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Monday, February 19, 2018

It's summer

and as a result we're getting stuff done outside.   The washing line got moved a few weeks ago which has made things much easier, but it did mean the trail of paving stones leading to it were now leading to the middle of nowhere.  Yesterday I levered them all up, backfilled the holes and placed them in the right place for the new line position.  They're just sitting on top of the lawn for the moment but in winter it means I won't get my feet wet when putting washing out.  That's not been a problem for the last wee while though, we've had 30 degree days again and it's been hot and humid.  Rain is coming tomorrow though, a cyclone is passing through; we'll probably only get high winds and lots of water but we need the water; maybe not the wind so much though.

I've been cleared for exercise now and started doing some HIIT workouts, very intense, but hopefully they'll help me find the body I know is hidden under all the fluff.  It's a strong body and I want it back, hopefully that will also help with the other health stuff like sleeping and the throat issues etc.  We'll see, but even if it doesn't it'll make the rest of me stronger so still worth it.  On the off days I'm either doing work outside (see above) or going on the rowing machine.   I'm also starting kegels, all that surgery has weakened things so I need to build that up too!

I've been busy with sewing and knitting and I'm busy warping up as well, though the latter is going slowly due to me not liking the warping mill much at all, and forgetting I need to warp differently for the Macomber since she's got a sectional beam. 

I made a t-shirt using some modal from Levana, this was offcuts and I'm really happy with it

I finished my shrug, but haven't got to wear it yet.  30 degrees and possum down do not mix.

I've planned my next shawl, hopefully I'll have time to work on it between sock madness socks, pointy bit is the bottom and it works its way up to the handspun at the top.

The latest piece for the historical sewing, this is a bum pad for late 18th century and is stuffed with wool from my stash that I wasn't going to spin.

Fibre that I am going to spin, I dyed this with a Canterbury sunset in mind and it turned out really well.

and my latest knitting, I'm now knitting the final 3 rows of the blue and then have one more tier of raindrops before I start on the edging.
My next projects involve curtains for Dh's games room, the track is up so I just have to cut and sew the curtains (I hate making curtains so I hope he appreciates them).  I also need to clean the oven (ick), do some re-upholstering if I have something suitable in stash and shift the raspberries from their current spot so we can kill the Bear's Britches growing in the middle of them.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Historical Sew Monthly January Finished Item

The Challenge: Mend, Reshape, Refashion
Material: Silk crepe with a peached finish
Pattern: Mrs DePew #2023; 
Year: 1930's tap pants
Notions: Thread and hooks and eyes
How historically accurate is it? 95%; the fabric is probably good, the beads are glass so ok too, and the pattern is a reprint of an original, only the thread is polyester and I machine sewed everything.
Hours to complete: 6?
First worn: Only tried on so far
Total cost: All recycled so nothing really.

I made a 1920's 1 hour dress a couple of years ago and I've never worn it, but I loved the beading I did on it so wanted to repurpose it. This required me to seam the fabric back together to make one cohesive piece, but it's worked and I'm much happier with the new item of clothing; this will actually get worn (when it's not 30 degrees celcius though)

See, it's a sack; lovely fabric, great embellishment, but still a sack

Worn over shorts here, too hot to try on otherwise; I'm much happier with this finished item, it may even possibly be flattering!

and a closer view of the actual construction; that seam on the left is where I pieced the fabric back together before cutting out the bias front.
 In other news I've been gardening, transplanting a swan plant or three into the garden since it had outgrown its pot.
being very careful not to disturb its occupant.
I've been knitting, I'm now on the border for my shrug, and have only had to undo part of one row.  This proves to me my brain is still not quite right from surgery yet, but it's getting better!
Just before starting the border
And I've finished my mat for the studio!  
Really, really happy with this; it's just the right size and all my best colours.
So I've now done sewing, knitting and weaving since surgery, just have to do some spinning now and get the other loom fully set up. I can use it as is, but I want to sort its tendency to spew too much warp at me when I release the brake.  I could just get up and release it from the side, but I want to be able to do it from the front and I will not be beaten by a bunch of wood and metal!

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Plans for the year

I've got a number of plans.  There are knits I want to make, weaving I want to do and sewing as well.

