Friday, December 24, 2021

Twas the Night...

 So, we are once again entering a very quiet Christmas celebration. The Covid cases in our area are again soaring, and I'm hiding! 

The church will be closed until the new year, and knowing this, last Sunday there was some tidying of things that won't be required when the building reopens. So, a friend brought me a wreath that had been hanging on the door. With no one using the door, she thought I would enjoy it, and I do.

It now graces the wall on the other side of my front door, where it can be seen from the street.

The Christmas tree is up and decorated, though there is only us to enjoy it.

My entirely cat friendly tree. It is just lacking garlands.

I made Christmas masks for people I want to keep safe. These are the grown up ones. There were kid ones as well.

I keep seeing advice to ditch your cloth masks. If you are following the rules for social distancing and your mask has three layers including a filter and provides a good close fit to your face, then go ahead and keep using it. The environment will thank you. 

I finished another Sesame Street hat. This one is Elmo.

I modified the pattern that came with the kit because apparently my favourite five year old has a bigger head then the pattern suggests. This is a much better fit.

When my kids were younger, I often made them pajamas for Christmas. I decided that I should make some pajama pants for the next generation.

When I bought the fabric, I forgot to add an extra fabric allowance for the fact that the fabric is one way and I can't turn one pattern piece around. Obviously, it has been awhile since I did this. However, I managed to squeak out a pair of pants out of my yard of fabric. The second pair isn't a one way design so it should be easier.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Holly Jolly Stockings

 Our Hibiscus spends the cold weather in the dining room and the warm weather either in the sun room, or out on the patio. It has moved back to the dining room, and continues to bloom. 

I think it has now been flowering for 10 months without a break. I smile every time I see it with a new bloom.

Meanwhile, my Christmas cactus decided to flower for Christmas, this year (it can be widely variable.)

I was asked to make two Christmas stockings. The request was for fun fabric, not Christmas. So I opened up the Laurel Burch vault and found two half yard pieces that seemed to fit the description.

Similar but enough different that they can be told apart. I made the labels inside into pockets for small items that might get lost in a big stocking. The pattern is "Holly Jolly Stocking" by Lindsay Connor. It was free a few years ago but is now available as a paid pattern.

My Laurel Burch stash is nearly gone. It is good it is being used up, but a little sad that there won't be new designs down the road.

I finished knitting my Joy cowl. 

Needs a bit of blocking to smooth out the stitches, I think.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Squirrel or Two

 I have gotten a few things done this month, including a quilt I planned to bind. And then there were the things that popped up.

The kit for Oscar arrived and was just begging to be knit, so I dropped everything and made an Oscar hat. It is going to a fundraiser coming soon.

Then I was told that my favourite little boy didn't have enough masks for school. So, of course, Nana had to drop everything and make 10 more masks.

I despair of every being free of mask making, however, his teacher said that they must be good masks because he doesn't try to take it off in class, like some do. Oddly, after being told it was an emergency, they are still at my house. Does it count as a Squirrel if it's a request from a dear one?

Meanwhile in my WIPs Be Gone, I made a back and binding for a quilt that I started a long time ago.

I remember trying very hard to make sure that the same fabric wasn't touching and I see that I failed. Oh, well, it will be done and the new owner will love it.

I also pulled out this UFO from the start of the pandemic.

I think I decided that the zipper was a bit wonky, but I think I'll leave it wonky. It can be a design feature, right?

I am going to link up with Sandra for her DrEAMi #58 linkup.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Still More Masks!

 I was checking today, and I have made over 60 masks since August. Since there is still a need, I am making more. This week, my best boy seemed to be missing some of his, and cold weather means that the masks get wet, quickly.

I made 5 over the weekend, and finished 5 more today.

These still need their elastic. Next up, we will need Christmas ones! I just looked in my Christmas bin, and I think I have lots of potential fabric.

I was running out of filter medium and elastic, so I ordered more. And , since the shipping is flat rate, I added a bit of fabric.

