Sunday, 28 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 18

My post is a bit late today, due to a lovely weekend at my parent's house, with terrible traffic both there and back. We travelled at 20mph most of the time, and the 1 hour 45 journey took 3 hours there and 2.5 back.

I've been working on my Confetti socks.
I'm making this sock for my friend's birthday, but I love them. I want to keep them for myself! It's a very simple pattern to follow, but it looks great in hand painted yarn, and it knits up really quickly. I decided to do solid heels and toes, and I'm really impressed at how well the leftover purple yarn matches the purple in the hand painted yarn. And the yarn, Blackberry Ridge Mermade Plus, is gorgeous, these socks are going to be really soft and warm. I also like the cuff, which is made with a provisional cast on, knitting 8 rows then folding it over and knitting two together all the way round. I'm not sure how well it'll hold up, but we'll have to see. But all in all it's a really well written pattern, and great TV knitting.

I also got a good picture of my finished blanket.

I've had a lovely weekend with my parents. On Saturday, my Aunt and Uncle brought over my cousins (one of whom is my Goddaughter), and I got to spend the afternoon playing with them. The little boy is nearly 5 and loves Angry Birds, so he may well get an Angry Birds hat for Christmas! And my goddaughter is nearly 3 and loves ponies and hello kitty. She's so chatty now, and I got lovely cuddles and kisses when they left. i haven't seen them in ages, and it was amazing just how much they've both grown up.

I also indulged in a lot of puppy cuddles
 The "play with me" face.
 She's so cute, and still as mad as ever. She's just like a baby, wanting attention all the time, and not believing that anyone else should get it. She's totally jealous if you fuss the other dogs.
The whole lot, Jessie, the oldest, is sitting as far away as possible, and Siouxsie (Suzie, my Mum likes Siouxsie and the Banshees,) is not meant to be in that crate!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 17

I haven't had much time at all for knitting, thanks to four 12 hour shifts this week (which I will tell you all about in a minute). Since I've been very busy, and a bit sleep deprived, mindless knitting on a simple baby blanket has been perfect.
This is a mid blocking picture, since it was only finished half an hour ago, so it's not very true to colour, but this is a much better size than the last blanket! It's also been blocked a lot straighter than that picture makes it appear,the perspective is all weird.

So not much knitting, but I have had an amazing, if knackering, week on placement. I was on labour ward for three 12 hour night shifts and a 12 hour day shift, and I've had the privilege of seeing the births of 7 new little humans. It was absolutely incredible. It is amazing sharing the moment of, and just after, birth with the families. I also got to deliver one baby from start to finish, at ten past two on Wednesday morning. I was the first person in the world to touch her, and got to pass her to her mum. It was just an incredible moment, and I was on a high all day.

However, I am apparently an interesting person to have around. Of the 5 normal births I saw or assisted (2 were emergency caesarians), 3 came unexpectedly, with no warning for the midwife. And of the two I assisted on, neither mother spoke English, making things difficult for the staff, both had small children with them, and both had started delivering before the midwife had anything ready for the baby. The second, I was supposed to deliver, but came so quickly the midwife literally had to catch the baby boy. She didn't even have gloves on and I had to run and grab all the stuff needed. The mother went for 1cm dilated to baby born in 13 minutes, which is almost unheard of. Don't worry though, all mothers and babies were absolutely fine, and none the worse for wear, the midwives were just threatening to send me into the rooms of all the women who were having long drawn out labours, in the hope that I could speed them up a bit.

I am so grateful to the parents who let me be in the room with them during these moments, even though it is a very intimate event, and they have every right to refuse. I had a wonderful week, and I will never forget those families, parents and children, and the staff who were so kind to the lost medical student, even though they see different students every week, and have no need to be.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 16

So I've finished another baby blanket this week. This was great for mindless knitting whilst I was teaching a knitting beginner class on Monday, because it was easy to put down and pick back up every two seconds whilst people needed help. It's definitely making my eyes go funny when I look at it though! It did suffer a bit from the dreaded stockinette curl, but steam blocking seems to have sorted that out, and it's looking much flatter now. The thing that I find odd is that it's so long and thin, even though I was using the same number of stitches and same amount of yarn as the last blanket I made.
I cast on pretty much the same blanket but this time in pink last night. I did cast on about 10 extra stitches, as well as doing an extra two rows of garter stitch at the bottom, and two extra garter border stitches, so hopefully this one will be a more normal shape, and won't curl as much. Again, mindless knitting was needed, because I was attempting to stay up late so that the night shift I'm doing tonight (7:15 pm to 7:45 am) won't be too much of a shock to the system.
I've also been winding yarn for my next pair of socks. It's times like this I wish I had a swift and ball winder. I'm going to make Confetti socks, and I think they'll probably be a birthday present for my best friend, since she'll love these colours.
I've had an amazing weekend. On Friday night, Connor and I went to the beer and cider festival held every year at Nottingham Castle. I got to wear some warm hand knits, drink amazing local cider and watch a (not very good) band or two. It was great fun, and we really enjoyed it! Then on Saturday, we went to a friend's birthday party, the same friend who we had the impromptu dinner party with (which was great by the way). We couldn't stay long though, because I'm doing a 12 hour shift tonight (as I said above), and the next 2 nights as well on labour ward. I'll be leaving home at 6pm, and getting in around 9am. I did try to sleep in today so that I was prepared, but unfortunately I woke up at 12 and couldn't get back to sleep, so 21 hours awake here I come! Looking forward to delivering some babies though!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

WIP Wednesday - Spinning Practise

I had a much needed day off yesterday, and decided to spend my uninterrupted free time doing a bit of spinning practise. A while ago, I acquired some free unidentified wool, and I though, rather than using my nice stuff for beginner spinning, I'd use this, then I could have a play with dying as well.
I'm going to ply it with the unidentified wool and linen blend I also received, and see how the two take up dye differently. My aim was to have an even single that wasn't too thick, so that hopefully the two ply would be around fingering weight and I could make hexipuffs from it. I have no idea if that will work, but the single is relatively even. It was quite sticky wool, I think it still had some oils on it, and so there are a few lumps at the start, where I was getting used to it, but the rest seems to be ok.
I'm still trying to figure out the brake on my spinning wheel. Who would have thought a millimetre difference on a wooden peg would change the bobbin from not picking up anything to splitting the yarn that's being spun. Any suggestions on how to tell how tight the brake should be?

Crewel World (A Needlecraft Mystery, #1)
In terms of books, I've just finished Crewel World by

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 15

So the Staked socks are finally done!
Although I was not happy with the pattern, I am so happy with the final product! They fit perfectly and I think they look great. And I love the sparkles. They're not the easiest socks to photograph, so just know they look better in real life!

I've also cast on a quick baby blanket with some of the yarn I got from the UK Karma swaps. It was originally meant to be patterned, but the yarn really didn't go, so it's just simple stockinette with a garter border.
It's quite cute, and a really quick knit, so I should get it finished in the next couple of days, which is good since, I wasn't supposed to cast this on. I should be making birthday and Christmas presents....

Very quick post, but apparently we're hosting a dinner party tonight that I didn't know about. One of our housemates from 2 years ago is on Connor's course, and he said she was coming over to do some coursework together. Next thing I know, her and her fiance are bringing wine and dessert. This was sprung on me at 11 last night! It'll be great to see them, but a bit stressful! Need to go buy food now.