Saturday, May 23, 2015

My husband will be in hospital for another few days. I gather that not much is wrong medically, but he is conspicuously weaker than he was during those – fairly horrendous – two days at home last week. We were present yesterday to watch him being moved from chair to bed, the space of a few inches, by two nurses. I couldn't manage with anything less than 24-hour help.

I wouldn't say that he is resigned to it, but he has realised that simple fury is not going to suffice to get him out. A physiotherapist explained to him yesterday that going home now, even with care, would probably result in his sinking further. Daily physiotherapy at the hospital for a while is much more likely to be productive of results.

Rachel and Ed were here yesterday, as well as Greek Helen. They had long planned to spend this weekend on Loch Fyne tasting possible wines for the wedding – Matt and Hellie are coming up, too. I suspect a good time will be had by all. Rachel and Ed both managed to get an extra day off work so that they could come here first to visit my husband. They went west yesterday evening. Greek Helen is still here – she and Archie (because it's half-term) are flying back to Athens tomorrow on that early EasyJet flight of happy memory.


However, that's not really the news.

It is this: one of you gave me the Fantoosh pattern, through Ravelry. I have sent a message of thanks by the same means, which I hope she has received. I have printed and studied the pattern.

And someone else has anonymously paid Old Maiden Aunt for the yarn. I've had an email from Paypal to say that my payment has been refunded. A Random Act of Kindness, the donor said.

It is impossible to express my feelings about this kindness. I showed the note from PayPal to Greek Helen this morning, and saw tears in her eyes. That's how I feel, too. Thank you and thank you and thank you.

And I think I will allow myself to wind the yarn and start the shawl this morning – although after that, I will have to lay it aside until something is finished. It begins – Kate D., how could you? – with a four-link crochet chain in waste yarn, the foundation of a garter tab.

Well, as it happens, I've done a garter tab with Stephen West. He starts by casting on three stitches. Kate Davies wants me to pick up only two from that chain. I'll try casting on – I have searing memories of crochet chains and waste yarn and agonised unpicking. Maybe casting on won't work for only two stitches, but that's what I'll try first. (You then knit six rows, then pick up stitches down the side and across the cast-on edge – or, in Kate D's case, you whip out the chain and knit the two live stitches.)

Whatever, it won't take long. I'll report back soon. If casting on doesn't work, I must have a crochet hook here somewhere. I resolved yesterday that if my husband is going to be safely incarcerated for the next few days, as appears to be the case, I must make better use of my few remaining mornings. Up to now, I have been spending them, one could almost say, huddled in terror at the prospect of the afternoon's hospital visit, and then flinging myself into bed, exhausted, on arrival home.

I've been having a very nice time with Craftsy, when I wake up at 4 a.m. after the above procedure. I've finished Nancy Bush and her nupps and gone on to Eunny Jang and lace. She's engagingly enthusiastic. Her name is pronounced “Oony”. I think I had been wondering if there would be a “y” sound in there.

Bush's sample Estonian shawl was beautiful. I'm tempted. I have something to say about the way the edging is attached, but perhaps that's better left for tomorrow.


  1. Such lovely people, crafters are. Lovely gestures and great that you can put your angst into your knitting. Enjoy this sunny weekend as much as you can, Jean.

  2. Glint of a tear in my eyes as well. What can I offer except this? In times of crisis a bout of start-itis is very therapeutic. A kind of hostage against the return of easier times.

  3. Is there a doctor or anyone at the hospital you can talk to about how your visits affect you? It doesnt sound good for you to be so wrung out by this, you have your own health to think of too. Your wellbeing matters as much as your husbands.

    Lovely news about the pattern and yarn.

    1. I'm sorry to say that the stock answer will be 'talk to your GP'. But there is a self referral system in place for access to talking therapies which very often people don't even know about. At least that's the case in England.

  4. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Relieved to hear you have a breathing space and that the family have been able to visit. Marvellous news about the Fantoosh shawl and the special yarn. Enjoy every moment.
    Best wishes, Helen

  5. Hello Jean, do try to make the most of your time over the next few days and indulge yourself in wooly goodness. By the way, how did your chilli plant get on without you?
    Best wishes, Jan in North Yorks

  6. Hello Jean, do try to make the most of your time over the next few days and indulge yourself in wooly goodness. By the way, how did your chilli plant get on without you?
    Best wishes, Jan in North Yorks

  7. Anonymous1:20 PM

    I think the best part about Craftsy classes is getting to hear what the teacher sounds like. One is always reading knitting books, and "supplying the voice" for the author; to actually hear them is a treat.

  8. What a truly wonderful thing to do, to pay for your yarn. This person must have the kindest of hearts.
    I hope things get a little easier for you and the fact that you have a few days to yourself is a good thing.

  9. Wonderful to hear! ...perhaps a little knit-along?

  10. Jean the knitted web of your virtual friends is wide. What a kind gesture. I think you should be able to do the garter tab in the usual way. The provisional cast on would remove the tiniest bit of extra yarn, but not make a huge difference.

  11. Lovely, lovely, loving gifts! Now here's hoping that your husband fully participates in his physical therapy, and gets a bit stronger. He's got to do his part in the effort to get him home again. - Anita from northern NY

  12. Happy to hear about your kind benefactors. Hope your husband gets strong enough to come home quickly. In the U.S., he would be sent to a rehab for physical therapy.

  13. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Your husband's fear of losing control of his life and having to rely on others probably causes a lot of anger, but you should not have to deal with that. What is happening to him would be happening even if you were not there to witness it. And, being home might not be the best for his recovery. Who knows what emergency could arise? And your being worn down helps nobody.

    Sometimes, there is nothing we can do but let nature take its course. The pros can help him achieve his rehab goals more quickly than anyone else, and they are likely to help him channel all that negativity into positive efforts that will pay off.

    I do hope you find enormous solace in your knitting and reading, and I hope your husband will return to you healed from this horrible experience.

  14. I am sorry to have been out of wifi range for a week, while you were having such a hard time. Your husband's weakness at least makes it obvious that he is in the right place with help on hand. You are doing all you can. I do wonder whether his temperament might not be linked to his diabetes, having witnessed moodswings in school students with type one diabetes.

  15. what lovely gifts and tribute to you and your daily writing taking us into your life!

    sorry to read that your husband still ails however glad you are getting some alone time... hopefully over the next weeks you and the care teams will figure out new ways of caring for him and YOU!! as other have said, your health - both physical and mental - is almost more important in the future!

    looking forward to reading bout the new shawl!