Finishing Up Catching Up

Right, lets finish this off then!

These two are in the wrong order because I made Stella’s Hat when I had yarn left over from the scarf below! It’s Drops Paris which is an aran weight cotton and apparently the colour is just called green which isn’t very exciting. Anyway, this is a free pattern and it was really easy to make, I began it in the hospital so it really must be easy! I used 4.5mm needles rather than the 5mm called for as I didn’t want it to be too baggy, cotton doesn’t have any recovery and I didn’t want a floppy hat. I really like it, it’s comfortable and goes over my ears and keeps my head quite warm, plus it used up a small amount of yarn that would have just floated about in my stash forever otherwise.
Stella's Hat

The green Paris was bought to make this Laetiporus Scarf which had been in my Ravelry queue for ages. It’s a simple lace and garter repeat with sections of the garter having short rows to create a kind of ruffle. This thing is way long, we’re talking about 80 inches. I used smaller needles as I didn’t have a pair of 6mm needles  and it’s plenty floppy and long, so long that I stopped knitting with above used 2 balls of yarn left and I’d only bought what was called for, not sure what was up with that.

Anyway, I enjoyed this knit a lot and did repeats here and there all the time until it was done, it took me exactly a month so it’s not a slow knit! The first picture is more the right shade of green. I’ve not blocked it and I’m not sure I will. I don’t know how well it would hold a block with the length of it pulling it down, plus I don’t have anywhere I can block an 80 inch knit so I’ll live with it the way it is!
Laetiporus ScarfLaetiporus Scarf

The Ramona Cardigan was another quick (for me) knit, taking only two months start to finish. I used Drops Bomull Lin in the grey blue colour. It’s a cotton linen mix in an aran weight and it’s quite rough to work with and rather splitty.  The cardigan is knit top down and the ribbed collar and button bands are added at the end. I found the 5.5mm needles a little hard on the hands or else I probably would have finished this faster.

I wanted a plain grey cardigan that I could throw on over my bright tops and dresses that I always seem to make and I think I achieved that. I got the buttons from Textile Garden who have an amazing selection and are cheap as far as buttons go. I bought two sets of 8 as I wasn’t sure exactly which size or look I was going for and it cost less than a single set of 8, including the postage, than everywhere else I looked so I will be shopping there again for sure. The lines across the back in the middle photo are because I ‘blocked’ it on the drying rack! After it was done I threw it in the washing machine on the delicate cycle to try and get the linen to relax and soften a bit, which it did. The stitches also evened out really nicely which I was happy about as the sleeves are knit in the round and normally there is a huge difference between my back and forth and in the round knitting.

I ordered the yarn for this while I was doing chemo, which apparently had a really bad effect on my math skills as I ended up with three and a half extra balls, not because the pattern didn’t use as much as called for, it used pretty much exactly what was called for, but because I messed up my order. I have no idea what to do with that yarn, it’s not soft enough for a scarf or shawl so there’s £9 of yarn sitting there, sigh…
Ramona CardiganRamona CardiganRamona Cardigan

This is the third and final Sunny Top, for now! Another sweater knit from Fabworks Online, this one is a slubby french terry which was a pain to work with as the edges rolled but I got there in the end. Again it was all done on my overlocker with just the hems on the sewing machine. You can see on the second picture (sort of) how the slubs stand out from the fabric. It looks more orange in these pictures than in real life, once again I’m really happy with this top and I can’t wait to wear it!
Sunny Top 3 Sunny Top Fabric

Continuing the crappy picture parade that is this post, these are my full length Demi Pants that I made ages ago. I was wearing a pair of the shorter ones I made with boots and I thought to myself that they would be perfect for winter if they were just 4 inches longer. Then I remembered that I’d made the damn things so I got out the pattern and some fabric and made a pair four inches longer!

I call these my stealth pyjamas because I made them out of brushed cotton twill from Fabworks Online, it’s not an obviously brushed cotton looking fabric but it feels like you’re getting away with wearing pyjamas outside the house! The second picture shows the texture of the fabric, it’s really nice stuff and last time I looked it was still in stock for about £4 a metre, I stocked up on a ton a while back and am looking forward to using it for something else, it’s soft and warm but not too thick so you could do a dress or a top from it for sure.
Long Demi PantsDemi Pants FabricThese are the socks I was waiting to take a picture of so I could finish catching up, the colour is all wrong, see the picture of the skein of yarn for the correct shades. This pattern was the Easy Peasy Socks, which lives up to its name and is a free pattern on Ravelry. I have been trying out knitting podcasts (I have things to say about knitting podcasts but it will have to wait to be said, this post is long enough) and heard about the Fish Lips Kiss heel for the first time ever, apparently it’s been a thing in the sock knitting world for about a year. The pattern is £1.20 or so (it’s $1 but the VAT gets added to that) via Ravelry and is a huge pattern that tells you how to make a cardboard foot that shows you where to put the heel in your socks etc. I skipped all that, why make things too easy for myself guessing is more fun, and went right to the heel instructions. What it is is a short row heel without wrapping and turing, so there aren’t any holes or stitches to pick up etc (although I need to work on my final row as the heel I did today does have small gap). It makes a really neat easy heel, I’ve done four of them now and I can do it without reading the instructions any more and it works. Of course I now realise I didn’t get a picture of the heels of these socks to show you, but it’s neat and it fits nicely, trust me!

I am also playing about with the number of stitches that I use for my socks. I’ve spent 10 years just doing what the pattern says and sometimes my socks fit and sometimes they don’t, it was what it was. A podcaster gave me an ‘oh’ moment when they said they were trying to find the right number of stitches on different needle sizes so their socks always fit, I don’t think it had actually occurred to me to do that before, I’d gone down a needle size and if things were still too baggy just tried another pattern. Anyway, one day I will have socks that fit well, these aren’t too bad at all!

UntitledWhimzy Pinzy Sock Yarn

These socks were a lesson in why you should knit your yarn instead of just stashing it away because it’s special or too nice to use. They are possibly the prettiest socks that I have knit, I love the way the colours work and the fact that there is no striping or pooling, it’s a true variegated yarn. I stashed this yarn in September 2012, the dyer is no longer doing yarn so now that I know I love it I only have one more skein in my stash (well, actually I cast it on last week) and then that’s it. Had I tried it out back then I could have gotten more pretty yarn before they stopped doing it…

Which leads nicely from my finished makes, which are finally up to date, into another matter.
I’ve been thinking about my yarn and fabric stashes of late, probably because of having to move them as I move my sewing room into the tiny office so my younger son can have his own bedroom. I have a lot, lots and lots a lot. I bought many things this year, as I said it became kind of a fuck you to cancer, of course I will live long enough to use all this. Now is feeling like the time to try and use a lot of it, there’s some great stuff in there and it’s getting buried by new great stuff.

