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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sick Child

George is not feeling well, started this morning with feeling sick after eating.   Now he's running a slight temperature 37.4 and has a headache as well.   The headache is probably not helped by him not drinking much today.   He's been well enough to play X-box though!
I think an early night tonight, I suspect he won't be going to his holiday programme tomorrow, not going to do what one parent did last holidays and send a kid running a temperature for them to look after; that is just plain wrong.

I have managed to get some sewing done today though.   I cut out the mock corset, sewed it up and tried it on as much as you can by yourself without any lacing.  It seems about right shape and size-wise though, or will be once laced so I can now think about doing the real thing.
In  a linen that's a fairly solid weave

No more sewing today though, I think I'll be sending George to bed soon, but Ian will still be up and around.  One good thing, I've not had any sugar today, though I'm not sure giving up my crutch is the best idea when I have a sick child.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yesterday I got a bit done, today not so much as it's hot and sticky again.

So, yesterday I got my Central Park Hoodie front finished and blocked everything.   One side seems bigger than the other despite measuring so not sure what happened there.

Sleeves, one on top of the other

All dry today so have pinned the shoulder seams together ready to sew, then I can pick up stitches for the hood.

I also cast on for the Through The Loops mystery KAL, a little late but that's ok, first clue is complete
Clue #1
On the weekend I also cast on another pair of plain socks in the Merino/Silk I got from Happy Go Knitty.   So that's 3 pairs of socks on the needles, whoops!

Another thing that happened yesterday was 2 lots of yarn arriving.   The first I'd ordered for my next shawl, I didn't have anything with enough yardage that was suitable, so I now have some Fleece Artist BFL in red; yummy.   The second lot of yarn was the Wandering Cat Yarns yarn that I won in last years KAL.
Nekkid Sheep and Neptune, destined for colourwork socks, pattern Neptune High
We also had another arrival on Monday morning, a bike stand which was put into action that evening
Keeping the deck tidy
And going back further in time, George bought some face crayons on the weekend.  Ian insisted I paint "Skales" which is a Ninjago character on his face
Pretty good for someone who doesn't draw!
Oh and finally, this is what you find on a hot day:
Feather doing her best to stay cool in the shade.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Around the Table

A while ago Miriam thought it would be nice to have a national blogger's get-together, and now we have Around The Table - New Zealands first bloggers retreat!

If you're a New Zealand blogger we would love it if you would join us on April 12th-14th in Christchurch! It'll be a great weekend!! We're focusing on the social side of things with some blogging workshops and some crafty options.  There will be goodie bags and prizes, a swap and a restaurant dinner.

Should be a wonderful weekend and I'm looking forward to it even if I am an introvert!

Registrations open on Thursday this week, which has come around really fast.  Take a look at the conference overview to find out more details of whats happening, be quick it's limited to 60 people this time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Historical Sew Fortnightly

I just thought I'd talk about this challenge a bit, it's being run by The Dreamstress
The first two challenges are now complete, but there will be one challenge each fortnight for the rest of the year; we don't know what all of them are yet, just the first 8 have been listed and 2 of them are now complete.

