Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
FL went to the hospital on his own, and it worked out fine. He didn't even have to wait long for his infusion.
- he did get a ticket for parking illegally in a staff space (for a full ten minutes!)
- he did met his ex-wife in the chemist on the way there
Absolutely typical. He hasn't bumped into her for many many months and it had to be on the one day I was not escorting him to an appointment. Clearly the "new model" is a flighty young woman who doesn't look after him properly. Sigh. However, it amused me greatly that she advised him to take a bus to the hospital, rather than drive!
This would involve driving to the nearest town (15 minutes), waiting for a bus (up to half an hour), taking said bus all the way to the hospital (one and a half hours) and then walking across the hospital - the bus stop is at the opposite end of the "campus" from Haematology. And reverse the process to get home. It would take all day! Even thinking about it wears me out.
Ach sod it - who cares what she thinks anyway!
So he was quite cheerful last night. Lots of news about his children in Australia via the ex-wife. I wish they would ring him or write, but I suppose you can't have everything.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The pattern is written in German, but an experienced sock knitter should be able to work it out using the charts. I used Wendy’s toe-up instructions from “Socks From the Toe Up” (e.g. Trilobite) and her short row heel (e.g. the Dead Simple Lace Socks). The original is knitted from the bottom of the bird chart, up the foot, turn the heel and on to the leg, with the toe only added at the end. This method would allow you to adjust the fit, but I found the foot length to be just right for my UK size 4 foot (US 6, European 37).
Mad Budgie socks aka Nordisch Inspiriert from “Socken Aus Aller Welt” by Stephanie Van Der Linden. I used 2.5mm dpns and Curious Yarns sock yarn (no longer available) in Sprung and Neptune. There is still a sizeable ball of Sprung left over (the yellow/green) – maybe even enough for a whole pair of socks. I liked the colours but the texture was nothing special – bog standard wool/ nylon mix.
I am not too keen on this shape of heel, as it feels a bit inflexible at the instep, witnessed by the "roll" at my ankle in some of these pictures. And the picot top edge has a tendency to stick out from the leg. Plus, they are a bit shorter than I prefer, despite adding an extra row of checks.
However… I really like the checkerboard pattern on the cuff and sole – possibly even more than the birds themselves. The use of two colours woven together on the underside makes for a really sturdy fabric, so they ought to wear well.
Conclusion? A fun pair of socks which I will enjoy wearing. Would I knit this pattern again? Not on your nelly! Not unless I learn to knit two colours in a less cack-handed style.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Also prescribed Dexamethasone (steroids), Acyclovir (anti-viral drug) and Omeprazole (to protect his stomach from the other drugs).
I drove him there and knitted in the waiting room. One other knitter today - knitting a scarf out of a ball of pom poms. I completed 5 inches of CPH hoodie cuff before realising I had cast on the wrong number of stitches.
Now at home, keeping an eye on him while I type up minutes from work.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I used Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn in Wild Raspberry. Yummy yarn with a touch of mohair in it.
Success? Well it suits someone!
Friday, October 16, 2009
But it sent me off on one of those Google excursions – I am sure you know the kind – trying to find out Where They Are Now. Men are usually easy – but girls can be tricky, what with name changes and staying-at-home-with-the-kids. So I was delighted to trace a high percentage of “friends” from University. (Not from school - it wasn't a good time.) I even “friended” a couple of people at FriendsReunited… before having a severe attack of Cold Feet when I realised I had absolutely nothing to say to them.
Here’s the thing: I spent two out of my three years at University missing FL. I lived in a series of shared houses with total strangers, who remained total strangers because I was always in the library, in the theatre, or writing love letters to FL under the duvet. Because FL stayed in our home town when I went to University and I missed him. "Missing FL" was my full-time occupation. What a waste of an opportunity! It was only in my third year that I came out of hiding and started talking to my fellow students, after FL and I broke up.
So when I found out that a girl I knew back then had written a novel, I had to read it. Because she was a girl I was almost-friends with. We almost shared a flat. But she moved in with her boyfriend instead. And they are still together - hooray! Her novel is about the baby they lost, oh, 13 years later, in a totally different lifetime. But scattered through the book are common points of reference that make me realise we should have been friends back then. That we had an awful lot in common. I went back through my photos of the early 1980's and she and her husband-to-be are usually there. And yet I hardly knew her. So to find out that her lost baby was called Saul, Sauley, when mine was Sorley... gulp. But that’s the least of it. Her book was made into a TV drama . And I remember being too scared to watch it, knowing it would upset me. Not realising I knew the screenwriter!
