30 July 2007

Only One Thing

Dotter is still seeing doctors, about one appointment a week at the moment - and it's becoming clear that her worsening ill health over the past 2 years has been due to the slow onset of the Type 1 Diabetes. I've joined an online forum for parents with T1 kids, and am now hearing of other kids who've also had years of intense exhaustion, crippling joint pains, and low appetite before the diabetes is diagnosed, just like Dotter! Who'd have thunk it?!

This is actually a bloody relief - we're now dealing with ONE disease, not a confusing conglomeration of weird things. Her muscles are no longer starved of energy, so her muscles and joints should start to build up strength again, she's not wiped out all the time, and she's eating normally for the first time in years! All this from 4 insulin injections a day - amazing.

A few weeks after starting on insulin, the pancreas has a last hurrah, and starts working a bit for a while - a few weeks or even months - before failing completely (and there's no way to extend this period yet - but it is an area of research). Dotter has hit this 'honeymoon' period now, so her blood sugar levels are, as she says 'abnormally normal - it's freakin' me out!' Her insulin needs have dropped for the moment, she's only needing 4 units with meals, instead of 8 or 10.

And for the obligatory photo - a puppy update. Lily's had her cast off, revealing her poor shaved leg, with it's long scar over the knee. She's not putting any weight on it, and is getting quite proficient at hopping along on 3 legs. The vet has prescribed warm baths for swimming as puppy physio. Hmmm. She doesn't like baths, but it's probably worth a try - easier than trying to stretch out her leg by hand, and having her nip at us!

29 July 2007

Completing the Picture

Over the past few days I've kept working on my painting on and off (and we haven't been able to eat at the dining table in all that time!). Firstly I filled in the blue and magenta sections of the tablecloth, and added more depth to the tea...

I've just removed most of the masking fluid here, and just about finished painting the tablecloth.

Today I've had the whole day free to paint (well, I also do housework in the times when sections of the painting are drying). Firstly I tackled the cup. This is always tricky, as the surface needs to look shiny and smooth and reflective. First of all I put in a wash of a pale grey, and while the paper is still wet, I drop in some darker greys and blues.

I muck around with the cup and saucer for quite some time, and come very close to ruining the painting at this stage! I probably overworked this section (too many layers of paint aren't a good idea). I think it turned out OK in the end, although I'm not entirely happy with the cup.

Finally it's time to paint the knitting. Firstly I add more masking fluid, around the major holes in the shawl where the tablecloth shows through underneath. I had to do this step twice, as the first time the angle of the lines wasn't right. The little row of dark dots is the Addi Turbo cable where it shows between the stitches.

Then I paint on colours from the tablecloth with grey added (to create shades). More waiting for things to dry...

Then I remove the masking fluid, and ta dah! It looks like lines of stitches with a dark background showing through! I missed a few of the lines joining up properly, though... still, I'm quite pleased with how this looks.

The final stages include adding shading and texture to the shawl, adding more shadows to the painting in general, a few stitch details here and there, and adding some definition to the edges of the cup and saucer. I run the painting past my expert checker (my son, who has an impeccable eye), and adjust the highlight in the tea for him. He's happy, so I'm happy! I think it's done. Approximate time from start to finish, about 12 hours.

Sometimes it's hard to tell when a painting is finished, and at this stage I usually leave the painting on its board and prop it up somewhere for a few days, so I can look at it and see if anything 'pops' out at me and needs to be changed. Only then will I sign it.

I haven't thought of a good title for this one yet - thinking along the lines of Study in White, but that's a bit dull... I don't really want to use the name of the lace shawl (it's the Icarus Shawl from Interweave Knits). Hmmm, maybe something to do with my daughter, as it's her first lace shawl? What do you think?

I hope you've enjoyed following the process of one of my paintings. It's been fun showing you how it's done :)
Yay - we can eat dinner at the table tonight!

27 July 2007

Socks, socks, socks, is that ALL you think about?!

As George has said, she knows my future, and it has socks in it...