  • #0 (the bonus challenge): Starting Simple - due 31 December NZT.  Finish a project, make a very simple garment, or something you have made before.
  • #1: Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial – due 14 Jan.  Sew something from __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC
  • #2: UFO - due Jan 28.  Let’s get something off our UFO pile! Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.
  • #3: Under it all – due Feb 11.  Every great historical outfit starts with the right undergarments, and, just in time for Valentines day, here’s you’re excuse to make them. Chemises, corsets, corded petticoats, drawers, garters, stockings…if it goes under your garments, it qualifies.
  • #4: Embellish –  due Feb 25.  Decorations make the historical garment glorious. Whether you use embroidery, trim, pleating, lace, buttons, bows, applique, quilting, jewels, fringe, or any other form of embellishment, this challenge is all about decorative detail.
  • #5: Peasants & Pioneers – due March 11. As wonderful as making pretty, pretty princess dresses is, the vast majority of people have always been poor commoners, whether they were peasants working the land, servants in big houses, or (later), pioneers carving their own space in new lands. This fortnight let’s make something that celebrates the common man.
  • #6: Stripes - due March 25. The stripe is one of the oldest patterns, appearing in the earliest textile fragments and visual records of garments, and its never gone out of style since. Celebrate stripes with a striped garment. Will you go for grand baroque stripes, pastel rococo stripes, severe neoclassical stripes, elaborately pleated and bustled Victorian stripes, or something else entirely?
  • #7: Accessorize – due April 9.  Accessories add polish to your outfits, helping to create the perfect historical look. This week is all about bringing an outfit together. Trim a bonnet, paint a fan, crochet an evening bag, sew a shawl, or dye and decorate a pair of shoes to create the perfect period accessory for yourself.
  • #8: By the Sea – due April 22.  The sea has inspired and influenced fashion for millennia. This challenge is all about nautical fashions, whether you make something to wear on the sea, by the sea, or in the sea (or lake or river).
  • #9: Flora and Fauna – due May 6.  Textiles and the natural world are inextricably linked.  Until very recently, all textiles were made from flora (linen, raime, hemp) or fauna (wool, silk, fur), and dyed with flora and fauna.  Flora and fauna also influenced the decoration of textiles, from Elizabethan floral embroidery, to Regency beetle-wing dresses, to Edwardian bird-trimmed hats.  Celebrate the natural world (hopefully without killing any birds) with a flora and/or fauna inspired garment.
For me I do have a plan for most of the challenges.

0:  I made the very simple half-slip which I'm planning on wearing under my item for #1
1:  I made the 1913 wool skirt which I'm very pleased with, still have to press it and today would be a good day as it's not so warm.
2:  I don't have a UFO so instead I'm working on a project that while related doesn't yet have a number.   I'm enlarging a pattern for my 1910s era corset; I couldn't get it to print properly so am having to do it by hand.   I have no 1" gridded paper so have had to rule that up too, I may need the full fortnight!
3:  At this point I'm going to be making a pair of drawers or a chemise to wear with the corset.   I'd make the corset but that's going to take me a while as I need to make a dummy version first to see if it'll fit me right.
4:  I'll be embellishing either item #0 or item #3
5:  Well, so far anything I've made could be used by someone of middle class or even a servant on her day off.   I'll probably make a top to go with my skirt.   I'm thinking something similar to what Anna on Downton Abbey wears to London.
6:   Stripes, this is a little harder, I don't really have a lot of striped fabric, but I believe I have some blue and white striped cotton shirting, maybe another top?  ETA: I found some white and turquoise striped cotton which is very light, it definitely wants to be a 1913 top.
7:  I think I might have to knit something, a shawl perhaps or maybe a hat.   We'll wait and see.
ETA:  I've since found a blog post from Truly Myrtle that will fit the bill perfectly a fur wrap.  I'll be using either the astrakhan I've got (fake) or some good quality fake fur.
8:  I'd love to make a bathing costume from the 1910's, they were usually made from wool and to be honest don't appear to be designed to actually go into the water at all.   I'll update this closer to the time when I've made a decision.
9:  Most of my fabrics are natural fibres, I'll have to think on this one and make a decision later.

I'm hoping that some of the challenges in the future will fit in with my corset and also a jacket to go with the skirt and tops.    I guess we'll have to wait and see.   I don't know if I'll get every single one done as I still have knitting and quilting to do, but I'll have a good try.  I'm now halfway through the CPH front panels (well, halfway through the bit between ribbing and armhole).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hot, hot, hot!

I know we're nowhere near as hot as Australia's been getting, but 31 is plenty hot enough for me!

It was guild this morning and I got some spinning done to build on what I did last night, first 50g of this fibre is now spun and I'm dizzing the rest now.
50g Merino/Nylon from Wabi Sabi fibres in Wellington, colourway is Buttercup
It's not quite as smooth as I'm used to from Anna and Kate, but still nice to spin and should make lovely socks.