So... I read her book and I cried. It’s beautifully written. Oh my, it is such a powerful book! The narrator is baby Saul, who was born prematurely, weighing 1 pound and 4 ounces. And it had me in tears almost from the first page. All sorts of tears - happy tears, angry tears, and a fair percentage of sad ones. But it is not just a weep-fest: his is a startling view of the world, in which the boundaries between real life and the life of the imagination are blurred, but the sensations needle-sharp. The experience of snow in Glencoe. The sounds of "home". What it is like to breathe for the first time.
So here we all are, more than twenty-five years later. Rosie and Tim are still together. FL and I are back together. But I won’t be getting in touch with them. What would be the point? "Hello - you probably don't remember me, but now that you are a published author I thought we could be friends...?" Err... no, I don't think so.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It is fabulous - absolutely “me” as you thought, even if I never usually wear white. I have half a plan to over-dye it… or get invited to lots of weddings!
But anyway - wow! As my family will testify, I have going around saying “that’s amazing!” since I opened the package.
FL says I am not allowed to wear it outside his company, in case someone else wants to ring my bell - ooh err! So… um… thank you!
I will make a donation to p-hop as a “passing it on” type thing. And embarrass you on my blog sometime soon!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
A fun top-down pattern with spiralling increases which eventually became second-nature for lazy late-night knitting. Begun on Sunday, finished on Tuesday. The process was fun!
But when it comes to the finished garment, it's not quite right for me.
It is a pixie rasta hat - so you have a baggy bit for hair-stuffing, and a cute and crazy, pointy twisty bit on top. It ought to be my ideal hat! But the pointy baggy bit is too far up to accommodate my usual nape-of-the neck bun. It is actually quite tight at the point where my hair would usually be. I reckon it would be ideal for someone with fairly short dreads or hair that just about scrapes into a tiny high pony-tail... or indeed short hair. Waist-length hair? Not so good.
So it might be a gift for the teen cousin.
Sloochie by Woolly Wormhead. Size Large, which is written with 4 inches of negative ease so only measures 18 inches at the brim - be warned! Best knitted in a drapey yarn. Maybe using bigger needles would have improved mine.
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy (now available from Stash yarns in the UK), colourway "Black Parade". A firm worsted-weight superwash merino which I would use again, but not for this pattern. Plenty of yardage - I think I have enough left for a pair of Fetching mitts, making a single skein better value than it first appeared.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Over the last week, I turned to my CPH for solace and completed the back and two fronts. I am only part-way through my third ball of wool so should have plenty to complete the sleeves, hood and bands. (I have 8 balls.)
Friday, October 02, 2009
In the midst of all this, it is probably the busiest week of the year at my workplace, so I have been juggling like crazy to meet deadlines while caring for FL. I am really rather tired!
Hopefully, FL is over the worst of this episode. Now we have to gear ourselves up for the next one - the planned one - Velcade from 19 October onwards.
Gabrielle - you asked if they couldn't bring forward the start of Velcade, if his calcium is creeping up? If it hadn't been for the pneumonia, they might have done. But right now his depleted immune system has enough to contend with, fighting off the lung infection. He doesn't have the necessary reserves to cope with Velcade too!
So - this weekend I hope to do "normal" things - walk the dog, taxi the kids around, clean the house, KNIT!
I should have some knitty goodness to show you - I have almost finished the fronts and back of my Central Park Hoodie.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
He went to bed with the portable TV and Man. Utd. versus whoever-it-was and only got up again at 10pm, when I was ready to sleep. We had a difficult night of tossing and turning and coughing and muttering.
So it was actually quite a surprise when this morning the GP confirmed that FL is on the mend. His lungs are greatly improved (99% oxygen on their funny little finger-pincer-device). The GP had a letter from the hospital on file, dated 17 September. It gave FL's blood-test results from his appointment that day, noting that his Calcium level is rising. It is still only 2.6, but this indicates that his cancer is gaining pace and depositing calcium into his blood, and therefore threatening the function of his vital organs, most especially his kidneys. The GP made an appointment for FL to have another blood test next week to check whether this week's illness has further-affected his calcium levels.
The rollercoaster is starting to rattle its way down the slope, faster and faster. No chance of delaying Velcade again. In fact, we now have to hope he is well enough for the treatment in two/three weeks' time or... or I don't know what, to be honest with you.
So the GP smiles kindly at him and says "And I hear you were feeling a bit down. What was that about?" And FL blinks at him and says "Well I was ready to go. There's no point in this, is there?" "Are you still feeling that way?" Silence. "I'm not suicidal, if that's what you mean". "So we don't need to do anything about your depression just now then?" "No, no, no"- laughing, coughing.
So there you have it.