So, I have decided to try not buy for a while. It’s not a diet as I don’t like diets, it’s just abstaining from spending money I don’t need to spend on things I don’t need to own because I own plenty of them already. I’m feeling the ‘too much stuff’ weight again and I’m running out of things I can get rid of really without my kids throwing a fit or getting rid of things I really like just for the sake of it. I’ve done the books and my clothes and half the kitchen bits (I have antique stuff I’d like to get rid of but don’t want to give away, however I don’t know where to dispose of it so it’s still sitting there…) and now I am still looking for things to cull, so this seems like a good area to work on.

For fabric/sewing I am just going to try not to buy any for as long as I can. There’s no such thing as a small fabric order for me, I try and get the free postage so we’re talking usually about 12m minimum and that’s just silly when you consider how much I own and how my sewing time will shrink again once I get back to the PhD. So, I’m going to unfollow fabric shops on social media and to try not to fall into any fabric buying holes for as long as I can. I don’t expect to make the whole year, but I should be able to do at least half without needing to buy more than thread and notions. I also need to try not to buy too many patterns, they are just so easy to pick up here and there and next thing you know you’re drowning in paper and have spent £50. I’m not ruling patterns out totally as I need things to use the fabric for, but I bought the ones I’d had on my list for a while during the post Thanksgiving sales and I have a ton I’ve not used yet so I’m set for a bit. I’m happy that I didn’t buy the sale patterns the week before the sales like I usually do as I saved a fair bit of cash! Fair enough the only reason I didn’t buy them was that I was feeling awful and not sewing, it was still a good saving! I have all the fabric I need for a good number of quilts so I will hopefully have to buy some batting during the year as I’d like to finish a few of those.

For yarn there are going to be some exceptions to the not buying anything rule. I know I will want to buy certain things so I am setting out what I am making exceptions for from the start. I want to spread these buys out a bit so I have something to look forward to rather than doing them all before March and then sulking!

  1. I recently discovered that Lana Grossa do a cotton sock yarn and I’m very excited about it. I bought 6 balls to try it out and it’s really nice. I didn’t see the solids when I placed my order so I want some of those, I also want more of the prints. So an order (probably quite a large order, especially if they have a sale any time) with them will happen.
  2. I really like the colourways that the dyer Mothy and the Squid on Etsy does and she does a cotton sock yarn. I have asked her if she’ll do some of her colourways on that base for me and she’s agreed so I will buy those whenever she has completed them.
  3. I also discovered Vegan Yarn in Cananda who do a vegan sock yarn. There isn’t much in stock right now so the order I placed with them post Thanksgiving in their sale was for shawl yarn. When they get a good selection of the sock yarn in again I will be ordering some of that to try (and maybe some more shawl yarn as it’s lovely) and it’s the Panda Cotton base which I really love and they had a self striping which I’ve never seen in vegan sock yarn before. Again, I’ll wait for a sale, although they don’t seem to have too many of those.
  4. Finally, I bought a ton of patterns in the sales for very reasonable prices. I am going to allow myself one order, probably of Drops yarn if I can find a fit, from one of my usual sellers but only for patterns I already own. I have yarn lined up for a page and half of my Ravelry queue plus plenty that doesn’t have a project assigned so I don’t need to be buying lots for no reason, but if I’ve spent the money on the pattern I’d like to use it. Again, sales will be a big influence on this purchasing.

I stocked up on needles during the sales so I’m fine of those, I might need to buy buttons for things but beyond that I shouldn’t need any other knitting stuff. I will be buying the patterns required to use up stash yarn assigned to them but other patterns I will only buy if they are reduced by 30% or more which is my usual rule for buying patterns with no yarn in mind.

We shall see how that goes, I’m sure I’ve tried before not to buy yarn and fabric, I’ve been keeping a running tally for years on how much fabric comes in vs how much goes out and usually manage by just a few yards or metres to use more than a buy but that’s not really helped the stash reduce that much! I shall keep you appraised on how it goes.

Phew, I literally have not finished making anything else, so it’s all brand new projects from here on out! I have two Christmas gifts to make and all the stuff I cut out before the operation to sew up, hopefully I can make a dent on that this weekend. There is tons of knitting going on, but there isn’t much near completion yet, I’m working on too many things at the same time again, but enjoying it immensely so I’m not worried about it yet, I’ll get finishitis again soon enough!

How Far Behind is Too Far Behind?

I have so much stuff to show you, some of it going back ages and ages. Enough stuff that this is going to take two blog posts to get through, so lets get the first one going!

I watched all available Big Bang Theory sometime during my treatment and the newest series on Netflix right after it came out. However, that wasn’t what prompted me to make the Miss Winkle shawl, that was a combination of seeing the colours of the yarn through the glass door of my yarn cabinet and thinking that knitting the loops might be fun.

Turns out it was a good combination and I’m really happy with the way this came out. I finished this at the start of October! The yarn is Yarntopia Treasures 100% bamboo in Color Path so it’s really soft and I don’t have another scarf this bright so it’s a nice addition to my collection. I knit until the yarn was all gone so it’s pretty decent size as there were 630y in this skein. I love Martina Behm patterns, they’re fun and quick which is just what you need sometimes when it comes to shawl knitting otherwise you get bogged down by them.
Miss WinkleMiss Winkle

I knit this Felicity hat in the middle of October using 2 balls of Grey Blue Drops Paris. I went down .25 in needle size and it fits quite well. It’s really hard to get a good photo of yourself wearing a hat… Not much to say about this free pattern, you knit round and round, decrease and wallah, hat…
Felicity Hat

I said I was going to make another Sunny Top and I did, again using a sweater knit from Fabworks Online. This one is kind of silvery and grey with some black. Again I did the construction on the overlocker and just hemmed with the sewing machine. These are so comfortable to wear and I love the shape. I’m sure as soon as I stop wearing mostly jogging bottoms and pyjamas they will be in high rotation, especially in the Spring when they’ll be the right weight, they don’t fit so well under a cardigan so I’m wearing them with a thermal t-shirt underneath at the moment!
Sunny TopSunny Top

Jim needed another sweater as he grew out of the highly cabled red turtleneck one I made him a while back. I am knitting him another jumper, but at present it would only keep his stomach warm so I whipped him up a Kwik Sew Sewing For Children fleece sweatshirt as I still had the pattern out from making his pyjamas. I think this is a Windpro expensive fleece, it’s been in my stash forever and I was tired of seeing it so I stuck it with some striped ribbing I bought yonks ago and have hardly used and in about half an hour he had a new top to wear, easy, but hard to photograph…
KSSFC Sweatshirt

Before going into hospital I cut out a bit stack of things to sew as I knew that bending over to cut out and my accuracy at cutting might be hard post-op. I cut a variety of things so I’d have a selection. Of course, as is usual for me, what I felt like making were Sock Sacks using the free pattern I’ve used before, and which I had not cut out… These take two fat quarters and are really quick to make. It’s nice to see fabric from my quilting stash actually used for something.

