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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mojo Hat

My new handspun hat, I'm not good at selfies but I like the hat
Feeling better today, doing a fair bit of wandering around the house and have started taking magnesium as I suspect I'm low in that (I'm also taking iron as I know I'm low in that after bloods).  Got the restless leg thing going on which is a sign and also the leg pain could be related.

In other news I'm thinking about next year's Historical Sew Monthly plans

  • January –  Procrastination – finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting.

    Not sure on this one, I have a KAL to do with a UFO, but it's not really historical.   Might do some research to find out if fingerless mitts were around in the suitably distant past.
    ETA: is proof that they did exist and although my pattern is modern it wouldn't be out of place.

  • February – Tucks & Pleating – make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration

    I've got the bits for an 1810's bonnet so I think this might work for thisChange of plan, cos SQUIRREL!  I'm now making a chemisette and the tucks will be in the lace on the neckline

  • March – Protection – make something to protect yourself (from weather or injury) or your clothes (from soiling etc.)

    I do need an apron for my 1810's dressAnother change, eldest needs a cowboy outfit for his Scout camp, so I'm going to see if I can make him a pair of chaps; they were in use in the 1870's for cowboys so will fit well.

  • April – Gender-Bender – make an item for the opposite gender, or make an item with elements inspired by the fashions of the opposite gender

    I'd love to make something for my husband, but don't know that he'd wear it.  Might go with making a military inspired coat for my 1810's outfit instead
  • May – Holes – sometimes the spaces between stuff are what makes a garment special.  Make a garment that is about holes, whether it is lace, slashing, eyelets, etc.

    Hmm, another hard one, might go back to the 18th century for this and start my 1745 outfit based on the Outlander series
  • June – Travel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.

    I really want to make a tartan skirt for 18th century, I think this would be a good practical travel skirt too.
  • July – Monochrome – make a garment in black, white, or any shade of grey in between.

    My socks for 18th century in grey Perendale handspun.
  • August – Pattern – make something in pattern, the bolder and wilder the better.

    Will have to investigate the stash before making a decision, or the fallback would be mitts or a pocket with embroidery in the Oriental style.
  • September – Historicism – Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period.

    Will have to think about this one.
  • October – Heroes – Make a garment inspired by your historical hero, or your historical costuming hero.

    Something else for the 1745 Outlander outfit
  • November – Red – Make something in any shade of red.

    This is easy, I have (hopefully) enough boiled wool to make an 18th century hooded cape, this will also cross over to my 1810's outfit.
  • December – Special Occasion: make something for a special event or a specific occasion, or that would have been worn to special event of specific occasion historically.

    1775 red silk Robe d'Anglaise, I have the fabric and the pattern (Larkin)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ups and Downs

In general I've been improving, still get pain from time to time and my legs are having pins and needles and cold pain which I believe is due to the surgery as well and will hopefully improve over time.   I've also had other leg pain, but I had that prior to surgery, have had one swelling and heat issue which lead to me having an ultrasound, luckily it wasn't DVT, but I do have sluggish veins so more walking is needed.   I'm super glad of our free healthcare though, didn't cost me to go to ED and even the scan was free which I didn't expect!
I think my remaining ovary might be struggling too, been getting hot flushes from time to time, it may be in shock and if that's the case it should start working again later.   It could be a lot worse though!

The bills for surgery arrived yesterday, so I have now forwarded them all onto Nib and am super glad I have health insurance, it was a little less than expected, but still a huge amount of money!

In other news I've started doing a little crafting.  Before my surgery I bought a linen dress in a colour that is guaranteed to make me look ill, so today I did some block printing on it.
I used a carved block from India and I think I'll be doing more of this in the future.
I've also cast on for a Hill Country Hat using my handspun, I'll be making some changes to the pattern, mostly that there will be a turn-up brim using handspun alpaca with feathers in it.
The main yarn is Romney with some sparkle.
I've also got past the heel turn of youngest's new socks while waiting at doctors and hospitals etc
I may even be thinking about getting back to lace knitting once the hat is done, will see how I go with comfort for sitting.
This is an older Regia yarn, should wear well for my active boy.
Merry Christmas everyone and all the best for a fantastic new year as well.   I'm looking forward to a new year with wellness as my focus.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Been home for 2 days now

Pain is pretty good now, there's the odd sharp pain which I'm putting down to gas moving around traumatised areas.   I've been walking a reasonable amount and (TMI) my bowel movements are happening 2-3 times a day in the morning and I'm not constipated for the first time in ages!
I now know why I was constipated though, according to the bowel surgeon we were really close to having a total blockage due to the endometriosis which would have been a medical emergency and also explains why my health was so crap for a while.

