Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Knitting in Hope of Spring

After a hint of spring, we were back in the freezer, last week. My sewing consisted of working on the church quilt.  However, chilly afternoons are perfect for spring knitting by the fire.

First up are some fingerless mitts. It may be spring, but it morning walks will still require a little warmth for hands.

They still need blocking and their ends woven in, but they are wonderfully soft. The pattern is Barn Swallow Fingerless Mitts by Cheryl Toy.  The yarn is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk. It is always fun to make a project from one ball of luxury yarn. This yarn is very soft.

This spring, there will be lots of water as all our snow melts. Little boys need to wear rubber boots, and rubber boots need warm boot socks.

I should have them finished, today. The pattern is Purl Soho Toddler Socks. The yarn is Opal Sock Yarn, left over from some big boy socks. I am currently playing yarn chicken to finish, but I have some similar yarn I can use to finish the toe. I need a second pair for when the first pair gets wet.

I have returned to my Wild Swan Shawl.  I made a mistake and I didn't have the brain power to find it, previously.  I recently pulled it out, and found the mistake, fixed it, and it is proceeding, slowly.

I am hoping the yarn will show the pattern better, after it is blocked. However, you can kind of see the feathers starting to form.

I should have chosen something lighter in colour, but this was in my stash. I am trying to knit down my stash and use all the lovely yarns I have. My bins seem to be full, so I shouldn't need much for a while.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I Should Have Known Better

This is the outside of my new bag. It just has a small problem. The fold is suppose to be where the cut edge is. This piece will have to be used to make the base of some future bag, because it won't work for this bag. As I was cutting it, I was thinking about which side the fold was suppose to be on, so I have no idea how I managed to cut it backwards.

The good news is that I have more of the black twill. The other good news is that I cut the pockets exactly correct. That's a good thing, because I only have half a metre of this fabric.

Because I wanted to fussy cut the fabric, to make sure I got the cats on the pockets, I made a full pattern piece, and cut it flat.

The second pocket, which seems to be almost exactly the same, is cut properly, too. I have full cats for both sides.

This is Tula Pink Tabby Lane that I have been hoarding for awhile. I had a hard time finding it because nobody around here seemed to be selling it. I found it while I was on a shop hop, at a shop out of town.

My incremental bag making continues. These will have their interfacings fused, and then I will attach the lining, before I go back to the outer pieces, which have to be recut.

Last week, I made a pieced binding, for the church quilt. There wasn't enough of the jelly roll the top was made from to make the full binding, so I took some scraps from my stash and some from a friend's stash

The pieces at the top are from the quilt and the pieces at the bottom are the volunteers. I used pieces 8" or longer, and cut the full width of fabric pieces in half.

It is surprising how long it takes to sew little pieces of binding together to make about 300 inches.

This is the end of a morning's sewing. The binding is now trimmed, folded in half and rolled, to go onto the quilt, tomorrow. I will post a picture of the completed quilt.

Monday, February 25, 2019

One Day Only!

I have started sewing my new bag, and today I have pictures of the part that will not normally be seen.

The bag is The Ring Sling, and is the January bag for the Bag of The Month Club.

The pattern has you make the lining first. I am trying something new, for me. I usually cut out all the pieces, including the stabilizers, then do the fusing, then, finally sew. I find this method to be tedious. I spend a lot of time not sewing, then I just sew. So this time, I prepared just the lining pieces, and sewed the lining. Yesterday, I cut the main fabric and started attaching the zipper. Today, I finished the lining.

The lining is ready for the rest of the bag.

However, to admire it properly, I turned it around.

See, doesn't the lining look nice.

This is the slip pocket side.

A closeup of the pocket, that shows the sections for my phone, my pen, and my business cards.

And the zipper pocket side, with both the pocket zipper and the outer zipper going in the same direction! I usually manage to get the zippers going in opposite directions.

The weather has been dreadful, with rain, freezing rain, snow, wind. This gives me lots of time to sew.

My amaryllis has been giving me a break from the weather.

More flowers have appeared and there are still more to come.

Meanwhile, while I was admiring the flowers, I noticed this in a pot that was brought in to overwinter.

One tiny Sweet William flower, just the thing I need to make me smile.

Monday, February 18, 2019


As a grandparent, one runs the risk of being exposed to little peoples' viruses. We both managed to get what we are calling Daycare Virus 2019. Of course, the little guy was only sick for about 5 days. We have been coughing and sneezing for 4 weeks now, and counting. The good news is that we are improving.

Meanwhile, outside, it has been snowing, and snowing, and snowing.

This is the view from my living room window.

This is the path we have cut to the front door. The sidewalk underneath is ice. Leaving the house is an adventure. The city has done some plowing, but we keep finding spots that they missed. Some, I fear, will be lost for the rest of the winter.

On the up side, we are now over the hump and will start sliding into spring, over the next 6 weeks.

My house plants have been trying to cheer us up.

The amaryllis has bloomed on the first flower stock. There are at least three more flower stocks in the pot, you can see two of them in the picture.

The Christmas cactus has decided to be a Valentine cactus, and its efforts are appreciated.

I have not done any sewing in nearly a month. However, I made another Charlotte Bonnet for a baby due soon.

It just needs its last end tucked in and an i-cord for the bonnet string.

Today is Family Day, which for us means no commitments, so we have been doing some much needed tidying, a bit of laundry, and some cleaning. I bought some zipper by the metre, and managed to get it put away.

The colours are rather boring, but the rest of the bag usually makes up for it. Now I just need to master adding zipper pulls to size 5 zippers, since I have only done size 3 up until now. I have 3 bags on my list to make right now, so I need to get back to my sewing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Some Progress

I spent a large chunk of yesterday, helping out the young people in the family and doing government paperwork.