This is what I ordered from Germany, and she kindly found and ferried home, fending off the advances of feral knitters far and wide!
  • 2 balls of Geniale by Schachenmayr nomotta. It's 50% merino 50% acrylic, and is basically a knitted tape. I love the olive green - purple - blue colours. This is a trick inclusion - no, it's NOT sock yarn!

  • The Opal looks innocuous, but is in fact CRAZY yarn. The socks will knit up looking as if there's cool tyre tracks printed on top of the base pattern. Opal Crazy, Colour 1904.

  • 2 balls of Regia Mosaik Color, one in pinks/oranges/browns for me (5565), and one in blues/greens/browns for Hubby (5558). They knit up very nicely - see? With only 1 ball of each, they'll need to be ankle socks, or I suppose I could add solid coloured Patonyle for ribbing, heels, and toes...

Not in this pic are 2 balls of lovely tigery red and black sock yarn for Dotter, which she is knitting into socks as I speak! She will hopefully post pics on her Blog :)

I am actually making some progress on my mother's vest again. I must admit I don't much like this yarn, it sheds fibres over me while I'm knitting. But I shall persevere. The pattern is pretty easy to remember, so it's good TV knitting.

Dale over at Stitch'n Time at Mawson has very kindly put some samples of my Knitting Art cards on display under the glass counter. She won't place an order with me until there is 'demonstrated interest' from her customers. So if you're over that way, and feel so inclined, do hunt them out :)

In breaking news - Lulu has got out at Craft ACT, and tried to make off with a necklace (I think it's one of Olivia's creations)! You have to check it out... I'm still laughing!

26 July 2007

Gold, Green & Purple

Here are some progress photos of my latest Knitting Art watercolour. Keep in mind that this may be completely stuffed up at some stage of the process, and I'd have to start again from scratch... watercolour's like that!

OK, after I finished the sketch, I paint masking fluid onto the fine white lines that I want to protect in the painting - either so they stay white, or so they don't accidentally get other colours on them. This includes the edge of the cup, highlights in the tea, the Addi Turbo knitting needle, and white lines in the tablecloth pattern - a lot of them. This took about an hour.

Masking fluid is sort of latex, and a pale yellow colour. When the paint is dry I will remove the masking fluid - it comes off easily, in rubbery string bits that get all over the floor ;) I have a special brush which is only used in the masking fluid (which ruins brushes) - I wipe it over a bar of soap before and after use, and wash it carefully.

OK, now the fun (and scary) bit - paint! I use a variety of artist-quality paints, choosing the best pigments from each brand. I have Art Spectrum (Aussie brand), Daler-Rowney, Windsor and Newton, Maimeri and more. Each tube costs from about $10 to $30, depending on the pigments.I have about 25 tubes of paint - yeah, it's expensive.

I try to limit the colours I use, so the painting harmonises better. I've chosen a French Ultramarine, Ultramarine Violet, Rose Lake, Hooker Green (Quiet you in the back, sniggering away, I know what you're thinking....) and Green Gold. I have a notebook with swatches of my paints, so I can see how they look on the paper - this helps me choose the best paint. I also need to take into account which paints are transparent or opaque, staining or non-staining etc. I'm still learning about paints - a lifelong study, I suspect!

Actual paint on paper! These are the gold-green areas of the tablecloth started... Gold Green mixed with some Yellow Ochre.

After about an hour, the gold's done, and now I've mixed the Hooker Green with Ultramarine to get an aqua, and have painted most of these areas. I make sure I paint the shadowed areas in darker green.

Next comes the purple - I mixed the Violet with some Rose Lake to get the colour I wanted. And I've done the first wash for the tea. Finally, I can use a bigger brush! The highlights have been saved with masking fluid - they will show up brilliantly once the painting is done, and the masking fluid is removed. I'm not happy with the depth of colour in the tea yet, this will get another wash or two.

