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Saturday, June 06, 2020

My thoughts on Current Events

America is currently reacting to years of systemic abuse of people of colour and I'm glad that it's not just people of colour coming out in support of this.  The colour of your skin in any population should not be a reason for bad treatment or abuse.  I've seen lesser examples here in New Zealand, usually against people of Asian descent.  I've not seen it against people who are black, probably because there aren't that many people in New Zealand who are black.

I grew up being fed the anti-Maori lines, I was in my 20's when I changed what I believed from what I was taught and slowly those who taught me that have also changed.  I see that as a sign of hope, those who taught me had a good reason to feel that way when they learned it, but despite that they changed.  If they can then so can most. 

I am privileged, I am a white woman and although being female lessens my privilege I am aware now that I have privilege.  Growing up I had no notion of that fact at all.   I have brought up my children to be aware that people are people no matter their colour, orientation or age; treat everyone with respect except bullies; stand up to them.  If someone is bullying someone else speak up; that's one thing I've always done, even at school.  The bullies won't like it, but someone has to do it.

For those who think that the sewing or knitting communities don't have problems with racism, you're wrong.  There's overt racism, there's the hidden version with snarky comments passed as "just joking" and there's the head in the sand version.  If you don't stand up when these things happen you are enabling the racism and you are a part of the problem.

Stand up, if you have friends who are directly affected by this ask them how you can help.  Unfortunately I don't so I can't do this, however I can still stand up in the virtual world and say I support Black Lives Matter and I believe we can change things for the better to make all people equal in treatment.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Well, it looks like I've sewn a wee bit during lockdown.

Quite a bit actually.  I also did some knitting and a lot of Xbox and some work on Gran's chair which I then reversed and am now contemplating the next step.  I'm also working on my hormonal balance since surgical menopause means my body lacks those important hormones.  I've been on the lowest dose for a couple of years, but that's not enough to support bone health and I was getting muscle pain too.  Now up on .75mcg and still in the settling phase; will ask for bloods after a couple more weeks.  Have been getting a little abdominal discomfort but that may well be related to the strawberry jam rather than the hormones; at least that's what I'm hoping!   Anyway I know that's not what you're here for, you want to see my sewing so here it is.

Socks for youngest, this was the first pattern for Sock Madness this year and proved my elbows aren't healed yet

Ghost hat to use up leftovers from a jersey

Baa-ble hat using handspun and more leftovers (the black was leftovers, the rest handspun)

Greenstyle Stride athletic tights.  I do like these, but the Tempos will be my go-to I think.

A Kwik Sew dress, would have looked better without the Strides underneath but it'll be a good one for round the house.  Used up very old stash and a collar I ordered from Ali-Express before C-19

Still trying and failing to recreate my favourite capri pants; these ones are a Jalie pattern and I have camel toe which isn't flattering at all.  They're the closest I've come to the right leg shaping, but I'm really thinking I need to take a pattern off the original pants instead.

The Twig and Tale mask pattern, I love the fabric and the pattern is good enough, but I have one more pattern I want to try that uses darts for shaping rather than a front seam.

Named clothing Kielo dress in merino.  Yes it clings to my fluff, but it's comfy and stylish.  I wish my photographer had let me know to pull it down so the wrinkles on the top weren't there, but that's life.

The back of the Kielo

A pair of Jaywalkers in a lovey yarn gifted to me by Valerie of Wandering Cat Yarns

Another red dress, this is the Gemma by Named Clothing.  It was a wearable toile in cotton french terry; the next one will be in stretch velour

Horrible nighttime photo of the Staple Tank by Greenstyle, this was another wearable toile; I'll be making more in merino for winter warmth

It used 3 fabrics, leftover from eldest's t-shirt (the navy), leftovers from youngest's shark t-shirt (binding) and some butterfly fabric that was gifted me by Valerie from Wandering Cat after she received it and realised it wasn't quilting cotton, but a cotton lycra.

A BUN hat which is charity knitting for the guild and will probably go to the local homeless shelter.  It's wool with a polyester effect thread.  I'm knitting another charity hat at the moment in pure wool.

Pace Skirt from Greenstyle using a cotton lycra sateen and cotton lycra undershorts that are actually from the Moxi pattern since I'd already adapted them to be long enough to stay put.  Legs are red from the bath.

Greenstyle's Evergreen Tee for Dh, he now wants a long sleeved one too.  That'll be tomato red.

Greenstyle Brassie pants in How to Train Your Dragon french terry from For Fabric Sake.

