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Still knitting…

Yes, I’m still alive, despite the lack of blogging evidence to the contrary in the past few weeks.

On Wednesday March 31st, I started a new Brangian shawl… while sitting waiting at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for a procedure on my aneurism. A gorgeous 50/50 silk/merino yarn, a pattern I’ve knitted enough times to have memorised – definitely good hanging around hospitals knitting.

The plan was that the procedure would go fine, I’d be in hospital overnight, and then I’d have a week in Sydney, followed by a few days with my family in Canberra. Well, the plan worked… up to a point. I was out of hospital on the Thursday (although I had to wait to do some scans, and wasn’t discharged until evening) and then had the Easter weekend with DH and my sister, enjoying the shops and cafes of inner Sydney. DH flew back home on Sunday afternoon, and I was looking forward to a few more days in Sydney…

Monday morning, I was back in RPA hospital, where they found a blood clot in my groin (right next to where they’d accessed the artery for the procedure). I was in RPA for a week, while they put me on to blood-thinning meds and eased me on to Warfarin. After a week, I was able to be transferred by air ambulance up to Armidale hospital, and I had another two nights there.

So, 9 nights in hospital, feeling relatively fine = much knitting and reading time. I confess I did more reading than knitting, because it’s a bit easier for me to block out the noises of a busy ward while reading, and canulas in the hands make knitting a bit tricky, but I did make a fair amount of progress on my shawl, and it was lovely to pick up when I needed to focus on something beautiful.

Now I’m home, and fine, although I’ll be on warfarin for another month or so, until the blood clot has cleared up. My shawl isn’t finished yet, but I only have a few more rows of pattern before I start on the edging chart.

I’m varying the pattern in a couple of ways this time:

1) In the stocking sticth section, instead of working the centre spine as yo, k1, yo, I’m doing it as m1R, k1, M1L – thus not having the line of lace ‘holes’ down the centre. I quite like the effect – a small ridge, but not as prominent as the holey spine.

2) I’ve done an extra repeat of Chart 1, but will only work the first 8 rows of Chart 2. This will mean that there’s only 1 line of offset ‘buds’ between the main body of the lace and the edging, rather than the 3 lines of alternating buds.

Here’s a little preview of how she’s looking so far:

Brangian Shawl in progress

And now, in totally not-knitting-related news, I shall just mention shout from the rooftops that just before I went into hospital, I found out that my second book, Dark Country, is a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA Awards… and now I’m finally celebrating by having a book giveaway over on my writing blog. So, if you might like gritty romantic suspense, set on the edge of the Australian Outback, do hope over and enter. (Sadly, my characters are so busy dealing with bad guys that they don’t get time to knit, so there is little yarny content  – but my heroine in Dark Country does spend some time wearing a handknit Aran cardigan.)

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