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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Just a short post, about to head for bed so I'll be asleep when the clock ticks over. 

This year has been another surgery, more changes than I expected and I read 131 books, finishing with this one:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Well that was unexpected!

As you know I had surgery on 20th November, I'm still recovering but thought I'd better do a little post to say how things went and how they're going now.
I was first on the list for the morning surgery, so arrived just before 7am, got into my room, got prepped and was in surgery before I had time to worry much at all.   I was set for 2 hours, but have since found out I was actually in there for just short of 3 hours in the end!  I signed a new permission slip beforehand to add in hemarrhoid repair since they'd gone off on me before the surgery and also to allow removal of my final ovary if it was required.  I didn't expect it would be though.

Woke up, got told that in the end the ovary had to go as it was supporting a cyst of 8cm which had grown 3cm in less a little over a month and there were concerns about that rate of growth.  My colorectal surgeon had consulted a gynae surgeon and the recommendation was it come out.  I got to see photos of my insides afterwards too; that was actually very interesting!   The cystic ovary was adhered to my ureter and a bunch of other stuff on that side.  The other side had an endometrioma and there was some adhesions around the bowel as well which he also dealt with. 
On top of that the rectocele was repaired and so was the hemarrhoid issue.  To be honest the hemarrhoid is the hardest to cope with, it hurt way more than the rectocele repair or even the internal stuff.

The good thing is all the test results came back without any sign of cancer; yay!  I was delayed coming home due to my waterworks ceasing functioning with all the swelling so had to be taught to catheterise myself and I developed a UTI. 

Now that I'm home I've got aches and pains, going to the loo is still unpleasant, but definitely improving and I'm starting to get pain from the abdominal stuff now that the external pain has quietened down a little.  My left side in particular is achey, and I think that's muscular, tends to be worse in the evenings when I'm getting tired.

I landed in ED on Monday night, sudden onset left sided chest pain so of course they were suspecting Pulmonary Embolism so lots of tests which luckily showed it wasn't that or my heart.  It's unexplained still, but not dangerous; quite probably musculoskeletal.

So, on the good side - the UTI is now gone; yay!  Bum hurts less; yay!  Side and middle hurts more (an achey hurt so not the warning type) and I can't do much other than Xbox or knitting or reading and I'm bored out of my tree.  But I'm on the road to recovery; the insurance claim is in ($4K higher than expected) and I'm hoping it will get paid next week so I can buy my husband his garden stones with our part of it.

Hoping to get to try driving next week; should be healed enough for it by then.

I got a fair bit done on this sock on Monday night!

and started on this one while in the private hospital.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

It's Spring!

I've done a little spinning and a little knitting, but mostly been spring cleaning, trying to get the house ready for when mum comes over to look after me post-surgery.

Lots of gardening too!

Some photos for your enjoyment.

My husband's socks, these are handspun (the blue) and a commercial yarn (yellow) in DK; good warm socks for winter. 

My spinning for the Advanced Spinners Group; the top is Finn Sheep which has been Navajo plied and is gorgeously springy; I think I need more.  The bottom is my first cabled yarn, I need more practice on this.  It's a blend of various wools with the provided fibre of cotton/bamboo blended in on my drumcarder.  I hate spinning cotton but I can cope in a blend.
The rose down the driveway, smells lovely first thing in the morning.

A geranium in the Japanese garden; we have a lot of work to do to get it ready but this is part of the plan.

I think this is Supreme Sultan iris, tis gorgeous in person.

A promise of things to come; pity about the weeds all through it.

Another promise, this is a peony.

Plums are showing promise too, these are a black plum; my favourite type.

Sweet peas, smell amazing!

Japanese honeysuckle, have given up trying to kill this; it's not keen on dying.

Another rose, also highly scented and has pleated petals.

Clematis, this has gone nuts with the flowers this year.

And finally an unknown iris, full of chocolately goodness.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October sewing - lots of it!

I did a huge cut out session at the beginning of the month for almost everyone in the family; much of it is from very deep stash, some of it very precious too.
Some of the photos aren't great, unfortunately I seem to be the only one in the family who can get my cell phone camera to focus correctly!
T-shirt and shorts for youngest.  The t-shirt is fairly new stash, probably only a couple of months old, the shorts are from deep enough stash that it's probably as old as the kid wearing it.  Patterns were 11th Hour Gear T from New Horizons Designs and a Burda shorts pattern (mens size); 1m of each fabric

Laneway Dress take 2, fits much better but it hasn't been warm enough to wear.  3m of month old stash, super special!

A sweatshirt using Burda 6602 for youngest, fabric is terry sweatshirting (cotton) and once again very deep stash; 1.6m used

Peached poly or tencel, not sure which.  Very deep stash again and I used Simplicity 2058 using 3m

Detail of the stitch pattern on the waist and hem; love this.