The young people all needed help. The local ones had discovered that in -24C weather, the little one's snowpants have somehow disappeared. By late January, finding more is difficult, kind of like finding a bathing suit in July.  However, I used the phone and found some. I just needed to go and buy them. Meanwhile the Maritimers asked Dad to repair something that would cost $700 to replace. That had been finished over the weekend, but it needed to be mailed. Fortunately both tasks could be done in the same general location. Mission accomplished, though I was cold for the rest of the day.

Since I was hiding indoors for the rest of the day, I decided it was time to attack some paperwork. One item required me to go online and use the information the government had sent to fill in an online form. Guess what? The information they sent me was wrong. I spent a total of about 3 hours, trying to get it to work, one hour was on hold to their help line. I gave up after an hour, without every getting off hold.

This morning, I called again, as soon as they opened. I was armed with a cup of tea and access to YouTube videos of Say Yes To the Dress. This time, after 45 minutes, I finally got a real person, who told me I was doing it wrong. After some discussion, I discovered that the paper was wrong, and what I had done was exactly right. So, they will send me new paperwork, in a couple of weeks. Then I will have to try again. My biggest grumble is that there is no way to tell them they messed up, except by calling another number and being put on hold, again. Someone else will have to take up that challenge.

So, this afternoon, I stepped into my happy place. I spent some time straightening up my sewing room. I managed to get the ironing board clear.

The rest of the room still needs work, but some progress has been made. I made the pattern for the first Bag of the Month for 2019. I have printed, cut and taped the pattern pieces. I even made a separate pattern piece for the outer pockets so I can fussy cut them.

I realized that I needed another fabric for my inner lining, since I didn't have as much lining fabric as I thought. After trying a couple of other things, I think this is the one.

Since the bag has a zipper on top, the inner lining will only be seen when I open the bag, so a perfect match isn't necessary. The fabric is a silly fabric with funny lines about quilting. It has the blue from the outer fabric. as well as the green, I think Tula Pink would approve.

The fabrics are all ironed, so I can start cutting.

P.S. I also got my stove cleaned this morning. All and all, a successful day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Decisions and Other Forms of Procrastination

I am trying to find and catalog my UFO's, but items keep jumping out, offering marvelous possibilities.

I am making some progress.

This is an Ikea Drona Box. I have had this one for some time, bought it to see if it would work in my sewing room. I thought I was using to store UFO's in. I dumped it out the other day, to add the contents on my list. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that the box held plastic zipper bags, with the leftover fabric from projects that have been finished, along with the patterns. The fabric has been filed and I need to decide which patterns I might make again, and which can go to the give away table at my quilt group.

Meanwhile, a project jumped in the box.

These are hardcovered notebooks, that I plan to make fabric covers, and give as gifts. Add that to the list!

I got the first pattern for this year's Bag of the Month Club. This fabric is waving at me, asking to become this new bag.

The black will be the main outer fabric, the Tula Pink cats will become the outer contrast and the periwinkle will be the lining. All of the fabric was in my stash, asking me to put them together. Not exactly UFO. However, it can go in the box, too. I think the inner pockets will need some Tula Pink as well. I have some fat quarters.

I remembered the other day that I had signed up for a Mystery Knit Along, that started on January 1. I did a stash dive and came up with yarn that will work. It isn't perfect, but it is okay.

Yes, it is purple, no surprise. I am almost through the second clue, so I am catching up. I thought the yarn was a bit dark to show the stitches, but it works in the bright sun.

I still need to make the backing for the red quilt and baste it. In the chain of events, the ironing board will need to be cleared off first, so the backing can be pressed. I did get the backing and binding washed, so I made some progress.

I read the other day that one should make 3 goals for a week, instead of a long to do list. I wonder if that works?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

My Annual Summary, and Plans. Or Getting Stuff Done

Since 2014, I have summed up my year, to remind myself that I actually do get stuff done. So, here we go again.

First off, the important stuff, the animals.

January saw the death of a friend and fellow dog lover. He entrusted us with the care of his dogs, so our pack grew to 4. The most elderly of the group joined his old master a few months later. It was sad, but it was also time.

So now there are 3 dogs, which keep us very busy. It is amazing how much more work an extra dog can be. However, Dolly, and Doug have welcomed their friend Ozzie into their space with much less trouble than we would have expected.

The extra dogs have taken time away from the foster cats. We were smart enough to realize that in the beginning, the cats would just be too much. We returned to fostering in August, and have had a total of 5 foster cats this year. This is Bubby, our currently sweetheart. He likes to watch TV with me.

So my completed artistic projects:


Hats     2
Baby Sweaters    4
Socks    4 pair
Shawl    1
Cowl    1
Mitts    2 pair

I currently have the second of a pair of fingerless mitts on my needles and a couple of shawls I need to decide if I am going to finish, or not.

My biggest accomplishment was to finish my 1001 Nights Shawl. I blogged about it here.


Sun Hats    2
Shorts     1
Table Topper   1
Bags   11
Mitten Clips    11
Other Craft Sale Items    22
Quilt Top    1

Oddly, my most popular blog post was for this bag.

I'm not sure why it was so popular.

I blogged a total of 40 times here, and a few more times in another blog I am doing, not craft related.

I kept track of my fabric coming into my stash and the fabric leaving, in the form of completed projects. I added 12 metres and used 14.25 metres, so my stash is down 2.25 metres. The good news is that it didn't get larger. Perhaps I should track my yarn as well, this year.

For Christmas, I gave my sweet daughter-in-law a quilt top with the promise to finish it. So that will be first up for 2019.  I can't even remember when I made it, but it was a kit, so I have the backing and the binding.

The first step on the way to completion is done. The cat has laid on it.

It got his approval, I think, though he can't figure out why I am laughing.