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Saturday, May 21, 2016


My doctor tested my liver enzyme levels and one was a little elevated, but not as high as it had been, hence she doesn't think my pain is from my liver; however the other doctor who did lots of prodding noticed my liver was sensitive to being prodded.   Either way the elevated levels do suggest a slightly grumpy liver so yesterday I started taking Milk Thistle, it's from the seeds so not estrogenic (the leaves, stems and roots are).  I certainly hope that's right as I don't want to increase my estrogen levels and am in fact tapering out the HRT.   I did notice this morning though that my right side pain was reduced so have taken another one today and will continue to monitor the situation, this all started a month after starting the HRT, my doctor agrees I should taper off the HRT.  I'm taking some of my information from a website called Endo Empowered and some from various forums and some medical websites as well as my doctors.  The plan is to take this for a week and see how things go before adding anything new.  The next supplement will be DIM which is a hormone balancing suppliment best taken with a liver supplement (milk thistle and will add curcurmin which is the active part of turmeric).

My left side pain is still there, but not as bad as it was, suspecting adhesions from the surgery for that one as it feels like gas has got stuck and I've been burping a huge amount and despite the amount I'm drinking I'm having to resort to gold kiwi and prunes to keep the mail moving; this points to something interfering with peristalsis which also won't be helping my poor liver.   Today I've also started taking psyllium again, which means I need to drink even more.  I'm also hoping to get in to see Maree Frost who is a pelvic floor physio and can work on adhesions as surgery for them tends to be a cyclical thing and can cause more adhesions, oh joy!

I've also got back on the bike yesterday, did a 4.5km ride in between rainstorms.  None today as it's cold and windy and wet, but hoping it might calm down enough for one tomorrow as exercise will also help with getting things moving and reducing inflammation etc.

Right, if you've got through all that I think you deserve a reward, so here's my current projects; starting with the one keeping us warm now the weather has finally turned.

For the first time ever this is actually getting the house warm, I'm putting it down to the extra insulation in the ceiling since it was topped up and the double glazing.  We're running it at half at the moment, normally have to have it on full and are still cold!
Not much light for this photo, but this is the singles I'll be plying next; Heavenly Wools in the Great Barrier Reef colourway on light grey Haunui base, hoping it's the final lot for my jersey

and my current spin, also Heavenly Wools this time the Empress of India colourway on dark grey Haunui, this will either be left as singles or Navajo plied.  I'm leaning towards Navajo; it's a gradient.

Part of the new loom, I've got to do some more varnish on the bit on top, there was mildew so I've sanded it back to remove that and I need to do more sanding and 2 more coats of varnish.  I'm missing a couple of bits for it, waiting to hear back from the lady who gave it to me to see if she has them, otherwise I'll have to try to source them myself (hoping it's all metric).  I'll also be changing some parts with the loom I'm currently using, this one is 8-shaft but has some damaged parts in the wood, luckily they're the same parts with the same size as the other loom so I can swap them out seeing as this is the one I'll use most.  Unfortunately the loom maker passed away a few years ago so I can't go to him for parts.

Oh for some decent light!  This blurry mess is my colourwork socks, pattern is Lucy in the Sky and you can find the project on Ravelry.  The yarn is Wandering Cat Yarns Tabby Cat Fingering, which I don't think Val does anymore; loving how this is working up though.  It's one of only three current WIPs.

And this is my current travelling sock using Regia Galaxy; not sure yet if this will be for me or for Ian.  Longer leg than normal and I'm just past the gusset at the moment.

And my big project, this is about about 2 years old now and got put on hold because cobweb weight yarn is so fiddly!  I have to get onto it again though, it'll be my "when I'm feeling better" project as it requires some concentration.

And this even more blurry mess is my older loom which is mostly warped up.  I've just got to get the reed threaded and the yarn tied on to the front and then I can start weaving.  The light out there today is awful though and it's cold so it'll wait till a nicer day.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More health issues

I'm back to the doctors again with side pain.  My original pain has been dealt with by physiotherapy, but this one doesn't want to leave.  More bloods taken to check inflammation and liver levels; looks like they may be thinking gallstones.
One good thing, apparently I'm easy to check out manually, I don't tense my stomach muscles when the doctor is poking around so she could feel my spine from the front!  She's also told me to start taking Panadol (tylenol to those of you in the US) to help with the pain.  I'm wondering if it's related to me being on HRT, according to some information I've found HRT increases the likelihood of liver issues and this all started after 1 month on it.  Will be checking with the doc tomorrow about going off it if it is liver, not making any decisions till I've got the blood results though.  If it's not then it might be endo back again, so once again I'd need to ditch the HRT (slowly and safely).  Funny thing, I thought after having my surgery all would be well, looks like I was wrong.

