Keeping on…

I’ve had very little internet access over the last couple of weeks. I didn’t really plan to disappear. Nothing serious, just life as it happens.

I finished my game of tatting chicken. Frankendoily Lives! I scrounged every last piece of thread I could find and untatted two errors I had cut away from other pieces (sometimes it pays to be a hoarder…) I made more joins in the last section than I normally do for a whole item. I plan to do a post on my tatting blog about that one. There are some tricks to using up every last scrap of thread. I haven’t cut away the ends or blocked it yet. The final join still needs to be made (lower right corner).

Iris Niebach

Postscript – after I had finished the damn thing, I found another long piece of thread – enough to have seen me comfortably finished. Guess where? I had used it as a lifeline in the Jinxed Jersey.

The aforementioned Jinxed Jersey is almost finished! I test-sewed it together and it actually looks as if it is going to fit. Fingers and toes crossed. I still have the last sleeve to do – in case anyone was wondering if this is a new fashion statement – and the neck rib.

Jinxed to the end

I was knitting along happily on the sleeve, finished the rib, changed needles and carried on, not like the time I forgot to change needles at all. It was about twenty rows further when I realized I had only changed one needle…

Top of the sleeve, strange things happened with the decreases. I had 8 stitches more than I should have. I went over my calculations a dozen times and couldn’t find the problem.

I write down each row number as I knit – it is the only way that I can keep track, particularly since I work out my own patterns. It took me a couple of days to realize what I had done. My calculations were fine. I had counted my rows 167, 168, 169, 178…

I promised my husband this jersey last winter. Fingers crossed he gets it for this one.

He is going along reasonably well. We will be seeing the specialist on the 16th. He’s never been a fan of taking lots of medication, and has always been the healthiest of the three of us. He was looking at all his tablets the other day and said ‘If I got better, how would they know?’ He’s got a point. Look at the side effects of most of them and it’s pretty much what’s going on with him.

There’s an Afrikaans phrase that was a favourite of my mother’s.  ‘Aanhou, Uithou en Bekhou’. Roughly, Keep on, keep going and keep quiet. It works better in Afrikaans. ‘Bekhou’ is literally ‘shut your mouth’, but it is the word used for an animal’s mouth, not a human. Not really polite. But sometimes it’s all you can do.

Posted in Challenges, Gifts, Handwork, Health, Knitting, knitting, Lacemaking, Learning, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting, work in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Wild Bells

I was remembering a poem today. ‘Ring out, Wild Bells’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, although it is actually called ‘In Memoriam’. The link to the full poem is here

It’s about ringing in the new year, although it covers quite a lot more.


Titch making herself cumfy, as usual. Please ignore the clutter…


He’s getting on, as are we all. His head used to be brown, and you can see the cataracts.

Wild Birds

A local bunch of free-loaders. I started putting food down to try and catch a sick bird. Pretty soon there was a horde waiting every morning.

Free Loaders

There are a lot more in the trees.

My husband and I go for walks every day. At one point you can see the power station where he worked for so many years. He still checks to see which units are on load (there are lights on top of the building, and apparently one can tell from the stacks and the cooling towers)

Lethabo Power Station

Best wishes to everyone out there, especially those who have had a rough year. Many thanks to those who commented with positive thoughts and good advice.

It’s been a hell of a year.

“The year is dying in the night,
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.”

Posted in Animals, Birds, Cats, Challenges, Health, Life | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Into the Teeny Tiny

It’s the little things…


tiny 0 Kiyomi /@chiisanashiawase2015

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

When Words Fail…

Random ramblings from the new normal.

The first lot of medication from the neurologist did not help at all. It just seemed to ramp things up to the extent that I contacted her at 9:30 on a Saturday evening to find out if we could stop. The new medication is much better. My husband is calmer, and making more sense, although we still have sessions where I am trying to guess what he is talking about, and then guess what he is trying to say about it.

We go on daily walks. Before the new medication this was challenging. He had three speeds. Slow, Stop and Stop-and-Argue, which can be nerve wracking when there is a car coming. This has improved, although his judgement is still affected. And he keeps wanting to drive again…

Shaving is more complicated than you might think. My husband is beardless for the first time in decades. (I cannot hang a picture straight, and this is worse.)

I can mow a lawn. Sort of. At least it’s shorter.

My son is not coping well. And he won’t hear of therapy, counselling or any version thereof.

My husband and I went for counselling – he does get frustrated, and there were some things I wanted to talk through as well. Unfortunately the counselor seems to have decided she knows what’s best for me. Go to the gym? It makes me exhausted just thinking about it. ‘Getting rid of negative energies’. Riiiiiight. I’ll stick to my knitting and tatting as sanity savers. (Her opinion of these is not high. Around the level of playing hopscotch and pat-a cake) Even if I am engaged in a game of thread chicken with the tatting that is probably going to end up with a dead chicken.

I have a relative who phones occasionally and asks brightly ‘And how are you coping?’ A lot of the time I’m bloody well not coping. But I can’t even begin to explain. I just give up and say equally brightly ‘We’re going along!’

Posted in Challenges, Handicaps, Handwork, Health, Knitting, knitting, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

The Prodigal Returns!

Titch is home!

The Prodigal

Many thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers, and all the helpful advice. It did help when I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. 😉

She came in just a little while ago, seemingly none the worse for wear. Not that she was going to let me check her out. She did head straight for the food dish, so perhaps she was accidentally shut in somewhere.

I have a couple of half finished blog posts hanging around, which I do want to complete. There is the saga of the Jinxed Jersey, and a new (to me) way to correct errors in tatting, although that will probably go up on my tatting blog.

Thanks again to all.

Posted in Animals, Cats, Challenges, Handwork, humor, Humour, Knitting, knitting, Lacemaking, Life, Shuttle Tatting, Tatting, Tatting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Straws and Camels

I have been trying to put together a blog post for the last few days – without much success. Then tonight my cat went missing. She is old – around 14 years – and doesn’t usually go far. But tonight she didn’t come in, and hasn’t come when I called. It’s ridiculous to be upset when so much else is going on. But I would appreciate any positive thoughts.

Otherwise my husband is still doing reasonably well on the new medication.

Posted in Cats, Challenges, Health | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Just a Quick Update.

I survived the perils of big city driving. The Navigation System and I have agreed to disagree on some points – but I didn’t do too badly.

The neurologist has said she thinks it is a form of Parkinson’s disease – apparently there are  range of them. I hadn’t connected Parkinson’s with dementia, but apparently it can be one of the symptoms.

He is on a new medication, and we go back in a month.

Posted in Challenges, Driving, Handicaps, Handwork, Lace Knitting | Tagged , , | 16 Comments