Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Worry Days

This is Truffles, my little lady. She's been sick since Saturday - sleeping all the time and not eating or drinking a thing. I took her to the vet's on Monday morning, and she was kept in for blood tests. Apparently there's something wrong with her kidneys. At first the vet thought it might have been caused by poisoning. She had another appointment this morning, and this time she's found swelling of what she thinks is her gall bladder. Because she's not drinking, we've got to give her a glucose solution through a syringe. She's also got tablets to take, so that's an awful lot of stuff we've got to force down her throat. She hates it, and fights like a fiend. I hate doing that to her when she's feeling so miserable. She just wants to be left alone, but if she gets dehydrated her kidneys could shut down. The vet has sent off more blood to be tested, so hopefully we'll have more answers soon about what's causing it. She has another appointment on Thursday morning, and I really hope she's picked up a bit by then. She's only 4 years old.

My crochet cotton has arrived from Texere, and I think this lot will work well on the inkle loom (though I can see me running out before I've got very far!). I might warp it up tonight, if I can get my head to feel more creative. I've been playing a bit with Baltic patterns using the linen and silk I bought from Texere first time around, but managed to snap one of the linen warp threads. I think I put the warp on too tightly. This cotton seems a bit stronger though.

That's all for today really. Please send your happy, healing vibes to Truffles. I can't stand to see her so sad. :(


Sunday, 7 February 2010

Must... not... neglect... blog!

That's what I've been telling myself every day for weeks now. 'Update your blog... post something... anything!' I wanted this blog to be almost a running commentary of my day-to-day life, and I don't want to have huge month-long gaps appearing in it!

The truth is though I've had very little to report for the long month of January - that black hole of boredom where time itself stands still. Every single year without fail I seem to be unemployed in January. It's become my most miserable month, and when I feel like that I find it so hard to motivate myself to do anything. I have all this time on my hands, and have done nothing to show for it.

So THANK GOODNESS I'm getting my old job back on the 1st of March!!! Three weeks tomorrow, and I'll be back in the land of the living! I can't wait, I really, really can't!

I know when I get back to work I'll wish I had more time on my hands, so I'll be trying to make the most of these three weeks. I always feel more optimistic once we get into February anyway - the nights are starting to stretch a little, the snowdrops are opening, buds are swelling. The seed potatoes are in the garden centre already, so I might get some of them on the go nice and early!

Crafty-wise there's not been an awful lot happening. I've been working on a crochet shawl using Garnstudio Drops Fabel. I'm just going with this until I run out of yarn. It was a difficult yarn to get hold of, and since I've only got one ball left, and the store I bought it from seems to have run out, I don't think it's going to get much bigger!

I bought an inkle loom last week! A Schacht inkle loom to be precise. It's nice and simple and, unlike my Knitter's loom, I can warp it all by myself!

There's nothing in my stash that's really ideal for this (according to the instructions, 5/2 or 3/2 mercerised cotton is ideal), so until I can find some, I've been practicing with left-over sock yarn:
1st attempt. I tried to use sock yarn to make the heddles, but it had too much give in it, so I ended up with uneven tension. I also made the ridiculous mistake of tying the warp to the first peg, so this is as big as it got!!

2nd attempt. Made the heddles from sewing cotton this time. I was worried it would be too thin and snap, but it turned out to be pretty strong. The band ended up about 33" long, and I used a check pattern:

The selvages are very wonky, and the warp seems to be a bit too spaced out at the edges. That is, I can see the weft through it, and you're not supposed to (although it's less noticeable now it's off the loom).

I've got quite a lot of DK wool in my stash, so I might have a play around with some of that, see if I can make some pretty patterns. I'm just not sure it's strong enough though, and it's quite fluffy, so I can see it sticking to the heddles. I ordered a bit of a random selection from the Texere weaving section before I really knew what I would need, and I've just this minute realised I would have been better off looking in the crochet section. I didn't notice that before, that's exactly the stuff I need! Oh .... !

What else has been happening?

Basil's going in for a big service on Thursday. He's been having some serious 'kangarooing' issues after about 3 miles into every journey. He won't go above 30mph when he's jumping about like that - it's very scary. Apparently it could be some simple electrical thing like HT leads or the distributor cap. Hopefully it's nothing serious! The bodywork on the other hand... that's in a right state! I need to get that sorted before I can get into the interior properly, which is a shame because I've got a ton of ideas for him! I won't scare you with pics just now, I'll let you see him when he's a bit prettier!

That really is about everything I think - told you I hadn't been up to much! I am very excited about the inkle weaving though, so I'll be back soon with more updates! See you soon!