Tuesday, March 31, 2020

To everything, there is a season

For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter, under heaven:
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
a time to tear, and a time to sew
 -Ecclesiastes 3: selected verses

I may be dating myself, but this song was popular in my youth.

It was running through my mind, this morning, as I was doing some mending. I bet a lot of people are catching up on their mending, while buying new is not so easy.

My sweetie loves heavy cotton sweatshirts. He wears them until they are threadbare. The one he had on this morning was more a poncho than a shirt. The thread in the sleeve seams was just gone.

I sewed up the seams, so it was a shirt again.

Another favourite had a rip in the elbow. I decided to patch it. Of course, there was no way I could make it invisible, so I decided to make it a design feature.

I lined the patch of bright fabric with flannel. Then I used 1/4" strips of fusible web to baste the patch to the shirt.

I top stitched them into place. Of course, I made a matching patch for the second sleeve.

After I finished this, I looked in his closet and found he had 4 more, all in better shape than these two. If I had known, I might not have worked so hard at mending these.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Big Sock, Little Sock

When my boys were little, a favourite book was Big Dog, Little Dog by P. D. Eastman.

It is a book about differences, and lots of fun. This book popped to mind, when I finished another pair of socks, last night.

I finished these socks on Saturday. I knit the second sock in about a week, which may be a new record for me. I find plain vanilla socks to be very soothing to knit. The yarn is the lovely Turtle Toes by Turtlepurl Yarns, from Hillsborough, New Brunswick. 

You can make perfect twins from her dyed together skeins, and you can get a solid skein to do the heels, if you don't want to mess up the striping pattern. This is the fourth pair of adult socks I have knit with her yarn. (She has a sale on currently, this might be a sign I need more yarn.)

Sunday morning, I cast on this pair.

I managed to get the stripes in the perfect spot for baby socks.  I may have been knitting them, while I attended church remotely. (At least I got dressed before church!) This is my very favourite Kate Atherly Baby sock pattern. I don't know how many times I have knit it now, but all the babies I give them to, love them.

Back to Big Dog, Little Dog.

Big sock, little sock. The big sock is to fit a men's size 13 foot. The little ones are size new born.

Two pairs done. At least I am not wasting my time in social distancing. I was knitting the first adult sock, at a meeting before we locked down. Someone told me they were impressed that I didn't waste the time I spent at meetings. I replied that I knit at meetings, so I don't kill anyone. The same might be true of knitting in isolation.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Week One of Social Distancing

I have been playing in my sewing room, knitting and binge watching TV this week. I actually did some yoga and took a couple of walks, as well.

One of my projects this week, was to sort through some of my UFO sewing projects to decide what to do with them.  I watched a video awhile ago on dealing with your UFO's by Just Get It Done quilts.  So I am using her method to sort things.

I actually let go of two projects that I realized I no longer liked. Once I realized I didn't like them, it was easy to let them go. It was very liberating.

I also found two projects that I can finish easily if I make the project smaller. One was a twelve block embroidered quilt. I realized that I could make it six blocks and have a nice little wall hanging. Five of those six blocks are done, and the sixth needs only a small amount of effort to finish.

The second one was a tablerunner, that I had seriously over reached on. I had planned to make it about 12 feet long. In looking at it, I realize that I didn't buy enough fabric and the sections took much longer that I had anticipated. This morning, I decided to put it to the top of the pile, and get it finished (in a much smaller size).

This is the Christmas side. It is quilt as you go, and strip pieced. This is the one end completed.

This is the other end, still in need of a triangle, and piecing.

This is the everyday side. If I were starting this now, I would use a lot more contrast in my fabric.  However, I will finish the last triangle, put the binding on, and call it done.

My short term goal is one UFO for every new project I finish. When I finish this, I get to start a new project. I have a pair of socks nearly done, so I will have to choose a knitting UFO to finish next.

My amaryllis are looking great, and brightening up my days.

We have a house guest, just now.

He is a friend's cat. She is trying to get home, but in the mean time, this guy is hanging with us. I have a serious soft spot for ginger boys.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


I was in Costco, last week, because it is my source for almond milk, chicken stock, Swiss cheese and batteries. I think we needed some of each. I was fascinated by the people with carts full of toilet paper and bottled water. I wondered what that was about.

Yesterday I saw an article in Macleans magazine, explaining the reasoning (sort of). I also found this humourous take from the Times-Colonist in Victoria.

Basically the articles talk about how contagious fear can be. If you see everybody else buying TP, you figure you must do it too. Fortunately, I don't feel a need to hoard TP. I already have over 100 rolls in my basement! When ever my favourite brand is on sale, I buy three packages, because I have three bathrooms. Since we are empty nesters, we don't go through as much as we used to, so it piles up. I don't ever buy bottled water, so that isn't a problem.

However, I got thinking of what I really need, if I were to have to stay in my house for 14 days. I have a bit of expertise in this area, because I spent many months housebound due to a medical condition, so I will share with you what I have learned.

1. Books: I read a lot, and at the time I was house bound, books were hard to come by. Now, I can get e-books for free from my local library. They even have express read e-books for many popular titles that you can borrow for just 7 days. In two weeks I could probably make my way through most of the books nominated for Canada Reads. Of course, I have about 130 free or nearly free books in my Kindle account that I haven't read yet.  "The Gown" by Jennifer Robson is currently $2.99 CAD. The book is about the making of Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown.

2. Cooking: I am stocking my pantry with staples, so I can try some recipes that I have been meaning to cook. I bought a vegetarian cookbook last year, and I haven't begun to try all the recipes. The internet is also a wonderful source of inspiration. Last week, I made these really good oatmeal peanut butter cookies. 

3. Sewing: Well, I know my stash will probably exceed my ability to use it, so fabric isn't a problem. I have a list of projects that I want to make, so having uninterrupted time to work on them sounds like heaven. I ordered more zippers, last week and they should be here today. However, if you are lacking in hardware and want to make some cute little wallets from fat quarters or scraps, might I suggest this tutorial. 

4. Knitting: I have lots of yarn, enough to see me through most emergencies. I am going to start looking at patterns I have saved in my Ravelry account and matching them to some of my yarn. Then I can check and make sure I have to right needles.

5. Movies: I highly recommend "Harriet" if you haven't seen it. It is just out on CD and from streaming services.

It is estimated that 30 rolls of toilet paper will last the average family about a month. I hope my suggestions will allow you to relax and think about what you might need, to enjoy being told to stay home for two weeks.

Now, the pictures from my dining room paradise.

The hibiscus has four flowers open today.

The amaryllis has started to bloom.

Relax and enjoy the flowers!