I've not felt like doing much in the way of knitting or anything else crafty, been on the Xbox instead.   I think there might be a few more days of that as I'm still feeling pretty drained, but definitely improving each day.  I'm not going to push things too much though, but there may be a walk to the local pharmacy today to get some Difflam lozenges for my throat as I'm getting the cough tickle at bedtime and at the moment coughing isn't something I want to do much of.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Well there are no more tubes attached to me, just a single lure. Yesterday started badly with hideous nausea, but that has settled now and is apparently a side effect of losing bowel.
Tummy pain is really low, but I still have some shoulder point pain and a headache.
The bowel that got removed was in a bad way. Some of it had been invaded to the point where it was almost blocked and the it above it was so thick with muscle due to having to work so hard that I believe it came out too.
I've been getting up to go to the loo from yesterday evening and has a reasonably independent shower this morning, hopefully I will get to wash my hair tomorrow!

Monday, December 07, 2015


Surgery is complete, I'm a little woozy and very tired but the pain isn't any worse than period pain at the moment and it only gets that bad if I move around too much. My eyesight is currently a little doolally for which I blame the fentonyl and remaining anaesthesia in my system.
I am down by several inches of bowel but no stoma was needed which is great!
I'm also down by one ovary which had glued itself to one of my erethras and was in a very bad state indeed, it's blood supply had to be interfered with too much to save it.
My surgeon believes he got all the endo though which is wonderful news.

Tomorrow I will get to eat, I picked the fish for lunch and shepherd pie for dinner.

Sunday, December 06, 2015


I'm pretty much ready, waiting for the picoprep to take effect now and hungry as a bear after only some boiled eggs for food today (allowed on my diet plan for today).   Birthday party went off pretty well, all the kids seemed happy and that was the last thing to worry about.
Tomorrow I need to put the iPad in my bag along with the charger for it and my cellphone, plus the meds I need while I'm in there that I'm still taking now and then I'll be completely ready.

I got my final lot of spinning finished
Lovely polwarth/silk Navajo plied.  This will be sheep in a Baable hat.
 I also got my warp wound for my next weaving project, it's not on the loom yet and won't be till I'm sufficiently recovered.  My head isn't in the right place for warping up.
8/2 cotton in brown and pink for tea towels; don't have to worry about them getting dirty this way.
So tomorrow I'll be in late morning and then it all happens.  Will get to see how I go with Tramadol and if the pain is better or worse than it was with giving birth; I'm picking better at this point.  I'll be walking as soon as they let me to help with healing.
I'm definitely not anxious at this point, was earlier in the week but not now, no doubt that'll change tomorrow morning though.   I know I'm still stressed though, neck is tight and sleep is poor and I desperately want to buy more yarn despite not needing it; Vintage Purls has the perfect colours for me at the moment.  At the moment I'm being strong and although I'll have the iPad with me in hospital it doesn't have the passwords for banking or for Paypal so I am safe.   I figure being doped up on painkillers is a bad time to be able to shop.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

5 Days to Go

The nerves have started to kick in a little, first thing in the morning mostly before I get busy.  I get busy fairly quickly though with getting reluctant youngest to school.
Today was blood tests, groceries etc, yesterday I did my packing and tomorrow is the last minute purchases like the Christmas ham, ink for the printer, possibly some fabric as I have a coupon for $20 off a purchase over $50 and as we all know something you can make things out of is always a good cure for nerves.   I probably won't do that though as we can't really afford it and I did just order some yarn from Europe.

Friday I'll be busy baking for eldest's birthday party, at this point I've heard from 2 of the 4 invited to say they're coming.  It's lunch and there's hideous red sausages (why do kids like those things, they're yuck!) and I'll be making chocolate cake, chocolate brownies and chocolate muffins; there seems to be a theme here.  I need to make them all dairy free for one of the guests, but luckily my recipes work well with coconut instead of dairy so that's all good.   The one thing I'll make dairy is bubble log simply because that doesn't go anywhere near as well without butter.  The bad part about all this?  I'm on a liquid diet on the day he's having his party which will be shear torture.   The good thing, I'm not taking the prep stuff till after everyone has gone.