All this took about 3 hours. It's important to work carefully and slowly with watercolour, thinking ahead about how the paint is going to react if I do this or that, and which part of the 'painting puzzle' do I need to do next. Each section needs to dry before I go on to the next part, too.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this little 'tutorial' so far - more photos soon, as the painting progresses! Please note that the painting has been photographed in a variety of lights (flash, nighttime, daylight). The last pic is probably the most accurate colourwise.

24 July 2007

Mariah & Icarus, with Cape

I actually worked on Mariah last night, and finished the fronts (up to the same level as the back) - I got a bit of a fright when I measured them against the back - despite having the same number of rows, the fronts were about 2 cm longer! My tension must have changed a bit? However, after pinning them, they seem to fit better.

So I'm up to casting on the second sleeve!

I've started another Knitting Art painting - I had the idea of having a brightly coloured tablecloth, and a white cup and knitting. I'm painting Dotter's Icarus shawl. Hers is pale blue, but I'll make it white in my painting. Setting up the still life takes about an hour - I've got to make sure the design is just right. And then the preliminary sketch takes about 2 hours. I used a 3H pencil, which won't smudge. It also isn't very dark, so doesn't photograph well... More progress photos will come!

And this is me (in that chic "early morning not really awake yet" look) wearing A capella. It's really lovely, I'm wearing it all the time, and it keeps my shoulders warm without getting in the way of computing work, and doesn't slip off like a shawl.

23 July 2007

Silk Bangle Puppy

Look at what Miss Spidey gave me yesterday - had to share, if only to make you insanely jealous. It's some of her handspun silk... utterly delicious! Thank you Spidey. It's just beautiful.

I splurged badly at Craft ACT, after teaching my class (yes, blew all my earnings!)... am now the proud owner of an original Liana Kabel bracelet. I think this certifies that I now have the mental age of a 6 1/2 year old (growing up at last!). Dotter has some of the cool knitting needle 'tops' earrings.

Lily got her narcotic patch off today at 1pm - which also meant the wide restrictive bandage around her neck was removed. And suddenly - Ooooh, I can lick my leg now! And lick. And lick. And lick. It got all red and sore within HOURS people. By 4pm we were back at the vet for the conehead treatement, and some soothing ointment. The Mini Vet (she was all of 4'6") also snipped the edge of the cast to make it less binding at the top edge.

Only 5 more days of this - the cast comes off on Saturday. At the vet all the nurses came out to say Hi to Lily - they all think she's the nicest chihuahua they've ever met!

My Harry Potter word search was in The Sunday Age yesterday, on page 5! I've never been sitting that close to the front before! W00t! They put a spoiler into the hidden message, which wouldn't have been my choice, but it was their puzzle after all... It was still a great commission! For the record, I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan... Dotter's boyfriend helped me come up with a good word list ;)

Dotter survived her first day at school with type 1 diabetes - she checked her blood on time, and remembered her insulin before lunch and everything. Proud of her. We need to submit an Emergency Treatment Plan for school - but it's all on a standard form; they have done this before, after all, even if we haven't. Back at hospital tomorrow again for our next education session.

22 July 2007

Photographic Proof

How's this for a self-referential photo? This is a picture of my Blog being projected onto the wall at Craft ACT, with my previous post on the wall... LOL!

And here a couple of pics from my Short Circuit Scarf Class today ....

See - real people actually knitting, having fun, and learning stuff! Can anyone spot Bells, and Knittydoll's back?

BB was heartbroken at being able to see Lulu but not kiss her... ahhh, such poignancy; the cruel consequences of a life of crime....

Al got a chance to try on my just-finished A capella capelet (which was toasty warm!) - he looks pretty pleased about it, don't you think?

In home news, Lily is going OK, although not frightfully happy about her bandaged leg. We probably shouldn't laugh as she tries to walk, but ends up sort of pirouetting around, veering off to the right, and landing on her backside. She gets the narcotics patch off tomorrow.

