day.  I am actually having one piece frogged, the wool washed and rewound so that I can knit something else with it!  Best of all when someone mentions a  knitting pattern on Ravelry I know immediately whether it will work for me or not.

So while it isn’t an extensive wardrobe, it is completely functional and even though I needed to sit down for quite a while and collect my thought post-intervention I am really glad that it happened.  And to my dear friend – Thank-you. I needed to be bossed around and I’m truly glad that you did so.

And now dear readers:

Have you ever been part of an intervention? Either intervening or being the “intervenee”?

How do you organise your clothes?

If you are losing weight, what are you planning to do with your clothes?


Step by Step back to “normal” life

Or as normal as it ever gets!  I’ve officially been cleared to work again, I’m no longer wearing splints and walking longer and longer distances until i start limping again and need to stop.  I did alarm the physio with a very swollen left ankle (the fractured tibia one) on Friday night so I am taped up for the duration of the long weekend but flesh coloured tape is much less conspicuous than big black lace up splints.

There are so many things you take for granted until you have your mobility taken away from you.  I’m really enjoying things like:

having a shower standing up

carrying things around from one place to another

walking around places

being able to get up off chairs

getting my own cup of coffee and indeed getting cuppas for other people

walking along hand in hand with my little boy

DRIVING – even though I have to use Anthony’s car for the time being.

I’m in the process of transitioning from convalescence to supply teaching again and I feel as if I am launching myself onto the world as a whole new person.  A wise person told me that all these thigns happen for a reason and I found that statement hard to take as I hobbled around on crutches. But now, as I find myself on the way out of it all I believe she may have known what she was talking about after all.


The View from Here

The camera worked for long enough this afternoon to get a shot of my very unattractive ankles in socks and splints.  They look a bit powdery because I need to put on prickly heat powder before the socks so I don’t get driven mad with itching and it certainly makes me glad not to be in plaster.

Today hasn’t been a good day.  I’ve been down, teary and tired all day.  It was a combination of things.  I was still pathetically exhausted after my trip to hydrotherapy yesterday, today was bit of an anti-climax because I wasn’t going anywhere and I’m not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.  Hydrotherapy will only continue once it is approved by Work Cover as I already had had the five automatically allowed physio sessions while in hospital.  It is really my only prospect of getting out of the house because we will be reimbursed for the cab fare.  I’m not able to drive yet and I don’t know how long it will be before I get behind the wheel.  If I was to get taken somewhere like a shopping centre I would have to hire a wheelchair and then have someone to push it.  The potential “someones” are either a bit old to be pushing me in a wheel chair or they have small children to deal with.  We can’t afford to spend any money on cabs that will not be reimbursed as my work prospects are going to be limited once again and for who knows how long.

Dh is working full time 5 days a week and may be doing overtime on Saturday and of course the boys are at school.  They will be off on holidays at the end of next week but we will still be housebound because it is too far from here to get to any public transport and we cannot afford cabs.  The book club girls took me out last night for coffee and book discussion but I came away from that realizing that everyone is still really busy and the fact that I am out of action doesn’t change that.  So while plenty of people have asked, “What can I do to help?”, I’ve really only been able to ask for people to bring the boys home from school and even that was quite difficult to organise.  Life goes on as normal for everyone else which means they don’t have time to stop for visits or cups of tea.  Everyone balances multiple roles and has a busy schedule including me when I’m not on crutches.  So I can hardly ask someone to pick me up and cart me around in a wheelchair and no one really has spare time to spend here with me.  I think all of that hit home for me this afternoon and I felt really black.

The flood of phone calls and text messages that happened while I was in hospital has dried up to almost nothing.  I’m lucky if I get two texts in a day and no one has time for phone calls these days.  There isn’t really much to say either because I don’t know when things will improve with my ankles and there is nothing happening here at home.