Keep fingers crossed no illnesses venture into our house for at least another 5-6 weeks and that everything goes smoothly from here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Busy times

Suri and angora yarn. 
 I spun the suri worsted and the angora was long-draw.  This has all gone to the Advanced Spinners Group for the annual challenge.   I've got more angora to spin here and this was the first time spinning angora ever, no recovery at all meant I needed something to ply it with that had the same characteristic.  Suri is lovely and shiny, but drapes with no bounce; perfect!
Top is merino/silk, the bottom is suri plied with silk
 Just like the previous one I wanted to ply the remaining suri with something that had no recovery and draped well, silk to the rescue.  I need to spin more of it as I have only plied about half the suri; that will be an after surgery spin I think, I'm getting low on time.
My next knitting project - it's a test knit for Valerie of Wandering Cat Yarns and I wanted to get it started before surgery.  The yarn is Touch Yarn's 4-ply Merino and it's yum!  The beads are from stash, and perfect.

Forgive the fuzzy shot, eldest was using my cellphone and had issues focussing.  This is my third dress for post-surgery wear.  It's cute, but not something I'd normally wear.  Fabrics are a quilting cotton for the yoke and some very old rayon from stash for the rest.

And my final finished dress with quilting cotton around the neck and the body is a merino/nylon blend; the colour is perfect and I might actually wear this in the winter as well.  The pattern is a frankenpattern as the sleeve for the dress pattern wasn't right, so I did some re-drafting to use the Ottobre t-shirt sleeve.  It fits so much better!

Before and After next!
My hair before hitting the hairdresser last week; for the first time in at least 2 years

and after!  Much easier to take care of post-surgery and everything is about that at the moment.
As well as all the above I have finished spring cleaning the house now, done a list of upcoming stuff that Dh needs to be aware of while I'm out of action and have almost finished reorganising the studio. I'm not sure if I'll have time to warp the loom, but I'm going to try.  We've also organised eldest's birthday party for the day before my surgery; I won't be able to eat anything, but I'll cope and it's important for him. 
One thing he wanted to do was to decorate pillowcases using fabric crayons.  I've got the crayons but had to order in pillowcases; could only get European ones in decent quality on special, so spent yesterday and today unpicking and then cutting and re-sewing to make them normal sized.  I hope he realises how much I love him!

A little over a week to go now, really hoping I don't come down with a cold in the next week; am taking echinacea at the moment, but have to stop that on Sunday to ensure there's no interactions with the anaesthesia or anything that could increase bleeding.  Sounds good to me, don't want to mess with that at all!

Friday, November 06, 2015

Finished the week feeling better

In part due to physically feeling better, my stomach is feeling less unhappy and in part due to further testing ruling out gallstones.   I'm still having stomach pain, but it took till about dinner time to start going ouch properly, whereas yesterday it was like that all day.   I'm still really tired, but hopeful I might be more me tomorrow.

I did finish my socks a couple of days ago, and then washed them in the wrong wash by accident so had to wear them to bed last night wet to reverse the felting that happened.  Aside from that they're lovely though
this is the yarn from Wales, love that they don't pool!
Also today I visited a friend.  I've not seen for for quite a long time and before that we'd only met once properly, but despite this we're still friends; not acquaintances but real friends.  I really enjoyed the morning spent there and we got to connect again.  We have some things in common that a lot of other mums don't, we both have children who will find it a little harder to make their way in the world than neurotypical children do.  I think she's doing an amazing job as a mum (yes, I really do!) and although she's suffering some self doubt as we all do I can see that she's got the right attitude and enough love to pull through.   All parents have dark days, even those without the extra challenges we face, but the bright days make it worth it.   We'll meet up again, I don't think I'd realised how much I needed to talk to someone who got it until I saw her today.  Yes, I get to talk to other mums at school, but pretty much all of them have neurotypical children and although they have empathy, they don't really understand what life can be like on bad days for us.  I really hope we get the chance to sit down again before my surgery, it's amazing how much better friends make you feel and I hope she felt the benefits too.   I know she'll read this, so, when you do read it, remember you're a great mum and you're doing an amazing job with a young person who will one day get on in life because of the effort his parents put in at the beginning, believe in yourself, I certainly believe in you!

And on that note I'll sign off for the night, do a little spinning or planning for sewing or maybe kill some nasty creatures on the Xbox; Dh is out with the kids at the Scout fireworks and youngest has strict instructions to stay with dad and eldest has strict instructions to tell dad if youngest forgets his instructions and I'm wondering where in the heck the cats have got to cos the fireworks are already going off despite it being daylight!

Monday, November 02, 2015

A Step Backwards and Some Forwards as well.

