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Friday, December 02, 2016

Busy time of year

Next week is the last week of school for youngest, trying to fit in various appointments, without success in most cases.  It means for one I'm taking youngest with the iPad, another has mum looking after him, and another will have my Mother In Law looking after him and the final one will have Dh working from home, none of these appointments could be made for next week unfortunately.
I do have a couple next week though, starting the Alexander Technique which I'm hoping will help correct my posture and maybe help with the pain issues and the first part of getting the crown sorted for my tooth and 2 silver fillings removed.  The rest of the silver will have to wait till I've sorted this pain issue as the money for the rest of the Alexander Technique will be coming out of my spending money.

In good news I've finished a few things, for a start my Pravda Jersey which is currently sitting on the lounge floor blocking
no doubt it'll be dry when it warms up too much to wear it
I also finished the quilted placemats for the teachers and teacher aides in youngest's special needs class.
All from stash, nothing new bought at all and the staff at the unit loved them!  We kept the one in the main pic and the one 3rd from left on the bottom row.
And finally, one more thing I thought you'd like, a video I found on Facebook for a stretchy cast off method

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Not Much Happening Here

Aside from the earthquake and my varicose vein surgery of course.  Unfortunately the surgery has put sewing and spinning and weaving on hold as it hurts too much to try any of them. 
My side pain issues have come back (they hadn't stopped completely, but were under control) and I'm putting it down to not being able to do my stretches at the moment.  I'm seeing a massage therapist to hopefully deal with adhesions and I think it's helping still, but the surgery put that back too (codeine is not helpful, nor however is pain which tightens everything up).  I'm also planning on seeing my herbalist again to see what he suggests since the GP has nothing to add.
On the good side I can almost roll over onto my front to do the stretches (I can roll over, but stretching puts too much pressure on the bruises) and I'm getting a lot of walking done (with Pokemon catching) and my leg is definitely improving too.

Tomorrow is busy, Ian has the broken nose clinic at hospital after getting concussion week before last when he tripped at school and fell face first into a metal pole.  I have to see a podiatrist, pretty sure there's an ingrown toenail which is causing pain issues.  At least I should be able to get that sorted fairly easily.

Our shower is a few days off being done, all the building work is completed, the painting starts tomorrow, glad I'm not doing it as they're using oil based paints and that stinks!
Just after all the wall linings went up

as it is now before painting.
There was a complication, the slide rail we wanted wasn't in stock in the South Island, because of the earthquake there was no guarantee it would arrive in time if ordered so we've had to choose a different one.  We'd expected to have more warning to order it and only just made up our minds early this week.  At least the second choice was available and is now sitting in my studio, along with the cubicle door waiting for the painting to be finished.

I have done a little knitting, 10 rows on my Jaywalker socks, before realising I hadn't cast on enough stitches and ripping it out.  Also some rows on my jersey.
Just 23 rows to go to finish the colourwork
Finally I have fabric to show you.  Yesterday I went to The Fabric Store as they had some Liberty Lawn fabric available for $18pm and I wanted some and Dh had said I could get it for my Christmas present.  I found one that I loved, and then found out that I could get the discount from Thursday on other fabric as it'd been extended to customers who get their emails to the weekend due to the earthquake, so some Liberty cotton knit was also purchased as I need some new t-shirts.
Top and middle are both stretch cotton, bottom is the lawn.
It's now all out on the line drying, if there's leftovers from the stretch knit I'll make undies as well.  Make use of the Craftsy course I bought to draft comfy undies.   Now that I can't source my favourite American Eagle undies here in NZ I'm going to have a go at making something similar.  Much as I'd love to try Thunderpants, the price is too high for our budget.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Another big earthquake at midnight

Geonet has details of the initial quake which is 7.5 intensity and lasted for about 3 minutes.  We're all ok, as are our family members elsewhere in the city.  We still have water and power which is so different from last time!  No breakages that I've found so far and school is open for eldest, but not youngest.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Anaesthetic is not good for you

Thursday last week I had my varicose veins done, they were causing pain so I needed to get them sorted.
At the moment I'm 4 days post-op and my sense of taste isn't happy, tonights chicken tasted wrong, there's nothing actually wrong with it, just my taste buds.  Same went for lunch, bacon had no flavour.
Also my knitting mojo isn't well, I've got my jersey to the point of attaching the sleeves to the body but the brain is gone for that sort of thing as well.  I can't weave, spin, sew etc because I have to keep my leg elevated except when doing the mandated walking.   I should be able to do that again in a week, hope so as I've got sewing that needs to be done.

