Sunday, October 11, 2020

Thanksgiving Sunday

 It is a year when it is a little harder to be thankful, however, we are all safe and warm, and for now, that is enough. I will be thankful for that.

I had one of those weeks when creativity was hard to find. My most creative endeavour at one point was sweet potato dog chews.

You slice sweet potato thin and dry the slices in the oven at a very low temperature. Unlike some baking projects, the point is actually to turn them into shoe leather. You can buy them at the store, already made, but this way is cheaper, especially on a chilly day. The plate was full, so obviously they were a hit.

I started a sock for my little guy.

Just a plain vanilla sock, not much creativity, here (just warm feet).

Then I watched a video from Just Get It Done Quilts, where she suggests sewing your scraps together as a way to get your creativity going. So I grabbed a bag of scraps and did this.

Not anything great, but they are big enough to make a couple of zippered bags. After you apply some interfacing, I expect they will be fine. It also raised my spirits and got me thinking.

I went into my closet and found a Christmas table runner, in need of a batting and backing. Of course, since I was on a roll, I pieced the batting from some scraps, and found the backing, that was already to go.

It is now batted and backed, and in need of a bit more quilting. I'm sure it won't be hard to find it a home.

While I was in there I found more potential Christmas gifts, in need of a bit of work. I guess I have my projects for the week.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Autumn Glory

 I went for a walk, the other day, when the weather was perfect for taking pictures. I actually remembered my camera, so I will share some with you.

This is on the multiuse trail through the park behind my street.

This is the Alice Wilson Woods. It is a place where the Canadian Shield pops up above the ground. The land has been turned into park with hiking trails where we can walk. (Alice Wilson was the first woman to hold the job of Geologist in the Canadian government, and one of the first two women to become Fellows of the Canadian Geographical Society.) 

A tree doesn't change colour all at once. This one seems to be conflicted. I feel the same way about autumn. I, too, want to keep one foot in summer.

This one was striking with its bright colour against the cloud.

This smoke bush is a perfect compliment to the maple beside it. 

The leaves have started to fall, so the cleanup will come next. We enjoy the colours while we can.

My friend Corina finished her Maker Case as well. Corina and I had a couple of video sewing days together to make these. I think she did a very good job.

I love sewing with friends. so I will be doing a video sew day again, soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Not Really A Squirrel

 It is actually a chipmunk.

This is my Mini Maker Case for the Mini Maker Case SAL. I used some of my Tula Pink fat quarters.

It has foxes on the bottom part.

This is the back.

And there is a sleeping fox on the bottom.

The interior is kind of wild.

I was disappointed with this sew along. It was billed as suitable for an adventurous beginner. However, the directions were not always clear, and sometimes they were not at all the way I would do them. My beginner friend got some unsatisfying results when she used the methods given. We ended up having long video chats to get a result she was happy with. I wonder how many beginners gave up, and blamed themselves for not being able to finish.

Okay, off my soapbox. On to some pictures for my friends in warmer climates. We take autumn colours for granted but in much of the world, they never get to see this.

This is the tree in my neighbours' yard.

The Virginia Creeper that has climbed my spruce tree.

Surprisingly, the frost didn't get these Morning Glories. 

And the old curtains have managed to save the tomato plants so we might get a few more, this fall. Last week, we had 4 nights of temperatures near zero, today, the high was 25C. Crazy.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Floating into Fall

 In February, in the midst of a feeling that winter would never end, I saw a pattern on Ravelry that I just had to try. I bought that pattern, and pored over it, wondering what I might use to knit it. I hate driving in the winter so I looked in my stash and found the two perfect yarns. One is merino and silk and the other is mohair.

The shawl has been finished for months but needed blocking. Blocking becomes complicated when we have a foster in residence, because cats like nothing better that to pull the pins out of blocking boards. Today, Misty has returned to the shelter for a medical procedure. So I laid the shawl out and pinned it for blocking.

This is Floatini. It was lots of fun to knit in lovely soft yarns. It is as light as a feather. I love the colours.

To block it, because of the very fine yarns, you pin it to size and spray it with water. My arms weren't long enough to stretch out the tape measure. I remember tape measures that used to have a hole in the end that you could put a pin into to hold  the tape. None of mine have a hole. So, I attached a binding clip and put the pin through that.

Of course, the next job is to sew in all the ends and there are lots. Two ends for each colour change.

I started a sew along for a little case, this week. It is going well. I am up to date. However, I am spending a lot of time with the pattern, saying "that's not how I would do it" and when I follow the instructions, I remember why I don't normally do it that way. However, I am playing with some Tula Pink fat quarters from my stash, and I had everything else I needed on hand. I didn't need to buy anything to do it. I had enough to be able to give some supplies to a friend to do one, too.