And Semester 2 / Term 3 starts tomorrow! So we'll need to inform Dotter's school about her diabetes, and get a hypo kit to them (some fast acting (jelly beans) and slow acting (muesli bar) carb foods in case her blood sugar goes too low, plus medical info). There's already one student with type 1 at her school, so hopefully they'll be familiar with it all. She's not looking forward to having to inject at school, but she has to, at lunch time. Another mental hurdle to get over.

Short Circuit Class!

Yay - hi everyone! I'm actually posting this from Craft ACT, where my Short Circuit Scarf Class is nearly finished. It's been great fun - 12 lovely ladies (including Barb and Diana from Carft ACT) have picked up sticks and learnt to make Taph's clever short row scarf pattern! Canberra Snbers who've joined in today are Bells and Knittydoll.

Thanks everyone for coming along - it's been great! Photos to follow once I'm home :D

20 July 2007

Warm & Woolly

Look, it's nearly done! My A capella cape... I'm adding some rows of garter stitch along the lower edge to make it a bit deeper (yay for Knit Picks needles with really long cables!). I did consider a lace, but since the capelet has alternating strips of stocking and garter stitch, the garter stitch edging made more sense. It also helps the edge to stop curling!

I think I'll use these cool little buttons my son made years ago from narrow eucalyptus branches. They have been soaked in oil, and should put up with hand washing OK. Don't they look like little smiley faces?

I hope to be able to wear the cape by Sunday, at the Short Circuit Scarf workshop I'm teaching!

Lily is going OK - she's not so groggy today, and has occasionally got up and hopped around on 3 legs. But she's mostly sleeping in her basket, curled up in the winter sunlight. Thanks for your well wishes, I've given her pats from all of you!

19 July 2007

Back home

Lily's home - still pretty doped out (that's a narcotics patch covered by the green bandage on her neck!), and her hind leg is all bandaged up, as you can see. Her chronically dislocated knee is all fixed and stablised; there was no damage to the cruciate ligament after all. It must have been some of the fiddliest surgery ever, such tiny joints!

Lily has a heart murmur so the vet didn't want her to go onto anti-inflammatory pain killers. She's the lowest permissible weight for the narcotics (3.2 kg) so we have to have to keep a close eye on her, and make sure her breathing doesn't get too slow. The med is at it's maximum effectiveness now, though, so she should be OK. It's a restricted drug, so we have to take her back on Monday to have it removed and logged on their official records.

Dotter, BF and I went to another education session at the hospital today, this time with the dietician - low-GI isn't so important now, but carbohydrate exchanges are - wheee, something new to learn. I was yawning through the whole 2 hours - so terribly overtired. Anyone know where I can find a copy of the Women's Weekly's Fat and Carb Pocket Guide? The first newsagency I checked (Erindale) didn't have it.

I've just finished a rush puzzle job - my agent called late yesterday with a request for a large Harry Potter word search for The Sunday Age. Worked until about 11pm last night, and have just sent the final version in - it'll be in this Sunday's Age (22nd July).

My pen pal Cindy (who often comments on my Blog - HI Cindy!!) has stepped into the world of Blogging! So drop on over and say hi - her blog is Honeygo Beasley, named after her gorgeous puppy Chloe. It's a pretty doggy blog :D

Finally, thanks everyone for your encouraging words about my online shop - and for the orders that have come in - very exciting!

It's my TV night again - Inspector Rex and The Eagle - I'm really really ready to veg out in front of the box!! My A capella capelet is nearly done - I want to add a garter stitch border to make it a bit deeper, and then it's just buttons. Still have to cook dinner first though.

18 July 2007

Open for Business!

The doors are open, the stock is all new and shiny, and PayPal is behaving itself (at last; trust me, you don't want to know the details) - The MoxWord Shop is up and running! Woo hooo!

MoXWord is my mobile phone crossword program (you might like to download the free copy from the shop) but I'm also using my X-Cart shopping cart to process sales of my Knitting Art cards.

Please note, the online ordering and payments will only work within Australia, at this stage, simply because calculating overseas postage automatically is horribly complicated. Hopefully when I'm more experienced at running X-Cart I can figure out a way to do this.