This is the Merryweather Dress from Stitch Upon A Time Patterns, using a stretch fabric, probably cotton from deep stash.  2.5m total used.

Vest for youngest using precious Malden Mills fleece from deep stash, total of 1.25m using 2 colours since I didn't have enough of either.  Pattern is New Look 6251

despite the expression he loves it.

and for elder brother we have the same pattern in a different polar fleece from deep stash, don't think this is MM though.  He's been wearing it ever since it came off the machine.  Also 1.25m used.

And my version of the same pattern again, mine has sleeves and is using deep stash precious Malden Mills fleece too.

And last but not least 3m of merino from younger stash went into the Wrapped Cardigan from Seamly Patterns (only available through
I'm also working on a wheat bag for my neck, but I've run out of the filling so no photo of that till later.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I'm still here!

I've been busy though, lots of sewing which will be in one big post once it's all finished later this week; certainly by the end of the month.  So far I've done 2 dresses, 1 skirt, shorts and t-shirt for youngest and almost finished 2 vests for the boys.  I've also cut out a polarfleece jacket and a merino draped cardi for me.
There's been spinning too, my project for the Advanced Spinning Group is complete and drying on the line.
Weaving - partway through winding a warp for a mat
Knitting - past the heel on the second sock and have just finished the yoke on my cardigan.

I will post photos when I've got it all ready to go but thought I'd better let you know I'm still here.  Trying to work out what to do for school teacher presents too, set a bad precedent over the last 2 years so this year despite the surgery coming up I've got to do something, unfortunately I'm getting no ideas what!

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Laneway Dress

I've already posted a photo of this, but I got decent ones on the real camera and I wanted to do a review so I can refer back to this when I do my next one.

Ok, the one I made was a wearable muslin.  It feels comfortable enough, but there are a few issues.  The shoulder and sleeves are a little tight on me but the bust is way too big and the darts are too far apart so I'm going to have to an adjustment there.   The hip is just right, but the waist is a little big.  I chose my size based on measurements and added 4cm in length to the bodice, this needed to be 3cm so obviously I'll change that.  The fabric wasn't a good choice either, it needs something with body, mine is probably a viscose (got it from Stash Rehash so no way of knowing what it was).

The next one will be the next size down I think, which will bring everything in, and I'll do the length change.  I'm using the Liberty Lawn which has more body than this and I might go for the off centre collar.  I'm also ditching the pockets and might add a touch more fullness to the skirt.
You can see here there's too much room in the bust and the darts are too far apart, though how much of that is due to the fabric choice and being too long in the bodice I'm not sure

Definitely too long in the back too

I think it'll sit better without the pockets, but didn't I do well on matching the plaid at the waist?

Doesn't help that I have a low bust either

And a silly photo, why?  Just cos I could!

Edit: Seriously considering a different pattern now, the Chai Dress from Itch to Stitch; I know her jeans fit me well, so hoping the dress will too and it's not as problematic for fitting, plus it's designed for shirtweight fabric which is what I have.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Feeling better

I don't know if it'll last or not but I'm taking it and running with it.  I did have a wee step backwards last Tuesday when I cycled to my surgeon's office for an appointment prior to organising surgery for a rectocele (it's a type of prolapse, if you're interested look it up, I don't want to put people off so I won't give more details).  I came off my bike at speed a couple of kilometers away from my destination due to someone deciding that they wanted to know if Darwin would kill stupid people.  Darwin might, but I'm not prepared to, so I swerved, prayed that there weren't any silent vehicles behind me and came off the bike.  Luckily I missed the stupid person, but unfortunately I took a fair bit of damage and many of my middle pain that had receded has come back.  Had to get the surgeon's nurse to fix up my knee and thank goodness they had a sink I could use to get the blood out of my handknit sock!   Priorities, socks won't heal, I will!
Found out I have another endometrioma which was picked up on the MRI, so the surgeon sent me off for an ultrasound as it was 3 months after the MRI, it's still there and it looks like some of my left ovary is still there too, that was supposed to be removed but I know things were a mess in there so it's probably not a huge surprise if some got missed.  Downside to all this is the appointment cost twice as much as I expected and then the ultrasound added more, sigh.  Had to order some supplements too, so the budget is totalled (again).  Never mind, this is a short term problem and we will get back to normal soon.

I've managed some sewing and some knitting and some spinning, I will post photos for you.  Cleaned out the fridge and the pantry this week too, less dated stuff than I expected and now it's nice and tidy, yay!

First up we have a tote bag, fully lined and with magnetic closure from my hand weaving.  It's got a solid base and is a darned good size.