Hopefully, I can make more fun things than masks.

My hands wanted some nice restful lace, so I cast on a cowl.

It is the Joy Cowl, by Cally Monster, part of a set of cowls called Glad Tidings. 

I learned a trick, some time ago, and it really helps when you knit lace. I place markers at the beginning of each repeat.

This means that you don't need to redo more than one repeat, if you miscount. In this case, no more than 20 stitches.

Besides masks, I hope to start on some other Christmas sewing this week. I have some gifts that I hope to finish on time.

Monday, November 15, 2021

A Quick Finish

 I started a hat last Sunday and finished it Friday. 

I am donating it to a fundraiser at the church. It was the wrong size for Bear, so it is modelled by a mixing bowl.

I figure it will fit a 3 year old, although my kids and grand have large heads so it might fit a bigger child.

There will be more of these hats.

When I found them, I bought one of each!

The pouches are currently part of a sale on Facebook for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Rescue. Pop over and check what they have.

They have lots of pretty things and new stuff is added daily. All the proceeds help pay the cost of vet care and food for the cats.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

A Productive Week

 I'm doing fairly well on this quarter of  WIPS-B-Gone 2021. I have finished both the pouches for the Cat Rescue and this week, I completed a binding on a quilt for the local veteran's supportive housing.

My friend Lois is an amazing quilter, but bindings aren't her "thing", while oddly, they are mine. So, I put this binding on her quilt.

It is always amazing to look in your stash and find the perfect fabric. This fabric had many of the colours Lois had used, so it was made for this quilt.

Look at Lois's fabulous hand quilting.

Meanwhile, I had a request for some baby socks from a soon-to-be Great Grandmother. How could I say no?

They knit up so fast. I use Kate Atherley's free pattern.

I also started a toddler hat, this morning, during virtual church. 

Looks like a quick knit. I should have it done in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, look what I got.

I received it the same day as I made Christmas cake. The cakes are now resting and waiting to become somewhat more "boozy". The Advent Calendar is waiting for Advent. 

I think there are 4 more days in this quarter of the 100 days of WIP, so I need to find a quick finish!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Some More Pouches For Kitties

 Some time ago, a quilting friend gave me a Connecting Threads kit, that she had purchased. She had made one of the pouches in the kit and decided she didn't need to make any more. She knows I make items for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Rescue's fundraisers and thought I might like to finish the kit. I tucked the kit away and forgot about it. This fall, I found it again, and decided to make the pouches up.

The kit was suppose to make four pouches. So far, 5 have been made. I think there is enough fabric to make one more.

The fabric is bright and cheery, though not my usual style. I added zippers from my stash, as well as some fusible fleece to make them stand up.

I made the backs a solid piece of fabric to make construction go quickly.

They open nice and wide, and with the flat bottoms are easy to fill. They are on the small size but I could see them used for stowing things while travelling. ( Will we ever travel again?)

The pouches have gone on their way to the sale. I believe the sale is mid November. It will be held on Facebook.

Because Halloween is coming, I was making Halloween masks, today.

These are 5 of the ten I made, ready to wear to school tomorrow. I gave them to some young friends along with some other treats.

I claim I don't use orange but this blog is very orange.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Sunk Cost

 I actually have a post graduate degree in Engineering Management. This means I have a bunch of business courses that have somewhat limited use to me, today. However, some of it is handy to remember.

In simple terms, sunk cost means that once the money is spent, the materials you may have spent it on now all have the same value (basically, they are free). In terms of crafting, it means that all the fabric, yarn and other materials in your stash are equal, when you start a project, so you are free to use whatever you like, without worrying that it was expensive when you bought it.

 The sale fabric has the same value as the pieces you paid full price for, and the hand dyed yarns have the same value as the mass produced yarn. Too often, I have heard people talk about saving a special fabric or yarn, because it was so expensive. If it suits the project, use it!

