Good technique for darning socks neatly by Cookie A.
NB not yet tried it: link saved for future reference.
Good technique for darning socks neatly by Cookie A.
NB not yet tried it: link saved for future reference.
Interesting link including stretches to help with knitting or crocheting.
Bearing in mind my self-imposed extra rule that there should be no re-reads except in the re-read category.
Progress at the beginning of July: six complete, one under way, five to begin
Also-read, in no particular order
I did a complete re-read of all my Gail Carriger books and picked up more of them. I absolutely adore her fantasy world. Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless, Prudence, Etiquette and Espionage, Curtsies and Conspiracies, Waistcoats and Weaponry, Manners and Mutiny, The Curious Case of the Werewolf that wasn’t etc.
Another mammoth re-read: most of Diana Gabaldon’s output
Vulcan 607, an account of the longest range bombing mission ever, to the Falkland Islands. I heard a talk by the pilot of the mission and read the book over the next couple of days. An incredible story.
Three books by Gretchen Rubin that don’t really fit into any of the categories above: Happier at Home, The Happiness Project and Better than Before. The first two are all about what makes people happy and how to improve our happiness. The third book is about how people form habits. I really enjoyed these.
Finding a voice: A Lent course on The King’s Speech. This one was for work. Really interesting and provoked a lot of fascinating discussion.
I re-read The Nine Tailors and Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers.
The Hunger Games trilogy – heartbreaking dystopia – Also did another re-read of the Twilight series.
I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. It would have been better if it wasn’t plastered in reviews raving about the ‘unreliable narrator’. I would have preferred to work that out for myself.
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Yeuch. I couldn’t even remember whether it was a re-read or just so similar to his other books. From the library.
Tiny Stations by Dixe Wills. Quintessentially British travelogue. Rather like Bill Bryson, but without the sense of the outsider looking in. Loved it.
This article has put into words my sense of unease about the shortcomings of the Bullet Journal system: I don’t actually want all my notes in one place.
Love the metaphor of the accompanying mountain.
Remember the reading challenge I mentioned last month?
After a trip to the library this afternoon, I have completed one of the challenges.
A book you can read in a day – According to Yes by Dawn French, a very funny novel, with some of the best swearing I have read. It has something to say about families and how easy it is to become disfunctional.
I’m also continuing to rack up the re-reads, in the absence of knitting. I’m on the fourth installment of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series, having begun from the beginning.
My thumb has got worse again this week, so I’ll be back off to the doctor again soon. However, I’ve been doing a very small amount of practice at continental knitting, which doesn’t involve moving that thumb very much at all. I bought a very useful craftsy class that shows exactly how to hold the yarn and move the fingers.
I keep adding to the list of things I shouldn’t do because it aggravates the tendons. Today I added “clean stove”: a great excuse to avoid housework.
It feels like absolutely AGES since I last picked up the needles. I’ve been very good and tried to minimise any use of my right thumb – no sewing, knitting, spinning or crochet and minimal typing and writing. Every day I can feel that the healing is progressing more. Today I’ve hardly thought about resting it because I’ve had very few reminders of the tendonitis.
The day before I went to the doctor, I tried to open a screw-lid on a can of petrol to decant into the car. It was very tight and it aggravated the thumb to the worst pain it had been. I had to call DH to come and help me in the end.
After a couple of days of rest, I couldn’t feel any ill effects of typing so I could at least do my work. The handwriting took longer to be painless, so my great resolution of daily writing took a bit of a knock, but that is now back to normal. Yesterday I did a colouring page in my Mason-Dixon Knitter’s Colouring Book and only felt a little twinge.
This evening I am going to try knitting again, just for a little while, with plenty of breaks and hand-stretches.
The deprivation has been really annoying. I’ve spent evenings feeling twitchy and as if I’m wasting time in front of the tv with nothing to do. As I was telling one of my knitting friends about this at the school gate, I estimated that I’ve been off knitting for 3 weeks. Nope – 10 days, (I just checked my diary) but it has felt a lot longer. I think it has felt a lot longer to the people around me too! Poor children: why is Mummy so grumpy?
For the next week, I’m going to try avoiding pulling, twisting and lifting things with my right hand, as that seems to be what aggravates the tendon. Fine movements, such as flicking yarn round a needle, should be OK.
Edit to add: Alas, knitting is not possible yet. I set myself the challenge of completing 2 rounds of a sock. Round 1 was fine. Round 2 not so much.
Before Christmas, my lovely daughter was dancing with me and swung her full weight on my right thumb. I thought little of it at the time, just carried on with the day.
A month or so later I realised that the thumb was still aching on and off. One trip to the doctor later and I have come away with a diagnosis of tendonitis in the thumb. Apparently quite a common injury, but can go on a while. I’m under instructions to rest it, and treat with ibuprofen and heat.
It turns out that I use my right thumb for… everything. Getting dressed, cutting food, writing, typing, lifting, turning, shaking hands and, of course, knitting, spinning and crochet.
I have a feeling that crochet doesn’t use it as much as the others do, so hopefully I’ll be back to that before too long.
