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Thursday, 8 September 2011

The one where I got asked to do a review!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Marianne, asked if I would be willing to review a new bag design she had come up with.

I jumped at the chance - after all, who doesn't love a new project bag, right?

Marianne calls it her Little Dumpling and you can see her photo stream here.

So, this bag arrived on the Tuesday after August bank holiday and I was immediately enamoured with the skull fabric she had used.

It's quite a nice sized bag and I wondered how much I'd be able to squeeze into it - I do like to carry a lot of junk stuff!

I decided I would take it along to bingo the following night.

The bag has a front pocket which closes with the two buttons on the front, and the top of the bag closes by 3 buttons spaced evenly along the top. The handle is turned which I had not come across before.

I must admit, I wasn't sure about the buttons to close the bag at first; I thought they'd be a complete pain - but they're surprisingly not fiddly, they do up quickly and easily.

Marianne has also put a pocket on the inside and it's absolutely HUGE! I can fit a blister pack of medication, my bingo card, some money and my bingo dabber pen in it!

In the main bag itself, I managed to squeeze everything you see on the right; my glasses case, two sock projects (200g of fingering weight yarn, 2 x 80cm circular needles), my row counter on the star keyring, my bingo pen, my bingo card, my pills, my scrunchie and the little doohicky I can hang my bag off!!

It stays done up nicely once it's full and is being carried - even with all my junk stuff in it!

At first I was going to suggest to Marianne that she offers this bag with a flat base as I prefer a bag to stand up, but I discovered this morning while taking these photos that it does stand up! Give it a little squish and the clever corner seams flatten out and it stands quite nicely. I've taken this last picture with my camera lens cap in front of it to give you an idea of the size of the bag and yes, it's standing unsupported.

I don't know how much Marianne is planning to sell these Little Dumpling bags for, but the cost will be worth it. The attention to detail in her work is amazing! The fabric for this bag has been doubled throughout, there's a fancy heart stitching across the top of the pocket, a large pocket inside (which would easily fit your iPhone or HTC in) all immaculately seamed and pressed, she's even included a little keyring to attach your carkeys/row counter/etc too!

I would heartily recommend this bag and if you'd like to buy it, it will be available in Marianne's etsy shop very soon!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

I'm sorry.....

I'm sorry I haven't been here, I'm sorry I haven't posted.

Things have just been SO hectic!

I'm still furiously knitting away on the A-Z Sock Chellenge - I'm currently working on my R socks and I've also managed to knit Claire a pair of plain socks and last week I knit Kai-Mei socks for myself!

It's becoming an obsession! Even when I've finished the socks we're supposed to be knitting, I just want to knit another pair of socks! I have 42 sock patterns saved on my iPad, several sock knitting books and some queued on Ravelry that I haven't bought or downloaded yet!

I haven't considered a shawl all year!

Things have been quite hectic here lately. I can't remember if I've ever posted about Alex and his mood swings, they're something he's fought with most of his life. They're a way of life for us and when something is a way of ife; you assume everyone knows about it!

Alex has always suffered from mood swings, this has affected many things - most noticeably his education and his ability to retain friends (kids just aren't emotionally or psychologically equipped to deal with a friend who goes bananas every couple of months!) He's seen doctors, paediatricians and counsellors. None of it helped and one 'expert' wrote a letter to our family GP stating that Alex did not suffer from depression!

Well, we decided at that point to just try and cope on our own and to the most part, we have. But as he's gotten older, it's gotten harder and several months ago it got a whole lot worse.

To cut a long story short; his latest crash didn't just last a week or so as it normally would - it started about a couple of months or so ago and didn't go away. He has had suicidal thoughts and fought with (and lost) the majority of his friends.

He's had an emotional breakdown.

I took him to our GP's office and they immediately referred him to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), as it was Friday evening and there isn't an under 18 crisis team here, the adult team was on alert for him all weekend until we could see our GP again and push the referral through on the Monday morning.

CAMHS saw him within two weeks. They have referred him for 'talk therapy', have confirmed that Alex is bi-polar and are debating what medication to put him on.

He has good days and bad days, on good days I can leave him, go out and life is relatively normal.

On bad days, I don't leave his side!