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Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Monthly Stitch - Anything But Clothes

I've still not heard if I can use this pattern, but considering today's the last day I had to get it done anyway.  The pattern is this one.  I've made it before with some changes; this one's too small for knitting so I made it larger; probably should have remembered to also increase the length of the ribbons, sigh.  It still works, but not as well as it should.  In the photos the ribbons aren't inserted properly so they look ok there.

The main fabric is one I've been hoarding for some time now, Cicely Mary Barker's flower fairies; I love the books and had to have the fabric when I saw it.  The pixelated roses came with a bulk lot of quilting fabrics and the lining is plain old calico which gives it some body.



I thought about adding a pocket, but this will be a sock knitting bag and I've not usually found any need for one in those; I will make another one later with it though.

Now I need to get knitting, I've done none today despite being home all day.  I'm now on antibiotics and probiotics and hoping to see an improvement shortly healthwise.  I hate taking antibiotics but my immune system just isn't strong enough to kick this bug.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fed Up

Back in August I started getting some digestive issues, worse than my usual ones after starting the Paleo diet, it took me a few batches of coconut flour baking to make the connection and unfortunately it looks like it did some damage since things have not yet gone back to normal.
I am having a painful middle quite frequently (like a not too bad period) and urgency issues as well.  I've gone back to just a GF/DF diet and determined that any sugar is too much and am now on a SIBO/Candida protocol to hopefully repair my gut.  This is from my nutritionist and I'm seriously considering going back to my GP as well. 

It's not all bad though, my back is apparently in very good shape, so my foot numbness/tingling is not coming from there; though it may have been since it took a few weeks to get the MRI and by then most of my symptoms on that front had eased.  Downside, the exercises I did to help my back set off ulnar nerve issues, sigh.  Oh, and the standing desk has caused issues with my achilles.  Bit of a chain reaction there, here's hoping those will ease off over time.

I've not yet done any more sewing for the Sew Monthly thing since the dress, partly because I've not yet had confirmation I can use the pattern I want to which is annoying.  I have got knitting done though, I'm almost finished on the bust shaping for my cardigan.

Loving the Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Sport for this, a touch splitty at times, but so soft!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

An Anna Dress finished

Though I'm not 100% happy with it.  I had to do a bunch of adjustments, the bodice was way too short; seriously, is anyone really that short in the torso?  It was too long for empire, too short for waist length but was obviously meant to be waist length with the pleats.  I ended up dropping the bust 3cm and didn't take that cm off further down as I would with a big 4 pattern.  I also graded out from a size 12 US bust to a size 14 US waist and hip.

The front isn't too bad fit wise, but the back is way too wide; I've not had this problem to this extent with any other pattern brand so not sure what's going on here.  I think I'm going to have to put neck darts in to make it fit better which I shouldn't have to do.

The fabric is from deep stash, it's an organic cotton in cotton candy pink; not really my colour but it doesn't make me look ill and is a nice bright colour so I'll still wear it.

The pattern is from By Hand London and the internet seems to be full of people raving over it, but I'm not joining the chorus; I won't be making it again.


Hard to see the fit issues in this one, but they were the first thing my husband noticed which means they're incredibly obvious!

Keeping it real, this is after all what I'll be doing in it.

Beauty shot, I think the pleats are a little too long and as you can see the bodice isn't sitting correctly even with the changes I made.  Imagine what it'd be like without them though, eek!

Friday, October 05, 2018

A New Project (or 2)

I've just cast on for a new cardigan, Outlaw October has started and then there's the fact that I have nothing in the way of change of season cardigans in my wardrobe.  I've chosen Blairsden and I'm knitting it in 3 colours, not the 2 it's designed for.
This is the photo from Ravelry on the pattern page
The colours I'm using are:
Absinthe, London Town and Tarnished.  London Town is the main colour and the other two will alternate on the stripes.
I've decided I hate doing twisted rib, but I am continuing with it since it looks so good; but boy oh boy does it take ages to do!  

