Friday, February 28, 2014

Borromean Cowl

3 colours of Double Knitting yarn, approximated 30-50g of each.
5mm circular needle.

Ring  1: Holding yarn A  double, cast on 100st, join. Knit 10 rows. Cast off. Weave in ends. 
Ring 2: As Ring 1 using a different colour of yarn (yarn B).

Ring 3: Holding yarn C double, cast on 100st. Do not join.

Arrange Ring 1 and Ring 2 as shown.

Weave the circular needle under Ring 1, over Ring 2, under Ring 1, and over Ring 2.  Join.  Knit 10 rows.  As you knit move Rings 1 and 2 out of the way.  Cast off, and weave in the ends.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shoulder Exercises Log

Thursday, 27th February
Shoulder Flexation 10, 10

Scapula Setting 5, 3

I have been doing these exercises for a week on and off.  The benefits in mobility and stability I have experienced have convinced me that they are very well worth it.

Currently, it is easy to get the walking stick all the way over the top, but when my arms are almost on the bed, my arms start shaking, and it is very evident that my muscles are working.  I'm having low grade grumbling discomfort from the arm muscles - but it is less intense than it was before I started these exercises.    The first two scapula setting repeats are easy, but by the time I get to 4, I'm working hard, and 5 is a huge struggle.  Often I don't manage to count to a full 10 in the 5th repetition.

Shoulder Exercises

I have social shoulders - they pop out to visit from time to time.  Over the summer, my left shoulder partially dislocated, and the muscles covered for the shoulder.  There was no real pain, but a lot of mild discomfort and a reduction in the range of movement. The reason behind the partial dislocation?  I had been trying to strengthen the muscles around my shoulder to help prevent future dislocations! 

After using the tried and tested method of 'do absolutely nothing' for a few months, I started seeing a chiropractor, and this has helped my whole grumpy body feel better.  One downside is that as my shoulder muscles have learned (slowly) to relax again, it has meant there has been a time when my shoulder has been dislocating on a regular basis.

However, I think we have turned the corner, and the chiropractic manipulations, massage and exercise are stacking up against the dislocating tendencies!

This is a place to record my progress through the physio exercises.  These are a mixture of the ones set by my chiropractor, a former physio, and the exercises in an NHS booklet Rehabilitation after shoulder dislocation.

Shoulder Flexion  My first exercise is to lie down on my bed, with a walking stick between my hands.  The hands are shoulder-width apart.  Starting with the walking stick on the stomach, lift the walking stick up and over the head, until the upper arms are lying flat on the bed.  Hold for 5 seconds, and bring the arms back down.  Repeat 10 times, four times a day.
Scapula setting exercise Stand close to a wall.  Lay the forearms on the wall, fingers point to the ceiling.  The upper arms should be at shoulder height, and perpendicular to the body.  Draw the shoulder blades back and down, causing the muscles between to be squeezed. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times, 4 times a day.

I've been doing these two exercises for a week, and the improvement is great.  There is so much more movement.  But there is still a long way to go.  As these exercises get too easy they will be replaced by other ones.  The shoulder flexion exercise can be made harder simply by standing up.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Leftover socks

"Leftover socks" are socks made from leftover yarns.  These socks were made from the leftovers from turquoise and teal socks I made for my DM-wearing daughter.  Two balls of yarn is just enough to make three pairs of socks for her.

The joyous news is that my next two balls of yarn are pink and red.  This will great a gloriously awful combination. But, as I happen to love the daughter-child, I will not inflict this combination upon her.

Project 38

The Hat-a-thon has been completed!

The stash that was overwhelming me has been reduced.  Twenty six hats have been made!  

Behold, a photograph of 25 hats. 

The 26th one has already been sent to it's recipient.  (This is now the recipient.)  It has been given to a friend who works at the airport and de-ices planes. It is cold work. He asked me for a baklava to keep him warm. I explained that as I’m gluten-free, I don’t make baklava. He explained “I can’t say balaclava, so I’m asking for a baklava.” I hope he won’t be too disappointed when he gets a balaclava.

It is very warm, and looks perfect for robbing a bank. It might also be good for wearing at the airport on cold shifts. But I worry that there are strands of my hair knitted into the balaclava. He gets up to some crazy stuff.  Just in case, can you all be my character witnesses?

37 Projects completed - I'm now at 70% of my 52 in 52 challenge.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Skating Minister

There's a Facebook thing where if you 'like' a person's post of a work of art then you are given an artist, and you have to choose a piece of their work.

I was given Henry Raeburn, It is  a-typical of his work. Most of Raeburn's work was made up large portraits of 'important people' sitting in slightly pompous poses, but this miniature seems to have more life to it. There has been quite a bit of discussion as to whether this painting was indeed painted by Raeburn. At the moment, it seems that opinion says 'yes'.

I couldn't get a picture of this painting to show up as a thumbnail in Facebook, hence posting the picture here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sunken Garden

A sunken garden.

This is what it normally looks like.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The second hat of the Hat-a-thon

And behold, the second hat of the Hat-a-thon.  It is a garter stitch, sideways hat with short row shaping.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

And the Hat-a-thon has started!

In January, I was confronted by the size of my stash. It was overwhelming. I decided that something needed to be done about it.  And the Hat-a-thon Challenge was born.  A group of us are having a marathon of hat making in February.

A full marathon is 26 hats.  Others will be taking part in the half marathon, and there is a third group are taking part in the ‘relay.  

My hats will be going to a local charity called ‘Southern Befrienders’. Elderly people can ask to be paired up with volunteers who pop in to visit them, normally about once a week. Last Christmas, the elderly people all received gifts from the organisation. Many received hand knitted and crocheted items, things like hats, socks, gloves etc. They were greatly appreciated.

This is my first hat of the hat-a-thon, and my  12th project of the year.

I forgot to add my 11th project.  It is a needle holder for my circs.  Effectively it is a garter stitch scarf with a point, and D ring at one end, and a pocket for a needle sizer and measuring tape at the other end.  That is project 11.