Although designed for socks these will also fit a hat, gloves or a small shawl on circulars so they’re a really useful size. I added a lining to each of them but I’ve not put photos of them, basically it’s just the contrast fabric on each one. I cut the fabric the same size as the outer before doing the final side seam, seam the side and bottom of the lining, turn over 3/8″ at the top and then attach it to the bag when I do the top stitching around the top.

So, I decided to make 4 of these. I did that and then decided to do two more, found I had an orange zip and ended up doing 3 more. Then I counted what I had and with the 2 I’d made previously I had 9 which was an annoying number, so I made another 1 for an even 10! They really don’t take any time to do, and they have a nice set of different but short and simple steps to complete them which is apparently what my brain wanted during the days I worked on them. I’ve had fun casting on lots of socks (and then ripping out a few pairs that weren’t looking good so I think I have 4 pairs on the go at the moment and a hat waiting to be cast on) and deciding which bag to put them in!

So, for your viewing pleasure, a carnival of knitting bags!
Sock SackSock SackSock SackSock SackSock SackSock SackSock SackSock Sack 8

I then decided that I wanted some larger knitting bags so I Googled and came up with a handful of free patterns that I want to try. The first was the Reversible Box Tote which takes two half yards of fabric. I didn’t add a pocked to the other side of the bag as the pattern called for as I knew I’d always be looking in the wrong pocket and it’d frustrate me. Also, with an open pocked you’re not going to store more than the packet for your circulars (which fits perfectly) and maybe your pattern and a pen anyway so I wouldn’t need two.

I adore both these fabrics so I was really pleased to use them, and I found some very very stiff thick iron on interfacing to use too, maybe too thick and not great quality as there are some bubbles and coming unstuck bits already and I’ve only had it less than a week.
Reversible Box ToteReversible Box Tote

Whilst I love the look of this bag and how much it can hold, you can probably get a sweater in there, I’ve got a big shawl in mine, I really did not like the construction and unless I can come up with a better way to do it than it says and the alternate way I tried I probably won’t make another. The pattern calls for you to fold over a quarter inch around the top of the bag and the lining and then top stitch them together which is just a total pain in the ass and not really possible with the really stiff interfacing. Burnt fingers aside, the frustration of getting those edges lined up in a pleasing way just seems impossible. I undid the top of the handle and turned and topstitched all around the top and then sewed the handles together again so it looks a bit like a french seam underneath. You can see the wrinkles in the second picture and the interfacing didn’t like being tugged around the way it was when I turned it. If anyone can think of a better way of attaching the bag to the lining give me a shout as I’d love a few more of these but my brain isn’t coming up with anything besides trying it with thinner interfacing when I turn and top stitch which might mean it’s floppy and annoying.

Anyway, that’s the first half of my round up, I will get the second one done whenever I manage to take a picture of the socks that have been finished for almost a week!

So, yeah…

hmmmm, where to begin after so long? I’ve not talked much about the whole cancer thing in a while so this will be a round up of what’s gone on and where I am. Just for the record I had been referring to my cancer as bowel cancer, I actually had rectal cancer which is just a matter of a few inches lower, but I thought I’d set that straight. Also, something I hadn’t picked up from the letters due to chemo fog was that I was classified as Stage 3. I’m glad I didn’t pick that up as it would have freaked me out before I had a clear enough brain to logically think it through. Stage 3 basically means that the cancer has begun to spread. My tumour was very small, I only had a few inches of lower bowel/rectum removed to ensure clear margins and within what they removed there were 13 lymph nodes, which really isn’t a lot. One of those lymph nodes, the one closest to the tumour, had cancerous cells in it, it was doing its job! So, even though it was Stage 3 it was a very very early 3, the classification of stages doesn’t allow for how far into each stage you are. There is another classification system that says how large the tumour was, it’s stage (i.e. how far it’s grown) and whether the cancerous cells have spread at all but I don’t know my numbers for that one and it’s not used as regularly outside a clinical setting as the stages. So, onwards.

I had a CT scan done in October, I think. It was my 1 year on from diagnosis scan, so actually a little early but it needed to be done before having the stoma reversal. The scan came back clear. I have to admit that it didn’t really hit me what that meant, when I had it done last time it was to see if the cancer had spread so my brain just understood this one to mean the same thing. What it actually meant was that the cancer is gone (for now, it’s all one step at a time forever with this), and it wasn’t until my surgeon called me with the results because she didn’t want me to wait for them that I realised that it was kind of an important test!

I’d been hoping to have the stoma reversal done at the end of October, but my surgeon is really busy and sadly had a lot of new cancer patients to see, so it was delayed until November 8th (I think, can’t remember the date now!). I could have had a different surgeon do it, but I figured if she took it apart she could put it back together. Of course the stoma gave me one last run for its money and had a leaky phase right at the end when I was playing chicken with a box of stoma bags not wanting to order more that would just go to waste! I was glad to learn there is a charity I can donate all the boxes of unused bags etc to and I will be doing that as soon as I can.

So, the day came and I arrived at the hospital at the 11.30 time that the letter said. My sister went with me but when it became apparent that I wasn’t gong to go in before she needed to leave to be home in time for my sons she went and I cast on a new shawl and knit a few rows whist I was waiting figuring that although the pattern was simple counting to 129 after the operation wouldn’t be easy!

I went into surgery at about 4.30pm and it was really quick, about half an hour I’m told. I was in a lot of pain when I came out though and went through every single painkiller they were allowed to give me in the recovery room. I spent the night waiting for the next round of painkillers to arrive in the hopes they would work and between passing out for an hour or so I kept checking the US election results which really didn’t help my mood and sadly turned out not to be an illusion caused by the drugs I was taking.