I have made 2 dresses I showed you in a previous post, neither of which I'm 100% happy with, but considering they're pretty much only for wearing for 6 weeks or so I'm not too bothered.  1 needs a bit more fabric at the front, and I'll make the next one with more and the other is a stretch fabric dress and the upper arm is a smidge too tight; however the body is perfect for what I want.   I've also got 2 dresses on their way from China which are "linen" supposedly, but are also loose fitting and if they've put the measurements correctly should fit well.   I'm going to make at least 1 more dress which would give me 5 total.
the one that's not quite full enough, will make a lovely nightdress afterwards though

and the one who's sleeves aren't quite right.   I'll make another of these, may compare the sleeve with a Kwik Sew pattern or Ottobre as both of them fit me better in the arm.

I've almost finished the second sock of my current travel knitting too, I need to get that finished and a new pair past the ribbing before surgery as plain knitting will be my limit for a bit I think; that and Ian desperately wants a new pair of socks after a pair I hadn't knit blew out in the heels.  They weren't knit using sock yarn and it showed.

In spinning I've finished the angora spin for the Advanced Spinners Group and I sent it off today, photo to come, it's still on the good camera and I can't be bothered hooking it up to the computer for just one photo.   I'm now spinning plain silk to go with the rest of the suri alpaca, once that's done I can ply and also ply some merino silk Navajo style and I'll have finished my planned spinning for the year.  I need more practice on long draw, the angora proved that to me, but it'll wait till I'm back to normal as there's a fair bit of trunk movement in long draw and my trunk is going to be ouchy for a while after this.

On Friday I had a gastroscopy (or whatever it's called), no sign of the ulcer which is good, however I do have a small hiatal hernia.  They took biopsies and I felt fine, right up till this morning when my stomach started feeling hot and hurting.  I'm still hurting tonight, but the hot is gone at least and I'm back on Ranitidine and paracetamol.  I was running a bit of a temperature as well, but that's now dropping which is good.   More money spent at the doctors due to that, they think the pain might be due to the biopsies effectively causing a new raw spot (aka ulcerlike nasty), but the temperature thing is apparently unrelated.
As well as the ranitidine and paracetamol I've also been taking a little colloidal silver and active honey and sodium ascorbate (vit C).   Tonight I'll take a final lot of colloidal silver and some aloe vera juice to promote healing.   I'd rather get through this faster than last time.  My back is also aching, but I think that's a reaction to the stomach pain and also all the work I've been doing.

In other news I now have all the costings for my surgery, I won't tell you how much, but I will say I'm darned glad I've got health insurance with no excess!  I emailed it all off this afternoon.  I'm now awaiting a bunch of forms and to get an appointment for a pre-op check at St George's hospital.  I'll be staying there from 4-7 days depending on how things go and then home for recovery.  Apparently I can drive after 10 days, I suspect I may disagree on that one when it comes to it, and luckily I'll have my beloved to drive me if I need to go anywhere.  I also have to shave certain areas fully, I've not done that since I was in my early 20's and that was a one-off as I hated the look of it.

In the meantime I'm busy doing spring cleaning and gardening.   All the veges are in, just in time for a nasty cold snap, but at least I can hope they'll survive it ok.   In the house I've fully cleaned the main bedroom, toilet, bathroom and shower room and the laundry.   That leaves the kitchen (including fridge and cupboards), the dining room and the lounge and conservatory.  I've also got more sewing, spinning and knitting to do, plus the school presents before I head off for surgery.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Allergies to more than I knew

I knew I had hayfever and that hazelnuts aren't good, but tonight I had my first drug allergic reaction.  Was prescribed Cyproterone Acetate and had the first one with dinner tonight, within an hour I had itchy throat that felt like it was swelling a bit, a cough and later tingly tongue.  Healthline had me take an antihistimine and then told me to head to ED.   Another antihistimine (and yes I told them what I'd already taken) and I started feeling better so was sent home.
I'm to watch for a rebound reaction sometime in the next few hours and head back there if that happens, otherwise back to normal and I get the stuff I'd planned to do tomorrow finished.

In other news I have a date for surgery, 7th of December is when I head in to get most of it sorted.  I need to be prepared that I'll have another surgery later as the likelihood is they won't be able to get all the endo out on first attempt, but at least they'll get the bowel and uterus sorted.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Changes in direction

First up I've handed in my notice at work, mainly due to health reasons - 10 years of bending over handsewing has taken its toll on my neck and I need to strengthen it so the chiropractor's work doesn't get stuffed each time he does it by my work.  It also means I'll be able to focus on family, health, and house until I have my operation, at which point I'll be able to focus on healing instead.