This is the exterior of the case.

And this is the lining. Fun fabrics to work with.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Six Months In

 We have now been going to church on Zoom for 6 months. While it is kind of strange to know the church building is only a few blocks away but we can't be together, there are some up sides.

I really enjoy a cup of tea and my knitting while I listen to the service. I get a lot of sock knitting done on Sunday mornings. I also get to enjoy the company of these sweeties.

They have been known to get a bit noisy during some of the quiet parts, but no worse than my kids used to be.

My new Covid addiction is Tamari Almonds, that I make in my oven. They are not as salty as commercial ones, and so tasty. I use this recipe.

I made a batch this morning. I have a big Costco bag of raw almonds in my cupboard that is dwindling fast.

One rainy day this week, I made a bag.

This is the third time I've used this IKEA fabric from a few years ago. I've nearly used all of it. The pattern is the Peanut Tote from UhOh Creations. 

The corners are boxed into the seam and make a nice design feature on the outside. I made the bag on the serger and was done in about an hour. I think I'll make a couple more, but I will make them smaller. This one is very large.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Another Month - Not Much Accomplished

 You would think that with all the time I am spending at home, I would have a lot to show, however, it doesn't seem to work that day.  We are entering the seventh month of self isolation, and I have no finishes to show you, this week.

My hibiscus tree has been summering on the patio, in the dappled shade. It has been moved back into the sunroom, as the nights have started to get colder. This morning it gave us this, for our pleasure during breakfast.

The tree was a gift from my mother and I think we have had it for about 15 years. It is happiest if it spends it's summers on the patio or sunroom and the winter in the dining room.

Back in April, when it became clear that it would be a long time before I could go out shopping, again, I bought a full share from a local Community Supported Agriculture program. I pick up my basket, along with a dozen fresh eggs, in a parking lot, on Thursday afternoon. It's kind of like a drug deal for foodies. We get a share of whatever is currently being picked at the farm. This week, I could hardly lift my basket. I sliced up a tomato this morning for breakfast.

That was just one tomato. We got lots more in the basket. We optimistically planted some cherry tomatoes in patio pots and we are getting a bowl full of tomatoes every second day, from them. I am giving tomatoes away!

I did manage to turn the heel on a sock.

 I think I started these about 3 weeks ago. I am proud of the fact that I remembered to centre the pattern on top of the foot, before I started on the heel. 

I also started a new shawl, because one knitting project is never enough.

I am going to assume that the loose stitches will balance themselves when I block it. The yarn is a wonderful skein I picked up at trunk show. It is from Indigo Dragonfly. They are known for their lovely colours and funky names. This colourway is called Beige. The yarn is a merino/cashmere/silk blend that is lovely to knit with.

Good news! New Blogger has fixed the frustrating separation of upper and lower case labels.  Now they are back to simply alphabetical order. As well they set the default picture size to medium instead of extra large, so I don't have to fix each picture. Maybe they should have fixed all the problems before they asked us to switch.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August Squirrel Moments

 August has flown by. I had big plans to finish a wall hanging and a paper pieced project. The highlight of my month, instead, was the Virtual Pride Walk for Bruce House, when six church friends joined me on a walk around the neighbourhood, and for a social time after, all carefully distanced. 

The walk was very successful. We raised $750 which will be matched by a corporate sponsor. It is good to know that while big fundraisers like galas are cancelled, it is still possible for individuals to make a difference in their community.

So far, I have made 20 Hand Sanitizer Pouches, and I have orders for a few more. These were the last ones I finished.

I also changed the cover on my ironing board. I bought a new one at IKEA months ago, but it took spilling coffee on the old one to get me to change it. 

This week's Drop Everything And Make it moment came when I heard that a good friend of my son had her baby. I had been told that the baby was due in October, but apparently that date had been changed. Mom and baby are fine (Dad is probably in shock), but the baby gift needed to be finished, immediately.

So, I grabbed some fabric and made some bibs to go with the already finished baby socks. There are fishes, because the baby is a Maritimer.  There is ambulances because her mother trained with my son as an Advanced Care Paramedic. There is Jyn Eros from Star Wars, because little girls need strong female role models (and her parents are Star Wars fans). The bibs were sewn, the parcel was packed and they were in the mail, in very short order. 

This week, I have been enjoying a juvenile Blue Jay, in my backyard. He (or she) has figured out that we put peanuts on the windowsills for the birds. The windowsill was empty, so he is making his request at the window.

His grownup feathers are slowly coming in, while his baby feathers are still visible in places. I am referring to him as my baby pterodactyl, although he is losing that look, quickly. You can just see the start of what will become his crest.

