What being deaf sounds like

Sunday, 24 September 2017

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll have read that my hearing aid recently broke and is currently being repaired. Unfortunately a spare $5000 hearing aid doesn't sit in a drawer somewhere so I am without my other 'ear' for a week. This has caused me to spend a little time thinking about what it sounds like to be deaf, a strange concept to most I'm sure. I expect everyone's experience with hearing loss is different and I realise that there are many people out there doing it much tougher than I am, but if you are interested in what my world sounds like, please read on.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of my hearing loss is that it is only one ear. So I should just be able to hear with the other ear and move on, right? But as with most things in life, that is rarely the full story. So I've narrowed how it feels to be 'my' deaf to two descriptions, one literal and one figurative.

First, the literal description.

I'm unable to hear most sounds less than 100-110 decibels in one ear. That's about the same volume as a rock concert, so not much is getting through to my brain (take that either way, lol).

Now that may be difficult to imagine, but that is only what is going on in my middle ear. It's when we get to the inner ear that things get interesting.

Grab someone who's close by and get them to stand with their mouth about 2 inches away from your ear. Now get them to make a 'shhhhh' noise at a firm level into your ear.

And never stop.

Occasionally they can get really loud for an hour/day/week at a time but rarely quieter than that original level. And imagine that is almost the only sound getting through on that side.

Now your brain is trying to interpret all the other sounds going on around you from just one ear. That's a whole lot of sounds to sort through.  Driving you crazy yet? That's the best description I can give on my current level of hearing loss.

And figuratively?

Imagine you are wearing a big set of headphones.

And music is playing through them, but it's different music in each ear. One is a crazy busy piece of classical music; beautiful, but bloody complicated with lots of stuff going on.

And in the other ear? Norwegian death metal.

And you don't speak Norwegian.

And aren't really much on death metal either.

That pretty much sums it up, so next time you run into me and I insist on standing to the left of you or I just smile and nod at everything you say, you'll know why.


Tokerau Shawl

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I recently finished another knitty project, my Tokerau Shawl.

This was my first project using an indie dyed yarn and it is divine! The colours are amazing and it was a great fit for this project as it shows off the gorgeous speckles just perfectly.

I've also purchased some more yummy yarn from the same dyer so I'm now working out what to make with it but I have a few other things on the go that need to be finished first. The dyer has only been selling her yarn for a short period and she's Australian so it was also lovely to be able to support another small business owner. If you want to see more of her gorgeous hand dyed yarns she has an Etsy store found here.

Details Ravelled here.


Sock Knittng

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

If you spend any time looking at the current knitting scene around the world you will no doubt know that knitting socks is all the rage. I bought my first sock yarn about two hundred years ago (okay, so you all know how I'm prone to a bit of exaggeration so that really means about 10 years) but found it to be not worth the effort. I knit too slowly, the yarn, needles and therefore stitches were way too small and it all just took too long, dammit!


I recently tried again and am finding it altogether wonderful! I have taught myself continental knitting so I am so much faster than I used to be and the choice of yarns now available for socks is just staggering. I have even started venturing into dyeing my own sock yarn but that's a post for another day.

One knitter/indie dyeing podcaster started a KAL (knit-along) where participants knit 12 pairs of socks throughout the year and if you google images for 'boxosoxkal' you can get a peek at the deliciousness that is sock knitting. How could any knitter resist?

Not me.

I found out about the KAL too late in the year to finish 12 pairs but I did end up knitting three pairs in 2016, which I was seriously chuffed about. I've now finished another 5 pairs this year and have 2 more pairs in the works. Because why have just one pair on the needles, right?


Bluesand Cardigan

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Earlier in the year I received my first knitting commission (squeeee!) and it was for a long cardigan. After much consultation with the client (how posh does that sound? Makes it sound like I actually knew what I was doing!) we eventually decided on the Bluesand Cardigan by La Maison Rililie. I don't have any good photos of it as I was so excited to give it to her the second it was finished! But here is the crappy photo anyway:

I definitely want to make another one of these, this time for myself, but that's a project for another day.

Details ravelled here.


My first market stall

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Good grief, where has the year gone?

After a great start I quickly reverted to my usual slack bloggy self but can you believe it's been nearly six months since I last posted????!!!!

Not much has happened since February though, but I did have my first market stall which was pretty exciting. And as it turned out, pretty disappointing.

The market I chose was specifically for kids and babies so I thought it would be a great spot to dip my toes in. After paying a premium price to have a stall the number of people attending the market was extremely disappointing. Still I managed to make a small profit (that we blew on lunch on the way home, that's how small it was) which was more than some of the stall holders made. The stall across from me had some lovely handmade items and only sold a couple of hair ties for about $2. Poor bugger!

Needless to say I didn't attend the next market a couple of weeks ago, I need to find a better fit if I ever decide to have a stall again. But I did get some good feedback and some ideas of where to extend my product lines so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

But it was close.


Backyard bees, raiding the hives.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

I helped raid the hives! Well, to be honest I did little more than take photos, move stuff around and generally just observe how it's done, but I was all suited up and looking the part so I'm counting it.

Any apiarist out there may find this completely boring, but for all you non-beekeeping folks - read on!

The smell of the honey and the beeswax was incredibly strong from several metres away, even before we disturbed the hives.

With all those busy little bodies in the hive it can get quite warm in there so on warm days like this day you will usually find a large number of them hanging around outside.

It's a fast job, you need to be in and out as quickly as possible so as to not disturb the bees as much as it's possible when you are taking a large part of their home away.

Some of the hives were overflowing, definitely due for a raid. The little black comb like thing in the top is used to get rid of the beetles (mites? they look too big to call mites) that like to make their homes in the hives and contains lime.

This is our hive, there didn't seem to be as many bees in it so possibly some of them swarmed and left to find a new home.

The frames from these boxes will have the honey extracted from them and then they will be returned to the hives, ready to be filled up again. Raiding will slow down soon, leaving the bees plenty of honey to get them through winter.

That's one thing crossed off the list of things I wanted to do in 2017.

And for a bit of a laugh, this is what hearing a bee through a hearing aid looks like:


The boy sweater

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

I've been desperate to share this for several weeks but couldn't as it was a gift. The recipient now has it so I can show you!

This was a gift for my great nephew who recently celebrated his first birthday. Obviously he doesn't read this blog and I don't think his mumma does either but you can't be too careful. There were no surprises from us as far as the gifts went, we gave him a book and some handmade goodies, I'm so predictable!

There was enough yarn left to make a little matching beanie. I used the mock cable pattern from the jumper on the otherwise simple beanie. It looks a little scrunched up in the photo as I don't block my knitted hats, (tried it once and it was difficult and didn't really do anything for it so if you have any tips on blocking knitted hats I'd love to hear them).

The pattern for the jumper was designed by Lisa Chemery and it is definitely one I will use again. It was quick and relatively easy, although I'm still not very good with short rows. The yarn by Bendigo Woollen Mills.

Details Ravelled here.