I've also cut out a dress using the Anna Dress pattern from By Hand London.  I'm using an organic cotton in pink and have already made some adjustments to the pattern.  Dropped the bust point and have graded out to a larger waist and hip measurement.

Envision this in pink and hopefully with a better fit too.
I need to get this finished tomorrow or Sunday at the latest.

Monday, September 03, 2018

I've been doing a lot!

Still having health issues, back pain and sciatic induced foot numbness have been added; plus a recent probable reaction to coconut in my diet was not pleasant.  I'm certainly hoping it was coconut since it's been going on for 2 weeks now and if it's not that then who knows what it is or when it'll stop.  I'll know in a few days if it's gone or not though; fingers crossed!

In the meantime I've been sewing, knitting, weaving, tidying and cleaning and travelling for a day.

I've finished my coat, got one area where the lining isn't quite long enough under one arm, but I'll tack it down at the top which should fix it.  Also the pocket lining keeps peeking; that's a design flaw.
I found the perfect buttons in my stash.  Pattern is an OOP Burda one.
I've almost finished Ian's socks, they should be finished by the end of this week, just 1.5 toes to go and I've made sure there's a little space in the end so he won't outgrow them too quickly.
Yarn from Vintage Purls, pattern is my own and I may publish it later.
The weaving which is now off the loom, still needs wet finishing but I'm going to check what people at guild recommend before I do that.  I'm in love with this.  There's enough for 2 scarves; one with a sewn hem and the other with fringes.  I'll keep fringe scarf and the hemmed one will go to the lady I bought the loom off.
Warp is hand dyed merino/possum/silk by Agnes Hauptli and the weft is black alpaca also from Agnes.
I'll do a separate post in a couple of days about our trip to Wellington, see you then!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Hemming

I feel like I've been doing a lot of that, but it's really only on two things so far.  I've done hemstitching on my scarf on the loom.   The actual scarf is finished now, but I've not yet cut it off as I don't want to waste any of the warp; instead I've wound it on enough for the fringe and then started again to make actual fabric for the rest of it, which will probably become a soft toy for the previous owner of the loom.

You can see the scarf on the bottom; the new fabric on top.  I am really pleased with how this is working out.
I'm also hand hemming my new coat, it's the next step before I start on the sleeves and then the lining.  I need to finish this so I can cut out some new undies for me and some tops too for working out in.
Catch stitch, takes ages and a heap of thread, but it's secure and invisible from the right side.
On a health front I'm now gluten and dairy free and my palpitations have reduced significantly in strength so it looks like there may be a food problem in there.  Had butter by accident two days ago and got major indigestion; this is not a good thing as I was hoping it was gluten that was the issue, not dairy.  I'll have to stay GF for a while yet before I challenge it back though, gluten stays in the system for longer than dairy.  Two weeks on the new eating plan and I've also stopped getting restless legs at night.  Still having problems with having to get up frequently and inflammatory joints but the other improvements make me hope that over time this will also improve.

I'm starting to enjoy the gym too, I don't have enough suitable clothes so have some on the way from the Marika Balance range, I find their stuff fits me well; though I do still need to make myself some tops.

Will be back later with more photos of spinning and the socks I'm knitting from my own pattern for youngest.  I'm over halfway through the foot and need to get them finished to deal with the lack of socks in his drawer, this is mostly due to the constant growth of said feet.

Monday, July 09, 2018

I've been a delinquent blogger

There are a number of reasons for this including laziness, too much time on the xbox and laziness.  I have been doing other things though.  This includes many appointments at physio, acupuncture, joining a gym, stopping the front door from sticking, weaving, knitting, spinning and sewing.

I'm about to go clean all the window frames since mildew is starting to show on some, this is despite having double glazing and the forced air system in the roof; the downside of no thermal break in the aluminium frame I guess.