On the funny head thing, I've been told it's called "disequilibrium" according to the ENT and he's ordered an MRI to see if anything structural is going on in there.  If not then I go see another physio who deals in balance issues and possibly a neurologist as well.  That seems to have improved, though not gone away on the HRT, however I'd rather that than the pain.

I have managed to get some knitting done through all this though, I finished Strokkur just in time for the first cold snap
You can see how it fits here, a nice flattering line over my hips and it's warm.

and a very unflattering selfie, but the colours are showing up better, pain is not a flattering look either.
I want to make another of these, but a cardigan this time using the same yarn in different colours.  I'm not buying it yet though, want to be all caught up on my WIPs (only 3 left atm) and I also want to be feeling better too.

I've also almost finished warping up the loom, and got the bits of wood and so on that I need to make some Angel Wings to go on it; can't afford to buy them in from the USA with the exchange rate how it is, so going to make my own instead.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Just a quick update

1. the hip pain it seems is from my back, I have an exercise to do to fix this and I'm not supposed to bend.  I've been cutting out fabric and scrubbing shellfish which have involved bending, but both had to be done.

2. I've also got the side pain back in the place that landed me in hospital last year, though it's not as bad.  I'm suspecting it might be related to my elevated liver levels and I also suspect that my high sugar intake may well be part of it, so, I am not stopping sugar (again) and going to start exercising (again), the exercise I have to be careful with until the physio clears me for it.  The doctor is monitoring the liver levels, but I'll have to tell her the pain is back.  I need to do this for me (I want to be healthy, bugger the weight) and I need to do it for my family as well.  

3. I've been sewing (see #1), have got over halfway through 2 school shirts, the type with stand collar and cuffs etc.  These are for Ian and being white are boring, but necessary.  I also cut out a dress for me for winter in fabric that's been in the stash for aeons.

4. Have had to order yarn, this was not by choice, it was due to a case of yarn chicken that I am going to lose, I have a small lump of yarn in my main colour for my Strokkur jersey and I need more than that so had to order another skein, which of course means you need to order something else to go with it so you've got a chance of getting a project out of the leftovers.  I waited to do the order till I was certain of the yarn chicken thing, I'm just starting the colourwork section tonight.

5.  Been using the breadmaker most days, not yesterday or today though as I had to soak the pan cos the paddle wouldn't come out.  It's now drying so there will be bread tomorrow.  Going to try making rye bread as I'm hoping it's higher in fibre and lower in white carbs.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Frog pond

I've just finished the first of the next Sock Madness socks, unfortunately I won't be knitting its mate and this one will be frogged.  Very tight gauge with lots of increases in the middle of cables.   My hands are very unhappy after one sock, I suspect after two they'll refuse any further knitting for some time.  Also said sock is really hard to get over my heel so it won't get worn. 

As a result this beautiful sock will be frogged so I can reuse the yarn; I wish I hadn't cut it, but that's ok, it'll just lose me a few centimetres, not enough for the colour to change.

The yarn is Wollelfe gradient from Austria and I am in love!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Falling off bikes is bad for you

I mean I did know that, the bruising was a dead giveaway, but it now seems that there was more damage done.  Since the bike accident I've had pain in my right side, just where the hip bone changes to fluffy bits.  I'd not thought too much of it, but it's not been improving so I trotted off to the doctors today and now have an ACC claim in for it.  Turns out I've likely got a hernia as a result of the fall straining that side and of course it would be weaker than usual after the surgery too.   I've now got to take things easy for the next 3 weeks which will get me to 6 weeks post accident and then go back for investigation if it's not fixed itself.  Worst thing is it feels best if I'm slouching, so my posture is not being helped at all!