Knowing I'll have surgery during warmer weather I thought about what I had to wear and came up with zilch.   There is nothing that isn't fitting in some way, and all my bottom half stuff has waistbands.  I checked my dress patterns and they're all fitted too!   This required an online look for patterns that would fit the bill and I've got 2 that I've paid for and printed off.

I'll be making these for
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

On the left we have the Ruby Dress and Top pattern which I'll be making from the butterfly fabric (there's another fabric below that, same print, cream background which I'll use for the contrast)
On the right is the Rose T-Shirt and Dress for which I'm using the royal blue knit and may use either a cream or red contrast to go with it.
If I like them I may make more, but for a start this'll do the job and is a change of direction in more than one way.  I don't normally sew stuff that's not fitted and also it's been a while since I've sewn everyday wear rather than historical outfits.  Also normally I'd think about stash and then go out and buy something, with giving up work that's also not an option.

On the knitting front I've poked a hole in my finger, but despite that have got to the waist on my Strokkur and am really looking forward to being able to wear it. 
And there is yarn on the way to knit a shrug to go with my summer dresses, the final purchase for some time and only because I didn't have enough black to do anything larger than socks.
I'm planning on making a Dew Point and the yarn I'm using is some Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Sport

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Challenge: Sewing Secrets

What the item is: An approximately 1810's bodiced petticoat

The Challenge:  Sewing Secrets - to have a hidden detail or message; in my case there's a name on the ribbon: Arthur Wellesley - Duke of Wellington

The Fabric:  I used some Egyptian cotton sheeting that I bought from Haralds a while ago on special, it's lovely to work with and a very tight weave.

Pattern:  The Laughing Moon bodiced petticoat pattern - really like this pattern, only thing that wasn't quite right was the number of pleats on the back, there should have been one more.

Year:  Approximately 1810

Notions:  Polyester thread and ribbon

How Historically Accurate is it?  A little less accurate than the rest of the outfit, I don't think there would have been any machine sewing, and I did 95% of it on the machine due to time constraints.  Aside from that the pattern is based on extant examples and the fabric is probably fairly similar too.
I'm going with 70%
Hours to Complete:  Took me a few days as it's the school holidays, but if I'd knuckled down I could probably have done it in about 12 hours; I'm not fast.

First Worn:  Currently wearing for its first outing to the Christchurch Guild of Weavers and Spinners today.

Total Cost: $50

The hidden message painted on the ribbon.

Perfect fit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jaycee Boggs has a new Craftsy Class!

Jaycee Bogg's Spinning Art Yarns is the class, and yes this link will apparently earn me something if you click on it and purchase the class, I'd love it if you did as I've earned nothing so far and I may have just bought the class!
I love art yarns and the idea of a class that shows me how to do it properly and gives me some ideas on how to use the yarn just tickles me pink.  This is Jaycee's second class and the first one was brilliant so I'm expecting this one to be just as good.
I'll have to wait a little before I get to play though, have some fibre I have to spin fairly soon and I also have a petticoat to make and a loom to warp up.   School holidays are having an impact on my time and of course the weather is nice at the moment so the garden is calling.
Tomorrow the plan is to purchase some compost and make use of the boys to help unload the trailer before returning it.  They'll earn their electronics time for the afternoon.   I also need to do more weeding in the "vege patch", read weed patch.  There are some veges in there, broccoli that's flowering, very pretty and some spinach that I can barely see.   I need to rescue that for making smoothies so I can use the pineapple I have in the fridge.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Challenge: Brown

What the item is: An approximately 1810's velvet spencer

The Challenge:  Brown - to make an item using the colour brown

The Fabric:  In this case I've used 100% cotton velvet that's been in the stash for over a decade for the main part of the spencer, and the silk/cotton that I used for the dress is the lining.  There is some sew-in interfacing which is quite a strong wool.

Pattern:  The Laughing Moon double breasted spencer pattern

Year:  Approximately 1810

Notions:  Polyester thread and 2 metal hooks

How Historically Accurate is it?  I think it's probably pretty good, cotton velveteen was available as well as silk velvet so I think it's a fair assumption that cotton velvet would have been available as well.  The thread isn't of course, but aside from that and the sewing being mostly machine I'm pretty happy it would stand on its own in 1810.  I'll call it 85% accurate.

Hours to Complete:  Who knows?  I got knocked back with the flu and a stomach ulcer while making this which meant it took way longer than it should have.

