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Thursday, June 22, 2017

On health and teens

Well I finally have an answer to my funny head issues, I have a sinus infection with a reasonable amount of inflammation.  I'm now on antibiotics which I didn't really want (candida loves them), but considering this has been going on for 2 years now and flared much worse recently I'm biting the bullet.  I'm following up each antibiotic capsule with garlic and then probiotics to hopefully limit the damage the antibiotics do, and I'm keeping up my clean diet.  Lunch today:  grilled chicken with kale with apple cider vinegar for a dressing.  No sugar, no carbs and no clue what I'll eat on Saturday when I'm out at guild.

Teenagers - youngest was a troll tonight, he recently turned 13 so we now officially have 2 teens.  He's being a bit of an emotional rollercoaster both at school and at home, tonight he didn't want to go to bed and was hitting things on the way there.  I did not have a great deal of sympathy when he hurt his hand, does that make me a bad mother?  I figure the fact that he's lived to be a teenager makes me a good mother, I've kept him alive!  Now to try and keep the waters relatively calm until he grows out of the volatile stage in several years, sigh.  His brother is a little better, at least he doesn't hit things, though I'm pretty sure he called me something very unpleasant earlier when I refused to let him have toast 10 minutes before bed.  One day I'll look back on all this and laugh, now I just pray to survive intact.

I've been doing a little sewing, and swatching and cleaning of the new loom, but nothing much to show yet, photos will come when there's something worth photographing.  My swatch needs larger needles, so that's a wee bit away before I can start the cardigan too.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Socks finished!

The one good thing about the funny head was I got more knitting done since I was avoiding the Xbox.  I'm now back on the Xbox a bit and it's not making things worse, but it is harder than normal due to the fizzy head.  One good thing, it's better today, however I'm still going to the doctors tomorrow since it's not yet gone and I've got an earache which sometimes goes headache so I have to get it checked.   Kind of hoping that there's an obvious pressure issue and they can pop a hole in my eardrum to let it out, guess I'll find out.

Anyway, you didn't come here to read all about my woes, so here's socks!


Thursday, June 08, 2017

On Health

A step backward.   About 3 weeks ago I went down with a cold, courtesy of eldest who brought it home from school.  I thought I'd got over it, but seem to have some sort of viral complication, last week I had what felt like palpitations, the after hour place confirmed it wasn't (thank goodness), but it made me feel very unwell, and then on Sunday while I was on the Xbox I got a repeat of my funny head thing I got 2 years ago after a cold.  No visual disturbance this time, but the fizzy and off centre feeling head is back.   I've not gone back to the doctor for this, after over year going back and forward to them I got no answers at all.  I've booked in to see a balance physio in the hopes she can help instead.  Going by it being post colds both times it's more than likely inner ear, and of course the MRI I had didn't point to any causes for it either which helps set my mind at ease, even if it doesn't help my symptoms!  I've not been on the Xbox since.

Next week is busy on the health front too, back for another mammogram to check out an odd breast symptom; probably nothing, but you don't leave this sort of thing.  An MRI to check my rectocele in preparation for getting that surgically corrected and then my lipoma removal.   Mum is coming along to the first and last appointments, I'm very blessed with my mum.

I'm also starting a candida diet, I've bought 3 books, but the one I'm following is the Candida Crusher one by Eric Bakker who is a NZ Naturopath who's been treating candida patients for 25 years with a lot of success.  This week and part of next is the first step which is called Warm Turkey, you basically remove all the bad stuff from your diet slowly and then move onto a Meat, Vege, Egg, Yoghurt diet for 3 weeks or so before adding a few more things in carefully and starting the supplements to kill the candida slowly and replace the good bacteria.  None of it's cheap of course, but it's one of those things I need to do if I'm going to get healthy again.  Exercise will be starting again too, it went on hold while I wasn't feeling well and although I'm still not right, I have got back into the housework and a little rowing to hopefully help me feel better.

Oh, and the reason I think I have candida?  The list of symptoms matched me very closely, I have most of them, I had oral thrush as a baby and I've had problems with thrush most of my adult life.  Also add in being on the pill for a very long time, having had 2 babies, some very strong antibiotics and my very sweet tooth all pretty much guarantee I have it.  I really want to get past this, to get healthy and I don't think I was truly ready for this earlier.  Now I am, and Dh has said he'll support it as long as I keep exercising, this I can do, exercise is part of the programme anyway!

