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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The good, the bad and the...

The good?  I've been sewing and spinning, there will be pics further down.  I've also been selling stuff on Trademe and made enough to get an Xbox One,  G had saved $260 over the last few years from birthday and Christmas money so I had to get the rest together and since we're not buying that sort of thing from T's salary this year it had to come from other means.  It meant I also reduced my stash boxes by 3 in fabric and yarn, though some of it still hasn't sold so it may have to go back or be used in order not to go back!

I've also started a core workout to strengthen my middle which I think may be helping with the pain issues I've been having, hard to tell yet as I've only been doing it for a week and I've had pain free periods of that long before.

The bad?  Well, despite the exercise and the increased fibre in my diet (chia seeds and prunes) the mail is not moving as much as it should which is resulting in pain of its own. I've even resorted to the prescription my doctor gave me which I really didn't want to have to.  I'm pretty sure that things are all tied up inside so have an appointment with my surgeon to discuss the pain and this problem next month.  Really don't want to have to go back to surgery, but may have no choice.  Myofascial release doesn't seem to be doing enough to fix it.

... The selling of stuff on Trademe has inspired me to go through the house slowly and get rid of stuff.  I biffed 4 tablecloths yesterday.  We never use them but I still kept several, the ones that were past their best were the ones that went, I kept those with sentimental value.  There will be a heap of other things going I think, I want less stuff and if I can more money to pay for my dental work.

Anyhow, the reason you're here isn't to hear me go on, it's to see piccies of what I've done, so here you are:

My 1970s peasant skirt

with an exposed zipper which I love
 This was using Simplicity 4499, which is a nice enough pattern, but unfortunately has at least one flaw.  The yoke is too long which is unflattering and uncomfortable.  I will have to unpick and shorten it at a later point.  I made it as a nod to the skirt I made in primary school in the 1970s which was an elastic waist peasant skirt and got worn to death, literally!  I had to make some changes to the pattern, upsizing it for a start as my copy only went to size 14 and I changed the order of construction.  Putting the zip in before adding the tiers made sense to me and was a heap easier than wrestling the whole thing around the machine to get it in.  I also changed the zipper from a lapped zipper to the exposed one.

845m of Heavenly Wools Haunui Halfbred in the blackberry and speargrass colourways plied together.  I'm yet to check WPI but I'm thinking heavy laceweight

and some Southern Alpaca with silk plied with suri alpaca, I think this was called blackcurrant, but I could be wrong on that.  Much thicker, but has a nice drape to it.
And finally the hat I finished from my second ambassadorial spin.  This is Okarito which was plied with more of the suri alpaca and modeled by my eldest, it rather suits him too.  He won't get it though, he's got enough hats already and doesn't tend to wear them.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A temporary change in direction.

Although I've been spinning a little and getting things ready to sew and knitting my main focus has been on furniture and redecorating.
I've got some woodworking to do on my 8-shaft loom as well, the bit the reed fits in doesn't fit it, I need to make it wider by 2mm so once my current project is finished in the garage I'll be taking the beater out in order to attack it with a chisel.

What I've been working on of late though is a piece of furniture that was going to end up as firewood if I hadn't taken it on.  A friend was clearing out his office and had a 1970's Post Office locker.  I've been paint stripping (well, varnish stripping), sanding, replacing the backing board and varnishing.  Not finished yet, but the first coat of varnish is on and it looks much, much better!
On left is how it looked when it arrived, 2 layers of varnish, the second done really really badly.  On right is how it looks after 1 coat of the water based varnish, it's not perfect but then you can't really get all the old stuff off even with sanding etc.
Once this is done and the loom then I have another assignment which is to redo youngest's room.  At the moment it's butter on 3 walls and denim on 1 which would look great if it wasn't for the wallpaper stripping he did in 2 areas a few years back.  I now need to strip the remaining wallpaper, fill holes, prime and then do topcoat.  We're lucky in some ways, I have the primer already and our neighbours had some leftover greyed/blue paint that they've given to us which should look really good in there.
This is the right time of year to get it done and I wasn't feeling up to it last summer.

I've done some cutting out too, drafted a pattern for undies and the trial pair are cut out, but I can't sew them yet.  Ellie (my overlocker) is in the shop as her cutting blade started chewing and when I replaced it the new one was just as bad, the old one has nicks in it but the new one is fine, obviously it needs some adjustment.  She's not been serviced for 10 years though so it was time anyway.   I'll show you the undies when they turn into more than just flat cut-outs, and no, I won't be modelling them!