Next Saturday I won't be at the guild, instead I'll be at the Sydenham Community Centre on Hutcheson St (off Colombo) at the De-Clutter sale (10am till 3pm).  The idea of the sale is to fundraise for the Fibre and Textile Network which will in turn be promoting the guild.  We are supplying tea and coffee and baking and there will be tables for the individual guilds as well as one for the network.   The network's table raises funds for them (they have some lovely cards for sale), the guild tables raise funds for the guild running that table.   Come along and support us, if the weather is good there will be spinning outside, bring your wheel and a chair.   Parking is probably best on the old Sydenham School site across Brougham St.  As well as the Weavers and Spinners guild the Embroiderers will be there and 2 patchworking groups so come along, there should be some good stuff there.  I know there are a few wheels up for grabs, plus some fibre and yarn.

Was busy this afternoon after the guild, dropped in to get the last book for the boys for school and discovered the reason I couldn't find it was that school put down the wrong book number.   Annoying, but at least I have it all now, just have to sort and name it all this coming week.   That done and I headed into The Warehouse to get the boys some summer pj's.   Found what I wanted and they were on sale!    I got 3 pairs plus a t-shirt and a 4-pack of socks for just over $17!   That then meant I could afford some moisturiser for me, and the last minute bits for the roof of the boys hut.
We got most of the roofing done, everything is up there, including the building paper; all we have to do now is to nail it down which is a job for tomorrow, we're too tired now after all the sawing and nailing and quick trip to Mitre 10 just on closing time.  Looks good though and should be a great deal more waterproof than the old tarp over plywood arrangement.   Still have to do the front wall and block off a gap before it's done.   Need to get that all done before work starts back on Monday.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Quarry

This morning we slept in which meant we were late to the bloggers picnic at Halswell Quarry.    The boys had a great time, they headed off on a walk with Thomas while I stayed with the group and knitted on my Downton Abbey hat.   Got a bit of chatting in, but I'm not very good at that and I suspect being late didn't help as there wasn't an open space in the existing circle of blankets so we were out on the edge.   Sorry guys, I'm just not good at social situations, introvert.

I got a couple of nice photo's when Ian took off again
Ian partway up the cliff, stopped him before he got too high

Isn't this a gorgeous rock formation?
After we had lunch there we came home and I worked more on the hat, and then undid most of that work as I did the decreases incorrectly.   I did manage to finish it anyway though which was good, here it is blocking
Escargot in Cascade 220 and Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca
I also finished off a skein of spinning that I plied the other day, this is English Leicester.

Tomorrow the dishwasher repair guy is going to replace the circuit board affected by a recall, I want to pick up a parcel too, but can't till that has happened.   Might get some more done on the Central Park Hoodie, or do some spinning, or if the wind isn't too strong wash the paintwork on the gables and eaves so I can get started painting that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Autism - the complete lack of any desire to conform to the expected rules of behaviour unless there is something in it for them.   That's not to downplay the sensory issues Ian has, but I have noticed that unless he can see a good reason involving gain for him that he tends to ignore the rules.   I think part of it is also a boy thing, and of course there's the selective deafness which kicks in a lot when George in particular is telling him what to do, but the moment the word "icecream" is mentioned all deafness miraculously disappears!

At the moment the boys are playing together on the Xbox, both would prefer to play alone, but that's not an option with the second PC being away for repair.  Thomas is off at a friends gaming for the day and I'm catching up on the last of my work.    Then I can do some spinning, well, plying which has been put off for a while now.

Tomorrow was going to be gardening, the rest of the family don't know it yet.  I may have to go to the library for a bit as well for a Christchurch bloggers meeting to help organise the get-together later this year.   The original meeting was set for tomorrow night, but Thomas has gaming that night too so I couldn't get to it and it sounds like I wasn't the only one.  I really want to get the vege gardens weeded and then spray the driveway, I scraped the weeds off it a week back, but you wouldn't know.   So, despite the fact that I don't like spraying with poison I don't have much choice.   Mum suggested salt, but I don't like what that does to the soil and boiling water would take too long with the huge area to cover.