This is a cat mat, my own design.  Basically using roving, cast on 20 stitches on 15mm needles and knit till it's cat sized.  I knit this after Star kept stealing my fibre, so I knew she loved it.

Horrible photo of my wearable muslin of the Laneway Dress.  It's too big in the bust and underbust areas and a smidge too long in the body (my fault, I lengthened the pattern a touch too much).  I really love the look of the pattern on other people so will try again I think.  I've got some fabric that needs to be the dress and I really hope I get it right since it's Liberty Lawn and I love it! 

And finally here's Maire almost threaded up, just have a few more to put into the heddles and then I can pop the beater on the loom.  This is going to be a very random wall hanging. 
Now the question is, do I get back on the bike tomorrow to visit the library?   I think I probably will if the weather is up to it, need to get fit before the surgery as I won't be sitting on anything like a bike seat for some months post surgery, and with having the laparoscopy at the same time I want to allow a longer healing period than last time, pretty sure falling off the bike 3 months post-op was a bad thing that lead to some of my current issues.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Test Results

Not sure if I mentioned it earlier, but I sent off to get a hair test to check my heavy metals and mineral levels from MediScan via my acupuncturist.  I've got the results back, unfortunately I have a number of problems that were picked up.  The only heavy metal that came back was mercury, which was fairly high, although the others are low, it's probable from my other results that some of them are hidden.
On the minerals side I'm low in all the good guys except Chromium, Cobalt, Phosphorus and Zinc (though zinc is the low end of normal).  Apparently it's not uncommon for the good guys to be low when you have high bad guys as the bad guys fill the positions the good guys should be in.  Might explain the muscle pains, the sinus thing/dizziness and the feeling that something just ain't right! 

So now I need to improve my digestion (my alternative practitioner has already picked up that my stomach is too low in acid production, my spleen isn't working well and nor are my liver or kidneys).  I'm taking something to help with the acid production and something for my spleen, couldn't afford to add the other things yet, not enough money in the kitty. 

So, hoping all this will help, really want to get rid of the side pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, calf pain and headaches.  Sick of feeling like I've got pressure on my throat, feeling dizzy (though this one has improved since replacing my pillow), forgetting names, the palpitations and problems with sleep.  I want to be healthy and full of energy, not feeling like I'm treading water to stop from drowning.  I know my stress levels are high, teenagers don't help, especially when they are addicted to electronics and not very nice when we say no, this would all be easier to cope with if feeling well.

I have been endeavoring to deal with the stress through my craft though.  The loom (Mairi) is now ready to weave on, I hope.  I'm halfway through winding her first warp.   I'm over halfway through the second sock for youngest (not that he deserves it after the way he's been behaving), have got a bit done on my cardigan and have also been cutting out fabric from my last weaving to make a bag.  The pattern idea has changed after finding out how much all the interfacings etc were going to cost (over $80) I decided to go with a relatively basic tote style.  I still had to spend some money, but $10 is much more manageable.
Here's Mairi with her new apron, texsolv tie up and a heap of new heddles, ready to go.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Quick Update

Healthwise I'm still not doing as well as I'd like.  I've been on the MEVY diet for some weeks now, but can't source the supplements I need as they're out of stock and the ones I was trying gave me a sore stomach (I'm suspecting the tea tree oil as the culprit here).  So despite the better diet I'm not feeling better yet.  As well as the funny head and sore side I now have a neck that tends to feel like I'm being strangled which is most unpleasant.  The antibiotics didn't help with the sinus thing, so it looks like I probably have chronic sinusitis and as I'm not prepared to throw more antibiotics at it (which probably wouldn't work) I have to live with it and hope that it'll improve with diet/supplements etc.  I'm also getting a hair test to check for heavy metals, more money but if I do have mercury issues from my fillings I need to know, the final 4 fillings leave in a few weeks.
I'm seeing a chiropractor, an osteopath and an acupuncturist to try and get on top of it all with mixed success.  The chiro has helped with my neck, but I'm going to need more than 2 visits, today was the 3rd, but I won't see how that's helped till tomorrow going by past experience.
Both she and my osteopath believe the side issues are related to my ribs/intercostal area, so there's been some work on that.  She's hoping to get my neck more balanced as she thinks the strangulation effect is actually from my neck muscles at the front being very tight so I'm also doing stretches on that.
I was going to change GP, but have had to put that off after a phone call to say I need referral to get more investigation after an "atypical" test result.   Not going to go into that further since we don't yet know why it's atypical, or what type of atypical, so I just need to try not to think about it till I get more information.   I hate waiting!  Once that's moved on then I'll change to a new practice.

On the loom front I've started working on Maire.  The wood has been cleaned and then polished with a beeswax polish and I'm starting to remove rust from the jacks.  Once that's done it'll get a wipe down with meths and then some silicon spray to protect it for the future.

