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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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