Finally, all I can really do with the lack of mojo is Xbox, I'm not bored stiff of Xbox and I know my OOS will start complaining soon too.  The lack of exercise is bringing back the middle pain, it's been improving and I know it will again once I can move more. 

Oh and it's quite warm today and I have to wear the TED stocking, ugh.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

What is it with patterns?

Today is the second day I've attempted to work out the instructions for the welt pocket on the trousers I'm making for George, and the second day I've decided they're not writing in English.
It doesn't help that the pattern piece tells you to cut out two pieces, but the list of pieces on the instructions say one piece.  I ended up hitting the internet, I've done double welts before but this was my first single.   It is a bit dodgy unfortunately, but that's just how it is.  The second one went about as well as the first one.  I won't post photos cos I'm not proud of it and I can't be bothered heading out and taking photos in low light of black on black pockets.
This is another in a long list of patterns with drafting issues, instruction issues and stupidity.

I have done better on the knitting though, my jersey is now up to the second sleeve
The body

and the first sleeve
And what it's sitting on in the second photo?  That's the warp on my loom which is all ready to go, well, as soon as I get the treadles tied up.  Like everything else on this loom when I sat down to put the existing cords in place I found there was a problem.  This time I couldn't get the cords through the holes in the lamms, which was odd as they've obviously been used before, but doesn't change the fact that it wasn't going to work.  So, pulled them all out, cut new ones from my lot of finer Texsolv and had enough, just!  Now to get it all on the loom.  I can't manage long under there atm since I pulled a side muscle shifting some full garden pots (yes, I know, I shouldn't have, but I'm stubborn and T wasn't home).  The pots are now where I want them and I hurt a bit, but not too badly.

Speaking of health, I'm back on the bike getting exercise as well and on Thursday I get my varicose veins in my left leg sorted.  I'm under instructions to let Ian's teacher know how it goes as she needs it done too.  Waiting to hear from health insurance that it's pre-approved, but it is on my policy as covered so that should be fine.
I'm seeing some results from the Myofacial Release Massage, pain still there, but things are "working better" which is good.  She's going to work on that again next time (a few hours before my surgery) and also on my neck and shoulders.  I've also spoken to a teacher of the Alexander Technique and will be doing that as soon as I can to get my posture sorted and stop my neck and shoulders from continuously getting sore.  Oh, and finally, I need a crown.  I went to a new dentist to investigate removal of my amalgam fillings and talked to him about one tooth that's getting a little ouchy on chewing, it's filled all through the centre and will likely break off at some point.  I'm getting it done before Christmas, got in just in time.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Tania Culottes Review

Ok, I chose this pattern since I had some rayon I wanted to sew up to get it out of the stash and culottes seemed like a good idea.  I love the look of them, but I had some issues with the pattern.

First up the instructions seem to be missing some important tips such as clipping curves on the crotch area, if you don't do this it will pucker, a lot!  Also no mention of finishing the raw edges on the back crotch seam, it's mentioned on the front crotch seam though which may be a trap for young players.

The drafting is a bit off too, normally the front is wider than the back so the side seams fall at the right place.  In this the front is narrower than the back and the waistband is too narrow by 1.5" in my size and too wide by 5/8" in the back.  Luckily I had enough fabric to re-cut the waistband, but for a new sewer this could be enough to stop them sewing again.

The zipper is an invisible one which is fine, but no mention made of pressing the zipper to make it easier to sew close to the coil and also no mention of using interfacing on the seam allowance to stabilize it.   The fabrics suggested are in general not particularly stable and tend to stretch and bubble if not interfaced.  I did this and it made a huge difference!

Finally no mention is made of hanging the finished item before hemming, the instructions simply say to do a narrow hem (broken down into steps) once the rest of the sewing is complete.  If you do this though you'll have a pair of culottes that have a hem you won't want anyone else to see, ever!  I hung mine for 2 days, my hem is now perfectly even thanks to my beloved husband, but I cut off between 1/4" and 2.5" to get it that way.