Anyone want to take a guess how long it is until I start to crack under the strain of being without my destressing mechanism?
For Christmas I was given, among other things, a copy of The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde. I came across sketchnoting a few months ago (via a link from the Bullet Journal site I think) and I’ve been following his website and reading about it.
My initial impression was that sketchnoting isn’t really that ground-breaking, just a way of entertaining yourself while taking notes in lectures and talks. I also was sceptical about whether I could draw well enough to make it worthwhile trying.
Today I went to a day conference on rural ministry, over the border in the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. With four half hour talks in the morning and two seminars in the afternoon, there was plenty of scope for trying out sketchnoting.
Of the six talks, here’s the one that looks most like a sketchnote. I still wonder if I could have captured more using traditional notes, but I do think I’ve got the most important things down in a way that makes sense to me. More importantly, I found it easy to concentrate, didn’t fall asleep and found that the quality of my listening was better: I was listening with the question, “what are the most important things I’m hearing” foremost in my mind.
My conclusion is that sketchnoting may well be a fruitful way forward. It relies on the people speaking being well organised and flagging up verbally what they consider to be the most important areas. I think it would be very difficult to sketchnote a poor speaker. I will continue to explore the concept (including finishing reading the book – just chapter 7 to go, which is the chapter that concentrates on how to draw) and see how it goes.
In the past year I’ve really got attached to my notebook. It’s a Moleskine 5″ by 7″ with lined pages. Being a Moleskine, the paper is too flimsy for fountain pens but I use it with a Staedtler triplus ball medium and I’ve found it really useful. Since last February, when I started it, I’ve used 181 pages out of 240.
I’m now at the point of deciding whether to get another Moleskine or switch to a different notebook. I’ve got a Leuchterm A5 with a dot grid for my longer pieces of writing and reflection, but I think it is too big to use for a notebook that travels everywhere (the Moleskine is just that bit narrower and it makes the difference). I also picked up a Rhodiarama, so I could have a notebook that would take fountain pen ink, but it is the same size as the Leuchterm and I’m not sure that fountain pen would be very practical in the places I use my travelling notebook. The Church seems to have something against the idea of providing tables to lean on in any kind of taught session or meeting.
There was also a really beautiful window in the seminar room I was in. I tried drawing it in a quieter moment, but it didn’t work out well. Good thing I had my camera handy. There were some green and pink parts to the window that you can’t see in the photo that added to the perfection.
I continued with my crochet scarf during the talks – another way to stop me falling asleep is to have a knitting or crochet project that I know off by heart (or nearly) in my hands. Progress: 5/90. I need a spreadsheet to keep track of which colour combinations I have used.
I don’t manage to keep much track of what I read but here’s a few of the books I read towards the end of last year.
First the re-reads
I did read some new stuff too
I found an interesting reading challenge that doesn’t seem too arduous.
In order to make this a little more interesting, I’m going to stipulate no re-reads except the final category and the partial re-read for the abandoned category. I wonder how long it will take.
At the beginning of 2015 I had 6 knitting WIPs and an aim to reduce this significantly during the year. Several of the WIPs had been on the needles for some time, the oldest being from 2010. I wanted to spend more time on knitting I wanted to do, rather than being limited to what I felt I ought to be knitting.
Here’s the parade of finished objects for the year.
My target for the year was one finished project per month, which I exceeded over the course of the year, although some months did not contain a finished item. May was a particularly strong month with four completed items and September was also strong.
This year included my first real foray into knitting for other people’s babies. The Millamia blanket kit was a really good buy – I just love to knit that yarn and the miles of garter stitch was an exceedingly pleasant way to pass the time.The whimsy of including a one sixteenth scale replica of the blanket for the enclosed cuddly toy kept me entertained for ages.
The final completed project of the year: a Baby Surprise Jacket was a joy to knit as well. You can see the yarn in my post-Yarndale post, but I never got round to blogging progress. It is just such a clever design and intuitive to knit once you get into it. I chose the yarn knowing that the baby in question has a Mum (Hi Daisy) who understands about handwash items. Definitely not a practical choice, but very soft. I had a good time picking colours that were gender-neutral but leaning towards probably being a girl. Tip for next time: put a buttonhole in the swatch so you don’t have to wait until it is finished to buy the buttons.
Of the WIPs from the beginning of 2015 I passed on one unfinished to Mum for her to finish (the crochet amigurumi). I finished four projects and have one remaining. This is the one I predicted would still be a WIP at the end of the year – the cotton square blanket, begun in 2011. I really ought to bring that to a close one way or another this year.
This year I have also finished some spinning projects, although I don’t appear to have photos of them all.
I kicked off 2016 in style by finishing my first knitting project on New Year’s Day.
I was particularly chuffed that the pooling of colours matched so well between the pair. This is an intriguing construction, beginning with the ribbing on the cuff, then casting on for the hand, knitting it onto the cuff as you go, then short-rowing for the thumb section.
At the beginning of the year, I once again had 6 WIPs, briefly reduced to five before starting the crochet modular scarf seen in the previous post.
Targets for 2016:
Needles at the ready: onwards.