So, if you live outside of Australia, and want to order cards, just contact me directly (there's a link on the shop site) and place your order by email - I'll give you a quote on postage, and we can do the PayPal thing.

If you live in the USA or Canada, do look at my CafePress store too. The postage costs are much much less than getting cards shipped from Oz, and there's a bigger range of merchandise too. I can vouch for the printing, it's good quality. The only thing you can't get from CafePress is the medley pack of cards, with one of each of the four designs.

Time for a celebratory cuppa tea!

In puppy news, the vet's called - he doesn't think Lily's cruciate ligament is ruptured, but her knee cap really needs to be stablised, so she's having tiny knee reconstruction surgery at this moment. Dislocating knees are very common in chihuahuas (and other tiny dogs, no doubt), and worse as they get older (she's nearly 12). She'll be in overnight. I left her a blankie to sleep on from home.

17 July 2007

A capella

Here's my A capella capelet - it's nearly finished already! Super fast knit - I got this much done in one day (OK, I didn't do much else, but still!). I'm really enjoying the Shadow Tweed. This is Colour 6906 - isn't it just gorgeous? I'm probably going to need to dip into a second 100g ball to finish this capelet, so maybe 120g of wool all up? Then I'll need some nice buttons. I think I'm going to pick up stitches along the lower edge and add a few rows of a simple lace.

Verdict at the vet's? Lily is going in first thing tomorrow for an examination under anaesthetic. If they think she has a ruptured cruciate ligament (which they think is very likely), they'll keep her under and do the deed. She has a mild heart murmur, which has developed with age, so I'm a bit worried about her coping with surgery. She's nearly 12, after all. The vets are of course very reassuring - they operate on dogs with heart murmurs all the time, so while there is a slightly higher chance of things going wrong, they're sure she'll be OK. Poor puppy, I hate to leave her there :( She'll be there overnight if they operate tomorrow. She really pines when she's away from us, doesn't eat, shivers ...

Dotter is slowly getting better blood sugar control with the help of the doctor-on-a-phone (every night I call her, report Dotter's blood sugar readings, and she tells us what dosages of insulin to inject). The diabetes specialist gets back tomorrow, as do the educators (they've all been off at various conferences). We've enjoyed (and needed) the past 4 hospital-free days, but that will all change now - back to being edu-ma-cated. I'm feeling a bit less freaked by it all, it's been good to have a breather.

Boyfriend is back from the coast, so Dotter and he are both much happier :) I missed him too, actually!

15 July 2007

Mystery Yarn

Boyfriend's mum J is a super card maker, and uses this frayed ribbon yarn on her cards. She got it from Spotlight some time ago, but has lost the label. She's keen to find more, and in different colours - any ideas as to what it is?

My best guess so far is Raggedy, but I don't think it's quite right, the colourway doesn't match, and I'm not sure if it's sold in Australia. It feels cottony if anything, and isn't too shiny.

I need something warm for my shoulders while I'm working, and want to use my Shadow Tweed - decided on the A capella capelet off Knitty, and am about a third of the way through it already. It's been really good to spend today quietly knitting and not doing much else. Needed it. Photos tomorrow when we have sunlight again.

And I think Lily has ruptured the cruciate ligament on her left hind leg (she did to her right hind leg about 4 years ago) - she's been limping badly for 2 days, hoping around on 3 legs :( So next stop - the vet's and possibly surgery. Yay. Could my week get any better?

14 July 2007

Catching up

I have to send out a big thank you to Sheep Rustler from Melbourne who sent us 3 pairs of really cool safety pin earrings last week as a surprise gift - they arrived on the day of the diabetes diagnosis, so were a little ray of sunshine on that pretty awful day.

I wore this pair to the Knit 1 Blog 1 opening last night. Dotter wore the blue safety pin right through her ear (ie without the silver hoop!), and the set with tiny safety pins has been given to Barb at Craft ACT , for Lulu. I hope to get a photo of Lulu sporting her new jewellery soon (not that she deserves such generosity!).