Oh, and a package arrived from Canada today, the makings for my corset, fastest post from Canada ever!   I now need to get onto making up a toile version of it to check the general fit before I get started on the good stuff.

Somewhere in there I need to get started on the cleaning of the eaves and gables ready to paint, plus get working on the stripping of the wallpaper in the dining room/kitchen/laundry areas.   There just isn't enough time in the day.    I need to win Lotto I think, then at least that would give me an extra 20 hours a week.   Dreams are free luckily!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Edwardian Skirt

Fabric: 100% wool evenweave, fairly heavy weight with good body.   Been in the stash for over 10 years

Pattern:  Drafted to my measurements from a line drawing on  a Saundra Ros Altman pattern.

Year: 1911 according to the pattern, but the lines are the same as those dated 1913 so it wouldn't have been out of place.

Notions: Thread, zip (developed in 1913 so I used artistic licence)

How historically accurate is it?  I think in general it's fairly accurate.   The pattern is effectively a 3 piece pattern but from what I've read that would have been acceptable.  The zip technically isn't as I had to use a nylon zip and the one developed in 1913 was in fact a metal one like the jeans ones of today; I didn't have one in a suitable colour though and am trying to work from stash.   The seams are I'm afraid overlocked.  I tried seam binding, but it wasn't working with this fabric, it's a fairly thick wool, but has a tendency to fray.   Most is machine sewn, but the hem is hand-sewn and the facing is also tacked down by hand.

Hours to complete:  Not sure, took about 3 days, but bits here and there.    Longest part was the pattern drafting as I've not done that for a few years.

First worn: not yet worn

Total cost: I spend a couple of dollars on thread as the one I was using ran out, but aside from that it was all very old stash.  The fabric came from Global Fabrics shortly after they first opened in Christchurch.

Needs a press and suitable shoes, hairstyle and shirt

but aha!   I have a cat, now you won't notice the lack of suitable clothes.
This is the original line drawing, I think I got it fairly close.

Friday, January 04, 2013

17 Posts to go

until I hit 500 posts, I think I might need to do a giveaway for that.  I'll mull it over.

I finished my birthday hat yesterday and blocked it this morning.   It's from my handspun, the early stuff with kinks, overspun, underplied etc.
Tweedle is the pattern
I also got  a lot done on my 1913 skirt.   Unfortunately I ran out of thread so it's not finished.   It needs some pretty robust pressing with steam and maybe some work with the clapper.   I'm afraid I resorted to the overlocker, the seam binding didn't want to work with the fabric, probably because it's a fairly thick wool.  I've made it with a faced waist as waistbands don't work well on my figure, and using a zip as they were developed in 1913, though not readily available at that time.   So, tomorrow after the guild I'll pick up more thread and hopefully get it finished.   I've nothing to do for the next challenge as it's for UFO's and I have nothing vintage in the way of a UFO.    I might work on one of my Craftsy classes instead.

Now, what should I do next for knitting, I've got a KAL starting on 9th Jan for Downton Abbey which works in with the Historical Challenge.   I'm planning on knitting the Escargot Hat in navy and purple using a mix of my handspun and some left over commercial yarn.   I could cast on something new, but maybe I should use the next few days to work on my Central Park Hoodie.   Next question, do I take that with me to spinning tomorrow or do I start spinning my yellow Merino?   I'll see how I feel in the morning, but thinking the knitting as it's the committee meeting tomorrow and knitting tends to be more appropriate.   Half the time there will be spent unable to spin.    Next weekend will need to be spinning though, before Star steals any more of that yellow (naughty cat).

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2nd New Year post - what was done, what will be done

100 Day Hustle - how did I do?

1. Knit Breakwater Jersey for me

Well, the neck is done, I'm afraid it then went on hold.

