Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Summer Standard Time

Life moves at a different pace in the summer. It is easy to lose track of the passing of time. It has been hot. We have had rain, both normal showers and the edge of Hurricane Beryl. School is out, so my grandson spends time with us, when he isn't at day camp. We call those days Camp Nana and Grandad.

Last week's camp activity included making strawberry yogourt popsicles.

He chopped and measured the berries, and pureed them in the food processor. Then he added yogourt and mixed it all together. After they were frozen, he gave them a 10/10.

Before he finished school, I made strawberry jam. It will taste wonderful in February.

The knitting continues. I finished my June socks.

I also finished the Charlotte bonnet. Here it is with my other recent finishes.

My July knitting is a shawl (It counts towards my July sock of the month because the yarn is sock yarn, and this is my challenge so my rules,) The Pattern is "Get Set and Go" and it is free for the summer on Ravelry, as a Knit Along from Under the Olive Tree. The yarn is darker than I expected, so the lace has disappeared. It will return with blocking.

Sewing is moving very slowly. My sewing room is too hot most days, so I sew in short bursts. 

Meanwhile, Emme has the right idea.

Monday, June 24, 2024

It's Finished!

 Earlier this year, I finished the Celosia Bag. 

On Thursday, I finally finished its twin.

The sun came out briefly, so I could get some better pictures.

The new bag is for a young man, who wanted a bag to carry his essentials for the day. It is made in waxed canvas with a waterproof nylon pack cloth lining.

It is all navy, which was hard for me, because I love colour. I added grey zippers (because that is what I had.

The bag has a navy cross body strap with a side release buckle,  Its new owner selected black hardware. 

The outer pocket has a large slip pocket.

The strap ends are covered in natural cork fabric (I could resist a bit of contrast.)

Inside, there is another large slip pocket.

My label is hiding inside!

The zippered pocket has a cork overlay. 

This bag was a huge learning experience for me. The waxed canvas is marked by scribing the wax with a sharp point. Neither fabric can be ironed so the seams have to be folded with a seam roller. I realized that I needed to do the overlay for the inset zipper because the usual zipper facing wasn't going to work in the nylon.  You can't use pins because they leave marks in the fabric. You can't really take out stitches without leaving a mark, so you have to try to get things right the first time. I hope he enjoys this bag, and uses it for a long time. It should be nearly indestructible. 

My machine and I are ready for a nice project in cotton. I dove into my stash and found this piece.

Look at all those glorious colours! Some rainbow hardware, and a bright lining will finish it off nicely.

My baby bonnet from last week is nearly finished.

It looks like a bonnet now, and only needs a couple of edgings.

I have a new fur grandbaby. Welcome to the family to Poe. His human "brother" is very excited.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Still Chugging Away

 I had some fun the other day, with yarn I plan to use for a summer knit along. 

These are all pictures of the same two skeins, photographed under different lights. The top left is with indirect light from an east window in the middle of the morning. Top right is the same location but with a piece of blue tissue under the skeins. The bottom left is a south east window, with skylights and a white table.  The bottom right is in full direct sun, None of them look like the colours I see. 

I started my June socks, and got the first sock finished. I decided since it was summer, that I should make short leg socks, with a cotton, rayon and nylon blend. The lighting is not great, but the sock is cute.

It is kind of an adult version of my usual baby sock.

I was also asked to make a Princess Charlotte Bonnet. I've lost track of how many of these I have made. They are cute and not hard to make. This was my progress over the weekend.

The pink tubing will help with all the stiches that need to be picked up.

The waxed canvas Celosia bag is nearing completion. I am at the hardest part, putting the whole thing together. Today, I got the lining sewn to the gusset pieces.

It looks rather strange, since the bag is completely inside out at this stage. The exterior is next, then all that is left are the straps.

Look what Costco brought, with my order of coffee and oat milk. Hi, Emme!


The weather has turned hot again. I made most of supper, early this morning, before it got too hot. Just a bit of assembly left. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

Socks, Etc.

 The weather has been wildly variable. We hit a temperature of 32C last week. We also had a day with 38mm of rain. The last couple of days we alternated between rain and sun. It is hard to plan outdoor activities when the weather is so changeable. 

It is good to have a selection of projects to work on in weather like this.

I finished another pair of baby socks.

These are for a little girl.

I started my June socks of the month from my stash.

These are going to be a grownup version of the baby socks, with the folded cuffs. However, at this point, they look like a fish. So I added an eye.

My waxed canvas bag is coming along. The dark navy is the waxed canvas, and the lighter colour blue is the weather resistant nylon lining.

I remembered to add my makers tag before the pocket was sewn. This bag is a constant learning experience. Since that fabrics can't be ironed. there is a lot of clips to hold pieces in place.