I had a lot of cramping the first day, which is usual I’m told, although they really don’t give you a lot of information about what to expect. I understand that they don’t want to scare you with what might maybe happen, but I have felt, with this operation in particular, that I wanted to know more and I’ve been worried and confused ever since having it done. It all seems to rely on my asking the questions or looking things up online which really doesn’t feel like the most reliable way to do things. Anyway, I was given some medicine to help with the cramping which totally knocked me out for a few hours and then, combined with the anaesthetic leaving my system and said election results had me basically spending the rest of the day in tears.

Also, don’t get me started on NHS provisions for vegans in Northumberland. I had a stoma reversal, offering me curry for lunch and dinner was not appreciated, nor was the plain salad, too much roughage. I had taken snacks in with me luckily and I didn’t have much of an appetite anyway, but it is a really bad selection (if you can even call it a selection) and it really needs sorting out.

I was in hospital until the Saturday, it’s quite amusing after a while to have people ask you if you’ve been farting and pooing and to be happy when you say yes to both! The pain never really faded and I felt a bit out of it, but I figured I was just not in as good condition as I was for the first operation and it would fade. At home I really didn’t leave bed much, wasn’t very hungry and even liquid morphine wasn’t taking away the pain I was feeling, I also tried tramadol which gave me horrible side effects, but again didn’t touch the pain and also didn’t have the morphine side effect of knocking me out so it wasn’t much good.

At 10 days post-op the District Nurse came out to take out the stitches. She was really pleased with the way the wound had healed, didn’t seem too concerned about the pain (after all the muscles had been moved for 11 months, they probably weren’t too happy to be moved back again) and signed me off their books, although she did note that I was very swollen. I got up and did a few things in the afternoon, trying to push myself on thinking that if I was healed surely I was well enough to not need to be in bed the whole time. I was sitting at my sewing table doing something or other and when I leant forward to reach for something I felt a pop where the wound was. When I checked the bandage you could tell that something was coming out as it was bulging, at which point I began to freak out. I remember during the freak out, which was so severe that my sister thought she may need to slap me, thinking that it was really odd that I was reacting that way and how that showed how rarely I really truly panic about things! This was a full on proper panic though as I thought that the join in my bowel had given way which might have resulted in not only my getting very ill from it leaking internally, but also that I might have to return to a stoma bag and I couldn’t face that at all.

My sister found out where to take me, all the way to A&E which is a 45 minute drive from here and then all of a sudden I basically exploded. It seems I had a huge abscess in the wound, and I mean huge, and all of a sudden it gave way. On the way to the hospital I soaked a full size bath towel and the nurse who saw me there said she wouldn’t put me back out  in the waiting area which was probably because I stank to high heaven and was covered in gore. It was literally the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me. I did stop freaking out once I saw what colour the liquid was that was coming out and realised that it wasn’t poo, so that was a tiny relief anyway!

I very quickly was moved up to the surgical ward, A&E is at the hospital where I had the operation so they bumped me back up to the service that might be responsible for anything that had gone wrong and we didn’t have to wait a huge amount of time to see a consultant. The wound had come open again, something I didn’t know until then and was glad I hadn’t known as it would have freaked me out more. They had a look and ascertained that nothing else was wrong besides having had that huge localised infection. So they cleaned me out, packed the wound and sent me home, didn’t even need any antibiotics.

There are two ways to finish the stoma reversal operation. The first, which my surgeon did, is to close the wound as you would most other wounds. The second way is to leave the wound un-stitched but packed with gauze that is changed regularly. it can be a very dirty wound for obvious reasons. Over time the wound closes layer by layer from the bottom up and you need less and less gauze. I have now tried both ways and I much preferred the first way. You can’t fault an NHS that has a nurse come daily to my house to clean and pack the wound though. I have now just moved to every other day and will eventually go longer and longer until it’s done healing. It feels like I kind of wasted those first 10 days healing and then had to start again, but there you go.

On the way home from A&E I realised I was starving, which was the first time I’d been hungry since the operation. I also felt immediately much better, although I’m still very tired and sleeping about 11 hours a night. I think, having pondered for a while, that I might have had an infection before the operation and it was just closed over, we’ll never know why it happened though and no one seems overly concerned about it!

Sleeping though, I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours at a stretch since the operation last December due to waking up to check the bag, empty the bag, tidy up what the bag had decided it wanted to leak everywhere etc. The one time I did sleep for 5 hours I woke up to the most horrible mess of all. The first time I slept the entire night after the reversal, 10 hours in one stretch, was blissful. However I still can’t sleep for too long on my side, and my right side where the wound is I can’t really sleep on at all so my back is getting a little sore. I also still need 3 pillows, 2 more than I would normally use, as my stomach muscles and the wound object to my laying flat.  It will be a wonderful day when I can sleep on my right side again as that’s my favoured side and I so miss being able to sleep that way!

Skip this bit if you don’t want to read about bowel habits, but I want to put it up here should someone be looking for experiences of having a stoma reversed. My bowel is still rather confused by everything. The new piece that has been pulled down and is being asked to basically do the job of rectal muscles rather than its old bowel job gets really excited about pushing and won’t stop. It needs to learn that it has to relax to let stuff through that it then pushes out, but I get phases, less and less as time goes on, where I feel like I have to go to the toilet the whole time and that I’m having a prolapse as it just will not relax. Then, of course, when it does relax I do have to go again. It’s called fragmented something or other and can go on for hours, back and forth to the toilet, it’s incredibly frustrating. I’m also very very windy, which is apparently a normal side effect, but as I’ve not used the toilet properly in 11 months I’ve lost the ability to distinguish between wind and poo, which means more running back and forth. Also things haven’t been stretched in a while, so it feels like I’ve done the hugest poo of my life when really I’ve done a little tiny thing, it can be very disconcerting! I’ve had an upset stomach a few times and have had to take an immodium to slow things down,which can stop it for the entire next day which again is worrying, no end of worry here. Going a tiny bit at at time for hours results not just in the usual pain you get when you’ve had an upset stomach, but also in incredibly irritated skin that has become unaccustomed to toilet paper.

Anyway, I’m assured that things will settle down with time, although it could take quite a lot of time. I don’t tend to go out all that much anyway (I’ve left the house three times since the operation and one of those was to go to A&E) so I should be ok. At the end of the day I’d rather go back and forth to the toilet than have the bag. I appreciate fully that it probably saved my life, the tumour was very low down and therefore was quite a delicate join which needed time to heal. It was also helpful during chemo where rather than having to sit on the toilet for hours in the night (which would have really not helped my already fragile state of mind) I could get up and empty the bag and then go back to sleep whilst the drugs did their worst. I did find the multi-tasking aspect of the bag rather amusing too, you could do anything and be pooing at the same time, and emptying it was much quicker than using the toilet in the regular fashion. However, as much as I tried to ignore it, and as much as I coped with it in my usual stoic ‘there’s nothing I can do about it except get on with it’ way it totally horrified me and I am so glad to be rid of it. For the first few days I did my usual checking it hadn’t leaked whenever I woke up, followed by a ‘oh my god the bag’s fallen off’ moment before I remembered that it wasn’t supposed to be there. After that I’ve not thought about it at all and hopefully I never will have to again.