The good thing about all this sitting around feeling sorry for myself?   I've been weaving and knitting a lot.  The dining room loom is now empty and up on Trademe to find a new owner, which means Mairi (my Macomber loom) is closer to being fixed up and set up.

My fabric which has been fulled in the washing machine and made from carpet wool
 It will become a bag, the pattern is already bought, I'm making the Vivian handbag by Swoon Patterns
I also finished the plain socks for Ian, he's now worn them for 3 days straight and I'm going to have to steal them in order to wash them!

And last, but not least I'm now partway up the leg for my socks too! 
 The socks are my final WIP, I've frogged the big shawl.  I just hated knitting with the yarn too much to ever finish it, cobwebweight yarn is too fine.  The yarn will be something beautiful on a loom one day instead.  This means I can start my next project with no feeling of guilt, I need a cardigan!


Sunday, May 28, 2017

I did the sewing I promised!

and a little knitting too, no more finished projects, but halfway there with some socks for youngest so I can start knitting my cardigan.

Onto pictures:
Undies from Scroop Pattern's undie pattern in a stretch satin.  I've got one more pattern to try before I decide which one to make a bunch from.  The other pattern is called Bunzies.

and the singlet top from the same pattern in the same fabric

This was a t-shirt pattern that I've turned into a dress, see my previous post for more details.  Lovely and comfy and attractive too.

and the cardigan, this does not work over bulky trousers, but will work well over the previous dress.
and finally, Ian's first sock, though not sure he deserves it the way he's behaving at the moment.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Finish and Sewing Plans

I finished my Pussy Hat yesterday, I'm really pleased with it despite my initial reservations on the pattern and I'm glad I made it.  To be honest I only made it to wear to Woolfeast next month . I just checked the date and it's 2 days after I get 6 lipomas removed, this could be interesting.  I don't feel I can move the surgery date just for Woolfeast, fingers crossed I can get in and out quickly and don't get any elbows in my middle.

My Pussyhat
The yarn is handspun merino/linen and I love how it looks, handspun is always good value when knitted up.

I've also ordered some more yarn to make a cardigan, I'll post photos when it arrives cos you need to see the colours for this one.  The pattern is Fox Crossing and I had planned on using Airforce Blue as the main colour, unfortunately they didn't have enough so I'll be using Mint instead.  This is being knit for next summer and will be bumping many things down the queue.  In the meantime I'm frantically working on youngest's socks and my socks too.  I should work on the shawl, but, meh.

I've also pulled some patterns and fabric out for some sewing.   I need some more tops and a dress and a lightweight cardigan and undies, yes, I know undies aren't exciting, but the bought ones just aren't doing it for me so I'm going to try a couple of patterns and see how I go.

This is the cardigan, it's the Juniper Cardigan by Jennifer Lauren Handmade and will be made up in purple and pumpkin merino

and this is the top,also by Jennifer Lauren Handmade and I have a pink striped lightweight merino to make this in.  I'm also planning on hacking the pattern into a dress, I'll have to make the top first and see how it goes, I want a reasonably fitted sheath style dress in a knit; have some cotton knit to trial it in.  Wish me luck!

Aside from the above I've been busy in the garden pruning fruit trees and out on the bicycle getting fit despite the cold.  Not sure how that'll go after the lipoma removal but we'll be back to it as soon as possible.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Winter is here

It's been cold this week, a slight case of envy for our neighbours who missed it all by going to Fiji for the week, but no envy for the fact that they now have to adapt to 0 degrees in the morning and frosts!

I've not been getting much done on sewing or weaving unfortunately, the studio has an area that's currently full of stuff I've listed on Trademe so I've not got much room to move.  I do have things to sew though, there's some gorgeous purple merino and some pumpkin merino that's going to be made into a lightweight cardigan; I got it from Levana Textiles in Levin.  One of these days I want to get up there, but it's a long trip involving the ferry and an overnight stay in Wellington so there needs to be more than one reason to go up there. 

On the loom front I've given in and started redoing the whole tie up on Abigail so I can finish my current project with less swearing.  I've got the shafts adjusted and am now working on the lamms.  I've also looked at the Macomber and determined I don't need to buy much else aside from what I've already determined.  So there's the apron string set up that has to be redone, more heddles and Texsolv, plus I've got some new bolts and chain as well and of course she needs a good clean and vaseline applied to the jacks.  The handle that should go on the back beam is missing, but I'm not going to order a new one, a 7/16" spanner will do the job and cost a heap less too!

