Back in Harness

Well, I haven’t been a very good blogger lately – 2010 was a bit of a bust for me and mine. I’m not normally a person who shares a great deal about what is happening in my life, but given the impact last year’s events have had on my fledgeling business, it’s probably best to explain why I’ve been absent from anything resembling work for over half a year.
some of you may already know that I have issues arising from hypermobility. Well, last year I had to reappraise totally what that meant -Yes I’ve been in pain for years, but nothing I couldn’t handle and work through, until last January, when changing a smoke alarm battery changed all that; As I was standing there, with my arms above my head, looking up, I felt a click in my neck, and next everything went black -I managed to get my head down before I went out cold, but when I recovered and got up I discovered that the tingling, pins and needles feeling that I’ve lived with in my arms and lower legs for so long had spread to cover the area from mid chest to the bridge of my nose.
Cut to GP and my demanding a Rheumatology referral, then being told I have peripheral neuropathy which is causing hypersensitivity, and, by the way, your right side is much weaker than your left, you need to see the physio. I spent 3 months going back and forth to physio and hydrotherapy with a small improvement in my strength, but not much -the valuable thing I learned was that I probably have nerve compressions in 3 areas of my spine, which are causing the tingling and abnormal reflexes (If I touch anything with the back of my heels, or stand on the tiniest thing, I lurch backwards – surprising how often that happens with 4 kids and a large dog).
So, I’ve spent the best part of a year adjusting to my new physical reality,complete with crutches. It’s tough knowing that I’ll probably never be able to ride or sail with my children -I can’t even walk them to the park.
Anyway, before I finish recounting my annus horribilis I’ll lighten things with some yarn

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At the same time I was trying to process being officially disabled, we were dealing with a mystery illness affecting DS1, he was having episodes of excruciating stomach pain and vomiting, so we were back and forth to the doctor until someone decided to scan him, and discovered his kidney was enlarged, further tests showed that the kidney was only functioning at 10% and he had some kind of obstruction which was causing the enlargement. Last year he missed over a third of his school time, much of it after he’d started secondary school and we’ve had a major battle to get the school to put him in sets appropriate to his ability, rather than according to what he achieved in year 6 which was scuppered by his illness. As if that wasn’t enough, a routine exam for my mum (who has Lupus/RA and ulcerative colitis) detected an abnormality in her large bowel which meant that after a much anticipated holiday to Canada, she had 3 weeks to get herself ready for the removal of said large bowel and the creation of an ileostomy, as you can imagine, she’s needed a lot of support from all of us to start to come to terms with the alteration to her body, and was very ill until it was discovered that the operation meant that none of the medication prescribed for her lupus and arthritis was actually being absorbed.
The year came to an end with us waiting for DS1 to have surgery at last (an admission before Christmas had to be cancelled due to the snow) and he’s now nearly fully recovered and going back to school after half term.
now for a short yarn break…

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Through all the tribulations of this year, even when things have been at their worst, one thing has kept me going – Spinning. I’ve barely missed a day, even when I could hardly walk -needless to say, my spindling skills have come on no end. My wheel herd is now up to 3 with the addition of a lovely oak timbertops thurmaston and a poorly sick David Bryant shetland wheel which came to me broken but still lovely- she’s still in the sick bay until I can manage the repair work and get Mr B to make me a new flyer rod.

Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, things are settling down, I’ve been creating for the shop, and DH has agreed to be my postroom operative and sticker on of labels, which is quite amazing really – he seems to have finally come around to the idea that what I do is a proper job. watch this space for an update very soon.

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Yarrrnnnnn!!

I thought I’d show some recent additions to my ever expanding stash> First up we have a couple of handspun things, the first is spun from a superwash merino I got from the lovely Gemma at KraftyKoala

Number 2 is spun by me from a very interesting blend of BFL and firestar, from Daniela at Feltstudio – it’s a bit underplyed, which I’ll have to sort out , Amy is begging me to make her something from it!

Next up are the 2 skeins I’ve dyed up specifically for the shawl samples – The top one is my own Phoebe lace, which is an alpaca/merino/nylon and the bottom is good old Ella sock -superwash British BFL and lovely with it. Now the kids are back at school, I’m going to be getting my stores refurbished and stocked, and try to get a website sorted out which will make life easier for me.

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Charting FTW!

I’ve just spent 2 afternoons up to my neck in excel, sorting out the charts for the shawl that shall not be named (yet). I keep seeing little boxes in front of my eyes, and now have a new and entirely unexpected respect for people who work with little boxes for a living. I also have a scary knowledge of the keyboard map for aire river.

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Works in progress

As I said above, I’m working on evicting the shawl design that’s in my head, and I thought I’d show a bit of the process as it happens (sort of)

This is a collection of swatches I did while trying to work out what the design in my head wanted – The ones that didn’t make it are going into the ‘it’ll be useful one day’ file

This is my first attempt to put the various patterns together – it all went a bit Pete TongĀ  halfway up, so I’ve had to do some more tweaking, which does seem to be coming out ok – fingers crossed!

After I’ve made myself a swatch with all the patterns transitioning correctly, the next thing will be to make sure it works as a triangle, dye the yarn and get the whole thing knitted – that’s when I’ll know if it’s a thing of beauty or not

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mmmalabrigo

I got a parcel!! I was expecting it, but it’s still a thrill opening up a big padded envelope and finding this


It’s a gift for making a Traveling Woman for mum’s friend in Vancouver, who kindly invited her over for a holiday, Never have yarn shops been googled so enthusiastically. Luckily, Mum’s friend lives within staggering distance of Urban Yarn’s Edgemont store.

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Where to start??

MMM a nice clean shiny new blog. I’ll begin by giving a quick rundown of what’s going on ATM.
I’m on a bit of a hiatus from dyeing,my health is not that great at the moment, my fibromyalgia isn’t letting me get strong enough to avoid the injuries that hypermobility brings, despite all the physio I’ve been having – it looks like I’ll just have to battle on and enlist help to do the lifting and carrying :(
I’m working on a shawl design that’s nearing the first test knit stage -I just need to make sure the maths works. It sprang fully formed into my head and demanded to be given life, so that’s what I’m trying to do, with much encouragement from Mawelucky (Jane Araunjo)
Apart from that, I seem to be caught up in a lace knitting frenzy, which is very odd, my speciality has always been Fairisle and Aran, but lately I’m gravitating towards more cerebral things.
Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures soon of the work in progress – I’ve a feeling I’ll be very proud of it, hopefully it won’t be the last design that jumps out and demands my attention (what am I talking about, I’ve a pinboard full of swatches that weren’t what I needed, but are too interesting to frog)

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