Spinning has been mostly working on my Tour de Fleece combo spin, I've not yet managed a decent daylight photo due to heaps of rain here, but this is reasonably close to how it looks in real life.
A mix of merino, ramboillet, alpaca/silk and unknowns
There's 1500m here, so plenty for a jersey, haven't worked out its weight yet, but I'm suspecting DK/worsted.  I've also plied some perendale
still got quite a bit of this to go, both spinning and plying
The first sock for youngest (was going to be for Dh, but youngest needs it more) is now halfway through the foot.  The pattern is Barrel Rider's sock and was gifted to me by the designer.  It's an enjoyable knit and coming along well.
and the yarn is Schoppel-Wolle Admiral in Burgund.
Finally my shawl is growing, the pattern is Aisling and the yarn is Sikkim by Happy Go Knitty which is a merino/silk/yak singles yarn.
Loving these colours together, the photo does not do them justice, the brownish colour is actually a rich burnished copper and is called Gingerbread Man.  It'll be glorious when finished.
Unfortunately the way I've been feeling and school holidays have combined to impact on how much I've been getting done.  The loom should be finished by now, as should both those knitting projects and I should be partway through my cardigan instead of merely swatching done.  Unfortunately the world doesn't go as I'd like sometimes so I will continue to muddle through and do the best I can.

Oh, and I finished the second pair of Portlander pants which I'm enjoying wearing, lovely and warm since they're merino.

Friday, July 14, 2017

New Horizons Portlander Pants

With school holidays starting I was jump started into doing some sewing since youngest doesn't seem to have enough trousers.  I had enough left of the fabric to do something for myself as well so chose the Portlander Pants by New Horizons.  I've not used any of their patterns before so it was a great choice for Indie Pattern Month on The Monthly Stitch. These are a great pair of relaxed pants for just relaxing in, now by rights I should have finished youngest's pants first, but I can't find my elastic, so...

I don't normally wear my top tucked in, so it's normally a little more flattering, also not helped by the fact that it's cold and wet and dark here at the moment.  I've got another pair almost finished, just the waistband and hem to do, I'll finish them tomorrow, they're in khaki coloured merino sweatshirting.

This pair is from deep stash, I owned the fabric for probably 14 or more years, I bought it before my youngest was born and originally had another colour in it.  That went to my mum to be used to make Gran something to wear in the resthome.   I think the fabric might be cotton, it's got a good weight to it and is a knit on the side I've used as the right side and a terry loop on the back.

You can see the front of the fabric here, I did take a photo of the back, but for some unknown reason it's disappeared from my computer/phone.   It's a hard fabric to photograph at the best of times, and the lighting at the moment is awful!   You can see here the pocket on the front which I've overlocked for a more rustic look.  It doesn't sit quite as well as I'd like, but overall I'm pretty happy, I suspect the other pair will have better behaving pockets since the material isn't as heavy.

Will I make more?   Not yet, with the two pairs I've just made my casual pants drawer is now full, however the pattern is one I'll definitely revisit when I need more trousers suitable for winter slobbing.  It also comes in a shorts version so I might try that for summer, though at the moment it's hard to imagine summer, this winter's been cold and wet and horrible!

This is the other fabric, not a flattering colour for me, but it's on my bottom half so it doesn't matter.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Despite it all I finished a top!

Despite the sinus thing I've done some sewing and I finished a t-shirt I really love.  The main fabric is merino from The Fabric Shop which I got for $10 per metre.  I had to cut around a couple of holes, but it was worth it, the colour is gorgeous!
Tunic length (horrible lighting).  It keeps raining here so all photos are indoors with no decent lighting

And close up of the neckline (and the birdie) with equally horrible lighting.
On the health front I was worse yesterday and ended up at after hours again (to those from overseas this is like a walk-in clinic I think).  New antibiotics and another nasal spray with an antihistamine and the hopes that this works.  Yesterday was horrible!  Today I'm feeling a bit more human so have hopes for the future and am about to get 2 singlets sewn for youngest.  He's not so young now, 13 this month and we had his birthday party today which went off well despite having to cancel the visit to Willowbank (a local zoo) as it was raining quite hard.  He invited two friends from his old school who now go to the new school as well and they watched Fantastic Beasts and decorated pillowcases.   I'm now all out of decent cotton pillowcases so will have to come up with something new next year.

On the knitting front I'm up to the first heel on Dh's new socks, have just started a new shawl and got youngest to choose one skein of yarn from Vintage Purls to order for a new pair of socks.  I was expecting he'd choose green, but he chose lilac instead.  Looking forward to knitting those, just have to decide on a pattern.

Dh's Barrel Rider Socks

and my Aisling shawl which is being done in a merino/silk/yak singles yarn.

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