Friday, 12 August 2022

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 95

This week's prize is exploding with colour! The prize includes 10 balls of Yarnsmiths Create yarn which is a new yarn made by the Wool Warehouse. It comes in a wide range of colours and feels really soft. I think it will make beautiful cosy blankets. To go with this, there is a copy of the book '200 Crochet Stitches' by Sarah Hazell. I discovered that I had somehow acquired two copies of it when I was tidying up my craftroom recently. It is a wonderful reference book and you could quite easily design your own blanket by picking some different stitches. Also included are a 4mm crochet hook, a yarny postcard, fridge magnet and sticker.







Here's a reminder of what you need to do if you'd like to enter this week's raffle! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 14th August, closing at 23:45. To enter, go to my JustGiving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support.  Myositis is a rare disease and that means that there isn't as much research done to help find better treatment and ultimately a cure. Every single donation is important. Last week my fundraising passed £29,000 which is just amazing! Thank you and stay safe! xxx


PS It's Granny Square Day on Monday 15th August and I am having a special raffle on that day to celebrate. Check back on Monday for ALL the details!

Friday, 5 August 2022

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 94

I've got out of the habit of writing these prize preview posts - I'd quite forgotten how quickly they come round each week! I've got another super prize for you. The prize includes a zipped project bag with a fun cat print and a lampwork glass bead on the zipper pull, a set of pretty miniskeins which have been donated by Ruth aka The Dotty Wool Co (thank you so much Ruth for your lovely donation!), a skein of alpaca and soy yarn dyed in beautiful shades of purple, a sumptuous cake of silk yarn, a skein of Madeline Tosh Prairie yarn which has gorgeous tones in it (and was hard to capture this in the photo!), a yarny postcard and a fridge magnet.











It's been a while, so here's a reminder of what you need to do if you'd like to enter this week's raffle! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 7th August, closing at 23:45. To enter, go to my JustGiving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support.  Myositis is a rare disease and that means that there isn't as much research done to help find better treatment and ultimately a cure. Every single donation is important. This week my fundraising should pass £29,000 which is just amazing! Thank you and stay safe! xxx

Sunday, 31 July 2022

Getting back in the spin of things

I think I mentioned a while ago that when I was tidying up my craft room, I came across a box with some hand spun yarn in it. It made me want to start spinning again, so with the Tour de Fleece due to start at the beginning of July, this was the perfect opportunity to get back into the habit of daily spinning. I looked through my fibre stash and pulled out a few braids that looked likely candidates to go well together. In my mind, I am picturing a Shifty sweater by Andrea Mowry (Ravelry link) as I think it would show off hand spun yarn pretty well.




I haven't managed to spin every day throughout July. but I am pleased with what I've done so far and it's rekindled my love of spinning. Flo can be a bit of a pest as she likes sitting on my lap while I'm spinning and then likes to nudge her head against my hands! Once I've finished spinning the third braid of fluff, I'll need to do some plying so that I can free up some bobbins for more spinning. Originally I planned to Navajo-ply the yarn to keep the colour changes together, but I saw some hand spun yarn on Instagram this week which had been plied with a strand of Rowan Kid Silk Haze to create a fluffy yarn and that looked stunning. I don't have any Kid Silk Haze in my stash so will have a ponder while I'm spinning and let you know what I decided in the end. The trend for fluffy yarns seems as popular as ever. Do you like fluffy yarns? xxx








Friday, 29 July 2022

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 93

 I thought it would be fun to have a few more yarn raffles over the summer so am planning on holding one every Sunday for the next few weeks. I've had a few prizes donated and the other prizes are from my stash. This week's prize includes a copy of the book '200 Knitted Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans'. It's a brilliant book full of ideas if you fancy creating your very own blanket design. There are 10 balls of Stylecraft Special DK yarn to get you started as well as a pair of Knit Pro 4mm knitting needles. As well as that, the prize also includes a mahoosive bucket bag in a cute kitty print that will hold all 10 balls of yarn and a yarny postcard and pin badge. As usual, the raffle is  open to everyone, regardless of where you live.








It's been a while, so here's a reminder of what you need to do if you'd like to enter this week's raffle! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 31st July, closing at 23:45. To enter, go to my JustGiving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your email address with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. This is really important as I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise. Each week, I still get donations where no name or email is left, so if that person's number comes up in the random number generator, I have no idea who it is! All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support.  Myositis is a rare disease and that means that there isn't as much research done to help find better treatment and ultimately a cure. Every single donation is important. My fundraising total is currently £28,724 and it would be great to pass £29,000! Thank you and stay safe! xxx

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Long time, no see!

I'm sorry that it's been a while since my last blog post. I had my fifth Covid vaccine and despite my new treatment, it caused my myositis to flare up again. I've had very little energy, muscle aches and pains and have been sleeping most afternoons. I had my final week of infusions in my six month trial of IVIg and had my daily battle with the cannula. I've also seen my local rheumatology consultant as well as my consultant down at King's College hospital; despite my recent flare, they are generally very happy with how the infusions have helped to start bring my disease under control and have applied for funding for more infusions. This has been approved by the first panel, with the proviso that an additional immunosuppressant, Abatacept, is also introduced to try to enable my infusions of IVIg to be spaced further apart. I will have to give myself a weekly injection of Abatacept and have already had pre-treatment blood tests and chest X-ray done. I hope that the treatment will be approved by the second panel in time to have my next round of infusions in a couple of weeks. Please cross your fingers and toes for me! 




I haven't had much enthusiasm for knitting, but when I have, it's been socks that I've picked up. I have four single socks each looking for their partner, so that will be my goal for the rest of the month. They are all plain vanilla socks so I don't have to think too hard!




