Friday, December 28, 2018

In Praise Of Bodkins

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a live-in position and came to stay with us on her days off. My mother would save up the mending for when she came. Whenever a drawstring needed to be rethreaded through its casing, Nanny would always say "Sally Anne, where is your bodkin?" and my mother would reply that she didn't own one. I never knew anyone who did own one.

Recently, I acquired my very own bodkin.

It cost less that a Toonie ($2 CAD), and the thing is a wonder. I should have had one years ago.

I have been making Mitten Clips again, and putting the elastic in is so much easier with the bodkin. Not only that but if the end of the elastic gets away, the bodkin can be used like tweezers to get it back.

I have been using my 1939 singer machine to make the mitten clips.

It turns out that modern machines can't go through all the layers that the Singer can. The foot lifts higher, and the motor is much stronger. Oddly, it doesn't like batik fabric. I guess it is too thin and smooth.

Two more sets of Mitten Clips, finished. I had used most of my clips, so I bought another package of them. Now I just need more 1/4" elastic.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Twas the Day Before Christmas

My grandson and his parents came over, last week, to decorate my tree. When a two year old is in charge, this is what you get.

I think Grandad and I might finish it today.

I got my gifts for far away family in the mail on Friday, and surprise, they will be delivered today, if all goes well.

Some serious knitting was required.

First pair of socks.

Second pair of socks.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, the weather has been dull lately, so it is hard to get good pictures. The chairs in the backyard are covered in snow. Add to this the problem that we only have 7 3/4 hours of daylight, just now, and the pictures come out not very true to colour.

After the power knitting, I decided to make a pair of fingerless mitts in a soft alpaca and silk yarn.

 Just a little knitting by the fire.

I hope you have a lovely celebration, whatever you might celebrate. I have to go and bake a few more cookies, because we don't have enough yet!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Busy Doing What?

I feel like I have been rushing around, but I can't really remember what I have been so busy doing. My normally reliable little 18 year old car has recently decided to rest in odd places, so some of my time has been spent waiting for a rescue from my prince in shining newer car. Surprising how long that takes. Sadly, I haven't had my knitting with me either.

I took my sweetie out to buy him a new winter coat, one of those very necessary things in -18C weather. His new coat didn't match his old hat, so I made him a new hat.

This is my quick go to pattern. The pattern is Hats From the Heart. The yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Red Velvet. He says it is thicker than his old one. That might be because his old one is four years old.

I taught how to make a Christmas Mug Rug to the church quilters. We had lots of fun, and I will post a picture after I finish mine.

However, I was doing a dive into my stash of Christmas fabric and I found a treasure.

I have a fat quarter pack of Winterkist by Happy Zombie. My research says it is from 2012. I don't remember buying it, nor do I remember what I planned to make. However, I have some new ideas. Looks like fun fabric for snowed in days in January.

Finally, we have been playing with LED lights.

My quilts now have Christmas lights! It is just what they needed since they are in a dark part of the family room. I must get out my Christmas wall hangings and add them to the walls.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Craft Sale

For the first time, I participated in a craft fair for a local charity. A friend also participated and we had adjoining tables. My friend makes spa products and soap, so I tried to make a few things to compliment her items.

This was my table.

This was the spa product table. Her table was merchandised in a much fancier manner than mine.

I sold the lip balm holders, with her lip balm in each one.

I had mitten clips, which sold very well.

I had small round cases, for ear buds, or other small items. (They didn't sell)

Sweet Pea Pods, this is the only one left.

A Bendy Bag, which is also still in my possession.

I also had hair scrungies, and dog bandanas. I sold most of the hair scrungies, and none of the bandanas. I obviously should have had a dog to model them.

Our tables were modestly successful. We won't get rich this way, but it wasn't a loss either. I used up a bunch of fabric pieces, some zippers and most of my clips for mitten clips. We had fun talking to people, and meeting the other craftspeople.

If asked, we might even do it again.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Checking In

I seem to have fallen off the edge of the world, again. I had too many other things going on, to blog. Today, my time is my own, until yoga, this afternoon.

All of this busy-ness has allowed time for knitting, and I completed some.

These are Hermione's Everyday Socks, in Opal yarn. I started them sometime in the summer, and didn't set up a Ravelry project page. However, they are done now, and ready for someone's Christmas gift.

 I made my little boy some new mittens from the leftovers from these socks.

Last Tuesday, I had an appointment and anticipated a long wait, so I cast one some plain vanilla socks in some gorgeous Turtlepurl  Striped Turtle Toes.

Obviously, the wait was very productive. The colourway is Om and is currently sold out in her store. The yarn is a joy to knit with.

And because children who have grandmothers who can knit are doomed to a life of silly hats, this one. I made the hat before he was ever born and he loves it.

Yes, there is an elephant head where the pompom would normally go.

In case you need some knitting inspiration, we have snow!

And my Christmas Cactus is on time for a change.

It usually flowers in early October, so we refer to it as the Halloween Cactus.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Lip Balm Holders

A friend makes her own spa products and I offered to make some lip balm holders for a craft sale she is doing this weekend.

I used this tutorial from Emmaline Bags.

The holders go together fairly quickly, and don't use much fabric. I did find the trickiest part was trying to make sure the lip balm fit when you are done. After some trial and error, I managed.

