Sunday, 12 November 2017

I thought we were done with this

As my son is now a university graduate, I thought the days when germs travelled home from school to infect the family were long over.  It turns out I was wrong.  DS went to a group event in London a few weekends ago and then complained he felt coldish a couple of days later.  After a few days of being ill, he came out in a magnificent crop of spots which we thought was an allergic reaction to giving him sinus medication.This was the weekend of course so on Monday he went off to the doctor who immediately identified it as a contagious childhood complaint called hand, foot and mouth disease. I'd never even heard of it and had to look it up online. To cut the sorry story short, DH and I both caught it and I've been home sick since  Tuesday afternoon.  I started feeling better on Friday which is when the spots starting coming out.  I've been lucky though, my spots are mainly on my hands and feet.  DH had them all over his face and scalp as well and DS had them so badly that they are still healing over a week later.

I had little to no energy while I wasn't well, but I could knit.  So when I was awake I worked on this sitting Santa doll from the King Cole Christmas Knits 4 book by Zoe Halstead, and finished him up by Friday night.

He's supposed to be weighted down with plastic pellet toy stuffing but our local craft shop didn't have that and neither did Hobbycraft. However I did find a jar of crushed mica at Hobbycraft which worked just as well to give him some stability.

Since we were both home, DH drove me over to a steel stockholder and we picked up the 1/4-inch stainless steel rod to replace the plastic tracks on my Grace Next Generation quilting frame.  I got two 3m lengths for the main bed and they kindly cut two shorter lengths for the carriage rails.  This is what the stuff looks like:
It was way cheaper than replacing the crappy plastic tracks (and by the way I found my carriage tracks were cracked as well when I took them off, which explains the occasional hitch in movement on that) and hopefully is a permanent solution.  The metal rods sit on top of the channels where the plastic track used to snap in, and the carriage wheels roll along the top of the metal track.  I've only had a trial push around but it feels so much smoother.  Strangely heavier as well, I suppose because the machine now has momentum to keep going whereas before the friction would immediately drag at it. I didn't have any energy when I wasn't well but hopefully I can get my next quilt on soon.

Update: I subsequently discovered that the metal rod must be slightly shorter 
than the plastic track because the brackets bolted on either side of
the sewing machine carriage (the brackets that support the handlebar
superstructure) were hitting the back of the lower travelling carriage and stopping
the machine from travelling fully backwards.  My fix was to use my Dremel
handheld tool with a round cutting burr to turn the bolt holes in the
sewing machine carriage into slots. That meant I could bolt the brackets
back on but higher up by a good 1/8", enough so that they clear the 
end stops on the lower travelling carriage.

Earlier in the week before I fell ill, I did some work on the new Bucks Point lace edging that I was stuck on last weekend.  I think I've worked out how to do it now. I'll have to see what more knowledgeable lacemakers in my club think when they see it, but I think it's ok.  The plan is to make a long length that I can sew around a mat. It will be a more straightforward project to take to lace days than my more complex hexagonal edging.

I finished knitting the first of my fingerless gloves and started the second one, which was my knitting project over the weekend.

I was glad to feel better by Friday because I had tickets booked to attend the inaugural Nottingham Yarn Expo over the weekend.  I went up by train yesterday morning after a bit of painting in the ensuite.  The venue was the Nottingham Conference Centre, quite a new and light-filled building, and the large amount of traders were spread out over two floors in what would normally be atriums and public spaces. There seemed to be a good buzz and lots of attendees.  There was live entertainment - on Saturday a string quartet and on Sunday a harpist, both playing clever covers of modern pop music as well as classics, and both of very high standard.  There were a couple of free talks - I went to a talk by Marie Greene of Olive Knits, a charming and perky American designer who talked about slow fashion and its importance to both the maker and the wider community. The traders seemed to be mostly small independents.  There was a fabulous array of fibres and hand-dyes, in fact if anything there was too much yarn (gasp, I can't believe I just wrote that sentence) as opposed to other goodies.  I was looking more for kits and patterns but I enjoyed fondling some of the beauty on offer.  I bought a kit from Marie Wallin to make the gorgeous Scalloway Fair Isle Tam, which came in its own tote bag of yarn, with needles and the pattern, and I also succumbed to her book 'Shetland' because the fair isle patterns are so beautiful.  And I bought a pattern and skein from Border Leicester Yarn to make fingerless mitts. And that was it. I did have a try of the Addi Crazy Trio on one stall that everyone seems to be talking about (a hybrid between circs and dpns with a flexible join) but I found the needle length too short for my big hands.  I get on fine with dpns anyway.

I stayed overnight and this morning I attended a workshop on knitting techniques, also with Marie Greene, which was good fun.  She talked us through picking up stitches smoothly for button bands and necklines and her tricks for those, showed us how to do Russian grafting and a neat buttonhole.  So I had a good show, I hope the traders did as well.  I think there are things that could be improved for next year, like having maps of the floor plan to find exhibitors/toilets/lecture theatres and having a cloakroom to stash heavy coats (it was November), but it was easy to get to and I think possibly bigger than Unravel, maybe a similar size to Fibre East?

Back to work tomorrow although I feel a bit like a typhoid mary as I am possibly still contagious even though I feel fine.  I will have to try to keep my germs to myself and not touch anything/anyone.


swooze said...

Oh my. Hope you’re not contagious. My daughter works in a medical setting and I worry if she will bring something home.

I’m glad you’ve got your tracks fixed up and I hope it works well for you. Seems like you were productive in spite of your ills. That’s always a great thing!

Daisy said...

Oh wow, how did you manage to avoid that one all this time? L had it at almost 12 months so I had to delay my return to work slightly a year ago!
Hope you all feel better now and you managed to avoid infecting anyone at work!

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