I think I've found a pattern company that works for me, so far all the patterns I've tried from Greenstyle have worked well.  I've got fabric ready to cut out the Whistler Jacket next and of course there will be a few of the tank top and at least one t-shirt for Dh.  I now need to stash dive for the merino and to find the stretch velour I know I have too.  May even make Dh two t-shirts.  I think the boys are both ok for clothes for the moment, except possibly for singlets for youngest; luckily I have some white merino for that too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Sewing for the men in the house

Well, two of them anyway; youngest doesn't need anything atm.

Trousers for eldest in a merino french terry.

Cargo pants for Dh; didn't have enough of the corduroy to cut them out without some colourblocking.

More cargo pants for Dh in corduroy again.

Business shirt for Dh in a stretch cotton, with perfectly matched pockets.

A Twig and Tale face mask with elastic around the head; not too bad a fit.
I've also started work on Gran's chair, the horsehair thing has been ditched, tried carding it and failed.  I don't have the equipment to do it properly so going with sheeps wool and hand carding.
I'm now 2/3 of the way through and it's looking good!

Friday, April 03, 2020

More lockdown sewing

After the last pattern that has now been biffed I decided to sew something that I was pretty sure would work well.  I've had success with Jalie patterns in the past so went with Jalie 2788.  I was so sure I'd like it that I cut it out in 2 different fabrics that I love!  Fabric 1 was from deep stash and was a polyester burn out fabric.  Fabric 2 was far more recent and was a custom dyed merino/nylon.

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Now these two fit well; I made adjustments to the long sleeved version to take it from 3/4 to long sleeved and made the back neck high; the original pattern is only a deep V which isn't ideal for winter.   I'm super happy with these and can't wait to wear them.  The instructions are a little sparse, they expect you to have some sewing experience already I think.

I also made a pair of workout capris; the pattern for that was 5004's Candy leggings, but I'm not keen on the fit; I got camel toe and lots of wrinkling at the back.  I've fixed the camel toe by scooping out the front rise a bit; but I think the wrinkles might be due to a low rear end so I'm going to have to think about that one.   Still have a Jalie pattern to try out for capris; otherwise I'll take a pattern off my commercial ones that are almost dead.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Day 6 lockdown sewing

Today's sewing involved a pattern I loved the look of but am not impressed with on the drafting side of things and some fabric from deep, deep stash.  It's some mesh knit that I bought over a decade ago and I'm glad I used it cos it's pretty, but it's not something I'd buy again.
The pattern was Bella Sunshine Designs Sahara Dress/Top in the tunic length.  It looked super pretty on the website, but the front and back are the same size.  I'm pretty sure that most of us are the same front and back; in my case I'm bigger on the front due to the surmeno tummy.  When I sewed this up there was a good fit in front and a waterfall of excess fabric on the back.  I ended up putting in 8cm worth of darts!
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The other issue is the shoulder shaping is odd, it's a 1cm seam, but the shaping of the edge of the shoulder is as you'd expect for a much wider seam.  I won't be purchasing any further patterns from these guys, but I'm happy with the other brands I've used so far so one lemon isn't going to put me off indie designers.

Day 6 of the lockdown

I've been keeping reasonably busy over the last few days.  I've made masks, bread, buns and workout pants plus done some xbox gaming too.  The boys are on holiday at the moment, but I'm still getting youngest to do some maths each day and eldest is apparently working on his biology assignment each evening.  Hard to tell, he keeps the door shut so he doesn't have to hear youngest's You Tube videos.

our tomato haul the other day, I'll pick again when it dries off

One of my masks, there's some copper wire over the bridge of the nose and it's lined with cotton flannel.  Won't be as good as proper PPE, but I don't need that sort of protection anyway; this will stop any hayfever sneezes from escaping and making people panic.
Made buns for dinner on Sunday night, we had burgers; yum!

Greenstyle Tempos for me for my workouts in athletic fabric from MarbleNZ fabrics

More Tempos, more Marble NZ fabric; super comfy for working out in.
I'm taking advantage of the workouts on TV1 in the mornings at the moment; can't do the full hour yet but am working to do longer each day.

Today I'll either work on Gran's chair or do more sewing, not sure which yet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Covid-19 lockdown in NZ

So on Monday it was announced that New Zealand would be on a four week lockdown from midnight on Wednesday (today).  Essential services are still running which includes food supplies, pharmacies, doctors (though not face to face unless absolutely necessary).  There's been some bickering over what constitutes an essential store, last I heard The Warehouse was saying it'd be open; our Prime Minister wasn't convinced since they are a general store who happens to have some food stocks; they're not primarily a food shop.   Bunnings was also saying they're essential and I can see some sense in that, a hardware store could be handy in a plumbing emergency; though plumbers and electricians will still be working.
We've had our chimney clean postponed until who knows when; pretty sure it was cleaned last year so should be safe to use and it's only a couple of years old and we've only used dry wood which reduces creosote risk.
I really hope everyone takes this seriously and doesn't go out and meet people outside their own home.  I also hope that the government takes sufficient measures to ensure people don't lose their homes over this; they have taken some for people with mortgages but not much for rental properties aside from a rent freeze.  For those who've lost their jobs a rent freeze isn't sufficient help unfortunately.