First Worn:  Not yet worn, still need to make a bodiced petticoat to wear under the dress to make sure that the skirt doesn't get caught between my legs.

Total Cost:  Hard to work out seeing as everything was from stash and left over from other projects.  The velvet had previously been used to repair a chair and the lining was from the dress this goes over.  Probably around $20NZ though.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Crafting and the result of seeing the Gyno.

First up I thought you'd like to see the finished socks for Ian, he loves them and wanted to wear them again yesterday but I had to say no as they need to go to guild tomorrow to be displayed
Not the best photo, but he put them straight on despite not feeling well at the time and kept them on all day

and here they are keeping company with my pair in the same colours.
I think I need to learn how to do jogless stripes next time.

On the sewing front I'm working on a 1810's spencer in brown velvet and made the silly decision to line it with the dress fabric.   I'm regretting that now as the fabric is too soft , but it's too late to change it so I'm adapting as I go.   There will be photo's once I finish it.

Weaving - I've almost finished winding the mohair warp, just 44 wraps to go, but the spencer has a timeline so that needs to be finished first.   I do want to get it ready to go fairly quickly though for just in case I can't warp for a while.

Ok, if you're only reading for my craft stuff you may want to stop here, we're going to get into medical things now which some of you might not want to read.

As you know I've got endometriosis, I had to postpone my gyno appointment due to the flu, but I went yesterday morning with Dh to meet with Micheal East.  I took my colonoscopy pictures and a list of my symptoms as well.  He took a look at the colonoscopy photos and said he didn't think it was mucosal tissue, it looked like something was coming through the wall of the colon (which is likely endo).   Most of my symptoms can be pinned on the endo, that doesn't include the vertigo but pretty much everything else including the bladder issues and IBS, which as he said isn't really IBS, it's endo related bowel issues.

From the MRI he could tell it was stage 4, which is the worst version, stage 1 and 2 wouldn't be seen on an MRI anyway so I already knew it wasn't going to be the lighter versions.  He asked me what I was thinking on treatment and I said I was thinking surgery (laparoscopy) seeing as I can't take NSAID's anymore and hormone treatment isn't somewhere I want to go. 
He agrees, and then told me what he thought.  There will be a bowel resection to remove the portion that's been invaded, add to that the excision of all the endo and a hysterectomy; I didn't expect the last part but he said that I will have Adenomyosis and even if they get all the endo I will still have pain and will more than likely come back later to remove the uterus.  I'd rather get it all over and done with in one surgery so I'm going to get it done.  I'm keeping my ovaries, or at least that's the plan until they see what's in there so my hormones will continue to be produced which is good, and there will be no more periods, yay!

Recovery won't be fun, from the bowel resection it can take up to 9 months for the nerve pathways to heal properly apparently and I forgot to ask how long I'll be unable to drive and how long the hysterectomy takes to heal.  It'll all be done laparascoply though which should make things go a little faster.   I asked a lot of questions, but there's always something you forget.   I don't have a date yet, the surgeon needs to talk to the colorectal surgeon who I was seeing prior to this to find out if he does laparoscopy or not, if he doesn't then it'll be a different colorectal surgeon.  Once that's sorted they'll give me a date and I'll reorganise my life to suit.  Thank goodness I have health insurance, it means I'll get surgery earlier and I got to choose who I use for the endo side of things, which is important as I wanted someone who was experienced in using excision rather than ablation.  Excision is much better at getting rid of endo long term, with ablation it often comes back.

I will keep things updated on here as things go, wish me luck!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I really don't like this bug

Further to my last update, later that night Ian's temperature went up to 40.2 degrees according to our dodgy ear thermometer (I've just ordered a better one) and he was most unwell.   A bit confused and coughing still and at some point in the night he also vomited.   I got T to ditch judo halfway through to go and get Pamol as we had none in the house, by the time he got home with it Ian's temp was back under 40 and I monitored him for several more hours.  
Unfortunately it was all up to me, normally T would help, but he had an early flight out to Auckland and needed his sleep; I got to bed at about 11pm and got up several times to check on him.

He was lower in the temp yesterday, but still pretty sad, today he's been better in himself, though still has an extremely nasty cough and the nose bleeds!   One last night, wasn't too bad, just his usual.  This morning's one though lasted for an hour and he's been having them on and off all day.  From what I've seen on Facebook it's part of this bug, but not a part I'm enjoying at all.  The doc pretty much said we've got to ride it out.

