>Melting Pot of Links

>It has come to my attention that I haven’t updated my blog in a very long time.  I have a lot to say! I also have to shower, change and eat in the next hour and three quarters. Doable but adding in a long catch up blog would be the straw that broke the camel’s back as they say.  So this is just basically to say that I’m still alive and doing well.  I’ll update tomorrow for Blogging Against Disablism Day and try to find the time to write a general update too.

For now however a few links I’ve found interesting lately.  These are a real mixture.

Make Change.  A very powerful post from Corey about depression.  She makes some very good points and I don’t think I could have written them as well as she did.

Tina Fey’s Prayer for a Daughter.  OK so I don’t have kids and I am a very long way from ever having kids but this seriously made me smile and laugh.

T Mobile’s take on The Royal Wedding.  I laughed so much the first time I saw this.  Who wouldn’t have absolutely loved it if they’d actually done that?!

Cheap Flights.  This song by Fascinating Aida has been doing the rounds on facebook for a while so you might have already seen it but just in case.  I listened to a couple of their other songs on You Tube and they rock as well.

Kirstie’s posts on Benefits and The Glass is Now Empty are tough reading but an honest account of how hard life with a disability and unable to work can be.

Who is the most deserving? by Sue Marsh will make you think.  I was a bit disappointed it didn’t included any life long disabled people but it’s still a powerful post.

>Some Writing Links

>As my mum commented in an e-mail yesterday I seem to be everywhere at the moment.  A slight exaggeration but I have had some success and exposure lately.

I was asked to write for Community Care’s Service User Blog about One Month Before Heartbreak as a promotional thing.  One Month Before Heartbreak: You Can Speak Up For Disabled People Too

The Guardian have been great with supporting One Month Before Heartbreak and they’ve mentioned us several times.  This Society Daily article pulled out several OMBH contribution to highlight including one of mine (my This is Disability image)

I’m now a contributor for Where’s The Benefit?  The first piece I wrote for them is about the case of Riven and Celyn Vincent.

The even more exciting thing about that article I did for WtB is that it was picked up by Society Guardian on Friday with a big chunk of it quoted!

I think there are a couple of other opportunities “in the pipeline” if you will but those aren’t definite.  I’ve certainly had a successful ten days or so!

>How to Knit

>One of my blog readers sent me an e-mail the other day saying that they’d been out and bought needles and wool and wanted to learn to knit having been inspired by what I write about it.  They wanted to know if I knew any good websites.

knittinghelp.com has great videos which show different techniques.  Not all have sound which can make things a little difficult.  A friend and my mum both helped me to learn – my first project they did the casting on, the adding of yarn and the casting off and I did the actual knitting.   They both cast on for me several times as I messed up repeatedly.  And then the final time that scarf got cast on it wasn’t because of a mistake but because i’d gotten it so much that my later stitches were much neater than the earlier ones and I wanted that the whole way through.  My second project I did the lot.  And having the opportunity to watch those videos again and again whenever I wanted was great.

I also really like Ravelry (my username on there is funkyfairy22).  You have to request a (free) invite to join but it’s usually only a few days wait.  I’ve found some great patterns on there that I’ve enjoyed and you can always find pictures of stuff and lots of inspiration.  The forums are something I occasionally lurk on and don’t post to often but when I do I find helpful answers from friendly people.  I keep thinking I should make more use of it.

If you go onto You Tube and search for knitting there are a lot of instructional videos.  But it can take some looking to find exactly what you want as some videos are shot from too far away to make techniques particularly clear or go too fast etc.

Knitty is a fab and fun online knitting zine.  I intend to attempt the knitted earrings in the last issue during Thing a Day.

I used to really enjoy listening to the Cast On podcast.  But for no real reason haven’t listened to the last several episodes.  I must as they are fun!  I particularly like the “Pick up your pointy sticks it’s time to cast on…” at the beginning.

Livejournal also has several different knitting communities some of which are aimed at different abilities etc.  In fact if you think of any subject at all there will more than likely be a community for it over there.  Do a search (site&user or interest are probably the searches to use).  I’m rarely on livejournal comms as more than a lurker (I post more on people’s blogs on there) but my user name is cyberpurple.

I’ve also had a go at writing some basic “how to cast on, knit and add yarn” instructions.  I’m not sure how clear or correct they are (they work for me!) but they are under the cut.

Leaving a small tail, make a knot in your yarn.  A slip knot is best but I suck at making them so I usually just make a regular knot.  


Insert one needle into the middle of this knot


Holding this needle in your left hand, take the second needle in your right hand and insert the tip into the knot.  (or hold both needles together and tie the knot round before before holding them as described).


Wrap the wool around your needles once (you’re supposed to go anticlockwise but whatever works for you, I go clockwise) then pull back through the stitch on left needle.


This is the knit stitch.  When casting on you then transfer the stitch on right needle onto the left and continue as described above until you have sufficient stitches on the left needle.  When you have finished casting on there should be no stitches on the right needle.


