Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Year We Didn't Expect - 2020

 This was not the year we expected. On March 15, the province went into Covid-19 lockdown, and did not start to reopen for months.  I figured I would have lots of time for my sewing and knitting, but I had not figured in the amount of time just managing the restrictions would take. No more jumping in the car to go out for a meal. All meals became home-cooked. (I think our takeout score is 3 pizzas and an order of Swiss Chalet.) Hours were often spent trying to figure out where I could get something I needed delivered to the house. 

Sewing became mask-making for a time. Masks become very depressing and boring, rather quickly. When I had to make some masks, I would find myself procrastinating. 

However, last night, I finished what is probably my last completed project for this year. 

The hat, that I made too small for my grandson, has been reknit. It is now bigger, and longer, so I think it will fit. 

Bear, who has happily modelled all my little hats (and masks) for years says that he can't do the grandson hats anymore, but he guesses this will fit. 

So, my summary of finishes:


  • 33 masks
  • 5 tote bags
  • 4 purses or pouches
  • 2 table runners
  • 1 quilt top
  • 2 bucket hats
  • 3 bibs
  • 24 hand sanitizer pouches
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of fleece mitts

  • 8 pairs of socks
  • 3 shawls
  • 2 scarves
  • 1 baby sweater
  • 1 baby bonnet
  • 2 hats (or the same hat, twice)
More than I thought I had done. I also attempted sourdough, I might try again in 2021. I learned a lot of new technical skills, like depositing cheques from my tablet. I can now host Zoom meetings. I have been working to keep in touch with the groups I belong to, so we will not be completely disconnected.

I was surprised to discover that I have not done a lot of reading. I saw yesterday that this is a common problem right now, and the phase "readersblock" has been coined for it.

I'm not going to speculate on what might come next. I will be doing my planning, week by week, with lots of freedom to change my mind. 

May you have a happy and safe New Year.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

It All Started When I Didn't Check

 A squirrel project of another kind:

It all started when I knit a hat for my grandson, for Christmas, without checking my notes from the last hat I made him. Long story short, it was too small. I went back and checked my notes, and sure enough, I had decided that the pattern was too small, so I had gone up a size, and down a needle size., for the last one.

So, I ripped out the whole hat, and opened the drawer where I keep my knitting needles, to look for a 5mm short circular needle. I found a total mess, and decided that it was time to do a tidy.

I emptied everything out onto the dining room table. I first found my needle gauge, then I started sorting. (Like my new Christmas tablecloth?)

These are the first "grown-up" needles I ever owned. I had started out, at the ripe old age of 5 or 6, with a pair of poorly made needles that came in a craft kit. They eventually broke, but not before I used up all the yarn in the kit, and a number of scrap balls, donated by a neighbour who knit. (My mother didn't knit.) These needles were gifted to me by a family friend, who got me started on a hat in bulky yarn.

I love how the plastic needles bend and stay bent. I don't use plastic ones anymore. 

I have a huge collection of straight needles. I can't remember when I last used straight needles. So I decided to find a new home for these, to help resolve the mess. 

The cardboard mailing tube that I use to wrap the Christmas wall hangings around provided a storage place for the needles, and they will soon be cozy and warm, wrapped in the Christmas quilts.

My needles of choice are now circular needles with interchangeable tips. I separated these into tips and cables, and discovered that I seem to have an extra point. If anyone needs a single 6mm tip, I have it. (I found the other 5mm tip missing in the picture, and now I wonder why I have two sets.)

By the end of the day, I had this. I found a cutlery tray to put into the drawer, it it holds the double pointed needles, crochet hooks, needle gauge and a couple of other tools. The brown envelopes hold the cables, and circular needles. The short circulars now have their own envelope. Needle tips are in a zip lock bag. I wonder if I can keep it this tidy?

Meanwhile, in a weak moment, I decided to join annual Mystery Quilt Along over at Persimmon Dreams. She publishes a block per day, and I am already behind! So, I am going to try and play catch up over the next couple of days. 

This is my fabric selection, pulled from stash.

I finished the first block, but it looks wonky so I may be redoing that, too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Christmas is Coming

And, as the Grinch found it, Christmas will come, as it always has. In my little bubble, we have a few gifts for family, mostly handmade. Church will be on YouTube but I can enjoy it, without worrying about the weather. 

 The tree is up, and mostly decorated. No cats to climb it, so far.

The cookies got sent to far away family, so I am baking more.

My grandson was quite upset when we discovered that the dancing, singing mouse was not working. So, Grandad, the electrical engineer, replaced her switch, and Nana, the mechanical engineer, replaced her stuffing and sewed her back up, as good as new. I have an odd love for singing, dancing rodents. They have all been gifts from my children, who foster my weird loves.


A friend has a birthday, this week, so I made her a pouch to keep her mask in. Hopefully, soon, she can use it for something else.

Finally, in the silly department, I pulled out a nativity set for my grandson, and somehow, it ended up like this.

There are dinosaurs, guarding the baby in the manger. (Those are the Advent candles, and I will renew them on Thursday night, when they will all be lit. In our tradition, the candles are green (hope), blue (peace), yellow or gold (joy) and red (love), as an inclusive representation.) On Friday, the Wise Men will start to move around the house, as they journey to Epiphany. My kids took turns hiding them and waiting for me to find them. This year, I get to hide them for my grandson.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Where Does the Time Go?

 It has been weeks since I have been here, and I was wondering what happened. Its not like I'm going anywhere.

In hindsight, I realized I have been dealing with family emergencies, large and small. It's the small ones that take the most time. 

Our microwave died, after 40 years of service. I spent hours trying to figure out what to buy to replace it, without being able to go out and look at what was available. In the end, I used my tape measure to make sure it would fit, crossed my fingers, and ordered.

Here is the new one, all shiny in its new home. I have no idea how to use it, so a large amount of trial and error is involved. 

I am now supervising remote kindergarten for my grandson, at least once a week. Nothing gets done that day, and sometimes, I get a desperate text at 7:05, asking if he can come a second day in the week. We made a lovely Christmas tree out of construction paper, yesterday. 

You can see in the background what a mess the table is by the end of the day. I cheated and ran the stack of tree cutouts through the sewing machine, to hold them together so he could glue them.

It was Christmas hat day, yesterday, so Doug modelled the hat we found.

Doug can be so accommodating sometimes.

Christmas parcels are being prepared for shipment.

This cookie didn't make it into the mail. We needed to do some quality testing.

The knitting continues, and I managed to finish a pair of socks and a scarf. They were washed today, and will be ready to go by morning.

I seem to have a blue theme going.

The granddogs requested new bandanas. I don't use my serger enough and had to remember how to get good results on bias edges.

Two Christmas ones and two bright ones to wear in the snow, I think they will like them.

Hopefully, tomorrow, I will get everything boxed up and get Canada Post to come and pick them up.