Monday, 27 July 2009

Monday evening

We've been out on the boat for the day with some friends, which was wonderful but extremely exhausting. I still can't walk any distance at all, and I can't stand for long, either. So today I sat and enjoyed the sunshine and let everyone else do the work. It was just so nice to be out!

I did have a post-op checkup at the hospital last week - the four weeks has gone so quickly! - and it was very good to hear that everything is going along as it should. I was, however, rather surprised to be told that now, ideally, I should have another two months of rest. After all the previous surgeries, I've been advised to try to get back to my normal level of activity as soon as possible. I've been given exercises to do, and told not to regard myself as an invalid - bearing in mind not to do any heavy lifting for 'a few weeks' - but other than that, just to get on with life.

This time round - not at all. The consultant has pointed out to me, very clearly, that this time it has to be different, and that following the previous 'advice' is what got me into this mess in the first place. This time the focus has to be on healing properly, and getting back to normal will have to wait. He wants me to take things extremely quietly for two more months, and then there will be another review.

I'm not really arguing. At the moment, everything is fine, and I'd very much like it to stay that way. I'd also very much like to be able to go for a walk, but in truth I don't want to jeopardise things.

So, more knitting.

When all else fails, I knit socks.

Here is the third Blue Moon sock this year - the yarn is Socks That Rock lightweight, in a colour called Pepe La Plume. The pattern is by JC Briar - Fraggle Squiggle Socks. I know this is a reference to children's television programme called Fraggle Rock, which I can just about remember - and I don't know where Pepe comes into it at all, not that it matters.

Anyway. I am always a bit doubtful about the combination of a busy pattern and a busy yarn - and there really is too much going on here, I think. However the Blue Moon Sock Club - for me, at least - is about stepping outside my comfort zone, about trying things that I normally wouldn't consider. This particular combination is definitely outside my comfort zone, but I am still enjoying the knitting. It is a nice easy four row repeat, and it's moving along quite fast.

Something else, also outside the comfort zone - I have been experimenting with dyeing.

I started with some skeins of Blue Faced Leicester, originally from Fleece Artist, which I had spun and plyed quite a while ago. This was a huge disappointment to me, because it ended up looking really rather unpleasant - a nasty mix of colours, mostly greens. Normally I like greens, and I'd have said that it would be quite difficult to end up with any combination of greens that looked unpleasant - well, believe me, this was truly ugly.

It had been sitting on the shelf in the workroom for ages, because I couldn't quite bring myself to throw it out, and equally couldn't face knitting with it. For a while I had been thinking vaguely of overdyeing it with something or other, and on Sunday I just went for it.

First I soaked it in warm water with vinegar, then I drained it and mixed up a dye bath with more warm water and vinegar. I used food colouring, because I didn't want to be dealing with anything toxic - a good bit of blue, and a bit of black as well, because I wanted a bit of depth. Yarn into the dye bath, cling film over the top of the bowl, microwave for five minutes. Allow to cool for a bit - zap it again for another five minutes.

By this time, the water in the bowl was pretty much clear, and the yarn was definitely looking to be shades of blue instead of shades of sickly green.

Rinse - rinse again with some fabric conditioner - spin - and air dry.

I must say, I'm really rather pleased with this. It's pretty.


Linda said...

Its lovely colours your dyeing. Don't forget to stay quiet though! The shawl is beautiful in the previous post too.

Anonymous said...

Just to say, yesterday used your method for shoulder shaping - worked beautifully - thanks for that clever tip Fiona! Love the shawl and mondo cable vest - have you seen that there is going to be a mondo pullover pattern out soon? Take care of yourself, regards, Terri