I also realised that I wouldn’t be able to get to Weight Watchers tomorrow night as I had planned because the boys have hockey training.  I cannot ask them to miss it as they missed out already last week while I was in hospital and it is on every Thursday so with great sadness I changed my Weight Watchers subscription to “on-line only” even though I need it and the meetings especially now more than I ever have before.  My weight has made this whole injury thing even more complicated and I really can’t see things improving while I am so sedentary and while I am relying on everyone else to supply me with food.

Dh really is doing all he can.  In fact he has been quite legendary since I’ve been home.  He sets up the lounge room each night ready for me the next day with the TV left on stand-by, the remotes all put where I can reach them and most importantly, makes sure that the floors throughout the house are almost completely free of clutter.  We are both terrified of what could happen if a crutch slipped on something that shouldn’t be there and went out from under me.  He gets the bathroom ready for me to take a shower each night with the transfer bench half in and half out of the bath and everything where I can reach it.  Then he puts on my socks and splints for me afterwards in the lounge.  I get a coffee made for me in the morning before they leave and yesterday he left a ham and cheese sandwich in the fridge and the sandwich toaster out on the bench.  I was so glad to find that when I got home from hydro!

As for the boys, the novelty has well and truly worn off.  They are usually very put out when I ask them for anything or to do something for them because it takes them away from their all important computer games.  And of course, their projects and activities must always come first.  Eric was very impatient for me to get to the computer and help him fix a flyer he was making this evening and kept coming out to ask me when I’d be there despite the fact that I didn’t have my splints back on.  The flyer was about him offering his services as a cross country coach for the the other kids at school but that’s another story!

My parents came to help out today but even that is a mixed blessing.  While I truly love that our bathroom got cleaned and the sheets on my bed were changed I didn’t need to be told that I must not apply for any job until I am off crutches, that knitting is waste of money (again!) and that I really must do something about my weight.  (If I didn’t already know the last one it was brought home to me when I had to crawl up our back stairs on the night of my fall!).  I know they mean well and they are really the only ones that are in a position to offer us any help but some moral support and encouragement would be nice once in a while.

That is the end of my whining for now.  There are some good things happening.  Unlimited time to knit, stitch, read and watch TV. Time to read lots of stories to Daniel.  I get to sleep in because there is nothing to get up for and I would be in the way during morning rush hour anyway.  I have a couple of projects to tackle –  writing and researching some pieces for the school magazine and doing the “end of season” achievement cards and certificates for Little Athletics.  The latter is an enormous but tedious job but I certainly don’t have the excuse of not enough time to do it.

It’s awful to say this but I am dreading today (I’m writing this after midnight which shows how ell my sleeping pattern is going).  I’m going to miss a couple of my regular Thursday activities, my ankles will still hurt and I will still have the long day on my own.  But I guess I just have to take a deep breath and think “this too shall pass”.


Menu Plan Monday – Best Laid Plans or the week we tried to eat Fried Rice!

I *thought* I was working two days this week and then doing in-service for one day but after being called in today and yesterday it will be a total of 4 days work which is good for the bank balance but throws the house into disarray.

However some plans have worked out and some haven’t and I’m trying not to think about an anticipated morning at the knitting shop!

Sunday – Sausages, mashed potato and veggies

Monday – was meant to be Fried rice but we were all delayed by massive storm and I was exhausted after a day of extreme heat and no air con so dh made a chicken curry for us and gave the boys sandwiches – not with a smile!

Tuesday – was meant to be Fried Rice again and I had everything chopped up and ready to put it together when dh walked in with pizza!  I went ahead and cooked up the Fried Rice and now it will be tomorrow night’s dinner!

Wednesday – will be Fried Rice!

Thursday – we eat at the shops.

Friday – Fish and Chips

Saturday – Hoisin Pork

I’ve baked Banana and Malteaser Muffins on Sunday and as of Tuesday night they are all gone so I’ll chalk that one up as another success


M.I.A

I have been quiet on here and almost everywhere else.  So quiet in fact that some of my on-line friends had started sending messages to ask if I was ok. (Thanks F!)  I am ok mostly but struggling with the juggle of work and home which is even more complicated now that the boys are on their long school holiday.