I feel that since everyone has been so loving and kind this past week, and many of you have heard my radio interview (and hence know my real name), I may as well post the occasional photo of myself and Dotter (who already appears in person on her own blog). Sort of a thank you to you, if you will. So here we are the Knit 1 Blog 1 opening last night. I'm wearing my Vintage Hues scarf. Dotter is wearing her beret, and we're standing in front of our displayed works (the black labels were added by me in Photoshop, they're not 'real').

Progress on the Opal Toe-Up Socks - past the second heel, into the home stretch! Am completely converted to the magic loop method now.

Yesterday was really full on. Dotter and I woke pretty exhausted, but had to be back at hospital by 10am, when we had another 2 hours of 'education' sessions with Wendy and the nice doctor. Dotter gave herself her first injection - another hurdle passed. I have to learn how to do them too, erk, as do Hubby, Son, and Boyfriend. They gave us lots of stuff - a great book all about diabetes in children and teens (mainly about Type 1), the 2 insulin injecting pens (one for the slow-release, one for the fast-release), extra syringes in case the pens ever break, a backup blood sugar meter, and heaps more besides. Dotter was given a cool backpack, as well as a Diabetes Bear, which she actually really likes. It has felt patches sewn on to show where insulin injections can be given (thighs, tummy, bum, upper arms).

Then we had to go to Diabetes ACT to upgrade her membership on the National Diabetes Scheme (from Type 2 to Type 1), and buy more supplies - jellybeans, the ultra-fine needles to go onto the insulin pens (they're single use only), a bigger sharps disposal unit, blood ketone test strips, and so on. Then to the Chemist to get the insulin script filled - 5 packs of each of the 2 types of insulin, which have to be stored in the fridge.

At lot of the costs are subsidised by the government (free needles and insulin pens, free glucose meter, inexpensive test strips etc) but Dotter's Health Care Card has just been cancelled (when she turned 16), so the insulin cost us $90 instead of $9.40! I reapplied for a new card weeks ago, and we should be able to get a refund, fingers crossed, once they process our application.

Also got a GlucaGen Hypo Kit (in the bright orange case at the front right in the photo) - it's an emergency syringe of glucagon, in case Dotter is unconscious from low blood sugar, but can't eat, cos she's unconscious..., bit fucking freaked about that item. Haven't been shown how to use it yet, that will come next week, I suppose. Also skin cream for her dry skin (common in diabetics). Came home and collapsed for a while - just so sad and overwhelmed and exhausted by it all. Hubby's been sick in bed all week, too, with the flu and complications of severe CFS/ME, so I've felt like a single mum through all this so far.

So there you are - a small part of what you need to replace the functioning of your pancreas. A lifetime of daily blood tests and injections, of juggling what you eat and your exercise with how much insulin you need, of watching for the physical symptoms of hypos (low sugar) and hypers (high sugar), and adjusting, of looking for complications (nerves, eyes, feet, and more)... Here's hoping for a cure. We supported stem cell research before anyway, but now we REALLY support it.

13 July 2007

All that knitting!

We're just back from the Knit 1 Blog 1 exhibition opening at Craft ACT, which was a blast (and is probably still going). Great to see so many friends - including the wonderful KnittyDoll who is back from the UK! Also got to meet QuiltingMick, even if only briefly. So many brilliant pieces of knitting, lacey bits, clever things, beautiful fibres and everything :D Well done everyone, what an achievement! I will definitely come to some of the Friday lunchtime Knit Ins, and have a closer look at all the work.

Was relieved to see that Lulu has been locked up, as she deserves... Barb is definitely living life dangerously by putting a piece of jewellery in with Lulu, though - we all know what Lulu's like!!

Having a quiet weekend at home - desperately need it. May not even venture out for SnB on Sunday. Need sleeping, reading, painting, and knitting time, with no radio interviews, birthday parties, deaths, interstate trips, hours at hospital, or doctors' appointments (not a bad effort for one week, was it?!!). I hope to even catch up on all the Blogs I read!

