Sighthound Charity Snood


Dizzy Lily: A Snood For a Hound 
knitting pattern is available from
Here on Erssie Knits or Ravelry 
All pattern proceeds go 
to Galgos del Sol

You can also apply for a free licence
to make your own snoods for fundraising: 

If you don't knit but want readymade snoods you can buy some from
who donate their own proceeds to dog rescue charities.

Erssie is reading...

Erssie's bookshelf: currently-reading

Wolf Hallonce bittenThe Confession of Katherine HowardAlice's Adventures in WonderlandThe WildingThe Children's Book

More of Erssie's books »
Erssie's currently-reading book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Hidden Pages

skeinspotting: a world of erssie knits


Well it has been a long time....

I always assume people don't read this blog or visit the website because most knitters flock to Ravelry now and rarely step outside to visit designer's own website. However, this is not always the case, and I can only apologise to those folk who wrote and left comments here because as you can see, I have not posted anything since last year!

Since my accidents, and severing my thumb with surgery, I seem to have developed locked joints and arthritis. I also have a lot of numbness. I was very worried that my activities such as typing, knitting, and reading eBooks was setting off problems in hands, arms and shoulders. Some of the symptoms are a lot better if I do not type. I do have speech-to-text programmes now, but they are not very accurate.

So apologies if you have taken the time to visit here and feel I have just given up. My interest in knitting and crochet remains. I am still selling my past patterrns and think a lot about the ones I still have waiting to be released. However, my health has meant all of this is on hold at the moment. But don't stop writing to me, and asking me questions, just be a little patient if it takes some time to get around to it.

What I would suggest for people with pattern problems is:

Email me directly using the contact information on your pattern.
Write Urgent Knitting Query on the subject lineIn the body of the email put the exact name of the Design/pattern and subtitle or description e.g. Calaveras de Azucar earfflap hat pattern (just hat with skulls on is not enough)

Quote the subheading of the part of the pattern you have trouble with and explain your query. E.g.
Row 3: K2, P2; rep from * to end

If you have trouble downloading a pattern
Write the email ID/ravelry ID that you used as your name when downloading
Write the date you attempted to downloaded
Write the error message or type of error occurring.

Note. All my patterns are in PDF  format, even images and charts. We do not supply printed patterns.
It might not be a problem our end and it might be because you do not contain the correct programmes in order to download PDFs. Our PDFs are made in Adobe PDF maker and so you will need to have a PDF reader on your device. Not necessarily Adobe but one that will allow you to read PDFs in general.
You might not always see it immediately if your device automaticlaly downloads it. You will need to get to the documents list on your device and look for downloads, or you will need to look in your web downloads menu and you will probably find it there because you may have not set your docuements to automatically open after downloading is completed.

At the moment, no bought patterns are available in Europe except for the UK. This is because suppliers of digital products within the EU need to be set up for sales tax for export from the UK. When I get back to work properly, I should be able to sort that out but for the moment you will need to be resident in the UK, or rest of World non EU countries to buy my patterns.


Uncle Frank's Boat

I was chatting with my carer/helper Zlati today, about Bulgaria and how pretty the countryside is there compared with London. I explained to her I am from Devon and Cornwall orginally and that there are beautiful beaches and countryside there and I showed her some pictures. I was explaining that part of my family were fisherman for centuries, and googled a pic of a trawler to show her the type of boat he worked on.


I found this beautiful oil painting by John Russell Chancellor, a well known maritime artist, and could not believe it when I read the description. This is a painting of Uncle Frank's actual boat, called Souvenir.
I really want that painting as we have so few family photographs of his trawler. I am looking into making an offer to the owner, or at least finding out if prints of it are available.


not only knitting but....

My old school buddy reminded me today that not only do I knit, but I design charts too. This is something I might be able to do whilst I cannot complete any knitting projects. I am going to start knitting slowly, despite hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injury but obviously it will have to be slow and for personal projects only.