For spinning I've just received my final Ambassadorial spin for Heavenly Wools and I've started spinning it fine.
Speargrass on the left and Blackberry on the right.  I'll be plying them together

Speargrass about halfway through I'm spinning this fine.
I've also done some knitting.  Finished those socks I showed you last time, knitted the first sock in my next travel pair, made a soft toy and started back on my very old shawl project.
See, finished!  2.5 years after starting but I'm looking forward to winter (almost) so I can wear them.

This sock is actually finished, but I can't find a finished photo, the pattern is Jaywalker and the yarn is Opal Harmonie which is discontinued.

And this is Cooper, aka Copper Moose (pattern is Squooshy Moose on Ravelry), the yarn is Skeinz Heritage Kid Mohair.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

2016 in review

This year's been a difficult one in many ways, a friend lost her son, my health has been up and down, we have teenage boys and Dh has been stressed due to the above and work pressure.  All the celebs dying didn't impact that badly for us, yes we're sad they've gone for the loss of future creations and for their families but all in all that's not a reason to hate 2016, all years lose people of that ilk.  

I've decided I'll post photos of the good things about this year to end on a positive note, after all I dont' want to go into 2017 thinking negatively.  This year I'm sure my middle issues will get sorted with the myofascial release and the herbs I'm on, the boys will get closer to being human again (they're not that bad really, just hard work sometimes) and work will settle for Dh as well, it's already improved a little.  So here's the good 2016 memories.
I got my first teatowels off the loom, got another loom which is now warped up and just waiting for me to change a bit of the tie up.  That will happen very soon, once George gets back from Scout Jamboree I'll be on that instead of the Xbox.

A Questionnaire I stole from Wandering Cat

She got it from KathyB and I liked it so thought I'd use it as well.  If you want to read Valerie's blog  it's a good one if you love handknits and ginger kitty cats.

I'll do a proper year in review post later, but this fun one seemed a good one to break the drought since I've not posted for a while, sorry about that.


1. Name your best FO of 2016.


This one is hard, I love all the jerseys I knit this year, but the handspun one has shaping issues, so I'm going to go with the one I've not yet worn cos summer...

It's my Bay Haven yarn (that I won) knit into the Pravda pattern which can be found on Ravelry.

  1. Ask someone in your family to name something you’ve knit for them.

Didn't have to ask, this is the only thing I've knit that's worked out for my family, Great Falls Ribbed Socks for Dh, the socks I knit for youngest were too small due to him growing.
  1. Did you get any yarn gifts this holiday?
No, I got some Liberty of London fabric though, not much else as we're on a tight budget this year and last year too.
  1. Did your pets get any gifts?
They got a good grooming, does that count?  Ray loved hers, serious dribble cat and I came away with what looked like most of a cat in my hand!
  1. What is a great tip  or idea you got this year?
 Free shipping is only a bargain if you were going to spend that much anyway.
  1. How did you surprise yourself in 2016?
Surviving it despite the health issues and remaining positive (mostly)
  1. Name a favorite book you read in 2016.
Anything by D E Stevenson, wish her books were still in publication even if some of them contain sentences that make you pause.  "Working like a black" is one that comes up from time to time, published in a different time when that was appropriate.
  1. What is The latest you stayed up in 2016?
  You mean intentionally or when I couldn't sleep?  Intentionally just after midnight (I was knitting), otherwise, about 4am.
  1. Name a play, show  or concert you went to in 2016.
None.
  1. Name a new drink, dish or dessert you found in 2016.
I'm sure there was one, can't think of anything right now though.  Whatever it was it's probably bad for me.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Busy time of year

Next week is the last week of school for youngest, trying to fit in various appointments, without success in most cases.  It means for one I'm taking youngest with the iPad, another has mum looking after him, and another will have my Mother In Law looking after him and the final one will have Dh working from home, none of these appointments could be made for next week unfortunately.
I do have a couple next week though, starting the Alexander Technique which I'm hoping will help correct my posture and maybe help with the pain issues and the first part of getting the crown sorted for my tooth and 2 silver fillings removed.  The rest of the silver will have to wait till I've sorted this pain issue as the money for the rest of the Alexander Technique will be coming out of my spending money.