On the health front things are improving, the acupuncture is helping, though she wants me to give up gluten for a month which I'm not looking forward to and T is not supportive of at all.  I'm hoping that it might be one of the causes for my palpitations though, since if it is at least that's something I can fix by avoiding it and the fact that I love wheat so much is a pointer that it may well be a problem.

On the crafting front I'm working on a wool coat (not sure why since I rarely wear the one I have, but the fabric was there and needed using so...).  I need to get that finished so I have space in the studio since the loom in there has now been sold and the new owner is in the North Island; there will be movers coming in to shift it out so space would be good.

I've got a project on Maire (the Macomber loom) and I'm really enjoying that, over halfway through the scarf at the moment and the remaining warp will be made into fabric for a soft toy, which toy depends on how much I have.
The warp for this is hand-dyed by Agnes Hauptli in merino/possum and I'm using black alpaca for the weft; it's at 28EPI and although it's slow it's so much fun!

Maire will go out to the studio once this project is done and of course once the other loom has been moved on.

On the spinning front I'm back to my combo spin for the Tour de Fleece
The theme for this one was orange and purple; it's going to be a very vibrant yarn.

On the knitting front I'm working on a boucle cardigan, the yarn for which was bought about 5 years ago for me by Dh and was for me when I was smaller; the gym will help take care of that along with cutting sugar again; fell off the wagon there for a month or so.
It should still fit anyway, the pattern is oversized and I know I went for a smaller size since it looked better on me.

Finished the candy stripe socks, wanted to cast on some Wandering Cat self-striping for me, but youngest needs more socks so his needs come before my wants.  He's getting lilac socks; his choice and I'm making the pattern up as I go since I couldn't find what I wanted.  Photos will come once it's further along.
That's it for me for the moment, now going to go clean those window frames and get the kids to feed themselves lunch; they're old enough to do that themselves now.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

I got some sewing done!

Not the coat yet, but I'm blaming my son for this delay.  He bought Far Cry 5 for me on the Xbox so I've been running round the wilds of Montana shooting Peggies instead of sewing.  It's been fun though! 

I have however managed to get my loom heddles threaded with the next project and I've sewn 2 things in the last few days.

This is the early 18th century vest I've made for Dh

 It's silk brocade on the fronts from very deep stash and the back is a silk/wool blend fabric I bought at The Fabric Store here in Christchurch. 15 buttons and buttonholes.  There is a small amount of non HA fabric lining the back as the silk/wool was a bit too stiff to use as lining as well as the outer; there is one layer of that lining the front and another narrow piece behind the button areas since I refused to fully interface the front pieces.
and this is my gorgeous muff.  The inner is separate and made from slightly felted wool coating (a remnant) and stuffed with mohair roving from the stash.  The outer is a goat fur and will look amazing with the dress when I make it as that is a slightly pinky red shade of silk.

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And now back to the studio to do some more sewing and maybe read the book on my warping up the loom as well.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What should I sew next? - Vote closed

Edited to advise the results:

Dress - 5
Vest - 3
Coat - 7

I've got 3 choices, all have good reasons to be sewn, none have been used by me in the past.  Help me decide!


1:  Butterick 5951 which is a retro style dress; I'd be doing  a mash up of view C for the top and view A for the skirt.  This would make a wearable winter dress.

2: Simplicity 4923 The start of an 18th century outfit for Dh, probably starting with the vest which would then tick off the fastenings challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly

3: Burda 8124 view B.   I think I have enough of the purple wool out in stash, if not then I'll go hunting in stash for something else.  I need a wool coat that's not as 1990's as my current one and in a colour that suits me.



Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Historical Sew Monthly

This month's challenge was Comfort At Home and I chose to make myself a wool skirt.

