Sorry about the absence but I’ve had a really busy…

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Sorry about the absence but I’ve had a really busy time of it and its completely taken it out of me, the good news is that I have finally got my referral to a CFS/ME clinic, the bad news is they have a HUGE waiting list (what surprise) and they want me to have more bloods done. Me and needles (unless they are of the knitting variety) don’t mix. Luckily my GP surgery is understanding and willing to help me. I say help me, the doctor prescribes me Emla cream (anyone with young children who have had to have blood test probably know this well) and some mild sedatives. I know this isn’t the best way but it works, so for now it will have to do.

I’m making steady progress in the shawl but not much else. I realised that with the upheaval of the past month I was not going to get my xmas knitting completed, so have thought about other handmade gifts. I have been researching soap-making. There appears to be two camps, the melt n pour and the actual making from scratch. I like the idea of the later best but am unsure about time scales, and whether it would be done my xmas, there is also more to go wrong with the actual making. I have found a good on-line store that has starter kits of melt n pour, soap-making and bath bomb making. I am very tempted to get these as I do still have some money left over from my birthday. I was thinking a handmade soap or bathbomb with a handknitted washcloth would make a nice gift. I have very sensitive and dry skin so I think it may be beneficial to me to be able to make soaps tailored to my skin, as at the moment I use great stuff but it is far from cheap.
I promise that if I do branch out in my crafts I will stay with the knitting, its not like you can make soap on the bus or in bed.

I have signed up for a couple more swaps, both on swap-bot, the first is a little of everything swap #2, which involves sending a given number of items in a jiffy bag, incl. CD, something handcrafted, a recipe and something scented among other things. The other is knitting and coffee, after the success of knitter tea swap and hot socks I was really pleased to find this. I’m hoping I get an international pal as I was given some Millstone Raspberry n Cream coffee recently and was most upset that that they don’t distribute or ship to UK. I particularly like that they sell small packets.

I had a sort out of my stash earlier and have two new future projects I’m looking into making. First is the Cloud Bolero, the free pattern from Yarn Forward designed by Ysolda. I have the right amount of Rowan Plaid in Creeper (this originally purchased to make a long cable scarf but I like the idea of the pattern better), the second is from WrapStyle, using Freedom Spirit DK. I absolutely love this yarn but most patterns are knit so the stripes are horizontal however this pattern is knitted so the stripes of the yarn are vertical. Being of above average size I don’t like to wear horizontal stripes as they accentuate what is already too big for my liking.

Any comments on the best soap-making sites etc are greatly appreciated.

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8 responses »

  1. Hey! I can easily get the Milestone coffee- let me know what flavors you’d like and I’ll send you some!

  2. You have my complete sympathy re: blood taking. I feel like a pin cushion half the time and had a really bad phobia until I met the best nurse in the world. She is a trained phlebotomist which makes such a different. I cant even feel her taking the blood. Might be another option to try, because you can request that a phlebotomist takes your blood due to your fears etc.

    Re: soapmaking. I make soap using the cold process method (ie making everything from scratch). If you want to make soap for Christmas this way you will have to start soon as it takes 4 weeks to cure once made. Personally, I don’t like melt and pour as I’d rather just go to Lush and buy some. Just my opinion, no offence intended. If you want to make cold process soap, I suggest starting with the The Handmade Soap Book by Melinda Coss (Amazon have it http://www.amazon.co.uk/Handmade-Soap-Book/dp/1859740065/sr=8-1/qid=1163245874/ref=pd_ka_1/203-6526209-8393508?ie=UTF8&s=books ). You do need to be careful when you make soap as you are working with caustic soda and creating a chemical reaction – nothing to worry about, just need to make sure you follow some basic health and safety rules. Melinda’s book explains everything really well, and has recipes for the beginner up to more advanced techniques so should keep you busy for a while. If you can cook, you can soapmake! And it doesn’t need to be expensive as you will probably already have a lot of the equipment in the kitchen. If you need anymore help, juse email me at piglottie AT yahoo DOT co DOT uk Sorry for the essay!

  3. Good news about the appointment but shame about the wait. Soap-making sounds fun; I’m looking forward to reading more.

  4. I don’t know about soap but I do know about bath salts, eye pillows and washcloths. They are all very easy. See my blog entry for October 4.

  5. i’m doing soaps and wash cloths etc for Christmas, and i learnt to soapmake with wonderful tution from piglottie. my first batch went wrong, but i soon learnt from my mistake, have made one successful batch since and have another curing as we speak, but like piglottie says, if you do it from scratch you better get your skates on!

  6. Hi there! Just checking in on you and your knitting progress. Good news about the clinic, even with the needles. Looking forward to seeing the finished shawl.
    Your Secret Pal

  7. I am your coffee and knitting partner and I see Millstone coffee in your future! :0) Any favorite yarns? my blog is http://yarn4kalei.blogspot.com if you want to leave me a comment on your fave yarns and any other coffee you would like to try from the states.

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