In good news I've finished a few things, for a start my Pravda Jersey which is currently sitting on the lounge floor blocking
no doubt it'll be dry when it warms up too much to wear it
I also finished the quilted placemats for the teachers and teacher aides in youngest's special needs class.
All from stash, nothing new bought at all and the staff at the unit loved them!  We kept the one in the main pic and the one 3rd from left on the bottom row.
And finally, one more thing I thought you'd like, a video I found on Facebook for a stretchy cast off method


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Not Much Happening Here

Aside from the earthquake and my varicose vein surgery of course.  Unfortunately the surgery has put sewing and spinning and weaving on hold as it hurts too much to try any of them. 
My side pain issues have come back (they hadn't stopped completely, but were under control) and I'm putting it down to not being able to do my stretches at the moment.  I'm seeing a massage therapist to hopefully deal with adhesions and I think it's helping still, but the surgery put that back too (codeine is not helpful, nor however is pain which tightens everything up).  I'm also planning on seeing my herbalist again to see what he suggests since the GP has nothing to add.
On the good side I can almost roll over onto my front to do the stretches (I can roll over, but stretching puts too much pressure on the bruises) and I'm getting a lot of walking done (with Pokemon catching) and my leg is definitely improving too.

Tomorrow is busy, Ian has the broken nose clinic at hospital after getting concussion week before last when he tripped at school and fell face first into a metal pole.  I have to see a podiatrist, pretty sure there's an ingrown toenail which is causing pain issues.  At least I should be able to get that sorted fairly easily.

Our shower is a few days off being done, all the building work is completed, the painting starts tomorrow, glad I'm not doing it as they're using oil based paints and that stinks!
Just after all the wall linings went up

as it is now before painting.
There was a complication, the slide rail we wanted wasn't in stock in the South Island, because of the earthquake there was no guarantee it would arrive in time if ordered so we've had to choose a different one.  We'd expected to have more warning to order it and only just made up our minds early this week.  At least the second choice was available and is now sitting in my studio, along with the cubicle door waiting for the painting to be finished.

I have done a little knitting, 10 rows on my Jaywalker socks, before realising I hadn't cast on enough stitches and ripping it out.  Also some rows on my jersey.
Just 23 rows to go to finish the colourwork
Finally I have fabric to show you.  Yesterday I went to The Fabric Store as they had some Liberty Lawn fabric available for $18pm and I wanted some and Dh had said I could get it for my Christmas present.  I found one that I loved, and then found out that I could get the discount from Thursday on other fabric as it'd been extended to customers who get their emails to the weekend due to the earthquake, so some Liberty cotton knit was also purchased as I need some new t-shirts.
Top and middle are both stretch cotton, bottom is the lawn.
It's now all out on the line drying, if there's leftovers from the stretch knit I'll make undies as well.  Make use of the Craftsy course I bought to draft comfy undies.   Now that I can't source my favourite American Eagle undies here in NZ I'm going to have a go at making something similar.  Much as I'd love to try Thunderpants, the price is too high for our budget.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Another big earthquake at midnight

Geonet has details of the initial quake which is 7.5 intensity and lasted for about 3 minutes.  We're all ok, as are our family members elsewhere in the city.  We still have water and power which is so different from last time!  No breakages that I've found so far and school is open for eldest, but not youngest.


Monday, November 07, 2016

Anaesthetic is not good for you

Thursday last week I had my varicose veins done, they were causing pain so I needed to get them sorted.
At the moment I'm 4 days post-op and my sense of taste isn't happy, tonights chicken tasted wrong, there's nothing actually wrong with it, just my taste buds.  Same went for lunch, bacon had no flavour.
Also my knitting mojo isn't well, I've got my jersey to the point of attaching the sleeves to the body but the brain is gone for that sort of thing as well.  I can't weave, spin, sew etc because I have to keep my leg elevated except when doing the mandated walking.   I should be able to do that again in a week, hope so as I've got sewing that needs to be done.

Finally, all I can really do with the lack of mojo is Xbox, I'm not bored stiff of Xbox and I know my OOS will start complaining soon too.  The lack of exercise is bringing back the middle pain, it's been improving and I know it will again once I can move more. 

Oh and it's quite warm today and I have to wear the TED stocking, ugh.

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