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Completed projects from 2009

Whilst going through my completed projects of 2009 I realised that I had not posted any pics of some of the ones I finished during the latter half…so here they are…

I bought this top in kit form and am a bit disppointed how it has come out and the way it lies when I wear it. I was also a bit surprised at the way the yarn had been dyed as it was very patchy. I have a couple of other kits from the same designer so will let you know what I think once I have completed them.

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These baby garments were knitted for my sister’s baby, but the cream top came out too big and the matching hat was even bigger so it will be up for sale on my Etsy site soon.

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This cardigan on the other hand came out perfect and is hanging up in my future niece’s wardrobe waiting for her to be born to wear it.

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Lastly are a couple of pairs of socks which came out really prettily and will of course be put up in my Etsy site for sale soon.

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Spinning Alpaca!!!

A couple of years ago when I went to Woolfest I bought some Alpaca fibre to have a go at spinning a more luxurious and softer fibre than the Welsh Ewe fibre I had.

As the Alpaca was a bit smelly and dusty I washed it straight away and hand carded it. As I wasn’t very experienced at spinning I decided to keep it until I was a bit better.

I have tried spinning Zwartbles fleece and of course the Welsh Ewe fleece which I had dyed in all sorts of colours and finally decided to have a go at the Alpaca.

I had already hand carded the Alpaca so weighed it and separated it into 4 bundles. This is one bundle. Isn’t it a gorgeous bundle of softness!!!

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The first thing I had to do was of course spin the Alpaca into single yarns so that I could 2-ply it. I had heard that with Alpaca you need to over-spin it a bit as it will lose the twist once spun up.

I used the smallest whorl I had on the Kromski Symphony Spinning Wheel and set to spinning a bobbin full.

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I was reasonably pleased with how the first bobbin of singles came out so continued with the other 3 bobbins. It came out quite fine but was still a bit bumpy in places and not very even, but not bad for my first attempt at spinning Alpaca.

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Once all 4 bobbins were spun up I 2-plied it with extra twist. I was really worried that I had over-spun the Alpaca at this stage.

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I was reasonably happy with how it was going so continued with the other bobbin.

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The next step was to wind the bobbins into skeins with my niddy noddy (this is one stage I forgot to take pics of).

Once they were skeined up I soaked the skeins in the sink and then hung them up to dry with a small bit of tension by using 2 clothes hangers.

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I was really surprised with how the skeins of Alpaca came out. I had thought I had over-spun them but it turned out that I had not put enough twist into them in the end.

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All in all I enjoyed my experience at spinning the Alpaca up and will definitely be doing it again. It came out really light, soft and fluffy and I am looking forward to knitting with it.

The one tip I would give is to add the extra twist…if you think you have put enough in put some more as a lot of it does come out. The next time I spin Alpaca it will be via batts as I will be using my Ashford Drumcarder so will let you know of any differences I find between the 2 different fibre preparations.

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Wanting a Baby!!!!

Last night I found out that I wasn’t pregnant (again)!!!

I was a couple of days late this cycle and for some reason I had gotten it in my head that I was pregnant. I don’t know why, but I put down my not feeling very well and the weight gain the past month down to being pregnant.

As you can imagine I was devastated when I began bleeding last night and then woke up early hours of this morning in agony with period pains. I told my hubby and he didn’t say much!!! I know he is upset as well and says he doesn’t know what to say to make me feel better, but I really wish he would say something…the silence makes me feel so alone and I feel like I have no-one to tell how I feel.

Men deal with infertility in their own way, my hubby copes by not speaking about it…this annoys me because if he doesn’t tell me how he feels then I don’t know what to think or how to make him feel better and again I feel like I am going through it all alone.

If there are any men out there who are going through infertility with their wives/girlfriends, please talk to your wife/girlfriend….we need to know how you are feeling and we need to go through this as a couple.

My hubby and I have been trying for a baby since July 1997…13 years ago. I have had ten miscarriages in this time and 2 failed ICSI cycles.

We have had all the tests and procedures to try and find out the reason for our infertility and the only thing the doctors have comes up with is hubby’s low sperm count. This does not explain why the ICSI did not work…or why I keep miscarrying.