So, from here I am monitored regularly by various scans and blood tests. I asked my surgeon about the odds of recurrence and basically the average person has a 1 in 15 chance of getting colorectal cancer, my chances have fallen to between 1 in 10 and 1 in 12, so not a huge jump. Also, it’s one of the slowest growing cancers there is. The tumour I had had probably been growing for a few years as that’s how long it takes for them to show symptoms like I had, so they should be able to catch it quickly should it come back and it won’t require major surgery again. Also my chances of getting any other kind of cancer have not risen, I’m no more liable than anyone else just because I’ve had one type.

All I can do now is try to get my life back again and to try not to panic constantly forever. I start back at University after Christmas (I have no idea what I was doing and haven’t looked at my research at all in a year so that will be fun!) and at some point I will be able to exercise again. I had been doing yoga and running again, god I miss the running and it was lovely to get out on my favourite routes, before having this operation, but I will have to start that all over again when the wound has healed enough to allow it. Patience not being a virtue I was born with I will be impatiently waiting.

And that’s that really, regular scans and blood tests and fingers crossed. Maybe I just got this out of the way early being 20 years younger than most people who have this type of cancer, who knows. I keep thinking about an Ani DiFranco line from Lost Woman Song, which is about abortion and not cancer but you use what you can. Although this has been horrible, scary, frustrating, confusing and generally not much fun (gallows humour should never be underrated), as Ani says …”mine was a relatively easy tragedy”. May my luck continue and this be the end of it, if not at least I know now that I can get through it.

Thanks for reading and for your support through all of this. Hopefully there will be less talk of poo and pus in the future and a lot more sewing and knitting!


Winter 2016 Pyjama Parade

It was time for the winter pyjamas to be made. Trying once again to stash bust with these I pulled out fabrics that needed to be used up in both terms of not having enough left for larger sizes and the fact that the boys might find the prints too young for them if I left it much longer.

Piggle has a pair of Olaf fleece pyjamas in his drawer that he loves and should still fit so I just did him two pairs this time around. I used Kwik Sew Sewing for Children, amazingly my ‘baby’ is now in the large size.

The first pair I took an inch off the trousers (you’re supposed to take length off any edge you add a ribbed band to but it’s an easy way of adding length and making them last longer to not bother) but none of the other seams.

KSSFC Pyajams

This fabric is quite amazing, Piggle had a nappy made from it and Jim had summer pyjamas when he was a toddler. It’s all gone now but it served us well! The bottoms are sweatshirt fleece probably last used when Jim started nursery 10 years ago, also all gone now!

In the contrasting tastes of a 9 year old child, Piggle loves pink. He found this stretch terry in my fabric stash and claimed it, as I’ve had it for a really long time and have never figured out what to use it for I was happy to finally do something with it.

KSSFC Pyjamas

Same patterns but this time I didn’t take any length off any of the edges so they will fit him for longer. He loves them and wears them as soon as they come out of the wash so we’re both happy.

Jim is right at the edge of Kwik Sew Sewing for Children sizes. I traced the XL size and used the sweatshirt pattern for the tops for him to give a bit more width. Again, I didn’t take any length off any of the edges before adding bands to them. A rare modelled shot, check out that 13 year old boy slouch (and ignore my sports bra hanging in the background)!

KSSFC Pyjamas

I dyed this fabric, the cotton velour bottoms were a pale turquoise which would have been fine for a baby but not for a teenage boy. The top fabric and ribbing was white so none of it came out the same shade but they’re pyjamas so I can live with it. I forgot when tracing the sweatshirt that as it was wider I would need more fabric so the sleeves on this top are actually cut in two pieces (one going across the grain..) and seamed together. I bought this fabric for Jim probably 10 years ago and used pretty much every inch I could of it making this! Seeing the sleeve length on this top I added an inch to the second pair to give him growing room.

Still have a small bit of the cars left but that was the end of the turquoise sherpa, still a few more colours remain in my stash from my nappy making days though.

KSSFC Pyjamas
He’s happy with both pairs which is a big win for a grumpy 13 year old.

I wanted to use up a length of flannel I got from Abakhan, I think. I bought a Kwik Sew adult pattern thinking that I could use the small size for Jim but it turned out to be too large, it will come in handy in future years though. I found Burda 9747 on a site with a 40% off sale so threw it in with some fabric, it goes up to age 15. I’ve got them cut out but not made yet, I’ll get to them eventually I’m sure and post them when they’re done. This has been a draft for over a month not so I figure it’s time to get it posted so I can move on to newer posts.

All Go or No Go

It seems like I’m either sewing non-stop or I’m stopped completely at the moment, no idea what that is but at least I’m getting things made during those frenzies. I am aware that after Christmas, when I go back to University, that sewing time will become limited again, so I’m trying to make the most of the time I have now. I’m also trying to at least break even on the fabric bought vs fabric used scale this year. Yes, I’ve sewn a ton of things, at the moment my tally is at 56 items, but I’ve also bought a crap ton of fabric so the stash hasn’t seen a reduction at all and I’d like it to be at least a few metres down in the final count, especially as the yarn has taken a big bump in the upwards direction too this year….

Anyway, I finally stuck together the bits I needed from the mega huge Lottie pattern, moved the bust dart, narrowed the neckline and changed my mind about the fabric at the last second (I had out plaid and couldn’t be bothered to try to match it) and gave it a go to see whether I liked it or not.
Lottie DressLottie Dress

Obviously this is the 3/4 sleeve option with pockets, the fabric was from The Textile Centre. I have plans now I’ve made it and assessed the fit to try out some of the hacks that the designer posted on her blog, but one of those is a summer version so it can wait a little bit. I do like the pattern, the bust dart is great where it is and the neckline is good being cut about 4 sizes smaller.