This is one of my Easter (or Ostara in Pagan speak) Charts of The Hare and The is free to download from Ravelry and may be used for personal use, but not for commercial projects without written permission in advance. I normally allow people to make up to 10 items from one design per year to sell if they ask first. If they sell well, I may also extend the licence...this costs nothing but just ensures that sellers have the appropriate copyright clearance for reusing a design. This avoids negative feedback from their customers.


A Snood for a Hound

From January 14th we are now donating all proceeds from sales of the snood pattern to Whittingham Kennels Retired Greyhound Trust. The kennels rescue ex-racing greyhounds and find them new homes. They have cost of running the kennels, as it operates only for the purpose of rehoming, as well as extra costs for transport and veterinary fees.

We adopted our Harry from the kennels who were enormously supportive when we lost Dizzy last year. Going to the kennels and meeting new hounds, and realising life has to go on for other furry boys and girls despite us grieving heavily for our boy has helped us get through a difficult time. We fostered Harry when the kennels needed to get a new roof to remove absestos and we fell in love with him.


The kennels are beautifully clean and airy, and lots of natural light for the dogs. There are small stalls with a large bed lined with paper and fabric to make them cosy. The stalls/individual kennels have a half door so the dogs can stand up and have a nose out, to see who is visiting and what is going on in general. When the dogs have a medical problem they are taken promptly to the local vets. And to top it all, the kennels have beautiful surroundings of quiet Essex countryside and walks. There are grassy ( a bit muddy in this weather though) paddocks and the dogs are regularly allowed to run in their paddocks and stretch their legs.


So why would a dog want to leave such a beautiful place?
Well, firstly, however nice the kennels are they do not have a sofa, beds or other furniture normally in houses. And the dogs do want to be part of a family and not have to share the humans attention with 40 or so other dogs. They also want to have walks with the same people and build up to perhaps one day being trusted and trained enough to let off the lead. They want to drape over owners that belong to them and them alone (well perhaps to share with another pet or two) and watch TV with them in a lovely centrally heated house. And they want to go to exciting places, hang their noses out of car windows, go on holidays and visit beaches, get cuddles from all their owners' friends and  extended family too.



Bad at posting and some general info re bottom wiping...Really!

I have had another hand accident, falling and putting my arm through a flower pot and severed the muscle at the base of thumb across the palm. I had to have surgery to repair this. Due to my medical condition, general anaesthesia was not a viable option so I was awake throughout which was scary and a bit painful. Thankfully I did not cut through a tendon although due to my immune disorder, it has started up all sorts of swelling and intense pain. Knitting has been out of the question, especially since this hand was already damaged from my fall in October 2012 which caused finger contracture. Anyway, the surgery is done and it will take a while to return to my pre flowerpot state. I am just bingeing on Netflix and Lovefilm Amazon TV progs and films.

I have not been able to. Do many tasks and going to the toilet has been tricky with only my left hand, which is weak and useless anyway and has an even shorter reach than my right. I do have a hands free toilet, which is not ideal but better than nothing. Often when I am researching issues for people whose limbs have been shortened like mine, or have hand disabilities, I see questions go up online and they often get abuse. Either disabled people think it is a rude and outrageous question and feel insulted, as it is private. On the whole people disabled from birth have always coped with such issued and don't want to share whereas people newly disabled in adulthood like myself, are always seeking answers and often medical people will say they don't know of any products and that they are sure it will be online....Go Google It is now a stock answer to any questions people cannot answer. The other kind of abuse to this question is from folk who think it is a comedy question and they will suggest hiring a bottom wiper to do the job, or dragging your backside across a carpet like a dog...or worse which I won't go into here. Those disabled people who have found a way around it, rarely share their techniques even with their partners. Some have even said 'Don't ask me, its none of your goddamn business' and been applauded for that, but actually if they answered the question factually they would be helping so many people that struggle as well as educate any of those health professionals who do some sneaky googling because their patients asked them a question they could not answer.