There is only one last procedure which we haven’t had done and that is for me to have a uterine biopsy…this is to try and find out why the embryos are not implanting properly. The procedure is very expensive and we have to pay privately to have it done.

I have been putting off having this procedure for quite a few months but cannot put it off any longer. Once I stop bleeding then I have to take a ovulation test daily to see when I ovulate, then I telephone the hospital and arrange for the biopsy. It is going to be painful and I am terrified of having it done. I find a smear test painful, so this is going to be a lot worse.

A few years I had to have a HSG test done, actually I had it done 3 times and the last time had to be stopped as it was too painful, so I went for the Lap and Dye instead…the results were clear and there was nothing wrong with uterus etc.

Once I have had the biopsy done we will have to pay privately to see our consultant to get the results of hubby’s last sperm test which had gone to America for testing…the results of these last tests will define what we do next.

A lot of people have asked me why we don’t adopt? It is a good question and I know a lot of people have adopted children but personally I want to go through pregnancy…I want to feel the baby growing inside of me and that bond. If we adopt I am scared of not bonding with the child. Also I want a baby and I know there is a shortage of babies for adoption.

Wanting a baby is on my mind 24/7 365 days a year…there are babies everywhere…on the internet, on the tv, in the shops etc…there is no way of avoiding them…everytime I see a baby I feel like crying (and many a time I do go and cry)…

Life can be so cruel and I often wonder what I have done that is so bad that I don’t deserve a baby. I wish I knew!!!

If you are reading this and are going through infertility, please know that you are not alone…those feelings you have when you see a baby or a pregnant woman are normal, you are not going mad. Feeling jealous when a friend or someone you know falls pregnant is totally normal. I wish I could tell you how to cope but I can’t (if you know the answer please tell me). I suffer from depression and infertility definitely makes it a lot worse.

All I can suggest is that you do what you need to do to protect yourself from the hurt…people may tell you to be strong and not to be so weak, these people do not know what they are talking about, if they did they would not say it. You are strong if you weren’t then you wouldn’t have gotten this far through your infertility journey.

One last thing I will say is that you are not alone, if you need to talk then please email me and I will help you as much as I can….

0

The Golf Show at the NEC

In November hubby and I went to the Golf Show at the NEC in Birmingham. I know you are wondering why I am blogging about it now, but I have just realised that I didn’t blog about it at the time.

We set off on the Thursday afternoon and spent a lovely night at the hotel having some yummy food.

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On the Friday we set off to the NEC at Birmingham nice and early so that we wouldn’t end up in a big queue to get in.

Once in we had a look around and then made a plan on which stalls we were going to visit. Of course we had to go to “American Golf” to get some cheap golfing clothes. We spent a good hour and a half in the booth as I kept going to try different tops and trousers on. In the end we chose what we wanted. I bought some tops, a pair of crop trousers (which were the perfect length on me) and a couple of tops for hubby for Christmas. Hubby bought me a gorgeous t-shirt for Christmas and some tops for himself.

On the way round we came across a booth selling some brightly coloured golf balls…I love different coloured balls (especially pink) so I bought some and we decided to go and have something to eat.

As the cafe was quite expensive in the show we set off to the hall outide.

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Once we had some food we set off back into the show for another scout round but didn’t buy anything else. The show wasn’t very big this year and we were quite disappointed. Last year hubby bought me some new golf clubs and we bought loads of bits and pieces, but this year there were more stalls selling whisky and trying to sell us cheaper electricity and golfing holidays.

As there wasn’t much in the show hubby and I decided to head back to the car. Hubby was really glad he had bought a new lightweight golfing jacket as it was really cold and quite wet once we got outside. Luckily there was a bus waiting outside the NEC to take us back to the car park, but there was still quite a walk back to the car from where the bus dropped us off.

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As it was still early we decided to look on my iphone whether there was a fishing shop near by. As luck had it there was one on the outskirts of Birmingham, so we entered the postcode into the Satnav and set off.

