Sunday, 30 June 2013

A bit of this and a bit of that

Now I've been home from hospital for just over a week I'm slowly beginning to find my feet (sorry couldn't resist !!!).

The words 'do as you're told' and 'take it easy' are still ringing in my ears. I joked with Jennifer, one of the senior staff nurses at the hospital, that whilst I was down in London and Mr Gertie was at work, they had secretly installed video cameras in all of our rooms at home. Should I misbehave then a voice would boom down and tell me off !!!!!

Mr Gertie brought down from the loft the old kitchen table so I've been able to make myself a little den right next to the sofa. The phone, all my reading material, my laptop, my sewing, are well within safe reaching distance.

Close by are a couple of bags (all handmade of course.....) containing various other projects - another cable knit jumper, a cable knit blanket and the knitted trauma teddies and quilts originally started by my Mam that I'm finishing off.

I had hoped to show you what I've been up to this week but with it been Wimbledon fortnight, all I've done is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Hopefully I'll have something to show you next week.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Four long months

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on last weeks blog (and also over at my other blog the BOGOF blog).

I really enjoyed reading what everyone had been up to over at Handmade Monday and tried to comment on as many as I could.

Knitnrun4sanity - thanks ever so much for the award you gave me. It was such a surprise. I tried several times to leave comments on your blog but for some reason the hospitals wi-fi wouldn't let me.

I can now though because I'm back home !!!!! Originally the Prof had estimated that I'd be in for about two weeks. However I made such good progress that he was happy for me to go home yesterday.

Normally when a patient has a hip replacement they're pretty much immobile for six weeks (for fear of dislocating the new joint). In my case it's going to be at least four months as the Prof wants to make sure that everything is completely healed before I'm allowed to put any weight on my leg.

Thankfully I have more than enough to keep me occupied: plenty of knitting, hand quilting, needlepoint, cross stitching, reading. I will miss my sewing - I'm banned from my workroom - but it'll be nice to do other things instead.

One of which is a tiger cub I'm cross stitching. Here's what it'll look like when it's finished.

This is where I'm up to at the moment

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Trying to keep busy

Just a really short blog this week.

As I mentioned last week I was going into hospital on Thursday for what I hoped will be life changing surgery.

I had the op late that afternoon and so far the Professor is very pleased with his handywork..... You can read more over at 'The BOGOF blog'.

To stop me being bored I brought down to London some cross stitch and needlepoint.

Sorry about the picture quality as the photo was taken from my Kindle.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS Why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what fellow crafters have been up to this week.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hip hop


In last week’s blog I mentioned I’m going to be out of action for several weeks. On Thursday I'm going into hospital for – fingers crossed – life changing surgery.

To cut a very long story short four years ago I got an infection in my hip replacement (you can read all about it in my other blog ‘The Joint Journals’). Because the infection was so severe (it destroyed pretty much everything; skin, muscle, bone, even the metal joint itself !!!) I’ve been ‘hipless’ ever since.

As you can imagine having no hip joint has had a huge impact on my life. I went from being active to housebound and having to rely heavily on Mr Gertie.

After searching the country to find a consultant who had the skill, ability and love of a challenge, I eventually found Professor Cobb from the King Edward VII Hospital in London who was willing to – in his words – “reattach my leg”.... 

I’m both excited and nervous in equal amount. If all goes well I should get my life back. However it’s a mammoth operation and although the Professor is confident it’ll work, there’s always the risk of failure.

Given that we will both be staying in two different places (Mr Gertie will be staying in a hotel until Sunday) we have to take two separate pieces of luggage. One will be a small suitcase, the other will be a canvas holdall I finished making a week ago.  

We had a leather holdall which we took everywhere with us but it had seen better days so I took some quick measurements of it and use them to make the canvas bag.

It was the first time I’ve sewn with canvas and it wasn’t the easiest thing to work with as it was so stiff.  Had I known how difficult it was going to be I probably would have chosen a different fabric? Still I was stuck with it so had to plod on....

For the lining I used a soft denim fabric and black leatherette for the binding.  I reinforced the base and sides to give it extra strength when carrying it. Even though I’d put some wadding in the handles they were still quite stiff and uncomfortable to grip. So I made a pad out of leatherette and wadding then stitched velco to it and one of the handles.

I was really pleased with how the holdall turned out so the blood, sweat and tears were worth it in the end.  I’d certainly make the holdall again but it’ll be a long time before I venture sewing with canvas!!!

I'm off now to see what fellow craft bloggers have been up to on 'Handmade Monday'.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS from Thursday I will be blogging a day-to-day account of my time in hospital over at Mr Gertie and myself blog ‘The BOGOF blog’, so why not pop over and say hello.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Knit one, cable one

In knit one, purl one I mentioned I’d pop up a photo of the first jumper that I’d knitted in a long while. Well, here it is....

I would image that when you haven’t hand knitted a jumper for a long time (in my case over 20 years), you would choose something simple to get you back into the swing of things. Not me!!!!

As you will have probably noticed in some of my makes I like a challenge. So when I spotted a jumper which was for ‘experienced knitters only’ I was immediately drawn to it.

My mam did suggest I start first with the yoke jumper in ‘Knit one, Purl one’, as most of it was stocking stitch and should ease me gently into knitting again. Sound advice but my mind was made up. It was the cable jumper or nothing.....

The design had four different cable patterns and I did get in a knot a couple of times at the beginning trying to remember the pattern sequence – D,D,C,B,C,A,C,B,C,D,D – but yarn markers made things so much easier.

Once I got into the swing of it, the cable patterns were pretty easy to do. However if I put it down for a while then came back to it, I did have to unravel a few rows as I’d forgotten the cable pattern.

I’m about to undertake another cable jumper (just as complex – there’s a surprise!!!) and it’ll have quite a bit of my undivided attention as I’m going to be out of action soon for several weeks so my work room will be out-of-bounds. More about that next Sunday.

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June's bake of the month

This lemon cake is no ordinary lemon cake. Whilst it looks harmless it should be given an ASBO as it will give your taste buds a really good smacking.

The lemon crunch topping is the offender of this attack. It starts the moment take your first bite. The crunchy sweet sugar and tart lemon topping join forces to assault your buds until every last crumb has been eaten. You have been warned!!!!!!!

Lemon Crunch Cake

  • 3oz self-raising flour
  • 3oz caster sugar
  • 3oz margarine or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon grated

  • 3oz granulated sugar
  • Juice from one lemon

  • Line a 7 inch/18cm round cake tin with baking parchment or a non-stick liner.
  • Pre-heat oven 180ºc/Gas Mk 4. Fan oven 160ºc.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl then add the sugar, margarine/butter and lemon rind.
  • Beat well until everything is combined and the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin then make a slight well in the centre of the cake. This will stop the centre from rising too much.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. To check to see if it’s cooked gently press the surface of the cake with a finger. If it springs back it’s cooked.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven sprinkle the sugar all over the top of the cake. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of sugar – you really do need to use all of it.  Next carefully spoon over the lemon juice making sure every bit of sugar is covered with the juice.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin to allow the lemon topping to harden. 
  • Carefully remove the parchment or liner as you don't want to leave any of the topping behind. Some of the sugar may have run down the side of the cakes and formed a slight crust. You can brush it off if you so wish, but personally I like to leave it on.

Gertie xx