Monday, 25 August 2014

Weekend WIPs

The GILs shawl is growing! The 4ply bamboo cotton is beautiful to work with but it takes ages as it's so delicate.

I've also started the Amigurumi craftsy course and the first task, a simple bluebird, is coming together: wings and beak compete, body half done. 

Lastly I've been challenged by a friend to create a cowl like that worn by Katniss in the second Hunger Games film. Lion Brand Yarns have a pattern which I'm adapting but using the same wool: Wool-Ease Think & Quick in Grey Marble. 

I'm not sure it's quite right yet so it may get frogged and started again, but as the wool is so chunky it works up quickly. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Great Foot Dilemma

On Tuesday I went to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon, or Orthopod as my GP likes to call them, about the Morton's Neuroma in my right foot. Morton's Neuroma is a condition that affects one of the nerves between the toes. Fibrous tissue develops around the nerve, which becomes irritated and compressed. This causes severe pain on the ball of the foot and at the base of the toes.

In my case, it rears its ugly head when I'm exercising, dancing, walking for long distances, or skiing (my family are very patient with me needing to take my boot off regularly!). At its worst my toes 'pop' and I can't put any pressure on the foot.

I've had ultrasound-led cortisone injections in my foot to treat the pain in the past, but the times between injections, where I've noticed the pain coming back, have got shorter and shorter (9 months, 4 months, 6 weeks!). The last time the pain came back two weeks before our epic holiday, not enough time to get referred on the NHS but luckily Mr H has BUPA insurance through work, and I got in privately two days before we flew!

2 weeks after returning, the pain came back - not suddenly but it was there, and has built slowly. Back to the GP I went and she referred me to the Orthpod.

I had a very helpful appointment with Mr Bob Sharp, who took me through the options. Simply put I can have another injection (not my first choice. The injections can cause wastage of the tissue around the area if taken too regularly, and after the last one I've started to notice my bones in the area far more!), live with it or he can operate (as it's a 'very large Neuroma': 1cm is large apparently). Surgery is the last resort with these kinds of things, and for a few people it makes it worse. I'd be in and out in a day, out of action completely for 2 weeks, able to hobble slowly for another 2, back in normal shoes 8 weeks after the op, and skiing (!) in 3 months.

So here's my dilemma. We're about to enter the busiest period of my working year. I have a weekend in Austria coming up in 7 weeks, and a UK weekend away in 2 weeks. I'm starting a training course this term. Brownies is back on 9 September. I don't have time to be off my feet for that long. But then again, this needs to be done, and putting it off just means more months in pain.


This is my thought process in my Hobonichi...

The dates are ranked in sensibleness - but I'm leaning towards number 3 as it's earlier... aaaarrrrgggghhhh.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Weekend WIPs

New thing for me, and hopefully a weekly post. I've recently taken up crochet, and been practicing here there and everywhere. On our epic holiday I crocheted about a million (exaggerated, but not by much) octagons for an eventual quilt. They were easy and space saving to take on planes, and completed ones were thrown in the suitcase. Now we're home I'm working up the energy to putting it all together, and learning new skills and patterns. Here are my works-in-progress (WIPs) from this weekend:

I'm slightly obsessed with the corner-to-corner pattern, which I discovered through The Crochet Crowd. I love how easy it is to pick up, and how quick it is!

I'm making a shawl for my Grandmother-in-law from King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4ply in Mauve and Pebble

 Also making an afghan from this lovely Rainbow Gradient Superwash Merino sock yarn from Norah and Me. Although I can't decide if I like it looser with the 4.5mm hook (purple) or tighter with the 3mm (red)...

There's also a scarf being made for my Maman's birthday but I won't show that, or I'll ruin the surprise!

Not quite a WIP, as I finished it in an hour, is this granny daisy heart - another gift for the GIL

As well as shelving the octagon quilt, I'm also shelving the tunisian crochet multi-garment . Craftsy classes are great (in fact I've signed up for an Amigurumi one which looks really cool), but this class is really full on, and requires a lot of concentration! I'll pick it up again in the new year, once work silly season, and Christmas, are out of the way. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Epic Holiday: Summer 2014

Many of my loyal readers will know that I recently came back from an amazing month in the USA. I thought I'd share a few photos of our 4 weeks travelling west to east, and some of my favourite stops. 

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Attempting to sketch Lower Yosemite Falls 

Paddling down river, Yosemite

Hugging a Giant Redwood, Sequoia National Park

Sunset over the Grand Canyon, North Rim (we camped!)

 Hilarious sign, on the way to a meteor crater in Arizona

 Mucking about with the camera!

The Very Large Array, New Mexico (just before we got caught, and soaked, in a giant storm!)

Mesa Verde National Park

Obligatory jump shot

Horseback riding and cowboy cookout in Yellowstone National Park

Cowboy cookout in Yellowstone

 Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone

 Hot spring flowing into the Firehole River, Yellowstone

 Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone

Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone (who kept us waiting for almost two hours!)
Kayaking on the west thumb of Yellowstone Lake

Lunch at Pappy's Smokehouse, St Louis (best meal of the holiday!)

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara (Canadian side)

Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, Broadway 

 Manhattan Skyline from the Staten Island Ferry

Of course you have to shop in New York!!

We also had a camcorder with us and shot some videos of our activities - I'll be posting that soon!