12 July 2007

Not too owie

Thank you everyone for your wonderful heartfelt comments - Dotter and I are both really touched.

I started off the day not so well - I forgot to take my evening meds last night, and didn't sleep well as a result... so with 5 hours of poor sleep under my belt, I headed off to Cooma. Bloody freezing day. Listened to Arvo Part's ethereal Berliner Messe while driving through the fog (which was widespread, even down at Bredbo), and then Queens of the Stone Age (rock on!). Found Dotter and lovely Mother-in-Law C at Cooma Park. We had hugs, and then hot tea and lunch. And hour later Dotter and I left for Canberra, and had a really smooth trip, not too much traffic. Then we had some retail therapy at Woden Plaza - check out our new tops at the exhibition opening tomorrow night! :)

Late this afternoon we had about an hour at Canberra Hospital, in the Paediatric Diabetes Unit (out patients) - we know the diabetes educators Wendy and Alison well already, and they saw us initially. Then the Dr came in too - a nice young woman (much more approachable than our regular specialist, who is away this week). It's clear that Dotter has Type 1 diabetes starting up - her antibody readings are astronomically high. This means that her body is definitely attacking the pancreas, and once started this process can't be stopped.

However Dotter's progress has been a bit unusual since being diagnosed with Type 2 last year. They think she has both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, which can happen sometimes, apparently. Her pancreas is still producing some insulin, for the time being anyway.

There are two types of insulin (which we all have in our bodies) - slow long-acting, and fast short-acting. I don't know any more yet - but suspect I will know more soon (don't think I have much choice in this!). Wendy gave Dotter her first long-acting insulin injection tonight. Despite being quite long (over 1cm) the needle is extremely fine, and doesn't draw blood. The injection goes into the layer of fat over the tummy. Much less painful than the regular finger prick blood tests she's been doing for months now - she barely felt anything at all. So that's one fear breached. Tomorrow Dotter will learn how to inject herself.

We're back at the hospital at 10am tomorrow, for another couple of hours of education and learning more about how to calculate the insulin injection doses and so on. She may need the short-acting insulin as well, which means injections before each meal. We need to learn about carbohydrate exchanges too.

The educators and doctor are really good at keeping you clam, and making each step achievable, and less frightening. So we're feeling mostly OK about the whole thing, on the whole...

Eyes falling out of head at the moment, I'm so tired. Need to make a good low-GI healthy dinner, though, and then I can collapse in front of my favourite TV shows, Inspector Rex and The Eagle (both on SBS). Hope to get some knitting time, I certainly need to switch off from today. Then an early night!!

The good news is I think we should both be at the Knit 1 Blog 1 exhibition opening tomorrow.

PS Dotter has updated her Blog - drop on over and say hi :)

11 July 2007


Dotter's antibody tests came in this evening, and it's clear she has Type 1 diabetes (the body’s immune system destroys the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin - no cure, requires injections of insulin every day).

She was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes late last year, but despite changing to a low-GI diet and increasing her exercise, her blood sugar levels had recently suddenly got very high. She's also losing weight rapidly, very thirsty and so on. The doctors have always said there was a slight chance she was in the early stages of Type 1, and now it seems this bad story has come true.

Dotter has to cut short her holidays - tomorrow her Oma and I will each drive halfway and meet at Cooma. She may need to be admitted to hospital while they sort out what level of insulin she needs - I'll know more tomorrow morning. It was pretty awful having to break this news to her by phone, too... thankfully boyfriend M was with her, and helped pick up the pieces.

The irony? It's National Diabetes Week in Australia.

Despite all this I'm hoping to get to the Knit 1 Blog 1 opening! Damn it all!!

Thursday morning update : She should be able to avoid being admitted to hospital, although we're going to be frequent visitors at the Diabetes Unit for the next little while. First appointment is 4pm today. Thank goodness for knitting, hey? Time to get back to that Opal toe-up sock. Heading off to Cooma now... thanks everyone for your love and good wishes, and thoughtful and kind words.