In conclusion it's a good looking pair of culottes, but the instructions could do with some serious work and the waistband at the very least needs re-drafting to actually fit the waist of the shorts.

Great for jumping on the tramp!
See, even hem!

and you can see how full they are here.  Excuse the wet hair.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Still stuck at home

Youngest might go to school tomorrow, he had another attack on Tuesday and eldest came down with it on Monday.  Dh and I have to go to school tomorrow anyway to meet the dean about concerns with eldest, not looking forward to that.  What can you do about electronics addiction when school insists a BYOD is necessary?  Oh, and social issues, but that's how his mild ASD presents and we've never been able to source any support for that that's affordable.
I haven't rung EQC yet, but will be hearing from the company that did the original repairs on Monday so I'm going to try to ring EQC today or tomorrow to find out where to send any further information. 
One good thing though, the reinforcing mesh in our garage isn't part of the affected lot, it's locally manufactured.

I've gone back to doing jigsaw puzzles and spinning over the last couple of days to help maintain sanity.
1st half of Heavenly Wools Haunui, colour is Doubtful on oatmeal and it's gorgeous!  I'll be spinning a 3-ply with the third ply being an undyed perendale from stash to make a marled yarn.

Can't spin this the right way around for some reason, but you get the idea.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Stuck at home

It's been a week now and barely left the house, it's like the school holidays but so much less fun!  Dh was in Auckland for half the week, youngest was at home with gastro.  Finally had 48 hours clear and sent him to school and got a call to pick him up again while I was nursing the car home from Ohoka.
This bug takes 72 hours to come back and haunt you it seems, he won't be going back to school till Tuesday.
The car had to be taken to the mechanic, lost a cylinder.  My mechanic is wonderful though, 6 hours after I dropped it in he had it running again.  She needed a new cable to a spark plug and it was really lucky it got fixed cos then Dh had to do an emergency job for judo.
I really, really hope this coming week is better.  I do have a few things to do though, got to contact someone about the shower's failed EQC repair and I need to find out if our garage is affected by the reinforcing mesh issue.  I also need to deconstruct this computer and remove dust, the fan is struggling again.

I have got some sewing done, no photos yet though as it's a birthday present so I can't post till the birthday boy has received them.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Busy busy!

I've been sewing again, decided to join the Pattern Review's Sewing Bee Contest.

I cut out and sewed yesterday afternoon a pair of shorts that met the criteria (shorts with a fastening in woven fabric), this morning I finished the handsewing and this is the result.
The fabric is from my stash and I love how they fit

The pattern is McCalls 2157 which is now discontinued unfortunately.  I will be using it again.

I've also got more done on my knitting
2 more inches till I start decreasing for this hat, it has a very deep turn up.
I've also been playing with the macro lens again.   Downside with that is by the time you get it focused on an insect it moves.
Unfortunately a couple of minutes later this wee guy got caught by Star who shot off too fast for me to rescue it.

The honey bees are busy on my plum tree, I have to spray this for aphids unfortunately but I'm being very careful not to use one that will hurt bees once it dries and I only spray in the evening once the bees have headed to bed.

The berries on my asparagus from last summer

This is one of those plants that look like a moss mound from further away

Apricot pansy

a more traditional purple pansy

Signs of spring, unfortunately the insects have apparently been busy on this one.  Freesias are almost out too.

I do love lavender.

I love this effect, a small section in focus makes the rest look so soft and fuzzy.

That wee bird is a silvereye, this was definitely the wrong lens for this shot though.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Whoops, forgot about the blog!

I've been busy dealing with Scout fundraising, exercising, trying to get my diet under control (was doing well till a week ago when I fell off the wagon), dealing with a crook back and doing some sewing and knitting.

On the weaving front I've got the 8-shaft ready to do the final tie up, just have to get a warp on her.  The warp is ready to go, my back isn't.   The back issue is I think due to cutting out fabric and possibly my adhesion issues as well.
I'm doing my exercises to help it and seeing a Bowen therapist as well as planning on going to a myofacial release massage therapist (not the physio I'd been seeing) and probably an accupuncturist as well, but not all at once, have to do what I can afford.

