Thursday, May 22, 2008


Before I go on to tell you about my spiffy new wet room, I'd like to plug my second blog, Still Life. It's where I can post and write about stuff that interests me as a Quaker, without tangling it up with my knitting stuff. Not that the two things are separate, but the audiences might be different :)

How will I keep up two blogs when I have trouble updating one? Only time will tell ;)

When I moved in here (nearly a year ago - it seems like yesterday!), my bathroom had a bath with an electric shower over it. This was no good to me, as I needed a walk-in shower like the one I was leaving. For reasons that I still don't understand, my Housing Officer announced that, in order to have the new house released to me, I would have to sign a waiver agreeing that I would not ask for a shower cubicle.

My first thoughts were that this was at least immoral, and probably illegal, but she would not budge, so, making my feelings very clear as I did so, I signed the waiver.

After about six months of being sponge-bathed by my carers, with the occasional hair-wash (hanging my head over the bath whenever my vertigo wasn't too bad), I decided that I had waited long enough for the Housing Officer to change her mind, and contacted my Occupational Therapist.

Thanks to her, within a few weeks, there were (very nice and friendly) workmen in my bathroom taking out my bath :)

We thought they would be putting in a large walk-in cubicle like I had in the old house:


Sorry it's so dark, but you can just about see the waist-high cubicle and the width of the area behind it.

It soon became clear that they were actually turning my already sizeable bathroom into a wet room! Apparently it is no longer protocol to put in cubicles, as wet rooms are so much easier for clients and carers alike. They gave me a bigger shower curtain and rail, a new portable screen to protect the carers' clothes if they wished to stand behind it, a new shower chair, an extractor fan, and some lovely new tiles. That was quite funny, actually - they said that, if they couldn't find matching tiles, they would re-tile the whole area, but I said I'd be happy with a close match, as the tiles are perfectly good. They found the best match they could - plus a border to act as a dado rail, to make the two colours of tiles look deliberate! They were so chuffed about it, and so was I :)

Finally a specialist company came in and laid a non-slip floor. Part of the process absolutely stank (I don't know how they work with it!), but it was soon over, and we just had to wait a few more hours before we could try it out.

New wet room

I can't begin to tell you how lovely and refreshing it is to be having showers after all those sponge baths. And the bathroom seems enormous :)

Tigger says, "I don't see why you make all this fuss. All you need is a tongue."


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Booty call

I have been having such fun with a bootee pattern.

Vintage booties

It's originally from a vintage girls' magazine, but it was republished in SlipKnot recently. It involves so many different elements that you never get bored! There's
  • a garter stitch sole
  • a short row foot with a simple lace pattern
  • a stitch I have been calling 'seeded stocking stitch' (because it looks like stocking stitch with a regular pattern of seed-stitch like dots)
  • a slip-stitch rib that almost knits itself
  • and a really simple but effective crochet edging
I made it in RYC Cashsoft DK, and, although I think Rowan yarns tend to be a little expensive, I have to recommend this one. There was an error in the first line of the short-row section, and I ripped that puppy out 5 TIMES before I realised it should say 22sts, and not 20.... Anyway, it knitted back up as smoothly and evenly on the sixth attempt as it had on the first.

I've also been making my sister's birthday present. I decided on the Friday (2 May) that I had enough time to knit her a decorative scarf before she came to visit me on the Tuesday (6 May). She wears a lot of those very long and thin silk or chiffon ones to dress up her tops.

I picked out some gorgeous Jaeger Cotton Flamme from stash (I miss Jaeger...). It's a DK-ish weight, gold mercerised thread with creamy viscose slubs, and it's seriously lovable. I found a pattern online for a lace bookmark, grabbed my 4mm needles and cast on 15 stitches. I'd done 100 rows by bedtime, although I was slightly worried at the roll it was developing. It was a stocking stitch base, after all.

Next morning (Saturday) I shoved all the worries to the back of my mind and worked another 44 rows. By this time I really couldn't pretend the roll was going to block out, so I put in a lifeline and tried it out with a WS knit row instead. Well, that looked lovely, so, after about 30 rows of that, I cut off the first 140 or so rows, frogged to the lifeline and cast off what was now the first row.

Well, this went beautifully, and I was congratulating myself on having learned the pattern, and on even being able to watch TV as I knitted. By the end of the evening I had knitted 90 rows. I held it up to admire it, and realised that I had worked a third with the RS on top, a third with the WS on top, and the last third with the RS back on top again.

I toyed with calling it a design feature.

Next morning (Sunday), as I frogged it all, I decided to cast on lengthways for a simple garter stitch strip, that would show off the beauty of the yarn. 300 stitches later, I began the first long row. It didn't take long to remember how quickly I get bored with garter stitch.

On Monday afternoon, when I had still only produced two inches of width, I was beginning to hallucinate cables and yarnovers. I quit. It was too dense a fabric, it didn't show off the yarn, and it was just taking too loooong. Perhaps it needed a bigger needle for drape? And then a small light went on.

Scribble lace.

I grabbed my posh new 10mm coloured metal needles (thank you, Let's Knit), cast on 12 stitches, and four hours later had a light, lacy, softly draping 60-inch long scarf which looked a million dollars:

Scribble lace

I am glad to say that my sister loved it. I also pointed out to her that, when someone compliments her on it, she can say with prefect truth, 'Thank you, it's Jaeger' :)

Next time I hope to have photos of my new wet room, and of my lovely birthday presents (it was last Saturday, and I had a wonderful day!).

Tigger has been back to the vet because he's throwing up more than usual (we are often presented with a pile of undigested biscuits, when he eats his tea too quickly and it bounces). The vet thinks he's had a tummy upset, but that it's just about over, so he didn't need tablets.

Tigger says, "You wouldn't believe where he put that thermometer..."