Cards! Woo hoo!

Last week I decided to take a calculated business risk, and had 2,400 Knitting Art cards printed - 600 each of 4 designs - Anticipation, Casting On, The Red Mug, and The Pink Shawl :

It's so exciting to have these boxes of cards - actual real cards. They're A6 (ie A5 folded in half) on a good heavy card, and are blank inside. I'm packaging them with envelopes and in cellophane bags. They are available singly, and as a pack of 4 (1 of each design). They will be available at the Knit 1 Blog 1 exhibition (ie at Craft ACT) from this Friday.

I am also going to sell them on my soon-to-be-opened online store. Once I finish writing the legal Terms & Conditions, and Privacy Notice, and upgrade the shopping cart software to the latest release. See how much fun I get to have? I'm also going to send samples around the country to see if anyone else wants to sell the cards, places like Ozeyarn, The Wool Shack, Wool Baa, Yarn mag, and so on. If you are a knitting shop owner and interested, please drop me a line for wholesale pricing information (I have an ABN and am registered for GST).

My thanks as ever to the brilliant boys out at New Millennium Print who always print things on time, even insane deadlines like I presented them with last week, and fantastically well. Love you guys!

Now, some actual KNITTING content (don't die from shock).

Here is how my Pink Spring Shawl (yes, the same one that features in The Pink Shawl card) is going with its green / pink/ grey border. Is pretty!

And some Finished Objects!

The Red Stash Lap Rug firstly - it's not too big, not too small - just right for tucking over your lap, and won't drape all over the floor (90 x 65 cm). It's very cuddly cosy warm. And bright. A double crochet border tied the whole thing together neatly. These reds are hard to photograph - but it's a deep magenta pinky red, with stripes of other yarns. As you can see I didn't give much thought to which direction the mitred squares were pointing, and didn't care. No seams, as I picked up stitches along the edges and knit out from there.

And my Vintage Hues Scarf is done and being worn! It took me about 8 days all up. It's long, and VERY warm. I really love the colours in this yarn, and the way they change. I'll be using this stuff again, I can tell! The Yarn Harlot's pattern was easy to memorise, and really effective. Another keeper.

Last but definitely not least, I was the very lucky winner of The Shopping Sherpa's 'lucky door' prize to celebrate her 500th post. It arrived in the mail yesterday - a tricky folding up shopping bag, in her very cool Shopping Sherpa fabric! Isn't it wonderful?

PS Thank you everyone for your lovely kind words yesterday about Jan. Still feeling melancholy.. wish I could attend her funeral, but New Zealand is too far at short notice...

PPS Dotter is away at Merimbula, staying with her Oma (grandmother) for a week, mainly because boyfriend M is also staying in Merimbula visiting his dad and grandparents too. So she will be missing the Knit 1 Blog 1 opening on Friday. I'm sure you understand - boyfriend ? - exhibition ? - boyfriend ? - exhibition ? - hmmm, hmmm.... which one to choose? LOL!

PPPS Is anyone else having trouble adding Titles to their Blogger posts? It's driving me NUTS.

10 July 2007

Too soon...

In July 2003 I attended the Bathurst Winter Art School (on an Emerging Artist Grant), and spent a wonderful week in a mixed media workshop at Charles Sturt University. I lived on campus in a student house, along with about 7 other artists. My house held the 'New Zealand contingent' - and amongst them was Jan. She and I became firm friends - we were both doing the mixed media class, had a very similar sense of humour (irreverent and silly), and we both loved cryptic crosswords. She created striking abstract artworks (one of the hardest branches of art to master).

We've stayed in touch over the past 4 years. I introduced her to Iris, a Canberran artist friend who moved to New Zealand and became Jan's friend too. Only a few weeks ago she emailed me a funny story, and hoped "the crossword business is picking up."

I've just heard that Jan died in an accident on Sunday. It's unbelievable that she's gone - such a vibrant, funny, creative woman. I will miss her terribly, as I know her family and NZ friends will even more.