I've just checked my essential supplies and I'm good for elastic and for interfacing and I have enough fabric for a lot of sewing, plus yarn, fibre and haberdashery supplies are all good.  Food is also fine for at least another week and a half so we can hunker down till that runs out.  I'm starting to cut out fabric to sew so that I can give Dh back his whiteboard gaming table for work.  He does know if I run out of things to sew I'll need it back to do more cutting out though.  He should be ok with that, the first two things I've cut out are for him!
This pile has 2 pairs of cargo pants cut out, both primarily corduroy but one is using some wool flannel that wasn't enough to do anything with by itself; there's some piecing as the corduroy wasn't quite long enough to make pants for Dh either so the knees are flannel along with the pockets and belt keepers.  Should look good I think and gets 3 lots of fabric out of the stash.  I'm also looking for shirt fabric for Dh, according to my very out of date spreadsheet I have some possibilities so I don't need to go out looking which is good.  Even though there is a fabric store open today I'm not keen on going out if it's not necessary.

My other project will be to work on the chair; I now have some cotton batting courtesy of a guild friend so it's possible to actually get it finished; no more horse hair available, but we will make do.

One thing I've done that I shouldn't is to give into the stress and buy sugary snacks.  Will have to make sure I don't get more next pay since they do affect my health.  I already have the post nasal drip which they cause for me and a throat pressure issue (this is standard for me when I overindulge).  I still have some left but after today will have to stop completely and eat fruit instead.  Much better for me and our local fruit and vege shop will be available so I can stock up there if I run out.  We've offered to let our front neighbours pick some of our pears if they want; they just need to let us know so we don't get close by accident; their son loves pears so it'll help them out and us since we can't keep up with the tree.

Friday, March 20, 2020

It's the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine

At least for the moment, aside from high stress levels of course, but there won't be many people out there without stress issues right now.
I am still having health issues, but things are slowly improving, my cubital tunnel issues aren't improving for some reason but I'm also low on estrogen which might be affecting healing and inflammation.  I'm seeing a physio, though next week it's a different physio as mine came into contact with someone with Covid-19 so he's stuck at home for 2 weeks; assuming he doesn't get it.  It's possible I may be referred for further investigation, but who knows how that'll work with the current situation.

I'm still knitting of course, but this year I only tried to get in as a cheerleader for Sock Madness rather than a team; a team would have caused greater injury, so not worth it.   I've also been sewing, but the dress I made is now awaiting next summer to get finished, it's a touch snug right now but I don't want to make adjustments just yet.
1st Sock Madness sock, size L with 7 repeats of the pattern on the foot; so much larger than required, but it fits youngest.
My next projects will be more workout gear for me as well as casual trousers for Dh and sweat pants for eldest in a merino sweatshirting to keep him warm at school.  He's now in Yr 13 so doesn't have to wear uniform any more; he just has to look tidy.
I'm also going to do more work on the chair, a friend at guild has some cotton wadding her father bought 45 years ago and she's giving it to me to help out; if I bought some it'd be way too expensive so she's a lifesaver.  I have one horsetail, but can't get any more, the business I got it from (our cat food shop) is closing down so instead I'll be carding it with wool and keeping my fingers crossed it works.

I'm still cycling, but have taken a few days off after getting a cold, no one else in the family has it but me.  It's relatively mild but blocked a tear duct, haven't had that happen for a while, don't want it to happen again.  I've been massaging it and using colloidal silver to help clear things up and it has improved.  Looking forward to getting back on the bike.

On the Covid-19 front things aren't too bad here in NZ yet, our borders are pretty much closed, people who've come in from overseas are self-isolating (mostly, there have been a small number of tourists who were a bit cavalier in their attitudes and got caught out by that) and as far as we know there's no community transmission; we're all hoping it stays that way but of course there's a fair chance it won't.  Supermarkets have been hit with the stupid panic buyers.  I was lucky enough to be able to get everything we needed for the fortnight by going to 3 different places yesterday and got a wee bit extra to see us through a touch longer if needed.  I didn't go overboard though, got one bag of flour, not 2, the usual amount of bread etc.  Gatherings over 100 people indoors are now prohibited, guild is still meeting tomorrow, but I suspect that may go on hiatus for a bit shortly.  My husband's Judo club has closed down for the moment; not a sport that can do social distance easily, plus they have kids classes and don't want to spread it that way either.