I did knit another pair of socks for my rheumatology team; it seems that everyone wants socks! I love knitting them and they are so much appreciated. It's something I can do to say thank you. In all my encounters with NHS staff (and there have been a LOT), I have always been treated with such kindness and compassion. We are incredibly lucky to have the NHS and I really hope that much more funding is given as well as pay rises that reflect all that they do.




I have also started spinning a little. You might remember from a previous post that I was looking forward to the start of the Tour de Fleece. I haven't managed to spin every day but I will share what I have done so far in another blog post. I shall definitely be carrying on with the spinning once the Tour is over - I had forgotten quite how relaxing it is! It's a short and sweet post today. I'll leave you with a photo of Flo who was delighted to have a new box to sit in today. She finds them irresistible! xxx



Saturday, 25 June 2022

Time for a catch up!

Goodness, I hadn't realised quite how long it's been since my last post! It takes me about a week to recover from my week of infusions, and I also had my 5th Covid vaccination which left me needing afternoon naps all last week. But here I am, better late than never, to share what I've been up to since my last post. 

My week of infusions went pretty well and I managed to keep a cannula in for FOUR WHOLE DAYS! Plus it was positioned in the back of my hand so I was able to knit too! So I was pretty happy as you can probably imagine. Rather than socks, I was knitting on a new cast on - the Bubbly sweater by Isabell Kraemer (Ravelry link) - and having got past the colourwork, it was easy knitting on the body so I could listen to an audiobook too. I do like Isabell Kraemer's designs very much and have a few in my Ravelry library. She often has some colourwork in her designs and I thought that this jumper would be the perfect introduction to colourwork for me. I managed to knit using both hands to hold the yarn which meant that I wasn't having to drop and pick up the yarns, and there was no tangling either. I'm using some Rowan Felted Tweed that was in my stash, bought quite a while ago in a John Lewis sale. I'm already planning my next colourwork jumper as I really enjoyed that part of the knitting. And of course, Flo has already tested it out and deems it snuggleworthy!







I also knitted a couple more pairs of socks for my Rheumatology team and they were very well received. The first pair were knit using a West Yorkshire Spinners Christmas yarn, Candy Cane, and the second used an Opal yarn in the Schafpate range. I must start thinking about what to make for Christmas gifts - perhaps I'll make a mixture of hats, mitts, cowls and socks so that they can choose. What do you think?





Talking of socks, a pattern that I designed for Stylecraft a few years ago, Tiptoe, has just been reknitted in one of the colourways in a relatively new range of sock yarn from Stylecraft and can be found in the latest edition of Simply Knitting magazine. The yarn is Head over Heels 'Colours of the World' and has been created by Stylecraft's newest Blogstar, Stuart Hillard. You might recognise Stuart if you are a fan of The Great British Sewing Bee as he was in the very first series. He seems like he is full of fun so I am very much looking forward to meeting him at one of our Blogstar meetups. The last photo shows how the socks look in a less busy yarn and you can see the little rows of tulips very easily. This pair were knitted in another Head over Heels yarn from the All Stars range (now discontinued) in the Woldgate colourway which I created.






I have started to tidy up my craft room as it has become a bit of a dumping ground over the last few months and came across a box of my hand spun yarn. I was actually fairly impressed with the skeins as they looked a lot better than I remembered them to be! It's made me want to use them and also to start spinning again. It would also be good physiotherapy for me with all that treadling!




I dusted off my spinning wheel this week and gave it an oil. It won't come as any surprise to you that Flo took an interest straight away! For some reason, she loves sitting on my lap while I'm spinning, despite the fact that it must be quite uncomfortable as my legs are moving up and down all the time. Perhaps it's the cat equivalent of a rollercoaster and Flo is a secret thrill-seeker! She plonked herself on the chair before I even had a chance to sit down! I am practising with some undyed fibre at the moment, just to get back into the swing of things. But I was reminded by someone on Instagram that the Tour de France, and therefore the Tour de Fleece, starts on July 1st, so I'm very tempted to go rummaging through my box(es) of fibre to select some pretties so that I can join in. When I've taken part before, my spinning has come on in leaps and bounds so I think that it would be a really great thing to do. Not sure if I'll be able to spin with a cannula in but I'll give it a try! The Shifty jumper by Andrea Mowry (Ravelry link)  would be fun to knit using handspun yarn don't you think? 






I'll be sock knitting this week as I have to go down to London to see my consultants so need a portable project. I'm hoping that all my test results will show that I've made enough progress for them to apply for more IVIg infusions or for it to become my permanent treatment. That will need approval from various panels so I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait to find out. Fingers crossed that there won't be any delays! xxx

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Socks inspired by van Gogh




I discovered a range of sock yarn from Opal that has been inspired by some of the artwork of Vincent van Gogh. My friend's son, who is taking Art for one of his GCSEs, loves van Gogh's work and has a poster of his favourite - Cafe Terrace at Night - on his bedroom wall. I was intrigued by the yarn and bought two balls - one of his favourite and the other Sunflowers - they really are so clever how they create these, aren't they?


Picture from Google

Plain vanilla socks were the obvious choice as the yarn was doing all the hard work. It's the first time I've knitted such large socks - size 11 feet! But I managed to get a pair out of one ball without the need for contrast cuff/heel/toe and still have some left over for a scrappy pair. 




Flo's tail is pointing out the socks! She is such a helpful girl! The socks were very well received by my friend's son and he has worn them loads! It's lovely when your knitted gifts are appreciated isn't it? xxx