In fact, I liked sewing it so much that a week or so later I decided to use up a piece of flannel I’ve had in my stash for a few years now. I bought it wanting to make a dress but didn’t think about the fact it was a 45″ wide fabric so I didn’t get enough and it’s sat there waiting and waiting ever since which has been annoying because, not only do I love it, but it was pretty damn expensive… Anyway, cue Lottie top with pockets.
Lottie TopLottie Top

The colour is wrong in both those pictures, it has a more dark turquoise shade to it with black design. I wore this the other day and it’s super comfortable and cozy warm, I didn’t need a cardigan over it! I added 1.5″ to the length of the shirt (next time I will move the pockets down about an inch too) and 7″ to the length of the sleeves to make them full length. I’ve probably mentioned this before but I love 3/4 length sleeves, but with winter clothing when you have that length sleeve on both your shirt and your cardigan/jumper you have cold wrists the whole time so I’m making an effort to add a few full length sleeves to my wardrobe. I had to taper the sleeves to fit them on the fabric but I like the way they look so I’ll probably do it again. I have ordered some more flannel for another of these I hope. Oh, I also made a size smaller than the pattern said I should for my measurements. I wanted a slightly closer fit and less sack-like feel to these and they fit me just how I want so I’m happy with the size choice.

A very quick makes was this Peaseholme Top using some lovely sweater knit from Fabworks. So lovely in fact that I tried to go and buy more and was very disappointed to find it’s sold out… Anyway, I made this t-shirt a size bigger than I’d use for the v-neck or round neck versions as I want to wear it over things. I’m very happy with how it came out. This was so simple there’s really nothign to say about it!
Peaseholme Top

From the same fabric I made my first Stylearc pattern, the Sunny Top. Sunny TopSunny Top

I’d read that their instructions were brief but holy briefness, one page for a pattern is indeed brief. I find the fact that each size is in a different pdf a bit annoying as if you want to grade between sizes or decide to go smaller or bigger you have to start all over again which seems like a waste of paper. I saw the other day that they’re trying multiple sizes in one pdf so maybe they will change. I also find their sizing horrid to work out. They state that sizing is all important in making something look how you want and then give you a size 10 and the inches each size increases but you have to do the math yourself. It’s not hard, but when you’re trying to figure out the difference between a 10 and an 18 and also work in how much ease you want it’s a little frustrating, especially at the price they charge (I bought this one in a sale).

Anyway, despite those minor frustrations I am totally in love with this top and I have two more versions planned. It’s really comfortable and fun to wear as well as being easily sewn on the overlocker. I’ve seen someone online wearing a woven top with a similar shape, minus the ‘skirt’ bit, and I’m wondering if I can adapt this pattern by making a larger sleeve size or if I need a specific woven pattern, has anyone seen one?

Moving on, ages and ages ago I found some fabric I loved from The Textile Centre on Ebay and knew I wanted to try out the Lady Skater dress with it. I’ve had this pattern in the back of my mind forever, really since seeing Helen made a load of them after it first came out, now I understand why she kept making them!  I was unsure whether it was me or not, but in this fabric decided yes it would be and bought the pattern. I had problems getting it to print right, didn’t matter which programme I used or how I set it, the lines didn’t match up. The lovely designer not only printed the pattern out and posted it to me, but she also assembled it too which is going above and beyond, I am a bit ashamed that after her wonderful effort it took me so long to use it, but I did use it twice in a week once I got going! Lady Skater DressLady Skater Dress

This is The Textile Centre version (on Ebay they’re still selling this fabric for a very reasonable price I saw the other day). The weight is great and it has lovely drape so I think this is going to be a really comfortable wear. I did try to wear it right away but as I’d starched the hem I had to take it off and put it in the wash as the smell gave me a headache…

I ordered some fabric from Fabworks to make another one. I’d not tried scuba before and it was in their end of summer sale in a print I adored so I decided to give it a go. Sadly, I’m not impressed, I don’t like the feel of it at all and it’s not got as much stretch as I’d like for this dress. I’m sure I will wear it but I won’t be buying scuba again for sure… Lady Skater

I’ll make more of these definitely, my knits stash is not safe. Any dress you can make in about 90 minutes mainly on an overlocker is a win for me!

Plenty more to show you but I want to go and sew now instead of typing about it.

I will leave you with some cross stitch I did quickly (well, quickly twice as I inverted the quote the first time and knew it’d annoy me so I did it again). I have really been enjoying things Wentworth Miller has been in lately. I’m sure I’ve mentioned I watched all of Prison Break, but I’m also a fan of the DC shows like Flash and Legends of Tomorrow and his Captain Cold is brilliant. Anyway, I was reading an interview he gave a while back and came across a quote that really made me think about how I have been living and thinking and was something I wanted to remember and remind myself of, so I used an online cross stitch pattern maker and this is now framed on my bedroom wall.

Wentworth Miller Quote Cross Stitch

He has a lot of very sensible things to say, and something that adds weight to his words for me is the fact that he’s six months older than I am, it’s reassuring that I’m not the only person in their early 40s still figuring this shit out and working at finding ways to create balance and alignment in their lives. Not really what you expect to find when you’re reading about someone playing a convict or a super villain but he gives good interview as well as being a talented actor!

More soon!

Summer Sewing (what do you mean I’m late?)

Ages ago (and I mean ages, some of these projects date from a plan I made a year ago) I sorted out a stack of things I wanted to make and cut them all out ready to go. Then they sat there, and they taunted me and made me feel guilty every time I made something that wasn’t on the cut out pile. I worked my way through it but it seemed to linger on and on. I made a deal with myself recently that I’d make one garment from the pile and then do a row of the quilt that I want to finish and I did that, twice, then found some sewing motivation from somewhere and finally got those projects out of the way this week.

Before that happened I made my ‘school bag’ for the year. This was on my list of things to make so it was an excusable project, although as I’m not planning to return to University until after Christmas and I’m probably not going to travel to campus all that much this year it wasn’t really a necessary make except for mentally and emotionally beginning to prepare to re-enter my life post-treatment.

This is another Perfect Quilted Tote by Elizabeth Hartman, I made the larger size two years ago and this time around it’s the tall tote’s turn.
Perfect Quilted TotePerfect Quilted Tote
When I’m digging through the scraps basket to do the patchwork panels I’m always thinking ‘grown up prints Anna’ and then my brain is all ‘bears!!! bees!! bunnies!!! foxes!!!’ and I end up with a bag that probably reflects my personality better but isn’t really the grown up image I’d like to put across, oh well…

This is a great pattern, it has a lovely finish and goes together really easily. The pocket part is one of those where you can’t really see what’s happening until it’s done, it’s a leap of faith, but if you do as you’re told without question you end up with this great pocket panel inside.
Perfect Quilted TotePerfect Quilted Tote

I bought the grey fabric specifically for a bag from the closing down sale at my local quilt shop, all the rest of the fabrics were from my stash and big basket of scraps. I love this bag and can’t wait to use it. In case you’re wondering about size it’s big enough to hold a MacBook Air with ease along with your pencil-case, diary and a book or two, probably not big enough to carry your lunch unless you’re not taking your laptop.