I've also got it, so far it's just the cough, but I've been hitting it with Olive leaf and I'm hoping that'll stop it getting too bad, I'm also taking Vitamin C, but I can't get him to take any of those things.
Tonight T is back, and he's going to be on duty as soon as he gets home from judo, I will be wearing my earplugs and hoping like hell that he doesn't cough enough to vomit again.   If I'm going to be bad it should be tonight going by Ian, but so far I think I'm doing better than him.  So tired though, ugh.
Oh, and incapable of working, I tried, but I failed to do much at all, have emailed work to let them know.   I also did the groceries online; possibly not the best idea when not well, got twice as much toast bread as I wanted and no sandwich bread at all, also the tinned corn was the wrong size; not the supermarket's fault, it's all me.

I have got a little knitting done though, almost up to the toe on Ian's second sock, hopefully I'll be able to give that to him as he comes right.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Ugh, bugs

Had to pick youngest up from school yesterday due to a cough, it started when he got up that morning, but I had my doctor's appointment and it wasn't bad so....

The doctor's appointment resulted in a referral for further investigation of my endometriosis and I now have an appointment with a private gyn surgeon for next week which is good, very quick response time!  I'm expecting that will result in another claim with the health insurance, but that's why I've got it, right?

A bit before lunchtime (after the doc, but before the call from the gyn office) school rang to ask me to pick youngest bear up from school as his cough was worse and he now had a sore throat and headache.   Apparently his TA had the same thing last week and the class is full of it, hence why he now has it too.   It's been a very bad year for bugs unfortunately.
Kept him home today, aside from a quick trip out for a new charger cable for his iPad (yes, it's a necessity) and some more juice from the supermarket.   Finally made him take some cough medicine around 1pm cos he was coughing so much it wasn't at all nice, that's improved things but he's definitely not well.  Plus he has a sore tooth, and I've checked and there is the beginning of a hole in it, so he'll probably end up back at hospital for that one.
If he's not improved tomorrow with the cough I think there'll be a doctor's appointment for him too, he's not keen, but sometimes we have to do things we don't want to.

Upside is I'm now doing my work during the day so I might finish it tonight, downside is I'm not out in my studio sewing the 1810's spencer.   I did at least get it cut out between the weekend and yesterday morning, and I've got past the gusset on youngest's latest sock.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A finished object for school

Last year youngest's school found out I sew, so they now ask me to do stuff from time to time.   Last year it was snake hoods and furry tails.  This year it's been a quilt to show off some class artwork and today I finished it and handed it back.
I did make some suggestions when asked, the original plan was to have the artwork framed in cream fabric, the same as the background for the paintings; I strongly suggested black would make them pop and thank goodness that suggestion was taken on board.
This is the result
Isn't it gorgeous?  The black frames them nicely, I'm really happy with how it turned out.
I got loads of knitting done on Friday, mainly due to spending the day in SARA ward of the hospital. Thursday night severe abdominal pain, went to after hours at about 1am, inflammation levels high, liver numbers also higher than normal plus a temperature.  An ultrasound ruled out gall stones and the pain reduced to twinges so I was sent home Friday evening, but not until after finishing one sock and starting yarn chicken with the other
I think it's fairly obvious I'm not going to make it with this remaining yarn
Luckily I have managed to source more and it's on its way.

On the health front I went back to the doctor on Monday as still not feeling well, more blood taken and the doc presented the opinion that it was viral going by overall symptoms.   Results ruled out the viruses she was half expecting so it's some random thing, luckily I'm now feeling better and I was well enough yesterday to keep my MRI appointment.
Got another call from the doctors rooms about the results from that, apparently there's endometriosis in there, might well be an explanation for all sorts of ongoing issues such as IBS, pain (though not Thursday night's episode) and the issues I went to the colonoscopy guy for in the first place.   I have an appointment for Monday for more bloods to check liver function again and to talk about the endo.
Have spent some time googling local treatments, the pain killer one won't work now that I can't take NSAIDs (give me a sore tummy), so possibly might be looking at laparoscopy.   Wish me luck!

Monday, August 24, 2015

And down a different rabbit hole

I've been asked to do some sewing for school.  There's 30 tapa art pieces made by the kids in youngest's class.   I've been provided with fabric (black as I requested) and batting.   Until it's done there will be no historical sewing, weaving or knitting aside from the late night sitting in bed variety.

This is what happens when school learns you know how to sew and have all the gear, and yes, I could have said no; but how do you do that to a good teacher who puts all that effort into helping your child?

I got started on the layout (done) and the cutting out of borders today, one went a bit wonky due to low light conditions so I'll finish tomorrow when I can see what I'm doing.

