Friday, 25 February 2022

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 91 for Rare Disease Day 2022

It's Rare Disease Day next Monday 28th February, so I have decided to hold a raffle in aid of Myositis UK this coming Sunday. There will be four prizes and all of the things included in the prizes have either come from my stash, been made by me or bought by me. Each prize includes a zipped project bag with a coordinated lining and lampwork bead on the zipper pull, three or four skeins of yarn - mostly 4ply, but one prize has DK and chunky yarn instead, a pin badge, a postcard and a set of stitch markers. If you'd like to know anything more about any of the yarns, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you. I've tried to put yarns that I think go well together in one prize and matched the project bag and stitch markers too!

I'm sure that you know the score by now, but I'll tell you how to enter anyway! 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 27th February, 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 £27,548 and it would be great to get closer to £28,000! Thank you and stay safe! xxx

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Sock progress

Things have been going pretty well with my sock knitting for all the rheumatology nurses. I have knitted one sock from three pairs, started a fourth pair and also am over half way through a pair of mitts. I had planned to start knitting the partner socks for the individual socks that I'd knitted, but was seduced by a new Head over Heels sock yarn range from Stylecraft. It's one of the new colours in the 'Colours of the World' range which has been created in collaboration with Stuart Hillard, who was a contestant in the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee. You can see all the colours here and they should be available to buy from your local yarn shop now. I MUST get the partner socks cast on soon or I won't have a finished pair to take with me when I'm back at the hospital the week after next! I will report back after the weekend to let you know how it's going! xxx


Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Sock goals

Question: How many pairs of socks is it possible to knit in three weeks? I ask because I am on a mission to knit socks for the rheumatology nurses. While I was having my first round of infusions last week, my socks were much admired and the nurses all popped in to see which socks I was wearing each day. My consultant also stopped by wearing one of the pairs of socks that I'd knit for her and that started the sock yarn ball rolling! The nurses were a teensy bit jealous of my consultant's socks, especially as she must have told them just how cosy and comfortable they are. So all the nurses would like a pair! 

 This is how my week looked from a sock knitting point of view...

*** Monday ***
No knitting possible after many cannula issues

*** Tuesday ***
New cannula in knitting-friendly position

*** Wednesday ***
Well-behaved cannula remained in place overnight

*** Thursday ***
New cannula but knitting still possible

*** Friday **
The cannula gods are still smiling on me!

I didn't manage to do any knitting at all over the weekend as I was quite unwell after all the infusions; a pounding headache that painkillers couldn't relieve, nausea and a completely new level of tiredness. I think that a lot of these side effects can be reduced by slowing down the rate of the infusions, so I will definitely be asking for that next time. I'm feeling a lot more like my normal self now thank goodness and have managed to finish this pair of socks. They are destined for my consultant - I think that they will be her fourth pair. They're knitted with an Opal sock yarn which is a great yarn for any sock gifts as it washes so well.

I've been stash diving and have dug out several balls of Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn which is also a great yarn for sock gifts. How many balls do you think I will be able to knit into socks before my next week of infusions? I expect I'm being overly optimistic in thinking I can knit 6 pairs of socks! It's already Wednesday and I've not yet started the first pair. How long does it take you to knit a pair of socks? I'm interested to know. In the meantime, if you want me, I'll be here, knitting away - just look out for the smoke coming from my needles! xxx

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

On a roll with sock knitting

The socks have been flying off my needles in the last few days. There is something very motivating about knitting with self striping yarn or commercial patterned sock yarn, as there is always the temptation to knit 'just one more stripe' or pattern block. The striped pair are what I called my New Year socks. I knitted one stripe a day throughout January and then added an afterthought heel to them. The yarn is from The Dotty Wool Co and came as two 50g balls so you can knit identical socks. I love the combination of colours and my feet are very happy wearing them! The second pair have been knit using an Opal yarn, one of my favourite commercial sock yarns. They look a little bit like they are impersonating Norah Batty in the photo but I assure you that they do fit very well!

I had hoped that I'd be able to churn out another pair of socks this week while I am having my first cycle of IVIg at the hospital each day. I'm hooked up to a drip for several hours and depending on where the cannula goes, I can sometimes knit. Unfortunately my veins weren't playing nicely and it took 5 attempts to get the cannula in and I was given strict instructions not to move my arm! They are already making noises about putting a port in which would relieve all the stress of trying to find a vein, and I will definitely go ahead with it if it's offered. The cannula has been left in overnight in the hope that it will still work today, but as it's in the crook of my elbow and I've been bending and straightening my arm, I'm not feeling that optimistic. I'll find out soon enough when I head to the Rheumatology Day Unit.

Here are two of the bottles of my 'liquid gold'. I am having 35g of immunoglobulins each day. It costs thousands of pounds for each treatment which is why doctors have to justify its use to a panel to get approval. Basically you have to have failed at pretty much every other treatment option before you get the chance to try it. So I am crossing my fingers and my toes that this treatment is going to work for me. If you have ever given blood, thank you; immunoglobulin uses blood donations from thousands of people and the antibodies are extracted for infusion.

I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers and some chocolates last week as a thank you for my fundraising for Myositis UK. They are my absolute favourite type of flowers and they have been bringing me a great deal of pleasure looking at them. Hope you have some little things giving you pleasure this week too. xxx