Monday, April 15, 2024

When Things Don't Go As Planned

 I haven't blogged in two weeks because things were not going as I planned.

It started with the Income Tax. I discovered that it was a bigger job than usual, due to some financial decisions we made. So, I needed to understand that portion. Mudd offered to help.

He isn't as much help as he thinks.

Meanwhile, we had to do some extra grandparenting we weren't expecting, which slowed down the tax preparation.

We had a couple of lovely afternoons, which may have distracted me further from bookkeeping.

We were not in the Path of Totality, for the lunar eclipse but it was close. Unfortunately it was also overcasr, with only brief glimpses. A young friend sent me this picture that he managed to catch.

I did manage to finish the first April sock.

Of course, Mudd was helping with the extra grandparenting.

He is assisting with a jigsaw puzzle by sitting in the box. Also not helpful.

The taxes have been submitted. The second sock is coming nicely. I have sewing plans for this week. Let's hope there aren't any more surprises.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

March Socks

 The March socks for my self imposed Sock of the Month Club, were finished with a couple of days to spare.

They feel like spring, to me. The yarn is again from Turtlepurl in New Brunswick. This month the colourway is called Joy. They were such fun to knit on the dull days of March.

Since I had a couple of days left, before starting the April Socks, I started a pair of baby socks.

I have exactly 20 grams left of this yarn, and the baby socks take about 20 gms. so this will be close.

I finished the first sock on Sunday.

My scale says I have 11 gms left. This will be yarn chicken, I think.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Celosia Cross Body Bag

 Awhile ago, I was asked to make a bag for a young man. The bag he was currently using was worn out. He sent me pictures and measurements of his current bag, and after a bunch of thought and planning, I decided to try this pattern. To make sure it met his requirements and because I have lots of bag making stuff, I made a trial, so he could assess whether this would make his needs.

For my trial bag, I was inspired by finding a fabric and zipper that went together perfectly.

From that, I eventually got to this.

Not bad, considering it all came from my stash (except the strap).

It was quickly apparent that the Caticorns wouldn't work on the gusset or the body of the front of the bag. So further stash diving turned up the polka dots.

I almost forgot to add my label, but remembered just before the final assembly. I think it is up a bit high.

The front pocket is large enough to hold a large phone.

It will also fit in the slip pocket inside the pocket.

There are 6 card pockets.

And the cards actually fit.

The gusset is quite wide.

The inside of the bag is quite bright. Obviously we haven't had enough sun.

I dropped my Roxy wallet in, and there is still plenty of room.

It's a 7 1/2" clasp and it looks lost inside this bag. 

If this satisfies my young friend for size and shape, the next one will be a boring navy waxed canvas. 

Pattern is Celosia Cross Body Bag by Blue Calla

Fabric is from my stash (assorted sources) 

Strap is from Blue Calla

Hardware is from Emmaline Bags

Zipper is from Zipper Valley

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The Socks Keep Coming

 The weather has been crazy. We have had high winds, a power outage, temperatures going up and down. and despite it all, I have snowdrops.

I also have a new coffee maker, since the former coffee maker decided to overheat after the power outage. This coffee maker was a warranty replacement for another one that did a similar thing 3 months after I bought it. This one lasted about 2 years. I can't stand all that excitement, so I bought a different brand this time with fewer features.

The socks are coming nicely, at ten rows minimum per day.

The February pair were finished in February and they match.

The March pair are coming nicely.

The first sock is in the home stretch. This colourway is called Joy and seems right for March.

I was asked to make a bag for a man, in oiled canvas with a waterproof lining. I decided to make a trial bag, to make sure I understood what he wanted. So after overthinking this for a couple of months, I finally started the making. I am using a pattern called Celosia by Blue Call Patterns. It has a cross body strap and it should stand up when it is finished. I am currently using quilting cottons. It takes forever to cut all the pieces and fuse all the stablisers, but I am trying to do a bit each day.

Today, I finished cutting the fabric and started on the interfacing. I made a credit card pocket which isn't part of the pattern, but I find useful.

This is the lining of the outer pocket with the credit card slots.

This is the outside of the pocket. Just because it is a trial, I still want things to match.

Here is the strap and the zipper.

I'm pretty sure that the real bag will be boring by comparison.

It is Spring Break in Ontario, so I'm running Camp Nan for 3 days this week. I don't sew for myself on those days, but I do get some knitting done. 

Yesterday, we made peanut butter cookies.

When you are seven, even peanut butter cookies have sprinkles. After the first batch came out of the oven, my helper went off to eat cookies, and I finished the rest without sprinkles.

Emme and Mudd have their backyard friends back. One came right up to say Hi.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Pouches From Scraps

 I have a couple of projects I should be working on, but I just can't stop making pouches from scraps.

I have mostly finished the the blue bag with the hearts.

I am undecided as to whether I should add the drawstring, or just leave it as a little storage basket.

Lately, I have seen pouches with diagonal zippers on Instagram and YouTube. So I decided to try one, or actually two. A video I watched was showing how to make a pouch with very little waste, by making two at a time.

Tada! Two pouches with diagonal zippers, exactly the same.

I cut the fabric as big as I could get from my chosen scraps. It was about 18 inches square when I was done. I added some frankenbatting from my batting scraps, and quilted the out fabric and the lining together.

I forgot to take a picture of the fabric when I cut it, but I cut them in half with a line 3" on either side of the centre.

Then I added binding to the zipper edge.

You use one side of the zipper tape, that goes the entire length of the zipper edge. I first learned this technique on Joan Hawley's Sweetpea Pods. This was the first zipper I tried.

This is the second zipper trial. In the end, I decided that the black looked better, so I went with black. After you sew the zipper tape to the binding, you add the zipper slide to the two ends of the zipper.

My first attempt at the zipper top stitching wasn't very good.

The second was much better. 

Practice really helps (along with using a better choice of feet.)

I sewed the other seams and overcast the edges to make a clean finish on the inside.

Emme thought she would like to say Hi. She thinks Mudd gets too much attention.

The weather is really weird today. It is currently an unseasonable 13 degrees. The winds are picking up and by bedtime it will be nearly 30 degrees colder. Just for fun, we are going to get high winds and maybe even thunder snow. Things should be rather slippery tomorrow. Good day to stay in and sew.

Friday, February 23, 2024


 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


 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.

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.