During this long period of isolation, I have been using this principle to choose from what I have, for projects I want to do. I will admit that I might not have used my favourite fabrics to make masks (although I have used every bit of my rainbow fabric). However, for everything else, I just use my stash as a free source of beautiful materials.

This was a week for that.

I discovered there a new baby , dear to someone I care about. New Canadian babies need winter hats, since winter is coming. So, I found a pattern I like and looked for some suitable yarn. I had one ball left of Knit Pick's Chroma in worsted. It was waiting for this hat.

So, now there is a hat. It is bright, and colourful, all the things Canadian baby hats should be. With luck, if it falls on the ground, it will be immediately noticed. Welcome to the world, little one. Here is a "free" hat.

I decided that my Chromebook needed a sleeve. I bought the Chromebook when it became obvious that Zoom was going to become my new meeting space, and my tablet was too small to see all the faces. In hope that the future may allow in person meetings, I decided that it needed a protective sleeve.

Isn't that fabulous fabric? I used this bright fabric for the exterior, some flannel on the inside, and a piece of fusible fleece as the batting. 

I actually quilted it, though it doesn't really show.

The binding was a piece of batik that just kind of suited. Now it is ready to slip into a tote bag, ready if I ever get to go anywhere.

It is a perfect fit, considering that I was just designing it on the fly. 

The flannel has been in my stash for years, and I have lots, so it probably wasn't expensive. The bright print was a much newer purchase, bought on impulse and at full price, as I recall. The batik is from my Batik Collection, that has been dwindling lately, as I find places I want to use it.

Using your fabric and gorgeous yarn lets you enjoy it so much more than keeping it hidden in your stash.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

 Yesterday, we sang "Come, you thankful people, come" because the second weekend in October is Thanksgiving in Canada. 

Today, I took a walk through my neighbourhood and local park to show you just why we might think it is time to give thanks.

This is where I live. Not right here, but this is a short walk from my house. The trees give us a wonderful show before we prepare for winter.

Some trees were at their finest last week.

Some have just started to turn.

Parks run between the streets and this was the park next to me, this afternoon.

The type of tree determines its colour. The colour, oddly, is really an absence of  chlorophyll. The green is gone, and this is what is left behind.

A few years ago, they redid the pathway through the park and added more trees.

So here is a little tree with small leaves, showing off its colour. This is a sugar maple, I think.

And this tree is at the entrance I use to go into the park.

Soon they will be bare and the only colours we will see are the hats, and scarves that keep us warm. So, for now, we will enjoy the colour and be thankful that this has been given to us.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Money Bag

 My first WIP finish for the WIP B Gone 2021 100 Day Challenge is the bag I started just ahead of the challenge. It was started so that counts, right?

Sometimes, a project just comes together. This bag has been on my list since about February, so when I saw the Butterfly Bloom Box from Blue Calla Patterns, I knew this was the fabric and zipper combo.

The Money Bag is a small crossbody bag/ belt bag and the pattern is from the Ujamaa Bagettes. A portion of the bag pattern proceeds goes to the Grandmas Helping Grandmas, who support the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The back of the bag has belt loops with rings to attach the crossbody strap.

Isn't that zipper great! Notice the turquoise topstitching. It came from an impulse buy of a Tula Pink thread set. Obviously, I needed it. One does have to remember to change the thread back after topstiching, or you discover you are stitching with turquoise when you should be stitching with black.

The zipper slide has a butterfly pull.

The interior has a zippered pocket, card slots and a slip pocket.  I used the rainbow zipper on the top. too, but since it is recessed, only I will see it. The lining fabric is the same Laurel Burch print as I used in my Roxy Wallet. I still have a bit left.

There is a lovely big exterior pocket with room for a phone, keys and a mask. 

Here it is, wearing it's strap. the hardware is Emmaline Bags (as usual).

If I make this bag again, I think I might put zipper tabs on the ends of the zipper. It will save the angst of trying to sew over the ends of the zipper tape and keep the zipper out of the seam allowance.