Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not what I've expected

After a lovely week, as detailed in my last post, I waved goodbye to Steve (gone home to do more studying) and spent Sunday afternoon sat on the front doorstep with my neighbour S (of mousey-fire fame) with a nice cool drink watching the carnival go by.

The carnival was headed by a fire engine. This caused a certain amount of embarassment on S's part. She has assured me it won't happen again.

It was a very strange carnival. There would be, for example, a samba band playing really upbeat, carnival-ey music, and a group of a dozen or so enthusiastic dancers in bright costumes with lots of feathers, jumping and clapping like they meant it, and then a decorated float with non-dancers giving it a good effort and having a good time... and then a trailer with a boring, unadorned logo on each side for a local business, no more than a mobile advertisement and not a very good one at that, followed by a half-arsed effort at a float with a bunch of people in almost-fancy-dress sitting on it chatting or worse yet, looking bored. In particular, the Lowestoft Sea Cadets were the most depressed, bored-looking, unhappy group of people I have ever laid eyes upon even outside of a carnival setting. But then, after the scowls and immobile people, would be another bunch who were enjoying it. I would go so far as to say it was a bipolar carnival. Very confusing.

By 5pm, the roads were reopened and the drizzle had started. I looked forward to having an early night, and then on Monday, getting things straightened out at the flat - you know, getting some food shopping done, doing some dishes, attending to Mt Laundry and the suchlike.

This sterling plan was knocked right off course when I woke up on Monday with what I can only describe as a violent stomach upset. At first it wasn't too awful. There have to be some bonuses to being long-term ill, and one of them is that you're used to feeling awful. So if you're having a good spell, and then get a little short-term illness, you can deal with the feeling-awful-ness easier than those around you, because it's not much worse than your usual kind of Bad Day, even if it does take a little longer to shake off.

By 11am, however, I was full-on sweating, shivering, and curled up on the sofa cuddling a big bowl. I was trying to have little sips of water to rehydrate, but it was an effort to keep them down. I wanted some painkillers, but keeping those inside me was out of the question. This was the point at which S turned up at my door. She'd not had a good night herself - she'd been at the hospital for reasons of her own - but as soon as she saw the state I was in, she started trying to look after me, making sure I had a drink, asking if I needed anything, offering to go to the shops, asking if I wanted her to hang about or if I'd rather be left to it. After a few minutes she went home, having promised to check on me again in the afternoon.

To be totally honest, I wasn't expecting her to come back in the afternoon. S often has trouble with what day it is and with remembering what she should be doing if it isn't written down. But she did. She even remembered that I'd had no cold drinks in the flat and had brought me a bottle of squash "in case you want something that isn't plain water". I think I owe her some chocolate.

After about 4pm I started to pick up a bit. I spent an hour eating a slice of toast and then, joy of joys, I had a painkiller. The next slice of toast took just half an hour, and then I microwaved some rice for dinner.

Today I'm very nearly back to normal. Well, normal by my standards. S came up again this afternoon and we were each relieved to see that the other was looking considerably better. I've done most of my washing-up and hopefully tomorrow I'll get some shopping done.

I've also done quite a lot of knitting today. I am very glad that I have the bits I need to work on the jumper for Littlun because I have run up against an obstacle with the sock. I'll consult mum on the matter tomorrow but I don't know if she can do socks or not... here's what's happening. I've gone round and round and round, 60sts divided between 3 needles, first ribbing, and then plain knit-every-round for the ankle part of the sock (so it looks the same as stocking stitch, knit a row, purl a row, on regular knitting needles). Ok? This is boring simple easy plain sock. Now: how do I do this next bit?

K15 and turn
If I've got this right, I start from my marker for "beginning of round", and knit 15 sts, and then, I turn my knitting around, so that the last stitch I completed, the 15th knit stitch I just did, is now in my left hand?)

1st Row: Slip first st, P29, turn (30sts on this needle) Slide other 30sts onto spare needles.
If I've got this right, this means that I should be looking at the 15 knit stitches I just did, and going back across them (as if I was doing back-and-forth knitting rather than round-and-round knitting). I should slip the first one and purl the next 14. I should then continue purling, onto the same needle, the next 15 stitches. The other 30 stitches, the ones I haven't done anything with, these get put onto the other needles to keep them safe while I'm buggering about with just these 30?

What do I do with my cute little marker that tells me where the beginning of the round is? Do I keep it where it is, or discard it, or put it somewhere else?

*sigh* I speak more Knittingese than I did six months ago, but really, I sometimes wonder if these patterns will ever cease to confuse the hell out of me.


Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Sorry to hear you've been feeling poorly - I'm glad you're better now.

Re the sock: yes you are reading the instructions correctly, you are starting the heel flap which you make as a little flap of back and forth knitting and then you turn the heel and pick up stitches down the sides to make it back into a big circle again. I usually put my stitch marker somewhere safe at this point but it does no harm to leave it in - it will mark the centre of the bottom of your foot. Just keep knitting and all will be well!

Mary said...

Hurrah! Thank you!

erasmus (aka jiva) said...

glad you're better now.

the heel flap is indeed knitted as a flat flap and then grafted back in later. thats when it becomes supermacomplicatemid.
carie has the right answer. My last sock was toe up and short row heel and I only did the one, so you're ahead of me on knowledge with this one.

Mary said...

ye-es. I've been cheerfully knitting the flap, but I suspect I will end up undoing and re-doing it because I'll probably have done the edges wrong or something. There's assorted ssk2tog type voodoo for shaping the heel which I *think* I can decipher, but the next part of the pattern - "Pick up for instep" - I can make head nor tail of, my eyes just shut themselves protectively at that point.

If Steve was here he would probably decipher what I am supposed to do in an instant. And then I would be torn between hugging him for making it come clear, and throwing a ninja knitting sock star at him for being so effortlessly good at everything I try to do.

Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Pickup instep just means "turn your knitting back into a big circle again" - pick up down one side of the heel flap - knit across the front of your foot and pick around the other side of the heel flap - trust me the voodoo works!!

Mary said...

okay, so if making it a circle again is what "pick up for instep" involves, then "heel shaping" - the direction under scrutiny in the latest blog post which went up just as you were commenting here - is before that and therefore involves (*hopes*) just the 30 sts I've been playing with for this heel flap?

I *will* get this nailed, and once I see in my head how it's meant to go, then it will go, and all will be good, and I will be able to do it again and again and again. It's just getting there that's the trouble.