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. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WIPS-B-Gone 2021


I decided to join this challenge on Instagram. Tomorrow, there will be 100 days left until the end of 2021. So, I'm going to see if I can finish up some starts from 2021 or before. 

The first task is to pick three to concentrate on for the first 25 days. 


1. The bag I started last week.

This is the fabric and zipper tape.

2. Some pouches for an upcoming charity sale.

This kit was actually given to me by a friend who thought I might like to finish and donate them.

3. Quilt binding.

I promised to put a binding on a charity quilt and I need to finish that. 

So, those are my priorities. Plus, of course, there are still some masks to do. 😷

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Staying Home Isn't All Bad

 Some of you might know that I take immuno-suppressants for my chronic illness. So, I am still staying home, to stay safe. I am a pro at staying home now, and I have discovered some good things.

1. The library has lots of resources available online, like magazines and newspapers, all available for free. Of course, there are also books available as ebooks and audio books. I haven't tried audio books yet because I'm not sure i can keep track of the story.

2. I now have my own yoga studio.

The classes are on Zoom, and the tablet is currently sitting on the stool for my vintage singer machine. You see, they share the room. Yoga blocks work well to raise your feet up if the floor is too far away from your knee and your machine has a knee control.

The room also stores my knitting yarn and the spare bed. 

3. I have discover online sources for all my sewing. knitting and bag making supplies, so I don't have to worry about picking a project and not having what I need.

This fabulous fabric and zipper came from Blue Calla Bags in Toronto. I ordered on Friday and it was here, Monday. She still has the zipper tape but I think the fabric is sold out.

The hardware for the bag came from Emmaline Bags, in Alberta. I had the required hardware in stock, but I may need to take inventory because she usually has a first snow sale, and I need my list ready.

The pattern is a PDF from the Ujamaa Bagettes. Their patterns are on Etsy and Payhip, so they arrive instantly.

Interfacing came from Cleaners Supply and I buy it in bulk, 5 yds at a time. 

4. I have enjoyed streaming British TV on my BritBox subscription. I spend evenings in the Caribbean, or Majorca. I can learn about history or see wonderful gardens. Don't try and knit lace, while Midsomer Murders is just getting to the climax. My biggest grumble is that they don't have the Great British Sewing Bee.

5. I am becoming an expert on seeking out items on the internet for family and friends. I have ordered groceries to be delivered across the country. I've found parts for broken appliances and computers. The only thing I haven't figured out is how to get a haircut delivered.

6. I've learned new computer skills. Some of you may have noticed that my mail notifications come from Mail Chimp now. I'm also getting better at photo processing. I'm still figuring out how to use my Chromebook.

I miss my quilt groups and teaching my little knitting students at the library. I hope this will eventually return. Meanwhile, if you are looking for me, I'll be at home.

As always the retail recommendations are my own. I paid for all the products shown.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

More Masks

 I seem to have disappeared again. However, I've been knitting, and reading. Of course, back to school in Ontario means more masks. Little people are going to in-person learning for the first time, while some are returning to school after a five month break. 

I have lots of fabric, so I don't charge for my masks, parents have enough on their plates right now. Instead, I ask for a donation to our local food Cupboard, of back to school supplies. I said yes, too many times, so it turned into a bit of a marathon. I finished 27 masks for elementary students, by Sunday.

I discovered that my vintage Singer does a nice job on the top stitching, and isn't bothered by the multiple layers.

She is 82 years old and still shines like a debutant!

The masks have all been sent to their new homes, but now I have requests from university students! So, I guess there will be more masks in the future. I bet they don't want Paw Patrol, although I think Super Dinos might go over well with the university crowd. 

However, I have plans for a bag first. I need a new cross-body bag for walking. 

Meanwhile, if you drop in for coffee, today, I have Orange Zucchini Bread. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

I Sewed Something!

 I've been avoiding my sewing room for weeks, but I saw something on another blog, last week, and had to try it.

From Sandra's blog MMM quilts, I saw these makeup bags.

Since I have a bunch of charm squares and no plans for them, I grabbed 9 and started cutting. I have lots of batting scraps, so I got one of those, and some scrap fabric for the lining.

This is my version of Sandra's bag.

The other side.


And the lining! My seams mostly match, my zipper is a nice contrast and the lining was a perfect match. These charm squares were a give away by Northcott from the AQS show in Syracuse, a few years ago. There were nine in the package. They were meant to become a little pouch.

I'd try a few more, but I don't know just what I would do with the pouches.

Meanwhile, the Birds of a Feather shawl is progressing.

It is going to be a long shawl.

And, a new foster cat has arrived. Say hello to Mia. 

She will be with us, until somebody sees her on the web, and decides she needs to live with them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Suddenly August

 I'm not sure what happened to July, but it whizzed by without my doing much in the way of sewing. I did seem to do  a bunch of knitting and reading, but not much blog worthy.

Our latest foster cat has come and gone. His name is Carleton and he went off to his new family, last Tuesday. He did think that all parcel deliveries should be for him.

The potted garden is coming nicely.

It seems to be the year of coleus. They are really brightening the pots. On the other hand, the gladiolas fell over in the rain the other day.

The front door pots are also thriving. I love the fuschia pink in this coleus. It is so bright.

A chipmunk keeps digging in this pot and nothing seems to deter him. However, the plant isn't too unhappy.

I started a new shawl, using some gorgeous yarn I bought from a dyer in Edmonton.  The pattern is Birds of a Feather, by Andrea Mowry. I used the needle the pattern asked for, and I felt the resulting fabric was too loose.

The edges seem to have big loose loops.

So, I started agin, using a smaller needle.

I think the stitches look much neater using this size needle.

Now, I think I will spend some time putting things away in my sewing room so I can make my little guy some shorts before summer is over.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

I Got Lost

 Since I hardly leave home, it seems hard to believe that I could get lost, but somehow, I have missed nearly 3 weeks, this month. 

First off, it has been hot. It is hard to doing any sewing or knitting when it gets up to 30C.  Much easier at -30C. 

I also spent some time, trying to figure out how to create a new mailing list for my blog. I've used Feedburner, but apparently Google is phasing it out. I downloaded my list and found over 1000 email addresses, most of which I suspect are spam. So now I need to filter out the spam and try to create a new list. Hopefully my email subscribers will only miss a couple of posts.

I went for my second vaccine, and my arm was sore for a few days, but otherwise, I had no problems (except, no crafting). 

A big obstacle was that I started reading The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. The book is 625 pages and I had to keep going. What a great story if you are into mystery and intrigue. I found out that the Duchess of Cambridge's grandmother worked at Bletchley Place during WWII.

Pictures! Let's have some pictures.

The hollyhocks are looking very good.

The neighbours took down the huge maple tree that shaded the back of our house. The tree was probably 60 years old, and had already damaged the their house. They were afraid it was no longer stable. the yard is now so bright that I am in search of new blinds for my family room. 

Fires in Northern Ontario are giving us blood in the moon. My camera tried, but this was the best I got.

A friend introduced me to a new shawl pattern, that is currently free as the designer runs a knit along on Instagram. It is called "Reach For the Stars"

It is progressing slowly. The yarn was in my stash, a hand dyed skein called "Stay Home For Christmas".

The designer of the shawl pattern is also a hand dyer in England. She created a colourway for the knit along. I managed to get two skeins of it.

Gorgeous, isn't it. I'm sure I can find a pattern to knit it into. Surprisingly, it got here faster than yarns I have ordered from Canadian suppliers.

Needless to say, the My Bag of the Month project is not moving forward, this month!