It is a really tight fit. I ended up using a "scant" 1/8" seam allowance.

I am amazed at how straight I managed to get it.

After you add Emmaline's fancy  key fob hardware, they look great.

I think there is a nice selection of fabrics. A little over 1/4 m gone from my stash!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Gift or Two, Finished

In 2015, I bought Karen Neary's lovely book Quilting Beauties Come in All Shapes and Sizes.  I fell in love with her pattern "Thistles in the Heather"

So, I gathered my nerve, a bunch of batiks and set to making it. I finished the top in June of 2015. At that time, I promised I would get the quilting and binding done in under 2 years. I failed!

However, with a week of dedicated work, it is now done and in the mail as a gift for a significant occasion.

I surprised myself, when I found the piece of fabric I had left over, to use as the binding.

Karen does lovely free motion quilting, a skill I haven't perfected, but I think I did okay using my walking foot.

Gentle curves are very doable with a walking foot.

I also finished another Baby Surprise Jacket. This one is going to the grandson of a friend.

I loved the beige, grey, and turquoise variegated yarn. This is Crofter Baby by Sirdar.

I found some perfect fabric last week, and splurged.

Now, what shall I do with some science fabric?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Where Did I Go?

I feel like I have been doing lots of things, but none of it fits this space, so I have been absent for nearly a month. How did that happen?

First off, I have been building a blog for  a group I belong to. I had forgotten how long it takes to set up a blog. Of course, I also had to get the others in the group to give me input on what it should include. I think the basis is now there and it will be live today. Hopefully, it will take less time, going forward.

Meanwhile, I have been knitting.

I started a brioche scarf, and it is progressing slowly.

Some Paton's Classic Wool that I got at the Spinrite Tent Sale  a few years ago.

This is the solid side.

Yesterday, I starting working on the quilt of a project on my To Be Quilted pile.

It is just a table topper so it should be finished shortly. The quilting thread is a bit dark for the light sections, but I think it is okay. I need to check my stash for a binding.

I have been doing some sorting and tidying and these two fabrics jumped out as belonging together. I think they want to be a bag.

One is a quilting cotton and the other is a twill, both from Japan. I think the darker one would make a nice lining for a purse flap.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My Eastern Adventure

Earlier this month, I headed off to New Brunswick to visit my elder son. I had a couple of things that I wanted to do while I was there, this time.

The sky as I boarded the plane had a promise of nice weather.

The first item on my agenda was to eat a lobster roll on the beach.

The lobster roll was so large I didn't eat another thing that day, and I didn't finish my fries. However, it was really good.

This is the beach at Aboiteau,

The picture doesn't show it, but in the distance you can see Prince Edward Island.

It was a gorgeous day, and I enjoyed my ocean visit.

The other thing I wanted to see was the monument to the RCMP officers killed in the line of duty in 2014.

They will now stand on guard forever.

The bases of the statues tell you a bit about the officers.

Around the base are maple leaves with signatures of all the other first responders who were involved in keeping Moncton safe, that awful day.

It is a very moving monument.

Much of the rest of my time was spent visiting, and enjoying family time with my far away kid and his fur babies.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


I am still recovering from my wild weekend in the East, and haven't done much sewing. However, I do have this accomplishment.

Cardinals are regular visitors to our yard, year round. Because they are big and red, it didn't take very long for the grandson to notice them coming to the feeder.

I bought this silly little bird for my grandson, about a year ago. It has a sound maker inside that sounds like a Cardinal. If you haven't heard a cardinal, they sound like this. Sorry, the video has an ad on the front of it.

On Thursday, it stopped singing. So, today I took my stitch ripper to the seam on the bird, and found the noise maker. Grandad fixed the broken wire, on the inside.

I tucked the box back in and was going to look for some red thread, when I realized that my little guy will be thrilled that his cardinal sings again, and not care about the stitching.

My stitching, now complete.The bird sings again, and the stitching looks pretty good.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Road Trip Preparations

A good sign that I don't go away very often, is how much preparation I put into getting ready for a weekend away.

I spent the morning trying to figure out why I couldn't manage to update the data on my geocaching GPS. Obviously it has been awhile since I went geocaching. I have it figured out now, and I WROTE IT DOWN for next time! I put the instructions in the bag with the GPS. Hopefully that will work.

I also made myself a new purse for the trip. I tried to take pictures, yesterday but it was kind of dull so they came out like this.

So, I tried again, this morning, while the sun was out.

Okay, much better.

A zipper pull that says "Handmade" from Emmaline Bags.

The strap is pieced, to avoid being boring black. I made it long enough to be a cross body strap.

The pattern is Clematis, from Blue Calla, with some serious alterations. I made it 120% larger, then added 2" to the height. I added two zipper pockets, one outside and one inside.

The hot pink lining really suits the bag.

A slip pocket, featuring dogs doing yoga, and a carabiner for my keys.

I also have some travel knitting ready.

Socks for someone, recipient will be determined later.

My garden has mixed opinions about the rain and heat.

The basil is loving it. Tomatoes, not so much.

Morning Glories, to match my bag, are climbing up everything they can reach.

Meanwhile, my little foster is thriving in the sunroom. He found a sunbeam this morning. It is warming his healing hip.