21 November 2008

Back to my 'normal' self

Those readers who have been visiting me here for a while will know that my aunty Joy died in early September. Joy was a big part of my life, she was my god-mother, as well as a much loved aunt and my mum's only sister. Sadly, Joy's son Stephen died yesterday. He'd been ill for a long time. RIP Stephen.

It was after I drove back from Joy's funeral that my knee got sore, and after that, two months of pain and feeling terrible followed. I'm really pleased to say that this week I'm back to my normal self and thankful to be able to do everything I was doing in the past. Pain is a horrible bedfellow, it steals your strength and passion from you. I am glad I left it behind me, but in a strange way I appreciate what I went through because it has made me genuinely appreciate the ability I have to do what I want and live as I do. I truly feel for all those who live with chronic pain and illness.

So this week has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I have my strength and drive back! I've been baking, cooking, knitting, making soap and writing up a storm. If you were reading here last summer you'd know I'm a bit of a cricket freak. Well, my friends, the cricket season started yesterday and with this in mind I decided to work till 2pm and then sit with my knitting in front of the TV.

After I finished my blog yesterday, I fed the animals and checked outside for storm damage. There was a lot of water but no damage and I stayed outside a while to watch the creek rush by. It was almost at flooding point on the other side but luckily for the horses that use that paddock, the water rushed out to the sea instead. Tricia phoned to tell me about Stephen and we talked a for short while. Breakfast was tea and toast with organic honey that's starting to harden. When Hanno finished his breakfast, I cleaned the kitchen, made some bread, got that on the rise and then made a chocolate sour cream cake.

Morning tea was taken on the verandah where Alice was quite distressed by the March flies hanging around so we came back inside and I started working on my book. I had a few phone calls about a meeting I'm organising about homeless kids at work next week, then back to the book for another hour and a break for lunch. After a quick sandwich, I checked the soap I made yesterday which is taking longer than usual to harden - I used a different recipe of rice bran, olive and coconut oils. Then back to the book for another hour, but before I went to my reward of cricket and knitting, I phoned my uncle (Stephen's father) and my cousin, Susie, Stephen's sister.

It was a busy, productive morning and a slower paced afternoon. I finished the lilac mitten I showed in yesterday's post and started the second one. Dinner was leftovers so it only had to be heated. It's good to be back. :- )

And for those of you who wanted the pattern for the red mittens, here it is. It's really just a rectangular piece of knitting that is sewn along the side, leaving a space for the thumb.

You start at the wrist and work up to the fingers. Leave a long tail of yarn when you cast on because that is what you'll use to sew up the side. In the photo below is the mitten I finished knitting yesterday. Note the yarn tails, one at the top and one at the bottom - these are for sewing the mitten together.

Remember to measure this on your hand, or the hand of the person who'll wear it, so you have a good fit. If you have to enlarge or reduce the size, do it in increments of 4 stitches. I started off with 40 stitches - to enlarge it I would have cast on 44 or 48 stitches, to reduce the size I would have cast on 36 or 32 stitches.

Cast on 40 stitches (or according to the size you need)
Knit in rib stitch for about 5 cm (2 inches). Rib stitch is: knit two, purl two and repeat till the end of the row.

When you have a suitable length to cover the wrist - you can do it longer if you wish - start stocking stitch. Here is a guide. Knit stocking stitch for about 10.5cm (4 inches). Measure on your hand to make sure it is long enough, if it isn't, keep knitting.

Finish off with 2.5cm (1 inch) of rib stitch and cast off. Make sure you have your top yarn tail on the same side as the bottom tail.

You'll then have a rectangle or a square. Using a large eye sewing needle, thread your yarn tail into the sewing needle and starting at the wrist, sew the sides together. measure it on your hand again so you know where the thumb hole will be and end with a few reinforcing stitches under the thumb hole. Now, from the top end, thread your sewing needle again with the top yarn tail and sew from the fingers down to the the top of the thumb hole, again ending with a few reinforcing stitches. You'll end up with a mitten with a hole for the thumb.

And that's it! Simple, isn't it. Have a great day.

Blogger Template by pipdig