Friday, February 23, 2024

Hobbies

 It is odd that sometimes you see the same topic come up in different places and from different sources, all on the same week. In the past week, the topic I keep seeing is placing a fair value on handmade items. There was a YouTube video, where the price of a hand made queen sized quilt was broken down. Then I saw a blog post on whether pattern testers, who provide their own supplies, and their time, should be paid to test a pattern that the designer intends to sell. Then I saw a post about the undervaluing of traditional women's arts. 

After reading and watching all this, I was asked the other day how much I would charge for something. My response was "This is my hobby, I love to buy nice yarn and pretty fabric, and make things from it. I enjoy giving my things away, to people that I know will appreciate them. I don't want to make this a business, where I have deadlines and and someone else decides what I will use to make something."  

When I was in high school, I took some knitting commissions. I was terrible at putting a value on my work and was happy to take what ever they were willing to pay me, as long as they provided the supplies. Now I am not an improvised student and I can do what I like. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.

So, what have I been doing lately? I knitted in the dentist's waiting room (while everyone else played on their phones). I also did some sewing, and some bag planning.

The "Shawl that never ends" finally got its ends sewn in and I got it blocked.


I tried it on and it is huge (that is a queen sized bed). I have sent it on its way to someone who thinks it is perfect.

I started a new shawl.


It has progressed a bit from when I took this picture.

I finished my first sock and started the second. 

I made a quick flannel blanket for a friends who are Ottawa Senators fans. It took longer to thread the serger that to hem the blanket.


I have also finished clue 1 and 2 of the Saturday Sampler bag for February.


A tiny bit more to finish on clue 3, that is for today.






Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Designing

 I've been asked to make a bag. I have an idea, based on a bag I've made before. However, the one I made before had a drop in lining, which meant a considerable amount of hand sewing, and I had a very hard time getting it flat. So, I went looking for another way to put in the lining. I found something I thought would work, so I decided to take some scrap fabric and a scrap zipper, and give it a try.


It worked! This is the zippered gusset for a bag, a stripe that will go all the way around the rectangular front and back pieces to create a box. This one is much smaller than the bag I plan to make but it proved that you can put the gusset into the exterior and the lining without ever having to hand sew. I also discovered that one doesn't want to use a one way print to make the gusset. 


The cats are going every which way. Good thing this isn't the actual fabric.

I also finished my January Saturday bag sew along on Instagram.


It would make a great gift bag, while using up scraps.

I started a new pair of adult socks, and I have been knitting on them, 10 rounds per day. It really goes fast, when you do that. Here is the sock on Sunday (just over a week after I started).


I should have it done by the weekend.

A friend lost her winter hat. I told her the best way to find it was to start knitting a new one. So, I did a stash dive, and she now has 2 hats. The lost is now found, and her new hat is finished.



This is the Palindrome hat, a free pattern on Ravelry.  The cables are reversible, so you can wear the cuff up or down.

https://ravel.me/palindrome-hat

The wool and the pompom were in my stash. I tied the pompom on with a button to hold it in place and make the pompom removable for washing. I found a cute button.


I was going to photograph the hat on a bear, but Mudd wasn't sure it was right.


Since he was the poster kitten for his rescue organization before he came to live with me, he thinks he knows something about photo styling. He was convinced the pompom wasn't quite right.

We still haven't seen much sunshine in 2024, so I am enjoying me floral display in the Conservatory (dining room). It is a joy to walk in and see the bright flowers.




Monday, January 22, 2024

January Freeze (Some Sewing Has Been Done)

 We have been having some very cold weather, so it is a good idea to stay in and make things!


A designer on Instagram is running a Saturday Sampler Bag sew along. She is using up scraps and I am following along. This was the first "clue". Take 5-10" squares and sew 4 of them together. These are my scraps. stitched together.


This week, we sewed up the sides and bottom and stitched the casing in place. I expect next week we will make the drawstring and thread it through.

I also did some mending.


The brand new fleece pants were too big through the waist, so I added casings and some extra elastic to bring them in.

While I was in my sewing space, I did a bit of planning. I found this combination that I think looks like it belongs together.


Next is prepping all the pieces (and finding a lining).

Cold afternoons are perfect for knitting by the fire.


I finished a pair of adult socks.


I made another Princess Charlotte hat. I think this is my sixth. They make such a great baby gift.


I played with some silicone tubing (the bright pink string in the picture). Laura Nelkin ( a knitting pattern designer) has been showing this on her Instagram, and I had to try some. The great thing about it is that you can use it like waste yarn, but you can put the tip of the needle into the end of the tube to transfer your stitches on and off the length of tube. This is a provisional cast on, done around the tube. I did this on the Charlotte bonnet and it turned out great. I also used it to hold the thumb stitches on the mittens I made.

You can buy it in small quantities on places like Etsy or you can buy 55m for about the same price. I now have a lifetime supply and I am giving pieces to my knitting friends.

Yesterday, I cast on yet another pair of baby socks.


They are like potato chips, I just can't stop!


Friday, January 12, 2024

Lots of Knitting

The weather has been dull and grey, not much sun for days. So, I have spent a lot of time by the fire. I have gotten knitting done, while I enjoy the heat.


