Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things Happen For A Reason....

I am a fatalist. By that I mean that I believe certain people enter our lives for certain reasons and that all things happen for a reason. Let me explain....

A while ago I discovered Kate who has a wonderful blog called Needled. Not only is she the most amazing textile designer and her knitting patterns are lip-smackingly gorgeous, but she is also the survivor of a stroke which she suffered in 2010. I don't know her exact age at the time but I think she was in her twenties. When I first stumbled across her blog I couldn't believe that someone so fit and healthy could suffer a stroke at such a young age. Weren't strokes only for old people? How wrong I was. I read Kate's blog avidly and especially her posts about her stroke and her long and slow recovery. At the time I didn't know why I read them, I just did. With each one that I read I felt more and more humble in the light of what she had suffered. She is so brave and her courage shows through her posts like a beacon to anyone who is recovering from an illness. She takes life one day at a time and revels in small achievements no matter how mundane or insignificant. She is a true inspiration and I often wondered why I found her posts so interesting and enlightening. Now I know.

As I've mentioned before a very close friend of mine suffered a stroke just two weeks ago aged 45. Whilst this cannot be compared to someone in their twenties, it still came as a huge shock to us all. A true 'it took my breath away' moment. As soon as I heard, however, I thought of Kate and her amazing journey and by going back and reading her posts I knew that my friend would come through this just as Kate did. Without the knowledge and detailed descriptions that Kate wrote, I'm not sure that I ever would have understood what my friend has been through but because of her blog I was able to find the strength to support her and her family through this very harrowing time.

I'm pleased to say that she's doing well and is recovering daily. The neurosurgeon has said it can take from 3 months to 3 years to fully recover from the type of stroke she had so it's going to be a long road. All I can say is thank you Kate for 'finding' me and educating me before this event took place. Without your words it could have been much harder to bear.

Was I meant to know about strokes in younger people? Most definitely.
Did I find Kate's blog on purpose through some strange spiritual path? I'm certain of it.
Are these type of 'meetings' coincidental? Not to me.

How do you feel about your life's journey? About the people you've met and why? Can you link certain events in your life to random meetings that at the time made no sense? I dare you to think about it......
Til soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WIP Update and Running!!!!

Sorry it's been a while...... Things have been pretty hectic around here what with preschool, hockey matches,   junior school plays and the general running around that mums have to do! In amongst all of that a dear friend of mine had a stroke last week and she's only 45!!! Very scary......

Anyway, here's what I've been up to in the few quiet moments that I've had recently. Firstly, remember these lovely things that darling Shelley from all4meggymoo sent me a while ago???

Well, I have procrastinated and pondered, dithered and doodled for weeks and weeks. I've knitted and I've frogged and hooked and ripped until I didn't know whether I was coming or going! You know when you just can't decide on a project, when the yarn is sooooo gorgeous and sooooo beautiful that you want only the most perfect thing to create with it? That's where I was. Eventually tho I put it away and left it for a couple of days then out it came again..... I put a hook in my hand and just went for it and this shawl/wrap is what's emerging.....

It's a very basic pattern (trebles only) but it seems to be creating itself. I can't tell you how thrilled I am because it's like the yarn is deciding what it wants to be without any input from me. It's been so easy too. No  frogging, no mess ups, no nothing. Just hooking merrily away and growing slowly and steadily which I love. I know it's going to be beautiful and I can't tell you how soft this yarn is. It's going to be like wrapping myself in a cloud.... thank you Shelley soooooo much.

On another hooky note, a close friend commented the other day on a crochet blanket I'd made for the preschool where I work .....

It was made of odds and sods and the kids love it! My friend was admiring it and said how much she loved the colours and the whole vintage feel of it so I decided to make her a vintage crochet blanket all of her own. Here's what I've done so far.....

What do you think? Will she like it??? I hope so. It's going to be a giant granny square and I'll just keep going round and round until I'm fed up with it. At the moment I'm totally besotted and could happily do it all day every day! Do you like it?

This week was also quite momentous as I started a running program!!! I've always wanted to run and have tried before but it's never worked out for one reason or another. This time my hubby (he's soooo clever) found a program on the internet where you download podcasts for each week of your training. The podcasts are like having your own personal trainer with you and it guides you through your run with music. The music has the right rhythm for you to run / walk to and they tell you exactly when to run and when to walk. It's more of a jog for me at the moment (no-one could ever describe it as running!) but I'M DOING IT!!!! If you're interested in joining me and want to get fit (they reckon you'll be running 5kms in 9 weeks) then look at this link Couch to 5km - please let me know if you're using it - maybe I'll start a forum somewhere!!!!

Anyway, that's me for now. Hope you're well and enjoying the Summer/Winter wherever you are!!!
Til soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A very different Ta Dah!!!! A knitted uterus!!!!!

I've been asked to knit many different things in my time but nothing quite as bizarre as my latest FO! A knitted uterus...... here it is.

Why would I knit such a thing I hear you ask, well, let me explain..... Here in South Africa we have people called Doulas (pronounced Doolas) who are African midwives. These wonderful women go out into the rural areas and teach women about their bodies and about childbirth. There is still much tribal folklore and superstition wrapped around the miracle of childbirth and it's the Doulas who are trying to educate the rural women so that they have a better understanding of what having babies is really all about.

In order to do this fantastic work they need three dimensional models of the inside of a women's body. They need to show these women (most of whom do not read or write) how the baby grows inside the body and then makes its way out. They could use pictures but these would not clearly show how the whole process takes place whereas a knitted uterus, cervix and vagina are perfect!!! The Doula can use the model with the vagina piece attached to the cervix and then remove it to show how the cervix dilates when the baby begins to emerge.

A friend of mine knows a Doula who is training other women to be Doulas and she asked if I could make a knitted model so she could show her students. I've finished the first one but am sure she'll ask me to make more which I'm only too glad to do. The Doulas of South Africa are doing a fabulous job in educating and helping many hundreds of women who would otherwise remain in the dark about how children are born and I'm proud to be associated to them.

I'll bet many of you have never seen a knitted uterus so I hope you've enjoyed the experience!!!

Till next time.