In the UK if you have such problems you can get a referral to an Occupational Therapist for help prescribing equipment. For those with shortened limbs there are various hand held devices that grip or have toilet paper rapped around them and they havr a long handle so you can reach, then you can carefully remove the paper and throw away. There is a folding version as well to put in your backpack or handbag. 

Folding bottom wiperHowever, if you do not have hand function, or have limited grip like me, you may find the above devices are difficult to use as they require grip and some dexterity and fine movements. . In those cases you may qualify to have help with a hands free toilet. These toilets have elbow lever presses which when depressed activate a small shower that douches your private parts with warm water, then has a warm air blower to dry your parts. Some toiletd have just basic functions, and other Japanese models have all sorts of extras and custom controls. If you cannot use the elbow press, then a foot pedal can be fitted. Toilets are fitted in hour home using existing fixutres and fittings without the need to modify your bathroom other than taking the old toilet out and fixing the nee one in. They do use electricity, so then a qualified electrician from the company will extend your bathroom power supply and conduit it to your toilet. They are not as good as toilet paper I find, and there are issues sometimes of what the water is washing off getting sprayed to your front, or being inadequate and the hot water available is only a small amount and goes cold quickly.

Long handle metal rod bottom wiper
If you do not qualify for a grant from your local authority to have one fitted, or you are not disabled but prefer the cleanliness of an auto shower toilet, you can buy ex showroom or reconditioned models at a fraction of the price. My toilet providers guarantee for two years and come out to fix, or custom adjust settings, when necessary. 
the embarrassingly named bottom buddyThere is very little online about this subject and yet it is one that a lot of the population need an answer to. I feel sad if I see either able bodied or disabled folk making a joke of it, or assuming it is an intrusive question that nobody should ask. Often people lose abilities they were born with due to illness, accident, obesity and mobility problems, or age. Everyone has the right to be clean, but I find that even in a hospital environment little advice is given on how to deal with intimate issues and doctors seem to think such function is a luxury or the icing on the cake, and concentrate on more basic function.
shower toilet
As for the issue of those people with shortened limbs and how to add tampons, I have yet to find equipment that can do that adequately and no professional has had any idea other than advising to use pads. This makes it difficult to bathe, shower, swim or sunbathe though and makes woman like me live like they are in the nineteenth century....I actually have to rearrange my social life when it is my monthly and stay indoors as toilet issues are so complicated. 

I also find, due to problems reaching and needing to use special equipment, I often have to use a disabled toilet. Yesterday at hospital, a woman in a wheelchair got a little annoyed with me using the disabled toilet and started banging on the door and jiggling the handle up and down.....not being able to wipe, or having colostomy bags or other issues is often invisible and people always assume the only real reason for claiming to be disabled is being in a wheelchair or having to walk with sticks. We found this when we have needed on occasion to park in a place for the disabled, which I am entitled to when in flare up, but elderly folk or wheelchair folk will give us daggered looks or challenge us. When I have a jacket on in winter, and it just looks like my arms are voluntarily bent as opposed to permanently fixed like that people cannot imagine why a youngish woman who appears she can walk unaid would need to be using the disabled loo. I also suffer from incontinence of bowel and bladder and it might require a change of clothes and a bit of a wash, and you can only do that in privacy in a disabled loo. You certainly would find it difficult to use the bottom wiping extensions and equipment in a normal cramped cubicle, and it would be embarassing to then bring your bottom wiper out to wash it at the hand basin. After all, it is your replacement 'hands' and should be washed like other folks hands, but they would assume that was diry and be put off if you put your wiper under the tap even though they are washing their own 'wipers'..i.e. the same basins.
I doubt anyone will read my blog now, after me having so little activity lately, but I am sharing the above info in case anybody else Googles 'bottom wiping' and sees the nonsensical replies.