On the sewing side of things I have cut out 2 pairs of waterproof trousers (both for Dh, but one was too small, so they're mine now), 1 pair of culottes for me, a shirt for me, sweatshirt for Dh, a zip up sweatshirt for G and jeans for me.  I've finished the 2 pairs of waterproof pants and started the sweatshirt for Dh.

The multi ones are Dh's, the black are now mine.
I've also got plans to make a 1745 outfit based on the Simplicity Outlander pattern.  I've not got a plaid as I couldn't find any I liked this winter, but I do have a pinstripe wool for the skirt (don't know if it's HA or not, but it looks good) and I'm going to use the green velvet I was gifted for the jacket and the stomacher.

On the knitting front I've finished a jersey, a pair of socks, cast on a hat, planned for a cardigan and won enough yarn to make a jersey in some alpaca/finn blend which is coming from the US, can't wait for that to arrive.  It was part of a KAL called the Fall Sweater Challenge.
The colours are naturals and it should look wonderful when finished, I'll either make another Strokkur or this pattern:
this one depends on whether I can get gauge.  If I can the main colour will be a dark brown and the contrasts will be cream and a lovely oatmeal.
I finished these socks for Dh, Ribby Socks

Wound 970g of yarn into two enormous cakes for a future project

Chose the yarn and pattern for the Fall Sweater Challenge, this was chosen before I won the yarn and will get started first, as soon as I finish the hat

And this is the hat which I'm knitting in the leftover yarn from the next project

This is my wonderful (and now well worn)  Eased jersey.   All in handspun on different bases (merino and Haunui from Heavenly Wools)
My other project is this lot.  I'm going to grow some sprouts for my summer sandwiches and I've got pea and sweet pea seeds to plant as well as a mesclun mix.
I might also have spent more time than ideal on the Xbox, but I enjoy it and I offer no apologies for this, except possibly to my knitting.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Tour de Fleece pile

I spun just over a kilo of fibre and just over 2km of yarn from that fibre.

Clockwise from top left:  Haunui in Daniels on Dk Grey, Barrier Reef long colour run on Haunui Grey, Rainbow gradient on merino, Inky Mix long colour run on merino, Blue Gum merino and angora which I drum carded and then plied with lurex thread, pom pom using Barrier Reef on dark grey Haunui, Bollywood on merino plied with Rose on merino, Bollywood spun as thick n thin (this needs work), Twilight silk hankies plied Twilight merino/silk, Alpaca long draw 2-ply.  Everything except the alpaca is by Heavenly Wools.
Top down:  Gotland plied with a Corriedale batt by Doe Arnott, Gotland plied with leftovers and Merino/linen from Vintage Purls.
I spun all the fibre in my last blog post bar one thing of silk hankies and that was because I still wanted to be able to use my hands afterwards.  One silk hankie bundle is enough for a start.  
I had to add a few extra items to fill in the time and as a result my boxes of next spin are now able to take the overflow from my overflow bin (blush, I have too much fibre)

Now that TdF is done for the year it's time to do some other things, so today I cleaned the oven (ick), tidied the lounge and cleaned that too (still a wee bit to do) and picked up the stitches for the neck on my current jersey.  Once that's finished I need to concentrate on Dh's socks and tying up the new loom properly.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Tour de Fleece and FO's

Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow and I'm starting with some fibre I was gifted from Heavenly Wools as part of the 6 month ambassador role I've been offered.  I'm going to spin it as a fractal gradient.  I've already prepped one bump.
My planned spin pile, all Heavenly Wools

and this is my ambassador fibre, it's the colourway Daniels on Dark Grey Haunui.  I can't wait to get started on this!
I've also finished some weaving, my tea towels are off the loom and all hemmed and washed.
cotton, not perfect but I'm pretty happy.
I've also finished a pair of jeans and a sewn cardigan, but there will be no photos of that until I've taken them and posted them on the Monthly Stitch blog which I can't do for almost a fortnight.  There's a dress too, but it's been too cold to take photos of that, it's more of an autumn or spring weight.  I will try to get photos this weekend of that.