Next up was the final Baseball Skirt from the trio I decided to make. This uses up the last of the dark grey fabric I used for my Demi Pants and should be useful I hope.

Not a great photo but it’s a grey skirt on a grey dressform!

I had been putting off making the Schoolhouse Tunic I cut out. I wasn’t sure of the style any more or of the fabric which I bought at Ditto, it must have been on sale because I usually find them too expensive for my budget. I also thought I’d have to do french seams but it turned out that the fabric was thicker than I thought so I could overlock the edges instead which made this a much easier project, french seams on gathered sleeves is doable but a pain.

Schoolhouse TunicSchoolhouse Tunic

It’s hanging really awkwardly on the dressform, you can tell I’m not too certain about it as I didn’t bother to get it to lie straight…  It went together nicely and doesn’t look too bad, but I’m still unsure about the shape and the pink, we’ll see how much it gets worn. I did my usual extending the bodice by two inches in length, if you’re larger chested and don’t do this it gets rather boobalicious with the front slit.

I thought that as I’d now done two projects off the list I should stop and work on the quilt, but then I abandoned my plan (which happens far too regularly in my sewing room) and got stuck into the next project.

I bought the fabric for this one from The Textile Centre on Ebay ages ago, in one of my first orders from them I think. It was described as a textured viscose. I knew in my head what I wanted to make from it and went online searching, finding the Blueprints for Sewing Cabin Dress pattern. I then proceeded to make a test denim version (the one where the edges frayed and I put one of the pockets in wrongly) and then the bright leopard shirt where I moved the bust dart. All ready now with a fully tested and altered pattern I cut out the ‘real’ dress and proceeded to let it sit there for six months until it’s too cold to wear with sandals. Luckily it’s the kind of garment that can be worn with leggings, boots, shawl and a big cardigan so I will get some use out of it. I think I also paused before making this as I wanted it to be like I’d imagined and I was worried, in the back of my mind, that I’d be disappointed. Luckily this was not the case and I’m really pleased with how it came out!

Cabin DressCabin Dress

I added four inches to the length of the dress so it hits right above the knee and I used pre-made bias binding for all the edges.

I find the pockets of this pattern a little daunting. I don’t know why as the instructions are clear and it’s not actually that hard once you get going, it just seems like a big deal and as it’s the first step in the process it also contributed to putting me off starting. They came out well though and I managed to get them both right this time!

Cabin Dress Pocket

So all in all it’s a winner of a dress and I can’t wait to wear it. Of course now it’s done my brain is cruising the stash trying to find more fabric to make other versions, always the way…

And then there was one. One final project on the cut out and waiting pile and another one that I was putting off, this time because it was from a really slippy viscose and definitely needed french seams. This was the second version of the Sutton Blouse pattern, again in a plain fabric to balance out the fact that my tops are mainly prints. I wear the navy version of this all the time and it’s really flattering and comfortable so I’m sure this red version (fabric from The Textile Centre) will be worn a lot too.

As an aside, my brain must have been wandering when I cut the Sutton and the Schoolhouse Tunic as with both of them the front should be cut in two pieces and I’d cut it on the fold…
The colour is all wrong as I took the pictures about 5pm at night when I finished sewing it, it’s a nice clear bright red which a camera can’t seem to pick up no matter what time of day you take the picture.

Although this is a really flowy fabric it has a sort of peach skin feel to it which meant that it wasn’t as much of a bear to work with as I’d feared. The one thing I didn’t like on the first version was the side slits. The pattern calls for all french seams until the side seams which you’re supposed to overlock. I didn’t want to do that so I bodged a french seam/side slit method on the first version which isn’t too great and involved lots of fray check. This time around I frankly couldn’t be bothered to deal with the whole thing and knowing how loose this shirt is I did away with the side slits completely and sewed the entire side seam. I should mention that this was made possible by the fact that I lengthened the front piece to match the back as I’m not a fan of long/short hemlines.

So, now it’s done, the pile is gone, the list is crossed off and I don’t have to feel guilty when I’m working on something new and those projects are staring at me. My only sewing plan at the moment is to do the winter pyjamas as the weather has turned here and then to finish the quilt (I’m 3/4 of the way through the top so not too much left). Then I will pick and choose off the pile of stuff I have out and the pile of patterns I have printed. There are the Merchant and Mills patterns, trousers, dresses, two cases and quite a few tops including some new Stylearc patterns I bought in their recent sale.

But finally I will leave you with the Paris Toujours shawl all done and dusted, or as I’m mentally calling it the Prison Break Forever shawl (or perhaps the Wentworth Miller Forever shawl) as it was primarily knit whilst mainlining the show. I’m about 5 episodes before the end now, I know how it finishes as you can’t really avoid all spoilers about a show that old but I’m excited that I got into it right at the perfect time with WM being in other shows I watch (which is why I started watching Prison Break, I love him in The Flash so looked at what else he’d been in) and also with them reviving the show for a short series, although it’ll be next year before we see it over here I guess. Anyway, I obsessively knit this very easy repetitive pattern whilst obsessively following Michael Schofield’s exploits and here is the hard to photograph black shawl.
Paris ToujoursParis ToujoursParis Toujours
I used Drops Safran for this, the garter section is a bit shorter than called for but I didn’t want to start a new ball just for the sake of half an inch of knitting so I cast off. I love this yarn, it is replacing my beloved discontinued Rowan 4ply cotton as it’s soft and matt (mercerised cotton has it’s place but sometimes you want a matt shade that’s not as stiff), plus it’s incredibly reasonably priced.

If you look at my Flickr of late you will see that I went on a bit of a Drops spree last week. I found two sites that had it really cheaply (Cotton Pod for the Drops Loves You 7, The Purple Sheep no longer has the sale on I don’t think). I stocked up on Drops Loves You 7 which I’ve not used before but took the risk and am happy to report is a soft cotton and not like dishcloth cotton, lots of Safran and some more Paris. We’re talking 70p, 75p and 80p a ball here and free postage from one shop, I got 10 projects worth for about £5 a project including the postage. When I was diagnosed with cancer I remember looking at fabric and yarn online and thinking that I probably shouldn’t buy any more because I didn’t want to leave someone to sort out getting rid of my stashes should the worst happen, a sobering thought, along with reasoning that it was better to leave my kids money rather than yarn and fabric should I not be around… Since then I’ve changed my attitude and I see buying yarn and fabric as more of a fuck you to cancer. Of course I’m going to be around to use it and wear it and enjoy working with it all so there’s no reason to stop buying as I have done in the past (generally when things are on sale at silly prices in large amounts). I’m not SABLE yet!