One thing, the yarn community and also now some of the sewing community have been offering patterns free to help people stay sane while they're stuck at home; I thought that was a wonderful idea so I also put my one and only pay for pattern up free till the end of the month; hopefully it will help someone else stay sane through this.
Lace Chain Baby Socks the code to get it free is "AsWeKnowIt" without the quotes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Greenstyle Creations Fit Capsule

This month Greenstyle Creations is running their annual Fit Capsule where you make 3 items from their patterns to create an fitness gear capsule.   I chose to make the Tempo leggings, the Jillian Tank and the Moxi shorts.   I also have a Power Sports Bra cut out in cotton lycra, but that's not sewn up yet.

So here's the finished items:

Jillian tank with Moxi shorts

I suspect that a stretch woven would be better for the shorts, more body; but I was trying out the pattern for the first time so chose something that would be ok.

Jillian tank with Tempos; adjusted the pattern to make the upper leg shorter so the knee hits the right spot; darn these short legs!  This was necessary even when using the Petite fit.

 the pink fabric was a complete bitch to sew, it's some sort of swim fabric and none of my machines liked it.  My coverhem just said no, she's now up for sale on Trademe, not because of this, but because she also refuses to play nicely with woolly nylon; the listing mentions her foibles and what she's good at too.
My sewing machine started shredding thread, changed needles and it did it a couple more times.  She also skipped stitches.  Will see how she is with another new needle (different brand) and decent fabric; hoping she doesn't need a service.  Even the overlocker skipped stitches on this stuff, especially when adding clear elastic.  I will be ordering some proper athletic fabric to try out and making more Tempos in that.  I also have some custom printed cotton lycra to make another pair; I love this pattern!
Aside from the Greenstyle patterns I have cut out a custom fit t-shirt from Apostrophe Patterns in the blue print I used for the shorts, it doesn't have much stretch so I couldn't use the Greenstyle Green Tee.  After that it's probably time for me to make some casual trousers for Dh, I've got some nice green corduroy that'll work well and some grey wool flannel to use as a contrast; not enough of either to make pants, but together they'll do the job nicely.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A Health Update

I've been seeing a kinesiologist and we've definitely made some progress on the bowel side of things, however I'm still getting muscle pain, tingling in my right foot and injuring myself more often than I should; it's also taking longer than it should for me to heal.  I'm figuring that I need to do more than I have been so I've been reading the Medical Medium books; well, I've read part of his first one and part of the Liver Rescue one which I got out from the library to read on my Samsung tablet.
I'm not ready to jump in fully yet, but a lot of what he writes makes sense to me so I'm going to slowly improve my diet to what he recommends and the first thing I've done it bought a juicer and started on this stuff:
This is my first morning of taking celery juice (please ignore the crumbs, school lunches were prepared first).  I've never been keen on celery, but I'm really hoping I develop a taste for it, cos it's not very nice at the moment!  So the plan is I'll be drinking this stuff every morning and following it up with a fruit based breakfast which no fats to help my liver; then I'll be doing salads for lunch followed by a pretty much normal dinner so it won't impact on the family meals.   I can't start the whole thing till my physical book arrives in a couple of weeks from the UK; however I'll probably wait for a few months until I do the detox since I suspect it'll make me feel pretty awful.  A friend is doing it now and she's got vertigo and tinnitus and other things going on from it, considering I get those to some extent normally I have to expect I'll get them too.
If it works for me, then I'll see if I can persuade the family to change their diet to be more liver friendly, don't know how easy that'll be considering one's stuck in his ways and another is autistic.  I hope it does, sick of not feeling as well as I should be.  Certainly the dietary changes can't hurt, and they may well help.

I'm still knitting, but less than normal as one of my pain areas is both arms.  I have an ulnar nerve injury on both sides and my bicep on my right is tight and grumpy (that's not an injury, suspecting it has more to do with RSI).  Doing exercises for them and stretching as well as stretching for groin ache which came on on Sunday.   I've had that on and off ever since my first surgery, suspecting that is a direct result of how they treat your body when you're under so they can get to everything.  If it doesn't ease off that'll take me to the doctor just to get checked out.

I do have an answer for one of my problems, though, well it's probably an answer.  The dizziness I got after my 2015 turn looks like it's an after effect of a silent migraine.  I get this feeling like a piece of soft cloth (velvet) brushing through my brain for a moment; then I get tired and the next morning I'm absolutely wasted, plus the feeling off centre thing comes back and I have to start my balance exercises again.  My symptoms point in the migraine direction, especially the aftermath.  I had an MRI about a year after the first one so it's nothing really bad, but it's not fun either.

I have been sewing and am cutting out more stuff shortly; I need more workout leggings and I also need more undies without FOE as I seem to react to that when it's in sensitive areas; pity, it's so much easier to apply than cotton bands.

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