Just a couple more sewing sessions and it should be finished. My next bag will be much brighter colours.

I saw a pattern, the other day, for a tablet case. The pattern price was $16.50 Canadian, with an additional charge for the video tutorial. I often wonder how designers decide on a price. The pattern looked like it would make a case like this.

I made those a few years ago, without a pattern. It is basically an envelope with a Velcro closure. I size it to the tablet and the fabric that I have,

Or this one I made last year.  I understand that many people are unsure of their skills and feel better using a pattern. However, I think that $16.50 is a bit high for a pattern that doesn't actually need any pattern pieces, and if you needed the tutorial, the total cost would be close to $25. For that price, I would expect something a lot more interesting.

To be clear, I buy lots of patterns. I don't have any idea how many bag patterns I own, that I might never sew. They all have features that I think are interesting, different techniques that give a unique look to a bag. If you want my money, you need to show me something I haven't already figured out.

If you want to make a tablet case, I have posted my method several times on the blog, to make a custom sized case. I even have instructions for a lap top sleeve. If you need some help finding the instructions, let me know.


Saturday, June 1, 2024

Suddenly, June

 May was a month of appointments, gathering supplies for the garden, visiting with friends, and some how, very little sewing. My 20 minute pledge failed. 

I did keep up with my knitting.

The socks for May's self imposed Sock of the Month are finished. The yarn is Regia, designed by Arne and Carlos. Lots of purple and blue. 

There are tiny bits of colour that look like flowers on a vine when the yarn is knitted. such a sweet surprise. This picture shows the colours better.

Another pair of baby socks, knit from the leftovers of the February socks. These are going to a friend for her new grandson.

For Mother's Day we had a tea party. One should get out the Royal Albert cake plate every now and again, even if the desserts are packaged cookies. (The Jaffa cakes were lovely.)

We were running an errand one evening and stepped out to discover that there was a duck on the lawn.

Ms. Mallard was just enjoying the peace and quiet and didn't mind us quietly heading to the car.

We did the annual sun room clean out, and the cats have their conversation nook back.

They seem to enjoy the nice weather in their own chairs.

Hopefully the sewing will get back on track this week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Just 20 Minutes

 Many years ago, the lovely Nancy Zeiman was telling us that you can get projects done by working 10, 20, or 30 minutes at a time. You don't need to do a whole project, you can do it in bits. I keep trying, but I do sometimes forget. 

In the past week, I have been trying to work for 20 minutes every day on some sewing.

I made some dog banadanas (8 in total).

This is Canadian Summer fabric, two prints I couldn't find when the fabric first came out, but I recently found on clearance.

I finished my Saturday Bag Sampler for April.

Instead of sewing scraps together for the drawstring, I used some t-shirt yarn I had.

I also did some crafts with my 7 year old craft buddy. We made a bunch of Fabulous Freezer BooBoo Bags. (Also known as Rice Bags). Some went to his house, and some are here for times when one needs a simple cold pack.

I  got some pieces cut out for my next bag.  They just look like navy fabric, so I won't bore you. Not bad for little bits of sewing.

I started my May socks and I am working on them every day. I am to the Muppet stage of the first sock. It is the place where the heel is turned and the gusset is about half finished. A friend brought me a googly eye to pose the sock.

We have had some nice days, so things are starting to look like spring.

This forsythia bush was the first one I bought for this house, It never really bloomed well, so I put a hardier type next to it. It was a surprise this year to see it completely yellow and nearly a month after the hardier bush.

Forget-Me-Nots grow wild in my lawn. If you try to plant them in a specific spot, they will appear somewhere else, the next year.

These Grape Hyacinths are recent additions to our spring bulbs.

There are bright fuchsia tulips are flowering. Spring is often brief here, before the weather turns full summer and hot. It is lovely to enjoy it when I can.

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Knitting Your Troubles Away

Just to make our life more interesting, the water heater decided that it didn't want to heat water any more. Turns out, it had a flair for the dramatic, so it sent water all over, as it quit its job. Of course, these things always happen on a weekend. It is all fixed now but my brain seemed better suited for knitting last week.

The April socks have been finished, nearly a week early.

They are almost a perfect match. 

I made a collage of the first four months of socks.

Since I had some time, I made the second baby sock for the pair I started earlier. Unfortunately, I lost at yarn chicken.

I did have another ball of that yarn, so I used a bit of it to finish the sock.

Very grownup baby socks!

I am doing the Saturday Sampler Bag sew along for April. The steps are quick to do, taking about 20 minutes each week. Step three was finished today.

The left is the exterior and the right is the lining. I think it will be a cute gift bag. The fabric is a couple of fat quarters from my stash. I have no memory of where they came from. Time to use them up.