When you have finished casting on you continue as described from the last stitch cast on.  However instead of transferring it to your right needle you drop the stitch you’ve just knitted into off of the left needle.  When you reach the end of the row and the left needle is empty you switch needles so the full needle is again in your left hand and the empty in the right and keep going.


A good rhyme that’s used to teach how to make the knit stitch is


In through the front door

Run around the back

Out through the window

And off jumps jack.


About 20 stitches (depends how thick the yarn is and how wide you want the piece) and knit every row makes a good scarf.  Keep going until you think it’s long enough.  If you finish a ball of yarn you can knot the ends of the old one and a new one together but it’s best to do so at the end of a row to avoid a bump in your work.  I tend to misjudge this more often than I would like however!

>Few Announcements, mostly of the link persuasion

>This is my 610th entry on this blog!

The next Disability Blog Carnival will be hosted by Stacey AKA Miss Crip Chick. She’s given the theme Disability Culture and Identity and has posted a great list of ideas and prompts. Thats on Thurs 8th with submissions due on/by Mon 4th.

BADD (Blogging Against Disablism Day) is back for it’s third go round on this Thursday, 1st May. As usual, the wonderful Goldfish is hosting. I can’t wait to take part although whether I will manage to actually post on Thursday is currently questionable.

Naidex starts tomorrow. I’m going on Thursday.

Dave is starting an online book club with books of a disability theme/culture. The first one looks great and will be discussed on Thurs 22nd May (another day when I might not be online, damn it). It’s called A Thread of Grace

>Melting Pot of Links

>To celebrate the fact that I upgraded to the latest version of wordpress and not only is it working properly, it’s the first time in about six months I’ve upgraded and not had it go slightly wrong… I thought I would share a few links (because working WP means I can use the VRE and not code the links myself, yay!)

Nelba over at Chocolachillie wrote a post about perspectives to medical care and disability and life in general (I guess).  It’s well worth a read.  And it’s called Cheap Shoes Always Squeak which is just the best blog post title I have read in, basically, forever.

Kathryn’s Ryn Tale’s blog is always worth a read.   She makes me think and I like blogs that make me thing.  From The Outside In touches on a topic that I have wanted to write about for a few weeks now but obviously does it much better than I ever could.  Still when I’m over this random viral thing I seem to have I will give it a try.

Pedestrian Hostile held the latest Disability Blog Carnival.  It’s theme was Simply The Best (does anyone else get a mad urge to run around the house singing Tina Turner when they read that or is it just me?!).  I need to find some time to read more of the contributions but absolutely loved the ones I read so far.

If someone could tell me the name of the song in Moulin Rouge that goes on about how “We Could Be Heroes” (forever and ever…) I would love them for at least the next day or so.   Because The Goldfish wrote a post of the same name and now I have the song in my head.

>Lots of links, again

>Some links I wanted to share.

For Want of a Word.  Steve shares his thoughts on a talk he did about self-advocacy and shares a wonderful anecdote about Prince Charles which really made me think.

Kay has some pretty funny pictures on disability.

It’s probably really wrong of me but I do find this article from Ouch! kind of funny. It’s one of those you’ve just got to laugh things…

One Million for Disability.  Funky Mango shares a link to a petition to improve the lives of disabled people and combat discrimination within the EU and explains it far better than I ever could.  Did you know that the EU must respond to a call from at least 1 million citizens?  Or if you just want to sign the petition, the link is here.

On the One Million for Disability website I especially like the Adopt a Disability Attitude page.  Particularly the bit at the bottom where it says:

A pinch of knowledge,

two spoons of awareness,

and a handful of simple actions,

are the ingredients of a very successful

“Disability Attitude”

Finally, a link that I have been meaning to post here for a while.  Scope, the UK based charity for people with CP are running a campaign to defend the human rights of disabled children in the light of the recent revelations about the Ashley Treatment.  You can sign the petition here.

>Lots of Links

>I’ve been reading lots of interesting posts on various disability blogs lately. Ones which have made me think and wonder. Ones which I have agreed with and ones I’m not so sure about. I thought I would share links to some of them. I intend to write in detail about a couple of the topics but I don’t have the time or energy now.
Jacqui wrote a wonderful post on Alternatives in medicine and also what people believe about why we are disabled. The discussion in the comments is especially worth reading (and I am not just saying that because one of the comments called me a wise one)

I don’t understand the title of Goldfish’s post but it’s about Getting It and she raises some interesting points that I hadn’t thought about before. I’ve been lucky enough lately to deal with some new people who truly get it and it is an empowering and releasing experience. She also wrote a post for Blogging Against Sexism Day (something despite my best of intentions I did not manage) which is well worth a read: Sexism Makes Me Sick: Gender and Mental Ill Health.

Lady Bracknell’s Editor wrote an article on The Social Model of Disability and cross posted it to Lady B’s blog. Again this post is a great example of how the comment feature on most blogs and the discussion/debate blogging brings about make blogging so much more than just the posts of one person.

Funky Mango (a new to me blog that I just found this morning) has a post about a case of an Italian Dr who helped a patient with MD to die. That’s a topic I am ambivalent about – I can see both sides – but it is an area that interests me.