The other thing that has occupied my time quite a bit is the new improved Weight Watchers program.  I’ve been tracking my food and exercise, blogging on the Weight Watchers Site, taking part in challenges and in the first week on the program I even lost weight! Then I put it on again in the next week because I was supposed to work 12 days straight, I was running my first museum event and life got very crazy!  But that is ok.  I know it is a good program and I know that people are getting stunning results from it.  if I put my head down and focus on it a bit more I will also get stunning results and I am not exaggerating here.  It really will work if done properly.

In light of our financial issues and to use up some beautiful yarn that I had knitted into something I was never going to wear I embarked on a little project of selling coffee cup cosies on e-bay.  Or should I say, tried to embark – haven’t sold one yet.  But it is early days, I’m investigating the best ways of getting them out there because I have enough beautiful yarn to make lots and lots of them and now thanks to a lovely friend I have a good assortment of vintage buttons to use on them.  Please DO NOT feel that you must buy one just because you’ve read this but if you can help with any sales advice I would be grateful.  (I won’t be grateful if you are a spammer however!)  I’m not planning to go into business or start a market stall or anything grandiose like that but if I can make a little trickle of money flow in that is associated with something I love to do it will be a positive thing all round.

To make things “work for me” over the holidays I’ve made a list of suggestions on our kitchen whiteboard for the boys and they are earning stars (which actually turned out to be spots because I thought I had stars but I really had spots).  These will be converted into family oriented awards throughout the holidays and hopefully keep them practicing some of their skills which need work – think sentence construction, handwriting, reading, piano practice and you’ll get the idea.  But that can be the topic of another post at another time.

I’m here. I’m busy. But I need to be blogging so I’ll try and check in more often.


Money Too Tight To Mention

Unfortunately we did have to mention it to someone who could help us out of our current financial crisis when we asked for help last week and unfortunately we got completely dragged over the coals, interrogated and thoroughly criticised for nearly all our life choices including but not limited to – choice of jobs, choice of hobbies, child care arrangements, activities in which our children are involved, the things we eat and the list goes on.  I’m the first to admit I am not perfect by any means.  My house is messy, we’re eating too much take-away and sometimes I sit down and play on the computer or knit something when perhaps I should be doing housework but is was just awful to have just about everything we do turned into a negative.

Suffice it to say, we didn’t chose to get into a financial mess and we’re sure as heck going to make sure we never do again.  This time has just been an unfortunate melding of council rates, car registration, massive tax bill, power bill and a range of medical expenses occurring all at once along with the normal end of year things like school book orders, piano lessons, chess lessons and the list goes on.  I’m ona much reduced salary compared to teaching and it just hasn’t worked for us.  It isn’t like we are going out every night or having caviar on our crackers.  We spend very little on clothes and entertainment of any description.  Now I sound like Im trying to justify our spending which I shouldn’t have to do.  We make choices – some are right and some are wrong but ultimately they are our choices.

I never want to go down the path of needing to ask for help again from the source we used last week. Never, ever.  So I’m taking baby steps to regain some control of the situation.  I’m going to to ring and try to organise some sort of payment plan for the hideous tax bill.  I’m selling my wedding dress.  I’ve started the process of frogging a garment I knitted a while back but decided that I would never wear.  The yarn is too good to wastes so I’m re-claiming it all and knitting coffee cup cosies to sell on e-bay or etsy.  I’m also looking into what I can make rather than buy for Christmas presents.

I’ve also got huge amounts of stuff that can all eventually go on e-bay – clothes, toys, baby things, furniture etc etc etc.  It will take a long time but I will do it and I’m sure I will feel better to having a less cluttered home.

I felt dreadful about this whole situation until last night when I sat down and started unravelling knitting.  Then I felt I had some tiny measure of control back.  Hopefully that feeling will grow.