Saturday, June 13, 2015

Are We Back In Business?

After giving Windows Live Writer, a no-longer-supported MS program and my supreme blog editor of choice, a while in Time Out it seems to have decided to cooperate! Sheesh. What is it about computers anyway?

So. Where were we? My ouchie hip is recovering but I’ve been very good to it. Lots of rest, ice packs (a small bag of out-of-date edamame works fab!) and no long-distance walking. I’m feeling more optimistic that it will be back to what passes for normal: i.e. not perfect but something I can live with. I cannot live happily without my mobility. And I’m not ready for replacement surgery. Yet. Still don’t know what I did so I don’t repeat the feat though!

Meanwhile we’ve been spending our spare time watering the garden. It’s been absolutely lovely outdoors! Sunny and not too hot thanks to cool breezes. However, the soil dries out very quickly and everything needs watering nearly every day. I’ve been picking loads of peas now. There are 4 different varieties of snap and snow peas and the tallest are at about the limit of my reach – up there:


They certainly recuperated from that nasty hail incident, didn’t they? And the basil has grown a lot more since I picked bunches for drying:


I swear this is the best my basil has ever grown! I really overplanted this year plus it shares this railing planter with some of my trailing lobelias. Maybe it likes to be snuggly? I put some different soil in there as well which has an ingredient that holds water better than usual. Dunno. It’s probably a combination of all the right things to inspire Happy Basil.

As I was sitting around of course I was also knitting! I’m nearly done the collar on the Alpaca Tweed Cardi plus part of one sleeve. I may have to frog some of that sleeve though because my increases are not consistent. I find it hard to count the rows in this fuzzy yarn and I’ve not been keeping very good track! I might just park what I’ve got and start the second sleeve to see if it looks any better before I pull anything out of the first one. Maybe it won’t be at all noticeable. I mean if I can’t tell that something’s wonky while looking at it close up then who else can? It depends more on whether or not I can live with it just knowing it’s wonky. The two sleeves also need to be matchy-wonky or somebody’s going to hit the frog pond.

And then I started knitting something new. I know! I still have an abandoned warp on the loom, a huge pile of patterns and fabrics and a heap of spinning I want to do but no, I have to start another knitting project. And it’s not an easy knit either, at least in the beginning. I’ll tell you more later – unless you go look at my Ravelry first. Not that there’s much to see yet.

I was also reading a lot while sitting around. I have a few more thoughts on the Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns book now that I’ve pretty much read it cover-to-cover:

  • If you really want to get the full effect, you really need at least one more book from this series. I’d recommend Alabama Studio Sewing + Design which I think has the most detail on their distinctive hand-stitched and embellished style.
  • The patterns that are new to this book are not provided on paper like they are in the other three books. The CD includes all the patterns from all the books in PDF format but they are in a commercial wide printer format, not already tiled as you’ve come to expect from indy designers. However, there’s an easy workaround using Poster in the printer settings in Adobe Reader which pretty much everyone uses to read and print PDFs anyway. There’s help if you need it. Remember to keep the scale at 100% and use cutmarks and labels to help reassemble.
  • The pattern size range has been extended for all the designs but even the XXL (16-28) is still not particularly large with bust 44-46”, waist 35-36”, and hip 43-44”. Luckily the stretchy nature of cotton knits helps the fit and also it wouldn’t be hard to extend the simple patterns where you might need more room.
  • I like the section at the back of the book which is an Index of Design Choices for all the styles pictured. It tells you what fabric weights, colours, stencils, paint, stitches, seams, threads and any embellishments were used.
  • There’s also a chart with fabric amounts needed for each design and including which book it came from.
  • The actual fitting and assembly information is still somewhat rudimentary. A very beginner might still have questions on some steps. The garments are pretty basic though and there is more detail in the earlier books if you have them available.
  • Pattern layout diagrams would have been helpful. (Not that I ever follow them!)

And that’s it for now from the top of my head. I have been back in the studio (it’s warm up there!) trying to re-sort out all my piles of patterns and fabrics. I thought I had them all organised into projects but no, they’ve changed their minds on what they want to become! Uppity critters. I have two items right off that I’m itching to make now that I can stand up and move around more easily. I need to sew. Soon.

But right now I’m plugging my ears to the siren song of my studio and heading out to schlep fish fertiliser on my garden. I’ve put it off and things are growing so fast that I really think they need the extra food. And I want to do this before I have a shower! Nothing like eau de fish guts as a personal scent wafting around. Yum.


Susan said...

hey Louisa...

Sorry to hear about the hip and hope it settles down for you. But as a double hippy (replacements) I can tell you truthfully that its best to monitor that hip and decide with your Dr when its time to consider 'other options'. Degenerated hip bone on bone pain is the worst thing I ever had the displeasure to experience and so when it came time for number 2, I opted to pass on the knee and do the hip first. It was *that bad*.... and from being referred to a specialist to getting something done is almost two years. So bear this in mind okay?

I waited too long for my first and was in a wheelchair with heavy duty pain meds... not a pretty picture.
Once its done, you won't believe the freedom it gives you!

They have called me for the knee now and so its being done Sept 28th.... 9 months after the last op. They call that 'quick' too.

Hugs... Susan

Louisa said...

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, Susan! I know others who've had replacements too so I've got lots of good advice. But seriously, my hip was maintaining only an occasional twinge for years and this came on very suddenly. Perhaps I twisted something. And I have not seen my doc at least until I give it a chance to heal on its own first. As long as I'm careful it's not even bad enough to need pain meds.

Hope your knee goes as well as your hip did! Glad you have a date now.

Sharon in Surrey said...

Hope the hip was just a twist or weird movement injury & gets well soonest. Aren't bodies strange??? The day before the wind storm I could barely move - woke up that way - & the day after?? Like nothing ever happened!! I wanna be 12 again!! Waaaah I may sneak by & steal some of those peas too.

Louisa said...

Yeah, me too, Sharon! Interesting about your weather phenomenon. Obviously barometric pressure is an issue for you and probably temperature and humidity too.

Come by and I'll definitely share you some peas!

arlee said...

i had to laugh hysterically at your peas--mine are up 4 INCHES...such a difference in Calgary........

hope all goes well with whatever happens to your hip!

Louisa said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Arlee! My ouchie is definitely improving, I'm sure thanks to all the good vibes sent my way. So sorry about your peas but I'm sure they will grow. Can I send you some Vancouver weather somehow? It's been heavenly - at least for the last few weeks.

pao said...

Hey Louisa! Glad to hear you're on the mend. Isn't nice to know when you're temporarily restricted from one thing, there's always another to keep you going. ha, our garden. We have a gigantic tree in our wee backyard that soaks up all the sun. My true love plants a few things in pots on our second floor balcony. This year it's mint, cilantro (both growing like the weeds they are) and basil (hmph).

I've got the Chanin studio book you've referred to. They basically seem all the same to me. It's as though she keeps rewriting the same book over and over. I thought perhaps the latest one would finally contain everything in one place. At least they expanded the sizes some. I've only made the fingerless gloves and hats. I simply can't abide knits/ cotton jersey to wear or sew. I've tried multiple times and no. I like linen and straight up cotton, thank you very much.

I so admire your knitting ability. And the dying, oh my. Especially indigo. Or any of those natural dyes. Something to aspire to...Meanwhile, our meet up is coming soon. Can't wait!