Saturday, 23 January 2016

Brainful Knitting

My creative mojo has still not returned but at least I am managing to do a bit of knitting, and some Zentangle drawing which is better than nothing! Recently I have been rather preoccupied waiting for my hubby’s colonoscopy and the result (which is good – just a little diverticular disease and nothing life-threatening thank goodness!) and as has been proved at various times during the past year, if I am feeling uncertain and preoccupied, the first thing to go is my creative mojo!

Having been working on my brainless knitting for a while now (a multi-coloured scarf that I can pick up and work on without really thinking about it), I elt I wanted a bit more of a challenge and decided to start a project that’s been waiting in the wings since before we moved house two years ago.

Many years ago I made this tunic top:

Yellow and Purple Tunic Top

but I was never very happy with it – the neck didn’t sit right and was too lumpy, for one thing, and also since I gained weight it became too tight. (The lighting in the above picture isn’t brilliant so the colours don’t look quite rigjt.)I decided to unravel it and knit it again in a different format but retaining the pattern:

Yellow and Purple Knitting 1

Yellow and Purple Knitting 2

which is based on a Kaffe Fassett design. You make up two large balls of yarn, made of many different shades, and knit a basic “two colour” pattern with this home-made variegated yarn, and a random effect is generated. I have done this on a number of occasions and it is fun and easy to do.

Over the period of our house move I unravelled and re-knitted a dress which had also become too small for me. This was the result.

21 Finished Jumper

My plan is to make a jumper in a similar shape and design. I haven’t yet decided on the pattern but may use the purple spots on the yellow background for the main body, and reverse it so that I get yellow spots on a purple background for the sleeves, or possibly work the spots with the yellow yarn against a darker purple background. I shall knit up a couple of tension swatches using both alternatives and see how they look together, and if I don’t like it, I will have to think again.

The reason why I am contemplating starting this project while the brainless knitting is still in progress is that I want to have something more challenging to work on. The brainless knitting is relatively small and simple to work on at times when I don’t have to concentrate on it, such as if we are visiting family or if I have an idle moment while out and about and I’m waiting for my hubby or something. The brainful knitting will be done when I can devote more of my attention to it. It will also eventually be too large to carry around with me conveniently.

I want to be doing something while on the recliner watching TV but at the moment don’t feel up to doing embroidery. The peripheral neuropathy in my fingers has not improved and I don’t relish pulling a needle through quite tough fabric which is what I am having to do while working on the embroidered pieces for the bed drapes I am working on. Knitting is a more gentle activity!

Today I started taking the tunic top apart and it is proving quite an ordeal! I have finished it off far too well (haha) and it is very hard to find the ends. I’ve got the pieces taken apart now and am struggling to begin unravelling the knitting itself. Once I get started properly, it should get easier.

The first step in remaking it will be to knit up a tension swatch to determine the number of stitches per inch, and then to design the graph pattern. The one from the knitted dress is a bit too big (I like it like that because it’s long and baggy) but I want this one to be a better fit. I need to decide on any borders etc. that I want to do, as well.

I just hope this one doesn’t take me two years to make!

Kitty Health Update

Phoebe, our younger cat (aged 12) has always enjoyed robust health to say the least. A few weeks ago she had a seizure which came as a huge shock. We took her to the vet who told us to monitor her for now, and if she had any further fits, to let her know. On Thursday night she did have another, and a more prolonged one this time. She took longer to recover, as well. We took her to the vet last evening and she is putting her on phenobarbital – we collect her first prescription tomorrow. We’ve got to take her back in 4 weeks and monitor her in the meantime. She will need further blood tests to ensure she is receiving a therapeutic dose but not too much, and to check that her liver isn’t being affected, and we have to look out for signs of ataxia, sedation (that’s funny – both kitties spend an inordinate time asleep anyway!) and impaired liver function (signs of jaundice – not easy to spot as her mouth is very dark inside, but the vet suggested looking inside her ears where the skin is paler). Poor little Phoebe.


  1. Both those patterns look extremely complicated to me - I'm afraid, the only type of knitting I ever stand a chance to master would be the brainless one, LOL! It sounds like a big project to unravel that tunic and turn it into something else - on the other hand, it's very symbolic of renewal, transformation, and rebirth! Not to mention a great way to recycle your stuff. Hope Phoebe is gonna be OK! Those seizures sound a bit worrying, but at least she got some medication. Fingers crossed it doesn't happen again! Have a lovely Sunday, Shoshi.

  2. Good luck with taking your wonderfully-knitted sweater apart! I sure hope Phoebe will be OK. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your landscaping, too. What a project!

  3. Oh you must have spent ages knitting those two tunics. But if they are not satisfactory and you don't wear them then they get unraveled. The yarn is beautiful and I'm looking forward to what you will make with it. I'm watching this space as they say.
    Poor Phoebe. I hope the Phenobarb' does the trick. Interesting to see that the vet does what a (human) doctor would do and monitor the liver functions and make sure she has a therapeutic dose. I hope she gets well soon.
    I'm off to my church house group now,
    Have a good week,

  4. Fab jumpers hun, knitting can be very relaxing, I've just discovered crochet during the last couple of years, really love how quickly it grows, I have made Perrie a few knitted and crochet jumpers and cardigans and lots of crochet animal and toys. I found a fab pattern for knitted bears in eyelash yarn and have made quite a few of these, I will have to put a few photos on my blog.
    Glad you have been given the all clear its been a hard couple of years, now you both enjoy your time together have fun.
    Old age comes to use all even the cat, hope these seizures don't come to often its hard to see and you start wondering if there are suffering

  5. I would say knitting is relaxing but not sure I could stand all that unravelling though. Hope your Kitty is okay. Angela xXx


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