2. George's quilt - dragon fabric arrived today

All done and in use:

3. Make my dress for summer to go with the petticoats that are coming from the USA; first one will be following the Couture Dress course on Craftsy.  I have the pattern and the calico.
This has gone on hold as I'm now doing a 1913 wardrobe for a challenge this year.

4. Polarfleece Vest for Thomas - this is here more to get the fabric out of the way and free up some space in the sewing room.
Whoops, this is still sitting on the floor in the sewing room, need to find the black water resistant fabric which is somewhere...

5. Finish knitted vest for Ian
Frogged due to the fabric being too dense for the pattern.

6. Put all sewing (not quilting) fabric into spreadsheet so I know what I have
Still in progress, but has been very handy for finding 1913 fabrics.

7.  Finish CPH
Still in progress, but at least I'm now into the main part of the front so I have hopes this will be finished by the end of summer.

8. Our quilt
Um, no progress.

9. Make Thomas more socks
Have finished one pair and cast on a third.

10. Make me more socks, including travel socks which are now up to the heel flap.
Travel socks are finished and I'm going to be in a KAL for another pair for me starting tomorrow.

I'm reasonably happy with how this went, after all most are at least showing progress or thought better of.

For the coming year I'm planning more knitting, spinning, sewing and DIY work.    I'd like to get all the decorating of the house finished once the EQC work is done as well as completing my historical sewing challenge.

I do have a couple of resolutions for this year too.

1. No more purchasing of yarn/fabric/fibre unless it's necessary to complete a project, same goes for notions; where possible use what I have.
2. Take better care of myself.   This means cutting out the sugar, trying to follow the principals of food combining better and doing more exercise. and drinking much more water.
3. Try to get work finished in a quicker manner, this will be hard though as I tend to be either fast or good, I prefer good, but need to speed up regardless.

Happy New Year!

Yesterday was spent out and about at the beach and the river.   We went to Spencer Park Beach where the boys got very wet and I got a few rows done on T's socks, we then had a look at the animal park there (which was disappointing) before getting lunch and eating that by the Avon river.   A wee look around town was slightly depressing, so many empty lots and more coming down.

Today we've already put in the last urgent fence post, chopped some branches off the silk tree.   2 that were dead and 2 that will interfere with the new garage.   George did a good job of mowing the lawn too.

I've got a little more done on my hat, but have about 3 more rows of ribbing to go before I can switch needles and check if it will fit my big noggin.   Hope it does, if it doesn't I'll have to do some figuring to see if I can make it big enough.

In sewing news I finished the petticoat for my simple challenge in The Historical Sew Fortnightly.
Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: Silk Jacquard in a floral pattern

Pattern:  None, I winged it.

Year: 1910ish
Notions: Cotton twill tape, thread (polyester I'm afraid)
How historically accurate is it?  Aside from the polyester thread and machine sewing I think it is fairly accurate.  It's going to have some embellishment later as I have some fabric left over.   No elastic though.
Hours to complete:  1

First worn: not yet worn

Total cost: Hard to judge, the fabric was in my stash from about 1990, the twill tape is also old stash as is the thread.

The next challenge is to make something from a '13's.  So 1513, 1613, 1913 etc.   I chose 1913 as I think the styles are slightly more wearable, and I have a chance of fitting it in the wardrobe.   Yesterday I ordered a blouse pattern as I have nothing suitable in my books, the skirt I can manage though and that's what I'll be making for this challenge in a rust coloured evenweave wool fabric from the stash.  About to go and wash it so it'll be ready to go.
I'm also going to have to order what I need to make a corset as well, just have to decide if I'm going to go white or flesh coloured.
With my husband's approval have ordered what I need to make a white corset, eek at the price!   Had to go with the cheapest shipping, but as Thomas pointed out I'll take quite a while to make it so it's worth it.    I think I'll make a mock-up using cheaper materials first.

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