I'm knitting a hat and 2 pairs of socks, plus planning my next shawl as well.
This is a Pussyhat, not sure if it's big enough yet, need to get another 1/2" done so I can get it onto the larger needles and then try it on.  The yarn is handspun merino/linen which has quite a crisp hand.
 On the health front I've got an appointment to remove my lipomas which is good, waiting for info to send to the health insurance and I'm hoping that will help with the pain issues since I know they're contributing.   Been doing lots of bike rides, 20km on Friday which is my longest so far. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sorry for the delay

I've been busy!  Finally finished youngest's room and I'm really happy with it.  It cost more than expected with tools for the plastering, a need for a fresh pail of sealant paint since the one I'd planned on using had gone off and more of the main colour since I didn't have enough, but here it is.
and he loves it too.
On the knitting front I've done some more sock knitting:
Finished my first gradient sock in the Melisandre pattern

and got halfway through the first sock for youngest in a vanilla sock out of my head.  The second sock won't match, there was a knot in the yarn which was not in pattern!
I've done more weaving and I've got a new loom too which requires some work
no name as yet, but this is the 8-shaft Macomber I mentioned last time.  I need to get some more heddles and replace some bits, including the apron strings.
And last weekend I got to go to Festival which was held in Christchurch for the first time in 17 years.  I spent a little more than I should have, but I had warned Dh that was a possibility.  Another jumbo bobbin for Esme and she got a once over from Majacraft too.  I biked there and back on Saturday and Sunday, Friday I got Dh to drop me off though since Esme is not bike friendly.
I won this one in a raffle, it's sparkles to blend into fibre for spinning; I do like a little glitz

This is a true blue based red in merino/silk.  I should also have a photo of another braid in blue/green/black tartan sock fibre too, but can't find it.

2 cones of tencel to try weaving with, this might be the first project on the Macomber once she's up and running.


This one and the one above are for a shawl, I've got 2 possible patterns in mind

and this is for socks for Dh.
I also bought something before festival that I've been wanting for some time...
This rainbow beauty will be another shawl, isn't it yummy?
It's school holidays at the moment, so I'm not getting a lot of crafting or exercise done.  A walk each day with the boys is still happening though and I did hit the loom this afternoon.  I'm also catching up on housework which was abandoned while I was painting.   Still more to do though and a few things to list on Trademe to help pay for the recent hideous bill influx, can't believe how many things needed to be replaced in the way of clothes and footwear as well as the paint and there was car stuff too.  Plus I'm still saving for the amalgam filling replacement and the loom stuff, sigh.  I need to delve into the cupboards to see if there's anything else I can sell and maybe put some of the yarn I no longer need on there too.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Radio Silence

I've been busy, but mostly not stuff that's worth putting on here yet. 

There's been sewing - working on the quilt for our bed from some years ago

Knitting - socks started and progressed, but not yet photographed

Weaving - a few inches done on Abigail, loving how the project is looking, hating the loom.  As a result I've just purchased a new to me Macomber 8-shaft loom.  Need to finish Abigail's project so I can sell her (she's a good loom, but not for me)
Twill weave on 8 shafts in carpet wool.  This is for a bag.

Spinning - been doing some special work for Kate of Heavenly Wools (she's on Etsy) so she has some yarn to show what her lovely fluff looks like when spun up for Festival later this month.
Haunui and Silk gradient Navajo plied
Undyed Haunui, plied with sewing thread with beads on it.  This will be a hat and the idea is to look like it has raindrops.

Decorating - removed 2 layers of wallpaper from youngest's room, then sanded the walls and fixed some plaster issues (raw gib edges are not a good thing, and covering them with wallpaper doesn't fix them). Still have at least 1 more plaster layer to do with sanding, probably 2 and then I can seal the walls.

Dealing with teenage hormones in an ASD boy, he's not on an even keel so we've got to try to stay on one for him, not the easiest.

Still having pain issues, but a bit better, possibly due to lots of exercise.  I've been biking most days, only missed the stormy ones and once my bike lights arrive I'll be doing it in the rain too.


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.

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