I tried to put something on the Visa this morning (online Lotto ticket for this week) but it got declined, found out why shortly afterwards, someone had stolen the card details and the card had been stopped due to suspicious activity at 3.30am this morning.  Only thing that had gone through was $2.50, they blocked the next transaction and its siblings, just as well really, they were over $1000!
I rang one place whose transaction isn't yet showing as it's going through Paypal to let them know it might bounce and that they can contact me directly if it does so I can pay them by internet banking.  They are sending my needles anyway which is nice of them and will call me if there's a problem.

I have been very busy with my knitting and spinning while all this has been going on and have made a list of things that need sewing as well.    On the sewing list I've got winter dresses for me, school shirts and trousers for the boys, work trousers for Dh, curtains for our rooms on the garage building and a cover for a shoulder roll to go in my pillow.

My Slip Stripe Spiral socks are finished and well in time so I'm doing Sock Madness in a team!

I finished Missandei too, I believe the pattern should be out around the end of this month; I've still to take action shots but the weather here hasn't been good when Dh has been home to take photos

And I finished youngest bear's plain socks as well

This is all my latest spinning, all 3-ply or Navajo and every one is for a specific project too.
This is from Wollelfe yarns through their Etsy shop (I wanted gradients) and will be for socks in Sock Madness

Also from Wollelfe but this is for a shawl, obviously a watermelon themed one.
I've got one more lot of yarn on the way, but I won this one from the Made In Home blog, I chose Socks Yeah in the Iolite colourway as my prize; can't wait till it arrives, so pretty!  It helps make me feel better when I win yarn.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Challenge 4: Gender Bender

The idea with this challenge was to make something either for a member of the opposite sex, or something for yourself that was inspired by clothing for the opposite sex.  An example of that latter would be a riding habit with military inspired trim.   I had originally intended to make myself something, but with George needing the cowboy outfit I decided to make him a vest in the style that was worn in 1870ish.

Leather vest
What the item is:  A lined leather cowboy vest

The Challenge:  Gender Bender

Fabric/Materials:  Leather from stash and a very incorrect piece of polyester for the lining and back

Pattern:  Burda 9812 altered to be more period correct (removing darts for a start)

Year:  Somewhere in the late 1870's to 1880's

Notions:   thread

How historically accurate is it?  From what I've seen the pattern probably isn't far off, George didn't want it to fasten or to have the faux pockets which may mean it's less accurate than it could be.

Hours to complete:  Probably about 6 hours to cut and sew, another 2 to trace and adapt the pattern.

First worn:  Will be worn next weekend at Scout camp along with the chaps I made last week.

Total cost:  The lining fabric is ancient and the leather was the third of a set of 3 skins that cost me around $20, so probably around $10 total?

So that's my next Historical Sew Monthly item finished, the next one is May's holes challenge.


I'm working on my Sock Madness starting pair, needs to be finished by midnight on the 14th (not NZ time, so I have longer) and I'm less than 40 rows off being done at this point, hoping to get close to finished tonight 
The yarn is Vintage Purls in the colours from  my mitts that I finished not that long ago and the pattern is exclusive to Sock Madness at the moment.
Once the socks are finished I'll get the shawl Missandei finished, I'm over halfway through the knitted on border so it shouldn't take long.
See, almost done!
On the recovery front I went backwards slightly due to overdoing things (I don't learn apparently) so have taken some time out from exercise to let things improve again.  I'll start biking again this week, 5k rides for the week and then work up again.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Protection Challenge

What the item is:
A pair of leather chaps for horse riding through the bush like American cowboys wear from the 1870's to 1890's which is when this particular style was popular

The Challenge: Protection.

Fabric/Materials: 2 lambskin skins, real ones would be made from cowhide but lamb is what I had in stash and eldest won't actually be doing rough stuff in them, it's a costume for Scouts camp.

Pattern: drafted by me

Year: 1870 ish.

Notions: Polyester thread

How historically accurate is it?
Hard to know, I had to approximate a pattern from images on the net and I think many were fastened rather than sewn but I couldn't get a good enough look at them so went with sewing.

Hours to complete: Probably about 4 hours

First worn: Will be worn 3rd weekend of this month for the last night at Scout camp, costume is required and the theme is cowboys this time.

Total cost: I think I paid about $20 for the skins on Trademe, they certainly aren't great quality but for the job at hand they did fine.

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