Right, going to get on with the first pair of winter pjs now that I cut out last night. The sewing mojo quit there for a little while but it seems to be back now so best ride the wave while I can!

ETA – opps, totally forgot a project! I finished this a while back and it hasn’t made the blog until now. This is an Almada dressing gown made using a matt satin that was on sale from The Textile Centre.

This was quite an easy make, the cutting out of big pieces from slippy fabric being the hardest part really. I added a hanging loop at the back as the hook on my bedroom door is quite vicious and would put a hold in this fabric or it’d just slip off the hook all the time and be annoying.

I have some other fabric to make a second version, it’s really thin though and definitely a summer cover up rather than a dressing gown so it might take a while to get made. And that’s defintely all I’ve made recently, over and out!

More Knitting Than Sewing

You do one thing for ages and ages and then suddenly you change what you’re doing and something else becomes the habit or obsession of that period. For about 2/3 of the chemo I read and read and read, which meant that only plain knitting that could be done without looking at what was happening. Then, probably with the Olympics when I swapped the books for the tv, I suddenly began knitting all the time and watching tv programmes. So, a lot fewer books have been read the last two months or so, but a lot of tv has been consumed and thus, I have knits to show you!

Courtesy of the Olympics I finished off my second Vitamin D cardigan. I used the same yarn, Freedom Gorgeous, as the first version as I love the drape of the bamboo/acrylic mix. I wear this cardigan all the time in the blue so I’m hoping to get some use from this one, plus introduce a new colour into my wardrobe as I’m not much of a purple person.

VitaminDVitamin D

This is probably the only pattern I don’t mind knitting short rows on as they make sense and you can put them down and pick them up. The construction of this has you do the yoke, then the sleeves and then finish the rest, I was at half of the first sleeve when the Olympics started and cast off near the end so that was good progress! I had less yarn than last time and I thought I had accounted for that by shortening the sleeves a bit, but it seems that I didn’t leave enough or my gauge was different this time as I only managed to pick up, knit a row and then cast off around the front edges at the end rather than knitting the required amount of rows. No one will notice I’m sure as it’s neatly finished and looks fine, but it was a little puzzling! There is also a single yo missing on one of the fronts as obviously an exciting event was occurring when I was supposed to be putting it in, but I was far enough along not to want to go back and fix it!

Next up is the very popular Campside shawl. This was one that I cast on, put down and then suddenly picked up again and wouldn’t stop on until it was done. I think I was watching Arrow and the first season of The Flash when I knit this. I enjoyed Arrow so much that when I finished the 4 series available online I started from the beginning again until series 5 was out on DVD!

Campside ShawlCampside Shawl

This was an easy knit and I used a 4 ply cotton rather than a DK to make it a little lighter. The yarn is Drops Safran which is a lovely soft cotton, I’m using it for another shawl at the moment and will definitely buy more for future 4 ply patterns.

Although I like the shawl there is something about the pattern design that bothers me. I don’t know if it was avoidable or not, but when you move from one spacing of yos to the next you end up with some right under others rather than spaced nicely. It just offends my eyes when I see it for some reason. Hopefully I will forget about it with time and wear it without being annoyed about it! I checked lots of pictures on Ravelry to make sure I wasn’t going wrong with my counting, but sure enough every version has the holes like that.

Next up was my second Simple Tee by Churchmouse Yarns. I cast this on right after finishing the tunic version using the same yarn, Drops Belle, and then it sat until Series 5 of Arrow and Series 2 of The Flash came out during which I finished it off!

Simple TeeSimple Tee

This jumper is exactly what I wanted it to be, plain and navy blue, easy to throw on over things and a simple contrast to my brightly coloured shirts and t-shirts. I love the yarn and I love the jumper pattern. I’m half considering buying more of the yarn in another colour for a third version in the future!

Finally, we have the first of the Prison Break knits. I’ve just started series 4 (yes, I know I’m 10 years behind the times but it took The Flash to make me fall for Wentworth Miller!) and have been working on a few different things whilst watching it, at the moment another huge simple shawl has really stuck and I’m powering through it. I knit these Dashing Mits in two sittings really, they’re very easy. I had to go down several needle sizes and I cut the length of the cuff from 24 to 9 rows as I didn’t want them to go right up my arms (and wouldn’t have had enough yarn anyway).
Dashing MitsDashing Mits

This yarn is Drops Paris (I am loving Drops yarn at the moment in case you can’t tell!). I have another 2 pairs of fingerless mits planned as it gets chilly in the house during the day but I need my fingers to type!

So, that’s that for now. There is still plenty on the needles as I’m casting on about as fast as I finish, although I am trying to get the older projects done and I really need to work on the jumper I started for Jim as he’ll grow out of it this winter if I don’t hurry. Shawls still seem to be the order of the day, I have two on the needles right now and plenty more planned. Maybe I’m starting to feel the chill as the weather changes!

I have some sewing to show you too at some point, although I’ve slowed right down on that too as I’ve been starting to relocate my sewing room and listing tons of things in my Etsy shop so that I can fit into the smaller space I’m going into. I have tons of sewing projects planned, but I need to start working on my PhD again really so I can get back into it before I return after Christmas so progress might be slow. It’s another change and I know my sewing mojo ebbs and flows, at the moment I’m just interested in other ways of making things but the sewing enthusiasm will come back in time, it always does.

Oh, and I saw the surgeon last week, she answered some questions I’d been pondering and was very nice to me when I blubbed on her (it’s easier to think about cancer than to talk about cancer I find). I have a date for my stoma reversal of 8th November. There is a small chance that it could be earlier but I have a CT scan to go to at the end of October so it probably won’t move, plus they need to make sure my platelets are playing along with it all and everything else in the blood work has stabilised after the chemo. I can’t wait to have this done, I accept that the stoma was necessary and could have been a life saver as it allowed everything else time to heal. It was also a sanity saver during chemo as having to sit on the toilet rather than just getting up every few hours in the night to empty the bag would have driven me to the brink. However, my body is changing shape now I’m doing a bit of exercise again and have stopped eating everything in sight like I was at the end of the chemo and things within the stoma have also moved about meaning that I’ve had a horrid couple of months as I talked about earlier where it’s been horrid and leaky. I’m grateful I had it but I’m ready to be done with it now for sure!