What the item is: 1780's wool skirt
Material: A wool blend, haven't done a burn test but it presses like wool and I suspect a bit of mohair too.
Pattern: Koshka the Cat's tutorial
Year: 1780's, made to go with my bum pad
Notions: Polyester thread, twill tape
How historically accurate is it? I used Koshka's instructions so probably fairly accurate on that front, it's all machine sewn though as I'm not willing to put my RSI through 4m of hem. I'd say 70%
Hours to complete: 6?
First worn: Not yet, I'm 4 months post abdominal surgery so not wanting to put the stays etc on yet; that and I don't have the jacket to go with it for wearing out in public yet.
Total cost: $10? The fabric cost me $10 for the whole bolt, then there's the thread and the tape, both of which came from old stash.

I'm figuring this is the sort of skirt you would have worn around home for pottering in, it's short enough to be out of the way but still suitably modest and it's a good hard wearing fabric too.  I'm wearing it over the bum pad and a linen petticoat here.




Once I've made the jacket to go with it and reached the point of being able to wear the stays as well I'm going to go grocery shopping in it and possibly drop in to the special needs unit to show my son's classmates.  I suspect they'll love it.

In other news I've been knitting and spinning and making T trousers for work.
This fabric was a freebie from Levana, a wool poly blend I suspect

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And this one is the same fabric as my skirt, lovely to work with.


My combo spin on Esme, first bobbin still not full.

My spinning, a little more than the last photo

A new shawl in progress using up stash, including handspun on the top tier when I get that far.
And my finished socks for Sock Madness, the next round starts any time from now.
I've still not got my warping done for the loom, but that's next on the list for between socks as well as next month's Historical Sew Monthly project if I can work out what I'm going to make; I won't have time for the stomacher with Sock Madness being on.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Not Impressed!

It's only just hit autumn here and youngest has already brought the flu home.  He had a very mild case, eldest also fairly mild (both had 3 days off school).  School told me it was a cold, but eldest and I had muscle aches and a temperature too which says flu to me.  Mine is still hanging around a week after starting and has headed into my ears and sinuses giving me tinnitus and pressure issues; not fun!  However despite that I've been doing Sock Madness and I now have 1.5 socks in 5 days and hope to finish by tomorrow.
First sock finished

Second sock at heel turn
 I've also done a smidge of spindle spinning, been a while since I did this so I've dropped it a few times.  The spindle is a Whimsy Wood and Wool spindle and it's lovely to use.  The wood is Mahogany and Tedge made it especially for me.
The fibre is dyed by Anna Harris who does lovely dyeing and sells at The Wool Yarn and Fibre Shop at The Tannery.  Unfortunately they don't have an online presence and nor does Anna.
I've also got cut out one pair of trousers for Dh and got the fabric ready for another as well as cutting out an 18th century skirt for the March challenge, and I've started the warp for my fabric on the Macomber loom.  Socks come first though so I can get into a team for Sock Madness, after that I should have a week to get the sewing done and maybe a bit more warping and spinning.

I can also show you a t-shirt I made a few weeks back as a test sew, love this top as it's comfy and looks good.
This is the Ostara Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade and I'd seriously recommend you go and buy it.  It uses stretch knits, mine is a cotton lycra.  Obviously I still need to lose some stomach to show this off properly, but that's a WIP following surgery and will take a while.
Oh, and I think I'm going back to sugar free again, Christmas derailed me horribly and I've just not got back on that wagon properly since.  I'm showing signs of candida issues again and I'm suspecting that might be why this flu hit me harder than it did the kids too.  I've got an appointment with a nutritionist and she's got my latest blood test results to help her.  I've also got an appointment to be assessed for fascial stretch today, my SIL went to these guys and is feeling much more flexible and pain free as a result, so I've some hope they can help me too.  Would be nice to have a pain free neck/shoulder and my left upper arm is a bit stuck too.   Plus the lady I'm seeing has experience of working with internal scarring from surgery which I can guarantee I have even with doing all the things I could think of to keep things from seizing up (I've been taking serrapeptase and stretching)

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!

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