I've also got a lot done on my handspun jersey, down on the ribbing hem at the moment which then leaves the sleeves and the collar to go.  I'll take photo's of that once the ointment on my hands has properly sunk in, the chilblains are not a happy thing right now.
They're actually worse now, this was yesterday, now they're properly red and like little sausages stuffed too firmly.  Hate the itch so much!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Today was Woolfeast, the first large trading day with traders from all over NZ and a heck of a lot of knitters and spinners etc.  I popped in first thing this morning and there were tonnes of people already (it opened at 10am).  I went in with cash and came out with yarn and other things, no cash left and I might have used the card for a couple of items as well, which I now have to pay for from my spending money.   It was worth it though, we've never had one before, but I suspect it may become an annual thing; I certainly hope so.

I got to meet new people, some of whom I knew from Ravelry including Doe Arnott, one other parent from the boys primary school (that was cool), some I don't know at all, but it was easy to talk to everyone despite my normal reticence.  Also saw a lot of people I knew from guild.

And here's the haul:
Clockwise from top left:  Maniototo Wools Aran which will be knit into a coat for me, Chiao Goo Mini's (really wanted these), Knit Pro Blocking set (wanted these for some years), a Doe Arnott Corriedale batt, Zauberball which I'll use in weaving, Outlaw Yarns Bohemia Sport for knitting the Zelda Shawl by Truly Myrtle, Dark Harbour Merino in light fingering, Spinning a Yarn merino/silk fingering, Vintage Purls DK for socks for Dh, Hollyberry Yarns in a gradient for socks for me.

Next two pays my spending money will be going to pay for the final bits from this, I won't need much else though, just some silicon dots and a double boat shuttle.  Will be either taking lunches to guild or coming home early to eat.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Must start all the things!

This is how I'm feeling at the moment, I have (had) 3 projects on the needles and the loom was being slowly warped up plus one dress cut out (not the wrap one) but I've now had a case of wanting new things. 

The loom was easy, I finished warping it up and am now having fun weaving a brown cotton teatowel.  I looked at the instructions for the project and objected to the suggestion of cream and salmon, I remember what happens to white and cream teatowels when you dry an aluminium oven tray and it's not pretty.  Luckily my stash had most of a cone of brown cotton and I felt the dusty pink I also had would be a nice accent.
M's and O's in 8/2 cotton on my Bartlett Countermarche 4-shaft loom
I did have to take a break from this for a couple of days to get ready for youngest's party, he turns 12 this week and he invited a couple of friends from his old school (only one could make it), plus his Teacher Aide from last year (was overseas on holiday) and his teacher from this year (she came).  It went well, the kids enjoyed themselves and it meant Dh could meet the teacher for the first time.  This is the cake I made:
It's a snake cake, the duck and chook are doing a runner while the snakes slither through the undergrowth after them.  It went down well, there's one piece left for this year's TA.
I've also cast on for a new jersey for me in handspun, the pattern is Eased by Alicia Plummer and is going fairly well so far, though I'm not used to bulky yarn.  I spun the yarn especially for this pattern.
The jersey so far

The remaining yarn (my phone hates night photos), the yarn is on different bases so goes bright to dark muted.
I'm also working on ignoring my shawl as I'm just not in the mood for cobwebweight at the moment.  In the meantime I've done some work on two pairs of socks
Lucy in the Sky Socks.

Plain vanilla socks
And I've planned my next knitting project after all these are finished
This has been in the queue forever, but I have the yarn coming, Mary at Maniototo Wools has dyed me up 1kilo of Aran weight Merino in a good blue red; I get to pick it up at Woolfeast next Saturday; can't wait.  This is the same yarn I used for Strokkur which I loved knitting.
On the sewing front my next projects are:
The dress is already cut out, I'm doing view D again in the burgundy you can see under it.

And of course the Outlander pattern.  The pinstripe wool at the top is going to be the skirt and the jacket will be in the pinstriped cotton velvet at the bottom of the photo.  Luckily I already have all the underpinnings.  I wanted a plaid, but nothing to be had in my current pricerange.
My next weaving project?  Wavering between the next item in Anne Field's book (placemats) or a floor rug.   We don't really need placemats, but it says linen can be used (once you have more experience) so I really want to try that just cos it's supposed to be more challenging.   However I also need a floor rug and I've got all the yarn I need so it'll depend on what challenge I feel like once this one's done.

Oh, and I now am in the hospital system, I'm on the wait list to be seen within the next 3 months by neurology.

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