Mittens and baby socks, both completed. There is a pair of adult socks that were finished last night, but I haven't taken a picture yet.

Next up is a hat, from this yarn that has been resting in my stash.


These dull days beg for bright colours.

I did some sewing, a sort of squirrel project. I made a sleep mask, as a gift.



The pattern is free from Sew Hungry Hippie. The fabric is a bit of Tula Pink. 

An on-line group was asking about our favourite yarn colour to knit with.  So here is mine.


I have said for awhile that my favourite colour is rainbow. It makes me smile! And yes, I have or have used up all those rainbow yarns, and more.

I have been looking for over a year for a metric rotary cutting ruler that I could buy in Canada. I was pleasantly surprised to find one at an on-line store not very far away,


Bag patterns from Europe and Australia use metric measurements, and sometimes, converting them to Imperial causes problems. I now have my very own. I actually don't have many rulers, but I have gotten to the point where I thought this one was necessary.

I have a question that maybe one of you know the answer. One of my followers can't comment on my blog using her iPad. Since I don't use Apple products, I am no help at all. Can somebody drop a note in the comments, if you use an iPad?

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a picture of our sunrise, on a rare sunny morning.



Friday, January 5, 2024

A New Year and A Year Past

 This is my tenth year end summary. It is good to look back on what I finished over the past year. 


Knitting


This is the shawl that I thought I would never finish, but I put a push on in September, and it is now done.

Mitts                   2
Baby Socks        4
Shawls                3
Hats                    4
Big Socks           5
Cowl                   1

I think there may have been a couple more pairs of baby socks that didn't get recorded.

Sewing


Another project that was a long time in progress. This one is closer to ten years.

Quilt                    1
Mitten Clips        6
Bandanas            46
Masks                  2
Tablet Case          1
Shorts                   3
Zippered Bags      5
Purse                    3
Coaster                 4

As we move into the new year, I try to avoid setting goals and just try to stay creative. Christmas brought news of two new grandbabies expected soon for two friends, so I finished a pair of baby socks, last night as the first finish of 2024. I have 4 purses/bags that I want to make in the next couple of months. I have lots of yarn, and fabric. More socks will be knit, more bandanas will be sewn. Today, I will cast on the second mitt as a mate to the first one in my last blog post. 

I am also trying to be realistic about what I can knit and sew. Any quilts in the future are going to the long arm quilter, and I won't feel guilty about that. My knitting project will be those that fit into a project bag.  There are approximately 35,000 stitches in a pair of adult socks. Finishing 5 pairs is an accomplishment.








Monday, January 1, 2024

Lethargy

Things have been very lethargic around here. We have been staying home, doing little jobs around the house. We had a family Boxing Day lunch with those close enough to be here. Other than that, we have been spending much of our time, not knowing what day it is, sitting by the fire, reading and listening to Christmas music seems to be our main activity.

I made a pair of fingerless mitts.


The pattern is called Point Edward Mitts, and you can turn the top cuff down over your fingers, so you have the advantage of fingerless mitts with finger warmers (and the thumb). The yarn is a discontinued baby DK yarn from Bernat, that was in my stash. I used a tubular cast on and cast off which I think made a nice finish.


I also made the first of a pair of mitts to match the hat on the last blog.


To go with these mitts, I made mitten clips, in hopes that fewer mittens will be lost, this year. As requested, they are Super Mario fabric.


I opened my knitting bag, yesterday, and found this.


It took a bit of work, and some coffee, but I ended up with this.


Ready for a future pair of baby socks.

Meanwhile, Emme and Mudd have joined our quiet times.



I hope your Christmas was peaceful as well. I'll be back later with my year end tally.



Saturday, December 16, 2023

Preparing

 Advent is defined as the season of preparing. I find my days have been filled with preparing lately.

In our tradition, the Advent candles, lit on the four Sundays before Christmas, are green, blue, yellow and red. This year, I found some cat proof candles, since setting fire to the cat is generally a bad idea.


I have LED candles that I can set to the colours. For Christmas, I will set out real candles, but these are much safer when I don't have anyone to guard them.

Many gifts have been sent. I can show you a few.


Two pairs of little socks were commissioned by a friend for her great-granddaughters. They are now on their way in Great Grandma's suitcase.


 The dog bandanas for this Christmas are in some silly fabric I found in my stash. My Christmas stash has been greatly depleted in the last few years, since I haven't been doing in person shopping.


I made this lace scarf back in the summer, and finally got it blocked. It is on the way to its new home.


This is a closeup of the lace border. The yarn is alpaca and silk in a lace weight, that was in my stash.

I was asked for a red hat, so this week, I made a red hat.


It is my favourite hat pattern, Bankhead. The yarn is Knit Picks Brava.


I did lots of baking to send to family that don't bake. For my baking I go for taste over appearance, so the shortbread is just rolled into balls and squashed with a fork. Add sprinkles and they look sort of Christmas-y.

We put up the tree, and Emme helped.


She really gets into her work!

I had a birthday and a creative friend made me this card.


It is very fancy, and very non-Christmas-y. I have gotten a lot of Christmas cards with Happy Birthday written in them, over the years. The colours in this card are more my style.

i hope to get some knitting and sewing done this week, The sewing has been lost lately.