My grubby windows made me realize that the window washing crew hasn't called to tell me when they are coming. So, I dropped everything and sent them an email, asking for an appointment. 

I am linking up to Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm quilts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Raising Some Hope

 I don't often mention this, but I have an auto-immune disease, that requires that I take very potent immuno-suppression to live a "normal" life. This also means that during Covid-19, I am basically housebound. I have really enjoyed summer because I have been able to enjoy some socially distanced outdoor visits with friends. I am also getting very good at Zoom. 

I am very fortunate to have family and good friends that make sure that I can get everything I need and most everything I want. I am excellent at internet shopping. I have mastered curbside pickup. 

So, where is this going? Not everyone who is immuno-compromised is a fortunate as I am. Bruce House is an Ottawa charity that provides support for those living with HIV/AIDS. I have made donations to them for many years, not significant donations, but donations. This year, much of their fundraising has dried up. PRIDE events are a major source of funding for Bruce House. Since PRIDE events have been cancelled, I decided to step up my fundraising, So, I am participating in the National Capital Pride Run/Walk. I'm in the walking part! I will walk 2.5 km around my neighbourhood (it's on the honour system) and I am asking for people to sponsor me. My goal is to raise $500 for Bruce House. These donations will be matched by a corporate sponsor.

I decided to gift my sponsors with one of my lovely handmade hand sanitizer pouches. If you would like one, I will give you one for a donation of at least $20.

As of today, I have them in these fabrics. There are limited numbers of each. 

I also have cut out these fabrics, which should be pouches by Friday.

I have lots of fabric, so I will even entertain requests, if I have something suitable. I do have more cat fabric. The dogs are in short supply at the moment. I will not be buying any fabric for these, I'm working entirely from stash. So if you tell me you want something in a green stripe, you might be out of luck. If you haven't been here before, my taste in fabric is kind of vibrant. 

The short pouches hold a 60ml bottle of hand sanitizer. 

The taller ones will hold a 100ml. bottle.

They all have a magnetic snap and a clip to attach it to your purse, backpack or your belt loop.

If you would like to help people living with HIV, and you would like one of my hand sanitizer pouches, you can donate here.

If you make a donation, contact me through my profile, on the right sidebar, and let me know you donated and what fabric you would like. We can arrange delivery.

If you just want to make your own pouch, you can find the information about the pattern in my previous post, here.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Some Knitting, and Other Finishes

Baby things are just about my favourite things to knit. They are small, quick and fun. Just tell me that there is a baby coming into you life and I am off.

So, today, there is a baby shower in Calgary. I wasn't invited (which is fine, because I couldn't have gone) but my friend, the new grandma, was happy to have me send a gift.

So, first up, I made a Baby Vertebrae Sweater. I've made several New Born Vertebrae Sweaters. It is a free pattern, that you can find here. 


It was a very dull day when I took the pictures, and the flash just seemed to wash out the colour, so this is the best picture I got.

The yarn is a Bernat DK yarn, no longer available, that was tucked into my stash.

I also, of course, had to make a Charlotte Hat.

The baby will be born in Calgary in the fall. She is going to need a hat.

So this is what I sent by Xpresspost this week. It arrived yesterday afternoon, just in time for the shower,

I also finished my latest socks.

They almost match! The yarn is a hand dyed stripe I picked up at a yarn festival, this fall. I am doing pretty well at finding what I need to knit with, in my stash. I've only bought one skein since March. And my Christmas box is slowly filling. 

I also started another batch of Hand Sanitizer Pouches. Since not everyone likes cats, this time we have Moose.

When they are holding a bottle of hand sanitizer, they are a bit heavy for a zipper pull.

After days of rain, the weather has turned back to something more seasonal (28C instead of 34C), and we are enjoying it.

Friday, July 31, 2020

A New Pattern

Last week, Spencer Ogg Patterns released a new quick pattern. It was for a hand sanitizer pouch that clips to your bag or belt loop. I think nearly everyone has a small bottle in their purse or backpack, these days.

The pattern is very inexpensive, and if you belong to her Facebook group, it is free.

I ordered some hardware, and dug into my stash and made some.

It has a clip to snap to the strap or zipper of a bag.

It has a magnetic snap so the bottle won't fall out.

It comfortably holds a 60ml bottle of hand sanitizer.

And since I was on a roll, I made 5.

I got all five out of a 9 1/2 inch strip of fabric and and a 5 1/2 inch strip of lining. I fused the interfacing to the strips before I started, so I could quickly make the 5 pouches.

I plan to give them as gifts to people who support me in an upcoming charity event. I think I might need to make some in other fabrics.

Thought you would like to see the Arts and Socks Security Department.

Misty was guarding me from any marauding squirrels or birds who might decide to come through the screen.