Saturday, 15 August 2015

Poop watch

Remember when we were little, and fed up with being put upon by grown ups, and thinking that once we were a grown up then life would be wonderful and we could do whatever we wanted?

Well, I don't remember thinking "Oooo, when I'm a grown up I can spend the entire day from 7am to 5pm waiting for my cat to poop so I can take a sample to the vet!! Yippee!!" And then she doesn't, the vet is closed, and the cat wins.

So yes, that's what I've been doing today.  Isn't being a grown up fun? For the record, she finally pooped around 8pm.  Grrrrr.  Poop watch again tomorrow - yay!!

Fatter but not heavier - how does that work?

So I was working this week on my dressmaker's dummy that I got for Christmas - stitching a body double cover as per the instructions in the Craftsy video by Judy Jackson "Customise your dressmaking form".  I had started this back in the spring but then procrastinated when it got to second fitting the cover to my body.

So this week I got as far as finishing the cover seams and padding out the dressform to my sadly matronly figure shape.
The basted cover on the unpadded form

The form padded out with quilt wadding, covered in a 
drycleaning bag to make it easier to try the cover on and off

The final stage is to measure the dressmakers dummy to check it matches your measurements.  I was very disappointed to find the dummy shape was considerably bigger around the bust, waist and hips than my own measurements - especially the waist.  I was surprised because I had fit the cover very tightly to my own body and it was fitting snugly but not bursting at the seams on the mannequin.

Then the penny dropped and I measured my actual body again. In comparison to the original measurements I took back in the spring, I have gained a couple of inches on my waist, and about an inch on my bust and hips.  :(

But I've been weighing myself almost every weekend and have consistently been between 11 stone and 11 stone 3 pounds (154 - 157 pounds) so had been feeling rather smug that although no longer dieting, I didn't appear to be gaining weight.

So it seems that I have in fact been getting fatter, so must be losing weight somehow in compensation.  Is it muscle mass disappearing? Bones getting thinner?  Brain fat evaporating?  Probably all three with the brain part accounting for why I sometimes feel a lot stupider than when I was younger, lol.  Obviously time to stop eating Krispy Kreme donuts and biscuits (cookies) at work on Fridays, and also try to cut down on snacking at home. Difficult to do with DS at home as he likes having biscuits, sweets, crisps etc. in the house.

Cross stitch returns from the dead

I was having a 'watch the PC screen' evening: knitting while I caught up on Craftsy videos, YouTube videos etc. when it suddenly popped into my head (don't know why) that as well as quilting, knitting and lace videos, there were likely cross stitching videos as well.  Can of worms or what.

Emerging from the rabbit hole about two hours later, it turns out that the world of cross stitch has considerably evolved since my crude efforts pre-internet 20 years ago.  Loads of new techniques, new ways of organising, tips for better and quicker stitching, use of tablets for reading charts etc. etc.  I've always like the look of cross stitch and have hopefully purchased several kits in the past, but I've always been pretty useless at doing it.  For one thing, I can't count at all accurately - bit of a problem with counted cross stitch, lol.  But it turns out the modern world has a solution for that called Gridding, which you can now do with pull-out nylon thread that won't get caught in your stitches.  I've also found loads of tips to solve most of the problems I had with cross stitching: untidy stitches, messy back, losing my place, knots, losing my needle, losing my marbles etc. What ever did we do before the internet?

So I've ordered some Gridding thread and compiled a list of useful sites with tips on stitching, and I'm planning to pull out one of my ancient kits.  I know I am partway through an Americana-type sewing and quilting scene which I probably started around 2001 and I would love to finish it.  It would be great if I could get better at stitching, because I've got kits for some big Venetian house scenes, a couple of dollshouse pictures and several others that it would be good to get off my 'guilt' list and onto the wall.
This is so old - 2001 - and I'm not even halfway yet. There's
an incredible amount of backstitching on this.

Retrospective gridding on the canvas which should speed up future work


In addition to the dressmakers dummy, I sewed on the fourth block of the Cozy Afternoon Free BOM.  There is one more block to come and then probably finishing instructions to make up the quilt top.

Knitting had been pretty much the same as last week:  Commuter knitting on daisies, TV knitting on the Gradient Shawl or the Rowan Summer Tweed Cardigan.

I'm working the edging on the gradient shawl and close to running out of yarn
so will cast off soon.

And I'm on the final leg of the Bobbin Lace Torchon Mat and have started to do the 'sewings' that attach the final triangle to the first triangle.  I've got several bobbin lace books and finishing off rarely gets much of a mention beyond 'tie a reef knot and trim the ends close'.  I'm doing the variation of tying a reef knot and then half of another knot, and I'm letting the threads set in that shape before I trim the ends off.  In some laces you can darn the ends in but this mat pattern doesn't lend itself to that.

I received a lovely gift from one of the bobbin lace ladies. I had admired a needle organiser she had made for herself, so she made one for me.  I have far too many needles and the majority of them were kicking around loose in a cigar box.  The book has fabric pages: each doublespread has a pocket on the left to hold the needle package, and felt on the right for loose needles.  You write on the pages with Sharpie to say what size. Going through my various boxes and pouches I discovered six packets of No 10 quilting needles and I haven't hand quilted for many years, plus more packets in other sizes.  I was able to organise most of my loose needles by type, and the packeted ones by size. It will be much easier to find needles now.

Other stuff

Swooze asked for a picture of the completed bed valance I blogged about last week when I was too lazy to tidy my room up for a photo.  So I did that today.

The kitchen fitter showed up only 30 minutes late with his mate and they spent the day today installing the cabinets and worktop for my dollshouse room. However there are still some issues to sort out before I can start unpacking.

For one thing, you will notice the huge gap above the plinth.  They had to raise the cabinets high enough so that the worktop could go above the radiator, which means the plinth isn't tall enough. He has suggested I buy a decor panel and he could cut that down to the right width to fill the gap.  I wish he had suggested that before he cut up all the narrow plinth so now I can't take it back to the store. I'm also annoyed because I made an unwitting mistake buying the cabinets. My filing cabinet was supposed to fit at the end of the run, but because the corner cabinet had to come forward to sync with the adjoining 'L' cabinet, now there isn't room for the filing cabinet. Instead I have this awkward space by the door. I guess I can put a bookcase there for my dollshouse books but I don't know where the cabinet is going to go.  Grrrr.  Still, it's progress. We need to box in the pipes in the corner you can't see in the photo, we'll go get wood for that tomorrow.


swooze said...

Is your cat I'll? I hope not.

Your bed looks great!

It's a shame the fitter didn't layout things first and advise what would and wouldn't work or suggest alternatives. Pride in our work seems to be going down worldwide.

I bought the Avante 18 and take delivery on it in 2 weeks. Getting excited now that the shock of the cost us over! lOL

Daisy said...

Uh oh that sounds fun! LIke the look of those cross stitch accessories. Must be about 15 years since I last did some so interesting to see how things have moved on.

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