On the knitting side I have some cardigans I want to make as I currently only have jerseys and I love me a good cardigan.  I already have Dew Point on the needles in black and Fox Crossing, though the latter needs my brain to be working properly to work out their short rows which currently make no sense to me at all.  I may have to change the technique used to something else once my brain has come back.
I am also planning a Timely, a Penrith and a Wrap Cardigan (I have the kit for the latter, bought by my beloved some years back).

On weaving I'm currently working on a floor rug on the 4-shaft loom which will go  on the studio floor and likely be the final piece on that loom before I sell her on.  I also need to make something on the 8-shaft before I sell the other one to make sure she will do what I want.  There's still some more work to do on the 8-shaft before she's completely ready for the next project but I have high hopes that she'll be exactly what I need after that is done.  That project will likely be a table runner using a cotton/linen blend I picked up from Colourmart.

On the sewing front there will be another dress like my Christmas one, sans waist ties as well as a top from the same pattern since it fit me so well.  More undies, more clothes for the kids and all going well some historical costuming too.  My middle is feeling better so I think it's time to revisit that.

So, I now need to decide what projects I'll do to fit in with the Historical Sew Monthly (this is a closed group on Facebook). 

January: Mend, Reshape, Refashion: Mend or re-shape one of your previously made historical clothing items, or refashion a new one out of something not originally intended as sewing fabric.

I'm thinking for this I might make a suitable 18th century cap from one of the old sheets in my stash; now that my hair is short I have to disguise it somehow.

Feb: Under: Make something that goes under the other layers.

Just had a thought on this one, a bum pad to go under the skirt so I have an earlier shape for my 18th century gear.

March: Comfort at Home: Make something to wear around the (historical) house.

For this I think I'll make a more casual 18th century skirt; think Outlander style for wear when working in the dispensary rather than going to a ball.

April: Buttons and Fastenings: Create an item where the closures are the star of the show.

I wonder if I have time to make a stomacher; these are highly embroidered and you pin your gown to them over the stays.

May: Specific to a Time [of Day or Year]: Historically, some garments were worn year round, and for a range of events. Others were exclusively for certain times of year, or specific times of day. Make one of the latter.

Might be time to make the fur muff I bought 2 goat skins for a few years ago; I have the stuff and it's winter by then.

June: Rebellion and Counter-Culture: Create an item that pays homage to fashion rebels and clothes that flaunt their place on the fringes of standard sartorial society, or that was signature to a rebelling cause.

This requires some research, I'm thinking something that might support the Jacobean cause before Culloden, maybe something with tartan cloth.

July: Sleeves: There are some amazing examples of historical sleeves styles out there. Put the focus on the arms and shoulders in your creation for this challenge.

Time for a ballgown?  I've got the American Duchess pattern coming.

August: Extant Originals: Copy an extant historical garment as closely as possible.

Not sure on this, might have to peruse Pinterest

September: Hands and Feet: Create a fabulous accessory for your hands or feet.

Linen mitts, embroidery a must.

October: Fabric Manipulation: Take fabric to the next level with any kind of historical embellishment or manipulation: smocking, shirring, embroidering, beading, pinking, ruching, printing, painting, dyeing etc.

Pinking was all the rage for trims in the 18th century, just got to decide what to make

November: Purses and Bags: You’ve got your arms covered in July, your hands in September, now make something amazing to dangle from them.

A pocket?  Normally in the 18th century women didn't carry bags or purses, but they used pockets inside their dresses instead; these could also be embroidered.

December: Neglected Challenge: Was there a challenge this year (or, if you’ve been doing the HSM for a while, in a previous year) you missed? Or didn’t create quite what you’d wanted for? This is your chance to make it up!

I have a hankering for a Bergere (sp?), have to find a suitable straw hat to turn into one though.

Being realistic of course I won't get all of these done, but even if I make a start and get a dress/outfit that fits then I'll be happy.

Monday, January 01, 2018

New Years Resolutions?

Not as such.  I'm feeling much better now so my plan for the new year involves movement, good food and creativity.  Today as an example involved woodworking on the loom which was movement and creativity and dinner included beans, zucchini and peas from our garden.

I'm planning more weaving, first project is on the outside loom (sort of), waiting for some yarn to arrive for the inside loom, but it is coming from the UK and of course has to fight upstream for the holiday mail season. 

There will be knitting too, and reading and some Xbox with Dh.  I'm also planning on going back to the eighteenth century.  I suspect I may need a new set of undergarments since I'm going earlier in the century and since I've lost weight, I'm hoping not as I love the stays I already have and the shape should work for 1745 as well.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.  I have the Outlander pattern from Simplicity and I love the idea of a more casual or work-friendly outfit.