In the meantime, here's the socks I finished and the start of the next pair:
Sublimation Socks in Vintage Purls Max yarn for me

same yarn, basic 5-row stripes for youngest to hopefully prevent him from nicking my socks

and my new shoes from American Duchess, 18th century shoes in Oxblood red, worn with handknit socks.   I've yet to install the very pretty buckles

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Challenge #8: Heirlooms and Heritage

What the item is:

1810's shift

The Challenge:

Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.


I chose to use an old sheet that was my grandmother's, probably linen, if not it's a linen look cotton and has hemstitched top and bottom that I wanted to incorporate.


I chose to make a Regency shift using the Laughing Moon pattern.  This is something an ancestor would definitely have worn no matter what her social status, though the cloth is quite high quality so probably my French ancestors who came over to England during the French Revolution according to family lore.


1810 or thereabouts


Polyester thread, silk thread, poly/cotton bias binding, polyester ribbon

How historically accurate is it?

Hmm, a lot of  machine sewing due to me feeling lazy, a little overlocking for the same reason, but most of the seams are flat felled and the neck binding is handsewn on using silk thread and I've embroidered my initials on the hem using the same thread.  The pattern is definitely appropriate as well, as is the fabric so I'll give it 80%

Hours to complete:

I have no clue on this, it's been done between knitting, working, getting sick, family etc.


First worn:

Just for the photo shoot, one step closer to having the full outfit though.  Just need the bodiced petticoat and the spencer and I'll be able to wear it.

Total cost:

Sheet was free, from my grandma's stash, bias binding was bought years ago and the ribbon was refunded due to the seller stating it was silk and when I got it it was pretty obvious it was polyester.  The silk thread has been in stash for about 20 years, so effectively the whole thing probably cost me about $1.

Hem detail with the freeform embroidered initials.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I've Fallen Down the Rabbit Hole

It's called Skyrim on the PC with mods, it's impacted heavily on my crafting (and housework).

I've done some knitting, my second DK sock is past the gusset, my 18th century shift has been started and the sleeves are pinned in place and I've started the 2nd part of my mohair warp.   Decisions have been made on my next sewing projects but they won't happen right away as I also need to clean house.

For the moment here's a progress picture of my socks for you to enjoy

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Finished some things

First up is the next Historic Sew Monthly Challenge, then there's spinning and knitting and some weaving prep

Challenge #7 - Accessorise

What the item is:
An 1810's Reticule (or bag)


about as incorrect as you can get.  The outer is a machine embroidered poly-silk.  The inner is a quilting cotton.   However in the case of the outer it was fabric I had no clue what to do with (why did I even buy it?) and this was a way to remove it from stash without feeling guilty.


Free reticule pattern is what I used, really happy with it too, it came out just how I envisioned it.


Approximately 1810 to go with my dress


Polyester thread (I said it wasn't historically accurate, remember?)
Cotton DMC thread to make the tassle
Rayon cording for the ties. 

How historically accurate is it?

Hmm, well the pattern is probably fairly close, but it's machine sewn and the fabric....
Maybe 20%? 

Hours to complete:

Probably around 2 and a few days wait for the rattail rayon cording.

First worn:

Not yet, it's awaiting the remaining dress layers to be made

Total cost:

$8 for the Rattail cord including post; it would have been more but everything else is from very old stash. 

That's it for the bag, I've also been knitting though and I've finished the first sock of a pair
Using Vintage Purls Max.   The second sock goes in the opposite colour progression.  The second one is only 3 rows in so no photo yet.
Another Riverrun sock, this is my travel knitting as I can knit the pattern now without having to think much.

I've been spinning too:
Heavenly Wools Barrier Reef on Charcoal spun hopefully bulky 3-ply.  220m of it.
  I've also started winding warp for my next project, this is the brushed mohair and it's not that easy to deal with so I've got 2 crosses which will hopefully help when it comes time to get the beast on the loom.
Hard to see, but there's 2 colours in there.  Paprika and cobalt blue, the end result should be a very basic plaid knee rug.
I've also done a little shopping at The Fabric Store in their sale today
3m of very nice wool melton for a cloak that should work for 1775 and 1810!  I got the last of it, according to Costume Close Up I should be able to get it out of slightly less than that, hope they're right!
I'm hoping to get more plying done this week as well as some more warping and knitting, will see how it pans out though, have to ring a few places about various things, including an appointment with a specialist (not looking forward to that bill!) to get results from some recent tests I've had done.

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