The fishing shop wasn’t quite what we expected but all the same I managed to buy 2 fishing rods (one each for my father and hubby for Christmas), a bite alarm for my father for Christmas and some various baits. I spent more in the fishing shop that I did at the golf show…

As it was nearly teatime we set off back to the hotel and sat down for another yummy meal and hubby took some arty photos.

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On Saturday we drove down to Stafford to have a look round the Christmas Market and to do some Christmas shopping. We managed to find a car park on the outskirts of the town and after asking a couple of people the direction to the town centre we successfully found our way. The market wasn’t very big but I did buy a couple of wreaths to put on my grans and uncles graves. It was really cold in Stafford so we only spent a couple of hours there. But we did manage to buy some Christmas presents and set off to the hotel which we had booked in Stafford.

Again we had a yummy meal and this time I took some arty pics… :))

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On Sunday we set off to try and find the graveyard where my gran and uncle are buried. I thought they were buried in Market Drayton, but after driving around for a while and not recognising any of the churches I telephoned my father (it is his side of the family) and he told me they were buried in Hinstock….I had only gone and got the two places mixed up, so we set off down the road to Hinstock.

Hinstock is only a small place so I was surprised when we drove straight past it and did not see the graveyard!!! After stopping and asking a couple of elderly men walking a dog we finally got to the graveyard…we were literally at the end of the road :))

Here are pics of the wreaths I had bought…for safety reasons etc I have not posted the pics of the actual graves…You will be glad to hear thought that I knew where the graves were…

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After the graveyard we set off to see my cousin and the twins. I felt so pleased with myself as I found the way to his house without any problems.

The twins had grown so much it was unbelievable. They were actually onto solid food and were enjoying their beans.

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After a lovely lunch and lots of cuddles with the twins, hubby and I set off home and luckily we set off with plenty of time as we hit a diversion which took us an extra hour to get home.

Despite having a wonderful weekend I was really pleased to get home. I always miss the dogs and it was nice to sit back and relax whilst hubby went off to work…

Next time I blog it will be about spinning alpaca fiber…I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend away and all the photos.

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I have loads of yummy knitting stitch markers on my etsy site at or you can click on the box at the left hand side of this post. They would make a lovely gift for any knitter…

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"Fearless Knitting Workbook" – Chapter Two

Chapter 2 of the Fearless Knitting Workbook was very interesting. It covered the knit and Purl Stitches in knitting and also following line by line instructions and also chart instructions. Also you learnt how to use stitch markers.

The first project was the “Rib Sampler” which was straightforward.

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The second project was a “Checkerboard Square” this was again reasonably straightforward and fun to knit.

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The third project was definitely getting more difficult as it was a “Diamond Peaks Square” and I found it more challenging as there were NO line by line instructions, just a chart to follow. I still used the stitch markers to make things a bit easier.

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The fourth project was definitely difficult as again you had to rely on following the chart and was entitled “Maple Leaf Square”. The saving grace on this pattern was the central stitch which was constantly a purl stitch on the right side and as the outline of the Maple Leaf was in Purl and the rest was in Knit it wasn’t too bad to keep track. I was really impressed on how this square came out.

You also had the option to put this square as an applique on a cushion if you wanted to. I decided to keep it as a square.

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The final project was an “extra credit” and was the most challenging one of the entire chapter. It was entitled “Oak Leaf Square” and I found this very confusing to keep track of as the background was in purl and the actual leaf was in knit. I kept wanting to knit the background and purl the leaf.

The chart was colour coded and had the seed stitch down the centre charted as a dot. I don’t know which I prefer the colour coded chart or the standard dot and dashes square. I think it depends on how many different stitches you were using and your personal preference. I think I prefer the standard charts and would tend to keep the colour coded chart to knitting fairisle or intarsia.

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I found this chapter really fun and was really impressed with the squares. I must admit that blocking the squares made the stitch patterns stand out more and evened my stitches out a great deal. It also made the photographing of the squares a lot easier to take as there weren’t as many shadows as the squares were lovely and flat. I also learnt how to read different types of stitch patterns, whether they be line by line, colour coded charts or the standard charts.

I am really looking forward to starting on Chapter 3.