On the knitting front I've got started on a Dew Point in black Bohemia Sport yarn by Outlaw Yarn since my brain isn't up to the version of short rows used in the cardigan I was working on; once it is up to it I think I'll change the short rows to the ones I normally use.

Current sock project

Dew Point and yarn

An out-take from a very windy Christmas day; me wearing my new dress

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Just a short post, about to head for bed so I'll be asleep when the clock ticks over. 

This year has been another surgery, more changes than I expected and I read 131 books, finishing with this one:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Well that was unexpected!

As you know I had surgery on 20th November, I'm still recovering but thought I'd better do a little post to say how things went and how they're going now.
I was first on the list for the morning surgery, so arrived just before 7am, got into my room, got prepped and was in surgery before I had time to worry much at all.   I was set for 2 hours, but have since found out I was actually in there for just short of 3 hours in the end!  I signed a new permission slip beforehand to add in hemarrhoid repair since they'd gone off on me before the surgery and also to allow removal of my final ovary if it was required.  I didn't expect it would be though.

Woke up, got told that in the end the ovary had to go as it was supporting a cyst of 8cm which had grown 3cm in less a little over a month and there were concerns about that rate of growth.  My colorectal surgeon had consulted a gynae surgeon and the recommendation was it come out.  I got to see photos of my insides afterwards too; that was actually very interesting!   The cystic ovary was adhered to my ureter and a bunch of other stuff on that side.  The other side had an endometrioma and there was some adhesions around the bowel as well which he also dealt with. 
On top of that the rectocele was repaired and so was the hemarrhoid issue.  To be honest the hemarrhoid is the hardest to cope with, it hurt way more than the rectocele repair or even the internal stuff.

The good thing is all the test results came back without any sign of cancer; yay!  I was delayed coming home due to my waterworks ceasing functioning with all the swelling so had to be taught to catheterise myself and I developed a UTI. 

Now that I'm home I've got aches and pains, going to the loo is still unpleasant, but definitely improving and I'm starting to get pain from the abdominal stuff now that the external pain has quietened down a little.  My left side in particular is achey, and I think that's muscular, tends to be worse in the evenings when I'm getting tired.

I landed in ED on Monday night, sudden onset left sided chest pain so of course they were suspecting Pulmonary Embolism so lots of tests which luckily showed it wasn't that or my heart.  It's unexplained still, but not dangerous; quite probably musculoskeletal.

So, on the good side - the UTI is now gone; yay!  Bum hurts less; yay!  Side and middle hurts more (an achey hurt so not the warning type) and I can't do much other than Xbox or knitting or reading and I'm bored out of my tree.  But I'm on the road to recovery; the insurance claim is in ($4K higher than expected) and I'm hoping it will get paid next week so I can buy my husband his garden stones with our part of it.

Hoping to get to try driving next week; should be healed enough for it by then.

I got a fair bit done on this sock on Monday night!

and started on this one while in the private hospital.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

It's Spring!

I've done a little spinning and a little knitting, but mostly been spring cleaning, trying to get the house ready for when mum comes over to look after me post-surgery.

Lots of gardening too!

Some photos for your enjoyment.

My husband's socks, these are handspun (the blue) and a commercial yarn (yellow) in DK; good warm socks for winter. 

My spinning for the Advanced Spinners Group; the top is Finn Sheep which has been Navajo plied and is gorgeously springy; I think I need more.  The bottom is my first cabled yarn, I need more practice on this.  It's a blend of various wools with the provided fibre of cotton/bamboo blended in on my drumcarder.  I hate spinning cotton but I can cope in a blend.
The rose down the driveway, smells lovely first thing in the morning.

A geranium in the Japanese garden; we have a lot of work to do to get it ready but this is part of the plan.

I think this is Supreme Sultan iris, tis gorgeous in person.

A promise of things to come; pity about the weeds all through it.

Another promise, this is a peony.

Plums are showing promise too, these are a black plum; my favourite type.

Sweet peas, smell amazing!

Japanese honeysuckle, have given up trying to kill this; it's not keen on dying.

Another rose, also highly scented and has pleated petals.

Clematis, this has gone nuts with the flowers this year.

And finally an unknown iris, full of chocolately goodness.

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